Ya! First post. I've been lazy/non interested in blogging/busy. So this blog is 9 months late. To get you all up to speed. I'll fill ya in on what's been going on. Some of my own ideals and thoughts. But first a disclaimer.
I can't spell for shit. Nor am I very good at structuring a sentence. I use a lot of foul mouth language. How eloquent I know. I'm sure I will offend someone if not everyone along the way at some point or another. It's bound to happen, that after I smoke a joint. I'll make a entry. Hang tight. Relax. Stay a while. My overall objective is to educate people of all demographics and to share what nonsense I'm up to. Maybe. Just maybe what I have to say from what I've read or experimented with. You'll learn a thing or two. I couldn't give a shit about what color, religious bias, gender, sexual orientation, bullshit politics, or how rich or poor you are. We all bleed red.
Now that that is outa the way. I bought my Ghetto Chateau May 2010. Right smack dab in the middle of East Oakland. While reading up on the area. My street was dubbed as Oaklands most dangerous street in 2008. That didn't bother me so much though. I bought this house because of the now vacant lot across the street from my house. Which I would like to acquire to start a Out Reach Program through Urban farming for the youth of Oakland (More on that later). My house was remodeled by a horribly skilled contractor. So the place looked decent enough to live in. New everything, but from Home Depot.
When I first moved in. Two of my friends moved in with me. Not that I couldn't afford a $932 a month mortgage on my own (Not including taxes/insurance). But living cheap is always a good thing. Shortly after moving in. One friend decided to cut rug and move back to the city. A few months later. Another friend moved into the spare bedroom. And a few months later then that. The awesome girlfriend of my buddy moves in as well. So the place is kinda like a hostel.
I settled in by getting a new bed. Since my ex took everything. I had to start from scratch. The place didn't come with a fridge. So I bought one. Only having to return b/c it didn't fit. Pissed off that the knuckle head that did the remodel only left 24" (that's inches for you people that don't know what " means after a number) of depth. Try finding one. I looked for months. Half assed, but I looked. Of course a Viking fridge would fit at the sum of $6,000. Which KitchenAid makes. Same fridge by KitchenAid $3500. Ya still no way I'm payin that. Sandwich better come out the damn door already made for that kinda coin. So I used a college size fridge for about 6 months. I lost about 12 pounds in that time. Only weighting 165lbs. I couldn't afford to lose more weight. I randomly came across a photo of Jamie Oliver while doing his Food Revolution. Which in the back ground was a Smeg fridge. I immediately reach for my browser Google to find the nearest dealer. Up came Reeds Supply Co. on Fruitvale in East Oakland. To my surprise. I couldn't have been luckier. Reeds is awesome! They educated me. Gave me pro's and con's on the Smeg and then said here. Look at this instead. A Fagor. Read up on it. Talked to a sales rep at this shop in Berkeley, Ca. I was sold. Got a killer fridge that is 100% recyclable. All but the compressor is built by Fagor themselves. And the factory is a low emissions factory. A $2000 fridge well worth the money and I got it from a independently own shop. I was a wicked happy. From what I've read. This is the most energy efficient fridge you can buy of it's size.
I still didn't own any furniture. No joke! Sitting on the floor for dinner. Using the filing box as a make shift table. I was adamant on not going to Ikea for landfill furniture. Sure I could furnish a house for $1500 and the box store is only 12 miles away. But I'd rather eat on the floor. My friend Fergi's mom and dad come to a rescue. They donated to sorry ass a stupid comfortable love couch. It reclines. Lay back feet up. It's the ultimate in stoner comfort. I can see myself getting fat in this thing its so comfortable.
So Thanksgiving is coming around and guess what? No dinner table. I was ambitious too. I invited everyone over for a Orphans Danksgiving. I know quite a few people without family that are local. I don't have much of a family. And I love to feed people. So I temporarily stole a folding table from work. Which I still have. Rented chairs. Threw some pretty crap on the plastic table. Voila! Baller on a budget. But it all worked. Sure, it wasn't like going to grandma's house. But I didn't cook a boring ass Thanksgiving meal either. Fuck store bought turkey and stuffing. I've had that shit for 30 years. I made braised short ribs, parsnip puree, roasted veggies, a roux, butternut squash soup, green bean salad and a insane amount of wine. You might be stuck on why I called it Danksgiving. Everything was cooked with hash oil or weed butter. Of course there was a beautiful dessert that Raf's girlfriend slaved over for 6 hours. I can't remember what the hell it was called. But it was fantastic!
For Christmas and new years. The house was rather empty. Raf took off to Arizona and Oregon for new years with Adrienne (she's the g/f). I worked a lot through the season and frankly don't care for stupid drunk people.
We had this on and off again rainy winter. I was getting cabin fever like no other. Mr. Contractor guy I bought house from. Thought it would be a splendid ideal to throw lava rocks every where. Those things remind me of a trailer park for 60 and over folks. I started shoveling them all into one location to rid of them. The sounds of lava rocks while being walked over makes me want to kick babies. Turns out the lava rocks were covering up some ugly landscaping. So instead of putting in the effort, he covered them up with lava rocks. What a bitch of a task. I had nightmares of lava rocks for the first 6 months of living here. I wasn't concerned about the gun shots ringing from 5 blocks away. It was those lava rocks I would have rub Mr. Contractors face in as if your dog just shat on the floor.
Well. I discovered about 300 square feet of very valuable space just outside my bedroom window.
Just so happens I hang out in libraries like crack heads do in the Tenderloin. I read a book about how a average family of 4 could cultivate on roughly 200-250sq ft year round if they developed a efficient garden and honed their skill as a gardener. I'm insanely excited at this point. Mind you. My balls just drop to become a man when I bought my first hammer and tape measure shortly after buying the house. In my head I'm planning and planning. Then I got greedy. 300 sq ft turns into 400. Then turns into 500. Now I'm thinking I can get 700 sq ft. of gardening space. Hell. I've only got a 800 sq ft house. A 400 sq ft garage and a 4200 sq ft lot. Might as well create a surplus. Fuck spending a copious amount of money at the super market (here that's Whole Foods). And farmers markets aren't what they use to be. With Monsanto Seed company genetically modifying everything they can. I'll just grow it my self with non GMO seeds.
So far. I've started a worm farm for my composting. I finally got the electrical upgraded to the house (220) so now my Asko washer and dryer work.
I've had to uproot 3 trees in the garden space. All of which I did by hand. What a dumbass I am. Apparently your suppose to use a landscapers bar to this. I used a shovel and a weeding tool. My neighbors asked if I was hiding dead bodies. My friend Mike thought I was crazy for breaking up as much concrete as I did with a sledge hammer. All and all I ended up towing 7,000 lbs of waste to this recycling center here in East Oakland. I rented a 4x7 utility trailer from UHaul and towed with my Jeep.
Now I'm sifting through the soil to separate roots, gravel, and what dead family pets are left. And yes I built the sifter myself. So far it's been alotta work. I've done everything manually and mostly by myself.
For all you tree huggin Berkeley hippies. I am replacing the trees with the ever so sexy Olive tree. Two of them. Besides. I need something to cover up the taco truck that is next door. I'll also be putting in blueberry bushes and I'm also thinking boysenberry. Regardless. It should be pretty badass.
So I think that's it for now. I'll be filling everyone in the quarks of my hood. I'll be smashing on all the bullshit and propaganda that the media likes to point out about Oakland. Life is good here.