Sunday, November 30, 2008

Waiting for "Milk"

Christopher and I are sitting in our seats in the Castro Theatre -
listening to the organist play "San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate"
and watching the slideshow of photos of the Castro from the 70s.

"Milk" at The Castro Theater

It's 3:15. This is the line for the 4:00 show of "Milk" at the Castro Theater. It goes down the entire block, and curves around 18th

Christopher and I are going to see the 7:00 show this evening. We plan to join the line at 6:00. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lunch at U-Lee

U-Lee Potstickers & Tomato Beef Curry Chow Mein. It simply doesn't get
better than this! Yum.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Day in Napa Valley

We're spending the day in Napa Valley with Martin & Celeste. Here's a
shot from the top of Sterling Winery.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

I heart Kindle

Okay, The Kindle totally rocks.

A friend of mine loaned me the first two books of the Twilight Series. I read them both within the last week, and just finished the second one this morning.

First of all, I totally get what all the hype is about these books now. I'll admit, after I read the first one, I thought it was a good, fast read, but didn't totally love it. I certainly enjoyed it enough to go right to the second book, though! After I started to read the second one, I totally fell into it, and became somewhat addicted, just like half of the adolescent tween girls in our country. Yes, I'm feeling a little odd about clumping myself into that mix, but hey, I love Harry Potter, too, so there you go...

Actually, I had a funny conversation this afternoon about the series with my 60-year-old mother, and my 12-year-old niece. Pretty funny!

But, I digress....

This post is about my new found love for the Kindle!

Dick bought the Kindle the week before we left for our Alaskan cruise in August. He really loved it - everything from the ease of buying books, the cost of each title (cheaper than buying a physical paper back) and the form factor (about the size and weight of an average paper back).

I've been in a bit of a book slump lately, so there weren't any titles I was dying to purchase and download to the Kindle.

Until now....

I was out all day, and just came home. Dick has an evening of Gears of War 2 planned for the evening. I might play a bit (because I love it!) but can't play too long because I have developed tendinitis in both of my arms. (originated with golf several months ago, exasperated by a couple games of bowling, and has been on the mend for 2 months now). But more on that later.

Anyhow, I was anxious to get started on book 3 of the Twilight series, so I picked up the Kindle, did a search for the book title, and purchased it for $10.00. Within seconds (literally) I had the book downloaded, and ready for me to read!

That's so cool.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Today's House Project

Dick was in full "Let's get stuff done around the house" mode this weekend!

Today's big project was hanging a set of 4 prints that he's been meaning to hang for 3-4 years now. (it takes us a while to get inspired sometimes.) The prints are Chinese in style, so one would naturally assume that they are family pieces from my side of the family.


They are, in fact, family pieces from Dick's family! :)

Dick's parents family bought these in the 60s or early 70s. They were hung in the dining room of the house that Dick and his sisters grew up in. When Dick's Dad sold the house several years ago, the siblings divided up the family pieces that he would no longer have room for. Dick's sister, Kathy, originally claimed ownership to these prints, but a few years ago, Dick and Kathy swapped out a set of Silver for the prints.

Kathy shipped these to us at least 3 years ago. We've been meaning to put them up in our stairwell, but we weren't quite sure where, or even how.

The stairwell is naturally a tough place to hang anything. I never had anything hung there in the 10 years that I've owned the upstairs condo.

Well, today was the day that Dick woke up and declared that we were going to hang them. My first question: "How do you intend to do that?" I was envisioning precariously perched ladders, with precariously perched people dangling off them them, attempting to figure out where to hammer nail or screw into the wall, over a flight of stairs. It wasn't a pretty picture, and just imagine how many things could go wrong.

And that's when I came up with my brilliant idea of the week: We have picture-hanging molding (which we use to hang pictures from throughout the rest of the house). Why can't we use it in the stairwell, too?

Long story short, Dick fashioned a clever tool consisting of a wire hanger, duct tape, and an extension rod that I had for some unknown purpose. In total, it gave us about 7 feet of extra length, which turned out to be enough for us to reach the molding with.

