Wednesday, August 29, 2012

That Time of the Year

It's the annual college football appreciation post!

I wasn't stoked on this year starting, to be honest. I'm battling a little bit of moodiness about...everything. The weather here sucks and life sucks and blah blah ranty teenage feelings blah.

But then things started happening.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Remember when I said I hate SF weather? Of course you do, it's the last post.

I made good on my promise to go find sun. After texting the best guy friend if he had to be at work on Wednesday (he didn't), we debated whether to go hiking with the dog in Marin or go to Santa Cruz and hang on the beach/ride the famous Giant Dipper, as I still have ride coupons from years ago that don't expire. I try to do things that are cheap because I am broooke.

We ended up going with the hiking plan and, thanks to the suggestion of a Twitter follower, ended up at Lake Lagunitas/Lake Bon Tempe outside of Fairfax in the Marin Watershed.

Everyone is so fucking friendly in Marin. It's weeeeird. I'm used to the city where I barely make eye contact with anyone and avoid talking because I am an introvert and misanthrope. I only end up talking to people on my Land's End walks (which: I HIGHLY recommend Land's End) because my dog is an attention whore whose seemingly sole function is to have every stranger alive pet her and wiggles her teeny tiny butt until they do.

I pulled up to the pay station (one downside: you have to pay $8 to park at Lake Lagunitas, which really isn't that bad) and the super friendly volunteer guy tells me all about the watershed, welcomes me on my first trip there, hands me a bunch of maps, and tells me where to the winter so I can see the waterfall.

We drive along the road of the watershed to our destination a couple miles in. I had apparently missed the signs that the entire place is a 15 mph zone and on a straight away I was going maybe 30 when the park ranger guy parked on the opposite side of the road got out of his car, pointed, and pulled me over. Or pointed me over? There wasn't much pulling. Anyway. HE was super friendly too. Didn't give me a ticket, just a bit of a lecture that was barely a lecture and then told me all about the area also and to be careful of wildlife (with a full run down of all that's around) and to be sure to, as required, keep my dog on a leash so a coyote didn't get her. I keep her on a leash regardless because remember that attention whore thing? She'd follow anyone home. She does not come when called. Most disloyal animal I've ever owned. (Actually, she's the only animal I've ever owned. All other dogs were family dogs. She is definitely mine. Currently asleep on my lap. But: completely disloyal.)

We finally make it to the lake and it's a nice hour long walk around it. Not much of a hike, but pretty with a good amount of shade, nice trails. I'd go there again, probably for the bigger Bon Tempe lake but it was a good walk. Also has a great picnic area if you want to spend the day up there. These two adorable older gentlemen had a picnic table with their own table cloth, glasses of wine, and were grilling. I wanted to invite myself to join them.

We add on part of Bon Tempe lake as well for a total of close to two hours of walking. Sun on my shoulders, wearing shorts. It was fabulous! And the dog was a trooper. She would have liked a few more people to give her pats on the head but she seemed to like it. Not that most dogs don't enjoy being outside getting walked. I think that's the longest walk I've done with her though so I was glad she seemed unfazed. I'm never quite sure how being 12 pounds translates for a dog. If I walk a mile is that like 3 miles to her? (I make no bones (heh) about being a crazy dog person.)

Around the lake, the roughly 10 people we encounter, as it's midday on a Wednesday and I imagine most people have actual jobs, are all super friendly too. Hellos and head nods abound. Even from the mountain bikers who thank us for staying to the side and waive as they pass. WHAT IS THIS WEIRD UBER FRIENDLY ALTERNATE UNIVERSE?

You have to understand that us city dwellers have a natural dislike of...well, everything not "the city". I think the fog makes us cranky and naturally suspicious. Or maybe that's just me. So all this politeness is freaking me out a bit.

