Thursday, July 30, 2009

Off limits unless you're the Pink Panther

For everything, there is a limit...yes, even for pink. I've always maintained that a pink tie is perfectly normal (and nice) for men to wear (i.e., weddings, work, etc). But, men of this world, take note of where pink must stop. I was at Starbucks a few days ago and I came across a man who loved pink a little too much: he was wearing dark pink shorts AND a light pink shirt. Pink polo or shirt only? Good. Matchy-matchy pink outfit? Not so good.



Jasmin

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Only in California...

...do the birds actually nibble on tofu.

Observe below...pictures were taken while I was lunching earlier this week at a cafe. The bird's thoughts can be heard below.

[*queue Brooklyn accent*] Whadda I gotta do to get some food around here?


What is this fine, palatable dish that ruffles my feathers and tantalizes my beak?


It looks like chicken!


But wait...it tastes like dirt! What is this monstrosity you humans eat?


I'm contemplating regurgitating my food now...


Bah. I guess it's worms for dinner tonight.


Jasmin

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The "Meow Mix" commerical was better

I love theater, especially musical theater. I grew up on plays such as Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Man of La Mancha. So you can only imagine how excited I was to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats this weekend. I mean, this was the same guy who did Phantom, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita, so it was bound to be good, right?

WRONG. I fell asleep watching it. I kept thinking, 'Jasmin, you paid a fortune for your ticket and you're going to sleep?' But I didn't care. At one point in the musical, I was wondering why the entire cast seemed to have forgotten to sing for about 20 minutes. And then my thoughts would drift and I'd wonder how warm the actors must be feeling dressed head to toe in full length spandex and fur. Don't get me wrong-- the costumes were nice, but there was story, no plot, and the music was forgettable. The only stand out part was when the character Grizabella sang the song "Memory," which apparently became the song standard.

Has anyone else seen Cats and really enjoyed it? Maybe I'm just missing something.



Jasmin

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lakeside Views

Below is the only good thing that transpired from this weekend: some pretty lakeside pictures from the restaurant I dined at prior to going to the theater on Saturday (I saw the musical Cats-- my thoughts on it tomorrow).

Sadly, the view was much better than the food (and the service). The meal started out well, but then the service went downhill. Our waiter rudely tossed to check onto the table instead of handing it to us (was it because we didn't order drinks or dessert?) and then didn't even thank us for dining there. The result? No tip for him! Don't you hate rude, snobby service just because you didn't rack up a huge bill? Ick. I won't be dining there again.





Jasmin

Friday, July 24, 2009

Behold, the awesomeness of coffee!

Happy Friday to all! Behold below, this wonderful thing called coffee and what it can do. May your cup of brew bring you as much enjoyment as it brought Garfield.



Have a great weekend!

Jasmin

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running revisited

So I've kinda-sorta-maybe-hopefully started running again. I had been training for the L.A. Marathon about a year and a half ago but that never materialized. I got up to running 10 miles and then my achy knees kept telling me every morning that they were suffering. So I stopped.

Lately, I'd been wanting to change up my exercise routine, so I decided to run outdoors at a local park the other day. I ran for about a half hour before I pooped out, and my tomato-red face was also a warning sign that I should probably slowly ease my way back into running. The best part of my run: the critters! I saw bunnies and ducks and geese, oh my. You know me when it comes to furry critters...I have to take pictures.

Below are some duckies. Seeing them reminded me of my favorite childhood book, The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. The duckies were in the lake, bathing themselves (which they do by flicking water with their bills onto their backs). So cute!



Jasmin

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pink is never off limits for anything

I'm a girly girl (hence my sickeningly pink blog), but that didn't stop me from trying on boxing gloves when I went to the sporting goods store after the gym last night, in search of new tennis shoes and a jump rope.

I've always wanted to box...and when I saw the color of these gloves, well, I just had to try them on. I then proceeded to jump around the store like Rocky Balboa, with the Rocky theme song playing in my head.



Jasmin

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Layout!

Testing blog in new layout... :)

UPDATE: My blog layout has once again changed, but this time for good! What do y'all think? It's still pink and sparkly, ha ha. :) And it keeps well with the coffee theme.

Special thanks to Gisele for my new layout! She does awesome work and is so easy to work with. If you are interested, check out her blog and portfolio.

Jasmin

Starbucks freebie!

