Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beg . . .

Like most cities in America, San Francisco has a homeless problem.  As you wander the sidewalks of the Financial District you will be confronted with individuals sleeping, panhandling or just talking to imaginary friends.

But only in San Francisco are the homeless pets smart enough to panhandle!

The cat pictured above staked out prime panhandling real estate outside the Macy's flagship store on Union Square.  Truly brilliant because this is where all the tourists are.  

The cat looked like it was bringing in pretty good money in relation to its human competition.  

Go felines!

Hey Megan, how much money do you think Spunky and Maisy could make?

I bet Rover would make a lot of money!

The Song Of The Day - Beg by All Saints

Sorry . . .

OK, so I take full responsibility for this one!

Today was Sunday brunch with friends. I had seen and heard about a restaurant in Fort Mason called Greens that sounded good and looked like it would have a cool atmosphere.  So when Shagun asked me if I wanted to do brunch I pushed for us to go to Greens.  My argument was that we go to her side of the City more often so I thought we should do something on my side.  I then said we should try Greens.

Shagun went to the web site and it said that they don't publish the menu because they create the menu special for each day.  See, I knew this place was cool.  So Shagun made the reservations for herself, Olivier and I.

That night when I got home I checked out Greens website myself and quickly discovered that it was a vegetarian restaurant.  Hmmm..."I am gonna be in big trouble for this one" was my first thought.  My second thought was, "I don't know that I am going to like vegetarian food."  This could be really bad.

Greens was established in 1979 and was a pioneer in raising the bar for vegetarian cuisine in the United States. (That's what their website says.)  So the place has some credibility right?  We shall see.

As I said earlier, Greens is located on the historic grounds of Fort Mason in a converted warehouse.  Fort Mason is one block from my apartment so Shagun and Olivier were going to meet at my place and we would then walk to the restaurant.  This should take about 15 minutes.

So one thing I didn't count on was Fort Mason was holding the annual Blues Festival this weekend.  Please see the photo above.  What is great about concerts being held at Fort Mason is that I can just open the windows of my apartment and hear the whole show.  What's bad about concerts being held at Fort Mason is that if you are planning on walking with two friends to a restaurant called Greens in a converted warehouse, well lets just say that it's not possible because they put a fence around the entire grounds of Fort Mason to make sure that people pay to get into the concert.

No problem I thought.  We can just walk along the perimeter of the fence to get to where we are going.  


Problem #1  The grass was wet and Shagun was wearing sandals and was not happy.
Problem #2  The Marina is a lot colder than the Mission where Shagun lives and she did not have a jacket.
Problem #3  After getting our feet wet in the grass we then had to walk through sand and dirt which stuck to our wet feet.
Solution #1  Olivier will gallantly offer to carry Shagun on his back till we reach concrete.
Selfish Person #1 Me (I ain't offering my jacket or to carry anyone on my back.)
Problem #4  Olivier's feet are now the dirtiest and he has to go to work after brunch.
Problem #5  Did I happen to mention that it's a vegetarian restaurant?

So we finally reach Greens and Shagun immediately goes to the restroom to wash her feet.  Olivier is not happy about his dirty feet either. 

But hey, at least we have a beautiful view of the Marina with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background!

The food turned out the be really good.  I had the buttermilk pancakes with fresh fruit.  Even though the food was good I don't think that was going to redeem me for what I put Shagun and Olivier through to get to the restaurant.

Here's Olivier cleaning off his feet before heading off to work.  Good times!

The Song Of The Day - Sorry by Madonna

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Like To Move It . . .

OK everybody, today was the annual Gap Day In Action where everyone at the office spends the afternoon volunteering at one of several pre-determined events.  We all throw on our Gap Inc Volunteer shirts and prepare to get dirty.

This year my co-workers and I chose the Lake Merced project.  It was listed as "light" to "moderate" physical work.  After last years campaign to "Save The Salmon" in Muir Woods which started off with a treacherous mini bus ride down a winding canyon road that caused almost everyone to get car sick, we then were put on "log removal" for three hours ( who knew I could lift logs with the best of them. )  So this years "light" work seemed just right.

Well, the work wasn't so "light" after all.  First, during event orientation, a bird pooped on one of my co-workers.  Despite the fact that everyone tried to assure her that a bird pooping on you is good luck, I don't think she was having any of it.  I have to give her props because she handled it quite gracefully and I know I would have freaked out!