In case you don't know: Marin is a super wealthy enclave that prohibits BART from going there because they don't want the riffraff invading their pristine little towns. Very very white towns. Of like Lululemon stores and boutiques that the wives of rich investment bankers run as hobby. Not that they aren't fantastic towns with great farmers markets, cute restaurants, and really healthy people. Because, also at the recommendation of Twitter follower, we head to Iron Springs Brew Co for post hike lunch and a beer because we can sit outside with the dog. It's next to a bike shop that an endless stream of very fit people are walking or riding their bikes in and out of it. I imagine the East Coast equivalent is New Haven or wherever it was Emily Gilmore lived.

The food at the brew pub was decent, and other than trying to chew through her leash for kicks, the dog was again well behaved. (I've had her for almost a year and haven't taken her to a restaurant. It was a day of adventures for us. Yep. Crazy dog person.)

I was just happy to be outside, drinking, wearing a t-shirt and shorts. "CHUCK! We're outside and don't need sweaters!" San Francisco summers make me loopy.

We got back in the car to head back to the city. The thermometer indicated 81 glorious degrees. By the time we reached Mill Valley, just on the North side of the bridge, the outside temp was indicated as being 61 degrees. A 20 degree drop in a fifteen minute drive, with fog socking in the bridge. Sigh.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vegging Out

First I have to do something annoying: complain about the weather.

Is there anything more futile than bitching about the weather? I can't change it. I can't control it. I have absolutely no dominion over the clouds in the sky. The best I can do is change my location, something I am going to attempt to do this week because this miserable, pervasive, depressing, soul sucking fog that hangs over SF for the entirety of July and August is DRIVING ME INSANE.

If you are unfamiliar, a little geography/meteorology lesson: San Francisco is a coastal city. To the East of SF are valleys. Anyone who has lived here for any period of time becomes intimately familiar with this truth. Because those valleys to the East mean that the cold coastal air gets sucked over the hills into the valleys to cool things off. But at the same time that happens, the hot air that sits in those valleys rises. The cold coastal air crashes into the hot valley air and creates...wait for it...FOG.

As luck would have it, I live right underneath the point where the cold air and hot air crash into each other and create that mess of clouds. Right. Underneath. This is not hyperbole, for once. It can quite literally be foggy ONLY in my neighborhood. I can drive fifteen minutes in any direction, save for West, because that's ocean, and find that big orange ball in the sky. Drove my parents to the airport last week and thought their flight would be delayed as we drove underneath misty wet fog. But no sooner do we take the 280 curve past Serramonte than the skies miraculously (or not so, having just explained the weather here to you) are clear and bright.

I HATE fog. Hate hate hate hate hate. I am never more depressed than during SF summers. While everyone is sweltering, I am walking around in a hoodie and Uggs (don't even judge my Uggs) because IT'S FUCKING COLD. Most evenings when I walk my dog, I feel like I'm in a thriller set in London. Sherlock Holmes is gonna jump out and solve a mystery, as the thick, wet fog hangs low, and I can't see down the street due to the fog, just the vague glow of street lights. Which all sounds very romantic, right? Who doesn't like the thought of a nice warm fire and reading some Arthur Conan Doyle because it fits the weather? EXCEPT IT'S AUGUST! I want some fucking sun! I want a tan! I want to actually wear a pair of shorts!

Some people love this. My Buffalo raised grandmother spent 65+ years of her life in SF and was one of those people who would complain when it was above 70 or below 60. The temperate climate suited her and it was hard to imagine she'd ever braved Buffalo's frigid winters and sweltering summers. But she chose San Francisco. Well, the Coast Guard sent her here during WWII and she met my grandfather so she chose HIM and SF was ancillary, but still! She didn't choose to go find a beau in Buffalo. She stayed here.

I, for whatever serendipitous turns led me to Baton Rouge, quickly discovered I downright thrived in sweltering Louisiana humidity. I'd go walk the campus lakes at midday during the summer without a second thought. Sure sure, I could go back to my apartment and set the A/C to 60 and sleep comfortably at night. I'm not saying I want to live in July Louisiana without modern conveniences. But the point remains: I love that heat. I miss 45 minute, 3 in the afternoon cleansing thunderstorms (so long as I don't have to drive in them because that still terrifies me). I miss sitting outside drinking on a porch. And yes, this is a bit of an idealized view of life in Louisiana. But it's not far off. Night games at the Box, or even at Tiger Stadium in late October, don't often require the use of a light sweater:

