Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dirty Filthy Nasty . . .

Who is ready for the first Muni story of 2010?

I am!

And it's a good one!

This story takes place on the 30 line. The 30 is more commonly known as the "Dirty 30." Urban legend says that it got its name "Dirty 30" when a passenger brought a live chicken onto the bus while passing through China Town. The driver allegedly told the passenger that a live chicken could not be on the bus and supposedly the passenger proceeded to kill the chicken right then and there.

The 30 is also the bus line that most recently became a YouTube sensation when a fight between an older Asian woman and an African American girl was filmed and posted. The Asian lady won the fight!

I ride the 30 a lot. It is one of the bus lines I have to take in order to get home.

One of the other frequent riders is a transient I have given the name "Gus."

"Gus" is a drunk! Not a little drunk. Majorly drunk!

For the most part he seems harmless, he just likes to talk really loud. Sometimes he is actually funny. Especially when passing through China Town. He likes to yell at the little old Asian women and they freak out.

Last Wednesday night I boarded the 30 for my ride home.

Several stops later I suddenly felt like my personal space was being invaded. There was "Gus" standing above me with a lit cigarette.

Yes, that's right, I said a LIT cigarette!

He was leaning over me so that he could throw the cigarette out the window. As the cigarette ashes fell onto my lap I could see that "Gus" was concealing an open 40 ounce beer can under his coat.

Great! PLEASE don't sit next to me!

I have found that it is best not to make eye contact. If you do, "Gus" then becomes your traveling buddy for the rest of the route.

Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for the young mother and small child in the back row; "Gus" took a liking to them and kept trying to talk to "Baby Girl."

Well, Baby Mama was not having anything of it and was trying to shield her daughter from "Gus."

It was then that I heard "Gus" say to his friend for the first time, "Man, I have to pee."

Now, because I have ridden the bus with "Gus" before, I knew that he was going to be on the bus the entire time I was. So that meant that I had better start monitoring this situation.

Then "Gus" turned to the passenger sitting behind him and saw that he was holding an empty drink cup.

"Can I have that cup?" "Gus" asked the guy.

"Sure, I don't need it," the guy said.

Uh oh, this could get really bad was my first thought.

"Gus" was getting more and more fidgety and again said to his friend, "I have to pee."

That was when he started to unzip his pants!

I immediately got up and headed for the stairwell. I wanted none of this.

Other passengers all started moving forward to get away from what was happening.

One gentleman was able to get up to the driver and alert him of the situation at the back of the bus.

At this point "Gus" had already relieved himself. Not wanting to get in trouble he said in his normal loud voice, "What is that guy saying up there? I didn't do anything. I would never do that in front of a child."

The bus reached the next stop and I bolted out the door. I did not care that I was no where near home. I would rather walk. Almost everyone from the back half of the bus exited with me. The last thing I could see was the driver walking back to confront "Gus."

All I could think about was the fact that I know I am bound to be on a bus with "Gus" again.

So tonight I had to get gas for my car. As I was waiting for the tank to fill up I could hear someone over my shoulder yelling incoherently. I turned around and saw that it was "Gus!"

And what was "Gus" doing? Oh, he was relieving himself in public again!

What are the odds that twice in one week I would be exposed to this gentleman urinating in public!


The Song Of The Day - Dirrty by Christina Aguilera

Walk Like An Egyptian . . .

Recently my friend An and I went to the De Young Museum to see the Tutankhamun exhibit.

Now let me preface this by saying that because the founders of our Company are major art collectors; we employees get free entrance into most of the art museums in San Francisco. There is one caveat to this perk. Traveling or special exhibitions are not free and we do have to pay to get in.

When An asked if I wanted to see the King Tut exhibit I said yes. This was because I kind of wanted to see it and my late grandmother was big into Egypt and I felt like she would have been happy to know that I went.

In my mind I knew that we were probably going to have to pay to get in. An on the other hand thought we would get in for free.

Imagine her surprise when we arrived and were given our "General Admission" ticket and told that we could enjoy anything in the permanent collection.

An looked at me and said, "Oh, I didn't realize we would have to pay, do you just want to see the regular museum?"

I figured we had seen the rest of the museum before, we were here, lets just pay and see what we came for.

I was a little surprised to find out it cost $32.50 to see the King Tut exhibit! The name of the exhibit and what is written on the ticket stub says "Tutankhamun & Golden Age Of Pharaohs."

Alright! We are going to see some mummies! Can't wait.

Except we did wait.

Even though we now had tickets we had to wait in a line for about an hour to get in. The line stretched over two levels of the museum and rivaled the cue to a ride at Disneyland.

Actually, the museum did a good job with the set up because it reminded me of waiting in line for the Indiana Jones ride.

We eventually got to enter the "tomb" and begin our journey through the "Age of Pharaohs."

