Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the rack, napa

how badly do these photos make you want to go to ubuntu?!
and someone comparing david foster wallace to borges, my favorite author. pretty much every time i've picked up the book i've thought about how infinite jest is very borgesian. lots of fictional narrative written as non-fiction. lots of winding stories. sadness wrapped in intelligence wrapped in mystery.
as beautiful a couple as these two are, i'm still a bit sad that my favorite jewish crush is now off the market.
a bit late but daily show on palin: "this whole conversation makes me realize how right her decision was, how even righter her latest decision all the media attention continues to swirl around her and her family, she's made the decision that she can best help them by stepping down as their mother."
california this weekend was a dream.
emily got in two hours late. why she couldn't text us to let us know she was taking off two hours late is a mystery to me. and then we went to katie's and drank and caught up and before we knew it, it was 4:30am. we were meant to leave by 9 to have time for hwy 1. emily and i woke up, jetlagged i suppose, at 7:30. we were showered by 8. thing is, katie hadn't packed and isn't so good at being on time for things. we left just past 9 but then emily needed coffee so we stopped at a coffee bean. by the time we hit the road, we were running late enough that the PCH was out. we took 101 and stopped at a perfect winery for lunch. it was a suggestion that wags made ages ago: cass winery. we sat in a gorgeous garden out front, soaked in some sun, they brought all the tastings out to us, and the food was good. also, there was a super cute dog running around. all wineries get extra points for doggies.
we stopped in palo alto where emily's warhol dealer friend was staying at a four seasons, showered, headed into the city and dropped our things off before heading to dinner. ryan, the art dealer, and our friend D joined. we ate at frascati which was super good. we bar hopped a bit. the art dealer was ALL over katie and trying to get her to go back to palo alto with him, she declined, he pouted and then left. D and ryan live in the same building so we headed back to theirs and drank till everyone was hazy as hell. ryan started hitting on katie (she's totally stunning) and she's looking at me with the "is he serious?! asshole!" face. he also talked nonstop about all the women he's been "banging" which was such a turnoff. when the girls decided it was time for bed ryan kind of grabs me and is like, "okay, lets go back to mine!" "um, no thanks! i'm good here. i'll see you tomorrow!" "no, you're coming to mine." "no. no i'm not." "okay, stop kidding." "i'm not kidding." "come on." "listen ryan, either you're not listening to me or you can't even begin to fathom that some girl wouldn't want to sleep with you. either way, this isn't my problem. go home." and he wouldn't leave. i literally had to push him out the door. ass.
i'd stopped drinking before everyone else so was up bright and early and walked to the market at the ferry building, which is one of my favorite places in the world. took a leisurely stroll, bought some peaches and plums and almonds and sat and read by the water. katie, D and emily eventually woke up and we went and got brunch. post brunch, the ladies were still feeling crappy so we drove to our hotel (where we were given an upgrade, score!) and hung by the pool for the rest of the afternoon. had a great dinner at bottega where we were sat at a booth right near the open kitchen and it was nice to see the chef actually working there at his own restaurant. a rarity for this new yorker.
the next day i went to sonoma where alex's half marathon was finishing at the city hall. she was awesome, set her personal best time and didn't seem remotely tired by the time she finished.
the rest of the day was spent wine tasting. highlights: ridiculously nice service, insanely gorgeous palatial site, and good champagne with a cheese plate at domaine carneros. an extended wine tasting at cuvaison. the wine was great. the guy working at the bar, a redheaded phillip seymour hoffman-looking dude was chatty and so so nice, kept bringing us tastes of things we hadn't ordered and then pointed us to oakville grocery for lunch where we had some amazing sandwiches. the space was gorgeous and minimalist and felt organic/green and chic. the room was airy and quiet and i could have stayed all day.
tastings post lunch were subpar and kind of rambling as we kept running across places that weren't taking walk-ins or were closed.
we finished off the evening with a fantastic dinner with alex and her boyfriend mike in healdsberg at a place called barndiva. this spot is amazing. cavernous, sunny room, excellent service, gorgeous huge zen garden under the trees which is where we ate goat cheese croquettes, awesome mac and cheese, fantastic cobb salads and bass over roas corn with tomatoes and avocado. just perfect.
and then we headed home. i am basically, right now, wanting to move to napa and never come back. it's sunny there, and peaceful and gorgeous and the people are SO NICE. WEIRDLY NICE. i didn't know how to respond to such FREAKING KINDNESS. it was everywhere and it was slightly scary. but enjoyable, all the same.

