Thursday, June 28, 2012

a blip on the resume

i would say that the experience really started in november. i was at a friend's house party in the upper-haight when i overheard a greek buddhist mention to a recent import that he knew of an available position.

" yeah i think they are looking for something seasonal but it's possible that it could turn into something more long term..."

like a cartoon great-dane grabbing the scent of a double-decker sandwich in between ghost hunts, my ears perked and i floated across the room towards the conversation.

"did you happen to say that you knew of an available position?" i interjected with a seriousness i didn't know i had, "because i'm very interested. i can start tomorrow."

after working for a non-profit and a brief foray into Black Rock City i found myself in a state of unemployment with limited ins to available work. having heard suggestions that my applications for employment were too focused on my interests, i challenged myself to be more available to any opportunity that i heard of. i knew i was sending out several applications a day to anything and everything i could see myself fitting into, but so were hundreds of other millennials desperately trying to enter the post-recession work force and not wind up another casualty in what i like to refer to as San Francisco: America's Swankiest and Most Cutthroat Cruise Ship City

allow me to explain -

a while back i had a budding career in City Hall where i documented the Great Recession's forceful nature towards a community that once highlighted the city's progressive and tolerant reputation. while i was interviewing prominent figures in the community who spoke of their struggles, my office was similarly struggling to keep my income afloat, so i understood their desperation. many of the interviewees complimented me for my work and commitment to helping others. compliments didn't pay the rent, so i would thank them for their time with a 'thank you' email and an 'in case you hear of anything available here is my resume' email. i felt the desperation that non-profit, religious and community representatives were feeling and they had been here for 20 to 30 years. their lives were firmly rooted here and they were facing the reality that it was growing more and more difficult to remain active in this city. the more i told them about my personal struggles the more i would hear the same thing, "well that's why San Francisco is called a Cruise Ship City these days..."

i couldn't agree more. students, upstarts, transients, dreamers and the like all come to this city knowing its history of alternative upstarts and beatniks from decades past that made successful livings for themselves with only a suitcase and a dream. these days the dreamer can only last four or five years before they're left penniless and back at their respective starting points. they get to float around, see what all of the commotion is about in each little neighborhood but can't ever seem to drop anchor. so they come, they stare, they enjoy and they leave. and the city hasn't exactly been helping the dreaming sailors these days. just to show some perspective for a sailor who is entering his fourth year on deck - when i arrived in the city in August of 2008 a monthly pass for the Ship's mass transit system was $45 a month. Next month it will raise another $2 to $64 for MUNI only and $74 for MUNI and city-only BART access with fewer available lines and frequent delays. the one-bedroom apartment i share with a friend that we found two years ago was manageable because we were able to split the cost of what was meant for one person. a couple moved into the room upstairs a few months ago and are paying $700 a month more for the same space. it makes me question how much of the raised rates around here are due to inflation and how much is raised for other having this 'Cruise Ship' mentality has encouraged me to be more financially conscious, meaning i don't use money for anything for fear of becoming a 'man overboard.'

back to the greek buddhist

he said he knew of a holiday gig at a gallery in the marina. the marina?! sure! why not? what could possibly go wrong there? selling fancy art to fancy people sounds like a helluva grand way to spend the holiday season. it actually sounded like hell, but as i said earlier, i was in no position to deny an opportunity with both feet wobbling on the ship's ever-shrinking plank.

he set up the interview and i was ready to make a name for myself in the gallery world when my father surprised me with a trip back home for the holidays. i let the store manager know in person that i couldn't start until after the holidays and she said to contact her upon my return which i was sure to do as my quick view of the art, statues and furniture looked grand and impressive. all the while id be sending out resume after resume, cover letter after cover letter, in hopes of getting a bite.

a month went by and failed interview after failed interview led me back into the grasp of the gallerina whose name shall remain elusive for legal purposes. i went back for a second interview and gallerina 1 offered me the job part-time and with extensive training. art, fancy salesmanship and a bus ride away. what could possibly go wrong?

well, pretty much everything. i learned that i was the sole employee that wasn't a manager so everyone instructed me to handle things differently. they were a motley crew at best:

gallerina 1 (g1) was the newly appointed store manager that wasn't particularly warm and cuddly but made up for an absent cheery disposition with frequent reminders of their AA membership and constant use of the phrase 'as you know' when making corrections.

