In The Mission

Mrs. Buoy

Here's something from the city that I didn't get to write earlier. I was sitting on a bench by the Blue Bottle on Linden in Hayes Valley, minding my business and watching hipsters get their single drips from this hole in the wall. (I had already gotten mine.) I had my camera out because I had been taking pictures of the scene, kind of half-assedly, when an elderly black homeless lady, who was hanging out in the alley, approached me.

"I don't appreciate that camera pointed at me," this gaunt lady told me from behind her sunglasses. She had frizzly hair and a red tank that hung on her loosely.

"Oh, absolutely," I said. "I was taking pictures of the coffee shop, I didn't photograph you."

"Yeah, I see lotta folks come take pictures of the homeless who have no idea what it's like to be on the street. I don't like that," she said. I nodded my head and sipped my coffee.

"My name is Mrs. Buoy and I'm on the street because they took my house from me illegally. I got a lawsuit going on and I'm gonna get my house back from them."

"That's rough," I offered, not really knowing where to go with this. She agreed.

We had a short exchange, and then she went back to her shopping cart a couple of yards to my right. She didn't ask for money and I didn't volunteer: somehow I felt she would have taken offense. We sat there in silence, looking at people buying and selling coffee by the cup, the afternoon sun hitting the alley at a hard angle. I finished my coffee and put my things away. As I walked my bike past her, I wished her well.

"You take care now, Mrs. Buoy."

"Thank you, young man. God bless you."


I Bought My Coffee From Satan

Cell phone snapshot time. Driving in America yields lots of crazy shit. You'd really need to be snapping pics constantly, but you can't do that while driving. Or so I've heard.

'Do you want me to put something else on the bill?', the guy asked me. I was fine. \../

At the Monte Vista. Flagstaff, AZ.

AT-ATs in a Denver parking lot.

31 Flavors. Mm-mmm.

Acrhes National Park. Overrun with the Chinese.

Lunch at Earl's. 'Why?!?!' Route 66, Gallup, NM.


Sunrise, Sunset

Yo! So we were out in the middle of fucking nowhere. No cell phone reception, no Internet, no electricity...well, that last part is a lie. And the first part. But there was no WiFi at the inn. So no updates. Instead, we had sunrise at Grand Canyon.

Get up early on the North Rim and there's no one else but you.

Driving in the middle of the night through the wilderness with tons of deer glaring into your headlights--sound familiar, huh, Aki? Totally worth it again.

So frigging worth it you're going to get a third photo of the sunrise.

Told ya.

Stayed two nights at Jacob Lake Inn, some 45 miles from the North Rim (depending on where you want to go) and had far better time than on the South Rim. Fewer tourists, see? In any case. Getting up at 3:15 AM meant that we had a hell of a long day in front of us. We had time for wildlife.

Lizard Man.

Mules! 'They have more horse sense than horses do.' - Harry Truman.

And yeah, we did take like a million other photos of the canyon, but the scale doesn't really translate. So I post only this and then one more.

Person shows scale of canyon.

Hell of a long day? Yeah, because we wanted to see sunset at GC, too. And did, at Cape Royal. The wind picked up like crazy and it was Mistral strength by the time we got to the canyon. Beautiful, beautiful.

Sunset. Few tourists around, some having OJ and Smirnoff. Why not.