Emer’gen-C, how beautiful to be

November 22nd, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

November has kept me hopping like a frog in Calaveras County, as Dan Rather might or might not say. Between the homemade cinnamon rolls, Crooked Jades and Grey De Lisle concerts, silent films, wine-tasting trips, movie-watching parties, farewell dinners, housewarming dinners, phone calls to friends, and, oh yeah, graduate school projects, my life has been wonderfully hectic. I’m about to spend a couple of weeks in the end-of-the-semester meat grinder—also hectic, but in a less wonderful way. I get to see Iron & Wine as I emerge, though, which will be a nice treat.

Collectively, my fellow students have about 23 different contagious diseases right now, and I think I may be coming down with one of them. It’s just a minor cold, though. I’m infusing my body with as much Emer’gen-C as seems reasonable. Maybe I can beat this thing. I hope I can. The end-of-the-semester grinder is not kind to diseased meat.

Information glut

November 6th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

I have too many sources of information—too many weblogs whose news feeds I track; too many local and national newspapers that I read every week, or day; too many magazines filling my mailbox. As much as I enjoy reading miscellany from around the globe, I’m a graduate student, so my job, almost by definition, is to focus my attention on a relatively narrow area. Right now, my head is so cluttered that it’s tough to focus on anything.

I’ve dropped a few weblogs from the list already, and I’ll probably drop more over the next week. My hope is that this will usher in a new era of hyperproductivity, enabling me to finish my professional report at the speed of light. Failing that, perhaps I’ll have time to learn how to play the borrowed guitar that’s sitting in my living room, taunting me with its mysterious frets.

Help me, internets!

October 27th, 2004 § Six comments § permalink

What should I be for Halloween?

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?

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.

Jeff be not proud

September 16th, 2004 § Six comments § permalink

Ben and Jerry’s can be part of a balanced breakfast, right?

So what am I so afraid of

September 12th, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

One of my high school classmates is in contention for the role of Keith Partridge on the VH1 series In Search of the Partridge Family. And not just any classmate, but one who I betrayed, on stage, for 30 pieces of silver. I hope he doesn’t exact revenge if he becomes famous.

The kind you find in a secondhand store

September 7th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

I made a strawberry sorbet this evening, but it failed utterly to solidify. My ice cream maker scarcely chilled it; even after another couple of hours in the freezer, it’s just starting to form icy chunks. Either it’s too damned hot in Oakland to be making sorbet or I’ve invented an amazing new strawberry-based antifreeze.

Learning

September 2nd, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Summer’s over, and I’ve started filling my brain with city planning facts once again. Two of my classes are engaging and enjoyable; two of them are dull but practical; and a fifth was so laughably bad that I dropped it. Not a bad ratio, actually. It should be a good semester.

I joined several of my fellow students last night at the Parkway to see Spider-Man 2. It’s quite a treat to watch a movie on a big screen while sitting on a couch and drinking Newcastle (and eating pizza, should you choose to). The movie was cheesy but entertaining. All of us cracked up when the dean admonished Peter Parker by saying, “Planning is not a major at this university.” We are such dorks.

In unrelated news, I received spam today from “adulterous putt.” What exactly would that entail?

You don’t know Jack

August 26th, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

A friend of mine emailed Jack Bishop, the executive editor of Cook’s Illustrated and author of several excellent cookbooks, to tell Bishop about a ravioli-making tool he had discovered. Bishop, who apparently reads his own email, sent a very nice reply. This prompted my friend to forward the reply to his wife and me; add the acronym “OMFG” to the subject line; refer to himself as “JUST ANOTHER GIBBERING JACK BISHOP FAN BOY”; and use more exclamation points than I’ve ever seen outside of an eBay seller review.

I have pretty awesome friends.

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