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Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's definitely Thanksgiving

I was really surprised to see these wild birds hang out in front of the driveway a couple of evenings ago (I'm not kidding). I believe they are wild geese (?) rather than turkeys, but in a pinch ...

I apologize for the quality of the pictures. These birds didn't give me a lot of time to frame the shot, nor did the drivers behind me ;)

Meanwhile, in the stores ...

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tomate walked into Macy's

The other day I was walking around taking pictures, when it occurred to me that I had a coupon for a free sample of Bare Minerals make-up in my pocket. So I walked in to Macys.

Of course, they were out of the advertised samples (!) but the lady behind the counter offered to give me an equivalent sample of something else instead. She said "Why don't you have a seat so I can see your face and find your color." Then, she added "If you have time, I can give you a make-over, too. Absolutely no obligation!"

Putting on make-up is something I don't do very often and honestly don't have much talent for, so when someone offers to show me how to do it "without obligation", it's hard to say no.

So I said "Sure, why not" and I sat in the chair.

The lady proceeded to clean a bunch of brushes and started to put some color on my face.

While I was in the chair, I noticed that there was absolutely nobody else in the make-up department.

I looked a little bit more closely at the lady. She was about my age (yeah, that young!) standing over me in the most uncomfortable high-heel shoes.

I wondered how many sales she had made that day and if her feet hurt.

Then, I wondered what kind of Christmas season lays ahead for sales people this year.

I am not a huge consumer of things, really, and I'm not in sales either, but lately, it really breaks my heart to see anxious sales people circulate among piles and piles of merchandise sitting on the shelves so long that they start collecting dust... why even the flowers that street vendors peddle in front of the store are looking a little wilted lately.

Oh, people will come eventually, I'm sure, but I have a feeling this year, they will be less inclined to purchase anything unless at a deep discount, and they will be more demanding, more stressed than usual... in short, even more unpleasant to deal with than usual, due to the economy.

I've had a little sample of that kind of behavior when I had my garage sale last month and people were complaining that items I had priced between 25 and 50 cents (which I would have easily sold between $3 to $5 at last year's garage sale) were "too expensive" and I had to practically give the stuff away to get it moving.

Then, I got to thinking about the huge mess people often leave behind in the stores. Must be a cultural thing or weird behavioral local custom I don't understand, because the same pigs people did the exact same thing at my garage sale.

Of course, I know the make-over thing is just a strategy they use to push products, and I was quite determined not to buy anything! After all, I wasn't born yesterday, you know, and I know better. Right?

Right. That must be why I heard myself say "If you show me how to put it on, I'll get the eye shadow."

As it turns out, eye shadow doesn't apply itself; you need a brush, and not just any brush, an eye brush, of course! But wait, there are different eye brushes for various areas around the eye. I'm not kidding. No, you can't just use your fingers or just one brush, that just won't do!

And you need contrasting colors, too, the more the merrier! Why so many? Because you can blend them, see? But first, you need to put something on your eyelid so the powder eye shadow doesn't fly right off... and while we're at it, the dark shadows area under the eye really does need some concealer...

Right. I walked away with $50 worth of make-up.

I honestly think it was the sight of that woman's uncomfortable shoes that did it. I'm such a sucker!

By the way, does anybody want a coupon for a free sample of Bare Minerals foundation make-up? The lady said that this Macy's has no more samples but the other stores might. You just go in with your coupon and ask, they'll help you ;)

* * * *

Eye make-up tips here

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's that time of the year...

Yes, it is that time of the year and San Francisco is wasting no time putting up its Christmas decorations.

This year for the first time in a number of years, we'll have 2 skating rinks. One at the Embarcadero and another one, right here in Union Square.

The tree isn't up yet, but many stores have already put up their holiday decorations. Others are still working on it.

Skating costs $8, and the rental of skates costs $4. They have small lockers where you can put purses, shoes or backpacks, possibly for a small cost.

Additional information here

Have fun!

* * * *

Union Square Skating Rink: from November 12 through January 4, 2009.
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday - Thursday
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday - Saturday
Information Hotline is (415)781-2688

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Now what?

