Archive for January, 2007

Good Ideas

January 28, 2007

Mujadara. Rice, lentils, and caramelized onions. Flavored with cumin, maybe some chicken stock. Simple, cheap, easy, and most importantly, TASTY. Mediterranean Wraps on California Avenue in Palo Alto makes amazing mujadara, especially when it’s hot and they serve it with hummus and their pickled vegetables. It also works so well in large quantities that I’ve been eating it for the past week straight.

Someone else likes mujadara too. And likes to eat cheaply. I wish I had this idea first, but someone beat me to the punch. This blogger writes up recipes and strategies for eating on $2-3 per day. It’s brilliant, really, and I feel a true sense of companionship with this other struggling starving young professional.


Pets, Take Two

January 27, 2007

 The Mid Peninsula Animal Hospital made a donation to the UC Davis Companion Animal Memorial Fund in honor of my cat. The fund “supports studies into the wide variety of problems that confront small domestic animals such as dogs, cats, birds, exotic pets and others.” It’s very sweet, but is it possible that they’re charging too much for putting people’s pets to sleep, you know, if they have money left over to donate?

It’s a thoughtful gesture, and I’m sure my parents can expect a yearly commemoration of our pet’s death in the form of a thank you letter for the gift.

Internet Wonder

January 17, 2007

Check out the hipster t-shirt generator.  The internet can do wonderful things.

I can also do wonderful things with time while job hunting.

Random Midday Thoughts

January 16, 2007
  • My friends are having amazing adventures.  Several are biking from Tierra del Fuego to Caracas, Venezuela.  Others are trekking off to Africa.  I am in Washington DC, but I am already fantasizing about adventures to be had a year or two or three down the road.  Driving around Australia, climbing Kilimanjaro, taking a boat up the Amazon, teaching English in Asia.  Don’t know what it’ll be yet, but I’m currently lusting after bigger adventures.
  • Seen on DC Craigslist:

Let’s Do a Book and Become Famous


I hold a number of unusual poems that an artist might like to illustrate. Comical, Political, Romantic, and Historical. Guaranteed unique topics ready for visual interpretation. Let’s build a rare and intelligent book for publication. Sample poem:


I breathe under water don’t you think that’s quite a trait?
“A mutation,” say the genome folks who look at DNA
But the gene remains a mystery and time is growing late.
Because my genitals shoot out blanks, I have no progeny
I make a lot of money while the experts prick and prod
for the A-G-C-T twist of fate that will bring the Nobel Prize.
No one else will ever drown once they become God
But since Yahweh is a myth, they’re nothing but smart guys.
So I live out on a remote island where I can use my skill
Protected by a bunch of yahoos with guns up on the roof.
The feds think I am someone; someone might want to kill
Perhaps I should tell someone that I am also bulletproof.

  • In an ideal world, all museums would be free.  Or they would be small and charge minimal admission fees.  For example, the Museum of Modern Art could separate its collection into three or four $3 exhibits — the traveling exhibition, the permanent painting, photography, and sculpture.  Then you wouldn’t feel obligated to see the whole thing in a marathon museum day for your $15 ticket.  Because those marathon days are really a killer.  Who knows how many kids have been forever turned off to art because of cruel parents who forced it on them from an early age.

I’ve moved!

January 13, 2007

I’m across the country anyway, with no plans to look back.  I came out to Washington, DC last Monday on a one-way ticket from San Francisco.  In my last week in the Bay Area, I went skiing for a day in Tahoe and drove down the coast to Big Sur to bask in the glow of my last sunset over the Pacific for awhile.   I already miss the mountains and the ocean.  They just don’t make em quite the same in this part of the country.

What they do make is Ethiopian food.  Apparently DC has the largest community of Ethiopians in the world outside of Ethiopia.  The closest Ethiopian restaurant in California was a twenty minute drive.  Here, they’re all over the city.  I’ve been to two already: one, Etete, that was much hipper than I ever imagined Ethiopian food to be, and the other, Abiti, that was delicious and quiet.  I plan to sample many more in the near future.

In other news, I am still jobless, and now homeless as well.  The housing market here is rough.  Lots of competition for spaces in group houses, populated with “young professionals.”  This seems to cover any person between the ages of 20-35 who works at any sort of job or internship in or around Washington, DC.  The open houses they hold remind me of my chances of getting into college.  30 or 40 like-minded, perky young professionals show up and show off to be the lucky one selected for the empty room.  To try to succeed, I’ve become a religious user of Craigslist.  I refresh the page every half hour to try to be the first to respond to a posting.  And every time, I write a new personal ad.  Not many responses yet, so I may need to start getting more creative in my self-descriptions.

I don’t know whether it’s comforting or discouraging that most people I know moved to DC, then found housing after looking around for weeks or even months.  Hopefully the employment thing will be solved soon so that I can at least tell people I have some source of income with which to pay my rent…

If you know anyone looking for housing in DC, let me know…

On Entry Level Jobs

January 4, 2007

Everyone has some morsel of advice for the job hunt. What no one ever seems to say is that it can take a long time to actually get a job. Sometimes I wonder about entry-level jobs, though, when they’re advertised like this:

Senior Democratic Senator is seeking highly qualified applicants to fill entry-level office positions. Applicants must be extremely motivated, have outstanding interpersonal skills and great attention to detail. Relevant experience on and off the Hill is strongly preferred. Tasks will include basic clerical and front office duties as well as answering phones and scheduling.

The Senator wants someone who has gobs of experience already for an ENTRY-LEVEL position. It’s hard to get a job these days right out of college without having any sort of internship/unpaid experience first, maybe one that even leads into a job. And society wonders why our generation still lives in our parents’ homes.