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april

I think it's interesting how riding the bus becomes such a part of your life when you live in the city. At least it does if you have no car, like me. I take the bus

every morning and every evening and it becomes so familiar, it's almost like walking into a restaurant or bar or coffee shop where you're a regular. Everyone's familiar to you and you are familiar to them. Except no one talks to anyone. At least on the bus I ride.

I had been riding the bus for about four or five months before it occurred to me that I was in the interesting position of being vastly in the minority. The bus I ride is at least 95% people of color. Often I'm the only white girl on the bus.

me looking pretty darn white
(me looking pretty darn white)
Sometimes I'm the only white person on the bus. I love this as it reminds me of the diversity in the city, and love that it took me so long to notice. I come from the Midwest where there was one black family in my entire school. I always thought I was open-minded and non-racist/sexist/biased in any way. But it's easy to think that when you never see anyone who's different in those ways. In fact I was quite biased, but it was toward the white middle-class Republicans I went to school with, hippie girl that I was.
I ride the bus with tons of teenagers. There is a school on the bus route, about half-way along, which apparently starts around the same time I get to work. So the bus is packed every morning. If I get to the bus when I plan to in the morning then it's not too crazy and sometimes I can even sit. But I never get to the bus when I plan to, I'm always running late, so I get to squeeze on. And I'm not exaggerating. The bus is already packed and there are a lot of people waiting with me to get on. I try to stand in the most advantageous spot in front of the bus stop and I get lucky a lot of the time--the bus stops in front of me so I'm near the front of the line to get on. It can get a little vicious; people pushing in to get on while the people already on the bus are trying to get off, people pushing in front of each other to get on first. It's tiring. Then once I do get on, the bus driver is yelling for everyone to move to the back, people are packing on through the back door already, and no one wants to relinquish their spot once they get one so no one wants to move back. After all, you have to have one of the all-important bars to hold onto if you're going to stand otherwise you wobble and stumble into everyone once the bus starts moving.

So in an aisle that can't be more than 3 feet wide, people sometimes pack in 3 thick, some with big backpacks,

me with my messenger bag full of books and shoes and whatnot, umbrellas on rainy days, lots of teenagers with those big poofy coats that seem to be popular these days...
It thins out a little when we get to the BART station. A lot of people get off and some people get on but usually I can start to breathe again at this point in the ride. Sometimes I can even sit down if I'm lucky and late enough. I used to read on the bus, when I got a seat, and I still do sometimes. But mostly I find myself watching people and taking guerrilla photographs with my little digital camera. I love taking pictures without looking through the viewfinder. Just point and shoot and hope that I manage to get something interesting. And anyway, I feel too awkward trying to take pictures the old-fashioned way on the bus. I always think someone's going to beat me up, as if I was papparazzi and they were movie stars. I get a kick out of looking at the photos on the computer when I get home.





The teenagers get off at their school about 7 minutes after the BART station, taking their radios,

impressive array of swear words, baggy pants,

and architectural hair with them. I look out the window to see kids smoking in the bus stop or walking to Starbucks for coffee. It's a very different world from the Midwest of my youth.
Sometimes I get off at the next stop and walk from there, if I'm not running late. There's an Asian guy who gets on at this stop some days, usually with coffee, always very well-dressed.

He always looks preoccupied, otherwise one of these days I might talk to him. Again, like a regular at the coffee shop I used to work at, I feel like I know him, seeing him and noticing him every time he gets on the bus. At the coffee shop I had an opening line, though. "Can I help you?" doesn't really work on the bus. Not if you're a passenger anyway.
Usually I wait a few stops and get off at Forest Hill

and walk from there. Or more precisely, I get off at the intersection of Woodside and Dewey, just up a bit from Forest Hill.

I call it the Prevot stop, as there's a restaurant across the street from the stop that I always looked at and wondered about.

