Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Misty Mountain Hop

Yesterday, a weather advisory was issued in San Francisco due to a dense layer of fog that was covering the Bay Area.

I heard this from a pilot because I was 35,000 feet in the air, on an airplane. He said there was a chance we might go into a holding pattern as we approached the airport. Luckily, we didn't or I surely would have been late for work.

Honestly, though, the fog was thick. When it hovers so low and heavy, it feels as though there's no visibility at all. Sometimes I wonder how pilots do it.

Flying through the air, in a cloud of white. Are we landing? Is it soon? And then suddenly, in what feels like 10 feet from the runway, there is the land.

I always say a little silent "thank you life" when this happens. I suppose gray skies are expected during this time of year. Especially in higher altitudes or on the east coast, when ominous skies tell of a storm approaching.

If the sun shined everyday, would we appreciate it as much as when it shows its face after a long hiatus? I, for one, love the fog.

I love how it reminds me of when I first moved to San Francisco. Those first few mornings, waking up to a new kind of morning. A new kind of waking up.

The misty air hangs in the city like a mobile, softening the entrance into the day.

Emboldening the details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Only to slowly burn off, presenting the sun.

All photos taken by me on particularly foggy days.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dream Mood

I want my week to look and feel like this. Might sound like a tall order, but if a silent movie can pull it off, so can I. By the way, such a GOOD silent movie.

Photo from The Artist.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays are Here!

Photo from here.

Hope everyone has a fabulous and long holiday weekend! See you next week, xo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Summerless in the Winter

I think I'm in denial that winter is upon us. Didn't summer just begin? Forget the fall. My mind is on long days, vacation, camping, beach blankets, late al fresco dinners, rosé and sunshine. Where did it all go? First of all, my apartment is starting to get chilly. I'm not going to say it's arctic, but I've officially pulled out the LL Bean long underwear and smart wools. I could put the heater on, but there's the denial again. Once I turn that nob, I'm done for. Holiday party? I'm having trouble planning it.

Sounds like someone needs a dose of the Christmas spirit. Where is my deep embrace of the season? The one that comes every season, whether it's summer, winter, spring or fall? Oh, no! Am I a forever-summer addict? Is it wrong that I always want to be dressed like the woman in the photo above (photo from here) and that I wish all days were hot, lazy and endless?

Oh boy, this is sounding bad! Get a hold of yourself. This is November, almost December. The season of sweaters, hearths, Christmas movies, hot chocolate and coziness. I mean, seriously, the word COZY was not invented during the summer. I better conjure up some cozy images FAST so that I get in the mood. Maybe if there are any readers out there who are having trouble getting into the season, I can help inspire you too!

Holiday in a mug? A Christmas trip to Vermont a few years ago taught me that there's nothing better than a hot cider beverage to warm up the chilliest of nights. I can imagine sipping on Bon Appetit's spiced apple cider with rum whipped cream while a cranberry crisp bakes in the oven. Recipe here.

Or there is Martha Stewart's Warm Cider and Run punch. Recipe here. I can't decide which drink I'd rather take with me to sit by the fire. War of the rum ciders, it's ON.

Holiday outfits? Ever since Jeana posted this photo of cozy holiday sweaters I've haven't been able to get it out of my mind. I want to wrap up in all of them. A good sweater collection is essential to feeling cozy when it's cold out!

Holiday movies? Little Women is my favorite (although White Christmas is a close second). The relationship between the sisters and their parents is so loving and genuine. Also, Jo's connection to home and childhood? Gets me every time.

Holiday music? Think of the sounds of this glorious season: Bells ringing, Christmas trees rustling, feet shuffling through snow (depending on where you live of course). What about the music?! Ella Fitzgerald's jazz album, a Charlie Brown Christmas. This year it might be fun to see some Christmas music performed Or, if you're me, you'll be the performer! Little known fact: I'm in a choir! Our annual Christmas performance is soon. I'm so excited/nervous!

Holiday poetry? I haven't read many Christmas poems, but The Night Before Christmas, written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823, has to be the most famous of them all. I found this lovely excerpt from here.

See, that wasn't too hard! Letting this holiday season into my life isn't too much a burden given how cozy it can be. Soon, I'll be sad that it's over. Luckily, it's just beginning!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Then Again

Finally picked up Diane Keaton's memoir, Then Again. I didn't realize that, in addition to being the story of her life, it was about the life of her mother. I'm already hooked. She's a beautiful writer and I even dreamed about it last night. She talks a lot about dreams, memory and thinking. Anyway, I still have the whole book to read which I'm excited about. For those of you who adore Diane, like me, the photos will be a real treat. She's so lovely, and what about that pic with Woody? Classic!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread has been a Fall tradition in my family ever since I was in elementary school. Maybe it was my kindergarten class (Mom, feel free to chime in here) at Meadow Oaks that published a cookbook??? There was a pumpkin bread recipe in there that has become legendary in my family. I've moved on to a new recipe, but I don't think matters which one you use. Spiced. Pumpkin. Bread. I don't see a problem here.

