Thursday, September 30, 2004

When you have one crappy car...

the world is your oyster. I was outlining the most obvious problems of my little car to the 2002 email list, and someone offered my another free car! Wow. I don't know how good it is (it is registered, and running) but it can't be much worse than my car. So if I can find a ride down to Menlo Park Saturday morning I'll be driving back in my newest old car...yay!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Happy Cake, by MeredithPosted by Hello

The Happy Couple Posted by Hello

Old Adobe, by Meredith Posted by Hello


I'm going to try to keep the crappy photos to a minimum here, but I'll be posting greater numbers of them at for all y'all who want to see more.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Love, Petaluma Style.

Saturday I got to see my ex-best-friend get married. Ex, in that our lives have drifted, not ex, like we hate each other. Shannon (The Groom) and I were almost inseperable for 10 years, from 9 until 19. His parents helped raise me, and I lived with them for long periods during the tumultuous teen years. He's moved on to Brooklyn, with a cadre of other Petalumans, but they all came back to their hometown to get married at the Old Adobe.

It was much more fun than I had anticipated. I always dread seeing old friends, because I usually fall into shy/silent mode, and everyone gets the impression that I've become an asshole. But Saturday was different. For one thing, this was the first time in nearly a decade that I got to see many of my old "crew" and I only wished that we could've hung out longer. It looks like I'll be flying to Brooklyn soon.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Road to El Sobrante Posted by Hello

El Sobrante is wack

Last night Meredith and I drove down to El Sobrante to pick up a bunch of parts for my crappy little car. I've never been to El Sobrante, and actually I'm pretty ignorant of most parts of the Bay Area that aren't Oakland, Berkeley, SF, or Marin. I was looking foward to it, beyond just getting the parts I needed to get my car on the road, I like seeing new places. Being a planning/urban form geek I love to try to disect the story of a place from first impressions. Thus: El Sobrante is wack.

It seems to me that this area caught the very end of the paper wealth the (shouldn't that be simply .com?) boom generated because you have a suprising number of McMansions right next door to completely dilapidated crack-shacks. Houses that are missing steps, and have the windows covered in tin-foil with piles of garbage in the front yard. And almost all the houses (even the decrepit ones) have really odd design features. Hexagonal towers wrapped in fake stone. Roofs that come all the way to the ground, with windows cut into them. Just wack houses.

The Hilltop Mall was clearly designed to be "shopping destination" with regional importance, yet it is definately on the skids. I've never seen so modern a mall look so rundown and empty. The walls are graced with clean spots in the shape of a Macy's sign. The parking lot is almost empty. It was nicely spooky.

That being said, the guy who sold me parts was really nice and helpful.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


I've been having a low-grade Franco-freakout over the last week or so. Since Saturday actually. When I was 14 I was an exchange student in the south of france, and for over a decade I thought about it every day. Some thing would remind me of france everyday, whether it was a smell, a sound, hearing a song. And strangely for the last year or two that has kinda faded. Christ, it's been 15 years. But that's not the point. The point is: It's back big time. Actually international-wanderlust has come back in a big way. It's finally starting to sink in, that I'm actually making enough money to survive (almost a first for me), and that I can actually save money and travel. That just hasn't been an option for 15 years. Now I need to get my passport renewed, and figure out dog sitters, and get out there.

Also, England. I wanna go to England. And Japan. And...welll fuck it, Europe in general. Especially the mountains.

And I wanna drive across this bizarre country of ours.

Blogs v Media

On NPR this morning, there was a pretty good discussion on (for the 10 minutes I heard) the media, and the role of blogs/internet news. There was lots of simplistic discussion a la "Is this the end of new media?" etc...but what got me thinking was how blogs are the next progression in distributed information. Think about the web 7-10 years ago, there was very little commercial content, and it was all people's personal hobbies, educational institutions, etc...Then the model got dialed and the web-space was overrun by commercial interests. Ok, yes that was an over simplification, but really it is harder to find the arcane knowledge on the web now, and most of what I come across seems to have been abandoned in 1998 or '99. There were warnings for years about the commercialization of the web, and the loss of the "digital-commons" as if once it went commercial, then no one would be able to express themselves free of undue corporate influence again.

But what people (myself included) fail to remember, is that corporations are hesitant, and slow to adopt new forms of communications. It took them years to figure out web-pages. People can move much faster and are much more flexible in terms of communication, so forums and blogs have risen up to fill the loss of the static webpage. I think it's an improvement, as blogs and forums are much better forms for communicaiton between people as opposed to creating a standard-html-static-no-feedback web page. It becomes a dialogue, instead of a monologue.

