Falling for it

I am in the coffee shop by my apartment drinking a tea called "firestorm". It has ginger and cinnamon and a long list of other things that are burning my throat on the way down, though the water is now luke warm. I was going to go with the cranberry+orange but on one of San Francisco's first crisp fall days, I couldn't resist what sounded like a real warm-you-from-the-inside-out kind of thing.

We are just coming out of our -- for lack of a better term -- Indian summer here in SF. We pout through the fog of June, July & August and then, if you're me, whine when September and October are just too hot. One year in San Francisco has turned me weak against any kind of extreme weather. And by extreme, I mean high 70s.

To those of you who knew me in a former life, I know this sounds strange. I was the girl who wore sandals 364 days a year and it is still true that my natural element is water. But I like that in this city I can wear TOMS every day with no socks and I won't be too cold, nor will the bottoms of my feet sweat.

And so, I welcome the fall. Another point in its favor is that sleeping in is so much more delicious. There is a level of both discomfort and guilt that wells up in me if the morning sun is shining too brightly through my bedroom window. But rain? It's like a personal invitation to adjust the pillows and enjoy them for several more hours. This, combined with my rare lack of weekend travel plans, makes November Sleeping In Awareness Month.

Every wellie of the rainbow.
It will also be the month that I buy, for the days when weather does not permit canvas shoes, some serious rain boots. I am trying to decide between your classic rubber Hunter. Or, for the polar bear in me, Sorel's Joan of Arctic boots. The fur may be a bit much for San Francisco's mild 60 degree winter, but a part of me really wants to wear something called Joan of Arctic. It's got that chic+tough thing going on, no?

I've also got myself a shiny new clear plastic bubble umbrella, courtesy of my mom. So, yeah, the future's looking bright. Or, rather, dreary and wonderful. I will leave you with a little fall flavor, courtesy of Pinterest. I don't know about you, but I'm going to go put on some thick socks and read a book.

Source: imgfave.com via Shannon on Pinterest
Source: sahalie.com via Shannon on Pinterest



You know that feeling when you find the one little thing that just might get you out of your rut? Like you're down at the bottom of some dank wet hole, groping blindly at the slick walls for something, anything to grab on to and hoist yourself up, and then you feel it, a sturdy root or branch reaching out to you, waiting patiently. It's not much, but it's enough. And you start to move upward. You start to see light.

Forgive me if I sound dramatic. While I have been feeling like I need to shake things up in my life as a whole, the rut I'm referring to is a creative one. I like this blog of mine, and yet I somehow never want to visit it. Sort of like the yoga studio down the street, a place and activity that I know is good for me and I know I love, but lately lack whatever flutter of inspiration used to get me there.

I think change is what makes me tick, what makes me look at myself through a different lens, what makes me write. I recently observed the anniversary of my first day at my job, and that tired thought washed over me, the one we've all held in our hands time and again, turning it around and around like a Rubik's cube, trying to figure it out:  

It doesn't feel like it's been a whole year.

But then I thought, for the first time, how absurd it is to pretend I even know what a year "feels like". Has a year in my life, from start to finish, ever felt like any one thing? Have I ever really felt the passing of time in the same way twice?

I'm reading Joshua Foer's book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to reevaluate how they see the world and themselves. I heard Foer speak at a City Arts & Lectures event last spring and he is just as charming in person as he is on the page. He's also the brother of Jonathan Safran Foer, who wrote two of my favorite novels. A clever family, to say the least.

Anyway, there are many notable ideas in the book and I may write a separate post about them, but on the bus today, a line jumped out at me: "we forget our lives almost as fast as we live them."

This is true, is it not? Foer calls it an "elemental human problem", and it is, without a doubt, one of the major reasons so many of us post the every detail of our lives onto the Internet. At least the details that we want to make sure other people know about and we remember.

