Can you spell “potatoe”?

So the instant Sarah Palin commentaries are jetting from political pundits like radiation from a quasar. She’s been likened to Dan Quayle (SF Chron) in her relative lack of qualifications, but the quote of the day I think is from Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic:

It’s as much about countering sexism as picking Clarence Thomas was about countering racism.

Catch his entire essay on the nomination here.

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Where’s the fog?

Summer seems to be here early – I don’t expect warm weather to last more than a couple days until after mid-September. And we are loving it! Last Sunday we went out after a visit to R’s mom in Moraga to chat and catch up with friends at Lookout, the former location of the Metro, at the corner of 16th and Noe on Market. It was a benefit for women’s soccer, and it was a fun crowd. A few too many drinks were had (and jello shots – see below) but we had a good time and afterward the fog *still* wasn’t blowing in.

Jello shots anyone?

Jello shots anyone?

Late note – minutes after posting this, the fickle finger of fog began to poke its way over Twin Peaks.

Charlie Horse at Cinch

I had been wanting to get to see Trannyshack at The Stud before it finally “kissed off” into the showbiz sunset that is farewell tours, the inevitable reunion tour, and probably a spin-off TV reality series on VH1. I didn’t – the Tuesday at midnight (that’s drag queen midnight, sugar which is probably like 1am to us) showtime kept me away. I did catch a few of the special performances they did as charity benefits on the occasional weekend – Bagdad By the Bay.

Trannyshack Kiss-off at The Regency

Trannyshack Kiss-off at The Regency

But before the curtain even rose on their Kiss-off party at the Regency this past Saturday, I was standing shoulder to costumed shoulder at Cinch this past Friday, to see Charlie Horse, another long-standing if not illustrious drag review. The theme of the week was the Playboy Mansion, so lots of silk pajamas and smoking jackets, bunny ears and such in the audience as well as on the performers themselves.

Hosted by Ana Conda, a former Trannyshack-er performer of the year, the show also featured Pippi Lovestocking who was a Trannyshack founder. The show included original songs, lip-synching (naturally!) and stand-up comedy and dance. The talent-level ranged from so-so to minimal to great (the singer) to hilarious (Ana Conda and Pippi Lovestocking). The crowd was an enthusiastic mix of men and women. It was fun, and I encourage everyone to give it a try.

The shiatsu!

Kabuki Springs and Spa

Kabuki Springs and Spa

Japantown is one of the (numerous) parts of this city that I never seem to get to. Yesterday, I went for a massage at the Kabuki Spa which is at Geary and Fillmore, for a relaxing and invigorating shiatsu massage. This has been on my to-do list for months. Kabuki also has a traditional communal Japanese bathing area in addition to its spa treatments of all types. In my mind’s eye I had a vision of a quiet outdoor pool surrounded by boulders and leafy maples and pine trees, perhaps a few Zen monks tending to the sand patterns off to the side, while bathers poured hot water over their discreetly wrapped bodies using bamboo ladles.

I arrived and was as confused as the group of Japanese tourists looking for Japantown and finding only a largely empty Japanese-themed shopping mall. And an old one at that. The big hint is the AMC theatre is headlined as The Kabuki – but it’s showing big-release American films. I snap a group shot for the tourists using a Teppanyaki restaurant as backdrop. Perhaps young Tokyo-ites feel a real Japanese kinship-thing with our shopping mall?

I found the Kabuki Spa after a few tries walking down long empty corridors of the mall, after heading outside to Geary. The entry is from the outside, and is landscaped with potted bamboos and leafy maples (!). I exhaled a huge ujaya-breath as I found Kabuki Springs and Spa transcended its shopping-mall surroundings.

After checking in, getting changed into my robe (what, no silk kimono?) I plopped myself down in the boldly colored waiting room / chill area to await my massage. Shortly thereafter my masseur came to get me, and led me to my massage room. He introduced himself as Gomo, and he was a 250 pound West African body-builder from Equatorial Guinea.

I should have realized at this point that getting a massage designed by Japanese men to be rendered by young, willowy Japanese girls was going to be a bit rough when delivered by a 250 pound body builder, but what the hey. I endured eighty minutes of rubbing, slapping, karate chops and most of all elbow and forearm jabs. Highlight – Gomo standing on the massage table, one heel at a time planted on each butt cheek as he grabbed the corresponding ankle and pulled my leg and hip out of its socket. Ahhh the relaxation! Gomo in addition to shiatsu seemed to have a close familiarity with various Yoga asanas, as I sometimes found myself being pretzled into prone versions of bird of paradise and pigeon posture.

I, your intrepid massage journalist, survived – barely – to tell the tale.

And then I went to enjoy the steam, sauna and cold and hot pools. It’s all indoors – no

Traditional bathing

Traditional bathing

outdoor bathing pool alas. You actually bathe first – in one of the nice showers, or they have an area with stools and basins for (probably) more traditional bathing. But with practical and modern shower heads on flexible hoses for washing and rinsing rather than my imagined bamboo ladles and stone water basins.

After washing up and getting clean, you can then select whether to relax in the dry heat of the apartment-sized sauna, or the wet heat of the apartment-sized steam room. I don’t mean New York City apartment-sized either. These are big rooms. I wouldn’t want their utility bills. They suggest you do a cycle of fifteen minutes in the sauna followed by cold plunge, back to the sauna, cold plunge then steam. Fifteen minutes in either the sauna or steam was way too much for my Gomo-pummeled body yesterday. So I mainly relaxed in the chill area and sipped the lemon ice-water, ate apple slices as if at La Costa, and enjoyed the scenery.

No elderly Japanese men here at Kabuki. Are there any left in Japantown? It was a mix of types from young to old, professionals to tattooed and pierced alterna-punks – with a sort of Steamworks meets Japanese tea ceremony vibe.

You think we’ve got crazies!

I think all of us residents of San Francisco inevitably hear from friends or relatives in other (typically more conservative) locales that we “…have crazy people there.” Often in the context of something the speaker heard about on Foxnews. Well, payback is a bitch, and below are two nut-cases who hail from waaaay far away from Queeristan. And I’m not even going for Fred Phelps!

Believes in God. Just not God's love. And what's with the phony smile for his own PR photo?

Bill Donahue, currently leader of the right-wing intolerance group Catholic League, is lately in the news for asking the Democratic National Committee to revoke the Convention coverage credentials for two blogs that diverge from his tastes: Towleroad (gay politics and pop culture) and BitchPhD (feminist). Below is some background and some previous comments from this learned gentleman, who is a regular on the ultra-right talk circuit:

(from Media Matters) “William A. Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has made 23 guest appearances on TV news programs in 2004. Donohue uses his appearances primarily to attack gays and progressives. He has referred to the “gay death style,” remarked, “God forbid we’d run out of little gay kids,” claimed that Senator John Kerry “never found an abortion he couldn’t justify,” and claimed that “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular … Hollywood likes anal sex.”

Believes in magic golden plates. Same-sex lovin' not so much.

And then we have exhibit B, SF (as in SciFi!) writer Orson Scott Card, a believing Latter Day Saint (a.k.a. Mormon). Recently caught declaring that he advocates over-throwing the government rather than accepting same-sex marriage.

(from Queerty) “I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”

So we may have some ‘crazies’ packed into our 49 square miles. But hell, we’re only 49 square miles! They’ve got a whole “wide world of weirdness” going on.