Music Filler – Erykah Badu


“Bag Lady”

Such a shame I ain’t got no steady job. Dave Chappelle and Erykah Badu were in Oakland over the last week and I had to miss them. So sad so sad so sad. My only hope is that when I do have the money, I’ll have the opportunity to see them again.

Whenever you see a post with the tag  “emotional baggage” is it because of this song that I created the tag. Enjoy!

Bay Bridge Crack Could Delay Bridge Reopening


FYI

Crews performing a seismic retrofit on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Saturday called a crack that was most likely discovered in a 2007 inspection, “significant.”

The Bay Bridge had already been closed on Thursday night so that a section of the eastern span could be replaced with a new double-deck section. The discovery may delay the Bay Bridge from reopening Tuesday morning.

AP

What’s That Thing in Oakland? Scraper Bikes


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I started seeing kids with these bikes around the time spinning rims started to come out on cars. I thought it was cute. They don’t have a car to put rims on, but hey, they got a bike. They can put rims on that. Who had any idea these bikes, in addition to being cool, could also be a source of positive change?

Watch the video.

Did you know you could also ghost ride the scrape?

What’s That Building in Downtown Oakland?


I used to be quite the walker when I first moved back to the Bay. I had an active social life and no car to support it. One of the things I would almost always see and wonder about on my walks is this building at 1100 Broadway in Oakland.

Luckily, Jonathan Haeber, a local urban explorer, was also curious about the building and dedicated one of his urban explorations to uncovering what the building looks like now and what the history of the building is.


Turns out the building used to house the privately owned company Key System.[link] Key System provided mass transit to most of the Bay Area from 1903 to 1960.

According to Wikipedia, Key System was dismantled around 1958. Declining ridership and lobbying by National City Lines [link], an affliate of General Motors ended much of the company’s rail ways.  In 1949, National City Lines, along with General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, and others (Phillips Petroleum, Mack) were sued by the United States for conspiracy to form a “transportation monopoly, and conspiring to monopolize sales of buses and supplies to companies owned by City Lines.” [link]


To find out what else Haeber discovered –like rave flyers from the 80s on one of the floors, and see more photos, check out Haber’s post on Bearings. [link]

Dancing Fat Chicks and Frank Chu


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Snapshot of me

Frank Chu is a strange guy and I don’t mean strange in a bad way.  I mean he is one of the many characters that creates the tapestry that makes the Bay Area what it is.

There are rumors of Chu taking his family hostage and having a standoff with police before assuming the character in glasses and with sign we now know him as.

And the guy showed up at an underground party I was hooping at — imagine that.

…   …   …   …   …

It was another Saturday afternoon that promised another Saturday night party full of friends. And that premise created another internal back-and-forth between leave the hoop or take the hoop to the party.

I had decided not take the hoop; since at this point in my hoop life, it feels like any time I take a hoop with me I have expectations projected onto me from the crowd. Plus there are the expectations I would be projecting on myself as a “hooper.” Better off to leave the hoop and the anxious mental back-and-forth that comes with it at home.

The Universe however, (or perhaps I was looking for an excuse) had different plans.

In a conversation with a friend about Röyksopp, I mentioned that one of my favorite songs to hoop to is by them. It’s called “Sparks,” its a beautiful dreamy downtempo song with a singer that makes me think of music from the 1920s.

This prompted my friend, The Captn’, who also was DJ’ing at the party to add this song to his DJ set list. And he told me to bring my hoop down. I could’ve not have, but a friend genuinely offered me a place in his set and it was awesome. I wouldn’t/couldn’t say no to that.

And so it began, “What do I wear?” “Oh my god, I haven’t hooped in a month!” “Shit my ass looks super fat.” “This outfit doesn’t support my tits, but it’s so cute” “Faux fur boot covers?”

With all that figured out and a fully charged hoop, I was on my way to the party.

It was a beautiful set-up, the party was pretty. There was an upstage area where dancers dressed in burlesque outfits were shakin’ it to the first DJ. I checked out more of the place and found friends around every corner.

After the ritual meet and greet, I went off to a corner to hoop and warm-up: out of the crowdview in the back of the venue space. I garnered some “oohs and aahs” while I was at it. When I finished, I saw that the dancers from the upstage were gone. “Ooh an opportunity,” my brain said. I eventually found the promoter of the party, pictured here with Frank Chu, and asked if I could hoop up there. She said, “Yes.”

Up to stage I go, navigating a narrow curvy staircase with my hoop in my hand. And then when I get up there, there is a dancer up there. Well I would hate to ask them to move and I just got up there so it would be lame to just go back down. I start dancing.

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“Sparks” by Röyksopp. Slightly different then album version

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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I’m shaking my arse, in my black faux fur boot covers, and black nightie. All my friends on the floor cheered! When I finish dancing, (I want to conserve energy for hooping ) I get so many positive comments from friends and strangers about what I just did.

“I didn’t know you could do that.”

“Eds your my hero”

The same story was repeated, “When I first looked up there, there was only this skinny chick, barely dancing. And then I look up there and see you up there shakin’ your ass, blowing that chick away.” What fantastic feedback. Mind you, I wasn’t dancing to show anyone off. I just like dancing in the spotlight.

After a bit of a wait, the stage has cleared and I am back up there, this time to hoop. It’s crazy. I haven’t even began to hoop yet and the crowd is a hootin n’ hollerin.  I dance with the hoop, do some isolations — the LED lights aren’t even on, and I get more love. Then I turn on the hoop’s lights and begin performing. I feel a wave of  dance induced spiritual energy coming at me. I always feel it when there is a great DJ, an awesome party atmosphere, and a crowd that’s into what you’re doing.

I’m dancing, I’m posing, I’m watching for the space limitations I got. I’m channeling my inner Gwen Stefani from her No Doubt days (Don’t Speak style). I’m showing my “girl balls.” It’s wicked fun. I give until I can. I’m absorbing the energy of the crowd and the music from a fantastic set by Bam of Evil Breaks.

I finally stop and turn off my hoop. I get such a cheer from the crowd that I must pay them some respect. They were awesome; I was Awesome (with a capital “A”); Bam was awesome, party was awesome. I bow-in to the crowd and leave the stage; Time to do some soft hooping to “Sparks” in the second room.

aaa

–xoxo q.c.

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Hey. You want to hear the first DJ set? CLICK HERE

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