Friday, February 19, 2010

Clearing Fog

It's been very foggy lately here in San Francisco. I have noticed I often open these blog entries with talk about weather, but not just out of conversational habit. The weather is around us, we live in it, we breathe it in, our bodies become it in a way, and it has a huge effect -- at least for me -- on moods and ideas and states of mind. Living in the fog in San Francisco, it doesn't seem any coincidence that the sayings "I'm in a fog" or "I'm kind of foggy on that" are part of our vernacular. When it's been grey, misty, dim, and you can't see further than 50 yards ahead, it really becomes a state of mind to contract your vision, focusing on the immediate mental landscape as well.

But when the fog clears, suddenly I feel like the whole world begins opening up to me again.
The front windows of my apartment are floor to ceiling and the presence of a parking lot (and therefore absence of trees directly ahead) provides us an amazing view to the west... unless of course the city is overcome by a fog bank. On a clear day I can see 30+ miles, out to the Pacific and the Farallon Islands hovering in the distance. After days of fog and not seeing past the middle of the parking lot, this distant view has come back into sight. Today I gasped and grab the binoculars, always handy, like I'd spotted a long lost friend off in the distance.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Ahhh. Today was the first refreshingly sunny weekend day in recent memory here in gorgeous San Francisco. It has been raining almost 2 weeks straight and although I'm happy for the precipitation feeding our extremely thirsty plants and animals, it kind of wears one down to get used to that kind of gloom. The warm sun and cool breeze felt very Springy and delightful.
Courtney and I started the day off by heading to the Castro for some good soy bi-chai at Spikes and then brunch. We browsed a book store and Cliff's Variety (a Castro favorite) and then headed over for an iced-coffee mojito at Philz. Philz, for those unfortunate people who have never been, has THE BEST COFFEE ON THE PLANET. I do not hesitate to advertise it as such. From Philz we hopped on the scenic 33 bus to the Haight where we got seriously girly and straight-up SHOPPED. The ladies at the store offered us cocktails as we browsed, we tried on everything in sight, and walked away with a few choice (and deeply discounted) sample sale items as well as some stylin' shirts for the men in our lives. Western society is nothing if not bountiful with material goods. Even if we don't like it we should at least be grateful for the surplus. And we had fun. Also, I am grateful to our liberal city for the experience of watching men wearing nothing but banana hammocks, flip-flops, fanny packs, and cowboy hats to walk around proudly and freely on a Spring-like day.
It feels like night now but it's only 6:30. It was a full day of wandering and people-watching. Courtney is now doing her French homework beside me and I'm counting down until the new Part 2 installment of "Emma" on PBS tonight.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

living my favorite color

Green has pretty much always been my favorite color. A little girl I babysit for loves to ask me almost inconceivable hypothetical questions involving the things she knows I love (food, people, etc) and I was pondering one of them today: What if there wasn't green?
Just think for a moment of all the wonderful and often essential things that are green: leaves, stems, vegetables, tropical waters, Kermit the frog, most frogs for that matter, "go", my favorite puffy jacket and scarf, wreaths, mold (maybe not wonderful, but helpful), eyes...
Along with these things I've lately been thinking of something else green: The Green Movement. It is definitely a vague enough concept which countless companies take advantage of on a regular basis, but at its heart the Green movement really just represents all things natural, simple, sustainable, and healthy. All things green, perfect as they are.
While James and I mentally prepare for our move to a more natural setting -- Tahoe, if you missed that previous entry -- we've been talking a lot about incorporating our intentions for a simpler more natural way of life. This is also very much motivated by our understanding and thoughtfulness about certain concepts presented in the Zeitgeist films (also in a previous entry here) and how important it is to take steps to live more simply and sustainably. We really want to be able to sustain our own consumption in a much more tangible way than ever before and are talking a lot about ways we can do that.
One thing I'm very excited about is planting a garden. I've never really done that, having lived in a city for the entirety of my adult life. I have a lot to learn, but I also have a positive patient outlook on it. Not to mention James has quite the green thumb. My hunch is that the vegetable garden I envision is going to need a lot of loving attention, but not a ton of overbearing intervention. Nature has done an inconceivably astounding job getting vegetables to grow of their own accord, infused with the mystery of mysteries -- life force. I'll give them my attention and be ready to learn and roll with their cycles. Very much looking forward to it.
Another thing I've been thinking about and researching lately are ways to get off the power grid. Maybe there will be a point when we can own our own home, but unfortunately when it comes to renting there are certain limitations. However, I feel certain that we'll be able to incorporate some modest ways to harness solar and/or wind energy into our lifestyle. Two things that come to mind are this inspiring dude, and this simple and charming way of cooking.
I've found Planet Green to be chock full of helpful tips and simple DIY projects. Treehugger is also a good one. My most challenging inquiry thus far has been in finding a 4wd vehicle that is either electric or runs on biodiesel. The more I research this the more questions come up, but I'll keep you posted if I find anything really helpful. You let me know if you come across anything helpful in this area too, ok? Ok.

Friday, January 22, 2010

to make our forefathers proud...

It is raining. It's been raining for daaaaaaaaaays. And you are not going to hear this girl complain about it. I find it very refreshing, as do all our poor thirsty plants here in California. Rain is good stuff.

