new apartment photos

March 17, 2010

front of building

As many of you readers know, I’m moving to Cleveland for a job at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

my apartment is the top corner

I found this apartment on Monday, two days ago, and quickly decided it was the best place – great neighborhood in Cleveland Heights, and about a 20 minute drive to where I’ll be working (not the museum, but a new building for the HoF’s library and archives).

close-up of front door

third floor, view from staircase

I first thought the 3rd floor would be something to make me not take the place, but it’s not a bad climb, and a pretty one too!  This building was also the cleanest of the four I looked at.

view of kitchen from entrance

I’ve never had a dishwasher before… (see previous post!)

kitchen view from sink

Plenty of room for my table and chairs.

hallway, from the kitchen towards the living room

This hallway may be a candidate for all my Dylan concert posters.

bedroom view from door

bedroom view from radiator

There is no closet in the bedroom, but 3 exist in the hallway area, one of which is two bars deep and comes with hangers.  The closets also have high ceilings for more storage space.

living room view from door

living room bonus space, where a murphy bed used to be

living room view from opposite corner

I didn’t have a tape measure, but the living room is approximately 15×16 feet (steps).  There are 10 windows, including one in the bonus space, and one in the bathroom (no picture because it’s a small space).


fish in a dish…washer

March 3, 2010
Finally, the complete saga of cooking fish (salmon) in the Bancroft Library’s dishwasher!  This occurred in early December 2009, during lunch time.  Note in the 4th and 5th photos, of the control panel, that we originally selected “Regular Wash” only to then discover that this would take 110 minutes.  So we canceled the cycle and chose “Quick Wash” instead, which was a 30 minute cycle, no drying time.

The Bancroft Library dishwasher

Before: the fish on pieces of foil

Before: fish inside folded packets

Initial setting

After reading the machine's directions, we changed the cycle to "Quick Wash"

After: how the packets looked while still inside the dishwasher

After: me and the fish

After: close-up of the cooked fish

After: the complete meal, including green beans and a brown rice medley

a glimpse into facebook

January 28, 2010

This post is for all of you non-facebookers, so you can see what I’ve been up to.   And as a bonus, I’ll expand on some of the status updates for you- ooh, exclusive content! (in italics)

Jan. 17, 4:39pm – just saw Avatar in 3-D… so magical 🙂 went with Michele and her husband Joe; wanted to see it in IMAX, but that showing was sold out.  word to the wise – buy IMAX tickets in advance!

Jan. 18, 6:33pm – I just fixed my turntable! Couldn’t find the owner’s manual online, but consulted a different model’s and it had just the bit of info I needed.  And here I almost gave up… (this is one of those things I had avoided trying to fix for the last 2+ years).  For something I bought for $2 in 1996, I’m pretty psyched that it works 🙂 since then I also dusted off my tape deck and listened to a favorite Strangefolk tape to get back into the jam band mood.  oh, and the first record I tested out was Shakedown Street by the Dead.

Jan. 21, 1:55pm – bloomingdales just called… no, I didn’t apply to work there 🙂 but the level of service I’ve gotten there makes me happy I admit, I have a Bloomingdales habit.  But I’m keeping it in check, and I won’t go back until at least Feb. 8th (the start of a new credit cycle).  Or longer, considering that I just finished the book Not Buying It, a Year Without Shopping, by Judith Levine.

Jan. 22, 4:47pm – there were moments of brilliance today 🙂 gee I use the smiley icon a lot! Anyway, this status referred to my video interview for the Grateful Dead Archivist position.  I thought it went pretty well, though there were a couple times that I stumbled over my answers.  And then, a few minutes later, I added this comment: how great is it that I own the cassette single to the ONE song that I needed to hear right now? Reason enough to keep my tape deck… the song was Connected, by the Stereo MCs, which has the lyric “make sure you’re connected, the writing’s on the wall/ but if your mind’s neglected, stumble you might fall”

Jan. 24, 10:26pm – tonight’s movie – Cinema Paradiso. I loved it… I’m also in the middle of Twin Peaks, just finished the first season, and love it as well.

Jan. 25, 11:13am – I created a page called “I’m a fan of Terry Boom.” If you know Terry, chances are, you’re a fan.

Jan. 25, 4:36pm – going through old files today and I found a scrapbook I made out of purple notebook paper, documenting my love of Beverly Hills 90210, circa 1991.  Do you ever forget your teen idols? this was in the only box that I never got around to opening when I moved from New York.  yes, that was 2 years ago, but I’m making a honest effort at cleaning and throwing things away – not the scrapbook though!

