Thursday, August 20, 2009

my new site!

please check me out at my new location in the cybersphere at


Sunday, July 5, 2009

the hipster grifter

thanks to mike doughty, my new criminal obsession is kari ferrel, aka the the hipster grifter, a petite 22-year-old korean girl with a massive, colorful phoenix tatt emblazoned across her chest and another tatt reading "i love beards," who has been duping fellow hipsters from salt lake city to williamsburg.

she was arrested in philly and was recently extradited to utah where she had made the salt lake city police department's most wanted list for five warrants for forgery, retail theft, and passing $60,000 in bad checks.

among her fabrications was to tell her cool new friends that she worked for concert producer golden voice (which is based here in sf -- they run the warfield -- and is a client of my husband dan), promising them trips backstage and free shows.

she scammed numerous roommates and boyfriends out of money and told many that she had cancer, was pregnant and/or was being stalked. she could apparently cough up blood when it was necessary to enhance the cancer story.

she managed to con her way into a job at vice magazine and after pursuing a colleague with sexually aggressively texts, he googled her and she was found out.

the best anecdote though took place at that bastion of hipness, the union pool in williamsburg, where my friend matt tends bar and djs. HG allegedly slipped a note to a bartender (not matt, i checked) to be handed to a male patron. it said, "i want to give you a handjob with my mouth."


Monday, June 22, 2009


it's dreary, but beautiful. the house is a little run down but it's huge and the location is perfect. i'm sitting on the front porch right now, looking out at the ocean at falmouth heights beach. best spot in the house. everyone is still sleeping but nino woke early, so here i am enjoying the quiet and my little boy.

we're at almost full capacity. derek and heather arrive next, tonight, and susan will be here thursday morning.

problem is, the weather sucks but we did get to the beach on saturday and it was lovely. i love cape cod.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

capeward bound

vacay starts in two hours. husband and kids will arrive at the chronicle with all of the luggage i painstakingly packed over the past three days. adopted twenty-something daughter will drive us to the airport.

and the adventure begins!

ativan and a cocktail for mommy. cough syrup with codeine for the children. really hope i don't have to use it, but it's there just in case. it's nice to have a kid-friendly sedative in the arsenal. could end up being the smartest thing i packed.

we got picture books, coloring books, chapter books, invisible ink books, a mr. potato head magnetic storyboard thing, crayons, and bunches of miniature trucks and toys from the bins at jeffrey's toys on market. then there are snacks. we've got nectarines, rice cakes, trail mix (i made it myself, yeah, i know, big culinary achievement), animal crackers, peanut butter crackers, wheat thins, all manner of dried fruit.

i went through my hand-me-down bins and located some summery clothes from friends who live in places that have actual summers. i then supplemented that with new bathing suits, sandals, hats and a pretty frock or two for ms. parker.

but here's the kicker -- the extended forecast for the first five days we'll be in falmouth is for rain, rain, rain & wind, rain with thunder & lighting, then back to just plain rain.

straight into the bosom of my family for 12 days in a six-bedroom house on the beach in cape cod.

in the rain...

i haven't been anywhere in so long, i'll gladly travel across the country with an almost two-year-old and his four-year-old sister to dip my feet in a different ocean, eat lobster and fried clams, catch up on my reading, and sail out to martha's vineyard in the rain.

can't wait.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


i've been un-friended! on facebook! ha!!!

by someone i've known for 23 years. someone i've taken into my home — not once over the years — but twice. by a delusional narcissist that i've endured and supported through countless relationships, drug addictions, roommates, job/unemployment situations, bizarre self-delusions, and emotional traumas.

by the same person who i recently broke up with because she betrayed, slandered me, and criticized my parenting decisions (she, who has no children). oh, and did i mention, she pirated my entire address book while living with me to use for her promotional purposes? (she thinks i don't know that). can you say frenemy?

i'm back in seventh grade. but with better technology!

it's not exactly unfathomable. she's still friends with everyone she "collected" from me. i think reading my happy-go-lucky fb updates and banter with the other mutual friend she deleted infuriated her.

i'll get over it. it won't be the first time.

anybody else break up with a long-term friend and live to tell about it?

