Category Archives: holidays

4th of july weekend

a few photos from this past long weekend:

toots & the maytals show

carnival + fireworks

carnival rides

ferris wheel

view from the top


not pictured:

* awesome (and free!) Neko Case show at stern grove. LOVE her.

* watching the entire 1st season of “game of thrones” on-demand

* a view of the july 4th fireworks over tiburon and SF

* home-made mojitos


the sand, part two: critters

along the beach in baja, I saw many little animals (and the remains of some others).

there were a lot of sea urchins in the tide pools that were visible when the tide went out daily at around 4pm:

tidepooling is one of my very favorite things to do

tiny hermit crab



mudskipper, waiting for the tide to come back in


multi-armed starfish


there were flocks of the most wonderful pelicans


we saw many, many dead fish on the beach in various states of “undress.” I suspect many were caught by fisherman, filleted, and tossed overboard for the birds, who brought them to land. some looked as though they’d been cleaned by other fish and birds.

there were also many spiky pufferfish washed up on certain parts of the beach, though I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures. they were crazy looking! nothing seems to eat them (for obvious reasons) so their puffed, thorny bodies just sit in the sand and look all kinds of creepy.


this one looks like it should be in a cartoon.


perhaps a cousin of the above skeleton?


I like his fancy pectoral fin


the fish above was particularly odd looking, as its meat was all removed, skin still on. very buffalo bill. E tells me it is a type of sheephead. it had interesting pointy little teeth.



yes, I might be a weird nature dweeb. this is one of my hobbies. there was talk of whale sharks, killer whales, manta rays and sea lions, but unfortunately they were not visible from the beach. and in a way, thank goodness… because if I saw a whale shark I think I would just about die on the spot (due to, you know, magic and wonder, not fear. they don’t even have teeth!)

the sand, part one

I had the good fortune to travel to a somewhat remote part of mexico over the christmas holiday. I had a lovely, restful time with M&J and the siblings: hammocks were swung in, margaritas were imbibed, magazines were read, kiteboarders were watched and occasionally given silly nicknames (such as princess peach and the green goblin), beaucoup shells/rocks/beach-glass were collected, sun was savored, horses were ridden, board games were played, swims were taken, salsa and hot sauce were eaten with absolutely everything.

on the second or third day there, I woke up early (oh how I love being on eastern or central time and traveling west!), put on my swimsuit and clothes, and went for a walk on the beach. the water was like glass before the wind kicked up for the day, the sun was high and warm.



I walked less than 1/4 mile before I just had to get into that water. I hadn’t planned on swimming, despite donning my suit, and hadn’t brought a towel or put on sunscreen (which I most always do). so I ditched my shorts, watch and the shells I’d collected on the beach and headed into the not-so-warm-but-oh-so-gorgeous water. it was “brisk” to say the least, so much so that I actually gasped when I dove under. but I am from northern california and will swim in pretty much anything (see: the san francisco bay, the pacific ocean, frigid marin country creeks, alaskan glacier run-0ff that was quite literally the coldest water I have ever felt in my life). for me, the joy of being in the water always outweighs the coldness of the water itself—I’ve just got to get in there! true, it may take be 10-15 minutes to slowly immerse myself to avoid total shock (I’m no glutton for punishment, after all), but I am going in!


it was, of course, totally fantastic. to be alone at 9am and neck-deep in the sea of cortez a few days before christmas… well, that’s somethin’.

two trips to lincoln center

over the past two weekends, I have taken two trips to lincoln center, all by myself, and happily so.

the front of the met opera

last weekend I hit the met opera for a performance of “la bohème.” it was, of course, completely fantastic. I hadn’t seen it since middle school! the costumes were gorgeous and the sets were amazing. there was even a live donkey and a live horse! during the cafe scene there most have been at least 150 people on stage. it was epic. I scored my ticket for $10 through pratt (“a $50 value!” as they say in infomercials). seat wasn’t too bad either. woot!

