Sunday, September 30, 2012

Playing Catch Up in a Major Way!

Whoa, it's been a week since I blogged!  I got re-sick this week (ugh) so I barely had energy for work, much less blogging.  In any case, I'm on the rise and I'm happy to be catching up on your blogs, at long last!

Given that I've spent more time at home than usual this week, I've done tons of cooking and nail painting and reading and homey stuff like that.  So here are some things from the past week that you should know about:

I painted my nails several times, and here are some of the results:

The nails are Deutsch You Want Me Baby? from the OPI Germany collection;
toes are Essie Sew Psyched (and they match my bath mat!)

I really, really love the Germany collection, and that bright, burnt orangey color is perfect for welcoming Fall.  Needless to say, nail polish peels (way faster than toes), so when the inevitable happened, I did this:

My darling Lindsay sent me these two Essie colors for my birthday (along with some amazing nail stamps that I'll blog about soon), and I couldn't resist pairing them for these two-toned nails.  Pretty, right?

Ah, the perks of being homebound.  Your nails look awesome as you lie in bed hacking and sneezing.

Speaking of lying in bed, I finished Gone Girl (um, WHOA.  If you're looking for a can't-put-it-down book, get this one immediately!) and have moved onto this one, recommended by my friend Diana who has impeccable taste in literature:

It's a pretty fascinating premise.  There are six autonomous stories within Cloud Atlas; the first half of each is told in the first half of the book.  At the halfway point, the second half of the stories commence, rendering story 6 as the only one told as one whole, unbroken story.  Does that make sense?  In any case, there is reasonable suspicion that the characters in each story are reincarnations of each other (the stories span centuries) . . . if you've read it, let me know so we can talk about it!

Also, I made these tonight, and they're so good that I seriously can't stop obsessing over them:

LET ME TELL YOU.  They are the best things I've eaten in recent memory and without a doubt, worth every calorie.  I followed this recipe but made the following modifications: 

1. I used Morningstar soy crumbles instead of beef/turkey, but I am certain it would be equally delicious with any of those options

2. I sauteed chopped onions (1/2 a large onion) before adding the soy meat, and used this combination (plus the cream cheese) to stuff into the shells

3. I used extra taco seasoning and extra cream cheese (I have finally learned what my sister has been proclaiming for ages: EVERYTHING is better with cream cheese)

4. I added a lil chili pepper to the browning "meat"/onion mixture to give it a little heat

5. I didn't measure the cheese, but sprinkled mozzarella on top of the shells before I baked them (under the foil), and then when I took off the foil after 25 minutes, I sprinkled sharp cheddar on top and let it broil

6. I used salsa instead of taco sauce

Okay, so if you've never followed a recipe I've posted here, NOW IS THE TIME.  I'm telling you--these are a game changer.  I cannot wait to make them again (this weekend when my beautiful cousins are here!!!).  

In other news, I may need therapy after this football season.  My beloved team is now 0-4, and after a brutal loss to the Packers today.  Did anyone else watch the game?  Losing by one point is a special kind of devastating.  Especially when you've made a field goal--for the win, mind you--and it's retracted thanks to a penalty.  

But a fairweather fan I AM NOT, so I'm currently coveting these babies for football Sundays:

You bet your behind I'd wear those--and proudly!!!

Happy Monday, everyone.  Glad to be back! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A High/Low Weekend in San Francisco

How is it Monday again?  To be honest, I knew this weekend was gonna slip right out from under me.  I had a work event on Friday night, so my weekend proper didn't really start until Saturday.  Then, just a blink-of-an-eye and it's Monday.  Sigh . . .


1. Voice of Witness released a new book, Throwing Stones at the Moon, and we had the release party this Friday night at 826 Valencia.  It was a smashing success. :)


New books + wine + Mediterranean food + 826 = a delightful Friday night.

2. I got to FaceTime with Micaela, Marianne, and Micaela's new baby, Felix.  She's such a doll!  An impressively big baby with a splash of black hair.  She's beautiful, just like her mama and auntie:

excuse the blurriness--focus on the cute baby face!

