If I say to you tomorrow, oh what fun it all would be

Long nights and windy days, friends. Long nights and windy days.

Friday night was a blur. St. Patrick’s Day, along with Cinco de Mayo, the Superbowl, and Thursday, has as of late been moving up the ranks within the hierarchy of holidays.

Ireland is a place rich with vibrant culture and fascinating history, a place of wonder and of beauty. The young people of today do not party on Saint Patrick’s Day simply because it’s an excuse to drink. Far from it. It is out of a deep and heartfelt respect for Ireland’s people and rituals that we raise our glasses so very many times. With every sip, we remember that on this day, March 17th, in 1974 Saint Patrick of Nottingham defeated the Spanish Armada and ended the Hundred Years War. It is out of a deep respect for This Man and his Great Deeds that we wear green clothes and get faded. Viva the revolucion, St. Patrick. Viva the revolucion.

Enough on that.

Wait one more thing:

I don’t know how environmentally sound this form of celebration is, but the death of a few million perch, bass, and pelicans is a minuscule price to pay for how totally awesome that looks.

Besides, I’m sure a lot worse shit than 6000 gallons of Yellow Dye #56 have been dumped in the Chicago River. Probably that day.

Regardless; Well played, Chicago. Well played.

North Beach was a mob scene. Every young white person from Santa Rosa to Redwood City showed up, all decked out in tattered green UC Davis sweatshirts, puma jackets, and John Deere hats. They should just call it Hey Whitey Pretend You Have A Heritage Day, because let’s be honest, about one in a hundred of the honkeys puking in the street Friday night had even a half pint of Irish blood in their veins. I think several of my ancestors may have seen Ireland, or perhaps known its location on a map, but that didn’t stop me from downing ten Harp lagers and stumbling down Stockton with a Jameson beanie on my head. Things were really out of hand. I don’t think there have been that many white people on the streets of San Francisco since the Gold Rush.

I almost neglected to mention the only other universal tradition for this holiest of days, which is the Ask Other White People ‘What They Are’ Game. Every single other white person you meet on St. Patrick’s Day is required to ask you about your quote ethnicity unquote. Walking through a crowd you hear a hundred different versions of the same conversation.
“I’m 1/12th Polish on my mother’s side, but….”
“I think my great grandfather was Scottish, but he might have been Ukrainian…”
“My step sister is 1/24th Basque…”
“My half-cousin raped his own great aunt who was 1/53 French and 2/34 Gypsy, so I think I’m actually half German…”

This is what’s known as Cultural Identification.

This is how we pale-skins keep in touch with our roots.

This ritual completed, the speakers can then move on to more important things.

“Hey dude did you go to UCLA?”
“Yeah dude.”
“No way! Me too!”

When prompted for my own genealogical executive summary, I said I was East Bay on my Dad’s side and Idaho on my Mom’s, or simply ‘A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.’

I shouldn’t be so negative. Everybody was having a good time. It’s always good to see the kids out celebrating their little culture or whatever and being amicable in the streets. Jolene and I both admitted in hushed, slurred, and guilty tones what a good time we were having. There was much poor dancing and long lines at the Port-a-Potties, and beers cost something like nineteen dollars an ounce, but between you and me, it was a hoot.

It’s like when you hear that awful Laffy Taffy song on KMEL, and you shake your head and roll your eyes making a great show of your distaste, but you’re secretly boogeying on the inside.

Saturday was spent at Pt. Reyes in the company of the always praiseworthy Ms. Grodin and Ms….whatever…Ellie’s last name is… yeah. I awoke ragged and cottonmouthed Saturday morning to a barrage of phonecalls from the aforementioned ladies. Apparently in my altered state I had promised to drive them up to Point Reyes at some obscene hour of the morning. This may or may not have been true, but they made a good show of being convincing and knowing me, which I do, it’s the kind of thing I would agree to under the influence. I may have promised them a ride to Kansas City in the fuckin Goodyear Blimp, too; I don’t rightly recall. Regardless, it was a blast despite 450 mile an hour winds. The sun outdid the horrible shrieking gale, and I was excited the girls had strong-armed me into the venture while I was in such a sorry state.

