Grafitti Everywhere! My new mission: to find this guy’s other stuff…maybe.


Monday morning we arrived to the office to find this painted in the far right hand corner of one of our office buildings.  I found it instantly endearing.  The sign the rat is holding says “Sorry bout your wall” and is in red letters.  The graffiti vandal’s person was captured on security cameras clearly showing him taping up and spraying and removing the various portions of a stencil.  He looked like some white guy, maybe in his late 20’s, kinda overweight, who’s pants kept falling down as he bent over (I believe that if you are going to laden your pockets with aerosol cans of spray paint, at least wear a belt.  But hey, that’s just me).  He struck me as an old, drop out college art student who wants to get back into school, but maybe never will.

Overall, I like that we got a cool graffiti.  Not like our poor neighbors who regularly get scrawled on with an indecipherable tag.  This at least speaks to the image-lover, though Banksy wanna-be, in me.   I really hope that we don’t press charges against this person if caught.  I wish that he would be more creative and lend his message and art to other walls that are barren and bland.

But, here is my question: we have to paint over it, right?  I mean, that is what they say you have to do, (Turlock Police Department, ) or else you welcome other graffiti vandals to deface your property.  What do you think, does the rat stay or go?

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My Professional Website

My Professional Website

I decided I needed to migrate some of my grad work into a website all its own.  Check it out, and don’t forget to tell me what you think!

New photos and posts to come soon 🙂


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“Before you diagnose you…

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes” William Gibson

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Finishing Grad School

Here I am.

On the other side.  So much uncertainty and doubt….

But, here I am.  I got the title, I got the tassel and the hood.

Before I begin questioning what it means to my life, what I am going to do with it, how will I find a job, is this what it feels like to be grown up….before I start doing all that, I want to say something:

School has never been easy for me.  School has been a struggle because I thought my way was better, that I had to forge a unique and original path to do it right and forsake the advice of those who knew better–I had to experience it for myself.   Family, friends, and a social life took greater precedence over my scholastics.  And then real life issues took hold, and work and jobs and money took precedence.  At some point the struggle to live better than hand-to-mouth motivates to curtail or change.  I did that too.  It took three years of discomfort and awkwardness, but having crossed that wide channel, and finding myself on the other side, I think, all right.

Now that I am on the other side I see that I made the right decision for me.  Those things did take precedence.  They did mean more than school.  I see my failures on par with my successes.  So before I start beating my self up for all the things I didn’t do, remember that exclusion is as important as inclusion, and that I am here because of the choices that I made, no right, no wrong.

The road to success is paved with a lot of hard work, an  ethic of late nights and early mornings, abstinence and focus.   I think of my classmates who are smarter, wiser, and better positioned than I, and I begin to doubt myself…but work always enables me to exceed my self doubts.

I made it through the lonely studying, the distractions, the sacrifice of money, time and sanity.  I subscribed to a method of thought and joined an academic brotherhood….perhaps I found the membership a bit more hollow than anticipated, but life is like that.  The bad papers, the bad posts, the good conversations, the strangers you call classmates, the one original thought you get out of the whole thing, your passion.

And that is worth it.

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Griffith & Masuda

Griffith & Masuda

Where I work, 2009-present

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Ode to Peanut

February 5, 2012 1 comment

Peanut on the 4th of July

I had to let my dog Peanut, aged 13 years, go on a Friday, January 27th, 2012.

When space aliens take over the earth or are transmitting all our dating they are going to wonder why such a large majority is devoted to animals.  We love them, we subjugate them, we make them wear silly glasses.  I think they comprise a chronological narrative in our lives.  Peanut represented my entire 20’s and early 30’s: I had gotten her through a roommate/landlord (thanks again Al), and though she wasn’t meant to be all mine, we had a fast and true bond the moment she was placed in my arms.  Oh the tumultuousness of one’s twenties, and oh how cute she was!  When life is relatively new, passions run high, and mistakes are as common as one’s successes, Peanut acted as my console, comrade and spirit guide. She always listened and would lick the tears away or howl with pleasure when i was happy.

She loved walking around the grounds of CSU Stanislaus, especially with leaves on the ground.   She was known for not always heeling if she got off the leash, and let her nose get the better of her obedience.  “Trust the beagle” was a common saying my brother Keith coined.  It is derived from an instance when he said I should let her off-leash to play with his dog Bruce.  He ended up chasing her all around the track and field stadium.  She also loved sticking her head out of the car, eating, duck toys, sleeping under covers, and, most of all, me.

