Sunday, August 31, 2003

a la Oakland

We have a Labor Day "Tradition" of going to a la carte, a la park at Golden Gate Park every year. It's usually a terrific time, and the weather is almost always perfect. Unfortunately, we woke up to overcast skys today. Alice called - she lives a couple of blocks from the park, and reported fog. We all decided it wouldn't be as fun in colder weather, so we opted out.

Dick, Pete, Richard I and found our way to Downtown Oakland's "Art & Soul" Festival instead. It was a great time, plus the weather was perfect. We heard a great band, who I'm just not becoming more familiar with: "Guster". I don't know if this makes sense or not, but they reminded me of a "Toad the Wet Sproket" mixed with a hair of "Greenday". Great music. I may have to buy their CD now. Pete & Blane are already big fans. I'm always one step behind....

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Happy Birthday Noe!

Our little "kitten" turns 3 today! We found Noe on Sunday, September 3, 2000. She had been abandoned by her momma cat during the middle of the night when we had a small earthquake. We took her to the vet that night, and they estimated her age to be about 5 days old. See Noe's baby pictures.

Noe got a special treat this morning - a brand new poofie ball! it's her favorite toy. I only have a few left, and I can't seem to find these things anymore. perhaps I'll search the net.

Happy Birthday, Little One!

Friday, August 29, 2003

School House Rock!

I'm a huge fan of the School House Rock! Series. Anyone else? I'm watching the DVD right now, which is why I mention it.

When I first started working at the Adler's Gallery several years ago, they specialized in vintage animation art. Cynde got a call one day from a colleague who had "unearthed" a bunch of production art from the School House Rock Series. Mind you, this is very rare. School House Rock was produced in the early 1970s. Like much animation from it's day, and before, most of the art work was destroyed or disposed of after production. No one thought to keep it as a form of "fine art". Anyhow, Jim and Cynde were a little too old to know what the whole School House Rock phenomenom was. When they mentioned it to me I told them all about it, and I was certain that we'd be able to sell several pieces. After all, it's a pop icon from so many of our childhoods! Long story short, we sold a ton. it was a very exciting time. I LOVED it - it made me happy to reunite so many people with a piece of their childhood.

Of course, I walked away from the whole thing with a cel of my own. It's quite special. My favorite episode was always "Unpack Your Adjectives" - the one with the little girl who goes camping with a turtle, and they post little signs with adjectives everywhere. Remember it? Most people's favorites are a little more obvious like "I'm Just a Bill" or "Conjunction Junction". While I have fond memories of most, my favorite was always "Unpack your Adjectives". Must've been the turtle.

Anyhow, here's a picture of my cel. It's actually much more than just that; it's a cel set-up on it's original Production Background. Meaning: this is a series of cels (3 or 4 layers) that were filmed together on this background. Isn't that cool? This piece, and a piece that I bought for my sister were shown last year at The San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum.

Fun with Electronic Gadgets!

This is the coolest remote control EVER!

Check out the Harmony Remote!

It's so much more than a universal remote - check it out: you program everything via the web. Let them know what kind of TV you have, receiver, DVD, VCR, Xbox... whatever. You also let it know how everything is hooked up: Component 1 on the TV is set for the DVD player which is Component 2 on the receiver... whatever. Then, you connect the remote to your PC via a USB cable. the web site/your computer sends all of the info to your new remote, and voila! You new remote controls ALL of your components! Turn on the TV, it automatically turns the TV on, turns on the Cable Box, and sets the correct component on the receiver. Change to DVD player, and it switches to the correct component on your TV, and receiver, turns OFF your cable box, and turns ON your DVD player. Plus, all of the buttons that you were just using to navigate through your TV, are now the buttons you use to navigate your DVD player.

Trust me, it's very cool. Plus, it's cute to boot! :)
we have it in blue.

Cheap Music this weekend

I just returned from Tower Records. I needed to pick up John Mayer's "Room for Squares" as a gift for a friend's birthday. Turns out there's a sales rack in the front with a bunch of CDs on sale for $9.99. These are not old CDs that no one cares about anymore - they had some very recent releases (Annie Lenox's "Bare" among others). Lucky me, "Room for Squares" was included in the sale, as was U2's "Joshua Tree" - picked that up too. Always liked the album, but never owned it.

Go. Look. Buy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Today's Lunch

I just finished eating 3/4 bag of baby carrots and 1/2 container (7 oz container) of Hummus. That was my lunch today. that's either really, really bad, or possibly, really good. hard to say...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

gafas de soul

Dick just uploaded his band's new website: Dick put together a site with the content and layout last week. I created a new logo and a simple design over the weekend. Check it out!

Monday, August 25, 2003

Teach your children well...

This is amazing. It's a letter that was read aloud at Al Nichols' Memorial service this past Saturday. It was read by Heather Reader, a former student of Al's, and was written by her husband, Ryan.

