My Bleeding Brains

December 16, 2009

six miles in my shoes

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 3:13 pm

I’ve said before that giving up Minnesota for California has been a good deal. Probably the only state that could rival the beauty of the home lands I’m used to, this side of Alaska, perhaps Montana.

As a corollary, gaining San Francisco when giving up Minneapolis as the nearest big city – has also been an acceptable exchange, a net gain. Driving around there with They Might Be Giants blaring out of your car windows gets you smiles. šŸ™‚

I chose to walk from the car park on Mission to the Haight area of San Francisco, to the Amoeba records. This involved about six miles, round-trip. I could’ve studied the muni or bus maps for a few minutes, dropped my two bucks and saved myself the effort.

I should have driven, but have been getting the firm hint my entire previous day in SF that I should not be using the car. Having walked the route, I could say that it didn’t present the difficulty I imagined. I should have driven. Parking at the ramp near Mel’s on Mission cost me damn near 20 bucks for just over 4 hours.

I remember hearing a friend say that he’d been in SF for a MacWorld. He came back and donated to a handful of Minneapolis charities for the homeless, voting with his money to prevent the same street sleepers he’d witnessed in SF. I wondered how he’d missed seeing them in Minneapolis, but then I worked in different parts of the city than he did, when I worked there.

Seeing all the ground that remains uncharted and undiscovered for me, I hope to return to SF again soon, if and when financially possible. There are tons of things to do there. I felt like after a couple of days I’d seen most of Amsterdam, but then it’s very flat. SF presents walkers a wide variety of challenges.

There are tons of places to shop, but I usually feel about as motivated to be a mall rat as I would to drink the hemlock. I am interested in comic shops, book stores, music stores – be they vinyl or cd/etc, game shops, and thrift stores.

I stopped to give a guy a buck who totally admitted he was only panhandling since the cops poured out his booze. I admire honesty – sometimes even if it goes against the grain of what most people would consider level-headed.

I stopped to pet a girl’s cat, she told me it was named Cow Brain, and I totally neglected to introduce myself, and can’t remember her name despite being told. Aspects of Asperger’s anyone? As I turned to walk away, I said I love cats, and she told me they love me too. How sweet is that?

Walking back from Amoeba, I stopped at the Red Victorian for tea and listened to the patrons and the staff talk about Ghandi, and the artwork on the walls inside. I hope to be able to stay there sometime.

I ended up with the extended, deluxe re-issues of two albums I first bought on cassette tapes – these copies replacing the cds I already own and can now hustle on lala or swaptree. Weezer’s first album, the Blue one, and Beck’s indie lo-fi One Foot in the Grave.

Also a little Barry Adamson and remixed gus gus. I would’ve bought more at Amoeba, but they’ve gone all digital with their listening stations, and anything that’s imported or otherwise can’t be scanned, can’t be listened to. Who wants to hear a computer backup anyway?

I want to hear the discs I might buy from you, as much to verify their quality with my own eyes and ears, as anything. I complained to the info desk and he admitted “yeah, that’s the flaw in the system.” I just walked back to the sales floor and dropped a handful of what I had been curious about. A no-brainer moment for me, less money for them. Capitalism loses again!

Several blocks later I broke down and grabbed Kerouac’s Big Sur at an indie bookseller called the Green Arcade. Then before sleep last night, took the plunge and began reading the one-long-sentence form that he made his own. It’s been more than ten years since Jr High when I first achieved a big “meh” when reading On The Road. Hoping for better from this one.

I had a good clip going for reading this year, never expecting to catch up to my wife’s mum and her ridiculous pace at book consumption – but proud of myself anyway. I have knocked down more than 15 books this year, proudly, and would have finished another two.

But I had an odd reaction to the central character of Jonathan Lethem’s You Don’t Love Me Yet, and passed on finishing it for now. Then another female character central to William Gibson’s Spook Country strikes me as inseparable from the bitch I didn’t like in Lethem’s book. Just cuz they’re both women from bands that have broken up.

I know they’re not the same character, but the voice they speak in won’t stay separate when I read it. So I’m parting with the second book in a row before finishing it and forking my attention span into Big Sur.

I scored a couple other books from my amazon wish list via swaptree, after giving up on bookmooch because their notification system is broken and I’d botched several trades in a row.

If I can’t get my account to delete items I no longer have from my trade list – despite trying three different browsers, something’s seriously wrong somewhere. After months of ennui, I deleted my account in protest; but the shame for my screwups is 80% theirs, little mine.

I’m tired and sore from all that walking yesterday, still stinging from paying so much to park and walk instead of drive – but will know better next time.

I haven’t shared a recently played track list in any blog posts in a while. There’s been a number of great tracks on recent albums at 8bitpeoples.com and at 8bitcollective.com getting play around here. I loves me some beep beep beep music.

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