SF Muni Rabbit Hole

Unlike many SFers I love our public transportation system. Not Bart of course, duh. Nobody likes Bart. I’m talking about Muni. It’s our bus system. It covers the city, it is more reliable than people give it credit for, and, especially when you get a seat, it can be a downright pleasant experience.

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Being a Muni driver is a generally thankless job: one that is bitched about on twitter (looking at you @munidiaries), complained about to your face while managing fare jumpers, requires confrontations with unruly passengers, and includes chatty crazies who want to talk to you while you drive. All while negotiating the insanity of construction and traffic on San Francisco streets.

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All of this leads me to my question: what happened to saying “thank you” to the driver? It used to be a person exiting the bus would holler out “Thank you!” But now? Rarely do I hear this.

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Call me crazy, but I think the “thank you, Driver” should be brought back. So I do it, every ride, because it really is the absolute least that can be done to brighten someone’s day.

SF MUNI cufflinks by Jenny Reeves
SF MUNI cable care & token earrings Future History of SF on Etsy
SF MUNI transfer earrings by Passport to Paper on Etsy

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The Other Monday 2007

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One of the very interesting things with memory is that to create and store a memory you must review regularly. Starting especially within the initial days following an event. So if something disrupts this process, especially when it’s something high adrenaline and stressful, the memories preceding it are easily forgotten. Which is how it’s so hard for me to piece together the prior week of dates out with my honey aka the guy from the bar.

That Monday (it was the 22nd of January), I woke up at my new boyfriend’s apartment early. We lived all of a ten minute walk away from each other so I dashed home where I dressed for work. I must have strapped my newish silver metallic bag to the back of my bike because it was returned to me later. I think I wore black pants and a white blouse, I definitely wore my long brown leather jacket, three squiggly little cheapo bangles, and a helmet. And then I got on my bike to ride to work.

I remember crossing onto Market Street, joining the bike lane. I also remember waiting at the red light on Octavia, in front of the freeway on ramp. Then the light changed green.

Next I remember pieces of a moment. At this point I’m not certain how real they are because it’s been eight years. But so the white truck to the left of me decided to make an illegal right hand turn onto the freeway.

I remember my surprise at the first impact. This “oh shit” feeling where I thought I was just going to lose my balance. Then the moment where I knew the situation was worse than that. Next there were people standing over me and I was both terrified and embarrassed to be laid out in the middle of the street blocking traffic. I wanted desperately to get up and go to work. I had an appointment! I had to leave. But they wouldn’t let me.

Most specifically there was a man. A very kind man with a goatee. A complete stranger who asked for phone numbers, he told me everything would be okay. And then he waited with me. I still don’t know his name.

Apparently the first phone number I remembered was my dad’s office number from when I was a little girl.

I sort of remember being in the ambulance. I know I was in immense pain, but when you aren’t in pain you sort of forget what pain is like. And then I have flashes of the emergency room. Being propped against a metal slab. My mom rushing in. The doctors saying I’d need a catheter and I started screaming. What? Catheters scare me. According to my mom that was when she knew that I’d be okay. At some point I had X-Rays, CAT scans, chest tubes inserted both in my right and left lungs, and a neck brace.

The rear tires of the pick-up truck (Ford F-450 bearing cement- that’s the punchline of this story) had crossed my torso and crushed it. Pretty much every rib broke, multiple times, puncturing both lungs. I should have died. Without a helmet I would have already been dead. There’s more to my injuries but the story telling machine is running out of steam.

“But what about your honey?” You may be asking. He came to visit me twice in the hospital. He met my parents while there. Then I broke up with him, because I couldn’t continue. I was hospitalized for just under a month, then I moved in with my mom so she could care for me. I spent a year of my life on a painkiller cocktail which left me numbed to pain and other feelings. My honey hung in there though, texting me (not too much, not too little) until finally we returned to slowly dating. It wasn’t until December that we became serious again.

So that’s it. The big week that changed my life in many ways. I’ve forgotten so much of it because the memories didn’t have time to form. I can piece together bits thanks to emails, pictures, my honey’s memory. But there are parts that are completely gone, blank hours. And things I’ve discovered that I misremembered. In the litigation I saw a picture of the truck, I learned the make and brand but it looked completely different from my memory of it.

Oh wait here is the actual punchline, you know why the driver made an illegal right hand turn and sped off after running me over? He had to go to the bathroom and hadn’t realized he’d struck a person on a bicycle. There are only two lessons here: drive safely and wear a helmet.

Today’s bangles: the trio I wore on the day of my accident, tortoise shell bangle from Goodwill, lucky figa charm bracelet.

