enjoying the last of the garden
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Spent some time in the garden this morning.  As Autumn really sinks in, I know that soon the garden will be done for the year, so I'm trying to get every last drop of delicious pleasure from it that I can.  We've already had a couple of rainy days (including that one pretty strong storm a few weeks back).  Though I've always been one to wander around in the winter months too - fortunately, living in California means a fairly temperate climate and there's always something good going on out there, even in the coldest February.  But Autumn is always especially nice around here - our oaks are going all red and gold, the maples are already mostly bare and the poplars are losing leaves in big heavy drifts, though you look up at the branches and there's still so many to come down.  The giant alder in the back is still hanging on green, seems to me it loses it's leaves last, and takes the longest - it's such a big messy brute!  Additionally, our roses are making a last gasp at flowering.  I should cut them back but I just don't have the heart to do it right now.  Also, our herb garden seems to be going just absolutely mad right now, with the exception of the chives which don't seem to like the damp and chill, and the basil which is determined to flower.  Sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and parsley is all looking lush and lovely though, and I'm tempted to try drying a bunch of everything, though I really prefer cooking with it fresh.


Anyways, as much as I enjoy it all, I'm also getting hit hard with the 'burrowing in for the winter' instinct.  Getting ready for all the things that need doing in preparation for winter, and the holidays, since they're basically here - this Saturday being the kick-off for the holiday season by my calendar, which states that Halloween to New Years Day is the official celebration period of the year.  I've already packed away my sundresses and lightweight things and replaced them with my wonderful sweaters, which I'd begun to miss in the evening and early morning.  Haven't had to turn on the heat yet, but I know it's coming.  I really, REALLY miss my old fireplace these days, but we can enjoy some late fires out in the patio with the firepit.  There's a lot to do in the Autumn, but its all pretty enjoyable stuff, and soon it will be time to settle in with a dozen good books and hibernate.


these 30 senators
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feel their duty to protect Halliburton and similar corporations from lawsuits supersedes their duty to ensure that the people who work for these corporations have access to justice that is supposedly guaranteed all citizens. edit: actually, its probably more that they feel their duty to ensure that Halliburton and similar corporations continue to get government contracts worth big bucks (at the expense of employees civil rights, safety and well-being) is the all important factor here.
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

senate vote results 68 yea, 30 nay, 2 not voting.
http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00308

honestly, its such a slam dunk amendment, i can't understand why these 30 would vote against, unless maybe they were in somebody's (say, some large corporation's) pocket.  it will be interesting to see what they have to say for themselves.



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stormy weather
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Well, the entire northern half of California is covered by storm clouds, the remains of typhoon Melor. If this is just the tag end that has travelled across the ocean to get here, I'm really glad we didn't see the full force storm. According to Weather Underground the storm is ranging from up around the Oregon border to as far south as Bakersfield.  Just moderate rainfall where I am in the bay area, but pretty gusty.  Lots of tree branches down.  I worry about our alder tree in the back yard, which is just gigantic and has this crazy lean right towards our house. Rain and wind are heavy over in Modesto where my mom lives, though.  Always makes me nervous because she's a courier so always driving for work.  But she's a good driver, so she'll probably come through it all ok.  I'll call her later tonight.

Had such a nice weekend, we went to the Pleasanton Antiques and Collectibles Faire on Sunday, and though it was a little grey in the morning when we got there it eventually got sunny.  Saw a lot of really cool things (as well as some bizarre things).  Was gonna post pics yesterday but my image host was down all day.  Here they are:

pleasanton antique faire

green fan
probably the thing I wanted most to buy, if only I had $95 just lying around.
More pics back here.Collapse )

lovely evening, after a lovely day
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Went to the Olive Hyde Gallery today, it was their Art Guild members juried show, which concludes tomorrow.  Nice exhibit, mostly very traditional type of work - a lot of watercolors and oils, some photography as well.  Also a few more unusual types of things (see Richard Horton's wooden sculpture, called "Smudged Buddha", below).  I think my favorite things were collages by various people, but I have no pictures of those to share =(. 

 
I love going to the galleries - always makes me feel so inspired to do my own thing.
 
Also went thrifting, and acquired a few white dishes to add to my ever growing collection of white dinnerware.  What I really need now are some bowls.
 
No more Giants home games for the year.  This weekend is their final road series, against San Diego.  Hope they continue to play well as they have all this last week, and finish out the season on a really good note. 
 
The annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is going on at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco this weekend - would love to go, but got some sickies in the house, so we'll probably just hang out at home and be mellow and comforting.

to do list
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  • Read like bejesus! I have four library books due in one week. I have not finished any of them, though I have started three of them. It is a foregone conclusion I will have to renew at least some if I intend to get them read. But the only reason I am in this predicament is that I have been slacking with the reading. Slacker am I.
  • Bake more cupcakes. Cupcakes are imperative!
  • Look for a job. =( This makes me sad, but enough is enough. I need to stop worrying about everything that's going on economically, and just get a job. It doesn't have to be an elaborate job. Just something that pays enough to keep us insured (or ideally offers a health care plan). I keep waking up at 5am, and lying there worrying about money stuff that just seems to be completely out of our control right now. On the same subject . . .
  • Set up an Etsy shop or at least set up a shop section on my website. No reason I can't be trying to make my hobby pay for itself, even if partially.
  • Paint my office blue. Robin's egg blue, I think. Something like this:
except office-stylee! Although I sort of loooooove that little table and stuff to set up in my garden, too. Oh well, no time to be thinking of garden furniture and decorating now that fall is upon us. *stores photo/idea away for next spring*
  • Get into some Halloween spirit. The last few years I've pretty much skipped the fun of Halloween, I'm not sure why. Outgrew it somewhat and it just seemed like more hassle than fun. But, I think I could dig it again, now. Or at least it could serve as a distraction from those things that wake me up at 5 am.
  • Cut my hair! Way overdue, the ends are just . . . ugh. Its not pretty, kids.
  • Oh yeah, I need to add that I need to get to the Olive Hyde gallery this weekend. Been meaning to for the last couple weeks but keep getting sidelined.
Aside from all that, i read this this morning and found it funny and pretty much dead on, too.  "How To Talk To Complete Idiots", Mark Morford's sfgate column - hope y'all enjoy it!

cupcakes . . . mmmmmmmmmm!
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note: gotta frost em with the cake decorator tip. it's less time consuming than spreading the frosting, looks way better, and provides all those little crevices for holding the jimmies in place. also it's easier than you'd think - hardest thing about it is getting the decorating tips out from behind the baking pans at the back of the cabinet where i hide them with the cookie cutters i rarely use.
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favorite lines from that amazing speech
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"We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost."

stem cell research, anyone?

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

nice that the camera zoomed in on bush's face as these words were spoken. goodbye, guantanamo bay. goodbye, patriot act. welcome back, civil liberties.

"We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan."

yes!

"With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet."

yes!

"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

yes!

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. "

oh my gosh! he included me, little old non-religious me!

"To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it."

"America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."




he does have a way of energizing one.

update: shows, baseball, classes, decisions
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ok, so life has been full, i've been quiet. quick catch up - radiohead at hollywood bowl were amazing, unfortunately certain members of the audience were not. offset? hmmm, well it might have been one of the best shows i've ever attended but was by no means my favorite concert experience. just no fault of radiohead's. so thats all i'm going to say about that. i will certainly go out of my way to see them again, but probably not at the hollywood bowl. berkeley audience was probably the best crowd i've experienced yet, for every show i've gone to there, so i hope radiohead will go back there again.

meanwhile, i've scored tickets to the bridge school benefit end of this month - very happy about that! NEIL YOUNG! and wilco! cat power! also jack johnson, death cab for cutie, zz top, etc. happiest / most excited about young and wilco. what a great year for shows this is turning out to be! huzzah! also going to see the decemberists with everyone just before thanksgiving. not one of my highly-listened-to bands anymore, but they put on a nice show when i last saw them couple years ago, and this will be a good evening for us around the holidays. =)

baseball is over, as far as i'm concerned. oh i know theres all the big games left, but i don't care about those teams that are playing, so its over for me for the year. even though we had such a bad year in terms of games won/lost, we had a lot of fun this year - tim lincecum's pitching, brian wilson's nail-biting closes, omar vizquel's pizzazz, the triple play, rookies rookies rookies, sprinklers, 50 year anniversary, diving catches, molina, sandoval, burriss, cain, bowker, the all-star game, kruk & kuip, and on! my gosh, how many shaving-cream-pies-in-the-face did we get to witness as these rookies got their first homeruns in the majors? and because our expectations were so low we weren't surprised or particularly let-down when we did badly - we kind of expected it; but it was just that much sweeter when we did well! eager for april.

classes have been a let-down, and i've come to a decision that maybe i want to quit. well, maybe not quit completely - but i'm so frequently disappointed with my experiences lately, and i just keep wondering what i'm doing this for. so something definitely has to change. either i stop taking classes altogether or i find a different college or approach it a differently or something. i hate to be a flake. but i really don't need this in my life. i dropped psych already after big disappointment with the structure of the class and the repetition, spending the whole first month going over what i already learned in other classes. i've hung in with english, though frankly i'm beginning to be disappointed with this as well. i know the trend in education is to put people into groups and have them present lessons to each other and student teaching student and all that. but god please. i still think reading should be more of a solitary activity. especially when the majority of the students aren't particularly into reading and literature in the first place (and why are they in this class, then? oh, its an easy A probably. except its not. you do have to work. surprise!). anyways, i'm going to see it through because at least i'm getting to read some cool stuff i wouldn't have thought to otherwise. but in the future, if they are pushing student teaching student, then maybe i'll just take it further and cut out the class altogether, eh? i can take that initiative myself without all the hassle.