I think it was the sign saying they have live gypsy music on Wednesday and Thursday nights that intrigued me. I finally ate there with my family one night. The food was ok and the gypsy music annoyed my dad.
If I'm running really late, I'll take the bus all the way down to 7th and Lawton and get off there. I only have to walk about 3 long blocks, which takes about 10 minutes. I regret the loss of exercise those days and try to walk on my lunch instead. Sometimes I try to help make up for the exercise I'm missing by doing what I call "bus exercises." The bus I take goes around a lot of curves and corners. So, as I'm usually standing, I hold onto the bar above my head

and pull or push myself contrary to the movement force of the bus going around corners, using only my arms. I actually feel the muscles in my arms working so it's not as silly as it sounds. Sometimes if I'm feeling particularly motivated, I try to stretch my calf muscles by going up and down on my toes. I envision someday doing an exercise book called "Bus Exercises For Busy Commuters" or some such thing, expanding my exercise regimen. I imagine people doing pull-ups on the overhead bars.



Using seatbacks as ballet barres.



Using the back stairs as a Stairmaster (though very short and dangerous when the green light comes on).



I even envision some sort of gymnastic movement being doable using the black straps that hang down.



Perhaps all the seats could be taken out of certain buses and replaced by aerobics/yoga mats. It certainly would be more energizing and healthy than talking on your cell phone while driving your BMW through rush hour traffic. We could even expand it to the BART trains, which would be easier to keep balance on. With all that space, you could turn the whole thing into a gym. A few treadmills, some Stairmasters. You could have just a few cars be gym cars and leave the rest for seats. I'm convinced this is a good idea. If it was my city...

On Sunday I saw "Josie and the Pussycats" which I'm surprisingly willing to admit to. Well, that's not really accurate. To anyone who knows me, the fact that I went to this movie and admit it is not a surprise. People call me up to see a movie when no one else will go to see it with them.

Anyway, it was a very fun film. The music is great (I plan to buy the soundtrack) and it's never a movie that takes itself seriously. Everybody's cute as a button, it's got the feel of those old cartoons like Josie or Scooby-doo with the big evil and the simple sweet kids trying to make things right. I enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend going to see it. Just don't expect high art...

I also discovered that my little digital camera will take pictures of a movie screen. Unfortunately I was doing the guerrilla thing and didn't aim using the viewfinder...


Incidentally, my co-worker Lynn is pregnant. She's about 4 months along now and getting a good little belly showing. She's a very small person and has only gained about 5 lbs but is showing every bit of it. Here's a shot of her:



Pregnancy Watch 2001



4/11/01

posted by Alyssa Wodtke 6:30 PM

Happy Easter/Tax Day



I had a lovely weekend, on the whole, starting with Friday night. I'm in a writer's group that meets periodically, once a month roughly, with 3 lovely people. We've messed around with the name a bit, Drinker's Group being the most frequent substitution, but usually there's at least a little writing talk during the evening. The players are:

Angie

(here enjoying my website on Tom's computer)

Tony

(looking a bit like Marlon Brando in "On The Waterfront," I thought, tho he wouldn't believe me. I made him roll up a pack of cigarettes in his sleeve but you can't really see it...)

Tom

(looking quite handsome while cooking us fish)

And Me
(taking a picture of myself in Tom's bathroom mirror)

Tom had offered to cook us dinner to celebrate his new book being published (Tainted, see my resume for the URL to buy it...). Since the book was actually published about 3 months ago and we've had a couple of celebrations since then, it wasn't perhaps what he'd planned. But still, it was a lovely dinner. Salmon and bullet pasta risotto and veggies. Tom even managed to create "tall food", very hot these days...



Angie decided to work off dinner by trying all Tom's exercise equipment in her miniskirt and knee-high black leather boots.




Lots of cigarettes were smoked (not by me...)



And the smoke detector went off more than a few times, from the searing salmon rather than the cigs...



Tom did read a couple of stories and there was much discussion of intellectual subjects (including the new Spider Man movie and horseracing) so we could technically use the Writer's Group name. I love this group of people. You'll find no group of more intelligent, talented, funny, creative, and good-natured people in all of San Francisco. And I don't think I'm at all biased...

Saturday I stayed in bed, sick girl on the tail end of a cold...


