Quick hits: SF edition

October 9, 2007

So I’ve been pretty bad about this whole blogging thing. Remember how I went to San Francisco in August? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, I went to some neat restaurants there, and I figured I should say a little something before I forget them entirely.

Herbivore – The Misson
We ended up here for brunch on our first full day. I’d sort of been hoping for the more lunch end of the spectrum, so my meal wasn’t entirely what I had in mind. Nonetheless, it was totally tasty. Some kind of a fake sausage thing with a mushroom thing and some tomato and avocado thing happening on the side. Boston folk should try to picture Diesel, minus the pool tables, plus a lot more menu items. All vegetarian. (Possibly all vegan? I wasn’t really paying attention.)

Harvey’s – The Castro
While we were sort of disappointed by the neighborhood on the whole, we were quite pleased with our lunch at Harvey’s. The Sig Fig had a salad that earned rave reviews, and I had a perfectly decent French dip. I think? I wasn’t really paying attention. Anyway I think I remember the fries being tasty, and the service being good. Our waiter, Milton, called me sweetheart at one point. I’m totally a sucker for that.

Millennium – Technically in the Tenderloin, but most guidebooks say it’s in the Civic Center neighborhood
We were kind of worried that, oh, maybe our hotel was smack dab in the middle of the Tenderloin. And it kind of was, but not really. Then we noticed that we were right across the street from Millennium. Vegan foodies may recognize the name–they put out The Artful Vegan, which is totally your go-to vegan cookbook if you have a hankering for complex recipes involving hard to find ingredients. Anyway I convinced the Sig Fig that we should try their summer harvest pre fixe menu, and I’m really glad I did. At this point I can barely tell you what I ate. There was a pizza with some figs on it, and I think a salad, and my entree was basically a reimagined tamale. It was damned good. The Sig Fig was less pleased with her entree, which had something like the twelve strongest flavors imaginable interacting on one plate–she fed me a bite, and I was totally unclear on what I was actually tasting. A high point for me was the wine pairings, which were excellent. Also a really tasty dessert with some port sauce or something. (Side note: I definitely have a copy of this menu in my room. I’ll track it down and tack on an addendum.)

Greens – Fort Mason
Though recommended by my Petaluma-living aunt, Greens was the most thoroughly pretentious venue of our visit. We felt a little underdressed, and had the distinct impression we were surrounded by millionaires. Also we were about twenty years younger than everybody there. Nonetheless, they made us a tasty–if not totally filling–lunch. I had like a salad and these grilled peaches, which were pretty good. Also a couple nibbles of the Sig Fig’s slightly fancy grilled cheese. Like I said, I wasn’t paying much attention. I just know I left still pretty hungry, which led to the extremely poor decision of going somewhere along Fisherman’s Wharf for a really gross stuffed avocado. (Note to Bostonians: why would you order seafood somewhere else? Don’t be stupid. You know what good seafood is supposed to taste like.) Oh, also when we left Greens I saw Niels from the second season of Beauty and the Geek. That’s only barely noteworthy, though.

Kara’s Cupcakes – Ghiradelli Square

This is totally the place to get a tasty cupcake. It’s also good for when you want to hang out in Ghiradelli Square but you don’t want to brave the throng at the actual Ghiradelli shop. (Which, honestly, you shouldn’t. You can buy the chocolate all along the wharf. Or, you know, also in other places, like supermarkets sometimes.) I would advise getting some milk, which they sell.

I’m eating Jell-o for breakfast.

July 27, 2007

It’s the American dream! Well, not really, because this is CVS brand gelatin snack, not Jell-o brand gelatin snack. I’m eating the American dream that’s four for a dollar.

Anyway, I’m back. For the two of you who expressed a mild dislike for my absence: thank you. Your mild dislike has truly, truly moved me.

For the record, I’m back to blogging here, but I’m going to continue to take a break from reading (most) other blogs. I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t be able to just read posts and ignore the comments, and since lately comment threads only raise my blood pressure, I figured I’d stick to bacon and save myself the grief. You may notice a new addition to my blogroll, however, and I can’t stress its importance enough. Read Dooce!

