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In The Crowd

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Death Valley photos

As promised, I have returned from my camping trip with pictures. Considering that I am a truly terrible photographer, it is more than a little surprising that I actually manage a few nice shots. They can be found at my Flickr page.

I had a great time (apart from a little motion/altitude sickness at first). The bloom seems to be ending now, but seeing mushrooms growing on the dunes, a lake where the salt plains should be, actual pup fish and flowers creeping up the sides of the Mars-like terrain was really something.

1 Comments:

  • At 9:11 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    Ya know, I've never been to Death Valley, but I love it. It's like God took two of my favourite childhood places (the mountains and the salt flats) and smooshed them together in one (slightly more) convenient location. Rock on, God. Rock on.

     

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hold that thought

Not that I've posted much this week anyway, but I'll be camping in Death Valley all weekend so no updates. I'm breaking my no pictures rule for this trip, so hopefully there'll be some decent ones to show when I get back.

In the meantime, I'll be missing out on RoboGames, so if anyone would like to fill me in on that when I return it'd be appreciated.

2 Comments:

  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger Gregor said…

    Death valley rules. Wait - I can drive out there for the day - why the hell haven't been out there in so long? I must suck - but clearly you don't since you;re going, so have fun.

     
  • At 7:33 AM, Anonymous smasher said…

    do me a huge favor and check your myspace account. i know your camping but i need you to do a huge favor for me, i need you to call mi madre and tell her i am alive. my hotmail doesnt work over here for some reason but myspace does

     

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Episode III, in translation

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We need this here

Overheard In New York
Customer: I'll have a slice of the eggplant.
Pizza guy: You know that's organic right?
Customer: That's fine. How long have you guys been organic?
Pizza guy: Oh, about 2 weeks now. The white girls are loving it.

--Delancey & Essex pizzeria

And while we're on the subject of NYC, how did I miss that TMFTML re-launched in January?!

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Meet ups and more

As if anyone need more proof that I veer towards the geeky, I present photographic evidence. Yes, that's me flashing the gang signs. I had a great time, I'll definitely be heading to the next meet up and some plans are brewing that may require my crafty expertise (or at least some of my equipment). What the pictures don't show is that Caitlin, Wendy and I were the only ones there for over an hour, which gave us plenty of time to get sauced before the others showed up and giggle over things only we would find amusing. For example, you can buy 403 and 200 thongs, but where I ask you are the 500 boxer shorts? I think I actually won our geek-off because I knew what they were talking about without ever having needed that knowledge. Hmmm.

Eventually I ducked out (sooner than I'd have liked) because I had a ticket for the sold out Fucking Champs/Comets On Fire/Oneida/Black Mountain show. I was already running late, and by the time I got there it was a half-hour wait for will call, so I missed all of the Black Mountain set and most of Oneida. Still, I was able to grab my favorite spot upstairs by the bar overlooking the stage for the two final sets.

I was glad that I'd watched the end of Woodstock that afternoon before the meet up, because it was the perfect moodsetter for the hard rock psychedelic freakout that calls itself Comets On Fire. I'd call them a jam band, except jam bands aren't nearly as aggressive or capable of keeping their songs under 5 minutes. They played a short set but had a good time flailing and writhing around on stage making as much noise as humanly possible. Rock and roll.

Last up was The Fucking Champs. This was the band my new acquaintance Brad-from-Cape-Cod (who graciously watched my chair for me while I bought another beer) was looking forward to. In contrast to Comets On Fire the Champs are insanely tight, and about as exciting to watch perform as Rush without the light show. For those of you who don't remember the 80's, that means dorky white boys standing perfectly still playing their instruments with extreme technical precision. Despite the fact that they were headlining, a good chunk of the crowd drifted away during their set and they weren't called back for an encore. I guess people expect a band to put more effort into entertaining the crowd when they're on stage, even if it means sacrificing the sound a bit. Sorry folks, the Champs just aren't that kind of band. However I do have two little words of advice for their guitar player: strap length. I'm sure it's easier and more comfortabe to play that crazy 9-string when its sitting up near your belly button but it makes you look like a Poindexter, especially with those high-waisted pants. It's not your best look. Look at Paul Simenon on the right there. Couldn't play for shit, had to have Joe Strummer put color-coded dots where his fingers should be. But the strap length says "Rock God", does it not? Think about it. Chicks dig the long strap.

