Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bush, Homeland Security & Google Maps.

Hate is a strong word. Most people that I talk to frequently know why I use this word when describing a certain multi-billion dollar search engine company (never mind the hypocrisy involved in the fact that I use Blogger..).

Here's the latest reason: Google Maps.

For my job, I spend A LOT of time on Google maps helping people that work for us get to where they're going, helping the clients figure out where their events are, etc. They recently added a 'Street View' function for SF, Vegas, Denver, Miami, and NY. Since I really don't want the address of the company where I work for up here, I will not post the example, but when you search for the office on Google Maps, my car is parked right out front. And you can make out the license plate numbers. Need to know what a building downtown looks like so you can find it better (and addresses seem to be inadequate these days?). Throw up a picture. But what is the point of being able to zoom in on a residential street close enough so that you can make out the numbers on people's plates? What if I was washing the dishes naked? Or taking out the trash in clothes that are oh-so yesterday?

And why the hell are all of the Google employees (yes, they refer to themselves as 'Googlers') out front as the picture is being taken? Don't these people have Internet to police? Businesses to buy? Technology to take over? And who said you don't have to be evil to make money?

The bad news is some people like it (like these folks). The good news - some don't.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I work for a company that provides an employee benefits related service to corporations nationwide. We have one client that is HUGE and spends millions on various benefits for their employees nationwide. They are a multi-million? Billion? dollar company, and we are a small family-owned business (national as we may be...).

I had a meeting at their offices today. I went with one of my employers (one of the two owners). We walked in to an ambush that was absolutely despicable and ridiculous. Business may be business, but our contact at this company is downright unprofessional and a bully. If I had someone working for me that misrepresented my company in that way I would absolutely not allow it. I feel kind of dirty... Our contact their barely let my boss (the CEO of the company I work for) finish her sentances...

In my short time since college, I have tried really hard to work for businesses that were small, and had some sort of good thing to offer the world. After working at NTT in Japan for a stint, and suffering through my mom working there for a few years, I cam to the conclusion that life is just way to short to put yourself in a position where you are compromising your morals for the sake of a paycheck. And probably not even a great one, at that. Today's meeting completely reminded me of why I have taken that stance, and showed me that once again, the folks that I work for rock. We do what we can as a small company to get by in this day and extremely biased age, and not only do we strive to treat our clients well, we really try to treat the people working for us as employees and independent contractors, as well as our vendors with respect. And we respect their integrity.

I suppose there's the whole karma/what comes around goes around view of things, but I really hope our contact at this company gets their comeuppance. AGH!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


As you know, I have a (most of the time) hellish commute over the Bay Bridge every day. Today I got stuck behind a car that looked waaaaay worse than mine with an odd yellow bumper sticker on the back. While I am getting over the shock of seeing a crappier car than mine actually moving and being driven by some (poor crazy) soul, I realize that the bumper sticker says the following:

"My Other Vehicle is the Mahayana"

(For those of you unfamiliar, go here)

While staring at his dilapidated car (think hood and doors are different colors than each other or the main body of the car, the windshield is held in with duct tape, the antenna is a hanger, you get the idea...), I am realizing that while this guy is probably a very strong believer in the teachings of Buddhism, he's not doing a great service to it in terms of PR...

It just goes to show you that now matter how hard you try, and no matter how liberal minded your audience is (i.e., me), you can never escape being judged by the car you drive.

I gotta get me a new one.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I realize that not everyone watches the food network, nor is nearly obsessed with food as I am. To help my mom understand why exactly Anthony Bourdain's post was so funny, I wrote an explanation of who the people he was talking about:

Alton Brown - wow geeky food science meets sesame street for adults TV show. But you DO actually learn shit.

Emeril - "kick it up a notch!!" involves adding salt and 'essence of Emeril' by throwing them vehemently AT the food. Preferably over your shoulder with a loud 'BANG!' and lots of flair and flourishing Why does 'essence of Emeril' sound like something I DON'T want to eat?

Mario Batali - I think this guy knows more about Italian food and the regions and food history of Italy better than anyone in the US, and possibly Italy, too. Fat red-head dude in shorts and clogs. And his fingers look like Vienna sausages.

Bobby Flay - what a load of horse shit in a guy. They've made a caricature out of guy by stylizing him into the tough-talking red head from Brooklyn who can cook.

Ace of Cakes Guy - aka Chef Duff. This dude is cool. He makes these designer cakes in these shapes that are totally outrageous. Like the one with the hand of rock coming out of a flames adorned with mini sock monkeys. And the cake in the shape of a Highland Yak for a Scottish Wedding (he wore a kilt and had a bag piper come in to the bakery for that one). The only show on the food network I would watch regularly if I could remember what time the show is on. And he uses power tools because the 'cake tools' don't cut it. Literally. He has a band saw in his bakery.

Giada - Italian-American hoochie mama who's hair never moves when she does, and who is Italian and uber-skinny.Not that there's anything wrong with skinny Italians, don't get me wrong. But she's like an anorexic baker - I just don't trust her. And she always has perfect nails, her wedding ring/engagement rock combo looks like it will break her finger, and her face looks painted on - it's scary.

Rachel Ray - the most annoying non-cook ever. If you don't know what she looks like, she's often on Triscuit and Ritz cracker boxes. Her first show on the food network was '30-minute meals'. Where she told everyone that you can put a delicious meal (???) on the table in under 30 minutes. What she doesn't tell you is that you would then have to eat the shit she calls food. And she has the most annoying nasal voice ever.

