Monday, May 31, 2010

back to nature

I posted over on the UCB sacred harp blog a video of some of us singing 385b to the native plants and animals in Briones Regional Park. The project is for this whole music intersects with global warming video thing... not our usual venue, but the artist asked us and it was easy and a lot of fun. I love how she framed us very simply under the huge backdrop of trees. The singing was surprisingly good in that wide open space, and we just kept going after the camera stopped rolling. Also, the day we arbitrarily chose happened to be the first day of spring! Very auspicious.

Afterwards Inder and I and Joe (and my mom, who was visiting!) took a short hike in the park.

harvesting miner's lettuce

apparently going over rough terrain in a stroller is very soothing...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Breaking ground on the Pickle Patch!

My involvement was largely ceremonial. Steve and Inder are the real gardeners around here. I guess I have to let them eat pickles. The Ace cukes are in, we hope to get the Parisian and Lemon in before the weekend is up. Note the excellent dog fence propped up by scavenged items including an old faucet.

Friday, May 28, 2010

gorgeous video. oakland pride!


All the videos at California is a Place are equally worth a view.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


there might be more exclamation marks if i weren't drowning in allergies. you can see i've lost all use of my capital letters, i think i've sneezed them away. school has devolved into end-of-year testing and field trips. reluctantly applying to summer jobs and still hoping i'll have time to get away to sing in july. getting excited about lauren and ruth's wedding! when i feel up to blogging more coherently you'll hear all about strawberries and questionable second grade story problems. and the census! oh, i can hear the crowd going wild already.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Yay, it's Bike to Work Day! And I biked to work! Sort of. See, having meant to participate for years I was so looking forward to today. I set the 2nd grade propaganda machine on it and everything.

On the homefront, I finally got around to fixing my flat tire! (It only took 2 days, a new pump, and a lot of swearing.) I looked up an "energizer station" on my route where I could get a snack and free stuff. I made extra sure not to oversleep.

Then... things didn't exactly go as planned. After I set off this morning the chain kept slipping and I realized the back wheel wasn't as straight as it used to. Damn, I knew I should have asked Steve to put the final touches on tightening up those bolts! Nothing that a wrench and a little time couldn't fix, but I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that I don't exactly have a large margin to get to work on time. Just then... a bus pulled up! The exact spot in which I was forlornly staring at my greasy hands, contemplating my failure as a bike commuter, was a bus stop! It was clearly a sign that I was meant to get over my silly fear of taking my bike on the bus. And... it was just as embarrassing as I thought it would be. I couldn't figure out how to use the rack and the driver had to get out and help. And then I had to watch more successful riders get "energized" from the bus window. But at least I had my very own bicycle breakthrough, and I got to school on time. (Yes, in my world "within two minutes of when my physical presence is required in a classroom and without important boss people noticing" does translate to "on time.")

Here's where I top up in the morning.

Here's my parking spot.

Also in the plus column, I took full advantage of the all day service center set up right by City Hall. The nice people from Bay Area Bikes fixed me right up! It was so lovely to finally be one of those people who can at least explain the problem to their mechanic. And my ride home was like butter!

I'll try not to screw things up before Bike to Market Day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What do you do when your dad comes to town?

Skip work and go swimming in the creek with the kind of friends who don't leave home without ziploc bags full of sangria. Obviously.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

a whole year!

Here's Joe being Joe on his first birthday. You know, see Joe hang out on the back steps. See Joe be monosyllabic. See Joe wave!

Inder's blog features much cuteness and nostalgia, of course.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

are you sick of pickles yet? wait for it, wait for it....

So many things of substance to blog about... but look out, picklewatch is cutting in front of the line! My first little cucumber sprout is a big boy now, as pictured. He and his Parisian gherkin brothers were the first to come in, and now that the weather is nice, things are germinating all over! The Ace and Lemon cukes are coming in nicely. The only seeds that didn't do anything were Katie's, and that's probably because I didn't store them properly. (Did yours sprout? Or can't you tell under all that parsley?) I wasn't even tempted to buy the pickling cucumber starts I saw at the Jack London Square market today for backup. SOMETHING's going to come from this crop.

Speaking of pickles, yesterday I think I ate my weight in pickled goods. Happy Girl Kitchen had a food preservation party, which was a blast (I'll post more fun pictures at the jam blog soon.) Guests shared all kinds of preserved goods and the hosts, who specialize in pickles, provided a bottomless pickle tray. I'd already cleaned my plate several times and topped it off with dessert when I noticed three jars of bread n butter pickles all in a row.

There was nothing for it but to get a clean plate and conduct an impromptu taste test.

For the record, #1 (The Happy Girl home team entry) was the clear winner - large crunchy slices, clean flavor, if a little too sweet for me. #2 too thin, didn't have enough brine which made it syrupy, too many ingredients. #3 not bad, the addition of ginger was a nice touch.

Mmm, I could go for a midnight pickle snack right now. Are pickles addictive?