Our San Francisco/Sonoma Trip!

So - if you've ever been in my car you know that I love me the TV on the Radio. When they announced their spring tour I was bummed to see that their only LA date was Coachella, so that meant no other play-y in LA-y (and Pomona is just too far.) So when I saw that they were playing in Oakland over Memorial Day weekend I had one of those lightbulb moments and decided we needed a good road trip!

We arrived in San Francisco around lunchtime and took the bus up to Amoeba - I LOVE taking public transportation. I'm not sure if I would love it so much if I had to do it everyday, I'm sure the novelty of it would wear off, but when we are traveling I really enjoy it. We have sort of made a tradition out of buying CDs at local indie record stores while on vacation and I was happy we fit it into this trip. (purchases included Jason Lytle, Au Revoir Simone, Reatards, and two Nick Cave Re-issues)

I found a good deal at the Hotel Palomar, it is a Kimpton hotel, and they are quickly becoming my hotel chain of choice. Comfy beds, and really loud flushing toilet and a shower that didn't drain very well, BUT I would totally stay there again, centrally located and did I mention the comfy bed?

We had some TASTY crab-deviled eggs and a couple of beers before dinner by the water at MarketBar in the Ferry Building, (side note: I don't think I have ever, in my almost 15 years knowing my husband seen him SO excited over a group of shops). Beers and deviled eggs. yum.

Then..

Guy booked us a really yummy dinner at Ozumo Sushi. The Hanabi and Futago were amazing. Everything was great. Including the Sapporos.

After dinner we headed on the BART to Oakland to the recently renovated Fox Theater - it's one of those historic, crazy buildings with really amazing architecture. We had 5 or 10 more beers and were treated to an amazing show by one of my favorite bands.

Saturday morning was a little rough (see mention of beers above) so we got a slow start out of town and eventually made it to Santa Rosa where we checked into our hotel and had a really great lunch at Omelette Express-- soo yummy



Our home base for the wine tasting trip was Hotel La Rose - small, quaint, in the heart of their little historical area and the bed was really comfy... (comfy beds are crucial to my traveling happiness in case you couldn't tell - it has to be firm, not too firm and big enough so that 6'4" husband does not cut into my side of the bed by sleeping diagonally on small beds)

After fueling up on sandwiches and iced tea and when I finally began to feel human again it was time for some wine tasting! We hit a good amount of wineries in the Forestville, Sebastopol and Windsor areas (favorites are marked with a handy asterisk - man I love those things)

Hartford Family Winery
*Harvest Moon
Hook & Ladder
*Woodenhead
DeLoach
Dutton-Goldfield/Balletto Vineyards

Harvest Moon was probably my favorite of the day, and not just because they had a really awesome chocolate lab named Charlotte. Woodenhead had an amazing deck with views of the valley and a woman who worked there was from LA and her parents lived in the same house in the heart of Hollywood for the last FIFTY YEARS. I loved that.

That night we had dinner at El Dorado Kitchen in the Sonoma Square. Note: when traveling check to see if the town where you booked dinner is having any events, like a jazz fest, that could make finding parking near-impossible

ANYWAY - it was really good - I had the truffle risotto, Guy had short ribs. And for desert we had a S'Mores tart. mmmm...

Sunday morning we woke bright and early and without a hangover (yay) and went to breakfast at Parkside Cafe - oh. shit. yum. Chicken Fried Steak and the Country Benedict were both great and not too heavy. Really tiny place with really amazing food.

We walked around the Windsor Farmer's Market and some antique fair thing in Healdsburg before starting day two wine tasting at:

*Stryker
Seghesio
Papapietro
*Dutcher Crossing
**Preston
Mazzocco

Stryker had a remarkable tasting room, beautiful grounds, some horny snakes, and two guys working - one was lively, engaging and outgoing and the other was his total opposite. Guess which one we got?

Preston is an organic winery, with pigs and chickens and cats and bread and olives and really yummy wines. It was totally my favorite of the trip.




