31 May 2007

When Allergies Attack.

I began acupuncture a few weeks ago to help my allergies. As part of the process, my doctor (is that what they're called?) asked me to take herbs rather than my medications. So far, when I remember to take them (3 times a day! I can barely handle once a day), they work well. But somedays, like today, I really wish I had something else. Allergens must be working overtime!

26 May 2007

Where's the Sun?

It's now the end of May, Memorial Weekend in fact, and it is cold. Cold and overcast. No sun. I object to this behavior from Mother Nature. I was originally going to go camping this weekend; maybe it would have been warm up there. But my doggie sitter fell through, so I am home with Luca, which is great, but it's cold.

Boo. No me gusta.

22 May 2007


I have no clue who this guy is...but I guess he was having a good time!

Holy smokes...what a day it was!

Or...at least I think that was the case.

Bay2Breakers is a San Francisco tradition. I can't imagine there is anything else like it in the world. To the uninitiated, B2B is, "The Bay to Breakers is an annual footrace which takes place in San Francisco, California. The name reflects the fact that the race runs from the northeast end of the downtown area near The Embarcadero(the Bay side of the city) to the west end of the city and Ocean Beach (the ocean breakers near the finish line on the Pacific coast). The race is 7.46miles (12 kilometers) long." (thanks, Wikipedia!) Some of us know better, though. It is the wildest ride you can take in SF.

The morning for me started around 7am, which is late by B2B standards. I had been drinking the night before, and was a little woozy in the morning, so almost called the whole thing off. But I rallied, got my costume on, and took the dog for a walk. People were honking as they walked by me, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembered...I was wearing knee high socks and 1980's white BlueBlockers. Doh!

I got home, mixed myself a drink, and headed over to my friend's house where the group was meeting. Our theme was ping pong, and we had a big beer pong table that'd we supposedly be walking along with us. I arrived at around 8.30am, already almost one drink down. And I was behind all my friends!

But, we had to catch up to the rest of the racers! We started at around the mid-point of the race, which means most of the "racers" were already 3 miles into partying by the time they hit us. We headed out to the field, and within about 5 minutes, we had seen the quintessential B2B site - lots of naked men! We also saw folks partying at the moontower, playing "double dare," running with the bulls...and more naked men. Lucky for them, this year it was a nice day, and not as cold as past races!

I eventually ran into another friend and started walking down the street with him. We danced at dance parties all down Fell St. Shook it down while the flying Elvis' (Elvi?) were boogieing on the roof. Supported the breast cancer research cause. The day for many of us got hazier as we entered the park, and the rest stops got more frequent. It was worth it to just sit back and take in the sights.

40,000+ people register for this race. 70,000+ run/race it. And another 10,000+ just hang out on the sidelines and enjoy the action. It cuts right through the heart of San Francisco, so it's a Sunday you can either stay on your side of The City, or come to the center and be a part of it all. It is a pretty amazing and awesome experience, if you can remember it!

15 May 2007

Save the A's

Thanks to my colleague, Dan, for sharing this most awesome video!

Corporate Life

This video is fantastic. I imagine it took a little work to get this done, and to coordinate everyone's schedules...but it looks like it could be during their happy hour or something. The song'll get stuck in your head, I guarantee it.

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo

10 May 2007

Dear Paris

Dear Paris.
You broke the law. In fact, you broke the law more than once. You are rich enough to afford a driver or even a flippin' taxi cab, and yet you chose to drive drunk. You could have injured someone, but do you care?

Please stop flappin' your lips about how unfair this all is. Perhaps the sentence was severe. Still, you broke the law. You blame it on your publicist, which, last I checked you were an adult, so should know the rules yourself. You ask Ahnold to pardon you, which, bitch please. He has bigger concerns than a celebutante having to go to the slammer.

Suck it up, be a woman and face the music. As the saying goes, you did the crime, now do the time. I am tired of your ilk being subject to different rules than the rest of us. I see DUI after DUI, and very few repercussions.

And, be glad. This will hopefully snap your parents out of the fog they've obviously been in. did they teach you it was okay to drink and drive? Did they not show you how to dial a phone and call a cab? If not, they failed. (and, as a note...I am older than you, and if I got a DUI even now, you bet your ass my parents would head over here, take my car and be eternally disappointed in me, which is worse than jail)

Anyway, just shut up. Go to jail. And, learn something from this. Namely, that a cab ride costs less than a bottle of Cristal.

Hearts and Kisses,

09 May 2007

Getting around in Vegas

Back in the day, it cost about 10$ to take a cab anywhere in Vegas. It seemed, whether you were going to the Strip or to the convention center, the ride was right in the 10$ range.

This is no longer the case. Minimum seems to be around 15-20$ now, and it seems to be a little harder to find one. So are they still the best option?

According to the cabbie my colleague and I had the other day, any other way around Vegas is a waste of money. There is a new monorail system, and cabbie said it was a complete waste for them to build. I am not sure whether I agree or disagree...I haven't taken the monorail, so I don't know what the ride/cars look like. But I am a big proponent of public transportation, so I would like it to work.

