Tag Archives: observations

Reality Check: Black Friday Edition

Friends, I’m at the crossroads of adulthood and San Francisco. The apartment is far too small, but the neighborhood is conveniently located near all my bad habits and the office. I blend in nicely with all the other half-bearded twerps that came to this city for tech—telling myself all the while that somehow I’m different. I constantly reassure myself that I’m a nice guy while having reoccurring, mildly mean thoughts. I don’t deserve half of what I have, but you can be damn sure I’ll keep shopping for more.

This personal lament isn’t meant to come across as some jerk feeling sorry for himself. Instead, it’s just a short dissertation on feeling a million different things at once as I watch frenzied “Black Friday” shoppers momentarily glance at a homeless guy sleeping in the doorway across the street.

It’s not meant to be sad. It’s simply a reality check.

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Friday morning notes.

Tow It.jpg

I’ve always liked having a plan B—but some days life feels like nothing more than a series of accidents and spur-of-the-moment antics. Think it over this weekend and let me know what you come up with. In the meantime, happy Friday.

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Duly noted.

Cities are full of contradictions—especially here in San Francisco where tech and tourism thrive along with one of the worst homeless epidemics in the country. As vividly illustrated by these handwritten notes found on an early-morning dog walk a few days back, some struggle with parking issues, while others simultaneously seek spare change and handouts.



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Making arrangements.

Yesterday was a lousy day in America. After some deeply disturbed coward in a Las Vegas hotel room left most of us feeling sad and hopeless, the office was silent. People on the street spoke of feeling vulnerable. I wound up at the grocery store wandering the aisles looking for plastic wrap and a friendly smile or two.

That’s when the Safeway floral department came into view. Colorful, living things—free from gun control debates, social media bullshit and the perpetual stress of trying to get by. Just pretty things that make human beings happy.

Suddenly, with a bouquet in my hands, the checker wanted to chat, neighbors stopped in their tracks to ask about the flowers and complete strangers nodded their heads when I passed by. I’ve never seen nine dollars go so far. Were people glad to see the flowers? Or happy to witness one human theoretically doing something nice for another? Maybe both? I suppose it doesn’t matter why people reacted—it’s just the simple fact that they showed signs of life on a day when so many were focused on the subject of death. And that’s noteworthy. Or, in this particular case, blog worthy.

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As a man of many cities, I’ve found myself accidentally, inadvertently documenting my take on their defining characteristics.

In Madison, Wisconsin it was the incredible amount of snow. I took a million pictures on 35mm film.

In Chicago it was the Gotham-esque buildings (and the snow). These were the days of color shots that appeared to be black and white.

Kansas City was filled with old cars that begged for impromptu portraits. So I did my best to please the beautiful machines.

In Springfield, MO the old cars continued, while the expansive Midwestern sunsets also emerged as a trend.

Then San Francisco came along—with its year-round foliage and strange weather patterns. Cold. Warm. Cold. An absolute paradise for a Kansas kid, the mild temperatures inspire sincere feelings of passion. The word “beautiful” has never been used so accurately. And I’ve reacted accordingly, aiming my camera at the sky predominantly. The fog never ceases to amaze me and for good reason. It’s mysterious. It floats. It’s seemingly always around, yet disappears within seconds. I captured some of what I’m referring to a few days back on an early-morning bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Friday night feeling.

Another day spent wondering what’s next and reading bad news about the government. 

The billboard tells me there’s a Lexus sales event I can’t miss, but I have a feeling I’m not gonna make it. Damn, maybe next time, Lexus.

Moving on and off. Hoping my haircut doesn’t make me look like a douche. Hoping my personality doesn’t allow me to act like one. 

Everyone preaches love and peace, but few show much interest in either when a parking spot is at stake. 

That’s life and so is this. 

So on and so forth. I’ll quietly plead the fifth if anyone asks me for answers. 

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