Category: Personal

personal style and enjoying womanness

It has been a busy, busy fall. Lots of catch-ups on gardening, old friends coming into town, new babies being born, and turning 40.

What’s that, you say? Yes, I hit the big one. I started an eloquent post–actually, I started quite a few eloquent posts on a number of topics–but they are all sitting as “drafts” in my blog. I promise I’ll be back with my thoughtful post on turning 40 but for now, I am thinking about fashion a lot. More than I care to admit.

I’m an intellectual who loves fashion. I dream about it, I research it like mad (the internet has become a dangerous and yet amazing world for a fashion fiend), I have an insane collection of magazines (and Anthropologie catalogs, how I love you) falling all over the place. Twice a year, I spend time writing notes about what my “theme” is for the next season. Fashion is holistic for me; it’s not just about something cool to wear. It’s about storyboarding the next 6 months or so of my life. I think about colors, textures, shapes–where I see myself going and how to express that.

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Beginnings are good, but the follow-through?

I love beginnings, full of possibilities and options. And somewhere in the middle of things I get bogged down, bored or stressed, and I’m realizing it’s because I often spend too much time on the beginnings, leaving all possibilities open. I re-took the Myers-Briggs personality test last year and it really opened my eyes to this aspect of my personality. (I’m a classic, off-the-charts INFP.)

I am primarily a writer, but I’m a historian, an art critic, an armchair designer, a gardener–so topically, I could never limit my blog. That’s why I couldn’t imagine being a “fashion blogger” or “craft blogger” or “film blogger”. I worry I might bog down readers, because my obsessions and skills are so wide and varied. (I have spared you, so far, from my still-in-draft entries on Marshall McLuhan and his media theories). I can’t help but chase down my whims, research them endlessly, and write about them.

On a friend’s advice, I’ve decided that I need to narrow down the beginnings of things. Not to take away the joy of project-visioning, but to take small mental notes of the rabbit trails that interest me, and narrow down the possibilities to a few into which I can actually cut a road.

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Summertime in the City

I‘ve hit my mid-summer blues. It’s that time of year where I am generally feeling a bit slow, uninspired, and hence this entry where I randomly insert youtube videos to keep me entertained (see below). This is what summer in Austin does to me. I feel as if I lose intelligence points by the day.

It is due to utter extrovertedness of summer. And I am an introvert. The cicadas are so loud I can barely hear my own thoughts. The afternoon is the hardest time of day–I must avoid the sweltering heat by napping or sitting on the porch under the fan, looking generally listless. I could be reading but no, I instead spend hours on Facebook and flipping through magazines. The rest of the day is passed with lovely gatherings of friends, and I shouldn’t be complaining. I’ve so far had ice cream in Berlin with a dear friend, late night backyard cinema in Prague with my friends, sitting around a fire in Austin listening to friends playing their songs–all in the last two weeks. It’s wonderful and social and very easy going.

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Yes, I’m Lefthanded.

This was my first choice for my website name, but darn, “I’m Lefthanded” seems to be popular.

I’m the only lefty in my family, including cousins, aunts and uncles. (Although I haven’t been able to keep track of my mother’s family; she had 9 brothers and sisters and I am still accumulating new cousins and second cousins every year.) Like many lefties, I grew up thinking there was a special reason for this oddity. When I started playing softball, for some reason I batted right-handed, until my father told me, “You should really try to bat left-handed, you’d be stronger at it.” And I did, thinking that I could have the special skill of the tricky switch-hitter. Read more

Breakfast in San Francisco

Just got back from a very, very laid back holiday in San Francisco. My favorite city. I hate saying that, because it might exclude many places I hold dear. I have been to the most amazing cities in the world, but San Francisco got my heart when I was younger and it still grows with me every time I return. Anyhow, if you are a friend from SF, please don’t be offended that I didn’t call. We barely left the house.

