untitled, 2004 -- by chad

I generally always try to do the right thing. What I mean is if I find a wallet, or a cellphone, or something of value that I definitely could use but just doesn't belong to me, I'll do everything I can to make sure it ends up reunited with its owner. For example, I once found a wallet on the Alameda Harbor Bay ferry one night back in, oh, 1998 or 1999. I was pretty broke at that point; I had just started a new job and hadn't been paid in over a month. I opened up the wallet, looking for an ID, or credit card, but there were none. However, there was $750 in cash.

I was stunned.

The ferry had just deposited a load of passengers from San Francisco returning to Alameda, and was pulling away from the dock. I bolted to the upper deck to try to see if anyone was standing outside looking like they had lost something, but the people were just shuffling to their cars and saying good night to each other, Mayberry-style. It seemed nothing was amiss.

However, I knew somebody was going to be missing that cash, especially three days before Christmas. I found a paycheck stub, and when I got home, I called the company, eventually getting someone's boss on the line. My roommates at the time were saying I was stupid, to keep the money, and my little Good Samaritan schtick was so, so Midwestern.

And people wonder why I referred to them as my Evil Stepsisters. They were just bitter because we lived in the Haight-Ashbury and they were total Castro queens, trapped in the apartment because of rent control.

More about them in another post...the nude step aerobics by one of them in the front window during dinner hours is a story of its own.

I eventually tracked down the owner of the wallet, a young woman in her early twenties, and we agreed to meet at the ferry terminal on a Wednesday evening. When I handed her the wallet and assured here every single dollar was still in it, she burst into tears and hugged me.

"I didn't think there were people like you still left in the world," she sobbed.

"What do you mean?" I asked. "That's not my wallet, not my money, and I figured someone was missing it. I'm just glad I got it back to you before Christmas."

"Yeah," she said, wiping her eyes. "That's my Christmas shopping money. I have to run out tonight and get my shopping done." She then pulled a small package out of her purse. "Here. This is for you."

Smiling, I opened it. It was a beautiful Christmas ornament. I still have it, actually, and it hung on the last Christmas tree I ever had, back in 2000. Maybe I'll finally have one this year, who knows?

The next day, I was walking down Montgomery Street in the Financial District, hungry, the day before I was supposed to be paid, shuffling my feet, looking at my shoes. Suddenly, a $20 bill blew onto my foot, and kind of stuck to my toe. I reached down, picked it up, and looked around. Nobody seemed to be looking for a Jackson they had dropped, and the sidewalk was crowded and bustling. Smiling, I walked into a deli, and ordered a sandwich.

But wait...there's more. I never got to the whole point of this post.

Back a few months ago, I went to Fresh at Ruby Skye, and checked my bag when I walked in. Somehow, someone's cellphone ended up in my bag, as I discovered when it suddenly rang the next day. I called my phone with it so I could get the number, then called the phone to leave a voice message for the owner, saying I had the phone in North Beach, I'd be happy to give it back to him, and no, I had no intention of collecting ransom for it. The next day, the owner, a hot little twentysomething club kid, met me at Columbus and Broadway, and I returned his phone. In return, he handed me a Peter Rauhofer mix cd, and gave me a big hug. In the back of my mind, I always wondered if I ever lost my phone, would I get it back?

I figured I probably wouldn't.

Fast forward a few months...sometime last Friday night, while I was hanging out in the Mission District, my cellphone was either plucked from my pocket or it fell out...but all I know is at some point in the evening, I reached for my phone and it wasn't there, nor was it in my bag. Panic rising in my throat, I came to the realization that I no longer had my new phone, and it annoyed the hell out of me.

I went to a payphone and left a new outgoing message on my voicemail, saying I had lost the phone and it would probably be a while until I would be able to get back to anyone. I then went home, disgusted, and dreading having to replace my new phone, and reprogram yet another one. I then spent most of the weekend phone-less, which actually wasn't that bad. I briefly entertained going to the Castro for the Easter party thrown by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, but to be honest...the thought of freezing my ass off with thousands of homosexuals crammed on one street absolutely nauseated me. Besides...if you've seen one Hunky Jesus contest, you've seen them all.

Been there. Done that. Have better things to do. Next, please.

Monday morning, I met Chris A. at the gym, and he smiled. "I have good news," he told me.


"I made the mistake of calling your phone this morning, forgetting you had lost it, and someone answered it. A woman. In Fremont."

"You're fucking kidding me," I exclaimed.

Turns out, early Saturday morning, a man who works in the Mission saw some tweaker standing on the corner of 19th and Mission, selling a Motorola i730 for $5. He walked up to him, and said he wanted to buy the phone, figuring it was someone else's phone, and he'd try to find out who it belonged to. He took it home, and since my phone tends to ring every five minutes, it wasn't long before they knew who it belonged to. Thing is, nobody who called knew how to get into contact with me, and it was a chance of fate that Chris A. called by mistake and got them on the line.

So later that day, we drove out to Fremont, a working-class suburb located in the East Bay. We stopped at Lowe's, where I bought a big bowl of planted flowers, and went to the house. I was greeted by a 4 year-old, who ran up to me, eyeing my bowl of flowers, and asked, "Need some help with that?"

