Sep 7 2013


withoutI had dinner with a girlfriend the other night. She and I have a few things in common: We share the same birthday. We’re both writers. We’re both lefties. We’ve both had a shitty past few years. And we’re both getting it together now and feeling good. It was a great seeing her. She was radiant.

After we parted, I took Picard out for his evening constitutional. It was pretty late on a weeknight in the mission district of San Francisco, the only people out seemed to be twenty-somethings weaving their way home from the bars. I saw two young women walking toward me. They were adorable, holding hands, engrossed in a quiet conversation. It felt tender and sweet and intimate. I don’t know if they were lovers or just friends and it didn’t matter; what mattered is you could see there was love between them. It was pure. I was sort of swept away by them.

There were also two young men walking just ahead of me, also, I’m guessing, twenty-something. They were not adorable, just average looking. Maybe less than. Doughy guys. All beer, no gym. Nothing about them was notable, until we they passed the girlfriends — who were too engrossed in their own conversation, their own reality, to notice the guys noticing them. This must have upset the guys, because when we passed, one said to the other, “Probably fourteen year old lesbians.” At that moment, the only thing notable about them was that they were dicks.

I don’t know if they were annoyed that the girls they were noticing didn’t notice them back — and thus they had to cut them down (in their mind), or offer the only “logical” explanation, “The must be lesbians, why else wouldn’t they look at us?”

I do know that it pissed me off. I was caught up in my own “version” of these girlfriends, and these mooks came along and polluted my perfect stolen voyeuristic moment. I didn’t want the moment to end on that note.  So I took the moment back. I went after the girlfriends. I… had no idea what I was going to say, I just knew I wanted to remember that walk in a lovely way, not focusing on the snarky lads with mean things to say about people who they’ve never met and are minding their own business.

withI chatted the girlfriends up (Picard is a great ice breaker when I want to approach a stranger). They were indeed tipsy. They were a little bitchy when I asked to take a picture. But then I said the magic words, because when I told them I’m a writer, they instantly warmed up to me (as usual, Picard had already won them over) and wouldn’t stop talking. The only thing that could have made the encounter more perfect is if my own girlfriend from dinner were still with me for this encounter. That might have been like entering a lovely parallel universe, encountering these younger versions of ourselves (one blond, one brunette) out lighting up the night; still unacquainted with disappointment, but yet to learn that girlfriends only get better with age.

Dec 9 2011

I saw the ghost of Christmas Cool!

The happiest cab in San Francisco! Possibly the world! I wish I could wake up there on Christmas morning. It’s completely tricked out with Christmas bling. And the driver, my angel, has a coif that would be the envy of any 70’s pimp.

When I got in, Felice Navidad came on the radio. He turned it up.

I said “Are we going to sing?”

He said “Yes, we are.”

And we rolled down the windows and sang at the top of our lungs (he even taught me the Spanish part I never understood). I made him drive around the block until the song ended. I was sad when it did.

Dec 6 2010

Not Acceptable In My Adultland

A plastic bag as outerwear. No hairstyle justifies this on-the-street atrocity.

Pajamas worn outside the home.

Oct 11 2010

Love And Hate

Hate this, Mr. Paladino.

Mar 4 2010

A Sunny Summer Day, North Beach, 1996. Fast Forward…

You know him as the Epic Beard Man. I know him as “Vietnam Tom.” And I’ve my own lovely story about him that I’d like to share.

In 1996, my dear friend Angus Oblong & I rented a booth at the North Beach Festival in Washington Square Park to sell our respective self-published books (mine being a spoof of God-awful poetry, “Come Fly With Me Nude“). On most sunny days, Tom would march around the periphery of the park, shirtless, loudly going off on anarchistic diatribes. On that day, he bought one of my books and marched his usual march, reading from it. Loudly, of course. It was great publicity.

Thank you, Tom.


Dec 2 2009

Trifecta of Happiness (December 1, 2009 edition)

1. Holidays in San Francisco; 2. Pretty lights at night; 3. Zamboni on ice.

1. Holidays in San Francisco; 2. Pretty lights at night; 3. Zamboni on ice.

Oct 18 2009

My Litcrawl: The View From Clarion Alley

My view of Clarion Alley at Litcrawl, just before my debut reading as Vulva Fervor.

My view of Clarion Alley at Litcrawl, just before my debut reading as Vulva Fervor.

Oct 1 2009

My Kinda Classroom

The Presidio, San Fracisco, CA, USA, The World

The Presidio, San Fracisco, CA, USA, The World

May 13 2009

Take a ride on the 49


I can’t decide who I find more fun to watch: the rappers or the woman who looks like she’d rather be getting a root canal. I don’t think she was pleased that I encouraged them. But of course, her reaction was half the reason that I did encourage them.

I just wanted to take their picture… they thought I wanted to videotape them, so… why not? I’d never used my camera’s video camera feature before — I’ve always been fond of the still myself. But now I see some shots mean so much more if you can see their context. Because context can be everything.

Apr 6 2009

Seen on the streets of San Francisco

Jasper's smile always makes me happy.

Jasper's smile always makes me happy.

This is Jasper. He sells Streetsheets around the corner from my flat. If I ever need a bodyguard, I’m hiring Jasper. Because he could disarm anyone with that smile.