Jan. 25, 6:04pm – my friend Jenna posted a link and the following to my Wall: this made me think of you 🙂

Lastly, about four hours ago – got my SAA membership paid for! I’m squeezing every penny I can out of UC.  One of the last things I did in December was submit a request to have my membership paid for, because I knew that I had just enough professional development funds left.  And today I got the email alerting me that the request went through.

campus protests

November 20, 2009

Here’s the report from Berkeley.  As some of you know, there have been student protests at many of the UC campuses this week, connected to the UC Regents’ meeting in LA in which they voted to raise fees (tuition) by 32%.  The strike began on Wednesday, and continued Thursday, with Friday (today) originally planned as a day to “escalate”.  I stayed home on Wed. to show my support, but went into work as normal on Thursday.  I got the feeling that other staff members didn’t think anything would happen on Friday, and communications from the unions were focused on the first two days.  However, when I woke up to the sound of helicopters this morning, I instinctively knew that something was happening.  The news report on the radio was vague, that students had taken over a building on campus.  The building, Wheeler Hall, is located centrally on campus, next to the main library (and Bancroft, where I work).  When I reached that location on my walk in, there was yellow police tape roping off the two main pathways on either side (north/south) of the building, and a very vocal group of people with signs at the western edge.  So I backed up and went the long way around to the south and east and was able to get to the library via a staircase by the Ethnic Studies library.

The work day began pretty much as normal (I was late, but that isn’t unusual these days!), until shortly after a coffee break when the fire alarm went off.  The forecasted rain had begun by this point of the morning (11am), so I decided to take a moment to put on my new rain boots (that feature tattoo art) and I also took my two bags (essentially all the stuff I’d brought in, except lunch).  When we got outside, it was quickly established that a protestor had set off the fire alarm in the library as a way to stir up trouble and force work to stop.  One of our student workers (and an activist) who had gone on a bus to LA for the protest happened to walk by, and we got an eye-witness report from her about what happened at UCLA.  She said that not only were the campus police and LAPD on the scene, but the California Highway Patrol was there and in full riot gear!  We joked that we thought she would be inside Wheeler – and she would have been if not for the LA trip.

In a normal fire drill or alarm incident, we wait outside across the street from the building, where the Campanile is located, and are not allowed to go back inside until the fire department declares it to be safe.  As there were no fire trucks to be heard, the crowd started to get a little restless and we watched as a representative staff member went to talk to the small group at Bancroft’s entrance (security and the director, Charles).  The woman walked back towards our group and said loudly, “Charles says to go get coffee or find someplace warm.”  And then, my favorite moment – three male students who were walking by with drums in hand and protest in mind, picked up on this woman’s remark, and one of them shouted: “Charles says to go join the strike!”  Hilarious.

So we went to a new building somewhere on the north side of campus where there was a Peets’ coffee shop, and sat with coffee or hot chocolate (me) to wait and see what would happen.  It was nearly noon by this point, and one of our group called the administrative assistant to find out the latest information.  Fire alarms had been triggered at other campus buildings, and we didn’t know how long it would take for the fire marshal to reach Bancroft.  But Admin had already reached a decision, and that was to send everyone home!  People who needed to go back inside the library to retrieve belongings were allowed to, apparently one at a time, but as I had more or less what I needed, I left the others and continued home (in the pouring rain, but my feet stayed dry thanks to those boots).

Here’s a link to the Chronicle’s coverage:

Nine days in New York

November 7, 2009

I was in New York City from Oct. 22-31, officially for an archives conference on the 29th-31st, but I took the opportunity to make it into a much longer trip. (I got 3 days administrative leave, which meant I only had to use 4 days vacation.)


The first event was part of the CMJ Music Festival, an annual weeklong music festival that focuses on indie rock.  My favorite band, The High Strung, were playing that Friday night at Union Hall in Brooklyn along with other bands on the Park The Van record label.  It was a silver anniversary of sorts, my 25th show in a little more than 4 years.  I’d asked them earlier in the week if I could be on the guest list, and sure enough, I was.  One of the other bands I really like, Generationals, were playing when I got there – it was a mixed set in terms of quality, but the record is exceptionally good, so if you like a vintage pop sound, check them out.

