Monday, May 31, 2010


Pull quotes get on my nerve. I don't understand them at all. I do my best to avoid reading them, because I only end up feeling frustrated when I end up encountering the exact same words later in a newspaper or magazine story, with more context. Does anyone enjoy them or find them useful or beautiful? Convince me.

day tripper

I think it's fair to say that mine is an excitable nature. Nonetheless, I have difficulty imagining that anyone would have been unmoved by the truly splendid hike I went on last Friday in Marin.

Gorgeous sunshine for the first time in days, and a winding way along some cliffs. Blissfully alone.

Along the way, I rubbed the rough felty pods of lupin not yet in bloom.

In places the trail was wide and obvious, but when it dipped into the forest it was often overgrown. The air was warm in these areas, and damp, and thick. Then I came out into a narrow stretch where California poppies and dandelions were clearly in competition with one another for Most Cheerful and Exuberant Wildflower. (Also, did you know that dandelions sometimes get strangely foamy?)

When I finally got to Wildcat Beach (nearly six miles from the trail head), it was gorgeous (in that cold, scrabbly, Northern California way), and disappointingly, if unsurprisingly, devoid of wildcats. 

It did, however, offer the persistent hiker a gorgeous waterfall.
The benefits of hiking alone include but are not limited to: walking as quickly as I like, not getting mocked for laughing at things like funny beetles, and singing as soundly as I want (doubles as a good defense against mountain lions). Also, a great way to get some space back in my head.

I ate good snacks whilst hiking, but the beat-tired exhaustion after twelve miles makes me realize I must give serious consideration to my vague plans to hike a good ten or twelve days or so of the PCT. Not that I won't/shouldn't, just a reminder that hiking uses different muscles than my other extracurricular activities.

Monday, May 17, 2010

grief and grieving

The complexity of things surprises me sometimes. It's hard for me to explain why I'm upset. I mostly feel so lucky to have such a wonderful mother, and such sorrow that her mother was never as kind and supportive and loving to her as she is and always has been to me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

retreat, retreat!

There is a great deal of work to be done. Most of my dreams are about excel spreadsheets. And paper. I escape into Susan Cooper, Lagunitas, Milka

Currently: The Dark is Rising, Wilco Tango Foxtrot, Alpenmilch.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

updates from the garden

It's been a while since I last showed off my garden, and now it's springtime (more or less) in San Francisco. My kale had lost it's mind:

Basically, it's trying to make babies. I keep cutting it back and it keeps growing back. It is rather persistent, licentious kale.

I have some nice new plants, as well. Baby arugula, baby broccoli raab,
some burgundy beans that seem to be quite happy in the world so far, 

a tiny chili plant for whom I have high hopes, 

and of course, tarragon and rosemary. Mmm...

As a decidedly inexpert and wildly inexperienced gardener, I grow these plants with water, sun, and a hell of a lot of optimism. We'll see how we do.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

do you do you do you do you want to dance

"...And: 'If you really want a woman to love you, then you have to dance. And if you don't want to dance, then you're going to have to work extra hard to make a woman love you forever, and you will always run the risk that she will leave you at any second for a man who knows how to tango.' "
                        – "War Dances," Sherman Alexie

Couldn't have said it better myself.


No one deserves to be this lucky. Certainly not me. But isn't it nice (sometimes) that we don't just get what we deserve in life? Things would be pretty harsh otherwise, I think.

I woke up this morning with no plans, and stumbled my way into an invitation to brunch with my downstairs neighbors. I offered to provide something, but ultimately only made coffee. And I got to eat the most gorgeous frittata,


and a beautiful tortilla espaƱol, fabulous apple wood smoked salmon from the Alemany farmer's market, sweet potatoes, fresh bread with blackberry/lemon jam from Blue Chair, and to sit and talk (and listen! I was doing some listening!) with a bunch of enthnomusicologists and mathematicians about music and USAmerican foreign policy and the Arabic love of puns.

And then I went back upstairs to find everyone making kimchi. Let it be known: Kristin is an amazing pickler of vegetables. I did very little, besides chop some ginger (and of course, all the photo-documentation). In case I had been feasted enough, we feasted! (Yes, that's right, John made biscuits again!) And then we watched The Philadelphia Story. Does no one agree with me that Katharine Hepburn & Jimmy Stewart should end up together? They have so much chemistry! And she and Carry Grant just don't do it for me. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a way to attain beauty

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is the most novelly novel I've read in ages, and it was such a delight. A few glimpses:

"Art is life, playing to other rhythms."
"Personally, I think that grammar is a way to attain beauty..."
and finally,
"The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cot, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and of the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed."  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

banksy never did this

watch you like a tigerer/watch you like a fox

This recently appeared across the street from my house. My new favorite poem, maybe?
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