Saturday, August 15, 2009

spinner dolphins

Swimming and playing and spinning right next to our boat, as we sailed past the Na Pali Coast, Kauai.

Mr. Mapleface

I got this silly Tree Face from

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Review: Divisadero

I read this for my next book club meeting, and was slightly disappointed. Living in San Francisco, and having walked and driven down Divisadero on a near weekly basis, I was looking forward to reading a book based in my 'hood. The story jumps from Napa to SF to France and Tahoe. All of the action happens in the first couple of chapters, and the story meanders around different characters and starts to bore halfway through. Although it got me daydreaming of summering in France, by the end of the book, I was left wondering exactly what was the connection between the characters?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Book Review: Dance, Dance, Dance

This book is the sequel to "A Wild Sheep Chase", which I ate up in a couple of sittings over the span of a foggy weekend. It's only slightly less bizarre than the first book. It finds our protagonist (who remains nameless) searching for Kiki, the girl with the bewitching ears. We go back to the Dolphin Hotel, then to the shores of Hawaii with a clairvoyant teenager. And yes, The Sheep Man makes another appearance. Delightful.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shrinking Sheep?

Oh no!

mutant strawberry

Sure tasted good though.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Review: Thousand Pieces of Gold

This is a biographical novel of Lalu Nathoy, who lived in northern China in the late 1800's. She was sold by her father to bandits so he could feed the rest of his family during a famine. Just a teenager, Lalu is shipped to America, landing first in San Francisco, and then being sent to Idaho to work in a brothel in a mining town.

Lalu is called Polly, and against all odds she wins her freedom and ends up marrying a local saloon keeper. They settle along the Salmon River in Idaho, and live in a cabin in the wild west, in a land that would have been similar to the homeland she left in China. Her ranch is a National Historic site, located in a protected wilderness area.

The book has photos of Lalu, which you can also see here.

A fascinating read of a pioneer woman, who not only survives against all odds, but comes to love her new home and country.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Review: Life After Death


Whew, May was a busy month. Not much time to blog, but I'm back for the summer.

I've been reading up a storm. I just finished reading Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, recommended by a coworker. We work in a high school together, and the death of a student had drawn this book to her, and then to me.

I used to read Deepak Chopra's books when I was exploring spirituality in my 20's, but have since moved on from him and his works. He gets a bit repetitive. And when a friend living in San Diego, where he's based, told me his nickname is "Deep Pockets" to the locals, it became hard to take him seriously.

Anyway, this book was surprisingly comforting at a time when I needed it. There is nothing shockingly new here, but there are lots of interesting anecdotes and summaries of different beliefs on what happens after we die. The retelling of an Indian parable on death is weaved throughout the book, which gets draining. It's the real-life stories, and information on the Akasha, the soul, consciousness, and what science can tell us that make this book a good read.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

cat + wings

No way.

I want, like, five of these.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This big guy was sliming up my house when I left for work...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

sidewalk graffiti

On the sidewalk, down the street from a Catholic school.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Buddha Shrine

in our backyard:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Belated gift from the Easter Bunny?

Oh no, this little blue bird's egg must have fallen out of it's nest. We've had some windy days here.

Book Review: Addition

Grace is a 30-something year old woman living in Australia who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. She is obsessed with counting, numbers, and measuring her world. For about two pages it's fascinating to be in the mind of someone with OCD, but by page 3 my own mind was wandering off to daydream about something more interesting. Every paragraph is filled with numbers and counting, and it gets old pretty fast. I admit, I had to skim through the majority of this book. Things get interesting and more readable about halfway through, when Grace enters therapy, but at this point I was pretty checked out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review: blink

A fun read, and a must-read!

I admit to seeing this book around and purposefully not picking it up. It seemed to be everywhere, and I didn't want to fall prey to the hype.

Blink was referenced in 50 Psychology Classics (still reading and yet to be reviewed...), and I was intrigued.

The premise of the book is that choices that we make in an instant may be more right-on and sophisticated than previously thought. The author provides us with lots of information on the brain, current research, and real-life examples of people who know how to focus on "thin slices" of information when reading a person or a situation.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Review: Astrid and Veronika

Not the most uplifting book. (read: depressing).

This book is about the friendship between two women, a young woman in her 30's and an older woman known as the village witch. Although I enjoyed the descriptiveness of the setting (a small village in Sweden), and like how the changing seasons impacted the overall mood, I found the story to be cliched and an overall downer. The author seems to be trying too hard to shock us...gee, what other horrific things can happen to these characters?

