Sunday, September 28, 2014

Winning at Parallel Parking

Take that, San Francisco!

P.S. I bought a new car before I moved. It's pretty great.

Thing I'm thankful for: baked crab legs smothered in garlic-butter-anchovy sauce

Friday, September 19, 2014

Things I'm Thankful For

I'm so behind on my blogging! I have so many things to write! Here's a quick list of topics:
It's been a busy, busy couple of weeks -- in the physical world and in my head!

It's also been hard. Moving is difficult. Moving to a place alone is difficult. Finding a place to live and then realizing the oven is a cheap son of a gun is difficult.

My sister-in-law Jacki reminded me of something yesterday, though, when she wrote this comment on my blog: "What are you thankful for, Sara?"

Now, I didn't forget about my thing-I'm-thankful-for deal in my last blog post; I intentionally left it off because I didn't think it looked good at the end of an open letter. However, Jacki's words cut me real deep. Rill deep. You see, I've been struggling with coming up with things I'm thankful for on my blog posts lately. Sure, I'm thankful for a job. And sure, I'm thankful for my family. Lately, though, my gratitude lacks a . . . specificity that I think indicates sincerity. So I'm gonna try to be specific here, and I'm gonna try to make myself more grateful by being grateful.

Things I'm thankful for:
  • Meeting Laura tonight at a women-in-business event
  • Talking to Brooke on the phone
  • The five minutes of rain this morning
  • The chill in the air that I hope heralds Fall
  • Palm trees and Aspens and Redwoods and Pines
  • Bike rides, even when all I can afford are short ones
  • Plain yogurt with a tablespoon of honey and a cup of granola
  • Almonds! Soft and wonderful California almonds
  • And episode of "Seinfeld" I caught the other night -- The Pick (It gets really good at 2:40!)
  • Schoolhouse cookies from Trader Joe's
  • Snail mail from my sisters
  • Family chats on Google Hangout

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Open Letter to Everyone, or Just Say No to Sunglasses

Dear Everyone,

I know sunglasses -- especially gigantic ones -- are still totally in right now, but you know what's not in? Keeping your sunglasses on in a family photo. Or in a photo where you're standing in front of a historic monument or a temple or a pristine lake on top of a mountain in a remote land. Or in a photo where you're with your best friends or loved ones or children or basically anyone whose face I want to see.

I get it, I get it. Sometimes a photo is spontaneous and no one even thinks to take their sunglasses off. And sometimes you just want to play it cool and do a model pose with big shades and puckered lips. And sometimes you're just at the beach, where you would naturally have sunglasses on. Those times are okay. You can wear sunglasses for those photos.

Here's the thing: When I look at a photo of people who mean something to me, I want to see them. I want to see their entire faces, especially their eyes! I don't want to see big black holes where their eyes should be. Those sunglasses will date the photo pretty fast, and more importantly, years and years from now, when I'm looking at those photos, I'll want to see how the people in them have changed over time. You can't do that very well by looking at sunglasses.

Next time you're about to snap a photo or have someone snap a photo of you, think about whether sunglasses are appropriate for the context. Think about how eyes are one of the most important features on someone's face and that leaving them out is a shame.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A Post for Brandy

My good (and beautiful) friend Brandy came to California this weekend for a wedding up in Sacramento, and since Brandy is a kindred spirit and since I have exactly one and a half friends in the Bay Area, I decided to drive up to the state capitol on Saturday.

Before I tell you about the trip, let me tell you about Brandy. I liked Brandy when I first met her, but the second time I met her is when she really stood out to me. She was wearing these incredible red heels that I'll never forget. It's that sense of classic style that really sets Brandy apart from most women of my generation. It makes her look . . . Parisian. But don't let her fashion sense make you think she is stuffy! She is also unusually quick-witted, which makes her so, so funny! And she sings! How she sings! It's just too bad I don't have a recording of her voice to post on here . . . She has one of the best voices I've ever heard; I'm not kidding.

Now for the trip . . . Here's a summary: It was fun.

Here are some details:

Brandy and I spent time just walking around in "Old Sac," or Old Sacramento, the part that was bustling with activity around the mid 19th Century. It's the part with railroads and trains and storefronts with big porches and one-room schoolhouses. I love that kinda stuff, especially the one-room schoolhouses. Look, Brandy and I pretended we were living "Anne of Green Gables" in real life:

Don't forget about Diane and Roly-poly Fred!

Here we are bringing a little bit of Texas to the Golden State.

And here we are at Tower Bridge, a beautiful vertical-lift bridge that crosses the Sacramento River. (You really should click on the link to "vertical lift bridge." You won't regret it. Unless you have absolutely zero regard for science, in which case I have no idea how you've been following my blog lo these many years.)

It was sad to say goodbye to Brandy, but I consoled myself with a lot of fresh California fruit* and freshly-made California peach pie . . . If only she had been here to share it with me.

Still, I'm grateful I was able to see her, and I'd be grateful for any of my friends to visit! So you better come to California now, while you have a free place to stay!

*But seriously, that fruit. It's wonderful to read "Dixon" or "Salinas" or "Vacaville" and know exactly where those places are. It's also wonderful to drive through American farms. It makes me feel proud of my country.

Thing I'm thankful for: people who are nice