Archive for May, 2003

May 29, 2003

Last Day in Fog City (For Now)

I found them! I found these old black & white negs from Spain that I had chalked up to lost. Was in the middle of packing up my things when I found them!

My life is sitting in boxes right now in my room. I think that was the quickest packing-up I’ve ever executed. Hopefully, will commence trip to LA with said life in boxes by 1400 tomorrow.

I’m comin’ ome!

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May 27, 2003

Memorial Day

Nice day off today. I lounged around at an afternoon-long barbecue in Berkeley with the Niman Ranch folk. Phenomenal pork and lamb ribs on the grill with sauces made from scratch. My friend Brian made an especially notable salsa romesco (Catalan in origin) for his lamb ribs–it had a simple base of olive oil, vinegar and ├▒oras (peppers from Spain). He roasted tomatoes, onions, almonds and hazelnuts individually and ground everything up into a creamy perfection. Very memorable.

More meat to follow in the afternoon–pork shoulder marinated in a Chilean sauce (with a little too much red wine vinegar, but still good). Spicy sausage links for dinner. All the meat was from grain-fed animals, no antibiotics or hormones. Good, good stuff.

May 21, 2003

See Ya In Two Shakes

Love how I can be on the phone with someone in the city and say, “Meet you at 18th and Bryant,” and have them know exactly where that is. No perplexing and rambling directions, no make a left, switch to the second-to-the-last lane on the right and veer to the right until you see the old Fox theatre, then make a U-turn, just plain ol’ meet me at such and such street. This city is way navegable. It’s beautifully simple to drive.

Meet me at 18th & Bryant. What is at this corner, you ask? Calumet Photographics, basically. Swung by there this afternoon to buy loads of portrait film for a graduation I’m shooting this Sunday and 3 different kinds of Kodak slide film to boot: VS (Very Saturated), G (Just Plain Saturated) and GX (Saturated for Warm Tones). I plan to experiment with the Kodak slide film; to shoot it and cross-process it this summer. Hopefully I’ll get some good street shots in the city before I leave. Will be interesting to see which colors will shift when the film is processed.

On a side note, I would like to announce that I am D-O-N-E with finals, papers, classes! I am DONE with the semester! I would like to thank God, my iBook, my family, my flatmates, my friends and my fellow Xangans for helping me to make it out alive from this semester of endless days and semi-sleepless nights. Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans! So now the only loose ends left to tie up are my jobs in Oakland and SF and then I’m coming home! Home to the relentlessly horizontal city of LA and its suburbs. For sure, I’ll miss Ess Eff and its sky. It’s a different kind of blue.

Back to my report for tomorrow’s IEP, I suppose …

May 19, 2003

Me and My iBook

Me and my trusty iBook are sitting here at the kitchen table, duking it out with a research paper due tomorrow. Arrrgh! Feels like this one has been especially difficult to write, or at least to actually sit down and finish.

Today I discovered new ways to become sidetracked from writing a paper. I reached new heights of loafing around. I think I perfected my ability at becoming distracted. The supremely blue skies and warm, inviting sun didn’t do much to help me focus on writing, either! Plus the annual Bay to Breakers race was goin’ on throughout the city and there were tons o’ people millin’ around on my street. At one point, sitting in my bedroom typing away, I could hear Bonnie Raitt belting out those country tunes of hers in Golden Gate Park. Bay to Breakers is one of the most well-participated races in the country. It’s a pretty big deal. Bands are strewn along the route all throughout the city and at the beginning of the race, hundreds of tortillas are thrown in the air. There are two classes of runners: serious and funny. Either you run it to run it, or you run to be funny (i.e., you’re in costume, or even in the nude; altho the latter is supposed to be illegal). I think I may run/walk it next year. Yeah, I think I will.

This day is almost over, and my deadline is around the corner (1:10 pm) tomorrow, so I guess there’s nothing left to do but press on.

Must…press…on…

May 18, 2003

“Will you smell my cheese?”
“Excuse me ma’am, but is that a sheep in your ficus?”
“I can’t eat that–it’s white.” Melissa has a fear of eating anything that’s white.
“Ewww, what’s that smell?” That being any kind of fish or sea creature simmering on top of the stove.

–Things I won’t hear for 3 months while my roommate spends the summer in Chicago.

May 16, 2003

Woo hoo! Just finished my Advanced Diagnostics final! [wiping sweat from brow] I was the last one out of the room … I guess I DO write a lot sometimes. My right hand is really paying for it now! I can’t remember the last time it hurt this much.

Early this morning I had another ‘crying’ dream! Woke up with tears in my eyes. It was kind of a tragic dream now that I recall. I think I cry in my sleep when I’m stressed. Weird.

One final down, one paper to go. (Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend.)

May 14, 2003

Powell’s Books is the archetypal independent bookstore, located in Portland. In addition to their endless collection of print and engaging interviews with writers, their staff has a great sense of humor. Here a few paragraphs of banter from their weekly newsletter, wedged in between book reviews and weekly discounts:

Please do not feed the vowels. They’ll be sitting down to dinner as soon as the newsletter is over.

Lean, leggy, lowercase l’s lounge on blankets atop the grass berm, basking in the late-afternoon sun. These l’s never miss a good- weather newsletter, but watch: they’ll pack up and leave any minute. As soon as the sun goes down, they’re gone.

Two young parents file out of the crowd, headed for the gates. The father carries one child asleep against his shoulder: it’s bedtime for the little one. Approaching the exit gates, an older sibling points to a gaggle of font milling around in front of the supply shed. He asks his mom, “Can I bring a G home?” The mother frowns. “If every little boy who came here took a letter home, there wouldn’t be enough left to make the sentences.”

This is why I love Powell’s.

PS. Almost forgot. Powell’s just churned out a great interview with Anne Lamott. Click here to check it out. It’s worth your time.

PPS. For a really excellent blog, go to maganda.org.

May 13, 2003

Good night, world.

May 9, 2003

Thursday Night on Sutter & Leavenworth

Love how Jules has moved to the city! Got a peek at her new digs–a cute and cozy studio on the thirteenth floor of a high-rise with arresting views of downtown and then some! Schweet stuff.

We walked around a bit and gawked at how many restaurants and theaters were ‘just around the corner’ from her. She is in the middle of it all–four blocks from Union Square, a cable car ride away from killer gelato and gnocchi in North Beach, and a stone’s throw from half a dozen places to get a good Indian curry. On our way to a cafe, we passed the American Conservatory Theater and made plans to see a performance of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters next week.

Hiking uphill a few good blocks on Leavenworth, we ended up at Cup-A-Joe, just a few blocks from Jules’ apartment building, where we talked and studied into the night. This place is the quintessential downtown coffeehouse–art students from the nearby Academy of Art College sprawled all over the place, graphics texts and sketchbooks in hand; gleaming white eMacs in one corner for quick but expensive access to your email and someone behind the counter dispensing some really good coffee. The barista poured me a cuppa decaf and it had a quarter inch of crema on the top. Niiiiiice.

Love how Jules is always ready to hang out and explore her environs! I look forward to many a rendezvous with her in Fog City.

May 6, 2003

Like a Deer in Headlights

I have to give a presentation during class tonight. It’s a group presentation and I know I shouldn’t be nervous, but gosh darn it! I am. The worst thing is, I’m giving my part of the presentation during the last twenty minutes of class so that means I have to sit in my seat and wait two hours before I can get it over with! Talk about nerve-wracking.

Okay, deeeeeep breath.