for example - "when you answer the phone, as you know, it should be with more of a happier tone, as you know"

it had gotten so jarring to hear 'as you know' that every time g1 used the condescending phrase i developed a facial tick where i would scrunch my nose as if i were adjusting an invisible pair of glasses. g1 didn't seem to notice.

gallerina 2 (g2) was a short, self absorbed, jaded shift manager that was hired a year ago from los angeles. g2 was the kind of gay man that made me question my faith in mankind.

for example - while thumbing through an old gossip magazine he asked "do i look like a younger tom cruise? i've heard it a few times before but im like, almost 34 so i don't know if i've still got it. godddd im getting old".

sometimes i wouldn't respond to his questions because i wasn't entirely sure whether he was asking me or just saying it out loud to hear himself talk.

"time for the gym!" he'd announce to no one.

g2 would only address me when i was doing something wrong, when he wanted me to do some work he was supposed to do or when he was fishing for compliments. i rarely replied with words to anything he said to me for fear that id actually have to have a conversation with him.

i got along with him the least, so of course every time i broke something worth hundreds of dollars it was under his watch. i broke well over $1000 worth of sculptures and glassware but rarely was it ever on purpose.

gallerina 3 (g3) was a delightfully gentle giant that wanted to get the hell out of there but couldn't get to his dream job of selling glass bongs and pipes on haight street because he wasn't "a pretty underage girl with a size zero waist". we got along based on the simple fact that we both didn't want to be there. we had nothing else in common outside of wanting to leave the gallery.

we would spend our time when the gallery was empty discussing g3's hobbies: medieval weaponry, terrariums, violent video games, pitbulls and glass blowing. i was quite fascinated by him as i knew nothing about all of those things. g3 liked when i would talk to him about my latest hobby of hiding behind things to avoid talking to customers while working at the gallery. g3 also used "drat!" a lot to express frustration so i like to think g3 was secretly a wizard from another century on a mission to sell tacky art to the rich and obnoxious.

gallerina 4 (g4) was a manager that had been with the gallery since its inception. g4 was someone i could count on to pass any sales to as they were very talented at their job but also incredibly competitive about closing the big sales of the day. you see, at this gallery each employee was required to sell a certain amount of money (without commission i might add) or else face consequences (unemployment). i had a grace period of a few months before my sales numbers mattered, so towards the end of my time i used my grace period as an excuse to hide from as many customers behind opulent furniture and tall sculptures. i spoke to g4 the least so i don't really have any particularly interesting quotes. i will say that g4 was a hoarder and had subscriptions to every magazine publication available. the break table consisted mostly of gossip rags and magazines about things happening in cities that we didn't live in. i took my homemade sandwiches to the corner of the basement and hid most of the time.

before i start to receive a tremendous amount of backlash for ultimately hiding from obligations at this position i must explain my disdain for the clientele. perhaps then i will receive a bit more sympathy. the gallery was located in a special place in san francisco where cow hollow, the marina and pacific heights all intersected, a place i like to refer to as 'the perfect storm of pretension'

the residents of this area were the kind of people i thought id see all throughout california before i actually moved to california. they were the shiny, pristine and well-coiffed california postcard families that knew the managers at all the best wineries and were close friends with the herbal acupuncturists and colonic hydrotherapists to the stars. they would share stories of solar panel investments and maria shriver's diet secrets on their uncle's sailboat over hybrid cheeses and locally produced onion crackers. they were unaware of what the 99% were complaining about and couldn't frown because of how tight their faces have been since their first facelifts back in '96. the wives that were my age would push their newborns in a stroller that most likely cost a month's rent in my world and match it with a ring that was most likely a year's paycheck in my world. their mothers would tag along with a perpetual grimace from botox/general disillusionment and sport the same tracksuit as the daughters. the men all shared a mixed look of self-satisfaction and glossy confusion. a millenial aged man got the look after years of positive reinforcement from their parents labeling them "the smartest, most talented and most important man in the world" and a baby-boomer era man simply thought that about himself from the sprouting of his first chest hair. everyone appeared to be en route to or from a low-level fitness center sporting "active wear" a body hugging collection of work-out clothing their 'close personal friend' heidi klum had recommended.

