Shop Nasty Gal
Saturday
Jun212008

The Countdown Begins.

Hey,
Nothing new is happening. It's a warm Saturday here in Berkeley, with highs in the 100s. The average temperature is supposed to be around 75 during this time of the summer. I'll gladly take the 100 degree weather instead. We have a new roommate Lauren, who is subletting Katie's room. She manages Title Nine, an active apparel store. On Monday we hiked in Tilden Park. The views are amazing, although it was quite foggy when we were there. We did a four mile hike, much of which was a steep incline. I want to hike again. Hiking in California makes sense because, here, there are views. Iowa, you don't have those. It actually made me sore the next day - a good pain.

In other news, Shannon and I will be visiting Iowa in under four weeks. We are beyond excited. We are going to eat so much Iowa City food, we'll explode. The west coast doesn't know good, fattening, sugary, buttery, oily vegan food. Fair Grounds had better whip up a huge batch of red velvet cupcakes, because I'm buying them all for our stay in Waverly. Hell, whatever Christine makes, I'm buying. We're going to get amazing Chinese food that nobody can replicate here. We'll eat the best hummus ever at Oasis. We will have Masala's lunch buffet (and see if they remember to get Shannon his Mt Dew without even having to ask). And the coop, oh New-Pi. We will have an authentic Vegan Cajun Tofu sandwich. I've been working out like a fiend, preparing to lay out by the pool and make room for some pounds I will be adding after our glutton-fest. I'm going to see my nephew, if I even recognize him! Shannon wants to keep the koala mask for himself, but it's Carter's present, and I'll make sure he gets it. Britt is going to pick us up in Des Moines, and we will do the cheesy run-toward-each-other-and hug moment.

I was going to shop in the city today, but I can never motivate myself. If only I had Maggie or Britt. Then I would have fun. It's just not the same anymore. I have all the shopping I could want within 10 miles of me in every direction, and I don't even want to go. Not having many friends here is somewhat miserable. Shannon and I are going to hit up American Apparel and Urban Outfitters this weekend. Both stores are on Telegraph - yes, the hippie street. Oh and Andrew, whoever wrote that article in the NY Times about how there are hipsters in place of hippies now, they can go to hell. There are probably 2 hipsters, while there are a million hippies trying to make money selling tie-dye and anti-gov't shirts, bums and transients trying to make money panhandling, and lots of born-and-raised-in-California college students walking about in leggings and Uggs. (However, I want my own Cal shirt. They are cute.)

Anyway, afterward we might get some food downtown, and then we will probably go to Acme bar. I'm feeling like some whiskey and pool.

That's it for now. Sorry if I bored you.

-j

Tuesday
Jun032008

Welcome to Cal-Ee-Fo-Nyuh

...as our Governor Arnold would say.

Well, this is going to be a picture-filled post. In the past two weekends, Shannon and I had some fun excursions, despite the often dreary weather we've been having. It made me think of the Visit California ads on television and how life is supposed to be so fun and exciting here. (They don't mention that you need a lot of money to live like they do in the commercial and that it is hard to get a job to earn the money to live like they do.) Anyway, let's get started.

On Memorial Day, Shannon and I decided that we can finally afford to go out and explore new places. We considered driving a zipcar to Santa Cruz to get some sun, but it was unusually cold that day. Instead we decided to go to the San Francisco Zoo. Yes, I have a boyfriend who likes the zoo as much as I do. We hopped the BART into the city and took the #23 to the west side of the city. It was relatively chilly and cloudy, but there were still plenty of people. We had a great time looking at the different animals, even though they don't have a panda there. We got to see a grizzly bear, polar bear, hippos, lions, and all sorts of great animals.

I don't know if you can see this well, but this was a chimpanzee who wrapped himself in a blanket. He looked like ET or Yoda.

The peacocks, however, were my favorite by far. They were all over the park, even walking around with people. Of course, poorly supervised children were chasing and terrorizing the poor things. I am a full believer in the child leash in public places.

Toward the end of our zoo experience, the sun came out, so Shannon and I sat on a bench and talked about how much fun we had and what animals were our favorite. While we were talking, this guy came out to catch some rays and gnaw on some plants.

At one point, we just sat quietly and stared at each other. We wondered if he/she knew why we were there. I assumed he was aware of the fact that he was watched but was used to it, especially since he has probably been there a long time if not born at the zoo. Later that week, as I began reading Ishmael, the gorilla addressed the same situation in the book.

Then we headed to the gift shop. Carter is always on my mind when it comes to gifts and fun times, so we explored the gift shop, which had many reasonably priced items. I bought a bookmark for Ishmael (a panda, of course, although there weren't any there.) I got Carter a postcard to hint what we bought him, although he probably won't understand. Here is a great photo of Shannon modeling Carter's present that we will bring when we come in July.

There were other masks like zebras, giraffes, and pandas. The panda was the cutest, but I wanted to get a mask of an animal we actually saw, so I could tell Carter about it. I can't wait to give it to him!