Monday, July 13, 2009

grandma, ambien, cooking, locanda

every card that my grandmother ever gave me could go on this site. i throw most the cards away but they often read: thank you "granddaughter" etc. she is the QUEEN of unnecessary quotes. she OWNS them.
took my first half of an ambien this weekend. i'd anticipated that it would take 30 minutes or so to kick in. wanted to clip my toenails because i had plans to get a pedicure the next day and they never cut them short enough. get the clippers out, get about three toenails done and start to feel super woozy. i woke up with the clipper and a few stray nails in my bed. yikes! had i needed a glass of water i might have fallen asleep right there in the hallway, it seems.
did a fun thing with the gals and gays this weekend: a cooking class! it was private, in a caterer's kitchen with a plucky chef from san francisco. we made ricotta stuffed artichokes, rosemary polenta, prosciutto crusted tilapia and rasberry bread pudding. and then we ate the shit out of it. she was wise to have us do all the slicing and dicing while we were still soberish (we maybe started with champagne and rose at ted's first) but things slowly went downhill. we were making the kind of jokes you shouldn't make in mixed company. a few "that's what she said"s were bandied about. chef was cool though and we had a pretty great time. we all added her on facebook as we left and hope to do some type of BBQ soon.
went to locanda verde again, something i've been doing almost once a week since it opened. i like to sit at a table, read, and make my way through their menu, trying new things each time. and every time i've been i've been told there's a wait, happily said i'd wait, and then gone to the bar to get a glass of wine and then 5 minutes later retrieved because someone hadn't shown up for their reservation or whatever. so yesterday i approach a severe-looking tall woman with dark curly hair. "hi, how long is the wait? it's just me." the response, a cold, "wouldn't you like to sit at the bar?" and, really, i like sitting at bars but prefer a table but had i been told the wait was 2 hours then i'd definitely have sat at the bar. if the wait was 20 minutes, i'd wait for a table. so i ask, "how long is the wait?" bitch rolls her eyes at me, says to a fellow host, "let's just get her out of here. take her to XX." whoa! was that necessary? really? after all the nice things i've said here and elsewhere to everyone i know about this place, i'm going to get treated like an annoyance to be dealt with swiftly? my server, a blond thing who i see there every sunday, seemed a bit weeded/rushed but was friendly and unobtrusive.
just 10 pages short of my infinite summer mark for this week. OMG, joelle. it's just really starting to get eventful. but eventful at a pretty rapid clip. things are starting to connect in crazy ways and i have to make myself stop and take inventory so that i make sure i'm not missing anything. awesome.

Friday, July 10, 2009

heart attacks, small world, lies are bad

i e-mailed my best friend kate to remind her that i hadn't gotten her a birthday present yet. in march i browsed at and didn't see a single thing i liked. so i told her it'd wait. but then i clearly forgot about it altogether. i get this e-mail back:

"Hmmm... I'm trying not to shop - so I'll let you know if I see anything. The only thing I can think of right now is this great designer (maternity) Isabella Oliver. I love her wrap tops and have been watching them on ebay cuz they are expensive but I'd be a size 0 and those are not as popular a size. I'm going to continue to watch for her stuff on sale though."


then i keep reading...

"By the way I am NOT pregnant. We were hoping to start trying this month."

woman damn near gave me a heart attack, i swear to god.

my LA to SF trip is rapidly approaching. many many thanks to wags, who has been patient as all getout with my hundred questions and then given me super-detailed, thoughtful, informative responses in return. he and i went back and forth at least a dozen times trying to figure out what would be the most scenic route that would take 9 hours or less and i think we agreed on something that'll work beautifully. and also have a backup plan in case we're running behind. emily is coming now! she was invited, then declined, and i think the thought of two of her friends having a good time without her was making her crazy. we're staying with my friend deva who said he lived "near the stadium, south beach area is what they call it." i ask ryan (ryan from chicago, formerly "ryan, my future husband"...i've grown out of him i think) what area of town he lives in and he says, "embarcadero." i write back to say, "but i thought you lived near the stadium?" and then i'm like, duh! maybe they're just by two different stadiums! i email ryan deva's address and i get a text, immediately: "what apartment number?" turns out they live in the SAME FREAKING BUILDING! on adjacent floors. CRAZY! also: convenient. if i do end up staying with ryan, i won't have far to go to meet back up with the girls. BRILL.