they would all come in to "find a little something to put on that empty space in our new apartment/new addition/guest house/for a backyard party celebrating the latest business merger". i'd just ignore their requests and ponder why people gave up on finding themselves and settle for a life that seemed so very limited. so predetermined. so bland. so white bread. none of them looked particularly happy, but they had money so they could bark at the lesser-than's like myself and demand discounted rates on $120 pillows in exchange for buying in bulk. it wasn't like they were one-of-a-kind pillows. the more i trained, the more i learned that the gallery was in fact a chain of galleries that provided cheaper knock-offs of incredibly expensive designer furniture and one-of-a-kind paintings. gallery my ass. it was really a place where the slightly well-off in the bay area could save money but still have expensive looking pieces hanging on their walls.

id often play this song on the long rides home in an attempt to restore my faith in humanity

i wasn't enjoying myself for several months in this environment and it was wearing on my health. one particular 6am shift after 3 full shifts where i was sent up and down several flights of stairs left my body so drained that i literally threw up two hours into unpacking new knock-offs. g1 politely asked if i was ready to get back to work after throwing up what little i had in my belly and i replied, "i just threw up and i have 5 hours left here requiring a lot of physical work. im going home"

it was that moment where i knew i had to get out of there, but i needed a better excuse than my body shutting down to quit. something with more meat.

enter 'martin'

it was a surprisingly busy sunday morning and i wasn't able to locate a proper place to hide as there were just too many customers. i found myself chatting to a woman about my mother's affinity for candles when i noticed a man crouched on the ground and stuffing some opulent candelabras in a bag. as much as i didn't care for the gallery i was pretty sure id get in trouble for allowing someone to steal on my clock.

i walked over and asked if he was finding everything ok and he said with an eastern european twang, "im buying things for new house so i'll be taking many things. i can bring to your register?"

"uh yeah, sure"

an hour went by and martin and i had littered the register with roughly 10% of the the entire store.

"do you have more of these? yes? i can take all of them. all of them, please. what was your name? michael, yes? michael i am buying many things here today. many things."

at this point i went to g3 and asked if i should start ringing things up as g4 was ignoring this chaos in an effort to make more traditional sales with the rest of the shoppers.

"yeah sure. ill go downstairs to storage and bring up the rest of his belongings...hey do you think this french guy is on some sort of drug? he's very...uppity." - g3

"he's not french, he's turkish. and yes, he has a white substance in his left nostril." -me without hesitation.

for a moment i was rather pleased that id be selling so many materials in one sale. i'd probably reach my quota with this wealthy party boy.

for the next two hours i was ringing up belongings and he continued to rip apart areas in the store and approach the already destroyed register area with new baubles and revelations:

"i will take all of these crystals for my daughter. i will take all of these shelves and things for my wife. i will take all of these sculptures for my mistress. this house in miami is so shiny, so new, michael. i will fly you down for the party we throw, michael. think of the girls, man. so many girls in my new house."


at this point the other customers were growing frustrated with the long wait for service, my managers were concerned with how big this operation had become and the store was a complete disaster. i had rung up roughly $20,000 in small sculptures, baubles and gifts when g3 informed me to go on a break as it was close to the end of the day and it was illegal for non-managers to not have a break. i could finally eat my breakfast.

before heading down into the basement martin approached me to use the employee only restroom. i let him know it was for employees only but g3 let him use it. martin looked at me with disgust and threatened, "ohhhh michael, you are so rude! how can i fly you to miami now! i will be right back - hey can i borrow, like, $50 cash for lunch? i will pay you back tomorrow?"

"martin i haven't had $50 cash on me in years"

martin quickly exited the employee restroom with powder in both nostrils this time. my banana was delicious.

when he came back from his cigarette break he went back to bringing even more things to the register and demanding to get all items on sale. g3 had had enough and demanded that they needed to come to some sort of agreement on how we were to take care of this purchase.

"oh. i come back tomorrow with truck to pick all of this up," martin said before stepping out for lunch.

"okay, well, you do realize that we now have to cancel this entire order and put everything on hold for you then," g3 shouted.