3. My sister is back in town, and this time she brought my brother-in-law with her!  If you've ever seen his website, you know that he's an amazing photographer, and yesterday evening, we met up with the Freitags so he could take pictures of Milo and Jude.  You can imagine the cuteness.  When they're ready, I will share them (obviously), but here are two iPhone pics I snapped while we were traipsing around the Marin Headlands:

Kate & Judebug, hand-in-hand

one seriously cute kid

Oh, and look at this filter-less picture of the Golden Gate bridge yesterday afternoon.  My goodness, it's so pretty here:

I also went on a run for the first time in like a month, which was pretty awesome.  Especially since it was along this bay path where I could see the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the entire time.  Makes it a little easier to keep going!  Though not that much easier.  I was definitely S-L-O-W.  Takes a while to get back into the swing of things . . .


1. Matt has apparently contracted the horrible virus I had last week.  He's been in bed, miserable, for the past few days.  Poor thing!  And this is his reward for taking such good care of me when I was sick last week. :(

2. My football team.  I just--I don't know if I'm ready to talk about it.  


We were up 24-6, in our own dome, and still managed to lose by a field goal in overtime.  I can just see Sean Payton watching from his couch at home, head in hands, whiskey by his side.  WHAT IS GOING ON, BOYS?!  

And here we are at Monday again.  I'm pushing through classes (tonight) & meetings (today & tomorrow) all just to get to Tuesday night's Sons of Anarchy.  Someone's gonna die . . . but who???

link up here!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ladies & Gentlemen, We Have a New Book!

Last night, we had the San Francisco book release of Voice of Witness's newest title, Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence.  

Throwing Stones at the Moon is a collection of oral histories from Colombians who have suffered under military, paramilitary, and guerilla violence, and have been displaced inside and out of their own country.  Lots of people worked very hard on this book (especially the brave narrators), and we're so excited to add it to the ranks.  It's in good company, you know!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Randoms on a Tuesday

Why hello there, blogging world.  My dreams of posting consistently each weekday came to a screeching halt last week when I was overrun by a fever & a sore throat . . . at last, I am better, and here to share some disconnected thoughts today:

1.  Those of you who follow me on twitter and/or instagram saw this already, but how adorable is this baby deer I saw last night at San Quentin?

hiiiiiiii, Bambi!

I've seen many a cute animal on the prison grounds (it's deliciously ironic!), but this little thing tops the list.  She was grazing in the middle of the prison, right across from the H-Unit, where I teach my Monday night poetry class.  Best of all?  When I slowed down my car and rolled down the window to snap her picture, she didn't even scamper away.  Lil darlin!  

2. This show:

You're probably shocked to hear me talk about anything other than Sons of Anarchy (especially on a Tuesday!), but I swear . . . this show is so damn good.  I can't get Matt to give it a chance since he's "not into serial dramas," but I guess I can't blame him, because I won't watch 95% of the movies he suggests. When I was sick this past weekend, I had a marathon catch-up-on-Parenthood session, and it was blissful.  

Except that the Bravermans make me believe that no other family will ever live up to the awesomeness that is their family.  You know what I mean?  It also makes me want four kids.  And to stay in the Bay Area forever.  Also, my crush on Adam Braverman is undying and I think Jasmine is the most beautiful woman in the world:

How is she real??  I can't stop staring at her.  I wonder what it's like to wander around life THAT BEAUTIFUL.  Amazing.

3. You'll notice my radio silence on the subject of football.  This is how I'm feeling about the season thus far:

4. My sister's coming back to town this weekend, and then my cousins are coming the first weekend in October.  Can't wait!  This time, my photographer brother-in-law is going to take pictures of my favorite little guys, Milo and Jude.  Pics to follow. :)  In the meantime, feast on this video.  Jude thinks Matt has a chicken (after seeing pictures of the chickens when Matt and I were house-sitting in the country a couple weeks ago).  He also thinks that he found "Matt's chicken" in one of his books:

Happy Sons of Anarchy Day!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A story about girl I went to high school with . . .

Today, I want to tell you about Katie.  She and I went to middle and high school together back in Georgia.  She has a two year old son named Michael, and he has something called MLD.  Until Katie's son was diagnosed, I had never heard of MLD, but I read her blog posts and her facebook updates, and then I couldn't stop reading about it.  MLD--metachromatic leukodystrophy--is cruel and unfathomable. She and her husband are going through every parent's worst nightmare.

