Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday...beginning of the downfall of my feet



We started the day with a tour of the GLBT Historical Society.

What an amazing place! The exhibit was thrilling to see pieces of gay history and hearing the little snippets was so exciting.

There are pieces of cloth made by old t-shirts...so many to post but here is an example...


There are so many t-shirts with amazing messages that reflect what was going on historically. One of the curators took us back in the archives where they have so much still to process. They have old paintings from orgy clubs, a giraffe that was in a bath house, and Harvey Milk's kitchen table



Hollywood came and took measurements and color to recreate the table in the movie where Sean Penn depicted Harvey Milk writing.

Danielle and Kai came back to Heath's so we could all venture to our evening plans. Nearby his house is this amazing building with furniture coming out and pasted on the exterior walls. The first time I saw it out of the corner of my eye I thought someone was chucking furniture out the window.

Getting ready, Kai let Danielle put some make up on him which was fitting since we were going to see the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. http://www.thesisters.org/

Not only are they wicked beautiful but their work is amazing with what they do for the community they are in internationally. I met a local Sister in Norfolk and they are all so wonderful and sweet.

Their Ritual Mayhem was amazing camp and beautiful in their tradition. We all stood in line to be blessed with glitter.


videoHere is one of their wonderful pieces....

I've been blessed with Danielle and Kai indulging me with my shutterbug obsession...
Before...





After...



We came back to have a rooftop jaunt... there is such an beautiful view from the roof.



Here is beautiful Heath showing us the site from above....

Danielle pondering how freezing it is up there.
After warming up we went to the Castro for some fun...


Cool club lighting....apparently if you do not know how to dance, you just throw your arm up in the air and twirl....so we learned watching this man try. I also met my pocket gayboy...until he dissapeared.
We haven't been drinking... I swear.
Happily, Kai's friend Ellen drove so we got a ride home. Yay....

Trying to remember...



Wednesday...another wonderful day at school where we discovered the rooftop eating area. Beautiful!!!

Here is proof we are actually in class learning...


;o)

I had to buy shoes because at 4 in the morning when I finished packing for SF I realized I didn't have anymore room and thought I could get away with one pair. They started falling apart by Tuesday....sigh.

Meeting up with Heath, we ventured to the Castro thrift stores to find pride outfits. Found a shirt and some amazing stores...a thrift store with actual amazing clothes that I love...if I was a bit smaller...sigh.

Walking with Heath was like a gym class in itself. Skinny gay boys walk like the demon and Danielle and I struggled to keep up.

A quiet night to recoup a wee bit before the weekend's festivities and to study....

One week down already

Perhaps because it was the first week I spent in San Francisco that it has been jam packed.
Perhaps it was because of Pride week that it has been jam packed.
Perhaps it is just San Francisco.
Tonight I hope to catch this up while giving my poor feet time to come back to life before they leave me from too much abuse. They hurt...ALOT.
So I left off on Monday...Luckily I've been taking an immense amount of pictures so I can keep track of what I have been doing each day.

Tuesday...

After another day immersed in scholastic endeavours and realizing each day that I am in the field I am supposed to be, Danielle and I went thrift store shopping. Down to the Mission district...
Coming out of the Bart, there is a rainbow fence. I love this city.




One of the amazing thrift stores here, they actually seperate the clothes by size. I found this beautiful dress.... But alas yellow is not my color he he.
After shopping we ate at a local taqueria...the mild salsa kicked my ass. I was wicked excited they had an fresh squeezed orange juice machine...it really is the little things in life.

I took a picture of the guys that work the shop, then this Mexican man insisted in taking the picture of me with them. After going back to the table, the guy chatted a little bit, then asked if we had a couple dollars for him to get a burrito. Lol....I'm starting to get a feel of how things work in this city. He gave this huge story of how they will hook him up with a burrito for a couple of dollars...since he did take our pics I gave him a few. The burrito must have been at the liquor store because he walked out the door and didn't come back which was fine because I think I was getting drunk off of his breath.
While we finished our yummy food, I noticed many people coming in and out. I realized they were leaving after the estabishment wouldn't let them use the bathroom. Most of them were homeless or roamed the streets alot. My curiousness was peaked as I watched the woman who probably partook of chemicals pass the table just vacated by a diner and saw there was still salsa on the tray.She drank it and left, only to come back and finish off the other cup of salsa that was still on there.
As we walked up Mission to catch the bus, there were many interesting characters on the street. Apparently I attract these types of people (see previous post) as Danielle never had this experience walking down Mission. It seems to be a repeating pattern on this trip so far.
We found a fantastic indepent bookstore which is so rare back home. There are many non-chain shops which is a beautiful sight to see.