Paula Deen - Older portlier woman from Georgia. Southern cooking done by a white woman with big hair, a big heart, and a big laugh. Never-you-mind that the 3 potato casserole with sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, cream, mashed potatoes and potato chips and slices is not something I will be putting in my repertoire.

And that leaves us with Sandra Dee. Oh Sandra Dee. If Barbie were to meet a bone fide Nabisco brand Keebler elf with an endorsement from Satan, got drunk and spawned a mentally challenged child with aspirations to become the next Martha, that being MAY be comparable to Sandra Dee. Need a new cookie recipe to impress the neighbors? Buy store-bought sugar cookie dough (I always have some in my freezer, just in case!!) and roll in some crushed Hazelnuts! Et Voila~! Add a bow and it's the perfect welcome to the neighborhood gift! make sure that the apron you are surely actually wearing matches the drapes in your kitchen perfectly! Buy frozen food, microwave it yourself and call it home cooking! Shoot me! Shoot me now!

Not to sound pretentious, but it appalls me that these people make gazillions of dollars a year, and, more frighteningly, that people actually copy these people!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Daily Bay Bridge Saga

I have a major issue with California drivers. I don't know if it's the high ratio of luxury vehicles (on a good day it's only a ton of BMW's... I'm usually one of the few POS cars on the road...), or the high ratio of selfish a$%hole drivers. Hard to say. But when you want to merge into a lane, say the one I'm in, there are a few rules that should be followed:
  1. if I am where you want to go, speed up or slow down. DO NOT try to merge anyway. I am cranky when faced with congested freeways and low blood sugar. This applies to the morning commute (haven't had b-fast yet) or the afternoon (hungry for din-din)
  2. if I will be where you want to be by the time you are going to get there, DO NOT try to merge anyway. See #1.
  3. If you don't signal, I don't know you're going to try to usurp my place in my lane.
  4. do not try to compensate for the lack of signaling by a) drifting slowly into my lane, or b) darting quickly into my lane. You;re still an ass, and I can not be held responsible for the angry look on my face, nor for the profanities issuing forth from my otherwise innocent face at 7:20 in the morning.
  5. no matter what the current issue of whatever magazine's currently in vogue, road rage is NOT attractive. You will not get a wealthy and good looking mate this way. I am in the right lane because half of the Bay Bridge is an uphill incline, and my POS car gets tired. If you want to pass me, feel free, just do it the way the rest of the world would - IN THE PASSING LANE. The asshole that tried to pass me on the non-existent shoulder this morning in their black BMW SUV! You will get your comeuppance! And you didn't succeed anyway - did you miss the fact that there IS NO SHOULDER?!?!
Follow these simple rules and we may or may not get along just fine. Leave me alone to my bad 70's and 80's rock station and my tea on the way to work in the morning - and no jostling, please, I have no cup holders, and have o clutch my tea all the way to work. Do all of this, and I will forgive the fact that you bought a $50,000 car that emits the same amount of pollutants and eats up almost the same amount of gas as my 1990 Jeep Cherokee with no muffler, instead of a sensible car that could at least make it look like you're trying to make an effort. Ass.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Time Suckage

I have been busy. Mostly with recovering from getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Wow. That sucked. Still swishing gaping holes in my jaw, but now able to keep food down. Just to sum up.

Post wisdom teeth pullage - I had a BF birthday to deal with. So I baked a cake. A chocolate cake with pear filling glazed with chocolate ganache, and with milk and white chocolate decorations. I ground up pecans and substituted some of the flour. The filling was so volumous the two layers wouldn't meet, and I couldn't glaze over the gap. In a nutshell, if decadence wanted to indulge, this would be its cake.

I made the decoration on top by scanning a tile that Craig has of his family's crest. I cropped out the lion, enlarged it, printed it out, put a piece of parchment paper on top of it and traced it out. I hate white chocolate, and so I'm extremely happy to be using some of the 3lbs I had in my cabinet (even if I did only use 4 oz...).
OK - so the letters are freehand. I couldn't trace through chocolate.

And somehow as I couldn't find my round cake pans, and octagon seemed yummier than a square...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I finally live here!

Almost a year to the day exactly since I moved to San Francisco, I finally managed to join the residents club and get myself a residential parking sticker. This means that I can park in my neighborhood ALL DAY LONG without having to move my car every two hours. I am so so super psyched. It means I finally live here...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Odd Trivia

In case you were wondering what happened today in history, here are some juicy tidbits:


Shah Jahan, Moghul emperor of India, builder of Taj Mahal born


Ford Motor Co. increased its daily wage from $2.34 for a nine-hour day to $5.00 for eight hours of work.


The Senate debates the benefits of Peyote for the American Indian.


Walter Mondale, 42nd Vice President of the U.S. born ( i had to put this one is as we went to the same college. And I felt bad for him in 2003)


In San Francisco, construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge. (Did they mention that the toll was supposed to go away after the bridge paid for itself? Which it did a while ago? And now it pays for the bus system, which runs itself further in to debt every year).


The 103rd Congress convened. (This one just seems slightly random - not unlike this post)

LOTR; Fellowship enters Moria (If you don't know what LOTR stands for, and te hint 'Moria' didn't give it away. Go away. Seriously. You are not dorky enough to be here.)

Who finds this stuff?