When I am an Old Lady, I will…



  • Live within walking distance of Erika S.'s front porch
  • Finally make a living baking cookies
  • Have as many cats as my backyard can accommodate and my neighbors can tolerate
  • Make sure to still travel some place fabulous every year
  • Finally dye my hair blue
  • Have a large enough place that I can invite as many friends from far flung places as possible to come stay with us
  • Never get up earlier than 7 a.m. again
  • Eat dessert first
  • Have a kitchen garden

When you are a little old person, what will YOU do?


A Nice Surprise at Work

my soon to be former view from my cube at work
I spent all day Friday packing up my cube at work.You see, I'm moving into an office on Thursday afternoon, thanks to being promoted.

That's right– I've finally reached my career goal at work. I'm still managing my same team, but I'll be focusing on some digital marketing projects, including our social media efforts. And I'll finally have a door, which will make it significantly easier to concentrate on all the writing and power point projects in my near future.

Next up on the goals list:

  • find a bigger apartment in our same awesome neighborhood
  • make our plans for our trip to Los Angeles this Summer
  • and decide on something to bake for the team next weekend, to break-in the new office space.

Looking for a New Place to Call Home in SF


No, I’m not looking to leave my beloved Inner Richmond neighborhood. but we have been talking a lot more frequently abuot wanting a bigger place. One with a second bedroom to lock away the computers and their yummy cords from Bolvar. And with a kitchem large enough to accommodate my baking and cooking without it spilling over into the living room.

We’ve started keeping an eye out for For Rent signs in the neighborhood, and I’ve started looking at craigslist more regularly. And the more I search craigslist the more I miss MetroRents, which is how I found the place I’ve called home for over a decade.

MetroRent only sent me listings that met my requirements — things like it being OK for having a cat, laundry in the building, top floor apartment. Searching through craigslist’s rental ads, I find listings that say no pets but were tagged as pets allowed to turn up in my searches. I find rentals that seem to be someone’s unfinished basement, not a habitable apartment. And I find scams.

The last time we entertained moving, we got discouraged pretty quicky due to two really bad experiences with these online lsitings. The first one was a scam. After I emailed the “owner”, I got back an email about how she was called out of the country unexpectedly on business, but if I would give her a good faith deposit, I would be overnighted the keys. Yup, I actually got hit up with one of the classic Internet rental fraud scams. That incident alone made me start questioning some of the ads that ask you to show up with a ton of your personal financial information in hand. How can you identify that the person with whom you are corresponding, or heck, even the person showing the apartment, is authorized to rent it to you?

The second incident was a total bummer. We were strung along by a landlady who had a place a couple of blocks from here that sounded perfect. We had a showing scheduled, and were crossing our fingers that we’d lucked into a flat that met all our requirements and in an even better location than our current place. And that’s when the nosy questions started, about whom would be inhabiting the apartment exactly. After learning it would be me and my boyfriend, she left a message saying our time wasn’t good for her after all. When I called to reschedule, she didn’t pick up.

After a week or so, she finally got back to me to tell me she rented the place — to “a married couple with children, family.” At that point we lost our mojo, and stopped looking.

But the nagging thought that we could find a place that better suits us has again entered our every day conversations, so I know it’s time to start looking again. Wish us luck! And if you see any For Rent signs out here in the avenues– send me an SMS with the # to call…


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Time and Space to Think

spa snacksWhen I don't have enough unscheduled time, I don't feel like writing. Hence the lack of regular updates to this blog over the past year. Honestly, when my schedule is packed too full, when I get home I don't even necessarily feel like vegging out in front of the tv or the computer either.

It is impossible for me to feel creative — to BE creative — unless I am able to give myself the headspace to sit and think. To let my mind wander.

Jumping from thought to loosley connected thought until a great idea posp up that inspires me to bust out my notebook and a pen and scribble it down.

This need for headspace is not just a leisure time need either. How can you find creative solutions to business problems at work if you are in back-to-back meetings all day, scarfing down your lunch when a conference call ends a few minutes early?

I need time to read. To read books. Magazines. Blogs. The twitter and Facebook posts my friends make. This helps me recharge, get inspired and carry on about my usual routine.

I've started scheduling monthly weekdays off. On most of them, I head to a day spa for a massage at a minimum, with a longer stay on a quarterly basis for a facial or a mani/pedi. This is significant downtime without distractions. A truly valuable commoddity in my overscheduled life. No blackberry buzzing at me. No phone ringing. No kitty clawing at my leg.

Darkess. Quiet. Soothing rituals. Plenty of space for the mind to wander. This is a gift I give myself and urge you to do for yourself as well.

Taking Care of Yourself

stained glass detail, scotlandI don't think I am the only one who finds it hard to make time to take care of herself.

I console myself with that thought as I tally up my seemingly never-ending to do list.