"Sure do...here ya go." I handed him the bowl, and he gingerly carried it back to the porch, being extremely carful not to tip it. A woman walked out the front door and handed me my phone, and I gave her the $6 her husband had spent.

My antenna is all chewed up and bent, presumably from the tweaker kid, and some of my settings were changed, but all in all, it's intact, and I have all my phone numbers. Even now, I'm looking at my phone, and I can't believe I actually have it back.

I guess I was wrong. Sometimes my karma really does come back to me.




Note to self: If wine is the blood of Jesus, then Jagermeister is the blood of SATAN.

'Nuff said! No more Jager! Bad! Bad! Bad!



i loves me some turrentine

joyride, 2004 -- by chad

I stopped dead in my tracks as soon as I heard the first few notes flow out of the street musician's saxophone, accompanied by his friend's trumpet. I was at the corner of Grant Avenue and Tillman Place tonight, on my way to meet a friend for dinner at Original Joe's in the Tenderloin.

Spinning around, I walked up and asked, "Is that 'Bayou' you just played?" as he finished up.

"Yeah, it is, actually." He looked me up and down, and took a drag off his cigarette.

"Sounds like Turrentine's version," I said.

It's a Jimmy Smith tune, but I recognize it most from Stanley Turrentine's "Joyride" album, released on Blue Note records back in 1965. My dad had that record, along with some Jimmy Smith. I pilfered all of them, and now have them here with me in San Francisco, where they actually get played from time to time (I own two turntables and a record player).

He grinned at me, and said "Yeah, that record is out of print. I can't find it anywhere."

"I have it. It was my dad's, an original Blue Note from '65, actually. I used to listen to it constantly when I was a kid," I told him. "I took it for myself, but bought my dad the CD because I felt bad for taking his music. He doesn't have a record player, so I didn't feel too bad."

"My brother had that record, and I'd listen to it constantly." He took another drag. "My name's Top." He stuck out his hand, and I shook it.

"I'm Chad."

"You live here in the city?"

"Yeah, North Beach."

"Man, I'm trying to get some gigs in North Beach. Tell you what, come see me on Sundays at Haight and Fillmore, from 6 to 11. I play there every week."

"I'd like that, actually. I love live music more than anything." I put a dollar bill in the open box.

"Here, this is for you." Top picked up his saxophone, and made it sing.

It was such a beautiful, haunting melody...and it spoke to me. Not with words, but emotions. I stood there, leaning against a building, and closed my eyes. It was like Top's soul was speaking to me through the saxophone, and I felt a wave of euphoria wash over me.

You see, music does that to me. Honestly, it's stronger and more satisfying than the best ecstacy pill I've ever popped (yes, I tried that about a half dozen times when I was younger). He finished the melody, and I opened my eyes. About a dozen people had walked over and gathered in front of us. One of them dropped a ten dollar bill into the box.

"I've got to bounce, I'm on my way to dinner," I said, actually wanting to stay a minute longer.

"All right man," Top said, smiling, extending his hand. I shook it.

"See you Sunday."

I walked away down Grant towards Market Street, and savored the dark, sad notes of Top's sax as they faded slowly into the cool, moonlit San Francisco night.

(note: Most, if not all, photos I take of old American automobiles are inspired by that single Stanley Turrentine album cover.)



sean's 30th...

That is my favorite picture of my friend Sean and me. That was taken at his house in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco one day several months ago. Our smiles are genuine...we were laughing our asses off about something, and I actually didn't mean to take the picture. I'm glad I did, though.

The polished metal sphere that's sitting on his floor (that's my shoe in the lower left corner) was a piece of some building's bling that had been removed for some reason or another, and it's actually quite sturdy. You can even sit on it. It's a total Sean thing to have...that's the kind of creative mind he has. He doesn't think he's creative, but he is...on levels he doesn't yet realize. Sean found it at a garage sale in his neighborhood, (total score) and how uses it as a chair for his desk.

Or at least he did...I didn't see it in his room this morning.

Oh yeah...this morning. There's a reason why I spent the night in Bernal Heights last night. I'll fill you in.

The party started last night at Alma, which is located at 22nd and Valencia streets in the Mission District. From their website:

Bienvenidos! Welcome to ALMA.

We are a neighborhood restaurant serving Nuevo Latino cuisine. We offer flavors, wines and spirits from all over the Latin world to be enjoyed in a friendly, comfortable environment. Our food combines familiar and exotic ingredients providing a unique and delicious dining experience.

We chose alma -- Spanish for soul -- to signify the depths to which good food, drink and friendship can satisfy.

hasta pronto!

Totally Sean's kind of place. He's just stylie like that.

Let me tell you about dinner...it was amazing. For starters, I had halibut with shaved onions, fennel, Meyer lemon and mellow garlic chips (and some popcorn for garnish...it totally worked). It was one of the most delicious things that has ever passed my lips (no snickering). Moving on to my appetizer, I had a zesty and tangy plate of black bean soup with a creamy sauce, garnished with chopped scallions. Again...incredible. Still feeling like eating halibut, for my entree, I had a filet of halibut on a bed of aspargus, with sauteed pearl onions, in a creamy asparagus sauce. I had to keep reminding myself to slow down and not shovel it in my mouth as fast as I could...it was that good. Wine was delicous as well, Castillo de Monseran, 2002 (Garnacha) from Cariñena, Spain. Someone remarked the wine's texture in his mouth was reminding him of comfortably lounging around on a fuzzy shag carpet.

