Tuesday, July 31, 2012

sliding rock.

I wish I were going to be in NC longer, I'd love to visit sliding rock this time of year. I have great memories of that place. We went as kids and though the water at the bottom is freezing cold, it's always so fun and invigorating. If you live in NC and haven't gone, you should! It's in Pisgah National Forest and also isn't too far from Greenville, SC. I think it'd make such a fun and unique birthday party location. Also, I wonder who was the very first person to ride down its slippery rock face and whether or not it was intentional...

(photo sourced from pinterest)

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Monday, July 30, 2012

the trampoline story.

In December of 2008, Finn and I had just gotten back together after 6 months of being broken up. (His mistake, we like to say). At the time my sister was dating a wonderful man named Matthew, who is now her husband (and who is still wonderful). This Matthew happened to be one of Finn's friends so the four of us got together one Saturday and visited Matthew's family in eastern North Carolina. We eventually made our way outside to the trampoline, for who among us can resist a trampoline? 

Pertinent Background Information: Finn grew up on a trampoline. He was a diver from the age of 5, did gymnastics, and he and all his siblings grew up practicing back doubles on a trampoline in their back yard. To this day, he is one of the flippiest humans I know. He can do all sorts of twists and turns in the air and, as far as I can tell, has no fear of heights. 

Examples of him being generally impressive:

The main point to take away from this (besides the fact he's a total babe) is that he's got excellent balance and, like most people with a background in diving or gymnastics, has great body control even in the air.

Returning to the Story: we head outside to the trampoline and the boys jump by themselves for a bit while Robin and I watched and chatted. After a few minutes, I hopped up to join the fun and shortly thereafter was double-bounced the highest I've ever been launched thanks to the combined efforts of both boys. It was a harmless move and I think Finn generously assumed I could control myself in the air as well as he.

This was not the case and I basically went TOTALLY limp. My trampoline debut was not successful, dear friends. Rather, I demonstrated the amount of acrobatic ability Finn had as a 14 month old. Luckily for you all, Matthew's sister was standing nearby with a camera and captured my egregious lack of airborne athleticism. 

Here is the photo she took just before my unfortunate landing...

As you can surmise from the picture, I landed right on my neck but I think my huge hair and vest must have cushioned the fall. It was painful, but certainly less than it could have been. Let it be known that both boys showed great concern and were very sweet. This snapshot and the incredible disparity between our trampoline skills never fails to make us laugh. I love to joke with Finn that this was "the moment he knew". As he saw me falling like a dead fish, his heart soared and he all at once realized "now that is my wife". 

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Sunday, July 29, 2012


Well folks, it's going to be a really good week. My kind parents traded in flyer miles to get me a ticket and I'll be flying to my beloved NC in just a few days! I cannot express my gratitude and excitement. My trip will be split between time at my parents' home and a trip to Oak Island. I will get to pet my dogs, hug my family, hold my nephew, eat southern food, and swim in the ocean. It's going to be a rich and wonderful time.


And in the spirit of NC, I've been listening to this beauty.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

susie cakes.

Susie Cakes is a superb old-time American type of bakery in the Marina district of SF. Their delicious sweets are all made from scratch and they always have samples. My friend Carly learned I love their treats while visiting our apartment last week (it was written on our bathroom mirror, naturally) so when we were out doing errands a few days ago, she kindly treated me to a parcel of their mini cupcakes! How nice is that? 

Sure enough, they are as delicious as they are cute. So far, the vanilla one is my favorite. I'm telling you, it's shockingly good. And apparently they do catering too...I'm tryna to get invited to one of those parties! 

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a robin fox.

This photo reminds me so much of my sister, who I'm really missing. It's us!

(photo from piccsy)

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Friday, July 27, 2012

art time!

I'm kicking off the weekend with my first visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I am so excited! I've heard that, their awesome collection aside, the building itself is an impressive work of design, much like the Tate Modern. They currently have an exhibit of Matisse, Picasso, and Dalí that I'm looking forward to seeing. Also looking forward to Finn's return from Seattle tomorrow, I will be so happy to have him home.

