Friday, June 24, 2011

Blogspot Hurts My Brain

I'm trying to respond to your lovely comments but something flonky is happening with Blogspot. I read your comments. I appreciate your comments. I might go so far as to say that I LOVE your comments. Alas, I am unable to respond to your comments.

Clearly a sign to get off the computer and get back to packing.

Chic-sighting San Francisco

I don't technically leave on my little trip until tomorrow but I didn't think I'd have time to update here before then. As it turns out, I couldn't head out without sharing this adorable ensemble I spotted on my way to the office yesterday. I love her cloche-and-bob combo, and the flats with the trench and dress are so cute and practical. I was too shy to ask permission before I snapped her photo and I wanted to rush to capture the look before one of us turned or went inside.

Thank you, strange woman, for the chic inspiration! And bon week-end to all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In Which I Get Didactic about Nature

I once read an essay by Stephen Jay Gould in which the author talked about how crucial it is for one to know his own local geography and place-- for many reasons, one of which being our civic-mindedness. Without being intimately acquainted with our own landscape and local flora and fauna, he said, we can't be educated voters. I'm a Northern California girl, born and bred. My own geography is red clay hills, a roiling ocean, blackberry brambles, oak trees and redwoods. What care do I have, beyond an academic sort of appreciation, for Great Lakes or Amber Waves of Grain? My consciousness, my voting, are rooted in my relationship to the place I live.

I fret about raising a kid in an era of technological over-saturation. So many kids are engulfed by TV, computers, hand-held electronics. Time outside is rare and it frequently means being shuttled to and from organized activities. I read about Nature Deficit Disorder and Free-range parenting and it all really resonates with me. Of course I want to avoid childhood obesity (the result of lots of screen time along with poor diet). I also want my child to grow into a passionate and engaged adult. I want him to have a connection to his place, his history, his culture.

Our reality is a fragmented, atomized suburban existence. My dream is an integrated "village" of extended family and a love of our place. So we throw dinner parties and we try to get to know our neighbors. We grow some vegetables and herbs and we hike on the weekends. Lately I am including "more nature" in my cultivation of a more intentional life.

This week we will be going camping down south in the redwoods, our first of such trips for longer than an overnight. Truthfully, I'm a bit worried we will get bored. But I hope to come back a bit tanner, a bit lighter, and a bit more grateful for my fluffy eiderdown and soft bed. Plus, I'm looking forward to the s'mores.

Bye for now!

I'm Dating Myself

Last night I took myself on a lovely date. First, a new dance class that I have been in for only a couple of weeks. I go there and I ask myself, What could be better than a class so frustratingly difficult I could literally cry? Answer: Many things.
American Tribal Style belly dance. So much harder and more frustrating than the Egyptian "Raqs sharqi"style I am used to- and better at doing.

But I persist because I want to get good and the workout is amazing. Since I've gotten more seriously into dancing after a break of a few years, I have become much more aware of my posture and carriage. As a person who has the farthest thing possible from what I think of when I think of a dancer's body, this awareness of posture has been almost revolutionary for me. I began noticing this when I started dancing with a teacher who outweighs me by a lot but who has such grace and amazing carriage that I look positively dumpy by comparison. One of my current missions is to get my posture gorgeous and to really work on carriage. Clothes fit better, my neck is elongated, my cute little postpartum belly (let's be positive, here) is tucked and - extra bonus - the body feels better.  Bar Method and Floor Barre classes are helping a lot. If only I had ample free time to take all the classes I wanted in a week. I would be a specimen.

 After class I walked to a little restaurant and had a lovely chicken skewer and a glass of wine before a late showing of Midnight in Paris.

I have been living in my own little dreamworld lately and I wouldn't have even known it existed if it weren't for the lovely Rich Life (on a Budget), so grazie mille to Adrienne for the heads-up. Other than a few cast members and the fact that it was Woody Allen's newest I had not a clue what this movie was about. I won't spoil the plot if any of my three readers have yet to see it but I will say it is worth seeing, probably twice (as I'm sure I will if only for the sheer Paris valentine of it all ).

Sets, costumes, acting and plot were all amazing, and if watching the beautiful Marion Cotillard and Carla Bruni are not motivation enough to keep working on grace and carriage, I don't know what is.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Slow Family Weekend

This Father's Day morning began with a lovely hot cafe mocha in bed for the man of the day.

then, a walk around town
to see the neighbors' gardens
and stop for a while at the beach.
Next, a short trip over the bridge to see the streetcars and rocket ships.

Happy Father's Day to the dads out there. Next week, my belated 100-Things wrap-up and a couple of book reviews and links I love.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Take That, McDo!

I stumbled on this brilliant piece (with admittedly annoying narration) that looks at French public school cuisine. Oh la la, regret la difference. I love the high school lunch room chef who says, "Just because they don't have the right to vote. . . we can't just throw anything in their face."

The Inimitable Jonathan Richman on French Style

French style, French style is so fussy
French style, French style is so proud
French style, French style is creamy color
More often quiet than loud.

French style, French style what is it?
Something sort of delicate
French style, French style, French Style.

It's not as foxy as Italian
Nor as dramatic as in Spain
But what they do is so hard to copy
It's something that they can do with something plain.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where I'm Calling From*

“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter.”

*imperfect grammar courtesy of Raymond Carver. The quote above is courtesy of I don't know who. But it sums up where I am right now and why I don't have a lot to offer the blog world. So I'm taking a break and returning when I have more that is light and fun to say.
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