Honestly, I agreed. It was an unusual analogy, but an absolutely brilliant one. Tell you what, it was a damn good bottle of wine.

We had another one after that...a bottle of Leyda Reserve, 2003 (Carmenère) from the Colchagua Valley, in Chile. I love Chilean wines, actually...and this one did not disappoint. Afterward for dessert, I had some chocolate cake with coconut crème anglaise & toasted coconut...but the best part of the whole dinner was the bottle of 30 year-old single malt scotch Sean cracked out for his 30th birthday.

He poured me a glass, and toasted me.

It was like liquid gold...and it made my entire body smile from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I've never had anything quite like it...it was the finest single-malt scotch I've ever tasted in my 34 years. Sean, being the cool cat he is, made sure the waitstaff that served the party of 30 each had a taste. Yet another reason why I like the guy so much.

I got to hang out with Sean's friends and family...tell you what, I've never seen a more intelligent, interesting, and downright groovy bunch of people in my life. Every single person in there was beautiful and fascinating in their own way, and I felt honored to be amongst them. I got to catch up with some old acquaintences, find out what's been going on, and get a business card or two.

After dinner, the guys said goodnight to their girlfriends, and we sauntered across the street to a local watering hole for more cocktails, billiards, and [heterosexual] male bonding. Since I was relying on BART to get me back to North Beach, I bid everyone farewell, and walked a few blocks in the pouring rain to the 24th Street BART station. Well, banff me right in the ass...I missed the last train downtown (it pulled away as I ran down the stairs) so I weighed my options as I walked back out of the station.

A dilapidated and graffiti-tagged 14 Mission came rolling up, and to be honest...it wasn't a viable option. There's no WAY I was going to take that nasty, stinky, disgusting, urine-and-puke-filled vehicle masquerading as "public transportation" in San Francisco. Well, maybe I'm being harsh, but I've had a few bad experiences on the 14...one of which involved a gun, another with bodily fluids, and yet another...a knife.

I don't want to talk about it.

My only other option was to go back to the bar and re-join the celebration. I knew I'd hate myself in the morning, but I was secretly glad I had an excuse to be irresponsible and go hang out with my friends.

As I walked back in, they all greeted me enthusiastically, and a "Surfer On Acid" shot was placed into my hand.

Sean was really happy to see me. "Crashing at my place?" he asked.

"Yeah, I missed the last BART downtown, and I'm not taking the goddamn 14 back to North Beach."

"No kidding, fuck that shit. I sure as fuck wouldn't take the 14 all the way back downtown, not at this time of night, at least."

"So I figured, it's your 30th birthday, so why the fuck not, ya know?"

You see, that's how guys talk to each other in bars. Lots of "fuck" and "shit" and "cocksucking fucktard motherfuckers" thrown about with wild abandon. It's what straight guys do (I was the only homo) in bars. Cuss, fart, pee, drink, play pool, brag about penis size, and talk about titties and pounding the vag.

"I'm glad you came back." Sean smiled. "You know, I'm so incredibly lucky."

"Why?" I asked, not sure where he was going with that statement.

"You know, my cellphone is filled with the phone numbers of the most amazing, intelligent, creative, brilliant people I've ever met in my entire life." He almost looked like he was going to cry. That was heavy. "I'm so fortunate to know and be friends with you guys."

"Wow, thanks." I kind of smiled through a lump building in my throat.

He ended the tender moment, shook his shoulders, and collected himself. "Hey Chad, will ya do me a favor?"

"What's that, man?" I asked.

"Do something about this horrible music, talk to the bartender, and get me AND yourself a drink."

"You've got it." I had no idea what was playing at that particular moment, but I too was irritated by the incessant caterwauling that was assaulting my sensitive cochleas (cochlei?). I cornered the bartender in the ladies room (unintentionally...I thoguht it was the mens' room) and asked if she could put on some decent tunes. I mean, if I wanted to recreate the sound of a Mercury Grand Marquis transmission being shredded by doing donuts on dry pavement by some punk-ass high school kid from Parma, Ohio, I'd do it my damn self with a stolen taxicab.

'Nuff said.

Smiling at me, the bartender threw on some Ella Fitzgerald, and as the velvety tones of her amazing voice filled the room, a different sort of atmosphere permeated every nook and cranny of that bar.

After a few more cocktails and some really good shots on the pool table, I stood back and surveyed the crowd. It was one of the coolest, funkiest, grooviest bunch of people I've hung out with in a long time. There it was...a rainy night in the Mission...a bunch of friends hanging out at 1 AM on a weeknight, drinking and playing pool, in an ancient bar that looked like it was right out of the 1940's. I felt incredibly lucky to be Sean's friend...he's truly one of the most amazing people I've ever met, and he points out and helps me realize exactly how much potential I have as a person. You just don't meet people like that every day.

Smiling on the inside and out, I couldn't think of anywhere else I would rather have been at that moment.


as seen in north beach...

