[abada abada]
an occasional feature



Top seven things I did on my trip to San Francisco

Okay, so that's eight. I was trying to keep it to seven cuz that's Leneb's lucky number...


[kate] Today is my sister's birthday and the anniversary of President Reagan's assasination attempt. My sister is another excellent female in my family -- owns a cool house in Somerville, bowls, knows how to cook real food [not the nutty slop that passes for chow in my place] and has a cat named Boo Radley. She's my little sister but is taller, stylier and has a real job.

For my part, I am back from San Francisco and back into the whirlwind that is my life. Like last time I have a little scribbled list of the stuff I did as if without it I might possibly forget what a good time I had. Updates pending.


Thanks to everyone who sent me directions, there's hope for me yet. This will be irregularly updated for the next week or so, so I will leave a bunch of stuff here that I want to sink in:


I'm heading to San Fran again. My current internet research project is figuring out how to get from the San Jose airport to downtown. Thanks to Caltrain's snappy site this is not too terribly difficult. I think I take a bus to another bus to a plane to a free shuttle to a train to Muni [what is Muni, a subway?] and then I'm there, total transit time, something like six hours, maybe.

If you're in San Fran, I should be at the anarchist bookfair a lot of Saturday. Look for me at the Left Bank Books table. Ferlinghetti is going to be speaking and/or reading, I think it's an event worth going to.


 mother's nickname is muffet and no one is sure why...] Gotta laugh to keep from crying around here... I got my DSL line installed at 8 am Saturday morning. The workman came and we walked around the basement looking for the phone box to run my ethernet jack from. While he was looking for this, his other buddy appeared.

A little background: I live in the Odd Fellows Hall and have many duties, including taking out recycling & trash. Well, recycling goes out on Monday so my porch is literally filled with plastic bins of empties. I have two friends visiting from out of town who are sleeping on a futon in the back room. I have only recently woken up myself. So... I go outside to confer with the two installation guys and am coming around the corner of my porch only to hear them cracking up about something. I get closer only to hear that they are cracking up about me: "What is this, some kind of freaking commune?!","Haw haw!","I didn't know we installed DSL to abandoned hotels","har har", "get a load of all those empties, musta been some party" and so on. When they get back inside and Thing 1 introduces me to Thing 2, I say "Look, this isn't a commune, I have friends visiting, I manage this building and it's a bit too damned early for all this, try a little discretion." Well, the guy went completely pale and apologized back and forth and was very servile and even friendly the rest of the visit [gee, do you think he knew that I manage the non-profit arm of the company that hires him...?] and now I can download pornography at lightning speeds.

The Jessacam is also going live temporarily, as well as looking for a new theme. I'm tired of looking at me staring at my computer and I'm sure you are too. I'm looking for suggestions. Alleycam? Oddcam? Laundrycam? I will not consider the P/Zesto cam for the same reason she does not have a homepage, so don't even ask.




Happy crazy drunken idiots day! I was going to say "crazy drunken idiot losers" but then I realized that while drunken idiots usually will not argue that they are idiots, they might take offense at being called losers. Speaking of losers, you only have six days left to bitch me out completely and leave me crying on the sidewalk. Speaking of bitching people out, my earliest memory of St. Patricks Day was getting yelled at by my gym teacher for wearing an orange sweater to school on the 17th of March. Same orange sweater I have now. I like orange. Mr. Leary sure was pissed...

So, I stayed in and did my taxes instead. My taxable income had four digits in it. I found a really nifty on line taxes site that doesn't charge you anything to prepare and file online if you made less than 20K last year. Even if you did make more, it's pretty cool and answers a lot of your tax questions better than those helpful folks at the IRS. And sometimes it's funny, and I quote...


There is no reason March should always suck. In fact, people should be cheering up sometime around March because, well, isn't the Winter almost over? Or is the Easter season too much for some people? Maybe St. Patrick's Day is more than people can stand and they just have to vent all their pent-up nastiness? I've only been getting a smattering of this nastiness but I can feel it in the air all around me ... bad behavior, bad mojo, and just general badness.

In order to put an end to this crabfest earlier than it might otherwise burn itself out I am going to open the phone lines and let all you angry pissed off people bitch me out instead of spreading all your ill will around where it can flourish and multiply. That's right, got a problem? Have I annoyed or angered you any time in the past seven to ten years and just not set it right? Or did somebody else? Let me know. Instead of passing on this bad feeling to the first person to hack me off, I will promise to convert your anger into useless lovely art projects. Act quickly though, this emotional amnesty offer [no retribution, no fees, complete sublimation guaranteed] won't last forever.