Sunday was Easter and I went to brunch with the family at Mikayla restaurant in Sausalito. It's in the Casa Madrona Hotel which is this great hotel that's built into a hill. The restaurant is on the 5th floor and has a fabulous view.




My sister and I took a bunch of photos with our cameras, playing around. Here's one using my auto setup, but I didn't quite get the camera positioned right. I kind of like it though...


Mom looked great with her hat:



and Dad with the view behind him:



It was a gorgeous day. Here's mom dappled by the sun on our way out from brunch:


After much convincing, I got my sister to go see "Bridget Jones's Diary" at The Presidio theater down on Chestnut after brunch on Sunday.



I'd read the books and had heard good reviews of the movie so I was pretty excited. Rene Zellweger in the title roll was very good I thought, had just the right quality of pretty but not gorgeous and actually stayed at least 20 lbs overweight for the entire movie. Refreshing to see a movie that doesn't equate getting the guy with getting thin. It was also great to see that they didn't make Bridget any more poised or discreet than she was in book. Bridget is someone who says the wrong thing about half the time, makes plenty of mistakes, and drinks and smokes too much. She is not your typical heroine, which is why she's so endearing even in the most painful of situations.

Hugh Grant played a scoundrel for a change, which was refreshing. He doesn't get the girl and gets beaten up (hope I didn't spoil anything) and doesn't come out of any situation smelling like roses. He's very good at being a bad guy. I'd like to see him do it more often.

Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy, basically a modern day version of Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice," which he played in the BBC version of the Jane Austen novel. It's hard to fault him for reprising the role, though, as he does it so perfectly. Colin does with a look what a lot of actors spend a lot of dialog trying to get across. He's got the prideful longing look down to a T.

I wish they'd included more of Bridget and her friends together in the movie. In the book, when she gets together with her friends they always end up praising the joys of being single (though it's often with a grain of salt). I felt that the movie made Bridget's single life seem more about getting a man than loving herself and the life she has. In the book I thought it was a little more balanced. Still, a very entertaining movie...

posted by Alyssa Wodtke 6:56 PM

My sister postulated the other day that there are magazine people and non-magazine people. She herself is not a magazine person, reading only the "Industry Standard" and throwing away the "Sports Illustrated"s that mysteriously started arriving at the apartment. My dad is a magazine person, reading every car magazine (preferably British) and Wine Spectator, New Yorker, the Economist, etc. etc. Actually, he may have given up on the New Yorker as having more than one weekly magazine makes it too hard to keep up. I'm guessing I got my fondness for magazines from him. One of my favorite things when I was younger was going into a magazine store with him and picking out a bunch of magazines. If I didn't go crazy and buy the $15 French fashion magazines then he would buy the stack for me. This was usually on trips, when I was spending a lot of time in the car and wanting something to read. It didn't matter that I usually had at least two novels with me... Every now and then when I go into a magazine store with him, he will still buy me a stack of magazines and it's fun, like I'm a kid again, looking through pages of a magazine I've never seen before.

So hopefully that will help to explain why, while waiting in line at Tower Market one day, I picked up "Cosmopolitan." It's not a magazine I generally read; I mostly go for "In Style" or "US" these days, magazines about style and movie stars. What can I say, I like pretty things... But Kirsten Dunst was on the cover and I love her, ever since "Interview With The Vampire" and especially since "Bring It On." And I was going over to a friend's house and I thought it might be fun, there's always a sex quiz or two, something to make fun of.



What surprised me, as I flipped through the magazine, was that every story, every article, every fashion spread managed to be linked to getting a man, looking good for a man, pleasing a man, stealing a man. Are there still women in the world whose whole lives revolve around men? It's hard to believe, but the magazine still sells. And apparently not just to random curiosity-seekers like me. Here's a selection of articles:

Flirt Moves That'll Floor Him
Strut The Stuff He Loves
5 Secrets For Making Sex Supersensual
The Biggest Mind Games Guys Play
The Tough-Girl Trap: Modern women often send men mixed messages that can drive them away, says 26-year-old romance novelist Hillary Fields.
Do You Give off A Sexy Vibe?
How to Stage a Siege on His Heart
Get a Lust-Worthy Bust
Love Musts

It's amazing how everything comes back to men in the end. In an article about Spring Cleaning, it says you should reward yourself for cleaning by going to "a movie with your man." (Aside from my obvious objections, this seems ridiculous as I know I always feel sexiest after scrubbing the toilet and smelling like Tilex.)



