Saturday, August 14, 2004

Friday, August 13, 2004

Its the little things..

- I dont know
what the San Francisco Fire Department's motto is (SF's Bravest? Revered cuz We Havent Forgotten 1906, and By God It Could Happen Again? Pedal to the Metal?), but they drive like theyve got something to prove.

In a cramped busy city, these guys hurtle around with the sirens, speeding. They dont stop or slow down for an intersection. They MOVE.
Even FDNY jockey's show more caution than these guys.

It's prolly because of the sirens.

You think the sirens in New York are loud?

Dude, the sirens on the SF rigs are painful to everyone within a 3 block radius, I shit you knot.

You may want to plug up your ears as they pass by.

So, if they plow through you, its not their fault. You shoulda heard them.

- Sand on the tracks.

It wasnt until I saw a cable car at the Powell Street turnaround pissing sand that I put 1 and 1 together.

All the streetcar (and LRV - the fancy new Light Rail Vehicles) tracks have sand in the tracks.

It wasnt until I quizzed a cable car operator about the pissing sand that he replied:

"Oh! That must be the Sander! All the trains have sand on board for traction when its wet and slippery."

So, if you see a streetcar drizzling sand, or you get sand in your sandals crossing the street, now you know why.

A native suggested 2 more bus lines for me to jump on

The #6 Parnassus and the #48.

I had seen the #6 bus going by, most looking OLD and tired (thats because most are nearly 40 years old), and figured they must pass through the shittiest route.

Ahh, thats why the natives have the edge.

The bus stops at a little turnaround on a semi-culdesac at the intersection of Quintara and 14th, that is both at the base of a hill and at the top of a hill with stairs leading down.

Those steps, believe it or not *is* Quintera Street. Dont go driving your Mini down it tho (ala The Italian Job).

Where Quintera becomes a street again is where you catch the #48.

Awesome views.

Most days, the area is drenched with fog, for this is the Sunset District, or as its known - Where San Francisco Fog is home.

Its at the base of the Sunset Heights park.

There are no tourists here.

You can see all the way from the Golden Gate Bridge and the entire San Francisco pacific coast from the park.

Stunning, even with the fog shrouding the hill.

The #48 stops on an overlook over the Golden Gate Beach.

Im gonna go check it out now. Fog or no fog.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Cant escape family ties

The indications
Ive been getting the last few days, apart from the usual things, mentioned that I have family schtuff to deal with.

Family? I thought all that had been set. Shouldnt have to deal with that.

Therefore, I ignored all of it.

So the next day, out of the blue, I got a letter from my sibling in Chicago I havent talked to in years.

Whoa. Id been thinking of how to get in touch with her that morn.

Then today's horrorscope, naturally, goes;
This is an important time for domestic issues, and if you make the effort today, you will be able to heal a rift that goes back a long way.
It is also an important time for money matters, and somehow the two areas - family and finances - will come together over the next 24 hours.

So today, lilbro gives me a holla, wants to do a family thing at his house, including said sibling.
Will buy the ticket to make sure Im there.

Wouldnt take no for an answer.

lilbro: u down or not?
JPennant: Im there man
lilbro: where u wanna fly out from?
JPennant: oakland
JPennant: Im assuming I'll still be in the bay Area then
lilbro: aight. gonna be from a wednesday to the sunday or monday if its thanksgiving. christmas is a weekend, so if u have a (AHEM) J O B ,,,,i would suggest u get some time off
JPennant: Heh.

JPennant: of course
lilbro: grown men talkin business
lilbro: no excuses
JPennant: none
lilbro: got your word?
JPennant: got my word
JPennant: just tell me whats happening
lilbro: its in stone then
JPennant: yup
lilbro: :-D
lilbro: b good 2 see u man
lilbro: lil bro did good
JPennant: lil bro doing good
JPennant: proud of you :-)
lilbro: thanx son

lilbro: gotta roll
JPennant: aight papi.
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: oh yeah, if i could meet my niece, that wouldnt be so bad. :-)
lilbro: no doubt ill bring her thru
JPennant: Nah, dont have to see her in Jersey, yo
JPennant: Id swing by Brooklyn
JPennant: the tripping can be kept to a minimum :-)
lilbro: u tell me how an we will do
JPennant: we'll figure something out. Its August
JPennant: see how things roll
JPennant: aight? :-)
lilbro: no doubt
lilbro: we'll talk latah
lilbro: luv yah
JPennant: luv you too pa

lilbro signed off at 6:54:20 PM.
Of course, family will also demand tech support:

lilbro: yo how do i change my ip address again?
JPennant: why?
lilbro: wanna trick this website
JPennant: so someone cant track you?
lilbro: no so i can buy somethin cheaper
lilbro: i know it got somethin to do wit my network places but cant remember
JPennant: oh, you dont have to do that
JPennant: flush your cookies
lilbro: jus tell me
JPennant: thats the way to do it
JPennant: it doesnt go by your IP
lilbro: son dont be a woman, and tell me what i need to know. be a man and tell me what i want to know
JPennant: I just did, stoopid :-)
lilbro: lmao

