Friday, August 29, 2008

This helpful bathroom sign I just saw explains the secret to effective hand dryer use

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where I write, number three

Coffee Bar, Mariposa and Florida

Coffee Bar is my newest writing discovery. About a 15 minute walk from my apartment and situated in the light industry public television/radio live/work "live/work" section (there are both the real and fake varieties in the area) of the Mission. It has quickly risen towards the top of my regular rotation, edging out a neighboring cafe that I used to frequent that I haven't returned to in a while (which I will profile soon).

Large, high ceilinged loft space with ample light, two levels with food ordering and coffee section below, with stairs up to large consuming/working area. Full coffee selection, wine and beer, and an actual kitchen that makes good pressed sandwiches, salads, and great yogurt and fruit thing. Many small tables that fit one plus multiple larger tables, and a bar that overlooks the lower area.

Pros: Super comfy, nice tables, good food, decent sharing behavior among the patrons. Water readily available, coffee is quite delicious, roomy bathroom, good choice in music, love the air and high ceilings and light (no direct sunbeams at least in the morning), good sense of peace and happiness in the space. Some of the large communal tables are really large so there's room to put out papers next to computer and not feel like your hogging space. I love a good communal table.

Definitely more conversations happening and a higher decibel level than at Jumpin Java which is fine but occasionally I eavesdrop and sometimes large groups come in and talk about KQED or Burning Man. Headphones suggested for those not so into that.

Everything is compostable, including the straws. Elisabeth Farnsworth sighting! They have one of those Clover Machines. Is that just what Philz Coffee does but with a fancy machine?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guess who I saw at my audition today?

That's right! John Kovacevich! And Jon Wolanske! That's the entire original male cast of Hunter Gatherers sitting at a table waiting for a national network commercial audition. Jon and John are the inspiration for the fish name of JonJohn in boom. Jon and John now work together and I'm sure delight their coworkers with performances of the infamous bathroom scene.

It was great to reminisce and then, in turn, we all went in to audition which, literally, was eating some pudding for the camera. Acting!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where I write, number two

Jumpin Java, Noe Street, San Francisco

(pic from

Firstly, I apologize for not the best interior shot. I felt a little self-conscious in the moment I took the pic, but I'll try to update with a better one

Anyhoo I was first introduced to Jumpin Java by my former roommate Loren about 8 or 9 years ago for a group work/studying afternoon and it has become a regular writing staple for me. About a 20 minute walk from my home, it's not the most convenient place for me to get to, but I continue to return to it for it's fabulous "study hall with food and decently leveled music" atmosphere. (Occasionally the music is KOIT but usually it's good)

Details: Small cafe on quiet street in the Castro serving the usual coffee drinks, bagels, smoothies, small selection of sandwiches and other misc items. Wooden tables that fit 1 or 2 comfortably, wooden benches along the wall, one awkward table in the middle. Sunny but screens still viewable from most tables.

Pros: Good but not overwhelming level of ambient noise, acceptance of people working, decent sense of focus among the generally attractive group of customers, readily available water, power strips available at 2/3 of the seating, cheap coffee refill price, good soy chai for less caffeinated afternoon drink, nice bathroom

Con: Can get too crowded in the mornings and weekends, Wireless is good so more tempting to check out SFGate or what have you, the table by the door can get chilly on a "fog lingering in Twin Peaks" day, smaller tables only fit a laptop and small journal comfortably, I once got bit by a spider while wearing shorts.

Misc: I feel like i need to bring my laptop in when I pee here because it's a short hop to the door and you never know when somebody's lost themselves to meth and low on cash. I like the chicken breast sandwich and the blt. I usually put a napkin between my drink and the computer as the wooden tables have occasional lumps in them and I worry I will soil my keyboard.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Where I write

As I'm running low on unique things to say about the general foibles of existence (too much writing these days), I thought I would dedicate the next several posts to aspects of my craft of writing.

"Where do you write?" seems to be the second most popular question to ask a writer and for a writer to ask (Number one question, of course, is "how the fuck do you make a living?"). Optimal locations for writing are treasures, a unique match between scribbler and environment and vary radically from writer to writer. For me, my needs vary from day to day. So I will now begin to share some of the locales I find myself toiling and their pro's and cons.

place where I write, number one: the home office

Details: Ikea worktable/desk circa 2002, Macbook propped up on old science textbooks, additional full keyboard with sticky number 3, old office chair from father's law office and I should really replace soon, halogen lamp, post-its, folder for receipts, John Dewey book for show.

Pro's: Close to snacks, French Press, control over music, lots of pens, can talk to myself out loud, easy to pace, do not have to purchase products to work there, when in the zone there's not a better place because you can just work and work and work, easy commute, deductible.

Cons: I live there too, there's a TV just outside that door, as well as mail, and Entertainment Weekly, and string cheese, and too easy to not shower and when I haven't showered yet I kind of feel like it's still my quiet morning time to read the news even though it's creeping towards midday, too easy to write blog post or update facebook status and not feel guilty, too easy to look at adult websites, too easy to look at any websites, and really there are certain periods of time where i just feel too distracted to work at home and need the pressure of a slightly more foreign locale where they don't let you get away with being a slacker.

More locales to be shared as I write there

Saturday, August 16, 2008

two important things to note on this picture

Firstly, this is the first time I have ever won something from a claw game. (this is at the Metreon in SF, a somewhat failed mall where a huge retail space that used to be a Microsoft Store is now filled with 50 claw game machines)

Secondly, the prize I won was from a claw game filled with pillows in the shape of teen text abbreviations. Mine: POS. Which, as defined on the back of the pillow, means "Parent Over Shoulder." I wonder what the decision making process was to turn that particular abbreviation and all the potential usage into a pillow.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I'm spending the week workshopping my new play, TIC, and boy do I have lots of writing to do this week. So, no blogging for me till next weekend.

In the meantime, I hope your weeks are filled with hope, delight, and pleasant surprises.

Friday, August 08, 2008

New play bakeoff, olympic edition

Write a play for 15,000 performers and a budget of 300 million dollars.
You must also use:
LED lights (300 foot LED screen preferred)
Sarah Brightman

Bonus points if you impress Bob Costas


Congratulations to Joshua for winning So You Think You Can Dance. I was rooting for Katee, but Joshua was my second choice and was pretty great. It was a good season, all in all. MTABF has purchased a few of the danced-to songs and we re-create some of the more memorable moves. It is my goal to be able to jump into his arm in a leaping split.

Below is an example of my spastic technique. I made this little animated gif years ago and, according to my webstats, is appearing on myspace pages and forums across the internet.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


The Bay Area Playwrights Festival wrapped up Sunday (for me, it wrapped up at a corner table of the Owl Tree bar with a bunch of other theater derelicts) and I'm pooped.

There were some great readings over the weekend of distinct new plays that were all markedly different from one another and very enjoyable. Plus I got to meet some people in the flesh who had only been my facebook friends before.

A few misc highlights from the weekend (other than the fact that all the plays were rather enjoyable):
  • the stage direction "The Bola flies over the audience" from Geetha Reddy's play
  • rediscovering the Marina and reappreciating the notable high level in fitness of its inhabitants
  • Seeing Amy Mueller and Dominic Orlando sing Karaoke
  • Being believed, then doubted, then rebelieved about the existence of a Yoda Fountain in the Presidio
  • Witnessing three literary managers sharing a six pack before a reading