Photographed in Oakland, CA

Sooooooo, Obama was chosen by the people, thanks in great part to a kick-ass campaign and the support of millions of American people in every state. And while the Obamas are wondering what to take with them to the White House and what kind of puppy they should get for their kids, the whole country is slowly returning to "normal."

No more phone calls in the middle of dinner to tell you what to vote for or against. No more political adds on TV for a while. Even the bloggers are starting to calm down and talk about something else.

Now comes the big question: can Obama measure up to the expectation? Can he lead the country back to its former economic well being?

Photographed in San Francisco FD District

Well, so far, just a day or two after the elections, a couple of industries seem to be doing just a little better already ...

The San Francisco Chronicle sold out of copies very quickly the morning after the elections, but additional copies returned even more quickly, along with the "Commemorative Edition." Street vendors began appearing all over the Financial District, pushing said Commemorative Edition, as well as reprints of Wednesday morning "historical" copy.

And they were doing very well indeed! In the time it took me to snap the 2 pictures above, the vendor had sold about 15 copies at a dollar a piece! People were grabbing several at a time, for friends, family, co-workers... Sure, I got one, too.

What, you didn't get yours? Well, it's not too late (see link at the end of the article).

But the Chronicle isn't the only one making a few extra bucks. Apparently, according to this article, gun sales are booming, too ...

All sarcasm aside, despite my Republican buddies' dire warnings, the economy didn't magically grind to a halt and it's been pretty much business as usual since Obama was elected(1). The DOW sinked for a couple of days, then gained back a few points the third day... kind of like the week before, really, no worse, no better. Even the gas prices continues to plumet (the station around the corner is advertising $2.30-something for unleaded!)

Photographed in the Sunset District, SF

If people were cheering in my neighborhood on the night of November 4th (some threw spontaneous fireworks for a few minutes and many continued celebrating well into the night), the joy was short-lived for at least one group of people, but I expect we haven't yet heard the last of it yet.

Life is back to its pre-election self for me, too. I discovered a pile of forgotten bills under something, returned a pair of shoes to try balance the budget somewhat, realized it wasn't going to be possible and decided to just forget about it and take myself out to pizza instead with the money I just got back from returning the shoes ...

How about you? How is post-election life treating you? Did you get caught up on anything this week-end? Are you breathing a huge sigh of relief or are you still worried about the President-elect's policies? Last but not least, what kind of dog do you think the Obamas should be getting and do you have any name suggestions for the puppy?

Have a good week, everybody.

(1) Of course, I'm aware that nothing is going to happen for *a while* but I just don't think the whole world is going to come to an end just yet because that one individual was elected.).

* * *
click here to check out the gas prices in the San Francisco Bay Area

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Prop 8 passed, now what?

Anthony, this is for you.

Proposition 8 passed in California, now what?

Last night, a candlelight vigil took place in front of City Hall, in San Francisco (see the Chronicle article for further details and better photographs).

The mood was rather sombre and reminiscent of a funeral gathering rather than a protest.

I know some of you are wondering what is going to happen now, so I asked a couple of questions around.

Right now a couple of lawsuits have been filed and the issue is (again!) on its way to the Supreme Court.

I spoke briefly to the California spokesperson for Marriage Equality .org and was told to simply check their website for updates. To be honest, I get the impression that most people in the community are still somewhat in shock and not sure how to proceed. If you have ideas, want to volunteer or help further the cause in any way, Pride can always use your help and is right now soliciting your thoughts and ideas.

This is not over yet.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Elections 2008 - What if the world could vote?

Yeah, I know, another picture stolen from the AP and the SF Chronicle, but it's really, really difficult to take pictures when you've got all your fingers crossed...

Now, imagine... what if the WHOLE WORLD could vote? You'll want to check out this link, it's really pretty cool!

Tonight, all eyes are on the U.S.A.

* * *

Sally, thanks for the link idea!

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day

This photograph /cartoon, property of about.com

Tomorrow is the big day... hard to think of anything else, really. Whatever happens, I know we'll all breathe a huge sigh of relief when it's all over. Vote carefully, everybody.

And by the way, since we're on the subject...

This blog supports No on Prop. 8 only because we believe that no propositions or amendments should be written to take away civil rights given to people by the Constitution.

That's pretty much it, really.

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