Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm Feelin' It

I was working late tonight, which meant I was 35 floors up when this earthquake hit. It wasn't the strongest quake I've ever felt, of course, but I don't think I've ever been that high up during a temblor before. The building felt sturdy and safe, but it kept swaying for a while after the quake had stopped.

It also presented the distinct possibility that I would scream like a little girl in front of my co-workers. Fortunately, I stayed cool.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hmm...

I thought about getting this book, but $10 seems pretty steep.

Top o' the Morning

Speaking of nighttime neighborhood happenings, the following night (Saturday), the warehouse across the street threw a rave party. Now, the last time these guys threw a rave, it lasted until after 8 the next morning (Kelly also called the police that time).

Having a party last until 8 was pretty impressive. For perspective, let's recall what Snoop Dogg once boasted of in 1993's "Gin & Juice":
Two in the mornin' and the party's still jumpin'
'Cause my momma ain't home.
I got bitches in the living room gettin' it on
And they ain't leavin' 'til 6 in the mornin'.

For years, 6 o'clock was the gold standard -- the ultimate length of time for bitches to remain in your living room. Then of course, times changed. It was Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris who raised the bar in 2001 with "Welcome to Atlanta":
Welcome to Atlanta where the playas play
And we ride on them things like every day
Big beats, hit streets, see gangsta's roamin'
And parties don’t stop 'til 8 in the mornin'

When that song came out, I remember thinking, "Now that's just silly. How can anyone party until 8 a.m.? I mean, maybe if we're including the part where I go to a diner and eat some hash browns."

Well, hold on to your hats, because the party on Saturday night/Sunday morning lasted until after 10 in the morning.

That makes me wonder (a) how do the kids of today have so much energy? (b) when is someone going to honor the hard-partying ways of Langton Street in song?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Warning: Don't Siphon Gas in Our Hood!

Last night (or I guess I should say this morning) around 4 a.m., Kelly was awoken by a commotion outside our window (I was awoken by a commotion *inside* our window -- that being Kelly calling the police).

It seems three shirtless men were crouched by a car, trying to siphon out gas. One of them had a backpack with a tube or something.

Has gas really gotten that expensive that this is something people need to be doing? Especially at 4 a.m., without shirts on. I suspect alcohol and/or barbiturates may have played a role.

Anyway, let's just say the SFPD responded with EXTREME force. Even while Kelly was still on the phone, a bunch of policemen appeared -- seemingly out of nowhere. One of them had a shotgun leveled at the men and was shouting a lot of antagonistic language. Something along the lines of: "GET ON THE FUCKING GROUND OR I SWEAR I WILL BLOW YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF!"

I was a little shocked. I mean, I know SF's Finest is under a lot of stress, but deploying multiple F-bombs seemed excessive (not to mention the blowing-the-head-off thing).

The police descended on the shirtless men and knocked them to the ground. I thought I saw an officer stomp on one of the men, but I couldn't really tell since they were behind the car.

Listening to the police question the men, it sounded like the cops came on strong because one of the "perps" had his hands in his pockets and looked like he might draw a weapon. Still, had I just witnessed the shirtless-gas-siphoning version of Rodney King here? No matter, I guess, since we don't own a video camera.

One of the suspects complained that his foot or leg was now injured. So then an ambulance arrived to take him away. The police seemed to think he was "walking just fine" and was just fibbing. After a while, everyone else left and silence fell on the neighborhood.

I'm not sure what to make of the whole incident. Living in a crime-friendly neighborhood, I'm usually relieved to see a police presence. And in this case, we were the ones who called them in. Still, I think they could be a little more professional. Especially considering the nature of this crime -- and the suspects' lack of shirts.

You Don't Know Me, Gmail

I use Gmail, which means Google scans my messages and, based on that material, tries to display ads that fit my interest. Most of the time, the ads aren't that interesting and I don't click on them.

Well, yesterday, I was e-mailing with a friend who also uses Gmail and he asked if I was getting the ad that said: "Are You Homeless? CityTeam Cares About You! Food, Clothing, Shelter, and more."

No, I said, I was definitely *not* getting that ad. But I wish I were!!

