(Last modified 5 March 1997.)

Wanderjahr: Week 27

Locations: Mountain View; San Francisco
Dates: 2/16/97 - 2/22/97

Sunday morning Arthur and I went to Hobee's, my favorite place for brunch. We then picked up Sarah and stopped by Lee's Comics in Palo Alto, where I bought lots and lots of comics; Sarah handed me the comics she's been picking up for me for the past six months, and I did little besides read comics for a couple of days.

Well, okay, that's not actually true; the comic-reading was mostly in the interstices between social events. Sunday evening I accompanied Arthur and Mya to Santa Cruz to see a movie and have dinner. Barely made my self-imposed midnight deadline for the Words & Stuff column.

On Monday (or possibly Sunday) Arthur took me to my storage unit and I picked up my bicycle. First time I've ridden a bike since September; nice to be back on it. Though I promptly went and rented a car the next day, so I haven't ridden it since. Sarah and I showed each other travel pictures, and had okay Japanese food in Mountain View, and I read comics.

Tuesday I spent the afternoon (mostly at Printer's Inc in Palo Alto) with Carey, who just happens to be in CA this month. That evening I made plans, read comics, and did some concentrated and much-needed screenplay organizational work with Arthur.

Wednesday I ran errands: picked up a jacket from storage, tried unsuccessfully to find various documents I'd hoped were in my filing cabinet, got photos developed, went grocery shopping, picked up my papermail (which included a great letter from a Bostonian friend but was otherwise mostly bills). That evening I met Scott & Kris for dinner at the Blue Nile in Berkeley (my favorite Ethiopian restaurant, though the injera was disappointingly un-sour this time).

Thursday was more errands: stopped by Fry's Electronics with Arthur (I hate to give them my business because the sales people are in general the most clueless I've ever encountered, but they sure are convenient) and picked up some new Zip disks and a travel carrying-case for them; dropped off my watch at a jeweler's in downtown P.A.; wandered through fancy Palo Alto furniture stores, and had a late lunch at Pizza a-Go-Go. At some point this week I finally re-sorted my trip photos so far and continued my long-on-hold project of putting photos in my photo album (and labeling them).

Friday I had lunch with Josie at the Landmark Deli; had their usual good falafel there. (I'm mentioning all these food places because I'm hoping to get to most of my favorite restaurants during my brief time in CA, and I'm glad to get to combine that plan with seeing friends.) After lunch I talked with various others in SGI's end-user documentation group; the stuff they're working on sounds exciting, and rekindled my interest in returning to SGI once I'm done with the Wanderjahr. It was nice to hear various people say they wanted me to come back sooner than planned, but I've waited too long for this trip to cut it short; besides, it may be the last chance I get to do this time-off-work-to-travel-and-write thing, and I want to make the most of it. (Besides, I don't know how to say "wander-half-year" in German.)

Rushed home an hour later than planned; chatted with Stewart & Jessica for a little while, then rushed up to SF with Mya to meet Kristen at the Exploratorium. Spent the evening with them and a couple of Kristen's science-museum friends and a couple of their friends; interesting conversation, more good Ethiopian food, cool folks, nifty philodendron spreading across a room on fishing line. Eventually drove home.

Another brunch at Hobee's on Saturday morning; was delighted to run into Lola and her housemates (most or all of whom turn out to be Paly alums) there. Kristen and I ran still more errands for a couple hours (including seeing her parents briefly), then several of us (including Paul, whom I hadn't seen in much too long) wound up at Watercourse Way for an afternoon hot-tub soak. I talked with Thida on the phone for a while that evening, then spent a couple hours talking with Kristen while various others went off to see Gerry perform in a musical revue called The X Follies at Foothill. I stayed up far too late trying to find my file of homomorphs for the new Words & Stuff column; after two hours of painfully extracting files from a DAT onto Arthur's Macintosh hard drive, I discovered that what I'd thought was a complete backup of my SGI filesystem was in fact a complete backup of everything from said filesystem except my files. Ack. The adventure continued on Sunday.


Movies, Books, etc.

Microcosmos
Also known as "that bug movie"; a feature-length film consisting almost entirely of closeups of insects. Some fascinating bits, some parts so slow that I drifted off; overall, would've benefited from far more focus and a bit more explanation (it couldn't seem to decide whether it was a nature documentary, a whimsical view of how human-like bugs are, a camera-tricks showcase, or a day-in-the-life of a meadow); still, worth seeing if you're at all interested in insects, as long as you don't expect too much.


Jed Hartman <logos@kith.org>