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01 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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I have been consumed by business for the past week with little time to write.

MUNI Guy is watching the late news in the living room.  I wandered by on my way to the refrigerator to witness the end of a story about electronics in supermarkets.  The technoprophets are offering the vision of a future without checkout clerks or credit cards where purchases are monitored by radio tags and paid using fingerprints.

It is easy to be distracted by the glamour of new machinery.  I dislike standing in grocery lines and I'd rather avoid my weekly interactions with the surly clerks at Walgreens.  Even so, the jobs eliminated by such gadgetry are the unskilled jobs which often make the difference between home and homeless.  Technology may be magnificent at eliminating the cost of low-skill labor, but it does little to relieve the suffering of those left unemployed.

Home Depot now offers clerk-free scanners.  I tried the device only to find it wouldn't register my purchase and screamed when I attempted to place the item back in the bin for unscanned items.  I activated the siren to summon an employee.  While other patrons raced through checkout lanes with live clerks, I waited nearly twenty minutes for a response to my failed machine. 

I resolved shortly afterward to refuse to use these gadgets whenever offered.  Although I may have to wait for a clerk and endure the oddities of human behavior, my transaction helps keep another human employed, housed and hopefully fed. 

We have traversed sufficient distance replacing humans with computers.  Join my "Checkout-Counter Revolution" - use the checkout lane with a person and stick your chewing gum on the automated checkout machine.

02 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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I had the honor of officiating Bill and Andy's wedding today.  With music provided by an iPod and Bill's sister in town from Boston for the ceremony, it was a wonderful day.

A group of protestors took over the steps of City Hall and flung expletives at the departing couples.  Debate with religious fiends is rarely productive, so I danced for them instead:  a little Egyptian two-step, a little Mashed Potato.  I love dancing on the steps of City Hall.

(Click on photos for larger images.)

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Note the handsome Christian boy in the background.  Here is a closeup photograph:
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03 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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My photographs (which I've always considered little more than snapshots) gained some visibility last year.    My desk now holds several publications and books featuring my captured bits of light and shadow while my bank account holds a little extra cash.

I rebuilt the Photos section of this website over the weekend.  The navigation matches the new look found in Trains and incorporates several new galleries.

05 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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I had the privilege of working last night with Leah Garchik, one of my favorite San Francisco Chronicle columnists.  One week after arriving in San Francisco, Leah published a bit I sent her about MUNI.  My then-boyfriend was a bit annoyed I'd managed to get my name in the paper so quickly. 

Dancing for Christians is very popular.  The pictures have been reposted, printed and distributed to all corners of the city.  You will find additional Dancing and Hot Christian Boy photographs on Ggreg Taylor's website.

My desk is crowded with incomplete projects.  I now return to work...

15 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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My days are consumed attempting to manage both a business, a move and several events.  When evening arrives, I am too tired to write.

One of the aforementioned projects:  The Great Bingo Bus Adventure 2.0 is Saturday, April 17.  Last year the bus sold out well in advance.  Click here for tickets and details.

Why do lesbians cover the back of their cars with bumper stickers?

16 March 2004 - (Link) (Comment)

The date is set.  On June 18th, I begin my trek from San Francisco to Portland, Maine.  The movers attend to the furniture a day earlier and the cats travel by airplane two weeks later.  MUNI Guy is not traveling with me.  San Francisco exerts too powerful a hold for him resist. 

I grew up in a town built by a railroad and made famous by a song about Route 66.  My childhood was spent listening to trains appearing from distant destinations and vanishing to points unknown.  Major family events were held at a hotel boasting sixteen diesel gas pumps and free showers for long distance truckers.  Somewhere the sensation of turning wheels became embedded just below my sternum and now causes me to be forever restless.Click for larger image

My wanderlust was handsomely rewarded by the Navy.  Aboard nuclear-powered ships, I twice spun around the Pacific Rim and once circumnavigated the globe.

I have my doubts about the creation myths offered me as a child, but the marvels of the world never cease to astound me.  The slums of Rio de Janeiro and the geysers of Yellowstone are places almost too astonishing to have simply arisen from the ether.  If indeed the cosmos are whirling faster and faster until the universe disappears into ash and dust, then the simultaneous magnitude and insignificance of these moments exceed human comprehension.  If the opposite is true and all this means something, the puzzle is indeed confounding and confused further by the voices claiming to know the truth.

Travel and exploration are not necessarily the same.  We travel to be entertained, screaming above the earth from place to place in silver cylinders that suspend our understanding of distance and time.  Destinations are chosen for entertainment value precisely designed to distract us from looking too closely, for too long, or too intimately. 

