Mighty Life List
Mar 31 2010

The Big Eat 2010: 1-9

Every year, one of our local magazines publishes a list of 100 great things to eat in San Francisco. As part of getting to know San Francisco, I’m working my way through this year’s list. If you want to follow along in real time, my friend Alexa made the excellent Big Eat photo scavenger hunt on her site Foodspotting. My profile is here.

I don’t have photos of everything, but I’ve tried nine so far:

1. Morning bun at Tartine Bakery
Everything at Tartine is excellent.

2. Basil gimlet at Rye
I found this way too sweet for my tastes. If you like your cocktails to taste like alcohol, you should probably skip it.

3. Salted-caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery
I’ve been back for this again and again.

4. Oysters on the half shell at Swan Oyster Depot
One of the coolest places in San Francisco, but it’s always overrun. The freshest seafood anywhere.

5. Fried chicken and waffles at Little Skillet
Amazing. I haven’t had fried chicken so good since my mom made it. The syrup was amazing, the waffles were just waffles, which is fine by me.

6. A Gibraltar at Blue Bottle Café
This is essentially a short latte with some of the best espresso you’ll ever come across. I’m not supposed to drink coffee, but I make exceptions for a few places in town, and Blue Bottle is one of them. So, so good.

7. Rotisserie chicken at Limón Rotisserie
Delicious and an excellent deal. All of this plus one other side was only $9.95. A great place for a brokey date, because the atmosphere is pretty upscale for the price.

8. Chips and salsa at Papalote
What? I don’t get this at all. The chips weren’t even good chips, and the salsa is a liquid blend of meh. Someone on the editorial staff must drink near here is all I can say.

9. Ginger snaps at Miette
Everything you’d expect from a gingersnap, though I much prefer their gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

As part of getting to know San Francisco for my Mighty List, I’m making my own list of the 100 best things to eat in San Francisco and the 50 best cocktails. If you have tips, please share in comments.

A huge thanks to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List, and feeding me so well for the last month. Verizon is helping me cross off a few goals, and they also gave me a Palm Pre Plus. I used it to take most of these photos. Thanks, guys.

Mar 31 2010

The Winner and a Reminder

And the winner is? #986. JJ, you won! You are officially a lucky person. I sent you a note with details, so check your spam filter.

As for the rest of you, it is officially the last day of March. When the Verizon campaign started, many of you promised that you’d finish three things off your life list this month too. How’s that coming? If you haven’t already commented about your victories, please do today, so I can read what you’ve been up to and include you in the roundup.

If you haven’t gotten started yet, do it! You have 24 hours to rock. Reeeaaddy? Go!

Mar 30 2010

Mighty Closet: Jaime Chen, Outfit 1

Hooray, a new Mighty Closet! My friends, it has been too long.

This is Jaime Chen, a dear friend with incredible taste. Pity she’s so unattractive.

Her hideous deformities aside, I admire Jaime’s approach to wardrobe building because it’s the opposite of how I shop, and the results are enviable. She focuses on buying clothes she knows she’ll wear, which means she’s willing to pay more when she finds something she loves. I buy everything that interests me and is under $20. We go shopping all the time and she almost never buys anything. I find myself baffled, shoving shiny things at her in an effort to feel less alone in my rampant consumerism, but she remains steadfast.

Her outer jacket is by Hengst, purchased in the Mission. Jaime is incredibly faithful to brands, and Hengst is one of her favorites. In fact, she owns a heaver version of this same jacket in wool.

This warmup jacket is by Heff Christiansen, purchased at Helen Yi in Chicago. Jaime is also faithful to stores once she feels like she can trust the selection, so Helen Yi is another favorite. The grey cords are J Brand.

The back of the jacket is the best part, by the way. Jaime was trained as an architect, and her clothes reflect an interest in structure. Her pink tank is by Vince. She owns it in two other colors, which she has yet to wear, because she’s hoarding them for when the pink one dies.

Her colorful wallet was a gift from her husband Henning. It’s a mywalit from the I.D.E.A. Living store in Amsterdam. Now let’s talk about The Bag — it’s from the Pleats Please line by Issey Miyake. Jaime has been looking for a bag for years, since I met her in fact.

She finally found it when she randomly walked into Mio for the first time. I was actually surprised by her choice, particularly the color — Jaime tends to wear lots of grey and black. The fabric is so lightweight that the empty bag is almost weightless. There are tons of pockets, and it ripples and folds along those triangle shapes, so it looks like a completely different shape whenever you change how you’re holding it. So killer.

These boots aren’t so bad either. As I’ve mentioned before, San Francisco is a walking city. Jaime’s hill-friendly boots are by an unknown Japanese designer, purchased at Cotton Sheep in Hayes Valley.

Nicely played, Chen. Tune in tomorrow to see Jaime wearing a fedora without looking like she planned her whole outfit around it. I’m still not sure how she does that.

Mar 28 2010

Free Stuff! Verizon Service and Palm Pre Plus Giveaway

Update: The Giveaway is closed, thank you all so much for reading and commenting. The winner announcement is over here.

Hello. Would you like a free Palm Pre Plus, and $300 worth of Verizon Wireless service? Yeah you would. Let’s discuss that further.

As you know, I’ve been partnering with Verizon this month to knock a few things off my Mighty List, and as part of the campaign, I’ve been using a Palm Pre Plus.

The idea was to see if the phone would be useful to me, and to find out whether Verizon would be better than my iPhone service provider. Of course, my iPhone service doesn’t work at my desk and garbles half my phone calls, so I’m a little angry about that. Angry in a “hurl my phone against the wall” kinda way. But I can be demanding when I’m paying through the nose for something that doesn’t work. We’ll discuss that more later.

