I guess I have a type.

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I’ve never considered myself fashionable. Or even all that smart, for that matter. But apparently I am extremely predictable when it comes to shoes. I’m proud of the fact that I have quite a few miles on each pair. Here’s to many more.

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San Francisco Jr.

If a city is similar to a living thing, what do you do when they start to turn on you? When strange new outfits made of steel and glass are quietly unveiled? When their attitude shifts from come on in to get the fuck out of my way? When a warm embrace becomes a careful negotiation and a $25 credit check? SF, my love, you’ve always had problems, but when did you become so interested in entertaining all your rich friends?

I’ve got my eye on you, but you probably didn’t notice because you were scrolling through selfies on your phone and your ears were plugged with white buds. You’re so beautiful—just don’t forget those who were there for you during the awkward stages and still supported you after your .com phase.

It’ll be OK. When the others follow the empty promises of better lives in another city or suburb, I hope you know I’ll still be here engulfed in the smell of your eucalyptus perfume, exploring the neighborhoods of your soul and enjoying your panoramic points of view.

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Signs of life.

A few times a week, I ride one of the infamous tech buses to get to and from work. People are generally quiet and polite to one another. No one really moves. For the most part, we all just keep to ourselves as we stop and go our way up and down the peninsula.

When I’m not locked face-to-face with my laptop, I entertain myself by looking out the window and making up stories about the people down below in their cars. They usually look as bored as we do. Like us, they’re often stuck somewhere between work and home. And a frightening number are on their phones.

But sometimes there’s a break in the monotony. A wreck. Someone getting pulled over. And occasionally two blondes in a Mustang convertible.

This is how things went down this evening on the 101. It was an entertaining reminder that even within the confines of a routine bus ride, a few heterosexual men are still paying attention to their surroundings. The girls are long gone, but something tells me their brief appearance was the highlight of a few guys’ lonely nights.

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The places where we’re from.

We just returned from a trip to Kansas. A plan initially booked to bid farewell to my ailing grandmother, we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of a full-fledged love fest.

We put in our time at the nursing home. We spent hours entertaining my nephews with song, dance and wild rides in the Kubota. We shared stories with brothers, mothers, aunts and uncles. And the whole time one simple phrase kept going through my head: don’t forget your roots.

I’m proud of these who’ve influenced the person I am today and slightly embarrassed that I don’t go home more often. It’s now more obvious that ever why I’m so drawn to these people. Good parents—and the family that surrounds them—provide a support system unlike any other. It’s safe. It’s secure. It’s a network of kindness, built-in backup plans and places to crash.

I’ve thanked my family before. I’ve tried to keep up with phone calls, Christmas cards and birthday gifts. But this last visit was absolute proof that spending time with them is still the best way to indulge in their generosity and knowledge.

Life on the west coast is everything I could’ve ever hoped for, but my heart will always be in Kansas. At least as long as my family lives there.

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Party of three.

Since moving to San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, we’ve started eating Italian food based on proximity rather than desire. There’s spaghetti around the corner, a delicious plate of eggplant Parmesan closer than the grocery store and pizza never sounds like a bad idea after a long day at work. Never. Add in the fact that dogs are welcome at a handful of the local spots and getting the kitchen dirty at home seems downright silly.

Logic or location, we found ourselves at Tony’s last Monday sitting in the sunshine watching the world enjoy the soft glow of an abnormally warm evening. They’re good to us at Tony’s, but the star of the show is Woody the dog. The staff has gotten to know Woody and his tendency to cast his love and affection upon practically anyone who takes an interest. Servers come by every few minutes to stroke an ear. Tables full of tourists inquire about his personality and pedigree. And occasionally they’ll bring him a surprise from the kitchen.

As you can imagine, all this activity in a place that’s already bustling can create quite a scene. And it was in the middle of this swirl of mild chaos, conversation and beauty that I attempted to order meatballs. It was out of the ordinary for us and I was hoping they’d appear suddenly like a gift from the Italian protein gods.

Five minutes passed. Woody got comfortable under the table as we settled in to our corner spot. With a glass of wine in my hand and visions of the indulgent dinner we were about to consume, one of the general managers appeared.

“I have a surprise for you guys…meatballs!”

I moved forward, grabbed a fork and watched as she bypassed the table and set them down on the sidewalk in front of Woody’s sweet, watchful eyes. As he began ravenously devouring them, I realized that my order had been misinterpreted or possibly forgotten. Our table got meatballs that evening, but the only one who got to enjoy them was the rotten dog.

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Precisely.

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A perfectly timed, beautifully executed, single frame that captures the exact feeling I have when our drunk neighbors wake us up at 3:37 AM on Wednesday morning and the party doesn’t stop until roughly around the same time our alarm goes off. Thanks itspeteski

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