Friday, July 28, 2006

Alma Mater Alert!

I was watching Mythbusters the other night, and I coudn't understand why I kept experiencing feelings of depression and rising dread. It wasn't about the the show, which was good clean fun about car accidents and drowning (after all, they don't just tell the myths, they put them to the test). And it wasn't because I was depressed or dreading anything, because it was only Thursday. Then it hit me: the promos for Shark week, in the commercial breaks I was fast-forwarding through, were all filmed at Caltech. Which also explains my sudden concern about keeping track of my units.

For those interested (and you know who you are) sites sighted are Millikan pond, the lawn in front of Gates, the Gene Pool, a couple of classrooms (Noyes, maybe?) and the Olive Walk in front of the arches between Ricketts and Flemming.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Prepackaged Ice

I have this theory. My theory is that Armageddon already happened, and nobody noticed. All of the good people ascended into heaven but there were only about nineteen of them so it didn't get a lot off attention, and now the rest of us are all living in the end of days. For those who doubt me, I offer as evidence Paris Hilton's new album, the fact that Big Momma's House 2 has made more than seventy million dollars, and prepackaged ice.

And I'm not talking about the bags of ice you forget to buy at the grocery store when you're having a party, so you have to run down to the 7-11 with your hair still wet, twelve minutes before your guests are supposed to arrive. This is premium packaged ice. Actually, technically, it isn't ice at all, just filtered water sold in sealed, disposable trays, which you purchase at a cost of approximately ten cents a cube, or a penny for every functioning neuron you have. They also come with artificial lemon flavoring.

At least Rome got to be sacked by the Goths.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Remember how I was complaining about how cold it gets in San Francisco in the summer (see below)? Yeah. Nevermind.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Vampires? In San Francisco? Booooo*

So, my friends Ben and Beverly got married last weekend. And it was lovely wedding indeed, with activities spread out over four days. I assume they are spending their entire honeymoon sleeping it off.

Anyway, the first event I was involved in was Ben's bachelor party, held on Saturday night. It was not exactly deboucherous, inasmuch as the guest list included several female friends and the groom's dad, but it was fun. We had a nice dinner at Buca di Beppo, and then we went on a "Vampire Walking Tour of Nob Hill". Now, I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life. I have quoted and heard the famous Mark Twain quote about summers in San Francisco so many times that any mention of the fog provokes a Pavlovian recital of it. So, armed with this knowledge, what did I wear for an evening of walking around one of the coldest, windiest, hilltops in the city? Did I perhaps were a sundress, sandles and a lightweight jacket? Yes. Yes I did.

So I was cold. And since I have very poor circulation, when I get cold I get something I lovingly refer to as "corpse fingers", which is when all of the blood retreats from my fingers, leaving them stiff and dead-white. Which means that I was actually the creepiest thing about the tour.

Our guide was a woman of early middle-age, dressed all in black (with a nice warm cloak), with her face painted white, her hair died black, sparkly fake eyelashes and a canvas tote bag with Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer on it. She claimed to be "Mina" from Bram Stoker's Dracula, the credibility of which was somewhat spoiled by one of her friends calling her "Kitty". Also, she occasionally said things like "anyhoo". Her bit was that there was a whole community of vampires living under the city, and she mixed the vampire stories in with actual San Francisco history. Which made for a kind of odd effect; you would be going along, listening to a story about the 1906 earthquake, when all of a sudden, vampires! Then more history. Also, she told us some of her vacation stories, and about a show she saw on tv the other day.

The tour actually covered about a two-block radius. We would go to a place, stand there while our guide told us some stories, then move on to the next site, sometimes as much as fifty yards away. But it was all good, because afterwards we went to the Tonga Room, where we ordered silly drinks with umbrellas in them, and when I left (early, because I had to catch BART before it went out of service), I got to walk through the Fairmount and pretend like I belonged there, and have the doorman call me a cab. While I was waiting, we talked about the weather. It does get cold in San Francisco in the summer.

*This title is likely to only make sense to people who have lived in the Bay Area for long enough to remember a certain ad campaign, and who have very low standards for humor.