I cried when she read it aloud at the service, and I'm crying now as I read it again.

Sometimes you don't realize the impact that you have had on someone else's life. What an amzing tribute this is to the lives of Al and Shea.

To say that I knew Al is to say that we could exchange a hello and take part in the other typical pleasantries of every day banter without being left with a feeling of discomfort. We were not close, and I can say with a high degree of confidence that if not for my wife, I would have had no contact with him at all. It is not a meaningful relationship or admiration that will keep Al with me for the remainder of my life, but a lesson…an experience.

I would say that as a teenager I fit within a pretty typical category for males of the age. I was full of hatred based upon a lack of knowledge and experiences. People and things that were “different” were wrong. I had no time or patience for anything that was not very similar to my interests and me. My parents always did there best to teach me that people are not to be judged by preferences or color, but by their merits. At the time, I had no evidence of this; I had nothing to support this hypothesis.

It was during these years that I was first truly introduced to Al. I was on a weekend visit to Madison to see my girlfriend (my now wife, Heather). This weekend happened to coincide with the moving of Al and Shea, and because of Heather’s devotion to them she agreed to help, and in turn, I was unknowingly volunteered for duty as well.

Due to my previously stated viewpoints; I was obviously reluctant and not very pleased with having to spend a Sunday afternoon with homosexuals. At the very minimum I saw it as being blasphemous. However, because I loved Heather I swallowed my pride and accompanied her with the intention of helping as much I could bring myself to.

When we arrived at Al and Shea’s apartment, we found that the moving was well underway and we joined in where we could. They told me what they would like me to move and where to move it to. There was no chitchat really, this was a group of people with the common goal of moving belongings and for the most part, that was the extent of it. Disco music wasn’t playing in the background, no Cabana boys were serving drinks, it was men moving furniture.

At the end of the afternoon, when all was unloaded into Al and Shea’s new apartment and Heather and I were to be on our way, they both approached me with a heartfelt grin and a firm hand shake thanking me for my help.

The moment that my hand came into contact with Al’s I had somewhat of an epiphany. I thought not of my deed of helping people I didn’t know, I thought of how I came into these two men’s home with a heart full of disgust for them. I thought of how it had to have been obvious how I was feeling for the two of them. I thought of how they disregarded any foulness that I was omitting, put in a full days work, and at the end of that day thanked me for all of it. At a minimum, I was disappointed in myself.

Neither Al nor Shea knowingly or actively made an attempt at instilling some tolerance in me, but that is the best part. They were themselves, and they were kind and decent to a stranger that didn’t care for them because they cared for each other. They were men, and good men at that. I was quite amazed by all of it, for the first time I saw that who you enjoy spending your life and time with does not reflect your worth as a human being.

All of my disagreeable feelings did not disappear this day because Al or Shea, but they began an unmovable object in motion. Thanks to my wife and the many friends I have obtained through her over the past years I can say that I now have no ill feeling towards someone because of their sexual preference. I can say, however, that it is my belief that if not for that Sunday afternoon, I may not be the man that I am today, my disagreeable feelings may not be gone. The events required, that allowed me to look at more than what I could see, might have only been able to occur that day. Al and Shea may have been the only two people that possessed the ability to do so. This could very well be an outrageous statement, but I will hold it as truth, and leave it as a tribute to them.

I can by no means give an answer to the question of what the meaning of life is. However, I believe the biggest aspect in judging the worth of ones life and how they lived it is how things are left when they are gone; what impact was made on our society because they existed. Some people cure diseases, some create works of art, others create history. Al shook my hand. Because of the lesson I learned and the experience I take, because of this handshake, there is no longer the potential for me to teach my children hatred. It is quite possible that thousands of souls and lives may be saved because two men did right by someone that once wished wrong upon them.

God bless.

Regretfully Absent,

Ryan Reader

Our Doorbell Works!

One of the joys of living in a 120 year old house is that you always find something new that can be improved.... Our doorbell buzzer is in the basement. I work upstairs, on the second floor in the office. I've missed so many deliveries, and even visitors because I didn't hear them ring the doorbell! Luckily, my brilliant Mom told me about "wireless doorbells".

Dick and I went to Home Depot last week and found the perfect solution! It's called a "wireless chime extender" that works with your existing doorbell. We installed a little box next to the existing buzzer in the basement, then plugged the a door chime box in an outlet in the office. Now, when the doorbell is rung, the box in the basement "hears" the first buzzer, which wirelessly triggers the door chime upstairs in the office to ring!

UPS just delivered a package, and I'm happy to say that our new system is working! I was up in the office, and only heard the new chime up here. Yay!

It's HOT!!

it's hot here in SF! I just got back from my morning walk. I know, I'm sure that compared to the rest of the country, this is mild... I always tell people that once you move to San Francisco, you become a weather wimp. Honestly, I'm uncomfortable when the weather is outside the 60-80 degree range. Wimp...

