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Down to the wire…about 3 more hours of work until I have successfully made it through the Holiday season. After that it’s making the rounds visiting family & friends. Up to St. Helena tonight to visit friends and down to San Jose tomorrow to spend Christmas with The Pookies. Can’t wait!

Merry Christmas to you & yours!

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Happy Saturday, everyone! The heat wave is over & the clouds are back. Boo. I decided to have a little fresh squeezed orange juice to brighten my day! Mom & Dad’s 40+ year-old juicer is still going strong!

You can call me Scrooge, but the decent of hundreds of Santa’s throughout my neighborhood yesterday was nothing short of annoying. Santacon 1st started in 1994 and is a national, annual event. I think the idea is fun, but the reality is starting as early as 10am there are drunk people hooting and hollering up and down the street. Not so fun for the girl with a street-level apartment and SINGLE pane windows. (Note to self: next apartment will not be street-level and will have double-paned windows). The upside is…it’s very quiet out there this morning. Thank goodness for hundreds of hungover Santa’s still in bed!

If you’re up for joining Santacon in your city, check the schedule!

The #19 is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get. Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding with this lovely lady. And I use the term “lady” very, very loosely. We’ve been on the bus together before and she usually talks quite loudly to herself. So, either she hasn’t had enough of the drink or she’s had too much…hard to tell…

Friday night, the night before a 6am wake-up call to catch a 8:45am flight out of Oakland I was packed & tucked into bed. It’s a weekend night and occasionally bar-hoppers wander by and I hear it, but it’s not usually enough to totally wake me because they keep moving and I’m used to noise. Well, around 1:30am I heard A LOT of noise, but waited for it to pass as it usually does. This crowd did not pass…in fact…they just got louder. Finally, out of frustration, I peeked through my blinds to see what was happening. A large crowd had gathered in the intersection of Polk @ Washington and were kicking a soccer ball around. Um…WHAT? A crowd of drunk, morons were yelling (go U.S.A.!!) and kicking a soccer ball which was bouncing off cars, buildings, etc…I crawled back into bed assuming the police car I saw would take care of things. 15 sleepless minutes later the crowd and noise had only increased. Apparently, drunk people kicking a soccer ball at 1:45am doesn’t warrant action by the SFPD. Noted.

Luckily, someone has the SFPD hotline on their speed-dial and placed a call to the shocked operator who could hear the trouble-makers through the phone (according to my source). The crowd finally dispersed around 2:15 right before the po-po arrived back on the scene, but not before I pulled on lounge-wear & grabbed my camera. (Sorry about the darkness of the pic – hard to figure out the right camera setting for an impromptu 2am soccer game outside your apartment).

Btw, I’ve been tired ever since. Grrrrr….And SFPD…you’re on my “not favorite people” list this week.

Game on

Mon frere numero trois happened to be in town tonight and as an avid follower of polkstreetandmore he wanted to check out La Trappe which I did a post about a few days ago. They have beers from all over the world…hence me showing off my sophisticated linguistic skillology.

So, after a quick beer at Burgermeister we walked one block north to La Trappe. We started off with the Pajottenland Toast (Sliced Pumpernickel with fromage blanc, sweet watermelon radish, and crisp scallions) and a Damnation beer from Russian River brewery for him and a Curieux (Bourbon barrel aged beer) for me. The pumpernickel toasts were so clean and fresh…yummy. According to #3 the Curieux really does have a strong hint of bourbon. Who knew? Never having had bourbon I couldn’t tell. I just knew it was delicious.

Now, #3 had never had mussels before. Can you believe it? He loves clams in butter/garlic so I thought he’d for sure like the Mariniere mussels (Wittekerke white beer sauce reduction with lemon, shallots, and fresh herbs) and I was right. Yay! The mussels are served with fries and your choice of dipping sauces…I went with ketchup, dijon, and an aioli. #3 had another Damnation and I opted to switch it up with an Italian Pilsner (Tilo Pils) which tasted like any other Pilsner I’ve ever tasted. People go nutty over the fries, but we agreed…they aren’t “all that and a bag of chips”.

The basement area is so dark that the pictures of the mussels and fries didn’t quite turn out, but thanks to the candle light I managed an “ok” shot of the Pajottenland Toast.

As we were wrapping up dinner #3 over-heard someone at the bar say it was Hitler’s birthday today. So, I thought I should inform him that it’s also “420 day“…the day pot-smokers unite and toke up at 4:20 on 4/20.

#3…you’re not in Texas anymore…

Last night I met up with friends to celebrate someone’s 40th birthday (not mine!). We had the loveliest time catching up on the patio at Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa. This is probably my most favorite restaurant…casual, but still elegant…and just yummy! We started the evening off with a refreshing grapefruit martini and the fritto misto appetizer. For the main course I had the seared filet of salmon with buttermilk mashed potatoes. Amazing, amazing! Ok, so that was all great and lovely…not to mention filling, but I am so glad I had a little extra room for the butterscotch pudding. Next time I think I’m going have that as my main course! And then maybe have it again for dessert…

Happy Birthday to my dear friend “the Jackal”!

The patio

Scooted out of work a little early today and hunkered down in the dark basement of La Trappe for farewell drinks for two co-workers who are moving on to new adventures. One to New York and one to Italy! I hadn’t heard of this place until a few days ago, but if you like beer you’re really going to like it here. And if you like beer and mussels you’re going to really, REALLY like it here.

The beer menu is ridiculous. It’s practically a text-book. My 1st glass was a bourbon barreled something-or-other which was on tap. Unbelievably delicious. I shared a bottle of something-or-other with my manager. Have no clue what it was, but I preferred the bourbon barreled beer for sure. Sorry, if i hadn’t been laughing so hard at the conversations I would have taken better notes.

The beer selection is truly incredible and paired with mussels…oy…I could have stayed all night. The mussels are served in great pots with incredible juices and seasoning. Indescribable.

I’m caught. Hook, line, and sinker.

About 2 weeks ago I was packing up my car getting ready to head back to SF after a weekend in Napa. As I was getting ready Dad reminded me to pick some oranges off the tree. Well, we picked nearly a dozen and I was thinking: “Self, that’s a lot of oranges for someone who doesn’t like to peel oranges”, but I couldn’t resist. I really do appreciate anything homegrown since I have ZERO outdoor space of my own. So, there I was, standing in the kitchen with my bag of oranges when Dad asked the question I’m sure he’ll regret…”Do you want to borrow the juicer?” My mind quickly did the math: oranges + juicer = fresh orange juice for free! YIPPEEEEEEE. I grabbed the juicer like it was nobody’s business and high-tailed it out of there before he changed his mind.

And look what I had with my breakfast the next morning. Dad might need to buy himself a new juicer. I’ll be sure to let him know he can find one just like his old one on Ebay for $19.99. It’s considered “Vintage” now! And I’ll be loading up double-double on oranges this weekend. Certainly wouldn’t want any going to waste!

I met up with a couple of friends earlier this week at the  Starlight Room located on the 21st floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. None of us had been before and what a treat! The view of Union Square is absolutely amazing during the holidays. I can’t imagine paying $12 for a cocktail when the view is not this sparkly, but who knows…maybe I’ll return in the spring to check it out. For the record I had Harry’s Martini (Tanqueray 10, st. germain elderflower liqueur dry vermouth and a dash of orange) which was delicious. And truth be told…I didn’t pay for it….thanks, friends!

Overlooking Union Square

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