Happy Friday to all! And a funny spoof for Downton Abbey fans to enjoy.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

fancy pants.

About a year ago, I mailed Caroline some magazine clippings of ridiculous products from a SkyMall type publication, along with highly sarcastic comments written in the margins about the beauty and unmistakable quality of each product. Among these pictures was a pair of terrible drawstring faux-denim sweatpants for men. The attached note rambled on about how flattering they'd surely be on any body type and what riotous fun it must be to trick your unsuspecting friends and neighbors while lavishing in secret comfort. For Christmas I received a package with a note on top that read "be careful what you wish for". Inside...the pants. They are even more repulsive in person, if you can believe it.

The Awful Pants

Yesterday I came across a great photo I had forgotten about. In April we visited Finn's brother Michael in Las Vegas. Thanks to Michael, we got to stay in a suite at the gorgeous Venetian for a night. While there, I got a huge kick out of wearing faux-denim sweatpants around the nicest place I've ever stayed and (most likely) in the fanciest setting they'll ever be worn. To me, it was the pinnacle of faux-denim sweatpants existence and I couldn't help but laugh at how far they had come since being ripped out of a bad magazine. 

A win for bad pants!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a recent read: divining women.

My view, reading on the fire escape outside our bedroom window on a nice day.

This week I started and finished Divining Women, written by Kaye Gibbons. It's essentially this incredibly crafted story of the female experience in 1918 America and, as one critic with words better than mine put it, "a harrowing and explicit declaration of the power of a woman wronged". I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and finished much quicker than I anticipated, chiefly due to Gibbons' brilliant writing that swept me up. I hope to check out more of her books from the library this weekend. I love what she writes about below: 

"She believed that a woman had to be bright enough to choose correctly and distinguish between abiding trust and transient infatuation. She believed...that a woman's intelligence, which she called "the ability and desire to spend as much time in the world of serious ideas as in the shoe shop," should be swirled in with her other attributes. She spoke of intelligence as heightening the impact a woman could make, the way a cook might scare vanilla batter with just enough nutmeg to make the cake memorable".

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the view.

Last night we had dessert in The View Lounge, a swanky bar on the 39th floor of the downtown Marriott. The lounge's huge wrap-around windows give a 360º view of SF, which is especially beautiful at night once the city is all lit up and sparkly. We shared a slice of cheesecake and talked about how long we might live in San Francisco. We really have no idea. Our hopes for the future always come back to this idyllic dream of one day living on some quiet land, with vegetable and flower gardens by the plenty, a hammock out back, and probably a hot tub if I have any say in it. Evenings would be spent on our porch with beloved friends who live nearby, and we'll raise children alongside a ragtag group of lovable farm dogs and some goats too. It's a Tasha-Tudor-esque paradise that we love imagining together, but who knows if that's where we'll be led. Again, we have not the slightest idea. So while we wait to see, we try to practice thankfulness in the meantime for an exciting chapter in a sparkly city and the blessing of not yet having to take care of a yard.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

and mail from Caroline...

I also must mention the mail contribution of Caroline which, per usual, offers comic relief. Caroline sent me an H&M gift card that was nearing expiration since she doesn't live near one of their stores. Inside was a small simple note that read, "You really should thank me - I almost filled this puppy with confetti. Instead, I went with this mess-free baby. You owe me one". When she said "I went with this mess-free baby", I assumed she was referring to the simple post-it note where her message was written. This was not the case. Please direct your attention to the envelope below:

Caroline actually mailed me a miniature plastic baby.

"Instead, I went with this mess-free baby" was not a slang phrase referring to the post-it note. She meant it literally! Unfortunately, the baby broke free on its trans-America journey (escape route highlighted above) so the next day when she asked, "did you get the baby?", I was very confused. After a series of strange questions, we both realized we had been bamboozled by the teeniest getaway ever. I wonder where he is now...

. . .

my mail week.

In the midst of a few hard days, I got tons of nice mail. These things brightened up my week.

