Long Beach

While Jane and Tim went to work Monday morning (suckers!), I spent the day wandering around downtown Long Beach, a city I’m pretty sure I’d never heard of until J&T moved there.  (In fact, I spent about six months asking Jane over and over, “What city are you moving to?  I keep thinking it’s San [...]

BAWC Week 21: Sarah’s Key

I don’t remember my mom’s exact words when she handed me Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay and I asked her how it was, but I do remember she sort of shrugged her shoulders and said, “It’s quick.”

And after last week’s epic that took me, um, longer than a week to finish, I [...]

Korea! In L.A.!

After our windy-godawful-sleepless-wind-tent night in Joshua Tree, we packed up camp and went for one last hike before heading back to L.A.

The hike that we happened to go on?  It was to Hidden Valley Ranch.  Yes.  Like the salad dressing.  But not the housing development.

Apparently back in the lawless cowboy days, men would steal cattle [...]

Black Magic Cake

Question: How do you impress your boyfriend’s moped club the first time you are invited to meet them and you do not have any awesome tattoos?

a) Go out and get an awesome tattoo, preferably on your face.

b) Bring along your friend Enigma who, you know, just happened to be in the neighborhood.

c) Make chocolate cupcakes, [...]

Joshua Tree: Who Put All These Rocks Here?

When I was first planning my epic Amtrak trip and calling friends around the country to tell them I’d be stopping by, my friend Jane had a fabulous plan for my time in southern California: camping at Joshua Tree National Park.

Being an East Coast-er, I had only vaguely heard of Joshua Tree, and then only [...]

Shit the Moped Club Says

MyGuy: Yeah, my girl’s making carrot soup tonight.

Moped Nick:  Carrot soup?!  What is she, like, 80?!

Moped Brett:  Naw man, that carrot soup is so good.  It’s restaurant quality.

This photo has nothing whatsoever to do with mopeds or carrot soup, except perhaps that you may want to make this soup after riding your moped on [...]

BAWC Week 20: Cutting for Stone


This book had many different effects on me.

Namely, it made me crave Ethiopian food—injera and curried lentils and the sweet, strong coffee.

It also briefly turned me into a hypochondriac, as I began thinking I was suffering from whatever disease one of the characters was suffering or dying from at the moment.  Including, but [...]

Los Angeles, I’m Yours

Hey, Mr. Disembodied Head! I think I found your torso!

I never thought I’d say this, but:

I really liked Los Angeles.

Maybe it was because for the previous 16 days I’d experienced nothing but gray skies and chilliness and snow and/or rain.

Maybe it was because I was expecting really awful things, like horrible traffic and [...]

Rosemary-Parmesan Focaccia

Check out these nooks and crannies.

I’m not sure what possessed me to make a focaccia.  I don’t particularly like it, usually—too greasy and/or rubbery—but probably that was because I had only ever eaten it from one of those ‘Bread Co.’ chain places.


There was a recipe on the back of the flour bag.

I had lots [...]

Strawberries (And Gloating)

[to the tune of the ‘milkshake song’]:

My strawberries bring all the birds to the yard—

Damn right, they’re better than the store’s

I could sell them, but then I’d have no more

Now that the asparagus harvest is over, what better reason to visit the garden every day than fresh strawberries?  Besides my plant obsession, that is.

Last year [...]