ibd header photograph by James Reffell, June 2000

Thursday, August 31, 2000
My friend Colin has been rhapsodizing about DC in August. You lovers of temperate climates may think I'm crazy, but he's right. I miss DC's hot cocoon of humid air, its thunderstorms, and - in fact - the character of all its seasons. As much as I love the personal circumstances of my life (victorian style apartment, wonderful boyfriend, gritty urban san francisco, cat...not so much the job), I really miss having actual weather (snow, lightening and tropical downpours -not just fog), and actual seasons.
8/31/2000 03:24:46 PM

Every once in a while, I am pleasantly surprised by people. On Monday, after a 4.5 year silence, a man who swore he would never speak to me again (after I helped to mangle our dating situation) dropped me an email. I was always incredibly sorry that we had not ended on speaking terms. Totally apart from dating issues, I missed his literacy and his sense of humor. I'm very happy to hear from him.
8/31/2000 03:15:06 PM

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

I've been reading my neighbor Brandon's journal of his weeklong trip to Nepal , and thinking about wealth and this country.

Brandon talks about being able to stay in a hotel for just under $2 (120 rupees) a day. That's no money for us, but is apparently big bucks for a Nepali - $15 US dollars (1500 rupees) spends like $1,000 in Nepal. It is unthinkable to me how far money here could go in Nepal - and unthinkable, too, how much buying power westerners have when visiting (or considering opening businesses).

Economics are evil and unreasonable.
8/30/2000 02:17:58 PM

Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Belle seems to be slowly coming to the conclusion that she is stuck in our house and so she'd better learn to like it. She let me pet her for about half an hour last night, and can be seen exploring the kitchen and dining room out of the corner of your eye (if you look at her directly she's gone - all the way across the apartment, and under a futon - like magic).

In other news, it's only Tuesday, and I am faced with any number of deadline driven, important, dull things to do. I suppose I'd better get to it.
8/29/2000 02:52:41 PM

Monday, August 28, 2000

So now James HAS updated feckless. I'll stop nagging him for at least a week. About feckless, anyway. (You be quiet, Mr. Reffell)

8/28/2000 03:06:19 PM

Saturday, August 26, 2000

8/26/2000 09:21:58 PM

Hey! It's a beautiful Saturday in San Francisco, and I've just adopted a cat. She's a very small tortoise shell named Belle, who I just couldn't leave at the shelter. At the moment she's not speaking to James and I, as we ripped her away from her beautiful kitty condo at the SPCA and hauled her around to to the pet store and home in a small cardboard box. She was, however, really charming before we caused her this trauma, and I have high hopes she'll forgive us eventually.

I'll put a picture up when she IS speaking to me.
8/26/2000 05:48:23 PM

Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Yay! My favorite Genevieve is coming back to San Francisco.
8/23/2000 04:35:59 PM

Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Right. So, I'm back at work, where my desk looks as if it's been hit by a hurricane, and none of the problems I hoped would be magically resolved over vacation have budged an inch.

Meanwhile, James hasn't updated feckless, even though he's been home these couple of days. Slacker. Let no one say that the name of the log isn't well chosen! (In all fairness, he's trying to get a couple of projects done before being oriented and starting school next week - but you'll never see any of the projects, because he'll never update feckless.)
8/22/2000 01:30:02 PM

Sunday, August 20, 2000

I just returned from a three-and-a-half-day vacation - the first independent vacation I've ever had! James and I drove (in the most ridiculous little white hatchback Daewoo) up route one between San Francisco and Fort Bragg.

Last Thursday, we ate breakfast in Mill Valley at the Dipsea Cafe, stopped at Point Reyes to see the lighthouse (and walk up and down four hundred or so little steps on a steep incline, startling at least one very cute lizard), and spent the whole rest of the day winding around the coast, staring astonished at gorgeous ocean vista after gorgeous ocean vista (honestly, after a while you start feeling resentful and just wish the landscape would be ordinary for a moment, so you can concentrate on driving). My only regret is that we did NOT stop at any of the shops for barbecued oysters, which were nowhere to be found once we reached Mendocino. Next time I'll know better.

We stayed for three nights at a motel in Fort Bragg - a decent, inexpensive place with a continental breakfast (translation weak coffee and donuts) called Beachcombers. We had a modest but nice room with a view of the beach. We could have spent more for a room with a hot tub and fireplace and a view of the beach, but decided that we were on vacation to see Fort Bragg, and not to see the hotel room, and prioritized accordingly. (The truth is that as long as I can leave a window open and hear the waves, almost any room near the beach will make ME happy.)

