Archive for January, 2005

Another step forward for authoritarianism

Well, they passed it. Smoking will be forbidden on all city property, save the golf courses, come July 1st. That’s right, walking around the bad smell is too much to ask of my fellow Bay Aryans. I am sooo depressed. Freedom in SF is nearing extinction, one petty attack at a time. They rationalized their newest control mechanism thusly;

  • Second-hand smoke is dangerous.
    WTF? In the 50s smoking was allowed everywhere – banks, stores… you name it! Even if you think the scientific studies are some kind of conspiracy, you can’t ignore this. If second hand smoke were a danger, all of the non-smokers from that era should be dropping like flies right now.
  • It sets a bad example for the kids.
    Right, so everyone in the park is to be a role model now? Give me a break. “Mommy, when I grow up I want to drink cheap liquor and sleep in the bushes!”
  • Butts are everywhere and difficult to clean up.
    This one does have a shred of logic. However there are cheap butt extinguisher/collectors that could alleviate this issue for all but the most inconsiderate of cig smokers.

The loons in Berkeley are looking to leapfrog us, by banning smoking from chimneys. Way to prioritize, bureaucrats.

These issues are merely excercises in control by those in power. There is a certain personality type that is driven to make a career of politics, and it’s thinly disguised as altruistic. These busybodies understand that by attaching themselves to the state, they can exert force on their fellow man. How frustrating it is for those of us who just want to live and let live.

Edit: 23:30: Fixed Berkeley link.

What a Family

Mr. Ohanneson is one of my regular taxi customers. During his rides he has told me about his very talented family. One of his daughters, Erin Ohanneson, can be found working at The Dark Room in San Francisco, at 2263 Mission st. They offer rehearsal space and a recording studio. Erin is also involved with the play “Princess Bride” It seems to be a hit, as it is extended into February. Some of her work can also be seen in the movie “The Station Agent” ( I loved that movie!) Erin did the sets and props. I’ll tell you about her sister,Jill,on another post, closer to Emmy time.

Paper for Plastic (And Paper)

[Thanks to metblog reader FS for the heads-up on the following story]

So under the heading “Strange News,” is this tidbit: SF’s Commission on the Environment is expected to ask the supes to consider a 17 cent per bag charge for grocery bags.

Seriously? Dudes, come on now.

I’m all for cleaner streets – that’s the Commission’s argument – but, I don’t know – that deposit we pay for bottles and cans is one thing, this just seems goofy.

Metroblogging meets Meetup

Metroblogging has teamed up with to help set up monthly events in cities all over, including one right here in San Francisco. Most of our Metroblogging shindigs have all been for writers only. But you can only have so much fun with that before it’s time to let everyone play. If you are in San Francisco or just close and want to come, please do. Go check it out and sign up, we’ll start throwing around ideas soon and figure out when and where is the best place to have the next event. See you then!

“Ho Ho! Hey Hey! Women’s Rights Are Here To Stay!”

If it’s my third march and rally in less than a week, I must be in San Francisco. Let’s see, Monday was the MLK celebration; Thursday was the anti-inaugural (my toes have barely defrosted since then); and yesterday was the Pro-Choice v. Pro-Life (“Pro Life! Your name’s a lie! You don’t care if women die!”) face off. My mother and I weren’t about to miss this one. (We have a combined 74 years of protesting experience, both of us starting in earnest in 1968–a critical protest year–when I was seven years old.)

Yesterday, Mom and I were, as usual, running late as we dashed from my lovely Tenderloin apartment toward the foot of Powell Street to meet up with our sisters in arms for the 11:00 a.m. march. “There’s no one there!” I shouted to Mom as I scanned the view down Powell Street, knocking Bush-voting tourists out of my path. “How awful,” I thought, “that the pro-lifers are assembling here and no one is bothering to show up and oppose them.”

I couldn’t have been more wrong (and, in this instance, I’m thrilled to say so).

Mom and I reached Market Street, turned left and–God Bless America!–there were thousands of like-minded gals, guys and babes, toting signs, blowing whistles, banging drums, flying their ubiquitious green “Pro-Choice” balloons high in the air. (I appreciated that choice of green balloons, myself, that fertile, verdant, full of life color.)

