Disillusioned twenty-something who's watched too much Sex & The City, read Bridget Jones' Diary too much, and has an unashamed love of Dawson's Creek attempts to attempts to write with a disarming amount of honest about the thoughts that go through his rather disturbed head, punctuated by music and images where he can be bothered

Currently blogging a breaking heart whilst I also skirt the bounds of mental stability.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Bathhouse Etiquette

I have a larger post on bathhouses\sex clubs to come, and there are important differences between the two that arent covered in the following, bur Ryan Cummings has written a brilliant post on what to do\expect at the bathhouse.


The above link is just a blog post full of text; anywhere else you navigate to on that blog almost certainly has NSFW porn pics on it.

Like I say I have more comments to come, but wanted to bring attention to this.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A to B

This is the San Francisco public transit map.

Actually, this is the zoomed in version; the proper version is even more hideous and boggling.  San Francisco is the best connected city in the US I've been to, but it is the worst possible one to navigate.  I travel a lot, I've visited a lot of places.  I've become adept at working out public transit in places that don't have a lot of it, and deciphering maps in countries where I don't even speak the language.  And it took me 4 years to finally crack this map.

San Francisco runs a lot of  public transit, but it only intersects at a few key points, there are many different public transportation systems, and a lot of them have names that are all too easy for an unfamiliar tourist to confuse.  There's the buses, the various cable car routes, the old F trolley, the trams,  the MUNI trains, the CalTrain, Amtrak, the AC Transit, the SamTrans  if you go far enough and the Transbay Terminal which incoprorates some, but not all, of the above.  Not all of them run the same ticketing system (improved in recent years by the Clipper Card), and not all of them run the same fares - the BART for example operates on a distance fare method, so 'season tickets' in the standard way don't really exist, but it does accept clipper, which does run a season ticket, but the BART clipper season ticket is only valid within the SF area, not its full route - confusing huh?

The SF transit map suffers from a problem of trying to display everything at once - this is partly necessary given how little area the Trolleys, MUNI trams & BART trains actually cover outside of the downtown area, huge swathes of San Francisco would simply fail to exist on a map that only included these routes - for example the Golden Gate Bridge is only accessible on public transit by one bus route within the city, and that bus doesn't go from the major tourist centers.  But this means its virtually impossible to pick out a route.  Added to this, many routes which run along the same roads are conflated together, so the route number  might only be given once, and its not obvious where they run to or from.  And depending on time of day or whether it's the weekend or not, your route may not run at all.  It might get replaced by another similar route, or you might have to get there a different way altogether

If you know where you want to get to, where that is in relation to SF as a whole, and what major routes might be nearby to give you a starting point, then you're fine.  The map is actually fantastic as it shows EVERYTHING, and you can see every possible connection and work out any number of crosstown routes.  The top level monthly Clipper pass is $80, compared to ~$200 for the cost of a monthly Z1/2 travelcard in London.  The efficiency of London bus stops showing you everywhere *that* stop goes to only, makes for easier immediate navigation, but means if you don't already know your connection, you have to guess where to pick it up; that's not necessarily in SF and the city runs an extensive night service along a lot of routes so no complaints there.

Also the bus route called the same thing regardless of whether it's headed inbound or outbound, which can mean you easily get on the wrong bus.  One of the major upsides is the fact that so much of the bus routes are zero emissions by means of overhead wires which are installed throughout the ENTIRE city, which must of been a massive public works undertaking.  The downside of that of course is buses can't really stray from their routes, and if one line down market street snafu's, they all do, and no-one's going anywhere till that problem is fixed.

It took me 4 years to learn the neighbourhoods, roads, and major routes of SF well enough to be able to properly utilize this map.  As a tourist, you're probably stuck with the F line trolley or a cab,  trying to get to Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Berkeley, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio, Fort Point, Haight/Ashbury, Treasure Island, etc is just a nightmare.  Mission Dolores is just a short walk from the Castro, which is doable, but beyond that, good luck!

On a side note - the problem with Uber compared to established (and heavily regulated) taxicabs is very apparent here.  In London, to my experience, they have always been Addison Lee-esque.  The cars are relatively top end, and new, the drivers are usually dressed smartly, it's much closer to a private limousine style cab rather than just a generic minicab service that whilst prebooked, is often just any suitable car and a driver.  Here the Uber vehicles are basically any car for a driver registered with Uber, dressed how they like, and with a black Uber 'U' sticker in the front windshield.  It doesn't feel very high class.  And it certainly feels unregulated, which as a brit/european automatically makes me feel unsafe, whereas I'm sure plenty of Americans would happily extol the virtues of unregulated, 'free' industry.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

I'm in New York again.

