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)

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?

Crushes and Geeks

The great thing about being 36 is that I’ve gotten past those obsessive crushes of my youth. These things used to throw me into the most severe funks imaginable, but now I find myself getting more amused than frustrated by them.

The current one, as it happens, is directed toward this cute, geeky straight guy I know. Nothing will ever come of it, I’m quite certain, and I don’t particularly care. I don’t even think about him very often, save for the occasional masturbatory fantasy where he does really out of character things and talks dirty.

I love cute little geeky guys. They’re only one of many types which can get me going sexually, but they’re probably the only type which will ever have a real shot at me romantically.

By the way, I’m not using geek as a synonym for “computer nerd” here. The two types merge sometimes but not always. My definition of geekiness is based more on an active intellect combined with an almost childlike enthusiasm for a few really esoteric subjects (one of which may or may not be digital in nature). The “childlike” part is very important; a good geek is first and foremost a big kid.

Anyway, I’m not stressing about this little crush. In fact, I’m a bit relieved that it’s happened. In my cynical little world, it’s quite refreshing to find myself engaged in such an innocent and harmless pastime. Maybe there’s hope for me after all.

Things I like today:

Over-hyped thing I realized tonight I don’t much care for:

Sex in the City

Mom does SF

So I actually went to the Folsom Street Fair for the first time in several years. It was every bit as boring as it always is, but it was slightly amusing being there with my mom. Fortunately, she was no more impressed than I was, and her curiosity was satisfied with a brief walk-through. Which was about all I could stand too…

Yes. Mom skipped the spanking booth. And yes, she could tell that most of those leather jockstraps were filled more with toilet paper than genitalia.

The visit was great. We covered lots of ground, from the Delta to Point Reyes to Polk Street. We ate well, and I’ll be eating leftovers for weeks. We talked and watched The Simpsons (which is now back up to three airings a day on UPN44) and shopped at numerous supermarkets. We finally retired the chair which has supported my ass through 4 1/2 years of Planet SOMA, replacing it with a spiffy new replacement.

I miss Mom and she’s only been gone since this morning. Yes, I was gettng used to having breakfast and coffee ready every morning when I woke up. And yes, I teared up a little when she left this morning. By the way, does anybody want some macaroni and cheese?

A few pictures from Mom’s visit. You can click ’em all you want, but they won’t get any bigger. So there…


I promise to be less folksy and homsespun and to start answering email again soon. Really…

Tired Mom

Mom’s asleep, worn out, no doubt, from three days of non-stop madness which have so far included a visit to the Delta, dinner with Dan, Jamie, and Sarah at the Dead Fish, quick walk-throughs at the Folsom Street Fair and the Pacifica Fog Fest and more. Pictures and other details later. Right now I’m actively unclogging my kitchen sink.

Bad Day

The only thing that saved my Thursday was Mom’s arrival. Other than that, it was a day I’d just as soon have skipped.

I saw a woman commit suicide in the Hyatt Regency yesterday afternoon. I was there for a quick work meeting for my part-time job in the lobby bar. Just as we were about to leave, this horrible loud noise happened. I thought it was a gun shot and I was about to duck. Instead, I looked over and saw, not twenty feet from where I was sitting, a woman lying on the floor.

It took everyone just a few seconds to realize she had jumped from a balcony about 8-10 stories up, and she was unquestionably quite dead.

Amazingly, there was very little panic. I think everyone was just a little stunned. No one would go over to her, I guess because no one wanted to discover the obvious. A woman behind us was sort of hysterically screaming, but it was almost as if no one else had noticed.

Finally a security guard went over and felt for her pulse and all and then just left her there for a minute. Eventually someone came and covered her up. Then they asked us to clear the area, which we were more than happy to do, but couldn’t seem to commence without the suggestion.

It was one of the creepiest things that’s ever happened to me and I was already a little edgy from not sleeping well the night before. The drive to SFO to pick up my mom worried me a little, but I was fine. And I was really glad when her plane landed. I wanted my mommy.

Rather makes the fact that some uninsured speed freak ran into my car later last night seem insignificant in comparison.

I’m enjoying Friday considerably more than Thursday, thanks…

The Weekend

Hot, sticky, sweaty, and nasty. Would that this described my weekend rather than the weather…

No news to report. I’m avoiding my computer and all email like the plague, but I feel a great rush of digital energy coming tonight if the breeze through my front window continues. Mom arrives Thursday evening and I’m relieved that I completed the bulk of my cleaning before the annual September week of miserable heat began.

And Bottles was featured on some cool site of the day mailing list this morning. That was pretty cool and has resulted in a major traffic boost. Reminds me a little of the old days (1996 or so) when Planet SOMA itself was a Yahoo site of the day. That was when this site really “took off”.

For those of you who care (I don’t), the Folsom Street Fair is this weekend. You’ve been informed. Now don’t email me about it. I might be less cranky if I’d slept last night. Probably not, though…

Pet Peeves

Becky is annoyed with the self-service scanners in her neighborhood grocery store. I can’t speak on that subject; they haven’t yet arrived in tech-savvy Northern California. But I have a pet supermarket peeve too: people who (a) pay by check and (b) wait until the last minute to even begin LOOKING for their checkbooks.

I used to write checks at the grocery store too. And I always had mine completely filled out, ready to write the amount as soon as it displayed. How hard is this? Chances are you know you’re going to be writing a check. Why not save the people in line behind you a little time? Are you so fucking self-obsessed that you don’t even notice them? Or just so fucking rude that you don’t care?

It baffles me how so many people seem to get through their entire lives completely oblivious to other people. Is it the same people over and over again who drive 45 in the fast lane on the freeway, let their devil-spawn scream through movies, and spend 20 minutes picking out just the right Happy Meal toy at the fast food place? Or is this becoming a really common national malady?

I’m not perfect and I’m also not the most patient person in the world, but at least I try to behave publicly in a way which will not seriously impede the motion of (or waste the time of) other people. I get off the bus by the rear door so people getting on don’t have to wait and hold up everything. I actually wait and turn at the next intersection rather than coming to a complete stop and blocking traffic when I realize I’m in the wrong lane. I always try to park in a way that lets another car fit on the curb too.

Why do so many otherwise intelligent and considerate people think it’s OK to fill out their deposit envelopes AT the ATM while there are five people waiting to use it? And why do people wear enormous backpacks in crowded bars at midnight? Or walk slowly down narrow sidewalks hand in hand so that no one can get around them in either direction? Or come barrelling out of stores without bothering to look and see who they’re about to run into?

I guess most of these things aren’t officially rudeness, but more a type of cluelessness, or maybe carelessness. But how is it possible to spend significant parts of your life without knowing or caring that there are other people spending theirs in the same universe as you?