June 19, 2014


hi, hello! long time no talk. i had visitors in town a few weeks back and got to play tourist in my own city. which, i've concluded, is a thing that shouldn't be overlooked as a worthwhile event even without visitors. knowing popular points of interest is useful because you never know when you'll need to dole out directions to the embarcadero or the best place to eat a crab as big as yer head. and when you do have to dispense that information, you can be all puffy-chested for the rest of the day because you know what's up and generally improved the experience of someone visiting your city. people helping people. 

let's look at the pictures. 

the weather was really cranking out its best moody bay charm. also, sea lions stink. 

crab as big as your head at pier 23. boom. 

i got honked at for standing in the middle of the street to take this picture (and the woman honking got the finger.)

i have no pictures of the bridge because i dropped the ball, is what happened there.

we ate at piqueo's in bernal heights, and now all i want is to listen to the waiter's syrupy accents and eat their peruvian food, the end. 

hayes valley being cute.

coit tower/view from coit tower. 

we went wine tasting in sonoma valley and kline's was the first stop. a man named bill served our group and said the sign about mud sharks (which are made up: the more you know) had to be added after a bachlorette party decided this fountain was a swimming pool. i sort of want to high five the members of that bachelorette party. 

there were donkeys. i don't know.

blurry shot of wine glasses and i wasn't even drinking. 

sing us out, scotty. 

May 5, 2014


my favorite instagram shots from april, comin' right up! i only took 11 photos in april, what? i don't know how that happened or why.

consider me putting my photo game face on for may.

ps: let's be friends on instagram.

May 1, 2014


last weekend, i traveled to wisconsin to see my family and attend the uw-madison marching band concert that we've been going to for twenty-some years. one of the very first hurdles anyone interested in dating me needs to clear is demonstrating an acceptance and enthusiasm for this concert. i don't want to say i would come right out and say something like, "so, my family goes to this concert every year and if you want to date me you have to go and you have to like it." but i don't want to say that i wouldn't do that either.

the concert was saturday and tradition dictates that my family meanders around state street in the middle of the afternoon for dinner and general pre-concert jubilee. my brother, his girlfriend (hi mike and laura!) and i decided to "grab a drink" at state street brats before meeting up with everyone already with my paternal grandma's brother and his extended family (our blood runs deep, is how that is).

i have no idea who this photobomber is or what he's doing.

state street brats is a two story sports bar with all the trimmings of a wisconsin bar: the scent of cheap beer hangs heavy in the air, oversized oak booths line the parameter and crooked tchotchkes speckle the walls. oh, and also booze and brats and a full sized cow statue outside because, duh it's wisconsin. there's just this very warm and steady feeling that comes over me every time i cross the threshold; as if it were to say, "hello, kelly. welcome, i'm so glad you're here. LET'S GET DRUNK."

which is exactly where my train was headed.

(to qualify: to me, "grab a drink" means drinking one drink; i didn't go to madison like the other hooligans i was with, but i learned that term is pretty loose in relation to quantity.)

i ordered the first round from a rosy-cheeked german brick of a bartender that immediately apologized for my total because, "tequila is expensive so we have to charge a lot." i had forgotten that a total for drinks around $30 (whole, full drinks! $30!) is considered expensive there because in california i'm used to taking out a loan to pay a tab. i nearly pinched his rosy cheeks in glee. after that, more tequila just sort of appeared in front of me? i don't really know the logistics, but i took it down to the end zone is what happened.

i wouldn't say i got drunk, but my face was all zingy, and at dinner i was three heaping mouthfuls into erik's nachos before i realized there was ground beef on them (10 year - nearly - vegan, right here). i couldn't distinguish the taste of COW MEAT in my mouth and had to ask the table to verify it, so feel free to draw the appropriate conclusions. (i'm not even going to touch what happened on the side of the road on the way back from the concert, but my dad can stop a car on a dime when a non-madison alum drinker says she needs to pull over, is the gist.)

the band impresses me every year no matter what, but in recent years i've come to determine whether or not it was a successful concert with one simple piece of criteria: tom wopat.

i don't know why the band director seems particularly fond of tom wopat, but every single year luke duke makes a cameo. every year! my opinion of him nearly softened when he did a rendition of don mclean's "american pie" and everyone turned on their phone flashlight apps and swayed them in the air, but then he kept popping up. i think a total of six time? that's the same number of shots in all of my drinks and although i spared you the imagery - that was five shots too many.

either way...ON WISCONSIN!


sections of the band walk around playing on state street before the concert. 

the band enters in their traditional high step. because they're hardcore bamfs. 

you really have...

April 16, 2014


in a lot of ways it may seem like i saved lola from a harsh, short life as an outdoor cat in rural minnesota  when i picked her up from the farm where she was born. after eight sweet years, i'm certain i was the one saved that day.

happy eighth birthday, sweet sassypants.