Exploration rarely occurs on the streets marked by hotel maps or pointed out by tour guides.  Exploring brings us to alleys we would otherwise avoid, encourages us to peak around corners into vacant lots, to stop in the cafes and pool halls where the locals are just a bit grittier than we like.  Such exploration often turns inward.  We discover in ourselves the same koans that exist in the world surrounding us.

22 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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My desk remains mired in uncompleted projects.  At quarter past seven I have just completed invoicing clients for February.  Note to myself: time to hire an assistant, preferably one who looks like Vin Diesel but doesn't mind touching in the workplace.

I have to fly for business again this week and I cannot find time to write a decent entry.  Lend a hand by writing a guest entry for  If I use your entry, I will send you a coveted Pink Poodle or Flying Pig purse.

MUNI Guy and I enjoyed Drew's 32nd birthday party at El Mansour on Saturday night.  Twenty four bearded and butch men eating food with their hands and watching belly dancers while gifting the birthday boy with Easy Bake ovens and penis-emblazoned cards.  It is good to be gay.

24 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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The lawsuit to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance is a wonderful piece of theater but lacks any real importance.  Any person with three functional neurons can testify this nation has either abandoned God or God has abandoned us; we could debate at length which is true.  If God were smiling upon us, Pat Robertson would not have a half comb-over and bad lighting, George Bush would not look like a Mad Magazine character, Ben Affleck would be prohibited from acting in or producing motion pictures, and Vin Diesel would be my housekeeper.

It appears that God unplugged the answering machine approximately two thousand years ago and left us to feud over who truly understands the notes he* left on the refrigerator.  We are not even certain which of the notes were written by God and which were just scribbled by ancient authors - writing when they truly should have been hunting and gathering. 

[*Certain uber-liberals will argue the use of "he" is improper in this sentence.  However, had I used the word "God" again, the sentence would have looked odd.  It would have even looked more odd to say "he/she".  I suspect God may be aware of this limitation of our language and my failings in both grammar, usage and punctuation.]

Rather than remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, we would be better advised to deleted the Pledge of Allegiance altogether.  Me, I like retaining the option to leave when the country becomes just a little too insane.  With our government exporting dollars, jobs and military lives overseas, it is pretty clear the Pledge only applies to the working class and not those who do the governing. 

I was somewhat surprised to learn school children still recite the pledge.  I suppose they are probably also singing about amber waves of grain.  Having driven across the country, I propose the better language would include strip malls and adult video stores.  It is hard to make this rhyme with purple mountain majesty.

Perhaps tomorrow the news will contain something of substance.

25 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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A correspondent suggested "under God" be replaced with "under surveillance".

I am working in New Mexico for several days.  A business colleague arranged dinner tonight at a restaurant which requires guests remove their shoes and sit on the floor.  The menu featured burritos, gyros, buffalo burgers and a legend declaring the restaurant "a place for people who need a little magic." 

27 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

Erika Lopez, my favorite biker chick author and friend, sent this obituary for her companion of eighteen years who died last night:

"Thanks again to all of y'all who put out good juju for Nena Kitty when she was sick a couple of years ago, because I had more time with her and she just died last night/early this morning at 3:30, here at home. Click for larger image

"She seemed fine all this time, and then had a wicked seizure and afterwards was pressing her head into walls and vomiting up even water. She stopped meowing and growling. It was like she was in a daze.

"I was just or almost 18 years old when I got her from a couple of high school friends who gave her to me like a house-warming houseplant when I got my first apartment in West Philly. I was stunned because I took kitties very seriously and my life was in constant crisis--no life for a kitty, I tell you. 

"My friends later forgot dreams of being photographers and fashion designers to have kids, and the one from Sweden that I named Nena after, had a drunken wealthy businessman shoot her cat in the head because she got tired of her cat peeing on her mail when the mailman dropped it through the slot.

"My first apartment was $295 a month and it was on the top floor of a huuuuge old house, and when it got soaking-wet hot in those summers, I'd take a shower with little Nena Kitty to cool her off. She was fine with it because I started giving her kitty baths when she was mini tiny. The apartment had big, prickly stucco walls, and she'd jump up on my art table and climb the stucco points like a rock climber and jump down. Back then she was like "Sporty Spice." James says that makes her sound like a deodorant, but that's the only way I can convey her feminine ways, athletic build, and straight hips.

"She'd curiously sit and stare at the viscious, hissing squirrels who nested in the wall heating vents, and she was agile enough climb around in the sun outside on the severely pitched roof like a mountain goat. There were those deep window wells/sill-things, and I could lie down nude and get a tan when the sun was just right and we'd both get really tan.

