Friday, October 22, 2004

Post-al Luv

The headline
writers at the New York Post cant be beat..

Red Sox vs Cardinals in the World Series = "Red October". :)

The Yankees blowing a 3-0 lead in a 7 game series...

"Damned Yankees"

Their headlines work on so many levels. :)
People always make the assumption that I am a New York sports fan.

Nuh-uh. Im a Chicago sports fan. Period.


So, the Red Sox beat the Yankees to get into the World Series.

What the $%*%&# are *they* crying about??

Since 1918, theyve been to world series 4 times. So they havent won any since then. Eh.

The Cubs havent won one since 1908. Havent been to one since 1945.

And in 1918, they beat the Chicago Cubs in the world series they won.

Heh, there's the real reason for their curse.


So, fuck 'em.. Im rootin' for the Cardinals to win.

Like they did against the Red Sox in 1967..

Cant wait for the Post headline when that happens. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The concept of cold

As a kid
growing up in Jamaica, I used to wonder what cold weather, cold that was below freezing, would be like.
I'd put my face into a freezer and imagine that was what cold in northern climes would feel.

Little did I know then that i'd eventually be able to tell the differences in cold AND have an emotional reaction to those differences.

with the onset of the winter storms that have blown through the Bay Area, the cold now has that 'smell' of winter that foretells the kind of cold winter brings.

In Chicago, you can 'smell' the cold coming straight from the Canadian arctic, a crisp, dry cold. A cold that cuts right through you when its windy.
In New York, the smell is a more of a wet cold reminiscent of the North Atlantic, generally mild.

Here, that northern cold comes generally from Alaska and the Bay of Alaska, and its a .... 'heavy' kinda cold. One that 'seeps' into you. And chills you thoroughly.

Tho the weather between the rain is beautiful, with brilliant azure skies, it doesnt have that 'smell' of warmth.

Experience sez that any real warmth for the next 6 months will only come in freak bursts. No matter the actual temperatures.


For me, someone who grew up in the tropics, this is not a 'honest' kinda cold. Chicago, you know the cold can kill ya - so you prepare. New York, when the noreasters come in, the pain of cold reminds you that this isnt something to mess with.

The cold here tho, will trick you into thinking that it is milder than it actually is. You have that strong California sun that will warm the place and trick your body into thinking that its mild. You have the dry desert air that dries the air out, but actually does little to alleviate the damp of the maritime chill that seeps through clothing and robs the warmth right outta you.

You can freeze yer arse off here.

Interestingly, other folk who grew up in the tropics, share the opinion of the cold here. Right, mars? :)

'Mediterranean' weather, my ass.

Whoof, feels like Christmas right now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My caffeine was spiked this morning.

It was
not fun.

I think the proprietor of the place I go to for breakfast put regular coffee into the brew and thought folk wouldnt notice.

My body noticed.

Do people think that us folk who drink decaffed coffee WANT to drink that crap???

By 10 am, I had plopped back into bed and went into a coma, waking up a few hours later drooling.

When im over-dosing on caffeine, my blood pressure shoots sky-high, i get light-headed, chest-pains appear and I was thinking I was about to have a heart attack... yeah, like that.

It was not fun stumbling around in the dark and driving rain of this morming trying to think of what I was gonna do if things got worse.

This is why I drink decaf. Sheesh.

Im gonna have to have a serious talk with that woman tomorrow morning.
Speaking of stumbling around in the dark and driving rain.

The rain started falling hard about 2 or 3 am. That woke me up.

Thats when I noticed the power was out. In the entire neighborhood.

By the time i walked out of the building at 6:30am, the power had been restored .. but now there were massive trucks, in the dark and driving rain.... washing the streets with giant hoses.

I. kid. you. not.

Eh, ok.. but by 7am, the clouds were so dark that the only light were street lights.


The rain tapered off and the sun came out in the late afternoon.

This is the interesting part..

Were the natives happy about this?

Standing in the rain, the wind whipping umbrellas to shreds, the buses not appearing on time to clear crowded stops.

No, they werent happy about that.

But in the nose to armpit crowd on the bus this morning, people were smiling. where new yorkers would be surly and bitching vigorously, people were humming. Talking to random folk - they were relaxed and warm.

And then out it came..

'Nothing like this San Francisco weather.'

