Snippets of My Week #8

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In Hayes Valley

Miette Bakery is consistently stunning with their fully stocked jars of old fashioned candy and towers of perfectly packaged baked goods.  I like that it is difficult to take a bad picture in here because of their beautiful merchandising and interior details.  Whether or not I eat anything in here is besides the point.  It's just a complete dream.

Miette Bakery

A short walk around the area brought me to Papabubble.  Producing all of their tightly designed candy in house, it smelled like sweet berries and cotton candy, prompting me to sample their kiwi and watermelon flavors, though I would have practically been allowed to taste my way through the shop if I wanted to.  You must come yourself to see the detail in each piece of candy. In stark contrast to Miette's feast for the eyes, Papabubble's minimal interior aesthetic still made a strong impact.  My favorite display is their little case here.



At home

I was staring at this for a little longer than I would have liked.  I may as well have flown cross country in the amount of time I spent just sitting here.  As a writer, I enjoy really productive, endlessly streaming moments, only to be peppered with days. like. these.  The more I stared down at the blank screen and keyboard, 

My keyboard

... the more I wanted to be looking up at this tree listening to nothing but the wind.   Currently I know that forcing myself to focus is important, but when the mind starts to wander, perhaps the body should too.  What do you think about that?  I think I am a 'step away from the keyboard' kind of person when it doesn't start clicking.  Do you think a remote weekend away should be on the horizon for me? 

Palo Alto's tree


At the Civic Center

The midweek Farmer's Market at the Civic Center may bring together a fantastic array of fresh produce, flowers, fish, eggs, and meats, but my favorite part of the morning was seeing small groups of children with their teachers buying this and that with their pocket money.    

Purple produce is everywhere!  An enthusiastic teacher shopping for vegetables with her students.  The Urban Field Trip.

Not ever liking the idea of my produce being grazed by hundreds of hands before they reach mine, I rescheduled my morning workout to the early evening so I could hit the stalls.  I practiced a different type of muscle toning that morning.  Instead of these little hand weights

Hand weights waiting for hands

I successfully reached muscle failure carrying bags of food in each hand.  Here, my right hand was still free enough to photograph my left.  

Looking so vibrant upon arrival at home!

the Tenderloin in the day;  the Marina at night

It is high time for me to come to terms with something.  When I photograph what is on the table I either

A) need to start making early bird dinner and cocktail reservations way ahead of sundown in order to take advantage of the better lighting available during the day as seen at lunch at Turtle Tower in Little Saigon

Beef Noodle Soup and Imperial Rolls with vermicelli, lettuce, mint and cilantro  at Turtle Tower


B) accept the poor uninspired lighting present whenever I use my iPhone instead of my camera when documenting a meal or drinks in the evening.   No matter how cool the bar or hip the restaurant, it never translates.  I really need to let this go.  Is this a case for the iPhone 6?  I am slightly kidding ...

Thankfully my attention is always more on the company anyway.  Here at Chotto Izakaya, we celebrated the birthday of Club Kid over shared plates.  I love the look of demolished dishes at the tail end of a group dinner.  Stained wine glasses, tiny remnants of food begging to be picked at, sake to be shot (oh!  sipped?  oops... pardon moi) a delicious meal with a side of decadent conversation is always the key to my heart.

What DIDN'T we order?  Grilled tongue, duck, pork belly, yellowtail, tuna tartar, squid, sashimi ... at Chotto Izakaya

In the Presidio

I love the kids.  Whenever I need to put on my supervisor hat I am more than happy to head over to the center.  The kids and teachers are not just my community, they are my family.  I spent my break playing with the littles and catching up as they piled onto me or stood waiting for their turns to give me hugs and make me laugh.  How fun it is in the classroom when they are not quite bouncing off the walls yet.  

A kid in her shoes, a kid in school shoes, a boy missing a shoe.  You can't stage these kinds of moments.

My day was spent waist deep in our periodic administrative and organizational activities.  I purged old files, collate, record, pack,  and label them.  Now we just need to ship all nine boxes.  Yes, I am very impressive.  What's more impressive?  I just realized I have been wearing this JCrew t-shirt to work for about four years now.  It is older than the full grown toddlers in the photo above.  I cannot believe it is still alive, clear sequined trim in place, no sour puke stains on it, no holes, not yet stretched out.  This realization means something is bound to happen to it next time.  

A girl and her paper in her office, a.k.a. 'the supply closet'. 



