Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm on a blogroll

Just pulled a few pictures off my new phone. (By which I mean my old phone but green. Because apparently my go-to strategy when replacing technology is to buy a refurbished creepily identical version, as in my "new" Accord and my "new" ibook. I'm not sure what this says about me.)

River Walk (where we were asked directions to the nearest high school AND the nearest bar...)

Sunshine Community Gardens (I still say it sounds like somewhere they make you grow koolaid...)

New Glasses! (She probably misses her old glasses.)

Monday, January 25, 2010


I've somewhat impulsively signed up for this class at the fabulous Cycles of Change, despite knowing nothing about bikes and having no facility whatsoever for learning manual skills. I literally sent them an email with a disclaimer that I really need Remedial Bikes for Dummies class, and they promised I wouldn't embarrass myself. I still don't quite believe them though. (As many of you know I'm still haunted by Sensei's voice echoing in my head. Regarding my repeated origami-fail: "You smart girl, you should be able to do this!")

So, who wants to sign up to be my bike repair buddy??? We can true and overhaul in solidarity.

Bike Maintenance and Repair Class Series—Learn how to fix your own bike!
Wednesdays, February 24, March 3, March 10 and March 17. 6:30pm-8:30pm
$80-$150 sliding scale for all four classes.
Learn how to fix a flat, overhaul hubs, true wheels, adjust brakes and shifters, and more!
Classes will be limited to 12 people so that everyone gets personalized attention from the two teachers. RSVP for the classes to: cyclesbikes@gmail.com or 510-898-7830 and send a check (payable to Cycles of Change) for $80-$150 to: Cycles of Change APC, 677 W. Ranger Ave, Alameda, Ca 94501.
People who receive this email will get the first opportunity to sign up for the classes before they are announced to the general public. Please RSVP in the next week if you’d like to attend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

That's so 2009, birthday edition

It was smack in the middle of the perfect storm of a stressful working weekend in one of the busiest months I can remember, but I still managed to take time out to get older! Some lovely ladies (and Steve and JR) helped me sample amazing chai and engage in wholesome recreation.

Tea and Games!

Birthday girl and cake. (Thanks to Talaria for the beautiful scarf and the iphone candle app!)

This way for more photos

That's so 2009, christmas edition

Like the good procrastinating blogger that I am, I have loads of 2009 left to tell you about. Let's take it in reverse (or more likely in no particular order) and revisit Christmas.

Pictures are thisaway.

On top of all the bay area celebrations I managed to fly to Austin in time for Christmas dessert and caroling at B and Q's and get a garden-loofah party favor! In case you were wondering, we did accomplish all of my ambitious goals for the visit. (We ate pancakes and bread and noodles. I stayed up way too late reading Fingersmith. But still managed to sleep into the double digits most nights. Katie and I are still slightly obsessed with Sherlock Holmes.) And more! We also... walked a lot. (I suddenly wished I was as rich cool as David Byrne so I could travel with my bike! Austin is sooooo bikeable, at least when it's not 239874 degrees.) I watched Napolean Dynamite for the first time - and will forever associate it with too much red in the color mix.

Other highlights of the holiday season included fixing most of my electronics and getting a surprising bounty of presents all around! I can't get over how thoughtful friends and family were this year. I will be thinking of you in turn when I hang my favorite pictures and light candles and raise my glass and eat lunch and count the days and see the world clearly!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010: In like a lion

Ideas for how to fill up every weekend in January (and YES Friday nights count as the weekend) so that most of your quality pajama time is effectively destroyed and you will never get it back, no matter how desperately you crave the feeling of not having showered or left the house or done anything but read novels for 3+ days (not that I've ever done that, ahem):

1) In addition to your regular karate classes, start helping out with the new 4-6 year olds' class (okay, it's worth its weight in cute, I admit it)
2) Go to an all-afternoon Board meeting
3) Go to an all-day Board retreat
4) Volunteer at a gay cocktail party
5) Go two-stepping for your Sensei's birthday
6) Watch "An Education" (meh, though the lead actress is so outstanding as to make it arguably worth your while) and get drinks with a friend
7) Get dragged to R's company holiday party
8) Get examined and fitted for contact lenses
9) Host not one but two clothing swaps
10) Spend at least 20 hours cleaning your house in preparation for said swaps
11) Take a crew and drive out to Coupland for a patented dancehall-and-BBQ adventure
12) Attend a 4-hour advocacy training
13) Attend a 1-hour karate instructor training
14) Grudgingly agree to table at a terrifying children's summer camp fair
15) Go see a touring Broadway production of "The Color Purple"

Sprinkle the rest of the month liberally with more trainings, more planning meetings, more karate, and a little singing, and voila! I present to you... a flimsy excuse for why I'm a terrible blogger. Really, if nothing else, this post should prove that my life is so mundane as to be virtually unbloggable. Not that that's ever stopped me.