In the past four months, aside from living my daily adventures in San Francisco, I've been to New York, DC, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tahoe, and Colorado, and I'll be in Chicago this coming weekend. I have told you almost none of it, any photos are still shriveling up in my iPhone, and I haven't kept a journal in years. So aside from foggy, surface memories, much of it is, and may always be, lost.

Of course, this blog can play only a minor role in any attempt to remember everything, and I'm comfortable seeing it simply as a time capsule of that which I thought worth writing down. I think I feel the gears shifting again, shaking themselves free of rust, and I will be here more. I also think, however, that sometimes it's OK, instead of writing about stuff you just did, to go do more stuff. Or, equally acceptable, to go to bed.

And speaking of ruts, I did make myself a proper dinner tonight for the first time since Idon'tknowwhen.

And over the weekend I chopped off most of my hair. Hello bob!

Have rut-free, memory-filled week, my pets. See you soon.


Missing Something

Image by Tatsuro Kiuchi
There are a lot of mornings in San Francisco when the fog is so thick you can't see the tops of the buildings. You can't see what you know is there.

We're all looking for something, aren't we? Something we know is there because other people have it, or have seen it, or have told you it's there. Love, money, time, meaning. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not the only one who doesn't have all the answers. I am not the only one who's missing something. Sometimes your world changes or looks different and you have to get it back where you want it. Sometimes the only thing you want is for everything to change.

Sometimes I can't tell whether my mind is too empty or too full to formulate rational, intelligent or creative thoughts. What I want you to know is that I have not forgotten you, despite all the answers I'm looking for elsewhere. What I want to tell you is that I know it's been a while, but I'm still glad you reminded me of it. And what I want to remember is that living more life is no excuse to stop writing about it. And that if inspiration is eluding me, I am probably just not looking in the right places. 

Tatsuro Kiuchi


Feeding Elizabeth Striker

My roommate is in Europe for a few weeks, which leaves yours truly to feed her pet fishes and, of course, her snake. I mean, what else would be named Elizabeth Striker? A hamster? Certainly not.

Now, Elizabeth Striker is a senior citizen. She has been on this earth some 18 years, and she's still scootin' --rather, slitherin' -- around. The problem is that she's turned into a rather fussy eater in her old age. From what I understand, she used to strike at live mice with the speed and accuracy of, well, a snake. A vicious predator. Unfortunately, when she moved from sunny Santa Barbara up to San Francisco (a snake's paradise?), she stopped eating all together. Simply could not be bothered to unhinge that rusty ol' jaw and enjoy a nice meal. So, the reptile geeks at the pet store made a few dietary suggestions, sort of like a doctor might for your withering grandmother, and (thank heaven!) Elizabeth took to it.

Now, I don't do a lot of cooking, so trying new recipes at home is always an exercise in caution. But this one was a total breeze! I am just so happy with how the dish turned out that I had to share it with you here. It's so simple and a total crowd-pleaser. I swear, bring this baby to your next potluck and you will be the talk of the party! Here's the recipe. You are welcome!

1 full-grown white mouse, frozen
1 cup rat seasoning (combination rat bedding and droppings)

  • Remove mouse from ziploc bag in freezer labeled "Not Food" (Note: it will be stiff as bone and soft as velvet. Try pretending it's a chicken. A small, hairy chicken.)
  • Toss mouse in rat seasoning in a small bag for one minute, or until seasoned as desired.
  •  Place mouse in small airtight bag and thaw in a bowl of warm water, about 15 minutes or until tender, like a hot dog.
  • Remove mouse from bag and serve in an empty cereal box. (Note: it will feel warm and squishy, and will smell like, well, a dead animal.)
  • To eat, unhinge jaw and take in slowly. Best enjoyed in a dark, quiet room. 
Now, if your guests look creepy as hell while savoring your dish, don't be alarmed. It means they like it. They will probably eat so much of it that they'll look as though they've just ingested something three times the size of their head. Don't worry, this is also normal.

Bon appetit! 


