Atta Ikede

June 28, 2009

18 boxes ..

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 3:03 pm

.. and counting.

Packing sucks.

June 23, 2009

In love with Black Eyed Peas

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:11 am

I guess I broke up with Matchbox 20 but got back together with BEP.

That Boom Boom song will be forever linked to Sydney in my mind, cuz it was on non-stop on the radio while I was there and since Wing really liked it, he always turned it up when it came on. Hehe.  So when it comes on the radio here I start thinking about .. vegan pho. mmm!  .. and squawking birds. eww!

This new song (which is on right now!) has been on non-stop on the pop radio station I’ve been listening to since I got home. With my pal stomping around upstairs listening to Justin Timberlake, the overt socialism of NPR started giving me radio-rage, so I switched to a repetitive pop music station because well, at least it drowns out the JT. Oh, falsetto is a little painful after a while.

Update on “where’s the recession?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:01 am

I remember a while ago I posted that despite the hoopla, I personally hadn’t seen much evidence of a recession and that so far, it sounded a bit academic to me. Looks like I posted that back in December. Here’s how things have changed:

1. I think I told you that the street I live on, is full of shi-shi stores and overpriced boutiques. Not Gucci or Prada, but we’re talking $1k dresses that don’t look that different from the Macy’s sale rack. $300 “organic” yoga pants and Marc by Marc Jacobs.  At least two of the larger, more unjustifyably expensive stores have since left the street, leaving huge papered up store fronts.  They were empty in March, before I went to AU, and they’re still empty now. A few small stores also appear to have had some turnover.

2. When I was looking for my apartment last year, I had to rely entirely on craigslist apartment ads. You could walk around a neighbourhood and perhaps pick out a couple “for rent” signs after walking a mile, but that’s it. Not so anymore. I can literally walk down any street in my neighbourhood now and find “for rent” signs on every block. Some of the very expensive high rise buildings (where it’s $2700 to $3k for a ONE bedroom. Don’t ask.) have had the signs up for more than a month. That would have been impossible last year. I noticed lots of “for rent” signs along the bus route I take to work too, so it’s not just this silly area that got affected.

3. I know people who have been laid off or had some kind of paycheque adjustment for a while. Smart people with good resumes.

So yeah, it kinda started feeling real over the past few weeks.

June 21, 2009

Sick of Matchbox 20

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 12:59 am

Have you heard that new Rob Thomas single? It’s about a girl who cries wearing diamonds on her doorstep or something like that.

I’m so bored with songs about mercurial, emotional females.  How about a song about a responsible, diligent young professional eh? Now that would be fresh.

Julie, I want you to see my new sandals!

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 12:54 am

I bought some super awesome sandals today. I saw them in a store front and I was like … ahh! Must have! I’ll send you a picture tomorrow.

They were a bit pricey, you know, more neiman marcus then macy’s, but hey. When I’m in my fuzzy cubicle on Monday, I’m going to feel rather satisfied. Yes, I can do a summary of a summary. And yes, I can dig around feverishly in a db that refreshes every 15 minutes. Cuz me loves my new shoes.

I had to share this with you. Also, be aware that your quote from last year, which I printed and put up on said fuzzy cubicle wall, is still getting compliments. The quote goes something like “fashion without style, … it’s just not right.” So true.

Am I so “web 1.0”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 12:47 am

The new york times had an article recently about twitter and blogging and a bunch of related breathless, mostly useless reporting.

Anyway, in there they interviewed a girl whose blog was apparently quite popular during the early 2000s. She gave it up after a couple years and has now restarted a blog with shorter, impersonal posts. The first was anonymous. The new one is not, but given that she no longer writes about personal stuff, I guess it’s not an issue for her. She’s quoted in the article as saying her old blog was so “web 1.0”.

I kind of think what makes this little blog fun is that it is personal. Observations about SF are great, but it also feels good to write about the other stuff, if nothing else then sometimes just to get those thoughts off my chest. I like reading your comments on those things too. Funny how most of the time, I come here with nothing really on my mind, like I did 5 minutes ago, and now I’m 2 paragraphs in.