OK. Dinner. I booked us a nice dinner based on online reviews and a Michelin rating. So we walk into this old Victorian House/Restaurant and there is classical music playing, unchipped China on all of the tables, salmon colored walls, DRAPES, and a snooty hostess and I have a mini-panic attack. Where did I book us?? Guy calms me and the Goose and tonic calms me and we sit to eat. OH.MY.GOD. It was BY FAR one of the most amazing meals of my life. Go there. As soon as possible. Life is short people.
Madrona Manor
We had five courses of amazing food paired with fantastic Sonoma wines and Champagne, along with things like parm-reggiano churros, pea Vichyssoise amuse-bouche (actually I don't really know if vichyssoise is usually a SPECIFIC kind of soup - this is how much I didn't deserve to be eating there, anyway - it was cold and I only know what amuse-bouche is because I watch Top Chef - see you CAN learn things from Reality TV). We also were given raspberry/hibiscus crushed ice to cleanse the palettes (the texture of the ICE was amazing) - a mini creme brulee AFTER we finished the desert that we ordered, and a handful of chocolates and carmels AND 2 bags of caramel corn to take on the road. soooooo yum.

The whole weekend was awesome. Yay for vacations. I am working on the next weekend getaway now: Ojai. Have never been there and have always wanted to go. I plan on lots of relaxing.

I defintely almost died today

So, this post REALLY needs pictures - but I was not fast (or dumb) enough to bust out my camera so I went online to try and find funny pics and realized that nothing is funnier than the real thing. So imagine if you will...

You are walking North on Abbot Kinney after a successful chiropractor visit

You see a guy walking in a crosswalk - he's about 6'3" and a total douchebag. Weird curly, Jew-ish, dreadlockey things, giNORmous oversized Afflicttion style sweatshirt, baggy black pants - giving a guy in a car that is speeding towards him the "Hey - bitch are you gunna stop for me hand wave"

You look at the guy who TOTALLY should have stopped or at least slowed down a long time ago and he's in a late 80s/early 90s style Supra that has never seen a carwash and is now just the color of dust, lowered, Fast and Furious style wheels - back when it was The Fast and The Furious - a pit bull with a crazy ass scary spiked collar, I mean this poor dog, he's probably seen a fight or 20. REALLY loud music, like loud, like OW my ears and I am standing 20 feet away loud. And the driver..well, let's just say he looked mean.

And mean-driver-guy starts YELLing at douchey-crosswalk-guy. And they are screaming at each other. And by the time douchey-crosswalk-guy gets across the street you are at the corner and mean-driver-with-mean-dog-guy is STILL yelling and pointing his hand in the shape of gun at douchey-fashion-thug-guy - only you are PRAYING to the I'm-about-to-go-on-vacation Gods that you are not about to get shot because at this point you are like 2 feet from Mr-why-don't-you-just-cross-the-street-and-shut-the-fuck-up-guy and you think 2 things: 1) I hope doesn't-know-where-a-carwash-is-guy has perfect aim and 2) I hope he doesn't mind leaving a witness.

And then the both go on their merry ways.

And 2 hours later you still thinking about it.

And then you decide to bliggity-blog because Denis Leary would be so proud.






Just overheard at work: "From a branding perspective you have to keep it on four wheels"

Things I did complain about today

Assholes.

So.

I'm just sitting here minding my own business catching up on the Facebook, the Twitter, and the Google Reader, and I read a comment that someone makes about a rapper who was shot and killed at the Beverly Center today and they said: "just another rapper that got capped" --- now --- you may or may not like rap and you may or may not, but probably don't, know the person who was shot and you may or may not know why they were shot - and unless you were the person doing the shooting, I'm pretty sure that you don't.

I do plenty of judging in my day-to-day life (working on that, really) but this was someone's life. And whether or not you know who are they are or agree with how they spend their Sunday mornings, he was still a human. He was a life. And some other human took that life. I don't know why they did it and I am not going to waste my Monday evening or battery life speculating on it. Someone loved this person. Someone is hurting because they are gone. He was more than "just a rapper" to someone. Why is it so hard to remember that and so easy to judge lifestyles we don't know or agree with?