Planet Birthday

I always say I will never live in Southern California again, but I am glad I still have reasons to visit. My beau and I drove down to LA last weekend for some quick and dirty quality time with college friends and, of course, my beautiful niece (and her parents).  
Alice, rocking the pants-on-head look for summer.
That kid is a ripe 14.5 months old and I cannot believe this number means it's been more than one year since she was born. She is no longer an infant, all gums and swaddle and involuntary movement. She is a toddler, a girl, a little person with intentions and a sense of humor. She puts one foot in front of the other and reads coloring books upside down. I only get to see her every few months but within the first hour she was sitting contentedly in my lap as I melted, the love in me breaking down like sugar molecules into their simplest form.

That was the end of the weekend, but our visit to LA started off a little more sinister. I had somehow forgotten the kind of weird you can find in Hollywood until Friday night when we went to the Nuart Theatre for a midnight showing of the cult slasher Sleepaway Camp. Note: this was not my idea. 
The movie was one of the all around strangest things I've ever seen in my life. The ending? Anyone? I won't ruin it for you but all I can say is wtf. Like, seriously.

Anyway, in what ended up being a wonderful illustration of the Hollywood absurd, we also got to see one of the child stars (now in their 40s) from the movie perform two songs on his acoustic guitar before showtime. And yes, he was wearing a wife beater tank, a necklace, and, you got it, bleached tips. The quiet, unassuming leading lady of the film was there as well and (can you blame her?) most certainly drunk.

And, though it is connected in no way other than that I learned about it the same day as Sleepaway Camp, I will now introduce you to Cookie Puss. You may have heard of Carvel, the chain of ice cream stores hailing from the East Coast, but have you heard of Cookie Puss? He is the mysterious dessert creature you see to your right. Let's read more, shall we? The name alone is worth a little of our attention.

"Cookie Puss is an ice cream cake character created by Carvel in the 1970s as an expansion of its line of freshly made products sold only in its stores, along with Hug-Me Bear and Fudgie the Whale. According to Carvel lore, Cookie Puss is a space alien (his original name was "Celestial Person" and his initials, "C.P.", later came to stand for "Cookie Puss") who was born on planet Birthday. In his television commercials, Cookie Puss has the ability to fly, though he requires a saucer-shaped spacecraft for interplanetary travel. During the 1980s Cookie Puss was repurposed to serve as a cake for St Patrick's Day, dubbed "Cookie O'Puss"."

Thanks Wikipedia! Does anyone else find that as hilarious as I do? Again, words escape me. I mean, wtf. 

Sigh. Image via.
Fortunately the rest of our weekend did not have me asking WHY DOES THAT EXIST?! But rather, we just caught up with dear old friends (otherwise known as "main bitches"), and made some new ones. We went for a hike in Runyon Canyon for a dramatic view of LA and all the clear turquoise rooftop pools you can imagine. We went for a swim and remembered what it feels like to lay down on hot brick as the sun and chlorine tighten your skin. We grilled on a balcony and wore dresses at night (me, not Ian). We celebrated my friend's birthday at a bar called the Parlour Room and found out the next day that Jon Hamm had been there too, that perhaps we'd brushed shoulders with him and didn't even realize they were the most classically handsome and manly shoulders ever.

Yes, just your typical weekend in sunny LA.



Source: etsy.com via Shannon on Pinterest

Do you ever let yourself sit somewhere so long that the room grows cold and dark around you? And suddenly you're uncomfortable and you don't know why? You would be so much happier if you just got up, turned on a light and donned a sweater, but you can't move. You've been there so long already, so there you stay, depending on your own limbs to warm each other. You are hopeful yet afraid that your roommate will come home, possibly with a friend you don't know, and find you sitting alone in the dark."Uh, hey?" they'd say.

And you would snap back to life.

