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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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[::..about me..::]
[::..podcast..::]
Learning curve, commence.
[::..quote..::]
"Everything in life
is only for now."

-Avenue Q
[::..current..::]
book - none
japanese - kanji
crochet - scrap squares
knitting - lace
sounds - iron & wine
podcast - yomiuri
food - hummus
[::..cool stuff..::]
:: Adbusters [>]
:: Spacing [>]
:: They Might Be Giants [>]
[::..radio..::]
:: Transom [>]
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[::..photoblogs..::]
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:: Express Train [>]
:: Joe's NYC [>]
[::..current gape..::]
[::..site feed..::]

[::..labels..::]
blog, democracy, japan, life, media, photos, radio, random, rants, san francisco, videos, work
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:: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 ::

A True Coffee Shop




This is the first Kissaten (traditional coffee shop) I visited in Niigata, Japan. The idea is that one cup of overpriced coffee buys you as much time as you would like to sit, read, listen to music, flip through their magazines, or whatever else you like. I did puzzles while waiting for my midnight train home.

(full size at flickr)

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:: Kazen 2:10 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 ::

Finished Objects


And some unfinished ones, as well. But first with the finished!



I'm trying to use up as much yarn as I can before I move, and this is the dent I've made into my crochet cotton. The smaller dishcloth is done in a modified seed stitch and the larger in an elongated basketweave.



I'm not crazy about the color, so these cloths will be the first scrubbies for my new place. I kinda feel like I'm filling a hope chest with these practical projects--dishcloths, blankets...



Including this monster. It's over eight feet long! Easily spans the couch with drape to spare, and designed for a queen-sized bed. One row takes anywhere from a half hour (when listening to the radio) to 45 minutes (when watching tv) to complete. To put that into perspective--a wide single color stripe takes at least three hours to crochet.



It's nice and warm and heavy, though. I'm trying to make the blanket as big as I can so it can keep me warm in my new bed. It can do that now, but only if I sleep very very still. -_^



And here we have proof of concept. I wanted to try my hand at lace knitting so I cast on this snowflake sock. While I like the pattern, the dark color didn't suit the lace very well, so I ripped everything out. Had to take the picture, though, for proof that my first lace project really did exist. -_^ The white strings are "lifelines". If I make a mistake like dropping a stitch the piece can be ripped back to the lifeline without fear of losing everything. The stitches get placed back on the needle and you can start from the beginning of the pattern repeat. Lace has so many wonky increases and decreases it seemed like a good idea.

In other news--the apartment search goes on. Waiting to hear back from one, going to see another on Saturday, and keeping my eye on Craig's List in the meantime. I'm mentally preparing for the first week of the month, when everything will go crazy with open houses and such. Here's hoping!

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:: Sunday, March 25, 2007 ::

Three Blocks to Culture Shock




Awww, isn't he cute? What a bullfrog!



...at $2.99 a pound. A fish market in Chinatown, San Francisco.

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:: Kazen 10:15 PM [+] ::
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Comments:
どんな味がするんだろう!?(>_<;;
 
ケン:私味が分かりたくない、ね。^_^;;
 
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:: Thursday, March 22, 2007 ::

Keeping Moving


Random points, two sentences each:

Apartment hunting is such a long, awful process in this town. I can't wait for it to be over.

Working a lot these days--six day weeks, which gets me nearly 40 hours. The money is appreciated.

Found some old-time radio podcasts, with the likes of Jack Benny and Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx. Needless to say, I've been downloading away.

The groceries are coming tomorrow, and I'm soooo glad. I've had eggs and kilbasa the last two nights.

Turns out that radio journalism may be more about self-learning than a grad degree. I can't wait to get some equipment and get to work.

I feel like I'm living a richer life now, and doing more things I like (exploring the city with friends, podcasts, not being tied to anything/one). Even though I haven't moved yet, I feel like I'm taking the first steps towards my new life.

I like the way I'm headed.

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:: Monday, March 19, 2007 ::

Little Monsters


Disclaimer: This is my first stranded knitting project. Less than perfect stitches follow. You have been warned.

Remember how I said so many two-color patterns are just not cool? Lay your eyes on this:



It's blurry, but it's a space invaders sock! Little invaders advancing down your foot, hehe. I got the pattern at knitty, where it's done in the traditional colors of black and white. All I had on hand was blue, though, so blue it is.



