Corned Beef and Early Rising

I am drowning in corned beef. Three pounds of it following a cooking jag this afternoon. I’ll be eating it for days. Anyone want a sandwich?

No, I’m not really offering anyone a sandwich. That would involve more of an emotional closeness than I’m able to admit right now. And there’s the potential for rejection. I offered my landlord a sandwich earlier tonight and he said he didn’t like corned beef. I don’t think I can take that twice in one day.

Odd day. I was up at a startlingly early hour, one which I haven’t seen in many months and have no intention of seeing again anytime soon. Among my discoveries at this ungodly hour was the fact that the 12-Folsom bus doesn’t start running until 6:30. This was not something I really wanted to know.

At least it’s quiet early in the morning. PG&E has not yet arrived to do whatever the hell they’re doing at the freeway on-ramp. The workers who have been renovating the building next door for the past five years have not started sawing wood out back and hammering the wall behind my bed. The piledrivers and traffic helicopters are still at rest.

All the same, I don’t want to get up that early ever again. I am completely and utterly baffled by the thought that people get up at 5:00 in the morning to drive an hour or more to work, spend ten hours or more there, and then drive an hour or more home. I can’t imagine any job which would ever be worth it to me. Call me a lazy slacker if you like. I’m comfortable with that as long as it means my life is my own.

And as long as I can occasionally spend a Monday afternoon cooking corned beef and then trying to get rid of it on the web, all while watching old movies on AMC.

Maybe I should give up being a moderately-lethargic worker and try to become a moderately-active housewife. Any takers? A dishwasher, washer, and dryer on-site are absolute requirements. And I don’t get up at 5:30 in the morning for any man…

Sucky Day

What an absolutely, totally sucky day. And I rarely use the term “sucky”, because it sounds, well, sort of dumb. But today, jeez. Drama at my part-time job (none of which really affects me, but drama all the same), misunderstandings via email, and I cannot stop eating.

This is not just nervous snacking; all of a sudden I’m just perpetually starved. I eat breakfast and then, two hours later, I’m ready for a full lunch. Nervous snacking only makes it worse; I try to grab an snack and it just leaves my little tummy frustrated that it didn’t get its fifth full meal of the day. I think it’s a tapeworm. Probably from the corned beef.

Things I like today:

Things I hate today:

  • Smoking
  • Street-cleaning night
  • Allergies

Nighty night, or, if you prefer, good morning…

I Love Tad’s

After nearly eight years in San Francisco, there is but one restaurant where (a) I’m always happy with my meal and (b) the owner regularly stops at my table offering me free dessert. That would be Tad’s. I even had my birthday there last year. The charms are nearly unending as several persons I’ve initiated say.

Impromptu dinner with Dan (guess where?) followed by a Thursday night out. I hate it when I’m in the sex bar and the guy I really like shoots his load and leaves, abandoning to me the other guy. The other guy is someone to whom I’m strongly attracted in a fetishistic way but who screams “trouble”. And said fetish will remain unnamed for now, thank you.

One of the benefits of not drinking much is that you can avoid trouble before it passes out in your bed. One of the benefits of having wonderfully bitter friends is that they can gain some amusement watching you decide if the fetish is worth the trouble. Ultimately, of course, I decided it wasn’t, which is why I’m writing rather than fucking right now.

So now I’m going to sleep. Lunch with Sarah tomorrow followed by my traditional Friday night dinner with Dan and Jamie. As it seems I’ve now started seeking sex again (albeit a tad more cautiously), you may even see me out tomorrow night. But I make no promises.

Those last few paragraphs made little if any sense, I fear. I think I should sleep now, secure in the knowledge that the I Love You virus will not affect my Mac in any way…

Strep and Sneakers

Suck a little dick and get strep throat. Goddamned still-intact tonsils. I should’ve known better…

I know that’s not really the reason, but it was handy. Fortunately, this particular case isn’t nearly as bad as the ones I used to have during my period of “semi-annual strep” a couple of years ago. I don’t feel great, but neither do I feel like I’m going to die. Experience breeds early diagnosis. And do you have any idea how hard it is to get a prescription for Erithromycin on a Saturday afternoon, especially when you don’t have health insurance?

Yes, I know I’m an idiot for not having health insurance, so you may skip all horrified comments on that subject. I’m working on it, OK?

I stocked up like crazy on easy-to-prepare soft foods, ice cream, and orange juice, preparing to be socked in for a few days. Luckily, I’d already bought books on Friday when I had lunch with Sarah. I’m almost disappoined; I was ready to be sick. Maybe I should shut up before my optismism proves misguided.

