HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you all.
-From Alice and Cooper Hans
I have given into the trend and bought a pair of rainboots with the intention of walking in the rain from bart to work with a dry confidence…the only issue…we have not had any rain. One day a week ago it was sprinkling outside so I thought, “Yes! Today is my day to wear my wellies!” Unfortunately the light sprinkle was all the moisture amounted to and I looked a little silly with my big rubbers on. If anything, it was wonderful to not have to really worry about what I was stepping in…which leads me to this story…
Some may consider it paranoia, others see it as careful stepping…when I walk on the sidewalks in San Francisco I never look up. I am always focused on what is below me and whether or not I am stepping on human feces, piss, spit or puke. I have seen it all and I have seen it all far too often. Not kidding. Farrrrrrrrrrrrrr too often. I know this is common in cities, but it is really sad and pretty gross.
I have not seen my buddy in quite some time, but there is one homeless man whose territory is the one street I walk on to get to work. The first time I saw him he was sitting off the curb during morning rush hour and pooing. Tons of people passed him by and he didn’t seem to care. This was moment #1 when the paranoia began. The second time I saw him, all I saw was his backside and between the legs a gushing waterfall. Again, during morning rush hour. Third viewing he was crossing the street with his pants down then he popped a squat on the curb to do a #2.Â During my lunch hour that day I sat in a park and noticed that a homeless man was sleeping near a curb. I seriously looked over my shoulder every few minutes to make sure he wasn’t pooing. The fourth time I wasn’t paying attention and I hear a police car pull up. A storeowner had called the cops because I guessÂ my buddy had beenÂ harassing their employees. When I saw him on the ground I also saw his peeper as he began to relieve himself. At that point my heart sank and I felt so bad for the guy. My feelings went from disgust to pure sadness. I really hope my buddy can find a place for himself somewhere in this world and feel like people care.
Quite possibly the last college-ish party I’ll ever get to go to….Feliz Navidad
I think it is official. The transition into adulthood has begun. It wasn’t until this past weekend when I realized that I am actually becoming an adult and all the people around me that are about the same age are also embracing/entering trueÂ adulthood. For quite some time people would practice their attempts at doing adult-ish things…like dinner parties and such…but just recently I realize that people are no longer practicing. It is the norm now to seek out really good food with titles and descriptions that you don’t understand, or to go to holiday parties and converse like adults, or be married, or the best yet…order champagne before dinner (this was new to me, but I loved it!). I accidentally slipped back into “young adult” mode last night when I encourage Justin (the host of the holiday party) to take a swig out of the bottle of wine. After he did so I realized that the “adults” around me probably thought that was disgusting and immature. I am sure it was a good bottle of wine that I ruined. Woops. So, maybe I personally am not ready to be called an adult and I certainly don’t want to be called a “woman” (I don’t like that word)…if anythingÂ I suppose I am trying to embrace this life transition as best I can and observe and learn from those who are “already there.” Um, I have a lot to learn.
With time I have somehow associated myself with boxes. There was a day towards the end of freshman year in college when I cracked and used a packing box to cover myself up as I ran through the halls. This year I hid in a giant box as a surprise gift for Ameliaâ€™s second birthday. Unfortunately, she wanted a horse and not a person so she was a bit disappointed. She eventually got over the pain of not getting a horse and we were buddies again. Watch outâ€¦if you ever see an odd box in your cornerâ€¦I might be hiding underneath it.
Ameliaâ€™s 2year muffin morning party was a hit. But, boy! I canâ€™t imagine the energy and stamina it takes to be a parent or teach toddlers. I tip my hat to those who can endure it. Some photos of the big day:
A preface: Last Saturday night my mom and I went to a play with my momâ€™s friend. On the way back we talked about whether we talk to strangers on flights or keep to ourselves. The conclusion: we all like to delve into our own worlds until the end of the flightâ€¦then we might strike up a conversation. Bad breath and the awkwardness in knowing when the conversation could/should die down keep us from talking for hours.
