Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hawks & Kayaks

Heard the very distinctive cry of a baby cooper's hawk the other morning & dashed outside with my new 300mm lens. Pretty sure it's a cooper's hawk. The lighting wasn't too good on a foggy morning at 6am. I'm hoping he'll be back soon.

His/her parents swooped in a few minutes later, silently gliding above me, up into the tree. Amazing. Felt very lucky to have all this literally in our back yard.

In other news, kayaking is not a low impact sport. We spent all day yesterday in a kayaking class. I've done some paddling in my day, several whitewater rafting trips, but kayaking is a whole other world.

Sitting in the boat on the calm water by the dock was easy - getting the hang of paddling & how tippy it felt - but then we paddled out into the channel. Waves! Teeny tiny waves at first, then a boat would go by and it felt like open surf.

The hardest part was rescue training where we had to dump over on purpose. I told our instructor I'd do whatever it took to never tip over. He probably didn't believe me, but I was serious. I was not happy about purposefully tipping over.

Sitting in his boat beside me, David said in that high-pitched Jerry Seinfeld voice, "But I don't wanna be a pirate," and I lost it. So I sucked it up and leaned over. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to quickly get out of the small "keyhole cockpit," aptly named - it felt about as small as an actual keyhole.

Thankfully, your body takes over. It knows it's going underwater and it desires to be above water, having not yet grown gills. Then I had to refrain from wiping my eyes too aggressively & pushing salty bay water into my eyes. And who knows what else. I tried not to think about that. My rings were super sparkly clean last night.

Anyway, all went well. We dumped. We maneuvered our way back into the boat - one way on our own, the other way assisted by our partner. We are now certified & able to rent/enjoy kayaks. After we buy a shitload of gear, that is.

I started wondering if certain sports are invented just for the revenue opportunities from all the gear. All the different types of water sport clothing, the wetsuits, footies, hats, glasses, pfd's, sunscreens, safety stuff, and then all the gear you might need if you buy your own boat. Crazy.

It was a great workout. Everything is sore - a true, whole body workout. We fell asleep around 7pm - a "nap," we thought - and woke up at 6:30 this morning.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fog, Glorious Fog

(photo from the the Assoc. of Bioscience Financial Officers site - thanks guys!)

I hate being cold, but I was ecstatic to wake up to fog the past two mornings. Far from cold, it's wonderfully cool and mild, burning off by mid-day for a lovely afternoon. No jacket required, but no sweat-wicking clothes required either.

The city is still packed with tourons and it's getting old. It's fine if they want to linger where they stand and move slowly from one point to the next, gazing slack-jawed at all the shiny things - but be aware of your damn surroundings. Everyone seems to have lost the ability to know where they are in the universe.

Be one with the world - know where you are in relation to other things or people. Be fluid. Don't be a dense wall. Be accommodating. You'll make fast friends wherever you go if people don't have to trip over you or repeat "excuse me" seven times to get you to move your lumbering ass.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Once Upon a Time

We used to wear jackets. It used to be cold in SF in June and July. This stuff called "fog" used to blanket the city with its cooling vapors, making it almost too chilly. Which is why we once wore jackets.

jack-et (jak-it), n.
1. piece of clothing worn on the upper body outside a shirt or blouse, often waist length to thigh length
2. a removable or replaceable protective or insulating cover for an object (eg a book, hot water tank)
3. a police record

Next week's lesson: "coat" (kot)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot Enough?

This was Saturday - note the high of the day in red - 101.2 (shot taken at 5:30 p.m.):

And Sunday, in the car:

I'm feeling awfully proud of myself for having the attic fan AND the ceiling fans installed earlier this year. It's warm, but we're coping thanks to the space-age technology of moving air.

I called my mother on Saturday to tell her it was over 100 degrees. She grew up here and is stunned at the lengthy heat wave. She blames Al Gore.

Welcome to Rooty Toot Toot! Really fun knowing you're dropping by now & then.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Talk to The Pad

Thank, Ms. Crafty, for my new alter ego, and for the picture that I stole right off your blog, since I never got around to shooting my own.

I like how she seems to be looming over the department from her perch atop the plant. Carrying a very large hammer. Back off, bitches!

How apropos that this nasty week ended with food poisoning. I made it home just in time last night - no thanks to the hot, overcrowded, slow bart trains, full of tourons grabbing a free ride.