Caitlin (the same Caitlin from this post) sent a package full of fun goodies and a really nice note. I especially love the filling - so colorful! Caitlin is from NC, lives in LA, works for Disney, and shares many of the same loves as me. I wish she would move to San Francisco already (ahem). I shan't reveal all the contents of the package, but check out the awesome stamps she sent. They're from the Paper Source and I really like them...like so much that I won't put them away. They've been out on the kitchen table all week.

I also got a package from my sweetest sister. This picture, which I shakily took on the city bus because I couldn't wait till home to open it, doesn't do the package justice. Everything was wrapped beautifully with little notes. One of my favorite contents was a small box of smooth sea stones my sister collected at the beach. They are beautiful and from one of my favorite places on earth, the Atlantic off North Carolina. Another teeny treasure to add to my collection.

On top of the two packages, I got even more mail...

First, a sweet note from Sarah's sister Stephanie, affectionately known as Stu. She is pregnant (!!!) with baby Anderson who Sarah (and I) will spoil to no end. I like the the card - hoorah for gender neutral baby stuff!

This one is from Caitlin too and technically was inside the package. But I still wanted to share because of the awesome stationery. Sparkles and sea animals? Love it. Caitlin knows what I like.

My family just took their annual beach trip and I had to miss out this year. They sent a card written in by everyone there, which I loved. There was even a notecard addition because people ran out of room. So nice!

There was also this gem: a sweetest card from Alison, asking me to be a bridesmaid when she marries her Jacob in January. My answer was an obvious yes, by the way. I'm so happy for those two.

Isn't that a ton of mail for one week? I was so shocked each time there was something else in our mailbox. Long live the US Postal Service! Snail mail is the best.

Lastly, happy Friday! Can you believe it's the end of July? We're hoping to get out on the water tomorrow since the weather should be nice (fingers crossed). I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

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a hard thing.

I mentioned earlier this week that I was a bit down after a few hard days and wanted to share what's been going on. On Monday I got the news that I did not get the job I've been after since the beginning of June. It was with an awesome company doing a role that I felt was a perfect fit for me. This paragraph has huge potential to become very long so in the interest of brevity I'll just say this: I spent about 5 hours at their office in meetings with 6 different people over the course of 6 weeks, and was told that my sample work was "perfect", that I was "the frontrunner", and that I'd "obviously be great for the job". I thought the position was mine and had stopped pursuing other jobs altogether (mistake). I had a chance to work for a blogger I quite admire and allowed that to fall by the wayside in the interest of this position. Basically, huge disappointment mixed in with a healthy serving of confusion is what set in after that phone call. It was a rough evening.

The great thing about me is that I feel things intensely, sort of like what Zooey Deschanel addresses in this excerpt. It's no secret that I'm an emotional being (life of an ENFP y'all) and it's something that normally blesses the people in my life. I like how I am! However, this high propensity for being emotionally affected can, every once in a while, also be a hard thing. The news about this job really had me down. I felt taken advantage of, generally disrespected, and I mostly felt disappointment that I was back at square one after 3 months of being here. Luckily, Finn had just arrived back into town and was there to shoulder my cry. Instead of trying to talk me out of being sad, he just meets me where I am. He is very good at caring for me when I'm down low and had lunch with me every day this week. Bless him.

Like I said earlier, I'm on the up and up. I'm back on the proverbial horse, finding other opportunities, and getting loved on big time by kind friends and family who knew how excited I was about the job. I feel encouraged and know that no matter what, I have so much to be thankful for. Better things await! 

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

pink and pinkberry.

I had my second official San Francisco celebrity sighting this week. My first, in case you're curious, was the comedian Anjelah Johnson who plays Bon Qui Qui - she was shopping at LuLu Lemon in the Marina district and instead of saying "hello, I'm a big fan" like a normal human, I just awkwardly stared. In fact I stared so much that she noticed and kept looking over her shoulder at me. Looks like I'm the celebrity now.

