Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Man, our neighborhood goes off on Halloween! We thought we were doing good by carving some pumpkins, but most houses had full on graveyards set up in the front yard and tons of awesome decorations. We will do better next year. The trick or treaters were in full force and we probably handed out over 400 pieces of candy. We did have some popular pumpkins and got lots of compliments on the kitty one from 3 year olds.
This is my creation, 'Pumpkin Loretta':

And this is BVZ's creation, "Pumpkin Avon Barksdale' (he wanted a scary pumpkin so he named it after his favorite drug dealer on his favorite show, The Wire).

A Mouse Near the House!

Loretta is an inside only cat. This really pisses her off because the next door neighbor cat, Chase, is an outdoor cat and he routinely taunts her from the other side of the sun room. We think he might be sweet on her because last week outside the sun room door we found a dead mouse. Well, parts of a dead mouse. To be exact, a mouse head and a mouse tail. But no mouse middle. We suspect that Chase brought it as a gift for Loretta. Or a mouse butchering serial killer is stalking the neighborhood. It is hard to see from here, but this is Loretta checking out her present:

and BVZ disposing of the carnage:

Bridge School Benefit 2007

We attended the annual Bridge School Benefit concert the last weekend in October. It was a great show and headlined Tom Waits, BVZ's long time favorite song writer. My boyfriend Eddie Vedder had to cancel at the last minute, but I consoled myself with the fact that neither Dave Matthews nor his band were anywhere in sight. BVZ insisted upon wearing a totally offensive t-shirt (which I believe read 'Hey Virgins, Thanks for Nothing' over my stern objections). He got the serious stink eye from the beer lady. Serves him right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Introducing.... 'Lil Blue!

And the transformation from normal people to smug Northern Californians is now officially complete. Check out our 2008 Toyota Prius, supplying us with over 50 miles to the gallon, the lowest emissions possible, and more self-righteousness than we know what to do with.

Oktoberfest and the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Oktoberfest is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is too fattening, Christmas has too much family drama, and Easter is too religious. Even Halloween requires too much advance planning (that whole costume thing), and ends up with me eating 753 miniature candy bars. But, Oktoberfest is perfect. It happens right when the seasons change and the weather is crisp, cool, and cozy. We have known about the legendary Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay for years now, but have never taken the plunge. The coastline town is a mere 15 miles from our house but it took 2 and a half (oh, yes) hours to get there. I am not sure anything is worth driving two and a half hours for 15 miles, but it was pretty spectacular. Yards of food, festivities, and giant pumpkins. We missed the pie eating contest (I so would have killed that), but ate plenty of sausage, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin soup to make up for it. All washed down with some pumpkin beer. Good times people. Good times.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Go Niners!

BVZ could possibly be considered the biggest spoiled brat ever because thanks to his mama (and her connected friend), he got hooked up with season tickets to the San Francisco 49'ers for his 33rd birthday. He was at trial in Delaware for the first game of the season, so OUR first game was Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

San Franciscans take their tailgating very seriously. We thought we were doing good with some sausages, chips and guacamole, and beers. Little did we know we were missing a generator, tent, and full roasted pig. We'll do better next week.

BVZ was most excited to get into the stadium!

The incredible view from our seats right on the 50 yard line:

The half-time show:

The game may not have been the most exciting (and the offense couldn't make a play to save their lives), but it was an excellent beginning to what promises to be a fantastic season.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Joys of Home Ownership

The shower has been clogged up for several days now, and instead of hiring a plumber we invested in a hand-held electric snake. This is what we pulled out of the drain (the shower works great now!):

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Portland, July 2007

We took a quick trip to Portland for a wedding, and got in some good exploring in a new city.
We stayed at a great downtown hotel called Hotel DeLuxe. It is done up old Hollywood glamour style--lots of marble, gold tapestry, and sparkling chandeliers. Every floor is dedicated to a director or group of directors. We stayed on the 'rebels' floor. It is a gorgeous place.

Driving in Portland was no problem, parking on the other hand was too complicated for us. After lunch, we stuck to walking.

We had lunch at the Bijou Cafe, an all organic bistro:

BVZ had the house specialty, the Bijou Burger....

I had the vegan tomato soup and heirloom salad.

In Washington Park we visited the Japanese Tea Gardens. Unbelievably beautiful and tranquil. It was early on a Friday afternoon and we literally had the place to ourselves. Such a nice change from the SF gardens, where you are elbow to elbow with all of the noisy tourists. The garden is a masterpiece, each plant deliberately placed in the perfect place.

Across from the tea garden is the International Test Rose Garden, where hundreds of varieties of roses are grown with extra loving care. Free to the public, it is a delight to all the senses. Undeterred by the rain, we stopped to smell the roses, and enjoyed hot coffee in a serene, grassy, amphitheater.

After the gardens we gave ourselves a self-guided tour of the heart of Portland, through downtown and along the riverfront. Of course stopping in many of the local pubs along the way.

We ate dinner that night at Clarklewis, a trendy, red brick, exposed kitchen space with modern art and a great wine list.

Dinner was extraordinary, food that rivals anything we've had in San Francisco lately. The perfect piece of salmon...

Sea bass...
Chicories salad with dried prosciutto...

Diver scallops in a cucumber medley....

And a mint chocolate plate of heaven.

After dinner, we did some bar hopping and got right in the middle of a block party that was going on outside Powell's bookstore in anticipation of the midnight release of the Harry Potter book.

We ended things back at the hotel, at Gracie's Lounge for a nightcap and some jazz.

Saturday morning was all about exploring our surroundings. We took a great walk to Pioneer Square and beyond, stopping to admire the local art scene...

We found the very popular (ie, hour long wait) Mother's Bistro and Cafe.

Breakfast was outstanding.

On Saturdays and Sundays all of downtown Portland comes together for an open air market. There is beer, meat on a stick, and dozens of local artisans peddling their goods. We got some high grade catnip toys for Loretta from a woman who had spent way too long around high grade catnip.

We ended our afternoon tour of downtown Portland with a stop at Powell's City of Books, a place that restores my faith in humanity. Literally ACRES of books, and books, and more books. You need a GPS device to make it from one end to the other. It is awesome.

Later that evening we met up with the entire VZ clan for cocktails and dinner before heading to the wedding site.

The wedding of BVZ's cousin Lee and his beautiful bride Sarah was lovely and romantic (although you probably can't tell from my horribly blurry pictures). After a touching ceremony, everyone celebrated with dancing and a stellar dessert reception. All in all, a wonderful evening.