Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Opera night

Last night Emily brought me to the SF Opera to see "The Girl of the Golden West" which was awesome!  I've never been to the opera before and it was fantastic.  Things I never knew about the opera:
  • There are subtitles
  • Some people wear jeans, others wear gowns
  • Those "in the know" reserve their Irish Coffee before the show for the 1st (yes, 1st - there are 2 to 3) intermission
 Post show was ... odd.  After Emily and I parted I started walking up Van Ness to catch the bus.  Just two blocks away from the Opera house, I was in the middle of a drug deal and a group of prostitutes - odd to say the least.  From so posh to so ...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend roundup - party party party!

This weekend was back to back parties and go go go (and not the kind of party from my sorority (yes, sorority) days). 

Saturday, we looked at a house in Bernal (too ... different) and then went to the 1st birthday of Max and Kennedy, two identical twins from our SF POM group:
After the birthday we were off to Veronica (my co-worker's) baby shower.  She and Dennis were awesome hosts, and they're going to be amazing parents.  The party was in Walnut Creek at a great little pond with fountains and ducks everywhere.  My co-workers turned out to be great baby people and were amazing helpers with the boys during the party.

Today brought yet another birthday - this one for Yaccob, and ADORABLE now 1-year old who ('s parents) know how to party.
Leaving the party we were a bit on the exhausted side - but the great exhausted kind.

The club...

The other day my co-worker and I were talking about "clubs."  It seems at different phases of our lives there are different "clubs" - some examples:
  • The college graduate
  • The MBA
  • The careerist
  • The parent 
  • The parent of twins
  • The runner
OK, I'm just highlighting my "clubs" there's also:
  • The grandparent
  • The retiree
  • The lawyer (one Steve - co-worker - threw in which totally makes sense)
 You get the idea. This weekend was a busy one with birthdays and a baby shower - "club 'meetings'" so to speak.  More to come on the festivities.

Unlike Groucho Marx, I like my "clubs." 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I scream for ... sunscreen?...

OK, I don't really, but now that summer has officially hit it's time to be more cautious than ever with the boys outside.  San Francisco has been enjoying some great weather recently and, with that, we've been enjoying a lot of time in the back yard, at the playground, and just walking around with the boys.  We've also been spending a lot of time slathering their bald little white heads with sunscreen.

Here's the thing, I try to only put the best in the boys' bodies (I make (or our amazing nanny Paloma makes) 90% of their food with organic fresh ingredients).  On and around the boys, we only use Dreft on the boys' clothes, and organic house cleaning products.  ... well, you get the idea.  Why should what we put on the boys' skin be any different?

Insert, the great sunscreen search.  I've tried a few sunscreens - there's the organic one that looks like white paste and goes on just as easily (and off - and my goodness white paste-ish stuff is hard to get off!).  There's the fruity smelling kind whose ingredients I can't pronounce.  And then there's California Baby - my newest acquisition as of 9:15pm this evening after checking out this sunscreen rating guide.

Why non-toxic (besides it just sounding "right")?  According to this article, vitamin A in sunscreen can cause cancer.  Yikes!  That is one thing I will not mess with.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

North Beach festival!

It's been a busy busy weekend (recap to come later).  We wrapped up the weekend with North Beach festival and the boys loved the live music and crowds - they're quite the social butterflies!  Especially Wilson whom some woman said looked like a Russian cake ... odd (this was right before she said she just wanted to bite our boys up - that's when we went home).

Friday, June 18, 2010

A funny thing happened at the gym ... I was happy without a stress in the world

Today was a crazy day at work.  Crazy.  That's a good thing - I'm lucky in that I get to work with great people at a great company that's actually doing well.  It's a bad thing, too, though because the hours tend to go by too quickly thus leaving me to work after the boys go to bed (aka now, 8:15pm on a Friday - sh, I'm playing hookie on my blog for a minute) and on weekends during the boys' naps.

During all the craziness, I decided I needed to hit the gym.  When you gotta go, you gotta go - besides it's a thousand times better than a cigarette, and I swear I work better after I sweat.  So off to spin class I went (first spin after having the boys!) 

At the start of the class the teacher said, "do what makes you happy.  Do what makes you feel good."  Awesome.

The end of the class was a little off ohm for me - the teacher was telling us to "relax our faces as cycling isn't about stressing the face" and then asked who attended the botox seminar over the weekend.  Ah San Francisco gyms - always delivering isms, love it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weekend Roundup! Mt. Play

Another year, another Mt. Play ... for the past few years we've been making our way up beautiful Mt. Tam to take in a play - this year was Guys and Dolls (a personal favorite as I was Adelade in high school).

This year was a first with the boys, and they loved every second.  Rob, Emily, and Margarette were greay baby helpers keeping the boys cool, calm, and dancing with them while they enjoyed the show.

Last year the boys were kind of there ... it was three weeks before they came.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Confesions of a runner

I have a confession to make ... I haven't been feeling like running lately.  I'm not sure what it is - could be that things have been a bit on the overwhelming side lately (trying to buy a house, work and work, oh yes, and twins :) ), or could just be the weather, who knows.  Today I woke up, though, rearing to lace up.  So, after the boys had breakfast and went down for a nap, I got ready, and hit the pavement.

All in all, an awesome run!  But it was hot hot hot - bikram running, I guess.  I made my way up and over Union Street, turn up to Broadway and ran up to the Presidio (and when I say up, I mean up up up!), into the Presidio and down around the playground, then off to the golf course. Around the lake, up past the spooky old hospital (which they're now making into awesome looking apartments), around the campsite, by the beach, along the bridge, and back down along the water home.  RAD run. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Date night!

