Fantasy baseball players with long eyelashes

By popular request, I am now documenting the saga of my fantasy baseball experience on tumblr.

I chose to draft my players primarily based on the length of their eyelashes, whether it looks like they are wearing eyeliner, and the overall prettiness of their eyes.

From what I can tell, this seems to be about as valid a draft strategy as any, but time will tell!

So, if you are at all inclined to watching me misunderstand baseball, join me at


Silly songs about kittens!

It appears I am not the first (nor, I’m sure, the last) to sing silly songs about kittens.

From the (incredibly awesome) National Jukebox of the Library of Congress, I present, for your consideration, “An Armful of Kittens and a Cat” sung by Mr. Steve Porter in 1901.

(I am really enjoying digging through the digital collections of the Library of Congress!)

My current happy place on the interwebs

When the cats bite, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad… I’ve been spending time diving through the digital collections of the Library of Congress. It’s rabbit hole to some of the most delightful content on the web.

For example, the collection of An American Ballroom Companion, dance instruction manuals ca 1490 – 1920. This gorgeous collection is housed on a somewhat outdated site, but you can still get to the content (in both plain text and scans of the pages) if you dig far enough.

My current favorite is Immorality of modern dances, ed. by Beryl and associates. Here’s an excerpt form a chapter entitled “Sinful Modern Square Dances“.

They include, to a certain extent, the immodest Spanish “Pavane,” in which the performers look maliciously at each other, strutting like peacocks, fluttering, fondling, cooing and wooing, approaching and retreating and imitating something in the animal kingdom, until at last, tired of the contest, and from a certain distance, both parties rush like maniacs to the wild close embrace for which they were fully prepared.

Just gorgeous.

Never be sorry

On my way home tonight, I stopped to give a man a few spare coins.
Me: “I’m sorry, it’s not much.”
Him: “Never be sorry for giving.”

Cleaning up the “perhaps the ugliest spot in Bernal Heights”

Photo of a graffitied "No Dumping" sign and highway

Before. Photo by Todd Lappin on flickr

Since moving to our gorgeous new neighborhood on the north side of Bernal Heights, we’ve been enjoying the local blog Bernalwood,

This week, the blog featured a sad post about Perhaps the Ugliest Spot in All of Bernal Heights.

Photo of a clean "No Dumping" sign, makeshift bench and pile of rocks.

After. Photo by Josh

So, this Saturday, me and Josh headed over to give it a quick clean up, which took about an hour. You can see the rest of the results in my flickr stream.

There was a fair amount of trash strewn around, and a real mess of broken wood and bits of concrete and stone. It looked like most of this junk may have come from a nearby fence renovation project.

First we removed the graffiti from the sign, with a spray cleaner that worked surprisingly well. We then used the discarded building and fence supplies to make a bench (where one can sit and contemplate “progress”) and couple of cairns/shrines/ompahli (depending on what you like to call a pile of rocks).

We certainly made a start, but there is a lot of beautification that could still be done in this area – particularly with a weed whacker & trailer. Anyone keen on joining in on a second round of cleanup?


Choose to do one thing well, and one thing only, and the chances are that you’ll do it well.

Like King Foot Subs, who have been making delicious sandwiches since 1975.

Advice to myself 1 year ago

We arrived in San Francisco almost exactly one year ago. Here is the advice I wish I had been given:

Buy large headphones
These help significantly with the auditory offensive that is Powell Street. Added bonus: less people yell at you when they can see you are clearly not listening.

This is going to be really hard
Moving countries will probably always be hard. Don’t expect it to be anything other than what it is, but work on enjoying the reality of it.

Learn to love drip coffee
For the moments when nothing but a flat white will do, go to: Cafe Bello, Contraband Coffee, Grand Prix, or Blue Bottle (but be warned that the results sometimes vary). Or just consult the Map of Decent Espresso in San Francisco.

Give every potential friendship everything you’ve got
Don’t be hesitant just on the off-chance that you may, one day, be leaving.

Make forts
Living in a studio apartment can sometimes be tough. Forts give the much-needed illusion of private space.

Don’t worry about being unemployed
Or anything else, for that matter. As you suspected, everything worked out in perfect time.