All of which is a really long way of saying: I sat my ass on the couch and watched movies all weekend and now I'm going to dispense my thoughts on movies you likely saw a year or more ago because the weather was too miserable and depressing for me to contemplate doing anything else.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I think a lot about food. This is what you do when you're trying to give up all the food that is bad for you, which is a constant, unwinnable battle. (How is unwinnable not a word? It should completely be a word, right? Things that can't be won: unwinnable. I guess I could just say futile but that's not quite the same. Whatever. Words are stupid. Says person who writes a lot.)

Anyway, I was discussing our mutual attempts to eat better when a friend said something about scrambling eggs and them not coming out right and I asked her what she did and she said, "Ya know, just scramble them in the pan." What? No. What? NO. AHAHAHA What? Noooo. I then described in detail how to scramble eggs. At least how I do it. (Opinions vary, as I discovered when I went to link friend to a "how to scramble eggs" youtube clip and none were quite what I do. But none were "throw eggs in pan and scramble" either.)

Then 40 Going on 28 wrote about popping corn on the stove top and what a revelation that was. Something I had already informed you good people about.

Funny what you grow up knowing about cooking. It helps that I happen to truly love being alone in a kitchen doing stuff. Sort of powerful for me. Which is one reason why my problem with food persists. I'm currently whipping up these bad boys BECAUSE I CAN. And I like afternoon tea. And shortbread goes really well with afternoon tea. Apparently I'm British. (Related: I bought a Bloomspot deal, and the other day and my mom and I went to Dartealing to use it. In white girl speak: Super adorbs! Highly recommended tea place.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Every day we encounter stupidity. I'm sure for the sake of your sanity, much like me, you let a lot of this go. You have to. Or you'll go crazy. We can't take up the mantle of every battle. From a tourist pronouncing "Gough" street wrong (btw, non-SF readers: goff. Like cough with a g), to someone on any variety of social networking sites or newspaper websites making asinine comments. In fact, I've learned to not read the comments section of just about all websites because the level of intelligent discourse is...lacking at the very least. (I'm gonna come off like an elitist, over-educated ass in here...for which I make very little apology. I kind of am.) (Oh, also: we're gonna get all political below (well, as political as I'll ever get), so if that's not your thing, you'll just want to skip this one.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Modern Pentathlon

More on Olympic sports!

Andrew and I were talking about the modern pentathlon the other day and that conversation led me to decide that I should become an ambassador for it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Something bizarre is happening for the next few days. I get my house to myself. Completely to myself. The 'rents are going out of town, which isn't that rare of an occurrence. But when they leave I'm usually in charge of the dogs which can feel like a full time job. Walk 'em, feed 'em, walk 'em again and again and again, feed 'em.

Don't get me wrong, I lurve my dogs. But man can they be exhausting. The little one sleeps on my lap as I type at the kitchen table. If I try to put her down, she'll bark at me. Yes, she's spoiled. This is probably my fault. And by probably I mean definitely. The bigger dog (40 lb shepherd mix thing that likes to herd strangers when they come into the house) sleeps on my bed during the day. He's not supposed to sleep on my bed, what with the 4 dog beds scattered throughout the house, a couch he's allowed on, and parents beds to sleep on. But he does it anyway.

So this time when my parents are gone for three days, the dogs are going to the dog hotel. (Real thing.) No getting up at 6 to take them out. No...nothing.

My house is gonna be like Project X for three days. Except not at all because I don't like people. I might go see Beasts of The Southern Wild finally. I have plans to see one of my all time favorite movies, that is never replicated in my life, Sixteen Candles, at film night in the park on Saturday night. And I do plan on watching all the Olympics. Like watch the super tape delayed West Coast "simulcast" of the days events in prime time and then just stay awake 'til events start again at 2 a.m. my time amount of Olympic watching. (Which I did Friday night after being sidetracked by a hangover.)

(Here's where we take an abrupt left turn on me writing about being home alone and delve into the Olympics because I have SO MANY QUESTIONS.)