Monday, January 26, 2009

Come baaaaaaaaaaaack!!

I must redeem myself as a hostess! My resolutions for future visits with Katie and Richard:
1) Can we please please please spend some time together someday soon while not planning a large event?????????? We're not cut out for this constant parade of weddings and conventions! Doing nothing, it's what we do best!
2) See water! As opposed to constantly being surrounded by it but not having any visual proof. (We did a great job of crossing bridges only in fog or cover of night and staring out over the pacific in the pitch dark.)
3) Spend time in the east bay! My neighborhood! Taking in the vast array of food I know and love! I'm all for getting out to the city more. Hanging out with Dan + Greg, always a plus. But a girl can only take so much driving, uphill parking, wandering around places she doesn't know, and eating at questionable establishments.

To elaborate... seeking out entertainment... not my specialty. I'm lucky if I leave the house. One of the reasons I loved living in Ecuador and love living here in the bay area is that I get to experience so much beauty and variety and culture in my daily life. This place is such the crossroads that just going about my business can rival any scheduled tour of historic neighborhoods. Today's errands... the Sunday farmer's market entailed a scenic walk along the waterfront to Jack London Square. Depositing a check at my bank and getting a PPD nearby landed me in the heart of the mexican Fruitvale district. (My destination turned out to be a clinic in the back of a farmacia. There was a posted menu of medical services en espanol, featuring "la especial del dia: vacuna contra el gripe.") Picking up a few groceries put me over the drawbridge for a jaunt into Alameda, that odd little island where I work. Then I headed home and found plenty of my neighbors already warming up the fireworks to celebrate the chinese new year.

At least I'm all geared up and ready for visitors in Feb and March... I've been planning to drag my parents to all my favorite local haunts as well as yelping some new favorites... I've concluded that one of the tastiest concentrations of food in the country is within a 5 mile radius of my house. I mean, the soup sushi nazi is right across from our bookstore! Who knew?

In more exciting travel news, just bought my ticket east for March 5-11! The joys of WMSCH, Tin Hat, Mahoney open house, the regular tour of friends and family in Boston, plus a bonus one-way Jet Blue flight to take me home. And, dare I dream, perhaps we can fit in one blessed moment of KT+R+R downtime???

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stupid manipulative TV

So we had one of the local news stations on last night and they ran a story about these 5th graders up in Round Rock who watched the inauguration from their classroom, which is all fine and good except that then they were interviewing all these adorable 10-year-olds and one skinny little guy says, glowing, "Barack Obama is the first black president... and it's the proudest moment of my life" and THEN as if that wasn't bad enough they cut back to him later and he's telling the reporter all earnestly "If I get my grades up, I can be the second Barack Obama." Oh god, total waterworks. People like me should NOT be allowed to watch human interest stories. At least not without a pair of sunglasses.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back from the Bay

What do you do when you get home from California after midnight and bed just isn't a viable option after 11 hours of snack foods and sitting still?

Relive the past four days by uploading photos and movies, obviously.

Here's one of each to whet your appetite. More photos here. Now I should probably go to bed so I don't have to tell my hypothetical future children that I slept through Obama's inauguration.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Once again, I was up at 1am on Monday making kimchi.

Last night, I didn't go to bed until after midnight because I was trying on possible outfits for the convention this weekend.

And sometimes, when I'm cooking and there isn't any more counter space, I put dirty dishes in the dryer.

We're heading to the airport tomorrow evening for a long weekend with Rebecca, so be good till next week when I come back!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The only thing that might break me of my Goodwill habit

How to acquire a loveseat full of clothes that no one wants (that's approximately 30 cubic feet of clothes, my friends. Not counting the 13 pairs of shoes. Or the coffee table full of jewelry):

1) Host a clothing swap and invite all your lady friends.

2) Tell them to invite their friends.

3) They will.

4) 15 people will come, each bearing an average of 2.5 giant grocery bags of clothes.

5) For the next 2 hours your house will be full of women trying things on and asking for opinions. Richard will be in his element.

6) Everyone will leave with an average of 1.5 giant grocery bags of newly acquired clothes.

7) And voila! 30 cubic feet just like that! (Well, technically they won't leave them all folded on your loveseat. That will only happen later, after you go through every single thing that was left, because you love free stuff. You love it so much.)

