Thursday, March 8, 2007

Two Years Ago This Evening...

I drove over the Bay Bridge right after sunset, listening to the song San Andreas Fault by Natalie Merchant, after 4 days and 44 hours in my car and began my new life in SF. I remember it well - after unpacking my car I met Chris Smith and his lady friend for Thai take out in the outer Richmond, where we witnessed some woman beating the shit out of her boyfriend/husband/random dude outside the extremely shady looking Tee Off Bar & Grill {which apparently is as shady as it looks} on Clement & 33rd just as the cops pulled up to the scene, then ate dinner at his pad, and back to my new apartment where I slept on a little inflatable aerobed thingy on the hardwood floor for about a week.

Damn time flies. A couple things I have learned out here:

1. If you are a straight dude with your shit together, this a damn fine place to live. Moving out I was worried that I was giving up all those beautiful Southern belles for pale stereotypical granola girls. Thanks to my ignorance I walked into the most pleasant of surprises: a city chock full of beautiful, intelligent, dynamic women from literally all over the world, and here's the kicker: a good amount of the competition are only interested in each other. Perfecto.

2. The NoCal (Northern California) equivalent of "wicked" in Boston is "hella", short for "hell of" as in alot, and almost all the natives use it to express extremeness {damn it's hella foggy today} or sheer volume {dude, there were hella hotties at the party last night}. Thusfar I have not been able to bring myself to use it- feel like too much of a poseur. I'll stick with overusing dude and 31 flavors of f-bomb.

3. I didn't know before I moved here that much of California is red state. I thought the whole state was the epitome of blue state, but as it happens this is true basically from the ocean to about 40 miles inland. The rest of the state is red state - even Sacramento and it's burbs. Well, red state-light I should say. Red state in their voting patterns, but socially much more tolerant than hard core, deep South red state USA. Not trying to spark any kind of political squabble, just found it interesting.

4. Not driving your car for a week at a time is the greatest. Forget the health benefits of walking everywhere, or crazy cost of gas - just the elimination of daily road rage from one's life is a wonderful thing. Especially coming from a supremely car-based place like ATL, where it took anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes {usually much closer to the latter} to drive the 12 mile morning/evening commute, and by the time you got to where you were going you just wanted to punch the living shit out of someone or something. Don't get me wrong, Bay area traffic is as nutty as it gets, but fortunately I only have to deal with it about once a month. Day to day life is much more tranquilo sin auto.

5. It's true what they say about the Cushmans (SF parking ticket hander outers in their little 3 wheel Cushman mobile vehicles). They are evil, have supernatural powers, and are always hiding in bushes, doorways, and shadows just waiting for you to park illegally even if only for 2 minutes with your hazards on to run in & out of a store or go to the ATM. They will get your ass, it will be ridiculously expensive {$40-60 per), and you will grow to be sickened simply by the sight of them.

Universally loathed in SF

6. The sheer, damn near orgasmic joy of finding a parking spot on the street.

Living here has definitely affected me in mostly good ways: first & foremost, the fact that I walk these hilly streets damn near everywhere has resulted in me going from having no ass whatsoever to having a petite little apple. I know that is waaaay TMI for some of you, but for the people who read this who actually know me and the widespread lifelong joke about my total and complete lack of ass it had to be mentioned because it is such a surprising and welcome development. This place definitely fits my 'do whatever makes you happy as long as you aren't causing harm to anyone else' outlook on life, and I have even become more mellow and tolerant just being in such an environment.

Fear not though: I have not turned into the strict vegan who does bikram yoga 3 times a week and goes to Jamba Juice every day to pay $4 for a shot of wheatgrass.

But I did grow my hair out to stoner/surfer levels in the last year, and this summer I am going to take up surfing, so perhaps it is only a matter of time before I am buying tofutti ice cream sandwiches, starting my own backyard organic garden, and worrying about my chakras.


DC Trojan said...

When people out here try and tell me that California is full of liberal crazies, I point out that Reagan and Nixon got their start in CA politics, so the proposition is only half true.

As for the rest, it all sounds good. If I were to move back to CA I would skip the southland and embrace the Bay Area, I think, for many of the reasons that you mentioned. (Not so much the single female population, the last thing I need in my life is more estrogen.)

The funny thing is, I ended up with more yoga, tofu, etc., in my life by moving the east coast... but the intervening variable is that the missus is from Ann Arbor. Fortunately she is a proponent of steely empiricism and cold logic, so I am spared the woo-woo touchy feely crap that her sister, for instance, emotes on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Well I for one glad you made the move. You are one of the first work friends I have had in a good long time that I still consider a friend after no longer working with you.

p.s. You forgot to mention the greatest item of San Francisco culture...the It's It ice cream sandwich.

John - west coast omaa

Kanu said...

Thanks John John. THe feeling is mutual man.

And yet the It's It is the SHIZZLE. I'll correct the post when I get a chance.