During orientation we were split into two groups.  I would be part of a group of thirty people that would have to weed what were allegedly radishes and overgrowth from a small area along part of the lake.  The other group of thirty were out on the highway edging the concrete divider. That group got to wear orange safety vests!  Slightly jealous.

Here is my co-worker Peter helping to load the truck with some of the weeds.

This is the "Weed Roll" that An, Peter and I rolled to the curb to await removal.

Oh praise Jesus, there is the bus to take us home!

Sailing . . .

Yesterday a large cruise ship came into town for the day and was parked at the pier outside our office.

From my cube I could see the ship out the window.

Here is the crazy thing, they erected a large tent like structure for for passengers to disembark under, for one day only.  Today the tent structure was already being disassembled.

Maybe they thought the weather might be bad?

The Song Of The Day - Sailing by 'N Sync

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rolling Down The Road . . .

This is the 30x.  I have written about it many times.  Please take notice of the route indicator sign in the window next to the door.  It clearly designates that this bus is the "30x Marina Express".  There are additional route indicators on the front and rear of the bus.

When a bus is not in service it often turns the route indicator signs off or changes them to say "Not In Service."  Because I get on the 30x at its point of origin in the Financial District it is not uncommon for the bus to pull up to the stop with the route indicator turned off.

On one of the days this week the 30x arrived at the point of origin with its route indicator stating "EMERGENCY."  We Marina folk didn't even question it and proceeded to board the bus.  One female passenger approached the driver and asked if he was aware that the route indicator said "emergency."  The driver got off the bus and looked at the sign and then said it was properly programmed on his end and there was nothing he could do.

Now normally, as I have stated in the past, the 30x is usually standing room only.  But this time as the bus worked its way through the Financial District not as many people were getting on.  There were plenty of seats for everyone.  The driver started to yell out at each stop, "the sign is wrong, this is the 30x."  Still people weren't getting on like normal.

I then realized that it was as if people were getting out of the way so to speak so that our "EMERGENCY" bus could get through.  This was fine by me.  

Then as we left the Financial District and headed toward the Broadway Tunnel a police officer pulled up beside us to offer assistance.  This was getting good.  We were going to make it home in record time with a police escort.  

Again the driver yelled out the window to the police officer, "the sign is broken, everything is OK."

I was happy two fold.  One, I was getting home super fast.  Two, the "EMERGENCY" sign clearly was working.  We had a clearer path and the police came to offer assistance.

Good times!

The Song Of The Day - Home by Marc Broussard

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vote for ________ . . .

From the beginning our Company has always mixed music and fashion.  And now with the upcoming election we are getting involved in the promotion of voting.

We teamed up with Matt White whom Rolling Stone magazine touted as one of the "10 Artists To Watch" to encourage people to express what they are passionate about.

So Matt is traveling the country in the "Vote for Love" bus helping to get the word out.

On Friday Matt and the bus rolled into San Francisco for an exclusive performance at our office.

And the number one way to get us workers to show up at these events, offer free beer!

Matt performed about four songs including one that he wrote specifically for the campaign.  While he performed we drank beer, ate chips and pretzels and filled out bumper stickers with messages of what we want to vote for.

This event was rather tame in comparison to when rapper Swizz Beatz came to perform on St. Patrick's day.  There is a You Tube video of that performance and let's just say that it was hard to believe it was a corporate sponsored event.

So whatever your passion is be sure to vote!

The Song Of The Day - Love by Matt White

Winner Of The Game . . .

This past Wednesday I won tickets at work to go to a Giants game.  I had the option of picking any game in September.  So I picked an afternoon game.  The prize included four tickets in the club level behind the first base line and a parking pass.  

Since our office is only about a ten minute walk from the ballpark we didn't use the parking pass.  It was nice to take an afternoon off to enjoy a game.

The surprising part is that the Giants actually won!  Even they looked surprised when in the bottom of the ninth with two strikes the batter was able two drive the ball just out of reach of the Diamond Backs for the win.  They came out on the field jumping up and down holding each other like it was the World Series.  Go Giants.

As you can see from the above picture our team is so good we totally filled...half the stadium.

Rows Of Cars . . .

Normally I am not a fan of government cut backs.  However, when I recently received an "Important Notice" postcard I was a little excited.