So I spent the next hour or so sending messages that would prompt Google to send me the ad: writing about how I was thinking about going down to St. Anthony's for some soup, but first I had to sell Street Sheets at the Cable Car turnaround and did anyone have a stick that I could use to carry my bedroll?

That didn't work. Neither did "SHIV, BUM FIGHT, DIRTY NEEDLE, MISSING TEETH" (the caps didn't help either).

I did, however, start getting ads for Kid Rock music.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Alphabet Game

On Sunday, Kelly and I were walking around Hayes Valley and passed the LGBT community center (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). I was admiring their fancy sign, and wondered when the next letter will be added. I mean, when I was a young man, people just talked about the BGL (bisexual, gay and lesbian association). Then transgender got a piece of the action.

Anyway, tonight, my question was answered! We were at a neighborhood-planning meeting (yeah, we go to those -- it's very gangsta), and they talked about possibly opening their own LGBTQ center.

Huh, I thought, what's the "Q" stand for? It turns out it means "questioning."

The question now is, in the interest of inclusiveness, how long before heterosexuals get in on this and it becomes "LGBTQH"? I give it six months.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Phugly

Um, wow. Apparently Philadelphia is the least-attractive city in America:
The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the "America's Favorite Cities" survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News.

About 60,000 people responded to the online survey -- at www.travelandleisure.com -- which ranked 25 cities in categories including shopping, food, culture, and cityscape, said Amy Farley, senior editor at the magazine.

For unattractiveness, Philadelphia just beat out Washington DC and Dallas/Fort Worth for the bottom spot. Miami and San Diego are home to the most attractive people, the poll found.

Harsh. San Francisco ranked seventh in attractiveness, after Miami, San Diego, Charleston, Austin, Honolulu and Los Angeles (Charleston?). San Francisco did win the overall title in the category "people." I'm not sure what that means, but hopefully they'll use us in any government eugenics experiments.

I'm sure Philly ranked No. 1 in some categories, though, such as being most likely to "squirt Easy Cheese" and "throw batteries at players during sporting events."

What...I kid because I love.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Haverford in the House

Check this out: Haverford gets a hollatchaboy in this BusinessWeek story. It's about a consultant that helps rich kids get into better colleges than they could by their wits alone.

Kind of funny that they use Haverford as the lead anecdote, since the article is called "I Can Get Your Kid into an Ivy."

The Haverford student sounds like a tool, and I'm kind of surprised he would agree to the interview -- since there's no conceivable way it wouldn't make him seem like a complete putz. But he also paid $18,000 just to figure out how to sound gangsta while going to a Swiss boarding school, so maybe his judgment isn't too sound.

An excerpt:
"As I listened to my 8th period English teacher drone on for the third time about how Finny, a character in A Separate Peace, was indeed the main character although he was not the narrator, it finally dawned on me that this was not the exciting world of high school that I had hoped for."

This is how Andrew Garza began an essay in his application to Haverford College. It was a 1,200-word piece that established him as an intellectually curious young man. It was crafted to appeal specifically to the admissions officers at the small liberal arts school. And it was the idea of his high-priced college admissions coach, Michele A. Hernandez. Garza attended a private school in Switzerland, and that worried Hernandez: She thought he might appear to be a privileged teenager without much substance. So she advised him to write about why he had left his public high school in suburban New Jersey. "We had to make it seem like he didn't want to be around so many rich kids. We spun a whole story about him taking the initiative to leave in order to broaden his experience," Hernandez says. "It was his initiative. But he wouldn't have written about it."

Today Andrew is a senior at Haverford, studying sociology and economics. His father, John, paid Hernandez $18,000 for 18 months' worth of advice. "It is a lot of money," says Garza, a manager at Abitibi-Consolidated (ABY ) in New York. "But if you look at it as an investment, it's not a bad one."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Have No Friends Part 2

Well, this is just getting ridiculous. According to Kelly, my mom now has a Facebook account. I think she and Kelly have become "friends."

Let me know when it becomes cool to *not* have a Facebook account. Because I'm all over that trend.

UPDATE: Wait a moment, I've discovered an alternative to Facebook called "MySpace." I'll get ahead of the curve by trying that.

Hello Neighbor

Amid all the coverage of Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, I learned that he lives in a South of Market condo (at least part of the time). That's where he was when he found out he won.

