Browsing in San Francisco

For more than eleven years I’ve lived in San Francisco I have been frustrating locals with my loyalty to San Diego sports teams. But what can I do? I lived there first? I moved to San Diego the summer before I turned four and was instilled with San Diego loyalty by my father who had grown up there.

Three years later we moved to Northern California which put us in the media market for Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. That meant we could see games of the SF Giants and 49ers and Oakland’s A’s and Raiders. We could still see some of our San Diego games when when they played their division rivals: the Padres vs. the Giants and the Chargers vs. the Raiders. This means to me the Giants and Raiders have always been opponents. I’ll keep track of what they’re doing but only to see how it relates to America’s Finest City’s teams.

Thankfully the 49ers and the A’s only play the San Diego teams once every few years (less before the MLB started interleague play). So I could wear my Red & Gold with pride and without any sense of betrayal. I want to see all four of those teams do well each and every year. The best Super Bowl match up I ever got was XXIX and at the start of every season I hope for another one. But maybe this time The Unconventional City could win their first national professional sports championship.

Buying comics for 21 years has taken me to lots of stores in lots of cities but I got my start back home in Quincy, California.

continue reading "21 Years of Buying Comics: Where I’ve gone"

  1. 1939’s New York World’s Fair in New York City
  2. 1893’s “World’s Columbian Exposition” in Chicago
  3. 1915’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco
  4. 1894’s California Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco
  5. 2010’s Expo 2010 in Shanghai

It’s not easy being a fan of an out of town sports team.  The opportunities to see your team are either rare or expensive and always influenced by opposition from friends, neighbors or announcers.  You’ve got to put up with a lot for just a chance at glory.

In my lifetime it’s become infinitely easier to follow a sports team from another city or state. I grew up reading two-day old box scores in a newspaper sports section but now I can get streaming recaps or each pitch on the computer I carry in my pocket. If I felt like spending the money I could pay to get everyone of my team’s games on tv, but I don’t.  So now I just have to wait for schedules to align when my team plays the locals and their announcers bad mouth the opponents for three hours.  But text updates and slanted tv coverage pale in comparison to the big chance to support my team and be a part of the game, seeing it live.

I happily buy a ticket, hot dog and soda and sit on plastic seats while I cheer for my team and great plays on either side of the ball.  I never taunt or curse and I’ll go out of my way to avoid drunks.  I don’t cause trouble not because I fear the people sitting around me, but because I respect them and the sportsmanship we’re there to enjoy.

But still, I’m wearing my colors. I’m the lone spot of blue and white in a sea of black and orange.  It’s a small act of defiance that says this is what I believe and support and I’m willing to suffer slings and arrows because of it.  Though instead I get “whys” which make me regularly justify my loyalty to a team that’s five hundred miles away from the city I’ve lived in for the last ten years.

It’s because I’ve been wearing these colors when they were my local team and have keep it up for the last twenty-four years through good, bad and ugly years.  So just because I’ve moved to a place that already has a team, doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon mine.  And it certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to be happy for my fair-weather-fan friends and neighbors dressed in their brand new black and orange outfits.

Iron Man 2 is all over the city of San Francisco (and Daly City whose theater is within a mile of the city & count limit).  It is playing at 10 different theaters:

4-Star Theatre, AMC Loews Metreon 16 & IMAX, AMC Van Ness 14, Castro Theatre, Century 20 Daly City, CineArts @ Empire, Marina Theatre, Presidio Theatre, Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Vogue Theatre.

I’m not sure how many screens the movie is on, but I do know that there are currently 115 showings of the movie that start between 12:00am and 11:59pm on May 7th.

Those times are:
continue reading "So many options"

Sports announcers have gotten so bad in recent years that it really detracts from my enjoyment of the game. I used to think that the announcing really helped make the game what it was. Originally there were two guys: a play-by-play man and a color commentary guy. Together they gave you the details and the flavor. But now we have computer graphics that appear in the corners and edges of the screen that tell you all the facts you’ll ever need (e.g. “Hairston hits .375 against left handed pitchers in an domed stadium on days with the letter ‘U’ in them.” So now the two men (always men) just chatter to make noise. It’s annoying to say the least.

It doesn’t help that I live outside the local market for my favorite teams. So I never hear a pro-San Diego team opinion. Instead I have to suffer through things like tonight’s Giants/Padres game. It began with a celebration of the No Hitter SF pitcher Sanchez threw in July 2009 against the Padres. I’m not making fun of the accomplishment because it’s an amazing thing. But it really doesn’t have much bearing on tonight’s game. So then in the bottom of the second inning Sanchez throw two wild pitches in a row and the announcers talk about what a good job the catcher did to stop the ball from getting away. But they couldn’t dare comment on the pitcher’s mistake, they can only talk about somehing positive about the Giants. Even when it’s a possitive asset he shouldn’t need to demonstrate. But of course the announcers couldn’t just hold their tounges, they must be full of sound and fury.

This weekend I’m going to see The King Tut exhibit at the De Young.  I still need to go and see Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams at the MOMA.  And the Lords of the Samurai at the Asian Art Museum.

This is a great summer to go to the museum!

Or sing about King Tut…

My beautiful wife celebrated her birthday last Tuesday and it wound up as a week long event with several dinners out on the town. We went to Paradise Pizza, Noriega Teriyaki House, Bobo Quivari’s, and the Flower Market Cafe. The first three were places we loved and the last one was a place we went with her parents. It was a great find and we were able to talk with the Chef, Salvatore. He had great stories about his career as a chef in the city and all the people he served in that time. I enjoyed the Chicken Tortellini in Pesto sauce that he first special at the request of Vincent Price and Colleen had a Spaghetti dish that was a favorite of Jackie Gleason. Very fun. I recommend all of them.

We had a great time at the show. Great crowds and people each day with a lot of energy. There are plenty of other write ups and commentaries on the show, so I won’t go into everything.

But the highlights for me would have to be not just the people who took the time to stop at our booth, talk with us and pick up a comic. But the people who we sold comics to last year, who then came by this year to let us know how much they enjoyed them. Making comics can be somewhat lonely, its just a few of us working privately for a long time and then when we’re done, we send it out and hope someone will see our work and think it has value. And to have people look for us the next year, is one of the highest compliments I can imagine. Even if the rest of the con had been bad, nothing could take me down from that high.

But luckily the rest of the show was fun. We traded off visiting panels and events. I only saw two, but they were the ones I wanted to see more than anything the Michael Chabon & Matt Fraction conversation and a panel about Sit Down, Shut Up a new tv show by the people who made Arrested Development, one of the top 5 tv shows ever made (The Wire, Arrested Development, I Love Lucy, The Simpsons, Homicide: Life on The Streets) and people who made my favorite Simpsons episode and seasons. Both panels were fun and enlightening. The rest of the group took in stuff on Star Trek, UP!, Terminator and more.

So now it’s over. With renewed energy and drive we look forward to next year and what we can put together in the meantime.


Everything is ready and I’m about to hop on a train down to Moscone Center. David and James will meet me there and Eric will be by later. Tonight after the show we’ll be attending the Isotope’s Tiki-Tour for as long as our livers will last!

You can follow all of our con adventures on Twitter.

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