Monthly Archives: October 2010

Bridge School benefit concert

For my “official” birthday gift (even with all the great things she treated me to on the day of my birthday!), Jessie took me to the Bridge School benefit concert in Mountain View (home of Google). I wasn’t familiar with this annual concert but everyone I’ve told up here knows about it so it’s kind of a big deal! The concert is put on by Neil Young and his wife every year (it’s been going on for 24 years now) and the ticket sales raise funds for the school which serves youth who have severe speech and physical impairments. This year’s line-up:

Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, Elton John, Jeff Bridges and Buffalo Springfield

Jess in all her rain gear
In line for beer and pretzels 🙂

We met up with her friend Ryan and a few of his friends. It was pouring rain in San Francisco when I left and so I was decked out with my umbrella, rain coat and rain boots. It rained off and on at the Shoreline Amphitheater but I think it just made the experience richer and more exciting in the end!

The colorful crowd

The Gorton’s fish stick guy decided to show up 😉 (Ryan’s friend Brendan)
Hey man, you gotta do what you gotta do…
Trying to keep dry
Trying to see the stage
Modest Mouse and the pouring rain
Jeff Bridges
The one, the only, Sir Elton John
Keepin’ warm with a Sierra Nevada

Ryan had a friend who works at the amphitheater and mid-show was able to hook us up with box seats!! So we finished the show off in style and so close to the stage you’d swear we could reach out and touch them.

The awesome VIP seats
Showing off our new tickets
Happy campers
We were so VIP they had to lock us into the box

We got the new seats just in time for…Pearl Jam!!

Eddie Vedder is nothing short of amazing.

I had an AMAZING time at the concert. I can’t thank you enough Jessie!!!! You’re the best sister I could ever ask for.

A night of live jazz

Our dear friends Carleigh and Scott (who have been pleasantly surprised with their recent fame on the blog 😉 ) took us out to Savanna Jazz Club in the Mission on Saturday 10/23 for dinner, drinks and live jazz. We saw Suzanna Smith and her quartet play and they were fantastic. Some of you probably know that one of my dreams is to become a jazz pianist and I would lovelovelove to be a part of a jazz group one day playing at a local jazz club so it was so great seeing live jazz. I just need to get to practicing the piano more!

Dinner was…so-so. Maybe that’s why we didn’t see anyone else ordering food! Oh well, lesson learned.

But the drinks were delicious!

My “Bossanova” with mango rum and cinnamon sugar around the rim. Yum!

Scott and Carleigh
Me and Kevin

While we were inside the singer announced the SF Giants’ win and the whole place erupted in applause. When we left the club later that evening the street was filled with excited (and probably drunk) Giants’ fans–honking their horns, hanging out their car windows, and standing in the middle of the street waving huge Giants’ flags. Remind me not to be in the Mission during their final game of the World Series! 😉

Can’t thank Carleigh and Scott enough for such a wonderful evening…you two are the best!!

Back in SF in time for my birthday!

Me and Lola drove back up to SF on the 19th, just a day before my 27th birthday.

Kevin rolled out the red carpet for me to celebrate my 27th year…balloons, flowers, a birthday banner and a box of Junior Mints (my absolute FAVORITE candy). He is such a sweetie, thank you so much Kevin!
That weekend we went together to pick out my birthday gift: a food processor! I’ve been wanting one for a while now and I am so so so excited to now have one. I broke it in with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette recipe (found at this link) and I am in LOVE!

Cleaned up the counter space so that I can keep my new toy out on display and easily accessible since I know I’ll be using it at least once a week.
So shiny…
Fresh roasted red peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt + pepper…yum!
The vinaigrette on top of a bed of fresh romaine lettuce with heirloom tomatoes and fresh grated parmesan with a side of homemade mac ‘n cheese
(courtesy of my lovely sis)…AMAZING!!

Coming up this weekend is homemade pizza dough and pesto sauce to make pesto, crab and tomatoes pizza…can’t wait!

Now onto the birthday festivities…

The day of my birthday Kevin had the day off of work so we hung out at home just lounging around and it felt so good to spend some family time with him and Lola! Jessie also had the day off of work so she joined us for a picnic in the backyard: she provided the homemade portabello and kale pasta (tasted like beef stroganoff, amazing!) and we provided the sauteed brussel sprouts, mushrooms, garlic and red pepper flakes creation. Kevin had to leave for school that afternoon 🙁 so me and Jess spent the rest of the afternoon/evening together. After catching up on “Modern Family” (LOVE that show!) we got all prettied up and went out to meet some of her friends at Bistro St. Germain in the Haight. It’s a cute little French bistro with some great food and wine (I opted for some beer). One of our friends (her name is Lisa too) and I decided to be brave and split an escargot plate. They were drenched in butter and herbs (thank goodness!) so they weren’t half bad. Would I get them again? Probably not. But I can say I’ve had snails now! After a delicious dessert shared with my sis (and the restaurant singing “Happy Birthday” to me 🙂 ) me and Jess headed out to Bottom of the Hill for some live music. One of Jessie’s favorite artists, Scout Niblett, was playing and it was a great show. One of the most amazing things that happened that night: me and Jess found two $100 bills just hanging out on the ground at the bar! So after some stealthy moves, we pocketed the dough and split the profits. Who woulda thought that we’d end up $200 richer that night?? Jessie treated me all night and I can’t thank that girl enough for helping to make my birthday splendid!

