Archive for bernal_heights

Voting in the news

Me voting, in particular. One of our neighbors was on the New York Times website and found a picture of us standing in line to vote at The Wash Place. I didn’t think to take pictures, but somebody else did! I’m looking down at a little dog named Benito Juarez.

Three Fridays

Swearing that we’re telling the truth

Last Friday was the Fourth of July, and we climbed up Bernal Hill with a few beers and our folding chairs to see the city fireworks show. It’s supposed to be one of the best places in the city to watch fireworks, according this story from last year, in which our hounds Tex and Haylee were specifically mentioned.

However, this year was not such a great year for watching fireworks from Bernal Hill, because of that famous San Francisco fog. From our vista, we couldn’t even see a faint glow of of the city fireworks show through the fogginess, although the illegal ones spouting up in the Mission were numerous and pretty exciting. We went back home and watched the news to see if the official fireworks show even happened, and saw instead panicked news reports about huge displays of illegal fireworks all over the city.

For those of you reading this back in Texas and Oklahoma, you might enjoy reading about what I wore to our July 4 fireworks viewing: a wool hat, gloves, a scarf, a down vest, a hoodie, a long-sleeved shirt, and, yes, Smartwool long underwear, both the top and bottoms. That kept me pretty comfortable, but I was still a little chilly after an hour or so.

The Friday before, we picked up our marriage license. K.’s mom just happened to be in town, so we thought it would be fun to take her with us on this errand. We didn’t think about the day really at all when we scheduled our appointment, but as it turned out, it was the Friday of Gay Pride weekend, and an extremely popular day to get married. There were 280 weddings in City Hall that day, and then other folks like us just coming in to pick up licenses. The city was ready for an influx and had volunteers from all sorts city offices there to help make the process smooth. And it worked. In fact, we never even waited in a line.

The vibe in City Hall was awesome, celebratory, and fun. Full of love, I’d even say. The volunteers that helped us were beyond friendly — everyone was jubilant and thrilled to be there. Every now and then a huge cheer would go up from across the room, and when I asked what the cheering was about, a woman working there told me it was the table where people could come to get an official copy of their marriage certificate after their ceremony. It was apparently the least exciting part of the process, so the volunteers there had decided to cheer every time they handed a copy over to make it more exciting. It was really sweet. Here are our pictures from this!

This coming Friday — which I guess is tomorrow — is my birthday. It’s the beginning of the end of my 30s, but I hear that 50 is the new 30, so that must make 40 the new 20, and me an angsty teen. I hear there are surprises in store for my birthday. I’ve already gotten some really nice stuff!

Super Tuesday

Wash, fold, vote

A lot of firsts for me today. This was the first time I’ve actually voted on Super Tuesday, since Texas doesn’t hold their primaries until March. Between that and not living in Texas anymore, it really felt like my vote counted. And, after years of voting in elementary schools and churches, it was certainly the first time I’ve ever voted at a washateria. Finally, I think it might be the first time I actually liked two candidates on the ballot.

More photos of my voting experience here. Note the San Francisco-style “I Voted” sticker.

The Holiday Spirit

We got inspired!

Yep, a couple of nights ago the spirit of the season got to us, and we wrapped our gate in lights. Our neighbors inspired us — the two houses next to us have really got the decorations going on. We’ve got our tree up and lit too, although we still need to decorate that. It’s the cheapo fake tree we bought at Target a few years back; one of the best 20 bucks I ever spent. Or, actually, it might have been 10.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music on XM radio, because they started their five Christmas music stations up around Thanksgiving; I’ve also tried out their newest offering, Radio Hanukkah. Last weekend we toured a Christmas fair in San Jose, went to a Holiday Tea at the King George Hotel, and checked out the holiday themed windows at Macy’s (which have real live animals in them, by the way). This weekend we’re going to see a Trannyshack production of two Christmas-themed “Golden Girls” episodes, and we have holiday parties as well. Next weekend, we’re going to see “A Christmas Carol” performed.

We’re up to our ears in the holiday! We’ve really got to get our Christmas shopping kicked off, though.

