Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Beautiful Berkeley Afternoon

Today we took a walk up to North Berkeley for some coffee and a short errand to the grocery store. I couldn't help noticing how lovely everyone's gardens and accent landscaping was looking. It seemed like everything was in bloom. I'm not a gardener but I really appreciate the effort and love people seem to put into their homes –– so much so, I kept forgetting to take pictures.

But here's a couple:

Flowers on Fulton/ near Dwight Way
Along Fulton near Dwight Way.

Flowers on Oxford /near Hurst
Further up Oxford near Haste.

I really liked how the tree looked against the home's chimney.


It was pretty warm and sunny out. A beautiful day as mentioned. It was almost a bit too warm for me. We kept our masks on, and as we walked, I had some trouble breathing. Partly because I've been sitting around the house more than usual for the past 3 months, and partly because of my janky lungs. With the weather so nice, and looser restrictions, maybe more walks are in order.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Re-Emerging


The Shelter at Home for Alameda County is easing up.. Masks/face coverings are still mandatory when out and about or in stores, but we're seeing a loosening in restrictions: just in time for the very important global protests! We'll see how it works out, healthwise. For now, we who can't be in crowds because of health can find other ways of giving our support.

This post is mainly a way for me to ease myself back into blogging. Now the semester is over, things aren't slowing down. Summer 2019, I was looking at participating in 2 MA programs, thinking I could enroll part-time in one program, while enrolled fulltime in another! I am rethinking that!

The pandemic didn't have a lot to do with it, as much as things going on in my family life. School and the COVID19 pandemic just made the stress a LOT worse. Dropping the online course I was taking in another program seemed the only choice I had. Sadly it also meant I had to be willing to take an "F" in a Masters program. In the end, because of the pandemic, we were allowed to petition for a 'credit/ no credit' and that saved me. I'm still on probation in that program (having only taken 1 credit Fall 2019 and passed) but I"m not 'in trouble' so much. It's allowing me time to regroup and focus on the things I need to focus on. 

Since then, our furkid of 18 1/2 yrs passed on (3 weeks ago today) from what the vets thought to be intestinal cancer. Prior to that, we were keeping an eye on a thyroid issue, adjusting medications, and taking turns giving him what often amounted to hourly care. And over the last few years, a very close family member of mine has also been very ill, and increasingly worse. The decision to not put my education on hold seemed a practical choice, knowing the need to make long-distance travel never far out of mind. Hopefully one can imagine how stressful that would be when your community, your state, and most of your country is practicing shelter at home. And while I don't want to discuss the details, suffice to say, no one is traveling right now despite the loosening of restrictions. I'm not planning any trips to theme parks any time soon either. No crowds for me. To be honest, another masked trip to COSTCO a couple weeks ago was anxiety-inducing by the time I got home. 

But I'm busy with school. I'm focusing on my history MA at Hayward. We've been (& continue to be) online-only for now. I have my MA project approved and trying to figure out my research strategies and what sources I'll have available once I get the materials I already have organized. This Fall I'm taking a Public History Practicum course and a Graduate Portfolio course (both online for now.) I still need to keep working on my Public History project due in the Spring. Summer is the time to complete as much as possible. 

I'm also reading for pleasure to alternate the Secondary source material I'll read for my research. I'm stepping away from my online MA program for now, and will likely ask to skip the Spring Semester as well. I think had things gone differently, I may have felt doing both were still feasible. There's a programing course I really was looking forward to taking, but that will have to wait until Summer 2021, I think. As of right now, (with the library & archives/ historical associations being closed) I am feeling unsure how much progress on my project I'll make. I know: Think positive!! Whatever. (I'm really starting to equate the phrase with the annoying suggestion certain people make to others to "Smile!")