Yet another one of the many, many things that make me appreciate my neighborhood. The sign itself made me smile the first time I saw it, the recent addition to it made me laugh. Click on it to make it bigger.

This is either on Jasper Place or Bannam Place, off of Green Street, in North Beach. I can't remember which exact alley.

Here's a closeup...click on it and make it huge:




goodbye, old friend

Today, I bid a bittersweet adieu to my trusty old Motorola i90. It was time, really...that i90 has been with me through 3 apartments, 3 countries, 3 ocean cruises, 2 intense relationships, 2 car accidents, a trans-Canada train ride on VIA from Vancouver to Toronto in Silver and Blue Class (the trip of a lifetime), swiped off a bar in Montreal (but I found it in a bathroom), has been used to call for cabs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Halifax, Banff, Jasper, Great Falls, Helena, Whitefish, Missoula, Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit, and of course, New York. Also, it was run over by a SnoCoach out on the Athabasca Glacier, dropped in the sand on Waikiki Beach, dropped on CalTrain, MUNI, and BART tracks, accidentally stomped upon by a drunk Bulgarian at the Issac Walton Inn in Essex, Montana, and mysteriously rang in a dead zone while I was hanging out in the woods, smoking BC weed, with a bunch of insane Canadian snowboarders while basking in the 10 PM summer solstice sun in northern Alberta.

You can say this phone has been around; muhfukka has some serious-ass mileage on it. It's developed some charging problems lately, shuts itself off for no reason, drops calls left and right, and the battery is slowly dying.

It was time for a change. Out with the old, in with the new.

Incidentally, my friend Jack says the shadow in the picture above looks like a penis. Oh Jack. You're gay as a goose!

Unfortunately, stupid fucking Nextel wants a 2-year agreement if I want to buy a new phone with them, and if I don't, they will charge me "retail" which means I'd be paying close to $450 for the phone I want. Well, I hate Nextel, and I can't wait until my contract is up, so the hell with that shit. I consulted the one place you can find almost anything you want...craigslist.

I found a sexy Motorola i730 for sale for $150 down in Pacifica, about a 20-minute drive from San Francisco. Since I am currently sans-automobile, I asked Chris A. if he wanted to hop in the Jag for a cruise down the coast a bit.

He was up for it.

So down we cruised...and I got the phone for the same price I would have paid Nextel for renewing my contract for 2 years. It was brand-new, and we totally looked like pimps pulling up in that Jag in the modest Pacifica neighborhood. The guy selling it (pretty damn cute, but straight) came out of his house, eyed us, and accepted my $150 cash. He then handed me the phone, still boxed in its original package. It was so shady, but...I can be pretty shady at times.

So, I took it home, and started customizing it. There aren't too many bling features on it, but I really don't care...I use it for communicating, not accessorizing. I chose a blue font color scheme, and put a picture of a Doberman Pinscher on it.

There. Done.

When you have a polyphonic ringtone selected, this nifty disco light blinks and flashes around on it. It's kinda cute, and also about as ghetto-bling as I want to get with my cellphone.

(note to self: moisturize your cuticles better)

Does my old landline look like it's scowling at my new phone? No matter...I might be getting a free landline for shits and giggles through my broadband connection, so I can use my rotary phone collection again.

Anyway, as far as the old i90 goes...it was a piece of shit, I never really liked it, and as far as I'm concerned, good fucking riddance:

(note to self: dust your damn garbage can before you take a picture of it...dummy)

The point of this post: None. I'm just excited about my new phone, because it's a hell of a lot nicer than my old one. Sounds better, too.

And of course, you can't beat that disco light...it's proably one of the sassiest phones Nextel has to offer...except of course, the i830, but I don't want to spend that kind of money quite yet...


happy birthday, sean!

Today my good buddy Sean turns the big 3-0. I took those pictures when he was my roommate in Russian Hill for about 3 months.

Sean B. is probably the gayest straight guy I've ever met. He is a totally smooth mofo, he's classy, treats women with respect and dignity, has completely blown my mind on numerous occasions with his depth and insight, and has taught me the wisdom of paying for drinks with a $50 bill.

I'm lucky to have him as a friend.

I suspect after the party in the Mission tonight, he's going to look like this:



skyline from Telegraph Hill, 2004 -- by Jason Collins

Right now, as I type this right before climbing into bed, the rain is pounding against my bedroom windows and walls, accompanied by the dull roar of wind outside. There's no heat in my bedroom, so it's a bit cool...it's going to be a cozy night underneath my down comforter. There is a steaming mug of decaf green tea with sage honey next to me, and I'm in my new pajama bottoms and a ratty old t-shirt.

It's times like this I really love my wierd, drafty old apartment.




dagmars, 2004 -- by chad

Why, I ask, why did a woman just find it necessary to suddenly flash her titties at me while walking past the historic Lost and Found Saloon? Seriously...I was just walking past there, and some gorgeous Latina sitting in the window suddenly smiled at me and lifted her shirt. I looked around to see if there were any video cameras waiting to capture my reaction...but there were none.

So. Fucking. Random.