Who the fuck are we to judge why that happened. Maybe they did some bad things in their life, I don't know. And you know what? I'm pretty sure you don't either. So save the judgments for important things like music you have never heard, white shoes after Labor Day and sushi you have never tried.

No one is a "just"

Things I did not complain about today

My slow computer
My sore foot*
My sore back*
My extremely full inbox
The printer
The smell in the bathroom
The good ol boys laughing and ass slapping going on
Never being able to find information that I need in all of our systems
Asking for one thing (that I should have been able to find) and getting something else

*Shoot - I totally forgot and complained about these - but it was really more of an explanation. It was suggested that I frolic and I had to explain why I couldn't.

I am not your maid.

So, today we went to the Farmer's Market... after all - we are "those people" (more on that some other time) - and after buying grapefruit (3 for $2), cherries ($5 for a bucket - no sprays) and organic berries (asst of blue, black and rasp for $14 - cheaper than WF) I decided that I needed a third cup of coffee in an hour. Actually, I didn't even really "need" the coffee I just really love Common Grounds (mostly because it's not Starbucks, Peets or CoffeeBean) so I got my coffee and while I was giving it a splash of half & half I noticed a guy empty three packets of Sugar-in-the-Raw into his cup and then toss the empty paper packets on the table ONE INCH FROM THE TRASH BUCKET. I looked at him and looked at his trash and it's proximity to the trash bucket and said, to no one in particular, "really?" and put the trash in the bucket for him. A grown man should be able to put some trash in a trash receptacle and I should NOT have to clean up after him but I envisioned the paper packets blowing off the table and onto the ground and creating litter and someone else having to pick it up and why the fuck should someone else have to pick it up when I am standing right there next to the trash, and I didn't even have to bend over to pick it up, and put it in the trash bucket.

When I told Guy what happened he just said "Are you surprised?" and yeh, actually I was. I just don't know what the hell is wrong with people - so you don't know where the trash can is and it's that hard to, I don't know, glance around and try and find it? People - come on - take responsibilty for your actions - don't litter, don't be a douchebag, don't expect other people to do things for you. In case you forgot, you are human and you are not ANY better than anyone else... I am not better than douchey litterer fuckface just because I picked up his trash. We are all the same, let's leave the coffee condiment area nice and clean for the next coffee lover ok?

I really need a hobby.

Today someone told me that "some people" might (may?) think that I update my Facebook status too frequently lately. My initial reaction was, predictably, fuck 'em... But after obsessing over it for a few hours (like 7) I thought - "if only they knew." Most people on FB don't even follow me on Twitter - so if they think I update FB a lot, their heads would explode with all of the combined updates. But even those two combined is MAYBE 1/8 of the amount of updates that I could do or would like to do. Believe it or not I AM actually exercising some self-control. I don't necessarily have a lot of time on my hands, I just have a lot of random 140-ish character thoughts that are CONSTANTLY going through my head. A lot. In fact I started this blog because I thought I would ease the amount of random texts, updates, emails that I send to people... But a blog isn't really the place for 140 character or less thoughts. So this leaves me with a decision to make. Stop making random FB updates (maybe)... increase number of Tweets (no)... just keep them in my head (as if). Hmmm... What is a girl to do. Should I start a different totally anonymous Twitter account or blog that takes all of the pressure off of me - I can post anonymously all of my random crazy thoughts - or maybe having SOME restraint is better so that I can get work done during the day. Husband might have me committed, or divorce me and take custody of the cats: "Judge, I would like to present in evidence defense Tweets #27 - 1,987 as proof of plantiff's inability to contribute emotionally to marriage." Yeh - I need a hobby.

In another news, here is my 10 word or less movie review of Star Trek.
loved it. see it. spock is not sylar, remember that.

