Category Archives: Friends

Happy today…

…because the weather is crisp and sunny here in San Francisco. Trail runs and bike rides ahoy this weekend!

…because my department was able to pull off a surprise 50th birthday ice-cream party for someone who very much deserves it.

…because I finally, FINALLY found velvet pants petite enough for my non-long legs. And for 32 buckaroos, no less. Thank you, Banana!

…because beer, a burger and a long chat with a friend hit the spot tonight.

…because the new (old? I have no idea!) Cee-Lo album is essentially the love child of Mayer Hawthorne and Diana Ross, and it has me shakin’ my groove thing all around the hacienda. Seriously. In love. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?

…because my phone blew up tonight with the sweetest text messages from someone. Someone will be visiting San Francisco in the very near future, and planning our weekend itinerary has been so much fun. Food + wine + cooking + hiking + theater + snuggling are all on the agenda, and we plan on taking our to-do list very seriously. Long distance is for sucks, but someone is doing a really excellent job of it thus far. Which only makes me miss him more. Le sigh.

Why are you happy today?


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On happiness, dancing and Barbie the cowboy hooker

I have never been happier.

Okay, well, that’s not exactly true. It’s possible I have been happier.

On my seventh birthday, receiving my first brunette Barbie, even though she totally looked like a hooker in cowboy boots.

When my puppy Lucy came home from the trailer park where we rescued her, underbite and all.

After eating a sprinkle cake and drinking a large glass of champagne. It should be noted that immense unhappiness followed the next morning, but c’est la vie.

Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

Receiving my first tutu.

Squealing in delight with The G as we stepped foot on hallowed ground – Disneyland! – for the first time…and the second…and the third…and just a few months ago, the seventh…ahem.

But I have probably never been happier and had it captured on film so beautifully:

Lighthouse Dance from coloradoduncan on Vimeo.

This tiny, beautiful movie was brought to you by the very brilliant Duncan Ramsay. Who, in addition to being very brilliant, is also charming, funny and rather tall.

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Letters From The Bay, Week 53: I am a drunken girl

It’s true. As the title says, I find myself in quite a state.

I’ve just come from next to the fridge. Before right now, as in, mere moments ago, myself and my cocktail dress and my very askew eyeliner were crouching in heels with a spoon and making our way through the pasta salad, the potato salad, the peach pie, and yes, the sangria. We used a straw for that one.

Before that – hot, messy mess that it was – we were at a wine bar, my dress and eyeliner and I…eye?…I.  We drank, we laughed, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Prior to, we drank sangria in the back yard. Boatloads, if you must know. Pitchers full, straight out of jam jars, because we recycle and also because it’s cute. We are firm believers in both ecological awareness and fiesta avant gardeness.


Jelly jars

Before the sangria, oh what was it? It’s hard to remember before sangria.

Or after, for that matter.

Well, I think before that, it was this:

Faith in the trees

Hope you had just as keen a weekend.

If you need me – or my cocktail dress, my eyeliner, or my spoon – we’re now in the living room.

That cupcake doesn’t stand a chance.

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Filed under Another one bites the dust, Fiesta!, Friends, Letters from the Bay

Letters From The Bay, Week 46: Pink paint and man time

I need a little more woman in my life.  I’ve come to realization that, for the last few months, my life has been all man all the time here by the Bay.  D, man friends visiting from out of town, my man roommate, dear coworkers, The News, and now my brother…I feel like it’s too much man here in the city.

Some would argue you can never have too much man, but when fart jokes are hilarious and you end every statement with, “that’s what she said…” – even completely random statements like, “I think I’ll go to the grocery store now.” – you start to see how this could be true.

Because here’s the thing about men, lovely though they are: they are not the same as women.  At their best they are commanding, yet graceful, like giant cats.  Comforting, satisfying, protecting in a way that women usually are not. At their worst they are rude, stern, sometimes awkward.  They fumble around emotional moments, cheapen the beautiful, and roughen up your day in a way that can be messy and incredibly frustrating.

Women make things easy, smooth.  They listen and really hear.  They protect you from heartache, and sometimes from yourself.  Women love wide and deep and encompassingly, in a way that I’ve never yet known a man to do.  Yet.

I miss my real friends. My woman friends. My sisters, my soul mates, my partners in crime, the keepers of my life’s memories and experiences.  My best friend lives 5,350 miles away (yes LP, I google mapped you) and the rest of the KDs are scattered all over the world.  I miss them, and sometimes man friends just won’t do.  Even when they’re at their best, as most of the men in my life are 99 percent of the time.

