Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Last night, Erik had hockey at 8pm so I went to the game. Afterwards, we went out to their team bar for a drink. They tied the game. Tonight, I am definitely staying IN. I feel like it's summer time and party time and have been going out a lot. I'm going to do laundry tonight & get back on track. But, tomorrow is another client happy hour! Then, 4th of July weekend! Woohoo.

We have a few fun things planned for 4th of July weekend. I hope it's nice weather!

There is drama going on at work. A few mos back, we hired a guy who a)the clients didn't love and b)my boss felt skeptical about. But, our other boss liked him and thought he would be good for the team. I said to that boss - if the clients don't like him, they will find a way to get rid of him in 3 mos. It's been 4. He's leaving. This client is soooo finicky. They like who they like & that's it. He doesn't fit with the team. He is akward. He stares. He doesn't listen that well & asks them questions that they just answered. They get annoyed at him. It makes the meeting akward. Once again, when you feel it in your gut that something is not right - act on it. We never should've brought him onto the team.

Luckily, my friend Lauren is coming back to SF and we are going to bring her back to replace him. Woohoo. The three of us work really well together so it will be fun. Plus, I get a friend back at work. We all know how I feel about having no friends at work.

So this week is super busy because we have some crazy deadlines for a project that is happening at a fast pace. I am excited for the weekend!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hilarious & TRUE

BINGO was his name-o

I started my new volunteer duty last night. Every other Monday, I will be calling Bingo for a group of seniors at a housing center near our house. I love having a little volunteering regularly. I haven't found something since my days at PAWS in CT. This is going to be easy, mellow, & fun!

I found the opportunity through our neighborhood newsletter that I get. The women who attend Bingo are Russian. They emigrated from Russia years ago and all live together in this complex. They don't know a lot of English but they do know their numbers! They were very welcoming & they said I did a good job. So, that is promising.

The program director told me they can be finicky, particular, and like things a certain way. I guess I called the numbers properly for them! They also gave me some desserts which was nice.

So, you can find me every other Monday at the Bingo hall with the Russian ladies!

The Chihuahua Guys

Some mornings, I see the Chihuahua guys. Two guys walk approx 12 Chihuahuas. They have a bunch on leashes and then they have these weird vests on to carry more dogs. It's pretty strange. But, I expect to see weird things here in SF.

Today, we walked past them and they ALL were barking at us. Thankfully, Evie just walked right by them.

So strange.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Black Bush

Here is the full skit on Black Bush on Chapelle Show. Too funny.


Yesterday was super nice out!! Warm & sunny. We walked Evie in shorts & a t-shirt. We hit up the farmer's market & relaxed.

Betsy & I met up for happy hour yesterday. It was so nice & sunny out, we just had to. Plus, this place nearby has $2 beer and $3.50 wine! We sat outside & had some wine and yummy mediteranean apps. Before we knew it, it was almost 9pm and getting dark out!

Evie & I then took a little walk to Duboce Park where she got to play for a little while. A fun start to the work week!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Sundays are for...

Chapelle Show

We have been watching old episodes of Chapelle Show and man, they are hilarious. I wish he would tour, because we would definitely go see him. Yesterday, we watched a skit of how President Bush would behave if he was black. Here is one of the funniest parts talking about Oil. Too funny.


Yesterday, we took Erik is very hard to shop for. Even when he goes and picks stuff out himself, he will only get a few things at a time. Yesterday, he got 2 shirts and 2 undershirts. We were out for 2 hours. Luckily, we found some stuff online when we got home which we can ORDER.

We went to Macy's & Urban Outfitters. And the mall to eat because I was on the brink of passing out. It was crazy downtown. The city is packed with people because it is Pride Weekend. I came home and took a nap. I was literally like worn out from being downtown for a few hours.

After dinner, we tried a sushi place nearby - Sushi Raw. It was pretty good but nothing beats my all time fave - Domo. Then, we went to Candybar - the dessert/drink bar near our house. We had the Apple a la mode dessert. So yummy.