Fort Bragg, located about 11 miles further north on Route 1, is Mendocino's less pretentious little sister. Like Mendocino, Fort Bragg has pretty nineteenth century houses, bed and breakfasts, beaches, and expensive shops, but it also has cheap hotels, bars, hardware stores, a tattoo parlor and signs of industry. It's apparently big enough to support three good book stores (including one with an attack cat who climbed from another woman's shoulder into my lap and had to be forcibly removed). You get the impression that real people (TM) live in Fort Bragg, whereas Mendocino seemed to be entirely filled with weathly retirees, middle-aged and youthful hippies, and wealthly vacationing yuppies. I found Mendocino terribly pretty, but after you'd wandered around for an hour, there didn't seem to be much to do. (One caveat - there's one bakery in Mendocino called Tote Fete [I think]. DO order a sticky bun there. I think they may be the best I've ever had. Sadly, brilliant vacations must be composed of more than lying around eating sticky buns.)

Our motel had immediate access to the ocean. If you walked out of our room, and up three steps and over a sidewalk, you found yourself knee deep in long grass which led to a cliff, with a beach below. We explored the beach in the cold fairly early on Friday, then went back later in the day (and on Saturday afternoon) to lie around. The water was cold enough that I didn't want to go in (nothing should be quite that invigorating), but I did enjoy reading while listening to the waves, and enjoyed watching lunatic children running in and around them.

Foggy morning at MacKerricher State Park, August 2000 At any rate, after two days of lolling around Fort Bragg and Mendocino, as well as MacKerricher State Park (grass, tide pools, dunes, seals), we packed up and headed back to San Francisco via 101, which was MUCH faster than route one. The 30 mile drive from Fort Bragg to Willitz (where we picked up 101) was largely over land managed by the National Forest Service - which meant that it was beautiful, wooded, and very probably surrounded by resentful people who'd prefer to log all the forests and by devoted environmentalists sitting in strategically important trees [note: I'm not making a political judgement here about either side. You'll have to wait for some other day to hear what I think about logging and environmentalism. My views are probably too moderate to be interesting anyway] . Anyway, it was unsettling to see the north coast of California, and realize that this was the site of so much political tension. Because I come from the east coast, I don't tend to attribute that kind of political content to real landscapes (though perhaps I should, since I'm perfectly confortable reading political context in 18th century landscape paintings...)

101 led us by the Novato Target, and - eventually - into the city to BusVan for Bargains to buy a small dresser. We dropped off the car, triumphantly avoiding both PacBell Park and the X games, came home, and had Thai food with Ben and Wanda.

And now we'll be pedestrians again.
8/20/2000 11:08:44 PM

Wednesday, August 16, 2000

It's after 11 o'clock in the evening, and some asshole in the alley I live in has chosen right now to smash the living hell out of something. It sounds like thrown glass bottles against concrete. . .

I poked my nose out the window but couldn't see anything, and I'm frankly too timid to investigate further. Let's hope my other roommate doesn't encounter a glass smashing poltergeist on the way home.

After an Indian dinner with our zany friend Dutch, I've spent the rest of the evening playing with clear GIFs and layout (yes, I know it's a old trick, but it works) while James begins our four day vacation by going to bed early.

Tomorrow, we're off to Fort Bragg for four days on the first vacation he and I have ever taken that didn't involve a wedding, a move, or a trip to visit family. I'm hoping for warm, sunny summer weather, but this is Northern California, so this girl from the east coast just doesn't know what to expect!
8/16/2000 11:20:29 PM

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Have a look at this Postmodernism Generator, which should look familiar to anyone who has been to graduate school - or who has been reading 18c-L.
8/15/2000 03:17:01 PM

David Bowie is a father (which is certainly better news than anything I'm hearing about Russian submariners):

August 15: The waiting is over. Alexandria Zahra Jones arrived this morning, the first child of David and Iman Bowie. The 3.3 kilogram baby girl made her way into the world at 5:06 a.m.
8/15/2000 03:11:44 PM

Monday, August 14, 2000

. . . mondays are not a pretty day. . .
8/14/2000 01:15:42 PM

Friday, August 11, 2000

So, yesterday James asked my landlord whether we could get a cat. And he said yes (and there was much rejoicing)!

In following up to figure out what I have to do to be a responsible pet owner, however, I came across Petopia's "basic" first aid tips.