Old, smelly, and disgusting…

New, shiny, and exciting…

Health insurance, no, but what I DO have is new shoes! My old and trusty Adidas were getting a little smelly and disgusting, so I’ve upgraded. Maybe I can unload them in the fetish items section on eBay; they were featured prominently on a porn site after all. Anyhow, I thought I deserved to have my shoes on the front page just like Sarah

Enough of this. I’m taking another pill now…

Love, Hate, and Groceries

OK, who other than me thinks the newest Pepsi One commercial is just plain stupid? I’m talking about the one with the ferry passengers who can’t tell the difference between Pepsi One and Coke as the boat tosses and turns. The tagline says something about how its “breakthrough sweetener” makes the stuff taste really close to regular cola. The way it reads, though, is “Pepsi One. Almost as good as Coke.”

No wonder they’re number two…

For your amusement today: the new edition of Did You Bring Bottles, with lots of new pictures and features. It is, no doubt, everything you’ve been dreaming of for weeks. I’ll add an annoying animated banner tomorrow.

Things I hate today:

  • Restaurants which only serve Pepsi.
  • Restaurants which only serve Pepsi and don’t at least have Dr. Pepper as an alternate.
  • The way antibiotics fuck with the digestive system.

Things I love today:

  • The Chronicle for a quarter.
  • Safeway Cookies & Cream Ice Cream.
  • My new books.

Credit, Dinner, Etc.

Seems I have good credit again, judging from the numerous pre-approved triple-platinum credit card offers I’m receiving lately. I guess that’s a good thing…

I don’t use credit cards much anymore, having learned a relatively painful series of lessons about them in my early twenties. Of course, you know what they say about the 1980s: if you didn’t have credit card problems, you weren’t really there. Now I just hold a few low-limit ones for car rentals, etc., and try to pay cash whenever possible.

Trust me: it’s better this way.

Had dinner in Oakland last night with Matthew (who’s leaving): meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, and creamed spinach at the Red Tractor Cafe, followed by a quick beer at the Bay Area’s oldest continuously-operating queer bar, the White Horse.

Had I closed my eyes for a minute, I would have sworn I was in Greensboro at the Palms. The place was so very NOT San Francisco. To start with, there were girls and boys in the very same queer bar. Imagine that. And many of them were actually smiling and looking as if they were enjoying being there. There were no fashion victims, no chemical catastrophes, and no one was on a cell phone. It was great, if a bit perky for my tastes.

Of course, there was no one having sex in a back room either, but there are always tradeoffs, I guess.

Tonight? Baked chicken for dinner, followed by a little TV, and maybe later an attempt at sex in a back room (or maybe even at home). After that, I’ll try to get all the sleep I missed last night as I kep thinking “one more chapter and I’ll go to bed.”

Sex and Links

So much for quality control. Seems I left Ginger out of my revamped links page earlier today and made Groc cry. I am evil. I have now rectified said error.

I put my dick up a boy’s butt last night while several people cheered us on. That was a nice and unexpected diversion. And I now have your undivided attention, I’ll bet. Good.

Superlatives of the weekend so far:

  • Best unexpected 1980s song heard in the corner sex bar: “Nowhere Girl” by B-Movie.
  • Best burger joint: Burger Road in Pleasant Hill.
  • Worst case of indigestion: Mine. Right now.
  • Most annoying commercial: the new Chili’s spot with all the idiots chanting about a “slam-a-boom-a-jamma-rama” or whatever.

You may have noticed I’ve done a little fidgeting with the front page. I like it. The left navigation bar is shorter, which means I don;t have to write quite as much here to keep a balanced look. Of course, I CAN still write more. I just don’t have to if I don’t feel like it.

I’ve also, as mentioned above, streamlined the links a bit. If I’ve left some things out which should still be there, please let me know. But keep in mind that some of the missing links are missing on purpose.

Going to sleep now. I sense that I’ll be waking up in the morning and driving someplace a long way away. I’m not sure where or why…

Saturday Morning

I started my Saturday morning in a suite at the Palace. That was fun. I didn’t wake up there, alas. I was just visting my friend Jim, who’d lucked into it through a booking error. All the same, I was hoping someone would call this morning and ask what I was about to do so I could say I was meeting a friend in his suite at the Palace. No one did. Pity.

I’m probably going to offend some reader who has one, but this is the ugliest damned car I’ve seen in a long time. What designer on what planet ever thought this piece of shit was attractive? (Note: Sarah says it’s one of these environmentally-friendly models, which makes me feel a little guilty, but the fact remains that it’s butt-ugly…)

Anyway, now it’s Sunday and it’s raining and I’m pretty damned excited about that fact, especially since it’s May.

Did you call your mother today?


Seems I’m a “somewhat feminine” Level 5 on the straight-acting scale. Mind you I still have no earthly fucking idea just what “straight acting” means, but at least I know that — whatever it is — I don’t do it very well. This is a terrific comfort to me and is comparable to my happiness that I’m apparently not great at “gay acting” either, whatever THAT is….

