Friday, July 29, 2011


One great thing about San Francisco is that wine country is a mere hour and a half away. AND it's not plagued by the fog that is ruining my summer here in San Francisco.

So in honor of my husband turning the Big 3-9 at the beginning of July (ie. the last year before he's an old man!) we decided to head out to Napa Valley for some delicious tasty wine.

You may remember that last year for Dom's birthday we did almost the exact same thing and went to the Hunter Valley in Australia for some wine tasting. Man, I'm original in my Dom birthday weekend planning!

Regardless of that fact, I did plan this trip out a little different in that we went bike riding!

You see, Dom likes to bike ride and Dom likes wine and it's Dom's birthday, so obliging wife that I am I arranged bike wine tasting.

Little did I know when planning said bike ride that the temperatures would be dipping into the 100's in Napa that weekend. Had I known, I would have planned something a bit more...air conditioned.

Nevertheless bike riding we went. Hundred degree heat be damned!

The day started off well enough in that it was only 80 or so degrees out, which is tolerable, and away we went, hoping to get the bike riding over and done with before it got too hot out.

Looking awesome, don't we know it!

We made it to exactly 2 vineyards before the heat really caught up to us and wine tasting no longer seemed like a viable option in that we were sweating so profusely that regardless of how much water we were drinking the wine was just going to dehydrate us and then you know...we would have died.

We did however stop off at Mumm, which is strictly champagne and sat ourselves down in their fabulous deck with mist spraying on us for an hour while we alternated between sipping champagne and guzzling bottles of water, dreading stepping back into the baking heat and away from the mist sprayers.

Aw...the mist.

By the end of the day my ass hurt from not being used to riding a bike and I thought I was going to die from heat stroke, and I don't recommend riding bikes in 100 degree heat, BUT when we finally made it back to the hotel and sat ourselves down in our swimming pool I have nothing but fond memories of biking through Napa Valley.

Maybe next year I'll come up with something besides wine tasting for Dom's birthday, maybe I should start thinking now, anyone got any brilliant ideas?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Photo Shoot

Since The Book is now up online I am going to assume that it's ok for me to share my own pictures I took from this shoot.

If not...then shit, sorry.

A few months ago while I was still stuck in Oregon I very randomly ended up production assisting on a Neiman Marcus photo shoot. The photographer was one of the photographer's that the agency I used to work for back in NYC reps and one of the producers is one of my good friends and the shoot just happened to be in Oregon and they needed a local assistant. And guess who just happened to be in Oregon? Oh, yes, me! Now, I have no experience being a production assistant per se, but I've been on enough photo shoots and worked in production long enough that I didn't think it would be much of a stretch for me to branch out into the big bad world of production assisting.

It had been raining for 3 weeks straight on the Oregon coast, but the weather held, much to the chagrin of the photographer who was hoping and praying for beautiful stormy clouds and not clear skies(which he got but only just before the sun went down).

I was cold and miserable most of the very long day...but it was a whole hell of a lot of fun to have a piano out on the beach =)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In Desperate Need of a Hobby

I am failing miserably at becoming one with California and getting on with my life here.

I need a hobby.

All people do around here is outdoor stuff ie. hiking, biking, surfing, etc.

I don't mind hiking...but I'm not gonna do it ALONE.

My husband is gone.


And I don't know what to do with myself.

There's only so much fixing up the house I can stand.

I need a hobby.

A hobby that takes me outside of the home.

Anyone have any brilliant hobby ideas?

Outblush Lust

Are you all reading Outblush?

I love Outblush.

But since moving back here to San Francisco and having to pay a mortgage that is more expensive than any amount of rent we've had to pay since we've been together, I've put shopping on hiatus.

Now thanks to Outblush I am coveting the following:

Tommy Bahama Dress

Marc by Marc Jacobs purse

Fossil shoes

And of all things...this beautiful Heartland oven

With my birthday exactly 3 weeks away I'm struggling, struggling to not shop.

Anyone else coveting gorgeous things that they can't afford ($7500 stoves, ahem!)?

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Drive Like a Californian

Just a few things I've learned about driving while living in California.

Please add any I've forgotten in the comments.

Double Park. Can't find parking? Doesn't matter, just double park. Everywhere for any reason. No one will honk at you. They will just drive around you. It does not matter how traffic heavy the area either, double park anyway.

Ignore all speed limits. It does not matter what the signs say regarding speed, just go with the flow of traffic and you'll be fine. This does not always mean faster than the signs, sometimes it's slower.

Do not use your blinkers. They are completely unnecessary and superfluous. If you need to change lanes, just do it. If you're turning, no need to let everyone know beforehand, they'll figure it out.

Don't stop at stop signs. It's called a California Stop for a reason. It's perfectly acceptable to roll through stop signs. In fact if you do stop it's like rolling down your window and screaming, "I'm a tourist!"

Obey all pedestrian traffic laws. Yep, it's true, they may be terrible drivers for the most part, ignoring almost all traffic laws, but they're very gung-ho about letting pedestrians have the right of way...without honking at them.

Anyone else live in more than one state and find driving to be a whole new experience?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Organic Lollipops and a Wax

My title sums up San Francisco nicely. Let me explain.