i got hit on again last night (it's totally the new eyelashes). this time by a friend of a friend. someone who i've met before and neither of us were a blip on each others radar. but now he thinks he's interested. i wasn't before, i'm not really now, and i think if he'd previously spent 3 hours with me at an intimate dinner party and wasn't interested in me then (and trust me, he wasn't) that it's not something worth pursuing. am i being ridiculous? possibly. at any rate, because i know already that i'm not interested i was nice and honest. he asked me if we could hang out sometime. i said, "sure! but i'm not interested in getting naked with you." he's like, "that's cool! we'll be friends!" and there it was. not sure if it's really going to be that easy but he's super nice, quite outgoing. and at least, this way, since i know we both share a close friend, it won't be awkward next time i see him. moral of this story: honesty is the best policy! hooray for honesty!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

hautelook fail, negs, being late to work

so i ordered a pair of sandals from like 3 weeks ago! and nothing has shipped! so basically, i'm never shoppng with them again. totally awful.
was so into a particular passage in infinite jest that i not only missed my subway stop for work, but then went into brooklin and missed the first stop into brooklin! ack! occupational hazards of infinite summer.
in discussing the random men who are in love with my new eyelashes i forgot to mention this one dude who i didn't even see/notice at some bar because he was sitting behind me. and apparently spent a lot of time looking at the back of my head (so this one: not after the lashes) but came up to our table and said, "hey, i don't usually like girls with short hair, but i'm really digging the style on you." it's at this point i'm thinking, "oh! he must be a stylist!" and i'm feeling very proud of myself and my cute haircut because when a stylist compliments you, they really know what they're talking about. then he says, "so here's my card, i'd love to take you out sometime." and walks away. he's a lawyer. ick. but really? what the F kind of pick up line is that? AND i was better looking than him which makes it all worse because he basically said, "you know, i'd normally not be into you but i'll make an exception this once" it's kind of neg-y which might work for some people. but, really, i'm almost 30. i'm too old for this. i'm sounding kind of crazy, i know. what i want: a real conversation in which you display that you are smart and funny and semi-socially acceptable. THEN i want you to ask me out. in PERSON. revolutionary concepts, people.
and with all my "how to travel/where/when" bitching in that last post i've completely forgotten how much i've neglected poor chicago. kate is starting to take it personally. that being said, i think they're going to start having a baby soon and when that woman becomes pregnant, i'm sure i'll be in chicago on a monthly basis for the next few years. so maybe i enjoy my break while i have it. however, i can't stop thinking about alinea (i follow grant achatz's twitter feed so that may have something to do with it) and would like to see the other regular tweeps (cadiz, jon, etc.) and i have BIG plans to force cousin out to play with me. and he WILL like it. because i'm not at all scary. and actually pretty delightful. peter says so.
matt taibbi being all hot and well-reasoned again.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

latisse! men, infinite summer, labor day, cali

so i got that latisee stuff. the internets say you won't see full results until after week 16. i'm on week 7. so i hadn't taken much stock in my lashes. and i forgot to take a before picture. and then i started working a lot so didn't curl my them or put on mascara for a few weeks. then last week, something crazy happened. i went to curl my eyelashes and i see like 4 crazy lashes on each eye. crazy in that they're a good 2 millimeters longer than the rest. in eyelash-speak, 2 mil. is huge. it's freakish. it means they stick out and look all sorts of mutant-life-formish. so, i guess this stuff works. but now, of course, i'm obsessed with them. i take stock several times a day just to peek at them. checking to see if there are and new developments. also, i like gazing at them. they're pretty.

i've been picked up a few times in the last couple weeks. it's likely due to the luxurious lashes, which are infinitely better than the stubby asian lashes i had before. but both times the guys were cute, smart, successful. but so BLAH. the hottest one (a fine, FINE black man, headed to Stanford Law in the fall) didn't talk to me at all and let his friends chat away while he stood there, silent, for hours. then before they all left HE's the one who asks for my digits. wha? another one was 40 and didn't ask for my number but then found me on facebook. ICK. i like facebook but, come on! you're 40! get some balls and be a man and act like you know what you want and will go after it. don't stalk me on a social networking site. also, he wasn't funny. he made a lot of jokes but they were punny and awful and i can't date someone who isn't funny. all this is more negative than i mean it to be, but just to point out that there are many perfectly nice, reasonable, smart, employed men in this city, it's just that i need something more than that. that is, until the point where i get desperate and lower my standards. it's a point i hope i never reach but i guess you never know...

