Posted December 31, 2008, 6:56 pm.

Pizza for lunch, it featured artichoke hearts, pesto, olives, and lots of ground red pepper.

Posted December 31, 2008, 8:22 am.

Two fried eggs from Chaffin farms, two pieces of buttered deli rye bread from Tin roof, a mason jar of Chico Chai, and two lovin’ spoonfuls of my mom’s homemade peach jam. Local!

Posted December 30, 2008, 7:36 pm.

Another apple, a pink lady I think. Leftover pasta and sauce from last night, with more broccoli and broccoli leaves added to it and served cold.

Posted December 30, 2008, 4:58 pm.

Bowl of coconut and almond granola with soymilk, with a little bit of maple syrup poured on top.

Posted December 30, 2008, 11:33 am.

Quick snack: an apple and a sandwich of homemade peach jam and almond butter on deli rye from Tin Roof Bakery.

Posted December 29, 2008, 7:40 pm.

German basil pasta (a gift) cooked in a thin red sauce with fresh broccoli, served under grated parmesan cheese.

Posted December 29, 2008, 6:54 pm.

Hot grey tea.

Posted December 29, 2008, 6:35 pm.

Onion bagel with cream cheese this morning, chips and salsa around noon, and an apple after getting home from a bike ride. Really hungry right now.

Posted December 29, 2008, 2:56 am.

Back to Base.


I took the “Coastal Starlight” train back to Chico from San Jose, and for once it got me home on time.

Right before leaving my mom’s house, my brother and I recorded this version of The Magnetic Fields’ song I Think I Need A New Heart. Enjoy!

Posted December 29, 2008, 2:46 am.

Over-priced sugary muffin on the Amtrak train.

Posted December 28, 2008, 4:48 pm.

Grilled swiss and cheddar sandwich, pita chips, and half of an avocado for lunch. Cookies all over.

Posted December 28, 2008, 1:20 pm.

Bowl of ginger granola with milk and two fried eggs for breakfast.

Posted December 27, 2008, 11:15 pm.

Fondu for dinner! Broccoli, bread, and apples dipped into molten swiss cheese, with steamed artichokes on the side. For dessert I had vanilla ice cream with apples baked in almonds and brown sugar.

Posted December 27, 2008, 4:13 pm.

I’ve fallen a little behind but don’t worry, I haven’t been starving.

Christmas dinner was baked potatoes with sour cream, and brussels sprouts. There was a roast too, but I didn’t eat any of it.

Yesterday morning we made pancakes with almond flour mixed into the batter. They were served with butter and syrup of course, along with black berries, blue berries, and raspberries.

For lunch there was curry flavored naan and hummus, next to a plate of cheeses and crackers.

For dinner we made pizzas. Mine featured basil in the dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, soyrizo, and parmesan cheese on top. This turned out awesome, and I really want to start making my own pizza dough.

Breakfast today was a bowl of ginger granola with milk and some peach jam that my mom made last fall.

Some more snacking this afternoon on naan with hummus. I’ve drunken two Cokes out of boredom, and thoroughly regret it.

Posted December 26, 2008, 11:33 pm.

Xmas Breaks.

I’m in Los Gatos this week for Christmas with family, and I’ve been playing around with my mom’s DSLR. Here are some photos I don’t hate, and more can be found on my flickr.


My grandmother is always always rubbing her eyes.


Here I am with my brother, after giving him a copy of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, a wonderful book that contains this awesome chart.

For fun, he & I recorded a cover of Safe Travels by Peter and the Wolf.


Apparently I’ve started collecting red robots.


I’ll be hopping on a train Sunday night and getting back to Chico in the wee hours of Monday morning, back to work, and back to school in a month. This has been a nice mini-vacation so far.

Posted December 25, 2008, 4:06 pm.

Eggs with cheddar on croissant for breakfast. Followed by too many sugar cookies, marzipan, cheeses, chocolates, and general holiday gluttony.

Posted December 25, 2008, 1:32 am.

Pita chips with hummus, some balls of mozzarella dipped in oil and basil, a sliced tomato and a quartered avocado, christmas cookies, chocolates, and fluorescent marzipan.

Posted December 24, 2008, 3:03 pm.

Leftover rice pilaf with veggies for lunch, and an apple croissant and orange juice for breakfast. Eggnogg after work threatened to put me to sleep. Heading home tonight and looking forward to dinners with family.

Posted December 24, 2008, 12:04 am.

Christmas party dinner at the Sierra Nevada brewery tonight. I had a delicious portobello mushroom and cheese sandwich with some potato salad, and followed it up with 1/3 of a banana split sundae. Way too much food.