The High Strung began their set with a cover of the Buzzcock’s Why Can’t I Touch It?; this is the only cover song they play, and it’s a great example of what they sound like live.  The rest of the set was a little disappointing in that they only played 3 songs from their latest album, and other standards like The Luck You Got, Anything Goes, and Cored Out Apple.  But as I said to one of my friends, if you want to hear more, you need to go see them play at a library, because there they play considerably more songs than during a typical club show.  I got what I wanted from this show, though, when right before the last song the lead singer said, “Stasia! I just saw you, how are you?” and the girl next to me looked impressed.  And that kind of recognition is all I’ve ever wanted from rock and roll.

My friend Matt and I stayed at the club for a couple more hours, chatting with various band members and fans, and on my way out I grabbed the poster for the show off the bulletin board.

The next day was slow and rainy.  Jenn and I went to see the movie Whip It! and that evening Matt cooked dinner, which was followed by Scrabble and another movie, Friday the 13th.  Sunday morning I left for the next leg of my trip, a visit to see my grandmother in Bethlehem, PA.  It was her 79th birthday, and I got to see my brother, sister, and uncle.  That evening brought a surprise event, a Russian Balaika concert that my grandmother wanted to go to.  I had a wonderful time and learned a little more about my heritage.  I spent most of Monday in Bethlehem – we had a late breakfast at a diner called The Oasis, and tramped through a Catholic cemetery to see the stone my grandmother had finally chosen for my grandfather.  Then I was on the 3:45 bus back to New York, which arrived late due to traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel.

The next part of the trip was spent with my friend Katerina, who lives 9 stops out on the L train in Queens (just past the Brooklyn border).  Even though I’d never been in that neighborhood, it felt familiar and I had no problem finding my way in the days that followed.  Tuesday and Wednesday were free days; the only thing I had time to plan was a meeting on Tuesday afternoon with Lisa Darms, an archivist at NYU’s Fales Library, to talk about the punk archives survey I’m putting together.  Both days were also rainy, so I tried to stay indoors as much as possible.  On Wednesday I went to my favorite movie theater, the Film Forum on Houston St., where Elia Kazan’s Wild River was playing (one of the few Monty Clift movies that I hadn’t seen!).

Thursday morning I had to be in Jersey City for a records management workshop by 9am.  But what was supposed to be a full day’s activity ended after 3 hours (the instructor didn’t have enough material prepared), and I had lunch with a few other archivists before returning to the city.  On Friday Katerina joined me at the conference, where we heard about the amazing things the Dutch are doing with the Amsterdam City Archives (essentially digitizing on demand).  I also learned about the Warhol Museum’s project to catalog item-by-item the contents of Andy Warhol’s time capsules (some 600 boxes he filled with “art”).

Friday night was my next major event – the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary benefit concert at Madison Square Garden.  This was night two of the benefit, and scheduled to perform were Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck, Metallica, U2, and a host of special guests that included Jerry Lee Lewis, Lou Reed, Ray Davies, and Ozzy Osbourne.  Of these, it was Jerry Lee Lewis that was my primary motivation for buying the ticket.  He opened the show with Great Balls of Fire – just one song, but now I can at least say that I’ve seen him, and I will still try to see him do a regular show.  After he finished the song, he stood up and with some difficulty (but clearly enjoying it) picked up the piano bench and threw it off to his side.

The best set of the night belongs to Metallica, who impressed me with their stage manner and willingness to perform other people’s songs and serve as the house band for guests.  After they played Bob Seger’s Turn the Page (which was awesome), Lou Reed was their first guest, and I was quite happy to see Lou because it’d been 2 1/2 years since the last time.  Sweet Jane was an expected song for him to do, and I almost tuned it out, it was unexceptional.  But then, oh my, the next song started out unrecognizable, and all of a sudden I realized – White Light/White Heat!  Holy sh*t!  I could not believe what I was hearing and sat in my seat in complete awe of the moment, because this was a song I never thought I’d hear live, and it proved that this night was a once in a lifetime experience.

Ozzy was fun, and took a while to leave the stage, soaking up all the applause.  Then Ray Davies came out to play two Kinks classics – You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night.  All I can say is, the man can still jump!  The first song was such a treat to hear, and took me back to the first time I heard it (likely the Van Halen cover).  Metallica’s set ended with a Queen cover, and their hit Enter Sandman, a song that I remember more for its music video (back in the good old days?).

