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In The Crowd

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Home again

I've spent the last couple of days moving into my new permanent home here in San Francisco, and it's an enormous relief just to have a little space to myself again. I don't handle homelessness well, it's disconcerting and really affected my short-term memory and attention span in ways I hadn't expected. My new roommates welcomed me with flowers and help putting my bed and table together. There's still a lot of unpacking to do, and if anyone finds my favorite pillow, my coffeepot or my black Chucks please let me know.

Since the coffeepot is AWOL, I decided this morning to go check out Phil'z Coffee at Folsom and 24th. There's a pretty solid description of the Phil'z experience here, though it leaves out descibing the patrons. Hippies and lunatics, mostly, but very entertaining. I spent about half an hour listening to a funny older woman harangue Phil about his love life, then headed over to El Tonayense for a burrito. I've heard a lot about the Mission's Mexican food, especially from ex-pat San Franciscans who'll swear there's nothing better. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I've been disappointed. It's not as good as Santa Barbara, and nowhere near as transcendent as the food in Tucson. I'll keep searching though, maybe I just haven't found the right spots. After lunch I walked home past a brand-new hostel that looks like the perfect place for Smashley to camp out with the TPATT (that would be Total Party All The Time for the unitiated) crew when they descend on the city. And of course I picked up some earplugs just in case I manage to sneak in to the sold out High On Fire show tonight at 12 Galaxies, part of the annual Noise Pop festival. Wish me luck.

1 Comments:

  • At 12:44 AM, Anonymous smashley said…

    Oh i am a jealous friend indeed your in SF and I am still stuck dealing with air the color of poo, people who find plastic body parts attractive and miserable public transportation. sigh. any job prospects?

     

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Why this isn't a photoblog

I've had several requests to include photos here, and while I do try to link to other sites with relevant photos I don't plan to take my own.

Why? It's not that I lack the technology, or because I'm a terrible photographer. It's that the act of taking a photograph removes you from the circumstances you're documenting, so you become a lurker in your own life. Think about it for a minute. In order to take a picture, you have to stop participating in whatever is happening. Then as you look through the viewfinder and frame a shot, you distance yourself even further from your surroundings by turning the churning, changing world of events into a single two dimension image. A photograph tells a story in the third person, and the whole point of this blog is relate my experiences in the first person.

I may at some point change my mind, or enlist someone else's help. But right now that's where I stand.

4 Comments:

  • At 10:34 PM, Anonymous The Steve said…

    Pay me enough and I'd be happy to document you're entire life as it happens on camera... that would end you're third person dilemma.

    It doesn't take much to pay me enough either, I can assure you.

     
  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    If you stop spending every dollar you earn on CDs and actually get the hell out of Rising Sun, maybe we could work something out.

     
  • At 11:54 AM, Anonymous the steve said…

    I could, realistically, move within a month or two if I really wanted, but since I've had problems getting jobs, even shitty ones, in the past, I want to have at least a few months worth of cash to live on in case I have employment difficulities once I get wherever I go.

     
  • At 12:45 AM, Anonymous guess said…

    TPATT

     

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Kottke goes pro

Some of you may have noticed that there's a new button on my sidebar. Yes, Jason Kottke is now blogging full-time, and I have dedicated a small portion of my dwindling resources to supporting him. So many of us whose lives are intertwined with the internet have come to rely on him for our regular dose of whatever's caught his eye, I'm happy to be able to help ensure he keeps doing what he's doing.

Addendum: Here is a perfect example of why I view MeFi with a mixture of love and hate. Pointless vitriol, thoughtful commentary and silly jokes all in one. Not to mention celebrity blogger break-up news.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Finally!

SoulseeX has released beta #3. Hot damn. Here's a screenshot of the user interface.

The good people at Soulseek have dedicated a forum to it as well.

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Friday, February 18, 2005

There's a GAP at the corner of Haight & Ashbury

And now I've had Big Yellow Taxi stuck in my head all day.

