Sunday, October 30, 2005

redwoods and red sky

me in a tree
me in a tree,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
we are babysitting j.c.'s car this weekend as he vacations in mexico. yesterday we drove south of the city into some mountains to see some of the giant redwoods.

the picture here shows me standing by (in) the base of one of these magnificent trees, stretching my hand in the air. these suckers grow to about 300-330 feet high, and are about 1,500 years old. the oldest in the area ("father of the forest") was about 2,000 years old... check out our pictures from yesterday. it was a pretty amazing experience.

today we had a nice sunday - the extra hour of sleep was enjoyed by all. we ate blueberry pancakes (yeah!), learned some swedish fiddle tunes together, and took a drive in the berkeley hills to see the sunset. also amazing - the hills comprise a bunch of mega-million $ houses north of town. there is a huge community rose garden (called "the rose garden") overlooking the bay, the s.f. skyline, and the mountains on the north bay.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

vigil for 2000 deaths

christie at the vigil
christie at the vigil,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
well, it was a vigil in the sense of candles, not in the sense of standing somewhere all night. anyway, it was a nice gesture - standing on the corners of san pablo and university (just a block from our place) with 130 or so others, letting people know that the war still sucks, even after so long. i should say, especially after so long. christie was especially welcome in her "army veteran for peace" sweatshirt. we met some nice people, old and young, and were generally the cause of copious honking.

on a completely different topic, i wanted to let everyone know that my big project in these next couple of months is to purchase a good digital piano. this is relevant to you, dear readers, in a couple of possible ways. first, if you were thinking of giving me something for christmas, consider chipping in for the piano instead of whatever thing it was you were thinking of. second, if you weren't thinking of getting me something for christmas, i'll be able to practice my piano and play some music for you some day. i know for a fact that christie will, so you can look forward to that when you visit. <wink>

Sunday, October 23, 2005

go johnny go

go game (john = white)
go game (john = white),
originally uploaded by nclinton.
we had another nice evening with john last night - the pre-dinner activity (while c wrote a paper for class) was this game of go. the picture shows where it ended - i think with the 6.5 komi for white, it's about even. any other opinions out there? it was fun to play a well-matched game for the first time in a long while.

this morning i delivered christie to the bart station so she could meet her classmates for a ride to the north bay for class today. this is the first time i've had a day alone at home since... may? i'm not just sitting around writing on my blog, though - there's plenty of cleaning and work to do.

Friday, October 21, 2005

weather

the weekend is here, but not the cold weather. the flowers are still in full bloom, no jacket is required, and nobody seems to notice that winter should be approaching. a little too much of the napa wine and they even forget to have seasons. macalester freshmen have started calling me every few days, asking for contributions from the alumni. i miss knowing that the snow is coming - dreading it. what a lovely, terrifying feeling it was.

i don't mean to complain; it's just something noteworthy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

they're here!

cds finally arrived
cds finally arrived,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
woo-hoo! the cds arrived! celebrate! shipments begin today for all you lucky folks who have already ordered your copy.

Monday, October 17, 2005

a day in san enselmo

c and i drove to san enselmo (on the north bay) to get her to her first class with elizabeth davis. i'll leave it to her to describe her full impressions - it sounded pretty amazing. i'm a little jealous that she is beginning school. it is always fun to learn new things.

while she was busy at school, i wandered around town: breakfast at bubba's diner and sunday crossword at pete's coffee up the road.

i struck up a conversation with the two women sitting at the next table at pete's who seemed to be saying a lot of the same words that i've heard c use. turns out they were in nursing school, and one of them is studying to be a nurse-midwife and has taken a lot of the same courses that c will be taking. nice folks, and they might even be good resources for c sometime in the future. this is truely the land of midwives.

a burrito for lunch, more reading and computer-work at pete's, more walking around downtown san enselmo in the afternoon. lovely town, unbelievably wealthy. one furniture store was selling a "jamestown chest of drawers, english oak, circa 1690, $13,500". crazy.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

first class

my office is on this street
my office is on this street,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
the picture here is stevenson street in downtown san francisco the other evening after work. like new york, this downtown is much taller than d.c. i like it - not too imposing, easy to get out of.

christie starts her first class tomorrow (see photographic proof). the class is way out in the north bay... about as hard to get to as anywhere in the bay area from berkeley. i'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say she will probably try to hitch a ride with classmates in the future. the class meets for the full day (9 - 5:30) on almost every sunday for the next couple of months. exciting!

today we bought a printer, a bookshelf, a green sweatshirt (for me), a pair of jeans (for c), 5 cans of garbanzo beans (they are my favorite), 7 boxes of annie's mac and cheese (they were on sale), and 4 pears (2 organic and 2 non-organic). we ate at a veggie indian place for dinner. tasty.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

the day after

the launch of christie's website was successful. the response has been wonderful - we even have a glowing review. our marketing machine is only so powerful, however, so please pass the word.

other than that, christie is finalizing arrangements to start classes soon and i am trying to keep up at work and think of new projects to spend my time on.

here's something interesting: if you've been to college in the past 5 years, you know what snood is - a silly computer game that offers hours of distraction from studying. their newest game threatens the same: snoodoku.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

lockdown

this week comes christie's long-awaited debut album, lockdown! fantastic music, beautifully performed. we've been working very hard to update the website to allow online ordering (via paypal), and give people a few tracks from the cd to download.

[if you have problems viewing the website, try clicking "refresh" or "empty cache". if that doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry.]

we'll start shipping orders as early as this monday. get them while you can!

Monday, October 10, 2005

weekend

kind of a slow weekend, but some things to look forward to. the biggest is that the new album, like the iceman, cometh. although in much more positive way. actually, it's not like the iceman at all. in any case, you'll all hear about it this week.

we went to see the wallace and gromit movie on saturday afternoon. it was fun, but i was slightly disappointed. too much "kid" humor without enough "adult" humor to balance it out. maybe it's just that i've built them up in my mind based on the short films, that it couldn't possibly have fulfilled my expectations.

other new experiences this weekend: peet's coffee (lovely), new walking shoes for c, sleeping comfortably, a fish called wanda (classic), a new reel and a new jig, good acoustics in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

scary play?

we got free tickets to the "preview" of a play here in berkeley from a friends of c's. some kind of ghost story about a child molester. not really good date material in retrospect. we're still a little weirded out by it... the main character looked just like this fiddler guy we once met somewhere in virginia. <shiver>

Monday, October 03, 2005

in the kitchen

new kitchen (john and christie)
new kitchen (john and christie),
originally uploaded by nclinton.
john came over for dinner this evening, to eat in our lovely new kitchen. christie made tamale pie. mmmmm. but no olives. :-(

look at the pictures for a few shots of the inside of our new place. i'm happy to announce that we have purchased a bed to replace our air mattress on the floor. but not just any bed, oh no. a sleep number bed from select comfort! hurray!

work goes well, christie still awaits her study materials, and we are busy finding the near-by grocery stores and opening bank accounts and such. the weather here is effortlessly beautiful, although i can already sense the absense of snow, which makes me a bit sad. there is something of minnesota left in me that loves the whiteness of the world in winter.