//oakland, calif.
//age 33
//permanent mp3s

//tour photos
//the daily photos

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:: 8.16.2002 ::

(listening to: Smog: Knock Knock)

fog comes in, always. oakland, calif.

Karma's Payment: The game was very short, yet entertaining in more ways than one which is why I go to the stadium in the first place. The A's won 1-0, and the innings flew by like telephone poles on the highway, but I didn't really mind.

I got off the subway and walked up to the line behind the ticket window. The next thing I know, this older man is walking up saying "anyone need a single? single ticket anyone?" So, of course, I blurt out "I need one, what do you have," meaning, where's the seat, how much do you want, etcetera. He just kinda grumbled and handed me the ticket and walked away. Field Level, Row 17. For free. All these people around me complained to each other about how they should have spoken up sooner, but I just grinned and grabbed my bag and walked into the stadium, found my seat right behind the A's bullpen, and ate my sandwich with a silly grin on my face.

The place began to fill up, and wouldn't you know it that I'm stuck right in the middle of a special Rotary Club night out at the ballgame. Completely surrounded by people who are at least sixty years old, and many them hadn't been to a baseball game in twenty years. Everyone was very nice and polite, but the scene was hilarious. About halfway through the game, I realized that none of them were either watching the game, or had any idea of what was going on even if they were. Every single person besides myself and a couple kids were turned around, talking. The lady behind me kept getting up "for the 7th inning stretch" every 1/2 inning, starting in the 5th. She complained that the Weezer song being played over the PA was "not good for dancing," and that all the players were too young. "Everyone is young these days!" her friend blurted out, to much laughter around me. All the men argued over stats and rules that they really had no clue about, and discussed strategy that made no sense even for a T-ball league. They had extensive Rotary club gossip and talked about the stock market, which was perhaps the worst part. Still, free ticket...I had no complaints in the end.

I'm a cheap date for myself, and ended up spending a whopping $0.00 at the ball park. Free ticket, sandwich, and a liter of 7-Up with some vodka stashed inside the the trick, and after my $2.90 roundtrip subway fare, I was comfortably back in my neighborhood. I went up to the local chain grocery store to get some beer (Labatt! In a big blue can!) before I headed home. In front of me in line was a young girl, probably a college freshmen (the store is the closest one to the University of California) with her richie rich father. She was straight up Orange County, toe rings and flip flops and little Roxy shorts, and her dad looked liked the Walsh brother's father from The Goonies. I put my beer on the little conveyor belt, and they had nothing to purchase, so my beer rolled up to the front and the clerk began ringing it up for them. "Oh, that's not ours," the guy says, and then louder "she's underage, and would *never* touch *that* stuff." The girl looked kinda embarrased, but daddy kept looking around, grinning to himself. "I saw her trying to buy it, she can't sneak it past anyone here!" I said, joking of course, but the guy looked at me like I was a street pusher about to steal his wallet, and kinda nervously shuffled out the door after they picked up their photos. Phew! I'm glad daddy saved Buffy from the evils of Canadian Pilsner Beer!

I was a teenage Smog: I'm working more hours this weekend than ever before. I leave for New York in a week. After Sunday, it's no more bakery for three whole weeks. Hallelujah! It's time for bed.

(11:24 PM) :: (link)

(listening to: Fourtet: Pause)

Reason I'm A Hockey Fan, #109: Baseball players can bite me. They make *how* much money, and then they decide to kill the game another few years by setting another strike date? I wish I had the balls to hold up a big FANS STRIKE! sign at the game tonight, but since I'm *buying* a ticket, that would make me look a bit foolish now, wouldn't it? That would be like wearing a NURSES STRIKE! t-shirt while cleaning some guy's wound. I wanna see some NHL players kick a little ass, now *that's* something I'd buy a ticket for.

Miss Rodeo America finally found the mythical Doors fan Kids In The Hall episode. It's exactly like just about every record store clerk I've known, except my brother that is. He's keeping it real.