Each set change featured video footage detailing a certain part of the history of rock and roll (e.g., Jeff Beck’s set was preceded by a segment on the blues), and prior to U2’s set their was a Beatles/British Invasion tribute that led into the Velvet Underground and punk rock.  Compared to the other two times I’ve seen U2, I didn’t enjoy their performance nearly as much.  And also compared to James Hetfield’s humble attitude during Metallica’s set, I felt Bono was not as happy to be second string.  (This could also be due to Metallica’s newly inducted status.)  However, there were some fine moments.  Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith joined the band for Because the Night (performed twice in order to capture the best sound or delivery), and Bruce stayed on for a duet of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.  U2’s next number, Mysterious Ways (one of my all-time favorite songs), was cut short by a segue into the Black Eyed Peas’ song Where Is The Love (featuring members of that band).  I’m hardly a fan of BEP, but I will grudgingly admit that Fergie was not bad. and Fergie then stayed on for… Gimme Shelter with Mick Jagger!  Another “oh my god” moment, he was the biggest surprise of the night for me.  Mick then stayed on for what I think was the best duet, with Bono, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.  The show ended with an encore by U2 of Beautiful Day, over at 11:40.  I thought their set could have been longer, and wonder if they weren’t allowed to play more, because the first night of the benefit lasted until 1:30am.  In any case, it was a truly amazing night, and what a way to end my trip.  As a side note, this concert allowed me to check off 4 more of the top 100 singers (according to Rolling Stone magazine), bringing my total to 23 out of a possible 80 who are still living.

photos from the Giants game

August 5, 2009
Phillies starting lineup

Phillies starting lineup

Coke bottle and mitt, to the left of the scoreboard

Coke bottle and mitt, to the left of the scoreboard

an action shot from the first half of the game

an action shot from the first half of the game

Tim Lincecum, pitcher for the Giants

Tim Lincecum, pitcher for the Giants

I had to enhance that last photo a bit, but isn’t it a perfect shot?  One leg up, just about to throw – I couldn’t have captured it better if I had tried to.   Tim Lincecum was the main reason I went to the game last Saturday (8/1), because he won the Cy Young award last year.  This was also the first baseball game that I’ve gone to in years, and I had wanted to go last season, but didn’t have a good enough reason.  I read about the team frequently, though, in the paper, and was following this season with more interest than usual.  The other reason to go was the visiting team, the Phillies, who I grew up rooting for, but now I find that I really don’t know the team – just Chase Utley, Jimmie Rollins, and that might be it.  So I am much more of a Giants fan, and maybe always will be – it started back in ’88 with Will Clark, who was featured briefly during Saturday’s game in a previously recorded “highlight” from the 1989 NLCS, and no matter where I move to next, I expect to check the standings from time to time to see who’s in the lead.

new feature

July 18, 2009

in an effort to find more time for updates, I’ve enabled the Twitter widget on this blog.  So whenever I post something to my Twitter account (@stasia_k), you’ll see it in the sidebar.

sometimes you wanna go…

June 1, 2009

…where the band all knows your name.

The Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend featured gray skies and chilly temperatures here in Berkeley.  I’m not usually one to let the weather get me down, but for whatever reason it gave me the blues.  My friends were either camping or otherwise unavailable, so I was left with nothing in particular to do.  Saturday night I realized that my favorite band, The High Strung, were playing in Sacramento the next night, and since I had Monday off I could go!  Then came the matter of how to get there.  My first thought was to take the train and stay overnight after the show, but that proved to be too expensive (and indeed nearly made me not go).  But then, Sunday morning at about 11am I thought to check Zipcar to see what cars were available.  And wouldn’t you know, my favorite car was first on the list!

Nissan Versa

Now there was no reason not to go.  I left at 6pm, and once I was on the freeway leaving Berkeley, the sun came out.  It seems that Berkeley is often stuck in the fog or clouds while the towns surrounding it are sunny.  The drive to Sacto took an hour and a half and traffic was moderate (compared to a typical Sunday night, when the roads are packed with people heading home).  It was still light out when I got to downtown, and I found the pizza parlor and parking without any problems.  The venue is called Luigi’s Slice and Fungarden, and was a nicer place than I expected:

outside sign

no plants in this garden

no plants in this garden

As soon as I walked inside, the lead singer (Josh) spotted me and introduced me to his friend Brian.  We chatted and were soon joined by a children’s librarian from Marysville, a town nearby where they’d played (in the library) last summer.  I got a slice of the day, which was Hawaiian with turkey bacon instead of ham, and one more reason it was worth the trip (Luigi’s is supposedly Sacramento’s best pizza, and though the crust was a little thick for my tastes, Hawaiian is my favorite kind).

