Rugged Elegant Living At Its Best
12:30am - After a long, hard day's work, I was miraculously inspired at 9pm on Tuesday to post an American Idol performance story.
Three-and-a-half hours later, on Wednesday morning, I published it and then went to bed.
At 6 am I did not hear the alarm.
Fortunately Tim did. He got up, went downstairs and got breakfast going.
On a typical day, Tim returns upstairs with two glasses full of 2 oz. of Noni Juice. We usually toast each other and then down this Tahitian berry drink like a shot. Tim then reports our "REIN Traffic" and "REAPS Revenue Numbers" (aka RuggedElegance.com and RuggedElegantLiving.com unique visitors and page views from the prior day plus our Rugged Elegance Arbitrage Profit-Making System Revenue from the day before) and then we get the girls up.
Yesterday, Tim did all that but not before hooking up my PowerBook to our Bose Stereo.
With a gleam in his eye and a spring in his step he cranked up the music.
Our "Raking It In" Ritual
The minute I heard the first four notes I had a feeling what was up.
It was our ritual "The Money's In The Bank" song: Free's "All Right Now" from their album Fire and Water.
This is also Leland Stanford Jr. Marching Band's theme song. We were originally inspired by the song at Stanford Football games.
For the past ten years or so, every time we deposit a VC distribution check, a dividend payment or an affiliate check from Amazon, we put this song on the stereo and dance around our house or the office. It's a ritual I would recommend to everyone.
This two minute symbolic moment serves as an opportunity to reflect on where we've been and what we've been able to accomplish most recently.
Yesterday, we were dancing to the tune after generating over $1 million in Amazon / Rugged Elegance World Marketplace Q1 2005 product sales.
A year ago at this time, we were calling Jeff Bezos because the $13,000 commission check we had expected to receive from Amazon was late. Two weeks late!
As a result, we had to scramble elsewhere to make sure we did not miss our mortgage payment. This year, Amazon was two days earlier than anticipated, and the check was nearly ten times as much.
6:45 am Tim announces he's playing golf today with our friend, George Brandt. After working 18 hour days for the past four months he deserved the morning off. Of course, I couldn't complain.
7:29 am Tim leaves home - golf bag and BALANCE Bars in hand.
Shortly thereafter, I jump in our Jeep with my older daughter in the front seat (a treat for her) and our Golden Retriever in the back, and head off to school.
Daily Morning Run Ritual
My four mile run with our dog included a first. For the first time since I gave a mini iPod to each of our girls for Valentine's Day, I borrowed one of them to set a beat to my pace.
When I reached the Golden Gate Bridge the song playing in the Random Shuffle of Favorites was Jack Johnson and Ben Harper's "Inaudible Memories" from the CD Brushfire Fairytales.
As I stopped for a moment to take in the sights and sounds, I heard:
Slow down everyone, you're moving too fast.
Frames can't catch you when you're moving like that.
Rather than stretching for a minute and then running back to the beach, I stopped and watched the three surfers out in the water. I watched as long as it took all three of them to catch a wave.
The next thing I knew there were a dozen people inspired to do the same thing. For a moment, we all lived vicariously through these surfers.
It became a second highlight of my day -- after Tim's "wake-up song."
Thank you Jack Johnson and Ben Harper for getting me to slow down.
Not that I was moving too fast at that moment or any time I'm on a run.
But clearly, the frames around me otherwise had no opportunity to be caught.
Thanks to your song, I took it all in long enough to penetrate deep inside.
San Francisco Celebrity Sighting
An added-bonus to the morning came when I was on my way to get my Jeep washed. En route I saw Chris Columbus.
Chris is working these days on Treasure Island on the upcoming movie adaptation of the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning musical Rent.
Rent+The+Movie has been one of the top searches on Rugged Elegant Living over the past few weeks. Today alone, over 200 people have found our story about Chris' upcoming film on the site.
Seeing him go by yesterday morning put a spring in my step and just added to the magic of the day.
His much anticipated film starring Taye Diggs, Rosario Dawson and Jesse L. Martin is expected to be released by Columbia Pictures on November 11th, 2005.
An Adventuresome Work Day
During the heart of the day, while Tim played golf, I worked on our next edition of San Francisco "Places of Taste" guides.
Where last week I focused on Presidio Heights selections, this week, I am working on selecting the best hotels, restaurants, shops and services in Pacific Heights.
An Entrepreneur & A Mom
The minute Tim returned, I took off to pick up my eldest daughter from school.
Yester year, when Tim and I were building BioSpace, I wouldn't leave our South of Market office until dark. While it was heady to have over 100 employees on our team, I much prefer being accountable to one partner and a half dozen independent contractors. Rugged Elegance is a priority but my kids take precedence.
Shopping Spree at Shabby Chic
In anticipation of her 10th birthday, we headed to Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic ® on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights.
Three different bedding sets including their famous jersey sheets (sadly only available for twin beds these days), a "rugged elegant" night stand, two modern looking glass and acrylic Teardrop lamps, silk pillows and a dreamy reading chair were discovered.