Well can you believe that King Tut is not actually in this exhibit. We saw jewels and pottery and furniture and a sarcophagus of some distant relative of King Tut, but no Tut himself.

For $32.50 I expected King Tut!

And because they didn't allow photography the best picture I got was with my cell phone of a bust of Tut.

All kidding aside I did enjoy the exhibit and am glad I went.

But if you decide to go, just be forewarned that King Tut won't actually be there!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Get A Double Shot . . .

Before Starbucks took over the world, the first specialty coffee drink I ever had was purchased from a little store called Gloria Jean's on the bottom floor of the Topanga Plaza Shopping Center. And it was good.

Gloria Jean's eventually closed when it could not keep up with the big business coffee companies like Starbucks.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I was shopping at an out of the way mall in San Rafael, California. There in front of me was a Gloria Jean's!

Even though I didn't need a coffee, I had one anyway for old time's sake.

And it was good!

The Song Of The Day - American Life by Madonna

Fake . . .

Every tourist destination city has one. It's that part of the city that is in all the tour books. It is usually filled with lots of restaurants, hotels, and shops that sell every trash and trinket available with the city's name stamped on it.

That same part of town is usually avoided by the people who actually live in the city.

In San Francisco, I would classify that part of the City as Fisherman's Wharf.

The only reason to go to Fisherman's Wharf if you live in San Francisco is to get a "Double Double" from In N Out. Unless of course you enjoy being in a mass crowd of slowly moving people blocking the sidewalk to watch the infamous "Bush Man" jump out from behind a trash can to scare people. (See YouTube link above.)

In addition to the restaurants, hotels, and shops trying to grab the elusive tourist dollar; there is usually a Wax Museum and Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Several years ago my friend Erin and I went to these museums on Hollywood Blvd. in Southern California. These two museums were craptacular! I mean REALLY REALLY bad! It was the biggest waste of money.

So now whenever I am down at Fisherman's Wharf I like to see what "Celebrities" the Wax Museum has placed on the "Lazy Susan" front display to try and draw tourists in.

Well kudos to the Wax Museum for putting its best celebrity scandal foot forward. While the rest of the world wonders where Tiger Woods has been hiding out for the last month, tourists visiting our City know that he has been hanging out with Michael Jackson at the Wax Museum down at Fisherman's Wharf.

The Song Of The Day - Fake by Simply Red

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Have A Tale To Tell . . .

The last several months have been very busy and I have not had the energy to write as much as I would have liked to. As we enter 2010 I look forward to continuing to share with you stories from my life.

I must say that when I started this blog about two years ago I never dreamed I would still be doing it today. The blog has really taken on a life of its own. Now when I am with family and friends one of the first questions that usually gets asked is "Will this end up on the blog?" My answer, "Maybe."

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my friends and family who have allowed themselves to become a part of this living history.

Now for a few statistics:

Even though there are only 9 official Loyal Readers (please see their pictures to the left, and feel free to sign yourself up too); I know there are a lot more of you out there.

In 2009:

  • 649 different people visited Just Jon.
  • Those 649 people visited Just Jon a total of 6,085 times (that is approx 17 visits a day!)
  • The average time on the site was 2 minutes and 21 seconds
  • Just Jon has been visited by people on 6 continents
  • Just Jon has been visited by people in 42 different countries/territories
  • Just Jon has been visited by people in 338 different cities across the globe!
All I have to say is "Wow!"

Thank you to everyone who has taken a few minutes out of their day to read my blog.

I can't close out 2009 just yet. There are three tales from this past year that did not make it onto the blog for one reason or another. All three events are definitely blog worthy and have been patiently waiting for their turn to be told. So without further adieu, here are the final three stories of 2009!

Let us venture all the way back to Oct 29th. I was still on my vacation in Maui, HI and was about to embark on my final adventure; Zip Lines!

That morning I got in the rental car and drove about an hour from the Ka'anapali coast up to Haleakala for my Skyline Eco Adventures. Skyline Eco Adventures was the first Zipline Tour in the United States and was featured on the television show Little People Big World. There are now other Zip Line tours on the Island that boast of longer and faster "Zips" but I figured my first time "Zipping" should be on a tried and true course.

The Zip Tour starts with a "walk through the woods in beautiful upcountry Maui" where you begin the first of 5 Zips.

After a brief tutorial from the two guides its time to fly.

As you can see in the above picture, I found the first 4 Zips to be a bit stressful. The guides had filled my head with so much information I was totally over thinking it.

"Run off the platform!"

"Don't stop when you get to the edge, keep running! If you stop you will drop straight down and hit your butt!"

"Steer by turning the carabiner with your hand!"

"Be sure to come in straight on the landing!"

"Get your Fred Flintstone feet running before you land and then run run run it off - but don't hit the tree!"

