I Miss the Road

Eight years ago tonight, I was spending my last night in Denver on my first cross-country road trip, moving from Greensboro to San Francisco. I shan’t wax nostalgic about that exciting period in my life (it’s been done). That’s not really what I’m thinking about tonight, although I imagine that I will be soon, because that’s just what I do this time of year. It’s autumn. I get reflective. Always have. So sue me.

Tonight, though, I’m just thinking that I want to be on the road. On the road back east. I’ve got a big craving not to be in California for a while. I want to be driving I-95 or U.S. 1. I want to see trees where the leaves change colors, and mountains that aren’t brown (oops, I mean “golden”). I want White Castles and Stuckey’s and bars where you can still smoke. I want to go through those toll booths where you just throw your coins into a hamper.

I’m craving Boston and New York and Philly, with maybe a little Baltimore and some Providence thrown in for fun. This was the route of my first major road trip, back in 1988. I had a different agenda back then. I was with my friend Jeff and the itinerary was largely about partying, record stores, and clothing stores. I might do it a little differently this time.

I can state with certainty that I’d do one thing differently, though. I’d never again visit Mahattan in August.

Anyway, this is all leading up to the fact that I’m considering doing just this roadtrip in January, somewhere in the midst of a long trip home after the holidays. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to work out the details (money being a large one), but does anyone want to hang out? By that, I men once I get wherever I’m headed, since I always travel alone. Trust me, it’s better that way…

And does anyone want to remind me how much snow I’ll have to drive through in January?


It’s all about anniversaries for me. When I was keeping my journals in high school, even, I used to keep up with them sort of obsessively. I’d cover the one-year anniversary of the first time I got caught smoking, or the ten-year anniversary of the very first “Brady Bunch” or whatever. Maybe that’s how I get my frame of reference in life. Or maybe it was an early indicator that I’d grow up to be an obsessive nerd.

Anyway, today’s the anniversary of the day in 1992 that I landed in San Francisco. Eight years. Jeez. It doesn’t seem like that long. And it definitely DOES seem like that long. Understand?

Suitably enough, after I crossed the Bay Bridge into the city, my first stop was at Safeway, the one on Market Street, where I called my friends and warned them I was coming. I was nervous. I was also anxious to converse with an actual friend in person after having just driven across the country alone. I calmed down later that night, with significant assistance from Henry Weinhardt. I went to work two days later, moved into this apartment a month later, and all of a sudden, I realized that I lived here.

This week in Planet SOMA history:

  • 11 October 1980: I got my first blowjob in an adult bookstore at the tender age of 16. Being a precocious sort, I also got fucked for the first time. I didn’t much care for it.
  • 4 October 1982: I was breaking up with my first college boyfriend.
  • 3 October 1983: Danny Elfman rode in the front seat of my car.
  • 1 October 1996: Feelin’ Minnesota.
  • 5 October 1997: Gallup, New Mexico, as I completed the Planet SOMA US Tour 1997.

Quotes du Jour:

  • “Very few animated cartoons are broadcast live; it’s a terrible strain on the animator’s wrists.” (Simpsons)
  • “More people would have babies if they came with free garlic bread.” (3rd Rock from the Sun)
  • “What’s the use of being a writer if you can’t irritate a great many people.” (Norman Mailer)

Why Come to San Francisco?

I was trying to answer email from yet another person wanting advice on moving to San Francisco tonight. I tried to come up with a few positives to balance all the negatives. It was damned difficult.

The rents are ridiculous; there is no one-bedroom apartment on this planet worth two grand a month. The proportion of creative and interesting people to workaholic corporate drones is becoming dangerously low. The music scene is moving to Modesto, the small movie houses are closing, and the bars on Folsom have become a dismal shade of boring I never could have imagined.

There are long lines everywhere. There’s no parking anywhere. A collection of commercial radio stations (which wasn’t great but was still among the best in the country) has become a mushy corporate stew. We have room for 60 Starbucks, 9 Kinko’s, hundreds of live/work lofts, and a Walgreen’s and a Rite-Aid on every corner, but we can’t find a place for bands to rehearse or for people without stock options to live.

The city is becoming older and less lively. Or at least it seems older, because the only younger people moving here are working 70-hour weeks and are rarely seen in public doing anything more exciting or social than talking on cell phones or mowing down pedestrians on their stupid scooters.

And despite all the posturing in this year’s election, I seriously doubt there’s much that can be done about it. And even if there were a solution, I doubt it could be implemented (or not soon enough, at any rate). I’ve never felt quite so fatalistic about San Francisco’s future.

Any realistic ideas? I’m fresh out, and I’m starting not to care anymore.

The Joys of Being Single

There are many reasons why I’m glad to be single. A big one is the fact that if I’m single, I couldn’t do what I did yesterday. Not that I did anything all that interesting, of course. I left the house about 10 AM for a very long drive, which included Stockton, Jackson, Auburn, and Grass Valley to give you an idea just how long. I put a couple of things in a bag in case I decided to spend the night someplace. I ended up getting home about twelve hours later.

If I had a live-in lover, perish the thought, it just wouldn’t have worked that way. To start with, he might have wanted to come along, which would have eliminated at least half the fun. There would have been planning and compromises (“Are you ready to eat lunch?”) and I probably wouldn’t have covered as much ground.

If he’d decided not to come along, there would have been a different set of issues. I would probably have felt it necessary to state where I was going (I didn’t know) and a rough estimate of when I might return (I didn’t care). There might have been problems with the possibility of spontaneously spending the night.

I probably would have ended up staying home and watching movies or something.

