East to West

Sunburned again. And it seemed so damned overcast when I started. I went on another one of those urban mega-hikes on Monday afternoon. This time, I accomplished something I’d never done before: I crossed the entire width of the city, from the bay to the ocean, on foot.

I didn’t really plan it this way. I just started walking. And I kept walking and walking. Past Union Square and the Civic Center and onward through the Western Addition projects. I crossed Divisadero, where the honey-baked ham store sits across the street from the Jewish mortuary. I wandered past the old Sears store at Geary and Masonic and into the Richmond District.

By the time I hit Green Apple Books at 6th and Clement, I knew I wasn’t going to stop until I hit the Pacific. And I didn’t. I finally came to rest atop a hill amidst the ruins of Adolph Sutro’s mansion overlooking the sea.

Then I got on a bus and came home. I’ve spent the rest of the evening recovering.

Why do I do this? Mainly, because I can. Having a walkable city is one of the biggest benefits associated with living in San Francisco, even for a diehard road tripper like myself. Long-distance walks allow you to see things you don’t notice from a car or a bus. Seemingly dull areas develop unexpected nuances and textures.

I recommend it, even though eight miles may be a bit much. Maybe it was jut frustration from not getting laid this weekend…

Visit Soon

My car is now legal again. I was a little tardy in taking care of my smog check and registration. Please don’t ask me how tardy. All the same, I can once again drive without fear of persecution (or prosecution) now that, as they say, the check in the mail. Not that I really stopped driving anyway. I just stopped driving near cops.

At least there’s now an event which has displaced the final episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the most exciting moment of my week. If you think that’s sad, you should ask me about the runners-up.

Next week will be better. My friend Duncan from North Carolina will be visiting. One of the benefits (and trust me…there aren’t many…) of living in a business and convention destination is that sometimes your friends get to visit and they don’t even have to pay for it.

Duncan and I work well together. We used to do things like leaving the house headed for fast food places down the block and winding up 90 miles away in a cafeteria in another state. This was a fairly regular thing and never seemed too unusual. No telling where we’ll end up while he’s here. I haven’t been to Fresno lately…

The way I’m doing things lately, I may WALK there…

Note to Duncan: you need not feel compelled to go to Fresno…

Note to self: shut up and go to sleep…

8 June 1999

Extremely busy and hectic weekend. My apologies to anyone who’s waiting for me to answer email. Tomorrow, I promise…

Sunday’s “Stop the Hate” rally in the Mission was indeed the put-on I’d imagined. Mind you, it was a serious event and serious issues were discussed and publicized. Essentially, though, it was a brilliant piece of street theatre.

Duncan’s here, I’m playing tourguide, and I’ll have somthing more interesting to say soon. Maybe…

The Great Smoke-free Experiment of 1999

I gave up smoking for fourteen hours today and lived to tell about it.

I’m not sure what possessed me. I’ve been thinking about it for several weeks. So I let myself run out of cigarettes last night. I then managed to get through most of the morning without one. I held out until about 11:30.

It was quite unpleasant, although not quite as bad as I might have expected. I may try it again some time. Maybe I’ll attempt an entire day soon.

I’ve been smoking for over twenty years. I started in junior high, where it caused some problems. Smoking was legal at high schools in Greensboro back then, and that’s where I got really hooked. I’ve never been particularly apologetic about smoking, although I’ve generally tried to be considerate about it. I draw the line, though, in my own home or car, or in bars.

I also draw the line here at Planet SOMA. I’d like to think that if I were to quit smoking, I’d never become a self-righteous asshole like this guy who had the audacity to tell me not to feature pictures of myself smoking on the site.

Anyway, given my chemically-deprived state last night, I didn’t answer much email (I know…I promised…I’m sorry…) I’m not making any promises about tonight either. I also have not added my rally pictures. I may not do so. I fear the time has passed. All the same, feel free to browse the SF Weekly’s admission of responsibility


My friend Rae is about to leave on a major road trip as she moves to Chicago. I’m jealous. She’s excited. We shared our respective emotions several times today. We never spoke in person; everything was said via email or voice mail. I’m not sure if this is good or bad.

