Friday, September 27, 2013

How to beat jet lag?

A most delicious breakfast toast at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley.  It's ok to eat this much because it's organic *ahem*.
I didn't do a very good job adjusting to Pacific time at all and have been a slow, slumbery beast this past week.  Tomorrow, I'm throwing myself into my third timezone in three weeks - thrilled as I am to head back to Sydney for a spell, I definitely want to do a better job of assimilating.  It's a #firstworldproblem I know, but I was frequently a snapping turtle in work meetings (sorry, so sorry for anyone who had to deal with me).

To that end, I'll be giving this how to beat jet-lag method a go, and have squirreled away some nuts leading up to the journey and will fast the way through.  Already looking forward to the big breakfast on the other end.

Happy happy Friday, whatever timezone you're in!  I'll be seeing you again down under.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just be sad

Louis C.K. hates cell phones - 

I predict this clip making the rounds at the moment will reach the same epic status as his 'Everything's amazing and noone's happy' rant.  After talking through why he's not giving his kids cell phones, he gets passionate about resisting our constant, knee-jerk reaction to reach for our phones to fill the empty spaces of our day.  He recalls a time when he was listening to a Bruce Springsteen song in his car and was overcome with sadness -

You know what, don't.
Just be sad.
Just let the sadness stand in the way of it.
And let it hit you like a truck.
I let it come and Bruce -- and I started to feel, oh, my God.
And I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch.
I cried so much and it was beautiful.
It was like this beautiful -- it was just this -- sadness is poetic.
You're lucky to live sad moments.
And then I had happy feelings because when you let yourself feel sad your body has like anti-bodies.
You have happiness rushing in to meet the sadness.
I was grateful to feel sad and then I met it with true profound happiness.

Oh his truth cracks me up!  Also - yet another reason to resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

24 hours in Dublin

Beyond porridge at the office, I had the pleasure of a whole Saturday in Dublin with old friends.  Not sure if this was only owing to the sun, but this city definitely charmed me well beyond my expectations. Unexpectedly delicious meals were had (it wasn't just potatoes and corned beef as I'd feared!) and some really gorgeous architecture - some snapshots of what we were able to squeeze in:
Morning coffee at 3FE, definitively the best flat white in Dublin.
Obligatory photo of brick buildings with brightly coloured doors.  Yellow became our punch-buggied favourite.
Beautiful St Stephen's Green, Ireland's best known Victorian public park - with the sun out there were loads of people about, strolling or even snoozing on the grass.
Learning to pour our own pint at the Guinness factory!  This was good touristy fun.
An amazing shaved pork salad at The Pig's Ear - definitely recommend.  We dined early to catch the three course special, not pictured: goose fat potatoes and an amazing brown bread ice cream with Guinness cake crumbs and honeycomb.  See I can't tell you what I learnt at the Guinness factory but I memorised the menu here.
Necessary visit to the Temple Bar - it isn't actually just this bar but in the words of my newly-Dubliner friend "it's basically this whole area where the roads are covered in stones and it's hard to walk.  Oh and there's live music!"
Was such a good trip, to be sure, to be surrrrrre!  Didn't quite make it to the infamous Coppers, but that's not entirely something I regret.  Till next time, Dubliners!  

Friday, September 20, 2013

On nervous breakdowns

One of the fancier tea and biscuit combos I've had - over at Laduree in Sydney last year.
Brilliant 'posthumous advice for my daughter'.

"Nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oh, hey Dublin

The solitary shot I have of Dublin so far, taken from one of the cafe windows at le Goog at breakfast.
Unexpected pro of the Dublin Goog office: they know how to make porridge - ok so the kid in the video is Scottish, not Irish, but close enough.  It's a cold climate that knows how to make an excellent, sludgy-but-not-too-sludgy warming bowl of oats.  Looking forward to exploring beyond the office walls this weekend with buddies, including this new Dubliner!

Also, noone actually says 'Top 'o the mooorrrnin' to yoooo'!  So I discovered, when I tried to be "local".

