Yesterday, after ashtanga:

(1) Posted new sound files from “Cat Jeoffry” at the Parallel Octave site yesterday.
(2) Brunch! Original House of Pancakes in Los Altos.
(3) Harry Potter 7 for the 3rd time, with P’s friends J and B.
(4) Chinese food en masse at Z&P’s traditional dim sum restaurant on Castro. Mmm.
(5) Falling asleep before a screening of Dark City could commence. (Still jet lagged.)

Today, I am working from Z’s place this morning, then going to San Francisco to see old friends.



I finished a grant proposal for a filmmaking project–Parallel Octave wants to make a film composed of ten or so short music videos for our audio tracks.

Then I spent some time that afternoon in Books, Inc. and Dana St Coffee with Z. Old Mtn. View haunts. It’s nice to be on the West Coast, where the latest, most wild McSweeney’s releases are in the bookstores.

Afternoon: Okami, The Video Game Where You Get To Be A Wolf. Evening: Momoya sushi with L&C, followed by double-15 chicken-feet dominoes, Scotch, and Joe’s O’s. They are going to be RF/CD/resident adults in a dorm at Stanford next year. I’m proud of them, and really excited to visit them on campus.

This morning I went to my first Ashtanga class ever. Today, some sort of unscheduled hanging out is in order.

Cali, F&F, writing

west coast,

best coast.

Yesterday, after Red Rock, Z took me on a tour of Carnegie-Mellon’s campus in Moffett Field, which included driving by several large wind tunnels and blimp hangars. Then I drove to Kepler’s for coffee and visitations with S and LC, which included a trip on campus, to Sweet Hall. (The former White Plaza has been transfigured by lineated bike lanes and large concrete blocks preventing bikers from biking freely elsewhere–and the former Intersection of Death has a giant roundabout.)

This was followed by a harrowing drive in traffic north to San Francisco, where I met with M, had amazing Vietnamese food, walked along my beloved Valencia Street from 18th south, and saw her new place.

There was a street fair going on in the Mission, and people were running in and out of all the stores. Live music was playing. M bumped into an old Swarthmorean, her friend A, currently getting his PhD at Stanford. He and I danced around Mark McGurls’ The Program Era and the Batuman MFA-bashing article. I told him I was writing a response, which seems more true now that I have told more people.

This morning, in Mountain View, it is a bit gray and cloudy outside. Up and working on a grant and on physics labs. It is wonderful to be here. I’m seeing old friends almost every night.


blogging live

from the Red Rock Cafe in Mountain View, California. Feels like old times. Today, I shall see friends, and be unproductive pleasantly lazy. Tomorrow, the same.

Cali, chicago

we’re off to see the wizard, er, snow

Today and yesterday we have been snowless, or unsnowed – a heavy rain melted it all away. So when one of my friends in Los Angeles told me about driving to see the snow with her family, I was able to, with some nostalgia, remember when we did the same thing.

We’d all get into the car – my memory has the Isuzu Trooper, when it still functioned – and go up and up and up and up and up into the mountains until we arrived at the snow, usually a small patch on the ground. We’d get out, step in it, take a couple pictures, and then descend down the snail-shell spiral of the same road, back to the Valley, where it would be about 80 degrees. I think it’s key for people who live in insufferably warm places to do this, so that when your children grow up and move to Chicago, they can say, “Oh, yeah. That.”

Good times in warm climes. Another friend, recently returned from LA, reports that the hipsters there are wearing fur hats with ear flaps.

It’s so LA to drive to see the snow – if only because you need your car to do it.

Cali, theater


Shakespeare Santa Cruz has raised enough money to keep their doors open. As of Monday, they had raised over 400K, beyond the 300K they needed to stay open and produce the 09 season. According to the Merc, between 80 and 85 percent of the donations to the campaign came in figures of $25 to $100.

I remember going there with my family to see a production of SHREW, years ago, and walking up the tall hill back to the car, surrounded by the redwood trunks, and having a dialogue with Shakespeare in my head, something along the lines of “Yeah, yeah, you’re all right, you’re okay, that’s all well and good, but just wait till I get started, buster, I have something to say about this whole men and women business too.”

The SSC website has a nice quote from Dana Gioia at the NEA: “The generous public support to save Shakespeare Santa Cruz has set a shining example for the American arts. This may be a local event, but it has national importance.”

A warning note amid this celebration from UCSC chancellor Blumenthal:

“SSC’s future viability requires stronger private support, increased revenues from ticket sales and other sources and reduced operating costs.”

So true – and a reminder that in this economic climate, all such victories are temporary.

Cali, politics

the face(s) of gay marriage in California

Now that prosecutor Ken Starr has filed a legal brief on behalf of the Yes on Prop 8 folks, to nullify the 18,000 gay marriages performed in California from May to November 2008, the pro-gay marriage Courage Campaign has pictures up now from many of California’s gay couples in a Please Don’t Divorce Us campaign.

It is a very heartbreaking stream of images, when you think about all these families being forcibly divorced. In another way, it’s quite uplifting to see the range of ages, races, the different backgrounds of the couples – the diversity of gay marriages across the state. To see their kids and families all around them in support.

I am still hopeful that Prop 8 will be overturned. In fact, as of yesterday, CA. Attorney General Jerry Brown has asked the court to move forward to overturn Prop 8, reversing his earlier stance on the proposition.

The quote from him is: “Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification.”