Bad habits I’ve obtained since I became “wired”:

  • File extensions: Being a Mac supremacist, I’ve never really had to deal with them on a regular basis. But since the internet is a Unix environment (despite what Bill Gates may believe), I’ve had to start. Now I add file extensions to anything I’m working on. It’s like a curse.
  • Saying “directory” rather than “folder”, even when I’m talking to another person using another Mac.
  • Giving out my email address rather than my phone number in bars. This just seems wrong somehow.
  • Using my video camera as a glorified still camera and shooting things more with the assumption that they’ll be used on the site rather than watched on an actual TV.
  • Expecting printed books and newspapers to have a “search” button.

Good (and somewhat anachronistic) habits I’ve maintained:

  • Very rarely, if ever, using the term “wired”.
  • Reading newspapers: somehow the physical article still excites me in a major way.
  • Driving thousands of miles at a time and staying completely away from email for most of that time.
  • Used bookstores: there are still few things I love more.
  • KABL and the sounds of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Astrid Gilberto, and Louis Prima while I work.
  • Avoiding chat rooms and IRC like the plague (except for that brief and unfortunate period in 1995).

Healthy balance or not? You be the judge. I really don’t care…

Visit from Duncan

Duncan’s come and gone now. We didn’t go to Fresno. This is probably a good thing, both for us and for Fresno…

Big highlights included dinner at Tad’s (which won’t be an option on his next visit), a visit to some friends in Sunnyvale (which is more fun than it sounds like), and one of our famous long, aimless drives (this one involving San Francisco to Oakland via the San Mateo Bridge).

On Friday night, we hit “Butt Pirates of the Carribean” at Josie’s Cabaret and Juice Joint. I can’t recommend this highly enough (and I won’t try ‘cuz it’s late and I’m sleepy).


And tonight was the down home dinner for five at my house. While I’ve never claimed to be particularly “butch”, I’ve occasionally been accused of it… generally by those who have never watched me prepare dinner for several people.

Tonight marked my first experimental attempt at entertaining since I found myself living alone. Maybe that explains the hyperactive Martha Stewart mode I went into this weekend. I vacuumed. I cleaned the toilet. I mopped the kitchen floor. I baked a cake. From scratch. And that was all on the day BEFORE my dinner guests were to arrive.

The background is thus: my friend Duncan was visiting from Charlotte. I thought a little dinner would be a nice way for him to meet some of my friends here, as well a get a chance to hang out with some people we both know. Of course, I went hardcore into my Mom imitation. It wasn’t a hard mode to get into. I’ve found myself getting frighteningly domestic lately anyway.


So I baked a cake. And cooked a pork roast. And made a pot of collards. Since Duncan doesn’t like collards, I made squash too. And biscuits (OK…I used the canned kind…). And iced tea. Sarah brought macaroni and cheese. Dan brought salad. And with everything spread out in the kitchen, it was frighteningly reminiscent of the big extended family dinners my mom throws for me when I come home. The only things missing were the congealed salad and the devilled eggs. And a dining room table…

I broke out the sputnik cake plates and the cool toothpick dispenser given to me by Bob in Indianapolis. I cut lemons and made extra ice. And after dinner (this is the clencher) we watched HOME MOVIES. I fussed and cooked and cleaned and I coudn’t possibly have enjoyed it more.


And then, when it was over, I washed every single damned dish before I could go to bed. At 1AM, my kitchen was spotless. What’s happening to me?

Now it’s back to Charlotte for Duncan and back to the boring day to day for me (and presumably for the rest of the aforementioned cast members).

And no, I still haven’t gotten around to the email…

Cartoons and Interviews

There comes a point when you start looking forward to different sorts of amusement on the weekend. The hell with going out, getting drunk, and maybe picking up some freak. I’m planning to park myself in front of the TV for the Simpsons marathon on UPN44-Digital45-Cable12 (catchy moniker, no?).

Why is it that “The Simpsons” never gets old, even when repeated three times a day?

