Butch Basix T-Shirt Giveaway!

Gals sporting Tshirts

with Butch Basix co-founder, Susan

UPDATE: This contest is now CLOSED. Thanks for playing and check back often for more giveaways!

I’m super excited to announce my very first giveaway contest! In honor of my eighteen wonderful years in San Francisco (we leave in three weeks!), I’m giving away a Butch Basix logo tee to one lucky winner.

Butch Basix is a Bay Area company founded by two amazing women:  my dear friend Susan and her friend Ames. The company’s mission is to “make a traditional masculine aesthetic more accessible while also defying what conventionally represents masculine style.”

belts and bucklesSome of their unique offerings include belt buckles, cuff links, messenger bags, Dopp kits and vegan, non-toxic deodorant. And right now, they are offering free shipping on everything!

TO ENTER:  Comment on this post and tell me the three words that come to mind when you think of San Francisco.

DETAILS:  One entry per person (Pointes of View blog followers who enter, will automatically be entered twice). Prize must be shipped to a United States (or APO) address (or U.S. territory). Winner will be selected at random and announced Sunday. T-shirt sizes and colors subject to availability. Contest sponsored by Pointes of View, in cooperation with Butch Basix.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

ggbridgesmall.blog

Okay, y’all. I’m doing it. The Weekly Photo Challenge. For those of my non-blogging Followers (and I have a bunch – love you guys!), the challenge is announced by WordPress (the host of my blog) each Friday. The purpose of the challenge is to spark creativity, but it also gives us the opportunity to see others’ interpretations of the theme.

SO… because I can’t help myself and because I have nothing better to do (like maybe pack up a house in less than a month and no, I haven’t started)…basically, because I am out of my mind crazy, I’ve decided to play. I’d never call myself a photographer and don’t have any other camera except my iPhone (wish), but what I love about this game is that there’s no right answer and anyone can play.

Above is a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. And below, the original photo. I took it several months ago while hanging out with the girls at San Francisco’s Baker Beach.

ggbridgesmall2.blog

The Band

I’m pretty sure the band broke up a long time ago. We haven’t played out in well over a year and we’re not even rehearsing or trying to book gigs. But no one has said it out loud. Maybe saying it out loud would make it official, and maybe we always want to be The Gun and Doll Show. Forever. I know I do.

I joined the Gun and Doll Show in 2006. Before that, I was a singer and songwriter for an indie pop band (who kicked me out for my lack of being friendly. Or something). Prior to that, I was the lead singer in a classic rock cover band (I still can’t figure that one out). And before that, a backup singer for Alex Dolan (you can hear me on his Americana album), and somewhere along the way, I produced my solo CD, More of You (okay, you get it: I sing).

You never know what you’re going to get personality-wise when joining a new artistic group. Or any group, for that matter. It’s a total hit or miss. But in a creative situation, the percentage of getting at least one whackadoodle in the bunch is very, very high (trust me).  But the group that came together when I joined, just clicked. I’m not saying we weren’t passionate or dramatic or talented. I think we were all of that. But I think it worked so well because really, we just wanted to play good music and have fun (sounds easy enough. You’d be surprised).

Gun and Doll Show girls 2010

The Dolls. 2010

Gun and Doll Show girls

The Dolls. 2014

What started as a creative outlet, has given me so much more. Last weekend we all got together (with our significant others, our kids) over food and drinks at Jen’s house in Napa, then headed to karaoke (minus the kids) at the infamous Trancas Steakhouse (oooh yeahhhh). As I write this post, I’m realizing that during the entire night, not one of us talked about the band. It just didn’t come up. We simply enjoyed one another and had fun. Like always.

The band, reunited. (minus Tom)

The band, reunited. (minus Tom)

Homes on Laurel Heights

Home in Laurel Heights

Laurel Heights is a small San Francisco neighborhood just south of the Presidio National Park. It’s one of the city’s wealthier areas, which means beautiful, well-maintained homes and impeccable landscaping.

Home with rotunda

I had some time between doctor appointments last week (most of Laurel Heights sits just above CPMC, one of the main hospitals in town, and several other medical buildings), so I went for a short run in the Presidio and then walked through the neighborhood (where I took these photos).

