Monday, January 31, 2011

Cultural ambitions

Last Friday I took the day off work to hang out with my brother in New York before I went back to SF and he moves to the desert to track tortoises. We had an epically ambitious day, though we didn't intend it to be that way. We first had a leisurely brunch to calm our hangovers. We then proceeded to:
  • Partake of $1 oysters at the fish market in Chelsea Market. Huge score.
  • Stare at these confusing bobblehead dolls. Why is Owen Wilson a cupid? Why is Ringo golfing? Who buys these things?
  • Ice skate in Bryant Park, which was fun and bewildering. The people watching! The human missiles! The fact that we didn't fall! We were born for it.
  • Giggle at these amorous cheddar bunnies. Heh heh.
  • Meet Leslie at an indoor park for some warmth and relaxation.
  • Eat delicious pizza in NoLita.
  • Visit the butterfly garden at the Museum of Natural History
  • Force Ian to be our tour guide at the museum, where we also recorded this video. The best part is when the animated shark attacks and you can hear Leslie and I losing our shit.
video
  • Walk through Central Park at sunset and see the world tiniest snowman, a snowman with a tiny head growing out of his primary head, and a raccoon. A real raccoon, not a snowman raccoon. Leslie tried to feed it a granola bar, but we convinced her that was probably not necessary.
  • Meet Meg at the Whitney to see the Hopper exhibit. Bonus: a divine exhibit of tiny clothes and bone carvings by Charles LeDray. Totally worth seeing.
We capped off the night with dinner in the East Village and drinks until 4 a.m. in Brooklyn. That is what I am talking about.

SF Bikes

Have all San Franciscans seen the Bikes of San Francisco image? It is deeply pleasing, especially if you love neighborhood stereotyping as much as I do.

Freezing, freezing, frozen

It was very very cold in New York. It was even colder in Pennsylvania, where my parents live atop a wind-whipped hill. The plus side of being on top of a hill, of course, is that you can engage in kickass sledding. Which my brother and I did last weekend.

Here is how cold it was.
Here is how my brother reacted to the cold: by jumping into a snowdrift.
Then we sledded until our noses froze.
And I worked in some serious naptime.
In other words, I engaged in some serious relaxation.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The rainbow's end

Oh goody, another study about how successful women can't find anyone to date. If you make it all the way to the end, you will be treated to statements like:
I wish I could say, "Oh, an individual woman will get what she wants by withholding sex," but that is not the case when it's not the case collectively, when there are lots of other women happy to underbid her. She's in a bind, which is why a lot of women don't restrict it because they feel, "Oh, he's just going to go to my roommate or the other woman at the end of the bar," which is true. But I still think you have better odds of succeeding, especially if you're attractive, if you don't give in, if you make him work hard, get to know you, make commitments -- all that stuff that seems pretty basic. This is not about getting sex. Women can get sex whenever they want. Post it on Craigslist and you can have it within the hour. This is about getting commitments.
Luckily I came to this article through its rebuttal, which is an occasionally over the top but still satisfying piece that has lines like:
Women are only truly happy when they have something to take care of, like a boyfriend or a baby. If you become pregnant (YAY!) and tell your boyfriend you're going to "take care of it," make sure he's not confused about what you mean.
And:
Yes, women are in this world for one thing: babies. And what is the point of winning the rat race if there's a not a rat-swarmed baby at the rainbow's end?
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Dressing when you're depressed"

This Jezebel post could also be called "Dressing when you go to a women's college". Here is what is recommended for "wallowing":
And here are your "rallying" clothes:
A feather boa! I will be recommending that to all my depressed friends from now on.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daily Mile

I am obsessed with the Daily Mile. I heard about it from Vanessa, who mentioned it in the context of being injured and missing tracking her workouts there. So I swooped in like a vulture to make it my own. It's essentially a social networking site for athletes - you can add friends, track your workouts, and compare yourself to others if you so choose. I do not so choose, at least not at this point, when I am but a weakling. As a result I only have two Daily Mile friends, which suits me just fine, but reading about other people's workouts really is motivating. In the first week I joined I ran double the mileage that I generally do. If you are a data hound, you should check it out. And friend me! So that we can see how many donuts we collectively burn.

En route

I am currently on a plane somewhere above Lake Erie on my way to New York for a week and a half. I'm pumped to see family and friends, but I always hate leaving San Francisco, especially after the highlights reel-esque weekend we had.

I got in a few runs, saw a local band play at the Knockout, spent a hungover Saturday on the couch with Jay's cheesesteaks and football, and watched an epic sunset on Ocean Beach.
I completed the afore-posted epic bulk ingredient shopping trip, went to see True Grit (verdict: enjoyable, not stupendous), watched the Jets beat the Pats OH YES OH YES! and had what seemed to be a hugely successful Indian dinner party. I made:
  • channa masala
  • yellow daal
  • kidney bean curry
  • aloo gobi
  • curried lentils with sweet potatoes and chard
  • cabbage slaw
The naan was from Trader Joe's. Highly recommended. The company was good, the food was good (thank god), and the whole thing really hit the spot.

And then! Monday was a holiday, so Mike and I hit In-N-Out for grilled cheese (vegetarians, do it!) on our way to Novato for some epic disc golfing. The course is in a county park and is built into a hillside, so you're hiking as much as you're discing. It was beautiful and warm, but pretty damn frustrating for me - I'm still, you know, building my skills. But it made for a wonderful day. On the way back to the city we had beers and dinner at the Marin Brewing Company. In sum: In-N-Out, disc golfing in the sun, hitting a brewery. Perfect day. (Pictures to come.)

