Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a gift for all of you

happy holidays!

love and loyalty

Thursday, November 4, 2010

a week under the spotlight

san francisco was pretty busy this week. every day was some wondrous occasion. people in the streets cheering or drinking or voting or rioting. a very refreshing and exciting time to be a san franciscan.

halloween. a national holiday, yes, although here in the city it often seems that a wednesday in august could be easily mistaken for halloween, depending on what street fair or festival is taking place.

once again i hosted the pre-evening celebration as i tend to go overboard with decorations, music and overall spookiness in comparison to everyone else. this of course can be attributed to my mother. ps- thank you very much for the entertaining cards and decorations sent by all of my family back east. there were some definite conversation pieces sent over and you all were recognized and paid tribute accordingly.

before i go into the fun, i must step aside and tell the magical tale of how i wound up with a pumpkin. see, here in unemployed-town i tend to look at things with dollar signs in order to remain as thrifty/cheap as possible. there is no shame in this confession, i am a grifter. i would haggle for a pair of used socks if i could. i steal sugar packets from coffee shops. no shame.

moving on.

the pumpkins here in the city were a little more than the pumpkins out of town, so i convinced my fellow grad student melissa to drive to half moon bay in search of the perfect pumpkin patch.

enter lemo's family farm. a serious fairy tale land of pumpkins, petting zoos, foods, train rides and festive spooky scaries. i was in hog heaven. however, our pilgrimage was faced with a time constraint. you see, by the time we actually arrived at this farmyard wonderland, thirty minutes remained until it closed. we had to enjoy our time appropriately.

look at the entrance! there's stuff everywhere around it! we should read the signs and then find a bathroom for melissa! i'll take pictures of things! THERE'S NO TIME!

oh. ok that's great! move on!

quickly! put your heads in there!

ok that's great! move on!


ok that's great! move on!


wait, we can feed them?!


oh. wait. goats can stand on their hind legs?


ok that's great! move on!

spooky horses!

ok that's great! move on!


ok that's actually necessary. we will come back to you. move on!

whoa! spooky gazebo!

ok that's great! move on!

wait is that a spook house?!

once we saw the spook house, we had to cancel all immediate plans for an even more immediate decision - we needed spooky scaries. we charged forward, only to see the entry gate shut down. puzzled and a bit alarmed, we seated ourselves at the entrance in an effort to wait until it was reopened for the next group. plus, there were little kittens hanging out. we soon realized that the spooky scaries were not in our future and time was running low. i made an attempt to leave and head to the tasty foods, however melissa has a certain weakness for cats, so leaving seemed difficult.



hmm, how should i put this....


melissa didn't want to put down the kitten.

time was running thin....

it looked so fragile and content with melissa holding him...


melissa took the kitten.

now little ghost, the cross-eyed fella who appeared out of nowhere in front of a spook house would grow up in a healthy environment with melissa's two other cats.

melissa's costume at the time, by the way, was to be a cat lady. fate.

needless to say i didn't get to get the delicious pumpkin jam, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter, homemade candy corn, caramel apples, pumpkin quiche....let alone an actual pumpkin which was the original purpose of the drive.

whatever, the kitten was charming. and to be fair, it looked like they were all kittens that would have grown up unloved on a farm where infections and wolves and other horrible things we made up in our heads existed.

i wound up buying the pumpkins off the side of the road around the corner from melissa's and we had pumpkins and kittens.

traditional, yes. it was so angry looking, but it packed it's own original wallop. when i went to bring it inside from my back porch for the party, i forgot that sometimes it rains and that rainwater can get caught in the jack-o-lantern. i tried to tip it and it threw up all over me. my jack-o-lantern threw up on me. a lot.

he sat outside on the front steps for the rest of the party. i think he was stolen by the time i returned home.

i didn't mind, really. bad pumpkin.

anyway, as i foreshadowed in a previous post, i wanted to represent the bp oil spill for my costume because i felt that reports of the crisis "magically disappearing" thanks to evaporation and a hasty cleanup job were completely ludicrous and the national dialogue for the gulf's rescue should continue - hence my costume.

the party went well and we meandered around the city in search of the perfect halloween party. three locations later - we had found it. a basement party with serious decorations, strobe lights, spooky foods and great costumes. i even met my match that night.

we spotted each other from across the room like in the movies and immediately gravitated towards another.

the bird and the spill. a match made in hell.

