Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco livin’’


August 6, 2010

December 2009     San Francisco

Arriving back in San Francisco last summer, I took a break from the medical work.  I found a company involved in local shipping, maritime logistics and tugboat operations, and started over at the bottom.  As usual, the bottom involved long hours, odd scheduling and repetitive menial tasks.  But the pay was very good and I figured that this work would lead to bigger and better things.  At the very least, it uncovered another American subculture:  the antisocially-employed maritime man. (more…)


Night Shift (part three)

July 12, 2010

Spring 2008     San Francisco

Well this is about it, folks – I am out of stories for now.   I have taken up a clean, comfortable  and strangely predictable existence back here in the First World, and that does not often lead to colorful accounts of nasty behaviors dredged up from the cultural slums.  I expect to be short of material for these odd pages until I blow a fuse and decide to relocate once more to a filthy primitive sandbox of a country, or go fall off tugboats in the Bay again or even start riding public transit every day.   Sorry about this!

Well, there might be one more tale next month.  Meantime, here are the last of the San Francisco paramedic stories:


Love & Haight

April 5, 2010

April 2005     San Francisco

I have to preface this account of living low on Haight St with the story of why I was out on disability for a little while.  At the time, I was working as a carpenter doing a $1,000,000 remodel on the highest house in San Francisco, right under Sutro Tower.  Here is a condensed version, originally entitled “Gravity 1, Chris 0” :

I got another big break!……except this one is in my leg.   I was at work, adding a piece of trim under the eave of a new section of roof. This involved standing on a ladder atop a lower section of roof, and leaning it against the outside of the wall I was working on.  Suddenly the ladder slipped out from under me.  I followed the ladder down and bounced off the roof, then slid ass-first under the safety rail, followed by the 10-pound electric sawzall. (more…)

Petting Zoo

December 4, 2009

November 2009     San Francisco

The event billed as “Petting Zoo” was was sold out when I arrived, but of course this did not stop me: “You don’t understand.  I need to be here.”   I stood my ground.  The organizers finally relented, and I weaseled my way in.

Think Meat.  There was a pig on a spit out in the alley off Folsom Street, behind the aptly named Bloodhound bar.  I kind of scowled at it, since it was lacking all legs, shoulders, hams and knuckles, the best parts.  Meanwhile, I savored the complimentary bacon-enhanced whiskey concoction and watched two chefs at two tables butcher a goat and a sheep, in different ways.  Trays of meat floated around during all of this:  blood sausage, fresh chitterlings, rabbit/duck/olive meatballs basted in internal pig fat, beer sausage, chorizo, and other unidentifiable meaty nuggets.   Still, I was thinking “All you can eat? Yeah, right.  I’ve heard this before.” (more…)

Getting Busted as a Family

November 3, 2009

Lake Tahoe    April 2005

My dad and some business fellows were on their annual ski trip and this year that meant Tahoe.  How convenient for me to hitch a free ride on this one, just a four-hour drive from San Francisco.  My lovely little sister Meghan even flew in from DC to step up to the expense account trough.  We had the good fortune to stay in a 1940’s A-frame house on the ski slope at the base of Squaw Valley.  Austere but functional, fit for a man’s man’s ski trip, and still owned by the guy who established the whole resort. (more…)

#22 Fillmore Bus – Seating Beating

October 2, 2009

October 2002     San Francisco

Ok chilrens, lets get back on our favorite bus line, the rolling home of all that is unsavory about public transit, the #22 Fillmore.  Today the theme is Beat-Downs. (more…)

It’s Never Out of Season!

September 20, 2008

May 2008     Marin County, California

If you do not want to know how meat starts out running around on hooves and ends up glistening on your plate, then this little gem is not for you. Go back to your US Weekly or practice your golf game or whatever. And for those of you into multiculturalism and celebrating diversity, I say this: Respect my people. This here’s culture hey goddamn! Pull up a fork! Git ‘er done!! (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…)