"yeahyeahyeahhhhh! it's ok! i come tomorrow with truck. i go to lunch now and come back for more. i will come back and bring home the gifts for my girls."

i believe i felt tears well up in my eyes while this exchange took place. i had been sorting and packaging thousands of dollars worth of household art and furnishings and the entire days work was suddenly worthless and had to be put away. he left us a credit card and license to prove he would be back and left for lunch. the store was in complete disarray on all levels and now everything had to be labeled for a future purchase and put back where it came from. closing was in an hour. neither manager was able to take a break and martin never came back. there was to be no purchase and the license's credibility for a return visit from martin was no longer believable. it was a disaster. at least g4 made his quota for the day. i sold nothing and destroyed the store. at closing time at the gallery we were allotted one additional hour to tidy up the store before we were paid extra, but we were never paid overtime, so we had to be out as quickly as possible. this was deemed impossible by g3, so he let me leave to refresh myself for tomorrow's cleanup.

upon opening the front door with his keys he politely asked, "so what time are you in tomorrow?"

without hesitation i replied, "never. i think im done." after a hug and a friendly handshake, i walked away from the gallery and felt $20,000 worth of frustration and bodily discomfort lift from my shoulders and had the biggest grin i've had in years.

I just can't help believing
though believing sees me cursed
For belief ignores the heathen's
day by day sigh 'even worse'
But for all we are receiving
there's an evens key to turn
You are the generation that bought more shoes and you get what you deserve

i don't think im meant to work in sales.

Monday, April 23, 2012

a san francisco sunday

a flock of amorous pigeons woke me up at around seven. i've woken up to worse, but i didn't have to get out of bed until nine and couldn't fall back asleep so i dozed in and out of friday's 'real time with bill maher' download and a you tube clip of radiohead's full performance at coachella from the night before. i eventually got up and prepped myself for the day, still nothing too out of the ordinary - that is of course until i stepped outside and remembered that i lived in san francisco.

a friend of mine had an extra ticket to the john paul gaultier exhibit at the de young in golden gate park, so naturally i accepted and proposed a hearty brunch afterwards, because what san franciscan doesn't propose brunch after any kind of sunday morning activity. it also kind of helps that every restaurant turns into a brunch bonanza on sunday mornings.

"what should we do today, i hear the weather will be nice."

"it's sunday - we're getting brunch."

"oh right, but where should we go for brunch today?"

"anywhere - it's available everywhere."


i had only made it a block down haight street onto clayton when my first san francisco standard came into full effect - the awkward one-liner from a creep either looking for a handout or sex.

"are you made of plastic - or are you real?" the gentleman asked with a sly smile and slight head tilt. granted, i WAS dressed for the occasion, having spent some time piecing together an outfit on my budget that jean-peal would have deemed appropriate (a black and gray ensemble consisting of: rolled up wool pants, gray high socks, black boots, tailored grey button down shirt, table cloth length scarf, fingerless gloves, suspenders and hair coiffed to suggest that i stepped off of a speed boat moments earlier) but in NO way was it to allure the come-ons from strangers at 11AM on a sunday walking down haight street in san francisco.

moving on

my eyes zoomed into the goodwill store from the sidewalk to catch a glimpse of any second-hand treasures but before walking into both pedestrian and vehicular traffic i pulled back my view and realized my friend spencer was already at our meeting point with coffee. we exchanged greetings/stories of how the day was already bizarre and walked our way down haight street to golden gate park.

the usual crowd was at the park's entrance: gypsies, irish traveller impersonators, trustafarians (kids from trust funds that choose to 'live from the land' as opposed to going home to their fortunes), drug dealers, burnouts and hordes of tourists snapping photos and debating on whether or not venturing into the park was safe given the ever present company around them.

"hey i think i recognize that girl. i always see her around haight street in that outfit," spencer said.

"judging by the way she's dancing in the field with no shoes on i think it's safe to say she lives here, spencer," i replied.

golden gate park is quite relaxing on sundays because cars aren't allowed to drive through so the streets are used by groups of bicyclists, runners, segway enthusiasts, two-man bicycles, scooter enthusiasts, eight-person bicycles, etc. it feels more like a town gathering for a picnic than a park nestled inside a busy city. of course, san francisco wouldn't let you forget where you were entirely, so on our way to the de young we walked passed a roller disco and a multi-generational couples swing dance party. we didn't have the appropriate footwear for either so we pressed onward.

jean paul.

jean paul jean paul jean paul.

