Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pt. only: SF/Berkeley/Mtn View/NOT LA

[photo: squint, see the hawk, shrug, say, "there's a hawk, huh."]

(let's just say) THE BAY AREA:
i like these long waiting periods between trip and write up, because it saves me from going overboard and describing songs heard on the drive and thread counts at my friends' apts and all that bullshit, plus i'm about to leave for the big trip later this week that will make the five hours in a car to sf seem like nothing. as it is now, it's nothing. i'd probably drive that far just to go to a sonic drive-in. not even during frozen beverage happy hour.

besides, the drive was uneventful, just windy as only the middle of any stretch of land can be windy (see: middle of ca, tx, the entire us), which was perfect because a, it makes pumping gas an adventure, and b, santa cruz was on fire, and gusts always help. it seems i always jump ship on this side of the country at the start of fire season; last year, it was just after griffith park sizzled, so i left just as the misplaced wildlife came to my neighborhood to hide. my dear cousin, a post-grad at santa cruz, has friends who lost their home in the current blaze, which is just awful, and i'm sure LA's yearly combustion isn't far behind. this from a city whose basketball team is the watery lakers (displaced from minnesota, but still. and why the fuck don't franchises just change their name? i'm talking to you, utah jazz.) but whatever, the lakers are just another example of how LA loses. i'm out of here (temporarily).

[photo: a giant slug seen on a walking trail in berkeley, and if he was on the run from the fires on santa cruz, i should adopt his epic journey into a screenplay.]

so i drove up to sf with (one of my few friends in LA, sam, who's actually moving to SF just as i leave-- lose lose lose!), past cowschwitz, the giant slaughter house that smells like guts, dead guts, and grass that had been housed in guts not much earlier. when we got to the city, sam went on her way, i met friends for dinner, including emily, whose apartment is a catsplosion, and teet, who, as always, fell asleep midconversation on a couch. then i got to stay with paisley at her family's house, where i haven't been to since i was 18, and see her mom and her two geriatric giant black poodles, who got along well with my own golden-aged li'l black poodle, just turning the place into an overnight canine assisted living facility.

but then i went back into SF, then to mountain view to see said cousin, where i met her new dog, oscar, who, if i don't mind saying, fucking FELL IN LOVE WITH ME and wept upon my departure. then back to the east bay, where i met up with elanor and kumar to eat bbq and watch the red sox lose in a bar. this is a recurring theme with me. i never see the games where coco punches the tampa bay pitcher and we still end up beating them like a dirty rug, just the ones where youkilis strikes out at every at bat and big papi looks bored. which is exactly what happened on sunday, but in person, and sitting two seats away from a very smug oakland fan. but we sat in a pod of sox fans at least, and i was sitting behind a lady who also loved youk for his talent and tribal status, making our own mini jews for joukilis chapter in the stands.

[photo: kumar and el, making it work despite their baseball differences.)

but it's also worth noting that on saturday, el took for me this amazing hike in the hills looking out over berkeley, and here is this picture taken from the splendor of nature where i think you can see the university's bio labs that make deadly bacteria. somewhere, right now, there is a drum circle in protest.

[photo: pretty death!]

and we saw a slug and a hawk. not bad.

also, el has a plot in a community garden with peppers and peas and all sorts of good stuff, and other people are growing artichokes and carrots, and it's kind of amazing, because in nh, we're sort of limited to herbs, cherry tomatoes, and squash (and really, you only need to eat, like, one squash a year, and we end up having 300 and bending over backwards to stick it in every pasta, soup, dessert, etc.) did i mention i'm leaving for new england later this week? go celts.

oh, and we saw indy 4, which had, like, a solid hour of "yay, indiana jones!" and another hour plus of "nigga please." it was like a speilberg/lucas time life comp of their greatest moments-- i think the real reason they switched from nazis to commies was because adding a twist of schindler's list was taking it just one step too far. otherwise, all that was missing was a giant shark. plus the skull looked like the head from a "visible alien (tm)" kit bought at a comic book store, stuffed with saran wrap. altho, if you hate shia labeouf (sp? who cares), you'll love watching him get digitally pummeled in the crotch for 15 minutes.

but, back to the baseball game, at least i got to sit behind these fine people. they felt my pain.

and teeter's been giving me shit for being a jock lately, but if you knew homesickness like mine, you'd understand. homesickness and frustration. most days, i wake up to another surprise water shut-off, courtesy of my building manager who i've now decided looks like a li'l/stoner dog the bounty hunter, and the tendonitis in my hip makes me limp so bad that, when i went to a shoppe the yesterday to buy slacks, they saw me gimping through the racks and gave me the handicapped dressing room. oh, and i have to vote for obama now. and i'm driving thousands of miles during a time when gas is laced with platinum for some reason. i know, i know, call the whaaaaambulance, whatever. point is, being distracted by boston teams-- boston, where people are refreshingly crass, where a hundred-year-old building is considered prefab, where there are 500 ice cream stores and my two other baby dogs-- fuck it, it makes sense. and also, i'm nostalgic for larry bird and robert parish. and really, who isn't?

anyway, by the middle of next week, i'll be in texas, hopefully eating bbq'd meats and taking pictures of bats (from several yards away), clear eyed and full-hearted, so i can't lose. unlike in LA, where one can't do anything but.


eben said...

aren't you a vegetarian?

sb said...

i run with vegans, but i am so not one. yr li'l logo best watch out, cuz i've eaten bear.

eben said...


Cristin said...

have we discussed my, per your recommendation, three week obsessive consumption of both seasons of friday night lights? it was full-on adolescent-escapist immersion style multiepisode-watching. i spent my nonwatching moments either believing i live in texas, or willing myself there, specifically into the body of tami taylor. i was unprepared for my panther pride.