In writing this some time has elapsed between the death, and since i am an adult, i remind myself that this is the responsibility we take on as adults, as pet owners.  However, she never felt like a pet but she was certainly, always, a dog and represented the breed perfectly.  I realize that memories and photos are what we get left with in this world, though the world seems a little less rich, a little flatter without Peanut in it.  We do remember certain times as halcyon times.   As Faulkner put it, “Confusing time with its mathematical progression, as the old do, to whom all the past is not a diminishing road, but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter ever quite touches, divided from them now by the narrow bottleneck of the most recent  decade of years” -Faulkner, Emily Rose.

I like to think that, within my meadow of time, Peanut is off-leash, running free….Trust the beagle.

AKC name: Princess Sweet Pea Peanut

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Pro Se Revolution!

All this Occupy Wall Street mania has finally gotten to me.

Once again the banks made us a fool, we lent them billions of dollars and they ended up turning a profit, to the tune of $13 billion (, on our tax money while every social program, school, library and public pool is closed pending further funding cuts.  What the hell is going on with our morals, or sense of statehood?

So, this is what i propose: let’s all go file a lawsuit.  What if we all sue these banks for borrowing against us, and not paying us our interest share?  that would never happen to them–why should it happen to us.  and when exactly did we agree to let them borrow this money?  When my paycheck comes every couple of weeks, i don’t look at it and say “who can i loan this to”.  I am sick of this pay it later mentality, of my generations’ monetary ideology–wake up!  Yes, i am part of the problem–but the overwhelming sense is, how do i become part of the solution?  Leaders, tell me how to become part of the solution!  Obama, that is what i wanted from you, and you chickened out! *sigh* **rant**

So, this said, let’s all go file a petition, and see where it takes us (to some poor Judge’s desk (sorry guys, not tryin’ to make your life any harder, but you are getting cut out by this funding fiasco too)), and let the courts weigh in on the direction that money and capitalism are taking our humanity–make somebody keep this country in check.

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Citizen journalism is the new narcissism ?

I dunno, so i will just post one of my favorite illustrations:

hand dryer

dry and smells like bacon!

Happy Friday everyone!

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Food ate in Paris….

Undoubtedly, my life has revolved around food for the last ten years.  I had been fortunate to be introduced to this lifestyle when I was 23: confused with what to do with my life, broke, out of school, and done with my sport (which had only recently been my life), when I began working at a bistro in Turlock.   While working in restaurants it is not for everyone, and it didn’t immediately make me a “foodie”, it did introduce me to a lifestyle that i liked–late nights, fast pace, quick whit, and confidence in my chef’s food and sommelie’s wine.  It took many years, but i can proudly say that dining has taken on a level of enjoyment some people will never quite understand or experience–and hey, that is ok.  I am no elitist–i am a secretary and grad student!–but i do go out of my way for that ultimate food experience.


Terrine, here a foie gras like butter and rabbit terrine

Many food connoisseurs will argue that food is one of the purest forms of art–it is made exclusively for the purpose of consumption and affects all the senses: smell, sight, taste, touch, hearing, etc. (I say etc. because there are many out there that assign intuition/instinct as part of the senses).  And despite the many hours (or seconds!) that went into preparation of the dish, it is destroyed or consumed in whole, becoming physically part of the consumer, nourishing and satisfying in a very tangible and seductive way.  Reflecting upon all the components that go into the making of a single item in a dish is breathtaking in it complexity, and makes me feel thankful and wealthy to be alive, at this time in the history of the world.

Beouf burgoneone

Beouf burgoneone--pronounced "boof"

I like dining in France because they are aware of this– at least the French writing i grew up reading (Camus, Hugo, Derrida, etc.)  they love to expound on abstract ideas –and they take their philosophy of life literally in their cooking.  France is so elaborate–the halls are sprawling where old is good and the decoration ornate; Parisians are quite unique and pushy city folk and they are hounds for designer labels; the city is busy and constantly building around or on top of past buildings, layering if you will.  You find this when you dine out in Paris where metaphor abound–the food is crusty when it needs to be, flaky one moment, melting in your mouth the next.  Elaborate utensils, glassware, plate after plate of thinly sliced anything (mostly meats), uniform chopping and sauces that electrify the mouth, and feather-thin potatoes layered and displyed across the plate; the wine diluted but flavorful and meant to be drunk with every meal (although the French are moving toward the higher alcohol big mouth wines of California trend).  I can’t say that every meal was magical, but every meal was a cuisine, and introduced me to some new ingredient or combination i hadn’t had before–which is quite American of me, always vying for something new.


First time eating escargot--great!