Archive for May, 2008

Ah, Spring!

When a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of lachoo!  I had thought that by this time all the crud would have been blown out of the trees and I could divest myself of my Kleenex stock without kicking myself later. That is obviously not the case.  I feel like half the pollen in Sacramento has been deposited in my lungs, and the other half into my eyeballs.

Sometimes this whole We-have-the-second-most-trees-behind-Paris thing is overrated.  On days like today, I think we should donate some of them to Yuba City.

Setting trends

According to this post on, in response to this SacBee story, Sacramento may be a bellwether for the housing market. After the median price for homes dropped 40%, sales are starting to pick up around here.


“The Sacramento Association of Realtors reported that 35.3 percent of sales in the county and in West Sacramento were for homes priced below $200,000 in April.”

I’m not at all surprised by that, are you?

Gaylord 1, Eric 0

I like to eat. Moreover, despite weighing in at about a buck fifty, I’m good at it. I do not fear the French Dip at Bud’s Buffet. I go mano a mano y tenedor a tenedor with my six-foot-three uncle for fourths on my father’s spectacular twice-baked potatoes at Thanksgiving. And you had better have your financial reserves in place when you open the doors to your all-you-can eat pizza buffet for $6.95 and find me standing outside—I’m going to make a dent in your kid’s college fund.

Yesterday, however, I met my match at Gaylord Indian Buffet. I met a friend at 14th and O around 11:45 to beat the rush, and there was just another foursome in the restaurant. We picked a table close to the eight steaming chafing dishes, and did not even bother sitting down or letting the waiter finish his, “Would you like the buffet, or should I bring you a me…” “Buffet!!” We picked up plates and began our gustatory experience.

Plate 1:

Rice with coriander and peas. Simple, and I made sure… (more…)

A scorcher!

The temperature here in Sac is supposed to reach triple digits by Thursday. I have a few strategies planned to beat the heat this week. First off, I’ll be bringing shorts to change in to for my bike ride home from work. Second, I’ll be making frequent use of my apartment building’s pool. Finally, on the hottest day I plan on making a stop at the snow cone window at Osaka Ya.

How will you be staying cool?

Russian Fest downtown this weekend

The Russians are coming…oh wait, they’re here. I just love saying that. Saturday, May 17 from 10 AM to 8 PM, there will be a YARMARKA (fair or festival) at Southside Park downtown. The park is just off Hwy 50 at 6th and W Streets. Free admission.

I’m told the event is kid friendly with food, performances, and souvenirs. There will be several music performers, including at least one Christian rock group. Oh yes, and a Ukrainian female rapper “Verka” should be there as well—it looks like she raps in English—non-religious, as far as I can tell.

If you want more info, here’s a mini-video of last year’s event. Caution: it’s all in Russian, but can give you an idea of what went on last year. I particularly like the “Russian Biker Club” segment where one guy wears a leather jacket in the video that says “Russian by Birth, U.S. Marine by Choice.”

We are not the Southwest—no matter what they paint us.

There’s a brand new building rising at 30th and Q that I mentioned in a previous blog entry. This new building, a Mercy Hospital satellite, sports a dark New Mexico orange tint. Nearly every new building going up lately in and about town is wearing a similar shade of burnt umber / tequila sunrise orange. Why? We’re not New Mexico; this is not the desert. We aren’t trying to color coordinate with red rock formations. Sacramento is a river city, and if anything, shouldn’t new buildings be in a complementary shade?

Or perhaps “they” know something I don’t know? Maybe the water crisis is worse than we think and river city will become dry creek. I hope not. Meanwhile, the backdrop for a bad western is out there, already. Get yer lassos ready, cuz we’re ropin’ some cattle this weekend, y’all.

(E) None of the Above

Actually, that’s not a wholly accurate title. What I would opt for after watching tonight’s 7-way Mayoral Debate on channel 10 would be (F) Neither of the two likely winners.

In what was nearly a model debate (attention George Stephanopoulos),  the seven candidates for Sacramento Mayor faced off over questions evenly divided between general issues of concern and their particular areas of strength – and, more interestingly, weaknesses.  Enough questions were directed at Kevin Johnson and Heather Fargo to clearly indicate who the serious candidates were and were not – though I give them credit for at least inviting all candidates.

What struck me most: the average candidates – the five whose names you likely don’t currently know and never will – offered more concrete ideas (not all winners) than either of the marquis candidates could muster.  Perhaps this is because they weren’t viable to begin with, thus, they enjoyed the freedom to say whatever they wanted and actually create a record.

Kevin Johnson managed to speak without saying anything for much of the time.  And he relied on his already disproven facts about local crime without getting called out for doing so.  I’m not sure what the professional analysis will say tomorrow, but I think he gave the weakest performance. (No, I’m not necessarily on Team Fargo yet, I’m just callin’ it like I see it.)

Fargo, for her part, certainly sounded like a policy wonk, using acronyms and political shorthand that’s likely unfamiliar to most voters (then again, maybe not to the people most likely to be watching a local mayoral debate).  She sounded like she knew what was going on – for better or worse.

But the rest of the field did a good job representing the rest of us: calling out Johnson and Fargo for their very real personal and professional failings and their rhetoric.  It was an awesome display of honesty and a breath of really fresh air in this already tired political season (nationally speaking).  There were some nutty moments, but I’m glad they were there.

Did you watch?

Serenity Body Art

Anniversary Tattoo

As I mentioned back on Thursday, my wife and I just had an anniversary. To mark the occasion this weekend we got new tattoos. Specifically we got each other’s initials on our ring fingers.

We got the work done at Serenity Body Art at S and 12th Street. The shop is only a few blocks from our apartments, so we wanted to give it a try. We’re both very glad we did. Jim, the tattoo artist, and his wife Vicky (a piercer) run the shoptogether and are really friendly people. You won’t get any of the “attitude” that sometimes comes with body art, and as you will see from the link, Jim’s art is top notch.

We’d never been in the shop before, and after getting our fingers done, we’ve both got plans to  go back for more work in the coming month.

From Camellia City to Rose Garden Town

There’s no surer sign that warmer weather is nearly here to stay than the blooming of Sacramento’s rose gardens.  Just when I think the only plant growing in front of any business or home is a Camellia, poof!, there they go and in pop the roses. 

The sight of roses and the scent of orange blossom – two reasons this town rocks more than outsiders know.

Taj Ma Dentist

Oh, so THAT’S why this place is out-of-network under my dental coverage.

You may have noticed Dr. Woo’s office – seemingly permanently under construction for, like, ever. Last time I was there, their reception was long and narrow, but there was the promise of big things to come behind the temporary construction wall. Yesterday, upon my return, I was greeted with this scene. It’s like a day spa and a hotel lobby had a toothy love child. There’s even a table in the back there with a jigsaw puzzle spread out. Nuts!

I appreciate the quality of care though – everyone is friendly and calm. The exam rooms are ritzy, with TVs on the ceiling to help you zone as they stick uncomfortable instruments in your mouth. All-in-all, if you must undergo dental work, I guess this is the best place for it.

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