the stage at the met

last night I took myself on another little fancy solo date and caught the NYCB’s “the nutcracker.” who doesn’t love a good “nutcracker”? it was charming and whimsical as always. particular highlights for me always include the waltz of the snowflakes, the dance of arabian coffee, the tutus on the marizipan shepherdesses, dewdrop, and of course the final pas de deux. magic and candy coated fun.
the only bummers were that my seat wasn’t the best, and the people next to me were extremely annoying (arriving 20 minutes late, whispering the whole first act and texting duirng the second, making a ruckus leaving 20 minutes early! harumph! a little decorum and decency, please! it’s the freakin’ nutcracker at lincoln freakin’ center a week before christmas!) I wish more people would stick to my personal how-people-should-behave-whilst-in-public credo: “just try not to bother anyone!”

good times.

speaking of gifts

speaking of gifts… I recently did get some wonderful birthday gifts. (jeez, between this post and the last one, I seem like quite a greedy bird… but I’m not! swear!)

one such gift was from my mainest homegirl, F.

sorry for the lame iphone photo

does she know me or what?

a fantastically cute, handmade (by this etsy seller), goldenrod yellow LOUISIANA PILLOW! with a heart over New Orleans! [cue jumping for joy!]

I absolutely adore it. thankyou thankyou to my dear wonderful pal who is as thoughtful as the day is long (and whom I forgive for being one inch taller than me.)
someday I may have to get myself the almost-as-cute california pillow (with the heart over SF, of course).


the other truly fabulous gift I received (which deserves and will get its own post once I can get some decent photos of it) was from my dear E. it’s another “you know me ridiculously well” gift. I quite literally GASPED when I opened it. in fact, it almost seems criminal not to talk about it without a photo to back me up on how spectacular this thing it… but anyway…

it’s a gorgeous, elegant, COMPLETELY RESTORED typewriter from 1930 in near perfect condition, that works amazingly, and will last forever because it was so thoughtfully and perfectly made (hey, it’s already made it 80 years!).
to make things even better, it came with a reprinted original manual and a modern care guide, AND all the supplies I’ll ever need to keep that pup in full working condition… oil, replacement ribbons, a dusting brush, you name it!

sigh. they just don’t make ’em like they used to. needless to say, I am in love with it.

so, 25 ain’t lookin’ so bad after all. I’m WAY younger than my typewriter.

imaginary christmas list

now that thanksgiving has passed and we may “officially” celebrate christmas (just ask my sister, who enforces this rule with an iron yet jolly fist), I am trying to get in the spirit before the season passes me by.

always on my holiday to-do list? viewing of some sort of large christmas tree  (at, say, rockefeller center), “the nutcracker” (which I LOVE more than an adult should—the “dance of arabian coffee” is my favorite, and I strongly wish they would do a “no children in the audience” performance, choosing to forget, of course, that this ballet is pretty much FOR children… but I digress…), baking goodies, holiday cocktails and drinks such as grown up hot cider and mulled wine, viewing of various christmas films etc.

this year I am adding a very silly “imaginary chirstmas” list to the mix… just for fun, mind you.


* a fancy wool blanket that will last forever
image credit

* linen sheets would also make a charming gift (for those of us who care deeply about bedding, at least)

* beaucoup beeswax candles to make your house smell like honey and detoxify the air

* non-essential kitchen prettification items, such as a milk glass cake stand and jadeite pitcher
(as well as the kitchen storage space—built-in open shelving painted white, please—needed to store such objects)

* a plane ticket to Iceland (home of glaciers, volcanoes, gnomes and people who believe in them, magic, an openly gay world leader, happy people, the northern lights, bjork, unspoiled nature, and general magic and fabulousness)

* some fantastic fancy kitchen suppliesle creuset 5.5 quart french over, be still my heart!

fancy pants penguin seltzer maker

kitchenaid mixer

(kitchen non-fancies are always nice gifts, too, I think: zesters, knives, good spatulas, carved wooden spoons, thermometers, etc.)

* gray diamond bling (for my pointer finger, of course)

* seven deadly sins plates

* a badass record player and a complete set of nina simone’s albums on vinyl

* a trip to beekeeping camp, flower-arranging classes, books about opera and calligraphy, french conversation classes, garment sewing classes… you know, so I can do that whole pioneer/renaissance woman thing

* collection of vintage handkerchiefs (it is so hard to find new ones of acceptable fabric quality and femininity) and a vintage ladies pocket knife

that’s all I got for now, imaginary santa!