The sum of this vacation consisted of watching the Olympics, reading books and playing tug of war with our four-month-old puppy. It was the most glorious, passive vacation ever. The only decisions we had to make were where to do the thing we love most about San Francisco: BREAKFAST.

Pork Store Huevos Rancheros

You might be wondering what the heck that gooey mess above is; it’s huevos rancheros. My latest breakfast obsession. The best thing about traveling is breakfast. You get up, slowly, anytime you want, and decide you must have breakfast. Most cities are not so accommodating. In America, there is the occasional all-day-breakfast diner in any given town or city. London often has these types too, where you can get a good ole’ hot fry up at any time of the day. (Oh, how I love you, full English breakfast!) My hometown Austin is notorious for being a lazy-day breakfast town, and for people getting up late and desperately needing pancakes, but weekdays you surprisingly have to hunt it down after noon. And usually it is a diner or Tex-Mex sorta breakfast.

San Francisco is another story. 8 a.m. Noon. 4 p.m. Somewhere in any given neighborhood, there is a breakfast menu waiting for you, and as many styles as you want. You might want a classy eggs benedict over a glossy black table at some downtown chic restaurant. You can get this after 1 p.m. Or you want one of the infamous breakfast crepes in one of the cities many charming crepe cafes, and served usually with a pile of those savory rosemary garlic potatoes. Or you decide you want the health route, some fresh California yogurt with homemade granola and strawberries. Or perhaps you want a big platter of a good old greasy spoon breakfast. Whatever way you want it; there are haute and blue collar versions of corned beef hash. I had all of these cravings and didn’t have to go far to fill them.

Here’s the thing I love about San Francisco food. It has the full gamut of American cultural taste buds. It has the western influence. You can get Huevos Rancheros just about anywhere, just as you can in Austin, but SF has so many more east-coasters who are definitely not living without their bagels and lox. Corned beef hash is everywhere, usually a northern, east-coast food. You can get a real plate of homemade biscuits and gravy, southern style (there IS a difference between northern and southern biscuits, believe me).

My first choice, though is always a crepe breakfast. They’re just so darn good.

My husband’s favorite is eggs benedict. Many SF restaurants also serve multiple types of eggs benedict, like Eggs Blackstone (tomato and bacon) and a delicious benedict with crab cakes and sometimes sourdough instead of English muffins.

Then there is the Pork Store, which is pretty much a classic diner institution in Haight Ashbury and my husband forced me to eat at the counter, because ‘that’s what you do’. And though I wasn’t hungry I ordered up a plate of huevos rancheros. I’m on a research mission to find all the different ways these are served because they’ve become my favorite Texas breakfast. That was the mushy pile of food in my first photo. I have to say that Pork Store does it the way I think it should be: eggs, cheese, tortilla, beans and sauce all running over and into each other. Some places leave out the beans, some just put chunky tomatoes rather than sauce. Some places are just eggs, tortilla and sauce.

Lest we leave without squeezing in one more breakfast, we tried to get up early the day of our flight so we could make it out to a cafe. No such luck, so we drove out of the city with empty stomachs. Arriving at the airport at 12:30, we thought maybe we’ll get lucky. We’ve never found an airport serving hot breakfast so late. But whaddya know, right next to our gate was the satellite Cafe, famous for its wharf breakfasts with big letters: BREAKFAST ALL DAY. Whoo-hoo! San Francisco, you do us right. And what a huge menu it was. We filled up on shrimp omelets and big crusty sourdough toasts and even treated ourselves to a classic shrimp cocktail. Yeah, that’s a lot of shrimp but where else in the world can you feel like you’re sitting by a wharf eating breakfast after morning in a crowded airport?

Here we are.

I have started and stopped multiple blogs. I’m a pretty decent web designer and I love having a place to explore every topic that interests me. But I’m a terrible “blogger” in the traditional sense. I started blogging in 1998, before Movable Type, before Blogger, before before. I had to hand-code each entry. From the very beginning, a blog (for me) was simply a website compilation of writings. They just happened to have dates.

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