Monday, June 1, 2009

panisse envy*

finally did it.

i've lived in no. cal for 19 years this month. i'm a food and travel writer. berkeley is only 15 minutes away. but prior to last tuesday, i'd never dined at chez panisse.

i've long had an issue with alice waters. perhaps that's what's kept me at bay. she gets far too much credit for eating the way europeans have eaten for, like, ever. it annoys me. she annoys me.

when i lived in france, jeanette, the woman i lived with, took her little canvas bags to the outdoor market daily, bought was was good/fresh/in season and a crusty baguette or two, and that's what made it a table. not revolutionary, my friends. pretty basic. logical, even. so, why does this broad alice continue to get heaped with praise, awards, accolades and worship for laying claim to what's been going on forever in places outside mid-century american suburia? she hung out with the obamas at the white house, fer crissakes!

now that i got that little rant off my chest, i can say without hesitation, that chez panisse rocks! totes.

i've read so much about the importance alice puts on the correct way to wash and dress greens that i had to start with a simple "garden lettuce salad." while it was in no way mindblowing, it was perfectly simple and simply perfect. there was a respect awarded those greens. they didn't need goat cheese or figs or even a perfectly ripe heirloom tomato. they were just themselves, doing their thing with a perfectly restrained amount of oil and a hint of lemon. they were fresh, textural, alive. no dressing pooled beneath them. they had dignity.

on to the main course -- the "nortern halibut with chevril, spring vegetables and meyer lemon butter sauce" was otherwordly. why can't i make a piece of fish taste like that? i'd eat it every f'n day. once again, restraint was key -- as in not a heap of vegetables or a pile of pureed potatoes beneath -- just tender little sprigs of asparagus and peas bathed in Meyer lemon butter. perfectly cooked, perfectly executed.

dessert -- bittersweet chocolate pave with Earl Grey cream and a Brooks cherry tart with vanilla ice cream -- was shared among the table of six, so i only had a few ethereal bites.

ok alice waters, i know you haven't been losing sleep trying to win me over, but regardless, you did. chez panisse is everything i've heard it would be. but the hero worship and revolutionary status, i'm still not buying it.

i'll reserve that for antoine et jeanette my french "parents," who were eating and living that way before AW could say "organic, sustainable, home-schooled carrots."

*thanks marlowe, too good not to steal...

Monday, May 25, 2009

long weekend letdown

my cousin julie and i would often talk on the phone on sunday nights when we were kids -- mine a beige push button, hers, a light blue rotary. we would describe how miserable we were to be going back to school the next day -- in varying shades of blue.

"jules, i'm soooo indigo tonight!"

"i know, lis, me too. actually, i'm totally cobalt."

we referred to it as "sunday night depression."

long weekends make SND even more poignant, though technically it would be MND. after this long weekend with its interminable fog, brutal arctic winds, and a computer glitch that deleted my post on chateau tivoli when i was just about to hit "publish," i should be seriously navy.

but, i WON the freakin' contest!!

last week i submitted this blog post entry to win a spa getaway for me and three of my most deserving BFFs. and i found out a couple of days ago that the judges from uptake and silverado resort selected mine! sweeeeet!

we're going to napa to lounge around the pool, drink lots, get free spa treatments, read cheesy magazine, and just hang....

it's even sweeter because we've been trying to make this girls' weekend happen for so long, now we just need to show up to our fireplace suite here.

and we do all so righteously deserve it.


i totally want to do something to preserve parker as she is right now. i tell her all the time i don't want her to grow up, that i'm calling the hall of records to backdate her so she won't get any older.

she is, without a doubt, the biggest fan i will ever have. she simply adores me. that's not to say she's never a brat or a pain-in-the ass, but she constantly tells me how much she loves me, that i'm pretty, that i'm "too sweet," the best mommy ever, she loves my outfit, my hair, and on and on.

she wants me to snuggle with her every night and is competitive with my friends.

you always hang out with (fill in the blank, but usually heather). i want to go on a powerwalk/run/hike/to the movies/to a "yes"taurant/to a spa vacation — with you!!! not when i'm older, that will be too long!!

when it gets to be too much, like tonight at 10:00, and she hovering around me like an obsequious, pesky, little satellite and WILL NOT go to bed, i remind myself of how nice it is to have a sweet adorable companion who idolizes me.

i'm well aware that 13 will happen...