In the months since I moved to San Francisco, I've let myself sink into an excess of stuff in just this same way, and suddenly I realized I was drowning. Piles of crap in the corners of my room, my closet regurgitating countless identical tee shirts that had been chewed up and digested, but that I thought I might one day use again. The thing is, when your bedroom is only a 10x10 square with one small closet, you can't afford to accumulate in the way that I do.

I love to wander through thrift stores and pick up $1 frames or funky knickknacks that are just like the ones I see on design blogs and would be oh! perfect! in some eclectic but clean arrangement on a beautiful bookshelf or brick wall that I might one day have. But I don't have that bookshelf now and I don't have the space/time/money/energy to commit to making my temporary month-to-month apartment look like Pinterest (oh god, the pretty of it all). I just don't care quite enough, because most of the time I'm not at home anyway. That's the thing about being 25, you do stuff, so you don't need to own quite so much of it. And you know? When I do have that beautiful bookshelf, that perfect wall or room, there will still be knickknacks out there for the finding.

So upon my return from 2 weeks on the East coast, when I realized I couldn't even unpack because I didn't know how I would put anything away, I set to work purging. I am getting rid of stuff and plan to make due with what I have. My place is nice enough for what it is, so I'll just keep changing out the fresh flowers and, for now, stop collecting junk. I cleaned out my closet and my dresser, I rearranged my bedroom furniture for the third time and have finally found a set-up I like. The hard drive on my computer is full to bursting, so I'm finally going through and deleting all the duplicates and duds from a 6-year-old, 20,000+ file backlog in my iPhoto. I'm growing out my bangs and gettingthehairoutofmyfacegoddammit.

But still, I've stowed away those piles of cheap frames and knickknacks because one day? I am going to do this:

I am I am I am.


Happy 4th of July from DC!

Here's a little red, white & blue that I found around New York and DC. We're making corn on the cob, potatoes, asparagus, brownies, and of course some sweet tea vodka + lemonade, before heading up to the roof to watch the fireworks above the Washington Monument. Not too shabby. Hope you're all celebrating in style!


So this is what summer feels like.

A trucker just drove past with a dog in the passenger seat and an alligator head on the dashboard and I am in a bus bound for Washington DC. The sky is gray and the highway is flanked by green and we are somewhere in Pennsylvania or New Jersey or Delaware. American flags hang from cranes stopped from their work and I am going to see how the 4th of July is really done.
This week I’ve learned that in only six months, San Francisco has made me forget how it feels to be hot, to be sweaty and sticky and to surrender to the oppressive warmth of the atmosphere. San Francisco has made me forget what it feels like to be outside in the middle of the night in sandals and a dress and walk slowly down the street, because there’s no other way to be on a summer night in Manhattan than relaxed. It’s so warm that it feels like someone’s taking care of you, like they’ve brought the evening to the exact temperature you need to feel alive. Like they’ve put the drum circle and the fountain and the laughter in Washington Square Park because they knew you’d be passing through, because they knew you wanted to feel like you were in some kind of heaven.
And you know what else they have here? Fireflies. Someone teased me when I stopped the conversation to point them out, the little floating lights that come and go. They teased me but I hadn’t seen fireflies since a summer in Michigan when I was 12, and to me they are magic.
Living in San Francisco has made me forget what summer means, but can despite all the beauty in New York – the heat and the life and the streets of trees and brick – can I tell you what leaving San Francisco has done? Made me want to go back.



Isn't it cool that the gay rights movement has gained so much steam that we can now say "pride" and the "gay" is pretty much implied? That the movement has come to own this word so profoundly that no explanation is needed? That it has taken on a new meaning which is both much more specific, much more whole? That pride is not only for those who are proud to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, but also for those of us who are proud to advocate for equal rights? 

In New York on Sunday, pride was for everyone. Everyone who knows and says out loud that all human beings deserve the same right to happiness, whether that's to marry or just to be. I stepped up to the crowd of onlookers just as Governor Cuomo went by, hoards of supporters in his wake, holding up signs that read "PROMISE KEPT". Dan Savage, who started the It Gets Better Project, was the Grand Marshall, and he and his partner Terry rode by atop a white convertible, smiling and waving and deserving every bit of our respect. 

