Saturday, June 30, 2012

a pretty journal.

A friend of ours who has lived in San Francisco for a few years encouraged us to invest in a guest book of sorts for visitors to write in while they're here. I loved the idea and ordered a journal from Minted and am really happy with how turned out. I got to customize many of the details and it was surprisingly inexpensive (just $16!). I like to think that in a few years we can flip through its pages filled with funny stories and small details that we might have otherwise forgotten. I think one of their journals would make a really great gift.

Isn't it nice? I keep picking it up and petting its cover like it's a gold medal or something.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

liney arrives.

Caroline (also a seriously best friend) was my roommate for all of college and just got back from South Africa last month - I have only seen her a handful of times in the past year and am ecstatic to have her as a roomie once again, even if it's just for a week. We have shared so much of life in the past 5 years, she is family to me. And two of my other best friends will be here in a few days - I love this month!

Now purely for entertainment, I will share a story that encapsulates 
the ridiculousness that is Caroline and why I love her so much:

While in South Africa, Caroline had her birthday and her friends in Cape Town threw a surprise "tacky-themed" party in her honor. After a few months of knowing Caroline, these nice people knew a dress-up party would be perfect and encouraged the attendees to arrive in wild garb. That evening, Caroline received a text that read, "you have 30 minutes to get as ugly as you can". Caroline got to work. Other people came in what they considered to be zany: mismatched pieces of clothing, outdated glasses, pajama pants, 2 different earrings or a backwards shirt - overall very mild adjustments to their everyday wear.  

What these friends did not expect was the sheer level of commitment with which Caroline would approach her own costume and the wild disregard she'd have for still looking cute. Caroline took the full 30 minutes to become as ugly as possible and succeeded wildly. I give you a photo of the amazing masterpiece she created:

(building suspense)

Can you guess which one is Caroline?

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

other sarah-times.

Sarah's time here zoomed by. Maybe because it's just easy to be together or because we kept so busy, but it seemed like no time passed at all from when she got off the train at Powell Street Station to when we had to wave goodbye. I'm so glad she visited me - we talked about everything, laughed often, and struck a good balance of seeing a lot and resting too. Here's a hodge-podge of other pictures I like from her visit. 

The first place we went when she arrived: the SF zoo (obvious choice).
Us on a bear. Asking another adult to take this picture wasn't the most comfortable situation.
A most majestic lion waiting for his feeding. I've never been so close to one! He was so regal. (ps he isn't always in this little cage, just for his meal!)
Loved this little guy. It took me a very long time to cut down on the
number of zoo pictures I wanted to share.  Consider yourself spared.
We walked along the beach and stuck our toes in the FRIGID water. I think if Alcatraz were in the Atlantic, way more people would have tried to leave. 
Saturday market. We ate extremely good burgers for lunch.
Beginning our walk across the Golden Gate bridge.
Us in our natural state.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the tale of alcatraz jack.

The main thing Sarah wanted to do while in San Francisco was to visit Alcatraz Island and tour the prison. A reasonable request, I was on board to make it happen. Unfortunately, I was not aware that Alcatraz tickets sell out several weeks in advance, especially in the summer months because only one company owns the rights to ferry visitors to the island. So when we tried to buy our passes the day she arrived, they were totally sold out for the entire time she'd be visiting. I felt awful. In hopes of finding tickets, we headed to Fisherman's Wharf (via cable car - weeee) where several tour companies have booths and tour packages.

Sarah looking fly on the way to the wharf. I love riding the cable cars.

At Fisherman's Wharf, we meet Griffin, a fast-talking salesman from the Florida Keys who assures us he can get tickets for Sunday, repeatedly referring to his friend "Alcatraz Jack" who apparently is the underground godfather of Alcatraz tickets. The catch, however, is we will also have to buy a hop-on hop-off bus tour package (and pay double the price for the Alcatraz tickets).

Sarah and I discuss silently via the fantastic marvels of female nonverbal communication (a series of glances, sighs, eyebrow raises, and nods) and decide to go for it. We follow Griffin across the street to meet this Alcatraz Jack - I expect a older man in an office, perhaps wearing an Alcatraz baseball cap but generally professional. The reality, actually, is a unkempt man in a mini-van with fast food in the passenger's seat, crumbs all over his sweatshirt, and the dirtiest ipad I've ever seen. He says we can pick up our tickets from this sidewalk location on Sunday morning. And he wants cash, by the way.

