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:: 1.08.2009 ::

(listening to: Ride: Nowhere)

SFGate has a new article out on the damage from last night's riots. Pretty much sums up a lot of my feelings on the issue how how to express your frustrations and anger.

(5:07 PM) :: (link)

(listening to: R.E.M.: New Adventures In Hi-Fi)

downtown oakland, california

My friend Tim snapped this photo last night of the assembled BART police and Oakland PD assembled to quell some smallish riots over the shooting death of an unarmed man at the Fruitvale BART station on New Years. This story is now national news and probably isn't new to you, but the protests and riots sure were close to home for me last night.

I stopped in at The Trappist last night with some coworkers for an after work beer. As I got on the freeway heading North from work I noticed lots of helicopters in the sky over downtown. I should have thought something was up, but just figured it was for a traffic accident or something. I parked downtown, right across from the OPD headquarters, had a drink, chatted a bit with my coworkers, and relaxed.

The next thing we know there are some people running by outside, so look out the windows to see cop cars, news vans, riot police, and a small group of protesters heading down the street. I got out of there fast, mostly for fear my car windows would get smashed. As I headed around the corner the riot police turned and were heading straight towards me. I jogged and hopped into my car and flipped a U-turn to get out before it was too late, and succeeded in driving around a small group blocking a news fan yelling "Fuck the police! Fuck the police!"

I drove home, called MRA to make sure she was OK, and turned on the news just in time to see the riot police walk in a long line right in front of the Trappist where I was 15 minutes earlier.

I felt weird the rest of the night. The shooting death is a complete and total tragedy, but I felt a sadness that my town, My City, a place I've lived since I was 19 years old was acting up violently. I don't really see how torching people's cars, breaking their windows, and breaking store windows is really gonna stick it to the man. It only fucks with those people who love this city, those businesses that are strong enough to keep going downtown. I also felt sad that I knew lots of people, both around the bay and around the country would have the reaction that "Oh, that's how Oakland is. I told you so."

But it's not, and that's why this whole incident has me bummed out. After celebrating in the streets a couple months ago, dancing with Obama supporters outside of Everett & Jones BBQ a few blocks from where these riots took place last night, I was hoping all was well.

I guess it's not. And that's had me feeling a little...empty.

(1:14 PM) :: (link)

:: 1.07.2009 ::

(listening to: The Stills: Oceans Will Rise)

Happy New Year!

I guess there has been a lot going on, really, there always is. I had a grand plan the week before New Year's Eve to post a Top Ten Songs of 2008, but it never materialized. So, instead, I was just going to make a Top Songs Of 2008 Playlist on last.fm, but so many of the songs I wanted to put up there didn't exist as a full track.

So, I didn't do anything except post the merits of recors from The Hold Steady, Dr. Dog, The War On Drugs, CSS, Annie, Justin Townes Earle, and British Sea Power on a messageboard or two. Maybe I'll repost that here, but recors by all of these bands and artists impressed me to some degree.

At work, I've been transferred/promoted again, and now I'm going to be *selling* wine instead of just moving it around a warehouse. I'm excited about this new prospect as it's a great opportunity for me to learn, expand my wine knowledge, and meet some good people in the business. I've gotten a lot of great congratulations from people, so I am thankful for that.

That said, we had another round of layoffs this week. Three months ago during our first round of layoffs when I was transferred temporarily to Customer Service, we were told that would be the only round. Now our company has shrunk by 50%, and I had to watch some coworkers I enjoyed working with get laid off before my eyes. It was a scary time, but now a few days later I am excited for the new opportunities (and I secretly like being in a more empty office as I can listen to music aloud instead of on headphones).

Also, if you want to buy any wine, contact me. Please.

Our New Years Eve was fun but went by very quickly. We headed on over to Periscope Cellars for a party, then took a cab back to the Rock Block to go to another party. Everyone there was at a level of inebriation much higher than mine, so we decided to just go home and call it a night. New Years Day though was the real leisurely time. We had a couple friends over and watched Melrose Place episodes, the movie Victory in which Sylvester Stallone and Pele play soccer in a prison camp, played a bunch of baggo, watched more Melrose and 90210, and then watched the hilarious Devil's Advocate again. So nice.

I guess I should leave work now. Off to home, and the cats, and listening to music, and maybe laundry. Good times Wednesday style.

(5:31 PM) :: (link)