Geoff's web space
Sep 29th, 2014 - 12:10 am - "My favorite sport is lunch."
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been red-tea-related.

Here is today's Farm Hero :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. As has been true in Septembers past (although ironically, for different reasons) this month has been a busy one! Very fun - lots of things going on.
Recently my work (Big Lots) announced a new interesting policy - they are going to have Sunday hours for the store be the same as the rest of the week (i.e. the store will be open "9 - 9" every day). Most stores, if open Sunday, close earlier so it shall be interesting to see how long they may keep it up. It could be nice to have a slower Sunday evening, to "relax" some, straighten up the store etc.

* Victorian Village Tour of Homes

This previous Sunday was the annual ToH event (technically now called the Short North Tour of Homes). A great time! Perfect weather and lovely houses. I was nicely able to tour 6 of the 10 homes, seeing spare bedrooms turned into bathrooms, pocket doors and hot tubs on personal rooftop patios. One home had a highly-censored military memo page from the "Roswell, NM" UFO incident framed and turned into art.
This year one could express a preference as to which place one might like to help, and I chose a large home across from Goodale Park. A high-end accountant by the name of Jeff lives there. A grand, 114-ish year old home - the walls are literally solid rock (painted, etc. of course). The basement, for which I showcased, had an old coal room turned into a wine cellar.
I was able to actually talk with the owner, which was nice, and we are now Facebook friends.
The association which puts on the tour had a dinner-and-free-drink-ticket party the next day for the volunteers (plus a surprise of $7 in gift cards to local places, too!). I enjoyed some pizza, unsweetened iced tea and seeing some of the people from yesterday again.

* Athletics (part 1 of 2)

Courtesy a free program from a local park, I was recently able to do something I have never done before - rock-climbed! (well, on fake rocks, but still). The Audubon center just south of downtown had an early evening class. The area itself is set up like a real, multi-story side of a mountain. Local rangers showed us how to hook on various fixtures and belay (i.e. "help down, when descending") other climbers. Having now done it, I can say : climbing is exhausting, lol. Good exercise! Although most of the actual 'work' should be done by one's legs, human instinct is to use one's upper body to 'climb'. As such one's arms get a workout.

* Athletics (part 2 of 2)

Earlier this week I also headed to my college town - Bowling Green - for the day to say hi to my friend Eric. School was back in session as well. Every year the campus and / or town has a new addition or change to itself - this year it was the rec center (as mentioned in a previous entry).
How new it all is! The front entrance is moved, the main area is now all one height (before, there was a step or two down) and even the stairway to the lower level is in a new place. The locker rooms, where good times were had, are totally different : smaller and at unusual angles (there seems to exist no straight lines in the entire area). The showers are now individual and are, essentially, haphazardly unaligned, which is weird for what is essentially self-contained square columns, lol. A new, now-windowless dry sauna is in as well, and is in a new location.
While in town Eric and I also saw my friend Jared! I hadn't seen him in person since literally the 1990's (though we do sometimes talk online, etc). How great to see him (and meet his gf, too!). They live behind a human-made lake in a quiet part of town - very nice. We all relaxed and had some pizza.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : my bank being good with their policies and replacing my ATM card after a (thankfully not successful) security breach of it. homemade ramen. PG-13 shenanigans at Wall Street nightclub's monthly underwear party (best. lounge. ever!). the social connectivity a platform such as Facebook allows. understanding that time apart from things / people / etc. can be a refreshing experience in its own way.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Sep 19th, 2014 - 11:21 pm - How things are framed
my winnipeg
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been self-sufficient.

Here are today's red grapes :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. A while ago I visited with my friend Scott (we headed out shopping). One of the places we stopped was North Market, Columbus's "farmer's market". Earlier this year the business decided to rearrange the locations of the existing businesses, within the confines of the market. The new(er) layout is quite interesting! A chocolate place is next to a seafood place. 3 shops that sell sweet things are all together. A local ice cream place, whose one literal request to the market was for a larger booth, was moved to a place with, technically, a smaller booth lol.
In all a fun place though. At the produce stand I found some indigo rose tomatoes, a ping-pong-ball-sized heirloom variety which were bi-colored (purple and red). They were mild & tasty!

