Archive for January, 2008

Interesting Week

Friday, 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:


Bay Weekend

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

We went for a tour of Anchor Brewing the other day. Pretty good SF beer! It’s a good San Francisco activity because it’s free and they give you samples at the end. We had to buy the tattoos. Well, I didn’t, but others did and I benefitted. Anchor is in Potrero Hill, near where my roommate goes to school and one of my favorite places to see music in the city. 

Actually, all in all it turned into a pretty standard Bay weekend. That night I had pizza with friends at Lanesplitter, a neighborhood place. Saturday we drove out to Mount Diablo, although that kind of flopped due to chilly winds, fog, and unforeseen gate and parking charges. Out in the Mission Saturday night. I worked Sunday morning, went for a walk and cleaned up the house a little bit. With some cooking thrown in on the side.

Finally, I found a nice and old picture of Miss Mouse and myself (nice being relative): 

 Happy weekend again! I’m making an effort to post and I have some ideas percolating…

(The Story of) Stuff

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Got 20 minutes? Okay, good, go watch The Story of Stuff. Come on, you’re either avoiding doing something you should actually do or screwing around. You won’t spend those 20 minutes doing anything that’s really a better use of your time.

I’ve always had a lot of stuff. I may even be guilty of being kind of a (shhhhh) pack rat. I’m not sure which side of the family that originates on, but I have my guesses…

Recently, at 23 years old and one year and some change into a cross country move, I’ve found myself looking around my apartment and wondering where all this stuff came from. I mean, let’s be honest. When I moved here it was in my Honda Civic, accompanied by two friends, camping gear, their stuff, and well… whatever space was left contained my stuff. Mostly clothing, I think. I remember unpacking the day I moved in to our apartment. I didn’t have any furniture yet, and the objects more or less amounted to some framed pictures and LPs from Goodwill in Kalamazoo (a spring break 2006 project by my roommate and myself) and a few books and CDs I cart around everywhere with me. I pulled them out of my backpack (one of only three or four bags) and spread them around the room on the floor, leaning against the wall so it looked a little less weird and empty. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did have my mom send a few boxes of things once I moved in, but it just wasn’t that much (was it mom?). We got our furniture for under $100 thanks to a friend, local thrift stores, and the wonderful (and dry) streets of Berkeley.

I’m trying to figure out why I have all of this stuff and what I’m going to do with it. That’s why I find The Story of Stuff so interesting. I’m questioning where it all comes from and why I keep it in the first place. This film puts into perspective the fact that I really am asking valid questions, whatever made me think about it in the first place.

When it comes to stuff, I think my biggest downfalls are books, CDs, and innumerable little papers that come from this or that inane event. The most irritating stuff is related to electronic devices. So many objects that all require different chargers and hundreds of little cords. And of course every item comes packaged with every cord, even though I usually only need one of them. That and the stuff that “might come in handy some day.”

So, New Year’s resolutions? I think my first one is learning to acquire and retain less stuff, and to cycle on the stuff I don’t want consciously and responsibly.

Back to the Bay

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

So, I realize that I promised a post soon and didn’t write a post soon.

I’m back on the West Coast after a very good trip home-for-the-holidays. I’m still in the midst of appreciating the differences between the two places. Since I got back to the Bay, there have been some enormous rain storms. Our apartment has two sets of windows looking out from the kitchen and living room, and the hurricane-force winds were blowing rain at them in such a way that the kitchen flooded Friday morning. In California, windows, like Driver’s Ed classes, are not designed with precipitation in mind. In reality I didn’t realize how strong the storms were until someone asked if I was alive (joking) and I started to read the articles. I did notice that it was raining a lot. And I heard that we’re getting more rain this week than we did in all of 2007. Here’s my only picture – leaving work Friday, driving west on the 880 in Oakland:

Also, I heard thunder for the first time since moving here on Saturday morning! One long, loud rumble. Wow! And all of that on top of the great blizzard we had in Ann Arbor on New Year’s Eve:

Since coming back to California, I’ve worked two days, visited a bar we hadn’t explored before (lame), visited our favorite neighborhood bar, gone to Amoeba Music (Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew Spirit If… and Sleater-Kinney‘s closing album The Woods), done an art project, and gone grocery shopping. Not bad. Here’s what I made:

It’s the earring rack in the bottom right hand corner. I made it from a used picture frame and window screening. I used thumbtacks to attach the screen to the frame – I may try to improve on that at some point. But in the mean time this will help keep my earrings from getting more beat up than they are. I have a couple more similar projects in mind.

We saw Kevin Drew play at The Fillmore in November and it was a great show. Kevin Drew even referenced Ann Arbor. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks played a show at the Great American Music Hall two days before I left for Michigan. The drummer from Sleater-Kinney is now playing with him and she rocks pretty hard. I’m more disappointed that I’ll likely never see Sleater-Kinney play. My roommate and myself were called out hardcore on being from Michigan during that show… Another post for another day.

More of everything later…