"The Tool"

First step: hang the picture-hanging clips onto the picture-hanging molding. Dick was able to accomplish this task surprisingly easily with our newly-fashioned, Macgyver-Inspired tool.

Dick using "The Tool" to position the picture-hanging hooks

Next step: While Dick positioned the hooks, I took out the spool of clear fishing line, and strung them to the eyelets behind each frame. We had to eyeball the length, but it worked within the first couple of tries.

Last step: Dick held the frame in position while I used our handy-dandy tool to loop the fishing line onto the picture hook. Worked like a charm! We had to take them down a couple of times to make final adjustments to the length of the wire, but all-in-all, it went very well!

The final product

It may have taken us a few years to get to it, but we're both really pleased with the final product. It really dresses up the stairwell nicely, and we're happy to have them up!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bond... James Bond

Tonight is Shan's semi-annual 007 Party! Martinis all around!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Strange Night in the Castro

Wow. That was weird.

It's still gorgeous outside - my guess is low 70s, and perfectly still weather.

We decided to have dinner at one of the sushi joints on Castro Street. When we walked down (about 6:30) we noticed a group of people assembled on the corner of Castro and 18th. That's not unusual because that is literally the heart of the Castro, so things pertaining to the community usually form there. I noticed that everyone in this group was dressed in white, and we also noticed that they were standing together, singing. It was odd.

So, we had dinner. It was a long dinner. We sat at the sushi bar, and the sushi chefs kept giving us new yummy treats. :) But, I digress...

Two bottles of Saki, and several platters of sushi later...

When we left the restaurant, we saw about half a dozen cop cars parked around the corner of Castro and 18th. We went over to see what all the hub bub was about. From what we could gather, a group of Prop 8 SUPPORTERS thought it would be a good idea to come to the heart of the Castro and raise a ruckus.

Now, seriously. That's just stupid.

Obviously, they came to cause trouble. They came to slap our community in the face.
Basically, they came to be complete asses.

It was breaking up by the time we got there, so we started to head home.

Now, as I mentioned, it's a really warm evening out. That alone is reason for a lot of people to come flocking to Castro Street. As we walked up the street towards our block, we passed many people who were walking down to Castro.

That's when we got to the intersection of our block - which is about 3 blocks from Castro Street.

I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but I was too stunned at that moment. There was literally a police barricade blocking our block. Yep - a line of police officers spread across the street. We had to show I.D. to prove that we lived here.

After we were let through, I asked one of the officers what was going on.

His response, "I have no idea. I was hoping you could tell me!".

From what I gathered, the Prop 8 Supporters had actually marched down our block, fairly recently, and must have stirred up some trouble if there was now this much police presense. That's really strange to me, because as I said, we're a few blocks away from the heart of things.

Anyhow, I'm afraid that chaos of some kind is bound to happen tonight. Between the crowds of people coming in because of the warm weather, coupled with the Stupid Prop 8 people trying to raise a ruckus... well, that's just not going to go over well. I hope things don't get out of control.

I expect we'll hear something about this in the news later.

An ice rink on a warm November evening

I had a client meeting in Union Square this afternoon. On my way home,
I decided to walk by the actual square to check out the new Holiday
ice rink.

It was unusually warm today, and was still in the low 70s when I went
by the ice rink at 5:30. It was a bit surreal to see the ice rink, the
Union Square Christmas Tree (not yet lit) while having this
unseasonably warm weather.

It was really pretty, though. It'll be nice to see it again when the
tree is lit and more people are skating.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My "Sideshow Bob" Plants

The plants for our backyard were delivered last Thursday, and placed for inspection by the designers on Friday. Our contractor is taking a pre-planned vacation this week, so we're in a bit of a holding pattern until she returns.

The weather has been so nice lately, that I've been going out to the backyard, enjoying the peace and quiet. Even though the job is not finished yet (probably another couple of weeks, easily) I really enjoy looking at the plants, and visualizing the final product.

One of my favorite plants out there is called a Foxtail Fern. That's its standard common name.

I like to refer to it (or them, as we have 4) as my "Sideshow Bob" Plants.


