Friday, June 29, 2012

I joined a meetup group for women in their 20-30s who want to meet other nice, fun, outgoing women in the Bay area.  We had a meetup at this really cute wine bar, District, which is practically right across the street from the AT&T Stadium. We tried a bottle of white (Vevi, Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2010) that was SO good. If you like whites that are crisp and fruity, and just this side of sweet, it's the wine for you.  The menu describes it as peachy. I enjoy a good glass of wine, and I'm working on developing my palate.. but if you ask me to identify the notes, I'm likely to answer, "Uhh.. grapes?"  But this rueda was bursting with peach notes. Amazing. I would recommend their fries, too--the dipping sauce (garlicky creamy something, maybe mayo?) was delicious with the truffle oil on the fries. Check it:

It was great to get out and just have girl talk. I've been hanging out with B-Man and his friends all the time.  Despite having a few very close, long lasting friendships with girls (I love you, ladies) I've always gotten along better with guys. I can't shake the feeling that it's very strange for B-man.  Maybe it's his European-ness?  Maybe he's insecure? No idea.   The feeling of his unsaid discomfort drove me to the one place where you can find anything: the internet. I was hoping to find that elusive species: human females who are smart, fun, NICE, accomplished, and who actually like getting out and doing shit.  I only went to one meetup but I have to say--I think I've already found a winning bunch!

We talked for 3 hours about everything, and there was never a dull moment in the conversation. The girls were from all corners of SF, but one is living in a small city to the south--just 1 mile away from B-Man, in fact. I offered her a ride home at the beginning of the evening and as we talked, I was more than happy I had offered--she was definitely the nicest of the bunch.  It was a great time and I realized how much I miss talking candidly about anything and everything.  No topic was too crazy, nothing was off limits--everything from how we're dealing with shifts in our social circles as more and more of our friends are getting married and having children to the struggle women in SF face as they deal with SF guys and the weird dating scene out here.  I had such a great time that I was still in a good mood the next morning, even when the alarm went off at: 4:30 am.

The whole meetup thing makes me think--it can be kind of weird to agree to meet up with a group of total strangers, none of whom have ever met each other before.  The internet has really changed the world. Who would have thought that something like this would be possible?  With a few clicks of a mouse (I am dating myself here--I should pretend that I have a tablet. This is 2012 in Silicon Valley), I found a new social site that makes connecting with people SO much easier. I never would have been able to get such a great group of girls together on my own if I didn't already know them.  It beats the hell out of trying to meet people in bars.

I'm curious--who else has used social (Web 2.0) to accomplish something that would be pretty much impossible otherwise? Have you stepped outside of your comfort zone, like I did?  And what was the result?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beautiful SF cityscape video

Check out this timelapse video of San Francisco.  It's really one of the most beautiful cities in the US.

As you're watching, try to figure out which landmarks are at the following times:


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bay 2 Breakers & the Eclipse

So obviously it's been a while since I last wrote.. Most of you know the main things that have happened in my life since my last posts so instead of this being a summary post of everything that's happened in the last year I'm going to jump in and give an update on what happened last weekend in the city.

Any excuse for craziness and day drinking is insanely popular in the city. Proof: Bay to Breakers, a 12k (just over 7mi) race that goes from one end of the city to the other.  It was started in the early 1900s as a way to get people in a good mood after their city was pretty much leveled during the 1906 earthquake.  Wiki article Since then it's been an integral part of the city's charm and has evolved from a race to a crazy party in the streets with some serious racers and thousands of people in costumes (or nothing at all) dancing and partying their way through the city.

I went this year with Bdawg and some friends.  Great fun.. We started about halfway through the course and walked until Ocean Beach in time to enjoy some freaking cold wind and a ton of sand blowing around, and then watched the solar eclipse.  Enjoy the pictures!

Rooftop party:

Black Swans

Me last year with a nudie.  Our outfits match!

Limbo in the streets

Married? Don't know if it was for real or not but they exchanged rings..

