||[Jun. 24th, 2008|08:54 pm]
|||||16th & mission||]|
|||||people's revolutionary choir: painkiller blues||]|
the streetlamp outside is creating a sherbet-colored glow on my window. it makes it look like it is sunset all the time. the electric MUNI buses rattle my wooden-framed, victorian bay windows. people cackle downstairs at all hours of the day and night. i live above a few smoke shops (i.e. purveyors of psychedelic glass pipes), across the street from a 'rent by the hour' hotel & a porn shop. middle eastern shopowners operate side-by-side with various hispanic 'tiendas' selling everything from 50 cent religious candles and jewelry to mexican saffron and bimbo bread. my mr. t/a-team duvet is happily residing atop my friend's bed, and his card-table has been reappropriated as my new writing desk, using his candles of st. joseph and st. martin as bookends for my small, economy-sized 'library' i brought up: the ginsberg's 'family business' (letters between alan & his father), evelyn waugh's 'brideshead,' thomas wolfe's 'look homeward angel,' james thurber's 'lanterns and lances,' st. exupery's 'flight to arms,' kerouac's 'dharma bums,' and the hardback published version of the original scroll of 'on the road.' the journals of the last few months and a few from last year are also happily stationed there, along with a hand-painted cigar box my friend silvia made/painted for me, stashing various stationery supplies, computer cords, and ipod. next to that is a yellow enamel japanese cup i picked up for 25 cents in madera.
last night my current flatmate invited me to a free gig at the cozy and atmospheric 'cafe du nord,' where i got to see a band i've been wanting to investigate for some time, 'tartufi,' who have become popular little darlings in the not-so-underground experimental/indie scene up here. the flatmate, who fronts a band of his own and owns a recording studio about 35 minute walk from here, introduced me to about 100 people, most of whom seemed happy, smiling and interesting. i met an architect who knows someone i studied fashion with, an amateur photographer, and a 4-foot tall guy who asked me if i wrote screenplays. tartufi were good, though i don't know quite what to say about them except that they should definitely tour with the band 'islands.' i find out on my walk home that my roommate is playing a gig with my fresno band friends rademacher next month. my world world shrinks ever more.
i had to run out my door on mission to 18th to catch a ride on the 33 this morning. i made it to the bus stop with about 30 seconds to spare. there were sticky remnants of a coffee/starbucks spill on the bus, just past the driver, in the middle of the pathway for passengers. i dodged it, and parked myself next to a 70-something or 80-something old woman wearing a quaint navy 50's hat, and a mismatched suit. she looked me up and down about 5 times, unapologetically. an old woman got onto the bus on 18th, just as an old man was stepping off the bus. the woman goes to take her seat behind the driver, and notices the old man left something behind. she grabs it and hobbles to the front door of the bus, and waves it out the door. it is a ziploc bag full of grapes.
'hey, ya forgotchya baaag,' she says in a nasal, jewish-new-york-sounding voice.
'hey lady you're gonna delay the bus,' yelled the driver.
'but he forgot his bag, who would forget their bag?'
'he prolly doesn't want 'em,' groaned the driver. 'take a seat so we can get moving.'
the old woman crawls back to her seat, right behind the driver. she waves the ziploc bag of grapes to the right of the driver's face.
'YOU WAN 'EM?' she shouts.
'nah, i don' wan 'em,' he shouts back over the rattlings of the bus, now chugging up a steep hill.
'i cain't understan' why someone would leave 'em behind,' she repeated.
'he prolly doesnt' want 'em,' repeated the driver yet again.
the 33 made its mighty turn at the top of 18th, and an old couple crawled onto the bus at the top of ashbury heights, and settled into the two front seats across from the driver.
'hey, is there any way to get this cleaned up?' asks the wife to the driver. 'there's a mess heah, someone could get hurt.'
the driver sighs and pretends to look at what she's talking about as if he hasn't seen it already. there is a pause.
'but, someone could get hurt.'
'you just have to be careful,' responded the driver.
'well WE'RE careful, but there are a lot of people who aren't as careful as we are,' answered the old lady. the old man nodded beside her, affirming her astute observation. the driver held his silence.
a few stops before the bus reached Haight, a homeless man huffed and puffed on the bus, and dodged the starbucks mess.