"I was in art school then and could only afford crappy 94-cent "Alley Cat" dry food and I was really into old VW Bugs and she'd drive back and forth to Jersey with me in either my '73 or '69 Beetle, tucked behind my neck and looking out the window. The toll booth folks chuckled and a guy in front of me paid my toll for me once. And after a white-trash night of hanging out with my former foster family (my best friend was dating the son), drinking slushy Meister Brau and listening to Pink Floyd, I'd roll Nena Kitty up in the front of my sweatshirt and we'd listen to Jimi Hendrix on the way back home in the wee hours of the morning.The vets told me to kill her like every two years. They kept saying she had mysterious diseases. But some eighteen years later, I now think they were trying to save her from the trashy wood panelling existence we were indulging in back then. 

"At our 18-year run, Nena Kitty has been the most constant thing in my life and I'm walking around expecting the flicker of her jumping off a desk or looking up and telepathically asking for more tuna, please. This love thing's so tough and as she lay gasping for air last night and I was trying to keep my tears from getting her even more wet than her clear vomit already had, I couldn't understand how people don't send their children out into the world in plastic bubbles. And how could they proudly send their kids to war? I just miss my little Nena Kitty and if she were itching for a fight, I'd tell her to listen to Pink Floyd again and let 'em all figure it out amongst themselves. It's not my Quaker side, it's my selfish side. 

"I'm reading Peter Biskind's "Down and Dirty Pictures" like a push-my-face-into-crap assignment. Before Nena got sick it was just bitter, petty gossip. To be really successful, you've GOT to be somewhat of an asshole. Hell, just to do okay you've gotta be at least a hard ass. And folks want to tear down successful people who've sacrificed having loving kitty relationships so they can have more power and stuff? It's hard for me to slosh through Biskind's bile to get to the interesting indie-business parts. Business is fascinating.

"And now that I'm talking to everyone I've ever seemed to have a falling out with, I'm glad for the focus on my Nena Kitty-like life. I don't think I can even finish this book because who cares? We all get what we deserve/negotiate and have no right to complain. I had Nena Kitty 18 years and I didn't even WANT a cat and she's the best thing that ever happened to me. So how can I complain?

"I will. Everytime you think you conceptually "get" the whole death thing, you get snagged and feel like a 3-year-old all over again, raging at the walls, asking: "But, WHERE IS SHE? I can't SEE her! Where did she GO???..."

"And we buried her in the back of Emily and Alex's garden this morning because they own their apartment and there are sometimes rats in the back of our yard and I don't want to be here forever because I want my own house one day. I curled her up before she turned to wood and wrapped her in a white linen table cloth for a shroud. One day when they find her, her peaceful face will be transferred to the shroud and whoever finds it will not get stung by poisonous bee stings, but will get a telepathic message for some tuna, please.

"I wrote a card in there for her in case she ever learns to read at her next spiritual level, and I almost put her Omega 3 skin oil in there but James said no, she hated that stuff. And I put her shrouded body in a boot box and crossed out the UPS label and wrote "Good bye Nena Kitty" because you're supposed to cross out previous addresses when you re-use boxes. You can't be too careful or too literal when the body of the one you love is involved.

"And in case you're interested in putting face to name: Nena Kitty's the one I draw at the end of "Hoochie Mama: The Other White Meat", with Tomato in her muumuu, walking Click for larger imageover the hills and away into the moonlight. It's probably one of my most favorite cartoons ever and the one that closes the Trilogy of Tomatoes to an end. 

"Thanks for paying attention. There are no cat obits."

28 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

What a pleasure to see visits from the Vatican City in my server log.

31 March 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

Ba-da-Bingo is tomorrow night.  The Grand Finale is just three months away.

In preparing to move to Maine, I have decided to trade in the MINI

The MINI Cooper is a perfect San Francisco car.  It fits well in a crowded city with limited parking.  The clearance, however, is insufficient to clear drifts of snow in Maine.
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The replacement?  A Honda Element, I think.  The Honda Element is not just the ugliest vehicle on the market, it is also the vehicle with the greatest amount of headroom.  At 6'7", I am willing to trade looks for comfort - at least when it comes to cars.

Such an exchange requires I reconsider my opinions about Sports Utility Vehicles.  I generally believe SUV owners are arrogant, narcissistic and lacking reasonable driving etiquette.  How will I be able to look at myself in the mirror each morning knowing I own one of these vehicles?

I rationalize this decision as follows:  I am big - unusually large.  I need a big car.  Clearly this is not the same as a five foot tall Asian woman driving a big car when she should be in a Mazda.  Nor is it equivalent to a middle-aged man using vehicle gross weight to compensate for lack of penile mass.  Further, the Honda achieves a reasonable gas mileage.  In summary: Big guy, big car, reasonable mileage. 

This makes my four hundredth and thirty ninth entry without any merit or substance.  More tomorrow.


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