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It’s another foggy, chilly morning. Yesterday it spattered a little rain in the afternoon, but not seriously. However that made the temperature go up a couple of degrees. Maybe the sun will come out later on. Meanwhile we’re drinking green Oolong tea; it’s a really nice smoky brew with a slight edge. It always wakes me up!

Last night we saw an excellent one-man show by Mike Daisey called The Last Cargo Cult at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. It’s about money and the global money market - how insane it is. Also about our obsession with goods (cargo!) and how insidious & all-pervasive that is, especially since "our shit is awesome!" as Daisey puts it. In part of his monologue he told about going to a remote island in the South Pacific where the eponymous last cargo cult really does still exist; there’s a community there where they don’t use money at all, they simply rely on custom. He’s a very good performer, particularly considering that he was mostly just sitting there, talking, for over 2 hours, and he kept our attention throughout that time! Mike Daisey’s funny & very smart, and the subject is fascinating; we both enjoyed it a lot. I highly recommend seeing it if you’re in the SF Bay area (it’ll be going through Feb 27).

For this run at the Berkeley Rep, Mike Daisey is also doing another show in repertory - that is, in alternating weeks with the one we just saw, The Last Cargo Cult. It’s called The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs; we haven’t yet decided if we’ll be going to see that one. ******* I’ve just researched Mike Daisey on the internet and discovered a lot of interesting stuff on his blog (here’s a link to it - the part about The Last Cargo Cult: http://mikedaisey.blogspot.com/p/monologues.html ).
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We’d actually seen an earlier one-man show of Daisey’s at the Berkeley Rep back in 2004. I had remembered Mike Daisey, but our memory of that show was extremely hazy, so I looked up what I'd written about it in my journal the next day, to wit: "The play was called 21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com - an autobiographical one-man show. Mike Daisey wrote and performed it; he’s a large, very funny & expressive guy. It was quite good. It kept us awake and we laughed a lot." 

Then I found that Mike Daisey’s also written a book entitled 21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com. I’m not sure when it came out (at least 6 to 8 years ago), but it got great reviews; I believe I'm going to have to buy a copy. I've found it on Amazon.com (I don’t think that it’s their favorite title, but they do carry it!), so I’m going to put a link to it under Books in the Things I Like section of this website; it’s in the Biography/Memoir category – just click on the tab above to check it out.

Note: It seems there's another version of this book, entitled 21 Dog Years: A Cube-Dweller's Tale, which is probably the hardcover edition (I think the one with "Amazon.com" in the title may be the paperback, and perhaps is out-of-print). I’ve listed the former version because there are lots of reviews associated with its Amazon listing, and none with the other (cheaper) edition. So that's why the book cover & the sub-title in the Things I Like section is different from the one here - sorry for the confusion!

 
 
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We had a lot of rain, accompanied by thunder, lightning and even a short burst of hail, in the later afternoon & evening yesterday. We drove through the driving rain to an 8 o'clock concert in Concord, however when we emerged at around 10 o'clock the storm was over except for the occasional sprinkle. It became much colder overnight, but the view was beautiful early this morning, full of blue sky and variegated clouds, as you can see. However, now some dark clouds are encroaching from the west; it looks like we may be in for more stormy weather.

Yesterday I went to Country Cheese in Berkeley again where I bought something special from one of their big jars of bulk tea (see below). It’s a green Oolong Tea from Taiwan with a flavor quite unlike any other tea I’ve had. The label on the jar intrigued me and I felt I had to try it out. It’s also the most expensive tea I’ve purchased so far – but I got less than an ounce, just to start with. The dried leaves are tightly rolled (a process which has to be done by hand – I witnessed someone doing it in China myself, when we were there in 2002), but they expand 3 or 4 times in hot water. The color of the tea in my cup is a lovely yellow and it tastes very good – reminiscent of the new-mown hay on my uncle’s farm when I was a child. Tea is so varied, and so fascinating!
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