I was thinking recently that I should repurpose this blog and just write about life in California, since, I noted to myself, I still (after 7 years of living here) don’t really think of this place as a home, but rather as a foreign country — it would be like a travel blog. (I think this, though I am sure I am constantly becoming more and more California-ized.) I can always count on California to give me writing topics, in any case. Recent California tidbits:
• It’s 10 am, and it’s only 40 degrees in San Francisco. Last night on the radio, they forecasted snow. For comparison’s sake: The high in Boston is forecasted to be 57 today; the low, 37. SF’s high? 51. The low? 30. That’s right, 30. San Francisco, here in sunny California, is currently colder than blustery New England.
• Last week I went to see my hairdresser, T., who I have written about here before, in reference to the boob job she got last fall. It seems that she’s planning a nose job for this winter, so the next time I go back to see her, she’ll look entirely different. (I must admit that I can’t tell about the boob job.) We were discussing this second foray into cosmetic surgery, and she said,
“You know, you can get the fat lippo-ed out of your thighs and put into your butt…”
To which I responded, “Ew. I don’t want any more fat in my butt.” (and then, in my head: Is she trying to tell me something?)
And she said, “I’ve always wanted a bigger butt, instead of a flat board.”
Somehow, I think this is next, after the nose job. I am bewildered by conversations like these, because they are so far removed from my reality. I don’t really think about my butt very often, but apparently people spend lots of time and money considering having “fat transfers.”
• I saw an article this morning about a San Francisco company making a new drink called “Meth Coffee.” Apparently it’s made with Yerba Mate, which isn’t coffee at all, but has a bigger kick to it. Is 20 oz. of quadruple latte from Starbucks not enough for you people? And is there anyone who really thinks it’s responsible to name a beverage after a very addictive drug?
• Earlier this week there was an article in the NY Times about the parking rage of San Franciscans. Recently there’s been a spike in parking-related crimes, that is, crimes directed at the parking officers who give out tickets, as well as between drivers competing for spots. I read this article, which is very much in the NYT’s usual vein of “those crazy San Franciscans, out there in California,” and which, I thought, assumes sympathy for the poor parking officers who have to deal with all this pent up parking rage. I of course find it ridiculous that angry San Franciscans would commit crimes against these people who are clearly just trying to do their jobs.
-In the two weeks since New Year’s I have twice seen a parking officer napping in his or her little golf cart like vehicle.
-The other morning — in fact the day after the article appeared — I was in a bookstore in my old neighborhood. The front door was open, and suddenly I heard yelling. I looked out, as the other customers in the store did, to witness a parking-related altercation of the type that the NYT described. A delivery truck had pulled into the metered spot in front of the store. The driver had been sitting in his truck, getting organized for a moment, and just as he got out to feed the meter, he found a parking officer writing him a ticket. He said to her, “I just got here, what are you doing?”
She yells at him (yells!), “You haven’t fed the meter, sir, and I am writing you a ticket.”
He yells, “I just got here! You have to give people time to get their wallets out! What is wrong with you?”
She yells, “What is wrong with you? You haven’t fed the meter!”
“I just got here….”
And so on.
Several customers in the store agreed (to no one in particular) that he had just pulled in, and shook their heads. One said, “you know those people work on commission?” which I don’t believe, but if true, would be a HUGE missing piece of information in the NYT article. Which, by the way, had other missing bits, such as the fact that meters were recently installed around every commercial section of street in town, at a cost of 25 cents per 8 or 10 minutes, which forces people off of main drags and into crowded neighborhoods for free parking, leaving perfectly good spots in extremely convenient locations empty, because who has 15 quarters in their wallet to park for two hours? (The NY Times article said that parking in SF is “underpriced.” )
I suppose I am more San Franciscan than I thought, because this parking thing has obviously touched a nerve with me.