Today’s experience: typing to the sound of paint rollers.  The News has moved out of our house and out of my life, and his replacement is a lovely new roommate.  Who is a woman.  One who is painting The News’s former room two brilliant shades of pink.

The News, for all of his good qualities, is also just a man.  One who is selfish, and who doesn’t listen, and who is only interested as long as things go his way.

New Roommate is fantastic, and soon, we’re going to plan a dinner party together.  One where we will talk, over wine, about things that are of interest to everyone, and we will listen to each other, and we will really hear, and we probably won’t tell any fart jokes either. It will be the start of a beautiful friendship, even when things don’t always go our way, and I think right now that sounds just perfect.

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Filed under Friends, Gentlemen Friends, Letters from the Bay, Thinking

Letters From The Bay, Week 12: Hardly Strictly Hugs

Part IV: Hugs all around

So that’s how we were going to play it. A tall gangly stoner with keys to a Benz, a missing roommate who probably had 12 tattoos by that point, an innocent bystander who probably regretted even waking up that morning, seven hundred thousand hippies, and me.

And we all had to get the hell out of the forest.

“Um, B,? I said, much nicer once I realized he was our last hope for getting out of the woods.  He was the ship to our Crusoe, the rowboat to our Molly Brown, the coconut phone to our Gilligan. “Do you remember where your car is?  Because this is the largest urban park in the country, and we’re smack in the middle of it.”

“Hilary,” B said, stoned scoffing. “Please.  I know this forest like the backa mah hand!”

Sometimes when B is stoned he also talks like Ma Kettle.  Nobody knows why. It’s a scientific mystery.

“I cain git us outta this forest no problem.”

“Okay then, let’s go!”

“Okay!  We just have to walk up this hill…? I think?”

At this point, I’d like you to imagine a hypothetical children’s book featuring pirates searching for buried treasure.  Imagine a red dotted line, leading from the palm trees to the trunk in which the hypothetical treasure is ensconced.

Now imagine a hypothetical four year old took a bright red marker and drew all over said map.  Or you could imagine that a hypothetical pirate had just smoked a lot of hypothetical pirate marijuana and you put him in charge of your hypothetical hunt.

Where the fuck is your treasure now, huh?


Luckily – very luckily – there was a full moon in the sky and a large crowd to follow, and eventually we made it to the Benz. I’ll spare you the details. I’ll also spare myself the trouble of writing the words “and we paced back and forth in front of the same large building” for ten minutes straight.

D promptly confiscated the keys and slid into the driver’s seat.  B miraculously navigated us back into familiar territory, and D giggled the whole way while I precariously wedged myself in the back and tried to not to whap B upside the head with either my elbow or my Chaco-ed foot, while he blissfully sang along to Michele with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Thank God I do yoga.

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

After miles of zigging and zagging, we crested one of San Francisco’s many enormous hills and B announced “We’re here!”

Yes, Internet: we had arrived at THE MANSCH.

Short for The Mansion, THE MANSCH is where B is lucky enough to be playing professional house sitter.  It’s on top of Nob Hill, diagonal from the Fairmount Hotel, and right down the street from Holy Crap I Can’t Believe You Live Here Boulevard.

As we crammed ourselves into the elevator and began the ascent, the doors and floors began to whiz by in reverse, like a backwards Alice down the rabbit hole.  Garage, foyer, library, master suit, dining hall, until finally we reached the rooftop deck.  D requested that we host a BBQ ASAP.  I requested that we go back indoors ASAP, because looking out into the vast twinkling sprawl that is San Francisco always makes me think about earthquakes and I was in no mood to contemplate my own mortality for the 47th time that day.

We descended via the twisting staircase, taking a quick pit stop in the library to check out B’s literature.  Just as D was investigating the history section and I was checking around for Colonel Mustard with a lead pipe, we heard a strange thumping sound approaching.

D and I made eye contact nervously.  I instantly thought of the big one, and took very, very slight relief in the fact that I would die amongst books and fine furnishings.

“B, what’s that noise?” I said, nervously.  “Is that the elevator?  And, if so, why does your elevator sound like a herd of rhinos?”

“Yeah, what IS that noise?” B said, surprised.  B is surprised a lot.  One of the unfortunate byproducts of being consistently stoned is that you have no clue what the hell is going on at any given time.  Another unfortunate byproduct is Cheeto fingerprints all over your most important belongings, in telltale, sometimes awkward places.

“Well, if you don’t know what it is, we certainly don’t know what it is,” said D, very logically.  D is not only one of my favorite people in the universe, but he’s also really good in a crisis – calm, levelheaded.  Given the way my life generally unfolds in this city, that fact pretty much ensures that D should be with me 92 percent of the time, just in case.