JPennant: If you want to change yer IP
lilbro: u gonna help or do i have to go elsewhere?
JPennant: what you using, XP?
lilbro: yup
JPennant: command prompt... type ipconfig /renew
lilbro: ahhhhh dats it
JPennant: not gonna help tho
JPennant: the info is stored in the cookies
JPennant: so even if you change the IP, they still know its you
lilbro: the black screen comes up den vanishes
lilbro: its run right? thats the command box?
JPennant: in run, type cmd to bring up the command prompt
lilbro: oooo
lilbro: now u talkin

Who said family is free? :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

On rotation

Bust a move - Young MC
Freak like me - Adina Howard
No Diggity - BlackStreet
if I had no loot - Tony Toni Tone
Saturday Love - Cherelle & Alexander O'Neal
Run On - Moby
If You love Me - Brownstone
Realizer - The Crystal Method

Wherever you go, there you are


The drawback to an analytical mind is that I'll compute ways to keep my lazy ass from having to do anything too strenuous.

Like walking.

Like how to get from having breakfast at Mission & Sixth to Eighth & Market and the Library. A distance of *counts* two, three, six blocks.. give or take.

What? Six LONG blocks.

Walk 3 blocks on Sixth to Market, then 3 blocks up to Eight.

Or *bling!* take the bus!!

So, onto the #26 MUNI, which *I* thought would take me right to the corner of Eighth & Market.

I miscalculated. It went straight up Mission past my exit on Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, aaannnd a right on Valencia.

As you guessed, I went for the ride, instead of endeavoring to walk back to Eighth. You kidding?

Glad I did.

Nice ride. I went through a Mission District I knew nothing about, one invaded by proto-hipsters driving out the low and reasonable cost housing, but adding a little to the flavor, and frankly, cleaning it up a bit.

Then up into the fog-shrouded hills, through areas rich and poor.

And then down to the San Francisco State area, on the Pacific coast.

Really nice ride. Begs for exploration later.

Then I road the same bus back to Market Street, and here I am...
San Francisco is a strange little city, in the sense that it isnt linear. Literally.

Roads swoop and curve all over, seemingly straight roads gently curve off on a tangent or end abruptly and you'll get a glimpse of places you might have been to before, then a corner turn, and it'll be another corner of netherland, usually with a coffeeshop on that corner.

Its like a combination of deja vu, familiarity, recognition and discovery all at the same time.

The other day, I got off the J street car at the Mission Dolores park.

I'd heard it was a nice park, but the elevations and sweeping view was quite unexpected.

And in the sweeping but compact view, it felt as if I could reach and touch the different sections and landmarks of downtown, from the Bay Bridge to city hall, and even the Castro.

But its an illusion, giving the impression that everything is naught but a skip step away, when its more like several long, steep blocks and miles away.

A little bit of Wonderland.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Monday, August 09, 2004

Retro change

Today's horrorscope:

It feels like you have a handful of questions and no answers in sight.

Believe it or not, you're closer than ever to knocking down that barrier between you and what you want. All the resources you need are available, though not apparent. It's one step away.

Go through the sizable pile of business cards in your desk to find that connection you met months ago - he or she still remembers you and can still help with the problem you're having.

Hrm. She's thinking what I'm thinkin.

Mercury, your ruling planet, is about to move retrograde.
You may find yourself in limbo for the next two or three weeks, unable to move either forward or backward, but in the long run, this brief time out will do you good. At the very least, it will give you time to think about what you're doing.

More and more, Im seeing that Merc retrograde periods are also periods of change.

Like last year, it drops on my birthday. Thats when Stella died.
Hooboy, talk about changes.
This time, I want a lot of changes.

For the positive.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Yes sir, Mr Ranger, sir.

I find myself
giving direction in a town that I cant even figure out what direction Im looking in.

This morning it was a cute japanese chicanista looking upset/frustrated/confuzzled on Market Street. All she needed was to get to fisherman's wharf on the F-market line.

Even "I" know how to do that, shit.

Combine her minimal english to my minimal japanese, it only took about 5 minutes of discussion to have her pointed to the Ferry Building where she could catch the streetcar, without five passing her in a row.

As she bowed (tilted her head, really) and walked off into the future, I felt positively chuffed and a bit of a fraud.

I figure I should know this town a WHOLE lot better than i do to be giving out directions.

But, I do like helping people.
This morn in downtown SF, the sun rose against an uncharacteristically blue sky.

So. One fleece jacket or two?

I gambled on one.

Wrong. I needed two for this reason:

California & Arguello

"Whoa. It sure is overcast now. And the fog seems to rolling? roiling? sweeping? in."

California and Park Presidio

"Hrm. The fog cover is at tree-height. Beautiful. Its sweeping? washing? burbling? in kinda quickly. Kinda chilly too."

The Presidio by the Golden Gate Bridge

"Motherfuck! Its cold! The wind and fog is blasting? cutting? hurtling? Shit, I dont know, but the birds arent even able to make any kinda headway against *this* breeze. It feels like a nor'easter blasting through.'

They call this Micro-Climates.

Or.. this is San Francisco. In the summer.