The other band members were happy to see me, especially since the last time was in December ’07, before I moved out here.  Derek, the drummer, took my picture for their blog, and gave me the title of “official archivist librarian” for the band.  Best moment(s) of the show were when several teenagers started swaying and dancing along to some of the new songs – that mostly made up for the fact there were less than 20 people in attendance.

The evening wrapped up before 11pm, which was the perfect time for me to leave and get the car back to its parking space by 12:30am (almost like Cinderella, as one girl mentioned).  An interesting note – most of the people I met and also the band had never heard of Zipcar, so I was able to enlighten them with how carsharing works.

On Monday the weather was somewhat better, and I was prepared to spend most of the day recovering from the late night, until my friend Sara called to invite me to an impromptu BBQ and we managed to stretch out the end of the holiday.

Then on Tuesday it was time to see the High Strung again, this time in San Francisco at the Hemlock Tavern.  Great venue, more people in attendance, but I had to leave early since it was a work night (and a friend was able to give me a ride home).

21st Century Breakdown

May 25, 2009

I am a Green Day fan, a fact that I have possibly denied since circa 1994 when a guy asked me what kind of music I liked, and I learned that GD was the wrong answer.  This incident predates my discovery of Dylan, the Beatles, the Clash, etc., but I remember it so well that I never gave the band my full attention after that.  I may have bought American Idiot, but more because I thought I should, and it was my sister who suggested it (usually it’s the other way around).  Soon after I moved to Berkeley, though, I learned about Green Day’s roots in the area, and considered giving them another chance.  In early April I heard about several surprise club shows they were playing in SF, and I got so excited, especially when I then got an email about a show at the Fox Theatre in Oakland.  After all, one of the best places to see a band is on their home turf.  I got a great seat, 2nd row balcony, and was impressed by the effort they put into this production – the show consisted of their new album, 21st Century Breakdown, played in its entirety, and there was a special program (free) that included all the lyrics.

The chance to hear the new album in this manner, a month before it was released, was one of those unique opportunities I look for from rock’n’roll.  My initial reaction was, “wow, this is pretty good,” and my review of the album now that I’ve heard it a few more times is five stars.  Some of the songs seem ageless, like I’ve known them my whole life.  But the thing that made me declare that I am a fan was hearing the band perform their older songs, the ones from Dookie, which took me right back to that teenage place that I never entirely let go of (e.g., I never forgot the video for the song Basket Case¹).

The concert was on a Tuesday night, which means work the next day, but the Fox Theatre is located  on Telegraph Ave, and close to a major transit center (19th st. BART and AC Transit), so I got home much faster than from a typical show in San Francisco.  At some point during the evening I heard someone say that the band was going to play the following night at a club called the Uptown, which happens to be across the street from the Fox.  Sure enough, on Wednesday I checked the website, and it said $20 cash at door for admission.  By the time I got there, the line stretched more than halfway around the block.  The capacity of this club is 575, including the separate bar space and mezzanine area.  This means that maybe 300 can comfortably fit in the space by the stage.  I was approximately #335 when I got to the door, and unless I wanted to force my way through the crowd, there was no way I could see the stage.  So I went up to the mezzanine, but couldn’t see well from there either.  In the room with the bar there was a large movie screen that showed the stage area, and I decided that would be good enough.

The band didn’t begin until 10:30, much later than the previous night, and by this point I was so tired I could barely stand up.  So I moved down from the mezzanine to a bit of wall space by the front door, and watched the show from there.  Unfortunately the only sound was that which carried through the wall separating the stage and bar, and it was muddy at best.  I realized that the thrill was simply getting in to the club, and after an hour I left.  Only then did I discover that the sound was better outside, because a bouncer had propped a loading door open for a few people hanging around.  I was too tired to stay, and catching the bus was more important than hearing the new songs again.

Below are a few pictures from the Fox, and one of the outside of the Uptown.  It took me six weeks to write about these shows in part because I suffered another sort of 21st century breakdown when my computer crashed a few days afterward.  I recovered many of my files, but only just got around to reinstalling the software for my camera.

curtain before show

Green Day during one of the first two songs

Fox marquee

night two

Lastly, for more about Green Day and their new album, here are a couple of good links:

The 5 most over and under-rated songs, courtesy of Magnet magazine, and

Rob Sheffield’s review of the album (note that it rates a 1/2 star better than the new Dylan album!)

1. Here’s a link to the video

last minute trip to Sacramento

May 24, 2009

going to see the High Strung play at a pizza parlor, $5. report to follow…