For now, let’s talk about that giveaway. Verizon is offering a $600 Palm Pre Plus for free. It looks like this:

The winner will also get $300 of free service from Verizon, which looks like this:

Well, technically cellular service is invisible. It’s more something you sense in your soul when you don’t feel like hucking your phone out the window during a conference call. So in that way, Verizon is sort of like inner peace, but with less yoga involved.

I’m not required to review the Palm, and frankly I didn’t plan to, but a few of you said you were pondering new phone purchases and asked me what I thought. So here’s the stuff I liked:

Making calls. Primarily, I enjoy using my Palm as a telephone that will call people when I dial their numbers — people with whom I can have complete conversations until we mutually decide it is time to hang up. I carried both my iPhone and Palm with me while friends got used to my new number, and I can’t tell you how many times I called friends on the iPhone so they’d recognize my number, and then had to immediately call back on the Palm so they could hear what I was saying.

Dropping it in soup. So. Right after I activated my Palm, I kind of dropped it in soup. I was freaking out, thinking I’d have to admit I’m a terrible phone parent and ask for another phone. But then I just dried it off with my napkin and it kept on working. I did have to scrape some dried soup out of the charger port with a safety pin, but otherwise it didn’t even cough. Nice.

Taking photos. The phone takes killer photos, you guys. Here’s what a snapshot looks like straight out of the phone with no Photoshop intervention:

See what I mean? (Bryan took that, by the way. Thanks, B!)

Also, it has a flash! On the phone! Which means you can use it just like a regular point and shoot without having to lug around another gadget.

Making videos. You can record video on your phone. Do you hear me? We are living in the future, y’all:

Typing. I know not everyone agrees, but I like the tactile feedback of buttons when I’m typing. Some people find the buttons too small, but I didn’t have that problem. In fact, I actually used my phone to send email for the first time in my life because the email is so well integrated and it’s so easy to type.

Applying lipstick. Yeah. The phone has a compact on the back:


(Photo from the Palm Info Center, which has a detailed review if you’re looking for one.)

When I first saw it, I was irritated. Like, “Oh, I’m a girl! I want a girl phone that helps with my lipgloss.” Then I used that stupid mirror three times before I even activated the phone. My makeup has been flawless for the last month. Curse you, user testers and your uncanny insight into my demographically predictable needs!

Downsides? Because I use the camera and video constantly, I run the battery down pretty fast, which can be frustrating. So you might want some sort of battery backup if you’re not religious about charging your phone every night. Also, I tend to be an early adopter of mobile applications, and betas aren’t always available on the Palm. I realize that may not be a problem for… most of the world, but there it is.

All in all, this is a good phone on a great service. I actually think it’s a smart choice for bloggers because the camera and video are superior and it’s much easier to type, so you can do mobile updates easily.

The Giveaway

If you’d like a Palm Pre Plus for yourself, not to mention a lot of free service from Verizon Wireless, please leave a comment below promising that you will not use your new phone to text while driving, and that you will not drop it in soup within 24 hours of receipt.

Now for the fine print: You must be 18 or over to enter and live in the U.S. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Comments will be open until Wednesday morning March 31, 2009 at 11 a.m. PST. I’ll choose winners randomly using Random.org, and will announce later that day. Good luck! My fingers are crossed for you.

Mar 26 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mason

It’s Bryan’s birthday today, so I’m posting an attractive photo of him on my Internet website. I sure do love that guy.

Mar 26 2010

Ask Maggie: DSLR Case for Your Bag

Stephanie had a question about my gadget case roundup. She says:

Do you have something to hold your DSLR camera that you slip into a normal purse? I’m looking for something to protect my Canon xsi with the lens attached that I can use when I don’t want to lug an extra bag around with me. But it’s tough to find! Thanks for your recommendations!

Good question, Stephanie, I can’t believe I didn’t think to include one. Here are a few options:

Cloak Bag, $49

The Cloak Bag is a compact “shoot-through” camera bag that I think would work well to offer a little extra protection in a larger bag, but you can also use it as a stand alone when you’re traveling. The bag strap is actually your camera strap, so you just unzip the bottom and shoot, which means you can go from case to shooting much faster. I don’t own this, but I want it. (via Swiss Miss)

Zing 501-104 SG1 Standard SLR Cover, $19

Here’s a more standard neoprene case, and you can find all sorts of styles online by searching for“dslr neoprene case.” It also comes in black, grey, and plum, and they have a larger one if you want to use a big lens. (FYI, reviews seem to indicate that the color on the bag isn’t photographing well, and it’s a deeper green than it appears.) They also offer an ZING Large Universal that doesn’t look as cool, but might be more functional.

Ephiphanie Bags, $170

My final suggestion is to just use a camera bag as your day bag, which is finally, finally possible. A while ago, I was complaining that there were no attractive camera bags for women. Maile contacted me to say that she’d had the same problem, so she decided to make some. She sent me a one, and it’s fantastic. It’s excellent quality, allows for quick access, and there’s plenty of room in there for your camera, cell, a little clutch with essentials, and even a flash or extra lens. Best of all, you don’t have to wrap a towel around your camera and shove it it your bag when you want to go out to dinner.

Mar 26 2010

But You Must Pay the Rent!

Say! Wired magazine just interviewed my genius friend Margaret Stewart for 5 Secrets of YouTube’s Success, and they used one of my photos.

This:

became this:

So for the next month I’ll be dressing in psychedelic hues and accessorizing with a copy of Wired casually opened to that page.