The idea that a man is the most important prize for a woman to win in her lifetime is so out-dated it galls me that it is still being put out there. And they wonder why women still get paid less than men. Of course they do, they're clearly too busy trying to get a date with him than trying to get a raise from him. At least if this magazine represents any real part of the population. And lord, I sure hope it doesn't.

On the other side of the coin is my new bible, "The Bad Girl's Guide To Getting What You Want," a book written by Cameron Tuttle.

This book will never leave my side until I have officially achieved the title of "Bad Girl."



The Bad Girl's Guide takes every aspect of being a girl and celebrates it. As she says in the first line of the book, "Being a girl is your ice cream sundae--being a bad girl is the cherry on top." The book screams at us to grab every ounce of influence and feminine power we have by birth and by attitude and use it every way we can. Women are powerful? Who could have thought such a thing? Hee hee, I laugh with glee, and turn the pages.

The Bad Girl's Guide accepts men/women and sex as part of what the average Bad Girl wants and will get. And a good fourth of the book is devoted to getting a date. But Tuttle's suggestions start with dating yourself. She explains that you have to think you rock before you can expect anyone else to think so. The "Getting A Date" section is more about wielding your feminine powers to get free drinks, to keep yourself entertained, to meet new people. It teaches you to make the first move, be bold, be yourself.

Subsequent sections are "Getting A Job--in which I found the best job interview advice I've ever gotten: pretend like you're on a talk show-- and "Getting A Life" which includes getting the perfect apartment, having great parties, having good friends, and getting the best parking spaces and airline upgrades.

Bottom line is: The key to getting what you want; be it man/woman, job, apartment, life; is to be bold, use everything you've got, and don't for a minute think that because you're a girl you don't deserve all of it. I'm slowly integrating The Bad Girl's Guide into my daily life and I'm loving it. I would be a Bad Girl with the world at my feet any day of the week rather than be a Cosmo chick trying to use my lust-worthy bust to twist some man around my finger.


posted by Alyssa Wodtke 5:21 PM

I had the interesting experience of feeling like I was 18 again this weekend. Unfortunately, unlike getting plowed when you're 18, when you're 30 and you're impressively 10 sheets to the wind you no longer have "youthful indiscretion" as an excuse.

The first time I got drunk I was 18 and in Chicago with my friend Nate on New Year's Eve. We were drinking really cheap champagne and I remember feeling very free and dancing with Nate to Eurythmics.

The first time I got really impressively drunk I was 24 and again with my friend Nate in Chicago and was leaving for London the next morning. After a night of really good Indian food and a really bad mixture of drinks which included gin and tonics and white russians in the spectrum, I ended up sitting in a chair at a club unable to move and Nate got thrown out of the club for sitting down on the dance floor.

The latest time was Friday night, caused by a sneak attack of brandy in an innocent-looking pitcher of sangria. I won't go into details but I have to say some serious thank you's to these people:

Thanks for the 5 glasses of water.

Thanks for keeping an eye on me, and an non-disapproving one at that.

Thanks for making sure I was looked after. And most of all...

Thanks for being a goddess.

You all deserve to call in my marker at any time for shepherding next time you're in that same place or for a couple of drinks on me to help you get there (if you want to be there, just because it was not a happy place for me, doesn't mean I would keep others from it).

In other news, Saturday I went to see The Softboys, which is Robyn Hitchcock's old band, at The Fillmore. I'd never been to the Fillmore before, believe it or not, and I enjoyed the experience. I loved the chandeliers, which you can see in this picture, kind of:





and all the posters on the walls. The sound was good and, though I wished I'd worn some serious platform boots, I was able to see pretty well. They did some amazing songs, some I hadn't heard in a long time. He did one of my favorites "Insanely Jealous" during which his face is completely transformed into the face of jealousy, it's really remarkable. "I'm insanely jealous of the people that you see and I'm insanely jealous of the people who aren't me and I'm insanely jealous of you..."