At lunch today I burned my hand with boiling water while at the same time throwing my bowl of soup acros the counter, but luckily it landed in the sink. To make me feel better, MRA bought me the Shades Of California book that she told me about last week. Lots of old (and new) photos from the regular lives of Californians, not famous ones or anything, just pictures of regular families. It's a great book for anyone (like me) who likes ot just look at old pictures, to learn from them without having some writer's text in the way. It's also remarkable to me how every picture, no matter its age, looks old because they're all in black and white. There's a shot of these three kids sitting on a car somewhere in Oakland, and I looked at the date and it said 1998, but I thought it looked like it was from about 1972. Amazing.

(Thanks, pk.)

(3:05 PM) :: (link)

(listening to: Books: Thought For Food)

It's been so slow at my work the past couple days, I've already reviewed three records that have been sitting in my room for over a year. It might have been a bit too much thinking for my poor brain , I'm walking around the warehouse reviewing people and products in my head, thinking of cute ways to explain them to people ("These syringes, with their hard plastic casing and shhhhharp! tips sure know how to get a party started!"). This has got to stop.

I think I'm going to get all bro-tastic and treat myself to a good seat at tonight's baseball game. The weather should be nice, but, then again, the weather is *always* nice in the Bay Area. To emphasize this point, last night I downloaded this nifty temperature icon that goes on my toolbar. When I activated the program, it was 60 degrees in Oakland. When I went to bed, it was still 60, and when I woke up in the morning, the needles was stuck on, you guessed it, 60 degrees. We're up to a astronomical 63 now here in Berkeley. I *knew* there was a reason I liked living around here.

(11:59 AM) :: (link)

:: 8.15.2002 ::

(listening to: This Busy Monster: Fireworks)

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time at the baseball diamond complex in my hometown. If I wasn't playing in a little league game myself, I was either watching my brother play or my parents engage in their adult softball league games. At the main stadium, the old one still made out of wood and held together by cheap, peeling blue paint, they had this big snack bar. My favorite fare was this thing called the Chili Boat, which was a Big Grab bag of nacho cheese Doritos cut open lengthwise and filled with canned chili warmed in a big flowery crockpot. They were perfect for a cold and windy night watching parents argue and kids chomping on sunflower seeds. Yeah, I'm craving one of those about now, I bet if I ate one though, my stomach would never forgive me.

I bought train and bus tickets today, this trip is now happening for sure. I wish I could speed up time until we leave for New York, and then after we get there slow it down. That is, unless it's hotter than hell and we can't wait to get back to the cool California breezes.

(11:15 AM) :: (link)

:: 8.13.2002 ::

(listening to: The Spice Girls: Spice)

oscar tells it like it is.

Uh, Uh, Jigga, Jigga, Uh, Uh: I think it's safe to say, that Bunny and Oscar are now kitty friends. They've been running around the house playing for the past couple of hours, and we feel good enough about the situation to let them romp unattended. It feels good to see them happy, knowing that a week ago neither of us could sleep and all we did was worry about the kitties. Sitting around the house cooking dinner and listening to the Spice Girls right now feels like something I should do really do, every day of the week.

On second thought, just today should do.

Just about every picture I've taken in the past week has had a cat in it, it's tough to get out there and shoot some good photos when I've now worked 30 days in a row, and all my downtime has been spent trying to rest up for the next day. Tomorrow though, I'm driving up to the Russian River for work, and I'll get out of the truck and get into trouble with my camera in hand.

(7:09 PM) :: (link)

:: 8.12.2002 ::

(listening to: Big Star: #1 Record/Radio City)

At lunch today, Miss Rodeo America and I went down to get coffee where all the yuppie moms hang out on weekday afternoons. We wandered into a toy store and browsed the goods for a bit, remembering either toys we had when we were kids, or toys we wished we wished we had when we were kids. Back in the corner they had this rack of dress up clothes for 3 - 5 year olds, including fairy costumes for a whopping $159.95. I joked that the costumes were actually *handmade* by real fairies way up in the mystical land of Fairytown, and the store's owner overheard me and said "Yeah, they're really, really expensive." At least she knows.

