my man todd francis is in the weekly this week

he was the illustrator of the Daily Nexus.

he was so good i made him my assistant arts editor because i wanted his art on the cover of our section every week.

he always delivered.

after college when i was transferred up to Frisco i needed a place to live and he had a spare room in his apartment on 22nd and Folsom.

we had a mice problem. there was a hole in the apartment somewhere. but he had these giant snakes in a fish tank.

he let them out to roam. they ate all the mice and slithered back into their tanks.

todd was the first person i met who said its ok to have dinner consisting of nothing but vegetables.

we even tried it a few times.

those were the days of AOL. id sit in my room on a 14.4 modem writing poems in the poetry rooms and sexting the girls who i hope were women. it was pretty easy to tell the fakers, but you never know. i probably said something to some dudes without knowing it.

ah frisco.

todd and i saw the OJ chase together because he loved hoops even more than i did, especially anthony mason and patrick ewing.

so as we were watching the game they broke in with the slow Bronco chase and we got to see parts of LA that we missed.

little did i know that Todd would slowly become one of the biggest names of skateboard design.

i didnt know how far his fame had reached until i was back home in ILL a year ago and in our crappy mall there was a skate shop and i asked the kid if he knew about Todd and among 100 boards he quickly picked out the 5-6 that he designed.

he said he drove to the city to get Todds autograph back when he was doing a book signing.

so many talented friends at the Daily Nexus.

we were all so lucky to have had each other.

because if you are the only one with weird ideas, gross pictures, or stupid plots to change the world:

it’s nice to have a room full of others who, instead of vetoing you, say,

“you think that’s weird, check this shit out.”

do i miss frisco?

do i miss golden gate park and the bridge and the other bridge and the other bridge and the burritos

and stepping over homeless dudes with needles still in their arms

and cold summers and zero rock scenes and no parking

and cable cars and the n judah and the 26 mission and f market

and the highest rents in the whole wide world

and lower haight and upper richmond and barting to the east bay

and flying into a cloudy soupy grey bump in a log

and sailing among white caps

and kissing irish girls and being amazed by marin and the redwoods and sea lions and fair weather niner fans

and smelling weed everywhere

and smoking weed everywhere

and kissing the truest everywhere

and the dot com startups and the tech bubble start ups

and the silicon valley start ups who can do everything except

recreate soul.

do i miss the asian ppl and the tourists and the mexican kids and the three remaining hippies and the tenderloin and the 500 club and the midtown and the italians and the playgrounds that are all fenced in and the hills and the tall buildings on the hills

and the way the grass looked blue cuz of the shrooms we ate on divis so we walked and walked

do i miss the walking or the ugliest beach in all the land or how they said the presidio would not be sold to the highest bidder but to the poor and the non profits and the charities, but alas

do i miss the sourdough and chinatown and begging a chinese girl on a date for a kiss and when she finally delivers saying meh

right to her pretty face

do i miss the street fairs and amoeba and the gay ppl and surprise flowers growing in the weirdest little places

and victorian after victorian after victorian

and giant churches and little churches

and little shops beneath the stairs?


jk. hella.

yeah i was at game three in frisco last night, who’s asking?


got the ticket off stubhub for $170 as did this young guy who works at pebble beach, originally from arlington heights


i was nervous it was gonna be a boring pitching duel. Madbum has crazy numbers in the playoffs. plus he’s always mad about everything. but as i sat up there in the chilly crisp air i thought, what if he’s actually just super sad that the Cubs havent won the world series in over a century?


and i also thought how worthless the scoreboard is at AT&T. it was my first visit to the park


they did a good job decorating it and making it “the scene”. lots of weird angles and faux antique touches. the irony of tearing down actual old buildings to develop new buildings that you spend millions on to look old was not lost in me. and when i asked a very loud Giants fan in front of me what he thought about our weird trend, he showed me his faux rings


he was there with his daughter and her friend and we were all cracking up when out of the blue he’s utter a school girl cheer on like Ball 1:

G-double-O D E-Y-E

and he’d punch the sky with the orange rag they gave to all the fans as we entered.


no seriously, they called it a Rag


sat next to these two dudes from the Castro who were fun too. one of them was keeping score, the other works at Apple. Everyone was cool except for this old guy in front of us who kept looking back trying to give me dirty looks because me and the golf guy were talking about every little detail of Pebble.

Greens Fees for 18 holes: $500-700
Caddy: $80 + tip
Cart: $40 unless you’re staying at the resort
Resort room: $600-$800 a night
And you have to stay at the Resort for a min of 2 days if you want a guaranteed tee time.

The Cubs at that time were knocking their boy Mad Bum around and Jake Arietta had pulled a 3 run homer and things were looking dire for the home team.

Finally i told the old man when he looked at me again, “it seems like we are bothering you?”

“I thought we were here to talk BASEBALL!” he growled.

I said, “we can talk baseball if you really want”, and tipped my beer to the dumbass scoreboard.