After leaving the zoo, I knew that the beach was nearby, so we walked up the block, and sure enough, across the Great Highway, was Ocean Beach. I liked it a lot, but Shannon prefers Baker Beach. The sand near the grass was black. It was my first time seeing black sand. I know other beaches around here are totally black sand.

Although the water was really cold, I took off my shoes, rolled up my pants, and ran in the water. Kids were actually playing in the water. It was very, very cold. I had fun. Shannon didn't want to get in the water, so he took pictures.

After the beach, we took the bus back to the BART and took the BART to Union Square for some fattening, greasy, yummy, vegan chinese food. We found out a strange cult-like group of people run all of the restaurants like this in the city (Golden Era and Golden Buddha are the only ones I know about). They are super vegetarian and love animals. Fine by me, but their educational materials were a little strange. A little too out there for me. Afterward, we made our way back home to Berkeley.

This past Sunday, Shannon, our roommates, and I took a trip to Six Flags in Vallejo. Vallejo is about a 35 minute drive north, where it is actually a little warmer, since it is inland. It was a lot of fun, surprisingly. We went of some great roller coasters.

This was the biggest one there. Called the Medusa. The hills were terrifyingly steep and tall. It was probably my favorite ride there. I couldn't believe how nervous I was to get on it. There was another ride, however, that was definitely more intense, where you shot forward and did corkscrew turns, stopped, then shot backward and upward, then free fell back down, and you did the whole thing over again. You would have to see to understand it. It was Shannon's favorite.

Here are some pictures of us and our roommates.


Katie


Lindsay (I keep forgetting which way to spell it)

And of course, they have a Thomas Town there with rides named after the characters. You could ride the Thomas train, Bertie the Bus, and the helicopter whose name I forgot.

And of course, you could get your picture with Sir Toppum Hat. Unfortunately, I didn't. I can't wait to someday take Carter here.

So, that is that. I wish you all could have been here to enjoy it with me. Someday. Well, I need to put the laundry in the dryer. I hope you enjoyed this post. I'll talk to you soon!

-j

PS: I apologize for the slowness of my posts. I've become incredibly addicted to watching Lost during any free time I have. I have to finish watching season 2 and watch all of season 3 yet.

Monday
May192008

Procrastinating

Hi Everybody,

I apologize for the time between posts. To be honest, I just procrastinated. I'm noticing that I become more and more lazy each day. School was my motivator, and I've been away from it for far too long. I can't wait to get back to the misery of putting off papers and reading textbook pages on a nightly basis. In the meantime, I think I am going to pick up a book at the used bookstore tomorrow that I have had intentions of reading for quite some time now. It's called Ishmael, and I got it for my dad for Christmas even though I hadn't read it myself. I gave it to him in hopes of keeping him from being completely engulfed in his newfound love of Christianity and all the misleading it can entail. I just want him to keep his mind open. It seems so far he has, and that's what keeps me comfortable enough to carry on conversations with him. He is a good guy, but other people in that area can be manipulative. Anyway, that's another story another day. If you have any suggestions for me, I gladly invite you to tell me.

I am proud to say I have made several baked goods and other items from the books Britt gave me for my birthday. To add to my list of things I've made are carrot cake cupcakes from the Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen book. They were a hit at work and home. I made them for one of my bosses birthday.

You wouldn't have known they were vegan; they were so moist and fluffy. The only thing I would change is to chop the walnuts for the batter and garnish a little more finely. I hope I said that correctly: more finely, or is it more fine? Shannon and I talked about it and couldn't decide. I know grammar better than he does anyway.

I finally got a real taste of the nightlife in the city this past Saturday. Katie, her friend Kristen, Lindsay and I went to the Mission District for some drinks and dancing. A ladies night if you will. I finally saw the Beauty Bar, which was much smaller than I thought it would be, but still rad. The drinks were stiff and the music was great; it was great until we got to the dance floor and the dj started playing only rap music, bad rap. I thought hipsters only like Kanye West, Common, and Jurassic 5 anyway. Then we went over to Baobop's or was is Baobob's. We danced all night to afro-cuban/sometimes irritatingly reggae music. I broke in new shoes, while others around me assumed I was drunk. Nope, I just had to wear the cutest new shoes regardless of their level of comfort for a night of dancing and drinking.

Work is going well. Not anything new, so I'd say it's going well. I'm hoping that my work can count toward internship credit at school. I work for a non-profit, although it is not a museum, and I started just as things have been getting off the ground for our capital campaign to build a teen center. The directors in marketing & communications and development are keeping me involved and teaching me new things. I've written press releases, grant evaluations, and am working on a mini grant. I also revise and edit large grant proposals and help with events. It's all over the place, and I love and appreciate everyone's effort to help me learn new things, as they know this is what I want to do for a career, only with museums.

I'll leave you at that for tonight. Nothing too exciting has happened lately. Hopefully I will go back to the Rose Garden to take pictures. Hasta.

-j