Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today is gonna be a good day

Yesterday, I woke up and told myself regardless of any thing going on at work or in life, I would have a good day. And I did. I was repaid today with a 6am conference call and an optical migraine.

But I am still aiming for a good day.

A few lesson for this day:
1. Delivery Food is not good in San Francisco.
If you have to drive in a car to deliver the food and you are not a pizza guy, you are most likely delivering tepid dinner. And no one likes tepid dinner.

2. When given the choice of no MSG, take it.
Never had a problem before with this magical additive, but after some medical research (read: Googling) I learned that MSG may be a cause of migraines. So, even if it isn't the cause of this mornings aura's and crushing head pain, it makes you hungry after eating as if you had never seen food before and it is made in vats. I don't like thinking about eating stuff that comes in a vat.

3. Of course there is construction taking place outside of my office today.
My old office looked onto the East Side Access project. That resulted in months of drilling and blasting. Now, with the remnants of a migraine, there are some bastards "fixing the street" below my window.
However, the headache is subsiding thanks to generic Execdrine. I was really worried when the person at the drug store told me there was an Execdrine recall. I was like you got to be kidding but thankfully the cheap kind I was going to get anyway wasn't recalled and works pretty well.

The sun is now working its way through the clouds, I am going to get lunch at the Farmer's Market (because I ate mine after the not-Excedrine kick in) and hopefully I will feel 100% tonight for track fun.

Like I said, today will be a good day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eating at Home in a Food City

I am told that San Francisco is a wonderful eating town.

I am told -- and believe it to be a salacious lie -- that San Francisco is a better eating town than New York. I mean come on, really? Really? I might believe you if I was from LA and you said that about New York, but I lived there slim and when you value your micro-biotic, vegan, compost friendly "communal eating establishments" over your U.S. leading number of Michelin Star earning dining institutions, I can't talk to you hippie.

So while you clearly got chops, and they are most likely made of seitan, I have not really been able to see it...for a number of reasons.

Mostly, because I eat at home.

Being sort of lame and actively trying to save money, I have found myself buying chicken and spinach at Trader Joe's and cooking a one person meal about 6 nights a week. I bring lunch about 4 out of 5 days and I eat breakfast at home every day.

But where I have ventured out for food, the food has been really good...won't say better than New York but it is really good. Then again I did just order some Chinese food for delivery, we will see how it goes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Being Helpful

Abby: what should i have for dinner?

me: cupcakes, rainbows and unicorn sausages

Abby: that's not helpful

me: it would be good though

Abby: also rainbows and unicorns taste gross together

me: my bad

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Foxholes

It was chilly 60 degrees for most of the weekend in the LA area. I got in a few runs in shorts and short sleeves. I did some street runs by a year-round farmer's market and even did some trail running in the Santa Monica Mountains.

It was freezing in New York and the Manhattan Half Marathon was run through sleet and snow that was so bad that it was officially a "non-competitive" race. I think I missed out.

My buddy Kai, also known as the Idiot Runner who also clearly took this picture*, went out for the run complete with a frozen beard. While I don't have a beard, I miss saying that I froze my ass off to run a somewhat ridiculous distance for normal people.

Last year I was out there with the best of them and I tell the story of the Manhattan Half often.

The high was 14 for that day. So before it hit that high and you include the wind chill you get a gun temperature of -7 or so. It was really cold. You can see the frozen sweat on my head in this picture.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It isn't the new 25

It has happened: I am older than the people on the shows that are cool. Schmidt's 29th birthday extravaganza put it all in prospective.

Yup, sometime soon* I will enter the last year of my twenties. Granted I am in a pretty snazzy position: Married, employed, moderately fast, dashingly good looking. But still being almost 30 is somewhat strange. 30 is old. Period.

A bit of history to illustrate. As a child, I didn't like turning a new year because I wasn't done yet with being whatever year I was that past year.

At some point, after years of wonderful and fun and exciting birthday parties thrown by my parents, I actually started hating my birthday much in the way that I hate Christmas. There was no reason to celebrate me on my birthday. My mom did the work on this day whatever many years ago, not me. And from what I have been told, I was not very helpful either.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Too Fast

My wife was here this weekend. It went by pretty fast.

Now she is somewhere over these great United States in an airplane. I don't like that one bit.

We spent the weekend doing stuff that we do normally: eating, running, going to hell Ikea and Bed Bath and Beyond. We also had the chance to celebrate the "Bat Mitzvah" of a good friend's rabbanic ordination and to see some old friends. But now it is over. And it is nearly a month before we see each other.

Nothing good about it.

In better news the weather here is snazzy and I have two rugs from hell Ikea. But best of all, the wife likes the apartment and our neighborhood. I got to say I was a bit nervous in that I picked it without any help. But after going out to eat in a few very nice places within walking distance (some within steps)and enjoying the views of the Presidio it was clear that I (at some point semi-soon, we) moved to a great place.

But now, I wait until February and enjoy the weather.

Friday, January 13, 2012

At the Speed of Business

Look. I get it. San Francisco is all hip and cool. The pace is slower and the nights are shorter and for sure the weather is better than New York. Over all things are easier here in California. But for the love of God! Could you walk a bit faster?

It is like everyone in this town is a tourist in Time Square mesmerized by the lights and sounds.

Put your head down, watch where you are going and get there, faster.

