Saturday, August 30, 2003

Blacks and Whites

Im starting to miss
the camera as opportunities keep passing me by.

Eh, it's not so tragic.
Without the camera in hand, and other changes afoot - I have the time, if not the inclination, to finish up some projects.

One of them is my portfolio.

With a wonky laptop and screen its been slow going.

They all look GOOD as 8x10 prints.


She couldnt
have been more than 18 or 19, dimunitive, dressed in ill-fitting clothes and too large shoes that came from the People's Park free clothes box (aka the Flea Box).

She was shivering violently as she walked toward me, her clothes covered in the dirt and dried leaves that she had slept in, the morning cold having obviously riven her awake.

Her haircut was recent and expensive, her skin smooth and unmarked and her speech SoCal middle-class as she shivered and asked "Sir, can I have a sweater?"

We looked at each other, then at this young pretty asian girl having come to us standing outside the mens shelter in Berkeley's Veteran's Building. I directed Rick to brush off the dirt off the girl, who said her name was Tracy, while I went inside to find her something thick and warm.

She never did tell us what had happened, although we later guessed she was a UC Berkeley student who had ran out of money, hung with the drug-addled crowd and got turned out of the space she had been staying.

Who knows.

Obviously not familiar with the protocols of handling herself without money and a support system, she was dazed and confused. Like most who find themselves without resources and money, thinking that all options have been exhausted.

But she thanked us and walked away, not asking for anything more, not to be seen again.

"She's asian. Asian folk dont like asking for help, they got a lot of pride" said Rick, of filipino and mexican heritage.

I dont know. Im getting to the opinion that pride is often a cover for fear.

Friday, August 29, 2003

More of:

If August 29th is your birthday: by Jeraldine Saunders

You are known by others to be different, someone who likes to call the shots, you're independent and used to going your own way.
You're best self-employed.

You can be sensitive and moody.

At times, youre finely attuned to unseen forces.

The next few weeks are a very lucky time, you could hit the jackpot.

There is involvement with children, perhaps as a teacher.

Stop nodding your head in agreement.

And you, stop shaking your head.


Welcome to the club. :-)

Good feelings to you, M and The Kid.
Born today, your personality is your greatest asset. You are very talented and you score your greatest victories just by being who you are.

There are times when you are scatterbrained, and you never like to put restrictions on your own personal expression. This may cause problems now and then, but you arent about to change who you are because of a personal obstacle.

You are able to seem one thing at one moment, and another the next - but this is a cultivated skill you must use sparingly.

Once you find your niche you are sure to be recognized as an original. You know how to parlay what is uniquely yours into what is truly profitable and widely admired.

Also born on this date are: Michael Jackson, singer, songwriter, entertainer; Sean Connery, actor; Rebecca DeMornay, actress; Richard Gere, actor; Ingrid Bergman, actress; Charlie Parker, musician; Agatha Christie, writer; Mother Teresa, activist, Nobel Prize Winner.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

JPennant: you remembered! :-)
JPennant: nah, not too early :-)
JPennant: heheheh. thank ye boss :-)
JPennant: nah.. you know how I do
JPennant: heh
JPennant: I am :-)
JPennant: heheheh. youre wrong an bad :-)
JPennant: cant afford them :-)

JPennant: nah, life is good. I'll just chill tomorrow

LilBro: its almost an hour before your day son
JPennant: heh. Im on the pacific coast now man
LilBro: u always east coast son. happy birthday again. luv ya
JPennant: luv you 2
LilBro: nite
JPennant: be good

LilBro signed off at 7:56:17 PM.

Today's horrorscope:

You may think that the time and energy you spent on certain plans or certain people was wasted, but nothing in life is ever in vain, so learn what you can from the situation and then move on without a backward glance.

At some stage in the not too distant future, you will realize that what seemed such a negative experience did you a power of good.


And that's all I should need to say about that.
Every year on my birthday, I would buy papers from different areas, ostensibly to read the news on my day, but REALLY to read the yearly astrological forecast, that I would clip and save.

Few of them actually even came close to what happened, but it became a personal tradition.

I plan to continue that tradition tomorrow.

Your Horoscope for August 29, 2003

Something that was a bit of a mystery to you will become crystal clear this year, and you will laugh at yourself when you realize how easily you allowed yourself to be blinded to the truth.

