Tagged in: San Francisco

The Summer of Sean

It’s summertime, and just because I’m working for a living doesn’t mean that my life starts at 9:00 and ends at 5:00. I have decided that even though I am a temporary wage slave, I should set goals to accomplish before school starts back up at the end of August. Sadly, this will (probably) be the last summer vacation of my life, since after I graduate law school next year I lose the comforting ebb and flow of the academic semesters.

1. Play More Video Games

Last year I sold my X-Box 360 because I was short on cash and couldn’t bring it with me to Australia since the power supply was incompatible with Australian sockets, which run directly off power generated from kangaroos jumping on trampolines and are shaped like jars of Vegemite. My reasoning was that I wouldn’t be able to play video games for over half the year anyway, and I could just buy it back when the urge to rain hot-lasered death on my pixellated enemies became unbearable. I spent a good chunk of last Christmas playing Fallout 3 and Dead Space on my brother’s PS3, and although that video game binge allowed me to get it out of my system for a while I knew that there would come a time when I once again had to buy myself a video game console. That time is now. The problem is that I kind of liked the PS3 experience and Infamous looks bad-ass. But bad-ass enough to make the switch back to Sony after so many years canoodling with Microsoft? Are there likely to more exclusive titles that will once again chain me to brand loyalty? Hard to say. The X-Box 360 had some great exclusives as well…

2. Get to Book-Stack Zero

I periodically tell myself that I can’t buy any more books until I finish reading the backlog that threatens the structural integrity of my nightstand. I take a solemn vow that I will in no way purchase another book, swearing that this time I will have the discipline to follow through. It usually lasts until the next Borders 40% off coupon arrives in my inbox or I pass the Books, Inc. on a Sunday morning stroll with nothing better to do than browse around until I inevitably buy something. (There is never anything better to do). My rate of reading is relatively swift, and will likely increase now that I am using Muni to get to work instead of walking to school. Reading on the bus is one of my favorite activities. Since I buy and read at roughly the same rate the stack of unread books tends to stay at a stable height, usually about four deep. Not huge (especially compared to The Girlfriend’s stack, which could take up an entire wing of the Library of Congress) but this summer, I aim to read every last book on the list. That means finally polishing off the Borges collection I’ve been savoring for the better part of a year by reading a few stories at a time. It also means choking down 1776 by David McCollum. I bought this last year when I watched John Adams and contemplated a career as colonial American lawyer. I always THINK I want to read about history, but the experience proves tough to get through. No matter how skillful the historian, I still need a little fictionalization.

3. Shape Up

Finals are a dangerous time for my waistline and I’m starting the summer off with the telltale snugness of my pants that always signal that I’ve tilted away from stout and toward chubby. Who would have thought that sitting motionless for eleven hours a day while reading hornbooks and constantly stress-eating would be bad for me? I haven’t exercised in forever, and my constantly expanding ass shows it. You know what that means: bootcamp! I can just work out on my own, but I find the collective experience of forcing myself to wake up early and endure an ordeal for a fixed block of time is a big help. I always lose weight and feel better when I participate in one of these things, so I plan on starting one soon. In the past, I have taken a pugilistic approach to getting in shape. Now I’m contemplating something a little less focused on boxing and more of a general fitness experience. San Francisco has many bootcamps to choose from, and even now I’m deciding which one suits me. Military? Fish-based? General Purpose? Whichever one I go with, I’m sure that it will help me get back on the right track.

4. Ship Out

I want to travel some. The work week will keep me in San Francisco from Monday to Friday, but each weekend is a new opportunity to get out. I’m not sure what my plans are post-graduation. This could very well be beginning of the end of my west coast tenure and I will make sure to hit up as many spots out here as I can while I still have the chance. I’m taking a trip to Portland, as I do from time to time. And after work finishes, I will hit up Vancouver before making a likely ill-advised return to Las Vegas before classes resume for the fall semester. Before then, I’m going to try to take as many day/weekend trips as possible and explore North California. So far, I’ve barely been out of San Francisco, and not really very far out of the Bay Area at all.

I realize that some of these goals don’t fit very well together, if not totally mutually exclusive. Sitting on a couch playing video games will definitely eat up hours I could spend traveling, and it’s not the best activity when you’re goal is to get in shape. Likewise travel isn’t the best way for me to get in shape, since I generally eat out and drink more than I should. Nevertheless, a summer that satisfies all these goals will be an awesome one indeed.

Also, wherever possible I plan to integrate beer into the aforementioned activities.

The summer of Sean begins.

1L Dispatch: The People That I Meet

The charter for my law school requires that the college be within a certain proximity to the courts. This gives us access to the center of legal practice here in San Francisco, but it also means that the school is centered in the Tenderloin – as wretched a hive of scum and villainy as you’re likely to find in the Bay Area. It is euphemistically called a neighborhood in transition, but it appears to be a transition from crackden to crazytown.

It’s not that the area is overly dangerous, although we do hear about the occasional incident. But every day on my way to school I get to see something new, be it making my way through a gaggle of annoyed drag queens or watching some of the more colorful Tenderloin denizens ply their wares.  This lady, for example, gave the end of my day a little extra excitement:

Tenderloin Follies

I know that street performers are nothing new, but I felt she really had something special going for her. She is in fact dancing around in her underwear. Outside the United Nations building. In the middle of the afternoon. With a violin (or possibly a lute). The best part: her instrument had no strings and there was no music coming from it or anywhere. San Francisco. Sigh.

Thank You for Being My Friend

Today on the #22 bus line, all the way from Lombard St. to Potrero Hill, I was sitting behind a certain gentleman. It was 4:45 in the A.M. and we were the only two riders on this particular bus. The gentleman weighed approximately 400 pounds, and was wearing a skin tight pink belly shirt with purple beads glued to the back spelling out the word “Sorgum.” He topped his ensemble off with a saucy pair of camouflage pants. He had an old-school ghetto-blaster boombox on his lap. It was at full volume, playing the theme song to the Golden Girls in a never-ending loop. I guess he must have recorded it that way, and the same minute or so played again and again for the entire 45 minute bus ride. All day I’ve had it bouncing around the inside of my skull.

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true your a pal and a confidant.

And if you through a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Every time I think I have a handle on this city I get hit with something new.