August 18, 2010

Mushroom Mystery Solved: Basket Stinkhorn

Ever since I started working at a job in San Francisco's Presidio, I've noticed these strange little egg-like fungus that would undergo a startling transition. On my daily walk from the bus stop to the office, I'd see them under some shrubs. I always imagined them as some sort of alien life form. Frankly, they freaked me out.
They'd start out as a whitish egg shape, then "blossom" into a something like an orange dodecahedron or geodesic dome with holes, which would finally start to collapse. I've been wondering about these things for about three years, and of course did nothing about it. Even though I knew that one of my coworkers is into fungi (I think she's even part of the Bay Area Mycological Society), it wasn't until today that I took a photograph, along with a Post-It Note documenting its phases, to seek her guidance.

Within a few minutes she was able to identify it: Basket Stinkhorn. Gotta love the name. Today was also the first time I noticed flies all over it. Apparently it has an odor like rotting meat (I don't want to get close enough to smell it!), which attracts the flies, which then helps to spread its spores; ingenious and gross. Ironically, the more I learn about it, the more freaked out and disgusted I am.

April 17, 2010

Notebook, Memory, Nevermore

So long Penway 3x5. 2002, we will miss you.

Finally getting down to the nitty-gritty of cleaning the apartment. A real clean, where everything has its place, and whatever doesn't gets recycled, Goodwill-ed, composted or thrown away. Getting rid of notebooks. Just tossed one from 2002. This is basically one from my Kinokuniya days. I have all the initial notes: the book departments; staff names and their positions, what sections they bought for; and crudely drawn store layout maps. I have ideas: section logo 1" buttons to identify what sections staff headed (which I did make and some folks actually wore on their blue Kino aprons); an ill-thought bookworm mascot I was playing around with; thoughts and schematics for future punkpunk's that never made it off the ground, like a menko card set; and prose that never made it into stories. There's even notes on the proper way in Japanese to do credit card transactions with customers and other assorted Japanese bookshop lingo or customer service language I was unfamiliar with at the time. This is all gone now. It will fade. I have a horrible memory. As I'm shredding and tossing this all into the compost, towards the end, I'm feeling that I just threw away a whole year or at least a good six months of my past. Will I miss it? Probably not. Like I said, I have a horrible memory. It's just like it never existed.

February 19, 2010

Randy Raccoons

Just chillin' before the main event.

Work came to a standstill seeing these two on a Friday morning. They didn't seem to be rabid or anything. And what they did next, maybe explained their diurnal outing.
Every window had a coworker or two watching the action.