* The Normal Heart

Courtesy the local library, I was able to borrow and watch this particular film recently. Based on the play of the same name by AIDS activist Larry Kramer, TNH is a loosely-fictionalized version of the rough times in the 1980's when HIV was first being diagnosed. Mark Ruffalo plays essentially a version of Larry himself, with Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer and Jim "Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory" Parsons also starring. Glee producer Ryan Murphy directs.
The story is harrowing. Knowledge, let alone funding, for the early stages of this plague was virtually nonexistent. Larry (and his character here) passionately argue for action, only to be told by social groups that "other" tactics might work better. Moments of dark humor surface : the president of the newly-formed Gay Men's Health Crisis argues with Mark Ruffalo's character as, in the background, the phone rings. "No no, I'll get it", Jim Parsons dryly mumbles as it becomes apparent, on the 9th or so ring, no one else is.
In all a great, and humbling, movie. Much of the way the world is today we take for granted, as we stand on the shoulders of giants to be where we are.

* "New" in 2014

A partial list of items I have done / acquired this year, for which I either have never done / owned, or not had in literally years :

[] a smartphone (i.e. one with a nice camera, large-ish screen, enhanced texting)
[] sneakers
[] "on-demand" movies (via Roku)
[] listening to music, out loud, using speakers, not from the radio
[] riding a bus

* "The Haves and the Have-Nets"

Each year, I myself pay around $60 (from property tax) towards the local library. I believe my area is zoned to a nearby suburb (Westerville) which has a particularly-nice building (and indeed, by a coincidence, is one of the few libraries not "umbrella"ed into the 20+ networked by the city). I am thankful to have such a resource in my community. I check books out of it as well as a fair number of movies (around 20 so far, this year).
Netflix, the gold standard of movie watching, costs around $96 / year ($8 / month, although various promos may bring this down to $7 by the time a 'free month promo' or etc. is used). Let us say $84 is the yearly cost. There are many newer movies on the service, although a fair number are delayed a number of months to allow for DVD sales. By contrast the local library, while not having everything, will have the newest movies available somewhat immediately (i.e., "whenever the DVD is out").
I am sure I would heart Netflix if I had it. My rationale for not having it, aside from the fact it would be akin to a gym membership (i.e. I'd pay for it even when not using it, or use it too much at the expense of doing anything else), is that I already pay the local library $60 / year through my taxes anyway, whether or not I have the service. As such, I may as well get some use out of it ;) . Aside from appreciating nature, I make it a point to visit parks - $22 of my property tax - under the same rationale.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : a good deal on some red tea from my work (Big Lots). having faith. being amused by the fluffiness that is the Eating Out series of gay-themed movies. a merchant @ North Market nicely giving me an extra no-bake cookie (tasty! thank you sir). comfortable sleeping weather + comfy blankets on one's bed.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Textured boy
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? I : am back! from a recent 4-day trip to SF, California. I had an opportunity to turn in some of my airline credit from Southwest (due to a delay from a Utah trip earlier this year), as well as take advantage of both the airline's sale and an unrelated sale on purchasing 'points' to be redeemed for flight.

* Tuesday

My flight was an early one and nicely got me into California around 11. The place was a half hour early, which was nice as coordinating everything with a airport van ride took perhaps a few minutes extra (we had a full car!).
I arrived at my hostel and checked in. My room had a sink, mini fridge, fan and TV. I walked to nearby Green Papaya for lunch, then did something I have never done while on vacation - caught a bus! I rode it most days I was in town.
I headed west to the lovely Golden Gate Park to visit the DeYoung museum, a large 3-story modernist building with some nice art (including some John Singer Sargents, a Picasso and a Mary Cassatt). The architecture was particularly neat as well. It was a 'free admission' day, too!
I bussed back - a great time saver - and in the evening walked past the Yerba Buena city garden / water fountain to a Starbucks with a Clover machine (where I tried a rare Hawaiian coffee). After that I headed to Chinatown, to visit a tea store for a tasty sea salt caramel oolong tea blend. The store normally serves it in a glass bottle, but they are so popular they only offer them twice a day. Nicely, a previous customer had left, and not taken theirs! So I was able to have one.

* Gallery

For a gallery of pictures of the trip, one may click the picture above, or here!

* Wednesday

In the morning I bussed back to Golden Gate park again, this time to visit the lovely Japanese tea house and gardens (free in the mornings, M W & F). The curved walkways and bonsai were particularly pretty in the early mist. At the small actual tea house I had some kuzumochi - the sweet gelatin dessert - flavored with kinako (kinako is a peanut-butter-esque flour which is in fact made some ground soybeans).
From there I bussed to the center of town and walked south to the Castro, SF's great 'gay neighborhood'. I (re-)visited the old Castro Camera store, where Harvey Milk and his boyfriend Scott once operated, after first visiting a small GLBT museum (, during 'free admission' day, too!) nearby. I peeked into the historic Castro Theatre and marveled at the old-timey burgundy carpets and glass lights and paneling. The neighborhood itself has some fun gay-themed shops as well, at which I also looked. In a local Starbucks I tried a bistro box (tasty! - rice, beets and some other things) which Ohio versions of the store don't currently carry.
Heading back to the hotel, I passed a restaurant with the amusing title of Proposition Chicken. lol!

