Sunday, February 27, 2005

31st Floor

Rain. That's what it did today. And it fit perfectly with the mood Rob and I were in after Liverpool lost 3-2 to Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final. You can read about it yourself somewhere else--I'm not writing any more about it here since The Blog is more or less reserved for happier times.
Rob and I drove into San Francisco to meet the troops around 1:30. Of course, all the plans we made for the afternoon had to be rethought with the onset of the rain. Luckily, Nancy had the opportunity to hike up to Coit Tower twice before the rain set in. What a show off.
We walked around Union Square for several hours this afternoon popping in and out of shops we couldn't afford to be in. We spent a good 15 minutes in Burburry examining an overcoat trying to figure out how in the world it could cost $1,400. The findings were common, the big white buttons bordered on ugly but were much nicer than the overall styling of the coat, and the fabric technology was uninteresting on the whole. I think it's a scam. Rob managed to find the cheapest thing in the store--one pair of boxer shorts--$50. He didn't buy them.
I managed to convice Nancy that we could leave the girls on their own for an hour to do some shopping while we "adults" sat down for a cup of tea.

Nancy & Bill Cafe

The girls had a real city experience and lost each other.
In one store.

We met up at the Westin St. Francis hotel in Union Square and rode the elevator up and down several times checking out the view and getting sick to our stomachs on the drop.

Emily & Jenna

It's a great view over Union Square from the elevator, and also a clever opportunity for me to tell them how Rob asked me to marry him between the 28th and 31st floors, where the doors opened to reveal our friend Mark, playing "our song" on his guitar. At the time, I was in such a state of shock and joy, I didn't realize Mark was even there until the doors had shut and we were quickly on our way down again, with Rob frantically hitting all the buttons trying to send us back up.

Finally, we made our way through the rain, to enjoy dinner at Ponzu. Nancy asserted herself to the wait staff and got them to open an extra section of the restaurant so we could all sit at a round table. She was so full of complements to the staff about the service (before our food even came) that she made a black man blush.
Our poor waiter.


The food was really delicious and my Mahi-Mahi dish came with lovely Japanese eggplant and the sweetest cipollini onions, which unfortunately makes Bill's quotation from yesterday all too appropriate.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Fairy Godmother

Today my Godmother came to town. I know, it sounds like a fairy tale, but it's true. Nancy, my Godmother (who is also my dad's cousin) has come to San Francisco from Concord with her husband Bill, daughter Emily and Emily's good friend, Jenna. I went to get them at the Oakland Airport, we picked up some sandwiches and then came to our house to meet Rob and Ian. I knew these guys would properly appreciate the poodle since they have one of their own at home--also a black standard poodle, whose name is Sullivan.
They brought us an engagement gift that we both really love. It's a plaque to hang on the wall that has an antiqued look to it and says "Live well. Laugh often. Love much." It's a pefect prezzie for us.
After Bill napped on our couch, we all went to San Francisco to check them into their hotel and explore San Francisco. We took a small detour on the way, stopping off at Treasure Island where you get a fantastic view of the San Francisco Skyline.

Marstons Treasure Island
You'll have to trust me that behind all those smiling faces, is a really good view of the SF skyline.

We arrived at the Hotel Triton in time for their free wine and massage hour in the lobby. The four of them got a 5 minute neck and shoulder massage. According to Nancy, anyone who was on a plane for 10 hours that day was eligible so that pretty much eliminated Rob and I. As her punishment for not letting us get a neck massage, we are posting this photo of her getting one.

Nancy Massage 2

After they were all loosened up, we walked to North Beach for a nice dinner at Mona Lisa and then back to the hotel, walking through China Town.
Here are a couple images taken while browsing in shops on the way to North Beach. Rob and I actually bought some sunglasses but not quite as crazy as the ones featured here. Hopefully we'll need sunglasses tomorrow. Emily is really looking forward to me wearing my new ones in public.

Bill Glasses

Rob Glasses

Tomorrow we're hoping it doesn't rain so we can enjoy some time around Union Square and then head out to the Cliff House and Sutra Baths.

Rob's and my favorite quote of the evening:

"Nothing goes better than a well placed fart."
--Bill Marston

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mebel Madness

Today, I honored my presidents by doing some carpentry. Just over a year ago, our friends Peter, Agna and Jacek started a furniture company called Mebel Furniture (Mebel is Polish for "furniture") Peter, who builds all the prototypes for the company, is up against a tight deadline this week getting ready for a photo shoot and since both he and Agna graciously offered to help us with some wedding projects (or did we volunteer them?), I thought I could lend a hand as a down payment. Besides, it's been a long time since I've gotten to use my carpentry skills.
It turned out it was really fun for me. Peter gave me a project to finish a chair and then left me pretty much on my own, offering just the right amount of guidance and support.
He told me I did a good job--I guess I'll know for sure when I get their next catalog and the chair isn't in it.

Kari's working on chair
Evidence that I was indeed working

Mebel Chair
This is the chair. I pretty much made the whole thing apart from cutting the wood and assembling it.

