September 2, 2010

Sierra Buttes Spring Epic Trailwork, May 16th

Filed under: Bikes, Travel — maryparadox @ 3:23 pm

After two days of riding everyone went out the trail and did trailwork. This wasn’t much of a payment for all of the amazing treatment we’d received except for the fact that there was poison oak EVERYWHERE. I covered myself in technu, wore long sleeves and pants, and washed in the ice cold river afterward but I still ended up with poison oak covering half my body. And not the good half.


Peter started doing some basic pruning during his trailwork.

But then it morphed into this dramatic trail widening project which involved moving large boulders. Every man that walked by the project wanted to get involved and eventually pretty much everyone was working on the same 15 feet of trail.

Overall people only worked from about 10am to 2pm at the latest. We probably cleaned up a couple hundred yards of trail, and we probably all got poison oak, so overall it was a good day.


August 6, 2010

Sierra Buttes Spring Epic Biking, May 15th

Filed under: Bikes, Travel — maryparadox @ 10:10 am

On the second day in Downieville we got to ride another new trail called the North Yuba Trail, which goes between Downieville and the Indian Valley Campground where we were staying.  Peter rode from the campground into Downieville and I took a shuttle into Downieville and started from there. The trail stewardship picked us all up as a group, drove us into town, and dropped us off at the Yuba Expeditions bike shop.

Sierra Buttes Bike Shop, Downieville, CA

I rode with our new friends up First Divide and then we turned around to meet Peter back at Yuba Expeditions for lunch. You can see Peter and I right in the middle of the photo above with our helmets on, recovering from our lunch. Photo source. After lunch the whole group of us went back down the North Yuba Trail back to our campsite. It was pretty far so I’m glad I didn’t ride up with Peter, though I can imagine it is fun both directions as it was a very rolly trail.

The trail was beautiful and really fun to ride. I’m looking forward to riding it again. I was tired by the end and ended up getting my front wheel jammed in between two rocks and then flipped over the handlebars. Luckily there was only a three foot drop at that point of the trail so I didn’t fall very far, but I didn’t almost knock out my front teeth (but managed to put my hands in front of my face). I broke my rear break handle out of the socket as well as bending by whole chain ring.

Sierra Buttes Spring Epic BBQ

In the evening back at the campsite there was a BBQ, fund raising raffle, and much drinking and mayhem. Peter and I are to the right of the giant stove talking with our new friend Heather and the coordinator for the Sierra Buttes trail stewardship. Photo source.

The Sierra Buttes team cooking up dinner.

July 7, 2010

Sierra Buttes Spring Epic Biking, May 14th

Filed under: Bikes, Travel — maryparadox @ 1:22 pm

Peter and I went mountain biking in Downieville a couple of weeks ago. We went as part of a large group who were invited because we are members of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (i.e. we donate money for trailwork). The weekend included two days of mountain biking and one day of trail work.

On the first day we went for a ride which started in this tiny town called Forest City (population around 10-20 people). First we did a loop that started and ended in Forest City and had us riding through some snow banks and a river crossing. One part of the trail was either just created or just redone because it had been cleared by a machine to be about four feet wide.

At the end of that ride the Sierra Buttes team had a little care van set up with fruit, chocolate, chips and drinks. I think I ate a half a watermelon all on my own.

We then went on another ride which went quite far out of town and required a *grueling* road ride to get back to forest city. The dirt part was really fun but it will be a while before that road climb allows me to remember it. Luckily Peter helped me up the hills or I think it would have taken me all year just to ride back.

After the up hill the Sierra Buttes team was waiting with another care van but this time full of chips and margaritas.

At the end of the day we went back to the campsite we had picked out and ended up sharing it with a couple of really cool girls. They were way more prepared then we were and had all sorts of snacks and were really generous. We made new friends!

June 22, 2010

Wardrobe Remix: March into April 2010

Filed under: Rachel's Wardrobe Remix — maryparadox @ 8:02 am
Monday March 29th, 2010

Necklace from my mom.

Cardigan found on the ground by my old housemate Holly.

Dress on sale from Anthropologie. I wish I had bought more than one because I live in this dress!

Wool tights.

Frye boots.

Tuesday March 30th, 2010

Cardigan from the Gap.

Shirt from high school.

Skirt from Patagonia.

Fluevog boots.

Hair flower from Anthropologie.

Wednesday March 31st, 2010

Necklace from my mom.