Home on Cherry Street

San Francisco buildings, especially the Victorian and Edwardian ones, are distinct, unique and quirky. And one of the things I’m going to miss the most.

Throwback: My First Visit to San Francisco

Kids on Cable Car

That’s me in the yellow coat.

Kids in Union Square

Union Square (circa 1984?)

I found these gems at my mom’s house on our recent visit. One summer in the early ’80s, my mom, grandma, Auntie and sister went on a tour of California and Mexico (the Mexico portion was really, really weird. I think it was Tijuana) and one of the main stops was  San Francisco. Thankfully, my mom was no traveling dummy (she’s been all over, plus she spent a semester at SF State) and unlike many tourists, she made sure we had appropriate attire for this portion of the trip, even in (especially in) the summer.

I don’t remember too many details about the trip. I know we walked on the Golden Gate Bridge and did all the other touristy things like Fisherman’s Wharf (sigh) and Union Square (where we stayed. Possibly the Sir Francis Drake) and rode the cable cars.

Kid in hotel room

At our hotel (in my mom’s nightgown which I looooved).

At the time, I had no desire to live anywhere other than Hawaii. I wasn’t even thinking about my possible future at that age. I wish I could go back and whisper into my younger self’s ear: “Look around you. Breathe it in. Remember this place. You’re going to live here. Find yourself here. Fall in love here. Start a family here. And then you’re going to leave.”

I’m not sure how much attention I would have paid to my older self. But hearing it would have saved me a LOT of trouble (stress, worry, heartache) later on. Even without that voice to guide me, I eventually found my way. And 18 years later, here I am, looking back and looking ahead.  I’m feeling fulfilled, grateful, anxious and optimistic all at once. If my future self could whisper to me now, I hope she would tell me that everything is going to be just fine. Breathe it in, remember this place. And take one day at a time.

Gung Hay Fat Choy: It’s Gonna Be a Biggie

Chinese Building on Waverly Place

Building on Waverly Place, Chinatown.

Chinese New Year is a big deal in San Francisco. Public schools are closed, Chinese food is gobbled, firecrackers are popped and at the end of the two-week celebration, a huge parade (the largest outside of Asia) featuring lion dancers, a 200-foot long Golden Dragon, stilt walkers, marching bands and acrobats floats through town.

I’d planned on kicking off the lunar year with an invigorating run. That plan got squashed when I woke up with chills and congestion. Thankfully, I’d scheduled our sitter to come for a few hours, so I took myself to lunch at Woodhouse Fish Co. on Fillmore Street. I ordered the deep-fried fish tacos and a hot water with lemon.

Woodhouse Fish Co. restaurant

As I waited, I witnessed at the table to my left, an exchange between potential business associates, meeting in person for the first time. “It’s so nice to put a face with the voice,” and similar niceties. The woman, a second generation San Franciscan (a rarity, as she pointed out) was upbeat and bubbly. The gentleman, who had never been here before, got a short rundown of some of the city’s history (the African American community on Fillmore Street during segregation, the influx of Japanese and Japantown, the Italians in North Beach, Chinatown). The conversation quickly turned to all the different foods we have at our fingertips, thanks to the mix of cultures. “I love my city,” she said. “I’m always discovering new places.”

fraiche.inside

After lunch, I popped in next door to Fraiche, my favorite frozen yogurt shop. Organic, of course. I always get the same thing: a regular natural (plain, nonfat yogurt) with olallieberry puree and mochi, a Japanese sticky, starchy dessert made from rice flour. (I overheard them saying to a customer once that it was a secret recipe, but I know how to make it. I’ll share sometime). But today I opted for a Blue Bottle cappuchino.

fraiche.window

I tried to concentrate on my library book (The Tiger’s Wife), but it was a beautiful day and I kept staring out the window, watching traffic and passersby. I thought about the woman at lunch and how proud she was of her city and how I share her fervor. Is the move going to be a huge letdown? Am I really going to venture out and discover all the cool places in Detroit? Or am I going to sulk in my kitchen (aka my office) and long for home?

I’m keeping an open mind. My friend Christine says not to think of it as being better or worse, just different. I can live with different.  No matter what, the Year of the Horse is going to be a biggie for us. And so it begins…Gung Hay Fat Choy!