Tag Archives: technology

Monday Morning Links–one day late

  • Michael Miller reviews Stephen Elliot’s new book at the Fanzine–I’m dying to read it.  (The Fanzine)
  • It’s August and all those tomato plants you’ve been watching all summer are finally bearing fruit.  Preserve some for the winter with this pickling recipe from Home and Oats.  (Home and Oats)
  • I never get tired of ogling the baroque beauty of Bornay’s flowers, ribbons, and photographs.  I’m especially enamored by the colors of the petals in the aisle in this post. (Flowers by Bornay)
  • Do you kiss your iPhone goodnight too?  Do you know six-year-olds with their own iTunes account? (NY Times)
  • New England’s stuffiness is not something I generally lust over, but I wish I could be magically transported to this Cape Cod brunch.  (A Hawk From A Handsaw)

DSC04595Image by A Hawk From A Handsaw

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Kids These Days

Dear current and future parents,

This is what can happen when kids have smart phones and when teachers supply students with email addresses to turn in projects digitally:

Hi Ms. Smith* (:

i’m in my physics class and i’m hella bored!!!!!!!!!! we’re working on
our final, and i’m dying here. i swear i have had senioritis since
freshman year! :(( it’s so bad. haha, well i’ll see you
tomorrrowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

byeee.

-Leslie ❤

Email received 11:41AM PST Monday June 1, 2009

*all names have been changed to protect privacy of teacher and student

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A New Addition to A Rockridge Life

I am the proud new owner of a Kodak EasyShare digital camera.  I’m always torn between the instant gratification of the iPhone picture with that of the higher quality digicam image when blahghing, but now, thanks to my new Kodak I won’t have to choose.  This baby is so lightweight I can carry it everywhere and thus bring you the fresh sharp images of A Rockridge Life you crave.  Yay!

Ironically, I have to photograph it with the iPhone in order to post a pic of it here.  

camera1

It may not be the RED Camera but it’s a red camera: ultimate hotness!

And check the size of the screen:

camera2

Thanks I-dizzle.  Mwah!

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NYC Part 1

After throwing on some curls and pearls we headed over the Brooklyn Bridge down to the Financial district to the Forever Young Party.  It was the perfect New York night.  Not too cold and the Empire State was in my favorite decor: all white lights.  So classic.  The city got dressed for the Jans that night.  

night_empire_state

We stopped at a Citibank on Broadway for some cash and in perfect NYC style I got hit on by a bum.  Men in New York.  Honestly.  Even the bums think they can get the hot chick.  

When we arrived at China Chalet it wasn’t yet 10.  My people had already been in place, decorating and setting up for the fete.  It was a beautiful reunion.  We all had time to hang out and get drinks in the relative quiet before the storm.  I got to meet the sassy and sexy proprietess of Beach House, the fabulous Miss Vicky B.  She soothes to insane levels and WAS FUCKING WEARING SADDLE SHOES.  HELLO!  It was love at first sight.

Things got rolling quickly though.  Before I knew it guests were pouring in.  I saw my Marlborough girls, Soph, Ash, Remy, Camille, Michelle, Lauren, Christina.  Damn.  They were looking great.  I swear the most grounded people I know in NYC are those who transplanted there from LA. 

One of the Jan’s mom was there, and the other Jan’s bro was on site.  It was a total family affair.  There was the fabulous Gelardi clan in all its glory, and looking sharp.  

There was a photo booth, photographers, and props.  Here are our hosts and the honorees of the evening; on the left, Jan Philippe and P, on the right Jan Edward in the glasses and tie:

forever-young-alt5

Double

There were so many people there I saw people I haven’t seen in three, four, five years.  Wade, Justin, Ken, Noah, Kate.  Damn.  Amazing that I’ve gotten to the age where I can say that I saw people I haven’t seen in five years.  

The space was huge.  There was a huge bar/lounge area, a dining room with banquettes, a long hallway with mini booths along the side, and a big dance floor in the back with a second bar.