I went in for a wax, the really terrible kind, the painful kind, the Brazilian kind. When I walked in I was presented with a lollipop to "help me through the experience" and then she told me it was organic. If that's not San Francisco I don't know what is.

Super nice. Almost overly so. And uber worried about saving the environment.

Sidenote - In Oregon (and possibly the rest of the Northwest) we call lollipops SUCKERS. When I got to New York and said sucker, people were confused and totally thought I was some hick from the midwest. TRUE STORY.

Back to San Francisco, I have nothing BAD to say about San Francisco, other than it's not New York.

I mean more by that statement than simply the geography.

People say that New Yorkers are rude and unhelpful, the city is considered "hard", abrasive and rough. But that's why I LOVE IT.

And by the way, the only people that think New Yorkers are rude are tourists, other New Yorkers KNOW that fellow New Yorkers just know how to get where they're going or get what they want and sometimes it takes a little...brashness to achieve whatever results they're looking for. Also they're not sight seeing! They' and need to get where they're going quickly!

It takes a little getting used to, but as soon as I found my groove in the Big Apple I knew I was "home". The hardness suits me. I don't like extra niceties, I'd rather get to the point.

San Francisco is the EXACT OPPOSITE and I'm having a hard time adjusting.

For instance, I have a tendency to rush the elevator/train/crosswalk, etc etc. I learned long ago that people will push you out of the way if you're not moving fast enough, and that it's better to be ahead of the crowd, THAT WAY YOU'RE IN FRONT OF THE TOURISTS =)

Unfortunately, no one else does that here, SO I LOOK VERY RUDE AND PUSHY!

I also totally stole a cab from some girls the other night, BUT BITCHES WERE TOO SLOW ;-) I know the San Francisco thing to do would have been to let them have it, but seriously, I was closer and I got in the cab first, THAT'S THE WAY IT'S DONE. Even the cab driver complimented me on my smooth skills, SERIOUSLY.

Another sidenote - whenever I think of stealing cabs I think of my friend Jessica from No No You Say and her getting pissed off at some girls fishing downstream from us a a few years ago in NYC, so when she saw an open cab slowing to stop for the evil downstream fishers she booked it across the street with 5 inch heels and A BABY STRAPPED TO HER CHEST...and got herself a cab! Those are mad skills...and yet they would be totally unappreciated here.

San Franciscans also like to compliment anything and everything...randomly...on the street.

I've been complimented on my shoes, dress, hat, hair, you name it, someone has randomly told me they like it. I find this endearing, but honestly, I DON'T CARE IF RANDOM GUY ON THE STREET LIKES MY HAT. Yes it's nice to be complimented, but really, if you're driving an El Camino and you tell me you like my boots while you drive by me in your ugly El Camino I'm going to think seriously about throwing away my boots BECAUSE YOU OBVIOUSLY DO NOT HAVE GOOD TASTE.

And boy do they like to chat. Chat about the weather, chat about my hat, chat about my car, chat about the Giants, WHATEVER, doesn't matter. I mean on the bus, on the train, in the cab, EVERYONE wants to talk. PLEASE JUST LET ME READ ME BOOK IN PEACE CRAZY STRIPPER LADY, I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT HOW YOU LIKE MY SUNGLASSES AND WHERE I BOUGHT THEM AND HOW YOU USED TO BE A STRIPPER IN NEW YORK!

People don't talk to you in New York! They leave you alone!

Is this terrible of me? Shouldn't I think the niceness is GOOD?

And btw, they become rude New Yorkers when behind the wheel of a car. The niceties extend only to face to face conversations, when it comes to driving it's EAT or BE EATEN, they don't take no crap when it comes to driving!

What else do I have to say about San Francisco?

They LOVE to recycle. And I love them for that.

It's pretty amazing the amount of things you can recycle or compost here. Plastic bags are banned from grocery stores, they only use paper bags and using your own bag is HIGHLY encouraged. You also receive a GIANT recycling container and a TINY garbage container and a compost container for garbage pick up.

Remember my compost post? Well, holy hell, these people take care of all of that for you! You just throw everything into a big bin and they haul it away every week and compost the crap out of it somewhere else. It's pretty awesome.

They also have zero emission buses that run on electricity and EVERYTHING is organic ;-)

I like it. They've cut out something like 70% of their waste with the systems they have in place.

Go San Francisco.

What else?

Oh yes...the hippies.

Listen, I'm from Eugene, Oregon. LAND OF THE POT SMOKING HIPPIES. But these people put Eugene to shame. Both with their sheer hippiness and with their pot smoking ways. More often than not I smell weed on someone getting on the train and more often than not I'm deterred from walking AROUND OR NEAR the crazy homeless hippy bums. I don't know what it is but they TOTALLY FREAK ME OUT, something that I've never encountered in New York. I think it might be the likelihood of them trying to talk to you, ie. ever the friendly San Franciscan, even the bums want to chat...or get high with you if you're interested ;-) Cause you know pot is LEGAL here.

All in all, I LIKE San Francisco, but I don't LOVE San Francisco. I've been told by many that it takes 1 year (or maybe a bit more) to fall in love with this city. I find this discouraging because I fell in love with NYC when my plane touched down in the dead of winter 6 years ago. But, I'm still giving it a shot, hopefully in the next 10 months my like will turn to love.

Anyone else ever moved somewhere and taken awhile to fall in love with their new city?