Old School Blogging – Alphabet Soup

My friend Andrea tagged me on her post that is making the rounds all along the blogosphere.

A. Attached or Single? My husband never wants to leave my side, so yeah, attached.

B. Best Friend? See above.

C. Cake or pie? Ice-cream cake

D. Day of choice? Thursdays have always been big party nights (Thursday Night Drinking Club or TNDC in grad school, now called Liquidity Preference Function)

E. Essential Item? Tempurpedic bed

F. Favorite color? Baby pink or rose gold if we’re talking jewelry!

G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither

H. Hometown? Born in Oaktown, raised in Alameda, schooled in Berkeley and Chicago, live in San Francisco

I. Favorite Indulgence? Steam rooms

J. January or July? Can’t go wrong with a summer month, so July.

K. Kids? Miracle baby in heaven

L. Life isn’t complete without? Food and wine

M. Marriage date?

Thursday June 3, 2010 at St. Dominic’s in San Francisco

Saturday June 12, 2010 at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs

N. Number of brothers/sisters? Older sister Therese who looks like my twin

O. Oranges or Apples. I’m not really a fan of either, but I’ll take oranges.

P. Phobias? Mess, dirt, germs, bacteria, people who cough on the bus

Q. Quotes? Anything by Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, the Romantic Manifesto. She is genius.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”

R. Reasons to smile? Too many to count.

S. Season of choice? There’s so much fun to be had in every season.

T. Tag 5 People.

Ferly at Gifts We Use

Jeanine at A Fabulous Life in Jamaica

Charlotte at My Pixie Blog

Dana at Kiss My List

Melanie at She’s Write

Amy at The Bloom-Print Project

Rachel at The Tao of Poop

U. Unknown fact about me? I’m an ex-Republican who went independent to campaign for Hillary Clinton. Hope to do it again in 2016.

V. Vegetable? Brussel sprouts!

W. Worst habit? I have a very bad temper and if you are unlucky enough to experience my wrath, watch out! I don’t take kindly to being taken advantage of.

X. Xray or Ultrasound? Ultrasounds bring painful memories so I’ll take Xrays.

Y. Your favorite food? Pork belly

Z. Zodiac sign? I’m kinda schizo (see U above) hence a Gemini.

Money Monday: Retiring in the San Francisco Bay Area

My friend Affinity chided me for looking outside of the Bay Area and away from family, when I can very well retire here at home. She was totally right. She wrote a guest blog post on retiring early here. It was one of my most highly-trafficked posts.

I spent some time on Zillow and found the following places. There are some serious deals to be had.

$250,000 – 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in Vallejo, CA – 30 minutes to wine country,  40 minutes to SF by car

It’s like a cheap version of Falcon Crest or Dallas, right? Clearly a little dated, but definitely has character. A retired couple like me and Dean have no need for 3 bedrooms, but just wanted to showcase the breadth of what’s available.

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$169,000 – 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Hayward, CA – 1 hour to wine country,  30 minutes to SF by car

This is perfect! 1 bathroom for me, 1 bathroom for Dean. 1 bedroom for me, 1 bedroom for Dean. Haha! This place is a score at the price. I might have to buy it now. Rent this place out and have it completely paid for by the time we retire. Who I am kidding? We can write a check for the list price, forego the mortgage, save 4% on interest, and rent to college students since Cal State Hayward is across the street! I’m seriously going to ponder this investment.

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$155,000 – 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home in Concord, CA – 45 minutes to wine country,  35 minutes to SF by car

This price is a steal. I am tasting retirement! 55 here we come.

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Why Movie Club is Better Than Book Club

Unless you’re hosting the movie viewing, there’s zero preparation involved. All you have to do is show up with a bottle of wine. And even if you’re hosting, all you have to do is order take-out or delivery from one of the gazillion amazing restaurants in San Francisco. It’s that simple. Our movie club meets a minimum of once a month. It’s fun, easy, and no last minute cramming to finish the book. It’s kind of hard to discuss a book that not everyone reads, whereas it’s easy to discuss a movie when you’re all sitting there watching it together.

Here’s what our movie club has watched so far. Please comment and make recommendations. I’m up next!

Midnight Express


Sunset Boulevard

Spoorloos (The Vanishing)


American Psycho


Here are pictures of us post-dinner, post-movie, post-wine, rushing to an ice-creamery before it closed.

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Dating Advice: Splitting the Bill and Self-Respect

“And then when the bill came, he said we should split!” Gasps followed in the nail salon as a woman relayed to her friends her date gone wrong.

I had no right to speak, but I so wanted to tell that self-righteous woman to shut it.

One of the most important mantras I try to live by is, imagine yourself in that person’s shoes. All you single ladies, please imagine shelling out dollar after dollar and footing the bill both for yourself and your date for every single date that you go on. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like fun at all.

I remember a male friend of mine in business school telling me he just couldn’t afford to date anymore because women expected to be paid for. Mind you, we were all accruing a crapload of debt in order to get our MBAs. He figured he’d take a break from dating and take it up again once he had a full-time job.

I mean, that’s pretty sad. In fact, I think it’s pretty pathetic.

Yes, I am all for romance. And yes, if your future husband is asking you out on a first date and maybe a second or third, sure, it’s splendid if he pays.

But when it’s clear there is no future, I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man asking the woman to split the friggin bill. Not only is it honest, but it is an absolute death knell for single women who often times can be clueless. I say this because I’ve been there. How many times did I wonder why he wasn’t calling. I was sure he was too busy with work. He must have gotten into an accident. But if the guy had only said, “Let’s split,” then I would have stopped pretending that there was potential. I would have known immediately and properly that there were no romantic intentions.

In this day and age when women expect to be treated fairly, when they are scratching their heads as to why there aren’t more of them in the board room, I say, work hard and pay your fair share. There wasn’t a time when a man paid for me, where on the second date, I didn’t offer to pay the full amount. That’s what’s right and morale. You wouldn’t ask a friend to keep paying for every single dinner, why should you expect that of a date? It’s called self respect. Take care of yourself and only then will a man take care of you.

Blurbs for the Brain

RIP Robert Fogel, Nobel Prize winner and revered professor at my grad school alma mater University of Chicago. In his most recent book published last year, Explaining Long-Term Trends in Health and Longevity, Fogel writes that the “abstention from caloric gluttony” increased the Japanese life expectancy by 13 years, whereas the “more gluttonous Americans” increased their life expectancy by only 7 years.

Study finds that consolidating your bank accounts leads to move savings.

There is building evidence that extreme sports (i.e., endurance running) are bad for you. An article in the WSJ states, “…recent studies suggest the significant mortality benefits of running may diminish or disappear at mileage exceeding 30 miles a week…yet sports-medicine specialists are sharply divided over whether any warning sign is warranted. For every American who exercises to extreme after all, there are thousands who don’t exercise at all.”

Interesting fact: Patty Hearst was a student at UC Berkeley when she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974.

According to a Kiplinger survey, SF is one of the most expensive U.S. cities. Ummm, no duh. Memphis is one of the least expensive. Never been. Should we all retire in Memphis?

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