Saturday, October 25, 2014

Poor Man's Burning Man

Davina The Dragon

As usual, I attended the Burning Man Decompression in San Francisco. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have never been able to attend the actual Burning Man event. So decompression will have to do. Of all the events in San Francisco it is probably one of the best. Not only are there examples of actual Mutant Vehicles there, such as this Davina The Dragon car, but there were also the usual and the unusual dining places, including a booth that sold aphrodisiac tea.

At one point a small marching band passed by, and at another point a Russian man dressed as a bunny on stilts strode past. There was even a car that appeared to have toilet seats for windows.
Aluminum Car With Port Holes
There were more than a dozen dance areas, as well as one silent dance area where the dancers all wore wireless headphones. Perhaps next year will be my chance to attend the actual Burning Man. I will keep my fingers crosses and wait the arrival of good fortune.
The Lost Tea Party
 If anyone out there is going next year and needs an old coot to tag along, please let me know.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 San Francisco Litcrawl

This Saturday is the Litcrawl, the culmination of the 15th annual Litquake event in San Francisco. It begins at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time and the complete schedule and list of locations can be found here: The Official Litquake Site. Photos of old Litcrawls can be found here: Photos Of Litquake

The event is divided into three phases, where each phase lasts 1 hour, with only 15 minutes between each phase.  From experience, it is difficult to get seats at consecutive phases. Instead you should plan on skipping phase 2 if you want to see multiple phases. Or arrive early for phase 2 and get a seat there.

If you are young and don't mind standing at the back of a crowd, then you can plan on seeing all phases in sequence.

But don't arrive with no idea of what you want to see. There is simply not enough time to sample more than a few presentations in any given hour. That is if you plan to actually listen to a full reading at each.

One thing you should never ever do is to skip this event. Consider it the one mandatory event of your literary listening year. There is almost every form of literature represented, so there is something for everyone. I hope to see you all there.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Best Bus Driver Ever

The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival takes place in Golden Gate park, five miles away from downtown San Francisco. There are only two reasonable ways to get there by public transit: The N trolley arrives three block away on the south side of the park, and then one must walk across half the width of the park; The 5 bus lets you off 50 or so feet from the entrance. The only problem is that the 5 bus is a small bus that doesn't run frequently and is an electric bus making it impossible for those buses to leapfrog each other.

My trip to the event was typical. Hundreds of people wanting to ride a 5 bus that only held 75 or so people, half of those crammed like sardines but vertical. But what made this bus ride not just tolerable but enjoyable was the bus driver. He stopped at every stop, even if there appeared to be no room and somehow made room by standing and waving his hands and cheerfully guiding everyone onto the bus.

When the bus finally reached 30th Avenue, everyone getting off the bus shouted a cheerful thank you  to the the driver. On that day, at lease, he was the best bus driver ever.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Break From Writing

Often as a break from writing I like to go for a walk. Although sidewalks in the city are not the best place to walk (a topic for another day) I am most distracted and irritated by my encounters with smokers. Granted, most buildings in San Francisco prohibit smoking inside, so smoking on the side walk is the only fallback many have. But isn't the risk of second hand smoke greater on the sidewalk versus inside in a specially constructed smoking room?

Why must I, a pedestrian out for a walk, have to keep my eye peeled for smokers ahead? Why must I hold my breath as I approach them and hold it until I pass them? Why is the onus on the non-smoker when outside?

Lately, I have been thinking that a law should be passed to prohibit smoking on a sidewalk or within 15 feet of a sidewalk.

Do you have an opinion on the matter?