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Hump Day 1.17.2007

Really? Do I really need to explain the anniversary on this one? Let’s just say, give me the right setting, a little take out food, a barely furnished apartment, a big brown dog, and the guy I met two nights prior in 2007…

We watched American Idol. For my very first time. I definitely mentioned that part in yesterday’s post. I couldn’t bring myself to link anything American Idol *shudder* so instead is the Haim song I like the most right now. It sort of works with the memory theme, right?

In case you are just tuning in, I’m telling the story of a very life changing week. It started with meeting a guy at a bar on a Monday, back in 2007. Not to give too much away but the timeline is a Monday to Monday string of events.

Some days were less interesting. Like Wednesday. It was a very regular day, I think. Except that it formally counts as “our first date” being that I went over to Aaron’s barely furnished apartment and we watched American Idol and I met the Moosehead. He was a hell of a dog. Before AI we took the Moose up to Alamo Square dog park. We also hit up Bar 861 on Divisadero for happy hour. I think this was all the same day. Regardless, it has become a conflated memory of a date.

What I can tell you concretely, this was the day that I wrote this to my best friend:
“I met such a cute guy last night- this is his myspace pic. And he already called and we’re watching american idol and eating dinner tonight smile emoticon hooray!”

Oh wait, so I guess I watched American Idol on Tuesday? Oops. Must change the time line.
To be cont.

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Today’s bangles: yellow Hermès from my brother, Angela Cummings from my mom, and an Alaska charm bracelet of my mom’s from when she was a girl.

Something Happened Tuesday 1.16.2007

Remember yesterday? I told you all about how my honey and I met. It was sweet and cheesie and special and a story that will take exactly one week to tell it all, because this is the big week in my life with the most life changing anniversaries.

I think about this week in 2007 a lot. I think about each day of the week, and about how we as a species find patterns in everything, even when there are no patterns. I have a need to comb through the events to find reasons. It’s part of my life philosophy- everything is connected, each action pulls and moves and creates our lives. Maybe by looking at the pulls and changes I can better understand some of the outcomes.

This day, eight years ago, a Tuesday started abruptly. My honey, who was not yet my honey but just the guy from the bar last night was sound asleep in my bed. Don’t judge! I wasn’t as easy as this all sounds! And he is my HUSBAND now, after all, so even if I was that easy… errr. I digress!

In 2007 I lived on Oak Street where they begin car ticketing and towing each weekday at 7 a.m. sharp. My bed was pressed against the window, I loved the noise of the traffic. It was kind of a swooshing lull but I was very keenly attuned to the ticketing and towing process. So with the rattling of the metermaids and tow trucks I sat bolt upright and began punching and pushing my guy from the bar last night to move his scooter. Side note, it turned out the motorcycle helmet was actually a scooter helmet.

He yanked on some pants and ran/hopped out the door into traffic and meter maids and tow trucks barefoot. He managed to roll the scoot up onto the sidewalk in the nick of time and return to my place where we probably exchanged some awkward words, phone numbers, or something. But we solidly made plans for either that night or Wednesday night (I can’t remember now) to watch American Idol at his apartment.

So today (or tomorrow) is the anniversary of the very first time I ever watched American Idol. It turns out I’m not such a fan. Oh well. The things that stick with you, right? To answer your question, no, (thank god!) this is not one of the life changing events. This was just a first that happened to occur during a phenomenally life changing week. It was the last week of part of my life and I didn’t realize it at the time, but the little things, they all stand out now.

To be cont.

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Today’s bangles: the orange Clic-clac I was wearing the night I met my honey, the blue Cape Cod watch also wore that night, and my lucky little figuinhas.

12.11.14 stormy weather

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It is rainy in SF which means our entire city has ground to a halt. We don’t know how to handle weather! If there is any truer statement about San Francisco, please let me know. I didn’t go to work today because the shop has no power. Correction, I did go to work today, discovered I had no power, and returned home.

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My dogs refuse to go outside to take care of business. Chihuahuas, I tell ya. These raincoats are purely decorative.

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Here’s a car swimming thru the intersection. My picture is terrible, I apologize.

Finally, a life tip from me to you. When you buy a salad, turn it upside down to eat so you get the boring stuff out of the way first. You are welcome.

Today’s bracelets are a turquoise Taxco cuff, and a green stone (what is this stone?) and silver bracelet also from Mexico.

11.11.14 sunny San Fra-no-freezie

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It’s totally not freezie today, or at all, or maybe ever again even. SF is never cold enough to snow, but it does get charmingly brisk this time of year. USUALLY. But I don’t know, this drought and warm spell? It continues to stretch out before us now, making most SFers grouchy. It leaves my bedroom uncomfortably warm at night! Nobody knows how to deal with this! We aren’t equipped for warm weather. Should I wear sandals? Or will I get cold by the end of the day? I just don’t know!

Today’s bangles are: brass bow bracelet, silver bangle, Guadalquivir bangle by Hermès, seashell charm bracelet, Tiffany’s silver latch bangle, and my extra special Crazy Loom bracelet from my niece.

11.1.14 no good

So I was extremely excited to brag a little about my day yesterday. It was quiet at the shop until LINDA RONSTADT walked in! She bought some soaps, and a nightgown. She hadn’t signed the back of her credit card and I made a little joke like “How on earth are you going to prove who you are?” Or something. I swear it was smoother than that, though. Anyways, she has shopped with me before but it still gives me a mild heart attack. LINDA RONSTADT.

She’s my most famous customer, though one time Danielle Steele’s assistant phoned looking for a full length, zip up cashmere robe. Because, who doesn’t need one of those? And Adam Savage from Myth Busters bought slippers once, but on a day I was out. And my silly 20 year old employee didn’t recognize him. Twenty year olds, I swear.

But so, I was all “I can’t wait to blog about this! This is the most exciting thing to happen to me.” That is, until the gunshots on my corner this morning.

Yep. Gunshots on my corner. If you know SF I bet you can guess where I live. It’s not Hunter’s Point, go with your second guess. This is part of the heart break about SF. I live across the street from a church, and behind the church are the projects. But on my block there are million dollar homes.

Everybody swarmed outside with the arrival of the cops, medics, and fire engines. My side of the street basically 100% white, the other side of the street 100% black. It’s shocking this clear cut division of racial and economic lines. White people = million dollar homes, black people = projects. Like I said, it’s heart breaking.

The shooting happened in our corner store, the ambulance rolled a black man out on the stretcher and loaded him in. An air mask was strapped to his face, so he wasn’t dead at the moment. But we don’t know now.

What I don’t understand is this: how are any guns ever allowed in SF proper? No one should have guns here, there is zero reason except to shoot a fellow human. Self defense argument or not, that means the only reason anyone carries a gun in this city is to shoot another person. We don’t have deer, we don’t have skeet shooting, the closest shooting range is in San Bruno. Again, the only reason a person in SF has a gun is to shoot another person. So it stuns me that the NRA recently lobbied for guns to be allowed in the projects. And they were successful.

That’s it. I’ll get off my soap box now. Argue with me if you want, and I’ll know you are the kind of person who thinks it’s acceptable for a human being to shoot another human being. It’s as simple as that.

3:30 PM UPDATE: the shooting victim died and the suspect is still at large.

Today’s bangles are Paris by Maximal Art, Paris themed charm bracelet from Goodwill, and Hermes Tohu Bohu bangle.

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Three Times a Charm

As you may know, the Giants won the World Series last night. Three times in six years! I cried. I cried because of that same now pointless muscle memory that just keeps sucker punching me in the face.

After my World Series post the other day I did some further research on this whole Tiffany’s World Series charm business, and thanks to Pinterest found the 2010 and 2012 charms. I checked Tiffany’s just now and the newest one isn’t out yet. But I’d probably consider getting it for myself when it is.

Enjoy some Tiffany’s charms and then game day pics of my dad and me. It gives new meaning to “throwback Thursday”.

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Even my dogs are fans.

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My dad’s like “I’ll smile, but there’s a game going on, you know.”

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I think this is opening day 2013. Yep, my dad tucked that doofy flag in his shirt collar. He had kind of a silly side to him once in a while.

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I have no explanation as to why all my selfies mirror image themselves on my iPad. But this was from Metallica night! We both look tired…from rocking out so hard.

IMG_2930.JPG The irony that our last game together was an A’s game. SMH. I just noticed the guy sitting behind me is totally peering over my head.

10.28.14 concentrate and ask again later

IMG_2915.JPG There will be no end of orange and black in October. The amount of orange walking around SF today is impressive. Smart retailers should always send their surplus orange clothing to stores in our town. And Detroit. Because who buys orange? San Franciscans do. I’ve got my orange poof coat, orange (well coral) pants, orange dress, orange scarves. How much orange do you have in your closet? Probably not as much as I.

Anyway, today is kind of exciting. Grab a seat, my dear readers, because I’m about to tell you about IVF.

Today was the first ultrasound to start the process, which, if you recall, is round two for me and my husband. I’m trying not to be someone who fixates on it, because that only leads to disappointment. For that reason I plan to not blog about it all the time, either. Just be all casual like, you know?

But it’s so interesting, I thought people might like to know what it involves. If I only knew about this stuff when I was in school, I think I’d consider it as a career. And then, oh! The bangles I could buy!!

I’m going through IVF because I have a low egg reserve and I produce few eggs. My follicle count (yep! Like hair follicles, your eggs grow in follicles in your ovaries) is naturally about 1 or 2 per month. Most women are closer to 6 or 8. When one of the eggs reaches a mature size, you ovulate, which means the follicle ruptures releasing the egg. So even though usually just one egg releases, many others grow but don’t release and become reabsorbed. IVF tweaks your hormones to encourage follicular development and to hold off the ovulation process so as to collect multiple mature eggs.

