setting down roots

I have good news: it has taken them nearly a month, but all of the plants are finally sprouting. No flowers yet, but our slowpokes are doing just fine--leafy and lime-green and loving this Indian summer. The little guy in the middle will be herbs; to his right is the Candy Stripe, which prefers neglect and does not like to be watered. Loner. 

I am forgetting the name of this one right now--it is something complicated and wordy that begins with a B, though I do remember that it will come up blue and very tall. 

The garden was deweeded a few weeks ago, so Nora planted the snap peas I bought a while ago in a patch in the back. She put bricks around the seeds so as to delineate the growing area.

The turn of a season always feels significant, more concentrated, but to me there is something particularly weighty about the transition to autumn. San Francisco doesn't have the painterly reddish-gold landscapes of the East Coast--that is one thing I miss about Vassar, the way you could chart the evolution of a season in the colors of its trees. Here, it sneaks up on you. The leaves on the ground become crunchier; afternoon buses are filled with twelve-year-olds with backpacks and Lisa Frank folders; the sun begins to fall at six-thirty instead of seven or eight. I imagine that there is an overall smell of Earth in the air--soil, pine, grass--though that is probably just wishful thinking. I've never been a summer kind of kid and have always felt most comfortable in fall and winter. I like burrowing in with warm jackets and blankets and hot drinks--there is something so cozy about these months. I can't wait for it to start raining. Sun is nice in the summertime, but I'm more into stormy weather. 

The downside to all of this is how far-flung a lot of my friends are. Most of them are spending their junior year in London or Paris or wherever  else, so we have to plan updates weeks in advance. I talked to Dana on iChat yesterday. I used to get freaked out by how voyeuristic iChat seemed, but now I'm hooked. I got to see her little French bedroom and everything. I am going to send a letter off to Ali's London apartment today. I also miss this one:

Martina and I have been going to lots of yoga classes in the meantime. We've been taking this amazing Thursday class that always leaves me feeling both unknotted and sore everywhere. Years of ballet has left us both pretty flexible, so we can usually handle all sorts of bendy poses, but the people in this class are unbelievable. I think Mart and I are the only people who can't do a headstand. This is our goal for the year. 

There is a farmer's market a few blocks away from my house on Saturdays, and I stopped by on my way to work yesterday to pick up a handful of heirloom tomatoes. They are so good. As a result, there are only two left .


and it is almost autumn

This is the thing about leaving a place: the longer you've been gone, the more difficult it becomes to remember it--really remember it. This probably seems obvious, but the last time I went somewhere new, the reverse was true. Home, in some incarnation (just-baked bread, the curve of these hills, fog you can't see through) was all I could think about. Even then, though, it was a called-up home, a home I half constructed myself. Isn't it weird, that creationary aspect of memory? I've always been too imaginative for my own good, and that kind of invention lends itself well to nostalgia. But this time feels different. 

Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough, thinking of life in New York often enough, and I guess that is partly the point. There are so many new things to think about here. Money spending is a biggie. I've begun to mentally file potential purchases into one of three categories: Things I Need (laundry detergent, coffee filters), Things I Think I Need But Actually Don't (five avocados, right now), and Things I Really Don't Need at All (butter lettuce seeds, the "San Francisco" refrigerator poem magnet set that goes for $22.50 at Just For Fun). Surplus cash goes into the doggy piggy bank on my desk (a hand-me-down from Nora), but there isn't very much of that right now, so the poem magnets will have to wait.

In other and less moody news: I went to the 49ers game today. At the beginning, when all of the players were running out, there was a small explosion with fireworks every time the announcer called a name. It was all very dramatic.

The guy sitting in the seat behind us drank a lot of beer and asked if he could marry me. Ellen said that would be O.K. if he could bring one thousand Obama votes to the table. It felt like some kind of reverse dowry. I was wearing the black stickers they give out that you are supposed to put underneath your eyes to look like face paint, and now I have a sunburn around the edges of both rectangles.

And: finally/most importantly/et cetera, I am becoming inexplicably attracted to guys with tattoos on their arms. I prefer one to three well-placed, individual designs to the full sleeve variety.


vroom vroom

Why don't the muni trains run in the Richmond? I am really feeling the J Church right now, and I think SF should follow New York's lead: all-day every-day subway, or at least above-ground trains that reach from the beach to the Embarcadero. They're faster and roomier, and they don't break down every two seconds like the buses do. (Yesterday, while heading up Fulton on the 5, the bus veered off track in the middle of the Divisadero intersection and had to wheel slowly to safety on the other side of the street. Then, all five thousand of us passengers waited crankily for the next one, which was already full and drove right past us. This is not a good system!)

