Madonna Mountain Madonna Mountain


[Best paired with music by Vancouver Sleep Clinic]


I woke up early to color my lungs with fresh morning air. When I slid my stiff feet into hiking shoes, I planned to leave my house and head Right to loop through sleep-dusted neighborhoods and admire the hush of dawn. It wasn’t until I was partway up Madonna mountain, pausing in the trail to watch an invisible crane lift the sun over earthline, that I realized I went Left.

Gifted by the powers at play, I stood sandwiched between growing sun and shrinking moon–the rays and reflections catching on tiny silver tightropes, swaying with blades of patchy grass. My shadow leaned soft and brown on the hillside. From the air, nothing more than a tiny birthmark on a small knoll.


A Kinfolk Honey Harvest

If it were possible to combine red velvet frozen yogurt, Big Sur, endorphins, never-ending compliments, fog, shortbread, seat warmers and The Beatles, then recycle them into something completely new, that product would be Kinfolk Magazine. My definition of perfection.

Kinfolk is an ad-free print magazine that collects ideas from an international community of writers, designers, photographers, artists, cooks and others who are interested in creating small gatherings and finding new things to make and do. It’s whimsical, simple, refined.

This weekend, Amy and Sam joined me at the Marshall Honey Farm just below Napa to meet the bees and their keepers for Kinfolk’s San Francisco Honey Harvest Party. Over the course of the three and a half hour field trip, we got an elementary understanding of honey harvesting, and arrived at mastery levels of honey tasting. Blackberry honey, sage honey, buckwheat honey, wild flower honey, eucalyptus honey, honey that doesn’t even taste like honey. We tried unthinkable combinations. And then, we ate and drank to our heart’s content, ending it all by making our own honey infusions as keepsakes. Jar one: honey infused with cloves, orange peels and vanilla bean. Jar two: ginger, lemon, mint honey. What a sugary spell that afternoon cast on us.

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF


Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Common side effect of high blood sugar levels: dance partying in a garden.

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF


Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

Kinfolk Honey Harvest in SFKinfolk Honey Harvest in SF

A French Adventure

After two weeks of radio silence, I’m back on the microphone to get a little French with you all. In the time I spent off the air, I’ve packed and unpacked moving boxes, settled into a new home, worked 70-hour-weeks and still managed to get outside long enough to get the most gruesome sunburn my olive skin’s experienced since Stingray Swim Camp, 1997.

It’s been a wild ride, but I’m ready to recount the Wonderful.

I’ll start by acknowledging my employer, Rosetta, for shipping me off to the South of France to attend the 60th Annual Cannes Lions of Creativity Festival. It was an enormous honor and opportunity, and I think I’ll always have a mild case of the pinch-me’s about this experience. Astounding presentations, calm coastal waters, Creatives walking around in their loafers and oversized Tortoise frames —  it was just what I expected: surreal.

To set the stage, here’s what  happened while I was detained in a floating cylinder above the Atlantic:

  • Despite being a lowly coach riding scrub in sneakers and yoga pants, Air France rewarded me with glasses full of champagne, personal merlots, and a fudgesicle. All. for. free.
  • Thanks to in-flight silent farter bandits mysteriously dispersed throughout the cabin, the air was in a constant state of perma-stink. Oh, the eleven-hour linger.
  • I shared an arm rest with a really nice woman from Sonoma, and supplemented our intermittent chats with music and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dreams.”
  • Some people just didn’t give a damn. Like the seven I saw walk into the lavatory barefooted, or the 12 I caught slippin in just wearing socks.

Once I landed, I made it to my hotel, showered and had no more than 15 minutes before I was off to meet the Rosetta crew for our first dinner in Cannes. I was over dressed.

And now, Mesdames et Messieurs, I give you Cannes — land of extravagant people and possessions.




Our group spent between 6 and 8 hours a day nerding out to keynote speeches, interviews, and presentations. Thought leaders, CEOs, innovators, risk-takers and game changers were welcomed to the stage –– I’ll let you place Martha Stewart, Mel B and Nick Cannon into whichever category you see fit.


Highlight: Gloria Steinem. “Violence against females normalizes all forms of violence.” Check out this project, Makers, she’s been working on with AOL.



Highlight: Not seeing Zach Galifianakis but seeing the other fat, funny guy instead.  Jack Black, everybody.


The Cannes Connect rooftop bar — the place to go mingle with little and bigwigs from all over the world. Free Rosé and Riviera views.