Posted December 23, 2008, 5:55 pm.

A lousy grilled cheese sandwich, fries, and chocolate cookie for lunch at a bowling alley. Then an apple, and now some chocolate covered pretzels with eggnog.

Posted December 23, 2008, 7:24 am.

Big bowl of Irish Oatmeal, mixed with bing cherry jam from Chaffin Family Orchards. I also added in some maple syrup and cinnamon, very tasty!

Posted December 23, 2008, 2:36 am.

Cooking some oatmeal overnight to be ready in the morning.

Posted December 23, 2008, 12:53 am.

Tortilla chips and a veggie burrito from La Cocina Economica for lunch.

Just now enjoying rice pilaf and some sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, and carrot. Should have thrown in some broccoli and onion too, but the pan was getting a bit full.

Posted December 22, 2008, 8:53 am.

Onion bagel with jalapeno creamcheese.

Posted December 21, 2008, 7:40 pm.

Cheese and the last of my crackers for a snack earlier this afternoon. Cooking some Lundberg basmati rice right now, smells so good.

Posted December 21, 2008, 1:02 pm.

Two stale donuts and a PBJ sandwich so far today.

Posted December 20, 2008, 6:06 pm.

Yesterday featured two burritos from La Cocina Econmica, eggs cheese and beans for breakfast and veggie supreme for lunch. Dinner was cookies, brownies, chocolate pretzels, and eggnog at the Adam’s end-of-finals party. Should have eaten real food.

Breakfast this morning was a veggie tomal at the farmer’s market with come Chico Chai, followed by a creme-filled maple donut and hot cocoa once I got to the bike shop. Lunch was veggie nachos from La Cocina again, and dinner will be cheese and crackers, and maybe pizza if I go to a show at Monstro’s.

Posted December 18, 2008, 8:13 pm.

Dinner was an Italian potluck for Trenton. Tiny pizza, pita, big pasta shells filled with cheese, sugar-snap peas.

Posted December 18, 2008, 5:14 pm.

Lunch was a sandwich. Slice of Tin Roof Bakery rye bread, mustard, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, tomato, homemade pesto, rye bread. Also, two oranges, a cookie, and three chocolates.

Right now eating buttery crackers with swiss and smoked gouda cheese.

Posted December 18, 2008, 8:23 am.

Two fried eggs, toast with apricot jam, grey tea. A little bit of mozzarella and tomato.

Posted December 18, 2008, 1:17 am.

An apple before bed.

Posted December 18, 2008, 12:01 am.

Two Days.

Yesterday was my twenty-first birthday, but that happens to lots of people. I went for a cruelly cold bike ride up Humboldt in the morning that featured rain, wind, sleet, and adventure. I had a nice day at work. I went out to dinner with a handful of friends. I went to a bar and drank drinks.

Today my friend Diana finished college, and I’m much prouder of her for working so hard than I am of myself for getting so old. There was a dinner tonight in her honor, and it was really pleasant.

After the meal had settled deeply into our stomachs and several friends had made their ways home (and elsewhere), I sat down and read my friend Quinn’s copy of Charles Simic’s The World Doesn’t End. I really liked it, and it has motivated me to try writing poetry again.

In the warm and social spirit of the past two evenings, and as another way to make myself write more, I’ve decided to start a poetry gang. I want to write lots and sort through the chaff with friends. I want red faces drinking red wine and sharing sonnets. I want this winter to get warmer at night.

Posted December 17, 2008, 11:34 pm.

Breakfast: toasted garlic bagel with jalapeño cream cheese from Brooklyn Bagel, along with the last of the chocolates from yesterday.

Lunch: Steve treated me to a garden burger and fries from The Grad.

Dinner: celebratory meal for Diana, delicious soup, cooked greens, rice, fruits, bread and cheeses and butter and salt, baked squash. Dessert was ice cream with apple granola cobbler.

Posted December 17, 2008, 12:54 am.

Dinner at Chada Thai: green curry, lots of vegetables and rice, fried sweet potatoes with delicious tamarind and peanut sauce, tasty noodles.

Drinks at Banshee: some beer, some ale, an “Irish Carbomb”, an “Oatmeal Cookie”, a “Jewish Ben Franklin”, and a shot of Bailey’s with whipped cream out of a girl’s crotch. Fucking 21st.

Posted December 16, 2008, 6:14 pm.

More chocolates from Shubert’s.

Posted December 16, 2008, 2:07 pm.

Breakfast: two fried eggs under swiss cheese with toast and apricot jam. Lunch: tempeh wrap and OJ. Lots of chocolates today.