Peter working on table
Peter helped out a bit too.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


You're probably thinking we spent the weekend doing our taxes. If you did, you obviously haven't read our blog posting "Check's In The Mail". No, we were in fact out taking a hard hat tour of a new townhouse development in West Oakland called West End Commons. Gretchen and Kevin are taking their first steps towards buying a house and Rob and I joined Gretchen on a tour of the new development. There are 5 different floor plans (W1- W5) and it looks like it's going to be quite nice. The next release of units is in March and it's basically a lottery so even if they decide to go for it they'll still have to have their number drawn.
Ever get the feeling your friends are growing up?

Gretchen's new house

Saturday, February 19, 2005


On Saturday we were invited to a Punjabi dance (Bhangra) competition by Iain and Pami, Pami was judging and Iain pretended he wanted us to go, but it came out later that he just wanted someone to talk to. Not really.
Both the music and the dancing was great, we really enjoyed ourselves.
As you can see from the photo, the event was sponsored by Hummer, I don't know about you but whenever I think of traditional Punjabi dancing the first thing that pops into my mind is a huge gas guzzling American armoured car.


punjab dance

punjab d women

punjab dancing

pami judging

Friday, February 18, 2005


Just thought I'd show you a few things that I've seen around town in the last few days that I thought were interesting.

Bear on car

This car was moving at quite some speed down Broadway, Oakland. Police cars in England were once called "Panda cars", maybe this is a real Oakland peace officer on patrol. I heard they love bear claws and coffee.

This lady was in our local supermarket, she made this coat herself apparently it took her about a year to finish, when the cashier told her it looked like a fun coat she replied angrily "Well it wasn't fun to make!". Don't you just love the rest of the get up?

Pink Lady1

Here's the final photo, we saw this in Alameda while driving with our friend Gretchen, single men please give her a call then let us know what happened in our comments section.

VW wanted ad

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Check's In The Mail

Anybody who knows me, and who has ever written me a check, knows that I am a checkbook balancer's worst nightmare. This is the problem with having direct deposit for your paycheck--when you actually receive a live check, you never feel like making a trip to the bank to deposit it. And if you sit on it for a while, by the time you do actually deposit it, it feels like free money, even if it's not.
Today, after countless phone calls from my mom, I finally went to the bank to deposit some checks. I thought this would be a nice olive branch since I've been giving her nightsweats with this wedding planning (and not planning) business. Mom's always happiest when she has something to worry about though and I just feel pleased that I have so much to offer towards her happiness right now.
Mom will be surprised to learn that her check was not the one I sat on the longest. That one belongs to the State of California and was my state tax return.
From 2003.

Kari ATM

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Soccer, Soup, Sneezing

I played in a soccer tournament today for Tsunami Relief and am completely worn out now. I'm also suffering greatly from allergies or am coming down with a cold. Rob is trying to get rid of a cold so between the two of us, there's a lot of sneezing and sniffing going on. To remedy our sinus trouble, we decided to get Udon Noodle Soup for dinner. Rob took this photo of me waiting for them to bring us our soup.

Kari at Drunken Fish

See Velvet Fog FC link to the right for more info and photos from today's tournament

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Toasted Sandwiches and Independent Film

It was a good day for us in Oakland. The weather was gorgeous and we got to play soccer at Mosswood Park at the end of our street. It's always a treat to get to play in Oakland versus travelling all the way to the Presidio on a Saturday morning which is what we normally do. After playing, Denise, Kaz, Mark and Tara came round our house to partake in our newest Saturday tradition--Toasted Sandwiches (see "Rob's Birthday" blog entry for more info on the sandwich maker!)
We started with a nice cheese, onion, tomato and avocado sandwich and finished with a delicious peanut butter and banana sandwich. Mark was skeptical of the PB & B sandwiches but gave his (unconvincing) thumbs up.
Maybe he's just in a toasted sandwich daze.

Thumbs Up

Later that day, Rob and I joined Sebastian, Abby and Abby's sister, Jess at Mama Buzz Cafe in Oakland where they were showing the films, "24 Hours on Craigslist" and "Oakland Raiders Parking Lot" as part of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. It was a really cool venue through the cafe, through the patio, across the parking lot and into a long hallway before you enter this gallery space that was set up with a projection screen and a bunch of chairs. If you've never visited Craigslist you should--but not until you finish reading our blog, of course. And then you should see the film--it will be out in many of the big Craigslist cities in 3 months and will be available on DVD in 6 months.

Then we all celebrated at Barneys with some big old burgers and their new skinny fries. The perfect energy food to prepare us for tomorrow's tournament!

Seb & Kari

Seb, L'esp & Kari

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Evening With Luc and Esme

Rob, Ian and I are spending an evening with our friends kids--Luc and Esme. Rob was thrilled to watch several episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine--always a delight after watching it all day at work. Unfortunatly for you blog readers, Agna and Peter's kids are really well behaved. Esme went to bed without crying. Luc and I took some pictures, read a few books and then he went to bed. As I was walking out of the room, he said "Thank you for reading me some books. Thank you for watching Thomas the Tank Engine. Thank you for bringing the dog over. Thank you for taking pictures. Thank you......"
What a kiss ass.

Luc 1

Luc & Kari 2