I was driving home last night (after 7 so All Things Considered was over) scanning the radio for tunes when Pearl Jam’s “Do The Evolution” came on. The music video is one of my all time favorites – it is totally bad-ass and as strongly disturbing as when it came out in ’98
Note: the Matrix came out in 1999
Nov 18, 2008:
Very soon after I moved away from Oakland, an excellent Saturday Farmer’s Market opened up in my old neighborhood. The Lakeshore/Grand Lake area has really changed over the years – I would argue for the better. Anyway, I was visiting this weekend and playing tour guide to an out-of-towner so we walked down to the Farmer’s Market, on the shore of Lake Merritt – a little man-made lake in the middle of Oakland pictured here in a photo I took last year:
The weather in the Bay Area was AMAZING this weekend so we decided to walk around the Lake a bit. There’s a neat little bird sanctuary not too far from the Farmer’s Market where the wild birds of Oakland like to hang out:
On this particular walk, we discovered a Bonsai Garden hidden among the trees in the park area surrounding the Lake. This is not a new garden but I had no idea it existed. According to the website, it’s the only public Bonsai garden in Northern California. The collection is pretty spectacular – this tree was brought to the US during Lincoln’s presidency:
This 4′ Redwood was originally 12′ – the guy who found it in a landslide slowly pruned it down over several years to look like a fully grown tree:
There is a whole art to balancing the roots so a tree as tall and thing as this one can be freestanding in a little pot:
Quince! very disproportioned but still cool:
Japanese Maple (I think):
I am by no means a Bonsai expert – each tree style and pot shape have meanings and the whole thing is very ritualized. They rotate the trees on display so I’m looking forward to visiting again soon. Make sure if you go to have a nice long chat with the docents – ours were a super sweet elderly married couple who were extremely knowledgable and loved talking about Bonsai.
I took an online survey today for TiVo (there was a drawing for an HD TiVo) about the effectiveness of a Bounty paper towel ad campaign in the “Showcase” menu of the TiVo that no one ever looks at. I feel the need to share the questions I was asked about my impressions of the Bounty brand:
- Bounty understands my life
- Bounty helps me to provide a comfortable, loving environment for my family
- Bounty quickly helps me get things back to normal in my home after messes are made
I hope I win that drawing so I can continue to skip over commercials trying to convince me that a paper towel understands my life in HD.
This morning I looked out the window to discover that a blanket of fog had descended on the coast. With visibility at about half a city block, I decided to hold off going to work for a while and take a walk.
I love fog. It reminds me of home and it normally accompanies my favorite temperature ranges. The smell of fog is amazing. It’s a bit of a different experience to see it filling a SoCal beach community. Rather than being a sleepy quirky part of the changing of the seasons, it takes on an almost sinister feel.
Houses designed for warm weather and to maximize the view of the ocean stand out in stark contrast to their hazy neighbors. Tall palm trees fade into the ether.
I walked down to the beach, which was the eeriest of all: I could hear the waves but I could not see or smell the ocean. It was like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where someone was erasing my sensory experiences.
As I walked home, I smelled wood smoke drifting out of houses of the lucky few around here who have fireplaces. Today, I wish I could curl up in a fleece with a cup of cocoa and let the fog mute out the rest of the world. Instead I better get ready for work.
Um, I think you can turn off your sprinklers:
Elusive Neutral Milk Hotel lead singer had a surprise performance last week in Columbus OH. You can’t see much in the video but the sound is good. The song is called “Engine”
I saw the Happy Hollows at Alex’s Bar last weekend and I was a bit “meh” about it. They were a tad crazypants for my tastes but I could see them growing on me. LAist posted their video to the song Labyrinth today which is inspired by a scene in one of my favorite movies. I gotta say, this makes me like them a heck of a lot more.
I was sadly impressed by how many freeway structures and shapes I recognized.
“Ok, now girls, I want you to concentrate. Failure is not an option. And Bethany – if you feel the need to vomit up there, just swallow it.”
I hope that the upcoming sequel to Donnie Darko, S Darko, will feature more Sparkle Motion. Crossing my fingers that it doesn’t suck (never a good sign when they switch directors). I’m glad they’re keeping Daveigh Chase as Donnie’s little sister because she was so awesomely creepy as Rhonda on Big Love.