Now, if only she had a cute brother going commando with a faulty belt buckle...



almost like tales of the city...

sit-n-spin, 2005 -- by chad

"Excuse me, may I ask you a question?"

About 20 minutes ago, I was in the process of getting some Bounce dryer sheets from a vending machine in a North Beach laundromat (the one with the crazy Engrish signs) when suddenly and randomly, a woman asked me that. I looked up to see who had just spoken to me. Tall, toned, and tan, she was quite attractive...reminded me of a twentysomething Melissa Gilbert, actually. She had long hair that she was twirling on one of her fingers as she talked to me.

"Sure," I replied.

"I'm going out on a date tonight, and I want a guy's opinion on something."

"Okay," I smiled. "Go ahead."

"I have a date with a really hot guy, and I'm not sure if I should wear a cute pink miniskirt, or a pair of white jeans," she told me.

"Hmmm," I pondered. "Is this a blind date?"

"Well, no, not really. He's a software engineer who went to Yale. I have really nice legs, and maybe that'll attract him. I figured I'd ask you because you seem nice, and you're a nice-looking guy."

"Thanks," I smiled. "Well, it's winter, and wait...how short is the skirt?"

She put her hand on her upper thigh.

"Damn, girl. That's short. You don't want him to think you're a floozy."

"So maybe the jeans?"

"Yeah, definitely. Wow him with your effervescent personality [she grinned when I said that] and have your killer legs be a surprise to him on the second date."

"You're right," she replied, thinking about it.

We spoke for a few more minutes...turns out she had just moved here from Sacramento, and was originally from Redding.

"How many roommates do you have?" she asked.

"I live alone, I'm too old to deal with roommates. I did the roommate thing in my twenties."

"Wait, how old are you?" she asked, incredulously.


"Oh my GOD I thought you were MY age!"

"How old are you?"


Bless her heart. "Nope, I'm thirty-four. But I try to take care of myself. I lost eighty pounds."

"You did?" she looked shocked. "You look really good now. Hot."

I could get used to this. I'm so not used to compliments and nice comments...I sure as hell didn't get any from you know who. "Thanks," I replied, shuffling my feet and looking at the floor, smiling, slightly embarassed.

"I just gained weight. I was 105, now I'm 135," she exclaimed.

"All right for you," I said, smiling. "I like a gal who tells her age and weight to a total stranger in a laundromat."

She laughed. "You know, I moved here from Sacramento because I wanted to be a city girl and find a husband. Fuck Sacramento!"

"You're like, from the 916, aren't you? Ick." I pretended to be disgusted.

She laughed again. "Well, I live here now. I love North Beach."

"Hey, may I give you some unsolicited advice?" I asked suddenly. I had to tell her something that suddenly popped into my head.

"Okay, go ahead."

"The more you look for a husband, the more he'll elude you. You'll just look and look and look and you'll be disappointed every time. Just relax, be yourself, and just when you least expect it...someone who completely rocks your world will fall into your lap. But the more you search, the lonelier and more frustrating it gets...and you totally come off as desperate. Just stay true to yourself, love yourself, and never, ever sell yourself short."

Just then my phone rang. The stupid thing had been ringing every five fucking minutes all goddamn day, and at this point, I had almost thirty messages. Without looking to see who it was, I shunted the call to voicemail, since I didn't feel like answering it. Sometimes I just don't want to talk on the fucking phone. It's nothing personal, but I remember a time before cellphones when I wasn't readily available to everyone at all times, and I refuse to give that up.

"Bootycall," I told her.

She laughed. "Really? So...are you married?"


"Do you go out on a lot of dates?"

"I have been lately...I recently got out of a bad relationship, and I'm just having fun right now. A husband is really the last thing I'm looking for right now."

"Wait," she leaned forward and dropped her voice. "Are you..." (she dramatically paused) "...gay?"

I grinned. "You could say that."

"Aren't all the gays in the Castro?"

I wanted to tell her they kicked me out of the Castro for being too gay, but honestly, I don't think that's possible.

"Yeah," I replied. "but the Castro isn't really my thing. It's kinda annoying and all they ever think about in that neighborhood is dick dick dick dick dick. It's just a 24-hour cocksucking buttfucking dickfest over there, and I kind of like living away from that."

She looked like a deer in headlights for a second, then laughed. "I work with the hottest guy at the Bay Club who is gay. He's in great shape, like you. Do you have a card?"

to be continued...



veronica klaus

Veronica Klaus - photo by Derek Powazek, from his amazing photoblog, ephemera.org.

Last night, I had the honor of seeing Veronica Klaus perform at the Exit Theater down in the Tenderloin. It had been a while since I set foot in that theater; the past performance I saw there was The Asshole Monologues about 2 years ago. That show remains the funniest goddamn thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Seriously...hands down.

However, last night's performance was nothing short of amazing. Veronica tells her life story with original songs and a monologue that will go from hilarious to poignant in a single sentence. An emotional rollercoaster if you may. I would go from clutching my sides in laughter to tears in the span of ten seconds, and it takes a lot to get me to do that.

Oh, and the clap-on, clap-off psychedelic Jesus was a nice touch.

If you haven't seen this show...tonight and tomorrow night are the last chance you have to see it here in San Francisco...tickets are $20 general admission, $18 for seniors or students. Reservations: 415-820-1565 or go to steinbeckpresents.org for more information.