Sarah and I "go to withdrawal money" where we speed-talk our way through pros and cons. Amazingly, we decide to pull the trigger but negotiate some conditions like the hard hitting ladies we are: Griffin consents to lowered bus tour prices with an extra day added to the passes. Also, we agree to only pay for the bus passes up front and will pay the rest once our Alcatraz tickets are in hand. Sarah and I figured if nothing else, we found an excellent deal on bus tours. About 20 minutes later, we see Alcatraz Jack walking down the road. The man has on high-top basketball shoes about 4 sizes too big. His shoes are flopping all over the place as he scuffles across the street in his sweatpant uniform. I'm not gonna lie, our confidence was a little shaken. This fellow did not seem like an outstanding professional.

So, we took full advantage of the hop-on hop-off bus tours and pretty much used the buses for all our transportation needs. As a result, we heard the same information repeatedly & I am now an expert on the architecture of downtown San Francisco and the history of the Italian district. 

Here we are enjoying ourselves:

Sunday morning we go to retreive our promised tickets and our names aren't on the list. I can feel the hulk inside of me coming awake when the gentleman helping us says a couple just canceled and we can have their tickets. Amazingly, it all worked out and we got to visit the infamous island.

We really took our time exploring and the different tours were all very well done - organized, informative, and entertaining. Sarah loves history things and I especially love hearing about the escape attempts (a few of which I suspect were successes). However, I will not be recommending Alcatraz Jack to other patrons. The moral is if you want to visit Alcatraz, get your tickets early and don't trust a man with floppy shoes.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

golden gate stroll.

Yesterday afternoon Sarah and I walked across the 1.7 mile Golden Gate Bridge in the cold San Francisco summer weather everyone has been telling me about (I believe them now). The day after she arrived, the temperature dropped to 50º and hasn't climbed above 55º since. It's not bad, we've just layered up and carried on. Our crossing of the bridge was very picturesque with porpoises below and panoramic views of the city behind us. The Golden Gate Bridge really is a marvel...we kept looking up during out walk and were dizzied by its giant towers.

Once we reached the other side we got to ride up into the hills of Marin Headlands a bit, which feels like Jurassic Park compared to the city. It's all green and wild and the air smells so good. I cannot emphasize how refreshing the air is there. Afterwards, in proper beth-and-Sarah form, we returned home to change into pajamas, eat cereal, and Sarah napped. It is so nice having a friend here, it makes it feel more like home.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

say say visits.

Sarah, one of my seriously best friends, arrives into San Francisco later today! 

She's staying through the weekend and I can't wait to see her! I have some fun things planned like a hike in Marin Headlands and a visit to Tartine (obviously) but mostly, I'm just really excited to sit on the sofa in our sweatpants and talk. We haven't lived in the same place for years so 6 days together is really a treat.

reasons i love sarah:

       1. We (she) once accidentally threw a slushie inside someone's car.
       2. She's sharp, witty, and could legitimately make money as a hip hop dancer. 
       3. Deep down I think she would actually punch someone for me if need be. She's as loyal as they come.
       4. We've been friends for 8 years.
       5. She wore high tops at her wedding (and is the bride on the left in the photo above).
       6. She's coming to visit me all the way IN SAN FRANCISCO people!

((Posts will most likely slow down a bit for the next few days since because I want to soak up my time with Sarah, but I'll be back at it again soon. I have so much fun writing this blog, thanks for reading!)) 

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a bike ride.

A few days ago, I had a heavy homesick feeling for the North Carolina summer and my people back home. The knowledge that we live here is settling in and it's thrilling and/or heartbreaking depending on the day (for the record, good days far outnumber the bad). This was an off day. Finn was heading to the US Open for the afternoon and I had to get out. Mostly I wanted to be in nature. 

