Sunday Morning Wool-Gathering

Today is a morning for wool-gathering (see June 2 and comments ).  Not so many sheep wandering the fells of East Oakland, but I might find some feral cat hair.

I had a patient who lived deep in East Oakland.  His daughter rescued animals that found their way to the house.  They had a lot of birds inside, the little twittery kind, and some chickens in back.  She found a goat one day at their house, and kept it for a while.  A goat?!  It must have been escaped birria.  I don’t think she ever found a sheep.

One afternoon I drove down High St from MacArthur (passing under I580), and saw a Mexican man (not a charro, but clear from the style of clothes anyway) riding a horse up High St.  Blink.  Maybe a year later, driving up MacArthur, we passed another man riding a horse down MacArthur.  This time, the Kid was with me and we were at a stoplight, with an opportunity to stare in delight, along with the folks in the car next to us.  It was one of those moments when strangers share a bit of joy.

A pretty pink powerful car, with speakers, and full of young women, was stopped at the light outside my favorite bookstore.  The Kid was fascinated (shiny loud car!), so I was staring out too with a big grin (as were a couple other folks inside with me).  The driver looked over at us and yelled, “You like my car?”  We all nodded enthusiastically and she grinned back at us and drove off. 

Last week was hot.  Yesterday was not – the fog came in.  We had a cousin’s birthday party in Richmond yesterday. (I asked her when her birthday was – May 18.  Her mom told me last year was cold, so they had the party later this year.  It was cold.  And windy.)  When we got home, I remembered I had clothes on the line to bring in.  Cool dusk.  Smell of light fog, plants.  It felt like an evening camping, when you slowly freeze if you sit down away from the campfire.  It sounded like camping at crowded campgrounds, when you’re unlucky enough to be quiet and tired at your site, but the next folks over have been happily drinking all afternoon.  The neighbors were wandering around their backyard, laughing and “oh shit” about something or other.  It was a happy noise, and I didn’t hear any crashes, or sirens.

I could continue on and on, but I think I’ll stop here.  I have a sock to finish, a baby sweater to wash and block, a robot to start, breakfast to make.

ETA:  From City Council Member Jean Quan’s email newsletter for District 4:

1.  City Plans Legal Action on Waste Management Lock Out
On Monday afternoon, Waste Management (WM)sent the city notice that their contract with the Teamsters had expired and they were locking out their employees; they planned to have “management” pick up our garbage. By Tuesday it was clear the garbage was not being picked up and the City sent WMAC a formal Notice of Violation. Later this week they revised, their service expectations without city approval, saying they would only pick up the brown cans (mine is still standing on the curb), not the grey recycling.  Further legal actions by the City will likely be taken on Monday. Federal mediators will meet with both sides on  Monday but no one is predicting quick resolution.  What  should you do?

  1. Keep your garbage on the curb, all 3 cans.  WM is giving out contradictory information. They have hired 200 replacement workers, but are clearly not well organized.  A few lucky people had their brown and fewer yet had their grey cans picked up, but most of my district’s Tuesday pick-ups are still on the street. Some people were told to put their cans back, only to be missed when a random truck came by.  Note:  Those of us who live north of Lincoln Avenue have uninterrupted  recycling (gray bin) services from California Waste Solutions, they are not affected by the lock out.
  2. If Waste Management fails to provide collection by the end of your regular service day, report the service failure to WMAC Customer Service at 510-613-8710.
  3. ALSO, report the failure to pick up to the City at our Recycling Hotline 510-238-SAVE (7283) or  We will use this information for documentation in our legal actions, including possible rebates of your garbage fees. The hotline has increased staff to handle calls.
  4. If you cannot wait and must haul your own garbage to the Davis Street Station, 2615 Davis St, take your WM garbage bill and they are suppose to waive the fees.  One constituent was charged and we made arrangements to have the fee rebated.
  5. Please call the the PWA Call Center at 615-5566 if you notice any illegal dumping on the streets.
  6. If you see a particularly bad build-up of garbage, please contact the and copy us.  We are especially concerned about apartment buildings and restaurant/commercial areas and any other situation where health and safety will be affected. Luckily, most restaurants and stores use other companies.
  7. Find updates on our Oakland Recycles webpage.



Filed under Oakland

4 responses to “Sunday Morning Wool-Gathering

  1. kmom

    Lovely vignettes. Except for the garbage. Ugh.
    What is birria?

  2. laflaka

    Oh, the garbage cans in a lovely arrangement along all the streets…

    Birria is fiesta food – goat or lamb, basically stewed in a robust red sauce. Served with tortillas, cilantro, chopped onion, more salsa, maybe rice and beans too.

  3. Whoo-hoo! Another nurse that knits! I just found your blog and have enjoyed it very much. I’ll be back.

    Your lace is beautiful. I’m about to start my first lace project. Wish me luck.

    I’m also from the East Bay, a little north of you.


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