SF Weekend

San Francisco folk: The Billy Nayer Show’s brilliant film The American Astronaut is playing tonight at The Red Vic on Haight Street. I plan to be at the show around 9ish.


Tomorrow is the Bay to Breakers. Yes, it covers some blocks which I have not already walked. No, I’m not going to do it. Yes, it is fun, but, no, I don’t feel like being in a great huge crowd. So, tomorrow will probably be about hiding out at home most of the day, though I may stroll over 1 block & cheer folks on. (Yes, I’m one block off the route. Oy. Must remember to find a parking space tonight).

I guess I better go to the grocery store for more resupply supplies now before it gets completely crazy out there. Ah, the downside of having a car in SF is the parking, oh yes, it is.

There is one small problem with that plan…

My big wonderful walk plans are suddenly altered. I just looked at the bottle of the medication I’m taking this week (an antibiotic to clear up a mild infection on my leg) and it says Avoid Prolonged Exposure To Direct Sunlight While Taking This Medication. Bugger.

Well, says I, there are two goals for today: walk a lot and have fun. Where can I do that without getting exposed to a lot of sun? The Exploratorium!. And it’s Easter Sunday so it’ll just be me and the other secular humanists. Care to join me? I’ll be heading over there around noonish. [uh, update, by noonish, I mean, of course, 1:30ish]

Out For A Stroll

I’ll be taking a walk tomorrow. My diet has gotten a bit lax and my body is starting to feel mushy now that all the moving and SXSW walking about are done.

Definite stops on tomorrow’s journey:
– The Fillmore to buy tickets for next month’s Kids in the Hall show (at the Warfield, but you buy the tix at the Fillmore, go figure)
– Green Apple Books to sell off some stuff I no longer need
– (if it’s not bitingly cold) parks and seaside, either Golden Gate or Presidio en route to the Pacific

Drop me a note if you want to join me for some or all of my ramble.

Update on the Musee

Earlier today I spoke with Rich Weideman at the National Park Service and he kindly took the time to fill me in on some history. The NPS is actually about to do a major amount of work on the whole Sutro area. I’m looking forward to the meeting in April when they give a presentation on all that will be happening. What Rich summarized sounds quite exciting (and necessary given the poor repair of some paths & other fixtures out there). This plan has been brewing for a long time actually and parts of it date back to the early 90’s, so the Zelinskys have had warning that they would need to work out at least temporary relocation during the construction. Rich said some folks have asked why a solution was not found for the Musee in the intervening time and he said the main reason is Crissy Field; all the NPS’s energy has been focused there on what I think he said was the biggest (or most expensive?) urban project since the Statue of Liberty. (Certainly the incredible results they achieved are worth the distraction!) Another factor, though, is the fact that the Musee is a privately held concession, not a non-profit. Under new bidding rules, the NPS cannot give preference to a private vendor just based on long-time presence on the site. What this means is that the Musee is not guaranteed to be the (or the only) concession of this kind in the new center. I think the Zelinskys will seriously need to consider other options (e.g. forming a non-profit organization or donating their collection to the NPS & then curating it) if they wish to receive funding and donations.

One possibility that has been mentioned is that there would be space for the Musee in the new visitor center to be built in the Merrie Way area. Unfortunately, the coast of relocating the museum in temporary trailers would be extremely high, apparently around $750,000, which I can’t help but think would be better applied to a long-term solution. Rich said that it would probably be two to three years before this new center would be ready and even then it’s only currently approved to be a total of 9000 square feet, a lot of which would need to be devoted to acting as a visitor center for the Sutro area. That could mean that even if the Musee moved there it would have only the presently displayed collection or fewer items available to the public. One interesting thing I learned from Rich is that not only do the Zelinskys have more items in storage, the majority of their items are stored and, based on a full survey of those items which the NPS was involved in, he said that the stored items are actually in better condition than those on display. That’s hardly surprising given the salt spray and leaky roof in the current place. This reinforces my feeling that what would really be best for fans of the Musee Mechanique is the creation of a significantly larger museum of indoor entertainment machines. Such a facility would allow the display of far more of the Zelinskys’ growing collection and could become the premier museum of these items worldwide. Okay, so maybe I’m dreaming big, but why not? San Francisco certainly has the tourism to support another great museum. I’m looking forward to hearing more ideas from other folks and to talking to the Zelinskys about their hopes. Rich said that he thought the Presidio Trust had offered to assist, as had a site near Fisherman’s Wharf. I keep thinking of the vacancy rates in SOMA and how well such a museum would fit with a trip to the Cartoon Art Museum or an afternoon at the baseball park.

A Good Friday Night

Ah. Starting to feel a bit settled. I’m still having trouble getting to sleep at night, but I can sleep in so my schedule is a little wonky but not painful.

Telecommuted today, working on the next phase of CentralBooking.com and it’s going along well. I think we’ll be able to finish ahead of schedule – which everyone likes. Fingers crossed for continued smooth sailing.

Had dinner at Suppenküche with Clemens and Friederike who pronounced it very good. Clemens had Sauerbraten mit Preiselbeerkonfit�re, serviert mit Rotkohl und Spätzle and said it was the best south German food he’d had in the Bay Area. It’s a fun restaurant and I highly recommend it. The shared seating is actually lots of fun. We were next to two large and pleasant parties of people – a good place for extroverts!

