Put the kettle on

October 26th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

It’s the twenty-sixth already? Good heavens, I’ve been busy.

I had to give a group presentation on Monday morning for one of my classes, and my partner and I were up quite late on Sunday preparing it. After a long day yesterday, I returned home, then left again to get some groceries. On the way out, though, I dropped my bike, and one of the handlebars crashed through a pane of glass in my building’s front door. This is not as bad as it sounds—the door has lots of little panes of glass, measuring perhaps 10 by 12 inches, and the maintenance guy seemed to think he could replace the broken pane without much trouble. Nonetheless, it’s not a good sign when one is so tired that one starts accidentally breaking shit.

Today I went to REI and bought a decent raincoat, one that will actually repel water instead of absorbing it. It’s technically a snowboarding jacket, making me at least 14 percent more “X-treme” than I was yesterday. Anyhow, the important thing is that I will now be somewhat drier after my frequent wet-weather bicycle commutes.

Biking in the rain is fun, but what I really want to do is curl up in a chair with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a book that isn’t about city planning. It’s that last part that’s the real sticking point. I don’t mean to complain, though. There’s a fresh crop of persimmons to eat and plenty of friends to talk to, and although I’m feeling a bit worn out, things are going well.

Other stuff I’ve done recently: started an internship in the city, went to a party, had crepes with former coworkers, saw a fantastic Craftsman-style house, and met a 25-pound cat.

How have you been?

Missing the connection

October 12th, 2004 § Eight comments § permalink

I swear to God, if I see another Berkeleyan driving a pickup truck with a “How many lives per gallon?” or “No blood for oil” bumper sticker, I’m going to scream.

Excellent map

October 11th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

This is so cool: An aerial photo that shows a superimposed street map when your mouse hovers over it.

Oh, homonyms, will you never cease to amuse me?

October 10th, 2004 § Six comments § permalink

From an article in today’s New York Times about why Bush and Kerry can’t stand each other:

Aides to Mr. Bush said that Mr. Kerry reminded him of the Brahmins he met, and disliked, at Yale and Harvard Business School. “One word the president uses sometimes is ‘haughty,’” said one person close to Mr. Bush…

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I am that “one person close to Mr. Bush,” and the word Bush actually uses sometimes is “hottie.”

Un beau disque

October 7th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

My folky French wish has been answered: Julie Doiron’s Desormais. That sound you hear is me swooning.

Do let me know, though, if you find any other French acousticness that fits the bill.

What I’ve been up to

October 5th, 2004 § 10 comments § permalink

I’ll keep this short so I can get to class on time.

Sunday: The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park. I saw Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris, both of whom were amazing. My fingers are still thawing.

Monday: A debate between Mark Danner, a journalism professor at Berkeley, and William Kristol on whether we need a new president. Unsurprisingly, they did not reach a consensus. A Lyndon LaRouche supporter sitting behind me kept standing up and yelling at Kristol; police eventually came in and removed him. The LaRouche supporter, that is, not Kristol. Berkeley isn’t that ridiculous.

Today, later on: Butternut squash risotto, the vice-presidential debate, and drinks with my former housemates. Deliciousness bracketing bitterness.

Post-debate

September 30th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

Some quick observations about tonight’s presidential debate, before reading any of the spin: Kerry is a remarkable debater—I had suspected and heard as much, but I never would have guessed just how good he is. He was focused and concise; he stayed on message but (usually) answered the question. And his answers were clear, cogent, and eloquent. George W. Bush was, well, George W. Bush. He frequently found himself at a loss for words; he confused Saddam Hussein with Osama Bin Laden within, I think, the first fifteen minutes; he struggled to defend four years of foreign policy that are all but indefensible. He lost. He lost badly. No intellectually honest person could say otherwise.

Tonight bodes well for the remainder of the campaign. And I promise not to post about the election all the time, but it made me so happy to see Kerry wipe the floor with Bush that I had to write something.

Giving you the franchise

September 28th, 2004 § Seven comments § permalink

Hey, California pals: If you’ve moved recently, and you were expecting the DMV to handle your change of voter registration, make sure you’re actually registered at your new address! I mailed my change of address form to the DMV two months ago, and they still haven’t updated my registration.

The easiest way to find out whether you’re registered is to call your county registrar of voters. For my Alameda County peeps, the number is 510-272-6973. It took me about two minutes to call and check. If you know you’re not registered, you can download the form and mail it in. You can also pick one up from any of the seventeen thousand people who are registering voters right now—but mail it in yourself, so you can be sure that it doesn’t get lost.

Remember, you will feel stupid if you aren’t able to vote this year. The registration deadline is October 18. Take care of this while you still can!

Le petit banjo

September 23rd, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

Does anyone know of a musician who sounds like Jolie Holland, Sean Hayes, or Gillian Welch, but who sings in French? Some folky Québécois, perhaps? If such a person exists, that person’s music would likely cause me to melt into a small puddle of bliss.

Diversion

September 19th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

PES’ short animated films are brilliant. Most (except for the commercials) are worth watching; KaBoom! and Moth are good places to start.

Where am I?

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