Yes, I know that there are benefits to HAVING relationships too, perhaps the biggest being that there’s someone there when you DO want another person around. But right now, I’m too self-centered and too in love with my independence to make the tradeoff. Especially when traveling, which I just about always do alone.

On the other hand, it might be nice to get laid on a regular basis…

Randomly Friday

Random babbling on a Friday morning:

  • To the cute guy who kept glancing at me at Wendy’s on Pine Street yesterday: please contact me and tell me if you were interested in doing the nasty or just thought I was some kind of freak. Thanks. By the way, your jeans fit quite nicely…

Other random thoughts for a Friday morning:

  • They tore down the giant neon Canadian Club sign by the freeway a few blocks from my house. I didn’t hear a word about it until I read it had already been done in Scott Ostler’s column. San Francisco is now one step close to becoming Walnut Creek. I imagine the 17 Reasons sign on Mission Street is next.
  • Someone appears to have torched another live/work project under construction South of Market. Note to idiot: there are better ways to express your opposition. It doesn’t do much good to “save the neighborhood” if, in tyhe process, you risk burning out the very people you’re trying to save.
  • Thanks to Becky for this article on the virues on livermush (which is NOT the same as liver pudding, even though I do come from east of the Yadkin River)
  • A new selection in the “give me a fucking break” department.
  • Cry me a river. Goodbye, Julie London.
  • A site after my own heart.

It’s back to the Poseidon Adventure on AMC for me now. I may hop over to Boardboys too, where chapter three of my first published porn story premieres today. But I already know how both of them end, so I might just go for a walk instead…

The Neighborhood Grocer

There’s a stereotype of the old-time neighborhood storekeeper, probably named Mr. Feeney, who ran the corner grocery store, watched out for all the kids on the block, disciplined them in the absence of their parents, and dispensed cheer and advice all around.

I guess such a fellow existed in some places, but my family must have lived in a different neighborhood at a different time. We were in the spacious suburbs of Greensboro NC, but oddly enough we did have a corner store right at the end of the block. It was a ratty little place called Mike’s Food Mart. Prior to being a dumpy corner store, it had been a dumpy house and then a dumpy antique store. Needless to say, my parents didn’t patronize the place.

I, on the other hand, patronized it pretty often, starting when I was about 14. I patronized it because I realized the slimy guy who ran it would sell me just about anything I wanted, no questions asked. This I discovered on Halloween night when my friends and I walked in, purchased four dozen eggs and two packs of cigarettes without any hassle at all. No ID check, no “why do you kids need all these eggs on Halloween night”, no nothing.

Over the next two years, I regularly bought cigarettes, beer, porn magazines, and more at Mike’s, always from the same slimy guy, who was always there and who never once questioned me. So much for the nice neighborhood grocer who looked out for the neighborhood kids. This guy was out to make a buck. Period.

Of course, I paid a premium. Cigarettes were 55 cents, a nickel more than at the 7-11 or the gas station at Zayre’s. Budweiser was three bucks a six-pack, compared with $2.25 at Winn-Dixie or Big Star (where I got carded about half the time). But it was worth the extra money to know that “Mike” would take care of me.

The dumpy little store finally closed about the time I graduated from high school, and it was then converted, ironically, into a dumpy little church. But I still remember it every time I visit my current corner store on Folsom Street in San Francisco. I think it’s owned by the same family…

R.I.P. Troy Reed

This day sucked like no other day has sucked in a long, long time: transit nightmares early in the morning, an absolute mess at my part-time job, the little bug I seem to be catching, etc.

But most discouraging was the realization that my voice mail has been screwed up for a week. Upon checking the messages I didn’t know I had, I found that my friend Troy died Friday down in Riverside. Troy had been a co-worker and one of my first good friends in San Francisco. He was responsible for much of my love for the city and for much of my attitude about it. I still think of things he taught me (or made me notice) almost daily.


We’d pretty much lost touch a few years back. Drugs were a factor; watching what they did to him was too painful for me. I was selfish.

Eventually, he moved back to his parents’ home in Southern California. Just this year we’d been in touch via email, and we’d actually talked on the phone for an hour or so one night this summer. We weren’t altogether chummy again, but I was guardedly optimistic. He was planning to move to Seattle this fall and I was looking forward to seeing him on the way up.

Troy lapsed into a coma last week at his home and he never woke up. He was not yet 35 years old. I’ll miss having him in this world, and I will always be glad to have known him.

Changes Coming

Changes coming soon. I’ve registered a new domain name (no, I’m not saying what it is until the DNS records are confirmed nd showing up correctly) and I’ll be moving things around, remodeling, and just maybe even adding some new content. It won’t happen for a couple of weeks, though. You will be warned.

I don’t really have any exciting news or observations to present today. I finally got over the strange flu-ish thing I had. I’m still bummed about Troy, but I’m moving on. And I put together a site for a friend with a spare house he’s trying to sell, in case you have a spare million-plus bucks hanging around in your wallet. And my part-time job still sucks ass, in case you were wondering.

I feel a sex quest coming this weekend, if anyone feels inclined to assist. I felt one coming last weekend too, but there wasn’t really any interesting sex to be found. There rarely seems to be any interesting sex to be found South of Market anymore, unless I’m just missing something really obvious. I’m not sure what happened.

Actually, I’m quite sure what happened. I’m just surprised that it happened so fast.

Some of this month’s bizarre queries on the Planet SOMA search engine:

  • malegaycumshotporn
  • amatuer dick underwear
  • 0893915491
  • ass hair
  • barbra streisand wax museum
  • oh mr. grant
  • macaroni penguins
  • woman who likes bestiality
  • gaybuttsexorgy
  • gordin berish
  • fast food and chorestriol

Time for lunch…