Modus NonOperandi

Yesterday, I felt like a little rice cooker completely under pressure, with its cover bubbling up and down from the steam. I felt hot when I woke up so I took my temperature which was 101. I considered calling in sick again, I could barely walk in a straight line, but what was I going to do? Lay in bed for the 4th consecutive day in a row? I forced myself into the office and I have to say, I started to feel better as soon as I started responding to emails and being my productive cubicle-sequestered self. I felt alive, like, thank God I have a brain to use.

In addition to catching up on work, I reviewed and signed the listing agreement for the sale of my condo. Looks like I’m selling since I autographed all those pages yesterday. In the end, I realized it’s better to be completely free of the condo. It’s not in a hot neighborhood. Who knows how long rents will remain high? I might as well cash out and be done with it. Sayonara!

Selling brings a whole host of decisions and tasks that make me want to jump off of the soon-to-be-dazzling Bay Lights Bridge. But I will save all that goodness for another post.

It was a jam-packed work day. Mind you, I have the flu. I only want to go to bed after work. Instead of heading home, I take the MUNI cross-town to my acupuncturist appointment. Dean has the appointment after mine. When I finish, Dean greets me and the acupuncturist says, “Feel better, Catherine, I’ll see you next week.”

I’m confused because Dean’s supposed to be doing acupuncture too and instead we’re both walking out the door. He explains that it’s too stressful for him to get to the appointment in time given his commute. Fine, I get that. He adds that she asked if he wanted a referral to an acupuncturist close to his work and he said no.

That’s when I lost it.

I cannot single-handedly conceive Ghost Baby when the 2 of us both have infertility issues. I have done everything in my power to correct the situation. I have undergone more than my fair share of blood work, procedures, prescriptions, injections. I do acupuncture. I have completely (and unhappily) examined every ingredient that goes into my body. I submit the receipts. I fill out the paper work for reimbursement. None of this stuff is free. I am not going to say I do everything, but damnit, I do a good majority of it.

Where has all this gotten me? Let’s check the stats.

79 pounds (thank you tasteless, disgusting, gluten-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free diet for putting me nowhere close to my goal of 91 pounds)

1 influenza virus

0 ghost baby

I do feel self-conscious airing my dirty laundry publicly, but at the same time, I feel like other people never do. So there’s this perception that people who write blogs it’s all about travel and design and unicorns. Next thing you know, you read that some famous blogger is getting divorced and you wonder was she ever for real? With all her gazillion posts, was she ever upfront about her genuine life. I mean, these are not fairy tales we are writing. These are factual accounts of our lives.

My blog is real. Like this is me. The real, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, always OCD me. We do a lot of fun stuff. We travel, do staycations, enjoy all the amazing things that San Francisco has to offer. But we also have problems just life everyone else. And it wouldn’t make sense if all I wrote about was Disneyland. If you haven’t noticed, this ain’t utopia.

Airbnb Awesomeness

I got our tax statement from Airbnb. We earned approximately $4,000 for 2012. That’s practically 20% of our total 2012 rental cost. How F*ing crazy is that?

The hosts we are staying with in the Mission are seriously the nicest people in the world. They invited us over after work tonight to have drinks in their home. Their high school teenager was just as cool; he chatted with us about how he prefers the guitar over the drums.

Anywho, the woman said we seemed totally responsible and asked us if we’d be interested in staying in their home (their actual home, not their rental units) while they are on vacation – for free!

Hello, how cool is that?!

I am loving Airbnb. How can I invest?

Livin La Vida Loca

We are keeping it real, living in the Mission this week on our quest to try out different neighborhoods before we buy. We rented our apartment in Nob Hill to a nice British gentleman who is in SF for work. Last time we tried the Potrero neighborhood, which we loved. This time, we opted for the Mission. We are a block away from the hospital on the corner of Hampshire and 23rd. I have to admit, I didn’t have very high expectations, but I am really loving it here. Sure this ‘hood is a bit grittier, but it’s got character. I haven’t felt unsafe. Lots of people always on the bus and walking around. I feel like I’m living in Mexico City!

The 9L bus whisks me to and from work so quickly, I’ve been shocked. This is my first experience dealing with a timely Muni bus! Can’t beat that!!

The apartment we’re staying in is small, but lovely and fine for us which makes me think we really don’t need a lot of space. Dean and I are so low maintenance. If the 2 of us can live in this treehouse for a week, then a reasonably-priced, minimalist home should be enough. We always joke that people buy big homes purely to put more shit in it.

