Monday, September 26, 2005

American Idiot

This weekend's soundtrack is brought to you by Green Day.
Sit around and watch the tube but, nothing's on
Change the channels for an hour or two
Twiddle my thumbs just for a bit
I'm sick of all the same old shit

Last week was a long week at work, so by the time I got home on Friday I was ready to collapse on the couch as usual. But Andrew thought we ought to go out and Do Something. We ended up in Berkeley with Agi and Bryan for an evening of drunken Monopoly. I lost, as usual, but drank at least four different kinds of wine.
I don't need your authority
Down with the moral majority
Cause I want to be the minority

On Saturday I went to Webzine, which is an excuse to hang out with bloggers, independent publishers, and assorted other folks dressed in black with various body piercings and a distaste for mainstream media. It was super fun. There was a panel on the "adult industry" which I went to because, hey, free porn, which turned out to be an actual serious discussion of a bizarre accounting regulation designed to put porn redistributors out of business by making them keep lots of paperwork on all the actors. It was surreal but pretty neat. (Andrew, Bryan, and Agi spent the day at the Love Parade, where presumably they got to see more naked people and fewer texts of bills before the senate).

After Webzine, I figured my ankle was in good enough shape to make it back to SBC Park to meet Andrew. I'd been taking it easy this week - I even drove to work twice instead of biking - and the swelling had gone down to the point where it looked like a normal ankle. Anyway, it turns out to be about a three mile walk, but it was a beautiful clear afternoon, so I took it slow and all was well.
Don't wanna be an American idiot
Don't want a nation under the new mania
And can you hear the sound of hysteria
The subliminal mindfuck America
"American Idiot"

I met Andrew at SBC Park for the Green Day concert. I'd never seen them in concert before, so this was a fantastic experience. The stadium was sold out, and I think all 47,000 people knew the words to the songs. When the band came out I thought I saw this look on Billie Joe's face like he was maybe a little taken aback by the intensity and size of the home crowd... there were at least four generations of fans there. Cool moms with their mohawked 7-year olds, punks my age, grandfathers smoking pot with teenagers. I always like watching the sunset at SBC Park but it's even better set to rock music. The last time I went to a stadium-type concert was maybe five years ago, when I saw The Offspring in LA, and the first thing that jumped out at me is the evidence of advances in cell phone technology in the intervening five years. So five years ago at a concert you'd hold up a lighter during the slow songs - but now you hold up your cell phone because it has a bright color LCD that's more visible. The sight of tens of thousands of cell phone lights held up to Boulevard of Broken Dreams is quite a sight to behold.

After the concert we went to go find Agi and Bryan again (who had an adventure involving a trip to San Mateo and back), and scored some tasty fudge before heading back home.

Take away the sensation inside,
Bittersweet migraine in my head ...
"Give Me Novocaine"

Sunday morning was tough. But we'd made an appointment to go look at some houses, so we got up and went. We've been sort of looking for a house for a long time, in the sense of flipping through real estate magazines and thinking that nothing really looked like what we wanted. It was a recent decision to narrow things down from "Northern California, or maybe Manhattan, or that nice village in France" to "urban San Francisco, maybe Noe Valley". But we'd been referred to an agent last week, who offered to show us around some places in Noe Valley. We saw five houses on Sunday. One, which Andrew affectionally refers to as 'Giles's house', made us feel like we'd have to be fifty years old and sipping sherry in the library to live there. Two others were a little too close to the busy parts of Haight Ashbury, although they looked really nice. The fourth had lots of potential but had been decorated as a complete 1975 period piece, down to the mirrors and leather bar. But the fifth place was perfect. Huge, new construction, great views, some parking, really nice flow to the interior, even a backyard. Absolutely not even in the same league as the other ones.

So we decided to put in a bid on it. Because how often do you find the perfect house?
Starry nights city lights,
Coming down over me,
Skyscrapers and stargazers,
In my head

Are we we are, are we we are,
The waiting, unknown
"Are We the Waiting"

Today I was checking my cell phone as often as I could, hoping for some news on the bid. I had a whole morning of interviewing to do, so I'd get to check my phone once an hour or so in between candidates. Andrew was able to finalize the negotiations in the morning and by the afternoon we'd gotten all the contracts signed.

Now I just have to learn everything I need to know about disclosures and inspections in the next ten days. And figure out what I'm going to do with all that new space. I guess I'm one lucky American Idiot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New softball season

The new softball season started this week. We play in a coed corporate league in Sunnyvale - most of the opponents are dot-commers like ourselves. The coed league is pretty casual, with a heavy emphasis on having a good time and occasionally drinking beer. This time our team is pretty good - some folks are super fast, and some folks can hit the ball really well, and mostly we catch things and don't drop them. Me, I can usually figure out where to hit grounders to sneak a base hit past the infield, and I do OK at first base.

So it was a good omen that we won our game tonight. Except that I forgot how to slide. Sort of. I mean, I remember how to slide, but I started to slide when I heard "down", and then tried to stand up a moment later when I heard "no, stand up", and the end result was that I tripped sideways over third base in what I'm sure was a hilarous display of lack of coordination, and landed the wrong way on my ankle. My ankle felt OK after a few minutes so I played the rest of the game (taking it easy). But by the time I got back home my ankle had swollen up and driving the car wasn't much fun. I sure won't be biking in to work tomorrow. I'll have to find some time to squeeze in a visit to the doctor between meetings tomorrow to make sure I haven't done something really bad to it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Ahh... it's good to be back in California. This was sort of a tough week at work, so it was great to unwind this weekend. On Friday we went to see the Giants play the Dodgers, and ate hot dogs and beer while watching the Giants barely pull out victory in the bottom of the 9th. (Barry Bonds hit his first home run of the season - number 704 - and we were so close to catching a foul ball.) On Saturday we ate a gigantic salad at the Cheesecake Factory (free refills on Cokes! yay!), went to the gym, and spent most of the night at the poker room. Today I read the Sunday Times and played with the ferrets. It's good to be home.