What I can’t figure out is this: what effect did having a T-shirt with a cartoon character on it have on my score? Does it matter if it was, say, Quisp rather than Quake?

These results, along with yesterday’s indicating that I’m a brown have convinced me that (a) I’m right in the boring average middle of just about any scale, and (b) that I should stop taking quizzes I learn about from Jonno’s site.

In other news, I’ve been asked to pose naked, to move the fuck to Cuba, and to apply for three more credit cards today. Interesting Monday. Yours?

Shit. Literally.

Take the new and improved Planet SOMA Factory tour…

Crimes against nature:

  • Canned corn
  • Low-flow toilets
  • The upcoming “Gilligan’s Island” marathon on Nick-at-Nite

Of course, numbers one and three paint me as a snob and number two makes me look anti-environment. But canned corn is just plain nasty, on the same level as canned squash and canned rutabagas. “Gilligan’s Island” is pure crap, and while I love a lot of crap, I don’t love this particular crap. Number two on the list is, of course, related to crap as well and to the fact that I want said crap to disappear when I ask it to by flushing the crapper.

I guess number two could also be related to “number two”, for those of you who grew up using that particular term. I grew up in a “stinky” house myself. It seved as both noun and verb (“I have to stinky” or “there’s still stinky in the commode”). Most of my friends were from “doo doo” homes. I never met “poop” people until I moved to California, and even then, most of them were from Ohio.

Please don’t inundate me with email about the term you used to describe defecation unless it was really funny…

Some Idiot’s Foot

It started when I accidentally brushed against this guy’s foot with mine while standing in the back room of my friendly neighborhood sex bar. I realized I’d done it immediately and had already stepped away. I was about to utter “excuse me” when he whined in his annoying San Francisco perpetual faggot victim voice “you’re on my foot”.

Of course, I was already off his stinky little foot at this point anyway, but I finished my “excuse me” like a good, polite Southern boy. He just glared at me. I was thinking about how this happens to my poor, tortured foot about a dozen times every time I walk into a crowded bar without causing me a moment’s anguish. It sort of comes with the territory in bars, and especially in back rooms. You step on someone, you excuse yourself, they acknowledge, and you both get on with your lives.

Still, he kept glaring like I was some drunk (I wasn’t) sack of shit (I may have been). I looked at him and re-iterated “pardon the FUCK out of me, jackass” and walked away. I heard some whiny comment, and I turned around to tell him “welcome to the back room, where sensibilities occasionally get offended”. Then I wnet home.

Walking down Folsom Street, I started wondering why this had set me off so. Of course he was an idiot, but I’ve dealt with other idiots hundreds of time in the same bar. Why did I snap? And why do I seem to be doing it so often lately? I’ve done it at work, in the car, by email, or wherever I happen to be at the time.

I’m easily annoyed. This is not a major revelation. I’ve always been sort of an impatient grumpy kind of guy, but I usually manage to have a sense of humor about it. Why am I so damned irritable lately? Why am I overreacting to damn near everything?

From careful statistical analysis of my recent blow-ups, I’ve determined that what I’m doing is overreacting to other people who overreact to ME. I’m not sure what this might be a symptom of, but I know it could sure get me hurt if I don’t watch out…

Hot and Sticky

Hot, sticky, and miserable. The kind of weekend where you’re perpetually tired, both from the heat itself and from the fact that the heat kept you from sleeping the night before. In my case, I coped today by keeping all the blinds shut and not moving all day. Yesterday I just drove around all afternoon, enjoying the air-conditioned comfort my car provides but my apartment is lacking.

Some people really enjoy this kind of weather when it makes its brief appearances here. I understand how they feel and I respect their opinions. I feel so much love and understanding that I’ve even devised a pet name for them: “freaks”.

I’m going to go hang out in the frozen food department at Safeway until Growing Up Brady comes on…

Half a Million

In a few days, this front page will by accessed for the half-millionth time. I find this fact absolutely frightening, but I’ll think about that in a few days. It’s still hot and unpleasant inside my apartment (although the temperature outside has gotten a little more bearable), but I don’t want to think about that now either.

I’m also frightened by the fact that I’m starting to get email from the occasional headhunter. Must be a tight labor market indeed. But that, too, is a thought for another day…

No, today I’m frightened by McDonald’s. I switched on the VCR tonight to watch something I recorded last night. As the tape started, the McDonald’s commercial on the broadcast channel was replaced by yet ANOTHER McDonald’s commercial at the beginning of the tape. Jeez. It’s not like every breathing soul on the planet doesn’t already know about McDonald’s…

Corporate ethics and labor policies aside, wouldn’t it be nice if they invested some of that advertsing budget on making their food suck a little less? I’m not anything resembling a food snob. I eat a good bit of junk food. But McDonald’s is pretty much the bottom of the barrel. It’s the fast food I eat only when nothing else is an option.

