Tuesday, September 12, 2006

all those years, they were here first

These might come together, or they might not:
  • To current and future parents who are also my friends: an extremely effective method of charming me is to teach your small children the lyrics to vintage tunes. If one must sit in the Metreon on a Friday night eating ice cream with two- and five-year olds, it helps exponentially when the two-year old sings out "shoot 'em in the back now" repeatedly.

  • I put too much vodka in my system on Saturday night at Double Dutch and Ti Couz, but since that vodka was top-shelf, I did not have a headache on Sunday morning. Drinking a gallon of water before bed probably did not hurt matters.

  • Last night, I met up with two east-coasters, RK and IS. Even though I have lived in San Francisco for over four years, I find myself stressed when choosing places to have dinner with out-of-towners. Even though this will sound unfeeling, it's not that I am particularly keen to please my friends. It is more the worry that I might betray San Francisco and somehow not represent the city adequately to visitors that gives me the ulcer.

  • This morning, while waiting at a stop light, less than a mile from work, the car behind me hit mine, jerking me forward. At first, I thought something had happened to my transmission that had caused the car to buck like that. When, a second later, I realized I had been bumped, the light changed to green. The driver switched lanes and made a quick left without even pulling over to see if there had been significant damage to my car. Luckily, the bumper got scratched but not dented. However, I really question the common decency of this driver. I might have characterized the driver's behavior in more colorful language this morning.

  • Maybe it is because I am heading there soon and have seen a lot of its inhabitants of late, but I have been giving considerable thought to the east coast vs. west coast debate. I really adore aspects of each coast. But what I have been thinking of, increasingly, are confounding factors. I am having trouble drawing a distinction between the varied culture of the coasts and having lived in these coasts at very different phases in my life. I've been thinking lately about not feeling settled, and how strange that is, because it seems San Francisco should be the least unsettling place to me in the world.

    Last night, IS remarked that I seem happy here. RK & MM had observed the same on Friday night, albeit a bit begrudgingly. Even though they were absolutely correct, it got to me. They can make statements like that, because they know me well enough. And they know me well enough in a way that no one in the Bay Area knows me. They did not get to know me by having involved email exchanges or alcohol-laced conversations or having to deal with some dramatic crisis of mine. And in some ways, that is exactly why they do know me. Telling you who I am is not a way to know who I am. Even now, some four years later, as miserable as I was in the suburbs and as jubilant as I am living here, the most solid friends I know are all over there. And it's hard for me to know whether that is because we had the luxury of many years, or because people are just fundamentally different there compared to here.

  • Tonight, more drinks with IS and some coworkers. At this rate, I may arrive to the East Coast pickled.

It did not come together, but that is nothing new. I blame it on the waltz I had with insomnia last night- which, in turn, I blame on an ill-advised viewing of 20 particularly graphic minutes of Sin City (and I blame that bad decision on the appearance of Clive Owen on my television set, incidentally) before trying to go to bed.

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