I had the big reality check on this topic a few weeks ago. We were out running our Saturday errands, and the clerk at BevMo wouldn't sell me the case of assorted wine I'd picked out. Why? Someone didn't have a valid ID.


I mean, I have a passport, but didn't have it with me. But my state issued ID was well over a year expired. How'd that happen? As a non-driver, it wasn't a priority to get it renewed when it expired. My work has been crazy busy for the past two years, and when I've had a day off or a vacation week, it hasn't synched up with being able to get an appointment at the DMV.

It's one small thing but it's a symptom of a larger issue. I've been coasting on fumes on the whole. Putting off doctors appointments, putting off calling neglected friends, putting off career development, putting off anything not on fire and needing immediate attention.

When you feel stretched too thin, it's easy to keep putting things off, regardless of their importance.

But I am putting a stake in the ground. No more putting off taking care of me. All the other stuff will still be there waiting.

Things making me happy right in this moment

  • crispy fried sage leaves from the stuffing I'm making
  • the tiny bit of Lot 7 wine (made by Raymond) leftover from last night
  • the sense of accomplishment from turning out perfect madeleines for tomorrow's Christmas dinner
  • looking back upon what was a sometimes challenging but overall good year
  • thinking about popping open a bottle of champagne to go with tonight's risotto and stuffed game hens
  • looking at all the adorably wrapped presents
  • knowing that I got much of the wrap on sale at target
  • hoping that L loves his present, which he will open tonight, post bread pudding for dessert

Back to the Routine

crosses against a cloudy sky

After five glorious weeks off, I went back into the office on Monday.

Overall, it didn't feel like I missed much. Many things I was working on seemed to have stood in place waiting for my return. And my tidy desk was the same. As was my spectacular view. The only thing that was different? Me.

Somehow, despite a very busy week, with a number of incredibly urgent projects, I've managed to maintain my chill and de-stressed demeanor.

I love my job. But it is, after all, just a job. Having this time off allowed me to put that back into perspective, and I am crossing my fingers that I can retain my inner calm through the holidays.

So although it was back to work, I am trying to not have it be entirely business as usual.


  1. I am trying to manage my time so that I am not back to the 50-60 hour work weeks. I almost caved and logged in to do some work today, but then I didn't. I need my weekend time to re harge my batteries. If I work through the weekend that doesn't happen.
  2. I'm making time for the things that are important to me. That means last week I made time to go to the Giants' World Series parade with my boss and colleagues. And I also made time to go to the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market.
  3. I am happiest when I make time to write. Although my NaNoWriMo novel has not taken off yet, due to heading back to work this week, I spent the bulk of this afternoon writing a meaty post for my gaming blog.
  4. I want to make a dent in the stack of books next to my bed. I just finished Foucault's Pendulum last night, and am working my way through A Handmade Life now. I am trying to make time each night to read. It's a good way to wind down in addition to getting the creative ideas flowing.
  5. I'm back to eating consciously healthy lunches. I'm trying to very my diet, and am makign sure I eat enough fruits and veggies. When I eat better, I feel better.
  6. Likewise, I am trying to not fall back into staying up until Midnight each night. I have to get up at 6:30, so that means 11 p.m. is my target bedtime. I have a tendency to not get enough sleep, which is a killer, especially if you are working under pressure (which I usually am) and intolerable if your workday stretches past 8 hours.

Wish me luck.

Blogroll Cleanup, and a Status Update

I've been poking around tidying up the blog, including tackling my blogrolls. I'd love some sugegstions for some additional food and design blogs to read since it feels like so many have gone dark over the past year. I'm such a softie though I can't seem to delete the links to a few defunct blogs I still love but haven't had posts since 2009. Having watched my own posting habits wax and wane over the years though, I know how it is.

My posting here over the past year has been sporadic at best. I tapered off while mister Bill was sick, and never truly got back into the swing of things. 

Also in the past year, I have made a pledge to myself to try to reconcile my foodie tendencies with eating more thoughtfully and healthfully. Some examples:

  • I gave up my beloved Strauss Organic whole milk for 2%.
  • My sandwich bread of choice is now a whole wheat or multigrain instead of sourdough.
  • I've started ordering skinny vanilla lattes at Starbucks.
  • I've cut back on my use of butter, but ramped up my use of olive oil.
  • I take a walk to the Tuesday Farmers' market or the local natural foods store a couple times per week to pick up luscious fresh fruit, and bring a baggie of fruit or an apple with me to work every day.
  • I've cut back my lunchtime eating out — and try to get a great veggie sandwich or a salad if I don't bring my lunch.
  • I save the fish and chips and hamburgers and fries for a weekend treat.

These small, easy-to-do changes are helping me feel more healthy, save money, and my favorite clothes all fit a lot better. My immediate motivator for these changes was the age-old "couldn't fit into my favorite skirt." But I found that even after I lost a few pounds, I stuck with the eating better habits, and didn't feel like it was such a loss.

Stay tuned for some more healthful recipes and pantry lists here soon.