My sighting this week occurred while I was walking home from a lunch date with Finn. I ended up strolling behind Pink, the famous musician (and also the person I dressed up as for Halloween 12 years ago). She was with her husband and baby. It was fun to walk behind them and watch people's facial expressions as they passed by - some did double takes, others lit up upon recognizing her, and some didn't notice at all. She is a much smaller person than I imagined - she can't be taller than 5'3". Her baby is also pretty short. Hah.

Pink in NYC, photo by flynet

Staying on the theme of things that are pink, Finn and I went out that same night for Pinkberry, a new frozen yogurt place that just opened up in SF. Unlike most fro-yo joints where you have to pay for toppings individually or by their collective weight, at Pinkberry you just pay for "with toppings" or "without toppings" (no one does the latter, I hope). Once you've paid for toppings, you get as many as you want! We ate our masterpieces in Union Square, which is just a few blocks from our apartment. It was a fun little outing.

. . .


A few great things have happened over the past few weeks that I haven't yet shared. 
I've got to now before I get too far ahead of myself with other posts! First up....

Fe Moved to the States!

Fe is the long-time girlfriend of Davy, Finn's co-founder, and she just moved to SF all the way from Belgium. Having her here is great. She lives about 5 minutes away from our place and we now hang out almost every day. Normally we work out together at her fancy gym then try out new tv shows on netflix (typically accompanied by the eating of Belgian chocolate). Last week I took her on her first ever trip to Target. Having her here has made my day-to-day much less lonely and she is such a sweet person. Welcome Fe!

Fe's first time at Target! A momentous occasion in all of America's eyes, I'd say.


I Attended a Putt-Putt Pool Party.

I recently had the pleasure of going to an awesome birthday party for Conor, a guy who went to my University and with whom I share many mutual friends. Conor was kind enough to invite me and although Finn was out of town, I ventured to the party alone-sies because who can pass up putt-putt and a pool?? I had a blast! He built an elaborate putt-putt course in his parent's back yard and everyone played an enthusiastic round. Afterwards, we all ate burgers, swam in the pool, then relaxed in the hot tub. It ruled.

Flo, me, and Conor - such a fun party!

Conor and his friends were all warm and welcoming and I had a very nice time. A day spent playing outside was wonderful and the weather was just perfect, as it usually is on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Just as a side note, it was about 55º and misting like Niagara when we drove back into the city! I love San Francisco, but I often shake my head in disappointment at its ridiculous weather. It's wild how much of a difference a few miles make in the temperature of this area. I'm glad I got to spend a day on the sunny side.


Burch Girls Reunion

I've known Sam, Carlen, and Rachel for 3 years and love them to pieces. They were passing through town on a family vacation to Hawaii and left an evening open to hang out with just me! I care about their lives and well-being so much and was thrilled to catch up with them for a few hours. They are all becoming these wonderful women who I hope will want to stay friends with me as the years go by and they realize how cool they actually are. They're kind, funny, intelligent, and grounded. And cute as can be! I got a little weepy on the walk home after saying goodbye - it's hard to live so far away from people you love so much. 

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

hello & pablo picasso.

I'm sorry it's been a quiet week for finnfolk, the past few days have been hard ones for me and I've not been up to writing much. The good news is that I'm on the up and up and there will be a full post tomorrow! In the meantime, here is an awesome photo of Pablo Picasso dancing with Jacqueline Roque, his muse and wife.

Photo by David Douglas Duncan, 1957.

I'll be back tomorrow, (hypothetical blog) guns a'blazing!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

3 months.

We moved into our apartment 3 months ago today. I remember driving into the city that morning, all anxious with tangled fingers wondering aloud about the logistics of street parking and moving up to the 5th floor. Finn, who is blessedly relaxed by nature, kept telling me we'd just figure it out. I did not like that answer but he was right. It all worked out fine and thanks to the help of Davy, Fedra, and some high/toothless guys off craigslist, we pulled it off in about 2 hours sans parking citations. Since then, we have had 7 visitors, made some really nice friends, learned (begrudgingly) how to live without a car, become closer companions with one another, and found our "flower-guy", along with a church we really love. It's been a good few months.


And now:

And him.

