Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Treasure Island FARM

Say what? A farm on treasure island, with an orchard of over 80 fruit trees and chickens AND training for culinary students, on an old military base. Yes please thank you: more here

Saturday, December 1, 2012

swimming at your own risk

I swim. This is how I will, eventually, get ripped. This is how I get to that place so deep in my lungs that feels so good. It is how I get to that quiet space in my head. Lap after lap slowly but surely, I can climb out of my silly busy thoughts. And simply, breathe and count those laps, each one, getting me closer to being ripped. This is one way I fight the gravitational and genetic pull of my triceps into the beautiful wings that they will, eventually become, as they do for every woman in my family. But most importantly, I swim because it is my window into worlds I didn't know existed in this hilly city I call home.

I do not swim at a fancy gym. I frequent the public pools in SF. We are a motley crew, and we let it all hang out in our swimming suits. Young and old, fat and hairy and strangely not hairy....
I've had to let go of my inhibitions and let perfect strangers see the graceful dance of my kachunga thighs as I kick in the water. (kachunga thighs: the name my mother gave to our matching lovely thighs because they make the sound "kaCHUNga" when you giggle them). There is something so graceful about people in the water, even the most ungraceful of us...even the people who have no clue how to swim the most basic freestyle, above the water you hear gasping and can see limbs flapping and flopping, but underwater, in the silence, they are slowly but surely dancing towards the wall.

There are so many characters to meet at the pool:
Breaststroke man: he only swims breaststroke. lap after lap. so very fast. olympic medal winning fast.

Fast guy: he swims on a crazy mission. desperately missing his college swim team so much "harvard" is still emblazened across his speedoed butt.

Nips: woman with the biggest nipples I've ever seen, I know this because she proudly parades them around the locker room every chance she gets. She'll walk around fully clothed, shoes and all, before she covers them up.

The diver: towards the end of his workout, the last few laps, when he reaches the deep end, 5 feet before the wall he always dives deep and does flips.

The PDA couple: they straddle each other at the wall. please, for the love of baby jesus, stop!

I wonder what I am to the others in the pool? Green cap shorty: swims as if she has unresolved issues from childhood swim team. she really thinks she should be in the fast lane! Ha!

I always love the pool. But sometimes you stop noticing the little things, Nips becomes just another person to avoid eye contact with in the shower, you stop looking to see if The Diver does his thing. Not this time of year, late fall, nope, my neighborhood pool closes! Gasp! The good thing is that I no longer have to walk quickly past one of the most dangerous projects in the city. The bad thing is that I have to find another place to swim.

This is not a simple task of arriving at another pool and diving in. These pools are not open regular hours. Every pool has different hours everyday and the schedules change every three months. This makes scheduling my three swims a week a herculean event, even before I get in the pool. How many times have I arrived at the pool, taking an awkward lunch at 2:30 only to find it is not lap swim time, oh no it is all about "senior exercise"  or sorry, it's  "Azure" time (which, apparently stands for "activities for childeren/teens on the Autism Spectrum.") Now I love that they have these classes. Praise be to SF Park and Rec Aquatics. But please, can I just get my fix??

a beautiful but very, very rare scene. an empty public pool in SF.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

why Pedal Revolution is my favorite bike shop...

...not to mention the staff is rather handsome and helpful, such a winning combination.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The root of it all: Wendell Berry

Well actually, it's Pollan on Berry. A good reminder of the food movement's roots.

Friday, November 23, 2012


an early snow, yellow leaves staying strong. snow & moss together at least
a hot tub with a lake view
a fabulously farm loved feast, unexpected in it's bounty even as I cleaned and chopped, stirred and tasted, and fought fires in that kitchen.
oh the choys and melon cocktails! oh my, mama mia! a good birthday get down
quiet hikes in sugar pine state park & desolation wilderness


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the view from up here

home. at last. at least for now. 

My Bernal orbit continues. 
There she is, my grounding, seen from a new vantage. 

when I saw it that first night, my long walk up the stairs was my only inkling of these views.

my room is quite another story, still a mess of boxes....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The. Best.

You knew me when. We smoked cigarettes and drank and we talked into the morning. Just to do it all over again tomorrow.

You knew me when. Through so many crushes and dramas in all my pimply thick framed 13 year-old glory.

You knew me on the stoop at Carleton Street, at the flea infested frat house, the hot summers nights at Casey's.

But mostly I'm so glad you know me now. How lucky are we to pick up just where we left off? How lucky are we to continue our talks about the hard stuff of the now and about the dreaming big of tomorrow?