Friday Night

Friday night was our "monthly movie night" to see "Knight & Day" w/ Tom Cruise & Cameron Diaz. It was just Amy & I set to go out on Fri night. We first grabbed salads for dinner at The Grove. I had the chinese chicken salad which was so good. Then, we got a cupcake from Kara's Cupcakes - my fave. Then, we decided to skip the movie! haha

We got manicures instead which we desperately needed. I keep my nails really short and I am always picking at them. I was getting weekly manicures & think I might have to start again. I am too old to have nails that look like a 12 yr old boy. Then, we hit up the bookstore and stopped for a drink before heading home. It was a fun night!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Tonight, we had a work dinner with a couple clients & it was so good. We went to Town Hall, where I have been before. We had some appetizers: tuna tartare, bbq shrimp, & FROG LEGS. I tried a teensy tiny bit. It tasted like nothing to me. I would never gnaw on a frog leg or anything to get the full taste but I tried it.

Also, for dinner, I had the halibut. And some Sauvignon Blanc.

I got a cab home and had a funny guy for a driver - Raphael. Been here since the 50's. He was a bigger guy with a long white beard that he had twisted into different twists. He told me all about the San Jose flea market & how I have to go. I love chatty, funny cab drivers.

Tomorrow, I am working from home and hope to finish up early. I'd love to get a manicure & then it is movie night! We're seeing "Knight & Day" with Cameron Diaz & Tom Cruise.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today is gray, cold(55), and foggy. The swirly type of fog that is like a light snow. It's wet and feels like a light rain. Happy summer. I definitely miss real summer. You have to leave the city to get heat.

Yesterday, I was at the client allll day for this event in their lobby. It went really well though & VP's were excited so that's good.

Last night, Erik was off so we had Taco Tues for dinner. Watched Treme and True Blood. He downloads the shows & we watch it thru this system he set up with his laptop & the tv. Treme is set in New Orleans, a few months after Katrina. It follows a few different people and their stories after the storm & how they are moving forward. It's pretty good.

Erik is into True Blood & I sit and watch once in awhile. I ask a ton of questions because I don't know who everyone is and what they are doing. I will say that the main girl, Sookie is annoying to watch and its pretty gruesome watching the vampires bite and all of the blood. However, I did notice that Zack from Gilmore Girls(Laine's husband from the band) is in the show.

Also, this fall, Soukie St.James from Gilmore Girls has her own show!! Melissa McCarthy will be in a show called Mike & Molly. She was also in the movie 'The Back-Up Plan' which was really funny!!

Evie's New Tricks

I have been working with Evie on two tricks: High-five and 'Bang!' She got High-Five down. Here it is

And, here she is doing 'Bang!' I point my "gun" at her and she plays dead. haha. Too funny.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Here are two more pics of my hair. Does it look red? I think it looks blondie/reddish.


Dickinson did an article about our trip to NOLA and I have a quote in here! How fun. Here is the article:

Perseverence and Hope in New Orleans

Alumni and students join forces in groundbreaking service trip

by MaryAlice Bitts

June 16, 2010

alumni service trip
Dickinson volunteers pose during a service trip to New Orleans. The trip was the first Dickinson student trip to pair student and alumni volunteers.

Hours after graduating from Dickinson, Amanda Crabbe ’10 trekked across campus, luggage in tow, and boarded a van to New Orleans. And one two-day journey later, while most of the nation’s new graduates still basked in the excitement of their passage into the professional realm, Crabbe was hard at work installing baseboards in a home in the city’s hurricane-ravaged Seventh Ward.

It wasn’t her first volunteer experience, but it was symbolically significant. Five years after Hurricane Katrina swept the Gulf Coast, Dickinson’s ninth service trip to the Crescent City was also the first to pair students with alumni volunteers. And as Crabbe, the youngest of 15 such alumni, can attest, the spirit of service fostered at Dickinson continues after graduates venture outside the college’s limestone walls.

An astounding response

Service-trip veteran Mira Hewlett, interim director of religious life and community service, partnered with Office of Alumni and Parent Relations Director Rick Delgiorno to make the opportunity available to alumni.

