Monday, May 31, 2010


Yes, it was pricey. Yes, the service sucked. But to be outside in the sunshine on Maiden Lane with a jazz combo playing - pure Sunday lunch joy.

Plus my tortellini shrimp salad was phenomenal. Ricotta tortellini, perfectly cooked and chilled shrimp on a bed of interesting mixed greens. Perfection on a plate.

My lame Blackberry photo does it no justice.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Busy Morning

Today, after a quick bath ...

Ginger and I took a leisurely walk at Buena Visa park.

(Yep. Those are the infamous Painted Ladies.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Bathroom

Call it the honeymoon period. I moved into my apartment in October and I'm really just noticing that the bathroom tile is pretty darn ugly.

It's clearly old, a gross color and it never really looks clean. If it weren't for the tax bill, I'd say it's time for a home improvement.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Psycho

When my brother, Brian, was staying with me he said I didn't like any books or movies that didn't involve cops, crime or war. This is an exaggeration albeit a slight one.

I missed any "American Psycho" book (1991) or movie (2000) brouhaha and only discovered this novel on the giveaway shelf in my laundry room. What a marvel! I absolutely adored this book. I've never read anything like it. Warning: it's a difficult read. In fact, I nearly put it down after 10 pages. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Vet

Yes, this blog is a bit dog-centric right now, but do you blame me?

The vet has no explanation for Ginger's rapid improvement. She's been off the drugs for four days now and seems more herself than ever. Perhaps she truly is immortal. Well, if not immortal, certainly a "wonder dog" - as my mom says.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Saga of Ginger

Yes, faithful readers, I should be sunning myself on the Italian Riviera right about now, but, alas, I am not. Instead, I'm working at my kitchen table, keeping a close eye on the 15-year-old dog at my feet.

I abruptly left Geneva after calls from my dog-sitter and my vet informing me that Ginger's hind end had given out, she could not stand or walk on her own and I should come home immediately.

I don't know if the drugs they gave her are masking the reality or if she just wanted me home, but she seems fine to me. Yes, she's old and creaky, but I see none of the emergency that brought me home. I'm hoping to get in to see the vet today for a follow-up and an explanation. Fingers crossed.

(This photo was taken the day after I got home.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


What to do when in Geneva? Visit the United Nations, of course!

One of the large conference halls. This one was totally renovated as a gift from the Spanish government.

The UN is the city's largest employer. In fact, 40 percent of residents are ex-pats, so this is not the place to come if you want to learn French.

A view of the Alps from inside the UN. It was too cloudy today to see Mont Blanc, Europe's highest peak.

My other stop today was the Red Cross museum, which was fascinating.

This sculpture is called The Petrified.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Professor

I was lucky enough to find someone to stay in my apartment while I'm gone for the next two weeks. I found an English professor and his Czech former student who now lives in SF through this great website.

I'll let you know how it went when I get home.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Puccini and Pinetti

A few years ago, happy hour specials were nearly impossible to find in SF. Recently, though, that's all changed.

Beth and I checked out Puccini and Pinetti's most excellent happy hour last night. $3 beer and wine plus food specials. We enjoyed the Pizza Margherita for $5.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Farallon has a daily happy hour they call Six Until Seven. It's an odd name because it starts at 4:30 p.m., but everything on the abbreviated menu is $6.

Georgia and I checked out the cool, underwater theme of the place, then enjoyed the crab cakes and yellowfin tuna. The portions were quite tiny, but very tasty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not Easy Being Green

Whenever I veer off course and need to remind myself that I'm trying to lose weight, I turn to greens. They're cheap and easy and filling. Last night, I tried mustard greens for the first time. Why the heck have I waited so long?

They're peppery and pack a flavorful punch. I followed this recipe with the exception of the sesame oil - which I'd run out of - and served it with brown rice. Terrific dinner.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mom's Day Outing

I am not a shopper. My mom is not a shopper. I know there are people who shop for fun. I am not one of them. Most of the time, this is not a problem. That is, until your boss asks you to cancel your Cuban vacation to fly to Geneva and train 30 world-class scientists on how to talk to the media. Yikes!

Yes, friends. Armed with my friend Louise, I shopped. Four hours - Louise will insist it was less - and dozens of stores later, I bought a suit. A skirt and a jacket. Yes, heels and hose will be worn.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Well, not exactly. But it was a 12-piece Cuban ensemble that played at Yerba Buena for free!

If you don't know about the site 365 Things to Do in SF, you should. It's great. I think it's in other cities, too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Biggest Loser

I think I'm officially done watching this show. Knowing how hard it is to lose a relatively small amount of weight, I used to think it would serve as great inspiration for folks who need to lose a lot of weight.

But as the numbers go up and up, I now think it does more harm than good. It is NOT realistic to expect to lose 10 pounds in one week. Add in the controversies about diuretics, dehydration and regaining the weight - I think it's bad news.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Summer Reads

I know it's not quite summer, but I spent some time off in Florida and it got me in the mood. For me, summer books are light and fun. They've got likable characters, a compelling storyline and lots of action. I don't necessarily expect my life to change after reading such a book, but it must be well-written to hold my attention.

This will come as no surprise to most, but my hands start to sweat a bit if I'm traveling without enough reading material. I've been forced to replenish my supply is such far-flung places as Vietnam and Egypt. This has started me thinking about a Kindle.

The concept is troubling, but the convenience is alluring. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Casa Laurita

Faithful blog followers will recall that this time last year, I was in Mexico. I thought I'd take this opportunity to rave once again about my friend Laura's gorgeous house that's now listed at VRBO.

If you want or need a great getaway in sunny San Miguel de Allende, check it out.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lake Anza

Yesterday, Elizabeth and I spent the afternoon at Lake Anza. It was a picture-perfect day - although the lake was very, very cold. Shockingly, there weren't too many people.