Two-legged obstacle

February 8th, 2004 § Nine comments § permalink

Buying exercise pants should be easy, right? Not if you live in Berkeley, don’t own a car, and are not morbidly obese.

I needed sweatpants—or better yet, nylon workout pants, or yoga pants—so that I could start going to the gym this week. Finding some, I figured, would be easy. I figured wrong. The selection at Bancroft Clothing Company was disappointing at best. Ross had many fine options, but only in size XXXL. The Gap had some sweatpants that would have been acceptable if they had been available in a small, which they were not. As usual, Any Mountain had plenty of $140 ski pants but nothing that remotely resembled what I wanted. I even considered the $6.99 sweatpants at Walgreens, but like Ross, their sizes were suitable only for the exceedingly portly gentleman. I would have gone to REI, which is where I should have started, but I had homework to do.

But I will not be stopped by a mere lack of suitable pants. There are tai chi classes and fitness machines with my name on them. So if you see me at UC Berkeley’s Recreational Sports Facility early tomorrow morning, wearing a four-year-old pair of ridiculously oversized Adidas shorts, please don’t point and laugh. I really, really tried to find a garment that wouldn’t expose my blindingly white calves.

On second thought, maybe you should point and laugh. I suspect that not finding yoga pants in Berkeley is right up there with not finding sand in the desert.

From hunger to cruelty

February 2nd, 2004 § Nine comments § permalink

Chances are you’ve read William Carlos Williams’s plum-eating poem, but you probably haven’t seen these wicked variations on it.

These links are from an excellent piece by Teresa Nielsen Hayden about publishers’s rejection letters. If you think you might submit a manuscript of any kind anywhere, ever, for any reason, go read it.

Oily rags

February 1st, 2004 § One comment § permalink

Sock puppet oil paintings!

Catching up

February 1st, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Hello. Spring semester just started, and I am already very busy. My classes are challenging and (for the most part) interesting. If all goes well in my plan preparation studio, I’ll know how to draw, at least a little, by the end of the semester. If not…well, I’m not thinking about that too much.

I decided to go grocery shopping today at about 3:30, right after the Super Bowl had started. In most cities, this would be a brilliant tactic, and the store would be empty. Berkeley is not most cities. Berkeley Bowl, which is crowded on the best of Sunday afternoons, was practically overflowing with people. My usual strategies for dealing with Berkeley Bowl mayhem–breathe deeply, be patient, don’t shove, float with the universe–didn’t help quite as much as usual. There may have been a point to this story, but I’ve forgotten it.

I never did post anything about Vancouver, did I? Maybe later this week.

Return of the amusing link

January 12th, 2004 § Eight comments § permalink

If there’s anything cooler than a dress made of discarded umbrellas, I’d like to know what it is.

(Is that better, Jake? I mean, it’s no breakdancing robot, but…)

Well, ain’t that a kick in the teeth

January 8th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

It’s not too often that a news story makes me sit straight up in my chair and yell unprintable things at my computer, but this one managed to do just that: Schwarzenegger wants to raise fees for UC graduate students by 40 percent. That would be the second 40 percent hike in two years.

Reading this part of the article didn’t make me any happier:

In his State of the State address Tuesday, Schwarzenegger proposed capping annual student fee increases for the state’s university systems at 10%, but did not specify whether he was referring to undergraduate or graduate students.

In his speech, the governor spoke of the necessity of ending what he described as the “boom-and-bust cycle of wildly fluctuating fees with a predictable, capped fee policy” for college students.

“And we must limit fee increases to no more than 10% a year,” Schwarzenegger said. “Like our kindergarten through 12th grade schools, our colleges and universities must also share the burden of the fiscal crisis.”

Late Wednesday, a spokesman for the Department of Finance said Schwarzenegger was referring only to undergraduate students when he proposed a cap on university fee increases.

Oh, so that was what he meant. For a minute there, I thought the governor was just a goddamned liar.

Brand new, you’re retro

January 6th, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

Retrocrush is a huge collection of links to information about advertising, fashion, music, photography, design, and all sorts of other stuff from the past. I didn’t spend much time there, since five minutes at that site could easily turn into three hours; of the links I tried, though, by far the best was the collection of 1920s advertisements for the Chicago Rapid Transit Company. Sadly, there are no reproductions available of my favorites, but you’re welcome to buy this original for me.

Sisyphean overtones

January 6th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Apple’s new slogan for its iLife suite—which includes software for creating DVDs, music, and photo libraries—is “It’s like Microsoft Office for the rest of your life.” I cannot think of a worse fate.

Rocking 2004 like an old wooden chair

January 5th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Happy New Year to one and all. I made numerous resolutions for 2004, none of which I will share with you, my beloved readers, because I don’t want to be mocked when I fail to fulfill most of them.

I got my first haircut of the new year today from a very crabby woman. She was so crabby, in fact, that the next person waiting for a haircut decided to wait for the next stylist rather than deal with her. (Or maybe my haircut was so bad that he was scared off. I honestly don’t know; I wasn’t that happy with it, but I dislike my hair even when everyone else says it looks fine. Sometimes I dream of hacking it all down to stubble, but the result, I suspect, would frighten small children.)

My brother and I went to Vancouver between Christmas and New Year’s, so maybe I’ll post something about that in a few days. I’m waiting to see if any of my pictures turned out decently. One never knows with a Lomo.

No man is a failure who has friends

December 24th, 2003 § Comments off § permalink

Goddamn you, Frank Capra, for making me cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life every single time I watch it.