Goals for the next 3 months: find a chaise lounge, hang up artwork, not kill our basil, camp in Yosemite, go sailing, visit home, and convince our landlord to allow animals in the building, specifically pygmy goats.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a welcome to the newlyweds.

Last night Finn & I did a little door decorating in the name of love. Over the weekend, our friends Al and Carly got married! The wedding was in NC and the lovebirds were set to arrive back to SF yesterday around 10 pm. We missed the wedding but wanted to show them some love in our own way. I picked up some streamers, tissue paper wedding bells, and mini-clothespins to hang up a little garland that read "congrats newlyweds!". We left a note on the door knob too along with some pretty tulips in a mason jar. We had so much fun hanging it up together...it was like precursor to a less intense version of playing Santa. Success!

As a side note, we love the Masks (woo hoo new last name!). They are kind, intelligent, and creative. They are easy to be with and we feel very thankful we're getting to share this chapter of life with such an awesome couple. 

photo by The Schultzes Photography

Idea from Jordan Ferney at Oh Happy Day - she has brilliant DIY creations that I admire very much.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

lee the PT!

Today my brother Lee found out he passed his Physical Therapy boards!! Lee had been out of college for years and was working as a chemist when he decided to pursue PT school. While working full time, he did night classes & shadowed on his weekends for a year and a half until he got into an excellent PT program, where he won awards for his research, was top of his class and now, after years of hard work, is officially a licensed PT! He's been studying a ton over the past few months and we are all crazy proud of him and the years of work he's put in.

Just a crazy cute picture of him as a little one. Tryna be a dog. Oh Lee.

Way to go Lee! Wish I lived nearby because I'd take you out for a celebratory Bojangles dinner!

. . .

my people depart.

Our place has felt a bit empty since our friends left. The apartment was at full capacity last week in the best way possible and I miss their pallets on the floor and the extra toothbrushes in the bathroom. It felt like summer camp being all together and, much like Sarah's time here, the week flew by. It meant a lot for them to make the trip out - it's expensive and a long way to come and I'm so thankful they did. Love you friends.

Here's the all-star lineup if you don't know these people very well:

       1. Lauren/LaViss: triathalon-doing, outside-enthusiast, med-school student, early riser, and runs as fast as boys (really). Grew up with brothers and knows a lot about Pokemon as a result. We met the very first week of college & email each other pictures of baby animals frequently. 
       2. Caroline/Liney/Miami: Spanish-speaking, travel-loving, witty-as-they-come, genetic night owl with an affinity for international food and humongous dogs. Also keeper of many hilarious stories as the most ridiculous things happen to her. Has a large crush on South African comedian Trevor Noah.
       3. Nick/Nicky D/Tron/DaBrat: awesome story teller, law-school bound, loud-laugher, and a surprisingly huge fan of "So You Think You Can Dance?". Falls asleep within the first 15 minutes of all movies, talks in his sleep, and is incredibly nice and positive. Nobody dislikes Nick.
       4. Me: I have never received a nickname and yes I'm bitter. 

Here are a few pictures of our time together: 

Outside of Musee Mecanique. Nick and Caroline messing up the photo op.
Finn scored us tickets to a Giants game. The stadium is beautiful!

Nick and Lauren enjoying the cable car ride. Nick befriended the brakeman and even asked where he lived. 
Lauren matching a mural in the Mission.
4th of July in Golden Gate Park.

Maybe my favorite excursion of their time here: we rented a car for the day & drove to Muir Woods, Marin Headlands, and up the coastal Highway 1. It was so beautiful and we had windows down & Paul Simon playing. I had fun driving on the winding roads & we pulled over several times for the views. 

"Do something interesting with the fence!"

I pulled over and these 3 all instinctively ran down the hill to the cliff's edge with no discussion. I love this shot.
Awesome shot by Nick. Lauren is in the corner.

Not pictured: breakfast for dinner & chocolate chip/peanut butter chip/banana pancakes, our evening at a real life speakeasy, playing with dogs in Dolores Park, a chipmunk eating out of Nick's hand, fireworks at Ghiradelli Square, the farmer's market, a traveling circus show, and me doing this after they all left.

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