We saw senators and their families, human rights organizations and their supporters. We saw children who will hopefully grow old in a world where the kind of victory that happened in New York last week will not seem like history in the making, but like a given. We saw drag queens and partial nudes. We saw people being people and people letting them. We saw incontrovertible and unflinching joy. We saw a couple of old men who were probably there when this whole movement started, walking hand in hand and waving flags that told everyone - those who support them and those who fear them - that they have been together in love for 31 years. We saw all this with tears in our eyes and love in the humid New York City air.  

I know it will continue to take time, but things are changing, and I can't wait to see what that's going to look like.


Hey, I'm 25.

Source: None via Shannon on Pinterest

Well, twenty-five and one week, to be precise. Last Friday was my birthday, and I feel like I’m still recovering from the weekend of celebrating. Twenty-five is a nice number, isn’t it? I like how it feels in my mouth when I say it out loud, clean and round like a ripe piece of fruit. I like how it sounds. The five much lighter than its cumbersome predecessor, it practically skips through the air. I’m happy to be rid of the awkward four, so dull and slow, the kid in PE who drags his feet and always gets picked last for the team. Twenty-four is a limbo, an in-between, a not-quite-there-yet. It’s the invisible rock you trip on right before the finish line.
Or maybe that’s just what it was to me. I remember not wanting to turn twenty-four. It was the first time I felt decidedly averse to the idea of stepping into the next year of my being. I wasn’t ready; I hadn’t done enough. My life was at a stand still, a turning point but I couldn’t see what was around the next corner, a blank wall I couldn’t figure out how to decorate, a puzzle I couldn’t solve.
It was, in a word, lacking. 
(Read my take on the 20-something life here.) 
But twenty-five? This feels different. I most certainly don’t have it all figured out, don't really have a plan, but I like where I am right now. On Sunday night I stood outside a trendy restaurant with my parents, drunk and happy for the second day in a row, and said, I love my life. The words floated down the street and I was acutely aware of the fact that I had never uttered them before. Not that I haven’t been happy before now, not that I haven’t done and seen some amazing things, but I am only just learning what it means to be content.
And on my birthday last Friday I was exactly that. I had the day off work and allowed myself, guilt-free, to stay in bed until noon. The afternoon was a field trip to the Sutro Baths at the end of Golden Gate Park and the trail that runs along the coast. It was sunny and windy, which is as good as you can hope for on a summer day in San Francisco, and the ocean was moving. Dolphins swam idly past, maybe fifty feet or so from the rocky shore, and we watched them from up on a lookout, while I, once again, could not believe that this is where I live.

On our way home, we stopped at Whole Foods and this guy:
Blog, meet Ian.
picked up some things for a birthday dinner he’d been loosely planning. As has become the norm, I followed him around the store quietly, watching his mind work, watching him blink and stare intently at nothing while thinking thoughts about food that I’m sure were beyond me. You guys, he can cook. Like, really cook. 
Saturday night was a party. My housemates and I bought some food and liquor, cleaned the apartment and dressed it up in fresh flowers and mason jars filled with tea lights, and then lo’ and behold, a whole bunch of people came over to get sloppy. They came in and I hopped up and down in my 6-inch wedges, feeling good to be surrounded by so much love. So much fancy and so much free. And if that's what it feels like to be twenty-five, I'll take it.
Oh, and now I'm on vacation in New York. So far? It's a good year.


Color + Light

My window.
Do you ever have those days when you feel things more acutely? When everything is moving, everything is brighter? My skin has been warm since this afternoon when I sat on a bench in the sun for an hour. I am taking some prescription medicine and I forget that it makes me more sensitive to sunlight. Well, there's that, and the fact that my skin never sees the sun in this city. I don't really care, though, because I love it here.

