08/08/04: San Fran Recap + Steve

Just got back from a most excellent four days in San Francisco to visit The Ninja and his fair city.

Wednesday: I grabbed a mid-afternoon flight out of Philly which plopped me into SF around dinnertime. John picked me up from the airport and it was so good to see him and give him a squeeze; he was all dressed up for work and could not have looked cuter. It's funny; part of me felt like I had just seen him the day before, and another part of me felt like it had been years. Either way, I was just so happy to be there. We made a beeline to the Pacific to briefly pause and reflect on our teeny-ness, and then on the way home we caffeinated ourselves at Javacat-- was very glad to see The Happy Barista Lady. Soren (whom I had met very briefly in June) and the unspeakably awesome Kathyrn met us back at Casa Juan, and we all dined at one of the yummy asian places in John's neighborhood and grabbed some jasmine tea / honeydew ice cream on the way back. Back at John's, we watched the 123 video (complete with subtitles!) and enjoyed GBs of Goatse. Soren's been working on an exciting project where he takes photos of people's expressions the moment they see goatse, so we perused the images and snickered. He's also got quite the collection of photos which have either been photoshopped to more closely resemble goatse, or just pictures of people with their hands around something round in a goatse-fashion. Was extra-amused that someone Goatse'd the graphic I use for my Knappuccino's logo... perhaps a website update is in order. ;-)

Thursday: Enjoyed a quiet breakfast home and then we ventured out to scope out Valencia. Scored some magic parking, perused the furniture/kitsch shops (including the Pirate Store), ate unspeakably tasty Indian Pizza, played a few rounds of pinball and affirmed our Marvelous and Loved selves with the help of some vegan nut milk at Café Gratitude (Soren, you have my blessing to be a mite suspicious). Went to Chateau Ragsdale (awesome place!) to enjoy the wryly-overdubbed version of the first Harry Potter movie (which I found much more enjoyable than the original), ate some incredible (and wonderfully cheap!) tacos in addition to Gwen's halvah (nagila). Met other neat folks whose names sadly elude me but I hope to someday learn. John and I ducked out early to see Jonathan Richman at the Makeout Room and enjoyed a nice buzz. Looked for dancing afterwards which turned up nada partially due to lack of club data, and partially due to my typically phatty navigation skills being a bit impaired. Conked out at home, smiling.

Friday: Walked to get some rad pho/bun/cafe su da (on Clement. maybe?) for breakfast-- sooo gooood! Came back to Rancho Relaxo for naps and then worked on getting John's place straightened out, moving furniture, organizing laundry, trips to the recycling / trash... the place looks and feels so much better now. Did some other housekeeping/inventory as well, and then donned our funky finery to get dinner at Citizen Cake (next time, make that four lemon sandwich cookies) and were then off to CELLspace to see the frikkin' awesome Circus Contraption where I crushed on Sari Breznau, the golden-larynxed, trumpet-playin', slyly-smirking, tap-dancing, ripe juicy curvy peach of a woman... holy cow, what a crush I've got. :-) Was happy to bump into the snappily-dressed Gwen and her pals at intermission. After the show we were bushed from the physical/mental tetris of the day, so we packed it in and slept like logs.

Saturday: I got up early and picked up some javacats to wake our cloudy arses. It was a beautiful morning: slightly misty, slightly cool, and the foggy clouds streamed overhead like time-lapse film. We got motivated after the sun came out and we walked down Clement and ate an embarrassingly filling brunch at Q, and then hit the hardware store for wood screws, door hangers and mollies. Got back to Casa Juan and organized/situated more stuff; we're proud of the delta.

We left around 4:30 so I could make my 6pm redeye flight out of SFO. I had a 2-hour layover in Phoenix, so my awesome pal Mark met me in the Sky Harbor terminal for coffee and fruit salad, where we discussed the state of the unions. The flight from Phoenix to Philly was packed and no sleep was had (bummer). I got home around 8am and flopped into bed and slept through my noontime alarm... no big deal, as even though I was a bit late to rehearsal for The Wall, it wasn't the end of the world as they were still setting up the stage (which looks AWESOME, by the way).

Good trip. Good, good, gooooood trip. Lots to think about.

A note: When I first arrived into town, John and I made a two-column list of "fun stuff to do" and "stuff we gotta do because it needs to get done." I'm proud to say that we accomplished everything in both columns except one thing from the fun column (SFMoMA) and that's a thing that could be postponed anyway. I like lists. I like crossing things off lists even more. :-)

Anyway, while I was in San Fran, our Iowa Boy Steve Weatherman sent me an update, even though he's safely back in the Ware of the Dela. Enjoy!


August 4, 2004

Dear Reader,

Here it is August and my trip to Iowa is safely behind me. I have had a few days to remove the toxins from my system and gain some sense of perspective. Here are some thoughts that came into focus during yesterday's pedicure:

People from the Midwest will eat anything deep-fried. The Iowa State Fair is a massive gathering of the faithful--those who come to see who raised the largest hog, cow and chicken. And in the very next tent you can sit down at picnic tables and eat relatives of the very animals that just won a blue ribbon. Most of you have eaten a corndog at one point or another. It was probably your first and last corn dog, if I know most of you. Let me briefly outline what a corndog is: It is a hot dog dipped in a cornmeal batter and then fried in hot oil until hot and crunchy. Often eaten with mustard atop it. They are wildly popular and people line up for them as soon as the gates open at 10am. Apparently, they consider this delicacy a breakfast item.

I HAVE heard of a true breakfast equivalent out here in Delaware, but in equally questionable surroundings: PUBLIC SCHOOL. The have come up with a "Piggle Stick" which is a breakfast sausage dipped in pancake batter and then, of course, fried in hot oil. What nutritionists decided this was a healthy breakfast for school students?!? Probably the same people who agreed with Reagan when he announced that ketchup was a vegetable. Anyway, I got off the subject. I was talking about grease.

There have been improvements...modifications...improvements on the standard corndog since I was last there. For vegetarians, they have produced a cheesedog, which has no dog, but a chunk of cheese dipped in the same batter and, yes, fried in hot oil. For the kids, they have come up with a deepfried Snickers Bar--which is the candy dipped in brownie batter and fried. Mmmmmmm. Gooey! And finally, for those counting the hours until their arteries will harden, the State Fair has given us Deepfried Cheesecake!! Because cheesecake isn't fattening enough by itself. I believe most residents of Iowa would eat the carpet under their feet if it was rolled in flour and deepfried.

It made me stop and think of my best friend and felon, Martha Stewart. While I'm sure she, like my fellow Iowans, has made fresh lemonade and enjoyed the delights of an old-fashioned hog slaughter (and the barbeque that followed), I doubt she's ever made corndogs. I'm sure I would've remembered. Remind me to send her the old family recipe in the "Big House." It's a good thing.

Steve We.
Your Iowa Boy