October 2003 Archives

post dinner activities

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Playing Hello Kitty games on the computer. Man, I had lego. For them, the mouse is second nature...With some frustrated screams over sharing though...And now some dancing with downloaded music from Smash Mouth and Baha Men.

Dinner for the kids

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Before we eat since it is quite a production. Whew...Izumi and I are meanwhile sipping some wine...Although she is more busy with their numerous demands.


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An active Tyler with tons to talk about and tons of toys to show me.


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A very sleepy Julia.

At my brother's

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Ian and Izumi last night after I got in...Finally. Warning: I will be posting a lot of my nephew and niece.

How to pass time

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I couldn't resist and went to the cafe to check out the card game. They totally were into it; slapping down each card with a stylish throw, praising each other ("that's right man, make him play it"), and showing off their cards to me even though I don't know much and joking that my camera phone was for spying.

Amtrak tidbits

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Since the train is nonsmoking, they just announced that we'll be having a smoke break at certain stations. I guess they learned it's best to take such time rather than have irritable riders.

We're not allowed into the dining room unless we have shoes on.

When we get to D.C., we'll have time to stretch and walk around but we must be super careful to keep time as people miss the train all the time!

And now the conductor just announced that they're setting up cards in the cafe for a game of spades and challengers should come by.

Taking the train

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I am off to visit my brother and his family in NJ. Raleigh to Trenton: a solid 9 hour ride. Kinda long but I also enjoy this time to read, think, and just sit with myself...

Chapel Hill

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Today Dav was at work so I did the tourist thing at Chapel Hill. My, how friendly people are! I spent most of my time at the university's main library. Found a statue scratching his foot, pics of famous dead white men I did not know, their old dinner tables, historic pics (I found most interesting) and a gorgeous library with books too important-looking to touch (most were locked in a cage). I rather liked the town. And I loved the trees.

a few more

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Here are all pumkins from tonight's gathering in all the variety and character.

Halloween prep

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At Dav's friends' with pumkins.


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Went out last night to a funky club that is a guy's 4 story house with different music on each floor. Last night was a lot of old rather funny country stuff so the bartenders were specially decked out with hats and all. We were with Dav's friends Ele and Paul.

I tried...

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I knew it'd be a blur, but I wanted to capture the hwy exist Raleigh/Durham. Call me cheesy...Go on.

First time in TX

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We're heading to NC where Dav's company's head office is. He will be working. I am tagging along cuz it's where Dav is from too and I want to meet everyone and see his hometown. I am thrilled cuz I've never been in the area. Right now we have a 2 hour layover in Dallas. Having a yummy drink. Wish I could get out to peek around a bit...

And even a bear came

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Yeah, a bear at a rave.

Being extra

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Dav and I are gonna be extras in a film Dav's cousin is working for: ERM. We're supposed to be at a rave sorta party. For now, we're hanging out for things to start...

My neighborhood Potrero Hill

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Today was Potrero Hill's neighborhood festival. We (Dav, Toni, and I) initially thought we'd mosey over for maybe a coffee. But we got sucked in and had an awesome, very productive afternoon! In addition to street booths and festivities that included a teenage girl rock group concert, an "e-bus" where people could enter a bus and check their emails, a Polynesian dance group, and various artwork (like where Dav and I bought very nice hats made by a small tribe in Thailand), the main activity was a treasure hunt walk sponsored by the San Francisco Community Power Cooperative. We signed up with the cooperative, got a map of stores in the neighborhood that were participating, went around to these stores to receive the required stamp from them plus a free goodie. We ate ice cream, had coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, got a notebook, had fish and chips, and pizza. Yeah, it was a lot. But it was great seeing everyone out and about...especially all their friendly pets hanging out at coffess shops.

AND, because we got over 10 stamps, we ADDITIONALLY got 10 energy saving light bulbs, a halogen lamp, and a motion-sensor light switch.

I'm so impressed. Not only did we discover new things in the neighborhood, but I felt like the cooperative was giving so much to us...not to mention all the food goodies we got by walking around. I'm loving Potrero Hill more and more...

