Lunch Poem

This is a rough draft of a poem created from some scribbling into my compact Moleskine during one of my walkabouts. It is based on a job I had a couple of years ago.

On my lunch hour, I read Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg.
I’m not writing at all.
I send a thousand photocopied letters by machine,
but I long to write a personal one by hand.
Everyday, I bought a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich from the Marketplace.
Now, I take hour-long walks into Balboa Park.
I take Lunch Poems with me to read under a liquid amber,
but sometimes I listen to Antidepressant on my iPod.
One day, at the end of the Prado Bridge,
I find a man playing with the Tarot deck.
All I have to give him was $2.
He tells me I’d advance on the job.
Yeah, with a boss who was seething silently in rage,
I’d advance right out the door.

Walk Anywhere, Anytime

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Moleskine and rollerball pen in hand to jot down those thoughts.

Walking around is a lot like writing. It doesn’t cost much, but it’s easy to get hung up on the venue. Some places are utterly fabulous like Downtown San Diego or the interlocking wheels of Washington D.C., where a stroll can yield infinite possibilities. One can walk past the various points of interest as the background or even make a stop. Then there are the great outdoors, which offers beauty in many great varieties. The hike or the walkabout in these settings are part of the experience – they are sources of pleasure as well as material for discussion. But what about the places that aren’t so idyllic?

Continue reading “Walk Anywhere, Anytime”

Unite to Repeal DOMA

In the spirit of the Repeal DOMA Rally tomorrow in San Diego, San Francisco, and other cities, here is the Life and Times of Harvey Milk, presented by Hulu.Com. Note: This is the 1984 documentary on Harvery Milk, not the feature film with Sean Penn, which is fabulous. Do go the theaters and pay the $10 to see Milk. Also, take action regarding DOMA, whether it is attending the rally or writing letters to Obama’s transitional office.
http://www.hulu.com/embed/FXDJNMRKRfBij4P5WyQ-2w

Hat tip to Brian for posting the vid earlier this week.

Quoted in the Diva’s Diary


Barbarella‘s vlog on YouTube plugging her latest column of Diary of a Diva in the San Diego Reader.

This week in the San Diego Reader, I am quoted by Barbarella, the stylish blogger and columnist, in her latest entry of Diary of a Diva. She uses a snarky little tweet of mine to grab the reader’s attention in her discussion about online social networking where she compares it to the water cooler conversations at work, but with a little more control. You know, those conversations we all love to have on Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace. Often, when people ask those of us who use social networking what they are about, we’re often hard pressed to explain, especially when it comes to Twitter, and Barbarella does take some time to explore that issue.

Barbarella, I enjoy your stories and your witty contributions to the online conversation. Thanks for the quote.

At the Linkery – Again

I went to the Linkery the second time this month. Last week, it was a crowded dinner party affair for Jen and I got to meet some interesting people. This time, I met up with my longtime friends Sharon and Nadia. I haven’t had the chance to hang out with both of them at the same time in a while, so it was nice. Plus, I haven’t been able to go out to lunchtime foodie adventures with Sharon in a while, and going out with her for lunch or dinner is always fun.

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Much to Nadia’s amusement, Sharon and I took pictures of the food, starting with the chorizo and goat cheese flat bread. This was our starter.

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Nadia ordered the picnic plate with the potato salad and cole slaw. This time, there was no confusion.

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I ordered the same thing as I did last time. I freely shared the sauerkraut with my friends. Sauerkraut’s going to have it’s day and Trader Joe’s will stock it. Only, they don’t carry it now. Trader Joe’s, how do you expect me to replicate this $$ experience on the cheap?

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Sharon ordered the butternut squash with Israeli couscous. Wonderful vegetarian option, but Sharon has a link.

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After dinner, before dessert, Sharon gave us some Dove’s chocolates. The insides of the wrappers were like fortune cookies.

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Mine said “Be Fearless” and “Smile Before You Go To Bed. You’ll Sleep Better.”

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Sharon’s read, “There’s a time for compromise. It’s called later.”

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Nadia’s read, “Send a love letter this week.”
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Dessert was lovely. Sharon, Nadia, and I all shared the carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing.

While the food was great, the best part of the evening was being able to catch up with Sharon and Nadia. Happy Holidays, friends.

Confoundingly Fun Fondue

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There is never a dull moment whenever I hang out with Melodie. For her birthday, something completely unexpected happened – her chocolate fondue caught on fire!

Melodie was after an interactive kind of dining experience – one where the everyone was active participants in cooking the dinner, so something like the Turf Club or the Strip Club sounded good or even Benihana. Fondue fit the concept nicely, so Fondue Fusion & Bistro, formerly known as Forever Fondue, seemed like a perfect choice.

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Saturday night was her birthday, and a lot of Melodie’s friends showed up, including some mutual friends of ours Gema and Rob, also known as Downtown Rob. We know each other through Twitterville, but several of Melodie’s other friends know her through other contexts, such as work and yoga classes. I got to talk to some of them as I was seated at the other table.

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The owner obviously loves Picasso, as there were reproductions of his work on every wall. However, Gema found the display of a Guernica print very disquieting. Perhaps the owner didn’t think through the effects the painting may have had on the diners. However, the lack of thoughtfulness didn’t seem to end there.