And guess what? I'm sure as hell going to know you tomorrow. And the day after....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Colorado I: by train

The California Zephyr
(Zephyr: a wind from the west; a gentle breeze. From Zephyrus: Greek god of the west wind. Or, in this case:a diesel-powered passenger train, famous for its use of Vista-Dome cars)

From Emeryville to Colorado Springs, my man B and I traveled. We made the elegant sleepliner roomette # 4B our home for 24 hours. The trash can, our ice chest, filled with champs and cheese.

We watched the world go by -- first the Delta's beautiful bay line next to industry of all kinds, through farm country then drinking mimosas through mimosa tree country, up up up and over the granite peaks of the Sierra through Donner Pass.

We took long strolls from our home through the dining car to the vista car.  B played the happy hour sun-set over the Nevada desert.

We ate and ate and ate. First summer inspired home cooked picnic feasts. But then, oh why then? Did we eat the free food?

All good fuel for the big Colorado hiking to come...more photos here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a photo and blogging conundrum

blogger interface and design just isn't doing it for me anymore....unsure which way to go. I also have lots and lots, too many really, of colorado adventuring photos to comb through for posting! It would be much more fun if I liked where I was posting I go tumblr? what else is there where I can write a bit and show photos easily? any ideas welcome!

to be flagged for removal

Found on today's cl search: 


2) $550 paid to you in cash for co-signing on apt lease (mission district)

Date: 2012-08-22, 6:49PM PDT

Times are hard right now so I know we all need cash to make it in this city. I'm 27 years of age and I have made it here by paying my bills on time and staying in school. I'm a student at the Academy of Art University that is currently living in TL and I have a business in the mission. I'm currently being added to the lease at my apartment that I have been living in for almost 2 years but I have never had a very good credit score but I have always paid my bills on time. I'm willing to pay anybody with a good credit score to just co-sign for me on my short lease and in return you will get $500 in cash on the spot!!

Can't beat that deal!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Favorite craigslist ad of the day

$700 / 2448ft² - CHILL JOCK TYPE DUDE LOOKING FOR A ROOM MATE TO SHARE MY HOME - HOTTUB (castro / upper market)

Hey There! Thanks for checking out my ad. My name is Adam. Im 28, I own my own business owner here, straight. My ex-girl friend moved out and moved out of town for her job. So, I am looking for a new roommate to share the place with. I'm a college grad and a chill type dude. I am looking for someone chill and open to be not only room mates but friends. I like to play hard and I work hard. I love my Patron and a good cigar at night after working all day.

The house is 2448 sqft 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths, pool, hottub and gym. Full use of the place for $700.00 per month including util. I will consider a rent reduction for work around the house such as yard cleaning.

I run my business from the house and the room assignment is as follows: Master Suite - My Room, Guest Bedroom 1 - Office Space For My Business, Guest Bedroom 2 - Office Space For My Business, Master Suite - New Room mates room. The room is 12x12 with closet and privated bath.

Hit me up if you are looking for a place and maybe we chat and maybe skype chat and see whats up.

A face to face meeting or skype meeting is required to get address information on the house. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Please email me and also tell me more about yourself and do not send an email with "is the room still available". I will not respond. I am a chill laid back type dude. Looking for someone that is fun and open

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The search is back on...

Yes...the apartment hunt is starting slowly, but surely...would love to be settling into a new place by Oct. 1st. No, looking for an apartment in SF has not gotten any easier.  Finding a room in a shared apartment in these times is an art, it is jujitsu. It cannot, under any circumstances, be taken too seriously. It is excruciating and fascinating all at the same time. The city opens up in a whole new way...

I've searched for rooms in an apartments in this hilly city, three times in less than three years. There's stories there. Tall tales and soap operas that should be told. But for now, I'll do what I've always wanted to---create and share a list of my favorite craigslist ads while I'm searching. I always keep a collection of these ads--to keep up the spirits when the searching gets oh so low--and slowly, this collection becomes a story all unto itself.

So here goes, the latest and greatest -- keep in mind all these ads come up from a very specific search that is generally something like this:
SF rooms/shares 
Max Rent = $1000 (OMG, I never thought I'd be willing to pay this much)
3 neighborhoods selected: Mission, Bernal, Noe (as the search continues...more hoods may be added)

1. Is it already Burning Man again?

$400 2 beds in camper at Burning Man (mission district)

Date: 2012-07-20, 12:37PM PDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Are you a fun girl who likes to party? Do you need a place to stay at Burning Man? Look no more. I am trying to rent a small camper for $1,200 and need at least two girls and maybe one additional individual of either sex to go in on the cost with me. It will be delivered to the Playa very close to Center Camp. It comes filled with propane and water. No cleaning deposit & no cleaning. Our camp costs $100. There is a 250 gallon grey water disposal tank (NO GROSS GREY WATER TO DEAL WITH), kitchen, great shade structures, and a big truck to take up all your stuff. I will most likely be going in early.