3 Comments:

  • At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Stephen said…

    I can't believe you managed to miss most of Oneida. Inconceivable!

     
  • At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    Good picture!

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    All hail the pasty hootness of Alicia!!

     

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Friday, March 18, 2005

We all have our obsessions

I walked over to the Hayes Valley yesterday to treat myself to a nice haircut. Of course since my sleep schedule is completely off I was running late for my 1:00 pm appointment, and I had nothing but black coffee in my system. I mention this to give you some idea of the kind of hurry I was in to get home by 2:00 pm or so to eat lunch. Hayes Valley is filled with all kinds of cute bakeries and little boutiques, modern furniture stores, galleries and hair salons. I could've happily spent spent an afternoon window shopping, but I was determined to make it home for lunch (especially considering how much I had just dropped on my hair).

However, on my way home I passed by Flax, and not realizing exactly how large a store it was (or what was really inside) I thought I could just poke my head in for a second. I have to stop here and remind you all of a couple of things. The first is that I have still not been back to Amoeba, because I recognize danger when I see it and I know that I am neither emotionally nor financially ready. The second is that when I moved, I had two banker's boxes filled with stationery supplies. I'm probably the only person you know who has engraved correspondence cards with matching lined envelopes, and uses them. I am a hardcore stationery geek. I also had two boxes filled with craft supplies, and I donated another three boxes of crafty stuff before I left. Now take a look at the link to Flax. From the pictures on the front page, you'd think it had a small selection of gift items, right? That's what I thought. No. See the links at top, the ones labelled collage and the paper catalog? DANGER. I was going to describe what I found in loving detail, but you're either the kind of person who will spend three hours on that website drooling or you just don't care, so I won't. Suffice to say that it was a good thing I was really hungry when I got there and that they don't have a cafe.

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Attention: potential visitors

The existence of Audium has just been brought to my attention. We will be attending a performance there when you come. Oh, yes.

Another stop on the itinerary will need to be VinoVenue, the "wine automat". I never thought I'd see those two words in combination, and I'm pretty excited about it.

Thanks to the imaginary friends who alerted me to both these places.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Iron? B vitamins? Check.

Living with vegetarians means I rarely cook meat at home, which gives me an excuse to eat out more often. Tonight I stopped by Burger Joint, which is consistently amongst the highest rated places to pick up a burger in this town. I'd also heard that it's owned by the same people who run Luna Park, and I've had good meals at both their SF and LA locations.

The place was deserted when I got there, which made me a little nervous, but by the time I finished eating it was busy enough for a Tuesday night. And the burger was delicious. They actually ask you how you want it cooked, and if you order it medium rare it comes exactly as requested. These days most places are so worried that you'll catch a stray e. coli bug that they burn the meat no matter how you order it, but not here. The meat comes from Niman Ranch and it was a huge patty, juicy, tender and flavorful. The bun and toppings were great too, but for me the test of a burger is the meat itself. The fries it comes with are big thick steak fries with that great earthy flavor you get from fresh-cut potatoes. And that's it. Burger and fries, $7.00. No special sauces, no side salad, no accompaniments unless you want a soda or a milkshake. And really, how much more do you want from a burger joint?

1 Comments:

  • At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Stephen said…

    Sounds fantastic... just what a burger should be.

    Last time I went to the place I was telling you about, I added a root beer float into the mix along with the burger and fries. Quick meals rarely come better than that.

     

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Gimme

I'm itching in anticipation of the release of Spore, though it won't be out until summer at the earliest. It has everything I love in a game, and I see this easily becoming my new favorite thing. It's funny, I was never much of a gamer growing up but I've come to realize that I just didn't like the games that were available then. Maybe they'll release a PSP version so I'll have an excuse to buy one. Mmmmmmmm, pretty.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Your favorite band sucks

Just got back from a trek across town to see The Frames. Several people whose taste I tend to share had insisted that this was the best show I'd see all year, so I took their recommendation and went, sight unseen. Here's what their record label has to say about them:
"You get spiky, nasty pop songs like ‘Fake’ and ‘Underglass’, with its dum-dum bassline worthy of Kim Deal. You get the seraphic boy soprano melodies of ‘Happy’ and ‘Sideways Down’ and the graphic 4am truth-or-dare drinking games of ‘Caution’. And you get epics like ‘Keepsake’, distinguished by the sort of sea change dynamics associated with Mogwai or the Dirty Three. In short, here’s a world where Spector collides with Steve Albini, Arvo Part with Sparklehorse, open-heart surgery songs that deal in love and hate, mourning and ambition, art and blood. "

Note the indie rock name-checking.

