Archive for September, 2008

Lady Killer

September 20, 2008

October 2007     San Francisco

Last night we had a cardiac call at 3am. Usually, these end up being not too serious, or even improperly dispatched, so my partner and I didn’t know what to expect. We arrived at the house to find a 70-yr-old Chinese woman complaining loudly in Cantonese (through a family interpreter) of heart palpitations. Having spent some time in Chinatown, I guessed that talking *at* me in Chinese at a high volume and speed was probably her natural state, so that didn’t concern me. (more…)

Burning Down the House

September 20, 2008

July 2007     San Francisco

While living in the Lower Haight, I and my three lovely roommates had a great old Edwardian house circa 1880, with an Irish bar on one side and a house on the other. I loved being in that bar: The sweet young bartender had been, somehow, one of my students back when I taught public high school in NYC. So I didn’t pay much for drinks, but the Irish weren’t the best neighbors. When stepping out our front gate, I often faced an obstacle course of puke, blood, undergarments, and extra-sleepy drunks. Weekends were worse. (more…)

Soft-Boiled Egg-Head

September 20, 2008

March 2007     San Francisco

Sorry I had to write a long not funny report on myself. This sort of attention is not really my style, but typing this is going to be easier than trying to explain it to people in person.

About 3 weeks ago I went back east for an event. I haven’t lived there in years and I don’t often do Tahoe in the winter, so I’m no longer adapted to black ice, but I sure found some while crossing a parking lot, and down I went, hands in pockets, cracking the back of my head and going out for a couple minutes. I awoke with one side covered in blood and the other in vomit, ended back at my hotel room, not actually feeling too bad. (more…)

Put ya ass in the air like ya just don’t care!

September 20, 2008

July 2006     San Francisco

This paramedic gig is a lot of things: ugly, depressing, sad, vile, dangerous, challenging, rewarding, and an assault on all five senses at once, especially smell. Everything stinks. Sometimes, though, there is a gem like this one that makes it all worthwhile. I almost wish I saw this one myself. (more…)

Cupid Strikes Again

September 20, 2008

February 2007    Oakland, California

Our girlie C.R. teaches at a high school for juvenile delinquents outside the city. By any account, her “students” are violent, disturbed, sexually uninhibited, non-academically inclined and soon-to-be-incarcerated. She is full of stories that make you want to laugh, despair, pay your taxes and lock your doors. (more…)

Tomorrow’s Leaders

September 20, 2008

February 2007    Oakland, California

Another pearl from our hero, C.R.: I saw the US History teacher gave the kids an assignment to write a biography, I asked him how it was going. He rolled his eyes. (more…)

Mud Falcon

September 20, 2008



December 2005    San Francisco

After 200,000 miles, two owners and 15 years, my fabulous ride finally has a suitable name.  I was outside the Toronado in the stinky Lower Haight, talking to a wiry little long-haired dude named Tad. As it turns out, Tad is big-wall climber of note, well-known in rock-climber circles as a skilled and  daring man who posts new routes up formerly unclimbable rock faces around the world. We shared beverages, and then he widened my world. (more…)

blub blub blub…

September 20, 2008

March 2001  San Francisco Bay

I was doing a marine engineering job out on the SF Bay, working on a phase of the Richmond Bridge seismic retrofit. Every day, I and my boat-driver Mel the Porno Rican would fetch our 20′ aluminum survey boat from the Oakland ship channel and transit the Bay at a furious rate of speed, freezing our stones off the whole way. One day was colder than the rest. (more…)