I wish I had known this sooner -- we could have been partying together or something. Of course, to be fair, he lives in the St. Regis on 3rd Street, in the nice part of SoMa. I haven't seen the ol' motorcade venturing down to 7th.

I actually met Al Gore once, and it's testament to my looky-lou mastery. I was walking through Cambridge, Mass., and noticed a crowd had gathered. I decided they must be there for a reason and so I too joined the crowd. After five or 10 minutes, I was too embarrassed to ask anyone why we were all just standing there. But then all of a sudden, Al Gore comes out of a building and shakes everyone's hand.

So the next time there's a crowd forming in SoMa, stop awhile. You might just see Al Gore. Or possibly the crowd is just watching two homeless guys shiv each other.

Huh

I was coming home today and saw a poster for "Saw 4."

Can that be right — I'm still trying to see "Saw 1." It's been on our NetFlix queue for forever and never seems to move up on the list. (I wonder if Kelly has something to do with this.) Anyway, apparently I have a lot of catching up to do!

Friday, October 12, 2007

You Gotta Love It

From tonight's mayoral debate in San Francisco:
"How do you plan to address the issue of homelessness in the city, in particular, the issue of aggressive panhandling?"
One challenger, a homeless cab driver who lives in his taxi, offered his solution: "I Grasshopper Alec Kaplan propose to deal with aggressive panhandling by encouraging people to just chill out," he said. "One way that we can do this is by total legalization of marijuana."
George Davis, a self-described nudist activist, offered his suggestion for curbing violence in city: "Can you imagine being very angry but (being able) ... to go to Golden Gate Park on a sunny day and have the option of wearing clothes or not."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Play That Funky Music

Tonight Kelly and I went to some corporate party where they offered DJ lessons. I went up there and did a little scratching myself, as you can see from this picture:


Apparently the Smithsonian has requisitioned this photograph for an exhibit called "Whitest DJ in the History of Mankind."

Kelly (below) tried it too. For some reason the DJ set up her record so that it would repeat the word "bitch" every time she scratched. (True story.)


I also snapped this picture of Kelly, since I'm both a master DJ and photographer. Now I need to develop a third skill, such as horticulture.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who's the Densest?

I'm fond of telling people that San Francisco is the most densely populated city in the United States after New York.

Well, it's not exactly true. There are a few smaller cities (bordering larger ones) that are denser — Guttenberg, N.J., Somerville, Mass., West Hollywood, etc. I learned all this on a cool Wikipedia page listing cities by population density. Check it out.

It is fair to say that Ess Eff is No. 2 after New York among large cities in density. So I'm going to keep feeding people the same line. Don't try and stop me.

It's interesting to look at how crazy-dense Paris is. People around here are always whining about how we need more open space. I say we need less open space — someone will just use it to defecate on the grass. And look at Paris (pictured below). Aside from a few areas, they hardly have any open space, and people love it! Maybe I will start attending city planning meetings demanding that San Francisco be more like Paris and then when I lure people to my side, I'll reveal the truth by showing them this Wikipedia page. Bwahahahaha.

I Have No Friends

I thought the fact that I have a Blog meant I was keeping on top of the latest cutting-edge technology. But wait, I learned recently that Kelly has a Facebook account. I don't have a Facebook account. And apparently she has "friends" and they send zombies to bite her and such. What the hoo?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Not-so-Fun Run

Scary about all the runners who collapsed at the Chicago marathon this weekend — including one guy who basically dropped dead. He wasn't much older than me either. I guess it was really hot and all, but still.

I ran the Bridge-to-Bridge race a week ago, and I too had some health issues, which thankfully were less life threatening: nipple chafing. For a long time I've had to suffer in silence about this debilitating ailment. But fortunately, an episode of "The Office" brought the problem into the light two weeks ago.

America, I will no longer be ashamed!

Old-Woman Sunglasses Rock!

My mom started wearing those oversized sunglasses that cover your regular glasses. You know, the ones that are popular among old people and possibly Kim Jong Il.

Anyway, I think we may have made fun of her.

Boy do I feel stupid now, because apparently those glasses are the rage in Hollywood. Or, at least, Hilary Duff is wearing them. Check it out.