I wonder if bart is pocketing whatever slush they can by shutting down the AC in the stations as well as the cars, while federal funds support spare-the-air days. Every train was a death trap with people crammed into every spare inch of space. I'd rather sit in traffic for an hour in my own car than deal with this much longer.

Anyway, thanks to Bistro Burger and what must have been unwashed lettuce in their chicken cesar salad. It coulda been the chicken - who the hell knows. I won't be ordering it again.

And all the cats are grumpy. This nonstop heat is ass. I don't mind it during the daytime, but fuck, please bring on the fog at night so I can sleep. Our attic fan is going to run for two weeks straight. Billy Martin forecasted a high of 80 degrees today. It's already 76 at 9:30. I think Billy needs to update his software.

Who wants to come over & dig a pool in our backyard? I'll buy the beer.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Maybe it was the Patron last night or the bacon at Sears. Today was weird. I kinda had a breakdown, to borrow the eloquent headline from this week's Onion.

It was all Jeff's fault. He asked me "are you OK?" and sure, I still have my hair and my lungs are working, but my eyes keep leaking.

I rinsed off my mascara with the natural cleansing power of tears and later on went for a nice walk. Had some sorbet. Got some sun. And now I'm planning a vacation. A real vacation. We'll find someone to fill in for me while I'm out so I don't come back to an avalanche of shit.

It's funny when you lose your shit at work. People treat you differently... they talk a little quieter and enunciate very clearly. They refrain from making any large, sudden movements, because at any moment, maybe I'll just start crapping my pants or peeing all over the furniture.

Maybe this is how insanity starts. One day you seem a bit more stressed than usual, laughing & crying simultaneously... and before too long, you're writing your manifesto in your own feces.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I'm not happy about having a fly or two in the house, but I am enjoying the sound of four little feet landing back on earth after a giant leap into the air to snag a fly.

I love that the little one can't help the urge to hunt the buzzing prey, repeatedly rising from her lounging spot to run them down.

Coming home is the best part of every day. Especially after frustrating emails and being nearly attacked in a meeting for not being a mind reader. Had the person taken five minutes to have a conversation with me early on, all would have been handled in a calm, mutually-agreeable fashion.

Instead, I got to hear how what I provided wasn't at all what was expected, and how she was frustrated at having been over this four times already. Not with me, unfortunately, because if she'd spoken with me, it may have prevented her panties from being sucked up into her colon along with her head.

She seems to be forgetting that this project in particular has the entire company in brand new territory, and because it's not been well planned or thoroughly researched, we all have to work together to move forward, because no one has the script.

Thanks for the support. Thanks for thinking I hold the mystical key and am the one person who has all the answers. It's flattering, but you're really fricking off base.

Just a few minutes into the meeting, all I could think about was How can I get the hell out of here, NOW? It's so goddamn unpleasant.

All we do all day is fight. Fire fight, fight for the right thing, fight for someone to please make a decision, fight for time. Nothing is ever easy.

Today I tried to channel Charlie Sheen's character in Ferris Bueller - to not focus on what's happening or the people around me, but instead on myself & my own attitude. I tried. I really tried. By lunchtime the frustration took over. It's so overwhelming, it becomes impossible to put it out of your mind.

As a wise person said today, Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Funday's Over

Very sad the weekend is over. Sad it's already mid-July and summer will be over in a blink. I hate the cold and hate the gray. I can't bear the thought of seeing days like today shelved for another year. I love perpetual summer.

Took a great ride today on many paths & trails - couldn't have been a more beautiful day.

Last night we enjoyed a delightful tasting at Hangar 1. Some of the best vodka I've tasted. Fuck the goose - we like this better and it's local. The people there are nice. They seem to love what they do for a living. Imagine that.

We kicked off the weekend with a nice breakfast out. Found a place with few fools and plenty of booths. Might become our regular spot, since every time we eat at Ole's my stomach hurts afterward, yet every weekend there's a stupid long line to get into that grease hole.

I expect it'll be a shitty week, starting with a redonkulous 3-hour meeting tomorrow morning. About what, I could not begin to tell you. But I can tell you it's going to be a giant waste of time with stacks of lame powerpoint slides.

Our group is imploding yet again. And if they don't get me out of the producer role soon, I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on. I want to stay. I want to stick it out & move on when I have things a bit more settled. But I'm not sure it'll work out that way.

I'm angry pretty much all the time now. All the shit that was lurking beneath the surface boiled over last week. It'll pass, but not right away. I want to go back & start over.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Left Early

Today I got up from my desk at 4:30, announced I was going home and I left. Everyone said a cheerful "goodnight" and I was out the door.

