The temperature here finally dipped and the cold has arrived. I must clarify that by cold I mean a high of 55°F and a low tonight that just might barely drop below 40°F. So really not that cold. Nonetheless, I relish the ability to actually wear a coat outside. I think I need to move to a more chilly location. Deeper cold and longer durations would be welcome. And snow. Actual snow. That would be wonderful. I will enjoy the short cold for now and find some solace in the climate here — outdoor running year round does assuage a portion of my meteorological hedonism.
Stopped by Whole Foods this afternoon to stock up for the week and they had nog in stock. Sweet!
Band Music makes me happy. :) Tonight I had the occasion to enjoy the musical stylings of Death Cab For Cutie. The show was at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. The venue was fairly small and boasted the usual but wonderful eccentricities of an antiquated theatre. There was a balcony in addition to the main floor, but each section was limited to tickets assigned to it. I possessed a floor ticket, so I can not speak of the balcony, but the best part of the floor was the fact that it had several tiers - I was about 30 feet back from the stage, but was at the front of a tier - so I while I was not too close to the speakers, I had an unobstructed view of the band. Benjamin Gibbard has a very unique voice. When speaking I mean. I suppose it only makes sense that a unique singing voice would imply a unique speaking voice, but I never think of these things in advance. It is humorous or maybe sad that in the absence of the unique singing voice fronting a cool band that the unique speaking voice would be considered silly or gasp even uncool. But I digress. Death Cab played a good set, covering plenty of really old stuff and hitting most of the high points. I did not hear 405 or Champagne from a Paper Cup, but they did fit in Photobooth and A Movie Script Ending and The New Year and Title and Registration among plenty of other good songs. Some were contained in the five song encore they gave. I wonder if bands ever avoid the encore or give more than one anymore. It seems like all the shows I have been to lately have featured precise single encores. I guess they feel like they have to. Anyways hope you enjoy the music. Back to the remainder of my Caltrain ride back to San Jose.
I seem to write here a lot while speeding through the air. I am currently returning home from Louisiana, where I visited Geoff and Kat. I had been to Baton Rouge and New Orleans before, but I found northern Louisiana to be substantially different. No iconic live oaks or Spanish moss. I am not quite sure how to describe Ruston or Louisiana Tech other than fairly typical southeastern small town with accompanying (and influencing) university. The interior of the university buildings were very nice and technologically savvy, but for the most part this was belied by their exteriors. I flew all night Wednesday and in what seems to be becoming a tradition, I watched the sun rise from the food court in Concourse C of Hartsfield International, while nursing a cup of Seattle’s Best and waiting for my connection. Kat picked me up from the airport when I arrived. I spent the day helping Geoff hang his work in the hallway outside his studio. It was not in the main art building, but in a former residence hall that now serves as studios for art students. Geoff’s studio was incredibly messy and filled with junk, just as I expected. It reminded me of the good old times. :) Geoff’s ingenious presentation of his screen printing work involved diagonal strings from one wall of the hall to other. Clips were suspended from the strings which clasped the prints. It is hard to explain but the effect was striking. Hoping Flickr can convey this better than my words. Kat made delicious muffins and bird’s nests and cookies and coffee for the show. We just barely finished setting up for the 4:30 opening, but a surprising large number of people came to the show, which also included a painting student’s MFA work. The show seemed to be very successful and of course, Geoff’s MFA screen printing work was all quite amazing (Flickr also does a better job of describing this).