These folk are nuts. :)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Mass-transit machiavelli

To get around NYC efficiently, one learns the ways they dont tell you in the brochures.

Not only which trains to take, but which stations to take them, which ones to switch to, which ones to avoid etc etc. You dont simply take a bus or train directly to your destination.

This is knowledge that is hard earned, which indelibly makes you a new yorker if you live there for any length of time.

This applies to all the cities ive lived in. And so it is for San Francisco. especially so in san francisco, which, although small and possessing one of the naions most superb mass-transit systems, is not what one would call a linear city, which actually makes it a bitch to get around, if you dont know whats what.

Look at a map of the place; north, south, east and west seems to a straightforward matter. Practical experience will school you that all isnt as it seems.

Frinstance, I live on Valencia street and fifteenth in the sprawling Mission District. A more centrally located place would be hard to find. Within two blocks i have a myriad of transportation options. Subways, streetcars and no less than 7 bus lines. I can get to almost any point in the bay area by mass-transit from there.

During the day, the bus system - commonly called Muni - will get me to within two blocks of almost any point in the city.
Easy, right? Jump any bus that appears and ride quickly and easily to any other point.

Heh. no.. Calculations of almost machiavellian magnitude are required to get you from point A and B within an efficient manner.

So, say i need to get to, lessee, ah, yes Clint - the flagship Apple store at the corners of stockton and ellis.

A distance in a straight line of roughly 14 city blocks, and if the planets are aligned, get there within a swift 7-10 minutes.
Sweet, huh?
Choose the wrong options, incur the wrath of the transit gods it can be a wretched journey of an HOUR. Walking or riding.

I wish i was kidding about that.

so, when i walk out of my building, I actually stop for a full 30 seconds and throw metaphorical blades of grass into the wind to determine the direction i go.

In New York, the efficient decision making process to go from Brooklyn to work in midtown Manhattan might go like this;

"Go to Nostrand and Stirling, catch the #2 or #5 train, get off at the Nevins Street platform NOT Atlantic Avenue to catch the #4, get off at Chambers street in Manhattan to catch the #2 AGAIN for it will now run express to midtown, get off at 34th street cross the platform to the local line to catch the #1 local line and get off at 50th street, get out of station and go to the coffee cart for my bagel."

See? Simple. The bagel and coffee equation was actually a factor of time, because that meant I got to work on time. :)

Same thing here.

To get to the Apple store, I could catch the #26 to fifth avenue and walk 2 blocks over to stockton. 20 - 30 minutes. Or walk up to 16th and catch the #22 to market and church, transfer to the f-market streetcar and get there in about 30 - 40 minutes. Catch the #14 which comes every 5 minutes, and get off at fifth. 15-25 minutes.

OR, now having learned my lesson - simply go to the 16th and Mission BART subway station, catch any train get off two stops later at Powell, walk out the northern exit, cross the street and im in the temple. 10-15 minutes.

No stress, no fuss.

Took awhile to figure this out.

Let me not get started about walking in this non-linear town.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I miss that GTI.

This is exactly like my first one. Went all over the east coast with it.

Took me on many journies.

If i had one still, id never be home.
JPennant: now that i have a place to hang my hat, im raring to get started on my projects
JPennant: all of them :-)
G-man: *nods*
G-man: It's going to be fun.
JPennant: yeah, just gotta exercise some patience and discipline
JPennant: but, i have the writing sanctuary ive always wanted :-)
JPennant: it just needs the ancillary.. a comfy wingback chair, smoking jacket and pipe :-)
G-man: A full-on garret. Wow.
JPennant: zigactly :-)
JPennant: i forget the au best-selling author that writes in his basement
JPennant: but he sez he has what he needs to write
JPennant: solitude and a head in easy reach. :-)
G-man: Head in easy reach?
G-man: I'm not touching that, m'man.
JPennant: the toilet is like 10 feet away from his writing desk
G-man: Oh. You meant a bathroom.
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: yes, an important writing tool
G-man: I'd've said "john," but that's almost as bad as "head."
JPennant: hee
This week's horrorscope:


You're very ambitious, but not everyone can understand your quest. Be diplomatic.

Be careful not to "phone it in" Friday, when your mind is finally back on your personal life.

Weekend is for adventuring. Bring unpredictable Sagittarius along!

Hrm. The GICD is a sag...