Archive for February 2005

At This Moment

I am in the DNA Lounge in San Francisco.

Hey Trav, I was in The Crucible earlier tonight checking out a presentation about a monster fridge and teched-out sailboat and who walked by but Geo! I know 5 people in San Francisco and bump into 1 by accident! How about that?

Writing from Santa Cruz

This is just a little ping to say that I’m doing well. I’ve visited Berkely and Oakland with S.H. Very good vibe. She asked me why I was going to Grass Valley. “Because 3 friends have told me that it’s a place to check out if I want that “hippier” feel.” She wasn’t sure but doubted that ascertion so we walked into a bookstore and I had to pick up 4 CA travel guides before I found even a mention of Grass Valley. And that was more of a blurb than a listing. Aparently, Grass Valley’s claim to fame is some woman who (if I remember correctly from Fodor’s guide) entertained the gold miners in 1850 with her Spider Dance. She wasn’t a particularly good dancer, but she was very well known. Fodors listed 2 places to eat and one place to visit. At that, S.H. and I simultaneously, in harmony, said, “What the hell were they thinking?”

I’m in Santa Cruz right now and I keep reading in the papers how the whole area gets wiped off the map every couple decades… and they’re pretty much due for another disaster soon.


MetroSantaCruz, Feb 23rd, 2005

Naturally, because the odds are against us. The sexy strip of land we call downtown is part of the natural floodplain of the San Lorenzo River–witness that this is the 50th anniversary of the 1955 flood that devastated downtown. The soil here is subject to liquefaction in an earthquake, and if there ever was a major tsunami on the West Coast (soothing experts say it’s is extremely unlikely), well, the downtown is right in the tsunami run-up area. If we were golfers, we’d call the spot where downtown Santa Cruz landed a bad lie.

“I keep looking over my shoulder for the locusts,” says John Lisher, owner of Artisan’s Gallery. Lisher was one of the many merchants who owned businesses on Pacific Avenue when the Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed the downtown on Oct. 17, 1989.

Good Times weekly (speaking about Santa Cruz…)

…That’s the typical California cycle – flood, drought, wildfire, and flood with landslides…

It’s very pretty here, but doesn’t have the peppy vibe I’m looking for.

I’m liking Berkeley and Oakland.

More later.

Flight Trouble

I told a bunch of people that I was leaving at 3:30 for my 5:30 flight… I didn’t think too much of it… nobody said anything… I’ve done it lots of times before….. right? Hey, what’s all this fog doing in my brain?

  • left home at 3:30 for a 5:35 flight
  • made deposit at ATM
  • mailed express mail package
  • 3:45, called sister from exit 30
  • got on 287
  • got on 24
  • small tie up getting onto 78
  • drove under "Welcome to Newark Airport" sign at 4:30, “An hour before the flight, a little tight, but no problem.”
  • got parking ticket at 4:37 (so says the ticket)
  • parked
  • walked into Terminal
  • Peed
  • Found "Continental Elite" checkin station
  • Found "All You Riff-Raff" checkin station
  • Got in line at 4:58
  • Checked in at 5:05
  • No wait, the flight is at 5:20. They had changed it a month ago and notified me but I hadn’t groked that.
  • Fuck.
  • Booked for 7am flight the next day
  • Left parking lot at 5:25 in a crushed daze.
  • 5:45 Got in bizarro argument with mother where she kept trying to
    manipulate my unhappiness. Hung up on her.
  • 5:50 called sister
  • 5:55 called S.H. with change of plans
  • 6:00 ate greasy gross dinner at Popeyes Chicken, enjoying how much I
    disliked the food.
  • 6:30 moped in restaurant
  • 6:45 wandered Hudson Mall aimlessly (and realized that it had 2 Foot
    Locker stores less than 200 feet apart… that insanity got my mind off my problem for a couple minutes)
  • 7:00 drove back to Bumpkettstown
  • 8:45 Got there after sucky sucky drive. I almost fell asleep on the
    highway… (which is why I can’t go to parties in NYC…. On 2 different
    occations I’ve taken > 4 hrs to get home because I kept needing to pull over
    and nap.)
  • 9:45 bed time. I’ve got to leave for the airport at 4 am.

My Northern California Itinerary

Tuesday Feb 22nd – Arrive SFO at 8:40pm
Tues – Oakland with S.H.
Wed – Meet T in San Jose, continue w/ to Boulder Creek
Thurs – check out Santa Cruz, San Jose
Fri – Check out Grass Valley. Unstructured.
Sat – Check out Grass Valley. Unstructured.
Sun – Oakland with B.
Mon – Pacifica with G.
Tues – Berkeley with J.?
Wednesday March 2nd – Leave SFO at 11:15am. Arrive EWR at 7:40pm

Is it a vacation?
Is it trying to run away?
Is it dumb?
Is it a violation of family trust?
Tough. I’m going.

I Blog For Me

I do, you know.
(though it would still be nice if some friends chimed in occationally)

I used “I Blog For Me” as the title of my blog for the past few weeks.

Goodbye Roger Ebert

Long ago I used to trust Roger Ebert’s movie reviews. I’ve Tivo’ed Ebert and Siskel and then Ebert and Roeper for as long as I’ve had a Tivo. Well, with his review of Spiderman 2, I’m done. The Jacuzzi he got for saying what he did about the movie had better be worth it.

From EBERT AND ROEPER’S TOP TEN OF 2004
Here’s some exurpts from his review (this is an audio clip from the TV show)

The number 4 film on my list is Spider-Man 2… I’m as amazed as you are that spidey made my top 10 list. This was a really good film. The best super hero movie ever made

Come on! VC and I watched it and and we’ve got different movie tastes but had the same problems with the movie. Comments like:

  • Ok, so you spend your evenings dangling from the tops of buildings from ropes. You have a rope failure that nearly kills you. What do you do? Dangle some more! Oh no! Another rope failure! Dooph!
  • Oh man, when she opens up that pizza box, the one that Spidey has been tossing around for the last 10 minutes, it is gonna be GROSS! That’s gonna be pretty funny! Wait, hey…. we didn’t get to see the pizza!
  • Isn’t conducting nuclear fusion tests in a downtown manhattan apartment just a little… unwise?
  • Ok, so, you built these really friggin cool, giant mechanical octopus arms that would gleefully take control of your brain if proper safeguards weren’t taken… And you’re telling me that the only thing between you and oblivion is…. a little blue light on the back of your neck?!?!?!? Dude, you’re asking for it!
  • The entire movie was all about how Peter was totally broke, failing school, and couldn’t keep a job because he was busy being a vigilante… Now that MJ and Peter are going to live happily ever after, how are they pay the rent?
  • A new Green Goblin? That’s coo. Wait, the movie’s over. Ughf. A sequel.

Ok, enough with the critisisms… you get the idea. The important thing here is that this was not, by any stretch of the imagination “the best super hero movie ever made.” A legitimate review would have been something like, “A fun ride. Peter is shown to be a real hero with real-life problems. Social elements are stressed over super-powers. Fairly true to the comic, though a lot of details are skipped over for brevity. Very nice effects, ok story, mediocre execution, somehow, it dragged a bit.”

I’m taking Ebert and Roeper off my Tivo Season Pass.