Friday, April 08, 2011

Go Giants!

I love the San Francisco Giants. Always have. I spent a lot of time at Candlestick Park, freezing my ass off. And now I love going to AT&T Park, the most beautiful ballpark in the country. Nothing like sitting there on a sunny day, with the Bay Bridge in the background and the sun sparkling on McCovey Cove. It truly is spectacular.

When the Giants won the World Series I was too sick to really enjoy it. Husband went to the victory parade and said he'll never forget it. I wish I could have been there. But today I'm watching the home opener (and wishing I could be there) and loving every minute. The pre-game ceremony was typically Giants, the old guard and the new. Willie Mays was there. One of the reasons why I love the Giants is that they take care of their old players. Willie Mays and Willie McCovey were both part of the victory parade.

I've never cheered for a team that won a championship before. I suppose I was a Niners fan in the 80s when they dominated the Super Bowl during the glorious Montana-Rice years. But this was different. This was a team that I've cheered for since I was a kid. And for them to finally win the championship was, even in my sick haze, a total thrill. Today I got that thrill again, watching the championship flag being passed from Willie Mays through the lineup to crazy Brian Wilson and his amazing beard who ran across the field. Of course it had to go to him, our favorite wild man. Running through the stands and up to the top of AT&T to hoist the flag over the park. Running past the iconic cable car (where the bell rings every time we hit a home run) and running up the flag while We Are the Champions blasted over the PA. It was one truly glorious moment that I'll never forget. I actually cried.

Thank you to the 2010 Giants for an unforgettable season. For taking a bunch of misfits and becoming a team. For seeming to know how much it meant to The City. For being our team in our town. For being so wonderfully weird with your beards and your rally thongs, your 21-year old enthusiasm and your "I thought I was a has-been" fire. It was a total goosebump season and today's ceremony just capped it off.

I love you guys. Always will. Go Giants!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Those Darn Veggies

Husband and I have gone lightly vegetarian. (We do fish.) And it's quite a strain.

I hate to cook. I hate learning to cook new things. And here I am confronted with chickpeas and cocoanut milk. We have a couple of good cookbooks, but I'm just not interested in spending hours chopping and peeling so I can experiment. Husband loves it. He's a great cook and really has fun.

But because he works like a dog all day it's my job to do the cooking. Tonight we're trying Potatoes and Carrots in cocoanut curry over rice. It sounds good, but we'll see....

I've never enjoyed cooking. Baking I like. The process of making cookies is fun to me. The process of peeling eggplant or chopping endless carrots just isn't fun for me. But I suppose I'll learn.

But it'll take a lot of doing for me to get over the process of having to consult recipes and dealing with unfamiliar with ingredients.

Yeah, I'm cranky. But i'm allowed. It's part of my charm. Hell, it's all of my charm.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Keepin' it Home

Yesterday Husband and I had sammiches from this great local deli we go to. And it reminded me of how much I love patronizing local, independent businesses. The people are great, they remember our "regulars" they're friendly and the food is so good. I had a chicken salad sammich that I swear I dreamed about last night it was so good.

It's a husband-and-wife place with the walls covered with photos of them at Giants games. (Yet another reason to love them.) And when their dog was sick and needed surgery, they put up a collection box and got over $1000 in donations for his care. (Sadly, they lost him.)

Today we went to our favorite bookstore. The one we can't get out of for under $100. It's a wonderful independent in Menlo Park called Kepler's and it's like heaven. Books you won't find anywhere else. Shelves and shelves of delicious, must-have reads. Clerks who love to read and make recommendations that tend to be spot-on. My newest favorite contemporary mystery author, Canadian Louise Penny, I discovered because a Kepler's clerk wrote a review that sounded too good to miss. And she was right.

One of the best things about Kepler's is the "book group shelf." People all over the area have book groups and many of them buy in groups at Kepler's. So there's a whole section showing what other groups are reading. It's been inspiring when it's my turn to pick our group's read and I have no clue. I know interesting, literate people have checked out and discussed this particular book, so maybe I'll check it out too. I've found some great reads that way. Plus people are allowed to bring their doggys in, so there are always cute pups wandering around or curled into a nap at the foot of one of their cushy leather chairs.

Sure we'll drop into Barnes & Noble occasionally. And there are times when I think we keep Amazon in business. But I honestly prefer to shop local.

We've got lots of interesting shops nearby. There's an Asian-owned produce store that is incredible. Half the stuff you pick up you have no idea what it is. Or what to do with it. But since Husband and I have recently gone vegetarian, we're going to do a lot of experimentation soon.

I love going into stores where they know you by name. Our favorite Chinese place all the waiters call me by name and remember when I come in for lunch that I don't want the soup. At the deli I don't even have to order they just ask "the usual?" and I get my favorite sandwich. It makes me happy, plus I love supporting the little guy.

Every weekend Husband and I go to a coffee shop called Neals. It's like an old-school diner. All the waitresses are total characters who call me "Baby Girl" and call Husband "Sweetie." They hug us. They'll slide into the booth next to you and talk about sports. The food is good -- wonderful filling breakfasts -- but I think we just go for Carol, Linda, and Mimi.

Sure there are times when a place like Target is needed. If I need socks, laundry detergent, and a CD on the same day I'll go to a big store. But mostly I prefer to keep it at home. Help support some couple putting a few kids through local schools. Buy from the store where the owner knows your name. Eat at the place where the waitresses hug you.

It's a happy thing.