The menu itself was bewildering, especially the fondue combinations. It took the waiter several times to explain to all of us how the combos (or All Inclusives, as they were called) worked, and even then we were all confused.

I found the booths to be very cramped, but I’m a very big guy. Thankfully, there were a few chairs at my table.

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To a minor digression from my mini-rant: Drink Porn. These martinis were very lovely.

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Rob wanted to get a signature shot of him holding a martini, so here it is. In the short time I’ve known him, I can tell lots of stories. He’s that colorful a person. He’s also very fun to party with, which is a source of all those stories.

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In spite of my earlier complaints, the food was actually very good. My newfound friend and I got to enjoy Queso Fiesta, which consisted of beer, Wisconsin Cheddar, and some jalepeƱos. There was plenty of sourdough bread, apples, and vegetables for dipping. Then there were the salads, which were satisfying, but were too much. Then, the main course, which consisted of meats and vegetables to be cooked in broth were delicious and easy to cook.

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Some more cheese fondue. Yum!

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Here is the birthday girl enjoying some of her fondue.

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While waiting for the broths to boil, it was was fun to watch the vegetable broth. With the vegetables swirling about, it looked as if there were tiny fish swimming around.

The dessert fondues were also wonderful. My neighbor and I ordered the same items for our inclusives, so we got a chocolate and Irish creme sauce. Melodie’s was simply a chocolate fondue. How it caught on fire I don’t know, but our friend Rich poured something on it to get it to burn brighter. It took a few clicks to get it right, but I finally wound up with the intense photo at the top of the entry.

Overall, a very good time was had by all despite whatever confusion occured. I even got a pleasant surprise in the end. In the tab shared by me and my neighbor, we expected to pay $37 each for our All Inclusive. We were only charged for one, so it was cheaper for both of us. After that, a few of us went out for drinks and karaoke.

Spoke Too Soon

Late last week, I mentioned how nice and warm it is in San Diego. It was so wonderful to walk outside in December, especially at night, with a light jacket at the most. I thought my peacoat and scarf were retired, but I was wrong. During the weekend, we experienced some drizzle, but we had a full-fledged rainstorm yesterday.

Strangely enough, the rainstorms also reminded me of the personal blog meetups I had with the guys who formed my immediate, but somehow national blog community. Last year in December, Chris was in town for a conference, so I whisked him away to the gastromonically incorrect & gay owned diner Brians’ and then for some beers at Sole Luna. During my brief early summer holiday in DC, it rained most of the time I was there. I lost a pair of Kenneth Coles on that trip, but I got to meet up with Brian and Fredo in Dupont Circle. Fortunately, the weather cleared up and we had dinner at Lauriol’s and beer at the bar across the street.

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Here is the scarf I wore. I’ve had it for a few years; I suspect Clinton and Stacy would make me part with it if I were ever on What Not To Wear. It reminds me a bit of Tom Baker‘s The Fourth Doctor scarf, but not as long. Winter scarves in San Diego are usually ornamental, but on a day like today, it kept my neck warm.

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I was going to do drive-thru Starbuck on Mission Gorge, but I saw this line. Frak that. I parked and briefly braved the rain for some counter service. It was a much quicker wait than if I remained in the car.

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At Starbucks, my name is John. I’ve never felt like telling a total stranger how to spell my name or butcher it, so I’ve often given my middle name. Here to get me through the rainy drive was some venti Christmas coffee and a peppery bacon egg muffin.

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This was on the way to the East County college. It was very, very nasty on the 8, and also very, very slow. I had take the 125 north. Not as bad as the 8, but still rainy road condition. A majority of my students made it to class, though I would not have blamed them for not showing up. The remaining few got through their presentations.

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Can you believe this was taken around 12:45 pm? I left the East County College for the Urban College, but I had no idea what kind of ride I was in for.

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Going west on the 8 was scary. A few miles of the freeway were covered in a small layer of puddles, enough to make cars hydroplane. I kept going for a few miles until I returned to the Mission Gorge Starbucks and then took the off-freeway detour to the Urban College. It took twice as long as it normally would on the freeway, but I was nerve-wracked. I was also crazy enough to take some pictures.

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After my Urban College course was over, I took the long way to Mission Valley to get some gas. By Texas and Madison, I wound up taking this Anton Corbijn-like photo of a police car that had pulled over a limo. I wound up seeing a second police car closer to Costco. Apparently, people in San Diego drive stupidly in the rain.

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Before meeting some friends out for dinner, I stopped by the Twiggs on Adams and Idaho. I could have used a gondolier.

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Here’s a closer view of the corner from Twigg’s entrance. The fun was finding the water at its narrowest point to cross to and fro my favorite cafe.

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Here I am in my scarf and peacoat. I like it much better than shorts and a t-shirt, even if warmer weather’s more comfortable.

It’s still raining in the middle of the night. No doubt will it still be raining sunrise. My lesson leaned: Do not gloat about warm winter weather. Perhaps I should drive to Julian some time tomorrow to see if the entire town is snowed in.

Winter in July

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I hate to rub it in for people in colder parts of the country, but this December has been the warmest one we’ve had in a while in San Diego. For me, that means the peacoat and other wintery garments collect dust. For these guys, they can wander around in shorts. It’s not July hot, but it’s warm enough.