PB&B

Things that make me go: meh - Pat Benatar, Blondie and The Donnas are playing

At first I was like: "wow, who the fuck cares..." And then I remembered that I am (still) trying to be more positive and less judgmental and thought "I am sure LOTS of people care, and I probably even know some of them. However, I personally do not care and would not spend a nickel on that show.(except I probably actually thought SHIT and not SHOW)" Ok, I MIGHT spend a nickel - but only if the beers were free. And then I thought - "oh, it's probably part of the Fair tour" except I was thinking it in a really judgy way because fair concerts suck ass (and then I replayed the whole positive, know people who like that shit, conversation with myself)... and I was right. Fair tour. OC Fair - I've been thinking that I need to go to the OC Fair instead of the LA County Fair for a change of pace (even though they are all, literally, the same)... maybe we'll go. and you know what, we would probably have a really good time... we will never know.

Oh and that date on the link is wrong but I don't care.

It's a rainbow in my box

So, like, I color code my emails at work, different colors obviously for different items that need to be addressed… it's a pretty good system, especially since I like to do things in batches - I just batch and color code similar tasks together… I used to move things out of the inbox and into folders but I like having them in my inbox, constantly reminding me how far behind I am, to stay motivated (I THINK the GTD peeps like folders AND color coding but there is only so much time in a day to organize y'know).

ANYWAY… lately I've been feeling a little Groundhog Day --- like every day is just sort of the same or really similar --- same kinds of emails, same kinds of problems, same same. And in dealing with the same emails and problems I've gotten a little behind on filing and clearing out my Inbox, so today is the today I totally get caught up, stay motivated, file and get down to <5 emails. Because I am trying to figure out a way to stay engaged I decided to do things in small batches and in doing so I realized that I made my HOURS very Groundhog Day… here's the way it went today:
1) check inbox & clear out one of my colors (this creates more paper that needs to be filed - it's a legal thing)
2) file stack of papers (which are also batched for quick and efficient filing, except when I totally ignore them, like last 2 weeks)
3) check Yahoo, check Facebook, check Twitter
Repeat
Over
And
Over
All
Day
Long .....
Wow. I am REALLY looking forward to that weekend in Sonoma.
File, Rinse, Repeat. Gotta go - Blue is waiting for me

Mother's Day Schmuther's Day.

Don't bother reading this one, really - just scroll right past it. oh and Guy, it's cool (just venting - look I gave you your own label).

************************************

Facebook Ad: "Stay Close to Mom"

Number of Facebook status updates about Mother's Day in the last 15 hours: 15, including one honoring MILFs

Top two trends on Twitter: "Happy Mothers Day" & "Mother's Day" (#MothersDay is listed sixth)

Percentage of MLB players wearing pink arm sweatbands honoring Mother's Day: most.

Number of Tuff Shed commercials proclaiming you should buy your mom a SHED for Mother's Day that came on while I was writing this: one

Amount I am feeling sorry for myself today: a lot.

If YOU are a mother, I am sure you are great, if you have a mother, I am sure she is great. But not every mother deserves a day. Just sayin. Oh and if you think you "deserve" Mother's Day or "deserve" something on Mother's Day, well, you probably don't. Accepting things graciously and being humble are very sexy traits, Mother or not, btw.

************************************

Dear Diary:
Today I made a really pathetic blog post. I shouldn't put those words into the universe, they are better kept in the pit of my stomach eating away at my undiagnosed ulcer.
TTFN

random thoughts on a Thursday night

I added the Blogger Dashboard to my Home page tabs to open because I thought maybe it would remind me/inspire me/guilt me into writing more... see, it's working...

I've had a lot to eat today

I am starving

I can.not.stand. hearing listener comments on the radio. If I wanted to hear random douchebag shithead commentary I would just go outside, like to the mall, or church.

No I am not "surprised" by Manny getting 50 game suspension for drug violation - I am SHOCKED that he was stupid enough to get caught.

