Saturday, February 21, 2004

What I like

Ive been meaning to put together lists of things Ive grown to appreciate in the Bay Area.

  • The morning fog.

    The morning mystery.. will it stay or will it go. I used to think of it as all fog, but now I can tell the difference between fog, clouds and bad weather.

  • The views

    Pick a hill or high point. Almost any one. On the Penisnsula, the East Bay, the Marin Headlands.

    Then look out and down on the bay.

    Takes your breath away. Even with no fog.

  • The donuts

    Ive tasted em from all over.. but the donuts here often border on the sublime. The Bear Claws mix cinnamon, almonds and cream into an intoxicating mix.

    In New York (and Chicago), these places would usually be Greek run.

    Here, theyre usually Cambodian or Thai.

  • The Water

    New Yorkers like to say their tap water is the best tasting in the world, coming from the upstate reservoirs.

    I never bought into that.

    The water in the East Bay (and San Francisco) comes from the Sierras. Water from Yosemite Park an' shit.

    TRUE mountain-fed spring water.

    Cold and sweet specially when your tap is close to the city mains.

    What I miss

  • Good pizza

    Goat cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, kale .. these are the things that you can expect on a "California" pizza.

    Ok, Ive stopped laughing at it, and sometimes its pretty awesome.. but pizza with no cheese or meat and a spread of tomato paste (for vegetarians and non-dairy folk) is NOT pizza, dammit.

    2 inch thick dough, gobs of fresh mozarella, tomato paste so fresh you can taste the bits of basil still flooating, gobs of meat or vegetables floating in a pie so heavy that you gain weight simply looking at.. now THATS pizza.

  • The energy

    The place is laid back. There is a lot more room here.

    But I miss the concentrated waves of energy that you get in New York.

    Here, you gotta generate your own.

  • Efficient, no-nonsense service

    "Special, buttered, kaiser roll, large coffee, lite, 4 spoons sugar".

    In New York, that means 2 eggs on a kaiser roll, toasted and buttered, cream in the coffee, sweet and how sweet.

    And in 2 minutes at most, youre out the door.

    Here, I have to explain myself. Which takes two minutes usually.


  • Good, inexpensive Transportation

    There are buses and trains aplenty.

    They run pretty regularly and will get you here and there pretty efficiently.


    It costs a lot of money to take mass transit regularly.

    BART (the equivalent of the NY subway and NJ PATH) costs a fucking arm and a leg, unless you stay local, ie within a few stops.

    Unless youre driving or want to spend mad money on a taxi, plan to sleep over if you cross the bay for some late night carousing, because the system shuts down soon after midnight and doesnt reopen until 6am.

    You CAN get stuck here.

    The transportation here, although well designed - is run sort of like a joke (you CAN get around, but not necessarily where you want when you want).. and thats when you realise the Bay Area is, after all is said and done.. a small town.

    Get a car, hope for parking.

    I sometimes look at my metrocard longingly...
    Still, the place kinda grows on you.


    You will find what you are searching for this weekend, but you still won't be satisfied. Virgo may be a practical sign, but you are also quite spiritual in your own way and you are beginning to realize that the answers you seek are not to be found in your career or your relationships.

    Listen to the still, small voice inside. It knows what you need.

    Friday, February 20, 2004

    I Cant Wait - Nu Shooz

    Cant seem to get it out of my mind today.

    Seems appropos.

    I like it. :-)

    Thursday, February 19, 2004

    What surprised me was how casual I was trying to be.

    "Did the conversation last more than 2 seconds?"
    "Hi/bye? Nah, a couple of minutes. We were catching up. 'How ya doin/How's life', that kinda crap."
    "Whooo, take out the life insurance policy. That girl has you pegged."
    "Because I was being nice and didnt rush away?"
    "No, because you stopped what you were doing, cut off the conversation to who you were talking to to devote your attention to her."
    "Hmph. Nuttin' of the sort."

    "Aright Joe... all bullshit, all theory, all ifs and buts out of it..."
    "If you could get back with her.."
    "Never happen. We never even got to the point of kickin' it anyway."
    "Look, the woman even remembered to the *day* a month and a half ago the last time she saw you, you had even forgotten about it."
    "My question is the same.. if everything was right, would you get back with her?"
    "*buzzzzzzzzzzzz* You took too long. You would. Everybody else is just a pacifier compared to her.""

    I was overly casual when I was with her. Who was I trying to covince? Her? or Me?

    Heh, she's smarter than I am anyway. She probably does have me pegged.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    Ever notice :

    You oft
    get the most upset when trying to stay calm?

    That would be my state o' being today.

    Today's horrorscope
    The most important thing today is that you refuse to give in to negative emotions, because the moment when you start seeing yourself as a victim is the moment when you invite other people to treat you as one.

    You and you alone are master of your ship of fate, so stand tall and give the impression that nothing can blow you off course.