Before I go any further, let me say that The Frames sound exactly like a cross between Coldplay and The Dave Matthews Band. If you like those bands, you should make every effort to go see them and buy all their albums. You will love them. I'm not a fan of either of those bands, so I was less thrilled. Admittedly, I was already in a bad mood and I had pretty high expectations for the show. But if I'm going to wander around in the Tenderloin alone at night, where every time I pause to wait for the light to change a potential customer and/or pimp rolls up slowly to the curb, it had better be worth it.

I got there just as the main act was playing their first song, and the place was packed. The show was at the Great American Music Hall, a beautifully ornate venue right next door to one of the more popular strip clubs. The crowd was comprised entirely of what seemed like current and former UCSB students, must have been a long way for them to come for one show but there they were. It's been a long time since I voluntarily spent an evening in the company of those who think Sting is deep, but I tried very hard to get in the spirit of things and have a good time. I drank a lot of beer, quickly, on an empty stomach. I nodded my head along with the beat. I probed the depths of my cold, dead, blackened heart for any semblance of tender warmth. Nope. I laughed along with the rest when they segued into Pink Floyd or Van Morrison (was it a joke? a tribute? I couldn't tell) every other song, but the music just wasn't doing it for me.

So it was with relief that I returned to my side of town, where the closest thing to a Marina girl are the art school grads who think Seven jeans and Dollhouse shoes set them apart. And then it hit me. I had gone to see that band because I thought they were a great-but-obscure band I'd never heard of. The real reason I've never heard of them is not because they're obscure, it's because they are popular. Popular bands do not penetrate into my world any longer, now that it centers on the internet. Our little online communities are not connected to any commercial channels, and pride themselves on the lack of Clear Channel influence. I don't read music magazines except the occasional zine, I don't watch MTV or VH1 or whatever channel is currently showing actual videos, I don't listen to the radio except as online streaming media. And living in this neighborhood I'm surrounded by people who do the same. There isn't even a mainstream movie theater here, just arthouse theaters. I'm not saying this to make any claims that I'm indier-than-thou, I'm just amazed at how disconnected from mainstream culture I've become, and how effortless it was.

3 Comments:

  • At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    OK, I got The Frames' album from indietorrents. I'll grant you the comparison to Coldplay (and add Snow Patrol), but Dave Matthews? Come on -- that's just mean.

     
  • At 1:18 AM, Blogger Alicia said…

    The DMB aspect is probably much more noticeable in concert, when they incorporate a lively kind of freeform jam style. I wasn't trying to be cutting when I made that comparison, it was the second band I thought of after Coldplay.

    The mean part I saved for later.

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    OK, I've now had a while to listen to the frames album, and I have to say it's growing on me. I'm really starting to like it. I thnk you should give these guys a second chance.

     

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Third time's the charm

Or is it, bad luck comes in threes? I guess I'll have a chance to find out soon, since I am now on my third iPod in one year. I don't know anyone else who's had the trouble I've had with their iPod, I suspect that the model I bought (the 30 Gig) is a lemon. The nice people at the Genius Bar had never seen anything like it either, nor had the tech support guys I called about the last one. Never mind. Thanks to Chris-the-genius and a slightly liberal interpretation of the warranty, I have fresh hardware to experiment with.

I have to say this was the single most pleasant tech support experience I have had, mostly because tech support over the telephone is inherently frustrating. Let's compare my experiences with the last two iPods.

Telephone: Wake up an hour early because tech support closes before you get home from work. Wait on hold for at least twenty minutes. Verbally describe in excruciating detail all the steps previously taken to try to fix the problem, including websites visited and support forum questions asked. Get walked through doing it again anyway, describing what's happening at every point along the way to someone who can't see it. Get passed on to a specialist and repeat first three steps. Realize you know more about how to fix it than the tech guy on the phone, and that you're going to be late for work. Lose your temper and demand that they please just replace it. Mail in the offending device and wait for them to mail back a new one.
Time spent in intense frustration: an hour and a half.
Time without a working device: at least three days.