Remember Tutu?

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Yes, the Tutu. Although she didn't have a name when I found her.

Tracey who was meant to be Tutu's mom, recently sent me some update photos. Can you believe how big Tutu is? Now I just can't picture Tracey and Tutu apart.

More from Thoralf

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I had asked Thoralf, who had been documenting his stay here with his digital camera, what his favorite picture was. He sent me one of Elaine at Burning Man because, as he put it, "It is a picture that shows what this city and its favorite party in the desert is all about: It's on the cutting edge of craziness, sexy with a touch of class and it is simply georgous.''

The second pic is from the potluck dinner he threw for us. It is of our Potrero Hill household. I also asked Thoralf for a quote on San Francisco (he being a journalist and all). This is what Thoralf has to say: "The Beauty at the Bay has smiled at me through every person I met

and I have taken her picture in my mind. It will

remind me of lovely days and nights at the Pacifist Ocean."

Come back and visit Thoralf. Or at least, we'll see you at Burning Man next year!

simul moblogging

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Did it a long time ago with Stuart in Tokyo. Doing it for the first time here with Sean who has the same phone as me! I learned this time around that you gotta look at the other person's phone lense...not your own.


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This is also a delayed posting. I'm still really slow typing into my phone (unlike my thumb tribe pride when I could type almost without looking at my Japanese AU phone), so zoning out during a party and appearing totally anti-social as I try posting isn't what I like to do.

Anyway, our beloved housemate Thoralf, who was doing an internship at the Oakland Tribune for 2 months, will be leaving and going back to Germany to finish his degree in Journalism. He threw a party and made awesome potato salad. He also presented our Potrero Hill household with a picture frame full of pics he took of us while here. We will greatfully put it up. He's been an awesome housemate and we will sorely miss him.

Pics from Goa Gil

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As predicted, I couldn't send pics from the Goa Gil party with no connectivity, so here they are now. It was beautiful to up there. There is something powerful to be surrounded by mountains and trees. The full moon was incredibly bright and I had forgotten how many stars there are. Just magical. Goa Gil, this famous 60 year old (?) wizard -looking master, created music from around 8pm nonstop until...well, I actually don't know since he was still playing when we left around 1pm (next day)!

Being in nature with the music surrounding you and everyone swaying to the beats made it almost beyond music. Like Goa Gil was tapping into the beat of the earth. This was my first time so I can't personally compare to other times, but according to most people there, this time his music was very dark and deep. I agree. I remember really loving it around midnight and feeling totally connected. The music matched everyone's energy and the surrounding nature. But later, it got edgy and seemed to be pushing us into a different space. Toni and I tried sleeping with earplugs but felt the music (which was insanely loud) was seeping through the ground, through our sleeping bags, and poking our bodies awake. We finally couldn't bear it and dragged our sleeping bags up the hill into the trees for a less invasive space. The music was still really loud, but at least we got away from the intensity of the party. By morning, things calmed down and everyone was more cheerful.

All I can say is it was a very interesting experience and I definitely wanna go again!

almost there

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Stopping for a meal at Lagorio's in Farmington, just before Angel's Camp.

off to Goa Gil

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An outdoor party that Dav would never miss except this time since he is at that special Foo Camp thing...So my first time will be w/o him. Going with fellow BM friends. Not sure how much coverage I will have up there so not sure I can post from there... SQUEEZE to my Dav!

just me

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Going to see the rerun of Matrix Reloaded. I loved the first but somehow missed the second and really want to see it on the screen. But Dav is away and it's a hard sell to my none busy friends so I'm going solo. Funny that the last time I saw a movie on my own was to see the first Matrix a second time. Since Dav has the car, I am taking the bus which is super late...I miss Tokyo's public transportation...


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Meeting a friend from my Tokyo high school. She has been living in SF for a while and works as a lawyer (= long hours). We've been trying to meet up, and tonight, she took a break from work to catch up...and watch the Yankees game. She's totally into it! Very cool. Unfortunately they lost...and we think it's because we spent too much time talking instead of focusing on the game...and when Joy watches their games, they win.

