Couldn’t Have Said it Better Myself

Posted in Americana, Charlotte on September 6th, 2006 by Дмитрий

Anonymous said

We are a post-industrial city with few decent links to the past. Charlotte never had an abundance of interesting architecture that often accompanied old buildings in places like Pittsburgh, Louisville and even Cleveland. Cotton mill owners weren’t that into city beautiful movements.

That being said, the chain mentality has already won. Look at ANY new development in the last 10 years and you’ll find the sorry template of Grocery store, nail salon, sandwich shop, cell phone outlet, ice cream parlor and maybe a coffeehouse. With the exception of the nail salon, they are all chains. For good or for ill, we like standardization. We like the predictability of new development. Go to Birkdale on a weekend and you’ll see it writ large. Faux urbanism packaged in mass consumption and a mega security apparatus. Charlotte is the future.

Busy Busy Busy

Posted in About Me on September 24th, 2006 by Дмитрий

You all have much more entertaining lives than I, so be grateful that I’ve spared you mine until this recap:

  • July: worked a lot in SF. Visited niece in Fresno. Helped sister move to new house and childproof it. Spent 10 days at home the entire month, one day spent cleaning, two days spent doing yard-work, one day spent having a housewarming party with the in-laws.
  • August: Worked a lot in SF. Visited niece some more. Why is it that I feel so annihilated after work there? All I do is go back to my hotel, gulp down some Taco Bell and go to sleep - EVERY NIGHT! I am losing half of my lfe to this job - why do I do it? Spent a little over 2 weeks at home, did lots of yard-work, poured a foundation for my patio.
  • September: Worked a little in SF (I go back on the 28th). More dullness there. Spent Labor Day weekend at the parents’ place in SLO with sis and niece in tow. Relaxing, lots of reading (Florence King, Francis Fukuyama, Poppy Z Brite, old Dragonlance stuff). Came home and have spent the past two weeks laying a brick patio, planting trees and shrubs, and enjoying my last chance at doing yard-work before next year.

The coming months will be almost entirely on the road:

  • October: I work in SF the first two weeks, come home for one day, then hubby and I go on a two-week road trip to Chicago and Toronto, with side trips to Cincinnati, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Back home for one day then back to SF for the first 2 weeks of Nov.
  • November: Two weeks in SF, then home for a week, then back to Cali for a week of Thanksgiving fun with the family - this time hubby is actually coming to Cali with me, yay! We will be in SF for 3 days, Fresno 3 days, then hubby heads back home while I stay on to prepare for 2 more weeks of work in SF.
  • December: Free at last! After 2 weeks of work in SF, I get to spend the rest of the month at home!Home for the holidays. A whirlwind of shopping, decorating, catching up, etc. Hopefully my house won’t be too angry that I’m only spending 10 days with it over both Oct & Nov.
  • We’re thinking of a trip to the beach (Myrtle/Wilmington) for New Years, and in January I start a new schedule (new contract) in SF, which should hopefully mean more time at home, less time on the road. Hopefully around or after the holidays I can also plan a trip down to Charlotte to visit my buds there - I was thinking another breakfast gathering at Landmark or something.

So that’s MurderingLife.

Arbeiten 2007

Posted in Travel, Work on September 29th, 2006 by Дмитрий

I have renewed my contract with my San Fancisco client for another year. It has been mostly in my favor - I will be working a more regular schedule, and the travel will be reduced by a couple days per month. In return I cut my fee by a small amount and have to find some innovative ways to be a bit more effective a manager when working from home.

While the travel has been tough, and especially since we bought a home it’s sapped a lot of my enthusiasm for leisure travel, the job is really familiar to me and the work so flexible and lucrative I just can’t pass it up as long as it remains on the table…

With a little more discipline, I should be able to spend 2007 saving money again, and maybe actually paying more toward our mortgage than the minimums eventually. I always say I want to get out of debt (with the exception of the mortgage), and I really want 2007 to be the year I do that.

Anyway, here’s to another year of hotels, aeroplanes, public transit and too little time at home. Maybe I’ll make an extra effort to have some fun in SF rather than just being bored or sad about it.

Alameda

Posted in Travel, Urbanism on September 30th, 2006 by Дмитрий

Alameda is a really strange place, by Bay Area standards.

It’s not outrageously expensive, considering its geography and the quality of housing on offer. It has a vast amount of undeveloped space and thus a healthy reserve for future growth, thanks to a dead naval air station on the northern half of the island. It is incredibly affluent and low-density and suburban, but at the same time probably the most integrated city I’ve ever seen on the West Coast (most Southerners don’t quite understand just how segregated the West Coast is: we never had a real civil rights movement and mandated busing and such, so de facto segregation is far more pervasive here).

I like Alameda. It really does have everything. The fact that it is for the most part a middle-to-upper income suburb of San Francisco is only half of the equasion which is completed by the fact that it is an island just off from West Oakland, and thus has a healthy migration of the Bay Area’s rising black middle class coming to live here. It is wonderful to go to the taqueria and listen to the Asian girls with the Valley Girl accents order a Grande Burrito, rolling their “R’s” perfectly. The diversity and social cohesion were surely aided by the place’s military roots, with a large portion of the population being retired and former military and their families. It seems to function quite well.

If it were anywhere else in the world, I would love to live here. As it is, I’ll accept it as my part-time home whilst I try my best to forget that I’m spending almost half my life in the Bay Area. Alameda helps me pretend that way. It’s an island in more ways than one.

Burn Baby Burn

Posted in About Me on September 30th, 2006 by Дмитрий

I honestly don’t understand people who like putting themselves into intentionally adverse conditions. I especially don’t understand people who intentionally put themselves into social conditions in adverse places. Thus, I’ve never understood camping and hiking, let alone Street Fairs or Burning Man.

I have lots of friends who just love street fairs, camping, Burning Man, DragonCon, etc. But I don’t understand y’all. I get sociopathic just going to a movie theatre. How on Oerth did people enjoy motion pictures before the invention of home video, I ask you?

Sigh. I get more anthrophobic every day, I fear. How long can I continue working in an office full of people without having panic attacks every morning? Hell is other people…