“The response was astounding,” said Delgiorno, one of four Dickinson administrators who took part in the trip. He noted that all 15 alumni spots were filled within an hour of posting information about the volunteer opportunity; a 30-member wait-list was soon created. “Giving back is woven in to the fabric that makes up the Dickinson community,” Delgiorno explained.

Organizers divided the 34-member group into three teams. Led by Bonner Leaders Mike Blair ’12, Cate David ’11 and Josh Handelsman ’12, the teams would work on three houses in New Orleans, including a structure that had been drywalled a few months earlier by Dickinson students on a spring-break trip.

And, after about a year of planning, a new alumni-student venture had begun.

A diamond in the rubble

By night, the volunteers slept in bunk beds in a water-damaged church that had been converted into a makeshift recovery station. By day, as temperatures peaked at a humid 95 degrees, they attached baseboards, installed drywall, painted, affixed molding and cleaned remaining hurricane-strewn dirt and debris.

There were poignant moments: The day Matthew Manarski ’13 unearthed a diamond ring amid the rubble and returned it to its elated owner. The afternoon a woman, who had been living in a FEMA trailer behind her home for five years, hugged the members of Handelsman's team, Team Josh, to thank them for their good work. The story-telling game that other volunteers played with a young boy, who, charmed by the attention, stayed to help them paint. The visits with neighbors who offered drinks and icy treats to stave off the Louisiana heat.

Those visits were particularly moving, said Michael Pappas ’83. “What kept us grounded and on track was interaction with the homeowners and neighbors,” Pappas explained. “Their remarkable stories of perseverance … recalled us to our mission.”

Spreading hope

By week's end, the volunteers had improved the condition of three houses, bringing three residents steps closer to moving back home. It was a satisfying accomplishment, said Kelle Basta ’04.

“We all put so much heart, love and care into [the job],” noted Basta. “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to spread so much hope after so much devastation.”

The volunteers also visited other areas of the city, gaining an appreciation for the manifold culture that drives recovery efforts five years after Katrina. They took in New Orleans' skyline at night, toured the French Quarter and trolled through the Garden District. And they viewed the new levees and toured a school in the city's hardest-hit Lower Ninth Ward.

Shared identities

Throughout the week, the volunteers traveled, worked and enjoyed down time together; cooked for each other; and slept and ate meals in close, humble quarters. As with service trips past, new friendships blossomed. But according to Hewlett, who marked her 10th New Orleans service trip this spring, the multigenerational mix of Dickinsonians from across the country created a particularly special—and beneficial—dynamic this year.

“Seeing the alumni interact and tell stories with the current students was inspiring,” she noted. “It is wonderful to be a part of an institution where this seemed to happen naturally and organically.”

This fact came as a welcome surprise to first-year student Taylor Wilmot, who felt she benefitted from chatting with alumni during lunchtime breaks. “It was great to hear our differences and similarities, genuinely respect each other’s views and compare the perspectives of different generations,” she said.

But the similarities far outweighed the differences, stressed Blair. He was proud to work side-by-side with all of the volunteers, because of their shared ideals. “These people represent what is good in the world,” Blair observed. “This is a great way to bring the school and alumni together in an atmosphere that represents the true Dickinson character.”

Passing it along

David, a fellow team leader who has taken three service trips to New Orleans, said that this sense of shared identity helps her envision a successful future. “Our alums have inspired us. They have gone on to do wonderful work that gave us all comfort, [realizing] that we, too, can accomplish great things,” she said.

Heather Mead ’02 hopes that both alumni and students will pass on that message of hope. “Dickinson definitely instilled in all of us to give back and help others. Hopefully, we can all inspire others to give back,” she said.

Crabbe, a former community-service student worker who had taken other Dickinson disaster-relief trips to the Gulf Coast and to Guatemala, is resolved to do just that. As a result of her experiences as an undergraduate, Crabbe plans to continue to volunteer and work in disaster relief in her new life as an alum. And, just one week after graduation, she was off to an excellent start.

“We made a difference in at least one person’s life, and that is what I would consider a successful week,” she said.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie Review: When The Levees Broke

A four part documentary by Spike Lee illustrates the impact of the hurricane on the people of New Orleans. It shows what went wrong before, during, and most definitely after, the hurricane. This movie is hard to watch because you see how horribly the US treated our own citizens after the hurricane.