Back before the first Amscray record came out, we printed up a small batch of the Last Of The Fieros EP and sent them to labels and whatnot, and a few made their way over to Insound. Basically, it's just a few of the songs on the first LP, with pretty much the same artwork. They're kinda cool to have though, and it would be a nice way to show some support so the folks at Insound will pick up the next record. To tell the truth, I don't even remember which tracks are on the EP, so it's even a mystery to me.

(Update: Ch. told me the tracklist, and it's basically all the songs from the record we still play live. How odd and convenient!)

(3:01 PM) :: (link)

(listening to: Papa M: Live From A Shark Cage)

Your Little Game Is Up, George!: My "real" job has been very very slow over the past couple of weeks. It's not because business is down, but rather because my new boss straightened everyone out and we're actually caught up on all our work, even a couple days ahead in some cases. It also means I'm bored to tears and spend great amounts of time reading websites and resisting urges to browse Ebay for records and City Of Oakland memorabilia. It also means that when I get home and sit in front of the screen, I realize that it's the last place I want to be and end up playing with the cats and cleaning, which, really, is a good thing.

The bakery feels like work now, and I spend too much time there wandering around looking busy or trying to score free iced coffee from the scenesters across the hall. The customers still keep me entertained though. The people come in two basic flavors: those who can't, for the life of them, pronounce "Pugliese" or "Focaccia" and those who say the words in the thickest, most Alex Trebek-like accent possible. The latter say "Croissant" like it's some sort of attack command for a German police dog, which frightens me just a little bit. Everything else is pretty run-of-the-mill, and the only moment I really find happiness is when I get to present a bug-eyed child with a big ole' cookie. They look at me like a god sometimes, or at least the human embodiment of the cookie monster from Sesame Street.

I'm not much into looking at vacation photographs by people I don't know, but these shots from a Midwest roadtrip are really nice. The gravel road to the middle of nowhere reminds me of the weekend trip Miss Rodeo America and I took last year when we saw the carcases of coyotes wearing comical hats propped up on barbed wire fences. That still freaks me out.

Time to wander around the room some more and start the countdown until lunchtime.

(11:37 AM) :: (link)

:: 8.11.2002 ::

(listening to: Elvis Costello & The Attractions: Trust)

bunny = bad!

It was a bakery-tastic weekend here in the East Bay, nothing but tired feet, a badly broken fingernail, and a bag full of old cookies to show for my efforts. In other news, the kitty war had its first battle today, new kitty attacked Bunny in the corner of my room for about 1.5 seconds until I pulled them apart. Before that, we actually had progress in the relations. In order to show his love, Bunny has taken to climbing the tree outside our window and then pawing at the glass until we reach out and tug him in. We're talking second story here folks, he's taken to the trees like a true squirrel. This evening I had to reach out into the tree to pull him in, and while doing so got myself covered in nasty black ants. Thanks, Bun!

Tonight we're going up the street to watch either Even Cowgirls Get The Blues or Coyote Ugly in what has quickly become very-bad-movie-Sunday-nights. Our friend has the remnants of a keg that needs to be polished off, so Miss Rodeo America and I have valiantly volunteered to help. We tried for a good twenty minutes to find The Last Unicorn at the video store, but couldn't find it anywhere. Next week perhaps, next week.

MP3 of the week: Yeah, probably my favorite Chavez song. Even though Matt Sweeney is now playing with Billy Corgan and the M-tastic David Pajo in Zwan, he still claims he's going to put out another Chavez record sometime. I'll cross my fingers.

(8:47 PM) :: (link)