Total Cost of camping per person with 3 people $500
Total Cost of camping per person with 4 people $400

2. Spanish ads in the Mission I've seen, but French?

$900 grande chambre a louer pour F (mission district)

Date: 2012-07-20, 1:30PM PDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Grande et belle chambre a louer uniquement pour 1 F (suis egalement 1 F hetero pour info) super pratique (3 blocks du bart 24th) proche de tout !
Parquet, placard, hauts plafonds dans la chambre (matelas dispo si besoin)
Partage Internet et PGE
Dispo de suite
Pas de couples et pas d'animaux (j'ai un chat deja)

Bonne chance !
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

3.  Quote of the day: "We don't care what bands you're into now or what rain forest cooperatives you've started. Just be a decent person with $1845 to move in."

$615 Sunny Room on 24th/Harrison (mission district) (map)

Date: 2012-07-20, 10:38PM PDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Good size room open September 1st. Nice place to share with two others--42 year old male psychotherapist/mma enthusiast and 25 year old female who describes herself as the "great white buffalo". Libertarian vibe. No chore wheels. No house meetings. Everything kind of gets done anyway. Meat eating household. No pets. No couples.

We don't care what bands you're into now or what rain forest cooperatives you've started. Just be a decent person with $1845 to move in.
Harrison at 24th (google map) (yahoo map)
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Introducing: Ms. Kira

"what are you doing?"
"Hey! You're pretty silly." "Lookin' that is."

"You're kinda funny aren't you. But, I'm losing interest"

"Seriously! What IS that thing you keep pointing at me?"

"Let me see...if I could just grab it..."

"I've got it! I must eat it!"

A photo shoot of one of my newest SF friends, recently relocated from New York.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Alcatraz! It's on.

July 28th = Sharkfest = a swim from Alcatraz to the shores of SF. Pool training has been on for months. Now it's time to get real. Wetsuit, thermal swim cap, ear wax, tinted goggles, no-fog drops, body glide (no-chafing-wonder-in-a-stick) who knew? $6.50 for a day pass at aquatic park. Dive in. Cold. So coooold. Swell. Salt water. Ice Cream headache inducing. Then. You find mind over matter and you find the best swim ever. Who knew I'd ever see Coit Tower from the water?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to build a raised bed...

or how NOT to build a raised bed....
or an afternoon with old friends, new friends, and garden dreams.

One backyard. One wannabe edible landscaper. One willing family. A six pack of beer and a dream of veggies picked fresh from the garden.

If you're going to build a raised bed, just follow the damn Sunset magazine directions. Why. Not? Because this wishful backyard edible landscaper must be different, must know better than that magazine my Mom subscribed to in the 80's (and the piles are still in the garage to prove it), must not love love love the way that same magazine has been remade in the 21st century for ME and all of my friends.

What we did instead: upon taking on tape measure to said backyard, we determined that two 4x4 boxes would be fun and better than one. Take into consideration that everyone whose tending the garden should be able to reach into the middle of the box. Off to big box landia to buy wood (untreated, and maaaybe sustainably harvested), garden gloves, pruners, I think we got a trowel, and some screws. Then to Flora Grub to ogle the plants and buy very beautiful and very expensive organic potting soil. Cause it all starts with the soil. Back at the homestead, I opened some beer while J fired up his fabulous newish power drill and we got to putting the wood together. easier said than done.

 Go team go!

My friend Kira says: LOL you guys are so funny. you don't know the first thing about building a raised bed! 
Let me tell you how to build a raised bed...

Charlie inspects our work. 

Charlie confirms that this was a very good idea indeed.

Meanwhile...Alexis the superwoman saved a tree that was being choked alive by ivy.
You learn so much about a plant when you have to tame it.

That's a good day in the garden.
What would I have done differently? I would've either a)tried a little harder to find interesting building materials that we could reuse or b) gotten 2 inch wood boards, we only got 1x's and well, they bend, you do not want the boards to bend. You should at least brace the silly things. But hey. We did build some raised beds.

Monday, May 28, 2012

waiting for cotyledons

Currently incubating: French breakfast radishes, dill, lebanese yellow squash, tatsoi mustards, wild arugula, tomatillo, freckles lettuce, little gems, bloomsdale spinach, echinacea, camomile, lobelia, foxglove, cosmos, 3 different kinds of heirloom potatoes:  german butterball, mountain rose, and french fingerlings. Cross your fingers for cotyledons!

 And the potatoes emerge!!