It’s that time of year again with parties, events and celebrations of all kinds. In other words, the season of delicious holiday food. Let’s be honest, the season started at Halloween. There is no escaping the plethora of scrumptious food no matter what age, gender, ethnicity, religion or status you may be. So what do we do, we eat holiday food (food in general) and talk about it. There are many ways to describe really good food and actually there are many words to use, to describe really good food. Here are a few of them; delicious, delightful, wonderful, tasty, amazing, pleasing, scrumptious fantastic, orgasmic, enticing, marvelous, sweet, healthy or great. Even using words like really appealing, appetizing, savory, lovely, heavenly, divine, glorious, juicy, salivating, blissful, delectable, satiating, luscious, succulent, titillating, enjoyable, gobsmacked, alluring, sinful, splendid, or flavorful sound nice. Many people open their eyes real big and make the “mmmmm” sound when using one of these words. There are many phrases like, mouth watering, lip-smacking, finger-licking, melt in your mouth, licking your lips, orgasm on a plate, shouting to “eat me”, absolutely sinful, full of zest and zing, fit for a king, coma inducing, sweet as pie, full of flavor, pleasing to the palate or tasty foods with a wonderful aroma. At times we add the word “good” to some of the phrases. There are less sophisticated phrases like; more than good or very, very satisfying, much more than tasty, super delicious and deliciously awesome. At times, there is a real justification for using a swear word like “fucking the best”, “so damn good”, or even “that shit is the bomb” to emphasis a point. I enjoy hearing teenagers use words to describe really good food; dope, hardcore good, OMG, the bomb, tight, sick, ill or off the chain. I have even used swear words and teenage swagger to describe food at times. It might not be classy or appropriate for a thirty-nine year old to use such expressions, but I think it’s ok, unless I’m having the conversation with my Grandma or Mom. And yet, the word I hear most often to describe food by adults talking to other adults is the word “yummy”, which I find to be very annoying. I’m not talking about using the word “yummy” and “yum” to describe food when talking with or feeding children. Then the word is acceptable even the phrase “yummy to my tummy” is okay, well not really but whatever. If I recall from my babysitting years, “yum” was the only word I heard young Eli’s say for some time. I immediately understood what he meant, “that food is good, I want more”. Maybe I even said, “Isn’t that yummy Eli?”, but I don’t think I did, since the word bugs me so much. Babies say “yum” and “yummy” to describe food and that is welcoming and appropriate. When adults say the word “yummy” to describe food I find it ridiculous. It’s probably true that I’m the only one bothered by this. I would much rather hear “wow that is some bad ass, orgasmic, finger-licking good food we had at dinner tonight!” than the mac and cheese was “yummy”. It’s clear I have “hearing the word yummy issues”. It’s becoming apparent that my feelings about the word are the minority. Earlier this evening I got a single word text from a friend describing the food at a local restaurant, “yummy”. sc.edb.gov.hk

When I grow up, I want to be……

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my first catfriend

I never thought I was a cat person until I fell in love with my first cat friend, No No (real name Matzoh Ball). He and I bonded immediately. He was handsome, independent, swayed his hips when he walked and was a big hunter. He often brought me presents like birds, mice, rats and gophers. At first, I didn't like the presents he picked for me, but I got used to them. He loved me, especially when he wanted a massage, or when he wanted to play head butt games. At night, he would nudge his way onto my pillow and I would whisper and he would purr, until we got too loud and were told to “quite down”. He was very romantic, yet sometimes got scared and would freak out and hide under the bed. No No loved being outside, it was his arena. But when I'd see him outside, he'd pretend like he didn't know me. But one time I was playing tennis with Benny, the boy who No No loved more than anyone, and he got our attention. All of the sudden, No No was running across the tennis court, back and forth watching us, wanting to play tennis with us! It was really cute. I haven't seen No No for over a year, but I'm sure he's still doing the same routine, sunning indoors, waiting for someone to massage him and hunting outside. No No was a great, first cat friend. Now I have new cat crushes, on two girls, Ahi and Ella. Ahi's birthday is coming up, I'm going to get her an iPad (with this cool game) for cats. You don't think I'm going over board do you? Ahi hasn't updated her status (on facebook) to “in a relationship” yet. Betcha she will after she gets my present! Check this out!



finding love at Trader Joes

Some of us go to Trader Joes for the Tempting Trail Mix, others go for the cheap, interesting wine and some go for the Chocolate Chip Dunkers. I go for the free balloons and ready to eat Grilled Strips of Chicken. Last November, my brother Ryan, met the love of his life, Tierney at Trader Joes. What a lucky guy, Tierney is more interesting and better than any of the wines, more sweet than any of the chocolate bars even the Bittersweet Chocolate Pound Plus (with almonds) and even if I tried, I couldn't of picked a more perfect person for my brother. I love them together and think they will have many happy years together shopping at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. (sorry TJ's but ya don't have everything,Tierney is Gluten Free and Ryan pointed out to me that Whole Foods has signs telling you which items are Gluten Free). I love this girl, before Tierney, Ryan didn't even know what Gluten Free was, he thought GF stood for Gary Fried (our Father).


