Saturday, December 20, 2003

A good time not had at the movies

Instead of
the movies, I went walkabout today.

I went into the Oikland Hills to recon the layout in case I get lost on Christmas Night. Cant be too careful.

Yep. Way hilly.

I loudly wondered (to myself and others within earshot) if anyone in those parts ever walked anywhere.

Eventually I found a Secret Way Back that made me less fearful of the Montclair Hills.

Still, lets make sure I have Plan B cab money.

Once Im in Walkabout Mode, I wander.
Wandered the Montclair Hills Village area.

No Barnes and Nobles, but many cute little shoppes of the bourgeois type.

According to Montclair Village guide I studied (Got it from the Montclair Malt Shop, great Vanilla malted: $4.75 tho) ... they have 10 psychiatrists IN A 3 BLOCK SQUARE AREA.

Money (or wanting it) will make you mad I think.

Got off the bus.

Found myself in Oakland's Chinatown.


By my reckoning, although far smaller than San Francisco's Chinatown.. way better.

Ahhhhh, the joy of getting lost amongst crowds of people.

Heh. In a 3 square block area.

I swear to gawd, I did.

I got lost.

Cool. :-)

Me to cute chica under an umbrella..

"Do you know where Maria's Bakery is? I thought it was around here somewhere..."

Her responding in California Valley Girl-type speak*: (*trust me guys, y'all DO sound like that. I dont giggle when I hear it now.)

"Oh no! I think it's closed down now!"

"Any other place that you know of?"

"Like, a place that has the fancy pastries like Maria's? There are a couple of places around here, but not like Maria's."

"Ok, thank you - I'll go look."

"I'm sorry! Good luck!"

I smiled back, and jaywalked across the middle of Franklin Street (Californians act like Jaywalking is a capital offense..) to find a pastry shop.

I found several.

The first:

Reading from EXTENSIVE pastry bun menu..

"Can I get a shitake chicken bun, two hot dog buns and..."

"No no.. only Pineapple bun."

"Ok, then I'll get a ham and cheese.."

"Pineapple bun, we only have Pineapple bun."

I stop, regeared, smiled at the idiocy of a pastry shop only having one item out of 42 listed, wheeled and went back out into the rain.

*munch*.. number two (Sun Sing Pastry) had everything. Tummy full now.

NOT cool however, is when people apply an age-old insult.. spitting forcefully as you walk by or they go by you.

An age-old expression of insult.

Shit, they dont spit that much even in NY.

And this has happened every time Ive been through Oakland's chinatown.

This time, I only remember two loud and forceful spitters behind me.

An old woman and a young man.

Usually, I dont notice until after the fact, and Ive had the time to analyze.. or I ignore it.

Now, Im pissed.

Next time that crap happens, I may turn around and return the favor or express another age-old insult.

Again, most folk are cool, but it does happen every time I roll through there.

Not cool at all.
After a mild shopping spree (Yeo's Soymilk and a vietnamese sesame cookie), I stopped and treated to myself to a Horlicks Tapioca drink.


Now I know I see alla da time, tapioca drinks sitting out in the open with a good 1/3'rd left of balls and juice.

No one actually EATS alla the chewy tapioca balls I find.

At first it brought peace, but the prospect of chewing all those tapioca balls.. eh no.

The trick to finishing your drink: Abandon the straw, open the lid and suck the last of the juice out leaving the balls.

Goin' walkabout. Better than the movies.

".. when you need to find coffee and donuts, go get a cop.."

Au Coqulet Cafe
Milvia and University
Berkeley, California

Walked into coffee shop to get caffienated. French owner asks me what I need. I reply curtly..

"French Roast. Room for cream."

He passes on the order to counter help, I pick up BearClaw pastry.

He stops, looks at me, asks

"Dont I know you? You look VERY familar."

"Of course you do, Ive been in here a lot."

He peers then leans over to me..

"Are you a cop?"

I think "Christ, another paranoid Berkeleyite who thinks everybody is an undercover cop." I laugh and answer..

"No, but I get that a lot."

He doesnt laugh, and repeats sotto voce, "But you ARE a cop, right?"
I laugh and say "No, but I have cop genes. My father was a police officer."

"Oh. Well, you look familiar", and then he laughs, a little nervously I notice.

I'll put that into my report.

I pick up my coffee and its not until later that I realize I shoulda said "yes, I am an officer"; then maybe I woulda gotten my caffiene gratis from now on.