Here's the rub, though...it costs 5$/ride. And the route is super limited to just a few hotels on the Strip and to the Convention Center. If you're not at one of those hotels, it is pretty inconvenient. It is too bad.

There are also limos/car services. Those can cost up to 70$ for just a quick ride. I should know; we took a few on Friday night to avoid the long cab lines. As I was almost falling asleep standing up, the thought of standing in that cab line was not appealing in the least. But still, limos are not the best option most of the time.

I think, whenever possible, walking is the best bet for Vegas. How else can you really take in all the sites and sounds?!

08 May 2007

Vegas and Red Bull

To round out my month 'o travel, I had one final trip to Las Vegas, this time for a company training exercise. Vegas, as always, was a whirlwind and fantastic, but also included more thoughtful work than usual.

We essentially had 30 hours to concept, research, put together and present a pitch on a made up product. The key to this presentation, though, had to be deep customer insight on a particular target group. This meant going out and trying to find this person, find out what the people around him thought of him, and figuring out what made him tick. Oh, and we were also given a sin by which this person was driven, in our case, lust.

All which meant we went up and down the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond, trying to put together the pieces. I visited some clubs (for the first time), and a strip club; we went to a Ferrari dealership, a church, and talked to a lot of cabbies. And that was all just in the first 20 hours.

By hour 24, we were all up and raring to put together our presentation. This was at approximately 5pm on Thursday evening. At about 5am Friday morning, we were all in desperate need of a nap. Yes, you read it right...we were up all night. We went to bed for about an hour, but then were up and at 'em again to be ready to present by 9am. Loony toons, crazy time!

Our presentation went really well; we didn't win but I thought we rocked.

I lasted until about 1am Saturday morning, when my body actually started shutting down while I was at a craps table. Who knew I had it in me?!

01 May 2007

Aboot Town in Toronto

Because I was working most of the time, I didn't get to do a ton in Toronto. But I did make some general observations...
  • It is a very flat, and thus, very walkable city. This I was not expecting at all. I think because so many people had told me that it was like San Francisco, I was expecting hills.
  • It is very clean. When I commented on that to people there, a few said to me, "Yeah, except for the homeless people." To which I responded, "Go to San Francisco. You don't know from homeless people here."
  • It has a fairly diverse population. I think this is where the SF comparison is apt.
  • It is pricey. A Coors Light (shut up) was 6 CA$. Which means around 5.80US$. Which means way too much for a Coors Light (maybe it's considered an import?). We went to a beer bar and the beers there were also expensive.
  • The US Dollar doesn't go as far as it used to. The exchange rates are getting worse and worse (for US Americans). We used to be able to go to Canada and save money...not so much anymore
I can't wait to go back there soon and see a little more of the city!

Toronto, eh?

I told you I had been traveling a lot for work!

Last week, I headed up north and over to the east to visit Toronto. I had never really been to Canada before (one quick trip to Whistler a few years ago), and had heard great things about Toronto, so was excited to check it out.

My first mistake (which probably ended up being a good thing at the end) was taking a red eye. When I was younger, I would take a red eye for a work trip, sleep a little upon arrival, then check out the city. Since I needed to be in Toronto on Saturday anyway, this seemed like a good idea!

I arrived and was beat (my red eye was not direct...I had a flight to Chicago first, then continued on to Toronto). Although I had slept through most of both my flights, it wasn't continuous sleep, so that kind of threw me off. I got to the hotel, the Soho Metropolitan, where they graciously had my room ready and waiting for me. And I crashed.

My friend Bill had headed up to Toronto to hang out for the day, so I eventually got out of bed and got myself together. We met up, walked around, and finally found a lunch place, Flatiron & Firkin. I don't recommend it. The food was meh and the service was even moreso. It was right near the Raptor's stadium, so fans were pouring out and still feeling positive, despite the loss. I suddenly got very tired. So, up for 2 hours, and I needed to head back to the hotel for another 3 hour nap.

Took that, then headed out again. Had a few beers, a few appys, and, shock of shocks, I needed to go back to bed. I didn't stay out late in large part because I had to be up and smiley working at 7.30 the next morning (which is 4.30am my normal time!). I went back to the hotel and crashed out completely.

It was a definite reality check on my age...I can't do the red eyes the way I used to at age 22. But, on the plus side, I didn't have to deal with jet lag as I went to bed easily the first night, and synced up with the local time!

Rock on, Governator

I am not a huge fan of the California Governator. However, he scored some points in my book after this weekend.

There was an accident on Sunday morning which resulted in a disaster on the Macarthur Maze, a vital traffic artery in the Bay Area. A piece of the overpass melted and fell, which means there is no freeway between the Bay Bridge and a big part of the East Bay. This spelled doom for the commute.

Very quickly, Arnold stepped in and called for free public transit for the entire area. The California state government will be paying for it. Not only did it help alleviate the traffic this morning, but also pushed people to the more environmentally-friendly option of public transit. It also reaffirmed his commitment to making California a more green state. If just a few people decide to permanently switch to public transportations, our emissions will begin to be cut and the environment saved a bit.