who says there isn’t wildlife in urban areas?

June 14th, 2008

One AM last night (immediately thought of my sister):

Not much in the way of scale, but he (or she) was roughly the size of a grapefruit…

I am pretty much lame.

June 11th, 2008

So what happened is, after nearly a year of searching we finally found a new apartment and things have been a whirlwind ever since. So, I am going to be nice and post some pictures of it, okay family? Also, I have been a little unsure of what I want to say in this space, and what I really want to do with it. That’s another contributing factor.

Basically, I haven’t been up to most of my old tricks but I guess I am probably learning some new ones. At work and at home, really.

My roommate and I moved in to a cute, small house on an alley in SF with another girl she (my roommate) goes to school with. Roommate #2 is fitting in remarkably well with the rather long-standing relationship that roommate #1 and I have (which is a feat). Our neighborhood is aptly described as “colorful,” visually and culturally. I don’t feel like going in to much detail here so if anyone wants to know more specifics ask me personally and I’ll tell you about where it is. It’s much nicer and more comfortable than our old place in many ways. It gets a lot more sun throughout the day and feels dryer, which are two big pluses as far as I am concerned. My commute, by train, is very easy. Here are some pictures:

alley north
west-new.jpg southeast-new.jpg

As rumored, we had a “T” Pary – Tequila, Tecate, Tamales, Tattoos, (Tecktonik, PiñaTa) housewarming party. So really it was less Mexican/Spanish themed than “our neighborhood” themed once you get as far as the tattoos and tecktonik. We had home-made tamales although most of the other things advertised were not home-made. The piñata was home-made. Pretty good going if you ask me.

Sorry those pictures are sideways, they are edited and saved to my computer facing the right direction but for some reason they show up wrong on here.

April 17th, 2008

my new goal is to write one sentence every day… let’s see how it goes.

A Top 5 List

March 14th, 2008

Top five bands I wish I could go back in time to see live:

  1. Knapsack
  2. The Wrens
  3. Pavement
  4. Sleater-Kinney
  5. Elliott Smith

I’m not so in to reunion tours though…

Addendum: The truth is that it would have been possible to see many, if not all, of these bands in my lifetime. However, due to other, external circumstances, including but not limited to age, transportation (or lack thereof), and lack of awareness, I missed out. Lame.

Got A Plant

March 9th, 2008

My sister is coming home tomorrow! Hooray!!! I am so very excited!

In other news, I bought a flower today:

He is a Ranunculus and is seen here on my window sill with another small plant gifted to me by a friend on her way out of town. Here is hoping that I am able to keep them alive. Suggestions on names, anyone? Also seen here is a bottle of Fanta from the yummy neighborhood Indian restaurant.

I have been very busy lately, with a visit from my dear old Dad, and other various activities. Maybe I will post some pictures of the hike and whale-watching excursions we took. Things should be calm (ha) until the next spate of visitors begins to arrive on Friday.

I am thoroughly enjoying the first evening of Daylight Savings (or it’s reverse??) – having sunshine until 7 pm is right up my alley and it can only get better from here on out. The weather was also sunny and warm all weekend, keeping everyone in a good mood.

Last night I saw Mount Eerie play at a high school in the city (sponsored in part by the All Ages Movement, something I can get behind). Very good show with lots of fog machine. It so happened I was sitting next to someone who directs plays in high schools so there was a very short commiseration on fog, theatrics, etc. Another interesting point about the show was that the opener got on stage, informed the audience he was about to share four songs with us, and proceeded to give a lecture on Eritrea, a small village therein, and the OLPC project, much blogged about by my mum and Sam the Archaeologist. Anyone who would like a more detailed explanation of the lecture is free to ask and I would be more than happy to describe it. I’m not sure I can describe it well enough here. It was an interesting evening, bordering in many moments on performance art more than music performance.

I didn’t have my camera, but was lucky enough to be parked on De Haro on a steep hill, facing north toward downtown – there was a fantastic view of the city lights (it was a clear night). On the way home I caught a glance of the construction they are doing on the Bay Bridge and was pleased to notice, although maybe I should have realized this before, that they are constructing a bike slash pedestrian bridge with the new eastern span between the Oakland and Treasure Island. Neat!!!


February 22nd, 2008

I’d like to take this opportunity to “highlight” one of the blogs on my “blogroll”; Monitor Mix. Monitor Mix is written by a member of Sleater-Kinney, one of the greatest bands out there (on an “indefinite haitus”), and is probably one of the motivations for my beginning to write a blog. Sleater-Kinney and the like, riot bands are another post for another day. But everyone should check out Monitor Mix. She writes about subjects beyond music, too! And it’s hosted by NPR, so how could you possibly go wrong (ha…).The author writes very well about pop culture phenomenon and today, she blogged about trying to find the common roots for rock music – you really have to see what she wrote to understand. This is something I think about a lot but I don’t quite have the extensive knowledge to allow me to come to any conclusions. I can play the “it sounds like” game, but my capabilities only extend so far. Just something to think about…

Community High

February 14th, 2008

My cousin Dan called today to tell me he had heard a segment on NPR about my beloved high school! Click here to listen and/or read.

