Wednesday, December 29, 2004

San Bruno

Pat got me this gift certificate to an obscure used book/record shop up in San Bruno, so I took the NSTL up there tonight to see if there was anything I wanted. Honestly, I think he re-gifted the certificate from that Arthur guy, since neither of us would ever have any reason to be in San Bruno, but so what. It was an excuse to get out and see someplace new. As it was, I'm pretty glad I went.

San Bruno has an underground kind of like ours, but it's closer to San Francisco and more working class and more mixed-ethnicity. I got off the NSTL and after a few minutes I realized that there were absolutely no chains of any sort: no McDonald's, no Starbucks, no major groceries, not even a major gas station. It was like the entire downtown strip was locked in 1973. I saw two Korean bbq places, innumerable Chinese joints, a big A-frame pizza place, vacuum cleaner repair shops, Mexican mercados and taquerias, a red-checker Italian place, one of those shops that rents school band instruments, a kids' furniture outlet...I need to get back there. It reminded me of the kinds of streets dad would cruise down when I was a kid, taking us to pizza at a place that I so dimly remember as to not be entirely sure it ever existed at all.

Anyhow, I went to this used book/record shop and poked around a while. It was mostly self-published leftist literature from the 60s and 70s, including a physics textbook called Physics Needs an Enema! I flipped through Physics Needs an Enema! for a bit, but it quickly revealed itself as a book about how only published physicists get listened to and how to get published you need to tell a politician what they want to hear or be from "old New England money." It seemed like pretty personal invective, like the guy was a physicist who just wouldn't "play the game" and spilled his anger into a five-figure vanity printing project. He used a lot of Crumb drawings for which I'm sure he didn't have licenses. When he needed to illustrate a principle for which he had no Crumb drawing he had drawn his own in an approximation of the Crumb style, and it made me really uncomfortable.

I got sick of the scene pretty quick and tucked the gift certificate into the breast pocket of a log-sawin' Bolshevik. The counter guy, a jawless fuzz-faced old hippie who looked like an anutritional Marx in sweatpants, looked up as I walked out, but I figured he didn't have the local pull to sic the cops on me for Non-vocal Disrespect.

I picked up a hot bowl of birria at some place called Tacos Dos Tallarines, complete with chopped cilantro and onion, and hopped back on the NSTL.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Téodor's Temptations

Alright, I didn't actually name it something corny like that, but I did start up a craft services table at the porn set they have going next door. I'd never done anything like this before, and I didn't really know what I was doing, so I made a big pot of chili verde, which I served with spanish rice, black beans, corn tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, and flan for dessert. That went pretty well; people just ate what I had and stopped eating when I ran out of food. I cleared a couple hundred and Self Made (yes, that's what their crazy little Thai cameraman wanted me to call him) even helped me carry the pots back through the fence to our place. He works like he's cranked on speed but he's not shaky at all. I think he really just likes what he's doing. If his English was better we'd probably hang out after shoots. As it is, he makes a call on his cell phone and one of a rotating schedule of ruined 80s Nissan sedans m-m-mutters up (their mufflers are always shot; do they park in saltwater puddles?) to claim him.

I got the gig through Roar, who is kind of the main honcho at the set. I ran into him a few days ago at Trader Joe's and with nothing better to say I said "Oh hey, I think you guys just moved in next door to us. I'm Téodor." I figured he'd be personable, what with the porn gig and all, and he came through as predicted. "Oh, yeah, I been meaning to say hi," he said as he shook my hand. "Nice to meet you, T." He said it in that L.A. kind of way where you know he hadn't really been meaning to do anything, but since he immediately gave you a nickname you felt close.

I asked him if he ever needed any catering for his set next door, and mentioned that I was trained in catering and would be happy to set them up. He said to stop by sometime, and I did, and a few bowls later I had an unspoken contract for today's set. I'll be back tomorrow. They film a lot of footage every night, it seems.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Boogie Nights neighbors

Last week a little porn company moved in next door. They also rented out an office in this small-timey industrial complex around the corner, and every night all these chicks in new Mustangs show up, the kind that have the low-rise jeans and big old handlebar tattoos over their asses. They've already started filming at the house, which has a pool and hot tub, and I guess they rent the office so they can have a separate business address for when perverts stalk them. Seems like S.O.P. for a porno outfit. So far it looks like they do mainly BBW gonzo, with really skinny studs. Must be kind of a niche thing. I want to run across one of them casually one day and offer to cater the sets. It'd be a nice excuse to do some good cooking, get paid, and have a really weird afternoon.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Rat in the garage.

I was lying in bed on the "cusp" of sleep at around 2am when all of a sudden there was this horrible gushing noise in the garage. I figured the hot water heater had burst a hose, and if that was the case then a lot of my storage boxes were going to get ruined, so I jumped up and ran in there.

Apparently some rat had jumped across the faucet of the laundry sink and pressed on the hot water lever, because hot water was shooting out of it at full tilt. Shaken but relieved, I turned it off and made a mental note to make handle-clips out of old coat hangers. If that happens again while no one's around, there could be real damage. I also got the Rat Zapper out. The Rat Zapper is this little shoebox-size thing with four double-A batteries and an electrical floor that electrocutes rats who wander in after the bait (we throw in dog kibble). It looks sort of dumb but it really works. It killed a rat the size of a corn cob last time I set it up. I prefer the Rat Zapper to traps because it's bloodless and instantaneous. Sometimes when you use traps you just snap off like half the head and they wander around for a while, spreading bad karma and jammy thick blood.

Okay, back to bed. While I was up I put some phyllo dough in the fridge to defrost. I thought that maybe tomorrow I'd bake a Napoleon of phyllo, roasted red pepper, mozzarella, and chopped kalamata.