“Good point,” B said, eyeing the doorway as the sound grew ever closer.  We were all looking at each other, looking at the door, looking at each other.  D gave me his famous one-eyebrow look, which means “I do not like what’s happening here” and I gave D my famous B43 look, which means “I’m going to pretend that it wasn’t me who has gotten us into yet another disasterous situation with no clear exit strategy whoopsie daisy!”

The thumping was really close now.  The door handle rattled, the floors started to shake, and then – an arm snaked around the door.  A man’s arm.  Wearing approximately 22 multicolored beaded bracelets, and a glow in the dark hoop.

I know – I was surprised too.

“Oh yeeeeeah!” B said, relieved.  “It’s my friends from L.A.!  I forgot they were here.  Duh, they came for the rave!”

“The RAVE?” D squeaked.  “A rave in your house?”

“No, silly,” said B.  “It’s the rave in the field.”

Because, you know, it’s always best to rave outdoors if you can.

“Hey you guys, come on in!”

In they came, the ravers from L.A.   In all their beaded, multi-colored glow-in-the-dark glory.  There were five of them, and they were dressed head to toe in sparkly, stripey, multicolored outfits.   Covered in bracelets and glowing lights.  I almost had a seizure looking at them.

“Heeeeeeeeey!  HI HI HI!” said what appeared to be the head raver.  “I’m, like, Kevin, and like, I’m so excited to meet you!” he squealed, giving me an exuberant hug.  Not only was Kevin ready to rave, but apparently he had eaten a cheerleader for breakfast that morning.  “Ohmahgaaaaah, are you guys coming with us?!?!”

D’s eyebrow was up again, which was a sure sign that we were definitely not going with them.

“Um, no, I think we’re going to pass this time,” I said, as though I would ordinarily rave until the cows come home (which is likely when you rave in a field, maybe?)

“Oh, like, NO WAY!” said Kevin, hugging me in his sorrow, while another one patted me sadly on the leg.  “Like, that’s so sad, because raves are like, so fun.  Like, you would love it.”

“Yeah,” I said, untangling myself from Kevin’s sparkly embrace. “We’re pretty tired from Hardly Strictly, and kinda hungry, sooo…”

“Well let’s make dinner then! Hilary, you love to cook!” B very helpfully suggested.  “How about it?”

It’s true.  I do love to cook.  Maybe not for crazy ravers, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to cook in the mansch.  I also couldn’t help but think that cooking for the ravers and keeping them fat and happy might be the only way to prevent them from hugging me again. And so, with D as my souz chef, we raided the kitch in the mansch and cooked dinner for B and the ravers.

We chopped and sliced, laughing as we went.  Who starts the day in her underpants and ends it cooking midnight dinner for strangers?

I do.

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Filed under Digressions, Friends, It's awkward now, Letters from the Bay

I’m a MOH no mo’

Well, that was fun.

We laughed, we cried, we ate, we danced.  And oh yeah – some of us even got married!

I feel relieved that everything went so well – nobody fell down, passed out, said anything inappropriate, or called off the wedding.  My hair looked stupid (never go to the Skye Salon and Spa in Parker, and never have a stylist named Stacey!) but LP looked so beautiful, and as it was her wedding, that was what mattered.

She always yelled at me because “You’re so pretty!” is our default cover your ass move when you have bad news.  For example:

“Hi LP!  Um, so, our love chihuahua may or may not have chewed up your favorite pair of underwear and peed on your bed while I was supposed to be watching her.”

“She did what?!?!”

“You’re so pretty!  Have I mentioned today, how pretty you are?  PRETTY PRETTY, that’s you!”

But really – and I’m not just saying this – she looked spectacular yesterday.

As promised, I brought the funny to the wedding.  At least, that’s what everybody told me!  I did hear people laughing, and at the end of the toast there was lots of cheering, so I took it as a good sign.  If you’d like to read my MOH speech from last night, see below.

If you don’t want to read the MOH speech, that’s cool.  I mean, I’m pretty tired today, so I wouldn’t want to be reading speeches and other people’s funny on the interweb.  What I would want to be doing is drinking a margarita in my pajamas at 3:30 in the afternoon.  And I’m halfway there…if only I could just find that tequila….

LP’s Wedding Toast – July 3, 2009

Hello everyone.  My name is Hilary and I’m your resident MOH – maiden of honor – this evening.  I would like to preface this speech by letting you know that I am, in fact, going to make fun of the bride.  We are equal opportunity teasers, always have been, and I give this speech knowing full well that on my wedding day, many many many years from now, when she stands next to me and gives her MOH toast, she will have her comeuppance.

