February 2010

I’ve walked by this building twice a day for the past six months on my way to work, but it wasn’t until I walked on the opposite side of the street that I actually saw how stunning it is.

Someone already has their flowers out in the window boxes.  Spring might actually be around the corner.


A wise man once said, “You’ve got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, and know when to run”. Okay, so maybe not a wise man, but a man who had a successful singing career, a chain of chicken restaurants baring his name and in more recent years some really unfortunate plastic surgery.

In all honesty, the quote has very little do with anything, but who doesn’t love to quote Kenny Rogers? The point of the matter (yes I do have a point) is that sometimes you have to go all in. Take an idea and run with it.

You may recall that a few months ago I was lamenting the difficulties of meeting people in the city. My plan was to search high and low for groups as a way to meet people. I was even having a bit of trouble finding groups (or at least groups that would have me as a member). I put all my cards on the table and started to respond to anything that sounded remotely interesting.  The tide has certainly changed. I am now in SEVEN book clubs.

I think this might have gotten a little bit out of hand.

I have a logical explanation. The group I joined when I first got here disbanded after one meeting. So with that as precedent, I figured that I might as well join a bunch because I might not like one of the groups, or one might fizzle out. So far I’ve met with three of the groups and I really like all three. This is kind of turning into an embarrassment of riches. A few of the remaining 4 had better be duds, or I’m going to have zero life outside of reading!  And don’t think I haven’t considered swaying the votes to see if I could get several groups to read the same book, it has occurred to me.

My worst nightmare is that there is going to be a common thread in the groups. Like in Fight Club when Marla starts showing up at all the same support groups as the narrator? Someone is going to be at all of the same bookclubs and know that I’m a member of entirely too many of these things (though they will be too), and that I’m essentially shopping for the club I like best.

Seriously, If I end up liking all of these people and none of the groups fizzle my calendar and my kindle are going to become a nightmare!

I am a newbie at the whole commuting thing. Up until moving to SF I had always just hopped in the car and driven to work.  I love the fact that I can take public transportation.  It is so much less stress (despite the sometimes unpleasant odors) and it frees up time in my day to read. Pretty much a win-win in my book.  But it appears that my day-day routine requires a large amount of “stuff”.

Maybe requires isn’t the right word. Maybe it’s that I’ve accumulated a weird attachment to a great deal of stuff that has found a home in my handbag. Either way, I find myself toting two bags back and forth with me twice a day.

Bag one, my handbag. It should be noted that this is the largest handbag I can recall carrying.  And it’s pretty full.   Some might refer to it as luggage. Inside is my wallet, a cosmetics pouch, sunglasses, an umbrella, hairbrush, handsanitizer, a fold up wholefoods reusable bag (in case I stop someplace for grocerys).  None of this seems particularly excessive, although I could cut down on a few of the lip glosses, in all honesty it’s not like they are taking up a ton of room.

The next bag contains my lunch, my nalgene, a book or kindle, and my ipod. Some days I bring shoes with me to work, if the heels I’m wearing aren’t comfortable enough for the walk to the BART. Yes, that is a lot of crap. But it appears to be NECESSARY crap.  Two bags feels like a lot to be carting around.

I’m looking for a new spring/summer everyday bag. I would rather not carry a huge bag.  My boyfriend suggested a messenger bag or a backpack, but to be honest with you I always associate those with laptops, college classes and bike messengers.  The other problem? I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel about not carrying a handbag to work.  So I need your help!

Where can I find a nice bag that I could carry to work that still looks professional and chic (it would help if it didn’t break the bank either)?  Should I just bite the bullet and continue to carry big purses, or get a small purse and up the size of my lunch bag? Am I totally misguided in my distaste for the messenger bag? I’m hoping there are some public transit pros out there who can lead me in the right direction!

Things are moving a little bit slowly this Monday. I haven’t really been able to wake up all day. Unfortunately this isn’t due to a wild and crazy weekend, but rather the fact that I’ve given up soda. I don’t know that this abstention from the bubbly sugary goodness is permanent, but for now I’m on the Dr. Pepper wagon. I haven’t had a soda for a few days, and with the exception of this morning the only time it has been really awful was when I was gobbling up a popcorn (with butter and salt of course!) at Shutter Island on Saturday.

The popcorn was certainly delightful, and the movie was better than I expected as well. While on the topic of movies, I still haven’t made it any closer to my goal to see all of the best picture nominees. Blame it on laziness.  I’ve also had 500 days of summer checked out for about 2 weeks now, and for the life of me I can’t force myself to sit through it. I just can’t get into it (Although in all fairness this could be due to the fact that I really love the streaming netflix and all of the options it gives you).

