Aside

It wasn’t me!

(Alas.)

Apparently, someone stole $26,000 worth of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

Yes, I WAS in Kentucky last weekend. And yes, of course, I visited Buffalo Trace Distillery – the makers of Pappy Van Winkle. But I’m sad to report that I am not the proud owner of nearly 200 bottles of the bourbon. :(

What is Pappy Van Winkle, you ask? It’s a most excellent aged bourbon! Pat and I first came across it a few years ago in Pittsburgh when we went to the local Whiskey Fest. We were lucky enough to snag a bottle soon after from the local state store – at the time, we didn’t realize HOW lucky we were! It’s nearly impossible to get from stores – you have to sign up on waiting lists ages in advance to even have a hope of getting a bottle – and can cost over $1,000 from some resellers. Eep!

Any employee or others found in warehouse tampering with barrels will be subject to dismissal.

Any employee or others found in warehouse tampering with barrels will be subject to dismissal.

The dire warning on the “secret” library entrance to one of Buffalo Trace’s warehouses (see above) was obviously ineffective in preventing the theft. Le sigh.

An experimental cask at Buffalo Trace.

An experimental cask at Buffalo Trace.

So now, my chances of getting a new bottle of Pappy Van Winkle are ever so slightly smaller than the slim chance I had before.

Which means now I’ve got to go drown my sorrows in a glass of Eagle Rare. Neat.

[All photos by me.]

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From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Last week I went on a ModCloth team outing to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum. It was the exhibit’s final week in San Francisco (and its last stop in the United States), but if you should happen to find yourself in Madrid or the Netherlands when the international tour makes its appearance in those cities, check it out!

I must admit that I didn’t know all that much about Gaultier (besides glimpses of his fashion line over the years), and I was pleasantly surprised by his sense of humor – though I should have known, because his sense of humor comes through in his designs!

The exhibit started with an introduction from Gaultier himself – well, a talking mannequin version, anyway. His face and the faces of other mannequins throughout the exhibit were animated by 3D projected images. Eerie but fabulous.

Jean Paul Gaultier, the talking mannequin.

Jean Paul Gaultier, the talking mannequin.

What follows are photos I took of a few of my favorite parts of the show (click the photos to view a larger version). This is only a tiny portion of the show – I really should have had at least 2 days to soak everything in.

WARNING: image heavy, but full of AWESOME.

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Happy Fifth of July!

For those of you who call the United States your home, I hope you had a lovely Independence Day! And for everyone else, I hope you had a lovely fourth of July. :)

Last night I watched the fireworks from my rooftop, and caught a few smiles:

Shiny happy fireworks!

Shiny happy fireworks!

It was a good show, although SF’s perpetual summer evening fog hung over the city. Definitely had some interesting effects, like in the photo below!

Fireworks capped by fog.

Fireworks capped by fog.

Earlier in the day I went to my friends’ house for a super yummy barbecue. They’ve got a smoker, so among other things they served up homemade smoked knockwurst and chicken. Noms! (Note to self: get apartment with yard & buy smoker.)

Homemade smoked knockwurst, chicken, and homebrew in a stein.

Homemade smoked knockwurst, chicken, and homebrew in a stein.

And I got a little festive with my nails, with Julep “Taylor” and “America”. Yep, “America” has silver star glitter in it!

Manicure with Julep Taylor and America.

Manicure with Julep Taylor and America.

Speaking of Julep, congratulations to Carley L. for winning my Julep Maven intro box raffle! And if you’d like to give the Julep Maven subscription a try, head over to the Julep website, take the Julep Maven style quiz, and sign up using the promo code MAVENINTRO to get your intro box for a penny!

How did you spend your fourth of July?

[All photos by me and available on my Instagram: katealamode!]

Gone Fishin’

I went camping with a few friends at Plumas National Forest. We found a spot by one of the creeks to set up our site, then enjoyed a low-key weekend of fishing and hanging out.

North fork of the Feather River at Plumas National Forest.

North fork of the Feather River at Plumas National Forest.

We saw all sorts of fun nature-y things . . .

Look at that nature stuff over there! (Photo by Odelle.)

Look at that nature stuff over there! (Photo by Odelle.)

. . . like tiny flowering succulents in the moss:

Tiny flowering succulent in a bed of moss. If you look closely you can see a couple of spiders!

Tiny flowering succulent in a bed of moss. If you look closely you can see a couple of spiders!

. . . and a giant banana slug!

Ahhh!! A banana slug monster!

Ahhh!! A banana slug monster!

And then – well, I’m not sure I should tell you this, but . . .

Uh oh! (Photo by Odelle.)

Uh oh! (Photo by Odelle.)

. . . it turns out when you go camping with a couple of environmental engineers they teach you how to do crazy things, like melt glass bottle in campfires. Okay, not that crazy, really – and actually very cool looking!

A blue bottle in a campfire. What will happen next?

A blue bottle in a campfire. What will happen next?

It's melllllltiinggg!!

It’s melllllltiinggg!!

What’s your favorite way to spend a summer weekend?

