August 07, 2005

Back in Berkeley

Day one and a half of Berkeley. Feel like taking a nap already, though it is only 8:00pm. Will have to survive a family outing at the not-so-local steakhouse (20 min. drive) before I can sleep a deep, deep sleep. But things have been strange, sometimes lonely and sometimes wonderful so far...

Friday, Dad forgot where the car was parked in the airport lot. Had to scour the many rows of SUVs and non-Japanese cars for half an hour before we spotted the old station wagon, covered with various bumper stickers from my college days. After that I went home, then back out for a burrito and coffee, not so easy on the stomach. Found a show by local jazz legends Will Bernard and Peter Apfelbaum at Berkeley's famous hippy dance spot, Ashkenaz. Blown away by good music, drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap, watching 50 something hippies in pseudo-Native American garb do riotously funny dance moves on the broad, empty dance floor, so I knew I was back in Berkeley. Somethings do not change, at least not so quickly as others.

Today I saw Tim Burton's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There were strong overtones of Michael Jackson in Willy Wonka's sickly and jaded-childhood character, which made for a darker, more interesting, but maybe less sympathetic portrayal of the legendary confection wizard. Maybe I am darker and less sympathetic, I do not know. Then in the late afternoon, as the fog rolled in across the San Francisco Bay, I had a few pints at the local pub, talked with a 66 year old bi-polar architect who is on Depricode, which also made me feel quite wholly in Berkeley. Now I am at home, awaiting a greasy and stomach-troubling dinner with the family, checking my email for no reason and hoping that I will motivate myself to do things and go places while back here. I have wheels--four now instead of two--so I should get a move on.

More touching, shocking, and boring details of my stay to be posted later. Keep posted. Oyasumi, world...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff,
Marc B. here (Nick's friend; Matthew, Nick, and I stayed at your place the day after you got food poisoning [also it may be incorrect usage of the semi-colon, but I like it]).
Nick-san said you had a blog so I thought I'd check it out. Also I wanted to say thanks for the hospitality you showed us. It's not easy having an apartment-full of gaijin even for one night.
Moving along, I liked this interpretation of Charlie and the Chocolate factory, despite the heavy-handedness of the "my parents didn't love me" character motivation.
Also I just bought my first pack of Mild Seven's and it is true that Japanese cigarettes leave something to be desired.
Anyway, thanks for the place to stay and the friendliness you showed us in spite of everything.
Take it easy,
-mb

12:27 AM  
Blogger Jefu said...

Thanks Marc. I wish I was in better condition that night, but the beer was cold and well, we survived the night with my good ol' AC unit. I am still adamant about the distrubing quality of Depp's Wonka. In fact, that was probably the first movie of Johnny Depp's in which I was highly disappointed with his performance. That, and the same guy for all the Oompa Loompas got on my nerves...hope you're enjoying Nachi and Nihon to the fullest. Berkeley is not humid, I've had so much Meixcan food I am going to burst, and well, the smokes aren't too bad here either.
-J

10:24 AM  

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