I decided on a bike ride in Golden Gate Park, which is this magnificent 1,000 acre piece of land on the west side of town. The park is home to a modern art museum, a science museum aquarium, the Japanese tea gardens (remember this?), and then tons of beautiful green spaces and little lakes. An afternoon among some trees was just what I needed and I even rode to the beach, which lies at the park's edge. The ride was wonderful and the air was refreshing and full of nature scents (as opposed to the delightful bus-smog/urine fragrance of the city). Also, I did a little exploring to see what the "Bison Paddock" on the map was all about, and it's actually a field of REAL BISON. I was very surprised at this discovery.

After my ride, I stopped off at the park's Rose Garden and laid in the grass. I talked to Finn's mom on the phone and she was reassuring and loving, like the good mama she is. I felt better being in all that open space, enjoying in San Francisco an aspect that I much adore about home. The fresh air did me some good. The day was redeemed tenfold and Finn even took me out for a proper Southern dinner after arriving home. We ate fried chicken and corn bread and tried to buy furniture from the restaurant. I love that man. 


1. San Francisco does not actually smell like bus-smog and urine. But it definitely
doesn't smell as good as thousands of trees and happy family barbecues.
2. If you ever visit SF and want to bike through Golden Gate too, rent your bike
here! Instead of taking my bike on the bus (which still intimidates me if we're being honest),
I rented a bike and it was just $5 per hour. This rental place is just across the street
and their bikes were nice. They even give you a map of the park. See the bison I say!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

an arcade date.

Recently, Finn and I went on a little date to Musée Mécanique, an arcade and museum that features both early 20th century & modern arcade games, all in working order! We took a pouch full of quarters, rode the bus to Fisherman's Wharf, and had fun playing skee-ball & hoop fever along with firing up the old timey machines (that are all kind of creepy). Most games are only 25¢ to play, so you can try lots. Before leaving, we had some photo-booth pictures taken then ate In-N-Out burgers for dinner. The concept of games and burgers by the ocean with Finn is essentially my most ideal date ever so, needless to say, we had a blast.

I enjoyed noticing how Finn and I are different in the (very important) realm of arcade games. He was attracted to the more physical, strength-requiring, or timed games and I was more drawn to spatial-tactile games that involved aiming or concentration. I like finding how we're different in the various arenas of life. Also, I'm thinking of one day owning a skee-ball machine in our home. Maybe? That game is just so fun!

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

my daddyo.

Happy Father's Day to Larry Laroo!

My whole life, everyone has told me how great my dad is & as I get older, I understand more and more why they're right. I'm blessed to have a father who is deeply kind and serves others. He is so for his family, always a sincere source of positive encouragement for my mom and each of us kids. Perhaps one of my favorite qualities, he has been such a companion in playfulness, from t-ball days & dairy queen dates to throwing frisbee & playing drawing games with his grown kids. He's just the greatest! Happy Father's Day Daddyo, I love you so much along with the rest of your kids (human and canine). Have a great day!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

a long letter.

I love mail and boy did I just receive a cool version of it. My friend Lauren Goans wrote to me on paper bags sewn together with beautiful sea-foam thread. Look how long! Stretched out, the letter is nearly as tall as me!

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tips for reading this blog.

The blogger layout isn't fully self-explanatory to all readers, so I'd like to use a post to give some helpful navigation tips and clear up questions y'all have been having. I hope this helps!

The easiest way to comment without using your google account is to choose the "name/url" option from the drop-down menu, then only fill in your name. No URL is needed! You can reach the comment section under each post by clicking on "comments". Feel free to drop a line anytime, I love to hear from you.

Tabs Bar
Did you know that the tabs under the main header lead to different pages? Check it out if you haven't!

All grey words in my posts are links to other sites, like this one! Hover your mouse above a grey word & it becomes underlined (like the words "the trailer" in the post below). Click the link & away you go. 

Weird Font
For some reason unbeknownst to me, my fonts show up differently on iPads. I'm sorry. The pictures below show my blog viewed on an ipad (left) and on a computer (right). The right side is how I intend for you to see it. If you see the swirly font on the left, please ignore it. I hate it but don't know how to make it go away.

Lastly, if you're ever in a location on this blog and would like to go to the main page where the most recent posts are, you can click"home" in the tabs button or the large finnfolk text (see below).

I hope this is helpful. If you ever have other questions about the blog 
itself or San Francisco or me or anything, just comment or email me at 
finneran.beth (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks everyone who reads finnfolk!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

things that are growing...