Posted December 15, 2008, 7:37 pm.

Two fried eggs and toast with apricot jam for breakfast, veggie burrito for lunch, junior mints and popcorn for snack during a movie,

Posted December 14, 2008, 6:39 pm.

Dinner at Brad & Amber’s house: two bowls of minestrone soup over spinach with melted parmesan cheese on top, along with four pieces of buttered bread. Followed by toffee popcorn, more soup, and two shortbread cookies.

Posted December 14, 2008, 4:41 pm.

Baked sweet potato with sour cream, butter, salt.

Posted December 14, 2008, 3:45 pm.

Cold Weather, White Hot Bikes.

My brother says it’s started snowing in Portland so I looked out the window, and by “window” I mean internet. I saw that it was true. I almost miss all that whiteness.

Which reminded me of all the super sweet white bikes I’ve seen on Flickr recently, all of them hand-built in Oregon.

Posted December 14, 2008, 1:27 pm.

Lying and Writing, and Really.

I was a compulsive liar when I was little.

There’s a very clear memory I have, which is kind of an oddity in itself, of preparing to lie to my mom. I’m sitting on the back stairs that lead toward the kitchen from the second floor of our old house in New Jersey. I can’t remember how old I was, or what I felt I needed to lie about, but I can remember how I went about crafting my forgery.

I imagined I was watching a movie of the lie unfolding. I could see myself lying to my mom in different ways, and her responding with varying credulousness. I imagined alternate ways to frame the lie, and multiple methods of delivery. I even went so far as to try to guess the phrasing of her responses. I would try to discover the most realistic and graceful way of pulling one over, the way of lying that most resembled “the way things really happen”.

(This is one of my earliest memories of the idea of an impassable division between myself and the rest of the world. While I was certain that I had free will {or that at least from my perspective it was a fitting idea} I was sure that everything else in the world happened the way it did just because that’s how things happen. Sure, everyone else experienced the same sensations of free will and choice, but however they acted still fit into my understanding of the way things work.)

Yet despite many moments spent perfecting my spurious parlance, my lies often fell through to the truth. Their success and failure seemed to be determined more often than not by their size, and not by my own crafting. That’s probably not true, I was probably a bad liar too.

Ultimately it seems to have been a harmless habit, as I find myself now to be relatively well adjusted, and for the most part honest. At least, I’ve found a lot more value in sincerity since my early-teen years.

The one valuable thing I got out of trying to con so often was a taste for rolling words over in my mouth. How do you say… what’s the best way to express this idea? Hunting for the right word or the most elegant phrasing of an idea. I think this kind of habitual flexing and articulating of words is why I like to write, even if it’s for little more than my own pleasure.

Posted December 14, 2008, 11:58 am.

Breakfast: spiced french toast (made by adding chai to the batter) using the last of the focaccia bread and some rye, one fuyu persimmon, and a mug of steaming apple cider.

Posted December 13, 2008, 10:48 pm.

Hot mug of spicy sweet goodness: one part apple cider, one part Chico Chai tea. Cookies too.

Posted December 13, 2008, 7:42 pm.

Popcorn with lemon pepper and garlic salt.

Posted December 13, 2008, 7:36 pm.

Dinner: a vegetarian especial burrito from Amigos De Acupulco with extra jalapeños.

Posted December 13, 2008, 1:56 pm.

One Tin Roof Bakery cinnamon roll.

Posted December 13, 2008, 10:18 am.

Chips and salsa.

Posted December 13, 2008, 8:31 am.

Breakfast: two fried eggs with melted parmesan cheese, soyrizo, and buttered toast.

Posted December 12, 2008, 7:28 pm.

Cookies and tea.

Posted December 12, 2008, 1:17 pm.

Lunch: a pear and two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Posted December 12, 2008, 8:36 am.

Breakfast: two scrambled eggs with pesto and swiss cheese, two pieces of toast with apricot jam.

Posted December 12, 2008, 7:44 am.

Cold Morning.

34 degrees outside this morning. A long-sleeveed wool shirt under my jacket and some ragwool gloves kept most of me warm, but my toes still froze.

Horseshoe Lake

Posted December 11, 2008, 8:49 pm.

Bowl of granola with soymilk.

Posted December 11, 2008, 7:36 pm.

Crackers and goat cheese.

Posted December 11, 2008, 7:35 pm.

"Huckabee on The Daily Show, 12-9-08."

From the second half of Mike Huckabee’s interview with Jon Stewart:

Some choice quotes:

Stewart: “You know, segregation used to be the law until the courts intervened.”

