Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just back from a weeknight camping trip to Wilbur Hot Springs. Ah bliss!

Weeknights are the way to do it -- Trevor and I had the whole hot springs to ourselves for the evening.

Love that stinky water:

So much inspiration for my imagined (but eventual) deck or patio...

...and for my kitchen: I might actually kill for the huge communal kitchen, which we also had pretty much to ourselves.

The veranda was a great place to sit and read, especially with the cool tiles under our feet and the balmy breeze blowing in after a 100 degree day.

Sorry there are no pics of our campsite, but there are only two sites and by the time I trekked out to ours after soaking, I was ready for bed! Suffice to say, it was far enough away from the main house and far enough into the dense pine scrub to feel quite remote, and for $59 (with use of the springs from 3 pm to 5 pm the next day), it was a bargain.

I do wish I'd gotten a pic of the spotted feral pig on the trail to our campsite. Thank jeebus for my flashlight or I would have run right into her! Probably would not have been pretty on a tiny hillside trail. As prolific as they are, I had never seen one in person before. Even though they are so destructive to California farming and so aggressive, I was stoked to finally be able to see one.

A few more days of holiday left -- roll on weekend!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

What do Billy Bragg, Aimee Mann, Gillian Welch, Nick Lowe, Neko Case (yay!) and Hayes Carll (double yay!) have in common?

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2009

This is the most excited I've been about Hardly Strictly Bluegrass than ever before. Braving the crowds is going to be absolutely worth it this year!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

I shouldn't rile up the MiniVan Majority (they'll cut a bitch in a hot second), but I just can't resist.

No Kids, No Grief

A new manifesto argues that parenting is bad for your career, your marriage, your bank book and your love life

Well, duh!

This article features one of my favorite bloggers, Elaine Lui of Lainey Gossip.

“It was just an assumption, ‘You get married, you have kids.’ ” Front-line exposure to a close relative’s three young children and the work they required provided a wake-up call, Lui says. “That killed it for us. We just looked at each other and said, ‘We don’t want them.’ ”

In the ensuing six years, the couple has been barraged with reasons why they should change their minds, from “Your life will have no value if you don’t” to “You’ll be so lonely when you get old” to Lui’s favourite: “Don’t you want to know what your children would look like?” “Any baby we’d have would be of mixed race,” she says. “So everyone says, ‘Oh, it would be so gorgeous!’ ” She laughs. “And I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s really going to make me want to change my whole life.’ ” It’s a life the couple enjoys: they work together on her website (he handles the business side), golf together, engage in community volunteer work, and dote on their dog, Marcus.

As baby refuseniks, Lui and [husband Jacek] Szenowicz belong to a tiny but growing minority challenging the final frontier of reproductive freedom: the right to say no to children without being labelled social misfits or selfish for something they don’t want.

This article piques my interest for the forthcoming book by French psychotherapist Corinne Maier, No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children. Love this:

Are you prepared to give up your free time, dinners with friends, spontaneous romantic getaways, and even the luxury of uninterrupted thought for the “vicious little dwarves” that will treat you like their servant, cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and end up resenting you?

No. Uh-uh. NEVER.

I mean, I'm not going to go as far to say “If you really want to be host to a parasite, get a gigolo," but if I am honest, the book sounds great because I want to revel in a little smugness. Because I get the same ridiculous questions Lui gets ALL THE TIME and it would be great to finally have something shut those people up. Because it drives me up the wall when people assume I want to be around their children, and that my life is unfulfilling or unhappy because I haven't experienced what I see as the often dreadful drudgery of child-rearing. Because while I suspect most people respect the decision to have children (I do, but within reason -- I truly believe you should only replace yourself) I think that often the same respect is not afforded to the decision to be child-free.

I once had a very smug (and exhausted) coworker with three kids who grilled me on why I wasn't having children and then had the nerve to tell me that when I got older (read: grew up) she knew I would change my mind. That kind of rude behavior is completely acceptable in our society, but can you imagine what would have happened if I had told her she was going to change her mind about her kids someday? Yeah, not pretty.

I guess the extreme feelings on both sides simply illustrate that the smug pendulum has to swing both ways so people don't drive themselves batshit asking themselves "what if?" The decision to be childless feels invalidated by those who say we're missing out on the "joys" of parenting, and the decision to have kids feels invalidated by people like me whose time is their own and who have freedom and disposable income -- among other fabulous perks. :)

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blackberry pickins (and what is now my official blackberry picking shirt)

And courtesy of our bartender friend, the best way to drink gin or rum: the Blackberry Cobbler

I love summer!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

OMG, someone have a filthy food night at their place and invite me so we can make these:

Russian Haired Sausage

A new dish became extremely popular among some Russian bloggers lately. Now it’s not quite clear who was the first one who invented this mod by pinning some uncooked sausage with hard spaghetti sticks and then boiling this alltogether and getting first “haired sausage” ready.

This is so genius and potentially delicious, and so damn nasty at the same time. I am impressed.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Birthday week, in a few pictures...

Potrero Hill rooftop view for fireworks

Asia SF

Carne Asada Tostada Salads at Picante

Honoring the wonderful Paul Newman at Pizzaiolo's summer movie nights

Hiking, camping, and hot-springing it with friends in Mendocino


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Sunday, July 05, 2009

As you get older, life only gets funner.

-- six-year old child to Trevor

As much as it is sometimes difficult, I've got to remember to look at year 35 like I looked toward 7.

Found a tenner on the sidewalk yesterday, and had a great time eating Southern BBQ and cornmeal-fried catfish whilst watching Independence Day fireworks from a fancy manse rooftop in Potrero Hill. Today, I've already had a lovely walk with my honey, as well as macaroni and cheese for breakfast with my Sunday NY Times, and am now off to the outdoor store to buy a new sleeping bag for a camping trip with friends to some super-secret hot springs Friday, and then to hot yoga with my favorite instructor and dinner with my sweetcakes afterward. Looking forward to super-secret birthday events on Tuesday and Paul Newman outdoor cinema and wine on Wednesday. Funner, indeed!

Bring it on, birthday week.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!