Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


Problems Faced When Traveling

There is a part of me that very much wants to write some incredibly verbose and detailed account of my last five days which were spent in San Francisco with Yoon and two of my oldest and dearest friends. That would be a wonderful thing for me to pull up six or so months from now but it wouldn't make terribly interesting reading for anyone else. I know that violates about two dozen of the most solemn weblogging edicts but I'm sure you know a hundred or so places to go if you need some cheese sandwich news or whatever.

I arrived in SF after our bitter break up six years ago with a lot of preconceptions about what was going to be waiting for me. I was about ninety percent wrong about most of it especially about people I'd known. They're still kooks. The Mission District has changed so much since I lived there (and I lived there for the better part of six years in the early 1990's) that many parts of it are almost unrecognizable. Food is a lot more expensive than I ever imagined that it would be and most of the places that were worth eating at are either gone or replaced with any number of new Thai or Indian-Pakistani restaurants. This isn't necessarily a bad thing per se but it was strange especially the proliferation of Indian-Pakistani restaurants given the antipathy between the two cultures. El Farolito is eternal, of course, so I wasn't disappointed in that regard. The absence of New Dawn (which I knew about since it closed a long time before I moved away) is always heartbreaking though not necessarily for the eating as much as the illegal smoking, haircuts, pictures of Sausalito drag queens from the 1950's, and the other experiences I've had hanging out there in the past. Hanging out in the past is kind of the theme here in case you're not reading any of these words.

The elation and disappointment inherent to seeking food in a city that you once tirelessly trawled that you're now a well educated tourist in is pretty self explanatory. I did, however, learn a few things about old friends. I have a lot of theories about how people change over time, more specifically related to punk rock and its associated sub genres and how people move from one to another over the course of time. I'd thought a little while Yoon and I walked around the Mission about the difference between people I know slowly growing and progressing continually and those who seem to switch suddenly, jarringly, and erratically. I'm definitely of the former group with little changes going on in my thinking and how I present myself happening over the course of time. Most people are able to recognize me after four or five years without trouble. Others veer crazily from one set of "beliefs" (sneer quotes because I have a hard time buying the six week conviction cycle) to another and align those changes directly with different modes of dress. I held on to that simplification because it was simpler than trying to pry my way into the beady little heads of a hundred or so fucked up punk rock kids while they wrestled with their twenties, their fucked up childhoods, and their disbelief in any sort of meaningful future. That era of human life is rich with stupid fucking mistakes made with full knowledge of possible consequences and whatnot. It was easier to worry about hair and clothes then. I think the fixation that many people my age or older have with both hair and clothes bothers me. This is near the bottom of a list of two or more million things that bother me so the proper grains of salt are applicable. The important thing that I learned here from old friends who are still painfully fashion conscious is that the two cycles between how you look and what you believe do actually move farther apart as you grow older. I overlooked that and feel stupid for it. It is painfully obvious in retrospect but I've never been accused of being overly empathetic with my fellow human beings.

I'm usually uncomfortable with the idea of vacations. This is mainly because I'm not financially stable in any sense and the strain on finances usually outweighs the benefits of the trip or at least quickly cancels them out once I return. This trip was not only necessary but I'm feeling better about being back now that I'm back. There's a lot more tangled up in this ball of wax but it's largely stuff that I need to think about a little more before I go shooting off my mouth.

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