In person: Log on to website and request an evening appointment. Travel to store, check in with concierge and wait turn. Hand device to specialist behind the counter and describe problem. Sit on stool, watch videos, and chat with fellow patrons while specialist inspects device. Receive verdict and new device. Leave store and buy yourself some dinner.
Time spent traveling and/or waiting: forty minutes.
Time spent without working device: under three hours.

Some people like to say that Apple products are overpriced. Those people must not value their time or happiness as much as I value mine. Granted, I'm an impatient person and I hate telephones anyway, but I just don't see myself buying a product that would require me to go through tech support hell again now that I know there's a better way.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Dear Wells Fargo,

I'm sure you're aware that you are the bank with the most branches in this town. In fact, one of the main reasons I chose you was your ubiquity. I was sure, no matter where I was, you would be available to serve me.

So you can imagine my dismay when I realized that you, alone amongst the many banks lining the streets of my neighborhood, actually SHUT DOWN YOUR ATMs at the close of business on Friday. Let me rephrase this. At exactly the point when a human teller is no longer available, you pull steel shutters down over the machines capable of handling transactions without a teller, thus depriving me of access to my accounts. No other bank does this. In fact, other banks seem to understand that this is exactly when I might need to use an ATM.

It is Friday night. This is when I would like to spend the money I have so carefully saved all week. I'd like to grab a bite to eat, maybe hit a bar or two. But no. The businesses I'd like to patronize only take cash, and you do not dispense cash after dark. Not even via a machine.

So forget about that juicy burger I am hungry for. Forget about the bar I've been meaning to try, and the cute boys waiting there. Forget sharing a drink, a smile, in fact forget any kind of action whatsoever. Fuck you, Wells Fargo. I hope you never get laid again.

Sincerely,


Lonely hungry movie-watching girl

1 Comments:

  • At 10:46 AM, Anonymous shosh said…

    I take it this means you received your spiffy new (and useless on the weekend) ATM card. I had no idea they were so lame. I, too, thought the whole point of ATMs were so people could make transactions when a live teller was unavailable, like, gee, I dunno, on the weekends. No love for WF. No. Love.

     

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

More music, please

I've decided that I participate in a forum with a few friends where we discover new music together is now my favorite euphemism for "I geek out on a music BBS all day". Which I do. Some of you reading this right now are, or have met, the people who I refer to as 'my imaginary friends'. So it should come as no surprise that I headed back to 12 Galaxies on Tuesday night on the basis of a crush a 17 year old girl in Oklahoma City has. The marquee said the club would be closed, but the website promised Eric Gaffney (yes, that guy who wrote all the songs you liked for Sebadoh) and David Dondero (the subject of the crush).

I got there a little late, so Eric's set was about half over. He was playing acoustic guitar with a girl who I suspect is his girlfriend on acoustic bass. It was just me and maybe 25 other people scattered around the room, so I grabbed a chair and sat down right in front. Hey, I'm not going to go hide in the corner just because I'm by myself. I came to see the show! Anyway, it was interesting to hear the same voice and chords structure I'm used to hearing in loud, thrashing-around-the-room songs transposed to a quiet acoustic set. In an interesting twist of fate, I'll get to do the same when Lou comes to town later this month (assuming everything's okay at home).

Then came the main act. Most of the audience seemed to be Dave's friends and/or roommates, so he got a rousing welcome. He mentioned that he'd just watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and I think he just got up off the couch, grabbed his guitar and wandered over. He seemed like he'd rather be somewhere else, he kept encouraging us to leave, and his roommate kept yelling at him from the audience about getting wasted and ordering $40 worth of porn on pay-per-view before he passed out last night. He does have a good voice though, and he's a fantastic guitar player so it was fun to watch. I was ambivalent about the songs, some of them I thought were really good and others I thought "You paid to record that? Really?" I'd probably have a different impression if I weren't seeing him on an off night. He seemed more excited about challenging audience members to play Scrabble at Muddy's, which maybe not-so-coincidentally is where SF Games meets every Friday night. We all have our passions, I guess.