Today would count as less than perfect, since it required getting up at 5 a.m. I fortified myself with a breakfast burrito at the airport, slept for the first three hours of the flight, and am now trying to steel myself for freezing cold temperatures. I have become soft and weak, I will admit. But pizza and bagels and old friends await me!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bulk

Today I went a little overboard in the bulk bins at Rainbow. I actually wound up in a sweaty frenzy, muttering to myself while writing bin numbers down on twist ties. I stocked up on staples, but I also got crazy things like teff, and amaranth flour, and date sugar. I also grabbed lots and lots and lots of beans. I predict that February will consist of lots of concoctions, both delicious and terrible.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cats with moustaches

A friend sent me a link to this Etsy page, which features a collage of cats with moustaches, as inspiration for next year's Brecki holiday card.
I got really excited at first, because I thought the product was cat plates, and for $2.99, I was going to get many of them to delight visitors to my home. Then I read the description and realized that your three bones gets you not an actual product, and not even a sheet of paper - it gets you a jpg of these cats-in-moustaches. From the description: "Vintage Cats and kittens with mustache and monocles is digital collage sheet of 54 1 inch circle unique images. These are perfect for botlecaps, stickers, scrapbooking, pebble magnets, jewelry, glass tiles and pendants." Botlecaps! Well, I'm sold.

Monday, January 10, 2011

99 bottles of beer...

I brewed nine batches of beer in 2010. That's 45 gallons of beer, or 480 bottles. Damn. Here's the roll call:
  1. West Coast Amber
  2. Nipples of Venus IPA
  3. ESB
  4. Lawnmower Ale
  5. English Pale Ale
  6. West Coast Red Ale
  7. American Hefeweizen
  8. Mild Pale Ale
  9. West Coast Porter
I plan to top that in 2011, and have kicked it off with a West Coast Pale Ale, which is a few weeks away from being ready - it'll be kegged and cold for Super Bowl Sunday. Today I brewed a German Altbier, which I'll bottle and use for a dinner party in February. The question is, what should I do next?

The Pale King

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has an interesting article on David Foster Wallace scholarship and criticism. Best part is that I didn't realize The Pale King was coming out on April 15. It is time to get my pre-order on.

April is going to find me sitting on my couch, drooling over Heidi's book while obsessively reading footnotes in DFW's. It's going to be messy and great.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh oh oh yay yay yay

Heidi's new cookbook is coming out this spring. Despite being an obsessive reader of her blog and cooker of her recipes, I hadn't actually checked out her last book until Mike gave it to me for Christmas this year. It is lovely and inspiring, and it makes me feel healthier just reading it. Can't wait for the new one. I am going to use all kinds of whole grains, biotch.

Wild beer

I think it is epically cool that brewers are using wild yeast strains to brew like our brewing foreparents in Belgium. A little yucky, but really very cool. I may have to try this by collecting yeast from our roof. And then I will make beer with it and I WILL NOT TELL YOU. Or I will, but only after you've tried it.

Mwah ha ha.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tonight I made myself a dirty martini at home for the first time in four years. The fact that this coincides with the purchase of a bathrobe worries me. I think I need to get out more.

Also, today Mike realized that a gift certificate I bought him six months ago is for a massage with a guy that came to our place for New Year's. That is amusing, in an unfortunate way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Victory is ours

From the NYT: "Does Exercising Make You Drink More Alcohol? Can regular exercise avert or undo some of the harm associated with binge drinking? Perhaps even better, could exercising beforehand pre-emptively reduce your urge to overindulge in alcohol later? Or does exercising actually drive you to drink?"

I love it when science explains away my bad habits.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resolutions

I don't actually have any new year's resolutions. I just wanted an excuse to link to this blog post, which has a most excellent headline.

Hello hello

Welcome, 2011. May you be less of a pain in the ass than the last few weeks of 2010. 2010 actually blew altogether for many people around me, and as such I gave it a mighty Good Riddance.

In summary: We were lucky enough to score cheap (seriously) first class tickets down to Texas for the holidays, but I worked so hard to take advantage of the free drinks that I got chardonnayhead and lost my bag of chargers. As in, the bag with ALL my electronics chargers, which I keep in my carry-on because they are too precious to check. That is why I was disconnected for two weeks, with only the juice that a wee USB plug could get me. This disconnect would have been nice, but I was supposed to be working. Oops.

The holidays were up and down, as holidays are. Mike's nephews are the cutest little nuggets, and while I am not interested in babymaking anytime soon, this little one made my ovaries give each other a conspiratorial behind-the-back high five.
In Austin we also had intensive baby time, but also intensive friend time. Babies and friends go together, it turns out, when you do not live in the Bay Area.

We rang in 2011 with a last-minute shindig in our apartment, at the end of which I got mad at Mike for no particular reason and passed out in my gold sequiny dress. Dignity! Here is the dress.
Don't I look like a discontent trophy wife? Because that is the look I was going for. I am also very clearly sucking in.

On the first morning of the new year I made pancakes, lazed around, got lunch, bit a fork too hard and chipped my tooth. Even more dignity!

2011 has thus far redeemed itself, however, by containing disc golf, a well-executed boil/brew of a pale ale, a crap ton of completed errands, homemade vegetable soup, and cinnamon buns. Cinnamon buns make everything better. Fact.

Oh, and I bought this album, which folds out into a full-length shot of Dolly. She is just delightful.
And completely wackadoo.