Facebook & Twitter:

Hanging out on the beach:

SF love story:

Street fighter!!

Herd of cows:

Nudie!! Note how no one around him is acting like this is anything out of the ordinary:

Centaur/cow man.  I say cow because you could "milk" him to get vodka. No joke--you can't make this stuff up if you tried.

Bdawg & I waiting for the Eclipse. You can see it's already started--the moon is moving from the right side to the left side of the sun and the sun is an oval instead of round.

Iron Man!

B2B is popular with people of all ages.

So you can see just how massive this thing is...

You can see the solar eclipse in the light passing through my friend's sombrero!

Warning: Not life size.

Another picture to show you just how massive this event is:

He loves me so much.

????  My best guess: Crazy tiger shaman...with sunglasses?

Picture my friend took of the eclipse through one of those sunglasses especially for the eclipse.  At its fullest point, it was 84% covered by the moon or something like that.
Party bus! It didn't drive anywhere but people were partying on it and the driver was DJing.

Example of a group costume:

Angry robot yelling at Siri:

So there you have it. Quite a few pictures of B2B craziness that still don't do it justice. There is nothing like seeing a group of people dressed as giant Legos passed out on the grass, using their Lego costumes (painted cardboard boxes) to shield themselves from the sun.

Next time I'll introduce everyone to the How Weird festival that took place 2 weeks ago :)  Now it's time to get ready for dinner--Fondue time with Bdawg and friends in the city!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Homeless in SF

That guy panhandling on Van Ness. I guess he wasn't getting enough $ because as I was stopped at a traffic light, I saw him grab some dirt from the median and smear it on his face, then continue begging.

That guy I passed who mumbled "Hihowareyouyou'reprettyiloveyoumarrymeiwanttofuckyou."

That guy who was begging...for Pop Tarts

Those organized homeless who have all their belongings in a shopping cart, covered up with some sort of tarp so it stays dry. There's one guy who lives at Fillmore who has an umbrella rigged up on his cart.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

True Selflessness..?

Here is an interesting thought...

One of my resolutions is to volunteer.  My life hasn't exactly been a walk in the park, but it could definitely have been worse.  I'm alive and well and think that I am all the better for my tough spots.  So I wanted to do something to help others who were less fortunate than myself.  What better way to do so than to volunteer?

Here is the thought, though.. Ultimately, I am volunteering to make myself feel better.  I want to volunteer to feel good that I am helping someone.  If I wasn't going to get that good feeling, I wouldn't be donating my time and effort.  So is it truly being a good person? Or is it just a different form of being self-centered?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving and Tourism

 My coworker and his roommate were going to volunteer to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving and asked if I'd like to partake in the holiday spirit of helping those less fortunate.  I decided it would be a good thing to do--the church they selected was sufficiently far away from the Tenderloin, the district downtown you want to avoid, so I figured the people we would be serving would be harmless as well as homeless.

The morning turned out to be a waste of time, pretty much.  The organizers of the event were more concerned with getting the fruit and coffee out for the volunteers than they were about getting stuff ready for the homeless.  Apparently they didn't even need volunteers to help feed people--we were just there to prepare.  Except we prepared absolutely nothing except cutting up bread.  And even that was unorganized--they had like one actual bread knife, so we hacked away at Safeway baguettes with plastic butter knives.  Not kidding.  Megan, my coworker's roommate, was about to freak out..She was so antsy at wanting to DO something, but there was nothing to do!  Everyone was frustrated.  The entire operation was a joke and we finally decided to leave.  As we were standing outside feeding some stale bread to pigeons, a "homeless" guy walked up wanting to get inside to be fed.  He was wearing a Raiders jacket and holding a dry cleaning bag with a dress shirt inside.  Seriously??

Anyway, later that day..My brother came out for a visit.  My digital camera had been stolen during a late night outing (shame on you, whoever has it now... I hope the piece of crap breaks) and I bought a new one to document Josh's visit.

