Monday, February 22, 2010

santa cruz pics and oh my my

I've just realized that as of late all of my photography on here has been food-related. And while this may indeed indicate a certain change in lifestyle and hip-size, it's not an ENTIRE representation of the Daily Livin' of Rona-Girl. Mostly. But not entirely.

Last weekend's trip to Santa Cruz with Tanya T was perfect. We went hiking in the mountains in the pursuit of mushrooms, we relaxed on the beach, we hit a few wineries (to try their grape juice, Grampa), and we just chilled. It was unbelievably nice. Even though I left my laptop in our motel and they had to ship it to me and I lived an entire week in the technical dark ages, where I had to spend my nights * talking * to people and * reading. * I was one step away from whittling soap by candlelight and talking about what a hard winter it had been.

The toddler twins I live with had their second birthday yesterday. It was wild. There was a puppet show, corndogs, and a helium tank. Which is basically all this girl needs for a good time. This is the cast of characters who attended:

These are the twins' friends. I KNOW. Have you ever seen this much diversity outside of a Fabric of Our Lives commercial? Also I would like to point out--if I may--the baby in the top middle. He's a total gangster. We're going to see him in a towncar one day wearing a dark suit and surrounded by foxy ladies. I hope he gives me a head tip even though I'll be roughly sixty by then.

I'm going back to work tomorrow! This marks my seventh day at a fantastic job with the San Francisco Opera. I'm going absolutely nuts over it. I hopehopehope it lasts for a long time not only because I adore it and look forward to going every day, but also because now the work bar has totally been raised and I'm afraid all future temp work is going to look * yawn * next to it. But how about this for one of the perks of temp work: your network becomes crazy diverse!

Hey! This is random, but I need advice. I'm in the market for a watch and don't know where to go. My old one--a fantastic plastic piece with dancing cows on it that I got at Octopus, the greatest shop in England ever--has officially called it a day. Now I live in a land without time and I feel slightly disoriented. Does anybody know a good place for watches of whimsical design?

Just now a freshly-bathed Timo came running up to me with a handful of hangers and I swear he looks taller than he did before his bath tonight. I mentioned this growth spurt to his mom, Sara, who calmly replied: 'We watered him.' 

Speaking of bath time, I think tomorrow is a Shower Day. I can usually tell Shower Day is approaching when I comb my fingers through my hair and it stays in place. So that's cool. I just wish Shower Day didn't also happen on a Work Day, because that means I have to wake up at an insane hour. And I love my sleep. In fact, I love my sleep more than I love my personal hygiene, which is why Shower Day is so rare and I'm so well-rested.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some mad carbonara to chow on (have I ever mentioned how much I love living with a professional chef?) and I've got to finish whittling this clipper ship I started last week. I heart you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A video montage and my reunion with my laptop

So I totally left my laptop at my hotel in Santa Cruz last weekend because I'm awesome like that, and just got it back thanks to the hotel's awesome (seriously) customer service and the fact that they went to the effort to UPS it to me...I fully expected when I called them to hear, 'Nothing's turned up yet but we'll let you know!' But no, they had it and they were glad to hear from me, and they made the effort to get it back to me as quickly as possible. So I was thrilled. Santa Cruz Beach Inn. Remember that name so that if you ever find yourself down there, you'll know where to stay. There's nothing like an honest establishment to make you feel like your money is well spent.

Today we're going to have a special feature called 'Videos You Have to See.' They're just awesome, and funny, and I love them, and I get to share what I love because this is my blog and I'm powerful.

This one was created by my awesome college roommate, Leslie, who now does stand-up comedy in New York City. She won the Manhattan Monologue Slam, got the Excellence Award at the New York Fringe Festival, and her comedy show is hailed as a 'top pick.' This video premieres the subject of her next show. Meet the Goshkos, a classic American family:

Vodka Shoes Promo from Lgosh on Vimeo.

I grew up with this guy in Oklahoma. He now does comedy in L.A.:

And then we have the most humorous song I have ever heard on the subject of inalienable rights and English colonization:

And last, but not least...the man your man could smell like:

Thank you...and goodnight.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

the ramblings of a lazy afternoon

There's nothing in the world like the San Francisco Farmer's Market on a sunny Saturday morning...I got suckered in at the Cowgirl Creamery this morning and couldn't resist getting some fromage blanc with herbs, which then led me into the Italian deli for pasta shells in which to stuff it...and then of course I had to get some salami to go with my pasta...

I'm got a migraine ripping through my right temple right now. Would the invisible person with the knife just back off for a second?

Dinner party tonight! It's going to be in my old hood, which I'm psyched about, and with a bunch of San Francisco lesbian hot cops, which I'm excited about. This is a group I've been dying to break into. I don't know what I'm expecting, but I do hope to be cuffed at some point in the evening.

Blast. I started a load of laundry approximately sixteen hundred hours ago, and totally forgot about it.

I'm going to Santa Cruz tomorrow! Tanya T and I have two days full of mushroom hunting and beach bumming ahead of us, so that will be awesome. It's been too long since I've had dirt under my fingernails and sand between my toes. 

I think I will go lie down and read's a lovely day for curling up atop a plush white duvet and a stack of pillows...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

my address book

I've got a really ugly address book. I got it years ago for a birthday present. It was one of those presents that people give you who don't know you, like lotion and candles and velvet journals with matching pens. I didn't use it for ages, but then one day I needed to jot down an address some place other than a post-it note, so I was like, 'well, this will be okay for * now.* ' And here I am, years later, with a full and heavily-annotated address book that I STILL can't stand the sight of. It's got a black and white flower on the front and some quote in swirly script about friends being 'like windows through which you see out into the world and back into yourself.' I don't even know what that MEANS. But I do know it makes me want to hurl this book through a window, so apparently it's inspirational. 