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Pirates & more

I finally made it to the Pirate Store yesterday. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but yes, that is an open tub of lard over by the cash register, and they do have an very extensive collection of glass eyes. Since it's really just a front for the writing center, there are also plenty of books and writing materials in amongst the pirate flags, striped knee socks and booty. The best part though (and the reason I'll go back) are the signs. Signs for sale, Signs Containing Lists, signs that reference other signs three inches away, signs that serve no purpose whatsoever except to make you giggle. Signs that make you want to redecorate your room in a manner appropriate for posting signs.

The Pirate Store just so happens to be right in between the City Art Gallery and Paxton Gate. It's a little difficult to describe Paxton Gate, but I'll give it a try. Let's say you had a garden shop specializing in bromeliads, succulents, carnivorous plants and orchids. And let's say you also had an interest in natural science, so you added fossils, various magnifying instruments, pinned beetles and butterflies, animal skeletons, bell jars, tubes and droppers. And since your store was in the middle of the artsy part of town and the people you hired were art students, you decided to carry their art, which was in turn inspired by the contents of the store and their own interest in taxidermy. And as long as you were at it, why not exotic teas, teapots, and handmade jewelry? You'd be pretty close then to what Paxton Gate is like. It feels like walking into a Victorian gentlemen scholar's study, if it were decorated by his peculiar niece. So the next time you're thinking, "a dead mouse dressed in period clothing and mounted in a shadow box with a liitle tableau would perk this room right up!" you'll know where to go.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Metrobot

The current thing for hip businesses to do seems to be not putting a sign outside to announce your name. I guess if you have to ask you're not cool enough to know.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon Metrobot today, which not only tells me what they're called but shows a graphic of the entire street and lists every business on it. This is especially handy for someone moving to a new place or just visiting town, because it lets you find all the closest businesses with one search.

The main page has a typical search by business name, business type or address, but the real joy is the check out these streets page, where you can select a city and then any street in that town. Right now clicking on the business name in most cases will just get you the full street address, but registered users (which just takes an ID and password) can submit detailed information on thir own or someone else's business, including website and phone number. I really hope this catches on, it's a great resource.

Addendum: Looks like someone else noticed it too.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Feed me!

More buttons have been added to decorate my sidebar.

Yes, despite the fact that not a single person has asked for it I have added feeds for your RSS readers. What is an RSS reader, you wonder? Hell if I know, I like looking at websites. If you also enjoy clicking on things and looking at pretty colors you can ignore this post entirely. However, it saddens me to know that some of you spend those long, lonely days without posts fruitlessly returning to this page again and again only to face disappointment. So I followed some instructions, made some buttons, and now you can have my words delivered to your sad little text-only pages if you must. I have no idea if this will work properly, so if anyone runs into problems (or needs a different version, or whatever) send me a note.

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12 Galaxies

Friday night I was invited to join some friends for a show over at 12 Galaxies, and since it's maybe two blocks from my front door I couldn't refuse. I hadn't been in there before but it's a nice space, a smallish club with two levels and an atrium so you can play pool upstairs and still watch the band. Which is exactly what we did. Actually there were three bands, Carney Ball Johnson opened with a set that was a mixed bag of Sun Ra covers, ska and rockabilly with a little vaudeville influence just for good measure.

They were followed by Hamell On Trial, which was my favorite act of the night. Imagine a balding, middle-aged, masculine version of Ani DiFranco hopped up on a few too many Red Bulls and you'll have a pretty good idea of what his show is like. Or you could just listen to one of the songs he played. I've never seen one guy rock out so hard all by himself on stage.

Last of all, Rube Waddell took to the stage. This was the band we'd actually come to see, but honestly I was not so enthused. Maybe the carnival atmosphere they tried to create was just not my thing, maybe I was just tired after Hamill On Trial's firey (and very long) set, but their style of kitschy Americana did nothing for me. Their audience, on the other hand, was enormously fun to watch. The Haight contingent was well represented, including one girl who must've believed she was Janis Joplin reincarnated, a guy who somehow combined the look of the Merry Pranksters with that of a pimp from some 70's blaxploitation flick, and a girl who was wearing a sparkly crocheted halter dress...with spats. There was also a good-sized crowd of the usual indie rockers and aging hipsters, some drunken cargo short guys, a couple of asian lesbian raver chicks, some scrawny mods in their requisite parkas, and a few lost Marina girls reliving their days of slumming it with their fellow Tri-Delts.