you had me at 'striped heart'

we walked in and were welcomed by smiling and singing models. well, the mannequins. the modelquins? the mannequins were alive, sort of. projectors hung above the crowd and shot high definition faces onto the mannequins, bringing the attitude's of the collections to life, complete with sassy banter and come-ons by some of the models if you were standing where they were staring.

jean paul was there himself, sort of.

he introduced his collection, discussed his childhood and how he came into the world of fashion. we were also introduced to his first gown,

some notable pieces worn by australian singer, kylie minogue

and were treated to some choral gospel music by some of the modelquins, who wore pieces that took up to 360 hours to complete

honestly, anyone who does this to their teddy-bear at a young age really has no where else to go but fashion.

it was fitting that his teddy bear was displayed in the next room as it welcomed us to his work on corsets and cone bras - otherwise known as the madonna room

this is his very first corset/cone concoction.

fetching, yes?

i know i was staring at madonna's cone bra corset and was supposed to be drawn to the sketches and assorted memorbilia, but i suddenly went off on a mental tangent about what i did to my teddy bear as a child. mine wore red overalls and rattled when i shook him. i didn't like the overalls. i took Theodore EDward's (or TEDDE's) overalls off as i liked him looking natural. im not sure if that was supposed to mean anything but perhaps it explains my comfort around the nudists in this town. anyway - yes. get a load of madonna's zeitgeisty cone bra corset in the flesh.

sort of.

we were also treated to a vast assortment of collections that ranged from exoskeletal fetish wear to controversial exploitations of animal fur to cultural cross references and a runway show complete with punk rock, houndstooth and camouflage concoctions.

eye candy moment

the final room was a collection of his various contributions to film costuming and designing tour outfits for kylie minogue. i was personally drawn to the 'fifth element' memorabilia as it made me think of my sisters.

it was a lovely way to prolong sunday brunch.

on our way back, san francisco standard number two came in full force - a collection of people attempting to break a random world record that no one knew existed.

those roller disco fanatics from earlier got themselves together and organized the longest chain of roller skaters, complete with guiness record officials to monitor their progress. we caught the second attempt which (spoiler alert) was their successful venture.

i guessed correctly that some of the onlookers were filming this epic moment of weirdness and found it on youtube

we made it back into the haight for brunch, but not before someone else had approached me with another sexual/financial proposal. this time, the person was clearly on heavy levels of chemicals not meant for bodily consumption (at least not during sacred brunch hours). he leaned in towards me with a lusty proposition, "HEY BOY! YOU WANT SOME PIIIIIEEEEE?"

spencer and i were en route to someplace with food, so i graciously declined. had i not been mere minutes away from sitting down to a plate of tofu scrambled "eggs" and fruit i may have considered his offer, however he was also filthy, smelly, possibly suffering from pink eye and was clearly sharing whatever "pie" he was referring to with his equally gross lady-friend who was holding his shopping cart for him nearby.

"i recognized those two!" spencer said as we mulled the menu over at All You Knead. "i saw the two of them meet on the F line. i think he was yelling at the woman about how he wanted to 'fuck her crazy-like' or something."

i was tempted to question why spencer was so well acquainted with the neighborhood homeless but a better topic came into play - brunch. i had the tofu scrambled 'eggs' and he had french toast. spencer did the right thing and agreed to split our meals for ultimate taste bud satisfaction. sometimes you have brunch with people that don't split orders and it just seems ridiculous - you're combing breakfast and lunch together - why wouldn't you want more diverse flavors at one time!? as we dined we recounted the awful come-ons i've received over the last few hours, including the one from the night before, where a stranger thought he was alluring and sensual enough to win me over by removing my shoe and licking my foot in a bar without asking permission. "what a large big toe you have!" he declared as i recoiled and gave him the biggest sad clown face i could muster to show my disapproval. i really know how to reel in the crazies, apparently. as we finished up, spencer noted that he wanted to find some second hand gems from the haight's many locations so i offered to help for the afternoon. after several stores and carefully considered purchases we eventually parted ways as a collection of gypsies, travellers, trustafarians and burnouts serenaded the neighborhood with their surprisingly solid sidewalk symphony