I would understand if this was along Fisherman's Wharf or in Union Square but in the middle of the Financial District? Come on people, we have stuff to do and we have places to go. Put down the iPad and individually and intentionally brewed Blue Bottle Coffee and get out of the way.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wake up and be amazing

A few years ago I saw this commercial and thought it was pretty amazing.

My mother hates that word. Amazing is hackneyed and tired. At some point this word, born of biblical experience, became just some shit girls and boys say.* I have long tired to keep this unfortunately trite word out of my daily lexicon. However, sometimes it is needed.

This commercial was aired in the Fall of 2010. You may remember the Fall of 2010 being a pretty horrific time for the economy. All signs pointed in the wrong direction. It was getting easy to say that America was past its prime and that nothing we were doing was going to make this country great again.

When I watched this commercial it was most likely as I was getting ready for work or I was sitting on the couch with my lovely wife after a long day at work. But I wasn't being amazing, I was just doing my job and coming home. Not much in the way of risk, nor in the way of reward.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Friends Fast

For those of you who see running for hours at a time for what it is, self-inflected torture, I can tell you that over the past year and a half, I have become a more focused and a bit more relaxed because of my running.

So after building up a group of good running chums in NYC, I knew I would have to find some new chums to run with here in San Fran. These folks understood the drive to run 10+ miles in the freezing rain and blasting heat. And we could talk about nasty stuff (you know what I am talking about) as if it was completely normal. (Because it is.)

However, as I have mentioned before, there are far fewer runners on the streets and in the parks here in SF, and it seems like there aren't as many races on a regular schedule here in the Bay Area as there are in New York City. I might be wrong about the races but New York Road Runners kind of kicks ass in this regard (sorry NYC complainers). I am new here but I have done a bit of research (read: just made some assumptions).

It was clear that the best way to meet some new running chums would be by joining a running club in San Francisco.

After doing some vigorous research (read: Googling) I found a club that meets early in the AM both during the week and on the weekends and has a very easy name to remember.

I am now a proud member of the San Francisco Road Runners Club and I will soon have a shirt to prove it.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Over the past three years, I read the Financial Times on my commute to the office. One of many people reading a paper, it wasn't uncommon to see the Times, Post, FT, WSJ and a number of free dailies folded meticulously in the hands of nearly every commuter on a packed downtown 6 Train.

Cross the country and stay above ground, and I am the one of the only people reading a real newspaper on my bus, and for sure the only one with the Wall Street Journal.

I read the Journal for work and sometimes I even enjoy it (never the Editorial page, though). But the looks I get on a San Francisco bus reading the Wall Street Journal are shocking; you would think I was reading a Playboy in church.

And I am on an express bus to the Financial District!

These looks may be that I get an actual paper and it seems that anyone under the age of ancient (and there are lots of ancient folks on the Muni buses) is on at least one device for the entire commute downtown. My first day a guy opened his backpack, opened up his lap top and took out a mouse, to work...on the bus.

That guy is just as crazy as a 20-something perfectly folding the Wall Street Journal to catch up on economic data and listen to what is Heard on the Street.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

San Francsico Stereotypes

Today I took a long run through Golden Gate Park. This is a beautiful urban space filled with manicured lawns, semi-man-made water falls and the natural beauty of red woods and moss.

There were very few people on the road running or biking at about 7am making the park's canopy of gigantic trees feel almost cave like. A number of dogs were very pleased with the emptiness of the park as well as the ball they were chasing.

I ran past a group of about 20 older Asian women, who I assumed were about to take part in a Tai Chi exercise. They were lined up ready to take part in their morning exercise and I was pleased to share the quiet of the Sunday with them.

The man standing in the front of the group then went to a bench, flipped a switch and out of the silent morning mist comes blasting "Drunken Sailor" leading to a fabulous Irish line dance from this group of older Asian women.

San Francisco is all about expecting the unexpected.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All Quite on the Western Front

The three hour delay due to fog, which I gather happens more often than not, made me sure that my carefully scheduled afternoon would be completely shot. It was not. I got to Best Buy to pick up the TV I needed for the cable and internet set up and was back to the apartment in time to take delivery of a very comfortable bed. I am now sitting in my place in San Francisco (granted on the packaging from my new TV).

I got my Clipper Card today and even took the bus without asking for help. I will pick up my Zipcar card tomorrow before I head into the office. It would appear, beside the lack of seating, that my apartment and "life" is shaping up well here in San Francisco.

Now I need to figure out this eating on a regular schedule thing. I think once I get some plates and whatnot that will become easier. Those will be here on Friday, special delivery from Mom and Dad.

Anyone have suggestions for dinner in the Pac Heights/ Laural Heights area?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

No Hair for Flowers

37,965 feet in the air and 971 miles to go on my way to San Francisco where I will be living.


Lots has happened since last I blogged, but I have this funny feeling that I will be hitting this forum up just a bit more over the next few months.

Here is why:

1. I am moving across the country
This is a significant change for me. A few facts to inform this move... I did grow up in California, I did leave as soon as I graduated in a pilgrimage of sorts to the Mecca of all things - New York City. I did said I would be happy living there forever. Then I got all married and my lovely wife said she wouldn't live in New York forever. So yeah. There is that. Now we are moving. (This is a slightly abridged version of reality.)

Granted neither of us were "ready" to leave but I suppose that makes it better; leaving at the top of your game is better than going all Brett Favre. So I am moving.