"Shitza!", as Kate would say.

Whoo, Im still highly caffienated. Think I'll go catch a movie.

That Lord of the Rings one, then "Bad Santa", and then mebbe that Jack Nicholson flick.

Pay for one matinee, sneak into others.

Oaklanders call this "hopping".

Friday, December 19, 2003

Seemingly dense

"You know, she really is beautiful."
"Maaan, sometimes you really ARE slow!"
"The girl is BEAUTIFUL. You guys get along. And you are now noticing how beautiful she is?????"
"Youre hella smart about most things, but sometimes I wonder about you."
"Heh. I just said that because I was merely wondering if I might be missing something good."
"DUH! You ARE!!"

Heh. Nah.

We're better friends.

Events usually prove my initial instincts right.

She is a beautiful person, tho...

Inside and out.

Glad to have her around.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Random thought while enjoying the scenery just now

Another gob-smacked-up
, ungodly, unbelievable, photo-effin-genic sunset in one of the beautiful parts of the planet.

Where Im broke, cold and oft-times wondering WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING here.

I dont HAVE to *^$#^ be here, suffering. I could be elsewhere where its warm and cheap and and..


That sunset is fuckin' incredible.

Then I calm down and enjoy the people and the scenery.

"It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year.."

Ahh, tis Mercury retrograde time again.


Ruling Planet Mercury is retrograde.

Apply Murphy's Law to everything you do thru 6 Jan.

Dates to watch out for are the 22nd, 26th, and 30th.

Hee. Apply Murphy's Law..

Time for change whether I like it or not.

A Merc retro started this journey of being 'residentially challenged'. Heh.

In hindsight, I wished I had done that sooner instead of it being forced upon me by circumstance.

Still, Im being told by folk around me, Im a different, more confident man nowadays having gone through this crapp.

Currently, my instinct is to lay low till after the new year... and lo, sez my horrorscope today:
Because yours is such a practical sign, you don't always trust your inner voice, that part of you that seems to know the answers even when you don't know the questions.

However, experience has taught you that if you ignore that voice, you tend to regret it later, so let it guide you today and every day from now on.

Right on, I do.

I think.
The most important thing now is that you focus on what you are good at and forget about everything else.

As Mercury, your ruler, turns retrograde in the area of your chart that governs your powers of creativity, you must recognize that the more you spread your energy around, the less you will get back from it.

Specialization is the key to success.

Aright! Plastics!


Tuesday, December 16, 2003


After a few tries, boring post wouldnt post.

As my superstition goes, if it dont wanna post, the gods dont want it out there.


*drum drum drum*

Bored, bored, bored.

Sometimes, patience isnt what its all cracked up to be.
Ah well, got a lotta reading to do.

History, art, sociology, grant writing, production, business.. oh my.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Just finished reading BOBO's in Paradise.

Funny how books I need to read fall into my hands when Im ready to receive the message.

Cuz I'm in Berkeley, California. You know, Volvo central.

Oh.. BOBO = Bourgeois Bohemians.

I know 'em intimately.

The overly educated folk who mix conservative Bourgeois values with the flexible Bohemian viewpoint.

Think Latte town, distressed furniture and Range Rovers with Save the ________ bumper stickers and you've got the idea.

Or people who drop 10, 20, 60 large to get back to nature on the farthest ends of the earth. For meaning.

At least here, they usually mean well.

Good book.

As the natives say:

"This..... is Berkeley".

Kinda grows on you.

I should make a bumper sticker.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Yea, verily....

Been humming
and whistling all kindsa Christmas standards recently...

Winter Wonderland kindsa stuff. Been even doing Jazz riffs to 'em. Even had a few "NICE!!" in passing.

Heh, Fred.. Im currently whistling "Here Comes Santa Claus", and thinking about Ralphie Parker in "The Christmas Story". ;-)

Heee. :)
Today's horrorscope

As Yule lights flicker, your brave spirit draws people like a magnet.

You've come a long, long way, adding perspective to an upsy, downsy year. (It's called building character.)

Now the idealist in you shifts its concern to the nitty gritty of life, like the green stuff that doesn't grow on trees and has very little to do with wreaths or holly.

This year, you have to be your own Santa.

You've come a long, long way..

Heh, building character, eh.

I gotta admit, its been a helluva ride.

Which has given a little extra flavor to this holiday season.

Which is why Im humming christmas ditties loudly and unabashed.

Its a good thing. :-)