Thursday, September 30, 2010

Attention, Grown Men of San Francisco

Enough with the little Razr scooters already. You look ridiculous.

Honestly, is walking really that hard?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shoesday: Daisy Attempts to Participate in a Trend

Every once in a while I suffer from a form of temporary insanity that makes me believe I am a hip young person, and I attempt to dress accordingly. Fortunately, this has yet to manifest itself in the form of rompers or harem pants, but it has affected a few of my shoe purchases.

These are my entry into the "oxford" trend that has been going on for a few seasons now. I like them because they aren't too literal about it, because at the very least I am aware that I am not a waifish hipster* chick who can walk around in actual men's shoes without looking like she's cross-dressing. But I will admit that they are slightly too long for my feet, and thanks to the cutouts you can see where my toes end and the shoes keep going.

Not that that stops me from wearing them. Or, more to the point, from deeply desiring an example of the next iteration of the trend, the high-heeled oxford. Specifically, these, which I have developed a minor obsession with. I mean, since when has Timberland made cute shoes? But I can totally see wearing these with tights in the winter.

But then, that might just be my trend-susceptibility talking.

*For those who missed it in my twitter feed, my hipster joke:
 How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
 It's a really obscure number; you've probably never heard of it.

New Growth

Could it be? Just when I was resigning myself to a reasonable-if-unspectacular crop of tomatoes as the end of all my work and worry, I go out and discover that several of the plants have sprouted new, um, sprouts. With flowers! And green leaves! The rest of the plants have been looking kind of gray and sickly, so I am trimming back everything that is not currently supporting a ripening tomato and hoping for the best. We've been having a lovely warm spell lately* and I have a vague hope that this might inspire things to grow and ripen a little bit, at least until the fog rolls back in.

*San Francisco translation: "It's eighty-five degrees! We're all going to die!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mini-Whinesday: Some of Us Are Here To Run 7 Miles Edition

Listen, if you are in the gym, and all of the good treadmills, the ones with the fans built into them that are very handy for people who are running long distances, happen to be in use, and you happen to notice that someone who is on one of the other treadmills (of which there are many, unoccupied) is very clearly watching to see when one of the good ones becomes available, and so you stand behind the one person who is finishing up his workout so you can snake that good treadmill before the other person who wants it can get it, all so you can do fifteen minutes of mostly walking, well, all I'm saying is there are aspects of your personality that you might want to examine more closely.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So Close, And Yet So Not Quite

Every once in a while I get it in my mind that I would like to find something that seems like it should be completely obvious and widely available, but when I go looking for it I find this thing seems not to exist at all.* Recently, that item has been two-tone, low-heeled equestrian boots. (These are close, but I was hoping for more in the way of a heel.)

Which is why I was both hopeful and frustrated when I saw these.

So close! If only the heel was just a little bit thicker! And they weren't quite so ridiculously expensive!

Sigh. I know that getting there is supposed to be some percentage of the fun (Does anyone remember how that saying goes? The details escape me.), but frankly, if I was interested in the chase I wouldn't do 90% of my shopping online these days.

*Case in point: Knee-length, A-line denim skirt. Seriously, is this such a complicated concept? Not every occasion calls for a mini, and not every body calls for a pencil skirt, designers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pepper Pot

It's not just tomatoes and herbs in the garden here. I mean, it is, mostly, but we have a couple of pepper plants too. Unfortunately, I've misplaced their tags, so I'm not sure what kind of peppers these are, but I did remember enough to know that I was supposed to wait for them to get red, which was handy, because they stayed green for about three months before finally coming around. Now I just have to come up with something to do with them.

Stir fry, anyone?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quick Poll

Ahem. Would all people who are deeply disturbed by the fact that the song "Yummy Yummy Yummy (I've Got Love In My Tummy)" is being used to sell kids' yogurt please raise their hands? Thank you. Now, for all of you not currently raising your hand, go find a person who was alive in the seventies and ask him or her what that song is actually about. If you are not raising your hand at this point, please report yourself to Child Protective Services immediately.

That is all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thurscheese: The Well-Traveled Pizza

It was Cameron's birthday this week (Happy birthday!), and it was up to me to come up with a special dinner for him. Since it was on a Monday, the restaurant options were going to be limited, so that left me with home cooking. Until I saw this, the website for an actual Chicago pizza joint in actual Chicago that will ship pre-cooked pizzas anywhere in the country. Cameron has a well-documented love of the pizzas of that city and it occurred to me that this, along with a couple of Arrogant Bastards, would be just about the perfect birthday dinner.

I ordered it to arrive last Friday, because they wouldn't ship to arrive on Monday, and it came by FedEx overnight on dry ice. I had it sent to work, because I wanted it to be a surprise, which meant I had to explain to the person in receiving why she had to sign for a pizza. Fortunately, she had a brother in Chicago and she could vouch for the restaurant, which was a relief. So I popped it in the freezer for the weekend and hoped no one would mind I was taking up so much space from the frozen lunches.

