Archive for September, 2006

A random kiss on the head

Tonight sitting out in front of Amelia’s in Redwood City, my dining companion got kissed on top of his head by a very random woman walking by. She opened the conversation by offering to give him the Heimlich maneuver – he was coughing slightly – and he refused politely. She explained she was a nurse. Then the conversation went a little bit “off” in several directions as she began to explain to me how attractive my husband was. Not my husband . . . not my boyfriend . . . “Well, anyway, you should keep him.” There was some increasingly wacky rambling. And then she kissed his (bald) head in benediction. We didn’t really do anything to object; although it was outrageous and disturbing, it was also kind of sweet and sad. My friend is a mellow sort of person, and I’m generally benevolent to holy fools.

If a random dude on the street had kissed the top of my head I would have freaked out, though. Is it always women who are head-touchers? Strange women feel the back of my neck – probably this happens to many people with shaved heads, or bald guys.

I had just been explaining how downtown had been gentrifying, and then after the Kissing Incident explained further that the county jail, several halfway houses, and weekly residential hotels are all within about a block and a half of where we were sitting out at cafe tables. It’s part of what I like about this town. It doesn’t drive people who are down and out out, or at least not as much as Palo Alto does. Or at least not yet. I’ve heard objections to the downtown hotels, but, if they go away, where are the people who just got out of jail, or whose lives are a bit chaotic for some other reason, supposed to go? Where would be far away enough for them to live, to satisfy… whoever objects?

Rock-tober Returns… Some Upcoming Show Hype & MP3z For Next Month

When I attended junior high school, our fave burn out music station called this month Rock-tober!

… and indeed, I will carry on in this noble tradition. That is despite the fact many of these events I’m listing might just qualify as Hip Hop, Folk, Reggae, Bluegrass or whatnot…

Yet no matter yer fave genre, I bet there’s some excuse for ya to turn off that darn screen and get yer badself down to a decent venue of yer choice and catch at least one of these fine autumnal shows…

Amongst the details are dates and venues for acts like Bert Jansch, Mickey Avalon, Lily Allen, Pogues, Sufjan Stevens, The Twilight Singers and many more.

If ya don’t like the hella harvest season hubub I’ve got listed here, I’ve provided a link to a new opt in web service that will automatically scan yer mp3 collection on yer hard drive and start sending ya free & quite handy personalized updates on the particular performers & music that even you actually might like

Don’t say we never did nothing for ya… So here’s how you can easy fa sheezy just keep rawkin in the free world ( plus obligatory service charge & handling fees)

Weds is 40th Anniversary of Hunters Point Riots

Wednesday Sept 27th 2006 commemorates the 40th Anniversary of The
Hunters Point Riots and the lasting effects of the social
stratification that has long hung over the community.

Brought on by neighborhood outrage over the death of Matthew “Peanut” Johnson, a 16 year old unarmed youth who was shot in the back by the SFPD, the Bayview became a volatile cauldron of tempers that erupted into a disturbance that lasted several days.

That drama may have died down, but the tragic context of the riots, their
impact, and the surrounding events remain as a bleak reminder of a
situation that remains largely unchanged for four decades…

Award winning local documentary filmmaker Kevin Epps ( Straight Outta Hunters Point ) and the
Hunters Point Community Youth Park Foundation present an open discussion of the historical signifigance, and how the situation exists today in the city’s largest African American enclave. The event takes place at 6pm Weds at 200 Middlepoint Road, home of the Hunters Point Youth Park Foundation, where the late Julia “Aunt Bea” Middleton tirelessly served to bring a bright spot into the lives of children raised amidst dilapadated & deprived social infrastructure. To set the tenor of the times, and educate today’s youth who are expected to attend, Epps will show some rarely seen archival news footage of the riots as well, and tape portions of the event for inclusion of a future program on Current TV.

For more background on this issue, and some socio-economic context of race relations in San Francisco in the 60’s til now… read on.

Photo Contests Galore!

Calling all San Francisco shutterbugs! Got some cool shots of our fair city? Here are two places you could submit to win fame and fortune. Or at least fame.