Huckabee: “There’s a big difference between a person being black, and a person practicing a lifestyle”

Stewart: “…religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality, and people that choose, and the protections that we have for religion? We protect religion—and talk about a lifestyle choice, that is absolutely a choice—gay people don’t choose to be gay. At what age did you choose not to be gay?

Stewart: “I think it’s an absolute, it’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case, that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else.”

Huckabee: “One of the things that I want to make sure that people understand, that if a person does not necessarily support the idea of changing the definition of marriage, it does not mean that they’re a homophobe, it does not mean that they’re filled with hate and animosity and anger.”

Posted December 11, 2008, 3:02 pm.

Lunch: veggie burrito and two oranges.

Posted December 11, 2008, 8:01 am.

Breakfast: last of the Irish oatmeal from yesterday along with two oranges and some cider.

Posted December 11, 2008, 12:23 am.

Dinner two: a pair of small but strangely filling burritos.

Posted December 10, 2008, 8:12 pm.

An orange.

Posted December 10, 2008, 6:24 pm.

Dinner: bowl of granola with soymilk, mug of hot apple cider.

Posted December 10, 2008, 3:06 pm.

Lunch: more sautéed vegetables with naan and hummus.

Posted December 10, 2008, 10:17 am.

Mid-morning snack: jelly donut and hot cocoa.

Posted December 10, 2008, 7:49 am.

Breakfast: Irish oatmeal with cinnamon, maple syrup, and a sliced fuyu persimmon.

Posted December 9, 2008, 10:09 pm.

Tasted the oatmeal, is good.

Posted December 9, 2008, 8:58 pm.

Had to Google directions for cooking some Irish oatmeal. Letting it cook overnight, hoping it’ll be good tomorrow morning.

Posted December 9, 2008, 7:36 pm.

Dinner: sautéed mushrooms, onions, and zucchini, with naan and hummus.

Posted December 9, 2008, 5:49 pm.

Snack: two almonds, a handful of granola.

Posted December 9, 2008, 1:21 pm.

Lunch: mozzarella and tomatos on focacia with home-made pesto, and a pear.

Posted December 9, 2008, 8:40 am.

Breakfast: two egg omelette with onions and cheddar cheese, 1/2 of a tomato with mozzarella cheese, three pieces of buttered toast with apricot jam.

Posted December 8, 2008, 10:05 pm.

Taste the Self-Obsessed.

It’s a strange thing to read George Orwell’s blog.


Two eggs.

In the morning dust-storms, then fairly heavy rain. The afternoon cold & misty, just like England.

Each post has been pulled from Orwell’s diaries and posted just as it was written seventy years ago. It seems these entries were never intended to be read by anyone else, and often record nothing more than simple happenings in Orwell’s life.


Two eggs.

Nights now are distinctly chilly.

Orwell writes about the seasons, about animals and plants, and about numbers of eggs.


One egg.

Alone, the above entry doesn’t really say much. Seen as part of a whole though, these points of information can resemble something like a personal almanac.

In this spirit, I’ve started another blog. It’s a small, simple, and silly thing to do for my own amusement (and possibly yours as well). I’m going to try to record things that I eat, starting tonight.

I will call it eatmachine.

Posted December 8, 2008, 9:38 pm.

Late snack: one comice pear.

Posted December 4, 2008, 6:09 am.

"Just sweet. Really, really sweet."

“Trying to get fast on the cyclocross course is hard enough. Throw in a marriage and two full-time jobs, and you’ve got a whole new level of complexity – one that has forced a lot of people to make some hard choices. … That’s the recipe for Rhonda and Erik and their boy Gus during this year’s cross season…


…While the rest of his competitors are warming up on trainers and taking practice laps and stretching and focusing on themselves in the thorough way of experienced racers, Erik walks the course with Gus in his arms, interrupted frequently by people who admire his boy, want a little advice on the course or their equipment, or just say hello. Gus and Erik play a game called ‘Let’s stick our tongues out.’ … Erik continues his course wandering, cheering when Rhonda races by, and taking a little time to stretch while Gus climbs over his back.


Rhonda’s race goes fine, but not great. She doesn’t spend much time mulling it over, though. While the other women warm down, Rhonda dashes for the Kona tent, pulls off the muddiest and wettest of her clothes and pulls on a few layers of fleece. Just ten meters away, Erik dresses with Gus at his feet. Gel packets tucked into a short. Chunk of cheese stick in Gus’ mouth. Arms into the skinsuit. Put Gus’ hat back on. Stretch a hamstring. Keep Gus from leaving the relatively dry ground under the tent. Pull on some bike shoes. Put Gus’ hat back on, again. Helmet on. Another cheese stick for the boy, and it’s time to pass him to Rhonda.