It's the first thing that I thought of when I first saw them. It's as if someone took Sideshow Bob (from the Simpsons, in case you didn't know) and planted the poor guy in a pot up to the top of his head.

See for yourself:

Sideshow Bob

Sideshow Bob Plants

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Morning Serenade

The birdies are back! My parents are in NYC visiting my sister, so we're taking care of the birds for a couple of weeks again.

I caught this short video clip of the birds this morning. Bonsai is the one behind the Diet Coke box (that they like to play in and chew). Bonsai is the one whistling to Crissy.

Funny birdies!

Friday, November 07, 2008

An Oldie but a Goodie

Paula just reminded me that Reeves had taken this picture of me and Dick way back in October, 2005. I don't remember what the exact circumstances of the photo were, but we were at an opening show at the Adler's Gallery. I also remember that it was the week before our wedding.

This picture makes me laugh every time I see it. It has got to be one of my favorite pictures of Dick ever!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let there be Life!

The plants and trees were delivered today! It'll be nice to add some life back to the garden again!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Prop. 8

It's not official yet, but it looks as though Proposition 8 is going to pass.
It's Official: Prop 8 has passed.

Anger and disappointment do not begin to express how I feel about this.

I realize that I live in a bubble: I live in the Castro, in San Francisco, in the Bay Area. I'm lucky enough to live in a place that doesn't believe in discrimination. I was beginning to believe that we were growing as a state and as a country. It turns out that not all Californians have the same belief system that I do, and I sometimes forget that.

But really: the fact that California voters care more about the treatment of chickens, cows and pigs, than the civil rights of people just baffles me.

I know this isn't the end. The fight will go on, and we will reach a point of equality for all some day.

It's just too bad that that day isn't today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

History in the Making

What an honor it is to have been able to participate in and be witness to this historic election!

Whoo Hooo!!!!

Election Results Widgets

This should come in handy tonight.

Nationwide US Presidential Results

CA Results

Look who's voting!

My sister (who is in NYC for a few weeks) just sent this email to our family:

I was randomly checking SFGate (I must do it 20 times a day!) and look who I see on the front page?

That's my cousin, Bruce, captured on film!

How cool is that?

Not sure how he'll feel about me blogging about this before him, though. (Sorry, Boo! I couldn't help it!)

Here's a larger version of the photo, and mention of his name.

I voted!

I've done my part.
Now, we wait and see how this all plays out...

Monday, November 03, 2008

...and now, a message from Matthew Broderick...

Election Day is tomorrow!

Make sure to get out and vote!

(and in case it's not already painfully obvious, please vote NO on 8!)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Creep-O-Rama 2008

a.k.a. "Stock Market Hell!!!!"

We had our (almost) annual Halloween Party last night - yes, the day after Halloween. We wrestled with which day to have it on - the Saturday before (almost a whole week before Halloween) the night of (which would be a work night, and a crazy Friday night) or the night after (after?!). Clearly, we decided on having it the night after, which, all-in-all, seemed to work out quite well.

It was a surprisingly stormy day, but thankfully, the rain let up a couple of hours before the party started. We had a great crowd again this year - I'm guessing 40-50, and really, in my opinion, some of the best costumes yet!

I have to give Dick full credit for our Halloween costumes and full theme this year. It was brilliant. We created "Stock Market Hell" in every room on the ground floor of our house.

What does that mean? Let's start with a Stock Market Graph (complete with a hanging, severed head) of the last year welcoming you as you when you enter. Nothing can be scarier than that! The graph line went from the grid, down along the hallway wall, along the floor, all the way into the kitchen, and directly into the trash. :)

We had a room dedicated to "All Hallows Bank" where you could find toxic mortgage loans. The body outlines of the Lehman Brothers were found on the floor of two different room, and the dining room was converted into a cemetery where the names and end dates of all of the failed financial institutions were recorded on the tombstones.

Dick dressed as Mr. Dow Jones, and I came as Ms. Nas Daq. We were a little battered and bruised from a tough year. We even wore scrolling ticker tapes!

Many thanks to everyone who braved the rain and came to the party! We had a blast, and hope that you did, too!