Archive for December, 2004

Scenes from a Valet Stand

Sausalito, 10:14pm, light rain

Hey great handbag. I know, I should’ve been gay. Too bad. I just like women WAY too much. I’m – what do they say? – born a lesbian in a man’s body. And she’s thinking, “okay, just get my car.” You were the Volvo?

Uh, Gray Ranger.

Right, Ranger. Which way are you going? I’ll flip it around and pull up right here.

K, thanks.

Here you go. Oh, cute umbrella too. Are you a designer, you must be a designer.

Um, no [laughs].

Well, you should be a designer. Hey, thanks, have a Merry Christmas. Driver carefully. Yeah, you have a great holiday. Have a good night.

Carriered Away for New Year’s

Not to rush holidays here, but . . . .

I hate the approach of New Year’s Eve as much as I love the approach of Christmas. New Year’s is supposed to be such an up holiday – so much fun! so much party! so much booze! so much ado about nothing, really.

This year, a tip from my sister seems like a fun idea (when I don’t stop to think about the logisitcal nightmare that will be getting from the Inner Sunset to Alameda and back on such a night): a dance party aboard the USS Hornet.

The USS Hornet is a retired aircraft carrier, now a museum, that hosts the yearly fundraiser, this year, featuring Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. I admit, it’s a much more original suggestion than “hey, let’s get drunks at so-and-so’s house.” Tickets are pricey, though, and don’t seem to include much but a life-affirming sense of philanthropy (two more expensive tickets include a “champagne toast and party favors,” but the words “hosted bar” are troublesome).

Again, not trying to rush us into 2005 – but New Year’s Eve does seem to require extra planning time.

Of course, should the Hornet party be the way to go – my next request will be for shopping tips on putting together that perfect 40s outfit.

Monsoon Season?

I didn’t realize moving to SF was going to entail full on sideways rain and flooded streets. If this was happening in LA there would be National Guard in the streets and all the news channels would be screaming about the Great Storm of 2004. It’s nice to be back in a city that has weather and where the people don’t think the sky is falling and can still relatively handle their vehicles in a sane manner. Although you’d think that the rain wouldn’t break most peoples turn signals but apparently it does since about half the people that cut me off on the way home didn’t signal. Usually when people cut me off here they are at least polite enough to use their turn signals before they almost run me off the road. Blame it on the rain.

Holiday Spirit

SPCA Holiday Windows kittensAll it takes is my first glimpse of the adorable adoptable kittens (seen here) in the SF/SPCA Holiday Windows in Union Square each year to put me in the holiday spirit. (And this year, I’m extra happy that they replaced the annoying animatronic Mickey’s Christmas Carol.)

Since I am thus sufficiently imbued with the holiday spirit, I’m compelled to share my musical “must do” list with you:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 7: go see the Dears and the Robbers on High Street at Cafe du Nord. The Robbers on High Street put on a great show when they opened for Elefant at GAMH in August, so be sure to get there early.
  • Thursday, Dec. 9: You can get your holiday shopping done while listening to live music and having your photo taken while sitting on a Bad Santa’s knee at the semiannual Rock n’ Shop.
  • Sunday, Dec. 11: Get online early (yes, almost 4 months early) to buy your tickets for the only SF appearance of the newly-reformed Slint. That’s right, thanks to the enthusiastic response to the announcement of their reforming and curating the UK edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties, they’re doing a small reunion tour.

My Farmer’s Market Musn’t-Miss List

I know I seem to be talking a lot about the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market recently. I guess that’s the one main reason I’ve been going to town of late… trying to avoid all the holiday madness, you know.

