Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!



I love driving down to Half Moon Bay and getting pumpkins every fall. It's my favorite time of year.

There are a bunch of farms down south, but Farmer John's Pumpkin Patch is the best.



This big guy is the biggest of the season:



Here's my wagon of gourds:



They always give me random freebies. Last year it was a bunch of sunflowers, this year it was brussel sprouts, still on the stalk.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park

Last weekend, I spent the day walking around Golden Gate Park. This magnolia flower was the only one left on the tree. It smelled delicious.



I ended up at the Conservatory of Flowers, where they are having a special butterfly exhibit.

Granted, I've been to butterfly exhibits that had (ahem) more butterflies...but the ones they had were beautifully colored, and not at all shy. Some would fly so close and even land on you.



Better hurry up, it ends November 2!

(Butterfly photo courtesy of this guy:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

mushrooms

I love finding mushrooms, so imagine my delight when I parked my next to a tree with this enormous orangey-melon colored growth.





Monday, October 27, 2008

dolls



My friend Lisa forwarded me this article on Ball-Jointed Dolls. They look so life-like, and people can custom-make them to look like themselves. Creepy! From Japan, of course:)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

plastic frogs

Walking past someone's front yard in the city:



Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Yes, another book by Haruki Murakami.

I have to admit, it took me a couple of chapters to get into this book. The author dives right into a pseudo-reality, and I had no idea what was going on. Halfway through the book, I still had no idea what was going on, but I was nonetheless immersed in the story.

I was wondering how Murakami could write about unicorns with a straight face, but he once again creates a fascinating, magical world. Or maybe I should say worlds. This isn't a whimsical fairytale that ends with happily-ever-after. The tone of this book is dark and sinister, and we glimpse a world where people have no control of their lives or minds. The characters are dealing with loneliness and isolation, as they ponder the meaning of their existence.

I'm so in love with Murakami's writings, it makes me want to crawl inside his head and surround myself with his magic. I found this great interview he did with Salon.com which kinda allowed me to do just that. I love how he talks about weirdness!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

unicorns


As I mentioned in a previous post, unicorns play a prominent role in the latest Haruki Murakami book I'm devouring.

Which got me thinking about, well, unicorns.

For all you fellow unicorn-lovers (and I know you're out there), read what TIME magazine has to say about the recent spotting of a one-horned beastie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In the News: Bottled Water is a Cesspool of Crap

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that bottled water has more contaminants than the water in your toilet.

Not their exact words...but bottled water in 10 U.S. brands had a combined 38 contaminants, including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium.

This is so gross I can't write anymore. You can read the full article here.

the monarchs are here!



I've been noticing monarchs in my backyard, it's that time of year again. They head to the California coast every winter for the mild weather, and "overwinter", meaning they wait out the winter season. You can see them in clusters in the trees--- thousands of them. I've never been to see them, but this year it's a must for me.


Here's a great link
with more info on where to see them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine

My parents decided to cash in their frequent flyer miles for magazines. They emailed me several times, asking me to pick a magazine they could subscribe me to.

I was feeling a little bit magazine-d out...but at their third request, I finally picked Conde Nast Traveler, because, well, I love to travel.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this magazine rocks! Yes, it definitely caters to lifestyles of the rich and famous. When I travel, I take a backpack, a Lonely Planet guidebook, and pretty much wing it. So while I won't be staying at any of the luxury resorts the magazine recommends, I'm getting tons of ideas for cool places to travel--Dubai, Bhutan, Rwanda. Definitely off the beaten path. And this is a thick magazine, packed with info.

The August edition was my first, and I found the articles and writing top notch. I was immediately won over by an article on chocolate that had me salivating for more--the author travels to Guatemala in search of the tastiest cocoa bean. Si, por favor!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book Review: Sputnik Sweetheart

I spent a lovely weekend sitting in the sun, drinking green tea, and escaping to another of Haruki Murakami's deliciously surreal worlds.

Sputnik Sweetheart reminded me a lot of Norwegian Wood, with themes of unrequited love, loneliness, and an overall melancholy tone. The narrator is in love with his friend Sumire, who in turn is in love with a mysterious woman named Miu. The subtle nuances of their relationships are very real-world...until the book takes a sudden departure from reality. Leaving us to ask, what is real?

The book starts in Japan, and we travel with the characters to a Greek island. Murakami writes so beautifully that I could smell the wine, taste the olives, and feel the sand on my feet. I'd be ready to hop on the next flight to Greece myself, if reality did not intervene.

I gobbled this book up, and immediately picked up another Murakami book, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I'm only on chapter two, and unicorns have already made an appearance.

Monday, October 6, 2008

interview with my great-grandmother

I found this paper I did for a school project on the Great Depression. It's from May 1984, when I was in the sixth grade.

I interviewed my great-grandmother, who has since passed away. Reading this I can clearly remember sitting in her kitchen with my mom, writing down all her answers.

Just click on the images of paper, and it will expand to a more readable page.









My great-grandmother had a hard life, but I remember her being happy and laughing a lot. I think she'd get a kick out of being posted on the internet.

And I wish I kept up with my penmanship...my handwriting looks like chicken-scratch now.=)