I have to admit, I am generally dubious about claims of regional pizza superiority. I am a life-long fan of Zachary's and there are some very fine modern-type thin crusts available in the city. But I have to admit that this was some damn fine pizza-- probably some of the best I've ever had, despite the fact that I hadn't quite warmed it up sufficiently, due to fears of burning. I'd ordered the "Windy City Special" (because that seemed like the thing to do), which came with sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and pepperoni, and I didn't pick off peppers, like I usually do, because it was all so good. And the best news is, Cameron liked it just as much, if not more, which is really what it was all about.

Truth In Advertising

If there's one thing you learn in the course of a career in science, it's the importance of labeling things clearly:

Key line from the description:

"These comfy t-shirts are a great way to reward staff and have a little fun in the lab."

On the plus side, I guess it's better than just sticking a hazmat sticker on anyone who annoys you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shoesday: The Shoes That Weren't

There is no question that I am a fan* of online shopping, particularly where deals are involved. But there are downsides. The fact that you can't try things on first means that you need both a brutal level of awareness of what you can and cannot wear, and the willingness to give up on things that don't fit, no matter how much you want them. These shoes fall into that category-- very cute, but a definite half-size too small. So, back they go, because, like the song says, "shoes don't stretch.**"

*Some might say too much of a fan, to which I reply, "LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU."
**"And men don't change," but that isn't really relevant here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Remains of the Basil

All quiet on the tomato front this week, so today we are bringing you news from the world of basil.* My plant (pictured, with sage and rosemary) had been getting somewhat overgrown, to the point that I had to trim off the flowers that were sprouting, which was a little sad, because they smelled nice and I couldn't think of what to do with them. But I'd read you aren't supposed to let your basil bolt, and since I couldn't figure out how to get a harness on it I figured this was going to be the best way.

I really like having my own herb garden-- it's nice to be able to just step out onto the balcony when you want something, instead of paying a ridiculous amount for it at the store and having most of it go bad in the fridge. But, for once, I seem to have found something I am better at growing than I am at eating, and we've been suffering from something of a surfeit.

Which is why it was nice last night, when I went to dinner at my parents' and they were planning on having pasta with pesto** and didn't have any basil on hand. So I took a pair of scissors to my overgrown little plant, and we had the first meal ever that had as a major ingredient something produced in my garden. Which I thought was pretty cool, and also tasty.

*Not Basil.
**Or, as it was known to me as a child, "green spaghetti." As opposed to "red spaghetti." It wasn't until much later in life that I realized that not everyone thought of pasta as coming in those two basic options. Also, mixed greens were "funny lettuce."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shoefinder: Jora On Her Feet

After a brief summer hiatus, Shoefinder has returned, and today we will be finding shoes for Jora:

Jora has a fine job as a firmware engineer, working in what I believe is the "small things that sometimes go 'beep'" field, and for some reason her employers have seen fit to give her a standing workstation. So Jora needs comfortable shoes.

She also, being a sane and sensible person, needs cute shoes. That's where we come in.

First, allow me to say that I am fully aware of the existence of flats. I love flats. In fact, I'm wearing some right now. But I am not going to be featuring a lot of flats here because the fact of the matter is, it simply does not create that much of a challenge-- comfortable and attractive flat shoes exist all over the place. And I am all about a challenge.

I like these for being work-appropriate but still kind of funky, and the relatively low and wide heel should keep them stable and relatively comfy. Other pluses: will go with anything, fashionable without being trendoid, so they can stay in the rotation for a long time. Unlike these, which I have an unaccountable fondness for, but even I have to admit the the oxford thing is probably not going to stick around forever. Also, that is one serious platform.

In terms of wedges, I think these would be much more along the right lines. Yes, they're a bit on the summery side, but we're moving into fall-- or, as we call it in the Bay Area "summer"-- but they have a kind of retro-preppy charm and I know from experience that Sperry makes very comfortable shoes.

Another product of experience: Faryl Robin. Yes, I've talked about them a bunch of times before, no, I'm not going to stop. Ideally, I would like to imagine a day when I have personal knowledge of every major shoe brand available (I'm working on it) and could dole out advice on quality, comfort and sizing accordingly. But until that time you are just going to have to put up with me going back to the same well, and trust me when I say that Faryl Robin makes good shoes that are, in my experience, very comfortable for their height. And I'm sure these would be no exception.