He took a little walk.


There was no shortage of bunting or drama. The Giants ended up with the lead somehow and then in the top of the 9th pretty boy MVP Kris Bryant just barely cleared the Chevron ad in left tying up the game and leaving me hoarse from screaming in the suddenly silent stadium.

The game went 13 innings. Some batboy pinchhitter drove a long double to center off Mike Montgomery who had been in since the 10th. And it was a long walk to Market Street to the 5 Fulton back up to the Panhandle.

Gonna make that old man super pissed tonight. I’m in the same exact seat.

im in frisco, ive come for your food and one win

chinese food

last night i drove up the 5 and listened to the debate and arrived and it was cold and i got to Mark’s house and had a great chat with his son. smart kid. no dummy.

then i walked to haight ashbury (only 5 blocks away) then walked down Haight remembering about a girl i used to make out with.

i kept thinking, did we have sex? but i dont think we ever did. she was always so uptight. one day i asked, why do you even have me over here, you hate me. she said, i like you more than anyone in this lousy town. and then we’d make out listening to sinatra.

at one point she moved to NYC and i visited her and she was sour to me there too. forget her name. but she was pretty and a great kisser.  (i didnt forget her name).

kept walking. people frowned at me with my cubs hat. whatever. theyre gonna give you a reason to frown. walked down market to where Valencia starts. they sure cleaned up that little ratty area under the freeway. and a few other spots. but one thing i noticed as i walked up through the Mission and eventually to Mission / 24th: lots of my favorite joints are still there.

for all the handwringing about gentrification and the dot comming of Frisco, so much has remained. sure there are some douchey coffee and taco joints, but many of the bars are still there, even the record stores. lots of my favorite food spots, little markets, little stores. all still here 20 years later.

if a Chinese Food & Donuts store in the heart of the Mission can survive on a very busy and valuable corner for 30+ years, then gentrification isn’t as bad as they say it is here.

frisco is a place that i have been coming to since i was a teenager. weirdly there is less change here than in the suburb where i grew up in Illinois. the only truly damning oh-fuck-you development was Whole Foods moving in where the Safeway used to be on Haight right by the Park.

ok now i have to take an Uber to the ballpark to watch my Cubbies sweep this shit.

and if they win, im gonna drive home tonight.

mom, you shouldnt read this, trust me


today is the 22nd anniversary of OJs bronco chase which means 22(!) years ago i was roommates with todd francis on Folsom Street in Frisco when we saw the chase.

Todd had a great apartment which i think was like a guest house in the back of a regular house on Folsom and like 22nd if i remember correctly.

i had just been asked to transfer from LA to SF for Philips because they were about to introduce this thing called WebTV which connected your TV to the Internet and their guy in SF didn’t know anything about the web (who did 22 years ago?) and wasnt willing to learn.

so they made me the dude in charge of No Cal, which was fine with me because as much as i loved living in Atwater Village with Greg and Jeff, none of us were getting laid and they were pursing their musical careers and i was up for a change of scenery so why not.

Todd had an extra room for rent so why not. He was a great roommate, soooo funny, and he was a vegetarian so there were nights when omg i wouldnt eat any meat. trippy.

right away i started getting dates through AOL for some reason.

one of the first ones was this rich girl who was sorta seeing this guy whos dad owned a car dealership. beautiful asian girl. i wanna say her name was Candis. i was all, why are you breaking up with your dude. she said because he is so obsessed with money, he never pays any attention to me. i said send me a picture and it was like a put on, she was too beautiful. i was all. take a picture with todays news paper. she said i dont get the paper.

i said ok take a picture with your hat on backwards and standing on one leg. she did and i was all

lets go to the drive in, that way we can see a movie AND talk at the same time.

ok mom if youre still reading you really need to stop because its only gonna get worse.

Continue reading

cant really divulge what i was really doing in frisco


but this room was spectacular, though hardly used. which is fine. it had blackout drapes so i slept beautifully.


this morning though i had to keep them open so i could have breakfast with mark johnson at this soul food joint on polk


and then hustle over to this church to light some candles for a couple struggling xbi agents.


and unlike in Quebec, the suggested donation was quite reasonable, and not $4 a candle


frisco has changed, in some ways for the better


one thing that is even stronger is love for the Grateful Dead, i saw hella Deadhead stickers, hats, and patches


but what frisco teaches us is you can talk about hippie stuff, or you can actually be a hippie


i love hippies, but my room had a view where you could see the bay bridge (far left) light up at night.

gotta turn off yr lights tho for best effect.


mark had the Étouffée, i had grits bacon and eggs. pretty sure he won.


mark was the one who told me how cool the cool church was, and once again, my friends are the greatest


you know who else is the greatest? the secret xbi repair shop.

chased this dude through the streets of san francisco after church

and before i got him he released all these nails and screws out of his back window and my fat tires ate them


i was in and out of there so quickly i didnt even have time to play the drum