We met up with Kai to peruse the Castro.

Taking a break in the middle of Castro and Market, we giggled like little kids taking pictures of each other taking pictures. Perhaps it was exhaustion causing us to be wicked stupid...but it had tears down my face.

Due to poor planning, we still had our bags from school so we asked a nice gay boy where would be a good place to have a beverage and sit down, especially since I didn't want to smack anyone carrying my laptop backpack full of too much crap.
He led us to a place that had linens...out of the budget. We came across someone else who led us to Harvey's - so named after Harvey Milk. Great history on the bar learned later on in the week.
We saat just in time for a comedy show emceed by a beautiful drag queen. She was hilarious! The next guy up wasn't so funny but the guy after him made up for it. He loved Table 5, which was the one we were sitting in as he kept commenting on Danielle's pink hair and heary laugh. He had us rolling in stitches by repeatedly commenting on us. The funny woman after him did the same so the laughter at our table especially never stopped. The show ended with the oldest lesbian comic in San Francisco - she did a comedic tour of living in gay San Francisco through the 80's and 90's, complete with modified safe sex rubber panties after a dental dam demonstration.
Tuesday came to an end rather late but luckily school doesn't start til 10:30.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday continued....

Sitting on the couch for a few minutes until my tummy decided it wants to eat.
I made it to the Latino grocery at the end of the block & found fruit wicked cheap ;o) Cherries for me yay!

I was craving a sandwich or pizza so I walked to the end of the block looking for a shop. Down Howard St...nada. I looked down 6th St & saw pizza joint. As I started walking towards the shop I realized that once again i found myself on the section that I shouldn't be on. Hm...
I passed a deli so I turned around to go in. There were a couple of junkies by the door and a woman walked out with typical junkie scabs on her face. They had sandwiches & pasta...asked the guy if I could try the pesto pasta. I wasn't sure what he was on but he definetly was on something. It was tasty so took a cup & a sandwich and made it to th register. There was a guy buying his pint for the night and organizing his ones...I paid for food & escaped.

Made it back to the house & the pasta was wicked yummy...and the sandwich was pretty tasty...but I think I might find a different shop next time.

My classmates couldn't make it to the show that was at 8. Lynnee Breedlove was performing and there was no way I was going to miss it...especially since The Garage was a half block over.
Definetly not like The Garage back home. The performance was part of the National Queer Arts Festival featuring Silas Howard & Lynn Breedlove. (As many of you know I've been trying to get Lynn Breedlove to perform in Hampton Roads)

I now know there was no way Lynn Breedlove could have performed back home.

Silas Howard's piece was a great story on bringing the story of Billy Tipton through his widow Kitty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Tipton
The approach Silas has is far removed from the sensationalization expected from mainstream media when a story such as Billy Tipton comes to light. Silas shared not only the beauty of this love story away from the "scandal" but how the journey with Kitty was beautiful itself.

After a brief intermission, Lynn Breedlove came on stage as the lights were dark. When the lights came upon his body, he stood there in all his trans glory - naked with a strap-on. He proceeded to wax poetic about the existences of phalluses...his was Chode because it was thick, penis represents the smaller ones since it is said through clenched teeth, cock is said with a wide mouth, schlong because it is long... Lynn proceeds to talk through lesbian relationships as he is getting dressed, speaks about his buddhism and the chakras of hetero vs gay and begins to speak about Del & Phyllis.
They were most recently in the news because they were the first ones to get married by Gavin Newsome when California legalized gay marriage. This was a rightful honor since their work transformed the gay movement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del_Martin_and_Phyllis_Lyon
Through the telling of their story Lynn interjected humor and love.
Lynn goes on the tell stories about his father and their backpacking adventures. Sharing a male bonding experience, Lynn pulls out the female peeing device (I forget the french name) and shows how he bonded with his dad peeing on a tree.
The end of the performance goes back to honoring Del & Phyllis and how after they got married, it was revoked only to be reinstated...and before it was revoked again, Del passed away August 27, 2008 after 50 years with Phyllis. With lit candles, it was a great honor and a meaningful end to an amazing performer who must be seen to get the full experience.

Although there was an afterparty at another location, I had to come back to get ready for school tomorrow. Plus I had to get down all of these amazing thoughts going through my head.

I even declined an invite from Heath & his roomate John to see beautiful Asian trans performers.

This city is definetly not a place where you will be bored.

Finally I am off to the land of Nod to get ready for another day.

the first 24 hours....


Arrived at 10:30 A.M. Pacific time...(1:30 eastern)...

I love a city with amazing public transportation...rode the train with no driver around the airport to take the Bart. Luckily Drake was near the computer to I could figure out exactly where I was supposed to go to my first house.

