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.