I do find myself yearning to travel to a small village in Sweden, however.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

brussel sprouts, part III

As I've said before, I love brussel sprouts.

The boyfriend, however, does not.

The boyfriend is out of town for two weeks.

On the menu: brussel sprouts.

Friday, April 10, 2009

sittin' in the hot tub...

Here's what I see in my backyard:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Academy of Sciences

I finally made it to the Academy, and it's amazing.

My favorite exhibit was the sea dragons. Magical!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Bunny

On Highway 1, Jenner, CA.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

dancing chicken

I went to dinner last week at Coco500. I ordered the chicken, not realizing it would be a whole chicken. When the waiter served it, the legs were tied together, it had a crouton for a head, and the wings were doing the chicken dance.

Scary! I can't believe I ate it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I went to the Exploratorium a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

a sign of the times

In front of a store at the Stonestown Galleria.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ode to brussel sprouts

I'm addicted to b. sprouts, eating them every week for the past few months. I keep thinking I should try different recipes, but keep returning to the same one: olive oil, onions, and a sprinkle of pepper.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I saw this heron while at the Nike Missile Historical Museum in Marin County. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

garden pix

Oh snap! It's only February and my daffodils have already come up.

Buddha of the Weeds:

What can I say, I'm a lazy gardener.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Can I be any cuter?

Seal on the beach in Cambria.

Friday, February 6, 2009

random graffiti

...carved on a bench.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

mouse on a motorcycle

...on my mantle.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009


Earliest chocolate use found in what is now the US.


I used to think the Snuggie infomercial was hilarious.

That is, until I went to Boston to visit the family, spending most of my time indoors wrapped in blankets due to the one degree weather (with wind chill factor).

I realized, the Snuggie makers are on to something.

Mom, I know you want one! I do too!

Friday, January 23, 2009

TV pug

I *heart* pugs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

garden + plants

My backyard is overrun with weeds. At least it's green.

Here's my statue peeking out over the clovers.

My basil plants are growing, and they got a new shelf on the window to accommodate their bigger pots.

And one of my orchids finally bloomed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book Review: Island of Lost Girls

A mystery that's a quick read.

In the first couple of pages, a little girl gets abducted from the car by someone wearing an Easter bunny costume. Creepy!

This is witnessed by Rhonda, who is paralyzed with shock. As she tries to help in the investigation of the kidnapping, she is drawn back to her past, and to the mystery of her own best friend disappearing. Is there a connection? The book alternates between the past and present, and keeps you guessing until the end.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Book Review: South of the Border, West of the Sun

Cool title, depressing book.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I need a break from Murakami.

The latest novel that I read is about two star-crossed lovers, who meet as children, drift apart, and then meet again as adults.

When I finished this book I felt heavy, and was left wondering--what's the point? It's amazing that a book can carry that much emotion.

I felt the need to turn on TV and watch cheeseball Bret Michaels on reruns of Rock of Love.

Suddenly life is good again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Book Review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This is Murakami's most recent book, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I whipped through it and was disappointed. It's basically a book about running. Not a novel, but a self-reflection. One would think that getting into Murakami's thoughts would be fascinating. Not so. He compares running to the art of writing, and writes about how running has impacted his life. Maybe I have to be a runner to appreciate it? Murakami does offer some glimpses into his personality and personal life. It was fun to read that he used to own a jazz bar, as I just finished his book South of the Border, West of the Sun, in which the main character owns a jazz bar. Although it's interesting to see how some of his characters may be shaped in his novels, there is a lot missing to this book--the quirkiness, the surrealism, the humor.

Friday, January 16, 2009

15 healthy foods for $2

A cheap and healthy grocery list from

Thursday, January 15, 2009

run lobster, run

Happy days. George the 140 year old lobster was released from a restaurant, where he was on the menu.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Photo from Day in Pictures.

Moon landing: A bird drops onto a tree as the full moon rises in Schwerte, Germany

The moon has been huge the past few nights. Supposedly the brightest and biggest moon we will have in 2009.

Monday, January 12, 2009

tongue diagnosis

A quick and fun tongue diagnosis exercise, as per traditional Chinese medicine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

kangeroo mama

From, Day in Pictures.

The caption reads:

Maternity jumpsuit: It takes a special kind of person to put on a pouch and pretend to be a nursing kangaroo for weeks on end. Michele Mauldin of Las Cruces, N.M., plans to raise Sydney, an 8 1/2-month-old orphan, until she becomes healthy enough to live on her own at a zoo in Dallas.