Sunday, September 20, 2009

Berkeley



We just moved to Berkeley. It's actually kind of weird, cause about two months ago we weren't thinking about moving anytime soon at all. We've been wanting to move east, but yeah. Uh, our lives are kind of entrenched in the Bay Area right now. But yeah, our friends were moving to Sweden and so their place came up and they asked if we wanted it. It's a really sweet situation cause there's a studio in the backyard and the rent's just a little more than our old place in Oakland.

Uh, it's only about 3 1/2 miles from our old place but it's kind of a different world. Everyone's really nice, uh, random people try starting small talk with me where ever I go, like at the post office or at the grocery store. Generally, anytime any stranger wants to talk to me it's either a crazy guy or some guy wanting change so I just have that focused look so it's kind of hard thing to break. Also in Oakland, you're not suppose to look people in the eye. I never really thought that was weird, I just thought that was just city living, but I met up with a pen pal from New Zealand in San Francisco, and her and her boyfriend at the time were blown away by the fact that people didn't do that, or that they didn't say hi to the folks that walk by them. I mean, I still don't look strangers in the eye while passing them by, it's just kind of weird.

Oh, another thing I like about Berkeley, is that when you walk by houses you can see bookshelves with a ton of used books in them instead of just records, or a large TV, or a random knife collection. And there's a lot of bookstores close by. I took Marci to Serendipity Books on University. It's really old fashioned, there's little organization, and there's stacks of books everywhere and most of it's just old literature. It's so amazing if you're looking for beautiful old books. Marci got a book set by the Bronte sisters for $20, and the illustrations in it weren't reproductions of lithographs, but were actual lithographs.

Marci's putting together a shelf of her favorite books.

When we were unloading books, Marci realized she didn't have some of her favorite books anymore cause she'd lent them out and then didn't know who she lent them out to. So she's trying to buy all her favorite books back. Another place she's going to is "Half Price Books", which sounds kind of shitty, but if you're there long enough you can find something. It's right next to Comic Relief. I've been waiting for certain comics to come out so when we're downtown I'd go into the comic shop to see if they have it while Marci will go to Half Price, and I'd end up not getting anything, and Marci would come out with two books at least. But, yeah. We should probably avoid that block.

Bedroom
Bedroom.

We moved to Berkeley.
Living Room.


Our kitchen is 1/3 the size of our old place, but some how 3x more efficient.


The shelving is pretty non-earthquake safe. The Hayward Fault Line goes straight through Berkeley, and cuts right into Cal's Memorial Stadium. In 1923 they knew this, and built the stadium in two separate halves, with a short distance between the two (I forget if it was foot or a yard). Well, that was in 1923, so in the early 2000s you can see how the earth shifted cause one side of the stadium was noticeably higher than the other. They've been trying to renovate the Stadium cause if an earthquake should hit, it would kind of suck.

So yeah, it wouldn't be so awesome if you're in our kitchen during the earthquake. I've never been through a big earthquake, I just felt the aftershocks cause I lived in San Diego when the '89 one hit the Bay Area and the '94 one hit Northridge. I kind of don't know where the worst place would be if a big earthquake should hit, it's either the bottom part of the Bay Bridge, the BART Tunnel, or San Francisco's eastern waterfront.

Studio
Our new studio is pretty sweet.

Studio
Yeah, pretty sweet. I'm still trying to make it work. I didn't have any shows during the summer so I haven't really sat down and worked until tonight. These photos are from the 8th, so the studio isn't as cluttered as this.

Yes, yes. Marci's tending a front garden and she also has an herb garden in the backyard. She planted chili peppers, spinach, lettuce, strawberries, and some other stuff. Marci always wondered why Brendan had all these sticks in his garden sticking up, but she soon figured it out: they kept the cats from pooping in his garden. She's looking for a gardening book specifically for the bay area called, "Strawberries in November". We're going to try and see if we can find it in a used bookstore.

Uh, I've been working on maintaining a compost box for Marci to use for the garden. I usually am up early to make coffee, so I put the grounds in there, and sometimes if I'm dicing up greens I put a little of that in. I'm trying to follow this guideline of what you're suppose to do in order to get good compost that Brendan left in an e-mail, making sure the acidic pine needles from the redwood don't get into the box, not putting in stuff that doesn't break down easily, and making sure it's half dry and half wet. I'm also getting out a shovel and making sure stuff gets mixed up a bunch. yeah.

It's weird cause we get all our advice from Brendan through e-mails. It's kind of funny taking over an apartment from a friend. He's given Marci advice on gardening and me advice on where to get stuff in his neighborhood.

There's also CAT WARS cause there's like 7 cats in this house and the whole neighborhood is full of cats. So at night there's a lot of yowling, and you see a lot of random cat bullying. There's two main bullies and it smells like cat wazz behind the studio. The neighborhood cats are all kind of funny. There's an abyssinian who's best friend is an old battle worn black cat with a cut in it's ear. They like hang out in the neighborhood together and ask for pets at the same time. It's just funny cause abyssinians are like rare breeds, they're like $1000 if you were to buy one, and here's this abyssinian hanging out with a black cat for a best friend. I know they're animals and they don't care who they hang out with, but black cats are like the most unwanted animals cause of all the stigma behind them. they're the least like to get adopted at shelters and they're the most likely to have harm done to them cause people don't like them, and think they are evil or give out bad luck. There's an orange cat across the way that Thor looks out to, and Penelope shares a starring contest with Sweet Pea who's trying to get into our house cause he got in once and likes the front room a lot.

Yeah, there are more photos, I might update this post with them.

3 comments:

myleen said...

you new home looks sweet. hope you guys are settling in ok...can't wait to check it out. cat wars?! awesome.

Deth said...

Myleen! come by anytime. meet strange cats!

László Huszár said...

I am ashamed but iam envy : )
This studio is a very nice place to work, and with the sweet what is so near : )
Good work and inspiration : )