Below is a video that the local news station did on Katie's son.
You can visit Katie's blog here.  If you have anything to donate, they'd appreciate it, as Michael's medical bills are outrageous (and they have to travel to Pittsburgh to see a specialist).  They both have to work, even though they wish they could spend every minute with their little son.  But if you don't have anything to donate, that's okay.  Katie and her husband really just want to spread awareness, so by just watching the video clip or reading their blog--you're doing your part.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When you're home sick and you're whiny and your boyfriend is at work . . .

I'm not exactly "home sick," it's more like "working from home and not feeling well."  But I'm grateful for the ability to work at home--that's for sure!  At least I can get my lesson plans revised and education emails sent out while in my jammies (that is, my Tim Riggins jersey), guzzling gatorade, and checking my temperature every ten minutes. ;)

So I've been pinning away:

How gorgeous is this dress?  I'm smitten.

Source: via Claire on Pinterest
Red lentil, pumpkin, and chickpea stew.  Can someone come over and make this for me RIGHT NOW? I think it would cure my sickness.

Curing a cold via a bath?  Sign me up.

If I can figure this out, it's the perfect project for all the corks I've been saving.

Another thing I'm doing: obsessing over last night's Sons of Anarchy season 5 premiere.  For those of you who watched it, that one Tig scene was SO HARD TO WATCH.  Unfortunately I can't stop thinking about it and I'm afraid it may have done some permanent damage.  Also, Kurt Sutter had promised a "graphic sex scene" at the opening of the first episode, and I was disappointed to see that Jax was not involved.  Otherwise, it was amazing.  I am quite sure that I'll be rewatching it again today when I'm done with work.

link up with Michelle here :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Return of Jax Teller

Lots going on today, among these things: 1. being under the weather & sporting a low-grade temp; 2. it's 9/11, 2. enduring yet another custody hearing with Matt early this morning, 3. swimming through lots of work stuff.  But honestly, it's all manageable because this is what's happening tonight:

Will you be watching?

p.s.: how good is the music in this show? 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Best of Craigslist?

When I was in the country last weekend, I got the fever . . . for baby farm animals, that is.  I couldn't stop thinking about getting my own chicken or goat, and couldn't help but browse Craigslist for available animals.  I just wanted to check out the prices, you know. ;)

When I came across this, I immediately saved it so I could share it with you.  Enjoy:


Date: 2012-08-31, 10:47PM

  • Location: TRACY-ISH
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekend Update: Poultry Edition

(I know, I know . . . a post about the weekend on Thursday???  But it was a three day weekend, so that buys me some time, right?)

I giggled a little bit reading all your posts about weekend trips to Vegas, nights out on the town, festivals and fairs and tailgating and fancy dinners in the city . . . because I spent my weekend with 19 chickens (unfortunately there are now 18, but more on that later).  

Matt's co-worker and her husband had to leave town abruptly when her husband's mother passed away last week.  Because they have two cats, a garden, lots of plants, and 19 chickens, they needed someone to stay at their place in Sebastopol.  Enter us.  Matt spent a few nights there by himself during the work week last week, and I joined him this weekend.

1/19 of our lot

Suffice to say, a little stay in the country takes some getting used to for this girl (though I acclimated quickly, thanks to my southern roots).  And suffice to say, chickens are WEIRD.  They squawk and peck and bully each other and flutter their feathers a lot.  And they're LOUD.  

especially when there are 19 of them.  well, 18.

It was pretty cool getting up in the mornings and heading to the chicken coop to let them out & check for eggs.  Some mornings there was one egg, some mornings there were 8 eggs.  In any case, I got really into the egg-hunting business and squealed when I found them.  I even saw a chicken in the process of laying an egg!  Crazy.

We spent a whole lot of time sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch, drinking wine, watching chickens, cooking vegetables from the garden, gazing at the stars, and generally being rural.  But don't think we didn't get out; we were in Sonoma, after all.  Plus, I'm stir-crazy, and as much as I liked the escape, I needed a touch of civilization.  So we headed to a sushi spot on Saturday night, had summer cocktails at a pub in downtown Sebastopol on Sunday night, and visited a little family-owned winery on Monday.  Imagine my delight when we pulled into the winery and found home-grown tomatoes for sale outside!

best $3 I ever spent?

We also got to take in this pretty Sonoma sunset:

nice, right?

As for the demise of the 19th chicken . . . there was a bobcat incident.  You better believe we penned the remaining chickens up after that.  Free range no more. :(

So, are you a city mouse or a country mouse?