Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Since the election, I've really tuned out of presidential news and much of national politics. I'm ever so glad Obama won, and now I feel like it's my time to focus on other things.

Still, here and there, I've had a thought or two. The AIG bonuses seem outrageous when auto workers have to renegotiate their contracts. Obama fired the GM CEO, and that might be a start. Again, I wonder why he's treating the auto industry differently than the financial piracy industry? Maybe he'll make it up to me and make sure that EFCA gets through. Or Universal Health Care? Mostly, I'm waiting to see and will pass judgment soon enough.

I like this video:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Facebook Rant

The quizzes on Facebook are lame, and I keep getting matched to ridiculous people and ideas. According to these silly 6-8 question examinations (favorite color, animal, ontological stance, etc.), I am like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Philosopher Martin Heidegger, and Greek Goddess Athena. Rubish!

Coming Soon! More advice. I've been asked to write about communication within intimate relationships and how to communicate in such a way as to bring on an intimate relationship. Seriously. Unless I misunderstood the questions.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Day Dreams

I am very much looking forward to Easter (the end of lent!) and the beginning of eating bread and other baked goods once again. I miss chocolate chip cookies, spice cake, and most Acme Bread Co. products. Most of all, I miss baking. I came across this passover recipe that looks delicious.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gardening Update

Once my new mac arrives, I'll post photos.

Anyway -- so far, I've planted Early Bird tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, beans, lettuce, chard, bok choy, and various flowers. Some seed, some plants. We'll see!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Today's Post

Me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me... .

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ... .

Thursday, March 26, 2009


My mac died, and I have to replace it. How did this happen? How am I supposed to conduct my affairs now? How long until my new one comes when it shipped "standard?" So many questions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Follow Up

My Aunt Mary sent me a photo of two love birds (Canada Geese) who met at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Gilbert and Georgia

My aunt proposes that since the park is a good place for birds to hook up, it might serve similarly for humans.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For John

This evening, my mom and I reminisced about the time we put my 16 year old brother on a Green Tortoise bus to go visit our dad.

Recently I saw one of these green buses here in Oakland and I snapped up a photo just for John.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Niceness From Oakland

I took my mom to the new cathedral in Oakland. It's quite a sight with all its glass, metal, wood, concrete, and light.

From the street

Up close

The Omega presents this image of Jesus that comes about because of light coming through aluminum panels pierced with 94,000 holes

The ceiling presents one of many fishy shapes repeated throughout the cathedral. You can see the wood built up the slanted walls that meet up with more aluminum panels on the ceiling. All the surfaces are designed to bring in appropriate amounts of light.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Advice For Today

I know from comments on my last post and general buzz in the air, that people need advice on love and love related topics. At the outset, I can tell you that my advice won't land you a special someone. Still, I know a few things. My companions this sunny Sunday, Elias and my mom, do too.

I'm impressed by the love matches on the tv commercials for EHarmony. Other people think those couples are disgusting. I've never tried on-line dating, but both Elias and I agree that if we didn't have each other we would give it a try.

Some people think on-line dating is no good because every time you check people out, they know about it. There's no real anonymity. I heard about one scheme in which the looker (a true single looking for love) gets a buddy (someone who is not looking and just there to help) to screen potential suitors. The non-looker will direct the looker to the good stuff without a care in the world that s/he's cruising and perusing all over the place.

If you can't do on-line dating, borrow a dog and walk it around popular parks frequented by beautiful people. Or take a class like auto repair, martial arts, salsa dancing, or cake decorating. My mom suggests going to the docks and offering to clean someone's fish. That one's kind of weird, but that's the sort of thing my mom has to offer a man if she ever gets out there again.

Go for someone you find attractive and who finds you attractive. But make sure that this attractive person also adores you and lives to do right by you. You'll have to do the same in return. Attraction alone is not enough. Elias says I can't tell people who to go for. He says I can't even tell people not to go for assholes, but I want to anyway. Don't go for assholes.

If you get dumped or have your heart broken, know that you'll get better. There are material and physical comforts I recommend like bright red food products (carbonated fruit punch counts), obsessive exercising, trash talking the person who put you in this place, and pets. I do not recommend sleeping around and/or drinking/drugging too much. Stay single and healthy until you're ready for more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ideas For Blogging

For lent, I committed to blogging every day. If you've ever tried it, you know that it's hard coming up with ideas every day. My latest idea is advice. From time to time, I could give advice to questions from my friends, family, Sheff's Special readers, etc. This would be a variation on my usual routine of telling people what they should do or think in that it would be for free and not limited to legal inquiries.

Here's some now to give an idea of how this could work. I have a friend who's having trouble writing some pretty hefty assignments (not Elias and his dissertation). The friend says that s/he heard that it's good to have a substance that relaxes you before you begin writing. That way, you'll write and write away. Even if it's garbage, you'll have something to edit. I have no personal knowledge of whether or not this method works. However, I have another "friend" who used to smoke out and write very well received papers in college. In this instance, the method worked. So my advice -- try it especially since you now know of two anonymous advocates of the approach. That said, start slow and easy. Pick something like chocolate as your relaxing substance. Let me know if that works.