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The Google Beach parties, equipped with real You Tube sensations. I was significantly upset that no one invited this corgi or this hamster to perform. As you can see, when you’re a Cannes Lion, mingling is the name of the game and the word of the week.




Highlight: An intimate setting to stare at and listen to the infallible Lianne La Havas. A voice like a rabbit foot, that’s what she’s got.



Eye contact, a thing of the past.





Highlight: Meeting Arianna Huffington after her talk on finding a healthy balance between worklife and lifelife. We bonded over being Greek and are slated to vacation together next month.

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Only in Cannes is an open bar Dj’ed beach party just, you know… casual.

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And now, I put to practice what I learned from BBDO’s presentation titled Hemingway, Dickens and Michelangelo: The Best Agency Ever?

They said: All you have to do is write one true sentence.

Cannes was all-inspiring and sleep depriving.

And when it was over, I went to Paris and stayed in an art curator’s Montemartre flat. Les swoon.

Paris, France flat

And I lost myself down narrow streets that serpentined around buildings older than America.


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Highlight: Visiting the Musée d’Orsay. Impressionist art makes my heart beat like rollerblades in the dryer, and when I saw Degas, Rousseau, Renoir, Tolouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Manet, I was besides myself with joy and disbelief.

Each painting brought me further into an unworldly dimension, and I stopped often to marvel at the way these artists immortalized culture. I felt connected. The brushstrokes revealed backstories that were previously inaccessible to me, and I felt myself  melting into the warped realities of their time.

Below on the right is a self portrait of Degas. He was 19.

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To top off an already unforgettable day in Paris, I managed to be there for France’s Music Festival — a day dedicated to celebrating the summer solstice. Pop-up performances littered the streets and unsuspecting venues and little old me caught as many as I could.

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I gave George a Seine River view.






As I walked home from the subway station, I stumbled upon a little Montemartre theater about to open its doors to play-going-patrons. I paid my way and enjoyed a show I couldn’t understand. It was perfect.

And after a particularly French encore, I exited the theater just in time for the Music Festival to hit the streets of Montemartre. Everyone had wine in one hand and someone in the other. DJs spun an all-night-soundtrack to a street party dance affair, and under my breath I wished a Happy Summer Soltice to the hip kids lining historic streets.





George’s Girl Takes 5: Up Late Edition

Oh this week. This cloudy mind and puffy eyed week of thrilling highs and satisfying lows. Plump as can be, this week. Loaded as ever, this week. Bursting with music and heart felt gazes. Brimming with gripping goodbyes and subtle yet sudden realizations. There were jalapeño drinks wrought with gin, this week. Quality time with the keys, this week. Clean sheets and still too much cheese, this week.

On Thursday night I looked down at my feet that rested on the coffee table. They looked so much like my dad’s. I think I’ll keep them unpainted for a while.

6 months hit this week, and I was a damn mess. I assumed my position beneath his old phonograph and spun this song on repeat. Spun it so long and so loud that I tranced into twilight.

But I woke up strong and able. I greeted the day George couldn’t blessed and bright. This week was a good week. A pure, raw, real, unnerving, fleshy week that tested my resilience but pushed me out on top.

A close friend of mine left on Friday to travel Thailand for two weeks and packed his pocket with this folded up picture note I wrote for my father. He’s taking George into Thai palaces, up Thai mountains, down Thai streets. He’s inviting George to Thai dinner tables and Thai conversations. He’s giving my dad a chance to see a world he never explored.

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Saturday morning I shook off the residual tears and laced up my running shoes. I faced the most spiritual scenes for 10 miles straight, and never once did a less than loving thought occupy my mind. My eyes were too swollen for my contacts, but my mind was trim. Reduced to thoughts of gratitude and acceptance.

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Only a simultaneous sunset moonrise can make you feel both giant and microscopic at the same time.

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I live in wine country. I do a lot of living because of that.

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George’s Girl Takes 5: Second Edition


San Luis Obispo, you must know I’ve been flirting with the idea of leaving you–courting me nonstop like this. You with your gorgeous hillsides and your calm mornings served in coffee chalices. I’m not quite ready to forsake your sun’s kiss.


Touch: I got my hands on my mom’s old Singer this weekend, and turned fabric into furniture jewelry.



Sam is a close friend who uses his hipsterness for good not evil. He’s ironic, bearded, and enjoys pour over coffee with the same intensity that eighth grade boys in middle America enjoy Bagel Bites.