Dress on sale from Anthropologie.

Cardigan from a boutique in Palo Alto.

Black Levi’s from Australia.

Frye peep-toe heels.

The beige & black theme this week was totally unintentional.

Thursday April 1st, 2010

I love this dress but the top is barely-there and couldn’t possibly be shown at work (or anywhere else for that matter). I’ve been meaning to get it sewed closed but haven’t succeeded yet.

I knit this cardigan specifically for this dress but I still have never worn them together. In fact I have never worn this cardigan at all. It always seems off in some way. The 1/2 length sleeves seemed unattractive so I shortened them but either way it wasn’t warm enough to wear alone — but how do you wear a sweater over a sweater? I also can’t tell if it make my boobs look saggy.

At least the back looks nice…


The cardigan on the left is the first draft of the cardigan above, also made for this dress and also never worn. The front being shorter than the back, the 3/4 length sleeves, and the way the front darts make me look flat chested all turned me off and it just sits in the drawer.

The cardigan on the right is the “cupcake” cardigan which I knit four times before settling on. I think it is too dark to wear with this dress, which only goes as dark as brown, but it was warm enough so I wore it for the day with black boots. Not thrilled with the outfit but at least I got to wear the dress.

Friday April 2nd, 2010

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you feel like (left) and after much effort you manage to look like (right). And you get the feeling no one appreciates how hard that was!

Hand-knit hat with pom-poms.

Scarf found on the ground.

Hoody pea-coat.

Praire Underground stretch jeans which I’m getting too fat for.

Vans slip-ons.

Polka-dot socks from

Tuesday April 6th, 2010

Morning on the left, evening on the right.

Shirt on sale from a boutique (not worth it, ends up its a dry clean only t-shirt!)

Skirt and black cashmere cardigan on sale at a boutique in Palo Alto.

Black Fluevog faux-snake skin knee-high boots on the left, purple Frye t-strap pumps on the right.

Woo Stassia Purple coat purchased off someone’s blog.

Necklace from my mom.

New sunglasses from REI (yay dividend!)

June 17, 2010

Wardrobe Remix: Fourth Week in March 2010

Filed under: Rachel's Wardrobe Remix — maryparadox @ 9:17 pm
Monday March 22nd, 2010

Necklace from my mom.

Anthropologie dress purchased from eBay and tailored to actually fit.

Hand knit cardigan. I reknit this about five times and it finally came out well, though I feel a bit like a cupcake when I wear it though — the ribbing is the wrapper and the boobs are icing!

Betsey Johnson wool leggings (the best ever).

Clark’s wedge sandals which are good for biking but not walking and need to be replaced.


Just a look at how long my hair is. It takes me years to get it this long and then it feels like straw because it’s so thin and fried. It looks good though!

Tuesday March 23rd, 2010

I feel like that crease between my eyebrows is jumping out at me from all the pictures now. Luckily I have the best dermatologist in the world and she told me I was stupid for even thinking about botox.

Vintage dress from etsy.

Belt from etsy.

Black wool tights from

Red Fluevog mary janes.

Wednesday March 24th, 2010

I thought this cardigan was a borderline ugly color when I bought it and now I love it. I’m not sure if it is a good thing that things become more attractive the longer you look at them because it means the stranger still looks at you and thinks “what was she thinking!”

Cashmere cardigan on sale from Anthropologie.

Ridiculously expensive white shirt that I bought on super sale. It’s really soft but so thin you can see my stomach bulging over my pants right through it.

Prairie Underground stretch jeans which I probably shouldn’t be wearing but I make myself feel better by pairing with a long cardigan to cover my ass.

Dansko mary janes which somehow manage to look cuter on other people, but perhap skinny jeans just make your feet look big.

Thursday March 25th, 2010

Hand-knit cardigan, probably the most successful one I’ve ever made. I’m making a second one now in purple and hoping to correct the faults of the original.

Necklace from my mom.

Black wool sailor pants.

Fluevog boots.

Friday March 26th, 2010

This cardigan looks hilariously frumpy on me. I’m like a bag lady walking around in a bathrobe, except I go to work this way. Fridays always seem to find me totally worn down and out of energy for things like makeup, high heels, and anything remotely uncomfortable.

Shirt? Who knows, I assume I was wearing one.

Prairie Underground stretch legging.

Van slip-ons which I now LOVE and have forsaken all high heels for.