i was super proud of the costume and it was received very well (except for the people who thought i was bjork for some reason. morons) however i did learn one important lesson about halloween parties and commuting in crowded streets - people are very awful when drunk. let's just say that i was happy to be sporting a pair of underwear underneath my costume. some drunk girls are a little too grabby. i think next year my costume will entail more clothing. fingers crossed.

ok so then we own the world series. for the first time in.... a while.

the city celebrated. in very different ways. the national reports mainly focused on the morons who took to the streets and did some pretty disgraceful things.

this is how my fellow san franciscans at 22nd and mission celebrated. street fires and violence.

this is how my neighborhood at 18th and castro celebrated. toilet paper. chanting. music. champagne. cheering. far from rioting. i believe at one point i had a large amount of toilet paper thrown at me, which is fine cause it was a friend and not a stranger with a broken bottle. thank goodness i live in the castro.

i filmed this myself so i of course apologize for the shotty camerwork.

and then there was the party

you know, no big deal, just 500,000 and upward in attendance. pretty sweet. my friends took these pictures. i did not have this kind of access.

oh yeah, and this is the mayor, or should i say lieutenant governor of california? that's right. he was elected, as were a million other things in the city this week.

two things actually joined the ranks of "items banned from san francisco" ... the list already includes:

1. plastic bags - plastic bags are currently not allowed at large chain supermarkets and drug stores, but we are considering the ban to all stores.

2. bottled water - city money cannot be used to purchase bottled water and it cannot be sold from vending machines on city property.

3. smoking - tobacoo cigarettes are not allowed to be smoked in buildings, and clove cigarettes are not permitted to be sold in the city at all.

4. baby animals - it's illegal to sell baby chickens, ducks rabbits

5. segways - segways are not allowed on sidewalks or bike baths because gavin newsom thought they promoted laziness. i just find them annoying so i'm actually ok with this. plus it's easier to spot the tourists downtown who ride them along the pier because i think that's the only way you're allowed to use them - cheesy tourist stuff.

6. soda - soda and juice drinks with no real fruit juice cannot be sold from vending machines on city property.

7. arizona - as a protest to the state's strict immigration policies, city employees are not allowed to travel to arizona.

the latest installments are a little different.

8. happy meals. yep, that's right. we have become the first major u.s. city to pass a law that cracks down on the popular practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children. if the restaurants still wanted to give away toys, they would have to meet certain nutritional standards before they could be sold with toys. love it. makes total sense.

9. here's the one that i'm not particularly a fan of -


prop l was on the ballot this year and it was passed in an effort to curb aggressive panhandling. we have outlawed sitting on the streets between 7am and 11pm, pending certain circumstances aka if you are not homeless looking. it's a pretty crappy effort to remove the homeless from the city and make it look nicer to tourists. i'm pretty disappointed it was even on the ballot.

eh. you win some you lose some.

i'll end this post on a lighter note with what i think was a beautiful/prideful/cheesy moment for our city. it was during game 2, but i kept playing this throughout the week because i felt pretty proud of my city every time i saw it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

a city "buzzed"

not all san franciscans are san franstoners. thanks.

go giants.

View more news videos at:

love and loyalty

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a couple of extra blankets

it's official - first night of the season with the heat on. thanks, san francicle.

love and loyalty

p.s. - got all of my costume components on the cheap. now to construct.

squawk squawk *cough cough coughhh*

Monday, October 25, 2010

a halloween preview

less than a week ago it was reported that massive stretches of oil are still being spotted in the gulf of mexico, silencing reports that declared little remaining surface oil remained from the U.S. coast guard's office.

in an effort to continue public awareness that this problem is far from over, i offer you a visual preview of my halloween costume

love and loyalty.

Friday, October 8, 2010

a time to thrill

this job situation that one tenth of the country is dealing with has been rather frustrating, so i've decided that i should start being a little more spontaneous. be it through job applications (i have learned that i am a little overqualified to work in a pizza parlor and under-qualified to be an executive for... anything), car rides to los angeles or participation in bizarre street fairs, i have made a valiant effort to not let the joblessness weigh me down.

i've also taken on a new hobby - cheap movies played at the historic castro theater.

here's why

1. the movies there are 10 bucks cheaper than at other movie-houses and cinemas. which is good, because, well, you know...
2. it is less than three blocks away from my apartment...with zero hills

3. because of 2., i find it totally normal to go in my pajamas with a blanket (i am obviously alone for these ventures)
4. smuggling my own popcorn (thanks to monroe friends for mailing over my very own popcorn maker) and other snacks is super easy and money friendly (again, in large part due to 2.)
5. have you seen the inside?

