The Idiot Factor

The Harder Side of Sears:

A certified letter arrived the other day from…well…let’s just say a major US retailer. Planet SOMA is forthwith and heretofore advised to cease using the term “the Wish Book” anywhere within the site, as this term is a registered trademark of said major retailer. Mind you, the only place in the entire site this term was used was in a link to another site, the title of which was, surprisingly enough, “The Wish Book”. Never mentioned the damned catalogue at all on my own. All the same, it seems I’m guilty of suggesting that there is some connection between Planet SOMA and this…ummm…major US retailer.

Another letter arrived today from this same retailer, begging me to accept a pre-approved credit card. They must need the extra income to pay their context-impaired lawyers to sit around doing Internet searches…

Funny, they didn’t seem upset by my admission that I used to suck dick in the mens rooms of their stores…

These People Are Allowed to Count Money?

Also in today’s Chronicle was an article on the parking crisis in San Francisco (way to grab those breaking news stories…). The manager of the Bank of America branch in the Castro was quoted as saying it was unfair that her employees had to go out and move their cars every two hours to avoid tickets.

Earth to manager: anyone who DRIVES to job at 18th and Castro and expects to be able to park on the street all day is a fucking IDIOT who deserves whatever tickets he or she gets. The Castro has more transit service than almost anyplace else in the city. Jump on the clue bus people. Hell, jump on ANY bus…

Flaming Idiots:

It seems the US Congress is precariously close to sending out a Constitutional amendment to permit laws banning “desecration” of the American flag. Aside from the pure idiocy of altering the Constitution to punish those half dozen annual flag burners, just who exactly gets to define “desecration”? I think that allowing the flag to fly over the current Congress shows a pretty flagrant lack of respect for the old red, white, and blue.

Too bad we can’t come up with an amendment to render idiots ineligible for elections…

I Just Don’t Understand (More)

Seems the California Highway Patrol (you know…Erik Estrada..etc…) is cracking down on sexual activity in the mens rooms at the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco. As is the usual case, they have opted for entrapment (using undercover officers) rather than prevention (using visible uniformed officers). Granted, the uniforms are far more of a deterrent — and I speak from experience here — but undercover officers result in more arrests and ruined lives. No big surprise why they made the choice they did, huh?

Quoth Tom Ammiano: “they’re targeting gay men”. Granted, there aren’t a lot of dykes having sex in the mens room, but actually, they’re targeting people who have sex in public. All sociological aspects aside, these people know there’s danger. It’s one of the rules of the game — and I speak from experience here. It’s hard to come up with too much sympathy, though, for those caught in tearooms in San Franscisco, though. Jeez…you can find somone to have anonymous sex with at SAFEWAY here…

I just don’t understand:

I understand that backpacks are part of the urban scene. I understand why people carry them to work, even though some of them seem big enough for a month-long journey across Europe. What I do not understand is why people drag these mutant backpacks into crowded bars at midnight on Friday night. It’s hard enough to walk from the front of a bar to the back without having to dodge someone’s wardrobe (and TV, VCR, and dishes, for all I can tell…).

So I feel justified in giving these people extra elbow action when they get in my way at Hole in the Wall or My Place…

Other things I’m having trouble understanding today:

  • The “Laverne and Shirley” marathon on Nick-at-Nite this week.
  • Why is it that the larger and “more efficient” a company becomes, the harder it is to get anything done?
  • What do animal rights activists do when they get roaches or termites?

Changes Afoot

So then there are those mornings when you find yourself awake at an ungodly hour completely unable to sleep because so many unsettling thoughts keep getting lodged in your brain. This kind of insomnia must be a lot like a psychological equivalent of AIDS. One big anxiety compromises your faculties such that a multitude of smaller opportunistic anxieties intrude. The net result is no sleep. It’s been happening a lot the past week or so.

I guess the “big anxiety” stems from the fact that my roomie of six years is getting pretty damned close to buying a house. This, in itself, is a good thing. I’m happy for him, although I’m still not convinced of the wisdom of buying property at the peak of the most inflated real estate market in Bay Area history.

I feel really guilty that I can’t bring myself to act enthusiastic when he talks about it, but the whole thing is causing a tremendous surge of uncertainty in my life. The most obvious problem is the necessity of finding a new roommate, not an easy task given my general lack of sociability. At this point, I’ll consider taking speculative applications

There are financial pressures as well, coming at a time when I’m living quite adequately but have no savings to speak of. I’ll have to come up with the deposit which I never paid upon moving into this place. Utilities will have to be transferred into my name.

And of course there remains the big question of whether I’m still under rent control when he moves out. The prospect of paying current market rent on a two-bedroom apartment South of Market (or anywhere in San Francisco) is not pretty. In fact, it’s down right terrifying. I’d even consider it an impossibility, more or less.

So then the little anxieties surface. Is it really worth it to continue living here? Should I look on this as a sign that it’s time to get the hell out of this increasingly expensive, rapidly gentrifying city? And if the answer is yes, where exactly should I go and what the hell should I do when I get there? What exactly am I doing with my life anyway?

Oops…maybe that’s the REAL “big anxiety”. It does, after all, come down to that “what do I want to be when I grow up” thing, doesn’t it? Admittedly, it’s hard to address that particular issue with so other more pressing crises piled up in front of me. But, of course, that’s pretty much the same excuse I’ve been using for almost 34 years now…

It’s after 4:00 now. Maybe I should consider trying to go back to sleep or something. Whatever’s coming up can’t harm me while I’m sleeping. If only I WERE sleeping…

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago this week I was just getting used to a new apartment in Charlotte NC (still the coolest apartment I’ve ever occupied and it rented for $250). I was thoroughly annoyed with fags. I was pondering the oddly disturbing fact that I was about to enter my mid-20s. I had recurring fantasies involving the Beastie Boys having their way with me. I was planning one of my first really major road trips, to Boston and New York with my friend Jeff.

This week in 1998, I’m pondering keeping an apartment in SF (which is about the same size and rents for more than $800) by myself when my roomie moves out. I’m thoroughly annoyed with fags. I’m pondering the less disturbing fact that I’m about to enter my mid-30s. I’d still probably do the Beastie Boys if the opportunity should arise. And I’m planning on Chicago and Minneapolis in the fall.

Yup…it’s birthday time once again. Two weeks from today yer humble host hits 34. I will have outlived Mama Cass and Jesus Christ. I will be the same age as my mother at the time of my birth. And in two short years it will be legal for me to be attracted to people half my age. My birthday will require a tremendous outpouring of support. A list of appropriate gifts is available upon request

Best of the Bay

What I didn’t expect was a phone call from my friend Avery congratulating me for being a Best of the Bay winner in this week’s Guardian. This came out of nowhere! To be voted one of a handfull of the best web sites in the Bay Area by the editors of the best newspaper in the Bay Area is pretty fuckin’ cool! Yer humble host is even more humble thatn usual (though not too humble to mention the award, you’ll note…)

For those of you from outside the area, the Guardian is SF’s equivalent of the Village Voice or the Chicago Reader. There is no publication in the city from which I’d be happier to receive an award. I’ve been reading the annual Best of the Bay issue since before I moved here in 1992. Never figured I’d actually be IN it.

So now I get to be in the winners’ photo shoot in the morning at Kezar Stadium. I get the cool certificate like they have at Naked Eye and Pancho Villa and even Kinko’s (which was voted “Best Insomniac Playground” a few years back). I get the strange satisfaction of seeing my name in newsprint.

This is cool!