Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oakland So Far

Everyone wants to know how my new job is. Well, I've been to Los Angeles, Sacramento, and tomorrow I'll be in Monterey Bay for a couple of days. I'm working for the union that represents faculty in a univeristy system, and I have lots to learn still. I can tell you this -- it's a lot different than representing poor people. The union is bargaining for a new contract, and faculty members take issue with university actions every day. Everyone has enough to eat, especially campus presidents who have car allowances that equal house payments. See how I'm learning to talk the talk?

Elias and I are getting settled in and learning more about things to do locally. Over the weekend, we discovered a movie theater in Oakland that is sure to turn us into to avid watchers of current cinema. The Parkway Theater reminds of us the State Theater in Olympia, Washington (where we used to go to college without ever knowing each other). Only the Parkway serves beer, pizza, and nachos. Also, you can sit on sofas to watch the movies. It's just like our house. Elias wants us to start going every Wednesday night when it's 2 for $5 to see movies and still $12 for a pitcher.

I'm still trying to find a vet for Pac'a. Before leaving town recently, I took her to a nearby animal clinic to make sure she was up to date on vaccinations. The place smelled so bad, I nearly gagged. A guy in the waiting room assured me the vet was a great guy. Sonny Somebody takes all his dogs to this place. I confessed that I didn't know who Sonny Somebody was (as I'm not up on my local teams just yet). He replied, "You know, the black and red." I know the Raiders are silver or grey and black. The Warriors have some yellow color scheme. I shrugged, and he explained that black and red are the colors for the Hell's Angels, and Sonny So and So was among their leadership. He went on to tell me that some days are really hectic because dog fights break out in the clinic and the vet gets covered in blood. On those days, you have to reschedule.

The vet was indeed a nice guy except that he insisted that I take hold of Pac'a's head when he administered the shots. As if Pac'a would bite or snap. I was totally insulted. Pac'a wouldn't snap if the vet bit her. Clearly, that particular clinic is not a good fit for us, and we'll be moving on.

More updates to come.

Friday, February 17, 2006

On the Bright Side

Here's a blog about cheese and wine. I've been to the blogger's shop a few times. Mmm.

Bummed Out on Rainy Friday Afternoon

This story makes me sad.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Always the Guest, Never the Bride

Happy Valentine's Day y'all.

Elias and I went to another wedding last weekend. As you can see, we would make the perfect bride/groom combo. The wedding was really fun. The food was amazing. The singing made me tear up. I'm still tired from the trip.

Check out the cheese they served!

I even tried the pickled herring. I liked it and was quite surprised. Thanks for the encouragement, Xui.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pac'a Likes Mud Puddles

We've been taking Ms. Pac'a to a great place in Richmond called Point Isabel. There are lots of dogs in addition to the puddles.

The other dog's name is Peeka. Pac'a and Peeka -- what a pair!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Follow Up

The other night, I dined with Cloudy (and her husband and some other people we know) for her birthday. Among other things, we chatted about candy, and I just want to provide a little follow up.

Candyblog has written has a good review of my favorite commercial candy bar. Take 5. As you can see, it is a Hershey product, and I am not alone in liking it. It is so good with its five components -- chocolate, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter, and pretzel. Mmm.

Candyblog also provides information and reviews of a bunch of different KitKat bars. I have only tasted the regular Kitkat, but if I saw it on the shelf, I'd give the mint version a try.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog's Day

The groundhog saw its shadow. That means six more weeks of winter. I just want the rain to stop -- here in my new Bay Area location and in the Northwest where I plan to visit soon. What can the groundhog do about that?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Unpack This

I cannot believe how long it's taking me to settle in! No one can come over until the book cases are put together.

In the mean time, I'm enjoying DLS once more and the satellite t.v. service. Have you seen Paula's Home Cooking? I like it. She's kind of hillbilly-style, but entertaining to me nevertheless. She's entertaining because she talks all Southern and says "spaturla" instead of spatula. Also, she explained that she came to like avocados later in life, after learning they were full of fat. It's just the kind of frank low brow talk I appreciate.

There is no way I'm going to be trying her recipes on my own. I want to live to be old, and she uses lots of fat and processed ingredients. For example, she has a recipe for green been casserole that calls for 1/3 stick butter, 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, 1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings, and 1 cup grated Cheddar. Yikes! At least she prefers fresh green beans over frozen.

In between unpacking and assembling Ikea pieces, I'm doing fun stuff. I'm baking a bread that takes days --
24 hours for the sponge, 8 hours for the dough, 3 hours to proof the loaves, and baking time. I'll post a photo when it's done.

Oh yeah, then there's all the news that has gone down while I've been in transition. Rest in Peace Coretta Scott King. The Oscar nominations have gone out. And Bush & Co. still bites.

Pac'a is pretty bored with all of this and wants to know when we're going home.