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I don't

Fascinating read on a scientific guide to saying "no".  This certainly isn't a new topic (see here and here) but it's interesting what effect verbiage can have on your mind and actions:

“I can’t” and “I don’t” are words that seem similar and we often interchange them for one another, but psychologically they can provide very different feedback and, ultimately, result in very different actions...  To put it simply: you can either be the victim of your words or the architect of them. 

Worth a read.  Or not, you can say 'I don't do this' and read this later  :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

That's amore

How wonderful it is to see two really great friends get married.  There's so much I want to say about the villa and the Italian countryside right out of a postcard and the food (truffled fondue single served in an egg anyone?), but I think this photo taken by a buddy nails what the day was really about: it's two people saying 'forever' to their best friend and having the greatest time doing it.  
What a day.  Such fun.  Thrilled for them as they escape to the Italian coastline this weekend - the start of an amazing adventure together!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Oh, hey Bologna

Less than 24 hours here; I've eaten my way through three types of pasta and bought a giant glass bottle which I find adorably hipster-charming but I'm pretty sure is just what the locals pour their water from and I have zero luggage space for.  What I'm really trying to say is: I'll be coming back fuller in more ways than one.
This is the beautiful store that lured me into my giant glass bottle, complete with raffia roped around its bottom.  Rows of corks, arranged by size in jars!  Tiny bottles with tiny corks to match!  At least I was definitely the only tourist in there.
The view from 500 steps up on the highest of the 'Two Towers' here.
I love the way that people just sit around on the streets here; like literally just sit on the streets until the afternoon turns to dusk and then dark.  This practice creates a wonderful, deliberately paced culture here.
Gorgeous trays of dried pasta for sale, I just love the colours from the golden tortellini to the squid ink tagliatelle.  In the window next to it are rows of syrupy little cakes and meringues - beautiful!
Loving this small Italian town.  Wedding tomorrow - can't wait!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Powerfully meaningless

I've been marinating on this great article I read recently on why we don't need a reason for everything.
A kite I captured at Stinson beach a couple of weekends ago.
"...finding a place where the consequences aren’t so great allows us a place to relax. Finding the opportunity to do something meaningless allows us to play, to take risk and fail without some repercussion that may kill us in the end."

The notion of 'play' being critical is another thing that got drummed into us at design school, and I cannot agree more on how essential it really is; I honestly think this is why I so value ridiculous crafts and find them theraputic.  The practice creates a suspended space, where you can be kinder to yourself and your works.

Here's to the powerfully meaningless.  I wouldn't mind a great chalkboard either.

Monday, September 9, 2013


By Carl Sandburg
Taken on my walk to the shuttle in the morning, that edge of an island on the right is Alcatraz.  Every morning with this view, I remember those words.
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on. 
Via a buddy, was reminded as he returned on little cat feet tonight.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

California treasures

Oh that last long weekend was both not long enough at all, and also just way too long - to the point where I feel like I'm only really catching up on life now (case in point: this blog).  It was so very sad saying goodbye to the parents, but switching them with C at the airport made it infinitely easier.  A quick recap of a wonderful little weekend, discovering some new California loves:
Driving to Stinson Beach (well, at this point we thought we were technically still driving to Muir Woods - before we got there and realised there was no parking whatsoever).
Walking along Stinson Beach - such a beautiful stretch of land, but still no comparison to Sydney's beachy shores.  It's the sand quality that distinguishes Australia - I miss the fine, golden sand.  I also miss this one, carrying my shoes for me so I could have both hands free to inspect washed-up jellyfish and take photos.
On jellyfish - this is is just a glimpse from the jellyfish room at Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Honestly, you just have to go to this place.  Mind blowing.  I'm not even going to try to capture it in photos right now.  And oh there were penguins!
C crafted a weekend that was full of all of my favourite things, including my first trip to the Lost Art Salon, a hidden trove of artwork from the 19th century onwards.  Was just so much fun to quietly dig through all of the pieces - definitely going back.  Like burgers, expect a Part 2. 
Thank you C!  And oh California, you continue to woo me with your treasures.