It took George W. Bush two weeks to go down to NOLA to see the damage.

People were without food/water for days after Katrina.

Dead bodies were found in homes six months after the storm.

Our own US citizens were called 'refugees' for fleeing to new cities & towns.

Years later, people never returned to their homes.

This movie really shows what happened & it's hard to understand....why. I hope this never happens again to anyone in this country. For a raw & unforgiving view into the mess that was & still is Katrina, check out this movie. You will also see how resilient the residents of NOLA are & how dedicated they are to their city. The passion and the culture this city exudes is pretty rare these days.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rent The Runway

I just heard about a fun, new site: Rent The Runway. It's a site where you can rent a designer dress to wear to an event. For $50, you can rent a dress. The more expensive the dress, the higher the rent fee. Also, you can rent accessories! It's kind of like Bag, Borrow, Steal where you can rent bags & accessories. Seems like a fun way to dress up for an event at a fraction of the cost.

Movie Review: It's Complicated

Today I watched, "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep. It was a good movie. It was pretty funny. Plus, I love Meryl Streep.

Meryl & Alec are divorced but find themselves attracted to each other. But, Alec is remarried and Meryl likes someone else, too.

The story unfolds & is funny. I recommend it!!


On Saturday, I got my hair done. My hair is not blonde & not brown. It's a dirty blonde. Ashy. I think it can look gray-ish. I always highlight it to brighten it up. I am really bad at staying on schedule with getting highlight. I end up with like 2" of roots and my hair looks horrible.

I went to the salon & they said they could highlight it but also do a base color that would liven up my usual base. I said OK. They suggested something and then said, 'Ohhh we could do a little red, too". So, I said, sure- do what you want. ha. It's just hair! So, now I do have reddish hair!

Can you tell from this picture? Ill try to get some more. Its a demi-perm color so it will wash out in 12-24 weeks. I have had my hair blonde, dark brown, and now reddish. We'll see what I like best. I have also had my hair super short, short, and long. I realized I like my hair long so that is one thing I won't mess with. I love playing with color though. It'll grow out. You can try something new!

After the salon, we went north of the city. Erik's team had their BBQ picnic. It was nice to get out of the city, eat some yummy food(it was Caribbean themed!), & hang out. We also got to take home some great leftovers! After going out Wed, Thur, Fri, I was so tired. We came home and watched True Blood. Erik has been downloading True Blood & Treme. Both are pretty good.


Friday night was so much fun. Amy & I had dinner with our friend from NOLA, whom we affectionately call by his last name, Pappas. We went up to his house & he made us dinner. It was so delish. He made us chicken & risotto. Amy brought strawberry shortcake. Red wine. Great company. I'm so happy we have a new friend in SF from our alma mater & NOLA. We already planned another SF/NOLA happy hour in July. Can't Wait!

Oh what a night!

Well, Thursday night was pretty funny/random for Erik & I. Erik had the night off so we went to a fun little event. On a SF blog, I saw that there are two guys in SF who are also making their own home brew. Erik is really into home brewing so I thought he would love this.

The directions on their blog are to go to the address given & go into the open garage door. Pretty crazy. So, we walked in and were warmly welcomed by two guys, Patrick & Brian. They had quite the set up! They had containers every where filled with beer & were brewing on site. They were super friendly & happy to have people drinking their beer. They chose two beers to keg & tap for the night.

There were probably 15 of us there, just hanging out. Some people knew the brewers and most of us did not. They were excited about their recent local press. They can't sell their beers so they just ask for donations. The beer was REALLY strong. Your normal Coors Light has like 4% alcohol in it. The beer they had was about 7%. Needless to say, we were pretty lit up when we left that garage. Hahaha.

I looked at Erik while we were there & said, 'Can we please just stop and realize how crazy/funny/random this is that we are in these stranger's garage drinking their beer?' I guess that is what life is about - finding little adventures & going on them. Hopefully, we make it back and say hello and have some more home brew!