Housing & Water 2 Afterwards, we drove about 30 minutes over to a restaurant purveying the local fare, so that I might have an authentic experience, but the slow Thursday night had caused the restaurant to close an hour early, so that plan was shot (though perhaps this did result in a completely authentic experience). At this point, we were all very tired and very hungry, so we ate at a Mexican restaurant that seemed to be the only establishment still open at that interstate exit. The food was actually fairly good (I suppose Louisiana is pretty close to Mexico, if you think about it). Friday we all slept in. After finally getting up and showering we had lunch at Quizno’s before dropping Kat off at the university library where she works. I know Geoff and I did something that afternoon, but all I can remember is picking food items at the Super Wal-Mart. It did take a lot of time. I am also certain that I do not miss shopping at Wal-Mart. It certainly is cheaper but it takes so long and is such a pain. We also made the discovery that while they carry plenty of XXL and XXXL sized t-shirts, they do not even stock S t-shirts. So I guess maybe I am not their target customer. After picking Kat up from work they gave me a tour of the art building on campus which was very nice. Lots of nice new computers… and I’m sure it was nice in other ways too. :) Kat made really good (Philippine style, I think) chicken and vegetable rolls (which have a name) and garlic sauce (yummy!) for dinner that night, and I ate like they did, too (fork and spoon only, no knife). It was really surprising how well the spoon cut through everything, I think I like eating that way better. Maybe when I get real utensils I will start. I just do not think my plastic spoons are up to the task. After dinner we watched I, Robot which I liked just alright. Saturday Geoff and I had slightly more t-shirt luck at the Target in Monroe. We had a delicious lunch from a delicious hole-in-the-wall in downtown Ruston called, you heard it here, Gua-Tamales. I think they have some sort of Guatemalan connection but the Tamales and and Enchiladas and Salsa were all amazing. That afternoon I learned the rudiments of screen printing and tried my hand on the aforementioned t-shirts using screens of Geoff’s alphabet designs (which made the Alphabet Installation). That night we had build a burger night with Christian, Mary, and Dreá, some of Geoff and Kat’s friends. I had met them all on Thursday. We blew the lid off of the grill (literally) while trying to get the charcoal started but we eventually got the burgers cooked. I had a really good, fat, feta-filled turkey burger. For desert there this good cake and this ice cream pie that Kat and Geoff created. It was quite refreshing to once again be around friends who can cook. After dinner we played spoons which served as a sobering reminder that I am absolutely awful at any game requiring quick reflexes. I do not really think that I am normally all that slow… but spoons or slaps or whatever… I just stink! This morning we went to Geoff and Kat’s church which was pretty cool. Afterwards I said goodbye to Christian and Mary and Geoff, Kat, and I had lunch at a pizza place in downtown Ruston, We had a Mediterranean-vegie pizza on a whole wheat crust that was actually really good. We made a quick stop by the Frothy Monkey, a nearby coffee shop, which had a really cool look, inside and out. I had heard that the coffee did not taste so good, but the espresso I got tasted fine to me (connoisseur I am not, so beware of my advice). Small towns, especially of the college variety, can be surprising in their hidden pockets of sophistication. At this point, as is customary, we realized I was late for my flight so we rushed back to their place and I hurriedly packed up. Geoff did a good job of getting me straight to airport but I was still there with only 30 minutes to spare, so I got the “you are late, so we will make you more late with a full search of you and your stuff” treatment. I did make it though. And with time to spare since bad weather in ATL delayed the flight by 15 minutes. I was supposed to call Geoff and Kat to let them know that I made it through security, but in my frenzied packing my cellphone ended up in my checked bag (well I at least hope it ended up in there, because I certainly do not have it with me). It was at this point that I came to the depressing realization that I remembered all of 2 phone numbers. I think the built in phone book in my phone is becoming a crutch. Perhaps that is an understatement. At any rate, no one was at home at either number so I just had to wait for Geoff to come inside looking for me. I felt really bad but I was trapped behind the impenetrable wall of airport security. So earlier on the flight I had to go to the bathroom, but on the way back to it, I was slowed up by a flight attendent passing out water. At one point when she was stopped, I was waiting patiently behind her. When started to move on to the next set of seats, I too started to follow behind her, but a guy sitting in one the seats beside where I was standing jumped up right in front of me, rig. Of course, he too had to go to the bathroom so I then was able to enjoy waiting behind him. It was the walking equivalent of the car nose-in right in front of you when you are stopped at a light. Bad walking. Simply Amazing! :)