I've been kind of gloomily preoccupied this week, I must say. The week started out well with a 4-day weekend and James' birthday. We celebrated with a german chocolate cake (baked by moi) and some friends over for enlightening and illuminating discussion. Good open communication is the connective tissue of our precious social groups. I should mention earlier on Monday we had also watched a film called "Zeitgeist Addendum" which is a provocative, outrageous, and hopeful documentary about the scariness of our current monetary system and the dreams to replace it with something much better. Mind blowing, in a good way.

But this, dear reader, also leads to where the gloominess came upon me and the week took a turn for the worse. You see, "Zeitgeist Addendum" is a follow-up to the original film "Zeitgeist." Having been fascinated by the Addendum I jumped right into "Zeitgeist" Wednesday night, all by my lonesome, and had my mind absolutely blown. In kind of a bad way. It was just utterly distressing beyond belief to see exposed the atrocious lows the corporations who run our country have stooped to. And terrifying to envision with them where this tragically rickety roller coaster ride is leading us. By the end of the film, I was sobbing almost uncontrollably and its points and theories haven't rested in my mind since that night.

I know this is probably the worst recommendation for a movie ever written! But yes, I do, in fact recommend it. As heartbreaking as it was I think it is chock full of things we (as citizens of the world) need to know about the way our government operates, and has pretty much always operated. Call it conspiracy theory if you like (a terribly easy way to marginalize and dismiss uncomfortable information -- tried and true!) but don't make the mistake of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I personally feel very deeply that both films are important and extremely timely, so please give them a good focused viewing. I should add that if I were to do it again I'd definitely watch them in the correct order so you are left feeling hopeful -- Zeitgeist, then Zeitgeist Addendum. You can watch them both in full on YouTube. God bless the internet. It's still free.

Don't be scared. Be empowered with knowledge, and with true love and concern for all beings. Let true hope (not the Obama brand of hope) float you.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back in action.

Dear reader. It has come to my attention (thanks, Meg) that I already have a blog so there is no need to start a new one, as many have suggested I do. Here it is. I'm back in action. I'll try not to be so negligent in the future, especially since there are many exciting new experiences on the horizon for me and I'd like to keep you up to date, if you're at all inclined.

One thing I'm especially pleased to put into print is that James and I have decided to MOVE to Tahoe! This decision has produced at least a couple smiles on my face each day since we made it. We had already been planning on a Spring desert climbing road trip (which is another MAJOR cause for excitement) and over the holiday were brainstorming about what to do upon our return. We were also rethinking the decision to keep our small & expensive SF apartment while we are gone. It became clear pretty quickly that we amassed a million great reasons and very few bad ones to settle ourselves in Tahoe in June post-road-trip. I absolutely can't wait. I should mention that this is no reflection on my deep love of San Francisco and all my wonderful friends here. Once I'm settle in Tahoe I'm planning on visiting SF more frequently than I currently visit Tahoe. Especially since I plan on getting a car there. And, of course, we plan on having a strict open-door policy when it comes to friendly visitors :)

Right now I'm covered in baking debris (every ingredient I opened to make this cake positively JUMPED at the chance to participate) and listening to the soundtrack from Rushmore. It's eclectic and silly and rockin'. Great baking music. But unfortunately it's time to clean up my giant mess so I bid you adieu until my next entry... which I promise will not take 8 months to muster.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Well, I haven't climbed in almost three weeks. But I don't want anyone to count me out at this point because I've been thinking that maybe the training I have been doing will actually pay off. Big time. If you're serious about training for this season -- and only if you're really f***ing serious -- this regimen may just be the key to success.
1) Get a fever. The hotter the better. Let your body burn the excess negativity out of every little cell in your body.
2) Diarrhea. It's not pretty, but if you can sustain it for a good four days or so I guarantee you will lose all excess water weight that is chaining you to the ground, like some sort of pathetic gravity slave. If you can sustain this without seizing up and dying, excellent. You're already pretty strong. Diarrhea will give you the extra edge you need.
3) Shake. Wear 2-3 layers of warm clothes, lay in bed under at least one down comforter, and if possible get a warm body to spoon you. Commence to tremble as if you are the last dry autumn leaf clinging to the branch as the first winter winds begin to rage. The more layers the better, as you will have extra weight to contend with. This will cause significant gains in strength.
4) Don't listen to the news, your friends, or doctors. They are naysayers. Swine flu is not a significant threat. That is NOT what you have.

So there you have it. My new regimen. I just completed it and I've got to say I'm feeling top-notch and ready to hit the crags. In fact, I'm going to Yosemite next weekend to put it to the test. How could it go wrong?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Eating Worms

Do you ever have a day when you feel like a disappointment to everyone in some way or another? I forgot about days like this. Until today of course. Yessir, on a day like today a girl like me needs a dog like this:

Let's cuddle in the grass, doggy. That would make me feel better. Dogs are so generous with their love. Give your dog a big hug if you have one. Be grateful for that dog on my behalf, if you will :)
Anyway... I thought I had something productive to say but I'm now wondering what the hell it was. I'll get back to this if it comes up.