I have to say, I had such a good time at Community. I wish more people could have such a good experience in high school. I definitely feel that I came out of Community more prepared to deal with the world than many kids my age. I mean in terms of stress management and relating to people, stuff like that. What a great place. I could post a lot more stories about Commu, but I’m too hungry at the moment… kitchen here I come.

Neutral Milk Hotel

February 12th, 2008

Learned that Netural Milk Hotel‘s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea came out ten years ago today (you should read about it, the album is a reference to Anne Frank). I had no idea, but in some ways I think I imagined it as older than that.

At 13, I certainly wasn’t aware enough to listen when it came out. However I learned about Neutral Milk Hotel just a few years later, and know enough now to know that it’s an influential album (not to mention pretty damn good). I heard it was the anniversary from Pitchfork… Here’s a link to one of two articles on Pitchfork. It’s interesting because it’s made up of other artists reflecting upon the album’s influence.

The sun is beginning to set later!

(Oh, here are the bands we saw last Friday: Good City Lie Still and The Generals.)

What I’ve Been Up To

February 10th, 2008

Mom, can you help me get this to allow me to create paragraphs in the second half? It keeps running it all together and I don’t know how to fix it. I know, I know. I’ve been quite the errant poster. Similarly, in fact, to my wonderful cousin. I’ve been busy. Took a trip to LA last weekend and have been working and taking care of other such things since then. Got some pictures to post that my dad will enjoy =)Some observations on LA/California:

  • LA is much better engineered for driving than is the Bay. I’m not sure why. I think there is more space on the roads, and things are designed in a fashion so that if you get off track, it’s easy to get back to where you wanted to be. Up here, if you stray off course it’s essentially impossible to become un-lost.
  • There are diners everywhere. This is a definite positive in my eyes. It might be the only thing I like better about SoCal than NorCal Diners a la the Fleetwood, and all playing oldies! Wow! It’s like being a kid in Michigan again!
  • At said diners, it is possible to order a grilled cheese that is simply a grilled cheese. Not a grilled cheese on artisan bread baked around the corner, with three different types of cheese (you get to choose from a list of 15 or so, including vegan options), and with innumerable other toppings. And it can come with french fries! Wow! I love the food in Northern California, but sometimes it gets a little bourgie for my tastes.
  • They can deal with weather even less than in Northern California! When I left LA, there were reports of snow in the mountain pass just north of LA. I literally sat on the I-5 N with the engine off reading a book for a good 15 minutes, plus a bunch of stop and go type activity. By the time I got to the top of the mountain, it essentially seemed dry to me. It was the kind of snowfall that crazies in Michigan see and react to with “Oh boy, this looks fun! Let’s go do some donuts in the local elementary school parking lot!”
  • I also noticed that when I told people I was driving south for the weekend their first comment was usually “Isn’t it supposed to rain this tomorrow?” My usual response tends to be something like “Ummm… I don’t know… I’m going anyway…” Obviously extreme weather will stop me from driving somewhere but if you know how to be careful with a car, some rain isn’t usually quite in that category. Anyway, this is mostly an observation on the difference in attitudes from the Midwest to the West Coast.

In conclusion, I’m a big fan of visiting my friends in LA but wouldn’t want to live there myself, ever. As my friend Steph and I rode the bus back to her apartment at about 8:30 on a Saturday night, this old man told us that we looked young enough that he could be our Grandpa, that if he was our Grandpa he’d be worried to know that we were out “so late,” and then told us to be careful of predators as we disembarked from the bus. I think he was fairly drunk.

I made coconut macaroons yesterday. Pretty tasty! Friday night I made a casserole from the Moosewood Cookbook. It contained brown rice, peppers, feta cheese and cottage cheese, and was topped with tomato slices, garlic slices, and olives. It turned out to be pretty good! I was a little skeptical as it was entitled “Bulgarian Pepper Casserole.”

My dear roommate and myself went to a bar in Oakland and saw some local bands play… The first two were great (The Generals and Good City Lie Still – I’ll add links later). The third band was so bad we left, but my thoughts on that might be a full post for a later date. I think I need to do some research first.

Today, I’m going to pick up a mattress (almost new) I’m buying from a friend’s roommate. I’ve been sleeping on a futon since I moved here and I’m pretty tired of it. It’s not very comfortable. Then I badly need to wash my car and check her fluids, etc. Poor Maggie…

Interesting Week

January 25th, 2008

It’s been an eventful week, at best. Fortunately, none of the problems are directly mine.I was going to visit friends in LA this weekend but between the busy week and the unheard of weather (including both a tornado and snow in close proximity to LA [what are we in Michigan or something?]), I decided to stay here, and put it off until next weekend. The tar pits and American Apparel factory store will just have to wait. 

I read this interesting article yesterday, and here are very small photos from our drive to Mount Diablo: