Friday, June 01, 2007

dot ... dot ... jot

Worked from home today so I could run a couple of weekday errands ... actually got a lot done ... when you work from home, you may not work every moment of the day, but you gain back all that kibbitzing time that is a part of office life. I like it both ways, the frenetic office and the serene home. But today ended up being exemplary so perhaps I can repeat the experiment a little more often.

Guilty pleasure ... I took myself to a Jack in the Box on Bayshore today and had their sirloin burger. I feel bad, like I broke a promise. Enjoyed the burger though. Four nurses, or so it seemed, lined up for their fast food. One giggles, "I wonder what it would taste like if I mixed half diet and half regular soda." Wow, what a low threshhold for excitement! ... I was out on the Bayshore because errand two was to run some toxic waste (paint thinner type stuff) to the recycling depot. But the line up out there was blocks long with big, full pickup trucks. No way.

Web 2.0 neo-dot-commer ... so I ended up in Ritual Grounds on Valencia, the coolest place in San Francisco ... which is pretty damned cool considering how cool we all are here ... we get cool points for just knowing where Ritual Grounds is ... I took my new laptop there to start on a humorous presentation that a colleague and I will will make when our big boss retires in a few weeks ... the place is so cool that everyone moves through the line for coffee at a glacial pace ... somehow cool means that you can take five minutes to pick out a muffin even if there are 20 people behind you stretching out into the street ... nobody seems to mind, though, except me, but I am pushy s.o.b. who hates it when other people waste my time obliviously ... maybe I'm not so cool after all ... still, had a nice time pretending to be a web 2.0 type. Tried to find a Google Street View of the place, but for some strange reason they skipped Valencia Street ... are they crazy?

Valencia Street ... when I first moved to San Francisco in 1981, Valencia Street was pretty much just the Mission, small industry, very Hispanic. We used to go to La Rondalla, a kooky Mexican restaurant with ultra-tacky, year-round Christmas decorations. It's still there, at 20th if memory serves me, but I haven't been there in years. In the early 80s, a lot of women's businesses, especially lesbian-oriented outfits like bars and bookstores, set up shop on Valencia, and even though it is only a block from Mission Street, the area quickly became another neighborhood. I think it was in 1981 that some gay lib guys led by Ron Lanza set up a performance venue near 18th Street in a former funeral home that had famously processed a lot of Vietnam dead. It was called the Valencia Rose. They painted the place pink and presented all manner of cutting edge gay performance. (SF gay history buffs should definitely check out the link; and if you knew Donald Montwill, there are several photos that depict him in full flood that you must see: what a man; so sad that he is gone.) It is now part of New College. The dot com era completely rewrote the area, especially betwen 20th and 24th where there is a hideous modernistical church called Bethel ... really a monstrosity that a reasonable city planning department would have driven out to the 'burbs where it belongs. After the dot-commers fled one night while no one was looking, their replacements, the web 2.0 types, moved in with their ratty clothes, lack of shaving equipment, slouching gait, and their array of electronics. I don't really mind 'em ... some of the guys are kinda hot if you look past the billowing sack-cloth that they voluntarily choose to dress in. My darling ex, RB, lives across the street from Ritual Grounds, so I always feel his warmth when I am there.

Click on the photo for a slide show of images I have made on Valencia Street or nearby.

Gone gone gone ... so the Giants dumped Benitez at last. Great day. As I write this, we are leading the Philllies 13-0 in the bottom of the ninth with this Messenger guy, who we got for Benitez, pitching. We're so happy he's gone that we paid $4.7 million to get rid of him. Sabean (the general manager) was real pissy though in the Chronicle this morning: "The type of person or professional I am, I don't take any satisfaction in anybody's demise or inability to do his job," Sabean said. "I'll say one thing about Armando. He was strong enough to be a whipping boy. The first game here (in New York) we had three players who were not available. That was not Armando's fault. Tonight we had three hits and looked dead as a doornail. That was not Armando's fault. We are at a crossroads in my mind, and apparently the fans, the press and some people in the clubhouse felt he needed to go. Now we're going to find out what they're made of. We'll see who's strong enough to be the whipping boy now. ... We're going to find out who, when and how we're going to step up. Right now, as we speak, we're heading closer to last place than first place. I don't know that that was Armando Benitez's fault." I guess Sabean figures he will be the whipping boy. That would be a pity.

Photo by Arod.

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