Ibarra. Thanks for being hard.

No, it’s just Mexican hot chocolate.

During my AP spanish class in high school, we went on a field trip to the Mission district in San Francisco. It was my first time there despite living outside San Francisco my entire life. I saw the murals and loved the Mexican groceries. At the end of the field trip, we were allowed to wander several blocks of the Mission. I went into a grocery by myself and bought myself tortilla pancakes (which I never finished) for under a dollar. I loved the serendipity.

Today, despite it being in the high forties in San Francisco, I took an evening walk along the Mission and Valencia. My hat was probably too large for me and nearly covered my eyes as I walked along the Mission. Accosted by a homeless man asking how old I was (18? he asked) and what ethnicity I was (Creole?). And wandering into Therapy and always wandering out empty-handed. Staring into the expensive furniture stores and that wonderful Hideo bag store with $2000 suitcases. And somehow I found myself at another Mexican grocery store. Ibarra Hot Chocolate. With wedges that I could not break off, despite sawing it with my roommate’s fancy knives. Why were you so hard, Ibarra?

(There is a reason why I dislike having blog titles.)

Thanksgiving SMS

On Thanksgiving day, I received a number of SMS from friends ranging from “Happy Thanksgiving” to “Gobble gobble” to “Murder those turkeys!”

It’s an example of viral spread. 20 people would receive a sms and then they would send the sms to 20 of their friends and so forth. But inherently, it’s nearly an anonymous impersonal message. Granted, I should feel thankful that I was selected among the many people in one’s phone book to receive the txt msg.

But then again, maybe I should wait until xmas or new years and see…

A silent deathlike failure

On Monday night, I inserted my roommate’s Julietta Venegas latest album into my powerbook. Then it immediately rejected it–spitting the cd back out. I tried five more times but to no avail. I thought that it was just a badly formatted cd.

But today, I inserted my Under the Influence of Giants cd. At first, I heard that satisfying growl and waited for the spinning woosh. Nothing. Nothing on my powerbook desktop. Nothing. I calmly hit the eject button. Nothing. Again. Trying to contain my panic, I paused for a minute and hit the eject button. It finally spit back out. But then I immediately forgot my panic and stuffed it in again in hope.

45 minutes later (and a nice journey into the macworld of troubleshooting), I sadly had to declare my powerbook’s optical drive to be dead. Eris (the powerbook) wasn’t even 3 years old yet!

Bus Riding

One of the major scenes in 40 days, 40 nights takes place on the muni buses of San Francisco. They ride up and down the hills, watching as passengers get on and off. It’s romantic, it’s different…

But buses like other crowded public spaces are often the place where we are allowed to interact at a different level with others. We aren’t expected to speak with others. It’s ok to stare outside. But perhaps you might run into someone you know. A pleasant conversation that may or may not last too long.

A few months ago, I used to run into someone over and over again when I took the bus home when I had barely seen him before. Was it fate? Was it coincidence? Regardless, it allowed us to talk. And I got to learn from him, things that would have never happened if we didn’t happen to be riding the bus together.

Today, I took the bus to the Marina district on an adventure to find good Indian food (something I miss about Pittsburgh). Along the way and along the way back, I missed the way I used to ride the buses in Pittsburgh. The way I would find an open seat right in front of him. Sitting down, I would smile and laugh to myself, knowing that the bus is too loud right now to speak. He would be smiling at me, almost laughing, perhaps reading papers or a book. Sometimes I would get off the stop before he did and say “see you later” even if we didn’t have a conversation. And I would walk to the front, saying thank you to the driver, and stepping out into the brilliant sunlight.

Pet Peeve #67

Maybe it was number 6 or 7. But I know I must have written about it many times.

But today my major pet peeve is…

when people do not return my emails. No, you don’t need to respond to every email I send you. Rather if I ask you a question, return it. Especially if it’s a time-sensitive question.

Then again, I remember someone asked me if I wanted to meet him for ui feedback a few weeks ago by email the following Saturday afternoon. I said sure and asked him when and where. I didn’t get a response. I should have trusted my instincts and not try, but instead I called him on Saturday morning asking whether we were still meeting.

That was a shout-out to the dense guy.

Trading in control for size

I just realized that my new canon sd630 doesn’t allow me to control the shutter speed and aperture.

Even though the sXX series was clunky and unsleek, they allowed me to be a professional without being a professional. A poseur perhaps. But now, I am stuck with a canon elph camera that I can now sneak into shows. Not that it matters since everyone has a camera on their cellphone anyway.

Concert #5 in the last 2 months

Different crowds, different music.

Spontaneously, I went to a concert tonight with my roommate. Julieta Venegas with the opening act Los Abandoned. It was strange to be in a mellow setting when I have been going to mostly indie rock concerts filled with hipsters and that faint smell of pot. The scene was a mix–clean and particularly dry–lots of people (not just couples) singing along to Spanish songs. The always-present razrs opening to take pictures not because there won’t be many pictures online later, but because they take the pictures right there and it belongs to them.

It was a contrast to my experience at Riottt at Bill Graham last week. Where I kept running into people I knew. Where we sat up on the second floor because we were tired of standing. Where Girl Talk made a big fuss about having 9 minutes to perform (organizers were trying to make up time) and invited everyone on stage. Where I felt deaf afterwards. Where not every single song was danceable. And some songs were about screaming and not singing. Where Weird Science remixed songs (including the Arcade Fire and Bloc Party) and had dancers on stage. Where Emily Haines of Metric rocked out like never before…

But I still enjoyed Julieta Venegas. Who knew that a song about a guy she likes who isn’t perfect….is great con límon y sal?