peets.jpgTazo tea is yummy. They make several delicious varieties including China Green Tips, which is the best green tea you can get in a bag. I was very happy for a while when I discovered this. But then, lo and behold, I found out that Starfucks owns Tazo, and this disturbed me.
starfucks

Then I thought, hell, we buy Peet’s coffee almost exclusively. Once upon a time, Peet was just a local chain but now it seems to be as ubiquitous as Starfucks. Why do we think one is good and the other evil? Is there any difference?

Yes, there is. Despite its growth, Peet’s is still primarily in California and only has 200 stores. Since I live in CA, it seems like Peet’s is as ubiquitious as Starfucks, but apparently this is only an illusion. Starfucks, on the other hand, is in 40 countries and has something like 6500 stores. It’s also the hotbed of controversy, in everything from union busting to anti-semitic attacks. (One thing I have never associated Starfucks with is Jews, but should have guess it was part of the secret cabal. Which, BTW, I’m still waiting for my invitation to global domination).

On the plus side again for Peet’s, it operating “the only completely green roasting facility in the world” right here in Alameda.

So, although Peet’s is a chain, it is far superior to Starfucks, which is why I am completely justified in calling the latter by a juvenile name.

‘Nough said.

I was searching online for articles about how to safely drive a convertible. It seems that most “safety tips” are along the lines of “wear sunscreen” and “birds poop in open convertibles.” I guess there’s no real difference in driving them. But I did run across this blog posting about how driving a convertible makes you an asshole* which I found rather amusing. Of course, driving a Geo convertible does NOT have this affect, since they are too cute to cause such personality disorders.

BTW, you may have noticed that I have made a new nerge category just for the Geo called nergeo metro.

*Be sure to read the comments on this post.

Maurice SendakI read this interview with Maurice Sendak in Newsweek and found it absolutely hysterical. When he talks about the source for the monsters of Where the Wild Things Are — his relatives from the old country — I recalled my own experiences being poked and prodded by relatives under the guise of affection. Those old cousins *were* a little scary. And I suppose my own urges to pinch and squeeze others affectionately is the last remnant of the dead culture of the shtetl. The next generation of American Jews have lost all the strangeness of the ancestors.

Here’s the interview.

I got to see this guy dance at the EP fuckin-A today as part of the Native American Heritage Month Celebration. We sat in a circle with the drum in the center, which was played by a husband and wife. Let me tell you, this dance is unbelievable when it’s right in front of you. All the singer and dancers taught us so much. It was hard to go back to our desks.

Since I’m with K for the rest of my existence, I no longer have foolish love affairs. And being pet-free, I no longer adopt irresistibly cute animals who prove to have behavior problems or psychological disorders. Apparently, though, it’s a basic human need to behave in a fool-hardy manner from time to time. And so, K and I bought a very cute car, site unseen, with no idea yet how much this car is really going to cost us.

But hey, it gets 45 mpg. It’s a Geo! CONVERTIBLE!

K and I have decided that convertibles are much better than motorcycles. Compare my new Geo Metro with my old 1983 Kawasaki GPZ550:

You don’t have to wear a helmet — so you can look up and see the sky
You can sit side by side with cute people you know while they look cool
You can play the radio
It’s got a nice heater
It’s got an airbag

We have named it the Red Hot Chili Pepper and Ziggy Stardust. Two names because it so rules!

One of the mysteries of life is grief. For as many times as I’ve experienced it, it’s never been the same at all. Sometimes it feels like running into a brick wall; sometimes it feels like slowly sinking into a swamp; sometimes it’s like being stung, in long intervals, by a swarm of bees. Sometimes you want a shrine and countless physical reminders of the one who is gone; sometimes you don’t want to see any sign of them.

Chanan Feld I lost an old friend recently to cancer. He was someone that I was no longer close to, but had once spent a good deal of time with. I would also bump into him at least once a year. Over the years, I watched his pitch-black beard turn to gray and then head for white. When I heard several weeks ago that he had died, I didn’t have a strong reaction. I was just stunned.

Every now and then, though, I think “Am I really never going to see Chanan again?” and I feel so incredibly sad. I can hear his voice so clearly. He was just someone who was always around, joking with me. Lots of people loved him, he was that kind of person.

grandmaYesterday I was at the DMV and saw a girl helping her old grandma get her ID renewed. A few year’s ago, I took K’s grandma to the DMV for the same thing. This old woman even resembled K’s grandma with her straight bob haircut and no makeup. I felt like crying looking at her. It’s been several months since we lost grandma… I still forget she’s gone sometimes. You know, in those split seconds here and there when I think of something funny she would say. Lots of people loved her, she was that kind of person.

It’s hard when the world loses the lovable ones.

You’d think now that we’ve all been through the nothingness that was Y2K, people would have learned their lesson about apocalyptic predictions. To whit: they are quite obviously bullshit.

The Y2K frenzy started getting whipped up early on in the 1980s, and many of us gleefully danced to Prince’s “1999” as a song commemorating the end times. 1999 seemed like a million years away, so if the world were to end then, so be it — we’d go out partying.

Man, that does look like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

Then it was actually the 1999, and everyone started to believe the world really was going to end, or some massive apocalyptic crap was about to erupt. The fact that much computer code was created with allowing for four-digit years added to the panic. I was a coder at the time (back then I was called a “computer programmer”), and I had a hard time convincing the company I was working for that converting the company computer systems to allow for the year 2000 was not a big deal. I don’t think they believed me until the computer network didn’t explode January 2, 2000.

But, humans evidently prefer to be in a state of fear and panic, because less than a decade later, they are getting all freaked out 2012. Ya know, the year the Mayan calendar ends. There are those who believe that they ended the calendar to coincide with the end of earth.

During our morning commute, K and I noticed a lenticular cloud hovering over Mount Tamalpais, which we couldn’t recall having seen previously. This immediately brought to mind K’s Mom who, when she sees these clouds over Mount Shasta (where she lives), believe that this is really “lenticular cloaking” to hide the UFOs hovering over the mountaintop. And this led to our discussion of UFOs and 2012.

K said, “If the Mayan were smart enough to predict the end of the world, how come they didn’t predict the end of their civilization? This is just like the predictions of Nostril damn us.”

As you may have noticed, whenever there’s a large disaster in the U.S. — like 9/11 — folks immediately start claiming that Nostradamus predicted it. Evidentally, he only cares about disaster that affect Americans or Europeans, ’cause no one starts quoting Nostradamus during things like The Killing Fields or genocide in Rwanda.

When I was done laughing at K’s purposeful and clever mispronunciation, I commented on the “lenticular cloaking”, to which K responded, “You George Clinton, the P-Funk master, is about to come off that mothership.”

In any case, if you feel your life is empty of panic, fear, suffering and especially gore, you can toddle over to your local megaplex and enjoy(?) the Hollywood interpretation of 2012. According to K’s brother, also K, it’s the “biggest collection of junk science I’ve ever seen.”

I think the biggest disaster in that film is how John Cusack, once the funniest person around, has fallen so far. Sad, sad, sad.

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