anyways, didn't intend to ramble and whine so. feels good to vent a bit, but also leaves one windless.

i'm so sleepy right now

(no subject)
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raging headache this morning.

i've been developing film lately - 6 rolls of b/w stuff to play with. including some 620 film. now if i can find my large film carrier i think i have somewhere i can try to print some of this stuff. but not until this headache goes away - last thing i want is to be enclosed in a stuffy darkroom (closet/bathroom actually, with the window masked) with this pounding going on.

where i've been, where i'm at, and where i'm going.
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had such a great start to the new year and then just sort of faded away after january. such is my life anymore - great bursts of ambition and energy interspersed with quiet withdrawal from the world. well, maybe not total withdrawal. here's whats been happening:

classes: well. i started my whopping two classes the end of january. i opted out of the glass class - in retrospect this was a mistake and a disappointment. i'm not sure if it was just my frame of mind or what, but i was simply so frustrated with the instructor. carol is an older woman, a very talented artist, genuinely pleasant and easy to get along with, and completely scatterbrained. her lectures would veer off in 20 different directions at once, and her expectations for her beginning students were very unrealistic. i felt very much adrift in her class, and i guess i'm just anal enough about things like that that i didn't want to mess with it, so i dropped it. since then, i've had time to reflect on that decision, and realize that i should have just stuck with it, relaxed about my own expectations, tried to have some fun with it, etc. i felt at the time that she was such a bad instructor, but perhaps not. many of her students return to take more of her classes - that wouldn't be happening if she was really bad.
meanwhile, the class i stuck with, the critical comp class for english, is the one that i should have been more leery of. its an online class, and, after the first two weeks went by without any assignments from the instructor, i should have caught on that something was amiss here. but this has been the case throughout the course - weeks go by with no word from her, and then she'll pop onto the webct site, give us a couple of essays and assignments that will be due within a week. we rush rush rush to get everything done by her due date, and then 3 or 4 more weeks go by before we hear from her again. meanwhile, absolutely zero feedback on the work we've done so far. i have completed every single assignment to the best of my ability, but with no feedback at all, i have no idea what kind of grade i'm headed for, no idea if i should change my approach, or what to improve or how. i do not know if i am doing anything right. as of this writing, there are 3 weeks left of class. in that time, we are supposed to have a research paper to turn in - but she hasn't assigned it yet. also there will be some manner of "debates", again nothing has been said about this other than the promise that it will happen, but on what subject? when? oh and a final exam of course. the last thing we had to do in this class was a midterm exam (3 weeks after the rest of the school did their midterms, btw) the first week of april. silence since then. this was the class i should have dropped, if i had known it was going to be like this.
interestingly, i recently found a neat little thing over at myspace - grade your teacher. if you go on there and type in your school, you can leave a comment about your teacher - problems, compliments, etc. i looked up both these instructors - carol the glass teacher has many little love notes from students who think she's just the bees knees. meanwhile, this english teacher got failing marks, and was noted for just exactly the kind of behavior i've described, as far back as 2 years ago. i really wish i'd seen this before i registered for this class.

anyways, what else? its been a slow winter here - not terribly extreme weather, but chilly-ish. and then early in april, springlike weather complete with 80 degree days began to appear. then it would go away for awhile. we'd be all chilled again, wondering what happened to our early spring. then it warms up again for a day or two. then frost in the morning. at this very moment, it is 65 degrees but with a brisk wind here. the sun is out, everything is pretty beautiful, but i sit here in a sweatshirt, cold down to my toes. i want my hot summer!

hmmm, we've been having some fun - i took wayne to see the moody blues in san francisco for his birthday in march. its the second time i've taken him to see them (come to think of it, the time before it was also for his birthday, last year), they are one of his favorite bands, and, though they aren't my favorite, they do put on an entertaining show. i don't really mind seeing them, especially since he doesn't kick up too much fuss when i drag him out to see bands that i like. for instance, we saw the black keys in early april, they were awesome! even though i think he really hated the opening band (jay reatard - pretty punk garage rock, way way WAY too loud, but i was ok with it). we have tickets to see REM, along with the national and modest mouse, at the end of may in berkeley. and even more exciting - we plan to fly down to los angeles late august for a nice 3 day weekend away, and i have tickets for radiohead at the hollywood bowl. theres lots of good shows coming up here and there in between now and fall, too. lots of fun stuff to do and see this summer.


anything else? OH! i went blonde! bwahahaha! i just wanted to do something different, something fun, and jill did a great job making me a blondie. i'm just now finally starting to get used to it. at first it was a big shock every time i'd catch sight of myself in a mirror or a reflection in a window or something. this is what it looks like:




summer fun, i want some!

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