What it’s really like living in San Francisco

It’s been just over two years since I moved to the Bay Area from Atlanta. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how completely different it is out here and what it’s like living in San Francisco from a displaced Southerner’s perspective. It’s impossible to capture all the little details when someone from back east asks me “How is California treating you?” Usually I make some generic comment about how nice the weather is, or how crazy it is working in tech. But here’s the full answer ⁠— my collection of observations, musings, and rants about San Francisco and NorCal (yes, it’s really called that).

First, let’s make one thing crystal clear. Despite my drivers license and impending jury duty summons, I will never be a San Franciscan. However, there are times when I’ve come dangerously close. These include when I:

  • Developed a concerning Birkenstock tan
  • Cooked and enjoyed my first vegetarian quinoa bowl
  • Referred to every patch of green space in San Francisco as “the dog park”
  • Finally got a Clipper card
  • Ordered a vape through Eaze and it was delivered to my apartment in three minutes
  • Sold my car

This last one is pretty crazy and happened in November. It was a very strange and bittersweet moment, especially considering that I’ve never been without wheels since I was 16 years old. I’ve always needed a car, but not so living in the Mission. I never drove the damn thing except to move it for street sweeping, and when I did, it was a nightmare trying to find parking. Sometime I would just treat myself to an $80 parking ticket as a kind of fuck-it tax.

But I’m chauffeured to work in a luxury coach with Wi-Fi and I live a five minute walk from the BART station. Lyft is also piloting a rental car program in San Francisco, so there are plenty of options for getting around. This morning I rode an electric rental bike to the gym. But mostly I prefer to walk. Some days I walk seven miles without even realizing it!

The Mission

As I mentioned, I live a neighborhood called the Mission. It’s the home of Dolores Park, brilliant street art, countless shops, bars and restaurants, and is a place where people come from all over to people watch, wear their leather jackets and feel cool. It’s like if Little 5 Points and a mariachi band had a baby. On a one-block stretch of Mission Street you can get a street pupusa, a bootleg copy of Gilmore Girls season 3, a $4 happy hour whiskey ginger, a pair of glittery pink hot pants, and a hair cut at a salon called WERK. Continue reading “What it’s really like living in San Francisco”

Art Review of Rene Magritte: Something’s Not Quite Right

I’ve always been fascinated by the strange and subversive, so when I began to learn about Surrealism in art school, I was hooked. I pored over Dali paintings, spent a semester studying Frida Kahlo and fell in love with the beautifully executed, yet off-kilter work of Rene Magritte.

Rene Magritte (1898-1967) was a Belgian surrealist painter who explored the concept of the untrustworthiness of images. His work constantly pushes you to think, what am I really looking at? “The Treachery of Images,” one of Magritte’s most famous pieces, depicts a pipe, with the words “This is not a pipe.” The point here is that it’s not a pipe, it’s the image of a pipe.

surrealist painting, magritte, rene magritte, this is not a pipe
“The Treachery of Images”

Magritte Exhibit at the SFMoMA (May 19 – October 28, 2018)

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Rene Magritte exhibit, which contained 77 of the surrealist master’s original paintings and drawings. I also opted for the audio tour, which contained commentary from the museum’s curators, people who were close to Magritte, and even famous artists like Jeff Koons.

The following is an amalgam of direct quotes and paraphrasing from the exhibit and audio tour, along with my own thoughts, reflections and commentary.  Continue reading “Art Review of Rene Magritte: Something’s Not Quite Right”

Sound City: A Non-Review

sound city cover, sound city, sound city dvd

Why a non-review? I actually learned once in The Long, Long Ago how to write a film review and this is most certainly not that. Being that I’m a bit of a Dave Grohl fangirl, this post will be completely biased. However, I promise The Foo Fighters actually have very little to do with this review, so rest easy, hoss.