My best man Devotion was there with Kiss Me I’m Polish and I set up fort at one end of the main bar in the front.  We laughed and drank beers that we had to order four and five at a time since the bartenders were so damn old and slow, doublefisting at a double birthday party was the only way to go.

forever-young-party-13Double

bestman

Trouble

The music was the best I’ve ever heard in NYC–honestly.   Courtesy of DJs Tim Sweeney (DFA) & Scott Anderson.  I didn’t dance as much as I usually would because I was too busy screaming and yelling catching up in the front bar but I did hit it for a little and all I remember was dancing to Tony Toni Tone “Let’s Get Down” and never loving anything more.  

There were so many beautiful people there.  It was as if the world was glittery and shining that night and someone had sprinkled fairy dust over the whole evening. There was even a second girl wearing saddle shoes–Red ones!!!  The only thing that brought anyone back (or further from) Earth was the ghostly image of Michael Stipe(!) waiting outside the double glass doors for a late entrance when the club was at capacity.  

I was running around telling everyone how good they looked.  Handing out compliments like it was my job.  Sorry Bay, NYC makes you look ugly!  You need to sharpen up and learn how to dress!  People in NYC are tight!  Even the uglies are looking good over there. 

We closed the place down around 4 or so and a big group of us headed down Wall Street to a deli to grab a bite.  We got egg and cheese sandwiches and slices and nothing ever tasted so good.  A good, generic NYC deli.  Dime a dozen in the city, impossible to get anywhere else.  The big cases of prepared food, neon lights, guys in blue and white aprons, and unbelievably flawless slices and bagels.  [You don’t understand the issue I had Tuesday morning in Rockridge when I was craving a bagel.  OY VE!  Problem.  The craving was so intense.  My husband went and got me Noah’s.  I protested, but ultimately gave in.  He didn’t want to drive all the way to Manhattan Bagels on 4th Street, which I haven’t tried but is supposed to be great.  When he brought it to me and asked me how it was I didn’t even have the heart to tell him how incredibly bland that thing was.]

We moved the after hours party to Brooklyn where I ended my night–just tearing myself away knowing I really didn’t want to see sunrise all that much–dancing to Biggie rap “Juicy.”  Very symbolic as I had left the West Coast years before, abandoned the riotous streets of L.A. and its segregation and its fearless leader Pac for the in-your-face East Coast where I converted wholeheartedly to Biggie:

I live out there, so don’t go there, but that don’t mean a — can’t rest in the West, see some nice breasts in the West, smoke some nice cess in the West, y’all — is a mess thinking I’m gon stop givin LA props, all I got is beef with those who violate me, I shall annihilate thee…

pacbiggie1

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THIS PAST WEEK

Written December 5, 20008.  Published December 9, 2008.

This post is in regards to November 28-December 5

Note to my readers:

I have been reticent up to this point on the blog to 1) say I am married 2) say I have a husband 3) explicitly identify with a gender. It is time to come out of the closet on points 1) and 2). I am happily married to a man. 3) will be left to your imagination, unless you know me personally, as many (most?) of my readers do.

Also, as the foregoing information suggests, this post is uncharacteristically(?) intimate in nature. But I think justifiably so.

THIS PAST WEEK:

The Constants:

Monday marked my first wedding anniversary to my husband. It is a sacred day. I have been overwhelmed with my emotion of love for my husband, remembrances of these days and weeks as we lived them one year before when we were marrying each other, committing for life in front of all our loved ones, and I take that so seriously. And it isn’t easy. Marriage is damn hard and I love that man so much. And I take that commitment incredibly seriously. And it is overwhelming to think about the fact that this is my life, this is OUR life, and we WILL be together for the rest of our lives because we promised each other and everyone else in that church and GOD. It is NOT easy AND I LOVE that man. These thoughts, feelings, and emotions infused my everyday experience this week.

symbiosisSymbiosis by Cameron Michel and Vashti Windish

Other factors that affected daily life this week:

-We currently have no heat in our house and somehow it is most of the time colder inside than it is outside. We have two space heaters that are somewhat effective but by nature of being space heaters don’t heat evenly and often leave you too hot in the smaller rooms because no matter where you put them they are blowing on you in some way. Alternately they leave you too cold in the large open living and dining areas because the space is far to big to heat with space heaters.

