July 30, 2005

Gotta Be Kidding

You all may think I like to bitch a lot. But I just have to say, how hard is it to view an ENTIRE SF transit map???

I noticed this yesterday when I was walking in a heavily trafficked tourist area. There are these lovely parisienne style kiosks on the streets that offer post transit maps. But only for part of the City. I wondered when I walked by one of these kiosks, what a difficulty it would be if a visitor to have flown into SFO, taken the Bart to downtown San Francisco, and then had to find which bus(es) would take said visitor to his uncle's house in say, the St. Francis Wood neighborhood. Because St. Francis Wood is not on the map portion available at the kiosk.

Now here I am online wanting simply to see if the bus line I think goes from my house to my destination actually stops where I think it does. I have gone to the transit website and, of course, same portional maps, and a laborious "trip planner" that, after punching all my data in, still doesn't give me what I want.

Might I remind the transit powers that be, that this city is only 7x7. In my head I imagine there are only about 10 bus lines (ok there may be many more, but they are the only ones I notice). Can't we make a goddamn map that includes them all? Again, I urge you f*ckers to look at other cities that actually know how to provide information to transit riders. The maps in Paris work just fine, thank you, as well at of course NYC. Come on.

It's 3:37, wrote this post at 2:51. I just found a complete sf transit map online.

Fire! Fire!

There's nothing like being invited to a July bonfire at one of San Francisco's beaches. Upon invitation, one immediately pulls out the essential sub-zero clothing kept in the back of the closet for those chilly early spring camping trips, or, in more rare cases, for beach bonfires during SF's summer. Yes, yes, I too contemplate why on earth people want to live here as well as why the hell the median home price is $678,000.

Preparation for such an event requires thorough planning. Flip flops are not an option unless you are interested in frostbite. Jeans are mandatory, as are several upper body layers. But tonight had a sense of unusual in the air, so the layering was done one at a time; each added layer took a test drive on the fire escape to ensure the perfect balance between not too cold and not burning up. Final compilation included a long sleeved tee, a full crew mid-weight sweater with an additional v-neck mid-weight sweater over that (oh how fashionable). Topping it off was a vest and knit hat option tucked away in the shoulder bag.

It is magical to land on the almost-boardwalk and see the tide under the haze of fog and 20 orange sparsely glowing fires. And the fun part about beach bonfires is finding which one of the 20 out there belongs to your tribe. Given a beach point-of-entry clue eliminates the guesswork down to about 8 fires. Trudging through the sand on your sea air high, you pass each group and assess vocal and body language. Not mine. Not mine. Not mine but looks fun. Not mine thank God. Is that Jeremy's voice? Yes, that's definitely Jeremy. Here we are.

The 7th fire was ours, and after greeting the few of 23 people we were familiar with, we set down a blanket and got busy with mixing drinks. We were on notice that alcohol has been recently banned from the beach at night, and that the police were patrolling in offroad mini-jeeps for violators. Therefore, our final drink choice was coffee and Kahlua - hard to detect, and we thought it might take the expected chill off.

The weather was actually mild. One could even say it was pleasant. I never added the vest or the cap. The wind was low, the fog was thin, and the fire was HUGE. We even had a fire dancer (thanks, Burning Man)!

There is nothing like the smell of yummie campfire good. Personally, I think it's one of the best unisex scents available. Better than CKOne, which is rather plain in comparison. Anyway, we were the last ones left at our fire, I didn't want to leave, but the rest of my gang was ragged from the week and so we kicked sand on the last embers and I arrived home at about 2:30. I had only intended to stay until midnite, but it was so good, so damn good.

July 23, 2005

Mind Over Body

I know this is not a "half marathon training journal," but sometimes the whole mind/body thing is all I can think about (but wait there's more! A glorious summer day and thoughts about a lady on the bus below!)

So you already know the training is doublely beneficial as I have the holiday I need to get in shape for, too, which happens before the actual half-marathon. As I mentioned in the last post I only have 4 weeks till the holiday and the body is not ready. Thus this week I ran a lot more than usual , and added abdominal and upper body workouts. No problem in my head, big BIG problem in my body.

My body quite simply doesn't want to do as much work as my head tells it to do. For example, I ran 4 hills today in 50 minutes (in non-runners terms, a torture run), after running 3 miles yesterday and 4 the day before. Both those days I also did ab and upper body work, and today my body was very upset. Especially because I am still eating like crap (note to new runners: Cheez-its have no nutritional value). Oh, it let me finish the 4 hills alright. But did it hate walking heavy bags up one flight of stairs? Yes. Did it make walking in the sand today more laborious than normal? Yes. Did it like that I drank a few beers in the evening? Absolutely not. Did it then like that I walked 8 blocks to my friend's house, uphill? Hell no. Grumpy body. Now I am back home, it's 11pm, and I'd really like to do some upper body strengthening, but I feel faint.