Nirvana, nirvana nevermind, nevermind album coverSound City is a documentary, directed by Dave Grohl, that is all about the San Fernando Valley recording studio of the same name. Incorporated in 1969, Sound City Studios has used their completely analog technique to record more than 100 gold and platinum albums over the years including Nirvana’s Nevermind. Continue reading “Sound City: A Non-Review”

Charm City Trip: Murals, Records, and the Sexiest Chicken ‘n’ Waffles Ever

Last week I took a trip out to Baltimore to see some family for Christmas. I flew out Christmas morning and had the pleasure of enjoying the soothing sounds of a screaming baby for the first 30 minutes. And we all know how much I love children.

A Little History

I was born in Baltimore at St. Agnes hospital. It was around the time of Independence Day and my mom told me that she could see fireworks over the Inner Harbor from her hospital window.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

My parents moved us down to Florida when I was three months old, but I would fly up to visit my grandparents in Baltimore every summer starting at age nine. Continue reading “Charm City Trip: Murals, Records, and the Sexiest Chicken ‘n’ Waffles Ever”

Art Updates: 2012 Show Recap & News

Moving to Atlanta, I knew that there would be more opportunities in the art world, and after a year and a half, I’ve finally started to find my footing. Fall is always the busiest time for art shows and events and this year I found myself caught up in a few of them.

The first was the Forget Me Not Tonight Art Show & Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research which was September 15 at Sound Table.

Forget Me Not Tonight Poster Continue reading “Art Updates: 2012 Show Recap & News”

Art o’ Mine

I have some pictures of my artwork that have been taking up space on my camera since before Thanksgiving. I figured it was time to show them off blog-style.

All Hail the Heartbreaker lyrics, The Spill Canvas lyrics, The Spill Canvas

This is a piece that I did for my friend Shannon. I started with a 22×30 inch piece of watercolor paper and stained it with yellow ochre watercolor and sepia ink. I burned the edges on a tiki torch of all things, then I did the lettering. The words are lyrics from The Spill Canvas song “All Hail the Heartbreaker.”

Black Holes

This is an 8×10″ acrylic painting called “Black Holes” that I did while visiting DZ in Miami. I didn’t really go in with a set plan and ended up getting really frustrated with it, but once I used that anger, it started to become something I liked.

This is a portrait that I drew of one of my best friends, DZ. She didn’t have any drawing paper at her apartment so I used canvas paper and charcoal pencils, which is why it looks gritty. In some ways it feels like I drew a portrait of Jennifer Aniston, which is a nice compliment to DZ.

Being an unemployed graduate from an art school, my favorite way to do Christmas presents is to make them. This year I made mixed CDs for friends and family, which is not uncommon for me. The part that was really cool was that I painted the album art for each one with watercolors. Here are two that came out well:

This is the cover for a Slightly Stoopid mix that I made for my brother Paul.

This is the cover of a CD mix that I made for my grandma. It’s a portrait of my dad and me.

Not all of the art that I did over the holidays was two-dimensional.

This was an arrangement of white pine and holly and other trimmings cut from my grandma’s yard.

So that is the extent of my holiday artwork, I hope you enjoyed it.


Wave Gotik Treffen: Part Zwei

What better time to write another Wave Gotik Treffen post than on this hideously rainy, dark, depressing, finals-filled day?

Since Wave Gotik Treffen is this weekend in Leipzig, Germany, I would like to celebrate all things  Gothic by posting some of the highlights from previous years.

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT, City Hall

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT, Dark Flower, Darkflower

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT, Hocico

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT, Dreamside

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT, 2009

Leipzig, Germany, Wave Gotik Treffen, WGT

All of these photos were borrowed from SadGoth.com which is a great Web site if you’re looking for an unofficial guide to Wave Gotik Treffen. It features all the basics on how to get to Leipzig, where to stay, Newbie dos and don’ts, costs, and much more. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s even remotely curious about WGT.

My favorite make-up artist on YouTube, MissChievous, also has a Gothic make-up tutorial that I’ve posted here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the dark side a little further. Feel free to leave comments on anything you would like to see more of or any helpful suggestions you might have.