Stupid AT&T

I stepped outside a few minutes ago, almost got knocked over by the breeze from the bay, and thought “it’s chilly tonight”. The weather is normal again. I am happy.

This afternoon, I was not happy. I finally told AT&T to fuck off after being a long-distance customer since 1986. I’d been thinking of it for quite a while, mainly because of their erratic billing (bi-monthly? quarterly? hell, who knows?) and all their miscellaneous semi-hidden charges.

Today’s bill, though, was the last straw: they charged me $16.00 for a 20-minute call from Fresno to Greensboro for using 102880 (the method they pushed for so many years) rather than dialing their fucking toll-free number. I could have gotten a better rate using a pay phone owned by the Mafia. And, of course, none of their phone people were particularly helpful (and none would connect me with a supervisor) so I ditched them for Working Assets. Simple. Took 15 minutes, and now I get free ice cream for a year too…

It’s been a bad month for me and phones (not to mention other customer support issues). I’m probably on some 1-800 blacklist now, too; I have a pretty short fuse when I’m getting fucked over. Especially when I’m getting fucked over by idiots at some call center who may well be convicts for all I know.

And your day?

Parking Crisis

Interesting feature in yesterday’s SF Weekly. Its suggestion, more or less, is that the best solution to San Francisco’s “parking crisis” is to do absolutely nothing about it.

I couldn’t agree more.

The last thing San Francisco needs is more parking. The very idea of making the city more comfortable for cars is ludicrous. San Francisco is an amazing, pedestrian-scaled place for one reason: the fact that it’s damned near impossible to drive or park in most of the city. This is what sets us apart from LA, Sacramento, or San Jose; San Francisco is a dense, urban area which more closely resemebles New York or Boston than other places in California.

And I say this as someone who lives in the city and owns a car. Early on, I realized that, in San Francisco, my car has two main purposes: to get me to the supermarket and to get me out of the city on a moment’s notice. I haven’t used it for commuting in years, and there are very few places I drive within the city anymore. Rather than bitching about the parking in, say, Chinatown or the Financial District, I make the bold step of NOT TRYING TO DRIVE THERE.

It’s amazing how simple this is. Strangely enough, most of the areas with the worst traffic problems also happen to be some of the best-served by transit.

Frankly, I think that anyone who voluntarily drives to a job in downtown San Francisco during rush hour is a flaming idiot who deserves whatever inconvenience he or she has to face in the process. And guess what? Building even more parking spaces (which will encourage even more cars) will make it even worse.

It’s amazing how quickly the “parking crisis” diappears when you finally realize that you can avoid it simply by, well, avoiding it…

Randomly Saturday

So maybe I’m the last person on the web to catch on to The Dreamweaver Depot and the Dreamweaver Supply Bin, but they’re still pretty cool. I like to fantasize about keeping Planet SOMA pretty low-tech, but not all my design clients are necessarily so inclined, and one can ever have too many navigation tools at one’s disposal, after all…

Maybe next week I’ll start having the Planet SOMA logo flying around the page. Maybe not. But I sure do like the idea of making collapsible outline menus, ,especilly when they’re also usable by that significant number of people who (wisely) browse with Javascript disabled.

But enough tech talk. Does anybody else remember this show? I watched it every week as 12-year-old, but all the other kids didn’t know about it even THEN. Probably because they all had actual friends thay played with on Saturday afternoons. I do remember it was little bit silly, but, since puberty was striking at the time, I remember even more clearly that Mike Darnell (who played the older brother) had a really great butt.

It’s Memorial Day weekend, of course. No telling what other best-forgotten memories will surface. I’ve already been digging through the “American Top 40” book. Stay tuned for more…

7 miles, 500000 hits, etc.

Photo by Sarah

The second annual Planet SOMA Memorial Day Walk Across San Francisco is now complete. Sarah came along this year, since it was also her birthday. It was fun. More pictures and exciting observations may follow. As may pictures of Sunday afternoon’s long drive, which ended up hitting Sacramento, Auburn, Isleton, and other stray spots.

I’m really beat, which is frightening because we did our seven-mile walk 30 hours ago…

More excitement: half a million hits on the old front page counter. Wow. What can I say but “thanks for coming by and keep hitting that “reload” button often!” And thanks also to Fitz for capturing the moment in a screen shot since I was still fast asleep at the time. I wasn’t really expecting to cross the mark until mid-morning.

There is very little further excitement, save for the fact that I’ll be making a quick trip to LA with Duncan in a few weeks. More details to come, but this probably won’t be the long road trip I’ve been promising for a couple of months. Should be fun anyhow, though…