The thing I would tell myself if I could go back in time, or if someone asked me if enrolling in two MA programs was possible or a good idea: Yes, it's possible.. but, if you have things going on in your life that may impact your ability to focus on your studies or participate in coursework (especially if the courses meet in person), then you need to give it some thought. Had I known now what I was looking at in the next year, I would have kicked myself and said "You know you don't want to, but YOU HAVE TO WAIT on that other program!"

I am an impatient person though, so I did what I thought was right. Maybe I would still be OK if a pandemic hadn't closed the libraries and historical societies. I know some professors might disagree, but it's been my experience that COVID has really impacted graduate research. But it also makes me feel that now more than ever, digital archives are an important asset. If digital archives were given more funding, more staffing; access to important documents and materials wouldn't be such a desperate issue when things like a hundred-year pandemic crop up. But "who knew?!"  you're probably saying/ thinking. Another consideration is the amount of time, money, and travel for researchers who need access to out of state or overseas resources. And speaking of mobility, there's also those that are mobility impaired. Leaving one's residence isn't always an easy option for many, elderly or not. Why should research become difficult or impossible for some? So yeah, I've been rambling but access is important! 


Back to the blog..  creating a blog will be part of my Graduate Portfolio course I've been told by some of my cohorts. While I won't be posting any of that material here, I think I should get back to blogging, so I can be more comfortable with the interface, (regardless where I end up posting my coursework). Practicing some basic HTML, etc., which means I may do some back-log posting. We'll see. This has become a bit of a novel, so ending for now.  Hoping everyone stays safe and healthy as you go about your day.




Thursday, March 12, 2020

Arizmendi Emeryville Re-Opening

On the 12th of March we grabbed a Getaround to run our COSTCO trip [6 June edit: two days before was my last in-person class & the Shelter At Home was about to go into effect locally] and picked up a pizza from Arizmendi, which had recently re-opened after suffering a fire sometime before. It's no longer our "local" we still love them.

Untitled

(posted 6 June 2020)

Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 Reading Challenge Pt. 2

So far so good.. I was getting nervous for a while as I was several books behind, but then the semester ended, papers came due. Between text assignments and side readings I did in conjunction with my research papers, I was able to stay on track.



We'll see what the Summer Reading accomplishes!

18 of 50:


Graduation 2019



Wow! Been a little busy.. Finally done with my last semester up on the Hayward hill and all I need to do is survive the trial by rain tomorrow.


Got my Mortar Board decorated as best as I can considering I'm not a crafty person... I still need to find a shower cap for it, (they plan to have us walk in the rain).

So, what next?? I've been accepted into the 2 programs I applied for: the History MA program at CSUEB and the MLIS program (iSchool) at SJSU. It's important to me to know I have bigger, solid goals in my near future. Things to look forward to.. to push me forward. 



"never tire to study... and to teach others.."  ...Confucius

Summer plans include:
1. sleeping
2. getting some much needed exercise/walking in
(too much stress eating this last semester!)
3. making as much of a dent in my TBR piles
4. cleaning the house.. basically used home as a crash pad this past semester.
5. organizing my bookshelves & updating my "Delicious Library" inventory
6. Volunteering at the library or Historical Society
(if they'll have me after 2yrs off)

Not sure how much of this I'll do.. but it's good to have goals!

Monday, January 21, 2019

2019 Reading Challenge


Hurray! I managed my 5 books in 5 weeks challenge.. (from the 18th of December to the 18th of January 2019) these also included a few that got counted to last year's reading challenge.. Between books I started at the end of the school year, as well fresh books at the end of the year.. I got a total of 10 books finished over the break.. 5 in the old year, and 5 in the new..

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 10.09.43 PM

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 10.19.50 PM

I went ahead & upped my reading challenge for this year to 50 which I was unable to do last time I tried, so we'll see. I don't seem to have near as many texts to read for my courses this Spring (but I also have a short thesis paper (20pgs) to do so we'll see!)


I'll also try to post more here than just reading challenges. I broke my toe around Thanksgiving and only now starting to talk some walks and get out & about.. I definitely need the exercise.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2018/2019 Reading Challenge!


