Superbowl Sun

Excited to make some winning eats tomorrow. Our mini party is looking festive!

  • Turkey Chili with black beans instead of kidney beans - a little different
  • Clam Dip - famous recipe from my roommate’s best friend’s husband
  • Blood Orange Mimosas - fresh squeezed with oranges from the farmer’s market
  • Don Julio Blanco and 1942 - on tap - maybe a little margarita?

Turkey Chili

What is everyone else making?


What are your resolutions for 2012? What will you do differently?

Interested to hear - even if the answer is “Nothing!”

#onlyinSF can you get away with canceling your gym membership and replacing classes with sexy sounding names (‘Chisld’ and ‘Pedal to the Metal’, eg) with daily walks to your car. Not that I would advocate that… just a thought.
Friday afternoon fix

I found myself asking the question, “Which is more annoying? The fact that I locked myself out of my apartment on a cold San Francisco fall evening, or that I have [somewhat unintentionally] placed myself next to two people having a first date, one of whom is a shrieker?”

A couple of nights ago, in a bout of ambition, I decided to stumble up the hill to a nearby yoga studio and take a 90 minute Iyengar yoga class. After a quick pop into the apartment to shroud myself in a warm wool cape, followed by a couple of errands (a trip to the card store for two birthday cards resulting in nine card purchases, a simple meal to cook after said yoga class), I groped for my keys at the bottom of my Longchamp - aka Merry Poppins - bag. The depth of the purse combined with its new inhabitants seemed to have swallowed the keys up. I poured the contents of the purse out so they were spilling across my stoop in the darkness. Where…are….my…keys?!?!?

After a quick call to my roommate and boyfriend (both of whom were located at least an hour away), I decided to stumble back down the hill to one of my favorite local restaurants. I slid into a two top “table for one,” which seemed to have the wait staff confused. In any case, I quickly ordered the crab cakes and a glass of wine.

I looked to my right- a couple painfully obviously on their first date. Warning signs included overzealous nervous laughter, bouts of exaggerated facts peppering their conversation, and demanding questions like, “How old are you?” [Aside: I never have liked this question; I find age oftentimes irrelevant and at best, a way to put someone into a box based on what said age range ought to have experienced in life by living for a certain amount of time, but the number often leaves me disappointed. I don’t ask.]

To my left, two locals, who certainly were friendly with the waitstaff and menu. “How was your burger,” one coolly asked me, upon seeing a plate of fries left. “The crabcakes were actually delicious,” I remarked. They recommended the burger. And sitting at the bar whenever their favorite server was bartending, and at the tables when the server was waiting in the dining room. I nodded, remembering I had seen one of them at the book store a few days prior.

Back to date on the right, Mr. Vasel (he spelled out his last name and added that it was like ‘Vaseline;’ slick- right?) was left unoccupied as his new female friend left to use the facilities. He asked about the crab cake and pointed out that he was new to San Francisco, perhaps looking for reassurance? I recommended it, and asked if they were on a first date. He said “yes” and that they had met at a friend’s bar. The woman reappeared from the restroom and he quickly got up. She introduced herself to me, naturally; I would have been confused, peeved, irked if I were on a first date and he were already making friends with women at the tables next to us. I noted that I thought things were going well, and she commented that she liked him and was having a lot of fun. Unbeknown to them, I had posted a status detailing a few of the more memorable quotes, and was fighting off periodic fits of laughter. Something about him telling her that when he was at his sister’s wedding when he was 16, there were “men in suits floating in and out of the ceremony with whom he wasn’t allowed to speak,” implying some mafia style connections. Was he for real?

After conversing with the neighbors, I decided it was time to get the check. I figured I would have done a cheap and easy dinner, but it ended up being $50. I suppose cheap by San Francisco standards, although I could have gone without that second glass of wine. On my way back, i walked into a bar where a group of coworkers was participating in trivia night. Their team name? “Quiz In My Pants.” Don’t get the reference? Too bad.

Two days later, I still have a headache. Praying I don’t get sick.

What’s the point? In summary, if I get locked out of my apartment again, I can expect an unexpectedly entertaining date night… it just might not be my own. Oh yeah, and I am officially a lightweight with a two drink maximum.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.  Brilliant in its simplicity. I can’t remember where I originally heard or read this phrase, but it has recently been resonating with me.

In years past, politeness and indirection had proved quite effective in my efforts. Nowadays, I’m applying my diplomatic skills to a more direct tactic. So far, so good… even if I’ve spilled a little milk along the way. Nothing that a white linen napkin can’t clean up, right?

A [topical] song that I’ve been digging lately…

Over the May hump.

I will make the second half of May much better than the first, and June will be even better. The past couple of weeks have been really hard on me—I can admit it. I prefer to keep the details rather vague in a public space, but will elaborate a little to convey how I had been feeling.

If it wasn’t one thing, it was another few. Health. Wellbeing. Emotion. I had a few difficult personal conversations, and simultaneously ended up getting a terrible virus/cold that has lasted over a week and a half. Two weeks ago, I really wanted to get a few people in my corner, so to speak. I wanted them to agree with me and support what I was saying. I wanted to hear the words “you are right.”

Eventually some of them came around, but some did not. At the end of the day, I did what’s best for me across all fronts—no matter who might have disagreed. I’m merely saying, I have been better about “trusting my gut.” I am confident with what I ended up doing; feeling more at ease. Owning it. I don’t know how I would be feeling without the support of those who are close to me. The calls, emails and IM conversations have helped so much. I’m pretty sure I cried every day for about 8 days. I promise this isn’t as bad as it sounds…more intermittent sprinkling, not a deluge. Once my voice came back, the tears subsided. The cough hasn’t yet.