We marched enthusiastically, chanting all the way almost to the Ferry Building, where we were routed left into the Embarcadero and instructed to line up on the sidewalks to flank the oncoming pro-life (could I please just call them what they are, anti-women, anti-children?) contingent.

There were thousands and thousands of us pro-choicers and I had hoped that the scary people wouldn’t be able to summon more than a couple hundred. But, alas, due to the modern technologies of bussing in from Idaho and flying in from Pennsylvania, their numbers were more impressive than I had imagined.

We, on the side of right, were a motley crew, with all sorts of costumes and hand-lettered signs (my fave was double-sided: “Barbara Bush Should Have Had An Abortion” and “George W., One Abortion Too Few”), the obligatory S.F. pink and blue hair, lots of piercings. The anti-women folks, however, looked like they’d all just stopped in at Wal-Mart on the way over, to pick up their standard issue t-shirt and sign. They were frighteningly homogeneous in their look.

“Come on, now,” said my mother as I growled, “if they weren’t over there and you were over here, you wouldn’t know the difference between you and them.”

“If they opened up their mouths, I would,” I insisted. I am not aware of having a single anti-choice friend in the world and I like it this way.

We stood there, we Planned Parenthood supporters, we beleaguered John Kerry voters, while The Night Of The Living Dead People trooped by us. Many fingered rosaries, giving us sorrowful looks (“Keep Your Rosaries! Get Out Of My Ovaries!”). Many were frocked clerics, wearing their cassocks or collars or whatever that stuff is called. A middle-aged woman behind me shrieked, each time she saw one, “Help! A child molester! Stop him!”

The anti-women people forked off Beach Street, hopefully to get on the busses that would remove them from our fair city (“This City Has A Voice! San Francisco Is For Choice!”), while our contingent continued tromping to Aquatic Park, where my mother and I (I confess) decided our suffering had to end. Our throats were sore from screaming (I mean, chanting) and we were experiencing serious lunch deprivation. I think the march was continuing on to the Marina Green, maybe even 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Mom and I split off up Polk Street to go to Thai Spice. (I highly recommend the purple eggplant there. Delicious!)

This morning, when my friend Nina called, I could barely croak. My throat definitely needs a rest. No protesting–at least not the audible kind–for me this week. This afternoon, Nina and I are going out to S.F. State where, for $5 each, we can sit in a darkened theatre all day and watch the S.F. Ethnic Dance Festival Auditions.

If you go, you’ll see me there. I’ll be the one not talking, not even between acts.

Love (and Ninjas) for Sale

recruit.jpgOkay, so a couple of weeks ago, I was panic shopping in the pouring rain. I needed a gift and I needed one fast.

Luckily, Artist-Xchange is right down the street from me on 16th between Guerrero and Valencia. It’s an odd consignment gallery space that’s kind of a cross between a craft sale and a shared studio.

In the back, I found a nice selection of tee shirts featuring adorable ninjas. No, really. These ninjas were soooo cute. So I scored one of those and wandered around a bit.

The shop has a lot of interesting jewelry, some okay painting and sculpture and some stuff that looked like it would be better suited to hanging off-kilter in a mediocre coffee shop. But as a whole, it was pretty cool. The rent can’t be cheap, but just about everything is reasonably priced, perfect for a patron-in-training.

Currently, I am intrigued by the disembodied pin-up art of Roger Licot. It reminds me a little of the classic falling-panties-and-celery-stalks work of Art Frahm.

Take “The Little Recruit,” above. What has she signed on for? Won’t she be cold? How do her pleats stay so sharp?

You’re Hired

Do you know the way to San Jose? If you do, and you would like to be The Donald’s Apprentice get your application and videotape in by Jan.27th. Tryouts will be on Feb.5th at 2450 N. First St. (KNTV studios) San Jose Ca. Wristbands will be handed out at 9am.

You can call the San Jose Mercury News at (408) 920-5000 for info. (for your application and rules)
If you do want to try this you will have to hurry there isn’t much time.