Is Life More of a Spectator Sport?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

There is a group of men gathered in a living room with refreshments, twelve laptops, charts and a white board.  Testosterone fills the room.  Trash talk ensues.  Curses heard.  Chops being busted.  This is what happens during the fantasy draft.  I brought a simple question to the attention of Husband one day, "When was the last time you and those guys threw around an actual football?  Have you ever?"  He looked at me with a smirk and a head shake, "That's not the point," he said, "we just want to prove that we know how to strategize, how to pick whom to play, when, and why."  "I see," I replied, "brain vs. brawn."  "ummm... kinda..."  It relieved me to know that at least for him, participating in a Fantasy League isn't a replacement recreational activity. If we are going to be completely honest here, tossing around a ball outdoors no longer interests him anyway.  I guess that's another story.  Maybe it is a replacement - a pseudo-replacement.

Get out there and live!  Photo c/o Bing Images

Some people do not need nor want to be that out there in the offline world.  I once overheard this statement in a conversation, "Being primarily on line allows some people to be who they are or want to be that they cannot seem to be in real life." I appreciate as much as the next person how the Internet makes everything more accessible and remote engagement possible. However, are people consequently using their energy and time less up 'there' (look up from your phone right now or your computer and scope your physical environment) and more time down "here" in front of a screen?  I am more than happy you are here, though, so please don't go anywhere during your valuable blog reading time.  We can research, shop for supplies, telecommute, interact with friends, pay bills, watch videos, order flowers, play games, arrange for groceries, and order food online.  If the fresh air that blows in from the window could suffice, could a typically healthy person stay exclusively in her apartment for a full two weeks without her lifestyle routine being interrupted?  Is this a dream scenario for someone out there?

I wonder if for many people most of life is being spent in the palm of their hands, heads down, 'liking', commenting, and scrolling? Is this timezone free-24 hour-posting-constantly updating -world meant to be entertaining, and a replacement for having real time activities? OR are the people who ARE NOT online sadly out of touch and out of date?  These are the friends we have who do not know about the new shop in town because they do not have an Instagram account or read online magazines.  These are the friends who are missing out on the humor of pop celebrities from a Twitter feed without knowing they needn't tweet themselves.  These are the fans of Diane Keaton who are unaware that she curates some interesting Pinterest pages and asks for contributions to her boards now and then.  These are the people who stay away from Google circles and do not want to stay in touch via Facebook, therefore not knowing "the baptism happened last weekend, how did you not know?"  Are they the ones living in a fantasy by not being down "here" with the rest of us?   Conversely there is a painfully awkward guy I know who couldn't establish eye contact as I tried to chit chat when we ran into each other at a bar, but instead found a way to private message me, "How are you?" when he was clear across the room.  Cyber scary ... 

Made with Studio

I have in fact been switching between writing this post on my laptop and scrolling through my twitter feed on my phone more than a few times to read what else is going on since the last hour that I checked. Do we train ourselves into thinking that part of living is to be sitting as a spectator?  Is Pinterest the Fantasy Football league of the lifestyle sector?  I wondered exactly one year ago about what it would be like If I Dressed the Way I Pinned.  I have a more than grounded view of what I am able and willing to do, what to cook, what to craft, how to decorate and how to dress in my real life versus where I would like to put my vicarious projections.  However I still find the need to know what in the world Bobbi Brown does to maintain a glowing complexion during and after the stress of fashion month as soon as @thecoveteur posts it on Twitter.  As in this minute.  No Fashion month activity of my own.  I just need to know.  Now. The urgency at which I want to be updated about interesting things has only increased.  How else would I have known to jazz up my breakfast if I did not see that there is such a thing as a smoothie bowl?  Is my curiosity and feed checking simply a part of evolution?    

On the other end of the spectrum, all of this online vortex sucking wipes me out.  My phone activity gives me serious hand strain.  I always welcome the chance for  time out in the woods and am a firm believer in having an online existence that compliments and enhances a meaningful off line existence.  How else would I have been able to push my last minute Mother's Day gift delivery luck if I didn't follow certain feeds on Instagram that curate and deliver the most beautiful baskets?  There is no other way I would have been able to start a blog, and delve a bit into offline gatherings to extend the conversations we can have face to face.  I like to live out in the real world, but part of the real world is down here, in my hand, on my lap.  I have made friends and acquaintances offline that I stay in closer contact with online and vice versa.  

Just last week, when Husband suddenly checked Fantasy Football stats on his tablet during the pivotal part of a movie at home, I said, "Put that down! Is it just because you need to know, or just because you can?"  semi disapprovingly as I looked up from Instagram.  

To each his own, I therefore conclude, dear readers.  My stance on life as a spectator sport is this:  I will always be curious about what's happening and what my favorite writers and artists are doing and saying.  Oftentimes reading about everything else going on outside of my life is way more interesting.  But I do not use this spectator sport as a reason to stop engaging in a real way, to stop being the same person I am online as I am in real life.  It is a vehicle not a replacement.  To me, there is no point in all of this spectating without any applying and without any dreaming that will lead to more exciting doing in my day to day.  If someone engages in activities online that he and she never would be interested in doing in real life, more power to him or her.  But don't you get antsy?  Don't you want to try to live a little?  I know I do.   

