Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm So Frickin' Hip...
...that I paid $300 for a watch that doesn't tell time. OK, it does, but you have to look at the side. The face is too fucking cool to do anything useful like, oh, what it's intended to do.

What pretentious yobbo buys this crap?

Oh, and in an unrelated note, check out Some e-Cards for a series of hilarious work-and-life-themed cards that you no doubt want to send to half the people you know.
Photo of the day: It's the Thought That Counts

I really appreciate it when something as municipally uninteresting as a streetlamp gets what little glamor it can. The city that put in this light could easily have given them boring, round bases. But they made the attempt to give them some small bit of style. I don't think it works in industrial spray-silver. But I have to give them points for trying. Thanks to everyone who does there bit to made the mundane less mundane. We, a world starving for beauty, culture, and history, thank you for it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Vanity Fair

For some reason I have a subscription to Vanity Fair. I'm not sure why. It's not really not my kind of magazine. And I swear I didn't renew but I keep getting it. I don't really care to read about rich New Yorkers I've never heard of. But there's been a series of article over the past few issues about the saga of Bernie Madoff, the investment guy accused of bilking people out of 80 gazallion dollars.

I don't get the ins and outs of it all and I haven't followed this store except for the VP profiles. But based on the stories, this guy is impressively evil. Like Bond villain evil. Yeah it all comes down to greed but when you think about the magnitude of what he's done you almost have to step back and say "wow." I mean if you're going to steal, and it looks like this guy did, why steal small? He's like the Nobel Prize winner of dishonest. If it's all true, he took so much money from so many people with so little regard for trifling things like ethics that it's almost inspiring in a way. I mean I don't even take pennies from the "need a penny?" tray when I actually need a penny, so having the balls to pocket that much money is part of some world I can't fathom.

No, no moral to this. Just kind of shaking my head at it all.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photo of the day: Fountain Fifteen

Stanford has dozens of fountains all over the campus. This one I call #15 for absolutely no reason. There's no sign by it with the number fifteen on it. It doesn't have 15 regurgitating goldfish spewing water from their mouths, or 15 water-spilling nymphs. I just call it that because I'm weird and I give things random names. So there.
Photo of the day: Souvenir of Carmel

I love Native American pottery but, alas, cannot afford it. But we found a shop in Carmel a few years ago that had mini pots that didn't require selling the car in order to purchase. This is my favorite.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Dream House
I have always wanted my own house. I doubt it's a dream that will ever come true, but I'll probably never stop wanting.

In the past few years houses have gotten insane. I grew up in a house that had eight people, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. And we did fine. Now, apparently, you need about 1500 square feet per person. Every house has to have 18 foot ceilings, marble counters in the kitchen, and at least two bathrooms per person.

My ultimate dream house has none of those. But it does have a few things that I insist upon. (Which is why this house will always remain a dream and not a reality.)

1. A secret passage. Shade of "Clue." I love the idea of a hidden passageway. A secret way to get from A to B. Of course it has to have a hidden entrance too. A false bookshelf in the library. A trompe l'oeil painting. Pull the sconce to open. Or tilt down the fake copy of The Adventures of Casanova to activate. Perhaps I grew up watching too many cheesy British mystery movies. But I've always wanted a hidden way out.

2. A library. A real library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Preferably two levels with one of those rolling ladders. Of course there needs to be a fireplace, some comfy leather chairs, good lamps (the older I get the more I value good reading light), and lots of gorgeous woodwork. I don't insist on the stereotypical leather-bound collections. But I do insist on never having to give away another book because I don't have room to keep them all.

3. A fireplace in the bedroom. I've stayed in hotels and B&Bs that had that wonderful item and I'm a huge fan. I love fires -- there's nothing better on a cold, stormy night. And the wonder of curling up in a comfy bed with a fire in the hearth is truly delightful. What used to be a practical response to the lack of central heating sadly fell out of favor ages ago. I know it's back in the megamansions that dot the Bay Area, and it's the one feature of these huge places that I envy.

4. A truly indulgent bathtub. I prefer baths to showers. While our place has an entirely adequate tub for relaxing, it's still not the tub of my dreams. It needs to be deep, big enough for two, with jacuzzi jets and a surround to hold candles, water, books, and the other necessities of true relaxation. A good stereo or perhaps even a TV would be nice, but not mandatory.

5. A cat room. As I get deeper into the wonders of volunteering with animals, I see the increasing need for foster families. Our cat, Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) doesn't like to share and we really don't have room for segregation. But I'd love to have a room away from Cipher where I could let a litter or two have free reign. It would have a sink, a small fridge, and a microwave (all necessities for hand-raising kittens). Plus lots of room for them to play, soft places to sleep, things to climb, and a window to look out.

I don't need the gourmet kitchen with sub-zero fridge (I don't even know what that means anyway), or anything too fancy. But in my daydreams, I'm happy with my books, fireplace, tub, secrets and enough room to give lots of kitties a home until they can get adopted.
Photo of the day: Don't Cook Tonight Get Donut Delite

A bit late for National Donut Day earlier the week.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Photos of the day: Cutest Kitten Ever

I mean really, have you ever seen a cuter kitten? I worked with her today and completely fell in love. She's a tiny thing but a total snugglemeister. After I took these shots she fell asleep leaning against me and making me her slave for life.

I never got to see Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) as a kitten, but I imagine her being this cute.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Photo of the day: Insert Here

Give me all your money. Please?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Near Reno, Nevada is the town of Sparks. It used to be a nothing sort of town but I'm sure now it's huge and important with golf courses and housing divisions with the word "Estates" in them.

Years ago on a solo road trip I found myself in Sparks. I'm still not sure why. There was a little diner there. Place called "Edna's" or "Ethel's" or some such name. ("Ed"s?) I driven all night from the Bay Area and found myself there at about 10 am, eating silver dollar pancakes and drinking coffee from a mug with a picture of a cow on it. All there coffee mugs had cows on them. There was nothing other cow-themed in the place. No photos. No cow creamers. Just the mugs with the cows. Must have gotten a deal on them.

The pancakes were as light and fluffy as brake pads, but as I hadn't eaten since lunch the day before I didn't particularly care. I ate them at the chipped counter where Saturday morning cartoons played on the overhead TV and I could watch the cooks dance orders around the grill. The waitress had bright red lipstick, the kind that went out of style before I was born, and had fingernails with polka dots painted on them. The guy sitting next to me looked like a biker, but he was reading The New Yorker and shared with me a cartoon that made him laugh featuring two goldfish in a bowl taking about passing an interview with the co-op board. He also asked me if I knew who Charles Bukowski was and if I had any gum. (I did, and I didn't.)

After breakfast I walked down the block to a grocery store where I bought a 6-pack of Coke, a bag of Ruffles, and some aspirin. I remember passing a guy in really ugly brown suit who had a shopping cart loaded with Hungry Man dinners and generic vodka. Finally someone who was having a worse day than I.

I got into my car, which didn't have air conditioning. It was still morning but it was already about 90 degrees. I popped open one of the lukewarm cokes and prepared to leave Sparks. Turning my radio I found, oddly enough, a station playing Chopin and preluded my way out of town, heading toward Tahoe.

I've never been back to Sparks. Never felt the need.
Photo of the day: Ground Control to Major Tom

If Major Tom was hoping KZSU would track his signal, he was sorely disappointed.