Ironically, now that I'm finally back, she might move to Tokyo through her law firm. It would be great for her, but what timing! I can't take her to all my favorite bars.

I feel a bit bad since she had to go to work and we had such a good time that we, you know, had a lot of wine : ) I'm really happy though cuz Dav stopped by too so he could meet her. Slowly introducing my high school friends to him.

hotdogs and mochigashi

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Rachal and I continue our market research on cafes and Japanese places for our idea of opening a Japanese cafe. I kinda started this thinking I should productively fill my time until I find a *job*, but I'm getting into this pretty seriously. The more I look around, the more I find minor elements of what I want and feel there is a potential market; but my place doesn't exist yet, so it'd be worth opening. I don't wanna gush as if I'm there yet. Finances will be the real puzzle...which I'm beginning to work on now.

Anyway, the fun part is visiting all these places. We went to this funky well-established placed called Benkyo-do. I swear it's an old hotdog/burger joint...formica counter, plastic stools and all. On one wall, however, is the showcase for their homemade mochigashi Japanese desserts. They were fresh and pretty darn good. AND, 75 cents each! We met the guy who makes them right there...just doing his 'ol thing for, ah, a long long time.

But what really tickled me was this fabulous Japanese dessert store housed along with hotdogs. The customers played their roles well too...sitting at the counter with a mug of coffee and the newspaper gossiping about so and so.

Love it!

Housemate dinner

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Thoralf has been our housemate for a little over a month. He is a journalist visiting from Germany and is leaving soon. He has done so much. I'll tell more later but we are having dinner together...With Uli too-another German traveling around who has been staying with us too.

found him!

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We tried the new 'self check out' system but it sucks. Just doesn't work. Left that after hearing too many 'please wait for assistance' by an automated woman's cheery voice.

lost at home depo

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Came with Dav to buy a window shade and stuff so Dav can make a special ramp so my cats can get down from our patio for some exploring. I got some plants but now can't find him...This place is too huge.

curly tree

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Dav and I went for a motercycle ride after brunch to digest the big breakfast. When we took a break to sit for a bit, we found the strangest tree. Looked like a Dr. Seuss sorta tree. The tree looked like it was shedding its bark but by making little sections curl up. Very decorative, but strange.

Tokyo connects

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Dav and I had brunch with Doug, Miyo, Doug's mom, and baby Andy. The last time I met Doug was in Tokyo earlier this year. He was there on a business trip at the same time my brother was too (by coincidence). Doug and Miyo used to live in Tokyo when my brother lived there years ago.

I posted back then on Tokyo Tidbits a Korean BBQ night with Doug, my brother, and Stephen (my sister -in-law's brother) So if you've been reading along, you'll know all these people. Anyway, what I wanted to say was it was really cool meeting up with Doug and family. Kind of made me feel that my Tokyo life isn't too far away. Meeting the same people here and there...the space in between feels less, you know?

Doug was involved in getting SuperDeluxe open in Roppongi - where the First International Moblogging Conference took place. Everything seems to somehow connect one way or the other.

Andy, their cute cute baby, is 2 years old and absolutely adorable. Just had to say that. Hope you can tell from the pics.

visited a fish shop

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Sion, a friend from our BM camp circle of friends, owns a wholesale fish store in Oakland. I had to drop off Christopher there after he helped me move the cheapo sofa I bought. It's hard to see from the pics, but it's amazing. He has all sorts of rare fishies that people with very special tastes want...including octopi and nurse sharks! The first pic is of a baby octopus. Sion fed him some crab and we were watching it slither towards it. The last pic is Sion 'petting' the baby shark. I can tell Sion has a soft spot for the baby as he explained in caring detail how he raised him from when he was tiny and now the shark recognizes him.

Going to the dump

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To empty out a pickup truck so I can go pick a used sofa up that I am buying for $40!