28 January 2008

Things Repeating Themselves

Remember how Melissa and I got hit by a car last month? It happened in Japantown, on the corner of Geary and Laguna. Well today we were on Laguna again (this time at Union) and guess what? Nearly hit again. We have decided that whenever we are crossing Laguna in the future, there will be flares, trumpets, and jumping up and down involved.

The scene of the (almost) crime:

Next weekend, I am going to participate in what is sure to spark a new annual tradition throughout the nation: our first annual Groundhog Day party. I'll be partying on Treasure Island, which is a little man-made islet in San Francisco, at friends Samantha and Eric's house. The party comes complete with a custom t-shirt design by two graphic designer friends and winter and spring themed drink specials. And it wouldn't be complete without Bill Murray's Groundhog Day playing on a loop in the background.

21 January 2008


For everyone asking for pictures, here is my progress on my scarf so far. I even joined some friends for a knitting party, although there was not as much knitting there as planned, so I think another knitting party is in the works.

13 January 2008

The Dark Side

There are a lot of, um-- interesting people in the city. People that are mentally ill, angry drunks, harmless vagabonds, amateur street musicians, and even improvisational body artists who ride the bus making art along the way. But my encounters with those people don't really bother me and have never got under my skin like the meeting I had tonight. I think it comes down to me not being prepared for it. Yuck.

But besides weird encounters, though, I had a great time today hanging out with my second cousins Lily and Tom, who are really cute. We had lightsaber battles, complete with a Darth Vader helmet that changes your voice a few octaves lower and Vader-ifies it. Lily, who is five, put it on an did her best evil laugh, which becomes this really funny cackle when translated by the helmet. Here is Lily and my first-cousin-once-removed (we looked it up!) Mary locked in a vicious battle:

08 January 2008

Historic F Line

One of the most interesting mass transit options in San Francisco is the F Line. It seems like the cable cars get all the love, but the street cars that run up and down Market Street and the Embarcadero along the waterfront are pretty interesting themselves. Most of the cars come from cities around the world, and when the cars are from other countries, San Francisco has kept the original signage, so you can get on the Italian car and exit through the "uscita". It is a fun and scenic trip, but these are not just tourist attractions-- the F Line is a very useful way to get around the central and northern sections of The City. By the way, "The City" is the most common nickname for San Francisco here. I was told by everyone before I came not to ever call it "Frisco," but I have yet to hear anyone here say anything about that nickname, or about anything except for "The City."

The F Line:

Another F Line car, this one from Italy, I believe:

05 January 2008

A Texas Christmas

I spent Christmas in San Antonio, Texas at my brother Jeremy and sister-in-law Jennifer's new house, which was beautiful, and dad and my sister Angelica stay, too. We had a very generous Christmas morning and then drove around the San Antonio area for the next couple of days looking for interesting things to do... we ended up visiting a German village, exploring caves, touring old Spanish missions, including the Alamo, and seeing an awesome jazz band play at a really cozy club. In the downtime, I also made a lot of progress knitting my scarf (thanks to my friends Melissa and Betsy for getting me into knitting!).

Jeremy, Jennifer, Angelica, and me at the Alamo:

Angelica and me at the hat store!

Two cool guys:

Jeremy and Jennifer get a box of money for Christmas, seriously:

It took me three takes to get my dad to keep his eyes open for this pic:

02 January 2008

Taxicabs and Aliens

Taxicab drivers are interesting people in San Francisco. I try to avoid taxis as much as possible because of the high price (usually around $10 to get anywhere significant), but late at night when the buses run far apart, sometimes it is the only practical way to get around. During those times I have had to take one, I've met some very interesting drivers which make the trips fascinating:

Mr. Just-Nod-Your-Head -- This guy took me and my roommate to a watch a friend play basketball. He talked nonstop for the whole ride in the thickest West African accent you have ever heard. The only words we could make out were "stupid Jews" and "dumb Arabs".

Mr. Too-Much-Information -- He brought me home from buying a microwave at Best Buy and his idea of friendly conversation was going into the graphic details of his sex life. After everything he said, he would laugh uproariously and turn around and look at me for support, leaving me wondering who was driving. Thankfully it was only five minutes in the taxi!

Dr. McCrazy -- I rode with this guy tonight and he takes the prize for the craziest guy I've met in the City so far, and that is saying a lot. He explained to me how alien beings are controlling all of humanity using anthrax powder on our paper money. Not only that, but the minivan
in front of us was monitoring our conversation because the government and the aliens are trying to keep track of his movements. The rest of the country is also working with a group called the Syndicate preparing the way for more anthrax powder. He warned me to be careful if I want to avoid becoming part of the Syndicate as I was getting out of the car, and I wished him good luck.