atrios on infinite jest: I'm a bad critic so I won't try very hard to explain why it's worth the long hard slog. But, short version is... an overly clever and confusing book slowly gives way to surprisingly powerful emotional resolutions. An elaborate word game becomes surprisingly sentimental, nonsensical PoMo gone wild becomes a meditation on contemporary need and desire. And in a way which makes sense. It isn't a cheat. I think someone described Beethoven's 9th as Beethoven chipping away at a bunch of stone until all that was left was the Ode to Joy. While not quite the same, the experience of reading Infinite Jest kind of reminded me of that.

still in this infinite summer dealie. even if i am like 15 pages behind the deadline i was supposed to hit monday. mario and hal incandenza have both risen to the top to become my most favorite characters. things are better if they're in them. the segment on telephonic communication was, really, so great. "just one dento-dermal layer" the thing with DFW is that you can't read too quickly or else you'll miss all the teeny gems he leaves scattered. on the other hand, read too slowly and 1.) you'll never finish and 2.) you'll get just buried in the details. which is why i'm already behind and it's only week 3.

i'm an efficiency queen. i always know where to stand on the subway platform. and now so will everyone else. this USED to be what made me a real new yorker. now i'll have to find something else. pout.

labor day has been a bit agonizing. i always go upstate with the gays and gals which i love. but a great friend from law school is turning 30 and wants everyone to go to vegas that weekend. and then colin is throwing a party for work out in vegas the weekend before which would mean i get a free ride out there on the weekend which happens to be my birthday (august 30th. holla!) so i can't do all these things. would it be convenient to go to vegas for my birthday and stay the week to also be with D? yes. would it cost a bloody fortune? YES. would the gays forgive me for skipping their labor day festivities? debatable. GRRRRR.

and other travel woes: this one is my fault. all my fault. i booked my ticket to california from a thursday night to a sunday eve redeye. and in my head that seems like a cute weekend getaway. and then i thought more about where i was going and actually started, you know, planning and then realized, "oh fuck. i need one more day to make this worth it, AT ALL." so i call american. no dice. it's a $150 change fee plus another $100 which is the difference in price of that leg of the flight. i could get a refund of $180, $150 of which goes to a change fee and get a whopping $30 back if i found a cheap flight on another airline. cheapest comes in just under $200. $220 if i don't want a layover in chicago at 5am. and in reality, staying another day (which means seeing sonoma) costs me another night in a hotel and also a day of lost work. i've gotta pick my battles. this, unfortunately, is one i'm going to wave the white flag for. curses. i has a sad.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Feet, ferry, fire island

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

wahi, student loans, happy 4th

from the morning news archive, written by a friend, rosecrans baldwin (whose book you WILL buy, whenever it finally drops) a diary of walking from one tip of manhattan to the other:
11:22 a.m.—The Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights is now one of my favorite strips in New York. The street life is throbbing. St. Nicholas Boulevard is the spine of Manhattan this high on the island, and its low buildings offer good views. Stores are busy, produce is everywhere. Multiple times I spot a guy selling fresh juice out of a grocery cart (but still, no nachos!).
read the whole thing. i love the shit out of this city...
i think people will be talking about this today. just sent my friend jill a missive about why the man is an idiot which i'll pretty much just copy and paste here. LAZY? yes.
dude didn't make any payments. never kept in contact with his bank (which is rule number 1 when it comes to loans, make sure they always know where you are). he seems to be a guy that just didn't want to get a real job, kept going to school. never thought that he'd have to get around to even making payments on his interest? is insane? never worked while he tried to take the bar 4 times and let his girlfriend support him?
he is a loser and a freeloader. i feel he is getting what he deserves at this point. i mean, he has a compelling story re: foster homes and injuries but he chose all this debt. he didn't have to do any of the extra stuff. if he had medical bills maybe he shouldn't have then spent the next 26 years in school without working at all so that he could make a SINGLE loan payment. he admits he's made none. do you realize how crazy that is? he didn't make a single loan payment in the five years he took off between college and law school. and then, THEN the asshole gets a JD at hastings and then goes to get another law degree in england? that's just retarded!
sorry for being so ranty. robert bowman, you're a moron.
oh my god: awesome...
have big plans for this weekend that include: laundry, several bbqs, topshop, laying out and a trip to visit the gays in fire island.