Lately ... 09.23.14

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lately I've been ...

Deciding which fall recipes to stew in this {Le Creuset Oval French Oven}

Nesting these {matryoshka dolls} 

Breaking it down with him {Cool Michael}

Burning that {Jonathan Adler  Candle}

Smiling at this {Nourishing Notes Capsule}  

Preventing Husband from damaging his teeth on that {Jaw Breaker} 

All photos taken by bp

Snippets of My Week #7

Sunday, September 21, 2014

While doing my Snippets I realized they are all about time with girlfriends.  This is perfect since rumor has it that International Women's Friendship Month is well under way.  These are some of the new adult friends I referred to in last week's post.  In no particular order, this is how I've enjoyed the week with them.


This is my view looking up from the bench I sat at with Tête-à-Tête having the most honest three hour conversation about relationships (friendship, marriage, dating, courtship, mothers and daughters) in a long time.  To say that I may have gotten a bit of whip lash from knocking my head back so much from laughing is an understatement.  There was a steady rotation of familiar passers by sitting on the neighboring bench or hanging back under the tree near us.  I do not think this was incidental.  I do believe some of the men who returned while their families were eating, shopping, and strolling were eavesdropping while "on their phones".  We didn't care. 

If you are a woman, and you have girlfriends, you know exactly what type of hilarity ensued from the kinds of privately raunchy and honest conversations only woman can produce together.   

Some people really don't change.  Time passes, people become parents and they are still the same kids who shocked and shook us up with their candor years before.  It is just that now, years later as true women, Tête-à-Tête is even better at dropping my jaw to the floor, and I absolutely love it.


Hers and hers granola at Jane on Fillmore

My girl date with @Fluxi over a "quick coffee" extended way beyond a late lunch.  We got along very naturally and had much to discuss.  As a blogger, I have a true admiration for her photography, her neighborhood guides, and her recipes on her blog, Fluxi On Tour.   After a brief chat at Create + Cultivate in L.A. last month, I was happy to have a chance to sit with her to hear her story, her creative process, and her longer term goals.  To meet a blogger with a work ethic and aesthetic sensibility I understand and hope to achieve myself tells me that I am on the right track.  

Lessons learned: 

Have passion - yes
Be genuine - always 
Discipline is imperative.
Even if Nobody Reads anything that one does, it must always be professional.     


The THURSDAY before last ...

The darling @AbacusRow took me out for a celebratory detox salad and indulgent Krispie treat (yes I cheated- for sure there's butter)  at Blue Barn Gourmet.  I love an impromptu midday date, but know I should not let these whims get in the way of a blogging/ work at home day.  Luckily on my birthday I was as free as I pleased, after a bit of shopping and a facial (but of course!).  We met  a year ago when I ordered last year's birthday present from her at the Renegade Craft Fair '13 and now this talented designer is one of the inspiring new friends who understands the creative chaos that resides in my mind.



Time for cocktails with Editor Eye once again, and the drinks at The Cavalier did not disappoint.  We actually talked about the 'girl date' as she was awaiting the arrival of a woman she'd met during her lunch break downtown.  "Men do not do this, do they? Ask other dudes out for a drink or salad?"  we laughed at the thought.  My husband can hardly commit to drinks with coworkers, much less wanting to make an effort to try out new guy-acquaintance-relationships for cocktails on a Friday night.  Their loss, I suppose.  Girls = 1; boys = 0.


FleurdeSel knows the way to my heart is a carrot coconut birthday cake.

Fleur de Sel and I talked about booking a double date with our mates for a while now, and finally it happened at the delicious Doc Rickettes.  Perhaps guys can do the man acquaintance date only with their wives in tow.  Here I am smiling at Mr. Fleur de Sel across the table as he and his lovely wife sang sweetly after the dairy free, gluten free, soy free carrot coconut cake she and I are obsessed with from Mariposa Bakery was presented. Husband took this picture.  Instant classic, I would say.  



Toffifay and I met up with my old co-teachers all the way in Mountain View at the Google campus where Teacher Birdie now works.  These bikes were begging to be ridden around the parking lot at the very least.  Since it was the end of the evening we spun around in the dark and I remembered why kids are completely fixated on the tricycles at school - you want to go further, faster, and challenge your friends.  I then slowed down after I imagined running Teacher Birdie into a lamp post by accident.  Even the loudest bike bell won't prevent a disaster like that.  



How was your week?  And a side note, if you are one of the people having a hard time leaving a comment on my blog (I really don't know what to do about that yet), please email me directly!  Our conversation needn't end just because Blogger is temperamental! 

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