Fuddruckers, RuddFuck . . . nevermind

Fuddruckers, Ruddfuckers, Buttfuckers

As most of you know from my incessant promotion on Facebook and [possibly] Twitter, I am now a bartender at Fuddruckers on Broughton. Today is my fifth shift and I’m proud to report that I absolutely love it! No B.S. There are ups and downs, but it’s a great gig.

The cool thing is that in Georgia you don’t need a certificate/license or anything to do this job as far as I know. And being that today is Mother’s Day I hope to make something good. Maybe some hungover ladies want a Bloody Mary? I’m on it. Faux mimosa*? On it. I really want to use the blender today, so if you’re craving some frozen paradise, let me know!

I work the weekends:

  • Thursday: 50 cent drafts for college students. Bud, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Miller, Blue Moon, Yuengling, Newcastle and Sam Adams Noble Pils (seasonal ale).
  • Friday: Happy Hour 5-7. $1 off everything. Karaoke w/ my good friend Art.
  • Saturday: Happy Hour 5-7.
  • Sunday: same.

So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop in and see me! Grab a good drink and enjoy while I practice the Art of the Bar. (Thanks Brittany Vogel).

Oh yeah, there’s really good food too. Not just promo, it’s actually delicious.

Num Nums, cheeseburger, chzbrgr, Fuddruckers

*Natty Light and O.J. (Trust me!)

United States of Tara

U.S. of Tara is by far my favorite show on television.

United States of Tara, U.S. of Tara, Toni Collette
Tara's personalities from left: Buck, Alice, Tara and T

I’m not a huge TV person, so that statement might not carry a lot of clout, but take my word for it. It’s awesome. Written and created by Diablo Cody, the creator of Juno, U.S. of Tara is extremely well-written and much deeper than her previous work. Now in its second season, the show airs Monday nights at 10:30 p.m. on Showtime. But no worries, if you’re poor like me, you can watch it for free online here, but you didn’t hear it from me.

Tara (played by Toni Collette) is a woman and mother of two with dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). The subject matter is very similar to the made-for-television movie Sybil (1976).

U.S. of Tara, Toni Collette, BuckBuck is Tara’s gun-loving, beer-chugging, redneck alter personality. He plays a huge, plot-changing role in the second season.

U.S. of Tara, United States of Tara, Alice, Toni Collette

Alice is a parody of Bree from Desperate Housewives. She bakes non-stop, interferes with her kids’ school lives, and even washes her daughter’s mouth out with soap.

United States of Tara, T, Toni Collette And finally we have T. This is Tara’s teenage gum-chewing, thong-wearing alter.

Tara’s personalities are all very different, but somehow strangely relatable.

If you’re new to the show, I strongly recommend starting from the beginning. Since the show is only in its second season, it won’t be hard to catch up.

Although Tara’s alters are fairly one-dimensional, that’s O.K., because the rest of the characters on the show are very complex. Episode four of the new season shows a whole new side of Max, Tara’s husband (played by John Corbett).

As with any Showtime series, there is a lot of stuff going on, many plot lines interwoven, but they’re all so interesting and subversive, it’s easy to catch on.

Labeled by critics as a “dark comedy”, Tara is completely original in that it picks up where other movies like Sybil and The Three Faces of Eve leave off.

Those movies end with the patient being diagnosed and struggling to cope. Tara, however, opens with the fact that she’s already been diagnosed and is living happily. Happily until she goes off of her meds.

The second season is just as awesome as the first, especially the most recent: episode four. It had my stomach flip-flopping and caused me to bite off all of my barely-there nails. I won’t give away any details, but there are some major plot twists in that episode. I mean, wow.

United States of Tara is like no other show I’ve ever seen. With all the remakes and cover songs being produced today, it’s nice to know that there is still original content being written.

Well done, Diablo Cody.