Archive for August, 2014

I watched this video today. Seeing murmurings of starlings is both calming and awe-inspiring. Nature is amazing. I’ve seen a murmuring while biking toward Napa, and it’s even more impressive in person. Watching murmurings of starlings reminds me of swallows, which I consider the bat’s daytime counterpart. And bats are one of my favorite animals, if not my favorite. (In fact, my next tattoo is going to be some version of a bat. I’ll share more after the fact.) Most people find bats gross and/or scary, but they’re pretty awesome creatures. First, they are adorable:









Don’t tell me that face isn’t cute as fuck.

They eat lots of mosquitoes. Something like 1,000 per bat, per day! And they are harmless. Bat bites are so very rare. Bats just want to be left to their own devices. But, as with most things people don’t understand, we villianize them. It’s a shame, really. Bats, even vampire bats, do not want to suck your blood, unlike the evil mosquitoes that do want to suck your blood. And spread disease. Did you know that mosquitoes are indirectly responsible for the most human deaths of any animal? Notice how bats aren’t even on that list.

A few months ago I went to see a documentary on bats. Before the main show, we got to watch a short documentary on entomophagy. You’re probably aware that eating insects is normal in some cultures, but here in the U.S. it’s pretty much taboo. Fortunately, some cities are starting to adopt the practice that’s already popular in 80% of the world’s countries. San Francisco is one of them. After the documentary, small paper cups full of dried and spiced “superworms” were passed around the theater. I partook, because I’m an adventurous eater. They were delicious! They tasted like spiced nuts.

Insects are a healthy alternative to meat. They pack a protein punch with a fraction of the fat. On top of that, they’re sustainable and environmentally friendly. They don’t take up much space, don’t eat tons of corn, and don’t require vast amounts of water. It’s a win-win! All we need to do is get over the social conditioning that’s taught us bugs are disgusting and dirty. Have you ever seen the conditions in which factory farmed meat is produced? And what happens to that meat between there and your local store? 

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

In fact, the local chef who owns the Don Bugito food cart sells her premade delicacies at the Ferry Building. I’m going to head over there at lunch today and pick up some for my afternoon snack. Can’t wait!

More info on insect-eating here.

Read Full Post »

Back in the day (haha, dad), I visited San Francisco when I still lived in Worcester and wrote about it. Amazingly, most of what I said back then still holds true after having lived in San Francisco for close to three years. 

Weather: I miss autumn in New England. And sometimes, but only sometimes, I miss having seasons. But generally, I’ll take the weather over here in SF over the weather back East. Yeah, biking home every day into a strong headwind sucks. Cold, foggy mornings suck. But 50-degree temperatures in January? Yes, please! Summer in October? Okay! Precipitation over the past couple of years has also been lower than usual (which, unfortunately, has resulted in a major drought), but it’s typically lower than in Massachusetts anyway. On a side note, I experienced my first significant earthquake this past weekend! It was a 6.1, centered in Napa. It happened in the middle of the night and woke me up out of a drunken sleep. It lasted only 10 seconds, but it was pretty intense. Hard to describe the feeling of your bed shaking the way my bed shook. Someone later told me it was a “rolling” earthquake. I think it’s time to make my emergency kit, before another one hits. Would I take quakes over tornadoes and hurricanes? Not sure – at least with storms we get a heads up that they’re coming. 

Landscape: My opinion holds firm. Though the northern part of the east coast has its own beauty and charm, you cannot beat the dramatic cliffs and beaches here on the west coast. Or the gorgeous golden hills dotted with trees. Sorry, Massachusetts!

Food: No contest. Plus, my neighborhood has a farmer’s market! I only have to walk (or bike) two blocks to get local, organic produce, cheese, bread, eggs, even meat if I want it! And since moving here I’ve eaten at Millennium and Greens, both of which are ridiculously good vegetarian restaurants. If places like those existed in Boston, let alone Worcester, I knew nothing about them. And, on a related note, I don’t really miss the beer from the east coast. My palate has changed, and the options here do me just fine. Especially sour beers! Yummy. 

People: Okay, now here is where I may backtrack a bit. Don’t get me wrong: the people here are really nice. I’ve made some excellent friends whom I love. But I do pine for the east coast attitude a bit. Sure, we are a surly bunch, but we stab you in the front rather than in the back. Also, when we say we’ll be somewhere, we show up. And on time. I can’t tell you how often my friends are late or just flake altogether. That will never be cool with me! It’s sad when I’m impressed by people who are where they say they’ll be and when. (Typically these people are not from the Bay Area.) It’s become a novelty and not an expectation. But hey – I’ve lowered my expectations and have managed to be fairly happy with the state of people out here. Just don’t get me started on drivers when I’m on my bike. That’s another whole post.

So, the jury returns! And the verdict is: WEST COAST WINS!!!

Read Full Post »

It’s been a little slow at work recently. Instead of reading the news online or otherwise being productive, I’ve been rotting my brain by staring at Facebook (unhealthy) and reading other blogs (instead of working on my own). One of the blogs I read was www.100fd.com. I still check it occasionally to see if there are any updates, because, well, reading about other peoples’ dating woes is entertaining and helps me feel less pathetic about my dating life. Plus, I like her writing style and positive outlook.

One great takeaway from the aforementioned blog is the book “The Four Man Plan.” Yes, this book has been around for a while. But don’t forget, I was in a relationship from 2002 – 2012, so that sort of stuff was entirely off my radar. The basic gist of the 4MP is to date lots of guys (with parameters) in order to find yourself and what you really want. I emphasize “really,” because I thought I knew what I wanted, but clearly I don’t. It’s apparent in the men I’ve chosen to date and those I’ve chosen to avoid. You may be thinking, “Well, of course you need to date lots of guys to see what you want!” And yes, it’s pretty common-sense stuff. But the rules are what makes it different. Anyway, I’m going to give it a shot, while at the same time focusing on myself and what makes me happy. Because let’s face it – no man (or woman) will make me happy. That’s completely up to me.

At the moment, I don’t have any environmental preaching to do – all you have to do is check Facebook to learn about the drought here in California, the ice bucket challenge, fracking, police violence, etc. Facebook is a funny thing. I feel dependent on it for my social life, because most of what I do is tied to some sort of Facebook event. However, Facebook is also the source of much of my grief these days. I know people only post what an awesome time they’re having and their best moments, so we’re only seeing a slice of life, but it still causes me feelings of jealousy and angst. Facebook is comparable to heroin or something. I may need a digital detox sometime soon…

And speaking of digital detox, many of my friends are off at Burning Man right now. I’m sure they’re having a great time now that the rain is over, but that’s one festival I’ll never understand or attend. Spending a week in the hot desert surrounded by naked and drugged-out people is the antithesis of how I’d want to spend my hard-earned money and vacation time. So, Burners, when you return, please resist the urge to tell me what an awesome, life-altering time you had and how much I’d love it there. 

I’ll try to get this blog back on track in the near future! And maybe post a little about my bikes, because I love them.

Read Full Post »