Sam and I drove due north this weekend to visit our respective families up in the bay area. Sometime around the King City speed trap, our bladders and obnoxious coffee intake teamed up to force us off the freeway and into a McDonalds.

I thought it would be a quick get in/get out kind of pit stop. Sam took the “when in Rome” approach and purchased a single hash brown. It was that uncertain mix of firm and flimsy woven fibers that took my car on an olfactory journey from hydrogenated oil to a confusing after-scent of cabbage, rotten egg and diesel.



Replace raindrops on roses with butternut squash,

whiskers on kittens with apples, ricotta, and caramelized onions,

brown paper packages with mascarpone…

… and Julie Andrews and I have a lot in common.

If you live within 25 miles of Danville and love organic, gluten free, thin crust pizza, go to Jules.



I’m thankful to be fairly good at several things. Double knotting my shoes in 2 seconds flat, preparing oatmeal to a cloudlike consistency, hula hooping–to name a modest few. But when it comes to impersonations, every attempt sounds the same unpleasant offense: an Indian/Irish hybrid of misshapen vowels and misguided inflection.

So when I was home this Friday night, wilding out to my complete score of Beatles sheet music, I passed the mic from John to Paul to Ringo to George. The accent that escaped my lips sounded like what six-year-old Danny Bonaduce in a Sari would look like.


My dad loved the Beatles, and would sing Goodnight to his girls every single night.

I have several videos saved on my phone where Dad played the leading role. This week, I watched them all. Back to back, forward and back, lying face up below a headboard he helped me build from an old closet door.

His voice sounded close, his eyes seemed like they blinked and batted in rhythm with my own. He was so goofy, and I am so cold lying here months later with my index finger tapping and untapping a big triangle on a small screen. Playback. Playback. Playback. Playback.

Is this mine?

By the good graces of time management and an uncanny ability to change from dress pants to yoga pants mid stride, I made it out of the office and onto my mat by 6pm. Tonight’s class was taught by a newbie but goodie, especially on the eyes. Holy hanumanasana this scruffy-faced teacher was all sorts of distracting, especially when he nonchalantly threw out phrases like, ‘lubricate your hip joints.’

Sure, no problem. Right after I wipe the drool off my Manduka.

Anyway, after I remembered that I set an intention for my practice that did not involve making eyes at gorgeous gumby man, I hit a rhythm. Breathe, sweat, balance, down dog and repeat.

Until Warrior three came along like a big bully. I stared down at my planted foot; it was teetering wildly, the veins shaking like needles on a polygraph. Normally I’m unattached to the outward expression of my unstable core, and quickly find a focal point to help sturdy myself and carry out what feels like the opposite of an impermanent pose. This time, though, I couldn’t look away. I was hung up on the fact that I didn’t recognize my own foot.

Maybe because I hardly ever see it during the winter months, being all wrapped up in socks, boots, blankets, and the like. Maybe because I’ve been running so much that the muscles are altering its composition, or maybe because I neglect toe nail polish like the world neglected Hotmail in 2005.

Regardless, I got to thinking then and there about this foot I did not recognize, which lead me to wonder about aged and aging people. How their faces and bodies rarely resemble what once was. How  we are every day, every hour, every year, a different version of ourselves.

There I was: out of the pose, and into a different subset of mindfulness.

Micky Allan

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‘Old Age’ – Micky Allan.

Midnight snack

Just one question: where is this cake and why is it not in my mouth?

all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography

Thank God you can’t consume calories just by looking at them. I would have gained 7 dress sizes in the hour I just lost in the photisserie worm hole kingdom of cakes.


The two together

American photographer, Diane Arbus, captured deviant and marginal people whose normality seemed ugly or surreal. Her favorite subjects were dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, and circus performers.

Swedish-Argentine specimen of perfection, José González, created this addictive listen with side-project-band, Junip.

His lyrics fold into her photographs like flour overlapping eggs beaten and sugar stirred.

Play. Scroll. Wonder.

No one else around you
No one to understand you
No one to hear your calls
Look through all your dark corners
You’re backed up against the wall
Step back from the line of fire



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Happy Anniversary, Mom + Dad

To celebrate what would have been George and Dina’s 33rd wedding anniversary, George’s girls spent the weekend together in a tiny beach town called Cayucos.

They watched 4 movies in 2 days, went through more kettle corn than a state fair, read by the water, and wine tasted amid the sacred glow of a Paso Robles sunset.

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new tradition

15 movements of a Rachmaninoff piece, 10 people, 3 beds, 2 showers, 1 fridge full of imperial stouts. That about summarizes the best staycation weekend a girl could’ve asked for.