Robyn is amazing, such a distinctive voice and intriguing fashion sense--this evening he was wearing a black t-shirt and green pants with pink flowers on them. He talks quite a bit between songs and is always funny. He makes very little sense if you try to understand his actual words and yet you generally get the meaning of what he's saying. His songs are the same way for the most part, but sometimes you get a more straightforward one, like "Insanely Jealous" or "So You Think You're In Love" (one of his only songs to actually get radio play). But mostly they're like "Queen of Eyes"--"Blinking on and off, she's the queen of eyes, with her carapace shell and her black lace thighs, I don't know why she never gets anywhere with you." And they're almost all fabulous.

The band was rocking, Robyn's had a couple of bands, The Egyptians and The Softboys. The Softboys are the cult favorite and to see them together was pretty impressive. Their album "Underwater Moonlight" is a serious critical classic. Unfortunately, they didn't do "Where Are The Prawns?" a personal favorite of mine. But they did do "Give It To The Softboys" as their final encore. At one point Thomas Dolby joined them, much to everyone's surprise. Tom is looking completely different than I remember him from the 80's and I thought Robyn was making a joke at first. But no, it was him--apparently a Bay Area resident these days. You can vaguely see him on the left side of this picture.



I was lucky enough to get a poster for the show which I've already bought a frame for and will display proudly next to Robyn's set list which I ripped off the stage and framed from a show I saw him at in Seattle years ago. I think Robyn stands as the person I've seen perform the most times--if you don't count my friend Anton who is apparently minorly famous in Europe. Richard Thompson runs a close second. Seeing Robyn is always a pleasure as you never know what he's going to do--he's got such a huge volume of work--and because he's Robyn and is charismatic and funny and brilliant.

You can't see him well in this picture, but you get the idea...



Go here for a nice review of the show: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/04/09/DD221922.DTL&type=music

Sunday morning we went out to brunch, the fam, to 2223 in the Castro. My sister and I of course brought out our digital cameras (Dad was examining my sister's new one, I have her old one)



in a continuing quest to get pictures of Mom, as she likes to avoid them--case in point:





The coffee was good apparently:



maybe because of close proximity to a Peet's Coffee, the company my good and loving friend Angie works for...
did I mention she's a goddess?

Anyway, that's all for now. Just remember--brandy=bad, Angie=good.


posted by Alyssa Wodtke 11:38 AM

I had my opinion of men raised and dropped in the same day yesterday. Just when I thought chivalry was dead...

I was riding the bus yesterday morning,



which was packed as it always is between 7:30 and 8:30 because of the school kids. I was running late as usual or I would have been on the 7:15 and been able to breathe for the whole ride. The bus had thinned out and there were only a few of us standing when we got to the stop before mine. I was standing in front of one of the coveted single seats on the right hand side of the bus when the woman in the seat in front of me got off the bus. There were a couple of hispanic men standing near me, holding onto the metal bars and black straps as I was. My stop was next, which was about 3 minutes down the line so I didn't bother to take the empty seat. I waited for one of the guys next to me to rush to it and moved myself so I wouldn't block the path. But no one took the seat. I looked at the other standees--they were all men. As the bus went forward toward my stop, I waited for someone to take the seat but still no one did. Finally as we approached my stop, I moved to stand in the doorway to make a quick exit and sprint to work. The man who'd been standing next to me looked up at me, realized I was getting off, and took the single seat. I got off the bus thinking how surprising that small gesture was to me, that neither he nor any of the other men on the bus would take the seat as long as I was standing. I guess I didn't see chivalry much in my daily life anymore. It made me happy for most of the morning, knowing there were still old-fashioned guys out there. Then...

