Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday in the City

Sunday we headed back to the city to see Star Wars The Force Awakens (in IMAX) with SeanYoda's mom. I managed a few photos from our day before my phone battery died again..
St. Patrick's
St Patrick's across the street from the Metreon.

After lunch at the nearby Mel's, we took a sightseeing tour of the city from the Zipcar... I was awake for the Great Highway/ Ocean Beach portion:

Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach

Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park with Windmill..

Mt Sutro  & Sutro Tower
Sutro Tower as seen from the Great Highway.

We hit up the Public Library for a bit where I was able to pick up my hold books before we ran out of time, as well check out the installations on the PPIE and the WWII in the Philippines.

The sun was setting as we headed back to the EastBay..
pretty pink and rose sky..

Finally.. the Bay Bridge set against the fading light..

and the old span..
old span..

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Lafayette Park

Christmas Day in the City..

Lafayette Park 2
Lafayette Park renovation all finished since we last visited.. photo courtesy ©SeanYoda Rouse

view from across the park..
Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge viewed from South of Lafayette Park.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Baking

something from scratch, something from a mix!

Coffee Cookies take 2
Coffee Cookies made from scratch..

This is my 2nd attempt at making these.. the first didn't come out near as good (more like brownie brittle.) Recipe calls for 1 cup flour & 1 cup sugar, a cube of butter, 1 egg, and 1/4 tsp of baking soda.. and finally 2 tblsp. of instant coffee.

Cookies still came out flat (despite putting batter in the fridge for a few hours) but at least they taste alright.

Pumpkin Spice Bread (mix)
Pumpkin Spice Bread..

Usually I use a Krusteaz mix from Costco, but SeanYoda brought home a different mix*.. This one doesn't seem to have nuts.. It didn't rise as much as I expected, and I haven't tried it yet.. (don't plan to until my second loaf is finished baking..) You can make a cream cheese frosting for it but I usually serve it without anything. People can put butter or maybe a fruit spread on it if they want, I suppose.

I'll bring these to Christmas Dinner at Sean's older brother's place in the city..

*"Wild Roots" Organic Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix

Merry Christmas (Eve)

Happy Holidays!

Just in case I forget to update.. hoping everyone has a lovely Christmas, however you do or don't celebrate..

"This is as posed as I get people!"

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Walking in SoMa

some mural/graf Art seen on Howard St. today while walking to Costco..

1137 Howard.. Mural

raccoon in a boat
the above were outside 1137 Howard Street next to a print shop..

SoMa art
further up the street.. a different building that had several pieces on it..

There was lots to take images of regarding street or mural style art but my phone was dying by the afternoon.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Shiba Ramen

Shiba Ramen
Shiba Ramen was still soft opening its location in the Emeryville Public Market as we stopped in on a rainy Friday night.

By the time we showed up they were down to only a couple servings of ramen and sides. We were able to get an order of Miso Ramen and an order of gyoza and their Shiba Wings..

Miso Ramen 2

the gyoza was gyoza.. very lightly fried and tasty but you know, it's gyoza.. serving was perfect for sharing.

now for the most amazing thing we had.. the Shiba Wings:
Shiba Wings
What you can't tell from the photo is the light honey sprinkled goodness.. and when you bite into the wings, OMGz the juiciness! So good.. I was suggesting we get a couple order of these whenever possible just to take home.

As it was they closed while we were eating as they had sold out of EVERYTHING! (not surprising!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

California Theatre

Something's coming soon..
Star Wars The force Awakens
As seen on my way home from school.. The neon beckoned to me, as it does.. and of course once you stop, you'll notice that SW: The Force Awakens can be seen in downtown Berkeley,(just in case you needed to know another place it was showing.) ;)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Heyday on University

Today was the annual Heyday Books holiday sale.. I think this might be a regular thing for me (what with attending 2 years in a row now!) and since they publish some really great books, whatever you get will be a good choice. SeanYoda went with me, thinking that he'd keep me from over-shopping, but he found some titles he wanted too.. Suffice to say I walked home with a nice haul of books to read in the new year..

Heyday Holiday Sale 2015

I went specifically to pick up a copy of LAtitudes and So Far From Home: Russians in Early California but as you can tell, I ended up with a lot more to add to my little home library of California interests! I'm especially happy to finally have my own copy of All of Us or None as I have really enjoyed reading all of Lincoln Cushing's poster art books previously, including this one.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Berkeley Tree

Branches reaching up to the sky..
just a little bit of Fall color.. seen on my walk.
Random Tree

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Happy Hanukkah

to friends & family that celebrate.. wishing you a Happy Hanukkah..
Hanukkah Cookies at Saul's!
Hanukkah Cookies from Saul's Saturday night..

Friday, December 04, 2015

Cats of Berkeley


South Berkeley Kitty
Helios (aka Potsticker) who I hear does not live at this address.. (and neither do I.) He does have good taste in porches, IMHO.