    I had to change my schedules around today to accomodate the commands of others.

    If you know anything about me, I am Least Likely to Respond to a Command, let alone requests..

    Still, I mixed a bit of lemonade by making progress today...

    But my state of being would be.... "Irked".

    Yeah, thats it. Irked.

    The phlegmmy cold and sore throat (never been THIS ongoing sickly in decades, I think) aint helpin matters.

    So, Im in heavy Jedi Mind Trix mode trying to change my prevailing attitude from "Cloudy, with the likelihood of storms" to "Some sunshine".

    Think of it as a work in progress, only helped by the fact Im making some major progress on the personal and professional level.

    Still a bit irked tho.

    As the astrologers point out, however:
    Yes, there is so much you want to do.

    But your impatience could be a serious handicap over the next 24 hours, so temper it with the knowledge that life always presents you new opportunities.

    Aright, aright.

    I guess this would fall under the category of an opportunity..

    Mail from Tim the Photographer today

    --- Tim wrote:
    > Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 22:26:49 -0500
    > Subject: Fancy a change?
    > From: Tim
    > To: Joe Pennant
    > Thought you might be interested or know someone who
    > may be interested in the
    > following...

    > ------ Forwarded Message
    > From: **********
    > Aloha folks,
    > Our program is looking for volunteers from June to December 2004.
    > Volunteers must be willing to camp in the field 4 -
    > 6 nights per week and
    > be capable of working late into the night. Some
    > sites are reached by
    > hiking 7 - 12 miles in hot weather conditions with a
    > 30+ pound backpack.
    > Volunteers must possess a valid US driver's license.
    > Dorm style food and
    > housing provided. ....

    Great. Googly. Moogly.

    Im still trying to pull my jaw into an upright position.

    Of course, I have no DL, I hate hiking with a passion one can only dream of, Im low on the elctronic and camera gear, and no funds to support myself ..

    ..which would automatically have me taking a pass on even considering this.

    But you know, miracles have been made on less.

    And the cons sure as hell arent overwhelming the masive Pro of...


    On someone else's dime.




    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    This morn, it felt important to go on IM at the library, even with only an hour to spare:

    Kate: I might be out there for a couple of days in march
    JPennant: When its good, you'll be here. No hurries hon.
    Kate: :-)
    JPennant: I was describing you to some people the other day...
    Kate: yeah - this girl Kate
    Kate: she is crayz
    Kate: over sensitive
    Kate: nutz
    Jpennant: heheheh, trust me
    Jpennant: youre only messed up in your own imagination ;-)
    Kate: ahhh - I miss ya!
    Kate: you make me feel so good sometimes
    Kate: I needed this self-esteem boost :-D
    Jpennant: I said, "This girl Kate is madd loyal, kind, spirited and wise. Helluva friend."
    Kate: :-D
    Kate: If I am in and out.. I am sorry
    Kate: just got lots to do
    Jpennant: gotta go in a few anyway.. I just logged on to give you a hug and a holla
    Kate: :-)
    Kate: take care:-):-):-)
    jpennant: Proud of you sweetheart.
    kate: thanks
    kate: i am trying :-)
    Jpennant: ;-)

    That's my buddy.
    Me and Clint were cubicle mates together in the Mac support section at AOL.

    We spent a lot of hours side by side - we HAD to get along. :-)

    McClint: yo joe
    jpennant: yo clint

    jpennant: Me, me, me, me, me
    McClint: wait your turn hehehe
    jpennant: <-- channelling the seagulls on Finding Nemo
    McClint: hahahahahah
    McClint: i woulda had you pegged for the great white shark who
    gets a whiff of blood and goes crazy
    jpennant: LoL. "Im having me FISH tonight!"
    McClint: ... but BEFORE he smells that blood. a gentle giant
    jpennant: heehee

    There one picture of us, back from 95 or 96 I think, both of us with goatees.

    Wish I'd kept that picture.

    Second thoughts

    "I dont do film cameras anymore, man."
    "The way to do it is to get the film in bulk and roll your own canisters..."

    "Heh. That reminds me of high school photo classes. Nah, look at the economics.. with film, I shoot 36, I may get 4 or 5 usuable images. EVERY time I shoot, with developing, thats 20 bux blown PER roll. Nah fuck that. With a memory card, I shoot 300 images for free. I have a coupla Nikon cameras floating around in storages around the country for that rerason."

    "Still, he's asking 20 bux for each camera."

    "Hm, lets go take a look at the camera.. particularly that Nikon he says he has. The lens alone is prolly worth more than that."

    So, that how I picked up a Nikon N60 in pristine condition with a 28-80 mm AF zoom attached for all of 20 bux.

    Doubt I'll even use it.


    Although it might be cool to drop in some Ilford B&W and shoot Berkeley's Third Avenue (aka the train tracks) in the moody fog...