Saturday, March 20, 2010


Every day has it's share of oddities. It's only when they come one after another that you start to notice them.

I went to San Francisco today (DSW gift certiicate for Christmas - thanks Dad and Chris!), and what a beautiful day to go shopping; it was a glorious, sunny day even in clammy, foggy, SF.

Anyway, while I'm grooving on the Muni Bus with a MacDonald's ad in Vietnamese...

...suddenly I find myself in the middle of a quite massive anti-war rally.

I hang with them for a while, and then peel off to go to the DSW, where I have the odd pleasure of being able to stop in the middle of Geary Street downtown and take a picture, because the police have traffic stopped and no cars can go through.

So, I spend my gift certificate (thanks again, Dad and Chris!), hit the Body Shop on my way back to BART (where I stop, of course, at Beard Papa's for a chocolate cream puff), get on the train and go back to the East Bay. I get off at MacArthur, and - honest to God - there's a guy busking (am I spelling that right - as in playing for money?) on an upright piano. He's going to town on some very bombastic classical piece - it might have been Rachmaninoff, but I'm no expert - and people are practically throwing money at him.

I go home and decide to take Morty out for a quick walk. We see our good friend, the long-haired cat Sylvester, who lives at the end of the block. This is quite a treat, because we haven't see him in a few days and were starting to worry (well, at least I was). Turns out on the kids in the family that owns him tried to trim the huge mats he had behind his ears and accidentally cut him, so they had to take him to the vet and get him stitched up (and, thankfully, get the mats trimmed - they really were bad). Poor guy is sporting several stitches in blue surgical thread; it looks like someone tried to cut his throat (though he really didn't want to let me take a picture of it, and my cameraphone probably wouldn't have been up to it anyway).

So Morty and I continue our trek around the block, and we find this outside the house of the Chinese family that owns that dry cleaner around the corner from our house.

They're big drying racks, enclosed in mesh, and I think it's chicken strips that they're full of.

And poor Morty went absolutely nuts, because he couldn't find the meat! I guess it just goes to show you that everything evens out in the end. Some days you find a half a brat on the sidewalk, and other days you just can't find the large quantities of chicken strips hanging right over your head.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Little Taste of Winter

Had a lovely few days in Chicago recently, working Columbia College Chicago's Spring Open House. Temps in the 30's (that's below zero in California!), dirty snow, good food, good friends and I get paid for it! The only downer was that I only got to see my dearest friends (and perennial hosts) Jason and Mike for a few minutes. I guess they'll have to come out here so we can catch up.

Here's are some photo highlights of my visit:

Sunrise over Lake Michigan.

In the new Media Production Center at 16th and State Streets

In a flower shop on Broadway, buying flowers for my hosts

Saw The Hurt Locker on Sunday afternoon (just in time to be able to feel a totally vicarious thrill when Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar the very next night) at the Logan Theater, two blocks from my very first apartment in Chicago. Clearly they have not redecorated since the last time I was there (and several decades before).

Same view as above. One day you can see practically all the way to Indiana, and the next day you're in a Star Trek episode. Heavy fog off the Lake; I kept expecting to look out and see faces pressed up against the glass.

Did everyone know that Elvis Costello has a cable show now where he jams with and interviews other musicians, dressed as a hillbilly fop?

Flight out of O'Hare delayed? It's time to treat yourself to a spinach salad with baby beets, and a nice glass of wine at Wolfgang Puck's. Celebrate that extra hour in the Windy City!