I probably would not have even thought twice about it except it is MY TEAM he's fucking with and MY TEAM has the best record in baseball - so if this fucks MY shit up I will not be fucking happy.

Everyone says they will probably still be in 1st place when he gets back, so he better be a .350 hitter AT LEAST when he gets back.

I think it's HILARIOUS that Steve Phillips just pointed out on ESPNews that the Dodgers didn't want to pay him that salary anyway and now they're saving 7milliondollars. True.

Hungry.

Nick!!! mmmmm Nick.

So, I've been in a mood lately. A bad mood. A sad mood. A frustrated mood. Angry. Irritated. Overwhelmed. Sick. Back hurts. No sleeping. You name it and I have lived it in the last 2.5 days.

When I get into these moods I listen to a lot of Nick Cave. Like, a lot. Like, nothing else. His music, over the span of his career, has pretty much touched on all of my moods - so when you're mid-mood swing and a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Shuffle All takes you from a ballad to a murder ballad to a death row walk you are pretty much RIGHTTHERE with it...

"Stagger Lee" is a really fucking great song. And I was listening to it just now (live, hopefully the studio version comes up in a minute) and I am really struggling which of these two lines is my favorite (close browser now if you are easily offended).

A) She saw the barkeep, said "O God, he can't be dead!"
Stag said, "Well just count the holes in the motherfucker's head"

or

B)"I'm a bad motherfucker, don't you know
But I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole"

man, that's a good song. and really good and bitchy and sexy live.

oops gotta run, mood swinging back the other way in 3.2.1....

*****************************************
update at 7:43 pm - I am feeling much better and tomorrow WILL be a better day, Fuck yeh.

it's kind of a rainbow

What I have eaten so far today (3:45pm)

Raisin Bran w Soy milk
Green tea
Avocado
Apple Sauce
Dark Chocolate
Berries
Plain Tuna on Stale crackers.

I feel like maybe I need a "meal"

I'm Dumb - May Day

Every so often I think to myself: "I'm dumb." Guy really doesn't appreciate me saying this, probably since it is rather insulting to him, he is smart enough to not marry a dumb person and, in general, I think I do alright. I can dress myself, feed myself (well I can FEED myself, I cannot cook for myself), get to work, make a decent living...etc...

But I am not, in no way, not even a little, "book smart." Book smart is what people who are common sense smart call those people that intimidate them because they know things - like about the super conductor, still have no clue about that.

ANYWAY - Just about every day I run into something that I feel like I should be at least a little familiar with if not totally knowledgeable. A few weeks back, it was Easter. No clue. Now. I grew up in an atheist/agnostic "family" and never learned about Jesus and all that. But I literally had no clue what Easter was celebrating, except for yummy chocolate eggs and pictures of kids with scary easter bunnies. Guy explained it to me but I was debating hollow vs solid chocolate bunnies in my head so I still don't know.

Today, it's May Day. May Day? I'm going to look it up. BRB.

Google brought up: "May Day Activities" - ok, so it's an excuse to party. sweet.

Something about Labour parties - isn't that what Labor Day is for?

From Wiki: "May Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment."

oh - so it's kind of like Summer Solstice meets like St Patrick's Day? WTF does that have to do with Labour parties? Also from Wiki: "People often use May Day as a day for political protest, ... or as a day for protest against government actions, such as pro-immigrant rallies across the United States"

Still have no clue. So it's a celebration of the end of winter and as a day of political protest. I absolutely cannot figure out what those two things have to do with each other. Except that, I guess, it would be too cold to protest in the winter?

Doing a quick search you can also find crafts and poems and all kinds of ways to celebrate. I wonder if I was taught about this in school? I went to Los Angeles Unified so probably not. Well, that's not fair --- I learned a lot. I forgot a lot. I was a bad student, but I had a lot of "potential" they all said so. If only they could see me now. Not knowing about May Day or Easter or Superconductors, getting migraines and calling in sick to work and staying on the couch in my pajamas for dozens of hours at a time, they would be so proud.