-I am THRILLED to be flying to NYC on Friday 12/5 to celebrate two of my best friends’ thirtieth birthdays at a 500 person bash in lower Manhattan AND visit all my other loved ones there. Thoughts of my weekend in NYC, the impending party, and my two best friends for whom it is thrown hung over me all week.

philippe_and_ed_bdayParty Flier

-I have been sick since Friday, 11/28

-I teach three periods of 6th grade Monday-Friday and attend Mills College in the afternoons/evenings Tuesday-Thursday.

Friday-Sunday: sick to the point of constant need for horizontalness

Saturday: So sick I flaked on working at the flower shop and felt like such a douche bag about it.

bloomies

Sunday: My laptop became non-operational. Reasons unknown.

Monday:

I had a wedding anniversary.

Had a family emergency in the afternoon.

Had a draft of a paper due Tuesday that I had only vaguely outlined on Sunday (very not my style, I always do my work in advance, it’s the only way I stay sane. I’m not one of those people who regularly waits till the night before something is due to write it–that would make me crazy and compromise the quality of my work. Just speaking personally…).

I had to create and prepare to teach a lesson for Tuesday of my own curriculum (I most often teach a scripted curriculum that I am required by my district to teach due to an agreement between Alameda USD and the University of Kansas. Alameda USD has adopted this curriculum and is providing data for research being conducted on the effectiveness of a curriculum KU designed called “Fusion” to remediate reading for struggling, under-performing urban students. While creating my own curriculum is in fact ideal, doing so the night before is not, but I simply could not move I was so sick over the weekend).

I had a hard time planning/writing my lesson and my paper because my laptop was broken. I had to use my husband’s computer, which has some kind of fucked up version of Word that corrupts the files and is not connected to a printer so when I would email the files to myself to print elsewhere they would not open. His computer is new, snazzy, and has a 30″ monitor. He does big important arty shit on it and has a million external hard drives. But you know what, the copy of Word is fucked. Word is my life. My husband (and many other people) constantly make fun of my 2005 12″ PowerBook G4, but the machine has never died on me before and is perfectly suited to my Internet-obsessed life and word processing habits.

Went out to dinner for my anniversary (to Oliveto obviously) and was spoiled by my husband. It was so lovely, SO many flowers. Honestly.

Tuesday

Taught in the morning, went to class in the afternoon, having managed to get everything word-processed and printed. Submitted draft of aforementioned paper.

Ran to the Apple store after class, couldn’t get help because I didn’t have a Genius Bar appointment because when I checked they didn’t have any and usually when that happens I just go there and wait and someone doesn’t show up for their appointment and I get helped. Not so this time. Some asshole was trying to blow me off. So I just bought a new power cord thinking that the fact that my machine wouldn’t power on had to be either the power cord of the need for a new battery.

Went home, the power cord made it all better!!! I had a working computer again!!!

I cooked a big dinner (something I don’t do every weeknight especially when I’m stressed with schoolwork, but it was part of…

Anniversary week month celebration. (Monday night was a lot about my husband celebrating me, and Tuesday night it was my turn to celebrate him). He loved it, I even got his favorite scotch-mallows and molasses crisps at See’s across the street from the Apple store at Bay Street. It was great.

molasses

scotchmallow

Wednesday

Woke up amazed that I was still sick, so I committed to flushing my system. Within the course of the day I drank approximately 5 liters of water, a carton of tangerine juice, and a bottle of 100% Pomegranate juice. And multiple cups of Yogi brand Ginger tea and Honey Lemon Throat coat tea. My stomach managed the whole thing incredibly well.

Taught in the morning…

Was in class at Mills from 1-5:45PM straight. Wednesdays are a bitch for me. Had a paper due Thursday (again that I hadn’t started due to my sickness) and a second draft of the paper I wrote for Tuesday. I also had to write a lesson plan and prepare to teach it on Thursday (again, similarly to above). And I had to prepare for an important meeting with a professor on Thursday.