Now that you can see straight at last, make it your No. 1 aim to help others see straight as well. Don't preach to them, just point them in the right direction.

- New York Daily News

This year's personal success expands all past ideas of who you are and re-creates you in a new light. Restructuring goals will make room for an adventure before the end of 2003. Travel this month opens your eyes to ways of living and jobs that you never would have imagined.

Restructuring goals will make room for an adventure before the end of 2003. A Cancer or Taurus could make you fall in love or even marry. Having a clear conscience opens you up to the money flowing toward you.

Your lucky numbers this year are: 1, 44, 24, 16 and 8.

Heheh. Smells like bullshit, but what the hey. :-)

More tomorrah.

They came from the South

It started out
as a trickle, thats why I didnt notice it at first. Nothing out of the ordinary, really.

And then, more and more.

Now, its like we've been invaded.


All over the place, specially near the campus and the Pretty Areas up by the hills.

The folk around Berkeley are pretty health conscious, but you dont see them doing things like *jogging* on a regular basis.

Hell no.

They ride their bikes, walk, hike, all that.. but jog? Not really.

So what gives?

Aha. School just started. We've got an influx of students.

A lot of them from Los Angeles.

Where they do conspicuous jogging, not so much the bicycle riding. (I mean, who rides in LA? Right Jules? ;-)

Ok, I was wondering where all that spandex was coming from.
Another clue that the Angelenos are back, is that all of a sudden, there are stylish students. Many dressing as if they're still having fashion competitions in High School.

Definitely not from Berkeley High.

Eh, that'll change as the school year goes on.

Soon you'll see them walking around in the daytime in bunny slippers and pajama bottoms...

Plus, the cold will soon return (according to the natives), and comfort, not style will prevail.

Drive-by luv

I'll be sitting online and then
CHooper: hiya jojo
just saying hi - gotta watch sex and the city

::big hugs:: cya
CHooper signed off at 6:11:46 PM.

and if she's not in a talkative mood, Kate will
k a t e: howdy
JPennant: hullo

And that's often it for the rest of the day.

Its cool. Thats how she checks in. For like the last 6 years.

Most of the folk on my NY area based buddy list do this.

Even LilBro. Our conversations tend to be brief, unless he's asking for advice or sumthin.

New Yorkers will show you love and then do a "gotta go", as there is always something else to do in NY.

Doesnt mean they dont care, they do.

They just have things to do.
"So, for you, what benefits do you get from acupuncture?"
"Apart from the Fun of Needles? :-)"
"Yeah, what are the main benefits for you?"
"Oh. Well theres the usual, it helps my back pain, feet pain, blood pressure, cravings for caffiene and sugar.

But the BIGGEST benefit is that it evens out my emotional state. I dont have the roller-coaster of peaks and valleys. It helps me to handle the day to day stress without a lot of freaking out."

"But doesnt that numb you?"
"Hmm. I havent changed, Im still a pretty intense person.."
"You hide it well."
"Heh. But nah, I still feel what I feel, Im just quicker to see the positive side of things and not let it worry or affect me."

"I dunno, it just seems like a form of addiction itself."
"You know, in a way it is. But if being addicted to feeling fine is the side effect, I'll take it."

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

You know youre in trouble when Doonesbury starts making fun of you...

Shirked and stirred

From the series "Chef!"

Janet Blackstock: "So, if he's such an incompetent and causing such chaos in your kitchens, why dont you just sack him?"
Chef Blackstock: "Um. Janet, I have to admit something.."
Janet: "What is it?"
Chef: "Umm, Ive never fired anyone."
Janet: "WHAT???? The great Chef Blackstock, feared by all.. youve NEVER fired anyone??? Surely, you must have!"
Chef: "No, Ive usually screamed at them long enough to make them leave or quit, but Ive never had to FIRE them! Oh god, what do I do, Janet?"
Janet: "Fire him."

The fictional Chef Gareth Blackstock, tough and intimidating, was actually a pussycat underneath it... heh, no, underneath it all, he was still an asshole. Just a loyal asshole.

In that episode, he never had to sack the person that he knew he had to. He didnt want to be the bad guy, so his sous-chef efficiently stepped in and took charge and did the unpleasant deed.

