I guess I've done a lot of riding around on my scooter, because in the five days I've been here, I've already burned through a tank of gas... and that thing's got a pretty big tank. I've also burned through a whole tank of gas in the truck going to and from work, but let's not talk about that.
Tonight I went to a birthday party at a wine bar off Market. I'm really glad Paul invited me along, because I met some really cool people. I finally put faces to Scott and Annie's names. They are part of the Budget Gallery and I hosted their email for a couple of years. They've always been very grateful and cool (they donated a good chunk of change to the server fund and once sent me a $50 gift certificate to a brewery) and it was cool to meet them in person. Paul tells me they live near me, so I'm sure we'll be hanging out in the future. One thought that crossed my mind at the wine bar: The movie Sideways has really done wonders for the Pinot industry. Paul is the second person I've hung out with in the last week or so that's in to it now.
After a couple of glasses of wine, I drifted a few blocks up to Cafe du Nord where I got to see the Groovie Ghoulies and the Phenomenauts. I've never seen the GGs before but I've always wanted to. One of the reasons I'm glad I live here now is for the awesome Bay Area punk. The GGs played a great set and were a lot of fun. I couldn't help jumping around a bit. The Phenomenauts had a cool stage gimmick going, but their songs just weren't that exciting and I got a little bored. It was cool to see Jimmy, their drummer, though. Back in the mid-90s, he was the drummer for a ska band in Phoenix called Kongo Shock. His band would play a bar in Tempe called Boston's every Wednesday night, and they'd get the best 3rd wave ska bands from all over the country to come play with them. Week after week we got to see bands like the Toasters, Hepcat, the Scofflaws, and the Pietasters... for five bucks and with $2 Newcastles flowing like water. There was always at least a little scooter ride to the show, and the same group of us would hang out and drink until closing, then go to the Mae West Restaurant for a couple of hours, even though we all had work in the morning. Good old days, man.
Wow. I got off on a little tangent there. This is about San Francisco, not Phoenix.
After the show, I got on my scooter and took a nice leisurly ride home to the Sunset. It's beautiful out. The air is cool and moist. The roads are long and you can just cruise all the way home, rarely hitting a light. On my way, I passed a 24-hour donut shop and got a little sad, missing Susie. If she'd been with me, we'd have stopped for a donut before going home, snuggling up with the animals for a while, and then sleeping until noon. I miss her so much... I can't wait until she can be here to enjoy this awesome place with me every day.
I haven't even been here for even a week yet, but I think it's really sinking in already that the rent, the taxes, the traffic, the commute, the idiot governor... all that stuff... it's all worth it. You get what you pay for. vespaskin, get your ass in gear and get yourself up here after Europe.
Oh... one other cool thing at the show I was at: I ran in to Morgan from the Secret Society scooter club and he was psyched as hell that I moved here. That's a good feeling when people you barely know welcome you to their town with open arms. That's been happening left and right. Morgan invited me over to a barbecue on Sunday at his house, which I respectfully declined, as I'll be in Sacramento. He told me where and when his club meets and invited me to come by any time to have a beer and hang out, which I just might do.