Walking to Forest Hill Station last night, on my way home from work, I was walking along the wall that borders one side of 7th Avenue across from Sutro Tower



and the lagoon that I assume gave Laguna Honda Hospital, just up the street from there, the name. I was looking ok and feeling happy,



thinking about the pretty good day I'd had. But I certainly wasn't traffic-stoppingly stunning. Nevertheless, as I walked I heard a quick car horn toot and looked up. A cab was passing by on the lagoon side of 7th and the man driving had his head out the window staring at me and grinning idiotically. As he passed by and I turned away, I admittedly smiled to myself, flattered by the compliment. I think almost anytime someone finds you attractive enough to comment, whether the comment is a "You look great today" or a honk on the car horn, it should be considered a compliment. Which is not to say that the compliment entitles the deliverer to anything. As I continued walking down 7th, I saw the man in his cab (it wasn't Yellow Cab, it was Veteran but I couldn't find a picture of them...)



drive by me again. He looked back at me as he passed and I got an uncomfortable feeling. There was nowhere to pull over along the wall, but just past Clarendon there was the church parking lot.



I wondered idly to myself, he wouldn't pull in up there, would he? I mean, if he went to the trouble of going down past the lagoon and getting himself turned around just to pass me again, it was just a quick leap to him pulling over and trying to talk to me. Which in and of itself was no big deal, I would just say "not interested" and leave it at that. But as I started to turn the corner where I would be able to see the parking lot, I cautiously glanced around it and saw him there, pulled over. I paused and thought for a moment. If he was just going to ask me out or something, it was no big deal. But suddenly I felt almost like I was being stalked. I mean, this was a stranger in a car who could pull me into the car. He could be a psychopath. A homicidal maniac. Ok, so my imagination was running a little wild, but a girl can't be too careful.

So I crossed the street at Clarendon--a tricky intersection but possible to cross--and started walking up the other side of the street. As I passed where he was, on the opposite side, he drove off. Once he was out of sight, I crossed back over to the other side and walked on up to Forest Hill, thinking about what a stupid display that had been. I mean, it reminded me of the stereotypical construction worker, hooting at women thinking, what, that a woman would hear "Hey, baby, I know you want it!" and respond with, "Why, yes, you're right, I do in fact want it, let's go out tonight!"? Honking and hanging your tongue out at a woman then tracking her down with your car is pretty much the same thing. How did he really think I would react? I mean, I didn't know anything about the man, I certainly wasn't going to hop in the car and say, "Let's go someplace romantic." Once, back when I was in a relationship, I had a cab driver who was driving me home ask me repeatedly, for the entire 20 minute trip, if I would go out with him. No matter how many times I said no, I have a boyfriend; no matter how many times I told him how big and tough my boyfriend was; he kept asking. Again, what did he think he would accomplish? That after asking 50 times, when he asked the 51st time, I would say yes? I think it's pretty creepy.

So as I sat and waited for the bus last night, I thought about the contrast between the feeling I had about the men on the bus that morning and the way I was feeling about men after the cabbie incident. I decided that most men probably fell somewhere in the middle, a little of the white knight



mixed with a little of the tongue-waggler,



though it is good to know that the extremes still exist so I can keep an eye out for them.

And speaking of taxi-drivers, I found this site last night and think it's great. This guy is not the one who I encountered last night, but rather one of those few and wonderful people who finds a way to make art out of his everyday life. Check it out: http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sfmetro/03.98/taxis1-98-3.html



posted by Alyssa Wodtke 1:21 PM

I walk to the train station every night to catch my choice of buses to get home. I started doing this walk in the morning first then added the evening walk to get a little more exercise and help me unwind after my busy days. It's amazing how my mind just flies during these walks; if there's something preoccupying me I'll usually ponder it so intently that I get to the station without feeling like any time has passed. Sometimes I write in my head and put it down on paper once I'm on the bus. Sometimes my mind just skitters from subject to subject, free-floating thoughts about the day or week or the future coming and going at will. I don't listen to music, I find my mind loud enough. It's funny that I never realized how little time I normally spend in a day just with my own thoughts. There's always the TV, or music, or books and magazines, or other people, that catch my attention. It's nice to have this time with nothing else to distract me.
Of course, there are always some distractions. My walk to the station is actually very pretty. I find I really like the neighborhoods along the way, pretty houses and very green. The nice thing about the inner sunset is there is lots of foliage, trees, flowers everywhere, gardens, and little parks.