Saturday March 27th, 2010

Just so you don’t think I dress up all the time here is a dumpy photo of me from the weekends. The weekends usually consist of me in jeans and a t-shirt doing yard work, cleaning the house, or in this case going to the farmer’s market.

Dirt Rag headband.

Mountain Hardware fuzzy sweater thing that looks hideous but I live in during the winter.

SPF 50 shirt & dorky sun gloves because I burn ridiculously easy.

Prairie Underground stretch jeans because I assume no one’s looking.

Vans sneakers.

Pat Pac.

June 16, 2010

Wardrobe Remix: Third Week in March 2010

Filed under: Rachel's Wardrobe Remix — maryparadox @ 9:39 am
Monday March 15th, 2010

Hmmm, to wear hoochy shoes to work or not? They just seem to exacerbate how fat I look in my hipster skinny jean — so no!

Shirt from Crossroads.

Belt from the Gap.

Levi jeans from Australia.

(left) Frye Platform mary janes.

(right) Harley Davidson boots.

Thursday March 18th, 2010

Beautiful necklace from my mother. I’ve coveted this my whole life and when I saw she’d moved it to a place of less prominence I stole it!

Shirt on sale from Rabat in San Francisco.

Black Silk top brought back from Hawaii by my mom as a gift.

Prairie Underground leggings.

Chuck Taylor classic sneakers.

Friday March 19th, 2010

I feel like this shirt screams LOOK AT MY BOOBS.

Cardigan on sale from Anthropologie.

Shirt from high school days.

Belt from the Gap from high school days.

Levi jeans from Australia.

Vans slip ons.

June 9, 2010

Gratuitous Cat Photos

Filed under: Kitties — maryparadox @ 3:05 am

The cats are still alive and doing fine, though they both keep shedding their collars on a regular basis now.

They’re too big now to share a cat bed so they have to take turns in their favorite spots. Since they both *love* my office chair I made this second cat bed next to it so they would both have a place to sleep and it seems to have caught on.

We put them both in a kennel for the first time when we went to Greece for work (more on that later) and they both lost weight while they were there. They were definitely a little traumatized when we got back — they both acted very needy, like they thought we were never coming back for them. We’ve taken them to the kennel once more since then (for just two nights) but Peter isn’t so excited about taking them back again.

Japan April 11th-14th

Filed under: Asia, Travel — maryparadox @ 2:51 am

I was working for the last three days we were in Japan — we had a team “offsite” where all of the program managers got out of the office and spent several days talking about overall organization changes that would improve our jobs and productivity. It was pretty fun and we work covered some pretty nice lunches as well as dinners. My mom and I split the dinners so she got to come out with us, which was really great.

A.G. (middle above) lives in Tokyo so could order for us and also knew good restaurants to take us to. This night was a little fancy and had some drinks as well as sushi and assorted meats.

The next night we went out for street food which was dish after dish of “mystery meat”. I tried raw cow heart but I don’t think I would eat it again.  Afterward we went to this really cute bar and had drinks and dessert.

Below left is me and my coworker Anna, who I bonded with during the trip. Below right is my coworker Thomas, from Hong Kong. This guys is totally tough but below he is demonstrating how he is a “puppy” for his wife.

Back at our hotel a company selling razors (I think) had set up this huge TV which had a digital camera set up in front of it. It recorded you standing in front of the TV, then displayed you on the TV with the addition of a beard or mustache. It then put shaving cream on your face and then shaved it off. It didn’t make me buy a razor but it was totally awesome!

June 4, 2010

The Sink Room Reconstructed Part 4

Filed under: House, Kitchen — maryparadox @ 3:33 pm

You now walk into our house and think “what is that crazy yellow thing down there?”

It’s the lemon room!

We have a ceiling!

We have a floor!
We have a pipe of doom!

The Sink Room Reconstructed Part 3

Filed under: House, Kitchen — maryparadox @ 3:12 pm

Steps version 1:

Steps version 2, after the building inspector said that rebuilding them required that we bring them up to code. <sigh>. The only difference is that the new ones don’t have a step down outside of the door:

The other big step forward, besides paint,  is the corrugated iron awning that is now over the entire back stairs:

Not only is it totally effective bug it is also cool looking, and doesn’t require a post to hold it up since it’s attached to the under-side of the deck!

On the inside progress is being made as well — we’ve got windows and drywall!

And though we still have the pipe of doom we now have a back door!

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