Check out their blog for photos of the night. I look totally nuts but I am dropping in hops into a batch of beer & laughing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


On Tues, I made a little zucchini salad. I mixed 2 zucchini, scallions, and corn in a pan on the stove. I added lime, radishes, salt and pepper, and cilantro after I removed it from the pan. It was so good. We also had brown rice & halibut.

The next day, I mixed the zucchini salad with brown rice. I also cooked up some ground turkey and added it to the mix for my lunch. I love making one meal and making it into two. So good!

Last night, I went to happy hour with my friend Kira. We were starving so we ordered pizza - to the bar. haha. It was pretty funny. I wonder if 2 beers+ pizza - biking 3 miles home = no calories consumed??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Hey Hey. Nothing new to report. Sunday was a total lazy day. Last night, I played tennis with Lindsay. I think we are going to try to play regularly and Erik & I need to get back to playing on the weekends. Taking a few weeks off does nothing for my game!

Erik is thinking about canceling cable, again. I said go ahead so then I won't watch so much. We'll see if he does.

I have to go to the client for the ENTIRE.FREAKING.DAY. today. It should be fine since I'm bringing my computer & stuff, though.

Tonight, Erik has hockey but we get to have dinner together. Thinking of what to make. I want to make a summery side like a zuccini/corn salad or something. Anyone know of any good recipes like that?

Evie's cut is closed up and is looking great. She has also stopped licking it so much so I dont have to threaten her with putting guaze on her leg.

I did yoga this AM and I am SO inflexible. It's bad. Exercise TV on comcast has FREE yoga - everything from 10 min to an hour. Why pay to go to a studio when you can do it at home for FREE!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Saturday was such a fun day - we volunteered with Habitat for Humanity! I got super early - 6am so that I could get Evie ready for camp & pick up sandwiches for our lunch. Amy picked us up at 730am and we drove to the East Bay to our site.

(Getting ready to work!)

(Doesn't Erik look like a vampire? He is covered in sunscreen)

We worked on two sites - in the morning, we worked outside digging up brick, pulling out cement & poles from the yard, and weedwacking. Erik helped inside the home by laying down lime in the dirt and covering it all with sheets of plastic. He was laying under the floor slabs to get this down!

(House #1)

(Legs totally covered in grass)

Amy & I had a lot of fun weed wacking. It was an arm workout for sure!! After lunch, we switched to a different site where we got to d our favorite activity....sheetrocking!! We learned more about how to do this since we had some actual direction from a contractor on site. We got a little punchy around 2pm and were laughing non-stop. That is what makes the work fun!!

The giggles totally took over:

After our job was over, we picked up the dog & immediately got ready to go out (or else we would have fallen asleep).

(Very tired from being at camp since 7am)

We went to Tacolicious for yummy tacos and giant Tecates! A great end to a great day!! We can't wait to do it again. I would love to do Habitat once per month.


On Friday, I brought Evie to the beach after work. It was so nice, warm, & sunny out. We went to Ocean Beach and she ran around. She was more interested in digging in the sand than going in the water. It was a workout running around with her in the sand! She loved it. She laid down in the car and snoozed on the way home.

After stopping at the grocery store for dinner, we went home. I had rented the documentary, "When The Levees Broke" by Spike Lee. The documentary consists largely of news footage and still photos of Katrina and its aftermath interspersed with interviews. Interviewees throughout the film include politicians, journalists, historians, engineers, and many people from various parts of New Orleans and the surrounding areas who give first hand accounts of their experiences with the levee failures and the aftermath.

It is very shocking to watch & see what went on for a week after the hurricane. For almost 5 days, people were in & around the Superdome with no food or water. This shocked me because George Bush was praising the FEMA director for doing a good job & people were starving. People died at the Superdome and were just put in a separate room. This went on in the US. It also really disturbed me because when disasters happen in other countries(Haiti), we send money & aid very quickly yet when it hit our own shores, we let people suffer. This is a 4 hr movie so I will get the 2nd disc this week.

Friday, June 11, 2010


The weekend is here. Not sure what is up for tonight. Tomorrow, Amy, Erik & I are doing Habitat for Humanity in Oakland. It's supposed to be hot there - around 85! I hope it is fun. I'm excited!!