It was the first night in weeks I didn't stay late or go straight home to my laptop to catch up on two jobs. It felt wonderful.

Moments after leaving the building I was on an uncrowded train going home in bright daylight. After arriving home I curled up on the couch to finish my book with the Tour de France on the TV in the background.

It was great to be home so early in the day, but it won't be easy going back in the morning. I feel like curling up in bed to sleep for a month. After a good long cry.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


On our way to Alameda Point we witnessed this horrific disaster - a massacre of countless, innocent gummy bears who appeared to have been hanging out at a local gas station just before the weather turned fatally warm.

Looks like some tried to escape from what must have been ground zero (a magnifying glass?) but were overtaken by the heat and stopped in their sticky tracks. Devastating. Something you don't get over easily.

We continued on our way to what is still a blissfully empty ghost town to ride our bikes. On my supercool Electra Townie, I was cruising in comfort and style and could have stayed out there all day.

Heading back home, we realized it's only a matter of time before that land is developed and it will be a ghost town no longer. I hope future development stays caught up in red tape for decades.

Friday, July 07, 2006

So Long Crafty

Ms. Crafty is officially on her way, as we knew she would be. Sucks for us, great for her. One upside is the cake - her going-away cake made by Jeff. I didn't get to taste this particular wonder at my wedding. It was inhaled within moments while I was distracted by guests... but I digress.

It's the start of an exodus, I'm afraid. It's just a matter of time. It's become a nonstop circus of one ridiculous thing after another.

Last year there seemed to be a great deal of promise - a lot of people were motivated to turn it around and start moving things in the right direction. I think they've all been stuck in a meeting since last year 'cause nothing's changed, and some things are worse.

It's a classic case of thinking you're signing up for one thing, but it turns out to be something very different and not at all what you want to be doing. If I wanted to be a crazed fire fighter all day, I'd have joined the fireman's academy or whatever it is.

But anyway, bon voyage to the Crafty Goddess. Get 'em to move their headquarters southward & take us with you!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Missing Link...

...Was standing next to me on the Bart platform tonight. Still a bit hunched over, not quite upright, he was jabbering on his newfangled cellular telephone to another unfrozen caveman telephone user about the unbelievable cost of veterinary care - something he must be intimately familiar with, being only partly human.

"I mean, why is it so expensive? It's only an animal! But heck, that's capitalism..."

And to the man next to me on the train itself, I'd like to thank you for killing whatever shred of hunger I had at 7:30 p.m. with your staggering BO. You make it easy to forgo dinner altogether. In fact, you made me forget all about dinner and instead all I wanted was a shower.

To the woman who was so loud on the phone today they could hear you in Canada, I'd like to ask that you practice speaking at a normal volume, also known as your "inside voice." Just because you're loud doesn't mean you're an effective communicator. It just means you're loud. And annoying. But mostly loud.

To the person who put super snarky comments in an early draft document, lighten up. No one's going to read your spam anyway, so there's no need to take it so seriously. Channel that energy into meeting new people. Enjoy an online chat, shop for shoes, go on a date. Live a little. No one needs to have a stroke before they turn 30.

Thank you to the nice woman at Peet's who always smiles when I order a small half & half and doesn't give me any attitude when I pay in change.

And to Ms. Crafty... when you go, I'll miss you dearly. You've been a fantastic partner in crime and it won't be the same without you. Who will I dish with about the incredulous madness? But I know it's not the end, just a transition. We'll always have IM.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Power Bread

Found a new bread recipe book this past weekend and the new magic box is churning out what appears to be a way better looking concoction than what I've been producing from the manufacturer's cookbook.

Let's just say, previous loaves have resembled Irish soda bread without intending to make Irish soda bread.

The Box is churning out a whole wheat flax seed recipe - I love me some whole grain with the added protein (and fiber!) from flax seed. The magic box has a cycle where you can add mix ins, like nuts, seeds, chocolate chips or what-have-you.

I wondered, what if I threw in whole coffee beans and some almond butter at the Mix In cycle - then I wouldn't bother making toast. Just cut a slice and dig in - my morning meal all in one hearty slice.

And Happy Birthday America. We celebrated by watching the World Cup and the Tour de France. Tonight we'll open a bottle of French wine and have some Mediterranean olives, Italian, sliced meats, and some Dutch cheese.

To all the knot heads out there who will blow shit up to "celebrate," if you blow off a hand, let that be a lesson to you.