eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
To have the airport shuttle fail to show up! Yeah! I waited for it for the scheduled time, and then for the extra fifteen minutes of "we may be fifteen minutes late," and ... no. Nothing. No shuttle.

So because I have no cell phone, I ran back to the apartment from the doorstep and called the yellow cab company. "What are your approximate rates to SFO?" I asked. "When do you need somebody?" he said. "I don't know if I need somebody until I know what it ... oh, fine, here's the address, I need someone now, NOW will you tell me what it will cost?" me, exasperated. "Rates? You mean average fares?" him, stonewalling. "Um, YEAH." Him: "Oh, about fifty dollars, early AM hours, somebody can be there in half an hour." "No THANKS," said I, as that is a) far too expensive (that's flat-rate from the East Bay!) and b) half an hour? I didn't have half an hour!

So instead I booked it to the mission street BART station at 4:40 am. Now, you may ask why this was not my first choice, and the answer is simple: Mission district. Laptop. Four-something-am. BUT I knew there was a 4:48 train that would get me to the airport an hour-plus before my flight (faster than the cab!), and I can totally do a half a mile of flat city streets in eight minutes, even with luggage and with having to get a ticket and get onto the train, right? Absolutely! I made it! With a minute to spare! *dance of successful BART run* Only then I was sweaty and icky and tired, which I really didn't need after being already tired from, you know, waking up at three-something and waiting for my 3:50 am airporter. That I may have mentioned DIDN'T SHOW UP.

So, basically, that sucked a lot.
eruthros: X-Files: Mulder in glasses, text "sexier in glasses" (XF - Mulder sexier in glasses)
... aaaaand one more thing.

I will be in the Bay Area the week of Sunday the 18th. For seven days, mostly weekdays -- I leave two days before my birthday, on Saturday the 24th. What this means: if any of y'all have free time then, I need to actually, you know, schedule things instead of just figuring we'll all manage to get together, because I don't have all that much time.

So! If any of you have a free hour or two, let me know! Let us schedule things! We can get coffee or tea or breakfast or lunch or dinner or go to Osento or anything! I can annoy you by constantly saying "oh my god I'm wearing sandals" and "is that real fruit?" and other things of that nature. You can annoy me by saying "it was eighty degrees last week" and "so, do you have any work to do?" (Imagine me saying "lalala I can't hear you.") It will be fun! There will be caffeinated beverages of your choice!
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
Good:

The Frisco Vista blog makes me happy in this discussion of guidebooks and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. (Despite, that is, a name involving "Frisco" -- let's all just mark it as tongue in cheek and move on.) In any case, the Asian has, as said post points out, one of the largest collections of Asian art outside of Asia, a collection that spans millennia, and altogether makes up the most valuable mobile asset in San Francisco. And yet! Nothing but crap. The newspapers don't like to cover the exhibits, the guidebooks could care less -- so much oy.

Daniel Craig? You know, Mr. Bond? Yeah, he wants to do a Gay Bond scene. Also full frontal nudity.

Mark Morford takes this opportunity to mock the stupid. In this case, the stupid "no pre-marital sex for twenty-somethings!" Department of Health campaign.

***
Bad:

The Florida election officials involved in the Sarasota Congressional election? Yeah, they did a machine test, and can only explain 20% of the discrepancies on human error. Now, me, if I tested a machine and found it was screwing up that much? I might say there was something wrong with the machine. Florida election officials? Not so much. They say it's all human error, and they're sure to track down the errors eventually. (To recap: this is the FL-13 House of Representatives election, in which a certain area -- the largely-Democratic Sarasota County -- had a 1 in 6 undervote rate for the House election. For a total of 18,000 undervotes. Compared to c. 200 in neighboring counties. We want to know why, but elections officials are claiming that it's a Statement about negative campaigning -- which, just, okay, there are like more votes for local judge -- and that there's no machine error. Ever! Even though people reported machine error on election day! Oy.)

***
Ugly:

Michael Savage would like us all to know that when Keith Ellison (you remember him -- first Muslim member of congress) is sworn in, it'll be like a witch getting elected. From Media Matters, which transcribes things like this: "So what's next? A witch gets elected, and she says she's gonna only be sworn in with her hand over a pentagram? Where does this end? Tell me when this ends, the tyranny of the psycho, whacked-out minority. Tell me when it ends." So we don't have to. (Savage, incidentally, also critiques Media Matters for taking him out of context. Which is like... geez, what kind of context makes things like "I would also make the construction of mosques illegal in America" seem reasonable?)

