Holiday Cookie Party!

I baked six different cookies and invited friends over to celebrate the season with some mulled cider and Bing Crosby tunes. Darryl, Matt, and James also baked cookies (peanutbutter-chocolate rice krispy squares, bacon-fat gingersnaps, and Mexican wedding cookies, respectively) which I sadly didn’t get photos of. Too busy gabbing with friends, old and new! It was a dry, clear evening despite being bookended by weeks of rain this year. Thank you, weather gods. Continue reading “Holiday Cookie Party!”

Darryl’s birthday up in Russian River

We spent the weekend in a lovely 4 bedroom home in Guerneville (called “Vista Serena”) just over the bridge from downtown. The gray skies didn’t dampen our festive mood: lots of home cooking, watching shows, playing Password and Cranium, the small town Parade of Lights, and plenty walking over and around the river. I baked three test batches of pecan shortbread, Linzer christmas cookies, and Parmesan cheese puffs to boot. Let’s just say it wasn’t a low-calorie weekend. But it’s always nice to get out of the city for a bit. Jax loved the change of scenery and all the extra walking around. Continue reading “Darryl’s birthday up in Russian River”

Pink Saturday 2014

Darryl hosted another of his annual Pink Saturday cocktail parties chez lui. Fun to see everyone (again) and catch up with Liza and Stacy, who I simply don’t see enough of! After the party, we braved the chaos to walk back to my place, take Jax for a walk, and see Stacy off on the J-Church train. She had to park way up at Church & 23rd. Yes, it was that crowded and crazy this year. Pink Saturday has become the new Castro Halloween, with all the attendant downsides, I’m afraid… Continue reading “Pink Saturday 2014”

A first time in Maui

I took up the offer of splitting a very low-cost condo in Kihei with my old (since 2006) Swiss friend, Reto. The condo wasn’t much to get excited about but it was very central, allowing me to wake up early and go for a long walk up the main commercial corridor of Kihei every day. Reto is a Maui veteran (his 20th year of coming to the island) so I got the advantage of having a local expert: all the best beaches, restaurants, places to see the sunset, guided tours to the volcano, and the perfect snorkel boat (the 6:30 am catamaran, Kai Nani II, for those of you going in the future). It’s a cliche to call Hawaii ‘magical’ but that’s because it’s true. Maui was an escape from all stresses and a long, warm bath in the most inviting waters I’ve ever experienced. Definitely going back. Continue reading “A first time in Maui”

Emily & Ariyeh visit Uncle Patrick

What a sweet weekend spent with my loving sister Emily and newest son Ariyeh, who flew down from Seattle to stay with me a few days. My nephew is so adorable (age 4 months) with his laughs, smiles, and sound-making! Great Uncle Steve and Great Aunt Jane came up on Friday night from Aptos and we shared dinner, wine, and yacking till they had to hit the road. Emily and I got in some quality time, catching up on life (long overdue!). Every morning making black tea with half-and-half (along with a few cappuccinos and Reese’s peanut butter eggs.) Continue reading “Emily & Ariyeh visit Uncle Patrick”

Pixar with the Dunn Family

After a wonderful buffet brunch in the Berkeley Marina with Darryl, his brother Danny, wife Marie, son Aidan, nephew Zolt, cousin Jason, wife Marie, and daughter Maddie we all got a tour of Jason’s workplace: Pixar Studios. WOWZA. I would never get any work done there: all those social lounges, pool tables, sand volleyball courts, swimming pool, secret rooms, etc etc. Looks like a lot of fun though. Really cool to see all the production art on the walls. So glad to finally go inside the place where all that magic happens! Continue reading “Pixar with the Dunn Family”

Weekend with my niece Anne

My most wonderful niece Anne came down for a quick weekend stay with me in SF. She was down here checking out USF student life to help her decide which college to attend next fall. We had a sweet time — making guacamole and citrus-kale salad, catching up about our lives, going out for Middle Eastern dinner, hiking up to the top of Corona Heights, fancy coffee at Illy, brunch at Chow on Church St, gabbing about our far-flung family, and just hanging out. Come stay with me again anytime, Anne!

Continue reading “Weekend with my niece Anne”

BZ reunions 2014

Me and Dave met for coffee in downtown SF this past weekend. There’s a photo above, though it doesn’t even begin to express the spirit of that reunion. Dave and I talked only for about an hour and a half but it could have gone on much longer, no problem. It’s always amazing to discover the ease of reconnecting with BZers, even after long gaps. Continue reading “BZ reunions 2014”

More Winter 2014 Visitors!

I hosted a bunch of SF-bound travelers this winter under the auspices of and Darryl’s family visit. I saw so many lovely parts of the Bay Area under some gorgeous weather, despite the season (or perhaps because of it?). Plus, there was bread baking training from my baker buddy Ben to add to the mix. Luckily, all my visitors were happy to give my various loaves a fair try. Breadmaking, like hosting, is more art than science, I’ve discovered. With practice comes a kind of grace and ease that makes it all the better. Continue reading “More Winter 2014 Visitors!”

‘Looking’ at my 50th birthday

Someone asked me today what I think of LOOKING, that new show on HBO about four gay men in contemporary San Francisco.

What if you had a magical mirror that was wiser than you? That could tell you things about life. A mirror that let you see how other people make mistakes — so you could avoid them? Six episodes in, that’s what LOOKING is to me. Here’s a show about four men that seem just like my friends, all very believable characters from my own life. And as I watch these guys, I recognize mistakes and missteps even as they are being made by the show’s characters. Their mistakes don’t even seem like mistakes, at first. The drama is muted. The errors hide around the edges of the action. But my mind is prickling with awareness — and interest — in their fates. Continue reading “‘Looking’ at my 50th birthday”

Stacy’s Birthday 2014

Yes, the years roll forward but it was great to celebrate one more with Stacy.  Darryl, Liza, and I drove over to Stacy’s really cool two-story studio-loft in the old Melrose neighborhood of Oakland. It’s the site of one of my old paper companies, Xpedx, ironically enough. Lots of people from all the many corners of Stacy’s life were there — and plenty of yummy snacks for all. No sign of scaredy-cat, Tinka, though! Continue reading “Stacy’s Birthday 2014”