I don't know where time is going - the boys are 11 months tomorrow (wowowow - I barely remember 11 hours), and the days are flying with early wakeups and play time > work > play time > work > do it all again (with a bit of sleep somewhere in there).  The other day Matt and I were walking to work (I to work, Matt to our dentist in Union Square), and we were talking about "fun."  What did we used to do for fun?  Now driving a toy car across the carpet is oodles of enjoyment.  Playing in a field is a blast.  But what's our fun?

Insert, date night.

Friday Paloma (our angel - aka nanny) came late to watch the boys and we hit the town.

First, there was Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running musical theater in history (!)

Then we cruised around the North Beach China town border (and took in a live ... concert)

Then up to Coit Tower

And finally home to kiss our sleeping boys good night.

Now that was fun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

See Jane Run half - I run for chocolate and champagne ... and my boys ... and me ... and ...

I haven't run in the past two weeks at all - I've been doing the elliptical every day at lunch, but it really truly is not the same.  Not even close.

Today was the See Jane half marathon in Alameda - it was a great race, but I'm sad to say my PR streak has stopped.  I wound up running 1:38 and I came in 10th out of 2,064 runners (and first in my age group).

This was the first race I did with Luna Chix and it was a blast.  We have a busy season ahead of us with bi-weekly runs, races, and fundraising clinics, and I'm looking forward to every minute.

My favorite part of the race was the finish line - Matt  brought the boys and it made my race/day/everything. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The housewives of San Francisco

During the week I workout at lunch (because from 5-6:30pm the only thing I want to do is "hang" with the boys and after 6:30 I'm so wiped I just want to eat dinner ... and get back to work).  I used to go to the Crunch Fitness by the Gap headquarters - workouts were always surrounded by late 20-30 something fashionistas with a mellow tude.  We moved offices Monday to near Union Square so my new Crunch is by the Academy of Art - workouts are surrounded by wounded souls and deep ... something. 

Today I decided to try a new shi shi gym - The Sports Club LA.  First of all LOVE IT!  Great equipment, 100k+ feet of workout zone, clean, ... I could go on and on.  The only thing I don't like so much?  The people.

In the locker-room, here's a convo snippit:
Blond in Pucci: "My children are driving me crazy"
Blond in towel and designer flips: "Mine too"
Brunette: "I got in such a big fight with my daughter, I said 'you get yourself home from school this week.  I'm not picking you up - you figure it out.'"
Blond: "It's just so exhausting"
Brunette: "Yeah, I need a break"

Seriously?  Maybe I missed something ... the hidden cameras?  I will say, I never every want to be a righteous mom/woman/marketer - nothing!  That said, seriously? 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Real estate games

Matt and I are ready to buy a house / home / casa / abode / whatever.  We're ready to get a place to call ours and fill with memories.  The thing is, buying real estate is a lot easier said than done - especially in San Francisco.  Our budget is tiny, and as you can guess, San Francisco isn't that cheap.  We're not ready to flee the city yet, though - I know I can't live in the burbs yet, I could maybe do a beach town or farm town but I don't think the tech market is really taking off in either of those types of places (and my new company is still in the wireframe mode).

Over the past two months we've had quite a real estate roller coaster.  First, the TV show "First Time Home Buyers" was considering us for the show but the timing never quite worked out (which is fine as I still hate makeup and I don't think showing my sweatpants self on weekends would be that awesome).

We've been working with a rad agent who has really been showing us the ropes in real estate.  Because of our low budget, but our desire to live in a good neighborhood where we can make money down the line, we're looking at:
  • Up and coming areas - Bernal Heights, Inner Richmond, Sunset / Cole Valley border
  • TICs (tenancy in common) - this is basically where people buy into a building and share the building but own their unit; in San Francisco, TICs are worth ~20% less than condos.  Historically TICs were very risky because all owners go in on the same loan and if one defaults, the whole building is ... in a sticky spot.  Now, TIC owners can get separate loans, but there are still risks such as the unit being harder to sell (based on a handful of reasons).  Condos are worth more than TICs because of how the ownership and loans work.  In a 2-unit building, after 1-year living in the unit, the owners can apply and convert to a condo.  In 3-6 unit buildings, the owners can enter a condo lottery (in San Francisco I hear it's about 8 years to be able to convert - eesh!).
  • Condos 
  • REOs / short sales - these are typically bank owned properties where the owners defaulted or foreclosed, or owner owned where they want to sell before they foreclose; these start off looking cheap but can quickly climb in price as there are a handful of investors who buy for cash then flip the unit for a lot more.  With the way bidding works it's tough to combat these guys (e.g. they'll come in with a cash offer and no contingencies (they're OK with mold if there's mold, they'll deal with structural stuff if that's an issue, etc.)).  
We put a bid on an REO a month ago and still haven't heard back - I'm certain we won't get it.  We also looked at a place in Bernal and decided not to put a bid because it was way too much of a fixer - it was listed at $560k, a week after stepping away from it, we learned it sold for over $800k - what?!!!

Here's the latest place we looked at: Lawton and 10th (not at all where we thought we'd consider - it's in the Sunset).  The higlihgts:
  • Near the park
  • Walking distance to restaurants, cafes, etc.
  • Good school district (the only one in the city that's good)
  • Safe
We were literally going to put an offer in TODAY, but learned someone else already did and they offered over.

Back to the searching board ... more to come.  Bummer.