You're welcome.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Status Update/My Own March Madness

My mom is visiting us, and supposedly it's spring. I think the only logical thing to do is to put in the garden tomorrow. With my mom's advice and the whole day, I think we can do it.

Elias doesn't know that we're sure to need his muscles.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Parkway Is Closing : (

When I moved to Oakland three years ago, I discovered the Parkway Theater and became a big fan. In a February 2006 post, I wrote:

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.

Now it's closing (thanks for the alert Juan), and Elias and I are both bummed. So are our friends and most of Oakland too I imagine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Last Birthday Post For 2009*

I asked for special cake for my birthday, and my dear friend Carissa made it. It was delicious and the highlight of my break from the bread-fast.

* as far as I can tell... .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Birthday Cards

I had the best birthday, and I can't imagine how people are going to do me when I turn 40. Big things are needed to top this year. It was so good, I'm reliving it every day.

My favorite cards include, but are not limited to, the following (in no particular order):

1.) the musical one with a song from High School Musical (you open the card and are blasted with a teeny bopper song) that came with the gift of very nice Dean handbag courtesy of my closest friends;

2.) the one from my colleague in Sacramento that says, "I just wanted to remind you of 2 very important things... 1. It's your birthday. 2. You're a great person to know;"

3.) the 2nd card I received (right after Southwest Rapid Rewards's card) from Rafi with a goldfish on it;

4.) the cute kitten one from Chuy;

5.) the funny coffee card from my step mom;

6.) the splashy penguin card from my mom and Aunt Mary; and

7.) the one with this funny joke -- "Before you criticize someone you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes."

Monday, March 16, 2009

This Is Not Dog Abuse

We had ourselves a little dance party on Saturday night, and our good friend Tom decided to let Omar in on the fun. To be honest, I was both afraid for Omar's safety and amused to the point of tears. You can see Anna, Beth, and Chuy in the background laughing their asses off.

At 9:13 exactly, I let people know that if felt like 2 in the morning used to feel to me. An hour later, I couldn't believe it was still so early. At that point, we had seen and engaged in offerings of disco, break-dancing, contact improv, modern, and variations of salsa. I went to bed even though it was just past 10. I had such a blast dancing and prancing like I was kind of young again.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recommended Reading

While on this wino weekend, I spent a certain amount of time hiding out and getting my trash reading in. I highly recommend the pirate story offered in the latest Vanity Fair. It raises important questions about the way modern pirate stories are told and the way countries like France (or the U.S., Canada, etc) go all out for commercial ventures that go out of their way to avoid taxes, labor regulations, and the like from their "home countries."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photo From This Trip I'm On

We drove to Monte Rio yesterday by way of HWY 1 and saw gorgeous ocean scenery along the way.

When we got here, Chuy commented that the town we're staying in has a lot of hippies. It has a lot of bikers and redwood trees too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wino Weekend

We're headed out the door for our wino weekend. I prefer wino derived terms to "tasting" which is, for some weird reason, a word that makes me squeamish. Maybe it sounds a little nasty or something. I'm just not comfortable "tasting" in groups of close and casual friends. But I'm totally down for "wining" or "wino-ing" it up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Photos From Birthday Dinner

Elias was a swell and lovely gentleman today. He brought me coffee in bed this morning, washed tons of dishes, and took me out to a birthday dinner where we were joined by a group a friends.

working up to focus

fake sad

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Due to a heavy arbitration schedule, contract bargaining, and on a account of of brief that was due today (done, out the door, drinking wine now, and whew!!!), I have not yet seen Watchmen.

Who knows if it's even any good, but tonight we're going. I'm psyched.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This blogging every day thing is going to expose me more than I expected. More than anyone expected, I expect. Every random thought or idea is going to end up here.

Speaking of random, my latest irritation is all the Octo-Mom coverage. I can't tell you how disturbed I've been feeling about all the criticism of the woman who had eight babies. So what!?! Maybe she and her doctor went overboard to ensure a viable fetus, and maybe it made sense given her history of failed conceptions and/or fetus viability problems. It's soooo none of my business. Maybe she doesn't morally get down with abortions. I believe in free choice, including the choice to give birth. Forced abortion or sterilization is as offensive a concept to me as depriving a woman the option not to breed. Given my stances, as described supra, I just can't stand all the news of this woman. I also can't stand how judgmental, sexist, and crude much of it is.