Wet Paint

This sign appeared stapled to a fence next to the mini-park near our house this week. It’s so San Francisco, with it’s international multi-lingual bent. But the best thing about it, I think, is that there was actually no wet paint anywhere near it.

Bringing home the kibble

Yesterday I got my for-real M1 motorcycle endorsement, making me a 100-percent-legal scooter driver. I’m now allowed to carry passengers, and I haven’t done that yet, but I did try carrying home a 36-pound bag of dog food yesterday. That’s kind of like carrying a passenger, albeit a very small one with no muscle control. I used bungees to strap it to the bag hook under my seat and set it where my feet would usually go. I had to put my feet on the little passenger foot spots. This seems to work fine, as long as I don’t try to park and dismount on a hill; I also only really have to go about half a mile like this.

I’m also legal to drive at night now, so I did, meeting K. out at We Be Sushi for dinner.

Today K. got her license too, and is talking to insurance folks about getting her scooter all 100 percent legal. I expect she’ll be commuting to work on it by the end of the week.

Another good thing that happened yesterday is that Haylee’s tests came back, and the growth on her toe is nothing serious. Whew.

Haylee’s foot

Haylee’s $800 foot

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I see. I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to post here when I’m worried about something, and I have been worried about Haylee’s foot. She’s been limping around for several weeks, and I thought maybe she’d stepped on something and it had gotten infected, but it was really hard for even a vet to tell what was wrong.

Turns out there was actually a little growth of some sort on the bottom her foot. On Wednesday she had part of the growth removed, and there are some tests being done to determine what exactly it is. Most likely, it’s a wart. We have high hopes that soon she’ll be back to her old annoying self. The bandage makes her more comfortable, but she’s still not back up to long walks up Bernal Hill yet.

UPDATE 09/11/07: The biopsy came back and the growth isn’t anything terrible, it’s just a big, expensive wart. Yay!

The pups get press

So, I’m a San Francisco Chronicle subscriber — yeah, really. And today, I grabbed the Thursday edition to read on the plane. Between Oakland and Phoenix I read an article about how great it was to watch fireworks on the Fourth from the top of Bernal Hill in our ‘hood; something we’d considered but then wimped out on, since I had to pack and we were tired and not ready to be cold. Then, toward the end of the story, I saw that even if we didn’t make it, our dogs did, with Michelle, who comes by and walks them on Wednesdays and Fridays:

Michelle Shields was walking three dogs, who answered to Tex, Haylee and Xochi when they chose to answer, which wasn’t often. She said dogs are wonderful — better than presidents, even.

“I think dogs ought to run the country,” she said. “This country is in a real mess and I don’t think things are going to change until men learn to love and embrace each other. Dogs can help. They understand love.”

At the moment, what Tex seemed to understand best was a hot dog a passer-by was eating. He waited with big eyes, hoping for the best.

LOL; I can tell they were well behaved as always. You can find the whole story here.

Stuff in the Street #4

So, this is actually my next-door neighbors’ recycling bin that you see here. The funny thing is that I have recently decided to learn to play the ukulele, and I practice in our apartment. This weekend it was very hot here (I actually wore shorts on Sunday) and we’ve had the windows open a lot. I like to think that my neighbor has been listening to me play the four chords I know over and over and it reminded him that he had a ukulele in his house he should get rid of right away.

I picked this one up, but the strings are shot, so, at least for now, my cheap uke sounds a lot better.

I found a few other good things in the street, and you can see them here.

The third one

For those of you who are keeping score, we did indeed have another 3 a.m. visitor night before last. ‘Possum #3 was also released unharmed, although spitty from Tex’s attentions. I had thought a bit over the weekend about how to deal with additional ‘possums and had a plan — I hung on to the dogs and told K. just to grab the broom and dustpan and sweep the little guy up and out the door. It seemed like a great idea, but it was harder than you’d imagine — even when they play dead, they can hang on to the carpet with their claws. Still, it was eventually successful. We also have now figured out that they’re coming in through the wall furnace, and that will be blocked off next week. So maybe we’re nearing the end of our ‘possum experience. Maybe.