And then there’s “South Park”. Now there’s something that got old really fast. All the same, there’s something hard to resist about the title of the new movie: “Bigger, Longer, and Uncut”. Hmmm…

Seems I have absolutely nothing of any importance to babble about today, so I’ll stop. Maybe I’m just “all talked out” after doing a very, ummm, “revealing” interview for another web site yesterday. I’m such an exhibitionist. But more about that when it goes live. Maybe. Depends on how remorseful (or embarrassed) I feel…

For now, I’m going to do some work, read the paper, laugh at whatever Willie Brown had to say today (about anything…it’s all funny…), and maybe watch a nice porn video before going to bed.


OK, maybe this rant is about ten years too late, but isn’t “wellness” just about one of the most annoying and pointless words imaginable? Just what is so incredibly fabulous about “wellness” as oppposed, for example, to that old standby “health”?

I really hate stupid, contrived terms created to give “new energy” or “nuance” to completely serviceable words which already exist. Sort of like calling an overpriced condo an “artists’ live/work loft” for example. Or perhaps the way that the SF Municipal Railway refers unbendingly to “motor coaches” and “trolleys” when they mean “buses”. Yes, I realize that the former run on diesel fuel and the latter are electric, but who the hell cares?

When the World Saw My Weenie


So I was going to babble on about how annoying I find the term “wellness” and about the new Sony Metreon complex in my neighborhood. Feel free to read what I’d completed so far.

But that was before. Before the world saw my weenie.

Those damned folks at Nightcharm. They were so nice. They interviewed me. They reviewed my site. They even put me on the cover. And then they turned around and a published a still photo from a personal home video that Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee, Brett Michaels, Dr. Laura Schlesinger, and I made in 1994.

It had been such a special and private moment between the five of us. Brett sang “Talk Dirty to Me”. Dr. Laura was behaving in a strangely non-bigoted fashion. Tommy was tied up so he couldn’t hit anyone. And the stories Pam told about those lifeguards!

And now, Nightcharm has ruined it all for me. I may never listen to Poison or watch “Baywatch” again. I may cry.

Is anyone buying this? I didn’t think so. Oh well. I stand exposed…

It’s kind of fun, actually…

18 June 1999

Fine. Just fine.

1 April 1999: My April Fool’s page (which is no longer here because the search engines took it a wee bit too seriously), results in close to 100 happy, smiling email responses within 24 hours.

17 June 1999: In an interview on another site, I strip butt-ass nekkid for the whole friggin’ world to see, and almost no one has a thing to say about it.

If I were a more sensitive soul, I might be hurt by this (lack of) reaction, but I’ll just look on it as a cue to stick with the sarcastic writing and abandon that modeling career I’ve been fantasizing about for so long.

Dick now stuffed securely back into jeans. Where were we?

Hectic, nasty week. That is to say, I guess, that business is good. But a little sleep added to the mix might have been nice too. Credit the fine folks at PG&E with last night’s insomnia. They worked directly (and noisily) right outside my front window until well after midnight. Doing what? I’m not exactly sure.

And a hectic weekend coming up, with work, the possibility of meeting an email acquaintance for the first time, and one J’Tao in town. Not to mention that Simpsons marathon. There’s also the likelihood of accompanying Sarah on a quest for Vinnie Barbarino in San Mateo, which is a whole other story…

Right now I’m going to bed. Do not wake me for ten hours.

Friday Afternoon Naughtiness

Just color me tickled pink (or brown). There is once again Count Chocula in my world. Newcomers, of whom there seem to be quite a few this week, may not understand how much I LIVE for Count Chocula. Problem is, the stuff isn’t sold in California. No place in the whole damned state, it seems. I have to smuggle it in from Vegas, Minnesota, North Carolina, or wherever else I happen to be at the moment.

Until this week’s notice from Grant, that is, that boxes could be had for $1.79 at the local dented cans and overstock outlet. I often find odd store brand merchandise from southern institutions like Piggly Wiggly or Winn-Dixie there as well. I have four boxes of the chocolate and marshmallow concoction now. That should last me a while.