When I got home I had a family emergency that had to be dealt with before starting my papers. It was a long night.

Thursday

I woke up in the morning to the electricity we paid 12K to get entirely redone in August on the fritz. I went outside in the cold to the box on the side of the house (it’s 6AM) and I switched the fuses on and off, but only half the power went back on.

On my way to work I called the electrician and left a voice mail, a kind, urgent voice mail.

Along with my early morning realization about the electricity I was still ridden with mucous and remained intent on my flushing mission. Again I drank 4 or so liters of water over the course of the day, a lot of Yogi tea, and a “magnum” size bottle of Cran-Apple juice from Trader Joe’s. My urinary tract should be extraordinarily healthy this week.

Got to school.

I taught a great lesson–a great fucking lesson. I wish I had videotaped it. I was on fire, the kids were on fire, they were teaching each other. It was so fucking beautiful. YES! That’s my art baby.

I left school, picked up my prescription that I had to have for Friday. While I was waiting for my prescription to fill I made a to do list for the rest of the day and made a packing list for NYC that was very thoughtful so as not to look like a Bay Area schlumpy bumpkin in NYC.

During all this, there was a man that I had hired cleaning my gutters at the house. He’s a great guy and I had told him about the electricity issue. He figured out the problem–the switch of one essential fuse was stuck and wasn’t really switching on and off–it was stuck in the middle (I didn’t notice this in the dawn’s barely light after my sleepless night), we just had to push it harder, then the electricity went back on. Problem was fixed by noon. And I got to call my husband and tell him and he was proud of me, even though I didn’t solve the problem at least I found someone to solve it for us. He calls me his frontier wife. My skills are akin to using EVERY part of the bison–wasting nothing.

My meeting with my professor was at 1PM.

At 12:15PM I arrived at Bloomies and made a flower arrangement for my professor because she has admired my designs before and I thought it would be good to soften the blow of what I was about to tell her: that the faculty’s and her program to prepare “teachers for tomorrow’s schools” with a clearly articulated heavy social justice mission is in my view falling incredibly short of accomplishing that mission and I’m not going to sit around and be quiet about it. Do you know how much this shit costs??? And do you know how much teachers get paid??? I ain’t going get a buck twenty five like fucking associates out of law school you know? So if I’m paying this money you better bring it. And even if I wasn’t, this is my education at stake and I’m supposed to be a fucking educator! MAN, sorry guys, I get heated about this shit. Someone made the mistake of giving me a T-shirt in high school with an Adrienne Rich quote that said “we will not live to settle for less” and I never looked back. Then my fucking husband goes and gives me a necklace that says “I’m Worth It” in diamonds so yeah, this is it, and it’s never going to be any other way. Some wise people told me “do you” and I’m doin it.

The night before I had managed to revise the paper from Tuesday to turn into my professor (not the one I was meeting with) in his box prior to my 1PM meeting.

By 1PM I arrived at Mills. There was ABSOLUTELY no effing parking because everyone gets there around that time. Risked it and parked in the 10 minute zone in front of the School of Ed. building.

I had an hour and a half long meeting in which I described to my professor the various and major issues that I see as compromising my graduate program. The constructive criticism was very well received. It was a major triumph. I’ll be partnering with my colleagues and the faculty to continue a dialog about improving the teacher preparation program at Mills.

I didn’t eat a damn thing the entire day. I forgot.

I went to the library after my meeting and finished my paper for my 4:15PM class. I went to class thinking that I hadn’t done the reading and found out when I got there that I had done it–two weeks ago when I was working ahead. Blessed. What a day. I was a bit high on me and the way everything was going so well.

Class ended at 6:45PM and I raced home–but stopped to pick up a bottle of wine at Paul Marcus. I had to celebrate surviving the week. I got one bottle for me for the night, a more expensive bottle of Nero D’Avola than I usually buy, to treat myself, and a bottle of Txakoli to bring as a gift for my dear Basque friend who I am staying with in NYC.