Anyhow: another cool thing about the J. According to Wikipedia (the best source for everything), a private right-of-way was created especially for it so that the train didn't have to go up and down Church street's steep hills. This right-of-way always scares me a little bit, probably because I remember once being trapped while walking in it when a J went by. I had to press myself into the plants that line the tracks to avoid being run over. Not comfy.

Nora and I do a lot of waiting for the J. The other day, we discovered an alien train at the bus stop. 92 Esplanade?? Where do you come from?

We also found a colorful house on Church. It makes me think of children's books. Or the Teletubbies.

I dressed like Christmas last weekend. This may have been subconsciously intentional.

Nick, however, chose an all-gray palette, perhaps so as to complement his crutches.


a jumble

Nora and I found the WEIRDEST bug in the laundry room yesterday. It is such a martian. I think it is a stick bug. Nora emailed her Dad about it, because he is good with that sort of thing. He wrote back: "Nora, I believe this is a praying mantis, a very important and good bug to have around. Please do not kill it. P.S. If you kill it, there will be a fine."

Imitation is the highest form of flattery:

Okay. Moving on. Things have been really good lately. I just generally feel so happy here in SF. Riding the J train after midnight--walking up hills with bright-light city views--coming across men in high heels and polka-dotted leotards, dancing to La Cucaracha on Castro (this is a true story; it happened yesterday)--these things just don't happen in Poughkeepsie. Saturday was Nick's birthday. The party was out in Ingleside, and you could see the whole city from up there--just tiers and tiers of lit hills and the spread-out blue bay. We missed the last train back, so we hopped a cab with a driver who told us that the cure for a broken bone was to rub it with a leaf so that it heals like magic. Hmm. Must test this theory.

This is Ingleside. Imagine it is nighttime.

On Friday, grabbed a sushi boat dinner with Nora and Helen at a little spot on 16th we recently discovered. Later we ran around the Mission and I put a temporary tattoo of a leaf in a creative place. (That was not intended to sound as dirty as it somehow did.) Since I'm going backwards in time right now--last weekend went with many Nicks and Zach to the Hubba party, for which Zach did a supersick mural. (Would mural be the right word? You decide. Here it is:)

On an unrelated note: I went to Walgreens today, and guess what they had up already? Halloween candy. And decorations! They even had those creepy-looking rubber masks that cover your whole head. Is it even possible to breathe under there? Their identities also all seem to be open to interpretation. For instance:

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this. I'm such a holiday person, it is not even funny. My friends tease me because I get really excited about Christmas in July. However, who is going to be buying a witch nose in the beginning of September?

Hmm. This has been a very disjointed entry, kind of a medley. If it were food, I think it would look like this:


hot hot heat

I'm listening to the Ella Fitzgerald song "Come Rain or Come Shine", and right now I would really be feeling some rain, some of that stormy weather. It is eighty degrees out today, and last week it hit ninety. I like parts of this Indian summer (picnics with Bi-Rite sandwiches on the grass; the fact that the carrots have SPROUTED!), but I am most comfortable in the sixty-to-seventy range. Still, it was good weather for Labor Day. Dolores Park was packed.

Yesterday was a wonderful day because I received a package in the mail! It was an Indian bedspread from my grandmother. She is amazing. I will cover my big big bed with it.

I have been slacking on the blogging lately because I've just started school. No more lazy days in the grass for me; now I'm always racing to catch the 24, walking up the one hundred-plus steps to campus, which is conveniently located on a mountain, and trying to get adjusted to new classes, new teachers, new rooms and halls and bus routes. So far my favorite class is Poetry. I've felt so-so about poetry in the past--I like little weirdo poems and quirkiness and irreverence, but I get frustrated when it feels lofty and inaccessible. I love the basis on this class, though, which looks at poetry though the lens of home and location and as a result focuses largely on SFSFSF. Later in the semester we're taking a field trip to the Neptune Society Columbarium (whaaat how dope), which houses ashes and memorial shadow box-like displays in vaults.

Here are some neighborhood things I like:

Yum yum.

Would you call this a carriage? I REALLY want to ride in it.