Never, never venture into the letters section of salon.com. If you do, you discover scary people. Like, say, the people who appear to be arguing that of pregnant women will of course be battered more that not-pregnant women, because that's the only way men can keep from paying child support. THWAP.

***
Weird:

An ad campaign for milk is going to put up chocolate chip cookie 'scent infusers' at bus stops. Yeah. I'm a bit "... okay."

Some things about weddings freak me out. I mean, I'm not saying that this is a common post-wedding outfit, but apparently it's popular enough to be produced. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a g-string with a TRAIN. (And thus probably NWS.)

California

Aug. 4th, 2005 07:03 am
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Yay, trip to California! Yay, not being in Philadelphia in August! I had to go dig out a jacket to pack and everything.

I'll be there tomorrow through August 16th, and at the moment I have little in the way of plans. I'm going to be hanging out with my folks this weekend and celebrating my mom's birthday, but other than that I am free as a bird. I plan to go to the SF bead store, to Solano Avenue and get my hair cut, to Berkeley to have tapioca tea, and to the Ferry Building, where there will be Frog Hollow Farms peaches, but I can do that any time. I'd love to hang out with y'all whenever (especially [livejournal.com profile] slyviolet and [livejournal.com profile] ryca and [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn, because I keep not quite managing to connect with you). The only problem is that I am car-free, so if you can't get there by BART or Caltrain or bus I can't go.

Drop me a line or a comment, folks! Let me know what's up and when you're free and where we should hang out!
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS cheeseman nonsense)
There's this, from Connecticut: man charged with lewd conduct involving a toy banana. Best line from the article, bar none: "'It was a yellow, plush, child's toy banana,' Petrone said. 'It had a smiley face on it.'" Apparently he was sorta ... flashing people with said banana. Eeesh.

And then there's this, from London: man's attempt to rob bookies foiled when they recognize that his gun is a banana. Yes. He wrapped a banana in a plastic bag and tried to pretend it was a gun. Best line from THIS article, bar none: "This did not produce the desired effect: assistant Peter Humphrey calmly turned to a colleague and said: 'He said he has a gun, but it might be a banana.'" (The attempted robber was then captured because his balaclava was too tight and he couldn't get it off. Aiiiya.)

In non-banana-themed news, today I plan to make it to Skein Lane, a yarn shop, on my way in to Berkeley. I will pet the Manos del Uruguay and pretend I can afford it. Alpaca! Whee! However, it is raining rather a lot, so I'm a bit dubious about the whole waltzing-around-the-Bay-Area plan.

The rain and sun here have balanced to make a perfect wildflower season, so my family and I are planning to go to three-cypress bluff off of four-mile beach in Wilder Ranch, home to one of the highest concentration of California native plants in the state. So many bushes that you can barely walk -- there's a tiny little path, and that's all. It's especially astonishing because the plants are all coastal natives, and the coastal natives have been especially threatened by things like iceplant. (Things along highway one have weird names -- four mile beach is four miles north of the SC city limits, and three-cypress bluff has, near as I recall, four cypresses, but whatever.)

*sniffle*

Jan. 15th, 2005 09:43 pm
eruthros: Pirates of the Caribbean: a boat in harbor is a safe boat / but that's not what boats are for (PotC - boat in harbor)
One of my Childhood Bookstores is The Other Change of Hobbit, a Berkeley institution since the week Star Wars opened in 1977. It's a tiny, tiny little store, filled with sf/f, and anime, and mysteries, and quite possibly the only place in the East Bay where you can find E.E. "Doc" Smith and Burroughs and all those other Historical Folks. Most of my History of SF/F reading comes from OCoH.

And one of the only places in the Bay Area where you can walk in and say "okay, look, I read this short story when I was a kid, in a collection designed for kids with a pink elephant on the cover, and it was about this evil alien that's telepathic and disappeared when people didn't believe in it." And they'll say ... well, what they'll actually say is "talk to Dave at the back counter," but Dave will say "That's a Niven story, first printed in '73, currently collected in Limits, which we have used." Or whatever.

Anyway, OCoH (like many indie bookstores) has a Store Cat. Her name is Shagrat, after the orc who commands Cirith Ungol and captures Frodo at the end of book 4. She's gray and fuzzy and not at all like an orc; she curls up on the Sandman graphic novels or in the front window and is completely pettable. And she's been through a lot -- she's survived cancer and massive surgery after a hit-and-run and all sorts of things. But she just got diagnosed with inoperable malignant carcinoma. And so they took her back "home," to the store, and put to sleep. *sniffles* Goodbye, Shagrat.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Million Dollar Idea for the day: See, I was talking about my sorta-back-of-my-mind desire to vid Buffy/Spike to the Headstones "Cemetery" -- because I'm just so sick of gooey -- and then started talking about other Headstones songs.