'there's a mess here, someone should clean this up,' he shouts back to the driver.
after the momentous ride i walked to a cafe not far from my morning interview at booksmith. i primarily end up spending my non-existent cash these days on places where i can use a decent toilet. i rarely want an actual coffee or hot chocolate, but i want to go to the bathroom prior to my appointments, or if i am stuck downtown, with 3-4 hours to kill between interviews, it is really my only option, either that or sit in a park for several hours, not really a problem except that i get bored and uncomfortable, and my outfit wrinkles exceedingly.
my bookstore interview went well i think. i am not sure how they will compare me to other applicants. they are exceedingly friendly and knowledgeable and have great plans for the shop, and i am happy for that. i have applied for more positions today, not many though, as my eyes have started to glaze over both times.
i walked from haight back to the mission in about 45 minutes, when i hit castro i saw full-frontal nudity. i think i saw one of the grooms from a newly married couple. i also hit up a thrift store and purchased some new/old books, including what i expect will become a new favorite text by heinrich boll.
i returned to my flat to find my flatmate being domestic and making himself some soup. he's been sick lately. i checked emails. the australian has resurfaced (via text also the other day) and notified me today via email of an appearance of one of my all-time favorite musicians at an exclusive men's vogue event on wednesday night. i rsvp'd but am not sure i will get official approval. you all know i'm going anyway. i told the roommate about this event, and where it was located, and we both noted we'd never been to any venue on that street except 111 minna. within seconds we both found out we were good friends with several of the people who run and frequented the wednesday club night there, qool, my regular visitation of every wednesday of my senior year of college. my world continues to get even smaller.
i cannot quite fathom how i lasted this long at home. i have only been here for a little over 24-hours and i am rejuvenated beyond belief. on my way to purchase some peanut butter & jelly from rainbow co-op (conveniently within walking distance) i spotted my friend and former couch-surfing host dishing up posh food and making recommendations in a nearby restaurant. another friend of mine semi-regularly works at the art cinema across the way. a couple of other good friends live about 5 blocks away, near my favorite cafe/bar/restaurant. the photographer from last night invited me to a show tonight but i declined to get work done. it is nicer to be back than i thought it would be. however i also know that i would not be quite so appreciative of this experience had i not stayed at home as long as i did. i would not have the same appreciation for personal space, nor would i have realized that it is in fact possible to live happily with roommates again-a thought that seemed impossible after leaving my much loved london flatmates behind. i also know for the next two months i'm damned lucky, with a rent-controlled apartment and cool flatmates. i am fully aware i may not be so lucky in price or people the next time around.
of course i have about $40 now that i have paid rent, and i still don't have a job. i have a phone interview with a design firm on friday, which is when i will be in washington preparing to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding. i am to call him, and this is the 3rd rescheduling of this phone interview. the recruitment firm who set me up with this had 3-4 other jobs lined up, i think they gave up on my difficult madera/sf schedule and limited my opportunities to this one, as the others seemed to have dropped by the wayside.
i have just figured out how to set up my friend's 70's stereo speakers to my computer, so i have proper stereo sound now with my music instead of my tinny speakers. if i didn't enjoy spending time with him so much i'd encourage him to stay in LA with the rest of his band and take over his place.
oh, i have neglected to inform you of the decorations. there are pink-pained gas masks, 2-3 mannequins, 2-3 deer heads (some with missing eyeballs), a pink & white striped painted bathroom-which is decorated by pink-painted 80's cheer/sport trophies, and there are chiquita banana/fruit stickers on each 2 x 2-inch tile behind the kitchen sink & stove in the kitchen area, and various other 'found' objects displayed throughout the house. it makes for nice impromptu decoration. the 3rd roommate is an artist who talks with a methodically slow, deep voice, and wears buddy holly glasses. he collects everything from furniture to 8mm handheld cameras. the door to his room has a dozen mouse traps hanging over it. he has about 100 bright green hulk dolls strapped to the wall above the fireplace in the living room, which he picked up at one of the many 99cent/discount shops in the area. he plans to paint them and use them as an installation. they also have a band room, essentially what could be a 4th bedroom, with thousands of cables, pedals, mics, a soundboard/production computer setup, multiple guitars, basses, and pieces of drum kits. i want antoine to be here and to plug him in, but i left him at home, figuring i wouldn't have time or equipment.
i am now hungry and have my choice of peanut butter & jelly or wheat spaghetti with sauce (remember those days nadine??? THEY'RE BAAAACK!).
if i had more food/money right now i would have offered to feed the oh-so-cute boys who were setting up their moped shop today on 16th. hot damn. san francisco got hot while i was away.