Being that my blog title refers to coffee, I thought I'd let all you coffee
junkiesfans know about a pretty sweet deal:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 21st, it's Free Pastry Day at Starbucks! From opening until 10:30 am, you will receive a free pastry with the purchase of any beverage.

Enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Artsy fartsy

Last night while I was stuck in (what else) horrid L.A. traffic, I turned on some classical music...and it was so soothing! I usually listen to hip hop, pop, and rap (no one ever believes me when I say I listen to rap for some reason) in the car, but for some reason, this type of music makes me more agitated while I'm stuck in traffic.

So instead, I switched the station to KUSC for some nice Mozart pieces. Not only was the music soothing, but it reminded me of when I used to study for my GRE exam at the cafe at Barnes & Noble. They'd play the same type of music that helped me concentrate.

Speaking of cafe, check out some of these coffee designs...aren't they too pretty to drink? I once went to an independent coffee shop in Berkley, California that did these sorts of designs. Peet's Coffee does this sometimes too, but the only fancy one I've seen thus far has been a heart.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In remembrance

Ten years ago today, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister died in a plane crash. I still remember to this day where I was when I heard the awful news: in the family room at home, glued to the TV as the helicopters hovered above the waters where the small plane had gone down in hopes of finding survivors. It was such a sad waste of life. I remember thinking that the Kennedys had seen more than their share of tragedy, and that the only constant for that family was a state of mourning.

Shortly after, I read Edward Klein's book The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years, which attempted to explain why so much tragedy had befallen the family. Sadly, the book was filled with gaps, holes, biases, and loosely based on gossip. Even after death, there seems to be no rest for the family. May they rest in peace.

Cravings

I've had the weirdest cravings as of late. Yesterday I craved Baja Fresh's Baja Ensalada with grilled steak:



After I'd eaten that, I was craving Zwieback:



I used to eat Zwieback for breakfast when growing up in Germany. I'd spread butter and strawberry jam on it. I think I will buy some this weekend and reminisce with each bite.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You know you're pooped...

...when you go into the gym locker room and can't remember which locker is yours because all the locks happen to be the same color, and you end up having to try to unlock 6 before you find yours, which just happens to (naturally) be the last one you check. Mind you, I actually started panicking and thinking that maybe I'd forgotten to put the lock on the locker and someone made off with my purse. I must have looked like a crazy woman going through all the locks.

I really should get one of these:



I doubt there's one like it at the gym.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New layout

I have a new layout...what do y'all think? Too dark? Too weird? Just right? Or go back to my old one?

UPDATE: So the new layout didn't really grow on me and people were sad that my pink background is gone 'cause it reminds them of me, so my old layout is back. For inquiring minds, my temporary new layout looked like this sample:

You know you're in L.A...

...when you see this license plate on the car in front of you:



Perhaps the driver is related to 'Fiddy Cent. ;)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hooray for art!

The J. Paul Getty is my favorite museum in the L.A. area, not so much for the paintings and sculptures there, but because the museum itself-- specifically the architecture-- is a work of art in itself.

This past weekend I saw an exhibition titled "Temptation and Salvation: The Psalms of King David." For those interested in seeing the exhibition, it's at the Getty for a limited time until August 16, 2009.

For those unfamiliar with King David, he was the youngest of the eight sons of Jessie and first appears as a young shepherd, tending to his father's flocks near Bethlehem. Later on, he becomes the second king of Israel. In addition, he was a musician, a warrior, and a poet (he is credited with authoring parts of the Book of Psalms). He is most often remembered in the context of the biblical story of 'David and Goliath.'

Generally, the history of David can be separated into three parts: (1) pre-reign, (2) his reign as king, and (3) his sin and last years. The exhibition I saw encompassed all three parts. Below are some pictures I managed to take. Most of them are blurry, as flash was not allowed inside.
(Click on pictures to enlarge)












And last but not least, here are some pictures I took of the museum itself. I highly recommend visiting if you have not done so-- it's quite beautiful, the views are amazing, and best of all, it's FREE! What more could you ask for?
(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Getty entrance


The white stone used throughout the museum came from Italy.


Cacti garden


Garden


Garden


Garden


View from the South wing

Friday, July 10, 2009

THIS is why I go to the gym

I am a foodie: I love to eat. I blame this on my culture; everything revolves around food-- holidays, get-togethers, family time, etc. Perhaps this is why I love to explore new restaurants, especially when I travel. There is nothing better than discovering a favorite place to dine at in a new city.