There oughta be a law!

Thanks to the wonderful world of Muni I haven’t had to move my car for over 3 weeks. What utter bliss it has been! Until today that is… I’ve been sick and had to go to work today so being locked in a rolling meat tube with a ton of strangers isn’t the best thing with an immune system that’s seen better days. So I pulled out the old beastie to drive to work and after about a quarter mile I rememebred why I’m so in love with Public Transportation. There was construction all the way in so that was annoying enough but the real point of annoyance were the assholes who like to block a lane and think that turning on their hazards makes it all ok. Like they turn invisible or something. Like blocking half or a third of the road in morning rush hour is peachy keen-o if you just turn on your blinkers. And I can look past it at times if it’s mid-day but during high traffic times if you block a lane you should get a big fat ass ticket with bells on it. If you gotta stop find a driveway to pull into or pull your ass off the main street to a side street. I’ve lived in a lot of big cities and this is the only one where this is totally condoned and I just don’t get it. It’s an amazing traffic hazard to other drivers making merge bottlenecks turning your fellow drivers into bigger assholes than they generally are. Because face it, once we get behind the wheel we all get a little rush of the asshole hormone. Some more than others. So the next person to run for city office that promises to ban rush hour traffic blockages and ticket the bastards back to the bike path gets my vote!

Pho Sheezy

So, I was listening to Pacific Time last night, and there was a report about a Pho place in Hanoi called Pho Cali. The program talked a little about the history of Pho, and what goes into it, and all of a sudden I got a powerful urge to go devour a big bowl of it.

Thing is, I’ve never had Pho before. When I lived in LA, I was blessed to live close to the Little Tokyo area by Sawtelle, and so I ate the most amazing Ramen constantly, 3 times a week, at least. Actually, it’s one of the only things I miss about LA. Next time you’re in the area, try to find Ramen Ya, and order the meatballs. Oh. my. god.

So, anyway, back to the point. I need to know: Where should I go to get good Pho? City suggestions are welcome, but if you can recommend good places in the East Bay, near Oakland or Berkeley, I would be forever in your debt. Pho sure.

‘Tis better to be consumed than to consume?

I’m a member of more e-mail lists than I care to count (knitting, anyone?) and this morning, two separate groups of e-mailers in my life are engaged in down and dirty discussions of what blogs should be about, can be about, are too often about. This is where the consumption in my title comes into play. I am consumed with guilt about not having posted in this S.F. blog since I got here. On my lengthy list of new year’s resolutions (eat healthy, be a regular gym rat, swear less dammit!) was one to be a dutiful blogger.

I split my time between here and Austin, Texas, and, as of January 1, 2, etc., I was posting all over the place in the Austin Metroblog. Posting to the extent that I was waiting for some fellow Austinite to tell me to shut up.

I’ve been back in S.F. since January 5, with nary a posting here. Sigh. Yeah, yeah, I’ve eaten at plenty of places that I could report on (Zuni: the clam chowder is one of the seven wonders of the world; Cortez: what is more beautiful there, the food or the waiters? Boulevard: their chocolate desserts never fail to elicit When-Harry-Met-Sally moans from me; Yank Sing: each dim sum cart more full of surprises than a big red stocking on December 25) BUT I’ve been completely unmotivated to do so.

Why? Perhaps I’m grappling with my own blog and/or blogger biases about this medium. I call myself a writer. Is this, I ponder, the best use of my writerly time, extolling the virtues of S.F. restaurants (or even describing my latest bizarre on-the-streets-of-S.F.-encounter, this one with a clearly mentally ill, homeless, deaf person)?

Yet, after reading the plethora of blog-related e-posts to my lists this a.m., I’ve decided it’s a message from the universe to get my blogging ass in the game. Consumed with guilt for not showing up earlier (though not consumed enough to outweigh the S.F. restaurant calories consumed since January 5), here I am now.

This is the part, I suppose, where someone tells me to shut up. Sorry. As our beloved (to some, not me) Governator would say, I’ll be back.

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