Fog on the Hills

Fall Colors and morning fog in the Berkeley Hills as seen from Ashby Ave.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Holiday Lights in South Berkeley

Three homes on a corner in South Berkeley all lit up for the holidays..
Derby St.  holiday lights
Fulton & Derby.. as seen on my walk this evening,(not my corner,btw..)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

It's been a nice quiet Thanksgiving.. The DH was again the founder (and chef) of the feast! We started the day with the Macy's Parade (which I couldn't make it through and managed to find "Sweeney Todd" just as it was starting! This seemed like the perfect thing.. a musical that included songs about making meat pies stuffed with people, whereas we were working on stuffing ourselves.

Sweeney Todd for T-day
Sweeney Todd (w/ Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin)

We also managed to take the time to clear off an episode of "Survivor" and "Star Wars Rebels." Some football was viewed but I managed to not pay attention to it.. I was busy eating pie.

SeanYoda ended up purchasing more than we actually ended up eating: crackers, cranberry goat cheese, pickle salad, potatoes (for mashing), onions, cornbread stuffing mix, gravy, fresh cranberry sauce, a whole smoked turkey, and pumpkin pie.

The pie went into the oven first:
freshly baked pie

The smoked turkey ($30 from Berkeley Bowl) needed to stay in the oven about two hours to reheat:
Smoked Turkey
the meat was very tender..

We have lots of meat leftover for sandwiches, soup, and omelets (he picked up eggs too) and the bones will go to make a soup stock.

Tj's Cornbread Stuffing

Tday Dinner!
Dinner all put together! Smoked Turkey, Stuffing (w/gravy) and cranberry sauce.

and dessert of course!(a couple hours later)
slice of pie

Thanksgiving is an American (and Canadian!) holiday.. The American day of giving thanks was officially made a nataional holiday by President Lincoln in 1863, but was celebrated in various states throughout history.. It often harkens back to Protestantism and giving spiritual thanks for the harvest. So many times the Pilgrims are dragged up as inspiration for Thanksgiving,(and they had plenty to be thankful for what with the local Native Americans saving them from going the way of early Jamestown.)

My experience of Thanksgiving as a child has always been a family holiday infused with religious doctrine (my dad's side of the family was/is Dutch Reformed or Protestant) As I've gotten older I've been able to experience the holiday as the secular day of family, friends, food, and fall festivities.

Today it seems most American Thanksgiving focuses on the food.. I can well imagine a world today that sees America as voracious in all things. In its most ideal, Americans come together as family and friends to share food and company, not unlike the winter holidays. Taking time to slow down and enjoy the time together. There's no wrong way to celebrate.. or not. Many of our family & friends live far off, so phone calls,"face time," emails or texts (or tweets!) are in order.

Yes there is the binge eating, and the 'turkey coma'..but we joke about it and move on, (and not everyone does turkey.. some do tofu, others tamales, others lamb, or duck, or chicken..It's not about what you eat, it's more that you're not eating alone if you can help it. And you take the time to think about the people and things that give your life meaning,(or at least you are thankful for), and the people who probably who aren't as fortunate as yourself.. gratitude, grace, and thankfulness.

Thanksgiving 2015 flickr set

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One Cat Family Now

my little boy..

toe attack..
while he doesn't help me sleep,

and he's terrible at helping me with my homework..
My Maths Tutor!
in fact, he'd rather park himself on my textbooks & notes than meow the answers to me..

He does miss me & greets me at the door whenever I come home from being out on a walk or at school:

I'm thinking to create a new blog to put all those cat pix.. old and new.. starting back in Sept 10th, 2001 when Alexander first came to us as a 3 week old kitten (we're eventually letting our website lapse.. so where to host those cat pix??) and honestly, these are a bit more personal than I wanted to put here.. but he (and his sister while she was with us)is definitely a good part of the good stuff in my life here in Berkeley, and what makes life livable for me.. and a better Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2015

San Francisco Public Library

Spending some time in the City earlier today.. I checked out the Main Branch library this afternoon, (and got a library card before I headed out.) The first thing I saw when I walked in was this lovely glass domed skylight.. I was like "Wait a minute!"

SF Public Library Main Branch

I wasn't supposed to be thinking about maths today! =) ..and yet I was:
(the skylight had me thinking of an old book..)

The next thing I noticed was the sheer size and contrasting newness while all around was the unmistakable smell of musty old books.

stairs.. there's some 6 floors..

here at the entry you cross over a bridge of sorts and look down onto the first floor:
SF Main Branch Library

I made sure to get a library card before I headed out. They didn't have the book I wanted to checkout but I could place a hold order but would rather not make a special trip to the city just to borrow a book,(unless it's a really good book!) Yeah, I'm lazy like that. ;)

The sun was starting to fade.. time to go home! I couldn't leave without a photo of one of the Market Streetcars..
Chase Bank on Market