At Home in the World

Gettin' it Done and Then Some

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bernal Heights, Andover St.

Garages are good and close to the street in this neighborhood, right up on the sidewalk. Some folks cram the garage full of stuff and just treat it like a living room/porch. Two guys hang out in the doorway to this one garage; It has a car in it but it is completely surrounded by boxes and doo-dads. The car has not been anywhere in a long time. Dinner plates, newspapers, and drinks go on the hood. Just under the ceiling on top of the boxes is an old tv that is always on.
In another garage there are these two guys who are always practicing rapping in the empty garage. Just a boombox on the ground that plays beats and they make up raps.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

San Bruno - Main Street as Cliche History Receptacle

About five minutes on the 101 from Southern SF is San Bruno. It has a main street with one story buildings. Planes from closeby SFO overhead. Bollywood Fashion store. And Lullaby Lanes Baby Store that has been serving San Bruno since 1957. Out west main street, for me, evokes cowboys watering their horses and teams of horses pulling wagons. But a main street just like it but in say upstate new york evokes merchants in worn vests or a late-teen sweatily sack-stacking in the back room of a dry goods store/barn.
Pastoral west. Industrial east.
The past aint for demarcation.
Watching Little House on the Prairee might not have helped.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

rio / san francisco / porto de galinhas

you watch tv shows set in new york but filmed in california and you can tell just by the quality of sunlight that it is not new york.
san francisco has an unmistakable quality of light that is not too far off of what rio's was like; an urgent sort of brightness tempered by either the amount of pollution or proximity to a bay and cloud activity.

when walking the beach in porto de galinhas looking for a place to set up shop on beach chairs the first touter of beach chairs was this uruguayan dude; a real lusty, ruddy, chortling sorta good time guy whose pantomine of the drunk of person we would be (after drinking plenty of the local drink at his beach chair set up) was both hilarious but frightening because he was portraying being blotto as hilarious and something very desirable to be attained either in general and/or for a tourist in a beach chair. it was hard to know if he was touting or just telling the truth as he saw it. the line betw sales and sincerity was less clear there as irony isnt in operation at all.

ive really grown to like australians mostly. they just go about the business of having a good time. something ive noticed is that they dont complain about things. they just execute having the fun they want to have.
anyway, the last australians we met were a couple from Perth happy to be soon going back for the end of the australian rules football season. they insisted we eat vegemite the proper way; slathered on bread with a foundation of butter. couldnt get behind it, guys.

did not go on a tour of the slums of Rio. you could see them shoved up tight and high on the mountains of the city. driving out to the airport they became more and more frequent. i forget if that City of God movie was about the Rio slums/gangs or what but man that movie sure made them look "gritty" and beautiful. disgusting.

on a related note "The Constant Gardener" was viewed here the other night and fuck me if Africa The Character wasnt depicted in digital sepia (i mean is sepia and jumpy camera the new cinema verite? is that the aesthetic crutch i need to get through a lazily plotted and shortcut-logic movie?) as a bustling, beautiful, sickly place only defensible by lefty beautiful people. The stab the movie takes at an African character hardly ever (literally) comes into focus. He is shot in such a way as only to be a shadow, a mystery; a step above the savage. Hateable movie playing up the easy target of evil pharmaceutical companies and, broadly, Government.

on a related note i saw about fifteen minutes of "Crash" while in Rio hotel room behind locked room door, locked hostel front door that is set up an alley that is lock gated and under security cam.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Rio / San Francisco

Got in from Rio via Miami this afternoon. Good to be stateside with the stateside peeps. Some pell mell:
Flying somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico heard Dylan's "Blowin in the Wind" or whatever the title of that song is. There was match-spark lightning all around. Little oil super tankers spotted the gulf. This was the second time in two return trips from foreign lands that I heard a Dylan song and it just moved the hell out of me. Felt this really strong evocation of Hope, the ability to really hope (and implicitly work and search) for good, whether it be personal or global, and however illusive or ephemeral.

The slog of cynical, jaded times obscures the value of small good things. It's a load of crap that we are all bogged down with too much information and media. We suck up the simple little packages of information/image with greed and yearn to Name and Categorize and draw and cozy up to CONCLUSIONS.
Hope requires imagination. How ugly, huh, a POLEMIC.
=> A lit theory teaching prof I had once came down hard on me in a paper for being too much of a polemicist. There should be, he said, a kinda diplomacy and cooperation and respect among ideas, even if you found most of them pernicious. Disgusting.
Next up from Zizek might me "Paradox and Polemic; Two Sides of the Same Coin." (word to
The King for Zizek recom)
In the Miami Airport a Cuban lunch and coffee counter was the only thing open this morning...and it was Hopping. That great feeling of a precious oasis humming with chatter and light while most else is shuttered and dark. Got myself the Papa Rellanas which were large hush puppies filled with hamburger and mashed potatoes. This plus hot sauce (Chilly Willy Sauce) was superb and not too too far from the street food sampled in Salvador, only those giant hush puppies were cut in two slathered with a sort of bean paste and topped with very slimy okra and something else that was sorta slimy. It was delicious but had consequences.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ilheus, Brazil

Had a strong ice cream. one scoop mango, the other chocolate. Ilheus is chocolate country so i was obligated. Tomorrow onto Rio.