September 21 1998, Monday
he housing hunt continues, mostly in Ocean Beach, but also some in nearby Normal Heights and Kensington. This neighborhood is an interesting one, even if it lacks a beach.
We rewarded ourselves for another day of aggravation with yet another Dog Beach experience, though this time we brought Sophie the Miniature Schnauzer along. Predictably enough, she went nuts when she saw all the other dogs. There were big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, shaggy ones, trim ones, but they all had assholes, and that was the part that most interested Sophie. The chocolate starfishes of some of the bigger dogs were a little hard for her to reach.
While Kim walked Sophie on Dog Beach, I was on the other side of the stone barricade in mostly dog-free Ocean Beach proper. I had my boogie board, and I waded out to where the surfers awaited big flowing mountains coming in from the western horizon. The sun hung low behind distant banks of clouds and the water was slate-grey. It shimmered, rippled, twitched, ruminated and digested like an enormous fluid organism, the kind that could roll over and crush me without a moment's notice. Waves came from all directions, caused by uncertain forces hundreds of miles away. They'd muscle past me, threatening to fall over and roar in crawling phalanxes of whitewater. For a time there was an awkward period when no waves at all were coming through and I could see far out across the flexing, stretching, bobbing triangles of grey water. It looked like a mind-bogglingly complex four dimensional equation being represented by extremely powerful graphics rendering hardware. The surfers held their ground, knowing this awkward pause couldn't last forever. Then there were upon us, huge waves storming through our pathetic human line. I rode one almost all the way to shore on my boogie board.
Sophie saw me from far off when I returned to the top of the rock wall marking the edge of Dog Beach. She charged enthusiastically towards me across the sand and scaled the rocks as far as her short legs would take her. Meanwhile an Asian couple, decked out in their wedding clothes, were being professionally photographed within a dozen feet of our beach towel.
im and I went to the G Lounge in Ocean Beach and drank a few beers at the bar while a lazy well-attended swing dance lesson happened in the mainspace. Our bartender, a nondescript, unassuming blond woman, told us about other places we should visit in Ocean Beach. When Allie McBeal came on the teevee, Kim couldn't bear to watch it. She couldn't handle the fancy suits the characters were wearing to such advantage. I'm a guy; I'd never really noticed them before.
ack in Normal Heights, Kim and I changed our clothes and prepared to hit another bar, the nearby Kensington Club. As we were driving there, I had a startling revelation: Kim and I are Hansel and Gretel and Rita, our host in Normal Heights, is the wicked witch intent on eating us. I've slowly grown aware that Rita's voice sounds exactly like the witch in the Walt Disney version of Hansel & Gretel, and most other aspects of the story check out as well. She's so initially endearing, but we have a creeping feeling that one of these days she's going to make us into gingerbread cookies.
rather liked the Kensington Club. At night it's dark, gritty, authentic, and kind of punk rock. They had a genuine (though not especially skilled) spike-haired D.J. and two punked-out bartenders. All the boys (with the exception of me) had wallet chains, tattoos and buzzcuts, and all the girls (including Kim) had big tattoos, wore slinky black dresses and gave the boys the seductive eye. Kim got involved in several conversations with various boys seemingly intent on picking her up (one said he designed web pages for a snowboarding club), and I wandered around, mostly watching the activity at the two pool tables. One guy walked up to me and spontaneously started chatting. He was new to Normal Heights and somewhat intimidated by all the stylishness of the Kensington Club patrons. He congratulated me on my "laid back" look. I was wearing a polyester jacket, cut-off jeans and flip-flops. Somehow (and this might be more my fault than hers) there's a bit of a double standard in my relationship with Kim; I don't feel like I'm allowed to talk to random girls in her presence.
one year ago
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