Archive for July, 2010

Thank you, SF

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

…for being such a great city, even with your wintery summers.

…for your new fascination with street food, mobile micro restaurants, and great food, like Hapa Ramen and their organic, noodle-y, sous-vide eggy, yumminess.

…for your progressive animal shelters, like the SF SPCA who’s hosting a 72-hour adopt-a-thon (and playing on social media to get the word out) to give 72 animals new forever homes. It was great to see so many dogs before tomorrow night, including Hot Cookie.

…for hosting an incarnation of Renegade Craft Fair and giving creativity, inspiration and art as commerce a place to exist. Not to mention an opportunity to run into friends and coworkers, old and new, shopping snd selling including Lisa, Clay and Wilfredo.

..for coming into your own in this so-called third-wave of coffee roasting and preparation. I consider myself lucky to live within walking distance of Sightglass Coffee, home of my favorite espresso drinks and a wonderful place for Janie Sparkles to meet other Frenchies.

…for just being you and giving me a wonderful Saturday.


Saturday, July 31st, 2010

I meant to post this last night, so I could keep with my daily-ish typing habit. It was going to be a whiney “I work too late” post, but who doesn’t these days? It doesn’t make for great reading or compelling content. But it keeps the reflection up, although I don’t want to wallow in less-than-stellar feelings or preserve their memory too often.

Now, the post won’t descend into a “I failed at typing regularly (again)” self-pity. Before I fell asleep in front of the TV (only to awake at 12:20), I knew that I was going to type something, so that’s a win. I made time for the picture, but chose to eat dinner and veg out in front of the idiot box before zonking out. Having a perfect record is not really the purpose of making a little time to tend to my thought garden.

This takes us to today. Saturday morning. Some typing around 8:00am. Perhaps there will be more this afternoon or tonight. Perhaps not. No one’s counting except for me. I’m luck enough to have you reader friends who peek in here. The comments you guys so generously leave brighten my day. And you quiet ones, I feel you too.

Thank you for reading this poorly-constructed, phone-typo-riddled stream-of-conscious drivel. Right now it’s just about quantity and oiling rusty forgotten habits. Pardon the diary-rhea for the time being.

Irrefutable Proof (of jury duty)

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Civic duty done did.

I’ve been calling since last Friday to see if my jury group would have to report. Fate (luck or bad fortune?) had me show up the morning to the San Francisco courthouse at 400 McAllister. After a few work emails on the free WiFis (which I always pronounce in my head the French way – weefees) and an orientation video, my name was called in the first group.

Up three floors to courtroom 306, I assumed one of the 56 empty seats and awaited my destiny. I have never served on a jury and I really appreciated the warmth and demeanor of the judge as she explained how the day would go down. The trial would be a short one and civic, lasting about a week.

Now, you either assume I didn’t get on the jury, or you wonder why I’m discussing matters of a trial out of the court. Don’t worry, I’m not in contempt of court. I made it into “the box.” But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The judge was tough on anyone who claimed a personal hardship in the kindest of manners. I wasn’t one of the first 22 picked, so I watched as they potential jurors were screened in voir dire. Two people were excused due to language limitations, but not without a thorough grilling by the judge who inquired about their time here, any schooling, and their language of employment.

By lunch break, counsel had picked down 24 to 12 and they had their jury. It’s a civic case between a landlord plaintiff his served an unlawful detainer on a subleasee. Before we left, the court clerk called 12 more people to be the next pool for the two alternate spots. I was assigned seat 16.

For lunch, I enjoyed dal and neatloaf from White People in Saris, or Ananda Fuara Vegetarian. Hadn’t been there in a long time. Back in the courtroom, I wondered what my chances were to be called. They seemed pretty high, assuming the counsel could each excuse a potential, specifically seats 13 and 14. If I didn’t want to get called, I’d have to find a way to seem undesirable. I hoped the plantiff’s lawyer would ask if anyone had been involved in an eviction or unlawful detainer. ’cause I was once, and it was settled without going to trail, because our crazy landlady (or her lawyer) realized that she didn’t have grounds for a case. We continued to live there until the end of that lease. Oh, 1463 Valencia and crazy Helen Tan.

But, unlike the morning’s questioning, they never asked the same question.