You know that feeling? Loving where you live? Like, really loving it? Turning corners and gasping at some beautiful surprise on a regular basis. Everything is colored, everything is rosy. The late afternoon breeze comes in through your bedroom window, and it's so simple but it makes you feel something that can only be described as light.

You see the city moving around you, and everything looks like shapes, patterns. Like it's alive but like it's art. You're looking at life going by as usual, but your eyes are kaleidoscopes, and everything looks like this:


Food Truck Me

I wouldn't call myself a foodie, but it's hard not to come close when you live in San Francisco. You can find unique, high quality noms made with local organic ingredients pretty much anywhere, even on wheels. Off the Grid is a roaming food court in which all the best gourmet food trucks in the city gather so you can try a little bit of everything. They come to my hood in the Upper Haight every Thursday, but you'll find more trucks and more people at Fort Mason on Friday nights. Here, of course, you get both beautiful bay views and gale force wind. But when you're huddled in a crowd of people eating their way into a food coma, you hardly notice the chill.

I popped over for my first visit and tried the expertly done Asian Asada from Kung Fu Tacos, and Brass Knuckle ("stylish street food" including menu items such as Lamb Halen, Notorious P.I.G. and Fryin' Maiden). What I had to share with you, though, was the cupcake. (Well, I couldn't share the actual cupcake with you, unfortunately. And I probably wouldn't have, anyway.) Cupkates Bakery runs the Bay Area's first cupcake truck, and oh my god can we talk about genius? The Salted Caramel is pictured above, and look how red that Red Velvet is peaking into the frame. It was, in a word, divine.

And speaking of the ethereal the spiritual the up above this world, tonight I'm going to see Florence + the Machine at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, and from what I've heard about her live show, I am not emotionally prepared. I mean, listen: 

Happy Sunday, cupcakes.


Severed heads, etc.

You know how there are some things you just can't tell your parents? Like when a fatal shooting happens just two blocks from your house? That is, two blocks from my house. On Tuesday.

I didn't hear the shots, but I saw the crime scene. Medical examiner van, a fleet of cop cars, investigators in suits standing around everywhere. The whole block wrapped in caution tape. Just when we thought we were safe. Mom? Dad? Are you reading this? (Here's where we find out if my parents actually follow my blog.)

Despite how this sounds, I really do live in a good area. I frequently have to slip through crowds of bums on the corner to get to my front door (protected by an immense wrought iron gate), and some nights I can hear the tormented cries of lifelong junkies through my bedroom window (also protected by wrought iron). Really, though, the Upper Haight is a pretty nice neighborhood. But a shooting? By Buena Vista Park with its expensive homes and their expensive views? This just didn't sound right.

Turns out, it was some criminal from Orange County who had somehow made his way up here in a stolen vehicle and managed to get himself shot by the police by running at them when they tried to arrest him. Pure coincidence that he ended up in my lovely corner of San Francisco, from what I can tell (see more here). So, Mom and Dad, not to worry. Let's just hope those folks down south can contain their suspected bank robbers from now on.

Speaking of foul play, the next night I was having dinner at a friend's place and saw this on their refrigerator:

He had told his mother that he was planning a vacation in Mexico, and she sent him that newspaper clipping in the mail. The best part is that she wasn't joking, at least not entirely. I like his initials there on the top of the index card. I imagine her collecting these absurd and grotesque bits of articles with a pile of index cards neatly stacked on the table next to her, initialing each one so she remembers which of her children to send them to. I have no idea if she actually does this, but you can picture it, right?

I'm lucky that my parents don't worry too much; or if they do, I don't hear about it. And they're lucky that I keep my wits about me and don't do anything stupid. Speaking of stupid, I also found this on my friends' refrigerator:
And on that note, here's wishing you all a weekend with lots of beer and very few severed heads. Try not to get shot, either.