i only had a minute to pet and feed pancho, the cat i was watching over (which is another san francisco standard everyone will go through multiple times - watching over a friend/lover/acquaintence/coworker's animal for a weekend) before i got the invite to sunday dinner, this week hosted by nathan. my friend cody planted a seed in our big family to try and have sunday dinners be a regular thing and it's been honored ever since by varying numbers of our group in different locations. i picked up a twelve pack of pbr and headed to hayes valley, where i was joined by my chums nakhter and mike. while the seitan salad and macaroni and cashew cheese (or mac & shews) was awaiting preparation, we partook in another san francisco standard - sharing beer and stories on top of somebody's roof. i love standing on roofs here. the view is always nice and the conversations seem slightly more cinematic. upon our return to the apartment (because i get too cold from the wind and give up on the cinematic conversations) our banter turned to discussions of employment, unemployment, technology and music. i played the radiohead concert from the night before on nathan's internet-tv-combo setup as we enjoyed preparing and inhaling servings of our vegan feast.


after dinner i helped nathan and mike categorize their ipads' many apps (which was funny as i don't have one myself) and watched live feeds of bon iver and beirut at coachella. "WHY WOULD WE BOTHER TO GO TO IF WE CAN WATCH THEM ALL ON THE INTERNET THIS IS AWESOME!" shouted nakhter as we went from stage to stage with the flip of a button. it was 'awesome'. why bother dealing with a bunch of sloppy people ruining good music and missing out on what was happening at each stage when you can watch it from home without shilling out hundreds of dollars? personally, i prefer more intimate settings for acts that i have a deep connection with as opposed to large, rowdy and chaotic music festivals. as mike and i departed to our respective homes, nathan gifted us with party favors - a new twist on our ever evolving sunday dinners. the gifts, however, were from his crazy, twisted, uncomfortable looking porn. iiiii will be regifting. most of them. probably. somebody will want them. somewhere. i think. it's the thought that counts.

i made it back to my apartment in the castro with just enough time to grab a few things before returning to eric's for more pancho watching when some other friends texted me to meet them at a bar around the corner. when you live in the castro and your friends are nearby it is very difficult to refuse as the distance is so very small. i was already tired from all of my previous activities so i wasn't in much of a drinking mood, but these men sure were. i walked them from bar to bar and eventually helped them guzzle down water when out of the corner of my eye i caught a glimpse at my friend rahul who was bartending in badlands. he had asked me if the woman to my right was with my party and i said no, but i could find out more about her. she was incredibly stunning and obviously a performer as several people came up to her and asked if she was in the drag show from earlier at another bar. "yes, that was me," she replied. i questioned her about the show and we complimented each other's looks as others came up and interrupted us. at one point, felicia and i weren't sure who a particular patron was hitting on, so we started having some fun of our own.

"are you talking to us for any particular reason?" i asked, humoring felicia as she playfully sipped her cocktail.

"i'm not sure whether or not im going to go home with some chick. she's like, chubby, so i know it will be good. you know what i mean? like, pretty girls are awful in bed but fat girls are really good because they owe it to you...."

"... let me stop you right there," i interrupted, "you are being incredibly offensive to a woman and to a man with three sisters."

"i can't believe you're saying that to us," felicia said with a raised brow.

"well...i just... i figured you wouldn't care because you're not a real woman and you're probably gay."

we turned our bar stools over and ignored the rest of what he said. the conversation turned to music, performing, how some white men do have rhythm (myself included), our similar appreciation for gentleman from the ATL and so on before another drunk patron approached felicia.

"show me your tits," he demanded with the uncomfortable grimace of an obese schoolyard bully.

"" said felicia

"come on, they aren't real - you're a tranny. show me your tits."

"hey man, take a hike, she said no, what is wrong with you?" i said, suddenly finding myself clenching my fists.

"whatever. you're a freak tranny!" he shouted as he slumped out of the bar.

"felicia, i gotta ask how often you have to deal with this."

"oh, pretty much every night i'm out."

"how do you handle it?"

"just gotta keep my composure and keep on keeping on," she mused.

"felicia you may be the strongest person i've met in this city and i've only known you for twenty minutes. let's do this again sometime."

i said my farewells, helped my friend to his car and walked alone to the bus stop. i still had a bit of adrenaline in me after catching how much disrespect a transgendered person can get from within a bar in the castro of all places. "so much for community," i thought to myself as i sat alone and awaited the 24 line when all of a sudden, a gentle looking senior citizen came up and sat next to me.