Many were taken out on approval.
A number of items were definitively purchased.
Shabby Chic's Large Squadgy Chair will remain in the "Dream List" category -- at least for now.
Shabby Chic Chablis Bone Pink Linen Fabric
Rachel's Chablis Bone Pink linen fabric won us both over.
The $2,380 price tag is a bit of a deterrent. The space needed (48 x 40 x 32) could be a deal killer. But we're still hoping!
Meanwhile, our experience with Laura Webber and Ernie Tovar just re-confirmed that Shabby Chic will not only be included in our Pacific Heights neighborhood guide, this 2005 Select Establishment will likely make our "Rugged Elegance Top Twelve."
The quality of Rachel Ashwell's entire product line along with the top notch service that their San Francisco store offers is why the girls' new bedding will be added to our previous Shabby Chic investments.
At Chez King Fredel, our living room has two white denim couches. We have a green velvet chair in our guest bedroom. Many of our linens in our cottage in Maine come from Shabby Chic, as well as a variety of home furnishings in both abodes.
Dinner @ Jardiniere Followed By The S.F. Symphony
The fourth highlight of the day was indulging in a sit-down dinner date with Tim at Jardiniere.
Jardiniere is one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco, and always our first choice before going to the symphony.
Traci Des Jardins
Traci Des Jardins' restaurant is located kitty-corner to Davies Symphony Hall, so you only need to park once.
We were lucky to get an on-street spot just after 6 o'clock.
While we always love sitting up at the bar and talking with the bartender, we were delighted that Traci's manager, Greg Rowen was willing and able to seat us at a dining room table.
After all, we were celebrating. Once again, we felt the stars were aligned in our favor.
As Tim sipped on his Gin & Tonic he announced he shot a 95. No wonder he was still smiling.
His golf outing with Deepak Puri, Shareen Punian, Gary Gee, George Brandt and company added Harding Park to our next edition of guides.
Tim said, "The course is wide enough that you even if I hit it left or right, I still managed to end up on the fairway most often. All day, I only took one mulligan."
Tim learned that if he goes down to City Hall and shows his driver's license with our current address along with our Utility bill we can get a Residence Card that enables us to pay $32 instead of $78.
Dinner & Dessert - A San Francisco Treat!
For dinner, I ordered Jardiniere's Sole. Tim chose their Lamb dish.
Greg served me a killer Cosmo that lasted until my Potato soup arrived.
Both my sole which was served with snow peas and miniature carrots and Tim's lamb were superb.
But the greatest indulgence of all was Jardiniere's dessert. Since we had time, Tim had the Rhubarb Crisp while I savored a bite of what must have been twenty biscotti, cookie, tarte-like treats surrounding a small dish of chocolate pudding.
Earlier this month, Traci Des Jardins was the Guest Chef at Taste of Vail 2005 in Colorado. On April 6th, she was nominated along with Delfina's Craig Stoll, Spago Beverly Hills' Lee Hefter, A.O.C.'s Suzanne Goin and Angelini Osteria's Gino Angelini, for the James Beard Foundation "American Express Best Chef in California" award. Winners will be announced on May 2nd at the New York Marriott Marquis. Among the other San Francisco culinary luminaries nominated this year are chefs Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake and Nancy Oakes of Boulevard.
Congratulations to Traci and all sixteen hundred luminaries nominated this year.
Our evening at the symphony was shorter than expected. The soloist who performed the second Handel piece was so extraordinary, we were completely satisfied with our experience by the intermission.
As a result, we made it home in time to watch American Idol with our kids, tuck them in bed, take a bath and fall asleep before we would have walked through the door -- had we stayed for the entire San Francisco Symphony performance.
As we pulled our car in under the palm tree, Jamie Cullum's All At Sea was playing on Tim's iPod Photo. We sat in the driveway rocking out to one of our favorite musicians, as if we were on one of our first dates.
It was the perfect end to a near perfect day.
I'll take these rituals any day over some of the odd rituals of old.
The only thing that didn't make it perfect was that Constantine Maroulis got the least number of votes on Tuesday night which means he is gone from American Idol IV this season.
One of the best parts of every day (work week or weekend) no matter where we are and what we are doing REAPS is working for us.
Before posting this story, I also checked our traffic today.
At 5pm, we've had nearly 20,000 unique visitors already come to this site -- not including RuggedElegance.com.
Some day, we may share some of our REAPS secrets. Until then, we're having fun scaling a new business with a handful of people who enable us to be home for our kids when they walk in the door.
Speaking of which, it's time to go play SORRY! with my seven year-old.
And then I get to read my brother's latest script of The Prodigal which came in the mail today.
Brad has been working on this movie for five years. Hopefully, it will be partially set in San Francisco -- just like his last film, Teknolust starring Tilda Swinton.
Now, that would be a fun set of "rugged elegant" stories!
Inspire & Be Inspired.
Here's to healthy, adventuresome, soulful, "ritualistic running, rocking out and raking it in" living!
~ Jennifer Carolyn King, Rugged Elegance, LLC