I got home and having memorized the list I made earlier in the day, I laid my clothes out on my bed and carefully folded them (I love being a good packer) ready to put in the suitcase. I readied hors d’oeuvres for my friends and family who were coming over to see me off. I lit candles.

I had my weekly Thursday night meeting with The Triumvirate: EPK, MDM, and RCR. We are a group of Mills students who enjoy each other’s company, respect each other as intellectuals, are committed to supporting each other as we embark on exceedingly challenging careers in public education, and have a damn good time.

I rehashed my meeting with my professor for RCR and MDM, who are equally invested in improving the condition of our graduate program, and heard their stories of the day. As usual we yelled, screamed, laughed, and gestured. Hands flying, interrupting, taking turns.

Rimpletide and Alice came to witness it.

My husband didn’t get home until almost 10PM.

He injured himself fairly badly on the film set–it involved a finger and either a drill or screwdriver and a loose flap of skin and that’s all I’ll say. I got him hot salt water baths in finger bowls so he could soak his finger. I fed him food. He went to lie down and read.

Rimpletide and Alic borrowed my car for the weekend and took off, subdued by hangovers from the night before and pleasantly tired by the spectacle of The Triumvirate in action. Thursday night is our night and we never hold back. Once RCR and MDM come to Rockridge all hell breaks loose in the most glorious way. Usually my husband likes to watch and throw something in here and there but the injury and set construction exhaustion had him down for the night.

I fucking baked my husband, RCR, and MDM chocolate chip cookies. Yes I ripped that shit up whipped that shit out! I was on fire yesterday. I could do anything. I could write papers, argue my points, say things I was scared to say to people who are above me, laugh with my friends. I could do it all. AND I knew exactly what I was taking to NYC and remembered to get the wine as a hostess gift dammit.

I loaded the dishwasher, I cleaned up the kitchen, I left minimal mess. I hate to leave for a trip with a messy house. It’s just not right.

My guests trickled out but the last didn’t leave till midnight.

Off to bed.

Friday

I woke up at 5AM with a splitting headache from the Hendricks (the Triumvirate drinks Hendricks exclusively) and wine and so much excitement the night before—unbelievable excitement anticipating my time in NYC.  NYC is like home to me.  It’s going home dammit.

So I got in my Weleda Rosemary Milk Bath (so fucking great it deserves its own post and will get one) and took some headache medicine and downed some water and read Perez Hilton in the bath on my iPhone and emailed my people telling them how I couldn’t wait (to be even more intimate and detailed I will tell you that a bath like that with the concurrent Internet browsing is quite habitual in A Rockridge Life) I finished all my packing, I set my hair.  I made coffee for my husband and me and I let him sleep as long as I could.  I was all ready.  I forgot nothing.  I got it all.  I just had to get on the Bart and get on the plane.

weleda

My husband told me he would drive me to West Oakland to make my trip shorter.  It was great.  I love him so much and I was excited to spend more time with him before I left.  I am not sad he’s not coming.  It will be the good kind of separation.  I will have a chance to experience my NYC loved ones as I should from time to time, just them and me, and husband has art to do.  Some serious art and “making things” as he calls it and that’s what it is and he loves it.  And I love it that he loves it.  And I love IT too—the “making things” that he makes.  It’s all really fucking great.  So we’ll miss each other but it’s cool. 

route

So, I’m the type of bitch who never carries cash because I never have two seconds to take it out of a machine because my life is crazy hectic and it just isn’t what’s going on, trips to the ATM, I can barely get around to filling my car with gas and that is something I HAVE to do because my ass is driving all the fuck around to schools teaching and to a college learning and home again repeat.

SO I get to Bart, I’m on time, it’s COOL.  And I’m on the escalator up to the platform and I realize I left my fucking purse in my husband’s car with my cell phone.

This nice lady on the platform let me use her phone to call my husband but he didn’t pick up because my man is always on the phone with important people in LA and Paris and shit and he’s not so down with unknown numbers so basically I’m fucked

I run down to the station level and get on the pay phone.  Still no pick up

Repeat that 4 or 5 times.  Finally as I’m about to call again he calls the pay phone, says he was trying to pick up but there were some issues who knows?