He arrived on Thanksgiving around 2:30 and we went to my manager's for dinner.  It was a great time.  We chatted with appetizers while we waited for the food, then enjoyed a dinner with all the fixins..Including homemade ice cream!!  After dinner it was partay time--board games (the fun kind, not Monopoly), Wii, and flip cup were all in attendance.  The party ended early, around 11, but we were all pooped by then.  Turkey really does take it out of you.

We spent the next couple of days hitting the tourist areas with an intensity reserved normally only for fat kids who have been deprived of cake, and who suddenly find a giant mountain of Death By Chocolate in front of them.  Poor Josh has a stress fracture in his foot, and the miles we walked did nothing to help.. I felt really bad seeing him limp up and down the "hills" aka vertical cliffs of San Francisco's streets, but he was a trooper.

I found a group that gives free tours of certain areas in the city, so Josh picked out a few and we checked them out.  Chinatown was extremely informative, I highly recommend it.

Josh in front of world famous Ghirardelli Square

Josh in front of a trolley

At the Maritime Museum by the Wharf. This was an animated display about how steam power changed travel.  I got a kick out of the wind powered ship's course.

Fisherman's Wharf!

Apparently San Francisco bakers invented sourdough. This bakery is an exceptionally famous one: Boudin. They made bread animals!


me in front of Alcatraz

A gray seagull

Nothing special about these guys except that they looked coool

These were everywhere

Lombard St, the crookedest street in the world!

Chinese Statue of Liberty...? In Chinatown

cool phoenix mural

cool dragons made out of twine


Paper clothes, shoes, money, etc is offered to deceased loved ones so that they can use it in the afterlife.  Money, clothes, shoes, food, even a TV were available.  It was really sad to see dollhouses and other toys as well.  Family members burn the items along with incense to transport them to the afterlife.

A map of Chinatown's alleyways

Chinese apothecary.  You go to the "drugstore" and tell the pharmacist about what is wrong, then he/she makes up a special herb mixture and you drink it.
So that's it for Chinatown and the Wharf.  Part 2 will come later.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The New Home!!!

So I FINALLY found it: the apartment I will call home!

After much searching and scouring the city (craigslist is a godsend) I am now a resident of the Pacific Heights (Pac Heights) neighborhood.

"Pacific Heights is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in Northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz and the Presidio. Its idyllic location provides a temperate micro-climate that is clearer, but not always warmer, than many other areas in San Francisco.
The Pacific Heights Residents Association defines the neighborhood as inside Bush Street, Presidio Avenue, Union Street, and Van Ness Avenue.[2]
Pacific Heights is situated on a primarily east-west oriented ridge that rises sharply from the Marina District and Cow Hollow neighborhoods, to the north, to a maximum height of 370 feet above sea level. The streets of Jackson, Pacific, and Broadway extend along some of the most scenic areas along the hill's crest. The section of Broadway Street extending from Divisadero to Lyon Street is known as the "Gold Coast." Pacific Heights features two parks, Lafayette and Alta Plaza, each with spectacular views of the city and the bay. Easily visible to the north, for example, are the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Alcatraz Island."

Not too shabby.  Here are the pics:

front door

hallway to the kitchen

bedroom 1.. has a small closet but the best view

master bedroom..we are planning on renting this one out

bedroom 1 again

bedroom 1's view of some trees

The split bathroom is nice. I like the magazine rack, but think the toilet paper roll is a bit high.  Maybe people  back then (the building is from before 1930) had super long arms.

the other half of the split bath

The kitchen. No dishwasher ):

some cupboards and a pull-out cutting board

the fridge and "pantry"

Dining room. We are gonna make it the living room

The rest of the living room, complete with built-in.. Cabinets..  And my new roommate Sophia!

closest in the 2nd bedroom..very big

more of the kitchen

outside the kitchen.. Back porch area, I guess. Can't compete with the Southern wrap around porches but hey what can?

Stairs going down....  Didn't actually go down there so I can't tell you what's down there.

building lobby

Building lobby

the front of the building