Posts Tagged ‘weed’

A Night at the Museum

February 23, 2014
The De Young Museum. Nicer on the inside I promise.

The De Young Museum. Nicer on the inside I promise.

It began – as all great stories begin – with a phone call from my wife. “Hi, Darling! What are your plans for today? I hope you’re going out. You spend too much time in that apartment!”

“You know, Honey, it’s been a really tough week. I was thinking of taking it easy, maybe playing some video games, catching a nap…”

“A museum it is, then! Which one are you going to?”

Of course my wife was right. I need to get out more, lest I turn into a total pasty pudding. And I like museums, especially art museums. They’re temperature-controlled and mostly free of hordes of screaming children found at other public venues. And sometimes I even like the art.

So doing the standard level of research – typing “San Francisco museums” into Google maps and tapping on an entry at random, I decided to visit the De Young museum in Golden Gate Park. I hopped on the handy Powell streetcar, rumbled down to Market, and jumped off in search of adventure and coffee and the N train.

I don't know what the hell it is, but it's cool. By some Inuit with a sense of humor.

A boat crewed by humans and I dunno – seals? Pigs? They seem to be getting along.

A quick note: If you’re coming to San Francisco, one of the top food cities in the world, be sure to eat at the Burger King at Powell and Market. I mean it’s not like there aren’t 200 fine restaurants within a quarter-mile of that establishment you cretins. What’s wrong with you people?

Anyway.

I got coffee and a cheese Danish and boarded the glorious N train. Then I cursed and exited at the next stop, because it was going in the wrong direction. Eventually I got on the right goddamned train and headed off toward the museum.

On the train I noticed a couple of young men sitting across from me engaging in what could only be called “spooning.”  I wanted to go over to them and apologize for the fucking asshole homophobic Arizona legislature, but decided against it. Why ruin their day? After a couple of minutes one dude pulled out a liter bottle of Stolichnaya vodka, took a snort and offered one to his swain. He then yanked out a large bag of pot and both began rolling huge doobies. Or fatties. Or maybe they were reefers. I dunno. But they were clearly totally unconcerned that about 25 people were watching them. Presumably they had medical conditions – excessive tumescence, perhaps. Poor bastards.

Cribbage boards. Made out of some material you disapprove of. Suck it up: it's art.

Cribbage boards. Made out of some material you disapprove of. Suck it up: it’s art.

Eventually I reached the designated stop in what I’m claiming is the “Inner Sunset” neighborhood and strode manfully north into Golden Gate Park. Passing the Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Tea Gardens (about both of which I have written elsewhere) I made it to the De Young Museum.

The De Young is a long, low steel-brown building with a vaguely rectangular protuberance atop it, designed (one assumes) by an architect hoping to build the world’s ugliest art museum. On the inside it’s a fine museum, with well-lit galleries and comfortable viewing spaces, but outside it looks like the kind of place where the Germans used slave labor to make tanks in World War II.

Because of my extensive non-preparation, I was surprised to see that the museum was featuring a big Georgia O’Keefe exhibit. Sharp questioning revealed that the exhibit cost 40 bucks to enter and there were no tickets available for an hour. Deciding that if I wanted to pay 40 bucks to see a bunch of vaginas I could always go to the Condor strip club on Broadway*, I declined the O’Keefe show and contented myself with the purchase of a general-entry ticket.

Dead on a highway to heaven? What?

Dead bunny on a highway to heaven? What?

Let me just say for the record that I LOVE THIS MUSEUM. I can only assume that the curator has been secretly reading my mind on what I’d like to see in an art museum and put it into practice. The De Young is not too big, and not too small. It has an eclectic collection of collections, including Modern, Native American, photography, textiles and (Lord knows why) a ton of wonderful stuff from New Guinea.