Soooooâ€¦my flight back from CO to CA was interesting. At the beginning of the flight there was a bit of turbulence which I guess didnâ€™t sit well with a 10 year old sitting across from me. He ended up barfing all over himself, the guy next to him, his seat, and his bag. I watched and smelled it all thinking, â€œHow am I going to survive a 2.5 hour flight with the sour smell of puke, while watching people clean up his mess, bumping around with the continued turbulence, and not get sick myself? Plus, once one person pukesâ€¦someone else is bound to get sick.â€ Luckily, it was a 777 so it was a huge plane and there were extra seats in the back. I moved and sat next to a friendly man from Sydney. I thought he wanted to sleep and I was wanting to get my mind off the recent events by listening to my ipod, but instead he woke up and we talked about the differences between the U.S. and Australia for the rest of the 2 hours on the flight (which wasnâ€™t easy). It was a friendly conversation, but I thought how funny it was that just the day before I had conversation about not wanting to make conversation. Oh, and we both had bad breath.
All I can say is that I am glad I have a couple of weeks without travel. So nice to be in one place for more than a week!
Cooper realizing how good it feels to be normal for a few days
I am pleased to announce that Cooper and I actually had a semi-normal weekend over the past few days! I almost forgot what normal was and how great it is to do things other than work. Granted, we had brief moments on our computers that were work related, but overall because it was a long weekend we had more time to do the things we used do oh so long ago. We even watched two movies on Thanksgiving night! We have not watched a single movie in months!!
I have to admit I hadÂ a little bit of too much energy because this “freedom” was so exciting to me.Â We wentÂ for a long walk down CollegeÂ Ave to campus and back on Friday andÂ the entire time I felt like I had just had 29879823598Â energy drinks or something…everything around me was so amazing and beautiful or tasted good or felt so refreshing.Â I even had a moment when I got a little half choked up because it was like the best (but simplest) day in my life. It went like this:
1.) Sleep in
2.)Â Have a long breakfast eating my favoriteÂ bowl of oatmeal (see previous post)
3.) Go for a long walk in the bright sunÂ with a brisk breeze
4.)Â Go into any of the shops alongÂ the way for as long as you want
5.) Stop on the way back at Naan’n Curry (or Curry House I think it is now called) for chicken tikka masala and tea
6.) Go home and crash
7.) Go for another walk because you need a couple of things from Trader Joe’s. You can walk to Trader Joe’s now!
8.) Go into more shops along the way because you can.
9.) Go home and crash
10.) Eat Thanksgiving Day leftovers and sip Cooper’s favorite sparkling red wine.
I could eat this for breakast every morning…oh oatmeal goodness!
I am not sure what changed my taste buds from oatmeal loathing to my oatmeal loving, but by golly I can’t get enough of it. I never was a true fan of warm breakfast cereal like oatmeal or cream of wheat; I always preferred my cold sugar cereals in the morning. But, for some reason I have undergone a major transition and can’t remember the last time I had cereal to start my day. Maybe it was the introduction from Cooper’s family to baked oatmeal that changed my taste bud cravings. I have included the recipe below. If you are not an oatmeal lover, try this recipe and let me know if it changes your perception too.
2-1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 cups fresh fruit**
Plain or vanilla yogurt, milk or cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2-quart souffle dish. In large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients*** and mix with a wire whisk; set aside. In medium bowl, combine next 4 ingredients. Add to oat mixture and stir until just combined. Place mixture into baking dish. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven to stir mixture and gently fold in fruit. Bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes more or until top is lightly browned.
When I don’t have baked oatmeal on hand, my newest thing has been to make quick oats or steel cut oats and then pour on a little vananna yogurt from Trader Joe’s…a lot of cinnamon…a dash of maple syrup or brown sugar if needed…and a pinch or two of granola on the top for a little crunch. Long oatmeal mornings with a good cup of coffee have become my #1 favorite way to start the day (which I normally can only afford to do time wise on the weekends). I go to sleep at night which pure excitement because I can’t wait to get up and have some oatmeal. I am such a dork.