curly hair

Hi, my name is Karle and I have curly hair. It took me years to say that. When I was young I would pray that my hair would be straight. When I was in middle school, I would spend hours blowing my hair straight only to have it frizz up the minute I went outside. In high school I had long, straight hair extensions (yes in the 80's) to hide my curls. I had straight hair envy which is what they call people like me in the NY Times article, Making Waves with No Apology. If you read the article you'll know why. I didn't like the fact that I had tightly curled, frizzy, wavy, kinky, fro-like, crimped, “BIG” hair. I was especially annoyed when someone asked if I had a perm, or worse, if I'd recently had my hair cut. Didn't they know? I never got my hair cut, and by the way my hair was really three inches longer than it looked! In my late 20's and 30's I didn't care, I wore my hair curly, and to my surprise got compliments. I tried every curly hair product on the market and spent hundreds of dollars. An ex-boyfriend suggested I think about a curly hair product budget. One day, I googled curly hair cut, and found the Madusalon in San Francisco, which changed my life. I found out about Lorainne Massey, who invented Devachan, a curly hair movement based in New York and author of the book, Curly Girl. All the stylists were trained and the products were made for curly hair. They even have their own hair dryer with a cool hand attachment. All the products and services were available at Deva hair salons thru out the country and they were not overly expensive. The first time I went into a Deva Salon I felt like I had walked into Curly Hair Anonymous. The guy sitting next to me and I had the same hair, even the same curls underneath! Last time, I went to a Deva hair salon closer to my house in Oakland, called Vero. Next time I'm gonna try the one in Marin. I just love getting my hair cut now, and even think my curly hair is sorta cool.


dog lovers

I’m learning that dog lovers are crazy, I mean dedicated about everything to do with their dogs. I recently joined two couples and their children, I meant dogs on an outing to Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond. Known as “Disneyland Land” for dogs, this park is Dog Mecca. Not to mention the “greatest place on earth” for Dog Lovers. Not only can you walk your dog off leash, there’s tons of free open space for dogs to explore, chase tennis balls, socialize and be free. And there’s a beach! Plus, at the end of your day you can take your pup to Mud Puppies for a bath. To me, the park felt like Cheers, “Where Everyone Knows Your Dogs Name”. I watched people and their dogs. I heard, “Oh look at Max, he’s matured so much, I guess the dog discipline school is paying off”. “Would you look at Fluffy, still unable to interact with the other dogs, it must be heard for her owners”. “Look at the chemistry between Taffy and Sam, we have to set up a play date!” And “I never let Lady D go in the water, it would mess up her hair”. I noticed how much fun the dogs were having. Some dogs listened to their owners “Buddy, don’t run so fast, you’ll hurt your ankle” and other dogs ran as fast as they could, “Benji, your going to be tired (in a mad tone) and we are not going home early!” I learned about doggie daycare, dog hotels, spas, pillows, vitamins and leotards for dog yoga. Hmm, the pose downward dog came to mind. I saw so many different breeds of dogs interacting and all the dog lovers were so friendly. I did seem to be the only one at the park without a dog. Little did anyone know that I was undercover, doing top secret research for my blog or that I photograph dogs! I wonder if they knew that photographed for The Bark Magazine. Someone did notice me taking a photo (I Phone) of my friends’ dogs swimming. The said, “all the photos I take of my dog are blurred and Daisy never stays still.” Ah I thought, amateur and gave them my business card. Check out the article in the New Yorker called The Social Animal for more laughs.

morning blues

“Uggghhh, I don't want to get up, it's too early!” I say this every day. It doesn't matter how much sleep I get. I'm not a morning person!  When I was a kid, I'd sneak Oreo cookies and put them by my bed as a reward for waking up in the morning. Today, I still don't like getting up for school, I mean work, and say things like “its time to make the doughnuts”( I don't even like doughnuts ). Why have I organized my daily life to start so early one might ask? I work at 6:30 am helping a family a few days a week, and sometimes I teach a spinning class at 6 am. One time I was crazy enough to teach at 5 am, it was not pretty. The good news is that morning light is absolutely gorgeous…..

Photographs taken at the Claremont Hotel and Resort in Berkeley, Roberts Park in Oakland at Sarah's Science Summer Camp and walking to Hillcrest School in Oakland.


cool summer

I grew up in Michigan and in the summer it was hot, humid and sticky with mosquitos everywhere. I didn’t like it so much but now that I live in Berkeley, Ca, I miss it. No mosquito bites and I wear a down jacket to the beach. This summer has been cooler than usual. I wore my entire summer wardrobe over 4th of July weekend, changing outfits on the hour. The rest of the summer I wore layers and jackets and saved my summer clothes for traveling to Michigan. I’ve lived in Berkeley for over 15 years and still haven’t gotten used to cool summers. To me, summer is supposed to be hot. In the Bay Area, fall is warmer. Now that it’s September, it feels like summer to me.

Photographs taken at Tennessee Valley In Marin, Piedmont Community Pool in Piedmont and Claremont Hotel and Resort in Berkeley.