The one thing this disparate crowd all had in common? The worst rhythm I have ever seen. These people could not keep the beat if their lives depended on it, with the exception of one bicolor-haired cowgirl who made everyone else look bad. The highlight of the set for me was when one indie rock girl tried to slam dance with the hippies.

Damn, I love this town.

2 Comments:

  • At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Shosh said…

    Slam dancing with hippies. You, my dear, have made my day. Thank you.

     
  • At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Jason said…

    I think Shosh may have found her trivia team name for this evening.

     

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Coincidence? Well, yes

I was browsing McSweeney's today (as I encourage you to do), when I noticed a reference to 826 Valencia and the Pirate Store. I'm not really sure what lard, hooks and puffer fish have to do with teaching kids to write, but since it's about six blocks away I'll definitely be going to check it out this weekend. Stay tuned.

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Bruce Air

Why don't the bands I care about do stuff like this?

You might already know that Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson is a commercial airline pilot in his spare time. Now apparently he's chartering planes and flying fans out to watch his band play.

I would not want to be the one to clean that plane when it lands.

1 Comments:

  • At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that is fucking great

     

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

I may never drive again

As much as I enjoy walking in the city, I also realize that there will come a day when I need to get somewhere in a hurry. There are places that BART doesn't go, and Muni has its share of problems. So I was excited when my friend Martha offered me her unused bicycle. I've been putting off picking it up because it needs a couple small repairs, things I can't really justify paying for someone to fix but that I'm not so confident I could fix myself. Solution: the Bike Kitchen. How much you want to bet that this is a top pick-up spot for the crunchy granola/Burning Man crowd? Hippies aside, it looks like a great resource and I'll probably be wheeling Martha's bike over there in a couple of days. That pachouli oil scent should dissipate quickly in the open air, right?

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Links-a-plenty

More of my current favorites.

For foot fetishists/celebrity gossip mongerers/poncho haters/shoppers/people with a sense of humor, may I present the always super fantastic Manolo.

For, um, Kim (sorry to single you out there, but I doubt anyone but you and I care) the often amusing and always inspiring Purseuing.

For fans of cool design you could actually purchase, I recommend design*sponge. Her taste in clothes and accessories is kind of girly, but she's also got a ton of furniture and other stuff to check out, and she updates constantly.

And of course, for those of you who want to geek out and giggle along with me, there is the Kingdom of Loathing. It's as if the minds behind SB Trivia had written a MUD. Pop culture references, bad puns, it's all there. If you decide to give it try, send a message to Tilly in-game and I'll send out the welcome wagon.

3 Comments:

  • At 10:51 AM, Anonymous :kim said…

    Hi Alicia,

    Thanks for including me on your blog. I feel so special. Both of the links are hooking me back to our wedding blog though, am I doing something wrong? You have good shopping...don't KEEP IT FROM ME!

    You also have to check out this site, it has you written all over it a hundred times....check out the "Forever Young" collection...

    http://www.jacquelinesanchez.com/gallery_n.html

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger AofC said…

    I am not supposed to be on the internet for non-work-related activities, so I'm going to blame you if I get fired for spending too much time checking out design*sponge. I now have something new to obsess over.

    xo

     
  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    Whoops! Sorry Kim, I fixed it.

     

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On foot

I've been really enjoying seeing the city as a pedestrian, I just notice so many more things than I would otherwise. I love to go for long walks anyway, and I really missed it during the years I was commuting. Now, in addition to indulging my favorite guilty pleasure of peeking into other people's living rooms (you subscribe to decorating magazines, I go for walks at dusk. No judgements here, people) I'm finding out about all sorts of places that I'd fly right by otherwise.

For example, I walked past the John O'Connell High School of Technology the other day. Yes, it's a public school, and it's not even the only tech-centric public high school in the city, there's also the Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. That's in addition to the arts magnet schools and the environmental science charter school. It's a good example of how the tech industry in this city has been embraced, and of the commitment to education here. One of my roommates is currently getting his certification to teach art at the high school level, and his focus is computer graphics. He's pretty confident he'll have a job in September, which is impressive considering the cuts other districts have made recently.

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Playing catch-up

I have quite a few unrelated posts today in my effort to play catch-up, so bear with me. First off, I have to draw your attention to English Cut. While I'll probably never need to know anything about bespoke tailoring or Saville Row drinking haunts, it's just a great read. Highly recommended to anyone who appreciates artistry in whatever form.

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