After a brief introduction and having nothing to report that would prevent me from applying the letter of the law as ordered by the judge, counsel stipulated, aka agreed, and handpicked me and the guy next to me to be alternated. Us white guys can never catch a break.

Sworn in, the judge gave us further instruction on what is and isn’t evidence. I sat through opening remarks by the plantiff and the defense chose not to make their opening remarks. Because counsel and the judge thought jury selection would last all day, they did not have any witnesses called to report. That would start tomorrow, so we were dismissed for the day.

Faced with the choice of returning to the office or having a late-afternoon coffee, I admit Blue Bottle won. The idea of getting to work as people were ending their day sounded like a recipe for staying late to “make up” the missed time. I deserved the cappuccino, the overdue phone call with Tina (yes, that Tina) and time reading in the fading sun. Work will always be waiting.

As I sat in the little park in Hayes Valley on Octavia, I got a call from the court clerk. They had decided to do a trial without a jury. My service was concluded. No need to report tomorrow or next week. Civic duty, we barely just met!

The whole ordeal wasn’t as bad as I feared. Granted, there would have been lots of work stress and drama to miss that much time at this important point in launching a new website, but the change of scenery would have been a welcome change of pace, albeit bad on the deadlines. The judge was a hoot, and I really appreciate how great she was at conveying the meaning of each step of the process. Funny, too! I would have liked to have been part of resolving the dispute. But there’s no longer a means for me to contribute. Next time?

Alas, it’s back to the grindstone for me tomorrow. Our new site is almost ready to launch and I pray (against all odds) that we can still make Monday. So I won’t have my little real-life Law & Order experience. It was quite a cast of characters, our diverse crew of San Franciscans.

In the long run, it’s for the best. Work doesn’t pay for jury service and $15/day doesn’t amount to much. And there’s plenty to be done right now. Besides, why spend a day away from the office without the ability to knit?

Jury duty overruled!

The fierceness of a yawn.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I’m mighty tired. No thoughts tonight. Just enjoy an photo of Janie in the sun this morning, yawning on her bed next to a toy.

I’m mad exhausted.


Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Dinner with a long-lost friend tonight in the Mission. She wrote me last-minute to say she was in town from Hood River, OR. Even though it’s been three or so years, I wouldn’t miss a meal with her. We spent too many hours on the phone, daily, during my time at CLIF Bar. A good friend indeed.

Weirdfish is one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. Why so? Decor, people, commitment to sustainability, vegan options and the fun they have with the menu. I enjoyed the suspicious fish tonight, which the waiter barely describes to gives a sketch of the meal but you don’t know specifics until the plate arrives. Heck, it’s only my fourth or so time there and I still haven’t tried the fried dill pickles. I need to go more often.

Going over life and career changes, talking about kids growing up and sharing future dreams, it was just like old days. It was also a reminder of how terrible I am at keeping in touch with past friends. I have plenty of stationery, a box-full of cards and fountain pens just dying to be used to chat up my past.

Instead, I let what’s in front of my nose take up all of my attention. Most often work or recovering from it. Sure the occasional anomaly (like Tami) gets me in touch or out to eat, but sadly these are not sustained. I fall off the wagon of regular communication. Weekends pass by with the best intentions to get caught up on correspondences to no avail.

Instead, I’m the weirdfish who’s great in person, but one circle around the bowl and I’m once again surprised by the plastic castle, no remembrance of tanks past. (ignoring all of the goldfish research I’ve done lately saying they are smarter than that.)

That’s one of my reasons to keep writing and snapping pictures lately. I just want to prove to myself that I can do it. Show some longevity in something. There’s no finish line, just the practice.

non-reactive night

Monday, July 26th, 2010

There’s only 2.5 hours left to the day, and I plan to be in bed long before then. It’d be nice if I knew what I wanted to write about.

The day didn’t hold much. A smidge late riding in, but luckily the 9:00am Monday morning huddle was delayed. Meetings, project progress, challenges, and setting up the office fish cam.

Here at homo, there is knitting to be done, there are emails to be written there are social networks that are neglected. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll get to any of them. No need for a movie, mind-numbing TV, or lamenting my lack of working out. I don’t really desire something else. Nor am I resisting or resenting what yesterday, today or tomorrow holds. I’d rather go upstairs, floss then read a bit. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m content; I’m just here.

Ok is ok for me. For tonight.