I’ve  tried two new recipes in the past two days, and I must say that so far Paula Deen is kind of failing me.  In all fairness the two recipes that I have picked out of the book so far have had zero prep time, but I still haven’t been overly impressed. On the plus side, even when my food doesn’t look/taste that great, my apron is always cute. Behold:

Yep, those are cherries!

I LOVE my retro cherries apron.  I mean look at it, it even has BOWS!  All I need is to vacuum in heals and pearls and it’s the 50’s.

Unfortunately, I don’t just have the apron because it’s cute.  I can kind of be a messy cook, so it’s kind of a necessity.  Besides which, cooking is kind of like everything else, buying/using the gear is half the fun!

The color purple + peacock feathers = the most unique and beautiful (and expensive) wedding invitation that I’ve seen in quite some time. As a result I’ve had peacock feathers on the brain.   So I ordered these earrings.

While they are a little large, I think they are fun and gorgeous. I’m now in a no buy zone for earrings as well as lip gloss, as my collection is getting a little out of hand considering 95% of the time I wear diamond studs. They are perfect as I can sleep and shower in them.  But I like to mix it up with fun things and I think these certainly fit the bill. Oh, did I mention I got them on Etsy? I need to block that site on my browser, I can’t go without putting at least one thing in my basket.

Damn it! I accidentally bought another cookbook! It jumped in my amazon cart and followed me home. I blame it on the dreary months and slightly chilly weather. That’s correct, I’ve been craving comfort food. So one must follow the recipes of those who do comfort food best: The southerners. And one southerner seems to do it better than anyone else. Yes, Paula Deen will be on my shelves when I get home.

It probably didn’t help that I just finished her biography “It Ain’t All About The Cookin“. One can only hear about fried chicken, and baked spaghetti, and all other manner of delish sounding heart attack inducing fried foods, before you want to be able to make them yourself. She certainly has lived an interesting life and the book is worth reading, but beware, I don’t see how you couldn’t order a cookbook upon completion.

I have a new bookclub tonight! I’m hoping that this group of ladies is as interesting as they seem to be!

The sun finally decided to make an appearance this weekend, and it was glorious! I needed to soak up as much vitamin D as possible. Living in Northern California has many MANY advantages (many downsides too, but we won’t discuss the traffic, the homelessness, the exorbitant rent, etc.) one of which is the plethora of outdoor activities just a short distance from the city.
To celebrate the suns arrival we decided to go for a nice hike and headed to the East Bay to Mt. Diablo. We have hiked here several times and I absolutely adore it. It’s just a short drive from the city but you really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. It’s never been super busy when I’ve visited, and the scenery is breathtaking.

Of course, guess who couldn’t find her memory card for her camera? And who then immediately found it when she got home in her laptop bag. Yep, that’s right. A whole day of gorgeous scenery wasted. This tells me that I need to A.) Pick up a spare memory card and B.) Don’t put things in logical places because I will never look for them there. I swear to you, I looked under the bed for that card 3 times. It never occurred to me to look in my laptop bag. Ugggg.

A few months back I picked up a book that lists the best hiking in California so we are never short on places to explore. This weekends trail was one we’ve actually attempted before, but have gotten side tracked and ended up on other trails.  It’s called the Falls Trail Loop, and shock of all shocks, it takes you by several gorgeous waterfalls.

Alas, the only photos I have are of the crappy variety taken on my camera phone which don’t do them any sort of justice.

I’m always excited to get outdoors, but was especially looking forward to it this time, as I just got AWESOME new hiking stuff. Let’s be honest, sometimes getting the new gear is 15% of the fun.

Up first, my newest hiking shoes. These things are outstanding. More like a tennis shoe, but with tons of ankle support and a great amount of tread. They are incredibly light weight and are shockingly comfortable. They are also really breathable, dry quickly, and aren’t as ugly as they could be.

They are the Northface Hedgehog XCR hiking shoe.  Check them out if you need a pair.

Next up, my fantastic new day pack.  It’s perfect. PERFECT.  If only I could find a handbag that fits my needs this well, life would be perfect.  It has more than enough space for everything I could possibly need, in addition to a 2 liter bladder for water. I’m pretty in love with it.

Behold: The Deuter Trans Alpine 26 SL

Fingers crossed that this awesome weather holds and I can get out there again this weekend!

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