My family came down to the central coast to see me sing at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center, and we all stayed snug as bugs in rugs in a picture perfect vacation home in Avila Beach. We did things normal families do, like play on swing sets and chase brownies with English toffee.

Needless to say, there was a George shaped whole in all of our hearts this weekend. Not a minute went by where we weren’t all wishing he was enjoying the view or coffee or choir music alongside us.

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Photography by my sister and cousin, Bryanna.

Getting Up

This morning, somewhere between hitting the snooze button for the eighth and ninth time, I began to believe I would never make it out of bed. I sunk deeper beneath the sheets; wrapping my legs tightly around each other I touched cold toes to warm calf. Then switched.

I visualized myself playing hooky, and embracing a Day in the Life of my pillow. After all, from its perspective there lies no adversity, no conflict, no turmoil – only a heavy head expecting nothing but silent comfort.

I got up, though. I went to work, ate a fine meal, hewed to my mother’s thrifting ways and got a helluva (is that you, Holden Caulfield?) discount on a Banana Republic necklace, sang some Russian, played some Russian, and vanquished the frenetic mold that ever so rudely invited itself into my apartment. I lived my Monday. I am alive.

The theme below still applies, especially with Anna Palma’s brilliant photographs as visual support.

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And a couple to tout something other than the tots. Man, she’s good.

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a very thankful playlist.

Download the playlist here.

A wise man in a fisherman’s cap once told me to talk to someone older than seventy or younger than seven once a day. Extract their light, he said, find truth in their stories and imagination.

This Thanksgiving was a particularly difficult one. I wandered through my Aunt’s house, chatting up relatives with affection, but without allegiance. I kept picturing my dad, in his blue button down shirt, with one hand resting on the back of a chair, the other dumping the powdered sugar off a kourambie. If only I had a larger appetite for turkey, I’d have taken that tryptophan up on a coma. Instead, I stayed put in reality. I dealt.

I dealt a hand of Uno to a five-year-old who hadn’t yet learned about death, and I enjoyed every second spent in her wiggly, giggly, sharp tongued and doe-eyed company. She was curious, gentle, polite, and smart. She offered me innocence, instant friendship, and three quarters of the Spanakopita her mother painstakingly cut up on her plate. I was grateful.

The other half of my evening was spent arm in arm, eye locked to eye with my grandfather. 83 and dressed in taupe from head to toe, his wrinkles were deeper and stories stronger than I remembered. As we sat sipping our post dessert coffee, he strung his broken english words together to tell me how when he came to America, he worked hard. He made five dollars, saved four, and spent one. The Americans, he said, they make five, spend seven.

You no build wealth like that, manari.

He’s right. You build wealth by saving – saving sensations, memories, tastes, melodies, the light you find in others. This is how I build wealth, friends. Through music, and through gratitude. Enjoy this glimpse into my soul in playlist form, and make it a point to spend more time with the old and with the young.

Photo by my gorgeous cousin @brymariie

This music is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, please support the band and buy a song, concert ticket, or constellation in its honor.

Siki Im

Mad props to The Ground for holding my interest through an entire interview. Architect, fashion designer, philosopher, activist – Siki Im is a very important person. Read about him here, betcha make it through the whole thing.

Two Things

It’s nights like these where I question the motives behind curiosity. Are they pure? Are they genuine? Striped with maliciousness or judgement?

At a local cafe, a peevishly affectionate couple slouching with their legs and lips intertwined sit on my left, while a starry-eyed pair with nervous smiles and glistening palms take stage right.

And I’m sitting here between the two, desperately trying to keep my darting eyes discrete. Calmly drinking my second choice of tea, wearing my brown cardigan, camouflaging with the aging leather sofa that supports my languid Sunday body, I craft their stories in my head. Happily observing their realities with curious eyes and ears while I dream up their elaborate backstories.

It’s entirely possible that these two couples have nothing in common but the fact that they are both here, both connected by the manner in which they spend Sunday, November 11, 2012.

To mirror that theme, here are two things that have arrested my attention tonight independent of each other – two things with nothing in common but the time they occupied my curiosity on this chilly November night.

1. (A select few of) The Best Pictures Of the Week: November 2-9, as declared by TIME


2. Sarah Graham’s Botanical Works.

 I’m driven to strong, natural forms, in particular the curve and the arch, and to the energy that’s involved in creating those shapes.

 -Sarah Graham