16 December 2007

Hit and Run!

I was walking from Japantown to a bus stop nearby tonight with my friend Melissa. Our bus was across the street, so we started to cross the intersection, following the walk signal. We are halfway across the intersection when an SUV runs into me and knocks me down. I crash into Melissa bringing her down too, and with her on the ground and me most of the way down, the car's back wheel runs over my foot. As I slowly start to get up and recover from the shock of the incident, the guy drives away. To be fair to him, I kind of gave him a little wave as I stood up, which I probably wouldn't have done if I had been totally with it. Thankfully, both Melissa and I are fine, but my foot has a light throbbing pain which I have a feeling will be worse tomorrow.

Hmm... I am wondering how long I will be scarred with an irrational fear of crossing the street? I definitely found myself freaking out a little bit walking the rest of the way home, and there was even a second where it looked like we might get run over again. Then again, maybe it's not so irrational!

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, behold the intersection where our hit and run took place:

13 December 2007


One of my favorite places in San Francisco is Japantown, mostly due to two things there: anime and Japanese food. The mall there is home to Japan Video, my link the renting and buying anime-- Japanese cartoons. Japantown is definitely not the authentic ethnic enclave that Chinatown is, and it might be more accurate to call it Japan mall, since the majority of the neighborhood is the Japantown mall. The shops around the video store in the mall serve tons of treats like green tea ice cream and mochi, a sweet rice confection.

The plaza in the middle of the neighborhood is centered around the Peace Pagoda, which is all decked out for Christmas right now. Speaking of Christmas, the temperature here recently has really been putting me in the Christmas spirit... brrrrrr!

10 December 2007

Trip to Southern California

My cousin Mary and I went on a surprise trip this weekend down to Yorba Linda, east of Los Angeles, to visit our family. We helped decorate my Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim's boat with lights for their neighborhoods annual Christmas boat parade, then joined them all for a big party they were throwing at their house for friends and family. I met up with a lot of family that I had not seen in many years, if ever. I discovered my new favorite holiday drink: hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps... perfect for the cold weather that night when it started raining while we all ourside watching the parade go by!

Jenny and Mary decorating the boat:

The boat decked out during the parade:

Driving back to the airport this morning, we drove by the snow-capped peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains. I made up a little panorama of the pictures I took of the mountain as I waited for my plane at the airport: (click to enlarge)

04 December 2007

Oh, The People You'll Meet

I continue to meet interesting people in even more interesting ways here. A few weeks ago I met a vagabond on the bus named Tree. He had his guitar with him and we began talking about music, and traded playing songs on the guitar during the bus ride. I keep randomly meeting him around the neighborhood since then, including at my laundromat. A few days ago we went down to Union Square together and grabbed a tea at Borders while he told me about his fascinating life living on the street and traveling the California coast.

Tonight I was doing my laundry at the laundromat in Cole Valley (the same one that I met the girl that I went on a few dates with), and I was standing outside reading Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. A guy in his 50s or 60s came up to me and just started talking about how he knew Kurt Vonnegut's son Mark when he lived in a commune in Canada in the late 1960s. The guy was also a sound technician for the Grateful Dead, so he told me a few crazy stories about his life on the road with the band.

My famous Cole Valley laundromat:

03 December 2007

Oakland Raiders Game

I went to see the Oakland Raiders play the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Coliseum today with a big group of friends, and the Raiders won 34 to 20! I'm not really a fan of the Raiders, but you have to cheer for the home team. A guy near us got beat up by some Raiders fans after he cheered for the Broncos, so I think I made the right move. The Raiders fans are pretty crazy-- they got in fights, cursed the whole time, and were just rowdy. Tampa Bay Bucs fans are a little more in control, but it was fun anyway. Here's a picture I took from our seats. I didn't get a picture of the view in the other direction, but that way we could see all of San Francisco, including the Bay Bridge, downtown, and the Golden Gate Bridge.