Here's the incredible thing though, and you really forget about this whether you try to stay in shape all the time or just getting in shape once in a while. The body is an amazing thing. It will do almost whatever you ask whenever you ask it, and make up for the expenditure of energy later. Also, I've noticed changes in my body already, which is wild because I've really only been working out a week. But my Seven jeans just keep looking better and better. The only downside to my working out more is that my back fucking breaks out, no matter how well I scrub post workout. But you have to make a choice I guess - gee, do I want to have a white-ass jello tummy or look sleek what for a few bumps near my sports bra line?

On another note, you wouldn't believe what we had today. We had an actual summer day! In San Francisco! In July! I noticed it was warm during the 8 am hill run, but blamed it on my bad circulation and being out of shape. But when I got home there was a distinctly different feel to the air... it was WARM. Called a few friends right away and shouted "It's Beach Weather! It's Beach Weather!" 45 min later I was being picked up by N.C. and off we went to the beach.

What a glorious day. I mean, seriously, we don't get days like this in July. Which is why I was the whitest thing on the beach (how the others got so tan, I don't know). It was a nice 2 hours on the beach, just enough time not to get burned. On the way home I said to N. C.: "N, you know what kind of day today is?"
N: What kind?
Me: It's a Finnegan's Wake kind of day.
N: Well, after my therapy session today, yes, it will very much seem like a Finnegan's Wake kind of day

So later on when N.C. was done sorting some issues, we headed over to one of the few bars in San Francisco with an outdoor patio, complete with highly competitive ping-pong. Got a few beers and headed to the tables outside. Still sunny but the wind was coming in, and I called Mr. Barbados to see if he was in the hood to join us. Turns out he was at the OTHER outdoor bar, Zeitgeist, which we were planning on hitting afterward anyway.

At Zeitgeist I saw Mr. Barbados on his way out and we nabbed his precious seats outside. Hung out with an unsually social table and before I knew it it was 9pm. Still warm. In fact, in my 8 block walk the friend's house, I must have stripped half my clothing off (again, could have been that I was still exhausted from the running even after 12 hours. Seriously.). Brief visit to friend's house before almost tripping over a curb on my way home, right in front of a loaded passing bus. That's just me. Body takes over and decides it's time for a spectical, despite my mind's cluelessness to the upcoming event.

My bus finally came and I was all about checking people out. Gay guy. Gay guy. Gay couple. Lesbos. Mexican immigrant and obnoxious 6 year old daughter. Then. Someone that made me contemplate things. A woman, mid 50's. Obviously intelligent, could see her wheels cranking inside the forehead. Very proper. Very pert. Very extavagant rings on her fingers, but none of them telling she was married. A single lady mid-50's. Why's she single? She's nice looking. She's fit. Divorced? She more had the look of never married. Never married! Mid-50's! You know, as a 30 something single gal who knows 40 something single gals, we like to "be happy" with our singledom. Not that it's better or worse than being married, but simply we're OK with the way our life plan has evolved. But when I looked at this lady, I was kind of sad for her. I would think that if I am mid-50's and single, it would not be near as fun as being 30 something and single. I mean, I know I'm in a different place than my used-to-be-single-now-married-with-first-child girlfriends, but we can still relate on this and that. What about when we're mid-50's? And I'm the spinster! That would suck, quite frankly.

Anyway, in rounding up the theme for this evening, my body is now telling my mind to stop the damn typing and hit the well-deserved proverbial hay.

July 21, 2005

Vacation Countdown

Holy shit holy shit holy shit. I just realized the holiday is exactly 4 weeks away. My bikini body is far from visible. It is time to Turn. It. On. Hardcore. (Closing eyes) I am Carmen Electra. I am Carmen Electra. I am Carmen Electra... I am Car... Doh. That didn't work. Guess I'll be doing leg lifts while reading tonight. Gotta make it to a nice, firm 6. Come on 6!

July 15, 2005

Just Like New Sneakers

You know when you buy those new tennis shoes? They are so white. Even though you are not looking at your feet, when you are walking in them you still notice the flish-flash of their whiteness as you trudge forth.

That is kind of how I felt today, wearing my new Body By Victoria bra. I must have been wearing really bad bras lately, because all of the sudden my boobs are Va-Va-Voom. No joke. Just like with new tennies, even if I'm not looking at my cleavage, the girls are now very obvious in the bottom of my visual frame.

And yes, I think you can consider this a plug for Victoria's Secret.

July 12, 2005

Ha Ha Ha! Memory Lane

K.O.! I was just looking through Craigslist because I need some additional income to supplement the oh-so-many-times-afore-mentioned-new-business, and I had a funny memory.

Remember working at the Banana Republic flagship store? Can you remember that? Ha ha ha! I think we each made somewhere between $8 and $12 an hour. Ha ha ha! $12 bucks an hour! How absolutely ridiculous that is for the cost of living in SF. Folding sweaters. And then you turn around and some B*tch making way more than that had mussed up the work. The reason it came back to me is that, cruising Criagslist, I was excited to see an ad for sales associates for Zara. Not because I want to be a sales associate for Zara, but for the fact that Zara is coming (and apparantly very soon if they are seeking sales associates).

