Monday, May 23, 2011

Messages from SF?

Lately I’ve been struggling with some bigger questions in life.  One friend suggested that I keep my mind open to “signs.”  In my walking through San Francisco I found two bits of street art that might be signs.  I almost missed both of them.  These seem to be positive messages but possibly having various interpretations…

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Of course I also found a few other bits of street art from which I derived no meaning but still liked.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Solo Day in San Francisco

My feet are tired and parts of them are swollen.  I must have walked at least six miles on Friday.  The 2011 WTS International Conference in San Francisco was wrapping up and I had several hours before my flight back to Denver.  From the Embarcadero, I walked to Union Square then up to Nob Hill then through Chinatown to Coit Tower then back through Chinatown to the Hayes Valley district then up Market Street back to the hotel and my luggage. 

It was a solo travel day for me.  I’m still getting used to going to some famous sight or another and just enjoying it with myself.  As a person just out of a looooong-term relationship (that I was in from quite a young age), I’ve always had someone to turn to and say, “wow, isn’t this amazing?” (or whatever the case may be).  Now I just look and take in and move on.  I’m doing ok with this solitary enjoyment of things.  It’s peaceful. 

One thing that you may notice, this singlehood travel deal means there are almost no pictures of me – just pictures of what I see.  I haven’t quite gotten the hang of asking random people to photograph me…

Ok, a tiny bit of nerdy transit stuff - streetcars!

While at the WTS Conference, I took the F-line streetcar mobile tour.  As you may or may not know, San Francisco purchased vintage streetcars from around the world, restored them, and have them in service on their streets.  They are beautiful and are an excellent complement to historic San Francisco.  The is the streetcar vehicle in which we toured:

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The interiors are even restored:

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The rest of the WTS Conference was filled with technical and professional development sessions, an awards banquet, an opening reception, and so on.  All of these events were made especially fun by the company of my fellow WTS Colorado ladies.

I did have one non-WTS night out!  My friend and co-worker, Pat, put me in touch with two of his friends – Evan and Hassan.  They did an excellent job of entertaining me and took me out in the Mission to do something we all enjoy – beer drinking (and good beer too!).   We went to the Monk’s Kettle and Zeitgeist (self-proclaimed as San Francisco’s #1 beer garden), both cool places.  A sample of the fantastic beer menu at the Monk’s Kettle is below. 

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We also went to an historic building/bar at the end of the evening but that place is a bit fuzzy in my memory.  We did, however, get a group photo taken there:

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Here are a few of my views from my solo city touring day:

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As you can tell from these photos, I was lucky to have nearly perfect weather in San Francisco. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hot Springs with Buena Vista

My legs are resting on the edge of the pool, I’ve got two pool noodles supporting my back and arms, the sunlight is getting stronger as it comes over the San Juans, all I can hear are birds making their morning calls, and I’m just floating.  This was me at Joyful Journey hot springs for two and a half days.

Sometimes that serene moment was punctuated by the conversation of couples.  Being alone on vacation you get to overhear lots of (mostly boring) conversation between couples.  At night, however, the couples conversations can be silly and giggly.  Given that I’m steeped in thoughts about human relationships, these conversations were fascinating – even the boring ones.

I mean, what did/do I talk about as a couple? Outside of the occasional discussion about current political activity or random zombie conversations, couple conversations can be pretty mundane – what we are doing later, when should we take the cat to the vet or take the car in to have the oil changed, we should try this or that restaurant, and on and on.

Anyway, other than eavesdropping while soaking in the hot springs, I mostly read and slept, which was heavenly.  Here’s a typical shot of those days:

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After emerging from the hot springs experience, I met Trisha in Buena Vista.  She ran a 25-mile trail run!  I know there are lots of people who do this, but I’m still in awe.

In the afternoon after the run, we made it a goal to visit as many patios in Buena Vista as possible.  The first of these was Mother’s Bistro. This is Trisha on the patio:

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The patio was complete with a cat named Simba that circled my chair and let me pet it:

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We both had glasses of white wine and shared a piece of caramel apple pie.  It was soooo nice.

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When the sun started to set we made our way back to the Topaz Lodge and got to watch the sunset as we walked.

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It was a lovely weekend and a good first solo trip for me.  I’ll definitely do it again.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Data on my attractiveness

As is fairly well known at this point, I am doing the online dating thing.  One of the sites I’m on sent me an email a few weeks ago that I found hilarious.  It was from the site’s “interns.”  I’ve copied out most of the email and pasted it below:

An image of ghplan= good-looking

We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of [the site’s] most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you'd like to know.

How can we say this with confidence? We've tracked click-thrus on your photo and analyzed other people's reactions to you in [the site’s matching service].

Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results. The people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results.”

What great news…I haven’t noticed a sincere uptick in “attractive” people coming my way via email from the dating site, but then, they don’t really define “attractive.”  I’m also wondering how “the scales recently tipped in [my] favor.”

What I wouldn’t do to get my hands on all the data to which these dating sites have access.  It’s all self-reported though, which pretty well skews any statistical validity but it sure would be fun to look at!

Not sure how much if anything I’ll actually share about dating here but stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Ok, as some of you may know, I don’t always get excited about babies but I’m excited about this one.  My friends Emily and Josh, who are amazing people, joined forces to bring another amazing person to this world.  Archer Gray Silverman was born on April 23, 2011 at 11:20 AM and weighed 5 pounds 7 ounces!

He is tiny and fantastically cute.  Here, see for yourself!


I think this one is the best of the series – Archer says hello to his fans.

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Here is the new mom out for the maiden voyage of the stroller.

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And the new dad!

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I can’t wait to see how this little guy grows!  Stay tuned.