While I’m not too old to enjoy the therapeutic powers of Count Chocula, I am DEFINITELY too damned old to be bar hopping and slutting around in the middle of the day. My first trip to My Place on a Friday afternoon proved most illuminating. Most fun I’ve had in a dark bar on a sunny afternoon in quite some time. I usually hate bars in the afternoon; the idea sort of gives me the willies.

But there was the cutest bunch of boys there you ever did see. There was my guest Mickey, a digital friend from San Diego who was getting his first taste of Folsom Street sleaze. There was Scottie, an accommodating little nymphette from Santa Cruz. There was Brian (with whom I have a past which he seems to have forgotten). And there was Johnny from North Dakota and his boyfriend from Texas or wherever.

Somehow, my life is really only decadent when I have company. I’m sure Mickey came out of this thinking that things are always this sleazy and sexy for me, but I can’t remember the last time I came twice in one afternoon (with an audience no less).

Beginner’s luck, of course. If I went back next Friday afternoon, not a damned thing would happen. Maybe I just wanted to show off for my guest. Either way, I was beat afterwards. My nap later in the evening turned into a coma which lasted until this morning. And I only had three beers…

But now I have Count Chocula. All is well…

Time to Get Out of Town

Pride Weekend is almost upon us again, and I’m fishing for suggestions on where to go for the weekend.

By most accounts, the last weekend in June is San Francisco’s biggest tourist invasion of the year. I have nothing against tourists, mind you, but you can’t begin to imagine how upleasant it becomes around here during the influx. The bars are packed, parking’s a nightmare, and the rainbow-clad masses drive me into something resembling a homicidal rage.

Which is why it’s best for all concerned if I just get the hell out of town and skip the circiut parties and the five hour marathon of narrowly-defined labels and product marketing opportunities on Market Street. I’ll understand if no one misses me.

Now for a bit of good news: it turns out Tad’s Steaks on Powell Street will remain open in its current incarnation. A month or two back, it looked like this amazing piece of old San Francisco would be replaced by yet another foofy pasta joint. Word last night (upon dinner with Sarah, Dan, and Brad) is that the deal is off. Tad’s is safe, and we got free wine for caring.

I love Tad’s. Score one victory for the non-trendy, non-yuppie, non-fluffy, non-chain version of Sodom by the Bay. Herb Caen would be pleased.

As I close, let me rephrase my comments to stupid yuppie bitch in the Volvo who almost took out five pedestrians at Mission and Fremont this morning as she ran a red light (in case she didn’t hear it as I yelled at her): “You’re driving a car in heavy traffic. Get off the goddamned cell phone, you fucking idiot!”

Avoiding Pride

For a few minutes this morning, I seriously thought about making signs and marching in the “people with labels” parade. Some possibilities I considered:

  • Proud of Our Internalized Homophobia
  • Acronym Power!
  • Transgendered Lesbian Caregivers To Supportive Straight People Living With Bad Credit

I figured I could find at least one or two people to march with. Maybe it’s best I skipped the whole thing, though. As originally planned, I didn’t even go to the damned parade and I still managed to be annoyed by it on three separate occasions this weekend.

On Saturday, I was at the library doing a bit of research for an upcoming project. My cubbyhole was apparently directly above “Thumping Disco-schlock Stage #3”. Concentration was not enhanced.

On Sunday, I had to change plans twice, the first casualty being some errands in the ‘burbs requiring my car. I was afraid to leave the house, fearing I’d probably have to park in Oakland when I returned. Apparently, the parade route has changed and my neighborhood has become the unoffical parking lot for all the idiots who were too stupid to walk or take transit to the parade.

So I decided to walk back to the library instead. It was closed, due to the very self-same parade. I muttered and bitched as I walked through the outskirts of the “festivities” and the several hundred thousand proud gay men (all of whom seemed to have purchased identical white tank tops for the occasion) and set out on one of my long walks instead.

All in all, not a bad day. My hike took me through the Tenderloin, the Western Addition, the Haight, and the Mission. I took great pictures. I remembered my sunblock this time. I even sweated a little. And I only got panhandled six times in four-plus hours.

Exosphere is today’s “link du jour”. You gotta love a site where the first sentence reads “This site has typos. Deal.”