Saturday night in San Francisco
Enjoying the city is going to become more difficult for me as time progresses. Especially since visiting requires 2+ hours of sitting traffic these days and is bound only to worsen. Caltrans is always digging up the east-bound side of I-80 around Fairfield, and I can only wait with cringing dread until they move on to the west-bound side, making it impossible for me drive to the bay area anymore. As most people know, I have very bad road rage. I'm okay at being a passenger, because I don't feel like my time is being sucked into so vortex of uselessness. But when driving, I can't handle the notion that I could be doing something else rather than sitting and wondering why I've moved 50 feet in 5 minutes. I do better if I know the reason for the gridlock, but not much. I'm not cut out for modern life in this respect.
My ability to enjoy SF is also limited by the fact that I don't have the proper amount of time to really enjoy the city when I do go. I zip down for a few hours and then have to fight myself endlessly to stay awake on the drive home, arriving in Sacto a mass of sore muscles and deepening fatigue. It's no fun.
What is fun, and occasionally makes all the discomfort worthwhile, is seeing friends and shows in the city when I do make it there. Last night was 50/50. A friend from college was in town from Chicago, so I stopped by to see him. He was in the shower at the Sopkos' apartment when I arrived there, Stephanie and Chris in tow. Apparently the previous evening had been obnoxiously intoxicating, and the group had been out until 3AM. Dave Boctor, ever the trooper, went to dinner and Edinburgh Castle with us, but we couldn't rally the rest of them to join us. Boo on them and their sloth! I always like to see the Sopkos' apartment though, it's got the greatest hardwood floors. I think all apartments should have wood flooring. Area rugs are so much more fun than uniformly boring beige carpet.
After dinner at Mel's, we went to the Great American Music Hall to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. We arrived a bit early, in time to suffer through the second band, which was so fucking horrifyingly bad that I won't reveal their name to you. There were a lot of kids at the Ted Leo show--Lookout Records draws a young audience, so that's to be expected. Sometimes people-watching at shows provided great rewards. Last night I saw a dude wearing big white sneakers, grey khaki pants with his blue and green medallion festooned boxers hanging out the top, even though the pants seemed to fit, and an orange polo shirt, the back of which was half tucked into the boxers. And he was obviously a fucking tool. I wondered what such a tool was doing at a Ted Leo show. It was disappointing to discover that a lot of tools enjoy Ted Leo. During his set, he had to admonish some of the boys (it's always boys, isn't it?) for moshing. People. Moshing is so lame. Please stop. It's passe. You look like total morons and make me want to beat you. So knock it off. I know, Ted Leo is fantastically bouncy and you can't help the pogo, but the slamming is unnecessary.
Ted Leo was awesome. He kicks all your asses. This is a guy who writes pithy, poignant, catchy and apt lyrics (somewhere on the more practical side of Bad Religion lyrics--lots of syllables, but not to the level of absurdity achieved by Bad Religion), plays awesomely rocking guitar, while singing his little ass off--in a voice that very few would take issue with, I would guess. He started with My Vien Ilin, a great tune off The Tyranny of Distance and headed into "Where have all the rude boys gone?". If that's not a great intro, well, you don't know intros. Ted Leo's shows are always so energetic, and last night's was no exception. It was well worth the knot that developed in my shoulder from all the driving.