After the show, I got to hang out for a bit with my friends Nathan, Michael, Kevin, Mr. David, and Ms. Veronica herself in front of the theater. Classic Tenderloin drama was unfolding all around us...with a homeless clarinet-playing man providing the soundtrack.

I could not imagine a more perfect evening.



tragic puerility

Why, I ask, WHY does my inner 15 year-old snicker every time I see this sign? It's a "massage parlor" (whorehouse) in North Beach on the edge of Chinatown.

Inside, it's not so funny, apparently. I googled the place and found this review:

Suk Hee: On Broadway in the middle of Chinatown. Tiny lobby, small rooms. This was still a Southeast Asian place in the summer. But mostly Koreans as of December. Not recommended for now because the people in there just don't care. About 8 or 9 girls sitting around a small room in their underwear playing Asian dominoes. God has not been kind to their faces. Linda, Bebe, and Erica are all gone. Maybe they will be back next summer.



when in doubt...

...post a picture of a man wearing horn-rimmed glasses and holding a sausage.

I found this about 6 months ago on some site that has random, anonymous pictures people have found, and I totally forgot I had it until I stumbled across it tonight. It's one of my favorite pictures of all time, actually.

The filth-potential is boundless.

Caption, anyone?



he just left.

italianate, 2004 -- by chad

Now, that cute, shaggy-haired boy in the "Cowboys Make Better Lovers" t-shirt below is not me. That's my date.

He's on his way home right now...and I cannot wait to see him again.




from beautiful san francisco, california

untitled, 2004 -- by chad
The sun was shining; the air was warm; I was walking down Grant Avenue in a t-shirt, carrying my jacket because spring has finally arrived. I happened upon my downstairs neighbor, playing his erhu, so I voiceblogged it:

this is an audio post - click to play

There's always something interesting going on around here, that's for sure.

I'm in the mood for some wandering...it's a good day to do that. Sunny, warm, and perfect.

So you just might see me sauntering aimlessly around San Francisco this afternoon. :-)

wah, 2004 -- by chad



martin denny, RIP

One of my favorite musicians of all time, Martin Denny, has died in Honolulu at the age of 94. Read the article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

My mother got me in to Martin Denny when I was about 9, when I first heard the song Quiet Village on the long-gone AM station 1260 WBBG, which played big band standards and nostalgia music. I actually liked it. Mom and I were sitting in the car in the driveway on a snowy late 1970's night, waiting for my father to come outside, when the opening strains of Quiet Village came on. I was absolutely spellbound.

"Mom!" I exclaimed. "What song is this?"

"It's Quiet Village by Martin Denny."

"Do you have this record?"

"I wish. I've always liked this song." She leaned over and turned it up, filling the car with the amazing tiki sounds from the single AM radio speaker in the middle of the dash.

I haven't been the same since.

The next time we were at Severance Mall, 9 year-old me ran into Record Den and asked for Quiet Village. The manager laughed at me, and told me I'd have better luck at garage sales or thrift stores.

And thus began my lifelong passion for garage sale-ing and thrift store spleunking. As a result, I now have over a thousand vinyl albums of random, obscure music, a rotary telephone collection, and an ashtray collection.

And I don't even smoke that much.

And I owe it all to Martin Denny, and the fact that my mom was cool enough to know who he was.

I'll be celebrating his life and music tonight at the 222 Club in the Tenderloin, 222 Hyde Street @ Turk, from 6 PM until 10. My friend Marcia is throwing the KneesUp reunion party there, and that's where I'm gonna be knocking back Mai Tai's and requesting Martin Denny. Join me if you can, and be sure to say hi. :-)




Let me introduce you to my friend Isaac. Not only is he one of the sexiest people I've ever met in my entire life, on June 5, 2005, he is embarking on the AIDS LifeCycle, a 7-day, 585-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Here is their mission statement:

AIDS/LifeCycle is co-produced by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and is designed to advance their shared interests to end the pandemic and human suffering caused by AIDS.

The goals of AIDS/LifeCycle are to:

1. Raise funds to support the HIV/AIDS services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation;
2. Increase awareness and Knowledge about the services and programs offered by the benefiting organizations;
3. Increase awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS among participants, their donors and the general public;
4. Increase AIDS activism and volunteerism among the participant and donor communities causing them to become ambassadors in the fight against AIDS;
5. Provide a positive, life-affirming experience for people affected and infected by HIV that contributes to an increased understanding of the disproportionate impact HIV has had on the GLBT communities in SF and LA and supports an environment of dignity and improved quality of life for those affected by HIV and AIDS.

I was planning on doing this ride this year, but have decided it's not a good time for me to do so. Now, I was going to ask for donations for myself, but instead, I ask everyone who reads this, if you are able, please consider making a donation to Isaac. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met...intelligent and beautiful, inside and out. He has a smoldering intensity I've never encountered before, and I feel fortunate to consider him a friend.

He writes:

From June 5-11, 2005, I'm bicycling in AIDS/LifeCycle. It's a 7-day, 585-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to make a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.