Sunday should be fun, too. We're going to try to see Evie's BFF - Wasabii & play some tennis!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Thursday

It's Thursday! I just looked at the weather for the weekend and it looks great!

Tonight, I am playing tennis with my friend Lindsay. I haven't played in a few weeks so we'll see how this goes. I am also going to make meatballs tonight for pasta, meatballs, & sauce. Yum.

Also, NY Housewives Reunion. I'm sure it will be a hot mess.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This morning, I had to actually look at my watch to see what day it was. I didn't know if it was Tues or Wed! Let's talk about GLEE last night. What a nice ending to season 1.

How great was that tribute to Schuster at the end? What will happen with Quinn & Puck? Rachel & Finn?

Last night, Erik and I made pizza. He made the crust on the grill pan on the stove & it came out soooo good.

I saw something interesting while riding to work today....a prostitute. I saw this big Black woman on the street who I thought was naked. Nope, she had a tan colored, tight, short nightgown on. She also had these light colored spandex shorts on. As I rode past her, I heard her saying to us bikers something like 'You wanna look at me' or something. I thought - she starting her day or ending it? haha. Definitely a first for me here but nothing surprises me in SF!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Reading

Evie got her stitches out yesterday. The Vet Tech took her in the back to remove them & she came bolting back to the waiting room to me when she was done. What a baby. She is licking the area though. I bandaged it yesterday so she would stop. It is definitely a closed cut but I don't want her licking it raw. Now we have to watch her. She might need to wear the cone when we are not home which she will HATE.

Anyone watching Bachelorette? I like Ali but it's so boring right now. I like when it's top 5 guys or something & the drama starts. I'm on a One TV Show per night rule. Otherwise, I will just watch everything on the DVR. I had a goal back in January to read like 20 books this year and I am on like book #2. A big piece of my reading time is gone since I don't ride the bus 2x per day. Right now, I am reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Fun Fact - we went to college with his daughter.

When we were in NOLA, I bought a few used books at the French Market. Now, I want to find a used book store here in SF. Seems like a good compromise from going to the library or buying on There are SO many books I want to read:

The Help
Snow Angels
Three Cups of Tea
Kite Runner
Sarah's Key
My Antonia
Sarah's Key
Those Who Saved Us
Glass Castle
Color Purple
The Reader
Poisonwood Bible
Thousand Splendid Suns
House at Riverton
Forgotten Garden
Beyond the White House
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Girl who kicked the hornets next
Girl who played with fire
Mennonite in a little black dress
Heart of the Matter

That should get me to my goal of 25 books this year! If you have any, will you share with me? If you have any other recommendations, please let me know!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


It was so beautiful here in SF on Saturday. It was warm out & sunny. I was able to wear shorts out and no jacket, which I love.

We first took Evie for a walk. On our travels, we found this little school play ground next to some tennis courts. The courts are just there in the middle of the neighborhood. I wish we lived next door! There is a playground and a big grassy area. We had to try out the swings. When was the last time you were on swings? They were so much fun.

I definitely remember spending my summer on my swingset. Jumping off. Seeing who could go highest. Remember when you got going so fast & high that the swingset would jump. Ahhh the good old days.

After lunch, we went up to the marina area to hit up the Union Street Festival. First, we stopped off in the Presidio. We wanted to find the Yoda fountain. Yoda sits in front of Lucas Studios, which are housed in the Presidio.We looked into the lobby & there are a lot of Star Wars figurines, etc. He's so cute!

The Presidio is so pretty. Old buildings, well manicured lawns ,and different statues.

I love exploring new areas of the city. It feels like we are visiting some place new!

(Inventor of the TV)

Then, we went to the festival. It was packed. They had some great vendors though & good food. SF food at festivals is very different from what we are used to. There are no hamburgers or hot dogs. There are tacos, Indian food, noodle bowls, garlic fries, & grilled artichokes. It's pretty funny but we're getting used to it. We were hoping to see fried dough and we found it!

I think NOLA is following me!!

After the fair, we went home and had pizza for dinner.

We tried some of Erik's home brew. It was good!! He is going to unveil it officially next week, I think.

I think I fell asleep around 930 or so. hah.