The speculation that she's sucking up public money seems to be just that -- speculation. And even if she is, who cares? Moreover, it's bringing out the public benefits lawyer in me! You have to be financially eligible and have your whole life scrutinized thoroughly to get free medical care, food stamps, and/or a monthly cash-for-the-whole-family allotment that wouldn't last me week. Reporters, bloggers, and assholes should learn some truth and recall what Clinton's "welfare reform" "accomplished." The laws, regulations, and rules in place prevent or limit aid in many many ways. There are limits on the time someone can be aided and really restrictive limits on assets and resources. My dog, Omar is worth enough to make me ineligible. Then there are the welfare-to-work mandates that both require recipients to get to work asap and ensure that as soon as they're making minimum wage, they'll make too much money to be eligible any longer.

So today, when I saw this story, I came up with another super obvious reason to hate the fuss all the more. Yeah, what about all these men who father lots of babies? How come we don't see extensive and critical coverage of them?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Girl Scout Cookie Season

I can't eat them, but I'm very aware of Girl Scout Cookie Season. I even bought some from my darling scouting niece Delaney. But instead of receiving the goods (and eating them), I consented to a donation of my cookie money to a good cause. I'm mentioning this in case you're tempted to turn down cute little girls like my niece just because you don't want to or can't eat the cookies.

Buy them, and eat them if you can, ok? If I could eat them, I would be eating Do-Si-Dos and Samoas.Link

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Food Project For The Masses

My dear friend Greg recently blogged about those weird super-pasteurized creamers that are doled out in offices and unfancy diners everywhere. This morning I came across something fun to do with the little cups of questionable milk product -- make ice cream. You use ice water glasses, ice, and table salt as an ice cream maker.

While I'm on the topic of gross edibles, Lucy recently hipped me to a disgusting site full of photos of fattening American food. I recommend checking it out (as part of your eating better regimen), but I have to admit that some of the items looked kind of tasty to me.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fun With The Dogs

I took this photo with my phone, so it's not the clearest image. Still, I think you can see that Pac'a's face is covered in mud thanks to a slide she took in nearby puddle. What a mess! Even though Omar was a little more careful, both dogs got baths when we got home.

Friday, March 06, 2009


My birthday is next week, and I'm trying to control its impact. I'm getting old and it's starting to show. I have all sorts of plans to get things done so the day and my weekend away go smoothly.

Once again, my driver's license is expiring. Rather than wait until my birthday like I did the last time around, ensuring many birthday hours spent at a Southern California DMV, I renewed yesterday. Even with the furloughs and stress I thought would be going down, I was in and out in less than an hour. Northern California rules over So Cal when it comes to almost all things vehicular.

Next on my list -- beauty shop, oil change, pick up contacts, and everything else I put off in my busy month of February.

So far, I've only received one birthday card, and it was from Southwest. They should send drink tickets or something. Otherwise, the sentiment is pretty meaningless.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


This Comedy Central, Daily Show clip is hilarious, and I hope Jon Stewart's critique catches on. The bailed out bankers and their boosters need to step back and let the reconstruction begin.

Update: Check out HuffPo analysis of why JS is doing great work here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Elias and I watched a good deal of the 90s movie Only the Strong on our new cable option of Starz! It's a capoeira movie, showcasing the Brazilian marital art, and it tells of a corny gang story set in Miami. It's also the source of the zoom zoom zoom song that Mazda now owns.

The most marvelous thing about it is that the leading man/fighter dude has moved on from acting and martial arts to his current role as the Chairman on Iron Chef American. I don't really get what the chairman does on that show, but he is definitely a standout.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mmm Cup Of Hot

It's been raining for days. I know we need it, but it kind of bums me out when it's so gray for so long. The dogs are bored and sick of it too. Today, I did something about it. I made hot chocolate for me and Elias. I made up my own recipe and succeeded if you ask me.

3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa power
2.5 TBSP sugar
dash of ground cinnamon
orange zest in the amount that results from a couple of swipes on a microplane grater
less than 1/8 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk (we have 1% on hand)

I heated and whisked everything at once.

I topped our mugs with whipped cream from my new whipped cream maker. Mmm and what a nice break from the gloom.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fort Bragg Photos

We went to Fort Bragg a couple of weeks ago. Mostly, there was rain and little opportunity for outdoor activities. The park where I took these photos had flooded out parking lots and roads that limited our access.

Seals lazing about. We saw no movement from these guys.

Elias and the dogs. Isn't Omar cute in his jacket? It was kind of
chilly out, and we hate to see him shiver and suffer.

Pretty, heh?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lent Update

When I was a kid, my mom used to make non-meat meals on Lenten Fridays. I think she liked the opportunity to experiment. I think I'm going to enjoy my own exploration in the coming days. Last Friday, I ate out at a Vietnamese restaurant and tried fake meat for the first time in years. (Once I was a vegetarian... .) The fake chicken was fried, textured well, and in a spicy stir fry dish that was delicious. I could eat like that from time to time.

I can still eat sweets, just not baked goods right now. Today I saw a recipe in the Chronicle for lemon mousse, and I want it. I've never made mousse before, but I'll post about it (since I have to post every day now). It looks pretty easy.