My life has been touched by many friends with AIDS. This cause is very important to me. This is a new adventure in my life and your support would be very appreciated. So, please help me support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Click the blue "Make a Donation" button and give what you can. We'll keep riding until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.

Thank you,


Please visit Isaac's AIDS/LifeCycle page and please...if you're able...consider making a donation -- any amount, no matter how large or small -- towards his goal of $5000.

Thank you everyone...from the bottom of my heart.



NOTE: Now, I know I ran my mouth to my cousins and friends of my parents about this blog at the wake. Chalk that up to way too much wine and just being glad to see you all. Now, to all my cousins who still respect me, and especially my surrogate aunts and uncles, I'm warning you, this post is a bit racy. If you still want to respect me, or look at me the same way you did when I was...oh...14 years old, you might want to skip this post and instead read this one, this one, or this one instead. Lots of swearing, but no smuttiness.

Besides, I know all of you have used the "f" word before. :-)

Okay...you've been warned.

One of the things I love about Cleveland is how friendly and open the people tend to be. Even more so if there's a mutual attraction between you and the Clevelander.

Or, in this case, a Cuyahoga Fallsian.

Theron (the screaming guy on the left in the above photo) lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, in a "Cleveland Double" style house, built around 1908 or so. It's a cool place, actually...it still has the original woodwork, unpainted since the house was built. There was even a charming burn in the kitchen floor from an iron. He said his landlord was going to fix it, but to be honest, I kind of liked it. It only added to the ambience of the place.

Theron hails from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, also known as "Caucasian Falls" by some of the locals. The city was immortalized in a Pretender's song, My City Was Gone.

Now, enquiring minds want to know...where, pray tell, does the expression "Dirty Cleveland" come from? I shall shed some light on that.

I tried to call my friend Mike a few days after the funeral. I was feeling social and itching to get out, and I had the keys to my mom's metallic emerald green Lincoln Continental Executive Series, fully equipped with whitewall tires, a tan cloth landau roof, and enough bling to make every pimp from Detroit to Buffalo jealous (they didn't order it like that, they just ended up with it...long story). Mike's a cool cat, I actually met him in San Francisco one drunken night at the Endup when he still lived in Sacramento. He lives in an incredibly cool loft over D'Vine Wine Bar in Cleveland's historic Warehouse District. However, I got a message from Nextel: "We're sorry. The Nextel number you are tring to call is not in service at this time."

Mike, pay your bill. Or at least what's past due. They'll turn it back on. Trust me.

Undaunted, I went to the place where I knew there would be a lot of homosexuals and plenty of opportunity to get into trouble...Bounce. I once took my ex-boyfriend Nate there once, and he loved it. Couldn't believe he was in Cleveland, actually.

So I parked the Pimpmobile, and walked in. As I walked past the coat check, I saw the bratty towhead pictured below with John Waters (photo taken after he and John had been hanging out for hours at a house party in Akron). I went to fetch my drink, a really stiff Ketel One and tonic with a wedge of lime, which came to $3.

Yeah, you read that right. Cleveland was looking really good to me at this point.

I decided to saunter back over to the coat check to see what the cute coat check boy was up to...my curiosity was piqued.

I walked up to the window and smiled. "Hey," I said. "You're on my Tribe list." I was referring to tribe.net, yet another networking website. I recognized him immediately...we had chatted online before and exchanged e-mails, and I had always wanted to meet him. There was just something about him I found absolutely irresistable...I couldn't put my finger on it.

Well, I ended up putting my finger on it later -- my whole hand, actually -- but that's another story, and completely inappropriate to discuss at this time.

He looked at me for a second, and his eyes flew open. "You're...you're..." he said, trying to remember my name.


"Chad Fox! I can't fucking believe it! This is so random!"

"How you durrin?" I crooned, sipping my vodka. I felt so smooth, my name was Smoothy McSmooth of Smootherton, Ohio.

"Dude! What the fuck are you doing in Cleveland?"

I told him.

"Sorry, man. Smoke?" He extended a Camel Light.

"Thanks." I smiled...we can't do that in California. Probably a good thing, but still...sometimes I just like a cigarette with my cocktails.

Or after sex. But again...another story, another time.

We talked for quite a while, and learned we had a lot in common. Theron manages the We Belong To Pat Benatar and Scissor Sisters tribes on tribe.net, and I happen to belong to both of them. Suddenly, it was 2:45, and it was time for last call.

"Hey Chad," Theron suddenly said, "What are you doing after this? Wanna come over and hang out?"

"Sure." I didn't really feel like going home.

"Cool," he said, with a big grin spreading over his face. "Tell the bartender you want some beer to go, and we can go hang out at my place."

"A'ight," I replied in my best East Side of Cleveland dialect. I walked up to the bartender and asked for 16 bottles of Bud Light. She handed them to me in a plastic bag.

I love it. Beer to go at last call. Yet another reason why I love Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to being the coat check boy at Bounce on occasion, Theron is also their VJ, playing videos for drunken GLBT Clevelanders until midnight on most nights. Apparently, this comes with privileges.

After introducing me to about 100 different people (all beautiful people, all friendly), we went out to the Pimpmobile (he snickered at it) and headed over to Tremont.