It appears, that corporations are figuring out how to market in forums and review sites (pay people to type really good product reviews), but they don't own the channel of informtaion (as they do with TV/Radio/Print. That's pretty cool.

Is media dead? Hell no, and it shouldn't be. But it would be nice if journalists went back to being fact checkers, and critical thinkers, as opposed to 'reporters.' Have you ever listened to a BBC interview? They are so much tougher than the hardest hitting journalist in the States, it's stunning.

Anyway, no real point, but this is what is in my brain this morning.

Again with the crappy-ness Posted by Hello

My crappy little car, the first time I saw it. Posted by Hello

Cars on parade

So after months of having a rusted out, smoking, moldy 1972 BMW 2002, I will finally be driving it after this weekend. I found a guy in the east bay who will be giving me the final parts I need to make it drivable. I'm so excited. The car is a heap (but it was free) and I plan to give it a good running in to see if it blows up before I spend anymore time/money on it. If it doesn't throw a rod, or catch fire, I will probably put pictures up as I improve upon it.

Monday, September 20, 2004

My version of the way the world should be. Posted by Hello

Wouldn't you want to buy a book from this mug? She should be running a newspaper stand in NYC. Posted by Hello

Giant men and baby, with macaroni salad. Posted by Hello

Weather and errata

God the weather has been absolutely great since Sunday morning. I love fall, and I'm suprised at how deeply happy this weather makes me. It's like coming out of a sun-drunk hangover.

Anyway, I've decided that I need to start getting a little more organized with my time. I've got a lot of things I want to do, and I need to squeeze every minute. So I will start breaking up my nights into different tasks. Mondays will be Photoshop training, Wednesday will be AutoCAD, maybe Tuesday will be bicycle riding/jogging. Thursday will be open. Friday will be photography training. Saturday/Sunday will probably be open.

Work has improved dramatically since last week, and while I was in a great mood going into work, I was in an even better mood after today. I got a little raise, and it looks like I'll be getting to do what I want to do. Now i just have to make it work. It feels good to not dread going into the office.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Man. I am really craving cable tv right now. There is nothing better when I'm feeling lousy then turning on some deep cable, be it comedy central, or Discovery Channel. I really wish I could lie on the couch and watch some vapid show about the biggest oil platform in the world. Or something about Egypt. I guess I'll just listen to this american life ( and sleep.

A whirlwind of nothing....

So I thought today was going to be madness and enjoyment of lots of events. It turned out to be one of the quietest/crappiest Saturday's I've had in a while. I went to the bookfair to help Free Mind Media setup, and then I bailed so I could do my last minute shopping/wrapping for the baby shower. In my rush I didn't get to check out the zine section much (and I didn't buy anything). Meredith did,(blog: Monster Town) so I'm looking foward to reading what she got.

Then I went home and I was feeling pretty lousy. I've got acid-reflux or a pre-ulcer or something, so I have problems with food. It's been acting up this last week, and I had a small bland first lunch. Then I was feeling a little better so I ran some more errands and found out that the baby shower is tomorrow. So I came home and ate a small less bland second lunch. Then I got sick, and ended up sleeping 4 hours. When I got up it was pretty much too late to go to the Heebee-Jeebee Halloween Store Openning, and I didn't feel up to going to a show (I still feel pretty bad). So now I'm just sitting in my bed with a cat across my wrists and listening to music. I think I'll be asleep within an hour. Ugh. I hope I feel better tomorrow.

where are we?

where are we?: "A link to my best friend's (Laurel's) blog about moving to India for 6-7 months to work on a chi-chi winery near Mumbai. "

Friday, September 17, 2004

Mad Weekend.

This weekend is shaping up to be a whirlwind of desire and obligation. Here's a rough itenery

Sonoma County Book Fair. It should be great, and have lots of neat books (whoa!) and zines, comics, etc...Free Mind Media will be there with a table. Free Mind is a group of activists (and more passivists like myself) who source interesting books, media, information and try to give it a greater audience by tabling at shows, book fairs, etc.. Go check out their stuff, it's good.

The Spindles are playing at some brewery (Guerneville?) sometime that day. It would be nice to see them again.

I have a baby shower to go to for my friends Dan & Julie. Crap I forgot to get a gift this week. Looks like I'll be doing some last minute shopping.

Saturday night is the KRCB "Left of the Dial" show at the Last Record Store, and Ashtray is playing. I saw them a long time ago, but I was really impressed. I'm hoping to go. You should too.

There's something else happening Saturday too, but I can't remember what it is.