First, local glossy 7×7 is having a photo contest, Bring on the Night. They’re looking for photos that “best capture the distinct spirit of San Francisco’s nightlife.” Ten finalists will be in the November issue and the winning photo will be featured in the December issue.

Next, the newly relaunched JPG Magazine is accepting submissions for Issue 7 now on three themes, including Hometown, sponsored by Metroblogging! Submit your best “hometown” shot for a chance to be published in JPG Issue 7 and $100! (Full disclosure: I’m one of the editors. So start kissing up, baby!)

See you in print!

Tastelessly Hilarious Folsom Fair Costumes

253096542_224a2846b4_b.jpgI think this is the winner here, at right. But this has to be the most tasteless Folsom Street Fair costume, ever. The move-in special here looks like it’ll cost you dearly. Even the vegans protested. It’s wonderful how kinksters treat the fair as a combo Halloween-BDSM festival, and provide social satire on BDSM and widespread culture with their costumes. More Folsom pics can be found in this folsomstreetfair Flickr tag (many are NSFW).

Can you hear me NOW? *$^#@!

A state-wide new law banning hand-held cellphones while driving can’t be enacted soon enough for me.

I nearly got creamed while walking to my office this afternoon, by a woman driving a luxury sedan (I’ll not mention the make, as that would be reinforcing a stereotype) while, YES, holding her cellphone to her ear while making a right-hand turn on a red light.

In her rush to shave 2 whole minutes off of her travel time, she shaved a few years off of my and a few others’ lives, by lurching forward checking for oncoming vehicular traffic, while the pedestrians to her right were several steps into the crosswalk. Luckily I had a long roll of construction drawings in my hand, which I waved out in front of her to catch her eye before she swung full out into the turn. She jerked to a full stop, and I noted that although she did not end her cellphone conversation, she DID take time out of it to mouthe what appeared to be several curse words in our general direction. Niiiiice.

Now, one could argue that holding her cellphone was not the CAUSE of her negligent driving, but it seems reasonable to ME that driving involves the multi-tasking of several physical acts, and the less one engages in competing, extraneous ones (holding cellphones, applying mascara, etc..) that the more energy they can give to the IMPORTANT ones, like, oh, PAYING SOME #_@&-ING ATTENTION.

Rant out.

Rogue Wave Drummer Fundraiser

I saw Rogue Wave last year at the Fillmore, and loved their sound. It was at a Nada Surf show. Anyways, their drummer, Pat Spurgeon has medical issues around his kidney situation (read article for more info- I won’t garble it up here!) . It’s rough; he does dialysis twice a day. So there’s a fundraiser this Saturday, and it’s really a knockout line-up. I bought 2 tix and am heading over. If you’re into good music, and you want to support a local artist (he’s from Oakland) I highly recommend Rogue Wave, and this fundraiser. Also, if you’ve ever been an artist and know how hard it is to get medical insurance, you may just want to donate what you can to his fund.

Event info:
Rogue Wave & Friends featuring Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) / John Vanderslice / Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) / Ryan Miller (Guster) / The Moore Brothers / Winechuggers / Hosted By: Daniel ‘Lemony Snicket’ Handler
The Independent
628 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117
Doors: 8:30pm; Show: 9:00pm

Photo of the Day: Sunset over CARL STREET

Photo by Derek Powazek

(From Ephemera.)

Never mind the Bloomies

While the Chronicle has an orgasm over the impending opening of a new mall downtown (you know, Bloomingdales, the Emporium dome, blah blah blah), the real retail news this week is the reopening of the Opera Plaza bookstore. Formerly A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, the large space will open at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow as a Books Inc location (pdf file). From the lineup of author appearances, it seems they’re going all-out to keep the place lively and attract book buyers. I know I’ll be there this weekend, doing some early Xmas shopping.

Mystery apples

mystery apples

Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

Two yellow apples have been on the top of this utility box on Arch Street for about a week now. When I first noticed, I thought about taking them and eating them. Now it’s too late, because they’re shrinking and getting wrinkley.

I wonder how long it will take for them to disappear? Or will they turn into pruney looking dried apples?

Maybe when they’re gone I’ll replace them with something more unusual.

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