I started off in a room filled with Inuit sculpture and scrimshaw, then hit a gallery of big, glowy weirdo glass art thingies, then stumbled into a collection of old Peruvian works, then into a horrid room filled with those awful modern things that all seem to consist of squares of grey paint labeled “Reflections on Mortality Number 38.” From there I found myself in an exhibit of sketches and photographs of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. After that it was upstairs into the wonderful New Guinea art, then into a surprise collection of American primitives and cool-ass old furniture and then out.

Some dudes. With hats.

Some dudes. With hats.

I spent maybe two hours in the De Young and was constantly educated, entertained and amused. Clearly the collector/curator has a wonderful sense of fun, and I would be proud to display most of the pieces in my home. (Except maybe for the many New Guinean carvings of dudes with enormous boners.  They’d probably give me an inferiority complex.)

I took a bunch of pictures which I hope you like. Give me a yell the next time you’re in San Francisco. I’m itching to hook up the boner’d statues with O’Keefe’s vagina pictures. Yowsers.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

Ancient astronaut.

Ancient astronaut.

This mobile was made from bits of a southern church that was burned by arsonists. Wow.

This mobile was made from bits of a southern church that was destroyed by arsonists. Wow.

He's glad to see you.

He’s glad to see you.

And we end with William Techumseh Sherman. Because why not?

And we end with William Techumseh Sherman. Because why not?

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* Just kidding, Honey! Ha, ha!

Birthday Blues

September 17, 2013
I dunno. This birthday cake is a little too Godfather-looking for my tastes.

I dunno. This birthday cake is a little too Godfather-looking for my tastes. What do you think?

My wife’s birthday is coming up shortly. This is kind of a bummer, because she’s holding down the farm in Pennsylvania while I’m out here in San Francisco earning a buck and walking the mean streets and stuff. I’m coming home in a couple of weeks and we’ll celebrate then, but who wants to be separated from their wife on her birthday? She should have an immediate party plus cocktails.

I’m not going to delve too deeply into this: it will only make me homesick and sniffly. My wife’s a great lady and I’m lucky to have her. She certainly deserves better than the dorky present that I’ll no doubt pick up from some random San Francisco merchant* at the last moment.

I’m a creature of habit. For ten years I’ve been buying my wife’s Christmas and birthday presents at the same six Maryland stores – Smythe Jewelers, Coldwater Creek of Hunt Valley, Barnes and Noble, that one store that’s none of your business, and so forth – and on the whole I’ve gotten good results. My gifts may be hugely predictable, but they’re mostly on-target. Out here, on the other hand, I’m lost. Where the hell do I shop?

I suppose I could bring her a big bowl of ramen from Katana-Ya, or maybe some crab with cellophane noodles from the Slanted Door. Or a hunk of duck from Kam Po Kitchen?  But the TSA bastards would probably confiscate it and eat it. Then they’d do a full cavity search on me because they heard that I just called ‘em “bastards” in the last sentence. Screw you, pals. Get your own damned noodles.

Sadly, it appears that I’ve spent all of my time in San Francisco stuffing my face with Asian food, my shopping excursions limited to supermarkets and that huge-ass downtown Target, neither of which is likely to produce an adequate birthday present for my sweetie. I could go online to Amazon, but that’s dangerous. Along with the present for my wife I usually end up also buying three e-books and a zombie movie on dvd for myself. Then I have some ‘splainin’ to do.

Blowing out the candles may be missing the point here.

Blowing out the candles may be missing the point here.

I could buy my wife some weed, but she doesn’t smoke the stuff. And neither should you. DON’T DO DRUGS, KIDS! Unless you have a legitimate medical condition like cataracts or ennui.

They don’t actually make Rice-a-Roni here, so that’s out too. Damn.

Hmm. Hold on a second. You know, my wife is an avid horsewoman, and she really likes equine-related presents. I wonder if there’s a place in San Francisco where I could get a nice riding crop. Guess I’lI Google it.

OMG.

Wowsers.

Pardon me while I take a long cold shower and erase my browsing history.

Noodles it is. Happy birthday, Honey. I love you and will see you soon!

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*If not at the airport. Poor woman. Poor, poor woman.