Me and Lisa rethinking our food choice…
Here goes nothin’!

My birthday was fantastic and I have two of my favorite people to thank for it. Love you two!!

Spa day treat after the half-marathon

My mom and Steve treated me to a spa day after my half-marathon–it was JUST what the doctor ordered! We went to Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona and I could not have asked for a better time to feel refreshed after my race.

The day was gloomy and we weren’t even sure if the spa was going to be open but it seems there were about 50 other crazy people with the same idea as us. 😉 We got there around noon and had four hours to spend in the hot sulfur baths, the sauna, the jacuzzis and, of course, the mud bath!

Love this place. If you live in Southern California and haven’t been here yet, you must get there now!

The weather reminded me of Hawai’i

One of the saltwater jacuzzis. Amazing!

Me and my Mama Jones

My mama, the pro at this whole mud thing

A self-portrait after the mud has baked in the sauna a bit.

Afterwards we spent some required time at Tom’s Farms purchasing some delicious candies, bread, wine and cheese.

Haha, I love that they waved and looked hokey just as I asked them to. 🙂


They have the coolest candies here! Chocolate rocks…awesome.

My idea of heaven.

Such a lovely way to end a great trip down to Long Beach. Thank you both so much!!


On Sunday 10/17 I completed my first half marathon (13.1 miles) and I am so so so proud of myself for doing it! I participated in the Long Beach International City Bank half marathon and had a fantastic experience even though it was a really rough run.

The night before I was up half the night with food poisoning. The day before I didn’t eat much since I wasn’t hungry (probably nerves) and that night went to eat at a local Italian restaurant at the urging of my mom who encouraged me to carbo load for the next day’s race. I knew it’d be good for me so I went even though I wasn’t hungry. After a plate of spaghetti and meatballs I felt overly full (hadn’t felt like that in a long time) and we decided to take a walk in Seal Beach to walk the feeling off. My stomach wasn’t happy with me for eating so much (or so I thought) and after some uncomfortable visits to the bathroom at the Coffee Bean I thought it was all over.

I went to bed at 9:30 so that I could get enough rest for the early morning start time. At 10:30 I woke up shaking violently and feeling nauseous. I ran to the kitchen and proceeded to throw up all of the spaghetti I had eaten hours before. After falling back asleep at 11pm I woke up at 1am sweating profusely and having to run to the kitchen again to throw up what water I had in my system. I woke up again at 3am feeling like crap but luckily didn’t have to get up.

So when my alarm went off at 5am it’s probably pretty obvious that I was not feeling my best. My head was pounding. My body was aching all over. I was dehydrated and had no appetite. To be honest I was about 50% sure that I wasn’t going to be able to go on with the race. But the determined part of me that doesn’t like to give up kept insisting that I didn’t drive 400 miles, I didn’t have tons of people rooting for me, I didn’t pay the $90 entrance fee, and I didn’t make it a goal to run a half marathon before my 27th birthday for nothing!

My mom and Steve drove me there (thank goodness because I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle the traffic and the stress on my own). The traffic was horrendous (when 20,000 people are trying to get to the same place it doesn’t make for easy traffic) but we got lucky and a police officer randomly told us to take a different exit which saved us tons of time. We walked a couple of miles from the parking lot and before I knew it I was at the starting line.

When I started the race, my body was aching so much it felt as though I had already run 13 miles. Not good. But the gun shot off and I started running. The longest run I did in my training was the week before and I ran 10 miles in 1 hour, 50 minutes. Generally I run at least 4-5 miles without stopping and then when I do stop it’s only for a minute or so and then I keep running. This time, I didn’t even make it to the 2 mile mark without walking. I’d start running again for a bit and then have to stop to walk for a mile. It was terrible. At mile 6 I was reunited with my mom and Steve and saw my friends Alison and Seth who drove up from Irvine to see me and they gave me a little boost of energy. But it didn’t last long. I was feeling so incredibly sluggish and I wanted to call my mom and tell her to come pick me up because I didn’t think I could do it. I was on the verge of tears a few times when I’d be jogging so slow people were walking faster than me. It was the most difficult run I have ever done and more than the physical difficulty it was mentally difficult to continue. But I did.

The water and PowerAde breaks every couple of miles helped immensely and I started to feel hydrated. At mile 10 I decided to try one of those Clif Bar energy gel shots (a funky thing I had heard of before but wasn’t interested in trying previously, it’s like the consistency between pudding and jello and I was definitely not excited to try it). It had an immediate effect on me and I felt increasingly stronger and more energetic. The thought of my friends Alison and Seth leaving because she had yoga teacher training at 12noon in Huntington Beach inspired me to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. So at mile 10 I started running. And I didn’t stop the entire time.