I did a lot traveling around the city yesterday, starting out downtown where I got my car fixed and did some window shopping in the boutiques around Union Square. After I picked up my car I decided to try to track down an obscure DVD I've been looking for, so I headed out to the far end of Fillmore. That part of town is called the Western Addition, and I'd never been there. Turns out it's a relatively new (by San Francisco standards) part of town and as far as I could tell very ethically diverse. When the DVD shop didn't have what I was looking for I wandered next door, and was immediately stopped dead in my tracks. I had just stumbled upon Harputs, a wonderland of all things Adidas. In fact, they were busy putting in a new Y3 boutique next door, dedicated to the collaboration between Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas. I'm ridiculously loyal to Adidas, go ahead and laugh but they are the only shoe that fits me every time and looks stylish to boot. I was finally forced to throw mine away last week, so it wasn't too hard for them to sell me a pair of Spezials in my favorite color.

I still hadn't found my DVD though, so I headed over to Amoeba on Haight. Luckily for me as I walked in I saw the DVD section to my right, because if I had actually set foot on the main floor where the music is my life would've ground to a halt right there. As it was, my mouth watered and I felt a little light-headed just being in proximity to so much musical goodness. I checked the DVDs and ducked out as soon as possible, I'll have to wait to go back when I'm independently wealthy and living a life of leisure.

So, yeah. Remind me to clutch my wallet close to my body whenever leaving the house here.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Exciting times

Considering how much time I spend moving my car and leeching free WiFi, a surprising number of things can happen in a day. First thing Tuesday morning I got a call from the people whose open house I went to Sunday, offering me the room. Since I'd just woken up and already had a couple other places scheduled to see, I told them I'd have a decision by the end of the day. This was the nicest place I've seen, with the most normal people, but also the most expensive (though not by much). After thinking it over for a while, obsessively double-checking craigslist for other apartment listings, and considering the pros (great location, well-maintained, absent landlord, clean and bright, garage, back patio, laundry facilities, dishwasher, central heating, happy well adjusted roommates who like each other) with the cons (a little pricier, living with three other people) I decided to take it. So I'll be picking up the keys in a day or two and hopefully moving in this weekend. That conflicts with my plans to see the Chinese new year parade, not to mention the Cat Power show, but maybe I can push it back to a Sun/Mon move. Anyone up for reviving pizza night in SB?

After that triumph, I headed right out to take care of the most vital order of business for any new resident: I got a new library card. For those who haven't seen it, I highly recommend a visit to the amazing San Francisco Public Library, it has things I never even thought to want in a library, like a small business research and a tool lending center. I love this town.

In the silver lining department, I went to move my car this morning and discovered that the driver's side mirror had been pulverised. I looked a liitle closer and saw that the culprit had left a business card tucked into the mess, which was a relief. I tend to be kind of pessimistic regarding human nature, nice to be proven wrong occasionally. So now I know a realtor in the area (which might come in handy), and after a little research I also have a mechanic (which will definitely come in handy).

1 Comments:

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger AofC said…

    Unbelievable. Yet another one of my dearest friends with a blog. No way. Not fair. I feel so behind the times, so 2004. Sigh. I suppose my title of AofC should be revoked...

    However,it is an excellent idea, especially given your two points in the very first post.

    Congratulations on finding a place so quickly! I'm sure it's just the first of many great things for you.

     

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The back story, part two

Sunday night we decided to go out drinking, since the amateurs clogging the streets on Friday and Saturday would be home and Martha didn’t have to work the next day. We started out at the Uptown, a low key bar with a crowd that I suspect were all in (or at least into) punk bands ten or twenty years ago. So a little older, with that classic San Francisco intentionally scruffy-looking thing going on. There’s a jukebox and a pool table, but on this night they had something special planned. We settled into a booth just in time to watch a local filmmaker’s tribute (QT) to the Tamale Lady, who travels the area’s bars in the middle of the night selling homemade tamales to all the drunks she meets. The soundtrack is made up entirely of songs written about her by local bands, and after seeing the tamale-making process I’m really looking forward to running into her. After that they started to play The Jerk, but we were n’t really in the mood to sit and watch so we headed over to the 500 Club, the neighborhood rocker/rockabilly hangout. Despite the great DJ playing Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, etc. we moved on again since Martha was in a pool-playing mood and the pool table was being controlled by a guy who looked like a member of ZZ Top in a Technicolor Dreamcoat. So it was on to the Zeitgeist. I guess it can best be described as a hipster roadhouse, a bar that used to cater to bikers of the Harley-riding kind but now caters more to bikers of the bike messenger kind. It has a huge back beer garden, a sandwich grill, even rooms upstairs for $30 per night (perfect for when you've had a few too many downstairs I guess). They also have a pool table and even a couple of pinball machines, which I lost about $5 in 10 minutes to. I may need to go through a few rolls of quarters before I'm able to play without shaming myself, but I had fun. We drank there until close and then happily stumbled home.