Analise's Red Egg & Ginger Party

My cousin, Bruce, and his wife Robin had their third baby girl last month! Analise Bacosa Pugh was born on Friday, July 18th, 2003. As is customary in the Chinese culture, my grandparents and Uncle (the Great Grandparents & Grandparents of Analise) threw a Red Egg & Ginger Party yesterday afternoon. More about Red Egg & Ginger Tradition.

It was a really nice party. My Grandmother outdid herself with the food - she ordered 9 courses! WOW!

check out the website of the Reyes-Chow/Pugh Family: Bruce, Robin, Evelyn (6), Abigail (2) and Analise (1 month).

Sunday, August 24, 2003

The Bangles!

Just found out that The Bangles are performing next weekend at a la carte, a la park !!! We have a tradition of going every year - usually on Sunday. The Bangles are scheduled to perform Saturday afternoon - let's see if we can switch our date!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Al Nichols' Memorial Service

I just returned from the Memorial Service for my friend, Al Nichols. Al passed away in December 2002 after being diagnosed with AIDS/HIV in 1993. The memorial service was held today at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park.

The service was beautiful. Dozens of people attended, including a several people who flew in from the Mid-West for the weekend. There were also several members of the San Francisco's Gay Mens Chorus - Al had worked there for the last few years.

I was deeply touched by all of the people involved with the service. A few of Al's closest friends spoke - reminding us all of how many people's lives he had touched, influenced and affected in such a positive way. The service concluded with a couple of songs sung by the chorus. They released an album a couple of years ago from their show "SFGMC Does Queen". On that album, they had dedicated the song "We Are the Champions" to Al, in honor of his fight against his illness. We all stood in a circle formation, and held hands as everyone sang.

I met Al about 4 years ago when he moved out here from WI. We had both been involved in the color guard activity for a large part of our lives - we had several friends in common.

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have Al as a friend. He will always be remembered and loved.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Blog, blog, blog....

Dick says that I'm addicted, and I can't stop!!! Don't worry, it'll wear off soon enough... Anyhow, there's Xbox to play.

.... and the woman who loves them...

Went to Disneyland this past week with Mykail, Jason, Jason, and two of Jason's friends. (got that?) This is my life: Trina hanging out with the gay boys. I called them "my personal fab-five", a take off from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy".

I've never liked the term "fag hag". It just doesn't sound very nice. Makes my friends fags (which I don't like) and me a hag (which sounds awful!). Jason H. came up with my new favorite term.... "and the woman who loves them".

So now, we can be called "the gay boys, and the woman who loves them". . isn't that much more endearing?

Where is Yavin?

I was in Disneyland this past Tuesday with my friends, Mykail and Jason. We all consider ourselves geeks of the Star Wars Universe. (I didn't know this about Jason until this particular day - turns out he's the only person I know who can speak "Greedo") When we were in line for "Star Tours", (still very cool, even it is over 15 years old) there were all kinds of posters "advertising" the "destinations". They had Endor, Hoth, Bepsin, among others. Then there was "Yavin". Yavin? It sounds familiar, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember where it was, or what movie it was referred to in. Neither could Mykail, Jason, or the other 3 guys we were with. Unbelievable! So then, we started to ask everyone in line. No one knew where Yavin was! Then, we started asking the guys working the ride - the guy manning the line, the guy operating the ride... Honestly, no one could remember! Crazy! so, I checked Google when I came home - handy, that I'm happy to report I know "remember" where Yavin was - really, I did know this at somepoint in my life, but I had a "brain-fart" (as my old ceramics instructor would say). For those of you wondering....

Yavin is the planet where the rebel base was set up in the first movie (that would be "Episode IV: A New Hope") It was where the heros go after rescuing Princess Leia from the Death Star, and where the rebels launch their attack on the Death Star.

I feel better now. I was stumped. So silly. Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, anyone? :)

The site of old design

Oy. I need to update my site. Maybe a whole new design. The content is all up-to-date (which is good) but the design/layout is about 3 1/2 years old (which is bad). Perhaps this blogging thing is bringing me one step closer to inspiration! :)

Check it out: I'm "blogging".

What is blogging?
Technically, it's a "Web Log". Put those two words together, and you have "Weblog" or "We Blog", which is what we're doing right now.

Why blog?
1) it's what all of the cool, hip kids are doing these days. Even thought I'm no longer a 20-something, I can still be a hip geek!
2) I work by myself. All day. I talk to my cats. A lot. I have lots and lots of random thoughts run through my head every day, and this seems like a fun way to put it all out there. I think of it as a kind of on-line journal.
3) I read some friends' blogs once in a while, and find it's a fun way to keep up with their lives. I don't know if any of my friends or family are actually interested in my random thoughts, but now it's up there for them to see!

I'm using Blogger, mostly because I've seen it used by several of my friends. It's a quick and easy set up. Try it. Use it. Blog.