Whatever it was took me out of the office without a voice for several days. Taking sick days and working from home was rather dismal. I frequented the gym to partake in a semblance of a social environment. I caught up on emails. I thought and thought and thought.

Thankfully, I was able to have some solid weekends to distract me from some of the craziness (which is slowly dissolving). The weekend before last, I caught up with a good friend from work before I lost my voice. She has the best laugh—unbridled, loud and warm. It was wonderful to see her. This past weekend, I spent time with my dad and stepmom. I really enjoy hosting family and friends and showing them the great times to be had up here. From venturing up to the city to wine tasting, we enjoyed ourselves.

What’s next? A more positive outlook, for starters. I have a few trips planned in June, and I’m going to be signing up for a class at Stanford. I’m really looking forward to penciling creativity in for a few hours a week, which is something I have recently missed. I’m over the May hump – now it’s time to relax and enjoy these weeks leading into summer.

No voice, lots of thoughts

I lost my voice over the weekend, after a bout of being sick. Consequently, I have spent a few days away from the office. Sadly, I am avoiding situations where I would be tempted to talk… and the past week has been a really tough one. Thank goodness for email, chat, text messages. Modern technology rules.

A few good places to still be around people and not be expected to talk would be the gym, the bookstore and probably a museum… certainly a library!

I’ve been hitting up the gym (classes with loud music fake a social environment); I wish I had thought to go occupy myself at a museum or library sooner.

Will write more later.

Perfect Sundays, background, musings

Yesterday was one of those perfect Sundays. I woke up feeling very well rested, although to an alarm, to go walk the Stanford Dish with my friend.  3.5 miles of paved rolling hills overlook the Silicon Valley and Bay in this park, which is nicely equipped for pedestrians and runners. My friend had the sagacity to suggest we start our “journey” in the morning this time. The last time we had walked the Dish together, we went mid-afternoon when the temperatures were soaring past 80 degrees, an anomaly for the area at this time of year.

After the dish, we went to a farmer’s market, and then I ventured off to read and take in the sun at a park near my house. A few hours later, I went to the gym to do yoga and use the steam room for a while.  It had been ages since I had felt that relaxed and at ease for the entire day.

I preface everything that I will write here with the certainty that I am very fortunate in many respects, and always very grateful for the opportunities that I have worked for and have been given.

I “emigrated” from southern California to northern California just about a year ago. “Emigrated” meaning my family has lived there for 5 generations. I understand this word choice may seem inaccurate or absurd to some. No one leaves the easy comfort of being shaded by lush palm trees, or waking up to a gorgeous ocean view, except for a tiny sprinkling of us. To say it’s been one hell of a ride is an understatement. I wonder what balance of geo-location versus displacement is at play at any given point in time [there’s no singular answer]. I’ve learned much more in the past year than I have in the last several years in many ways.  From time to time, I might delve into these topics and clarify what I mean.  

One thing that I have learned over the last year [to my distaste], is that when I relocated to a new space where I had a few preexisting connections, my interpretation of everyday events had become more polarized. Focusing so intently on one or two things has made extracurriculars, distractions and hobbies (diplomatic labels for the goings on outside of work) seem so great, horrible or “meh.” The good is incredible (going on outings with new friends, having visitors from home, finding a new favorite restaurant, etc) and the bad is terrible (a breakup, the health implications of not properly dealing with stress, having friends and acquaintances cancel plans).

Hence, I’m hoping for a lot more Sundays like the one I described.

Has anyone felt similarly when in a new environment?  Do share…

(PS- what’s up with the code? too lazy to troubleshoot at present)

Liz’s Christmas List, 2009 edition

Oh, you were asking what I wanted for Christmas? Sweet! Here’s the official guide to winning my heart this Xmas. Hope you enjoy.

1. A custom link shortener: since Google and Facebook just launched their own URL shorteners, I’m craving one of my own. http://liz.f you ask? No, that would be too flashy and self-promotional. I am thinking http://li.zf/ What do you think?

2. A bodyguard with GPS: I have a car with GPS, which is about 70% effective when I’m driving. Nearly all of that goes away when I’m walking, and I become around 20% effective. If I had a bodyguard with GPS, I would be 100% effective while walking AND driving. I envision this person to be at my side or on call 24/7. Always a few steps ahead or behind me, depending on the situation. Or maybe next to me if he’s cute enough.

3. $180 MM in funding: does this really need an explanation?

4. Black Judith Leiber bag: I would sport a new or vintage, preferably vintage. You know, for all the soirees and galas that I attend (or intend to attend). Absolute must.

5. Temptu air brush makeup system: this would help me put my best face forward.

6. Kindle: considering I’m always in the middle of about 7 books, this would condense what is sitting on my night stand. My only concern is that my Palo Alto library card doesn’t work quite the same way at the Kindle library.

7. Never hurts to have another watch: thinking black and gold.

8. New gym shoes: always a good move.

9. Cirque du Soleil tickets in SF: show ends January 24th!

10. Last but not least, a Justice concert: because that would be easy to arrange. Who wouldn’t want a live rendition of D.A.N.C.E. in their living room?

Watch the MSTRKRFT remix here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36GoJluHXlY

Happy Holidays!