My IVF process is called the Antagonist Protocol, which I’m certain my mother would agree is an apt name for any process of mine. Right now I’m taking some 25 or so vitamins, then in two days I start some baby aspirin and a giant antibiotic.

November 4th we get down to the shot business. For about two weeks, my honey shoots me in the gut morning and evening with a bunch of hormones to stimulate the follicles into production. Fortunately these shots do NOT make me a crazy lady. Unlike when I was taking these oral hormones similar to Clomid that made me so angry. I got in a fight with my honey about dinner and I was all “if he doesn’t want dinner, fine! Then we will never have dinner again! Fuck dinner!” And I threw out ALL of our food. There was even a moment in that mania where I stopped to question my actions, to analyze if I was acting crazy and then I was like “Nope! This is not crazy. He needs to be taught a lesson!”

So the injections are much preffered. But our neighbors must think we’re junkies because there we are, sitting in the living room, my honey injecting me in the gut for all the people across the street to see.

During this period of time, I pop over to Kaiser every other day or so to get blood tests and ultrasounds that monitor the growth progress. Which is super easy because we are just three blocks away from Kaiser.

Then, when the follicles reach the correct size, they harvest the eggs by knocking me unconscious. That same day they collect my husband’s “specimen”. That’s doctor code for he has to retreat to a closet in the office to jerk off into a cup. Making babies is sooooo romantic!

They combine the best quality eggs with the sperm, and presto! Test tube embryos! And then we wait three or five days (fingers crossed for five) as the cells divide. Judging on the quality of the embryos, they then return a small number to me.

And then we wait two weeks. Which is the worst worst worst part. There’s a little “what to expect about the process” video they make you watch that is all scientific until this part where the doctor says “Those two weeks will feel like they last forever.” The doctor! The other funny part of the video was after reinsertion the doctor says “Don’t worry, the embryos won’t fall out.” Clearly that is everyone’s concern so they had to address it.

My goals this time (which I have absolutely no control over) are to produce enough eggs, have enough of them fertilize properly so as to have left overs to put into deep freeze. It’ll save me from going through the injections again which also cuts down on the cost. Shit be expensive! Oh, to think of all the bangles I could have 😦

Final share about the process, this is where the magic of life kicked in. Some of my dad’s life insurance payments arrived just when the bills started. So it’s still going on the credit card for the points, but we have the cash to pay for it in our bank account. It makes me cry, I’m so grateful to my dad.

Anyways, there’s that. Lessons here: always sign up for life insurance, and ladiezzz, no matter your age you might want to ask your OB about your follicle count. I don’t know if my life would be different if I had known at age 28, but maybe. Any questions?

Today’s bangles are silver Goodwill find, a stone Goodwill find, orange and black Clic Clacs.

Antiquated excuses

You know that moment when you’re looking at something and you think to yourself “this is fancy, it’s got to cost at least X amount of dollars.” Then you check out the price tag and your eyeballs pop out of your head as you shout “Gazoooooga!” Because this item is one hundred times more expensive then you imagined, you know that moment? Well I experienced that at least three times tonight at the SF Fall Antiques Show.

It got to the point where I found this bracelet below, the one that spells out I LOVE YOU at $3800 and I was all “Finally, a good deal!”

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This was at the Lawrence Jeffrey booth where I also found this item…

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Can you see that? Do you SEE THIS THING? Are you interested in wearing a beautifully crafted necklace of decapitated black folks’ heads? Would you enjoy a jewelry piece that touches on the open wound of our slavery history, Orientalism, and the objectification of humans? The details are exquisite, gold earrings, turquoise accents. Perfect for your beloved KLANSMAN SLASH SERIAL KILLER! It’s just $13,800. For the person who likes to spend a lot of money on showcasing their bigotry.

Before you start saying, oh this is an antique, this celebrates the Moors (it’s a “blackamoor” necklace), it was different times, people didn’t know, etc. b.s. etc., before that let me tell you it was made in the 1950s. 1950s!! I’m pretty certain even way back then people mostly frowned upon a necklace of this style. AND this is not some kind of African artifact. It’s made in ITALY. Am I overreacting? I don’t think so but I’m interested in other people’s perspectives. Who wears this? And who buys this? It just boggles my mind.

I have other things to write about the Fall Antique Show, but this necklace, man, it deserved it’s own post. Seriously, what would you do with this necklace if you found it in your possession? Melt it down? Wear it? Give it to a friend? “Happy birthday, I got you this statement necklace. I think it’s a Stella & Dot piece.”

For real, what does one do with a necklace like this? On the one hand it’s made of highly valuable materials, on the other hand there’s absolutely everything else. I’m lost. This is that moment where I’m all ” Wha? Huh? Um, what?” while scratching away at my head. It just does not compute.