Geez, and now i’ve gone and written another long, anonymous personal post. Old Skool!

June 13, 2009

For fluffy pancakes …

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 10:57 am

… use half pastry flour! Yup! It really works.

I’ve been using up various things from my cupboards so that I have less stuff to move. I made pancakes this morning to get rid of 2 cups of flour and a half opened bag of chocolate chips.

Martha Stewart’s Pancake 101 tipsheet warned against making pancakes with bread flour (too tough) or cake flour (too soft .. gets soggy when syrup is added), but I figured half pastry half all purpose could be a good combo.

And it was!

Just one word of caution: real maple syrup has to be refrigerated! Although I was raised on Aunt Jemima (butter flavour .. it’s unholy), I bought overpriced real maple syrup last year at Safeway, mainly because it said “Made in Canada” on the label.  I didn’t refrigerate it. It went moldy.

Ethiopian, father of 3, retired x-ray tech, almost millionaire

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 10:47 am

Taxi driver.

I was waiting outside for Yellow Cab when this guy drove by, also in a Yellow Cab. I waved him down thinking he was my cab, but when my phone rang 5 minutes later saying my cab had arrived I realized that this guy was just a random cab driver I’d flagged down! Haha!

We got to talking, he asked me about my ethnicity, and he ended up telling me his amazing life story.

He’s from Ethiopia but he’s been here for 15-20 years. He used to be an x-ray technician but now he drives a cab once a week. His wife is a nurse.  They have 3 boys.

His best friend is an Indian guy with whom he used to work back during his x-ray tech days. Apparently this Indian guy is pretty smart, but his wife is even more amazing: she worked her way through a PhD while raising 3 boys!

Apparently, around 10 years ago, the Indian guy encouraged the Ethiopian guy to buy a townhouse out in Dublin. Dublin is one of the small towns in the East bay. Anyway, the Ethiopian guy was renting at the time and wasn’t sure about buying, but the Indian guy strongly encouraged him to do it. So he did! He bought a townhouse really close to the Indian guy’s own townhouse for around 230 or 250k.

Then the housing bubble happened. The value of the house went up like crazy. Over 600k! The Indian guy started thinking that prices were getting insane and advised the Ethopian that they’d better cash out. So they did! 3 years ago! The Ethiopian was able to net almost 500K from the transaction.

The Ethiopian guy and his wife decided to bank the cash. They lived in a rental apartment for a couple years and then bought a 5 bedroom house way out in Tracy, CA. Tracy is even further inland than Dublin, and they managed to get the house for less than 400K. He quit his job so he could look after the kids. The Indian guy moved to Tracy too and now lives just a few blocks away from the Ethiopian guy!

The taxi system in San Francisco works around drivers having a medallion. The Indian guy had some friends or relatives to had the SF medallion and suggested that the Ethiopian guy give taxi driving a try. So nowadays, the Ethopian guy comes into the city once a week to drive a cab. His mortgage is around $1k a month because he put so much down his rate is pretty low. So even though he doesn’t make much with the cab job, that income basically pays the mortgage which means they can bank most of his wife’s salary.

I asked the Ethiopian guy whether they take fabulous vacations.

He turned around the pointed at his hat. It said Maui.”We went here earlier this year.”

So what happened to the Indian guy? Well he changed to part time hours and so basically these two dads spend a lot of time hanging around the house calling each other. They have parties on weekends where the families watch Hindi movies.

How old is this Ethopian guy? 36.

His advice to me? Don’t get into debt, and – no joke – basically be careful who you marry.

I have a suspicion he’ll be a millionaire before he’s 40.

June 11, 2009

The keys are still sticky

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:02 am

STILL STICKY!

June 9, 2009

Oh Vaio

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 7:45 pm

My latest keyboard-meets-food incident was a real disaster.

Do not eat a half melted ice cream sandwich while you’re hunched over your laptop keyboard.

Yes. That is the kind of thing I do on Tuesday nights after work.

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