Nail crazed

After my lupus nail trauma I am happy to report that my nails are back in business.  I find it super relaxing to do my own nails plus it saves a ton of cash and time that I would spend having to get a manicure every week.  I have a pretty extensive selection of polishes and tools to accomplish my nail mission, but I have recently taken it to a new level of crazy by actually cataloguing the contents of my collection.

First off I swatched all the colors onto a nail fan that I bought on Amazon for a mere $2.44 w/ free shipping.  I find this helpful because with so many colors sitting in a drawer it is sometimes hard to choose what I want and also to know what the finish looks like on an actual nail.  This takes care of that.  All of the swatches have a label with the SKU of the polish on them for quickly locating them in the drawer.  They are also in order according to brand.

nail swatches

After that I made a Google Spreadsheet listing all of the different brands, colors, finishes and collections in case I run out of anything or to narrow down a color that I am interested in.

brazil nails

And finally I paint the nails.   Example above of my Brazil World Cup nails from last week.

Boyhood movie

Wow.  I LOVED this movie.  And the more I think about this movie, the more I love this movie.  I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see it at the SF International Film Fest where they were giving Richard Linklater the Founder’s Directing Award presented by, my absolute favorite indie actress of all time, Parker Posey.

If you can’t think of who Richard Linklater is off the top of your head then think of, one of my all time favorites, Dazed and Confused or Bernie or the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight triology.  Yeah, you know him for sure.  And you know that his movies will always be sweet and insightful with great dialogue and soundtracks.

Boyhood does not diverge from that formula.  But it is different than any other movie – possibly ever – in that it was shot with the same cast over the period of 12 years starting in 2002.  It is the story of … well … boyhood.  The story of a 6 year old boy who is growing up in a broken home and all the trials and tribulations that come with that.

The story itself is sweet and follows their lives around in the good and bad times, but the part of it that astonishes me the most is to actually watch the children grow up in front of my eyes.  And to watch the parents – Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke – age over the 12 years.  No special makeup or effects, just good old Mother Nature making people older or fatter or whatever.  It was amazing to see and weird to try to comprehend.

The other part that is still blowing my mind is thinking of all the world events that took place during that period of 2002-2014 that were referenced in the movie and all the technological innovations that happened – like Obama elections or the iPhone or Facebook – and how that affected the lives of the characters.  It was really profound yet understated in the movie as if somehow Linklater just knew these things would unfold over the course of the 12 years that it took to shoot this movie.   To imagine how they might have outlined the script, but would have to revisit what had occurred in the time since they were last together and rewrite based on is really cool.

It has been several days and I’m still reveling in the afterglow of how beautiful this movie was.  Thank you, Mr. Linklater, for showing the world that it isn’t always about how big the explosion is or how many special effects you can cram into one movie, but how true storytelling really touches the soul.


Alta Ca


I’m going to try to keep this brief, but thought I’d write it up because I have the world’s worst memory about these types of things.

Had dinner last night with my trusted food compadre, Manish, at Alta Ca restaurant here in San Francisco.  Alta Ca is a relatively newish restaurant that was opened up in the odd (but growing) mid-Market twitter area.  It was started by Daniel Patterson (Coi, Plum, Haven) who took home  the Best Chef in the West at the James Beard awards as we were dining.

We had no trouble getting a reservation on Open Table for 6.30pm on a Monday night.  There were lots of slots, but I like to eat early these days so I can sleep.

The space is modern, casual and cozy.  Lots of dark woods and a nice bar is the centerpiece of the room.  There are floor to ceiling shelves covered in bottles that we were sat next to which look through onto the kitchen.

I arrived a little bit early and got started on a Cherry Jubilee which was served up in a julep cup.  Delicious and refreshing.  Kind of like a Cherry Slurpee with alcohol.  I was dying for the beef tendons which are essentially chicharonnes.  They came out in a flash and were actually crackling when they were set down.  I ate the entire serving alone before Manish arrived.  Then I ordered up the dill pickled deviled eggs.   They were just OK.  Served a little too chilled and I’m not terribly into the pickled part.  I prefer my mom’s classic deviled eggs over these new fangled ones.


Manish finally arrived and we ordered another serving of the beef tendons.  For dinner we went sharing style and ordered the Andante fresh buffalo milk cheese on toast with leeks and sherry.   This was again good, but nothing terribly special.


Then we opted for the pierogi stuffed with peas, celery root and potato.  I actually quite enjoyed this dish.  The fresh peas and the creaminess were delicious.  Calling it a pierogi was kind of a stretch as I’d go ahead and deem it a ravioli, but whatever when you are trying to be all fancy and shit.

The one thing that we both agree to try was the smoked pork trotter with a slow egg, brussel sprouts and mustard.  Sadly, this actually turned out to the be the biggest disappointment.  It was doused in vinegar that completely overpowered any other flavor on the plate.  I barely touched it.  Sad.

For dessert they have a bunch of ice cream so we went for two different flavors.  I went again for the cherry option.  This one might have been named the cherry jubilee now that I think of it.  Mine had dried cherries with a hard-shelled chocolate.  I enjoyed this one, but I wish that they had a more extensive dessert list.  The only other option are 3 warm chocolate chip cookies.  I’d also like to point out that from the menu it is not clear that the options are ice cream or soft serve.  They have the descriptions all sans mention of ice cream which was sort of weird.

Overall:   The service was excellent.  The prices were ok.   The space is cute and cozy.  The food was just meh which was disappointing because the menu seems so promising.  I’d go back again for the beef tendons and cocktails for sure.  There are still a few things on the menu that I’m interested in trying and given the reputation of the group I’d give them another chance.

Another notable thing is they stay open until 2am where it is basically impossible to get food that late in SF.  I would probably enjoy the food a million times more if I were drunk… just sayin’.

Alta CA
(415) 590-2585

AdoreMe is a total scam

I recently subscribed – stupidly – to AdoreMe.  AdoreMe is a subscription scam / cheap lingerie company.  The premise is that they lock you into a monthly charge of $40 and after 5 months you are supposed to get a credit for a free set of lingerie from their catalogue.  When I say “supposed to” that means that they have some weird reward point system that they do not explain on their site for points that you can never use as far as I can tell.

I kept getting these charges on my card, but I was unable to check out on their site because they have some Facebook login bug that puts me in a loop and makes me unable to use their shopping cart.  So obviously I wanted to cancel.

I tried a few times to cancel my subscription, but they do the usual porn scam where they won’t allow you to cancel unless you call them.  Yep, no automatic site cancel or even cancellation by email.  You have to call and then they place you on hold listening to some bad Katy Perry song for about 20 minutes or more until you get frustrated and hang up.  Then you incur another monthly charge.

I finally got through to them this morning, after wanting to stab myself in the eye from that music loop, and I cancelled my account, but I was warned that I lose all of my “loyalty reward points” if I cancel.  This means that I wasted all that money for nothing because I didn’t even get the free set that I was promised AND earned because I wasn’t able to use their site for the last months.  I was also informed that I can’t get my credits back.  Ugh.  What a total scam.  I recommend you do not use this service.  Their site sucks, the quality of their goods is sub-par and their customer service is clearly awful.

And one more thing.  They are the most annoying email spammers of all time.  You have to endure nearly twice a day emails from them.  Ick.

Rating: F

Side note:  I did a password reset to see if that might solve my FB login problem.  It did which basically negates the entire point of having a Facebook login.  Also, they send their password resets with the password in plain text.  Awesomely insecure, but I would expect that from this sham of a company.