So now I am the proud owner of a horrifying amount of women's clothes, at least until I decide which lucky charity will be the recipient of such largesse. In the meantime, send me your size and your favorite color, and you might just get lucky...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Rare blogpost, previously unreleased

(Found this sitting as a draft from 11/25/08. Not sure if I forgot to publish it or I just stopped caring. Either way, now we can all enjoy a pointless flashback.)

The songs that are concurrently running through my head...

"Well I ain't gonna work tomorrow, and I ain't gonna work today.I ain't gonna work tomorrow for it might be a rainy day."
as sung by rani arbo
I left my phone in the car (as opposed to sunday when I left my phone in the farmer's market bag in the kitchen and then drove all over town looking for it before I realized I was calling my old number. Yeah.) The weather forecast and sentiment apply.

as sung by Laney College Choir
We had a silly midterm concert at lunchtime in the admin building last week, which was the first time the day choir and the night choir had sung together, and it actually sounded halfway decent. The choir is fun if pretty basic and world-musicky (we also sang Indian, Hebrew, and German tunes plus... wait for it... a hymn in Luo - the language of Obama's father.)
Reasons why this song makes me insane:
1. Really? why don't we just sing la bamba?
2. Everytime I sing this all can think about is the random giant statue of Jose Marti (who wrote the lyrics) that dominated the roundabout by my place in Quito. Yeah, that one:

Reasons why I grudgingly am not sorry to have been singing this:
1. Otherwise I wouldn't have caught the nod Manu Chao gives in a recent song... "yo soy un homre sincero, de donde crece la 'juana" (Oh that Manu...)
2. The statue IS pretty awesome. Especially when it lights up garishly at night.

jjjjingle bells
as sung by Bing
eric, always more jolly than I feel capable of being at such an hour, made me listen to it first thing this morning at work.

As sung in Berkeley on Monday night. (Except in my head we know the words.)
Richard managed to call in the 5 minutes that I was driving from a convention planning meeting to the singing last night. For some reason we were discussing how this song got quoted in that Paste article, and then as soon as I walked in it was my turn to lead and I couldn't think of anything else.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Isn't it always the way...

...that the Christmas that two of your friends decide indpendently to make and bottle homemade vanilla to give as gifts is also the Christmas when you decide to clean out your cupboards and find all the half-used bottles of vanilla that were just tipped over behind the peanut butter?

On the bright side, I now have enough vanilla to make delicious baked goods for the next 9 years.

Happy 2009! We rang in the 1st with friends Leah & Kevin at a stone picnic table on top of Mount Bonnell (don't let the name fool you, it's really a glorified hummock) with sparking wine and an unimpressive view of the downtown fireworks.

Clearly self-timed photos in the pitch darkness are a winning enterprise for us. Almost as successful as this last self-portrait of 2008, which was supposed to prominently feature the December calendar behind us so you could tell what time of year it was.

Oh well.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bring on 09!

It had its moments ( but I think we can all agree 2008 is better left behind us. Onwards and upwards, folks.

1) Tired of looking at my pictures of holiday food? I forgot to mention that Inder documented some of the other festive traditions she has been partaking in. Doesn't everyone have a sock monkey under their tree?

2) Spent NYE in my favorite manner... hanging out at home in my PJs. S and I were excellent enablers, showing up with groceries for our "party" immediately after my nap. Homemade artichoke dip, the best lentil soup, reading by the fire, topped off with some bad tv channel surfing (the new years countdown coverage that seems to get worse every year, the good the bad and the ugly, a cheech and chong mockumentary, and a twilight zone marathon.) Watched a rerun of the tacky new ball drop. Declared it bedtime.

3) I made a good dent in that Leave-No-Book-Unfinished-in-2008 resolution. Turned the last page on 3/6 - Summerland, Roots, and Lolita. You know KT and I are both working up to epic year end book report posts.

4) I've had a couple of good days off here, and I may even get in some actual leaving-the-house quality time with a movie night at Sue's. I'm hoping to finish off all the christmas packages and cards before I have to go back to work tomorrow night. Because after that, January is pretty much spoken for! We're down to 2 of us at the store so I'll be pulling overtime this next week. It's all worth it because I'll immediately be taking a week off to entertain fabulous guests and put on the All-Cal convention!