* Thursday

Today was a "beach day". I took the bus west to 25th street - transferring once as the 5 or 5L one I was on apparently only ran to 6th, heh - and walked north. It was cloudy and comfortable for the most part, during my visit. Nicely later on in the day the clouds broke up and the sun came out, as it often does.
Baker Beach overlooks the Golden Gate bridge. The north part of the beach is clothing-optional, as well and the whole beach has visually-pretty hills / small cliffs / rocks (depending upon where one is) which frame it.
I had brought my Kindle with me and relaxed for a while. Once it warmed up some a few more people arrived, including a boy named Jacob who in fact went to college in Columbus! How about that. He actually came from all the way over in Berkeley (where he lives), to SF for the day. I got a bit of a tan, too!
I had an early dinner at a nearby Indian place, then relaxed in my room in the evening. The TV had Encore as a channel, so I enjoyed the R-rated but funny movie Seth Rogen did, This is the End.

* Friday / overall

Friday morning I packed up my items and (shortly after) caught the airport shuttle back to the airport for my flight home.
It was nice to head away for a few days :) . Being in a 'new environment' can be refreshing and encourage people to look at one's existing environment in a new light.
During my original visit to SF, I remembered thinking that there were some more fun things to see for a future visit. I did have a plan to head to Fisherman's Wharf on the north side, however did not have an opportunity to this time. Perhaps in the future!

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Aug 29th, 2014 - 09:24 pm - Blooming
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been achievement-badge-related.

Here are the simplicities of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. It has (mostly) thus far been a mild summer! Earlier in the season I had a chance to head to the annual Ohio State fair with my friend Brian. I did my "usual" tradition of riding the sky ride at the end. I found some new flavors of salt water taffy, as I often do. This particular year's ones were black licorice, caramel corn, cinnamon roll, red licorice and root beer. I've tried the caramel, cinnamon and red licorice ones so far. The cinnamon roll salt water taffy is delicious! Of course, I only buy 2 of each piece as I don't need a lot of candy.

* Robin Williams : a remembrance

I first remember seeing him in Mork & Mindy, back in the day on CBS (via the "pre-internet" technology called 'a television'). I remember his rainbow suspenders. As I saw him through the years, his energy was always hyper and entertaining. I really have never seen someone perform so well, spontaneously, without notes, live. I saw and liked him in Aladdin, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Birdcage, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, The World According to Garp, Toys and What Dreams May Come, but one of my favorite roles of his was in Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King. He plays a homeless person convinced a billionaire on New York's Upper West Side has the actual Holy Grail in his study. We salute you, sir!

* Glen Echo park(s)

Earlier this summer I visited this (set of two) park(s), to which I had never explored in my years of being in Columbus. Located in the farming-based neighborhood of Clintonville, while not very large the topography of the land was great - close to what it was originally. Ravines and a wide creek paired with old trees and well-worn paths. Clintonville has a large lesbian population, and of the 3 or 4 couples I saw in the park all were sets of women (as always, no assumptions are to be made of course). Elsewhere a large historical bridge held human-sized paintings of birds within - a really neat surprise to find on the path!
The 'other', west part of the park is near the main river and features a controlled swamp next to a lab, to which I also explored some.

* Campus views

On a recent day off from work, I swung down to the OSU area. I hadn't been in a while! School was just getting back into session (since switching to standardized semesters, all public universities start around the same time) - students were everywhere. I relaxed at the top floor of the library with its wonderful views, and walked around the recently re-filled Mirror Lake, with its ducks and nearby ampitheatre. Outside of the Student Union I enjoyed a Dasani-water-sponsored game where upon I fired empty water bottles from an air cannon (but, alas, did not hit the target any times). In the art building, seeing the thought-provoking "moments in women's history" exhibit, they were giving away free t-shirts (from an art supply company). Score!

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : loyalty programs that various businesses have (I just renewed my Starbucks 'gold level' for another year). finding a good deal on some bilberry kombucha at a new "farmer's market" sort of store in town ($2!). the entertaining - and adult-oriented - webcammers Voyeurboys. a forthcoming trip to San Francisco, woo!. being able to try 2 of Starbucks' new La Boulange savory squares (nicely, one for free!) - the tomato & cheese one, despite being a relatively 'common' flavor, was very delicious.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
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