"waitin' for the bus are ye?" the man asked with a thick irish brogue.

"yessir. are you from ireland?" i asked as an attempt to pass the time.

"yep. visitin' the city for a bit. love it here."

we chatted for a while about my time in ireland and his time in san francisco and i started thinking of him as a great-uncle or distant cousin when the bus pulled up. before getting on he tugged at my jacket and had this to say:

"i'm lookin' fer a place to party. have some crystal. relax, you know. where are ye off to?"

.....which brings me to the final san francisco standard - the "'are you kidding me?!' level mistaking someone completely and feeling incredibly out of place" moment. out of all of the characters and situations i found myself in today - he seemed to be the least confrontational, the least interesting, the least abrasive and he totally threw me for a loop. when you share a conversation with an elderly irishman at a bus stop do you immediately think he will propose to smoke crystal meth with you?

i took the proper action and said, "thanks, but i'm off to a friend's house to help him fix his terrarium, it's like an aquarium but without the water. he wants to raise bacteria in it for a biology project." this was of course a complete lie. i like to use boring tasks like terrarium repair around strangers when they ask what i'm up to to make myself sound less interesting. i also included a friend in the lie as i didn't want him to think i was going to be alone in an apartment with a cat. feel free to store the terrarium story in your personal bank of lies to use around old irish drug addicts as he bought the story hook, line and tweeker.

he sat next to me on an empty bus and said nothing. i said nothing. i didn't have anything else to say. i don't even think i breathed very much. i am pretty sure that my eyes were bulging out of their sockets but other than that i tried to show that i wasn't as uncomfortable as i felt. when the bus driver pulled up to my stop, he stood up and asked if i was sure i didn't want to join him, so i replied by leaping out of the exit doors and making a mad dash until i reached eric's apartment, where i took a quick shower to rinse myself from the last few minutes and go to sleep.

how was your sunday?

love and loyalty.

Friday, April 13, 2012

a thunderstorm

last night i was taken back to the east coast and treated to a thunderstorm that san francisco hasn't seen in at least four years.

cat-sitting during a thunderstorm, however, put a new twist on enjoying the storm.

now to deal with the allergy attack that comes after every spring storm in this city.

love and lightning

Friday, February 24, 2012

a few updates

it has come to my attention that i have been neglecting this site upon my return to san francisco. my apologies.

here are some excuses -

1. i went to new jersey for some holiday cheer and it was again magical. there was a twist to this year's visit - no one thought i was coming. my father and first sister were the only ones who knew. i can replay the moment i walked into my family's house over and over and my mother's squeal is always the same, however the profanities afterward are different as i can't quite remember the order in which they were shouted.

dirty words aside, it really brought me back into the holiday spirit. i swear the west coast has no idea how to celebrate holidays. perhaps it's their weather that keeps them so 'leveled' throughout the year. i like the erratic highs and lows of the northeast. it keeps me on my thermal socks...or sandals - depends on the season. most of the time was spent having very lovely family moments. there were holiday traditions, stories of the year gone by and most important of all - italian foods. i ate everything thrown at me and often surprised myself with how much pasta i could fit in my body.

hibernation? sure, maybe. how about just hunger? unemployment is frustrating on the stomach and at the time i was very unemployed.

everything that can be 'parmegeaned' that i could stomach was inhaled, every slice of pizza was pulverized, spaghetti, spedini, linguini, ravioli, and so on in rotation

there was also holiday food

i believe i enjoyed christmas, however i may or may not have poisoned myself by trying to drink alcohol at a pace that can only be described as 'jersey strong'. i also had a reunion or two (or not enough) with 'team love' for new years and again - magic magic magic

2. i've been arting again - update soon

3. i've been trying to get healthy by committing to my gym membership

4. i've been writing again

5. i worked for a gallery i care not to discuss (but totally will with much detail after the contract expires)

6. i've been working on two twitter accounts, one is my personal account and the other is a new one and it'sssssss kind of inappropriate. i'm trying to document the hilarity that i hear everyday while living in the fruitiest town on the west coast. it's all out of love, of course - but still, just check it out.!/18th_n_Sasstro

love and loyalty!

aannd again im sorry for the delay