Posts Tagged berkeley

First-ever dance video

I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen myself dance on video. It’s okay, but I should record myself periodically–I can see a number of stylistic issues with my dancing.

So, this was a performance at the SwingCal graduation. Katrina and I mentored a group of students, and for graduation, we choreographed a little 30-second routine. Our students danced it masterfully: I think the only mistake I saw was my own!

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Attempted bicycle theft

Today, I found my bicycle upside-down, with the wheels taken off… but still there, chained to the bike rack.

Because I had a busy day and went into SF last night straight from campus, I left my bicycle at the downtown Berkeley BART station, right in the heart of Berkeley. I locked it up thoroughly, with my U-lock through the frame and helmet, and a cable lock through both the frame and the wheels.

When I found the bicycle, the U-lock and helmet were missing, and the wheels were taken off, but still there. I have no idea how they removed the U-lock; it’s possible that I didn’t lock it properly. They apparently bashed the cable lock with a brick, but that wasn’t highly effective, so they couldn’t get any of my precious bicycle.

The really funny thing was that all I really lost was the lock and helmet. Most of the cost of the replacement was the new lock: You know things are upside-down when all you lose is the lock itself!

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new roommate

I may have found a new roommate. Special bonus: she attended WashU. Strangely, I didn’t get any male applicants–two couples were somewhat interested, but no lone guys. What does that mean?

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Berkeley weather

Last Thursday there was a beautiful sunset, and as I admired it from my tall building in downtown Berkeley, I noticed there was a light drizzle in the sun’s glow. I dashed to the roof, and indeed I was correct to expect something pretty. I didn’t, however, expect anything quite so good as this:

double rainbow in Berkeley

A perfect double rainbow, the first rainbow I’ve ever seen in Berkeley. And just inside the inner rainbow, without any space, there was the hint of a third rainbow. I’m not sure what would cause that, but I’m pretty sure it was really there.

Glorious.

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Towns have moods

It’s a curious fact that here in Berkeley, I feel an aura of failure that was missing while I was home in Tennessee. There, I was skilled and clever and strong. Here, I’m merely mediocre. Whatever it is I do, there’s someone better at it than me–so much so that I can never hope to match them. I’m not a fan of being a small fish in a big pond, but I’d better get used to it, because unless I retreat to Smalltown, TN, that’s my fate. Not that I face it alone–almost everyone ends up being outshone. That still doesn’t mean I have to like it.

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Berkeley’s wildlife

So, allow me to introduce you to Berkeley’s South Side. It’s where the undergrads live, along with the park-dwelling hobos and “Money for beer”-sign-carrying panhandlers. It also has this awesome vacant lot.

pic of vacant lot

In this lot, there are rats.

cut for pictures

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Thunder in Berkeley

I heard two claps of thunder already today! That puts us about 2/3 through our quota for the year.

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Old = littering?

This morning, walking through Berkeley, I saw a woman throw her cigarette butt on the ground. Because I’m that guy, I said, “Oh, for the love of God, don’t throw your trash on the ground.”

She said, “Have some respect for a woman almost 70 years old.”

“It’s my city too, goddammit,” I returned bitterly.

In retrospect, there are many good things I could have said, but in the end this is where my communication skills break down. What do you say to people who don’t care about anyone but themselves? Their motivations are evidently nothing but pure greed, and I can’t understand them. I’m sure the word “worthless” is a little extreme to apply to them, but it certainly springs to mind. Certainly I view them as broken people, as though there’s a piece inside of them that just doesn’t operate the way it should.

And no, I needn’t have any respect for someone who treats my city as a dump, no matter how old she might be. She obviously has no respect for anyone else in the city.

Dammit, that’s the wrong way to start a day. This sort of selfish thoughtlessness is exactly what makes me angriest. People suck.

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Fruit trees are productive bastards

Fruit trees are productive bastards. I just harvested 9 pounds of plums from the neighborhood trees, and that’s not nearly all. The ones in easy reach had already been taken, and there must be another dozen pounds reachable with a ladder. And that’s just what’s ripe right now, much less ripe in the next few weeks! I had never realized they produced so much fruit. I’ll have an outrageous amount of plum jam later this summer. I have to freeze at least most of them for now, because I don’t have time to deal with them now. And most of the plums will be ripe while I’m in Finland. It’s madness, I say!

Someday, if I ever own a home with a yard, I’m going to have fruit trees. I’ll make applesauce, peach preserves, and cherry jam. It’ll be a grand old time!

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From the “Did I really just see that?” department

Yesterday I saw an adult shit on the sidewalk. She didn’t even bother to squat, just leaned over a bit. I saw a turd drop from the bottom of her long coat. I assume she was homeless, but even so you would expect her to at least be furtive when shitting in public. She shat on a busy street!

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