I'd forgotten what an onslaught New York is.
It's a big city in the way only Americans could do a big city.  It's loud, and it's grimy, and the drains don't quite take the smell of sewage away.  There's dirt everywhere and the heat from the subway rises up through great grills in the street and washes over the panting pedestrians.  Oil and bitumen assails you from roadworks and construction projections.  The traffic is constant and everywhere and they all honk their horns and no one moves.  People stand around, hordes of them, outside buildings and on corners and places that don't seem important.  Seven here, twenty there, a dozen waiting on the next street.  They don't move.
It's oppressive.  God it's intimidating and terrifying and so beautiful.

The buildings rise up and up, they tower over the chaos of the streets and hem everything in, keeping it tight, pressing it closer together.  It narrows your view and focuses and channels even the daylight in a way architects and designers dream of.  
Rocketing, rattling tin can Metro cars with their 70s era shades of desperately happy and comfortable orange, so perfectly like their city; grimy and noisy and fast.  Chrome reflecting off everywhere, dazzling, like the city.

The constant traffic blocks up roads alongside sidewalks that are wider than the entire Strand.  The overbearing towering blocks are gleaming and golden and gilt in beautiful, indulgent art deco styles.  It screams decadence and tragedy and desire and something that refuses to die and you don't want it to..  Golden and Silver Age Hollywood.  Rapture.

The women, my god I never get over the women here.  Runway fashions.  The kind even supermodels only wear for that one catwalk because you can't actually buy them, and no one would ever wear them, you cant even walk in them.  Celebrities on the red carpet don't have them.  New York women are wearing them all.  The Carries and the Samathas and Mirandas and Charlottes who hate that that's how everyone only ever thinks about them anymore but love that everywhere does a Cobb Salad and lets you talk about sex openly nowadays (and why shouldn't they?!).  Dear god the women here are stunning and powerful and determined.

New York scares me.  I can't even imagine what it must be like if it's your first big city.  Your first proper city.  But god its beautiful and stunning and intoxicating and addictive and just try to stop yourself from whirling around it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Worst Thing

Do you realise how hard it is not to punch and throw every single thing you own, even though your hands are already bruised from repeatedly hitting your car earlier, because your roommate is sleeping, and the worst thing you could have to deal with right now is someone to actually ask you what's wrong?

You are the part of me I wish I didn't need.

Bear with me, this is likely to happen a lot over the next few days and weeks....

Augustana - Either Way I'll Break Your Heart Someday

Charlie Puth - Clarity (cover)

Boxcar Racer - There Is

Anberlin - A Day Late

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Other Guy

The selfish part of me needs for you to stay
'Cause boy you keep a smile stretched across my face
And I would give anything now
But you would lose everything now
The way your lips move when you say my name
The smell of your hair on my pillow case
And I would give anything now
But you would lose everything now

If I'd had it my way I'd never let you walk out the door
But my heart is heavy with something that I just can't ignore

Boy, I'm sitting here wondering what it is that we've done
Baby who am I to be that other guy?
'Cause I've seen tables turned, a world of hurt
I'd never wanna feel twice,
I know what it's like from the other side
So baby who am I to be that other guy?

This could be our home boy, a special place
Something much more than your great escape
Boy I would give anything now
If you didn't had everything now
It doesn't have to be that you feel the same
You're telling me your love for me would never change
Unless you change everything now
It doesn't mean anything now

If it's him that you've chosen, then we need to stop closing the door
'Cause while he's at home waiting, then we can't pretend there's something more

Boy, I'm sitting here wondering what it is that we've done
Baby who am I to be that other guy?
'Cause I've seen tables turned, a world of hurt
I'd never wanna feel twice,
I know what it's like from the other side

Ooh oh, I know it's not an easy choice to make
Ooh, 'cause no matter what you do
A heart will break
Boy, I'm sitting here wondering what it is that we've done
Baby who am I to be that other guy?
'Cause I've seen tables turned, a world of hurt
I'd never wanna feel twice,
I know what it's like from the other side
So baby you decide who is that other guy?
'Cause baby, who am I to be that other guy?

Jesse McCartney - The Other Guy (with some gender edits)