The next day we all needed a little recovery time, but luckily we were in good shape by the time Martha and Steve's Monday night DJ gig at Dalva. It's a refreshingly normal bar in middle of an area that is known for its self-conscious rocker/hipster attitude. Nobody will blink an eye if you belly up to the bar in Marc Jacobs and Manolos and order Campari with a twist, but you'd feel just as comfortable showing up unbathed in filthy jeans, an old sweatshirt and flip-flops and downing a PBR. You know, a bar. I had to duck out a little a little early to go see another apartment, but by then I'd had three beers on an empty stomach. I was planning to just pop in for one to check the place out and support my friends, but when Eric (one of the owners) extended happy hour for my benefit I caved in. I don't actually advise going to meet potential roommates half-tanked, but in this case it worked out for the best. I've always thought all-female households were a little scary, but since this place is right by the park in a beautiful part of the neighborhood I was willing to check it out. "The Women" as I now call them, were: 1 bossy lawyer chick, 1 submissive artsy chick, and 1 passive-aggressive anorexic graphic artist. The spacey yoga enthusiast I would've replaced had a scared look in her eyes, I hope she isn't permanently scarred. I ducked out as soon as was polite and headed back to Martha's for a good night's rest.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The back story, part one

Last Wednesday was my official move out day, but being the procrastinator that I am I didn’t actually get here until Thursday night. An hour after getting into town I met with the first batch of potential roommates. Considering San Francisco rental prices, together with the fact that I haven’t even really started looking for work (or figuring out what kind of job I’m looking for) it’s unlikely I’ll be living alone. Plus I really want all those little extras that come with a larger living space, like a garage, laundry room, and a little patch of dirt I don’t have to share with the public. So finding roommates seems the way to go. The room was small and dark, the apartment was pretty dingy, use of the garage cost an extra $75 per month, and the back garden was completely controlled by the downstairs neighbors (described as “a couple of bitchy queens” by people living above). Still, the people were pretty entertaining and they laughed when I told the story about the last guy who asked me out, who couldn’t understand why I thought he was too young until I finally said, “you realize you were born the year I got my period, don’t you?”

Friday and Saturday were spent finding my way around, seeing a few forgettable apartments, moving my car every two hours to avoid a ticket, and figuring out which coffee shops have free WiFi. Cafe La Onda on 16th is my top pick, since it’s both the closest to where I’m staying and has a remarkable collection of revolutionary art posters on the walls. ¡Viva! My friend Martha (who’s lent me the use of her spare room while I’m searching for a place) welcomed me to town with a dinner of homemade macaroni and cheese topped with bacon. Mmmmm. Nothing like being welcomed to a new city with pork products.

3 Comments:

  • At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Shoshie said…

    That bit about your period made (thankfully) cold coffee come out my nose, I kid you not. The only thing worse than being caught mooching internet access from work is being caught with the morning dose of caffeine running down your face.

     
  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger AofC said…

    How did I miss this part about the pork products? I can only dream that this bacon reference was for my benefit. Oh, how I love bacon.

     
  • At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Gambling Casino said…

    Quite right! I think, what is it good idea.

     

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...and so it begins

I’ve decided to take Jonathan’s suggestion and chronicle my move to San Francisco. Yes it’s a little like sending out a mimeographed Christmas letter, but given that the options are:

1. Increasingly rare emails, leading to a lack of contact altogether
2. Increasingly rare blog posts, leading to a lack of posts altogether

I think it’s obvious that people prefer to be rejected in a generalized, generic way that doesn’t single them out the way an unanswered email sitting in my inbox for months does. Plus, you can all commiserate and complain about me behind my back or even in my comments section! Joy.

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