In true Cleveland fashion, Theron didn't maul me at first. In fact, he was a gentleman, and we sat on his couch talking and listening to Pat Benatar, Psychedelic Furs, and Flock of Seagulls. He kept scootching closer and closer to me, and it was obvious he wanted to kiss me.

"Come here," I said finally, and broke the ice.

A bit later, we were lying there, draped comfortably on each other, listening to DeeLite (another band I haven't listened to in years), when he asked me, "So...may I go to second base with you?"

It was so, so cute.

"I guess."

Theron made a two-base hit and we landed on third. Hey, we were both playing a good game that night.

"I want to try for a home run," said Theron with an evil grin. "If you're up for it, of course."

I was up for it.

He popped "Poltergeist" into the VCR.

I liked his style.

Fast forward to 7:30 am. I had to get back over to the east side because I had my sister's apartment keys, and she needed to leave for work. He walked to the door with me, and gave me a kiss goodbye. Immediately I noticed the acrid smell in the air, along with a dull roar that seemed to come from everywhere.

"Sorry about the smell," Theron apologized. "It's the steel mills."

"Hey," I said, quoting my father in a nasal Cleveland accent, "That's the smell of jobs. That's the smell of people working, and Cleveland surviving."

Theron burst into laughter. "See you later today?" he asked. "I was wondering if you were up for another game."

"You're dirty," I commented.

"Dirty Cleveland," was his reply.


Now, before you dismiss me as a complete whore (and I know a few of you will anyway), I have to say one thing. This happened at a time in my life where I needed it most. Not only was it fun, but it was affirming, and for the first time, the residual hurt I've been feeling lately completely vanished. I feel like I'm finally getting my life back...getting into my groove again, the way I was...the way I should be.

Happy again, finally.

It's about fucking time. Don't you think?

memo-repeat, 2003 -- by chad


dirty, dirty cleveland

starfire, 2005 -- by chad

I just ran into one of my neighbors in the stairwell...he asked me if I heard about someone throwing a flaming pot out of one of their windows.

"Flaming pot?" I asked, incredulously.

"Yeah! Someone tossed one out their window in the alley," he said. "I saw it. Couldn't believe it. Some guy even tried to pick it up and burned his hand, dumbass."

"What is this neighborhood coming to?" I said with indignation. "Next thing you know, they'll be pissing in Super Soakers and blasting the drunk people pissing in the alley with pee on Friday and Saturday nights."

My neighbor wrinkled his nose. "Dude. Gross. Not a bad idea, though. Piss on the pissers."

[evil grin]

I so must curtail my random acts of defenestration.

Not to mention rinse out my Super Soaker one of these days.



stupid, stupid, stupid.

untitled, 2004 -- by chad

I am a dumbass.

Plain and simple.

You see, this is the second time I've destroyed some of my cookware because I put some water on the stove to boil so I could make some tea, only to promptly forget about it and burn my pan or kettle. Well, the second time in this apartment, when I lived at the Fillmore Center I burned three kettles.

I discovered Ten Ren Tea while walking through Chinatown a few months ago, and I've almost completely eschewed coffee for their delicious teas. I'll plug it here:

Ten Rea Tea. It's really fucking good. Try some today!

Again, I digress.

Since I destroyed my tea kettle a few weeks ago by burning it for about an hour on my stove (stinking up my apartment in the process), this afternoon I put a pot of water on the stove and turned the [gas] burner on high. You see, I've been making tea in a pyrex measuring cup because I don't have a real tea kettle, but I boil the water in a pan first.

I know, it's really low-rent and ghetto but it works for me.

Anyway, I was tapping away at my computer, answering dozens of e-mails I got since I was gone, and suddenly...I smelled something funny. At the same time, my phone rang (yes, it's turned back on...I threw a huge chunk of cash at Nextel and now they're happy); it was my friend Theron in Cleveland calling. More on that boy a bit later...he definitely made my trip to Cleveland fun.

Me: Hey Theron.
Theron: Hey Chad.
Me: Wait, I think I've burned my pan.
Theron: What??
Theron: (laughing) What the fuck is going on?
Me: It's on fire! (it was...the handle was in flames)
Theron: Huh?
Me: (throwing the pan out the window into the alley pictured above) Out with you! (clangs loudly on the pavement)
Me: God fucking dammit.
Theron: Dude, did you just throw that pan out the fucking window?
Me: Yeah.
Theron: That is so dirty Cleveland of you.

At that moment, I heard a loud "OWAHHH!" come from outside. Seems some guy walking down the alley tried to pick it up and burned his hand.

Dummy. I'm not sure which one of us was more stupid.

Anyway, I'm off to the Angry Chinese Store (my friend Kevin calls it that because of the angry Chinese man behind the counter) in Chinatown to buy a new tea kettle. It's just some junky variety store on Stockton Street that sells stuff like toilet seats, chopsticks, electronic crickets, and other junk. I really want some Ten Ren Tea right now, and I cannot afford to burn another one of my pans. I'm running out.


I edited the stupid sentence after reading the comment from the english professor. Sigh...I'm afraid I'm not very bright. Either that or the burning plastic fumes that were permeating my apartment got into my brain.

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Chad Fox. All rights reserved.