At mile 13 I saw my mom and Steve and the tears started welling up. With only .1 miles to go, I just took off and started high-tailing it. I ran as fast as my body could take me. You know, you’d think more people would do that when the finish line was in sight, but no one around me was doing that, so I must have looked like a crazy woman to all of those hundreds of spectators. But I didn’t care, I was going to finish the race strong.

After 3 hours and 19 minutes of an extremely difficult run I crossed the finish line as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I have never felt more proud of myself than I did in that moment. It was an extremely difficult road (not just the run itself by the months leading up to it) but I did it. And I am so excited to call myself an athlete and to continue running for the rest of my life.

Giving my mom a thumbs-up at the start of the race

This was at mile 6–I’m in the teal shirt in the right corner

I’m dead center–this is at mile 13 when I just started to high-tail it to the finish line.

Crossing the finish line with a huge smile on my face! I ordered a copy to come via mail and will hopefully have it soon.

My official race results!

I did it!!


Here are some fun photos of Lola from the past two months…enjoy!

She’s even got her own camp chair (just kidding!)

With Jessie at Dolores Park on her last day as nanny for the Dobson boys

Piggy back ride with dad

She’s like a big ol’ baby

She enjoys running with mom…even gets to wear her own running jacket! 😉

Yeah I know, they’d consider this pet torture in some countries

She gets in the weirdest positions!

Napping in the sunlight

Windmills and wine bars

Kevin asked work for Saturdays off (woo hoo!!) and we spent our first Saturday together (on 10/9) in our old stomping grounds: Golden Gate Park. This time we decided to check out the part closest to the ocean since we’re so used to hanging around the same ol’ parts (near the museums and Stow Lake).

Is that really necessary? I doubt anyone will be looking towards a sign in the event of a tsunami. Just run like hell away from the water, duh!
Lola is never happier then when she’s out with us at a park

On one of my long runs the weekend before I ran past this random windmill in the park and we decided to check it out during our visit.

We made Lola jump into this hole in the side of the windmill. She’s such a good girl, she’ll do anything her mama and dad ask her to do! 🙂

Loving the sunshine and the time together

That night we took a drive down to Los Gatos to visit Jessie at her wine bar, Enoteca La Storia, for some dessert and wine. It’s in a little shopping center and it’s a ridiculously cute and comfortable space for getting together and enjoying some wine.

I had a burgundy wine and Kevin had a Malbec…yum!

We then shared some carrot cake bites (delicious) and sflogliatella (an amazing treat!–here’s a random video I found online about them if you’re interested in learning more).

Jessie seemed right at home back in a restaurant and serving–I’m so happy for her!

The check comes in this cute little book

We had such a great time and loved visiting Jess at her new job, can’t wait to visit again!

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival

Carleigh, Scott and I spent the afternoon of 10/3 at Golden Gate Park with thousands of other people for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. It was the festival’s 10 year anniversary and the festival is absolutely free which is pretty uncommon nowadays.

Scott, Carleigh and me
Our neighbor dog, she was such a sweetie!
Yeah, it was that packed.
A very random head on a pole with a clown wig
It was friggin cold that day, so I bundled up on the blanket I intended to sit on…guess this other guy had the same idea 😉


We invited Carleigh, Scott and Bailey over for a bbq over our new firepit and had a superb time.


Carleigh and the ax
Lola keeping a safe distance (and hoping for her dad to drop some treats for her!)
Couple of beggars
The feast! Maui short ribs and teriyaki tofu (for me of course) with grilled asparagus and brown rice

And what campfire is complete with some songs! Scott is a talented guitar player and we had a great time singing any song that Scott decided to play for us. Don’t think we’ll be going on tour any time soon, but it was definitely a fun evening. We love those three knuckleheads!

7 mile run, beach walk and bowling

On Saturday 9/11 I started my morning off right–with a 7 mile run! The training for my half-marathon was starting to get intense with a weekly long run and this was my longest ever. I looked up another runner’s route on and really enjoyed my run outside of my neighborhood (which can get boring after a while!) and outside of Kezar Stadium where I’d do some of my shorter runs. I had to take a little printout of the map with me to make sure I didn’t get lost. 😉 All I could think during the run was how amazingly beautiful the park was and how incredibly lucky I was to live in this city and to run in a place like this.

The run was extremely successful, so much so that I agreed to go for a couple mile walk with Carleigh and her dog Bailey along the beach in Pacifica! I mapped the route on so check it out here if you’re interested. 🙂

Carleigh and her adoring fans

The night we got some sandwiches at Phat Philly in the Mission (Cheez Whiz on a philly sandwich? Sure! Waffle-cut fries with a beer cheese sauce? Of course!) and then spent the rest of the evening at Serra Bowl bowling alley.

Proof that I kicked Kevin’s butt! 🙂 Unfortunately we were kicked off the game but you can clearly see that I was in the lead. 🙂

Carleigh wasn’t too impressed with our bowling skills 😉