On the other hand, like the man said, you don't have to take my word for it. Sofft, as a brand, comes to me highly-recommended, and for a brand that's so well associated with the dumpy side of comfort, they've done a good job adding some stylish offerings to their lineup. I like these for an everyday sort of look; the gray makes them neutral but the green keeps them (moderately) interesting. Or, if you'd rather embrace the nude-shoe trend that is sweeping the nation (or at least about two-thirds of the actresses on the nation's red carpets), you could certainly do worse than this. As every editorial on flesh-toned shoes has pointed out since pretty much ever: it's leg-lengthening!

I see no reason to doubt them.

All right, you say, these are all well and good, but how about something a little more French? Are you just bitter because you've burned all your vacation days for this year and airfares are ridiculously high to Europe right now, so you're avoiding the topic?

Not at all, I reply. In fact, I was just waiting for you to ask.

So chic! So cute! So entirely designed by a couple of girls from Massachusetts, who have no connections to France at all! But no matter, I still like them. And anyway, it's the spirit of the thing that counts.

Also, while we're on the subject of sliver wedges, these have pink, python-embossed uppers and Nike cushioned soles. I'm just saying.

Which brings us to our grand finale. I really wanted to post these, because I think they're great, but they're only available in a size 10, which I realize is kind of limiting. So instead I think I'll go with these, for being work-appropriate but still kind of funky, available in a range of sizes, and making comfort a front-and-center claim. Because if you can't trust advertising copy, then what can you trust?

These Just Make Me Happy

Festival Studded Welly Boots from Hunter

Are they sensible? At that price, not really. Do I even need heavy-duty rain boots for the 50-60 days of rain we get every year? Of course not. Do they go with anything in my wardrobe? I'd have trouble arguing for that one. Have I ever thought to myself, "Self, what you really need is some studded black rain boots?" Well, no.

Are they completely freaking awesome? Hell yes.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thurscheese: This Is What Happens

When you go away for a while and, upon returning, realize you forgot to make notes of the kinds of cheese you took the nice picture of for your blog. They were tasty, I just wish I remembered what they were. (On a related note, I am beginning to think that food blogging is one of those things I don't have a natural aptitude for.)

I should point out that I am aware that not all of the things here are cheese. (I should be; I ate them.) This is actually something of a fallback meal at our house*, probably mostly due to me. Basically, it involves going over to Draeger's** and selecting some cheeses at random, along with a couple of items from the paté family and bread from Acme, because you can move a girl out of the East Bay, but she's still not about to eat sub-par baguettes. All of the above are served with some white wine and whatever is in the Netflix instant queue (in this case, I believe, "Columbo"), repeat until you have to spend an extra hour on the treadmill.

Ah, weekends. We really should have more of those around here.

*Actually an apartment.
**Super-fancy grocery store near said apartment. Basically, Draeger's:Whole Foods::Whole Foods:Safeway.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Ode to the Person in the Neighboring Cubicle

I don't know how to say this, but
I hate you.
Harsh but accurate.

I hate your endless personal phone calls
Your novelty ringtone
Your eternal coughing that
echoes across the empty office space.

I find it annoying everyone else
in your group was laid off.
But you weren't.

And more than anything I hate
the way that every conversation you have
is just you saying, "Right." "Of course." "Exactly." "You're right."
To the disembodied male voice that's talking to you.

That's why I had to write you this poem
in free verse.
The only thing I hate more than you.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Ziplock Edition

You arrive at work to mysterious baggie full of home-grown agricultural product sitting on your desk. There is no note and nothing in your email to indicate where it came from. What do you do?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Confused Tomato Makes a Friend

As you may recall, I recently mentioned that they are powerwashing and painting the outside of our building. Well, they did the one side, and aside from one broken glass tabletop, that was all well and good. And then we got the notice that they were doing the other side*. And the problem with that was that the balcony on the first side wasn't big enough to hold everything, and we weren't going to keep hauling the plants back and forth anyway. Also, they started a day earlier than the notice said, which I realized when I looked out the window and saw the man in the cherry-picker. So I pushed the plants all as far back from the edge as I could and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, I couldn't do that for Confused Tomato. He was hanging from a hook up against the wall, the highest one I could reach, and there were no other spots available that would be any safer. So that morning I gave him some water and a sorry look and went off to work, hoping for the best.

But apparently I needn't have worried. For such is the magic of Confused Tomato that when I came home that night I found that someone-- presumably one of the painters-- had moved him from his original spot to a hook in the middle of the balcony, where he hung securely in safety. They even hooked his vines down over the railing so that the tomatoes (there are three of them now) could grow in the open, finally safe from confusion and secure in the knowledge that someone out there is looking out for them.

*We live on the corner. Which has, up to now, been an excellent thing, what with the windows and balconies and all.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Best Part: The Use of "Alluring" in the Description

Do you ever think "I love my Uggs, but I just don't feel like they make me look stumpy enough."? Well, why not try an over-the-knee style, for that "hooker in her pjs" look?

At only six-hundred and thirty dollars, how can you possibly resist?