Monday, September 28, 2009

sex and the city

This being my first year attending the Folsom Street Fair, perhaps my expectations were unreasonable. Hearsay, rumors, word of mouth, etc., but I felt compelled to go as several dear friends in Germany have been and I, despite my longer residence in SF, had not. So, off I trotted. But despite copious amounts of leather, lots of penises (what an awkward plural! yet slightly less awkward than penii) with and without cock rings, some whippings, and the occasional human pet, I was deeply disappointed. I was expecting wild masturbation and street-side sex because, well, that is what I'd been told to expect. Was four o'clock just a vanilla time of day? Or was this just an off-year? At any rate, it has failed to supplant Bay to Breakers as my favorite San Francisco extravaganza.

I was also mildly surprised at how male dominated the event was. Far more men than women, and far more men showing their parts off than women. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising, but it was. It made me wonder whether women were less encouraged to participate or less comfortable participating, since I have a hard time imagining that there are simply more kinky men than women out there. I suppose my favorite moment was right before we entered the fair area, when a tall, bearded leather daddy in ass-kicking boots and ass-less chaps was introduced to some friend's friend and said "Oh hi! I'm Jason!" and offered his hand, beaming all the while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

innovative uses for construction equipment

The weekend continued the merry trend of happy (and free!) adventures in San Francisco. On Saturday, good friend Matt and went to Roadworks: Steamroller Printing which was put on by the San Francisco Center for the Book, a place where I've been volunteering semi-regularly in hopes of eventually collecting enough credits to take a class. There were lots of vendors with neat & usually book-related handicrafts, but I am poor and for the most part resisted their charms. Besides, the main attraction was the periodic making of prints via ink, block, and steamroller rolling down on top of them, pressing them evenly and without a doubt thoroughly. For extra fun, you could make your own prints with pieces of foam board. If they'd only had fingerpainting, my life would be complete.

inking in progress

an inked printing block, pre-steamroller

so magical!

non-steamrolled prints on display

(note: if all goes according to plan, more on this topic will soon be available to you at this exact location. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the delay.)

Sunday was a different kind of delight, involving the preparation of roasted squash-&-zucchini-&-heirloom-tomato-bruschetta accompanied by new friend Grant's homebrew as a picnic at Shakespeare in the park. Presidio, sunny day, Comedy of Errors à la slapstick mayhem, lots of housemate friends. Later, a nap.

Monday, September 21, 2009

heavy PARK(ing)

Friday was a raging success! I was biking down Valencia and snapping photos of reclaimed parking spaces that had been converted into temporary parks....

when I ran into some people I knew from tomato camping

who convinced me to help them haul trees around

but I was rewarded with free beer and it all ended well.

way to grow!

Check out my plants, yo:
(er, full dusclosure: I inherited the vast majority of this, and so can't really take credit. On the other hand, I've been watering faithfully for a month now!)

from the top

apparently peppers grow on trees

the basil is my favorite. I play favorites.

look! a cucumber! currently about the size of my thumb!


to put it all in perspective

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The extent to which I identify with Mad Men's Peggy Olson is at times so immense that I'm not entirely convinced it's wise to write about it. That being said, I suppose I better hurry up and mention that I've never gotten pregnant, or even been a secretary - no, it's more the awkward eagerness, the determination to fit in, to do and have it all, while at the same time being so obviously stamped a square. Nowadays, I find myself comfortable in the world and with myself, but this was not always the case. She makes me feel seventeen again, in all the wrong ways. I keep watching.
p.s. I want this dress.

Monday, September 14, 2009

starbucks never did this

(image courtesy of the magical internets)

Because I am charmed in life and live near everything, I strolled over to Pirate Cat Coffee the other day for my morning cup (the supply having been allowed to run out while I was out of town. Need I mention that this never happens on my watch). Apparently someone there, having heard of my mother's Grand Unifying Theory of Cooking (bacon and/or cream = betterment of all things), has concocted a Maple Bacon Latte. It should have been disgusting, but was instead smokily delicious, with real bacon bits sprinkled on top. For the day-to-day, I will stick to my French press, but this was a delightfully outré treat. (Surely someone out there has a blog called "outré treats"? A quick google says no. I am extremely good at naming things. Someone should pay me to do this.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the new talkies

On Friday, I went to see the neo-benshi/the new talkies performance at the De Young (free with student ID!). What might this be? Well may you ask. In the De Young's rather elegant cinema (elegant, that is, except for the overly flatulent leather chairs. Did no one test them out before they were installed? They're too new to be this noisy), a podium was set up stage right of the screen, and for 10-12 minutes a poet performed a piece over/in response to a scene or clips from a film of their choosing with the volume low or muted. I actually think that this could be huge in Poland, since they're already accustomed to having tv narrated. At any rate, there were 5 different pieces on Friday night. Far and away my favorite was Rodney Koeneke's interpretation of part of The Golem. I wish I had taken notes throughout. Instead, I sat there in dimly lit awe and enjoyment until I finally broke down and scribbled nearly-illegible notes in pencil on the edge of my program. Writing in the dark is a very special (and incredibly useful!) skill which I have yet to fully master. I managed to get:

"Moses begat laughing", and
"silence is asthma for moderns"

He periodically put on a quite good German accent, with a liberal dosing of Ah so's.

Unfortunately, I enjoyed the lyricism of this piece so much that nothing else cut the mustard in quite the same way. Douglas Kearney and Nicole McJamerson's take on Fantasia will prevent me from ever watching the section with the demon city in the same way again. They wittily re-imagined this part of the movie as a late, unfinished D.W. Griffith sequel to Birth of a Nation entitled Death of a City. Jen Hofer's reading of On the Beach left me chiefly with a desire to watch the original film, and Andrew Choate's piece on The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover made me chuckle (yes, there are times when I laugh without guffawing) with:

"canned food is anxiety/in its pure state./In the future/the things I need/will not be available/but I will be here" (line breaks mine; an asshole move, I know, but I think it reads better if you can imagine the pauses), and
"language is food./This is not a metaphor."

Lamentably, this is not a weekly or even monthly event, but apparently an annual one.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

an axiom from Annabel, or: I love my home

I was out running errands on Monday. On my way home, I stopped briefly at a yard sale and bought a gorgeous vintage cardigan which looks a lot like this except that I paid $5 for it. Came home in a sunny mood to find this going on:

jubilation from Margaret McCarthy on Vimeo.

I put down my bag, whipped up some guacamole, grabbed a bottle of wine and joined them. All-singing, all-dancing. Everything became an instrument. It went on for hours. In the words of my new housemate Annabel, violinist and children's orchestra instructor (seen at one point in the bottom right, scraping cups rhythmically and vigorously shaking her head): 'sing, dance, and play everyday.' What a motto. Of course, as I am more parts child than musician, I have a slightly different interpretation of the third stricture.

phrase of the day

edifice complex

thank you to this sad story about a planned bridge in Germany that might take a chunk out Germany's Riesling vineyards.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I am currently re-reading "The Death of the Author" and getting ready to watch "Project Runway." I should be writing about other things, but I had one of those moments where I caught myself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

quality of life exponentially upped

On the back patio of Atlas Cafe on a sunny day with a light breeze, listening to the lite-punk Italians and drinking a cappuccino while telecommuting almost takes the sting out of being bored. I should never work from home again. I should become one of those people. A couple of days a week, at least.
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