My favorite thing about the recipe: "bake for one hour, or until the top begins to crack." I just love the way it looks when it's ready.

Off to enjoy another slice!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Like Crazy

When I see a movie like this, I truly believe that my 13-year-old self would have reacted exactly as my present-day self. Same butterflies, same swooning, same tears. Once a romantic, always a romantic. I really liked this movie, maybe even more than I enjoyed it—if that makes sense. It was definitely hard to watch (sometimes it's not easy witnessing the story of other people's love) but it was so beautiful and I can't stop thinking about it.

I listened to some of the soundtrack this morning but it made me too emotional. So I put on Kanye & JAY-Z, which always makes everything better. Final thoughts: a great start to the holiday season! That's promising :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Books to Devour

I can't stop staring at the cover of this week's T Magazine Design & Living issue. It makes me think about beautiful books and the beautiful words inside of them. Sometimes I get so caught up my New York Times and New Yorkers (not to mention episodes of Breaking Bad and Modern Family) that I forget to pick up an actual book and read it.

Lately, I've been craving something like Tina Fey's Bossy Pants. I also know there are a lot of new books out by or about women who've been in the spotlight. We know them from film, television, journalism and other venues, but with these books they're opening up a new chapter to tell. The holidays are coming up which means time for gifts and time for reading. Here are a few books I would love to give, receive and, most importantly, READ.

I've been waiting for her story! She's one of my favorite actresses of all time and I can't wait to hear what she has to say about style, the Seventies and, of course, Woody.

Everything she says on The Office makes me laugh. I hear this one's like Bossy Pants. Need it, asap.

One of the most well-respected film critics of our time, I read Paulene Kael's New Yorker reviews when studying film in college. She seems like an interesting person to know more about.

Finally, I cry just seeing this one in bookstores. Joan Didion's writing and observations on the beauty and pain of life just take my breath away. I know this book will be hard to read, but it puts things into perspective. I can also imagine, as I experienced while reading The Year of Magical Thinking, that learning about Didion's experience with loss and grief is destined to make any reader stronger.

I know there will be lots of tears and laughter that will come from reading these books, and I look forward to devouring them all.

Are there any books that you can't wait to read???

***Just read Blue Nights cover to cover and it was beautiful in every way. I highly recommend it (and, also, to keep the kleenex close).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Afternoon on a Hill

"Afternoon on a Hill"

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Loving this poem "Afternoon on a Hill" by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It says so much, in so few words, about the poet as adventurer, observer and homebody. Can't we all relate? I took this photo of the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse on my recent trip to Maine. Of course, Maine is where the poet was born.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Katy Visits

I'm from L.A and went to college in Maine and now I live in San Francisco. With all of those miles behind me, I have many friends in many places. New York, Boston, D.C., Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Austin, London, Barcelona, Quito. You know who you are. Although I miss my friends dearly who don't live in the same city as me, I delight in the fact that visits are inevitable when friendships are this strong.

Most recently, I was lucky enough to have a visit from my wonderful friend Katy and her sweet husband John. They're on their way back home to Colorado after living in Alaska for the past few months. They stopped into San Francisco to say hello to friends and a city that will always welcome them.

Katy and John

Saturday morning at the Ferry Building. The best place to take out-of-town guests and the best place to enjoy whatever season we're in. This time, it was a pumpkin, squash, gourd fest. We also had a taste of summer. Raspberries and tomatoes reminded us all of a season one could never forget.

Later in the day, Katy, John, Sarah and I stopped by Ocean Beach, where our friends Maureen and Fifi were throwing a little party. Katy and Maureen sang together in an acapella group in college.

Katy's beautiful braids. Her hair is so long, they wrap multiple times around her head!

Fifi, the birthday boy!

Maureen, the sun-kissed beauty!

A rare opportunity to have the sun in my eyes.

Another gorgeous SF sunset.

Katy and John, the adventurous travelers marveling at another destination along their journey.

We played a few rounds of trust - feeling free.

As the sun goes down, so does the temperature. I wonder if I've said that before? The bonfire keeps us all warm, as we wonder what to do next.

Well, we know. Dinner at Outerlands of course. Squash soup and Dave's toast.

Katy and John, come back, so we can do it all over again!!! Miss you already, xoxo.