Now I’m all warm and sleepy and faced with a dilemna: if I make the bed (currently in couch form) and brush my teeth and go to bed, will I actually be sleepy enough to go to sleep for the whole night? Or will I, as I strongly suspect, sleep for 2 hours and then wake refreshed and stay awake until 3 or 4 and totally screw up my sleep schedule?

Maybe I’ll make the bed and then play games for an hour. Jeez, so much for being an urbane city dweller – “Oh, goodness, it’s almost 10pm. *yawn*” I blame the good, rich German food.

Dinah’s Busy Busy Week of Fun

Well. What a busy week I’ve been having.

Monday was relatively uneventful, though I did register with RentTech in the evening and performed an apartment search. Got about 10 or so interesting results in my price range (which I had to do a reality check on and up from “under $900” to “$925 or under”).

Tuesday I drove up to The City and stopped by the RentTech office to order sealed copies of my credit report. While they were getting those together, I called the apartments on my list. I left some messages, reached some & found out the unit had upstairs neighbors (“Sorry, but thanks for playing!”) and then got one landlady who sounded nice & competent AND had an upstairs unit. We arranged to meet at the building in an hour, I went in and retrieved my credit reports and drove over to Hayes Valley. Off to a good start: I found a parking space 2 blocks away and had time to walk around the neighborhood. Laundromat 1 block away, good. Natural food store 1 block away, excellent. Pretty quiet area, wonderful. While waiting in front of the building, I stopped a guy coming out and said “Good place to live?” He proceed to gush about the building, the landlady, the neighborhood. Very friendly guy. Turns out he manages the building next door & is just doing some painting work for this landlady. Nice fellow. And when the landlady showed up things continued great. She’s very talkative, but devoted to improving the neighborhood. Really hands-on, make-things-better.

Ah, and the apartment. *sigh* It meets all my criteria (though it’s on the small side) and I decide I’m on to a good thing. Rather than keep hunting around & risk losing it, I choose to rent it on the spot. Fortunately, between my personable manner, my exemplary credit report and the fact that I’m wearing a suit, the landlady agrees to rent it to me. We arrange that I’ll sign the lease & get keys on Thursday morning. Great!

So I head off, leave lots of hyper-bubbly messages on friends’ answering machines and go about my business for the afternoon. La la la. Lovely day in SF. I got together with Carl for a visit and a tasty hunan dinner. Before dinner I amused myself photographing the cats of the person Carl’s housesitting for. Therefore, let us now pay a visit to feline supermodel Spencer:

Spencer sleeps.

Spencer wakes.

Spencer plots.

Spencer sits.

Spencer wants to be where the other cat is.

Spencer climbs.

Spencer climbs more.


So that was an exciting Tuesday evening. When I got home I realized “Hey, as of Thursday, I have an apartment in San Francisco. I better pack.” So I did some and then more in the morning.

Wednesday at work I found it hard to concentrate. I kept wanting to be working on the move. And I got to thinking: I have to go up there on my day off (I’m only working 3 days a week for a while) therefore I can and should take a load of stuff with me. Then I thought, hey, I could rent a cargo van and take the big stuff so that all the rest of the move will be little catch-as-catch-can runs in the Beetle. So, at 4:30 the wonderful Kristin and I left work early so she could give me empty boxes from her move and take me to U-Haul to pick up a van. Thank you, Kristin! Once I was at U-Haul, I noticed that the trucks are the same price as the cargo van, so I got a truck instead. Unfortunately, they were out of the 10′ ones so I ended up with a huge 14′ monster. Hard to drive, but I got the hang of it and got home about 5:30 or 6. The fantabulous Jessa was waiting there for me with more boxes (!) and a willing attitude. With her mighty help, I ended the evening with the truck containing two large bookcases, two cd racks, a large chair & ottoman, two dressers, a coffee table, a microwave oven, two chairs, and a bunch of boxes.

I was already a bit stiff when I woke up this morning at 7:15, but I managed to put a few more small things in the truck, eat some breakfast and get myself and the laden truck up to SF by a little before 10am. Signed the lease, got the keys and… oh my… look at all the stuff in that truck. Well, only one thing to do: I started carrying up everything that didn’t take two people to move. After about an hour or so my super splendiferous friend Beverly came along to help. Beverly is a goddess. She busted her butt with me and we got more than half of it up and were starting to lag when the phone rang and it was super stud Kevin Smokler announcing his appearance shortly to help with the last heavy stuff. Oh and help he did; my goodness, but he’s a muscley boy. I hope he doesn’t ache too bad tomorrow (or at least that the smug satisfaction of being a studmuffin outweighs the twinges).

Wow. I have a place in San Francisco. Tonight, though, I will sleep in Mountain View and I think I will sleep very solidly. My body is stiff and exhausted. Bed is calling even though it’s only 8:30pm. Thanks again for help & supportive email. I’m looking forward to having people over for dinner. Um, in small groups. Very small groups in my very small – but wonderful! – place.