Go figure.....I walk down the one street in Sono that I'm not supposed to. Apparently since they have cleaned up this section the vagrants, bums & addicts encompass a small stretch of 6th street...the one I walked down ;o)

Found my house and met my amazing Host (Thanks Brook!!). Heath is like a long lost brother/friend who welcomed me with open arms....and tons of gay kisses since. Gorgeous apartment...AMAZING view. He took me to the rooftop to get my bearings and it is a gorgeous view of the city. (Stay tune for pictures...I will have to make it back up there when I have time)

After chilling for a few hours I made my way to the welcome reception for school. Got to walk a LONG way there but it was beautiful. (Did I mention the weather is perfect??!!??)

I was a little early...perfect because there was one other person early & we shared a drink. Kai has become my partner in crime since. Did the obligatory meet & greet, got name tags & received my goody bag. In true San Francisco style, it's a clear shoulder bag with 15 pockets filled with condoms in each. I now have my own personalized condom!!!







Exhausted by repeating the same information & feeling a little rundown, Kai & I began our hunt for coffee. Luckily he had a GPS...we found the 1st shop the waiter recommended. Closed.
GPS located another one a few blocks away...we made our way & found it...Closed.

I had seen a Starbucks on my way to the restaurant...punched into the GPS, found our way there...Closed.

Kai called her friend Ellen to pick us up but she was in Oakland so we had to wait a little. We decided to make it to the bay to sit which was across the street from the restaurant we were at. Sigh.
They weren't lying when they said it gets cold at night, so we hid behind the concrete barriers to hide from the wind. Finally looked in our goody bag to find school schedules, film schedules, ticket vouchers, more condoms, lube & a sex coupon book - all compliments of Good Vibrations.

Did I mention I LOVE San Francisco???

Ellen picked us up and decided to show us the Castro. Yay!

After parking we walked...again. Driving everywhere in Virginia did not prepare me for all this walking!!!

Rainbow flag everywhere...BEAUTIFUL!!!

We asked some gay boys which bar is cool and happening...but before we made it there we stopped by the smoke shop. Deal on smokes with a zippo...and the beautiful gay boy filled it up for me...no mean gay boys here!

We made it to Badlands...sausage fest but great music. Cheap drinks. Video screen showing old music videos of Janet Jackson, new Pussycat Dolls and some songs I've never heard before. Ellen & Kai love Pitbull "I Know You Want Me" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFryG9ON7Tw
Try to get that out of your head....
Smoking outside the bar since they don't allow it inside...you meet quite a few interesting people. Add to that a very friendly lesbian & you hav the makings of an interesting time.
Kai & I were both exhausted so finally about midnight we made it back to the car. Yay..a ride back to Heath's.
Shower. Bed. Heath has the most amazing couch ever...and my dreams were vibrant & beautiful.
Not bad for the first 14 hours.
I wake to the gorgeous sun...sleep for a little more than have to make my way for the introduction breakfast. As I walked to school, I pass a sex shop advertising Buck Angel. Awesome!!! I LOVE his work and had great email interaction with both him & his manager. Glad to see this awesome city supporting his work.
My school is located on Market Street, a main throroughfare. It is also located in the midst of the shopping district so as I passed Juicy Couture & Bebe I window shopped at their beautiful garments. Half a block later I realized I passed the school. Go figure it was right next to Bebe which is why I missed it.
Met other people, Kai surprisingly made it early too and had a great start.
Orientation with the director of the Institute...I will dedicate a whole blog to him & his work. AMAZING. He started this Institute in Amsterdam. To hear positive sexuality and the development of...Wow.
The classes are amazing - I'm on the teaching sex track. The orientation for that class being taught by a great gay man was wicked cool. Lunch with fellow students - a lesbian hip hop artist from NYC who is researching Homo-hop and a psych major becoming a sex therapist.
Afternoon class of Queer Theory in Pop Culture...sigh. Love it!
Have to make my way to Barnes & Nobles to get school texts but I needed a little down time so off to Heath's I go.


The flight....





Of all the years I've flown, this is the first time I experienced this. As we were approaching SF International, there was a wee plane off to the distance.


We got a little closer & so did the plane...

and closer....
and even closer....

The other plane landed about the same time as we did...and in all excitement & intrigue I forgot to keep taking pics....

It was airplane ballet....

Graduation






I can't believe it's at this part of the journey with my son...




to view this amazing creature & to share this amazing feat with him has been utter joy. His sister taught him this is how to tie his tie...




the journey, the trials & tribulations have made this moment worth every bit...and I didn't go through as many tears as I expected!