Monthly Archives: May 2004

in fresno, yet again

I’m in Fresno! It’s warm here! I’m visiting jentwo! It only took me three hours to get here – or it would have if I hadn’t spent over half an hour getting lost, circling the on ramp in Oakland, and then getting on the wrong freeway (580E, not 880S) when attempting to leave North Bay.

I hate making wrong turns & getting lost in strange places. It makes me twitchy.

Just here for tonight – tomorrow – on to Los Angeles! I’m simultaneously excited and terrified – tomorrow is, more so than usual, the first day of the rest of my life. I’d better go get enough sleep to meet it head on.

the day after tomorrow

…was exactly what it was supposed to be. An air-conditioning movie with NO REDEEMING FEATURES WHATSOEVER. Totally unrealistic science, cardboard characters, cheeseball lines thrown in whenever no-one was getting frozen to death, and bitchin’ awesome s/fx. It’s two hours of the trailer, basically. The script is as bad – worse! – than Deep Impact – but the movie never gets boring because there’s SO MUCH DISASTER.

If you like big noisy movies with cheap adrenaline thrills, then by all means, go see it! Especially if you have a team of smartasses to mock it with all the way home. Otherwise, let this one go by. It won’t be worth seeing on video – it’s a movie that demands THX and a huge screen to have impact – but it’s a great way to shut down your brain for a couple hours.

heh heh heh

One more thing: Tuesday’s party is reviewed on the AD:Tech blog.

BlueLithium need to fire their party planners. Trapeze act or no, the party was not that well executed. Music was too loud to talk over, and there were no company names on the nametags. AND there was a huge line to get in outside, because despite having an open RSVP on their website, the BlueLithium staff were checking business cards at the door. I told them I was with Tribal/DDB, didn’t have business cards yet, and got in through the thirty-second VIP line.

Upon getting in, the party was so cliched that I wished that some of my Vancouver friends could have been there to mock it. Check the link, see the descriptions and realize why my first comment upon entry was, “look, it’s 1998!”

leaving home, virtually

I just unsubscribed from the vancouver, victoria_bc and ubc communities, and joined los_angeles and lagoth instead. I’m trying to break as much as possible with Vancouver, just until I get over the idea that I’m not going back. Changing over my location in all my various web identities and profiles is one of the little symbolic things that makes it slightly more real.

I’m still in Berkeley today, catching up on laundry and various other stuff. Stuff that required me to plug my laptop – and as much as I’m trying to distance myself from Vancouver, I still wish there were more of you from home online to chat with. Better this way though, because I really should be up and moving and working on today’s project: biking over the Golden Gate.
c’mon marge! pump those crazy legs!

another strangely accurate quiz



everything that’s wrong with America

Yes, I realize that “Super Size Me” is just as biased as “Bowling for Columbine”, but damn, Spurlock hits on more truths than he knows.

Especially the bit about Texas being a fat state. Not that I would, y’know, know anything about that.

Actually, he’s proved a bunch of points that I suspected, including the chemical connection between food and mood.

is there anyone who HASN’T seen this movie yet?

tales from the road: a coffeehouse in Eureka

The backs of my calves are sunburned. This is the result of falling asleep in a patch of sunshine today, lying on my stomach, drooling contentedly onto the issue of Cosmo I’d been reading. I haven’t had a sunburn in years, so it’s a bit of a weird feeling, and I wish I had a spike of the aloe vera plant Mom always kept for these type of minor wounds.

I’ve got some time to kill, so I might as well write about Eureka yesterday.

the all-American experience: bonding with locals

at the edge of the world

I grew up in a lost British colony out at the edge of the world, on a particularly blessed piece of land out in the Pacific. When I come home on the Clipper, up from Seattle, the first thing I see is a row of windswept English houses, against the grass and hills and trees of south Victoria. It looks like the British Isles, it looks like land’s end. And driving south yesterday, down CA-1 was like two hundred miles of deja vu: the light, the ocean, the shape of the rocks and coastline, reminded me of what the sweep of coastline outside downtown, along Dallas Road, would look like if the city of Victoria had never been built.

To get to the Pacific Coast Highway involves twenty-two heart-stopping miles of turns through forest. I was warned by the old-timers in Eureka that it was a tedious drive, that I’d be better off driving the 101. I considered that, and went anyways. And began to reconsider my decision when it took me an hour to cover the thirty miles between where I left 101, and the first hamlet of Westport.

I didn’t regret the extra time again after that. The coastline of far Northern California is made of hills and moors against an unending ocean. Occasionally, there’s a portion of the land flat enough to farm or ranch, marked off by perfect lines of deliberately planted hundred-year old trees. But mostly, this part of the world is empty. Westport is a tiny town of four hundred people or so. There’s a few houses and stores up against the road, and a cemetery on a cliff above the sea, and that’s it. So it was with most of the towns along the ocean, as they got quainter as I went south.

I had especially wanted to see Mendocino, which I had always read was “picturesque”. It’s a town built in the English colonist style, dating to the 1850s when it was only accessible by ship. It looks more New England than California, I’m told. I took a break here for a snack and coffee, and walked around town re-caffeinating myself.

Mendocino is only a few blocks square, and it’s held to strict preservation codes. The whole town is a Historical Landmark, and there’s insane red tape to alter or rebuild anything. There are open fields of wildflowers in the middle of town, where a town commons would be if people relied on farm animals instead of herbal tea revenues for their livelihood. The gardens run rampant, the houses are all non-decorative Victorian, and it is indeed picturesque. It was peaceful, and beautiful, and everyone seemed happy to be there – and the light, houses and gardens still reminded me of Oak Bay.

After than, it was a good three hours until I got to the roads that led back to 101, past Bodega Bay. I still didn’t regret any of the extra time it took to go that last hundred-and-fifty miles. The rocks and cliffs and moors were there when Drake sailed into his bay five hundred years ago, and with luck, they will be there years from now. The road was timeless, one of those rare places where the road and towns seem part of the landscape, rather than having been built into the landscape. Everything looked right along the coast yesterday, from the gray light of the muted sunshine, to the crazy-angled picket fences that had fallen down with time.

There was a moment where I came around a curve, and saw nothing but ocean and sky, out past the curve of the road. And I thought for a moment – am I really still alive? Maybe I went off the road minutes ago, and now I’m just flying into space, out into this beauty, the light, the sea. This, to me, is what heaven should look like, this piece of California where there is that ethereal quality under the rocks that makes any human touch completely in tune with the land.

sleep, coffee, something

I KNOW I’m exhausted when I’m too tired to care that I’m in San Francisco. Maybe it’s because I’m already partly homesick for Vancouver, maybe it’s because I’m on my own in the city – and a bit lonely after my two days of solitude through Oregon and northern California, but I’m not as joyful as I usually am to be turned loose in the City.

So I’ve been idling around the Marina District: napping on a patch of grass for two hours in the Presidio, going to the Maritime Museum, reading magazines at a Starbucks and looking at clothes on Chestnut Street. I feel like I’m wasting time, but I don’t have the energy to take the usual glee in being in San Francisco that I usually do.

(this is, after all, the city that generated the places I call home: Seattle and Vancouver are just San Francisco isotopes)

I’m heading back via BART to East Bay soon, one day here down, two more to go. Coffee’s helped, the nap helped too, and I hope tomorrow I’m able to get up the energy and enthusiasm to really enjoy being here.

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