What I wore:
Kitschy Kitchen Dress by Heartbreaker, via ModCloth. Nothing like a cotton halter dress to keep you cool on warm, sunny days. And since I don’t really get to wear sundresses in San Francisco, I take full advantage of wearing them when I head off to warmer destinations outside the city!

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Staring at the Sun

On Sunday I saw my very first almost-total solar eclipse. I think. I mean, I know I saw the eclipse – just not entirely sure it was my first. There was one in 1994, and I remember some talk about it, but I don’t remember watching it. In any case, this was certainly my first memorable solar eclipse!

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

Pat and I went up to the roof with a bottle of champagne, cameras, and DIY-solar-eclipse-viewing equipment. A couple of our neighbors were up there too, and we had a great time chatting, taking pics, and witnessing the eclipse.

At first, the pinhole projector I made wasn’t working – but I read you could see the eclipse through your fingers. The effect was pretty cool!

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As the moon passed over the sun, the air got chillier and the light on the skyline took a slightly rosy glow. It looked like a mix of a cloudy day (but no clouds!) and early sunset.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

And then I figured out that the problem with my pinhole projector was that the pinhole was too small. Maybe the ideal projector works with a hole the size of the pin, but mine needed one about 1/6″ in diameter. While I was adjusting the projector, I got a little crazy. After all, why make a projector that shows 1 sun when you can make one that shows 9 suns?

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

Watching the solar eclipse – and playing around with the projector and shadows – was awesome. Now I see why some people chase solar eclipses around the world!

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

I’m thinking about getting eclipse glasses to watch the transit of Venus across the sun in June – an event that won’t occur again in this century!

Did you get to see the eclipse? Will you check out the transit of Venus?

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

OBX Awesomeness 2012

Once a year, a bunch of my friends from college get together just to catch up and have fun. This year, we converged in the Outer Banks, NC for fun times at the beach.

Waves crashing along the shore at the Outer Banks.

Waves crashing along the shore at the Outer Banks.

It was the end of April, so the water wasn’t very warm – but that didn’t prevent me from going in!

Wading in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Wading in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Having fun in the waves. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Having fun in the waves. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Not pictured: the 45 minute swim I took the following afternoon. I LOVE swimming in the ocean, even if it’s a bit chilly! But the waters along San Francisco are too cold – and the undertow too strong – for me to just wade in. So I was happy to take the plunge in North Carolina!

We all had a good time, which included some wrestling on the beach:

Just goofing around at the beach.

Just goofing around at the beach.

One morning, Pat and I woke up super early to watch the sunrise on the beach. It was cloudy out – we never really caught the sun coming up over the water – but the light was still beautiful.

Sunrise on a cloudy day.

Sunrise on a cloudy day.

One of the best parts of the early morning at the beach is watching all the wildlife. We saw pelicans diving for fish and dolphins leaping out of the waves. And then we came across a skate, stranded upside-down on the sand. Pat managed to flip it right-side up, and it eventually caught a wave back into the ocean.

A beached skate returns to sea.

A beached skate returns to sea.

We were out enjoying the beach for quite awhile, but eventually got chased back inside by a brewing storm. Somehow we made it back to the beach house we were sharing with our friends before the rain got really bad!

Gathering storm at the beach.

Gathering storm at the beach.

Most of the rest of our long weekend was spent hanging out, playing games, chatting, and taking strolls on the beach.

What’s your favorite way to reunite with good friends?

What I wore:
Guest of Honor Dress by Effie’s Heart, via ModCloth. An easy, super comfortable jersey knit dress – perfect for a casual weekend at the beach!

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Classically Styled

I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost 2 years now, but I’m still struck by the beauty of this city. Sometimes it’s nice to just wander around, taking in the sights.

That’s what Pat and I did one sunny Sunday. First we brunched at Sweet Maple, a restaurant I just had to try after reading pancakeSTACKER’s blog post about it. (I agree with Chandamheer: Sweet Maple is super yummy!) And then we headed in the direction of the Palace of Fine Arts to take in the sights.

It was a gorgeous day, but also a bit windy and chilly. So like a good San Franciscan, I wore layers. In the shade, I definitely needed my fuchsia wool coat (a gift from my friend Lisa).

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

But in the sun, I was able to get by with just my cardigan – for a photo or two, at least. :)

I was wearing my Bettie Page skirt — a great skirt for windy, chilly days because it’s long and heavy enough to avoid pulling a Marilyn. (And it also has hidden pockets – which instantly makes any skirt a gazillion times more awesome.) I love its retro 1950s style – especially when paired with these Seychelles heels.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pat and I had a lovely time walking around the Palace — and taking photos!

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

Sitting on a bend dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Sitting on a bench dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

In addition to the beautiful architecture, there is quite a lot of wildlife at the Palace of Fine Arts. Among the ducks and seagulls, I caught this heron that had been fishing. Turns out there are crawdads in the waters, too!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

It was a beautiful day in one of the most gorgeous areas of San Francisco. A perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday!

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

Coat: Via (gifted)
Skirt: B. Jones Style Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Cardigan: Trusted Essential Cardigan via ModCloth
Shirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Veronica Heel, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La