[like a plague, it was!] It's official, I have a social life again! I have now gone out two nights in a row. I know, scary but true. Many people think because I am such a web celebrity, that I am either really busy or really popular. In truth, I spend a lot of time reading, playing with my cat, keeping up with my email, looking after the hall and plotting silly art projects or updating my web pages [kinda like that myth about how they are always painting the Golden Gate bridge, once you fix one part, another part is out of date...].

Last night I tried futilely to find someone to go see the Fastbacks with, and I wound up just getting on the first bus that came by, going to a late night gyro hut, dropping by the library [what we librarians do in our off hours], getting a good book on Jewish Women in the South and heading home. Tonight I was a bit more successful socially and I caught my friend Colin at the Fringe Fest doing his Merry Monk routine. I ran into no less that ten people I knew not including some guy who came up to me in a coffee shop and said "I hear you have a really good web page" and walked out.


Thanks to everyone who emailed my Mom to wish her a happy birthday. She has somewhat forgiven me, although her email to me started with:

"I ONCE had the same experience with my mother--she NEVER forgot--apparently
it really hurt her deeply. Luckily, I think, I don't hold quite so much 
store in your remembering on the day on that day. 
Or perhaps I just understand not knowing what day it is...."

In the what's-in-my-coffee update: one of the things that's cool about caretaking the Odd Fellows Hall is that the groups who meet here often have these sumptuous American Food banquets, complete with Kool Whip, Jello, deli meats and angel food cake. Often there's leftovers that automatically revert to me. Once I found a whole package of li'l smokies -- the kind with the cheese inside. This week's score was a whole bag of those little sundae cups, the kind with the wooden spoons. Since I still haven't managed to get to the supermarket, I use these in my coffee [the chocolate ones, not the orange swirl ones].


[Mom]My mother and I work together on a literature project. She is a freelance textbook writer and I am helping her out with some Internet research. My deadline is this Friday to get a bunch of web links in to her. I am trying to finish up early, just to be a good egg. I had just finished the set of links I was looking up and went to email them to her. In the course of emailing them, I was checking the timestamp and realized, to my horror, that it's been my Mother's birthday for 22 hours already and she is asleep by now. Hell.

Birthdays are kind of a big deal in my family -- though I did not call my Mom at 5:30 to sing in her ear -- since we are all generally happy to know eachother, even if we don't always get along on a minute to minute basis. My mother is a neat lady who taught me to swear, sight down a rifle, make grape jelly, and raise hell for what you believe in. She would always yell at the French teacher or the vice principal on my behalf and taught me to stick up for the little people, whoever they may be. I'm happy to know her and happier still that we're related. Happy Birthday Mom!


I believe my CA trip journal is finished.

Today I stayed in and cooked. I made Cuban black beans which turned out remarkably well despite my complete lack of cooking skill. I think this is because you don't really need to know how to cook to make beans, you mostly need to know how to chop and how to boil which are both skills I learned during my college ramen/mac&cheese/spaghetti sauce days. Also anything I can make while I send email and research Tennessee literature websites is okay by me.

Notorious overplanners will be happy to know that the next Odd Stock will be May first.


[not a human dynamo,
 a dynamo] Meanwhile, while I've been trying to chronicle what I did last weekend, it is this weekend already and where did the time go? I've spent the week playing the regrettable catch-up with stuff piling up in unattractive ways. I've also been geeking out here in my back room and elsewhere doing such things as:

Speaking of the back room, an intervention may be in order here.... I got offline, determined to do something in my actual world as opposed to my virtual world for a change. This is also known as Work Avoidance. I was looking at my giant white board and decided the couch took up too much space I could be writing on. Have to move the couch. To move the couch I'd have to move the dresser which I'd been meaning to put in the basement since it was filling up with orphan socks and underwear I never wore. Okay, had to empty drawers and move the bookshelf on top of the dresser. The bookshelf is covered in small boxes with small stuff in it. Have to open every box, examine tiny stuff, make decisions about same [how many rubberbands does one woman need?] to move the bookshelf. Then I notice that my giant homemade closet [more of a rack, really] is less than 1/2 full and could probably be replaced with a smaller rack I have in the basement. Must take apart closet, involving a drill [where did my phillips head bit go to?], screwdrivers and hammers, much to the chagrin of the cat.

So... closet is apart, dresser is in the things-to-go-downstairs pile and my back room looks like a tornado with malicious intent hit it, scattering socks, underwear, tiny stuff, tools, cat hair, earrings, hangers [always with the hangers], bug spray [?], nur, lint, schmutz and who knows what else everywhere. For my part, I am back on the computer again. It's tidy here in the computer....


An Annotated List of What I Did on my California Vacation, by Jessamyn West, Virgo

tried to check out downtown from the observation deck of the Transamerica Pyramid only to learn that the viewing deck had been closed for 5 years. We were able to check out the virtual observation deck where you can operate real-time remote control cameras to spy on the surrounding city. It's not quite the same as looking at it yourself, the intermediation coefficient was creepy.
Food & Drink
the Eastern Bakery is my favorite place to eat in San Fran so far. I ordered a cheeseburger en route to the airport and we watched the owner explaining to the chef how to make one, with much handwaving and animated chinese discussion.
woke up at 5:30 to Len's mom calling from Jersey City singing Happy Birthday into the answering machine. Apparently this is some sort of Hispanic tradition, who knew?
Road Trip
rented a car and drove to Santa Cruz to visit Spencer and Seth and assorted family and friends. You can check the pix.
took a day spa at the Well Within. Outdoor hot tubbing is where it's at. Must get my VT hot tub fixed. We also went down to the beach and watched surfers. Even though it sounds ridiculous, I don't think I've ever really watched anyone surf before. Hmmm, my notes here just say "kicked Len's ass....." Oh yeah, we spent some time in SC playing SF Rush which is a game Spencer designed. I think I won. I think we have it on video
we ate at a great taco joint in SC and then returned to Inner Sunset to go to Len's fave dive, the Wishing Well, one of the homiest bars I've been to in a while, even though all they have on tap is Michelob.
went up to Twin Peaks on the way home. This was amusing to me because we have our own Twin Peaks out here. Nice view of the city getting completely eaten by a fog monster.
Slept in after convincing Len he did not need to get up and do laundry. Went visiting and saw Fil who lives an astonishing ten blocks away right in the same hood. Fil is having a keg party March 26th, y'all come.
Got back on the N Judah to North Beach [hey, they have a main street named Broadway too! what are the chances...?] to try to see Aimee the Bassist at the Velvet Lounge. Alas, she had played the day before so we played more pinball, and Tempest and headed out.
Major Holidays
Duh, it's Chinese New Year in the biggest Chinatown in the US! We ran into The Julian and caught some of the parade. Hundreds of Chinese children dressed up like bunnies and big lit up dragons with some poor guy having to run after it pushing a generator.
Minor Holidays
Went bowling in [at?] the Presidio for Len's b'day [I bowled a 135!] and then headed out to the Lucky Penny for some chicken fried steak and general chicanery
Misc Oddness
Made full use of the pay toilets in downtown San Fran. I was very impressed. For 25 cents you get a clean [indeed, self-cleaning!] well-lit legal place to pee for up to twenty minutes.
Transpo [GG Bridge]
Took the N Judah to the waterfront and took a ferry to Sausalito and then walked back into the city across the bridge. This looked like a nice jaunt on the map and it was, however it was a nice long walk, some of which was just along the shoulder of the highway.
Took a cable car back from Fisherman's Wharf after looking at sea lions for a while. The cable car is kinda fun, though as Len says "It's still Muni" which means we had to wait forever to get on, even at ten pm. The cable car is more fun when you actually are taking it to someplace and not just riding around aimlessly.
Ate at House of Nanking and had the best potstickers I have ever had while looking at Francis Ford Coppola's new studio digs in Chinatown
Other Stops
Stopped in at the Art Institute which is open 24 hours and a great place to walk around, look at student artworks and inhale that rich painty smell.
Walked around North Beach, had coffee, stopped in at City Lights, played Pinbot
Saw the Teena Brandon Story at the Castro theater, a haunting story of a woman who passed as a man in a midwestern town and the people he interacted with, including the guys who raped and killed him. Creepy and well done documentary, very emotive audience.
Had Thai food at Little Bangkok which was a name that was a source of amusement for the rest of the weekend. Also had a beer at the Toronado -- one of those everything-on-tap places -- and the Noc Noc [definitely more loungey]
Took a cab home. I am going to anarchist hell.


I am too tired to write anything today. I had a good time in San Francisco. Anyone who knows me well should know that the previous sentence was an absurd understatement.

[okay, it was more fun
than I 

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