What’s great about the couple renting to us is that they are doing exactly what I aspire to do. They own a 2-unit building, live upstairs, and rent the downstairs unit. The rent for the downstairs unit covers their mortgage. Score! In addition to the 2-unit building, they pounced on this tiny loft next door which they had used for family and friends visiting from out of town. Now that Airbnb has blown up, they’ve been renting it out to RAVE reviews. The rental is inexpensive. It’s nice and clean. And they’re the nicest hosts ever. So they’ve got a great little side business going.


San Francisco Apartment Tour

I wanted to follow-up my San Francisco Home Tour post with a similar post on apartments.

Buying a home in SF is unbelievably stressful. You should be cashing in those stock options. Your granny hopefully wrote you into her will. Money better be growing on trees in your backyard. If anyone has saved $100,000 – 250,000 and is within my reader age range of 30-50 years old, email me. I want to know how you amassed that money so I can share your story on my blog. I am particularly drawn to people who are self-made, who paid their own way through college and graduate school.

Personally, the reason Dean and I have been able to sock away money is because of Dean’s apartment. Our saving grace is a 1-bedroom with parking in Lower Nob Hill with a reduced rent of $1,700. It is easily rented on Airbnb which helps offset vacation costs.

When you start to calculate the cost of renting in SF, home prices don’t even seem that ridiculous anymore. Like I said, a mortgage on $1,000,000 home in SF will be cheaper than some of the rents below.

Here are 2-bedroom apartments I would consider living in and their price tag. I would never feel comfortable paying these rents and would probably fight and research to find that under-priced gem in an unknown alley of the city.

$3800 / 2br – NEW Apt #1 in 4-Unit Victorian in the Heart of the Mission (mission district)


$4695 / 2br – 1300ft² – 2BR/1BA REDUCED! FURNISHED Very Spacious Victorian Flat *Pet Friendly* (hayes valley)


$2850 / 2br – 2 BR Flat- New HW Floors Near BART & Rainbow Grocery! (mission district)


$3775 / 2br – Charming 2×2 Apt w/ Polished Concrete Flooring & 9’6″ Ceilings! (potrero hill)


$3775 / 2br – 884ft² – OPEN HOUSE Tonight, 1/29, from 6pm – 7pm. (potrero hill)


$2995 / 2br – Bright, Large unit w/ SF Character & New Hardwood Floors (mission district)


$3795 / 3br – Mission District 3 Bedroom/2 Bath. Fully Remodeled with garage! (mission district)

San Francisco Service Recommendations

Since I spent part of my holiday getting primped, I thought I’d do a post on all my favorite services.



I’ve been on the hunt for someone skilled in cutting Asian hair because mine’s so thin and limp. I came across the Japan Center Beauty Clinic in Japan Town which averages 4.5 stars out of a whopping 253 reviews on Yelp. Can’t beat the convenience of a daily operation from 10am – 8pm. I figured I’d take my chances on any stylist, especially with such high reviews. The guy I got was very meticulous; I felt like I was going to be there forever, but he worked on me for exactly one hour and did a perfect job. I love what he did. Ask for Ricky (charges $53) or anyone who’s available.

Japan Center Beauty Clinic

1825 Post St, first floor, suite 160

San Francisco, CA 94115



The best mani/pedi is at Cocoon Urban Day Spa. It’s super expensive, super luxe which is why I’m always on the lookout for a Groupon deal. It’s the best: champagne, chocolate, cookies, crackers, cheese, rose petals in the bath water. Perfect for catching up with a friend and relaxing for 90 minutes.

Cocoon Urban Day Spa

330 1st St

San Francisco, CA 94105



I spent $29 for a Groupon facial at ModVellum. I don’t need to spend tons of money for someone to wash my face. I can do that myself. I need a facial for the extractions and ModVellum delivered. Can’t beat this price.


1628 Union St

San Francisco, CA 94123



I’ve never been to an optometrist I didn’t like. They’re all good. They’re all Asian. For a couple years, I went to the optometrist at the SF Costco. He was fine.



This referral is from Lizzie who got the referral from Sandra. Love the GSB connections. Thanks girls! Best dentist ever.

James P Const, DDS

450 Sutter St, Ste 2133

San Francisco, CA 94108



Oscar is your man. He’s 24/7. He does it ALL.




An honest car repair shop. They only work on Asian cars.

Toy Shop

4818 Geary Blvd

San Francisco, CA 94118



I think my cleaner is ok.  Anyone have a good one?


I’m sure I forgot a bunch of other people I see. Others that people want to comment on or share? Please do!