The town of Point Reyes Station itself is pretty damn nice. Although its population (according to the sign) is a meager 350, every sunny weekend it’s descended upon by upwards of 45,000 cyclists from San Francisco, Berkeley, and the wealthier parts of the Peninsula. Donning their hokey spandex outfits and stopping by Traitor Joe’s to buy crates of Cranmango Wheatgerm Power Bars on the way up, these people truck around clogging up the roads and talking about work and being healthy with their cyclist buddies, stopping at the various quaint markets littering the back country. As they were all easily-offended members of the Bay Area’s Liberal Ruling Class (the Birkenstockracy if you will) they pumped their neon-gloved fists at me in anger as my rattling and battered Tacoma flew past them, kicking up dust and driving them panicked onto the shoulder. Steph and Ellie refused to help me shriek “Share The Road” at the vermin as I careened by, but I believe this was because they felt the screaming was unbecoming, not because they disagreed with my treatment of the bastards.

They also seemed a bit surprised to learn that I was doing my part for local politics by putting together petitions for a “Cyclist Hunting Season” from May until late August. Cyclists, just like deer, have a tendency to stop at grossly inappropriate times in the middle of the damn road, causing accidents, vulgarity, and much bad energy. As punishment for this behavior, we are allowed to hunt deer during certain parts of the year. I believe the same rule should apply to cyclists. Also, a deer hide sells for only thirty dollars on Ebay, while a nice helmet, bike, and pair of wraparound Oakleys can fetch more than a thousand dollars in the right circles. I expect my proposition to pass with an overwhelming majority.

Where was I.

My mind, it drifts. With so much on it, one would think it anchored, and subject to the laws of inertia. Apparently not.


Reviews next, I suppose:

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show at the Fillmore: Second opening band Elephant was fuckin horrible. Opening band before them, we didn’t see, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they were horrible. BRMC: About fifty fifty.

There is a certain mystique, a nameless quantity, that makes good rock and roll. I would say one in six BRMC songs has that quality. Out of the band members, only the one with the slick-backed James Hetfield haircut could conjure that awesome rock energy with any regularity. His voice, though very similar in tone and structure to that of the other, crappier singer, had whatever dark ingredient is necessary to make Good Rock. They opened strong, very strong, with a couple of acoustic songs where slick-back haired James Hetfield looking guy (We’ll call him Singer #1) played guitar and harmonica. They then played 45 minutes of forgettable crap with much distortion and little creativity. Then they played a couple more good ones, some more bad, and finally finished right where they had started, with a fuckin righteous rendition of The Devil ‘s Waiting by Singer #1. He should go solo.

Hamlet, at La Val’s:

I realize I already wrote about this, but I was not myself at the time. Patrick does a fine job as Hamlet, which is a tough and Jesus Particular Christ long ass part. The evil Uncle/King also does a damn good job, despite looking hauntingly like Eric Lilley. It was eerie. Such fine entertainment at such a low price. I can’t wait for the next show.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat: The other Patrick sent me this album the other day. I hate this kind of music. I have no interest in it and find it drab and boring, like Wings reruns. No idea why I like this one particular album. Not just tolerate, like. Makes no sense. Could be an aberration, or possibly a symptom of something deeper and more serious. Only time will tell.

Capote: Good.
The New World: Sucked.
Oreo Klondike Bars: Good.
Covad’s Technical Support Hotline: Sucks.
Cold weather: Sucks.

Behold my judgments; they are fair and true and will not lead you astray.


Let’s dial back on the gaiety for a minute here.

I joshed you not when I said there was much on my mind. You’ll see I said that earlier, in a previous paragraph. You can check if you like.

That’s called foreshadowing.

One must be eternally cautious with anything remotely resembling autobiography. Changing names and places is never enough. Write something hard, or dangerous, and those who know the players in real life will know instantly. And then the jig is up. Then your idle thoughts are gospel, and many bulls enter many china shops.

So on specifics, even inferences, we shall have to remain quiet.


More later. In my younger days I could hack it later and more often.

In my younger days.


Both of us victims of the same twentieth-century plague. Not the Black Death, this time; the Gray Life. – Aldous Huxley, Island


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