Tag Archives: California

A completely impractical and financially insensitive step-by-step guide to staying warm this holiday season!

  1. Head to California.
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I was going through some photos from the past year (yes, I was feeling nostalgic for 30), and I came across this little gem, taken last summer when I was visiting family down in California:

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The doll belonged to my cousin’s youngest daughter – and it was headless. My cousin’s eldest helpfully pointed out this obvious fact to her younger sister.

“Laney,” she said, “your doll doesn’t have a head.”

“I know,” Laney replied, giggling. The head was … somewhere. I think in her pocket. Laney was completely unbothered by this fact. She played with it just the same (and truthfully, if you’ve ever had to undress a Skipper, you know it’s easier without the head.)

It was a nice reminder that things don’t have to be perfect for you to enjoy them. And if someone points out the obvious flaws in your possessions, your life, your  blog, even your husband, you can simply giggle and reply, “I know.” And go on loving them just the same.

I’m getting a little too comfortable with San Francisco. We go so often – probably a half-dozen times a year or so, that I’ve started feeling like I take it for granted. That city has an astounding amount of beauty and quirkiness (and just plain weirdness) to offer, but I’ve grown so used to it, I often to neglect to take photos.

I tried to rectify that a little on this last trip. I dragged my camera everywhere. I even – shudder – took a few photos inside a museum (it was for the good of the blog, so I hope you’ll forgive me). Here’s a recap of our trip, in ten photos.

  1. Quiet contemplation at the De Young Museum.
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    I am absurdly happy with how this came out.

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  2. Row houses, San Francisco.
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    I used to want to live in one of these so badly.

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I feel sorry for people who have normal friends.

I’m sure befriending normal people has its merits. It must be nice to go out to a restaurant without having to apologize to the family next to you for what transpires at your table. And having someone dependable who can pick you up from the airport because they are not, at the age of 40, stoned out of their gourd and watching The Transporter 3 (in this PURELY HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION), would probably save you a bit in cabfare.

But, damn, it must be boring. No giggling until you are doubled-over, breathlessly gasping, “I’m going to pee!” No late night invites to drag shows starring people who were invited to your wedding. No immature, tired innuendos when one of you is eating pie. How sad.

I prefer my company to be just slightly unhinged. Not terribly so, mind you (keep your moon-landing deniers – I’ve no interest in them). But if you tell me your new hobby, is, say, painting tiny little leather-clad gimps into beautiful landscapes, or force me to spend half an hour on the floor of my home while you gently perform sacral realignment on me (which involves barely touching my scalp), or decide that even though we’ve just eaten lunch, some Chick-fil-A  sounds like a really good idea, well, we are probably going to be friends.

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If my last voyage out to New York was the trip of cupcakes, then my most recent trip to San Francisco was the jaunt of ice cream.

Because in the few days that I spent there, I ate a lot of it. I can process dairy far better than the next gal (particularly if the next gal is, say, my friend Giselle, who’s entirely allergic to the stuff) but by the end of my trip I was a farty, bloated mess.

I mean, more so.

Of course, the ice cream was not entirely to blame. There was also pizza, and pasta, and copious quantities of cheese. But mostly, it was the frozen confection that did me in.

In spite of all of that, I regret absolutely nothing. It was a moral act, gobbling up all that ice cream. I sacrificed myself so that others might live without crippling gastrointestinal pain as a result of downing a gallon or so of frozen, churned milk. My work is still not finished, but I will share my findings with you, with the caveat that these results are not entirely conclusive. There are more sprinkles to pile on, more scoops to lick, more cones to gobble.

That sounded dirty. I did not mean for it to.

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A totally random note from Geraldine: This is the 500th post to appear on my blog. Holy cats. There are few things I’ve done 500 times, folks. I won’t exactly go into WHAT, but there are few things – let’s just leave it at that. Thank you to everyone who helped me get to this milestone – whether through guest posts, comments, words of encouragement, or just by occasionally reading the nonsense that I post day in and day out … You are all wonderful, and I want to hug you each 500 times. Though that would probably get weird after the third hug or so. 

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My last post was intended to be about a pleasant day at the beach, and instead it devolved into gratuitous photos of me and my husband making out.

Sorry about that. I promise, there will be absolutely NO NONSENSE LIKE THAT TODAY. All my pictures will be chaste and sexless, and there definitely won’t be adorable self-portraits of me and my husband.

Like this one, for example.

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GAH! What is wrong with me? Sorry. Seriously, that will be the last bit of ooey-gooey sweetness for the day. It’s getting to the point that my own marriage might cause me to become diabetic.

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I’ve often said that the greatest trick San Francisco ever pulled was convincing the world it was part of California.

The city by the bay isn’t terribly sunny or warm. A chilly wind barrels down its streets, and as you clutch your coat tightly to you IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST, you contemplate moving someplace warmer. Like Portland. The beaches near San Francisco aren’t much better: cold, rocky, and inhospitable.

In both cases, I blame the Pacific ocean. It is deep and dark and vast, and unforgivably cold. I’ve never swam in it – I refuse to do so until I have a full body wet-suit that makes me look skinny and has a special apparatus to keep my cupcake dry (that is not a euphemism).

So when Rand suggested we visited Muir Beach – roughly 20 miles and 40 minutes away from San Francisco, I was hesitant. I grew up near a real beach – on the Atlantic Ocean – where the water was warm and the sand would scorch your feet. Where you could run around in a bathing suit in the middle of December (wearing a bikini in the holiday season is not something I have attempted since childhood. Now, I suspect large parts of me would jiggle like a bowl full of jelly). But I was curious to see what the Pacific had to offer in way of beaches, and despite the weather, the Bay Area is beautiful. So on a grey morning, Rand and I headed out.

It was hazy, but not terribly bad. We could still see the top of the pillars of the Golden Gate.

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It looks science-y.

The Blue Bottle Cafe in San Francisco, California, is what happens when you combine a coffee shop with a science experiment. Coffee is served in beakers; the metal stools that line one edge of the bar are identical to the ones in my seventh grade biology class (I may have started having flashbacks of my middle school awkwardness), and the pastry shelf is … inventive. The staff might as well be wearing white lab coats (which, incidentally, will probably be the next fashion wave to hit the hipsters of San Francisco: dressing up as the professions you forsook in order to be a musician).

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