Zara is coming! Zara is coming! I love Zara. I love the concept of Zara. I wish I could live at Zara. Oh boy. I still dream fondly of my Zara purse I bought in Paris, after I moved up from the BR flagship to the Big Gap Inc and had started receiving a Salary and Vacation Time. Hell, they even gave us PTO and clothing discounts. Remember those coporate days? Well, yes, we'd like to keep them forgotten, Excel spreadsheet days, Spring '00 Walk-through days, and the out-too-late-have-to-take-cab-to-be-at-work-by-8:30 days especially, but I have to say at this point I almost feel like the living was easy back then.

Anyway, I don't really know the point here, because that purse was super-nice and it distracted me to remember how cool it was (RIP), but I think it had to do with Holiday 1997! The Front Lines! Unbelievable hours! All this for $12/hour! Good times. Good times.

July 06, 2005

Gary Busey Goes Downhill

OK. Really. Truly. I'm not much of a Celeb follower (forget my Trista, America's Top Model, etc comments...). And most people don't consider Gary Busey as an "Of-The-Moment" Celeb. But for some reason, he was on some ABC late night show - what's his name - er, funny goofy guy... Greg Kinnear? No. I mean - Craig Kil...Hell NO!... this guy's not that Hot... I mean Jimmy Kimmel Live! Yeah! That Guy!

OK. Again. Really. Truly. Am I the only one that sees that GB is a little, well, off? I mean, the guys is N-U-T-S, far out, out of time, off sync, etc, etc. So he lost a little weight (due, apparantly, to the "weight challenge")... but doesn't he look a little obscurely anorexic at this point?

July 05, 2005

Happy 4th I Dare Say

I am not one to make a spectical of a spectical. Meaning, I don't like to post about whatever other bloggers typically post about, i.e. Holidays.

So let me say that this is not a post about Independence Day. It is a post about a much-needed Retreat Weekend.

That's right People. This weekend I headed north of the Foggy City, which didn't take much effort considering I left at 5:15pm on the most vacationed Friday of the year. Got to my destination just north of the Golden Gate in a mere 25 minutes... where the hell everybody was I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. E-Z commute to be sure, and a great start to Retreat Weekend.

Started off with a, dare say!, liesurely dinner with my bro and sis-in-law, and believe it or not, also with Mr. Colicky himself, my nephew. Great, quiet resto where the Indian-lady Owner decided that the best time to take said Nephew off our hands and entertain him herself was when the food was on the table. Dinner, to say the least, was pure spicey bliss, which is a surprise to anyone dining with a 5 month old child.

Next day I awoke to the habitually excited Happy-Go-Lucky labarador retriever of The Great Estate, who was terribly eager to spend some quality time with yours truly. We hit the trails running at a nice clip, and he was a good leash-less boy steadily matching my 9 min/mile.

Back at Great Estate, a quick shower before the ulitmate spa treatment - a hot stone massage. Which ended up to be not as "hot" as one would expect: never quite relaxed the super-tense muscles like they yearned so to be, but it was 60 minutes of gorgeous TLC, complete with a heated robe, spa flip-flops, a 'Quiet Room' complete with tea and New-Age music, and euculyptus facial. Yum.

A nice, quiet evening at Great Estate awaited, just me and the new MTV Real World (oh and of course Happy-Go-Lucky hogging the couch), the only call to duty was dealing with the incessant march of ants onto the cat food, which was easily dealt with by a few Raid Ant Motels purchased after the morning run.

Gosh, Sunday, all to myself. With the sun shining and Happy-Go-Lucky, what's not to love? Caught a few breezy waves of sunshine in the patio (first - gasp - flesh meets sun since who knows when - and it's ensuing sunburn) before heading to the folks for a mellow BBQ.

Then! To top it all off! Another day off! Which I took full advantage of, by taking myself and Happy-Go-Lucky on a 5 mile walk, complete with coffee break at the half-way point. Talked to a retired professor who thought I played tennis (must have been the Yacht Club visor and the newly crispy shoulders), and bumped into a good friend's half-sister who happened to be watching her husband racing sailboats from the shore. Gotta love this place.

To finish out the day, headed further north to a 4th party, which happened to be even sunnier and warmer than The Great Estate. People were still in the pool until 7:30 pm! This, to my virgin-tour-in-shorts legs was a complete shocker. It's amazing that 8 miles north of San Francisco you can be in a bikini. 8 miles! Bikini! Of course, I should know this, being originally from there...

We heard booming fireworks in the distance, but didn't bother moving to the front of the house to see the man-made stars. The ambiance of the pool patio lit by candle-light was more enticing. All in all, the whole weekend was fabulously warm. Warm warm warm, on so many levels. When your summer feels like Alaska in winter, anything warm is an appreciated gift.

So it is Tuesday evening; the fog swooped into SF early on it's ocean breeze and plans to stick around. It's a bit on the dismal side, especially knowing the temperature difference between here and 8 miles away, but, isn't that always the case around here? Hrmph.