1. This Basil
We grew lots of basil last year & ate it all through the summer so we decided to plant some for our new place when we moved. We rotate our little planter each morning & by the time Finn gets home from work, the baby stems have always leaned in towards the sun. Basil is delicious on all types of things & grows really fast!

2. Our Nephew
I miss this little guy so much & he's changing with every passing week. I love skyping with him & his sweet mama (Summer) and being able to actually see how he's grown, which is always a lot. Most recently, he has taken on vegetables, become a champ at rolling over, and has two teeth for crying out loud. He's getting big.

3. My Hair
A few months ago I cut off 14 inches of my hair and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Some friends & I did it together and if you've ever considered donating, I encourage you to do it! The short hair was great for winter when I was swimming laps often plus I think I saved a whole bunch of money on conditioner. That said, I'm ready for it to be long again and slowly but surely, it's growing back and is now past my shoulders!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

a movie pick-me-up.

Today I felt a little down. Nothing too serious, just a culmination of small things that had me off my normal cheery state. Mostly I'm eager to work again and keep hoping I'll enter the working world very soon. Even now, something I'd love might be right around the corner (fingers crossed) but it's the continuous state of waiting for the unknown that wears on me. That on top of some basic home-missing and a lack of creative inspiration for the day (and perhaps some dehydration) made me a little Charlie-Brown mopey.

So I went to the movies! 

I saw Wes Anderson's most recent Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson has also directed Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic (and many others) & has a very distinct aesthetic quality to his films that I really like. His sources of narration are creative, every detail is intentional, the framing of shots is very photographic, and his direction with film work is sometimes literally linear, panning left to right like a story book. Even the coloring of his films is so unique, which you can kind of see in screenshots below...

I enjoyed myself immensely. Normally we wait to see movies once they're in redbox, but this was a needed special treat that helped turn my day around (along with some videos of my parents' dogs). As far as recommending people to see it, it just depends on the person. I love Wes Anderson movies but my sister, for example, does not. His style doesn't suit everyone so here is the trailer if you'd like to get an idea of it. 

If anyone else has had a down day, I hope you feel better soon!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

haight ashbury fair.

We went to the 35th annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair on Sunday afternoon with Davy. This famous district was the center 1967's Summer of Love and, in general, hippie mecca in the late 60s. Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead all lived here for a bit & the community hosts the fair annually to preserve the unique history of the neighborhood. There were vendors with fair food, shops selling tie-dyed everything, henna artists, 3 stages for music, & lots of interesting characters. We had fun checking it out.

Above: 1) the famous intersection, 2) giant lady legs out of a window (no explanation there), 3) me!, 4) a good sir carrying a boom-box and proudly representing SF in his denim masterpiece, 5) a group that played awesome old time music and (in my opinion) also looked like modern-day lost boys from Peter Pan.

The video below shows a gentleman who was easily my favorite part 
of the entire event. We kept seeing him at all the different stages and 
his dance style couldn't have been more incongruous with the music playing. 
No concern for his surroundings whatsoever & just getting his dance on. 
I loved it and took a video to share...

After the fair, we went over to Davy's place - his building has an awesome courtyard with comfy furniture and grills. We all lazed around like lizards, changing locations to stay in the sun & the boys cooked out for dinner. Such a nice Sunday afternoon.

ps this is my 50th post on finnfolk, I can't believe it!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

farmer's market + a comic.

On Saturday while Finn was sailing, I went to the Farmer's Market, which has become one of my most favorite parts about living in SF. Set up along the Embarcadero every Saturday, the big market surrounds the Ferry Building with the back portion overlooking the bay. The stands have everything from fruits & veggies to homemade sodas and lavender salts and, best of all, free samples! It's such a treat to go, even if you don't buy anything. You can sample till you're full then sit by the water and listen to art students play live music.

This week I bought strawberries, apricots, and some BaBa Ghanoush (basically delicious hummus). I wanted to buy up all the blueberries & nectarines too, but I limited myself by bringing a specific amount of cash and only 1 medium-size bag. It's really easy to get carried away there. We've already finished the apricots and over half the strawberries - everything is delicious!

I would also like to share that this particular Saturday happened to be San Francisco's 9th annual "World Naked Bike Ride" day (yes, this is a real thing). See below.

made with

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