I am now paralyzed with terror that my hypothetical cat might choke, need cpr, have convulsions, or any number of frightening things . . .

I don't remember worrying about any of this when we had family cats when I was little.

8/11/2000 11:19:11 AM

Thursday, August 10, 2000

The woman to the right of me here in cubicle land has been humming Amazing Grace all morning. I can't tell you how much this makes me want to bring a set of speakers and play TKK's Daisy Chain 4 Satan as a retaliation. I know that's childish, but there you are.
8/10/2000 09:53:46 AM

Wednesday, August 09, 2000

List of where to get decent reasonably cheap food around Embarcadero (you'll find that I have a continuing love affair with food):

Longlife Noodles: If there are two of you skip everything else on the menu and get a double happiness (wonton and noodle soup - best ordered with chicken instead of pork). Supplement this with a spring rolls, fried wantons or potstickers.

Kamakura: Tempura Udon.

Jimmy Beans: Great slightly eccentric salads and daily specials. Hold out for a smoked salmon and cream cheese wrap or the pear/walnut/feta salad.

Sai's Restaurant: As far as I know, this is the ONLY Vietnamese food easily accessible around the Embarcadero (if you're near Powell and you don't mind grime in your dive restaurants, go to Tu Lan instead) . The service at Sai is a little erratic, but the dishes with basil are a real treat in a neighborhood otherwise devoid of asian food with table service. (Some of us can't take extra time to go to Chinatown - or Powell - for lunch)

Specialties: Cobb Sandwich or Ruben on pumpernickel. Share it if you like a light lunch.

Embarcadero being what it is, however, I've still been spending $6-10 a day on lunch. That's $1200 - $2000 a year. When James goes to graduate school, Eva will begin packing lunch a lot more often!
8/9/2000 12:54:15 PM


WANT the Misfits ones.
8/9/2000 09:32:39 AM

Right, so I took a day off to lie about and recover from my work-related malaise. And after a day of sleeping in and lolling, I felt better. Then I went out for two quick drinks in succession at the Cat Club (which is about 50 yards from my South of Market flat), spent about 40 minutes babbling drunkenly to one of the Cat Club's staff about economics in this fine, overpriced city of ours, and now I'm hung over. At work.

Ever have the sense that you are shooting yourself in the foot?
8/9/2000 08:09:31 AM

Monday, August 07, 2000

Things not to do in life:

Do not try to format your new web-rambling device (I haven't decided whether it is a weblog or not), roast a chicken, cook glazed carrots, and talk to your boyfriend at once. You WILL end up with undercooked chicken and overcooked carrots. The underdesigned site, however, actually makes me happy. Though you'd be surprised at how much I had to think about it.

I like to be flashy - very rarely - in person. Not online.
8/7/2000 08:30:43 PM

I'm having one of those long, dull days at work where if you could just twist your mind around the idea that you have to work for a living and be happy about it, you might be able to get something productive done.

This is not the day, however.

Frankly, I'd rather be home playing Omikron (I'm behind the curve on games, I know, but I had to wait until James had a working CD-ROM, since my own computer is badly in need of an upgrade), roasting chicken, or reading the Theives Opera (The Remarkable Lives and Deaths of Jonathan Wild, Thief-taker and Jack Shepard, House-breaker). Luckily, it's ten to five, so I should be able to do that soon...
8/7/2000 04:00:58 PM

I work for a Jewish fundraising organization, and my office is ever-so-slightly-abuzz because Al Gore just chose Senator Joe Leiberman as a running mate. Local press has made much of Sen. Lieberman being the first Jewish vice presidential candidate in history. They seem to have forgotten that he might have a record for doing anything else!

It is impossible for me understand how it is that my country has never voted any significant minority into office. Lieberman is too conservative for my taste, but I'm happy Gore stepped out of line to break the Protestant line-up.
8/7/2000 03:08:22 PM

I've been impressed and amused by the extent to which David Bowie (one of my adolescent passions) has actually taken his website (commercial trap tho it may be) as a way to interact with his fans. This morning's discovery was a question and answer feature:

Q: What's the most beutiful [sic] thing you've ever seen in your life? (Aside from Iman of course!) SUBMITTED BY jeangeni47 | KARMA: 16[+] [ -]

DB: The curve of the earth from Concorde. The first time I saw it I cried.

All of this, of course, makes me wish I had seen the curve of the earth from Concorde.
8/7/2000 01:57:08 PM


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