Moving on. Some exciting things have been happening over here in my little corner of the globe. For instance, there’s Steve. Steve is my new electric guitar. Should I happen to figure out the contraption you kids call a “digital camera,” there’s a chance you may see a picture of him and the ladies, Sheba and Artemesia (classical and electric acoustic, respectively), but for now just know that I am a person with more guitars than pairs of clean underwear. I do plan to do laundry this weekend, though. I swear.

I’ve also been granted permission to audit a class at my alma mater (how weird! I have one of those!) in the fall, which excites me greatly because it will be a class I actually want to be taking. It may even stimulate my brain and make those library classes more bearable. We can always hope. Anyway, it’s a course on gender and performance, taught by the wonderful woman responsible for me taking a seminar with Judith Halberstam (swoon) last year. I’m greatly looking forward to it, and I can only assume the reading list (Bornstein, Butler, Halberstam [swoon], etc.) will provide fodder for new writing here.

And, finally, we’re now at T-minus 21 days until I depart for another whirlwind tour, this time of Idaho and San Francisco. Hopefully this time I’ll get my act together and take a bazillion pictures, which used to be my typical behavior any time I took a trip. (Remember the two rolls of film from the very first day I was in Mexico? Yes, I know you don’t, but trust me, they’re boring.) I was sadly remiss in Oregon last winter, but never again!

Anyway, I’d like this blog to be a relaxing place for me. And for you, the two readers. In that spirit, my first post-hiatus “serious post” subject is, naturally, McDonald’s.

Long distance

May 13, 2007

I talked to my best friend from high school on the phone this afternoon, for the first time in about three years. I wasn’t even sure if I had the right number, and the move from my college email account to Gmail meant the questionable number was pretty much my only hope. We only talked for maybe five or ten minutes–it was lunchtime in San Francisco–and afterward I walked into the kitchen to ask my roommate if she could maybe give me a hug. Then I started crying.

A little back story: I went to a private Catholic high school that unofficially frowned upon homosexuality. Nonetheless, I managed to date the prom queen my sophomore year, and my best friend shaved her head for the first time in the school bathroom during lunch one day. We weren’t best friends in the let’s-paint-each-other’s-nails-and-go-to-the-mall kind of way; we were best friends in the way two bumbling baby dykes can be. A little awkward, a little pained, but there for each other. We played basketball and soccer together, shared an adolescent longing for Angelina Jolie while we watched movies late at night with the sound down in her living room, and generally tried to keep each other afloat. Then she graduated and headed to California for college. A year later I headed to Boston. For the past five years we’ve really only seen each other a handful of times, and talked or written even less.

Then, a few months ago, I discovered he’d changed pronouns. (On Friendster, no less.) We talked about it, a little, online. But it wasn’t until this week that I realized we hadn’t talked–really talked–in ages. So I gave him a call.

He’s started T, which I could hear a little in his voice, but I was really glad he told me about it. Our conversation was a little awkward, the way conversations are when you don’t talk to someone regularly even though you care a lot about him. I told him I was hoping to make it out to SF in August, and he sounded glad.

Then I went into my kitchen and told my roommate about my best friend’s new name, and I just started crying. Later, my roommate wondered if maybe I was sad because I felt like I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye to the friend I knew before. But it’s not that at all–I know nothing will change between us, that he’s just becoming the man he was always supposed to be. I think I’m sad because it reminds me how little we’ve been in contact. We parted ways just as we were both on the verge of womanhood, so we missed each other’s rocky journeys into adult life. I’m sad because he’s going through something huge–has been going through it for some time now–and I’m only now realizing I haven’t been there for him.

So. I put it to you, dear readers: how can I be the best, awesomest friend when I’ve been such a shitty one for several years? How do I support his transition from afar?

On a related note, do folks have experience educating parental figures on this sort of thing? And I don’t mean about your own transition, but about people in your life who you love. We were good enough friends that my parents still ask after him sometimes, and this isn’t a subject I’ve ever even touched on with either of them. I’d like to be able to talk to my mom about it in particular since we’re very close, but I really have no idea where to start.