ETA: it was such an unremarkable Monday that I forgot to take a photo. Alas.

Post interrupted

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I’m starting this without a title because I have no idea where it will meander. It’s before 9am and I haven’t had coffee, but I figured it’s rare that I think about writing before the end of the day so I may as well seize this opportunity. C is out taking pictures. Janie is still sleeping upstairs. Dough is rising. the Pet Shop Boys are singing, “Send Me an Email That Says I Love You.” Thoughts are reeling.

Two things set the morning in motion.

I woke up from a dream about work. No surprise. It’s all my mind seems to have room for lately. The dream dealt with the agency who’s doing our site redesign and a colleague. It ended with them disappointing us, me feeling trapped by our contract, and no hope for a solution. Vague, I know, but that’s all the detail you’re going to get. The stress i felt when I woke up was real enough. I was relieved it was just a dream, but I felt cheated of a night of sleep. Sunday mornings aren’t supposed to be agitated and questioning what really just happened.

time passes

And, like that, we’re at the end of the day and I’m in bed post-Mad Men. I didn’t get to compose my thoughts about the second thing: reading about a friend of friends sudden passing on Friday night after being found unconscious by his partner who had just returned from a business trip. It was unclear how long he had been unconscious. I enjoyed his off-color and bitter humor on Twitter and read his blog for years. Not even 31 and a rising career as a DJ to complement his daytime gig as a Virgin Airlines trolley dolly. I’ll miss laughing at his wry observations.

I have no idea how I intended to wrap this post all up, other than a melancholic “life is too short,” but that seems trite. On one hand, I want to see the dream as a sign that I need a change. The other situation makes me want to embrace the joy that I’ve got. We owe it to ourselves to find meaning and grace in the day-to-day. To live is to love hard, laugh with others, create and be inspired by creativity and beauty that’s everywhere. It’s not supposed to hurt all the time. Feel, but don’t fall down the abyss of reaction.

My “off” Sunday reminds me that even though I may not have participated in the marathon, the street far or the food wars bake-off that all took place in my neighborhood today, I am glad they are out there. It’s not as bad as it can seem. I can’t bring Sam back to life, but I can be aware of my staying in my head and missing the big picture.

We’ll see how that helps on Monday.

this much I know

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

I’m not good at blogging.

It’s a struggle for me to make the time to write something here. Regardless, I’m trying to type put something – anything- each day. Even if it means falling asleep as I thumb away on my phone. Typos and all, it’s a quick record of what’s going on in my life, not necessarily meaningful content. I’m approaching this right now as a practice. A daily devotion to take a moment to reflect and perhaps create.

Things I know am good at make me sound like a 3 year-old. I know I like sleeping, eating and pooping. Unlike a toddler, I enjoy being active, knitting, and spending time trying new things.

Forgive me if posts end up being repetitious meditations on the same things. That’s just life.

Today was sleeping in with Janie, Sightglass Coffee, reknitting a toe, working at Tsunami Tsynchro fundraiser watershow, the pictured kimchi on a vegan hotdog from the underground market, C’s Canadian Flickr friends, more coffee and a new local Ethiopian restaurant that recently opened. Shiro? For sure! And more knitting.

A very full day that now demands rest.

Working lunch

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Welcome to the best I could do.

This was the most productive bit of my day. I’m just ready for this project to be launched so I can move on. It is what it is.

Technically this post falls outside of the 24-hour period that is Friday, but I am just heading to bed now at 1:09 am.

I’m counting it as good.

cuppa cupping at Sightglass

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Today at lunch, I got to leave the office with a friend and learn a thing or two about coffee. She’s investigating sourcing coffee from a local roaster. Naturally, I suggested Sightglass Coffee. It was inspirational to say the least.

Justin and Jered took us through the cupping process, first smelling the freshly ground beans then after they infuse with hot water for four minutes, breaking the crust to get the aroma. Then it was time to aspirate (or slurp) many spoons as they cooled.

With about 8 varietals to try, plus an espresso and macchiatto, I was feeling pretty darn good! It makes me want to get more involved with my own coffee preparation. There’s just something about listening to people discuss their passion. And pass that onto you.

I learned more today about what I enjoy in my coffee as well as what’s out there. I look forward to learning and knowing more.

Here, here to local experts who are generous with their knowledge.