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the many wonders of San Pablo Ave, vol.2

February 24, 2010

This time we venture to Berkeley’s northern neighbor Albany to another aptly named spot, Albany Bowl, for a little Monday night bowling.

Unfortunately I could only watch due to my mangled paw, but this place was packed with every kind of person for me to oggle and take sneaky pictures of. Not only is it $1.25 a game, but you can have pitchers of beer and an assortment of fried foods delivered to your lane, and they are open until 2 am! If you can tolerate blasting top 20 hits and hoards of giggling teens, this is a pretty fun way to spend an evening on a budget.

couldn't agree more

So I drank and cheered on my uninjured pals through a few games before we headed across the street to a once dive-y bar, The Hotsy Totsy, of which an elaboration will have to wait for another day.

Ah, San P…what other adventures await me?


a visit to L.A. + some epic karaoke moments

February 23, 2010

I went for a quick trip to L.A. a few weeks ago to have one last hurrah with dear friend and “road-dawg” Cory, before he moved to New York. Our days in L.A. were quiet, and our nights long…

The boys, minus one...

We managed to choose one of 3 weekends a year that it rains to be in Los Angeles, but no biggy. Most of our time was spent in a car or a mall or a bar, naturally.

At the food court in one of many Westfield Shopping centers. Riveting, isn't it?

Birthday cupcakes for Laura

We spent our first evening at Roger’s Exciting Tattle Tale Room in Culver City, which hosted an excellent karaoke night. I arrived thinking it would be full of annoyingly hip kids (like us) fighting over who gets to sing the week’s latest ironic classic rock song but was surprised to find that it was a genuine dive bar with genuinely dive-y customers. We had all our favorite ironic hits to ourselves.

none of us know who that girl is

We ate. We drank. We karaoke’d. And then we karaoke’d some more. More unflattering pictures here.

In Oakland a week before it was more of the same story. Everyone at home was eager to spend some quality time with Cory before his departure, and massive partying ensued.

picture by Sadie Mellerio

Here’s me really showin’ ’em who’s boss with a little Rod Stewart at one of Rhett’s awesome parties in a West Oakland church-turned-loft. Sadly, one of the last.

So goodbye for now to Cory. Next stop: New York!

I am so ashamed of myself

February 17, 2010

So, I took a MASSIVE break from updating, but who really cares? Perhaps it’s good that no one actually reads The Vignettist. My excuses range from being without camera for a while to getting mauled in a monkey fight.

There’s some pretty graphic images that follow.

You’ve been warned.

Read more…

the many wonders of San Pablo Ave, vol.1

November 20, 2009

San Pablo Avenue is weird. If you are a resident of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo (City), Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo or Crockett, you may already know that. Originally part of historic route 123, San Pablo Ave. offers a wide variety of activities from gambling and prostitution to shopping for artisan cheeses.

I made a stop the other day to my favorite discount fabric store in Berkeley, aptly named Discount Fabrics. This place definitely goes into the “awesome” category of San Pablo strange. There’s just something about the light here.

More to come.

there is a heaven

November 16, 2009

…and apparently it’s located in Southwestern Wisconsin.





Home to all manners of weird shit is House on the Rock. I’ve had a hard-on for this place for years, but just can’t find an excuse to go to Wisconsin.

The story is some crackpot built a very unusual looking house on top of a very high rock that folks really liked to come look at. This crackpot was also a collector of sorts, so he opened his home to visitors and that’s that. It’s still there. People still come to see it, and why wouldn’t they? It’s magnificent.


obscure oakland 002: fight night

November 16, 2009


If you’ve ever lived in Oakland it’s likely that you’ve been to – or at least heard of – the East Bay Rat MC’s fight parties. Last night was the motorcycle club’s 15th anniversary and while it certainly wasn’t the gnarliest of fight nights, it still delivered the usual debauchery.

Pregnant women and those with a sensitive disposition not recommended to attend.





I also wouldn’t recommend showing up if you are made faint by: blood, fire, loud noises, daredeviling, filthy lavatories, repressed homosexuality or sweat. More photos here.


on being an asshole

November 4, 2009

As someone who’s been interested in art their entire life, it seems odd that I’ve waited until my 24th year to delve into photography. I like to place blame on the lack of arts funding in public schools leading to the removal of the photography class at my high school, but the reality is that I was just an asshole about the whole thing and deemed photography to be too “typical”. And my best friend was into photography so it was sort of her thing.




Well, I finally drank the cool-aid, goddamnit, and I’m sorry I waited so long. I accept it as a necessary technology and possible means of artistic exploration, and this is my first adventure – the locker room at one of my 483 jobs. Clicky on the Picky to see ’em bigger.