So I got in about 52 of my 40 book challenge for 2018:
2018 Reading Challenge 1

2018 Reading Challenge 2

2018 Reading Challenge 3

Several were for school of course.. and while I have a few I am reading right now on break (I hope to do 5 books in 5 weeks which should work as I've read 3 already) I am being ambitious or crazy and upping my count to 50 for 2019.. Maybe I'll have better luck in getting some Summer reading in...

**

I am currently reading
"The Land of Orange Groves and Jails: Upton Sinclair's California" edited by Lauren Coodley
"Why I am a Hindu" by Shashi Tharoor

and hope to read:
"Incarnations: India in 50 Lives" by Sunil Khilnani (fwiw I enjoyed "The Idea of India" very much! I thought it explained the politics of India better than a text I had to read for one of my classes, so I'm keeping it to read again)

"The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity" by Amartya Sen

and hope to finish Diana Eck's "India: A Sacred Geography" (it's a bit of a slog for me honestly, and I'm not retaining much) but I may have better luck with John Keay's "India: A History" which I also left stranded over the Fall semester. This book reads much better and has a lot of the cross-discipline research that I appreciate. Am unsure if 'finishing' books you start last year (that weren't started in the last week) count but what the heck. I need all the help I can get.

I notice it's become harder for me to just relax and read unless it's for an assignment. There's a guilt attached to pleasure reading I never used to have.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Shattuck Sliver


Had arrived at the Downtown BART to run errands and took a shot of Sliver.. the entrance beckons but the relocated pizzeria is awaiting final approvals and all.

Shattuck Sliver

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Black Tie on Telegraph


My Peet's app had a free birthday drink offer which would expire on the 22nd. So happened to visit the Telegraph & Dwight location with only a couple days to spare.
Birthday "Black Tie"

Peet's on Telegraph


Telegraph Ave from the bus shelter near Dwight:
Untitled

Saturday, August 18, 2018

2018 Reading Challenge IV

Where did the time go??
Reading Challenge (AUG)

I am about 10 books ahead of schedule, (not sure if GRE vocab cards should count as a book so not really counting that) but I barely put a dent in the STACKS of books I had waiting for me to read this Summer break. I can't say I spent the weeks doing much of anything but relexing and catching up on all the sleep I was missing out on this past school year.

I don't expect that I will get to read much outside of school-related things for a while here on out, but I will keep at it!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Oori Rice Triangles


I spent Friday failing most my GRE exam, and when we got back to the East Bay I was super hungry having not dared to leave the testing area to have a snack (it takes some time to wait to sign out & sign back in I observed while waiting to sign in to take my test).

Oori Rice Triangles

Oori Rice Triangles had opened a while ago and so I was finally getting around to checking it out. It's a short walk up College from the Rockridge BART station (near Claremont). One of the things that made me wary of places like this is that the rice triangles are wrapped in nori. I don't eat fish of any kind, nor do I eat seaweed. I wasn't sure if I would find something I would want to order, but fortunately, they had plates (small and large).

I ordered a *small* rice plate with Teriyaki Chicken:
Chicken Teriyaki RIce Plate (small)
It's a simple dish that is served with shelled edamame. It was plenty of food and I was filled up. I think this is the sort of meal I should have head before heading to the testing center.

SeanYoda was with me and ordered the "3 Meat Plate" which was about $10.95 and was a choice of 3 types of meat served over rice:
3 meat Sampler plate
He went with the Chicken as well as the Short Rib and Spicy Pork. He let me try his Short Rib and the Spicy Pork and I liked the Short Rib best of the three. The flavor was really good and a bonus was that the bones had been removed. I would probably order the small plate with Spare Rib next time.

SeanYoda said he'd give the Rice Triangles a go next time.

Drinks are from a cooler as well as water and hot tea.