I know what you're thinking: 'Why don't you just REPLACE it, Rona?' And I'd be happy to--so very happy--but I never * remember * that I abhor it when I'm out and about. And it's not like replacing it is something URGENT that merits a single-minded quest from card shop to stationery shop to bookstore. Maybe I'll just SEE my new address book one day, the book I need/want/have always longed for, and that will be it, as neat and easy as you please, and I'll spend a glorious afternoon in a sunny window transcribing addresses in my best hand before setting this old thing on fire. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll still be glowering at these awful romantic flowers when I'm 80, with the book bursting at its spiral binding from stray stamps and postcards and penned updates scrawled up the margins, when the number of addresses I have for Deee has gone from four to sixty, and when I can no longer part with it for sentimental reasons.

Oh, NO. I have to get rid of this before it gets sentimental. Someone help me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

on white castle, rocking chairs, and male models

So I'm watching the superbowl right now. And by 'watching,' I mean, 'eating nachos and doing a blog post while it roars mildly in the background.' Of course I pause when the commercials come on--they really ARE the best part of the game--but the rest of it? * no idea *

Sara, my professional chef super-rad roommate, made white castle burgers for a pre-nachos snack. That's right: a pre-nachos SNACK. I love it when burgers are an appetizer and nachos are a meal. And I'll bet you didn't know you could make white castle burgers at home. But you can, and I'm not lying when I say they're even better than the real deal. I ate at least three. Maybe four. Maybe even five, but let's not talk about that here.

Speaking of Sara's cooking: check out these bbq'd ribs we had for dinner the other night, along with baked beans-and-bacon and biscuits. It was heaven:

And tonight we're having Korean tofu soup. Also made from scratch. I'm so psyched I can barely handle it. I haven't had tofu soup since I used to tutor a Korean girl and got paid in food. And Sara's doing all this while feeding toddler twins, changing toddler twins, playing games with toddler twins, and navigating a kitchen with toddler twins around her ankles. I don't know HOW she does it. Pretty much all Young and I do is holler at her to get out of the way when she's blocking our commercials while scrubbing down the coffee table.

It was absolutely gorgeous out today--sunny, warm, all things that make California awesome. If it's similar tomorrow, I'm leaving this computer and heading to the beach and catching up on some reading. I'm checking out too many books from the library--for every book I finish, there are three more I want to try--and now I've got more piled up than I can possibly read. This is a GOOD problem to have, but one that has to be solved nonetheless.

Let me share with you--while I'm on the subject of amazing people--a couple more 'I can't believe she is my friend' stories: my friend Deee--while pregnant--has just re-designed an entire rocking chair for her nursery. She learned how to make the cushions in a matter of minutes, she primed stuff, she painted. Just LOOK at this picture of the before-and-after. Of course, I'm not REALLY surprised at her supreme hand-craftiness--after all, she WAS the inspiration behind our Wind-Up Bird business. But seriously. She's now accomplishing her mega-feats while a sixteen-inch-baby incubates inside her. She's building chairs and growing ears, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And then there's TB, my Jamaican sweetpea, who not only just got an offer for a completely-covered ph'd from UC Davis for her work in mathematics-in-literature, but also got pulled up on stage last Saturday night for a dance with the guy in the middle of the photo below. I don't know what to be more impressed by:

I'll just leave you with this photo. You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

the resolution of pink hair, an art gallery, and oysters on the bay

A lot's been happening around here lately, so I will write a list:

1. My hair. It has officially been * fixed, * at least, sort of. The only thing that would cover up the cherry blossom pink was brown and dark red. So...that's what I've got. I've never felt more mousy in my life, but it is what it is, and it's only for a season, so I'm not losing sleep or anything over it. I'm still leaving threatening illustrations tacked to the door of the salon, but fewer now, and with less red ink.

2. My dear friend Jeremy gave me a gift subscription to deviantART, which is a website art gallery full of amazingly talented artists. This site has everything: painters, digital illustrators, photographers, writers. And it's a very international crowd--I get just as much feedback from artists in New Zealand or Slovakia as I do from America. I get encouraging emails in Hebrew and Russian now, and Polish girls digging my stuff. There's not a single unkind sentiment in this community. So I'm loving it. Here's the link to my gallery, but you don't have to visit it or anything. I'm still working on it a lot, so I feel like this is more of a sonogram than a birth announcement.

3. Last Saturday--or was it the one before? What day is this? Who am I?--a friend and I went mushroom hunting at Salt Point, and it was AWESOME. Apparently this is all the rage out here, this harvesting-wild-mushrooms thing, and we came across a handful of other hunters out in the coastal forest and they had apparently been out there early early in the morn because their baskets were full and their hearts merry and their instructions plentiful. We found a ton of yellowfoot chanterelles and black trumpets and hedgehogs and pig ears (all mushrooms I learned that day). Then on our way back at sunset to San Francisco--our fingernails blackened and hands rough--we stopped by Tomales Bay for some oysters on the water.

I cooked my mushrooms that night by sauteeing them in butter with onion and pepper and serving them over a bed of angel hair pasta. And they were ridiculous.

Almost as ridiculous as these oysters.

4. It's been raining a lot recently. To the point where I can't remember why I ever thought San Francisco was brighter than London. But because of it, the ocean is looking like this:

This is the ocean in the morning.

This is the ocean at sunset.

So I'm okay with the weather, really. I think it's giving more than it's taking.

I'm going to bed now even though it's not yet nine o'clock because I'm a bit under the weather, and I'm at a good bit in my book, and there's nothing that sounds nicer right now than heavy blankets and a lamp. I hope you're doing well and I get to see you soon.