On the domestic front, R gets a severe penalty for making me sit through "Julie and Julia." However, I will award him a discretionary bonus point because Meryl Streep is phenomenal. And he gets one more point for giving me this article to read yesterday which, while nearly as problematic as its subject, I enjoyed hugely. If you find Alice Waters and her nauseatingly privileged foodie philosophy as irritating as I do, click and enjoy. If not, maybe better skip it.

Okay, I'm off to a work-related happy hour (am I allowed to complain even though it's not the weekend?). Hope 2010 is treating you nicely so far!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If you pickle it, they will grow?

In 2009, I helped weed in 2 gardens. Neither of which were my own. Produce enabling, produce harvesting, produce purchasing - I'm all over it. But despite numerous best intentions, and honestly coming by green thumb genetics on both sides, I haven't grown anything outside of a few potted plants since I had my own kiddie sized garden tools.

Hence: My only resolution this year is to plant cucumbers and dill for pickling! I figure I'll take it one crop at a time, and the prospect of canning is very motivating. So far this has at least been a great excuse to peruse mail order seed porn like real gardeners do this time of year. Actually, Katie has already generously donated some saved seeds from her own cucumber crop, but... seed porn! And I figure since Inder hasn't had luck with cucumbers here before, I ought to try to diversify my investments, right? Well, for better or worse, I will soon be the owner of these heirloom varieties:
Ace Pickling
Parisian Pickling (above)
True Lemon
With a side of Grandma Einck's dill.

Now, who will weed MY garden?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

unpromising beginnings

I've kicked the weekend off by checking out a stack of books from the library and I just have to publicly mock the two I tried to read today.
1) A supposedly not-too academic book about "terroir" in American food... Within the first two pages of the PREFACE? The author uses the word quotidian TWICE. yello?? editors?? I hurriedly skipped to the introduction. The first sentence begins: "When I was in my early thirties, just finishing my doctoral dissertation..." I put the book down and backed away.
2) On the other end of things, I optimistically tried my hand at a second Regency Romance, a recent award winner purported to be well-written and "not your average romance." I made it through about 100 pages of your stock prattle about finding eligible matches during The Season. Then it started to get "racy," and boy do I use that term loosely. Let's just say I should have listened to my instincts and dropped this one at the "rising musk" and "thrilling pathos of unfulfilled desire" on page 3.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A glimpse of New Year's

We'd been planning to spend a quiet New Year's Eve with Rebecca (by which I mean we thought we should probably do something but had no idea what that would be and, just as the Second Law of Thermodynamics predicts, without a definite plan the three of us invariably tend toward sitting on the couch in our pajamas and doing crossword puzzles), and at the last minute ended up getting together with the friends we spent last New Year's with, who also tend toward entropy (EDITOR'S NOTE: Richard pointed out that this doesn't make any sense. We just figured out that I thought "entropy" meant the same thing as "atrophy." It doesn't), making us the perfect holiday foils. After pizza and a stunning demonstration of the Abilene Paradox in action, we retired to the homestead for board games, champagne and ice cream. Then, adding the insult of having to watch a delayed taping of the ball dropping (Times Square just isn't as exciting when you're not watching it from the same time zone) to the injury of Fox's midnight programming (yep, still the only tv station we get) we rang in 2010 and promptly went to sleep.

A few pictures. I may need to get me an animal-themed hat to welcome 2011.

Friday, January 01, 2010

in spite of all your tow'rs

Some reflections at the changing of the year. Happy 010!

(My mother recently unearthed this index card from my grandmother, Clara Morrison Backer. She used to write me letters on lavender paper.)

Chronocentricity: "the egotism that one's generation is poised on the very cusp of history." (As defined by The Victorian Internet, which I picked up at the Austin goodwill and promptly devoured on today's plane ride home. Highly recommended. You know you want to read all about how the telegraph ushered in the information age, "wired love" and all!)