you can't find beauty like that at the um, amc? is that what they are? one of those big chain movie houses.... lowes? is that one? wait dont they sell lawn furniture? i'm getting off topic
6. the films are better! i thought i had some sort of a film history under my belt, but this place has been exposing me to some good stuff while simultaneously playing some of my favorites. movies today are a little too dependent on flashy special effects and people whose teeth are damn near blinding when projected on such a large screen, so it's nice that i can go somewhere that plays movies before the movie world turned mostly terrible.

some examples? sure.

metropolis, the 1927 fritz lang film that ignited the genre of science fiction films, complete with 20 minutes of additional footage located and restored only recently.

hud, a film i thought i wouldn't really identify with was actually super relevant. plus, his quick one-liners and easy-going attitude reminded me of an uncle of mine - minus the alcoholism and rages, of course.

and there was recently a charlie chaplin tribute, where i was reminded that i love charlie chaplin, especially now that i am an adult who sometimes deals with the similar troubles he went through. ... poverty.. not so much the pedophilia stuff.

im currently trying a bit of exposure therapy and engaging in various old timey horror films. spooky scaries are not my favorite of film genres, but im trying.

on the plus side, the music is actually quite good. when things get too scary i tend to just close my eyes and listen to the music. baby steps.

my road-trip to los angeles was actually pretty interesting, thanks in large part to eric (he knew where everything was) but also because as a native tri-stater i grew up thinking a city meant buildings and overpopulated areas.

no no no.

los angeles is a large collection of mini towns with occasional clusters of buildings. it seems to be divided into three kinds of arrangements: suburban, commercial and industrial...just repeated hundreds of times over.

well, and freeways. i guess that makes four. driving is a must. i dont think i would make it. i've become quite accustomed to mass transit, no matter how loud or smelly my fellow passengers are.

the area does have some very nice beaches and sunsets.

and then this happened.


i, michael kasian, aka mr. screw-disney-for-its-monopoly-on-childhood-and-misrepresenting-history-and-setting-unattainable-measures-for-love-and-setting-incredibly-inappropriate-gender/racial-roles-on-impressionable-minds, was brought to disneyland.


and i enjoyed it.

we went on all the best rides (sometimes twice)

and then THIS happened

jack was there.

the ultimate childhood storybook anti-hero. before tim burton got lame and started rehashing good movies into expensive crappy versions and before disney started putting jack's face on every sweatshirt available at any mall store for pseudo-goth transients, jack was the last thing one would expect to come out of a disney studio. he represented what every other protagonist wasn't - lanky, educated, emotional, insecure and without any trace of a typical disney gendered stereotype. he challenged his depression and explored something else, only to realize that it was selfish and unappreciative to not recognize the value of what he already had. an incredible lesson complete with the kind of cast that encourages creativity in young viewers far more than a sidekick talking crab or lamp or raccoon could ever offer.

disney suited up the haunted mansion for the holiday season and i turned into a 6 year old again.

well played, disney.

well played.

we seriously went on a bunch of rides.

this one actually broke down mid hill climb. we were rescued by the kids in country folk costume and got to see the inside of a roller coaster.

surprisingly less magical, i can assure you.

they made it up to us with some free fast pass things so we could just cut wherever. beautiful.

i was actually with some pretty seasoned disneyland experts, so the rate of waiting in line vs. enjoyment was seriously in our favor.

there were characters and mini-parades and castles

and performances and light shows and music and tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki rooms and fireworks going off in all directions (which made the sky look like this)

but the ultimate joy was when that mouse everyone raves about made a quiet appearance in a nearby gazebo. there was barely a line to meet him so i had to get a quick photo - especially when you see what i wore to disneyland.

priceless. just priceless.

mickey took one look a the shirt, recognizing himself at first (as did his handlers looking pleased as punch) but then mickey read the top and put his hands to his mouth, followed by sobbing and tearing.

i made mickey cry. yep. mickey cried.

his handlers soon started making things better, saying things like, "why would you want to destroy florida? i don't get it?" and "well, mickey owns florida, so you can't do that."

in my head i thought, "that's exactly the problem, you morons." which explains my devilishly happy grin in both photos. i came into their turf and confused and angered their highest representative (and handlers). it felt pretty good.

now im back in san francisco and back to the old grind. you know, job hunting. it's rough out there, guys, im not gonna lie. but when things get tough and i can't really see the positive, i think back to a final scene from "modern times" that always lifts me back up

love and loyalty