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Pictures Are Good FillerSeptember 11, 2007

Hey, what's that bright star I've been seeing in the early morning on my way to work? It's hanging in the east, and it's gorgeous. I know you know.

Me, I'm at work. Long, long, long work hours lately -- worked an 18 hour shift on Saturday on the final day of my work week, then had Sunday off, and I was back on Monday for 72 hours this week. It's all by choice, working for people that need time off (the gal I'm working for today is in Italy, bless her), so I can't complain, but I can whinge just a little bit.

How 'bout a few pics, then?

I took an afternoon last week and spent it in the City. I had the best time that day -- I had lunch with Lala and then I went and wrote in a cafe near Dolores Park. Then I wandered up into the park and had a little lie-down on the grass in the sun, and then I got salted caramel ice cream with fleur de sel sprinkles from Bi-Rite Creamery. Then I took BART back downtown and prowled Stacey's Bookstore for a while, then met up with Lala when she got off work, and we went to Fritz and had Belgian fries with Belgian beer. While I was waiting for her to meet me, I read my book up on the top of the new Westfield Mall.


Isn't that something? I don't care for malls, but that space is pretty incredible.

And then last week, we went to the Ladies' Banjo Society Picnic, at which you need neither to be a lady nor play the banjo. But they did have a banjo choir, which was pretty rad.


Lala's in the white cowboy hat in the back.

We took Harriet. She did not play the banjo.


And this is a shot of Lala in Leona Canyon near our house.


It's this amazing canyon right in Oakland, but it feels so far away -- I think it might be the only place in Oakland where you can't hear the freeway. The smell of the creek down there, all dusty and blackberryish and riparian-moldy is exactly the same lush smell of the creek I grew up playing in. And it's an off-leash area, since it's part of the East Bay Regional Parks District, so Clara can romp through the poison oak with impunity. Thank god she sleeps in a crate, not our bed.


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It should be Venus I think.

That ceiling shot is really gorgeous!

Hope you're feeling lots better!

I'm seconding Venus. You'll also see it in the evening.

P.S. You'll know it is a planet and not a star because it won't twinkle the way a star does. Why? Because it is reflecting sunlight, not emitting light.

Is your dog purple? If yes, did you special order?

Belgian frites in SF???? YEAH! I am so there during my next trip.

Venus. I had to look it up to be sure the other day because I didn't believe the first person I asked. It's just so BIG.

I am wondering about the purple dog as well, can I get on in blue? :)

Purple dog!

Wowsa, beautiful dome! And Clara looks quite fetching in purple. ;) S'ok, where are Lala's cowboy boots? I know, not so great for tromping around, but man, that hat is so perfect it just cries for real boots!

Salted caramel ice cream? I get a feeling I've been deprived.

Are you sure it's not the Sun? That's pretty bright in the East in the morning.

Here's a cute little banjo story:
My mom's a guitarist. She loves guitar like I love knitting. When I was little (4?) she also had a banjo that she tried to play for a while. When she played guitar, I would sit at her feet and let her sing to me. But when she played banjo, she felt that the strings were strung so tight they might snap. She told me to sit far away, because the banjo might explode.

For many years, I admired her bravery for trying to get music out of a BOMB.

The brilliant Venus, which had shone brilliantly in the evening sky all year, is now dazzling observers in the morning sky. It reaches its maximum magnitude of -4.5 for the year on September 23. Venus is joined by Saturn, which lies just below and shines at magnitude 0.5. The bright star in this grouping of planets that currently lies close to Saturn is Regulus, the heart of Leo the Lion.

And if you look to the south in the evening you will see the dominant planet in September 2007 is Jupiter, which currently looks like a bright star low in the south. At magnitude -2.2, Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky this month besides the moon.

Hm, I skipped one sentence and thought you were making Lala sleep in a crate. That's what my poor reading comprehension skills have got me...
That photo makes the Westfield look like the mall the Pope would go to.

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