Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mouth-To-Snout Resuscitation

I took a pet first aid class at the American Red Cross this weekend, so I am now certified to save your dog's or cat's life! The class involved lots of practice on plastic dog and cat dolls with expandable chests that filled with air when you breathed in their mouth and large stuffed animals. I am certified in performing "mouth-to-snout resuscitation," and I promise you that is what it is actually called. When I got home, I wanted to show Adam everything that I had learned, so I enlisted Stasia's help. She was a good assistant, but I don't think she was very happy about it. Some of the techniques I learned included:

the doggie Heimlich,
how to construct a makeshift muzzle,

how to bandage a wound such as an injured ear,

(she was pretty mad at me...)

and how to splint a broken limb using a rolled-up newspaper.

The class was really informative and I feel much more prepared to handle any doggy accidents my charges or Stasia may encounter. Somehow, though, judging by the look on Stasia's face, the fact that I can now save her life if she chokes on a bone doesn't make her nearly as happy as it makes me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Business Cards

My business cards arrived! Adam designed them, and I think he did the most amazing job!

Dog walking, here I come!!!

The Front

The Back

Friday, March 26, 2010


The food scene in San Francisco is amazing. I know that you're all thinking, "Duh!" I knew that I was going to love exploring all the restaurants here; it was one of the things I was most excited for when we moved. But I was completely unprepared for just how much I was going to love eating in this city.

One of the things I've been most amazed by is the bread, especially the pizza crusts. I don't know if it's the altitude, the water or some other type of magic entirely, but pizza in San Francisco rocks! Even the pizza joints that people call "mediocre" are fantastic. But my favorite so far has been the pizza I had at Pizzeria Delfina, a San Francisco staple.

There are technically three Delfina locations in the city. A restaurant in the Mission with a pizzeria right next door and a pizzeria in Pacific Heights, which is where we ate. It's a small restaurant, with seating at a small number of tables and booths and also at a counter overlooking the kitchen. Without the space for a waiting area or a bar, prospective diners write their name on a chalkboard by the front door and wait outside. We were lucky enough to sit at the counter, and I loved watching the bustle of the kitchen as chefs prepared pizza after pizza after pizza.

We started with a fresh mozzarella appetizer, which came with a side of perfectly salted and oiled arugula. The mozzarella was fresh-pulled and was creamy and flavorful, exactly like fresh mozzarella should taste. The menu changes each week, and I've noticed that lately they have been serving Burrata, chewy mozzarella filled with fresh cream that oozes when you cut into it that just happens to be one of my favorite things in the whole world. Just in case I needed another excuse to go back to Delfina's!

We ordered 2 pizzas: the Salsiccia with house-made fennel sausage, tomato, bell peppers, onions and mozzarella; and the Margherita. The crust, oh, the crust! Perfectly thin and crispy on the bottom with just enough chewiness on the sides, Delfina's crust is so good it hardly needs all the delicious, fresh ingredients they put on top of it. The sauce is delicious without being too sweet, and perfectly applied in a thin layer. The toppings were all fresh and added in moderation, with just the right amount of that delicious mozzarella. We thought with two pizzas we had ordered enough for plenty of left-overs (there were only two of us, after all), but the pizza was so good that we ended up with just a couple slices to take home for breakfast the next day. They have a small but very reasonably priced wine list with plenty of choices by-the-glass, but no beer on tap. They do, however, have a small but tasty selection of bottled beers which they will serve you with a frosty glass, and I am forced to forgive their lack of a beer tap because the pizza is just that good.

It was difficult, but we managed to save a tiny bit of room for dessert (I fit it somewhere just below my left lung), and I'm so glad we did. Delfina serves gelato they make in-house daily, and it is perfection. I ordered a scoop each of Meyer lemon and grape flavors, and both were crisp and creamy at the same time. Neither was overpowering or too sweet, and they were complimented perfectly by the expertly-brewed Americano I ordered. It was a perfect meal, and I can't wait to get back again. Don't be scared away if the wait is long. It's worth it. I promise.
Pizzaria Delfina (in Pacific Heights) 2406 California St., 415.440.1189. Click here for the menu.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stasia, the Charmer

Stasia has an ear infection! Beagles are very prone to them because of their long ears, so she's used to dealing with them.

Luckily, we have found what I feel must be the best veterinary office in San Francisco. Both of veterinarians who work at the office are the most gentle, wonderful, kind men, and it's clear that everybody at this office really loves animals. When we first arrive at the vet, I always feel like I'm traumatizing her with visits to the doctor because of course she doesn't understand why some stranger is poking and prodding at her. Then she gets a treat from someone, becomes instantly happy and excited and any trace of the trauma that I was worried about disappears. I find it amazing how, even when she's sick, Stasia can put on quite a show for treats. She wags her tail and looks up at the vet with a face that says, "Please, my owners starve me," until they reach in their treat bag. They croon at her and tell how pretty and nice she is, and she scoots a little closer, her tail wagging just a little more feverishly, her eyes looking just a little more sad. And, inevitably, they reach into the treat bag one more time because they can't resist her charms. All I can do is shake my head and nod with understanding.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beautiful Photos

I found these posts from another blogger who recently visited San Francisco. I love all of her amazing photographs of the city! I'm really working at becoming a better photographer, and maybe someday I'll be able to take photos as beautiful as these. She even mentions the Tattered Cover of Denver in one of her posts!

Her posts feature aerial shots, Chinatown, architecture, bookstores, Downtown, the Ferry Building Farmers' Market, an awesome tea shop (look familiar, Christina?) and the Mission.