‘There were several times during the season when I wondered if it’s really worth the effort,’ says Rhonda one evening after Gus is asleep and before she heads downstairs to do an interval workout on the trainer. ‘But we’ve chosen not to do athletics as our sole purpose. We’re just living life and we’re at the stage in our lives when we wanted to have a child. We still enjoy pushing ourselves in races, though.’

Just another fast family in the city of muddy bike riders.”

Words and photos via the fantastic pdxcross, where you can read and see much more.

Posted December 3, 2008, 8:45 pm.

The Trick.

I’m normally not very good at waking. Alarm clocks fail as soon as my unconscious hands learn to disable them, I mumble and describe my dreams to bed-mates with no recollection the next day, and I often perform sloppy addition and subtraction of minutes in the morning to absolve myself of sleeping in.

There was a period though, during the summer before last, when I rose early and eagerly from bed each day. I was wrenching at a bike shop in San Jose which was about a half an hour’s ride from my mom’s house. For forty-one days straight I would get up, shower, make breakfast, and leave the house before anyone else had woken up. I came home tired, hungry, dirty, and satisfied.

The guest room of my mom’s house had a large window that faced out over the backyard. I remember often waking minutes before my alarm went off, and watching the sun rise over the Northern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The whole room slowly filled with light, and I was awake. I look back on that brief period as one of intense personal productivity.

As seasonal shades of gray descend upon Northern California, I’ve found myself less than motivated to get out of bed and on to my bike in the morning hours before work. For the past few weeks I’ve considered the battleship gray of the morning sky too heavy to move under, and have instead resigned myself to sleeping in as late as I can.

But this morning I tried something different. I went to bed before nine last night, and was able to rise from bed at six this morning. I quickly dressed in wools socks, leg warmers and shorts under cut-off jeans, and my warmest jacket. Leaving my apartment it was as dark outside as it had been the night before when I went to bed.

It seems the trick to getting up early when the sun hides behind clouds, is to rise before the sun. I rode for an hour. The park slowly filled with light, and I was awake.

Gray Skies Over Chico

Posted December 3, 2008, 8:15 am.

"Sometimes just making yourself at home is revolutionary."

“…people who live in absurd places – like construction cranes atop the Burj Dubai, or extremely distant lighthouses, or remote drawbridge operation rooms on the south Chinese coast, or the janitorial supply chambers of inner London high-rises – in order to capture what could be called the new infrastructural domesticity: people who go to sleep at night, and brush their teeth, and shave, and change clothes, and shower, inside jungle radar towers for the French foreign legion, or up above the train tracks of Grand Central Station because their shift starts at 3am and they have to stay close to the job.

How do they decorate these spaces, or personalize them, or make them into recognizable homes?

In fact, consider this an official book proposal – to Penguin, say: a quick, 210-page look at strange inhabitations, like that guy who lived inside a bridge in Chicago, only not some mindless catalog of quirky stories – like, ahem, that guy who lived inside a bridge in Chicago – but profiles of people with amazingly strange jobs who have to sleep in places no one else would even imagine calling home. Down beneath the streets of Moscow in a subway switching HQ in a little bunkbed. Out on the Distant Early Warning Line of the U.S. Arctic military – where it’s just you, a toothbrush, and the Lord of the Rings on DVD. You dream about forests.

Or perhaps there is a suite of individual employee bedrooms in some South Pacific FedEx re-routing warehouse, where long-haul pilots are required by labor law to sleep for ten hours between flights; they come through twice a year, leaving Robert Ludlum paperbacks behind for themselves to read later.

The micro-tactics of dwelling inside strange but temporary homes.”

Via one of my favorite blogs, BLDGBLOG.

Posted December 1, 2008, 6:47 am.

End of November.

Thnksgvng at my mom’s house was nice. We hit up some thrift stores on Friday to equip me for colder months. Pants, pants, woolen things, and some new kicks.

Thnksgvng II was also a treat, Amber & Brad had people over Saturday night to re-stuff with seasonal foods. Brad showed me the 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub he’s hacked into a two-speed fixed with a freewheel in between, geeky stuff.

Went for an Epic ride yesterday. Eight of us left town in the sun and returned well after darkness and cold had set in. At least is wasn’t raining.

(Photo from Q.)

It feels like my legs are taking to the miles pretty well. Plans have been made for some overnights and short tours.

Now it’s December. Doesn’t matter, I was getting pretty sick of ‘08 anyway.

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