Dana and I have known each other since sophomore year of college.  We met when we discovered we lived in the same 20 bedroom mansion but had never met, which is a common occurrence when you live in the sorority house.

We lived together in the house together for two years, and then we lived in an apartment together for another year.  And after living with someone for three years, sharing bedrooms, bathrooms, personal space, and lip gloss, you get to know them well enough you could almost write an owner’s manual.

Mike, you’ve never lived with Dana, and I have, and I have a journalism degree so I think this makes me uniquely qualified to do exactly that.  And so, I present you with the Dana Partner’s Manual: full of incredibly helpful, and possibly life-saving, advice.  So buckle up, and I won’t be offended if you want a copy of this later.

When Dana told me the story of your engagement, she said that her dad Sam apparently asked you if you’d ever seen Dana really mad, and if not, you might like to reconsider your offer.  Sam, is that true?  Did you ask that?  Well, I have to agree with him.  But it’s too late for that now.

One day you WILL see Dana really mad.  Nobody knows when or why, but it will happen.  However, I’d like to help you stave off that day for as long as possible, so I bring us to the first chapter in the Dana Partner’s Manual:

Chapter One: Having an argument with Dana.

There are a few topics of conversation never to broach with Dana:

  1. Butter
  2. Chairs
  3. Who it was specifically who left the door open on a windy night, while a candle was aflame near a real (and crispy) Christmas tree, in February and almost torched you in your bed at 2 am.  And also, the coffee pot was on.

Bringing these things up with Dana can only result in pain, heartache, and your possible demise.  So don’t do it.  Just repeat after me: I am always wrong.  Dana is always right.  In case you forget who is always right, you can ask her, she’ll tell you!  I am wrong, she is right.  Good.  Say this to yourself every morning, like a mantra.

Speaking of morning, I’m glad you brought that up.

Chapter Two: Morning Time

Morning is an interesting time for Dana.  For many people, morning is full of promise, shiny and new.  A fresh start to a new day.  But try to put yourself in Dana’s shoes.  If you are Dana, morning is a time when the whole world hates you and you’ve lost the will to live.

If you want to survive the morning intact, there are just a few simple rules:

Rule number one: no talking.  It’s okay to make her some coffee or cinnamon rolls, put them on a plate and the back away slowly.  It’s okay to turn on some music.  It’s okay to watch the news in a different room entirely.  But there should be no talking in the morning.

Rule number two: no touching.  Touching Dana in the morning is like poking a sleeping bear with a stick.  Actually, it’s like poking a very pretty bear who used to be asleep but who is now awake, and really, really angry about it.  Keep your hands to yourself, otherwise you might lose one.

Rule number three: never, under any circumstances, say anything about how her hair looks in the morning.  Just don’t say those words.  Actually, refer to rule number one: just don’t say any words at all.

No talking, no touching.  You’re going to be fine.

Actually, you are going to be more than fine.  Because life with Dana is more than fine – it’s awesome.  And that brings us to our final chapter:

Chapter Three: Life with Dana

Life with Dana is always an adventure – you might get lost, you might get frustrated, you might get into a fight about something stupid like butter or Christmas trees.  You might even get really mad at each other.  But you will definitely get the most wonderful partner anyone could ask for.

As I’ve mentioned about a thousand times tonight, Dana is my best friend.  I would even go so far as to say soul mate, because it’s a rare and beautiful thing in this life to find someone who understands you deep in your soul, who complements you, who makes you laugh, who’s there for you, and who just plain gets you.  It’s rare and beautiful indeed, but not so rare that you can’t find it twice if you’re lucky.  I think you’re both very lucky, because you have found that soul connection in each other.

So my final bit of advice to BOTH of you – yes, I know I’m very wise – is to nurture that connection.  Choose the highest road, the kindest word, the gentlest touch.  Take care of each other.

Dana and I have always joked that we’ll outlive our husbands and when we’re old we’ll wear crazy hats and start drinking at 10 am.  Mike, if you take care of her as well as I know she will take care of you, I have no doubt that we’ll all be there together.  I hope you look good in a crazy hat, and I hope you like vodka.

I now conclude the reading of the Dana Partner’s Manual with a toast: to Dana and her new partner Mike.

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Filed under Fiesta!, Friends, WedCentral

Really though, such a treat

Dear San Francisco,

Let’s get married.  

What?  Who said that?!?  

But seriously, let’s.

I mean, I know it seems kinda crazy, since we’ve only been on two dates and all, but they were so good.  The weather was good, the coffee was great, and okay, fine, I’ll just say it: I’m in love I’m in love and I DON’T care who knows it!

Soooo, think about it, SF.  For me?


On to pictures!



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