I hope you enjoy looking at San Francisco through another person's eyes as much as I did!

One of the bridge and the birds by me!

Monday, March 22, 2010


One of the highlights of this past weekend for me was shopping at the two-story Target store in Albany (located right next to Berkeley, just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco). I know what you're all thinking right now... "This is the highlight of Melissa's Saturday night? Has she become a 90-year-old woman? Or an even bigger nerd than we all thought?"

But, really, this Target is so cool! There are enormous palm trees right out in front of the store. I find it so amazing that I live in a place where palm trees grow outside!

Better yet, there is a special escalator in this Target for your shopping cart! You slide your cart in, and it glides up or down right next to you as you ride the escalator. I had never seen anything like this, so, worried that you wouldn't believe me when I told you about it, I had Adam take a picture as proof.

Here's hoping you all had exciting weekends too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stasia Needs a Friend

I saw this today and it was so sweet I almost couldn't bear it! I want to find Stasia an orangutan friend!

(video via in(side) the loop)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Best Banana Pancakes Ever

Discovering a really amazing breakfast place right up the street from our apartment took our weekend from "really great" to "completely off the chain." We set out Sunday morning intending to try Mama's, a little cafe up the street from us that seems to be pretty famous for their brunch. When we arrived, the line stretched half a block out of the tiny establishment. We considered waiting, but at 11 o'clock, it was already way past my feeding time as by this time of day I've usually had a meal and at least one snack. I had become very quiet which is what happens just before my blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels and I become unjustifiably angry about everything and nothing at the same time, so we knew we had to act quickly. We decided to save Mama's for another day and head deeper into North Beach, and area known for its restaurants. As we passed restaurant after restaurant and found none of them serving breakfast, we began to wonder if Mama's popularity wasn't more due to the fact that it's the only brunch spot in the neighborhood than the fact that it serves delicious food. Just when I was sure we weren't going to find a place to eat breakfast and I was going to have to gnaw off my left arm to stave off starvation, Adam spotted an awning proudly displaying the word "Breakfast." We were saved!

We headed over to Mo's , unsure of what to expect. Through the front windows we could see into the kitchen where cooks were making enormous omelets and other traditional breakfast fare. Inside, it felt like a old diner, with glass on top of the tablecloths and pictures of Marilyn Monroe on the walls. I was expecting a decent meal, but I was surprised when I bit into some of the best pancakes I've ever had! They were full of really ripe banana and perfectly crispy on the outside. I didn't even need syrup, they were that delicious. I have seriously been thinking about them all week and can't wait to go back this weekend for more!

This picture makes me hungry...
Adam's omelet was pretty delicious as well. The menu says they're made with three eggs, but those must be some pretty big eggs because these omelets are enormous! And the home fried potatoes had Italian seasoning on them, which may sound a little strange for breakfast but was really, really good. Plus they serve fresh-squeezed orange juice. If you live in San Francisco, run out and get breakfast at Mo's. ASAP. And if you don't live here, come visit me and I'll take you!

Mo's is located at 1322 Grant Ave. in North Beach (They also have a location at the Yerba Buena Gardens). Visit their website here.

Monday, March 15, 2010


After what has been an agonizing long winter, it is beginning to feel like spring has arrived in San Francisco. It poured all day Friday, and the only thing that kept me from using every bit of savings I have to fly us somewhere warm and dry was the promise by every local weather caster that the weekend would be filled with sun. On Saturday morning I nearly jumped out of bed when I awoke to find clear skies and the sun shining. And I'm not talking about that wussy sunlight that seems to be filtered through a haze that shines here all the time and mocks my need for direct sunlight. It was honest-to-goodness-better-bust-out-the-Coppertone-because-I-can-feel-it-burning-my-skin sunshine! We took a long walk up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower. Friday's storm had blown away any hint of smog or haze, and we could see for what felt like forever once we reached the top of the hill.

At times like this that I have to stop and giggle and pinch myself because it's still hard to believe that I live in San Fran-freaking-cisco! "Why, yes, that's right, that is the Golden Gate Bridge in the photo I took just a few blocks from my apartment."

Sunday dawned even warmer than the day before, so we knew we had to spend the day doing something outdoors. After a stroll around North Beach and an amazing breakfast, we headed to Fort Mason, a former U.S. Army port that is now part of the Golden Gate National Parks network and one of the many parks that dot the area near the water in San Francisco. We laid our blanket out on the large, grassy field overlooking the Marina and spent the afternoon drinking beer, tossing the Frisbee around and soaking up some sun. And we weren't alone. The park was teeming with people and dogs running, biking, napping, hula-hooping (not the dogs, although that would be awesome), Frisbeeing and generally having a great time. It was pretty much the most awesome day ever.

Stasia put in some solid time rolling around in the grass and looking like a happy seal, something she doesn't get to do nearly as often as any of us would like.

And to top it all off, there was even an unexpected appearance by the red and pink Power Rangers. We are learning to expect the unexpected in this city...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Full House

The house where little Michelle, Stephanie and D.J. Tanner grew up is for sale! Or at least the house that was shown in the opening credits of Full House each week is for sale. For a cool $4 million, the Shannon-Kavanaugh House, one of the "Painted Ladies" off Alamo Square, can be yours.

I used to tape each week's episode on a VHS tape and rewatch it all week until I could recite the lines along with the actors. It must have nearly driven my poor, patient mother crazy...

I doubt any of the Tanners are still there, but if you're lucky, maybe Dave Coulier is still hanging out in the basement... Cut. It. Out.