This is just a little bush of flowers outside a house on my walk. It seems anywhere they can put soil and grow something, the people in these houses try.



I love this row of houses. They all have little tiny balconies but none of the windows out to them seem to open.



This is one of my favorites. I would like to buy it, paint it, and alter the middle window so it would open like French doors.



About of a third of the way through my walk, there is a SLUG garden. Sanfrancisco League of Urban Gardeners.



It's so beautiful, a huge range of flowers and trees all in less than half of a block. Here are a few of my favorites:



My absolute favorite is the Australian Tea Tree. I would like a bunch of these in my back yard, if I had a back yard. I love the little red flowers.



There is a big empty green space just across the street from the SLUG garden where they sell pumpkins around Halloween and trees around Christmas. Right now it's just a place for people to walk their dogs. There is a huge tree growing there, right next to the road. If I was a kid again, I would love to climb it; it has perfect branches for climbing. Maybe one day I'll stop on my walk and take a climb.



One of the other great things about my walk is the light. The sunset always casts a great glow on everything. Sutro Tower looks especially glowing.



There's a church just past Clarendon St. that's part of a little complex that looks like it was built in the 60's. Especially if this sign is any indication:



Next to Forest Hill Station, where I catch the bus, there's this big building that reminds me of England. It seems oddly out of place.



Forest Hill Station is a really cool looking Muni station. Very old fashioned. I love the doors.



So here I am, sitting at Forest Hill Station, looking at flowers and Sutro Tower glowing in the sunset (as am I), feeling powerful after my walk and ready for the bus to come and take me home.



It's not an exciting end to the day, but it makes me happy pretty much every time. Thanks for reading...

posted by Alyssa Wodtke 12:39 PM

Every now and then, it used to be more frequently before I went on this whole healthier lifestyle kick, I go to the little taqueria around the corner for lunch. I always take my lunch late, today it was 2:45, and usually there's still a line. Today there wasn't and I got my nachos, mixed black and pinto beans, no meat, guacamole, and pico de gallo.



I sat down, ate and read, then started to write. I have a little Palm IIIc and a fold-up keyboard that I love and I try to work on my stories during lunch.



My favorite thing about going to the taqueria is the loud bad covers of old songs sung in Spanish they play on their radio. I'll be writing along, or poised over the keyboard desperately trying to come up with something to write, and I'll hear the first strains of music that sound so familiar. I pause in my thinking to consider the music, trying to remember what the song is. Then the Spanish starts and I crack up. Suddenly this song that was nothing but elevator music to me before becomes this great new song as I try to understand what they're saying with my minimal understanding of Spanish. Today the song was "Suspicious Minds," an old Elvis tune that I remember hearing on KIOA back in high school when all I had was AM radio so I learned all the oldies: "We're caught in a trap, I can't walk out, because I love you too much, baby...We can't go on together with suspicious minds..." I don't know why the music makes me so happy or why I enjoy writing to it so much, but I do. If only going there didn't also mean I come back with onion breath and the occasional heartburn.

Today I had a discussion with two of my coworkers about shoes. He was asking how we could walk in high-heeled shoes with no backstraps--(example:)



--without kicking them off. She and I were trying to explain that with shoes like that, you don't need to walk, men will drive you. He objected, trying to claim that men didn't notice shoes and wouldn't even admit that shoes make a difference when I was explaining how much more shapely our legs look in high-heels. Obviously not a leg-man, I observed. She asked what body part he usually noticed. He blushed a bit and carefully changed the subject then to remark on his fiance's huge shoe collection and went off on a rant. Not that I hadn't noticed before, but men and women have vastly different relationships with shoes, not to mention body parts. I turned back to my computer.

This was the sunset on my walk home from the bus tonight:



Well, this is my first musings. Hope it was satisfying for all. Thanks for reading.

posted by Alyssa Wodtke 6:47 PM

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