"Sit down into your harness like a barcalounger!"

So here is the one picture of me Zipping through the trees. My form; not so good. I always started out straight just like they instructed us to and then right before the landing platform my body would start to twist.

It's so comforting when the guide looks at you after he has caught you on the landing platform and says, "Man, you are really gonna make us work today."


On the final zip they told us not to worry about steering. They said we just needed to run as fast as we could off the platform and then sit back and enjoy the ride.

Well let me just tell you there is something a little counter intuitive about running toward the edge of a platform then right off into the tree tops. Your brain is saying stop even though your body is going full speed ahead.

The last Zip was amazing. You actually zoom right past the landing platform, slide back to the middle of the line, and then forward again toward the landing platform where the guide is up on a ladder to catch you!

I really enjoyed the Zip Line and look forward to doing it again!

For our next tale we head back to Nov. 6th.

Several of my friends are "Foodies."

Me, not so much. I would be happy eating a turkey sandwich everyday.

That being said, I do try to go along for the ride when my friends want to try a restaurant they have heard good things about.

Earlier in the year I mentioned to my friend An that we should one time just buck up and pay to eat at the most expensive restaurant in San Francisco. I figured it would be a once in a lifetime meal and then we could check it off the list of "Things To Do."

An immediately said, "Great, we will go for my birthday!"

At that time it was June.

I said, "An, isn't your birthday in November? We can go before then."

An said, "No, we'll go for my birthday."

So five months later; An, Shamoli and I set out on our culinary adventure at Gary Danko!

I had read in the newspaper about the restaurant and I was very excited. Not excited for the meal we were about to eat; no I was excited because in the article it said that at the end of the meal the wait staff brings the guest a wrapped pastry to be eaten for breakfast the next day!

Shut up! All I could think about was how great this pastry was going to be!

The wait staff was incredible. There was a slight delay in our seating time and the staff kept coming up to us to let us know about the status of our table. Because of the delay they brought us free Champagne!

I opted for the three course meal. Shamoli got four and An got five. The size of each course was based on the number of courses you ordered. All three of us ordered some form of soup for our first course and because I only had three courses my bowl was the largest.

Each plate that was brought to the table was beautiful. (See An and Shamoli's cheese course below.)

I enjoyed the dessert course the best! Here is what I ordered.

And here is my happy satisfied face as I savored each bite!

Now for the best part. The minute we were seated at the table I said to An and Shamoli, "I don't want to spoil the surprise, but at the end of the evening they are going to bring us a pastry for breakfast tomorrow!"

Then as each table finished their meal I made sure to point out to my friends, "Look! They just brought that table the pastries!"

This went on the whole evening.

We were the last party in the restaurant when the waiter brought our check. Then he said, "Now, normally we only give this breakfast pastry to our female guests, but I have brought one for you as well."

I could not contain myself. I said to the waiter, "You don't understand, the only reason I wanted to come tonight was to get this breakfast pastry. I would have been devastated if you didn't bring me one. You made a wise choice because I would have had to tell everyone on my blog if I didn't get one."

He smiled and laughed.

And let me just tell you, the next day, that banana cream cheese muffin was fantastic!

My final tale of 2009 is about Christmas with my parents.

This year I invited my parents to join me in San Francisco for Christmas. I was very excited when I got the email saying that they had secured lodging for the dog and would be able to come. Now they would be able to see how beautiful the city is at Christmas time. (See the picture of City Hall above lit up green and red.)

My parents arrived on Christmas Eve and I surprised them by saying that I was going to cook dinner (with a little help from Mom.) This is a big deal because I don't cook and we usually eat every meal out when they visit.

Earlier in the day I went to Trader Joe's and planned out my meal.

Salami and cheese for appetizers followed by butternut squash soup, field greens salad, and pasta for dinner. Mom helped in my two foot by four foot kitchen. Who knew two people could work simultaneously in that small space!

Christmas day we walked to church. Yes, when my parents come I make them walk and take public transportation. One time on the bus this trip Dad got to sit next to the coach of USC's Water Polo team. It's never a dull moment on public transit.

My second surprise for my parents was tickets to see the musical Wicked the day after Christmas. It is a really great show and if you have the chance to go see it I highly recommend it.

On Sunday after Church and brunch we went to the recently opened Walt Disney Family Museum at the Presidio.

From the size of the building I thought we would power through the museum in about an hour. I was wrong. I think it took us three hours to work our way through the 10 galleries.

The museum is an interactive experience that tells Walt Disney's story from birth to death.

My favorite part was the detailed model of "the Disneyland of Walt's Imagination" pictured above.

I enjoyed the museum but I think it is definitely more for adults than kids.

And now on to 2010...

The Song Of The Day - Live To Tell by Madonna