That said, going to the market has been close to a ritual. I just love the array of farm-grown fresh organic produce and home-made foods. However, I haven’t ventured into buying actual produce from the market yet — my brain can’t handle planning an entire week’s menu in advance, so I just tend to buy whatever I need the day itself at the supermarket or whatever. So I stick to buying pre-made food stuff, and nibbling little samples from the various stands. Here’s my list of things I almost always get when I’m at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market:

  • Soy custard and sweetened soy milk from Basic Soy. You already read me going on about this one.
  • Paratha and samosas from Sukhi’s Indian food (The site itself doesn’t have anything up yet). Lovely stuff, and the guy at the stand allows you to sample everything at least once. I usually buy a large piece of paratha, a pack of samosas, and have them last a whole weekend.
  • Home-made tamales from Donna’s Tamales. They have plenty of vegetarian choices, as well as chicken and beef options. I usually go for the chicken mole and the beef poblano.

There are other stuff I usually go for too, like the coffee at Blue Bottle when the line isn’t so long, and the crab cake from Hayes Street Grill. But the above three are always on the list.

Oh, another musn’t-miss thing at the market that isn’t food-related — the awesome view of the Bay Bridge from the harbor. Especially if it’s early in the morning, it’s just a sight to behold.

Parade / New Blog Book

My daughter will be in the Holiday Parade this morning here in San Jose. She will carry a flag in front of her high school band. The parade will go past Christmas in the park. The park is worth the drive down here to the south bay to see. Also, here is something I found this morning a book about blogs written on a blog.

All Aboard! This Saturday and Sunday

Santa Claus is coming to town. Look for him on Caltrain’s Trains for Tots Special. What a nice way to have holiday fun and help out some needy kids. There will be great entertainment, theatrical and musical groups. And at some stops model railroad displays. Stop, look, and listen for the schedule.

The Best art is Sexy Art

Sorry for the extra-lazy post. But sex sells itself, right?

Tonight, my friend Sita is showing some art at the opening of Slit,
“an art event examining Asian exotification”

Her work, in her own words:
Sunset: an installation involving copious amounts of pantyhose
Buff, C-41, Tan, Toasted Almond: a series of silkscreen portraits
and Skin Deep: a series of experimental photography

Could be a good place to pick up a china doll girlfriend. (OMG, KIDDING!)

Slit, Dec 2-5th @ Center for Sex and Culture
398 11th St. San Francisco
opening 7pm Dec 2nd

Soy for Me

Those who know their way around Chinatown and other Asian markets already know the awesomeness of fresh-pressed soy milk (without the preservatives that are often added to American pre-packaged soy milk), as well as the sweet creaminess of fresh soy custard. Back home, we’d call them tau cheong sui and tau foo fah respectively. Because of the lack of preservatives, the soy milk tastes vastly different from typical soy milk brands like Silk and 8th Continent, and they usually expire a lot quicker — they last in the fridge for about 4-5 days at most. But if you’re like me, you’ll finish out five bottles in three days. Yes, I have a serious soy milk fetish, sue me.

But if you’re wary of wandering into a local Chinatown mart (or if you just want to go somewhere more convenient), head on over to the Basic Soy stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. Their major difference with the average Chinatown soy variety is that they only use organic non-GMO beans for their soy products. Their biggest claim to fame is their delicious soy custard, which is served with a delightfully sweet ginger-infused honey. They also sell other soy products, like fresh-pressed tofu, smoked tofu, little tofu puffs, and so on (here’s a full list of their products). Personally, I always go for the fresh-pressed soy milk, and I usually buy three or more bottles at once. A word of warning though; they sell out of this stuff fast. So you’d be wise to get there before 11 a.m. Believe me, this stuff is worth waking up at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday (And I don’t say that lightly!)

Silver Bells

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks…And on every street corner you hear?

What? Not Bells!

The Salvation Army will not be out front of many stores with their red kettles and bell ringers this Christmas. The tintinnabulation of the little bells has become the street sound of the season. This way of collection began in San Francisco in 1891 as a way to help dockworkers and sailors. Now many shops do not welcome them.

To donate, and please do www.tsagoldenstate.org good, but not the same.

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