There’s more where that came from

Originally I planned on writing more about patronizing local stores, or even the Occupy Oakland movement, but I think we’re all tired of it.  I will keep going on my merry way spending money at local shops in silence.  Let my actions speak for me.

As tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I will say that I am thankful for my relative health, my family, my boyfriend, my dog, a place to rest my head, clothes to keep me warm, food to nourish me and more. What are you thankful for?


Putting my money where my mouth is

Well, money is kind of dirty, but I’d like to spend my money on the good food that you can find in Oakland. Knowing that the small businesses in downtown Oakland have suffered greatly in the past weeks due to the Occupy movement (as opposed to those few big corporations that are even located here, such as Clorox), I’m making a conscious effort to patronize the establishments in this area at least 3-4 times a week until at least the end of the year. And I don’t mean Piedmont, or Temescal, or even Grand Lake. I’m talking downtown, Old Oakland, and maybe even Jack London. Normally I wouldn’t be out spending so much money so often, but it is time to infuse these businesses with a little cash.

First up is Housewives Market, a semi-enclosed marketplace located on Washington Street in Old Oakland. Today I hit up Cosecha Mexican Cafe, Taylor’s Sausage, and Sincere Seafood.

The splurge was on Cosecha–four tacos–two fried fish with chipotle cream and cabbage slaw on special, one pork belly, one grilled chicken with achiote and a mexi-coke, of course (no, not all for me!)–$20. The food is fresh and simple, if a bit of a wait.  So, I went over to check out the meat and fish counters to kill time, but more on that in a second. The menu changes regularly at Cosesha, but there’s always fresh coffee and pastries, tortas, quesidillas, aguas frescas, etc. There are happy hour specials weekdays from 2:30-6:00 p.m.–this includes taco and appetizer specials plus $3.50 specials on tap beer like Trumer Pils and $2.50 on bottled ones like Negra Modelo. They also do Saturday brunch and special dinners, so check out their website for details.

I also grabbed a couple of catfish filets from Sincere Seafood for a fry up tonight ($7), and four boudin sausages from Taylor’s Sausage (two hot, two mild–$6) for later this week. Made on-premise, Taylor’s boudin sausages are a meal in themselves–packed with savory sausage, spices and rice. And at those prices, it’s a pretty good deal for the quality and freshness.

Where to next?




Damn blast, look at my past

I’ve talked about my batizado ad nauseum, but it finally happened this past Sunday. I promise I will write about Capoeira maybe just a little less, for a while at least.

But I was filled with a lot of emotion on the day of my batizado: anxiety that I’d freeze up while in the roda, relief that the day finally arrived, happiness that I’ve met so many good new people through ABADA, joy at finally moving into my transformation into a student of Capoeira (yellow/natural). Most especially is the  honor I feel having Mestre Cobra as my “padrinho”, or godfather.  In Capoeira, whoever plays against you in the roda for the first time at your batizado becomes your padrinho.  Lucky, lucky me!

So, while running through my emotional vault, I thought about where I was last year at the same time.  Mentally, I was constantly under stress, dealing with cranky people, waking up at 5:30 in the morning on many days to get a jump on work, and often finding myself still working at 8:00, and sometimes 10:00 or 11:00 at night.  My relationships suffered because I either had no time to see anyone, or just wasn’t mentally there when I was with them. Physically, I was 15-20 pounds heavier, and always tired.

Some people thrive on stress, and even though sometimes it was exciting to have all those challenges and responsibilities, I was not in a place where I wanted to be.  When my former employer announced the acquisition I knew the company would continue to move in a direction that I didn’t want to be a part of anymore.

So, while I watched the management and structure of my team change multiple times in less than half of a year, I built my plan for how to move into the next phase of my life.  As I mentioned before, I didn’t get to leave on my own terms, but I did have a plan in place, and was able to keep moving along.

I place so much importance on Capoeira because it has been the catalyst for change in my life in the past year. Maybe it’s because it is a game like chess in the sense that you have to think ahead to your next move when playing against someone, but that person can always fake you out, so you have to be prepared to pull out another move for your counter-attack. And with that, I need to go get ready to train tonight.

Washing away the dirt

Woke up again today to the sound of helicopters and sirens, but I hope it will be the last morning of that, at least for a while.  Rain and and a possible thunderstorm are predicted for this afternoon. My hope is that the rain will drive away the vandals who hide behind masks.

Regardless of all the inconsistencies I feel are in the Occupy Wall Street movement, people do have a right to protest.  But at this point, it appears almost impossible to hold a mass demonstration in the Bay Area without this destructive faction.  They are like selfish children, throwing a tantrum in the middle of a party, ruining it for everyone, which includes the other protesters and the people of Oakland.  This one group destroys without creating something of value, just to make noise and get attention.

And that’s the thing.  Sometimes in nature a destructive element, like a forest fire, is necessary to foster new growth. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with the masked faction.  What I do hope is that nature will step in today to flush out the dirt, and give us a good place to start fresh.