So. Brilliant idea of the day: a compilation album titled "Songs For Kicking Things" (a la "Songs for Romance" or whatever). Kicking off with the Headstones "Fuck You," because that's really up there. And then some other stuff too. *waves hand negligently* Really, the songs don't matter so much as the cover with that kind of compilation.

*

Also, having just returned, I'm slowly going through my email... including the vidders list. Thus, I have just downloaded and watched Killa and Laura Shapiro's latest, and have fallen in love. Someday I'll be able to say more than "Scully. And. Wow. I mean. Because. Scully and... the sand. And. Wow."

Plus I've got all of these fabulous links to Vividcon vids from [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn's kick-ass reports and yay! I have so much new stuff to watch and poke at and decide if I like and yay! I mean. All this stuff I missed from the summer, plus all the stuff I missed because I just didn't see it announced or know the vidder. Look! [livejournal.com profile] mpoetess doing a Buffy/Faith, Giles/Ethan vid to Ghost! An Indiana Jones vid! Merry doing a Smallville vid! And [livejournal.com profile] gwyn_r has three new vids! *looks at vid reports* I have many happy days ahead. Whee! (Well, except I'm probably not allowed to download more vids until I clean up my downloaded vid playlist by filing the ones I like and trashing the ones I don't. *eyes playlist* *eyes temp folder* eeesh.)

I actually found two of the new Firefly vids practically the day after I got back. Let's just ignore what that says about me, yes? (But Here's Luck doing a FF vid! And Luminosity doing a FF vid!)

It's probably pretty sad that I really missed my vids in the middle of nowhere, huh?

*

In happy news: Carol Emshwiller is getting published in mass market paperback! YAY! Someone thinks she can kick some serious mass-market ass!

See, Carol Emshwiller is one of the most fabulous writers ever. Ever. And I try to recommend her to people, but they've never heard of her or can't find her or whatever. And now The Mount is coming out in MMPB! Published by Puffin Books! CAROL EMSHWILLER IS GETTING HER FIRST MMPB! I had despaired of her ever getting the recognition she deserves. Plus, her best novel, Carmen Dog, which has been out of print basically as long as ... well, as long as Mercury House has been in the hands of the new editor, is being reprinted in trade pb by Small Beer Press's Peapod Classics imprint (which published The Mount as a trade pb). Even better, it's coming out this November -- as a Christmas book.

Carmen Dog can be used in classes again, just like Ursula K. LeGuin wanted. I can recommend it to people without having to lend them my copy. *happy sigh*

What's even better is that I learned this in Other Change of Hobbit which, as Dave the owner says, survived via a "minor miracle." When I left, they were still employing irritating huffy people who looked at you very "you don't know that?" when you asked them questions, and they were positive that they were going out of business in July. But they're still there, they think they're going to hang on until Christmas at least, and they've replaced Irritating Huffy Guys 1 and 2 with the fellow who worked there when I was going in in high school -- he's got flyaway hair and is going bald and knows the answer to every question ("I read a short story with this plot. Who wrote it?" "That was in Astounding in 1953 but it's been reprinted in World's Best Science Fiction 6.") and is happy and friendly when he answers. He's the guy who will answer you in the same tone of voice, regardless of if you ask "hey, do you have Report to the Men's Club and Other Stories?" or "hey, do you know if Bruce Boxleitner's written a sequel to his fabulous novel?" or "where will I find the Liaden novels?" He rocks. (I thought of Bruce Boxleitner because I just picked up his novel for fifty cents at the library booksale. It looks like utter crap, but fifty cents!) So I spent more money than I should have, by which I mean I bought two whole mmpbs, because I was really cheered both by the change in the place, and by its continued presence in Berkeley. Woot!

Also while in Berkeley, I continued my Comparative Blended Mocha quest by getting one at Peets instead of my favorite place (Java City, which is ugly but does real blended mochas). And that was depressing, as it basically tastes like a frappucino. I mean, it's chemically and doesn't seem to involve real espresso. And they can't make it non-dairy as it's a mix with a dairy-based thickener. So I'm very disappointed in Peets. If there's no real espresso, I'm just incredibly bitter. I'll stick to the two independents -- Java City, with both bubble tea AND fabulous bread AND blended mochas made with fresh-we-just-made-it-espresso, and Berkeley Espresso, which has free wireless net and real blended mochas with ditto espresso. So nyah to Peets.

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