He comes back.

I get my purse.

I get on Bart.

I make it to South San Francisco but I’m on a fucking Millbrae train so I have to get off and wait for an SFO train.  It works, it comes, but I’m dizzy, nauseous, gassy, and think I might throw up.  I had pain pills and coffee and water and no food and I feel fucked.  I’ve got nothing on me to imbibe or consume in any way.  I was looking at this kid like 20’s listening to an iPod and snacking and I thought about Literally ASKING that motherfucker for some food that’s how much I was dying.  Like hello crazy!  Like my privileged-ass Rockridge-living self begging for food in my nice clothes jewelry and ticket to NYC on Virgin America.  Goddam.

So I get to the airport and I think I’m fucking made.  Because I’d been scared I wouldn’t make it–but I did make it.  I’m like fucking Joe Pesci in Goodfellas going to get made–all puffed up with my good suit on just so ignorant that right now shit’s really hitting the fan and my ass is going to get knocked off!!!

getting-made

I make it through security and I’m just like OK all I need is some fucking yogurt you know? All I need is some yogurt.  Those live cultures are going to settle my stomach.  So  I grab some Yoplait, it’s cool, I indulge in some BS fashion mags, and get on that PLANE!!!

And I’m putting my shit in the overhead and I realize I fucking left my computer in the bin at security.

I’m sweating.

I tell the flight attendant.

He said to tell the women at the desk at the gate.

I run up there.

They tell me to run to security and get it.

I do.

I run.

I’m panting.

I tell the TSA guys, it’s cool, early morning at the International Terminal and not too busy.

I know it’s going to be cool,

But the running made my stomach crazy and I’m worried I’m going to throw up on the TSA guy’s shoes.  They get my comp, make me sign something and I’m off.

I get on the plane.

I eat a yogurt.

I feel better.

I start reading the December issue of Bazaar (Lindsay Lohan really randomly soothes me).  It’s the best issue of a fashion magazine I feel like I’ve read in about 5 years.  Amazing shit.

bazaar

I’m starting to chill and I see a jacket that makes me think about my best friend Mrs. Jubbison.  And ooooooooooh shit Jebbison’s birthday was yesterday and I fucking forgot.

 

 

 

 

 

Jubbison is a seriously tough lady and the most loving person I know.  She’s a third year law student at one of the highest ranking law schools in the country.  She’s a star there.  She already has her high paying job all lined up and this girl is a SUPERSTAR.  She is just so hardworking and smart it’s out of this world.  AND she is the most loving Christian I know.  This girl is dil-I-gent.  I mean for REAL.  You just don’t know.  And I LOVE the fuck out of her.  And she is the most thoughtful person, you know she emailed and called ME on MY wedding anniversary.  Because she is in love with me and my husband and our love that she wanted to celebrate us and make sure we knew it.  And she doesn’t give a fuck about her birthday or presents.  She thinks it’s silly at the age we are to have to have some big deal about your birthday every year.   All she cares about is the people she loves, taking care of them, working really unbelievably fucking hard, and praising the Lord.  And if someone she really cared about cared about his or her birthday she’d care about it.  But she doesn’t care about her own birthday.  But I forgot her birthday.  I couldn’t believe myself.  I knew it was coming too, I planned it out, I knew I would write, would call, would do it all.  And I didn’t even stop long enough yesterday to realize it was December 4th.  We’ve been close since we were 12 YEARS OLD.  Man, I felt dumb. 

So there you go.

Onwards and Upwards.

Thank you.

And

You’re welcome.

Signed,

Saddleshoos

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Design

I’m toying with the idea of this new design theme.  The image heading is customize-able, I just haven’t located the right image yet.  Thoughts?

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To My Readers

You’re an awfully quiet bunch.  I know you’re clicking because this free blog service comes equipped with Big Brother-style statistics about you.  

So, as Mimi says, Say Something!

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