I'm doing this guy on double pointed needles, which I've used before for other socks. Stranded knitting presents some problems, though, because the unused color being carried along the back likes to cut as many corners as it can. In this picture you can see a weird ridge going up the right side--that's where one needle ended and another started. I've since learned some tricks to help alleviate the problem (ways to hold the yarn, using four needles instead of three, etc.), so hopefully the next sock won't be quite as bad. I'm also hoping it'll even out with a good wash.

In other news, things are going well on the apartment front. I'm finding all kinds of ads online, with more everyday. There's a cyclical nature to these things--the first week of the month is a mad dash for all of the newly vacated apartments. (There seems to be a law here that you can't show an apartment while there are still people living in it. So as soon as they're out, lots of open houses.) The middle of the month is dead, with only over-priced flats remaining. At the end of the month it's more of a "Oh no, I need a roomie by the 1st or else!" kind of rush. Starting to get into that now. And then the cycle begins all over again.

Every other time I've gotten an apartment I've been very lucky, either subletting from friends, or deciding on the first one I see because it's perfect. ^_^ So this hunt has been a great learning experience for me.

Hmmm... I think it's time to get back to my knitting. ^_^

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:: Kazen 7:08 PM [+] ::
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Comments:
間違いがわからない(^^;
こういう昔のゲームの絵は好きだよ。
 
Where did you get your patterns? They are going to look so cute.
Aimee
 
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:: Saturday, March 17, 2007 ::

No Idle Hands


I've been keeping my hands busy with knit and crochet lately--I'd like to use up as much yarn as possible before I move! Much easier to cart a pair of socks than odd-shaped balls of yarn. ^_^ Here's a glimpse of the project that's been keeping me occupied as of late:



Here we are at the beginning of the corregated ribbing. This is the first project I've done in two color knitting, which I've wanted to try, but so many of the patterns are just... not cool.



A better idea of the ribbing. It's not as stretchy as normal ribbing with the two colors involved, but it looks like it'll hold up the socks, just the same. More in-progress shots to come.

The other project I'm working on is a huge, and I mean huge blanket in crochet. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the foundation chain. It's wide enough to cover a queen-sized bed with drape to spare. I figure, if anything, it'll be a great blanket for curling up with in front of the tv, and to keep me warm during San Francisco's cool nights. And it'll be a blanket to treasure forever and ever, of course. ^_^

That's it for me--the shower is calling, soon to be followed by my bed. ^_^

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:: Kazen 9:41 PM [+] ::
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Comments:
こういうの好き。間違えた場合はどうするの?完成を楽しみにしています!
 
You've always had such pretty hands!

Oh - and the socks are cute too.
 
ケン:この写真に間違いはまだない。でも、次の写真に見えると思う。^_^;;

Gexx: Awww, you're so sweet. *^_^*
 
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:: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 ::

Spring in San Francisco


A while ago I got talking with a customer about how I liked San Francisco--he grew up on the East Coast as well.

"It's nice and all," I said, "but I miss snow and hockey and fall and the rest of it."

"Give it two years," he replied. "After that you'll never want to go back."

I am determined to never let it get to that point.

That being said, the weather here is insanely gorgeous. Here we are, in mid-March, hitting 70 in the afternoon with clear blue skies and a heavenly breeze. I walk out of work and let my hair down and think, "I'm living in paradise".

It may actually be a deal with the devil, though. "You want picture perfect weather nine months a year? No problem! I'll give you that, but in exchange I reserve the right to level your city with an earthquake whenever I feel like it!"

In the end, it may be an even trade.

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:: Monday, March 12, 2007 ::

Cars, People and Oh, the Signs!




Looking down at the intersection of Stockton and Sutter Streets, San Francisco.

(full size at flickr)

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:: Sunday, March 11, 2007 ::

Cloudy Sky




From my apartment window... I love these views. Gonna miss them.

(full size at flickr)

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:: Kazen 11:24 PM [+] ::
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Comments:
Makes me just want to sit on one and enjoy life. VERY BEAUTIFUL!!I want to be there!!!!! Aimee
 
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:: Monday, March 05, 2007 ::

Hint of Meaning




I want to do with audio what Bill Sullivan does with photography--capture people and record them as they are, at this moment in time. I love his work. Check out his three situations here.

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