but where will I read?

The Morrison Reading Room is closed during intersession, 8/14-8/29. Reading outside is fun and all, but that place can’t be beat for a chapter of a novel and a 30 minute nap in the middle of the day. Lately I’ve been struck by terrible midday lethargy and I can’t get myself to focus on work, so I sometimes trundle down there for a change of scene. Now I’ll just have to drink more coffee.

Tartine

Guerrero and 18th. This little French-styled bakery and coffeehouse is awesome. I have heard their pastries are delicious but I had the croque monsieur with shiitake mushrooms and it was super tasty. I will probably go here again and again, although not if I’m in a rush, since the line is so long.

If you are looking for something more substantial, try Delphina next door.

Esperpento

Valencia and 22nd. I’ve been here twice now, and both times it’s been pretty good. The tapas menu is pretty standard and on the cheaper side of tapas ($5-6 an entree), and I found the food better than Timo’s and about on par with Cha Cha Cha. The service is a bit slow.

We had the patatas bravas, which were the spiciest I’ve ever had (but tasty!), some fried artichokes which were kind of gross and flavorless, some uninspired fried calamari, very tasty pollo ajillo, and these little ham open-faces sandwiches with roasted red pepper, which were TASTY. The sangria was kind of dull, to tell the truth.

To sum up, I would go here again if I wasn’t too hungry and didn’t want to spend too much. But there are certainly better places for tapas, I’m sure.

tracks drei

Yet another mix, a bit more eclectic perhaps:

1. 2010 — Cornelius
2. Bongo Bong — Manu Chao
3. Latin Simone — Gorillaz
4. I’m Beginning to See the Light — Bobby Darin
5. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat — Charles Mingus
6. Gritty Shaker — David Holmes
7. Sabotage — Beastie Boys
8. I’m Old Fashioned — Cassandra Wilson
9. The Penguin — Raymond Scott
10. Safety Dance — Men Without Hats
11. You Can’t Break My Heart — Hot Club Of Cowtown
12. Hard Time Killing Floor Blues — Chris Thomas King
13. Summertime — Billie Holiday
14. Bei Mer Bist Du Schon — Sholom Secunda
15. Disseminated — Soul Coughing
16. Communication Breakdown — Led Zeppelin
17. Spoonful — Charlie Hunter (with Theryl De Clouet)
18. There She Goes Again — The Velvet Underground
19. Seven Months — Portishead
20. All The Things You Are — Ella Fitzgerald

breaka breaka dawn

I was up until 4 revising my roomate Dustin’s website before he heads off to Siggraph. That boy is eternally on the hunt for a job, but the world of animation is rough and tumble. I was also having crazy flashbacks to mystery hunt website coding. My only real comment about the whole ordeal is that I absolutely hate IE and it’s ridiculous non-compliancy with CSS. Trying to figure out some obscure resizing hack at 2 in the morning to make IE/Win even render your page is like shaving with a dull rusty scythe.

Speaking of shaving, pictures coming soon.

superfreaky no more

Rick James is dead:

“Today the world mourns a musician and performer of the funkiest kind,” said Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. “Grammy winner Rick James was a singer, songwriter and producer whose performances were always as dynamic as his personality. The `Super Freak’ of funk will be missed.”

uncertainty

A thought that I had over this whole “Intelligence Czar” business was that perhaps there is an uncertainty principle thing going on. Let I denote the uncertainty about some fact (e.g. existence of weapons of mass destruction), and D be the amount of decision-making power you have. Then the law states that

I/D > C

for some appropriate constant C, possibly involving Planck’s constant.

three characters

When I got to North Gate, The Crew was there — I refer to them as The Crew because they’re often hanging out around there. Today’s configuration was especially canonical.

Allison, a thin black man with a salt and pepper beard, is almost always wearing huge dark sunglasses. He diligently sweeps the sidewalks around northside, gathering the leaves into piles, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen him throw the leaves out. This time he was sweeping up outside the parking lot. When not sweeping, he usually stands outside Seven Palms or the Korean BBQ on Euclid, asking for change. I’ve never seen him outside of Northside. He is very friendly.

Angry Man is not so friendly. The first time I encountered him he was storming down Oxford street and flipped me the bird as he strode by. He’s tall, black, with dreds and glasses, and always wears his backpack. Today he was in his usual spot, leaning on the wall on the NE corner of the intersection. If you walk past him in this mood, he usually mutters some insult under his breath, like “what a bitch” or “fuck off,” barely loud enough to hear. Sometimes he tries to kick people after the walk past, but he always launches the kick too late so that it won’t connect. I suppose it helps work off aggression. He’s never directly asked me for money, but I see people go up and give him money.

The Conversationalist sits on the low wall outside the Journalism School across the street from Angry Man. He’s white, with strawberry blonde curly hair, although I think it’s going white. He too has glasses, and a pair of old thin headphones with a walkman. He is constantly talking to someone, explaining or debating some point, usually political. He has never asked me for money, or indeed shown any inclination of talking to anyone other than his supposed conversation partner. Perhaps he is talking to the radio or a tape.

The Crew are regulars on the Northside scene. You don’t always see them there at the same time; Angry Man and The Conversationalist wander pretty far and wide. But this morning’s everydayness prompted me to write down these notes.