Last Saturday Cooper and I went to the opening of “tinyshop” by Antoi from DP. She did an amazing job of compiling awesome international and local artists who create itsy bitsy works using all sorts of mediums. If you are in the SF area and find yourself in north beach, stop by the show…it really is amazing how people can create such mini pieces.
p.s. â€œtinyshop,â€ is dedicated to Tiny, the former beloved cat of James (our chief merchandiser). Read Antoiâ€™s tribute to him at the tinyshop blog.
There is always a first for everything. This Thanksgiving was the first time that Cooper and I had the holiday allÂ to ourselves. My older brother and his wife were in Hawaii celebrating anniversary #1; my mom, dad, and little (but big) bro were in southern CA celebrating in the desert; my sister was with her family in the CO mountains and Cooper’s family was in Washington. With all the traveling we have done lately we decided to keep it simple this year and make our own T-day on the fly (also considering that I didn’t know what day Thanksgiving was until about two days before the 22nd). It was actually really nice not to have to entertain or be entertained, but make our own little meal as best we could without worrying about the timing or taste (although it was all delicious).Â We had stuffin’,Â bacon wrapped turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, wine, sparkling cider, and pumpkin pie of course. In honor of our day of food I will post a glimpse of the feast!
Bacon wrapped turkey with stuffin’
The plate full…
I have not forgotten about you little blog! Wedding season is officially over soÂ now that I have 3 more seconds to myself each day I hopefully can pay more attention to you. I know we have not chatted in a long while so here is a very brief overview of the last month and 3 different trips to Mexico….
(I would love to post photos of the weddings themselves, but because they have not been edited in full I will have to restrain myself).
Mexico trip #1Â to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo…
We really lucked out on this trip. It rainedÂ all three days leading up to the wedding. We crossed our fingers,Â prayed to all the gods, andÂ through some salt overÂ our shoulders all with the hope that the wedding day would beÂ without moisture. And it was!Â TheÂ day of the wedding it was like the rain clouds had never even heard of the little fisherman town in Mexico. It was certainly hot and humid, but gorgeous.Â The weddingÂ itself wasÂ as Francisco says “beaaaaauuuttttttttiiiiiiiifffffuuuuuuuulllllll!!!!!!!!!” (hard to get the true enuciation in writing).Â Here is a photo of a sweaty Cooper at the wedding showing his guns:
Cooper’s guns (other than his camera)
You may remember, little blog, that this was the trip where Cooper had his wallet stolen in Mexico City. I don’t want to relive the days, but here is the posting if you would like to.
Mexico trip#2 to Las Caletas, Puerto Vallarta…
I really enjoy going back toÂ far off lands where I have favorite foods that I can’t get anywhere else. I couldn’t keep my drool in long enough to get authentic chilaquiles for breakfast and Cooper almost ate his own armÂ (out of excitement and hunger) when we decided to go toÂ the all you can eat Brazilian meat place that he went to during Charlie’s bachelor party. Just thinking about the two makes my stomach rumble.
The wedding for this trip was a first for us: a same sex marriage! The ladies were really cool people…I am glad we got to shoot their wedding. The photo below isÂ one of my unedited photos (but my bossÂ gave me permission to post it).Â One of my favorite parts of the trip to Caletas isÂ the speed boat ride to work.Â Last time we took a tiny ponga, but this time it was a big inflatableÂ speed boat. I could ride on that thing all the livelong day.Â
Las Caletas, Puerto Vallarta
Mexico trip #3, back to Zihuat…
Our final trip to Mexico for the year was the absolute perfect culmination of 2007 weddings. Not sure where to start with this weekend, so perhaps I will list the highlights as they come to me (in no particular order):
Swinging from the hammock at the Sotavento, Zihuat
Cooper’s new bio photo…what’cha think?
red cutting board #1
I am not sure what day it is, all I know is that Mexico trip #3 and our final wedding of the year is coming up this week. I hope to be able to write later when I have a few more moments to tappa tappa tappa on my keyboard, but for now, how’s about some red cutting board photos?
red cutting board #2