Muni My Heart

If there's anything people in San Francisco complain about more than the weather, it's Muni. I was lucky enough to snag a ride to work today and skip my usual journey on our city's fine public transit, and it made my morning. I watched the bus pull away from my front door without me on it and looked in at all those poor saps hanging like moss on the railings and plastic seats. Ha! Suckers, I thought.

Really though? If I'm being honest? I kind of like Muni. Don't tell anyone that lives here, but a part of me enjoys moving through the streets in that tangled knot of civilization, just a tiny red blood cell in the arteries of the city. Sure, it gets crowded and people are rude. People are loud, take up too much space and are often creepy. People smell. But when it comes down to it these are the people that make up this place that I live in. These people, strange as they may be, are the reason I am here. I wouldn't live in a metropolis if I didn't want to be stirred in with the rest of humanity. The rest of the weird, the inexplicable, the mysterious. The rest of the working, the thinking, the living.

There was a woman on the bus recently who, standing near the door, danced for at least 10 or 15 blocks. I watched her, moving so exuberantly and wondered what must be going on in her head for her to dance in silence like this, everyone around her morose, staring at their hands. Then suddenly the music in my own head stopped. Headphones on, carefully blocking out the rest of the world like a good Muni rider, I hadn't realized that this woman wasn't actually dancing in silence, that some hip hop was coming out of someone's speakers and she saw no reason not enjoy it fully. She was probably a drug addict. But still, I thought, we ought to never assume we know what someone is hearing, what's making them move. We should never assume that just because we can't hear it, there isn't music to dance to.

And speaking of Muni! The Bold Italic (of which I am a huge fan) just published a hilarious guide to good bus-riding in San Francisco (or more accurately, what kind of freaks to look out for). Check out The Bus Stops Here to get an idea of the kind of weirdness you will only see on dear ol' Muni.

Image found at The Bold Italic, one and only.


Buena Vista

Source: etsy.com via Shannon on Pinterest

Folks, we are now almost a week into a new month, and I am somehow still grappling with it. I have never been so surprised to see June on the calendar. And you know why? It's not because I don't keep track of days and weeks (I might not if it weren't for work), and it's not because I've been so busy I failed to notice the passing of time (I am busy, but that's not it).

It's because the weather has hardly changed since January. 

People in most other parts of the world (hell, of the Bay Area) recognize the start of summer with sandals, corn on the cob and sticky sun screen skin, but here in San Francisco, we have to double check our iPhones to make sure we're reading the calendar straight. The sun sets later, sure, but the average temperature in June is 66 degrees. Never in my life has a temperature so low been cause for celebration, impetus to run and skip in the street because you only have to wear a light jacket. I keep hearing, "Oh, this is your first summer in San Francisco?" followed by an evil knowing grin as the fog settles in for a long stay.

I suppose I shouldn't complain, (not considering the weather my friend Stacy in Seattle has been having), but I've learned that complaining about the weather is just something people do here, like eating organic produce or wearing pants. Maybe I'm just trying to fit in. Maybe I'll turn out to be one of the folks 7X7 is talking about who like the weather more than they're willing to admit. (See Jay O'Lear's bit on Why San Francisco Weather Isn't That Bad.)

Because really, if dreary weather means having a weekend like I've just had, it can't be all bad. I'm sure it will wear me down come August, but this weekend it meant staying in bed till noon, drifting in and out of sleep with the soft tap of rain on the window, a cool gray light suffusing through the curtains. It meant sitting in a cafe all day with good company and a good book. It meant taking advantage of a break in the rain with a stroll through Buena Vista Park, a block from my house on Haight Street, and in an instant feeling totally removed from the city. The park is like a little forest, and the weather left it wet and humid. We found edible plants, little onions growing in the ground, wild flowers. The air smelled like nature, like clean wet dirt and photosynthesis.

We went up to the top and stood over the city, over the pastel Victorians, the trees and the churches, the tall buildings downtown, over the hills and the Bay and the bridges; and whatever the sky was doing, we felt, fully and unequivocally, happy to call it home.