(Heh, that was the funniest scene, when in abject relief, he hugged the guy fired and commiserated with him all teary-eyed..)

But thats the thing, sometimes one has to step and do the unpleasant things early.

The other night, someone asked if Id ever fired anyone..

"Sure. Um. Hm. Fired? Well, I usually got them to leave or called the staffing agency or got my superiors to do it.. but hmm.. I dont think I ever FIRED anyone."

One of the sobering realizations of becoming an adult is that eventually youre no longer fighting The Man, because eventually you BECOME The Man.

And that includes doing the unpleasant but necessary things.

"Did you love her?"
"Sure. She's my wife and the mother of my children. But she fired me."
"She FIRED you? :-)"
"Yes, she told me my services were no longer needed and fired me."
"Heheh. Wow. Ive never actually heard it put that way."
"It was the best thing she couldve ever done."

I dont do regrets, but looking back there was one thing I wish I had done earlier..

JPennant: as I said, my only regret with chica was not breaking it off sooner.
JPennant: but thats not my style
JPennant: I almost never do the breakup, even tho I'll instigate it
julez: why?
JPennant: dont wanna be the bad guy without cause
julez: hehehe
JPennant: but Im realising now, thats passive aggressive bullshit
julez: nod

I felt relief when she confirmed her decision to fire me, but man all that time wasted. She did the right thing for herself, and really for me so Im never gonna slam her for it.

But it has made me realize that sometimes, Im gonna have to step up and have the guts to be the Bad Guy.

In everything.

Bad clients. Bad situations. Bad habits.
Its one thing to be prepared to do it, its another to suck it up and get it over with.
Otherwise, bad things are dragged out.
Quick and clean. It really is better that way.

My reputation be damned.

Its called growing up and being The Man.

Not such a big deal, and yet - it is.

Ive been jonesing to get one of these almost since I got in Berkeley, all those blasted months ago.

A Berkeley Public Library Card.

To get one I needed

- A picture ID.


- A verifiable Berkeley address.


Even tho the Great ID saga hasnt finished playing out yet, I finally got both.

Now I have me a Berkeley Public Library Card. Meaning I am now a Berkeley resident.

Good times.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Dinner in San Francisco, at The Stinking Rose, earlier this year.

As we went back and forth, increasingly slandering each others name over dinner, our companion had to blurt out "My god, you guy really do tease each other, dont you?"

We stopped, looked at each other, and went back to it.

Eh, thas me and Kate.

Thats my buddy.

After dinner, I took a few pictures of her outside the restaurant.

Recently, I printed that picture in black and white for proof purposes. Wow.

There is nothing like a good 8x10 b&w print.

Id been showing it to a lot of people.

JPennant: oh! I keep forgetting to mention this to you
k a t e: hm
k a t e: update?
k a t e: hehe
JPennant: remember that picture I printed of you in black and white?
k a t e: yeah
JPennant: people see the print and these are the comments they make
JPennant: "wow"
JPennant: "Is she a celebrity?"
JPennant: "She's gorgeous."
k a t e: the one that i am sitting down at the table?
JPennant: nuh-uh
k a t e: like 2 years ago?
k a t e: which one?
JPennant: the one in front of the Stinking Rose
k a t e: ah
k a t e: hehe
JPennant: the one that I nearly deleted :-)
JPennant: Youre a star :-)
k a t e: ahhh- thanks
JPennant: Im gonna make a glossy print so you can sign it for me ;-)
JPennant: heehee
k a t e: you are so silly
JPennant: :-)
k a t e: but thanks
k a t e: it aint bad to hear that
JPennant: That picture is in my portfolio
JPennant: Oh! This is funny
JPennant: one guy looks at it and goes "Celebrities are people too" :-)
k a t e: hehe

JPennant: later m'dear (((((hug))))
k a t e: bye
Now, here's why I've got my buddy's back.

She later forwards the image to her guy (CC's me the message) and says..

Hey- Joe supposedly is going around SF saying that I am a celebrity in these shots!

If only he knew, the photographer should be the famous one!

<-- *ALL chuffed an' shit*

She gives me hella props.

Yep. Thats my buddy.

Random shytte

, for no good reason...