April 14, 2014


lisa hackworth of hackworth design house makes wall hangings she calls, "tasseltries." when i saw them on instragram for the first time i fell in love deeply and with great enthusiasm. by the time i finally made myself go to her website to buy one, they were sold out. so, i did the next best thing and made one myself. because i am a problem solver, is why.

here's what i used and how i did it:
i bought one yard of linen fabric, a 1/4 inch dowel and two packs of .5mm bead cord (i wouldn't recommend this stuff.)

+ cut dowel to 24''
+ fold the fabric in half horizontally and cut 1'' pieces (approximately 13 of strips)
+ take two pieces, fold in half and cut to create four; set one piece aside
+ gather remaining three so they are roughly equal in length and tie bead cord approx. 1'' from the top
+ take fourth strip and tie around the neck, concealing the bead cord
+ start from the left and tie tassel onto dowel approx. four inches down
+ repeat steps two through five, moving each tassel down by an inch or so until you've reached the middle of the dowel
+ continue adding tassels but move them one inch in the opposite direction to create "v" shape

the cliffs notes version: make a bunch of tassels and tie them to a dowel in a "v" shape; wing it, mostly.

i attached each tassel to the dowel by wrapping the end of the bead cord around one time and securing it on the back side with a little hot glue. i wouldn't use bead cord again because the stretch of it made it difficult to create really secure knots (i added a little hot glue to the backs of each tassel to keep each knot in place.) i would use fishing line or sew directly through the tops of each tassel like lisa's.

ta-da! diy-ing! it's pretty rad.

April 7, 2014


1. decide you're going to make blackberry and meyer lemon cheesecake bars to take to class in a moment of regressive gender essentialism/pure insanity.

2. go to whole foods and buy $79 worth of ingredients because a.) the cobwebs in your pantry just sort of moan and roll their eyes at you when you go looking for actual food in there and, b.) emotional manipulation in educational institutions isn't as effective if it isn't organic.

3. drive home feeling smug about the baking endeavors about to commence; believe for a fleeting moment that you might find some small pleasure in it.

4. open recipe bookmarked on your computer and begin with the first step, the crust: graham crackers, butter and sugar.

5. sail through the process of crumbling graham crackers into vitamix; take a few calming breathes after nearly choking the vitamix motor with cookie particles. question if a vitamix is a poor substitute for the food processor suggested in the recipe.

6. ponder the reason melting butter in a small stainless sauce pan feels so "chefy."

7. mix all three crust ingredients together, smash them into a buttered glass pan and feel wholly self-congratulatory for making crust from scratch. 

8. begin blackberry puree by adding blackberries, sugar and water into another small sauce pan and decide it too feels "chefy." realize the mere act of being in the kitchen doing anything that is at all like preparing food is probably the real reason you feel that way.

9. pull graham cracker crust from the oven at just the right degree of golden brownness. again, feel enormously self-congratulatory.

10. let blackberry puree come to a boil, strain and decide it seems too thin but forge ahead anyway. reassure yourself the cloud of doom slowly circling around you is natural and it will probably be fine in the end.

11. read the rest of the recipe and note you do not have a square pan or a large baking pan in which to bake the cheesecake after you've added the  puree and "swirled" it into fancy, baker-like patterns.

12. feel complete befuddlement that cheesecake needs two pans to bake. wtf, cheesecake.

13. stare into space for a second and ask yourself what any contestant on top chef would do in this situation.

14. realize you do not have a fraction of the experience or knowledge any contestant on top chef has (even the contestants that go home after the first episode of a season).

15. say, "eff it" and continue despite being down necessary accessories because you're a scrappy, improvisational sort of person anyway. ask your cat what the proper definition for a pan is because 'accessory' seems wrong.

16. conclude your cat also lacks the experience of top chef contestants.

17. add cream cheese to vitamix to begin cheesecake batter; nearly choke the motor a second time. conclude with unflinching certainty that a vitamix is not a substitute for a food processor, hand mixer or a stand mixer.

18. turn vitamix off and eyeball its contents with enough hot rage it nearly implodes and vanishes instantly into an alternate universe.

19. take $11 worth of organic cream cheese and chisel it off the sides of your vitamix with scalding water so that it begins to smell like fermented toe jam and speckles your sink with hot chunky globs.

20. drive self-loathingly to the grocery a few blocks from your apartment and buy cookies from the bakery because it's what you should have done all along.

April 4, 2014


the thing about my long haired cat is that her coat takes a little maintenance. on occasion lola gets little mats of hair that need to be brushed or (if they're really tangled) cut out. the knots she gets in her mane are always the stinkers i end up cutting out because they seem to grow over night into the tightest, most stubborn balls of hair you've ever met in yer life.

yesterday, she was laying in a nest of blankets on the couch when i sat down next to her to pet her good morning and generally convince myself she does love me. i was running my hands around her ears when i felt a knot. i grabbed the mini scissors designated for her grooming purposes and proceeded to cut it out. except she had her head cocked at a funny angle and i was so focused on the delicate work of removing the knot that i didn't notice the majority of her whiskers were between the scissor blades.

i think her facial expression says it all.

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