"The Department of Public Works is changing the frequency of mechanical sweeping in your neighborhood.  The current weekly schedule on some residential streets provides more mechanical sweeping than necessary."

Because I park my car on the street I always have to remember what block I am parked on and for that block what day of the week is street cleaning.   Then on street cleaning days I try to get up extra early to make sure I move the car.   

Knock on wood, I have only forgotten to move the car once.

I think with this new twice a month schedule I won't have to use as much brain power trying to remember where I parked.

Thanks government cut backs!

On a side note, I did find it interesting that even though they cut back the numbers of cleanings per month, they raised the price of the yearly parking permit.

The Song Of The Day - Speeding Cars by Imogen Heap

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mama Who Bore Me . . .

Last night my friends and I went to see the Tony award winning musical Spring Awakening at the Curran Theatre.

My friend Shagun had heard that is was a good show and asked if anyone wanted to go.  Theatre?  Count me in!

I did not know anything about the story line of the play.  Then this week when I was watching the premiere of Beverly Hills 90210 2.0 the students were preparing for their high school musical which happened to be Spring Awakening.  Now I was intrigued.  The play we had already bought tickets for was hip enough to be featured in the most highly anticipated new show of the fall television season?  Hmmmm.

So I immediately went to the iTunes music store to see what I could find out.  The musical features the music of pop/rock artist Duncan Sheik.  Wait, I own some of Duncan Sheik's music.  Now I was getting really excited!

The play which is set in 1890 Germany manages to cover almost every hot button topic of the moment from teen sex, suicide, abortion, and homosexuality.  

I don't know why I didn't bother to go to the plays official website which apparently had the disclaimer alerting the viewer that the show had some nudity.  So imagine my surprise when suddenly I was questioning if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing down on the stage.  

The music was great and I will be promptly heading out to buy the soundtrack which won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

On a side note, the show was so good the building shook.  Halfway through the show a 4.0 magnitude earthquake briefly jolted the building.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Longest Road . . .

This is why I don't like to drive the "5" from Los Angeles to San Francisco.   

Four hours of the above.  No curves.  No hills.  No bends.  Just point the car North and go.  

I call it Highway Purgatory.

The Force . . .

Help me Obi-Sean Casey, you're my only hope!  

Obi-Sean, I was at the Jedi Training Academy where I got to see Mace Windu teach the Young Ones how to fight like a Jedi.

Suddenly, the Jedi Academy came under the attack of the Imperial Forces led by Darth Vader, Darth Maul and some Storm Troopers.

The Young Ones were able to use their new skills in the Force to make Vader retreat!  I wish you could have been there with me.

Everybody Loves A Laughing Place . . .

Over Labor Day Weekend I went home to LA.   On Sunday my parents and I went to Disneyland.  My parents had not been to Disneyland in 19 years!  (We are not counting the trip to Disney World I made them go on four years ago, because that is an experience in and of itself that can not be compared to the original in Anaheim.)

I opted to be the driver on the trip partially because I knew it had changed a lot in the area around the park and partially because I don't get to drive much anymore.  This may have been a good thing because we encountered two minor detours along the way.  First, there was an accident on the freeway that blocked all lanes of traffic and we were re-routed into East LA.  Not the greatest of areas to be re-routed.  My keen sense of direction (more like blind luck) got us back on the freeway and heading toward Disneyland in what was probably less than ten minutes.  Our second detour occurred when we got off the freeway at Disneyland and some of the streets were closed for a marathon.  Fortunately it all worked out and we eventually arrived at the parking structure.

Here is Dad, Mom and myself at the park entrance.  It was a coin toss as to whether we would go to California Adventure or Disneyland.  At the last minute I chose Disneyland.

Despite being a holiday weekend it turned out to be a great day to go.  The park was not very crowded.  The longest we waited for a ride was a little over an hour.  And that was for the "New" Finding Nemo Submarine ride.  All the other rides averaged about twenty minutes which is really good!  We did all the major rides and didn't even stay past 9 pm.

Here's Mom and I on Splash Mountain.   We got pretty wet on that one!

Thanks to the kind stranger who offered to take our picture in front of Big Thunder Mountain.  Unfortunately, I guess she didn't hear me when I asked, "Can you please be sure to get the Mountain in the background?"