27 February 2006

Bye Jessica, Hello Hiromi

The wet weather is here again! And with it, our invincible laziness...Oh yes! So, this week end we gave up our challenging plans and opted for a quieter scenery. Yesterday evening, though, we decided to go out for a live gig. For once that we had a car. We went to the famous Yoshi's in Oakland, where we attended a concert of this young very talented Japanese pianist, Hiromi.

This little, tiny girl, is very very powerful and captivating. Her music mixes piano solos in Keith Jarrett's style, but without his melancholy, with some electronic tunes, very unique. She plays with a bass player and a drummer. Yesterday, she started the gig with a very peculiar tune, "Kung Fu World Champion", which uses electronic piano, arcade sounds and some typical Japanese melodies. Then she switched to a more "classical" set, with some very moving pieces, like "Green Tea Farm" (which she wrote for her family, green tea farmers in Japan). Luca says that she sounds a lot like Art Tatum. We really enjoyed it.

The rest of the week end was pizza, movies and sleep. We really needed it. We also explored a little of Rockridge where we had an horrible lunch at Zachary's pizza - the pizza by the slice is simply cardboard - and an awfully heavy crepe at Crepevine. It took us a full day to digest it!!!

24 February 2006

Wild week end with Jessica Fletcher?

 www.westofone.com/Vegas is still waiting, but right now I don't have the energy it takes to gamble all night in a Casino and then the morning after go to the Death Valley (without being dead myself...). So our plans for the week end are still in the air. We've rented a car, which is the first step for an adventure, but what we'll end up doing is still a mystery.

Photo by Gene Trindl - All Rights Reserved, 1985 Gene Trindl - Image courtesy We were thinking about visiting Mendocino, home of the super cult tv series "Murder She Wrote" (which was supposedly setted on the East coast but actually shot in California). I love Mrs Fletcher (aka Angela Lansbury) and, as I said before, she really is my role model, the woman I'd love to be when I'm old... I mean even without all the murders, she is kind of jinxy... But her, and Agatha Christie's Mrs Marple, are the type of apparently-quiet-but-deeply-spicy old ladies that I'd love to be one day.

Anyway. Mendocino could be one option for this week end. The other one is Monterey. I'd love to kayak with the sea otters at Elkhorn Slough. I looooove sea otters, they are such intelligent and cute animals.

20 February 2006

So cold...

...That even my cat put on a scarf! California isn't supposed to be warm??

Just one week ago Luca and I were sun-bathing, giggling thinking about our friends freezing in NY or in Italy... And 4 days later, here comes the cold in the Bay Area. I'm not kidding, the last three days have been very very cold, apparently the coldest of this year. The worst part is that, while in NY it is very cold outside but crazily warm (even too much) inside, here in Berkeley it is cold outside AND inside. Working at the computer we are freezing!!!!

15 February 2006

St Valentine's menu?!

I just discovered that St Valentine's Day in the US it is a big deal. Yesterday I was looking forward to a pizza delivery and some Olympic ice skating contest, but my boyfriend took me out for dinner. On our way to the restaurant where he had reserved our table we couldn't help noticing that every single restaurant, even the Chinese ones, had set up a St Valentine's decor, with hearts and red napkins all over, serving heart-shaped dishes!

This was the very first time we saw something like that (...to be totally true in the last 4 years my boyfriend fell ill every single St valentine's day, with temperature, cold and whatever illness you can imagine. Of course the day after he was always fine... Shall I understand something?!). Anyway, in Italy many couples go out for dinner, but - as far as I know - there are no valentine's day menus on every single restaurant... I mean now I understand why singles need specific activities and special parties on February 14th, they cannot even go out for dinner in that day, it is crazy!!!