At any rate there should be lots of good photos for next week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Shiva again Posted by Hello

My friend Jack, and Shiva.  Posted by Hello

Monkeys. In India. About to steal a banana from my friend's hand. Eeek. I love monkeys too. Posted by Hello

This time near Penngrove. Posted by Hello

More neon. Posted by Hello

Graffiti. I love graffiti Posted by Hello

One in the series of neon signs I like Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Me working on my parent's kitchen. Sunday morning Posted by Hello

Meredith and her daughter Zelia at the New Trust show (@ the Last Record Store) on Saturday night. Posted by Hello

Meredith's son Sylvan Posted by Hello

Saturday morning at the Flying Goat with my dog. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Flight or Invisibility?

I think I've always wanted to be a private dectective. And not for the obvious reasons. If I really think about the job, and probably is an incredibly depressing job, but it's not the pulp-fiction glamor of gun fights, car chases, and sultry clients. What really appeals to me is the ability to bear witness, and use your intellect for what's right. I never wanted to be a cop, because you aren't there to uphold "right", you are supposed to enforce the law. I think upholding something as tenuous and personal as "right" is a much trickier, and therefore interesting, job. In reality, you probably end up watching spouses cheat on each other, and people attempt to fraud big companies out of insurance money. But the allure is still there. I guess it goes without saying that one of my childhood (and still current) heros was Sherlock Holmes.

The allure of illicit knowledge is pretty tempting too. I've never wanted to be the front-man. I was never interested in acting, but I wanted to know what went on behind the scenes. I'm still drawn to explore every stage area I can, because I want to know what it *really* looks like. Not to the crowd, but to the people who perform. Being a private eye dovetails neatly into that too. The public lives we lead all so homogenized by social mores, that I imagine there are a lot of interesting things happening under the surface, much like the action that happens 'backstage.'

I think the social expectations are more ridgid in many ways then they have been. Media tell us what they are, and while they may be more diverse now (due to the huge variety of media we can access), this diversity just means that there are more templates to hold to. It seems as if almost every sub-culture has been vetted by some form of TV, radio, blog, etc and these treatments then live on to color those sub-cultures from then on.

How many budding punks got their start watching "Suburbia" or "Sid and Nancy" or some other variation on that theme? But I think the people beneath the image are far more interesting than any amount of social decoration. I always want to know what people's stories are, what they believe, and how they got to be who they are. It usually pretty entertaining. I think being a private eye has some of this to it. You need to figure out people's stories. How they fit into the greater world. I bet it's a terrible job though.

Also, I like being sneaky.

As the title asks: Flight or Invisibility? This was a question I heard on NPR's "This American Life" (a brilliant radio program of stories every Saturday at noon, and 10pm, or The full question was: If you could have one super-power, flight or invisibility, which would you choose. The consensus was that if you chose invisiblity you were sneaky, dishonest, a voyeur etc...and if you chose flight you were ...not arrogant, but something along those lines. Anyway, I've toyed with the idea for a long time, and as media has told me, there's always a drawback to getting a wish granted. So I was trying to think of all the little problems with each one. What it comes down to (assuming I can actually solve each nagging problem; such as not having to be naked to be invisible, or not freezing to death if I fly very high etc..) is that I think I'd rather be invisible.

In truth, this kind of suprises me, because I hate to fly in airplanes, well that's overstating it. I dislike it. A lot. But I think flying would create too much attention. I could see where I would choose flying if I really could work out *all* the bugs (like people not being able to see me when I flew etc..) but day to day I think being invisible would be fun. I don't want to steal stuff, or see people have sex or anything (come on seriously, most people look really weird naked). But it would be entertaining to be able to observe people going about their daily life without impacting them. Also I would become a kick-ass private eye.

My little Dog, Fargo Posted by Hello

First blog

Today is my best friend's birthday. She's in India, so we don't get to hang out. It's the first birthday in a long time that I haven't at least made some lame excuse as to why her present isn't ready yet.

Maybe I'll start off with a little biographical info. I'm 29 and I work for an environmental consultant, what I do there is currently in flux, suffice to say that I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. I live in Petaluma, with a roomate, a dog and two cats. As I type the dog is freshly damp and fragrant from a bath. I'm new to blogging, but I've been wanting to find some outlet for my day to day thoughts. When I was younger I used to write a lot, but I fell out of practice, and now after college and writing technical documents for work, I feel my writing has become awkward. So this is a way for me to regain my written voice, and post photos.

I love photography, another hobby I had when I was younger. I've rediscovered how much I enjoy it after I got a Nikon D70. I imagine that lots of the content here will be photos that I take during my day to day. I think I'll start with last weekend.