Below is a little food diary, pictorial-style, from San Francisco. I was so intent on snapping pictures of my food throughout my vacation that one of the restaurants thought I was a food critic and sent me a complementary dessert to the table in addition to one I'd already ordered.

Bonne appetit!
Lucca Deli
2120 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA

This little Italian deli is a gem! It's hard to miss but authentically Italian inside-- including the workers. The sandwiches are amazing!

Nearby was a gellateria that I didn't catch the name of, but their bakery counter was amazing! Although I didn't sample anything from the bakery, I had to snap pictures of it regardless. It reminded me of the pâtisseries I used to frequent when living abroad in Marseille.

Italian sandwich

Nearby galleteria bakery counter




First Crush
101 Cyril Magnin
San Francisco, CA 94102
http://www.firstcrush.com/

This was my 3rd time dining at this restaurant but I love their food. I highly recommend this place if you ever visit. Their beet salad is yummy (yes I love beets and brussel sprouts-- don't judge). And if you're a burger lover, the Kobe burger is amazing.

Mozzarella & tomato salad and beet & goat cheese salad


Café Bastille
22 Belden Place
San Francisco, CA
http://www.cafebastille.com/

A hidden little French restaurant that has THE BEST French soup I've ever had. Super cheesy. Super yummy! And the waiters and waitresses with their French accents were adorable too.

French onion soup


Cucumber and brie sandwich


Harris' Steakhouse
2100 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA
http://www.harrisrestaurant.com/

*The* best steakhouse in San Francisco, hands down. If you're a mushroom freak like I am, you will love it here.

Fried lobster dumplings


Filet mignon


Trio of gelato


Cocola Bakery
845 Market St. #499
Westfield Shopping Center
San Francisco, CA
http://www.cocolabakery.com/

My favorite bakery-- EVER. So good. I was too busy scarfing down my food to take pictures. Once I did remember, I had finished my sandwich. Instead, here is a picture of their bakery counter. Their pastries rival those in Paris.



Aqua252 California Street
San Francisco, CA
http://www.aqua-sf.com/

A great seafood find. This is one of those places that you see in the movies-- the portions are *super* tiny and artsy, but you get what you pay for in terms of taste. Yes, you might leave there and head straight to an In-N-Out to full satiate yourself, but the dining experience alone is worth it. This was the place that brought us an extra dessert plate because I believe they assumed I was a food critic from the pictures I kept snapping of the food.

Salmon starter


Split pea soup

Lobster in sauce reduction


Soufflé


Maine lobster


John Dory fish


Vanilla bean dessert

Chocolate dessert of some kind


Flaky dough with coffee creme - our complementary dessert!


Cookies and chocolate-- their standard last course regardless what you order


Top of the Mark @ the Mark Hopkins Hotel
999 California St
San Francisco, CA
http://www.topofthemark.com/

Go here for the view, more so than the food. The food was good, but nothing special. The four course special for the 4th of July was held in honor of the service men and women and a portion of the proceeds went to USO (United Service Organizations). I recommend this place for drinks rather than food-- they have a huge martini list. It's also worth visiting for the view: you get to enjoy 360 degree sights of the city from the restaurant which is located on the top floor in the NOB Hill area. A live band plays jazz music in the evenings as well.

Gazpacho

Lobster bisque


Surf and turf


Cheesecake


Boudin Bakery
4 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA
www.boudinbakery.com/at-the-wharf

I love this place, mainly because I love bread and could probably survive the rest of my life solely on bread and cheese. I think I was meant to be French in that regard. Boudin's bread is so good, though most people go there to sample their famous clam chowder bread bowls at the original bakery that's on the wharf. Their tomato soup is just as good, though (I'm not a clam chowder fan).

They also bake bread in the shape of animals-- turtles, bears, alligators, etc, and you can tour their museum upstairs where you get to view fresh bread being made and baked. I brought back a sourdough turtle home to nibble on. I'm happy to report that my turtle is now decapitated and has only half a body and hind legs remaining. ;)

Sourdough turtle


Sourdough alligator (with baby turtles on its back)

Zazil
845 Market St. # 400
Westfield San Francisco Center
San Francisco, CA
http://www.zazilrestaurant.com/

Good Mexican food that is nothing like Baja Fresh or fast food Mexican. My favorite part is the table-side guacamole. They mix it in front of you using fresh ingredients.

Table-side guacamole

Chicken enchiladas


Mushroom-stuffed chicken

Veggie-stuffed roasted green pepper with black bean sauce


Till my next foodie adventure! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
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