Old & In the Way in the Back Row of the 6-Parnassus, 15 September 2014.

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Good Evening:

The 6-Parnassus has five seats in a row at the back of the bus, and when I boarded it at the Market & 5th Street intersection after another theater event this evening, only two other passengers occupied seats. Both sat up front, the back row was completely empty, so I took the right-hand window seat. Over the next few stops, more people boarded, but the back row remained mine.

Until the Market & Van Ness stop.

A very young couple, possibly college students, took the two seats on the left-hand side of the back row. She (long straight brown hair, long nose, dark brown eyes) took the window seat, while her boyfriend (short black hair, incipient beard) took the seat next to her.

I glanced at them. She had wrapped her right arm around his shoulders, laid her head upon his chest, and placed her left hand on his right thigh. But she did not look at the love of her life. Oh, no. Not at all.

She was glaring at me.

I resumed my usual bus behavior, alternating between looking about the bus to study humanity and looking out the window for potentially cool locations for future night photography projects. At the Haight & Laguna stop, I glanced at the young couple again. She still had her right arm wrapped around his shoulders, her head upon his chest, and her left hand on his right thigh.

And she glared at me. Again. Harder.

I’m a good boy, so I kept my head pointed forward. Another half-mile, and the 6-Parnassus arrived at my destination. I arose a little sooner than necessary and made my way to the back door, noticing that she still glared at me. While waiting for the bus to stop and the door to open, I used my superior peripheral vision to glance back at the young couple without turning my head to them.

Judging from her left shoulder, she had begun to move her left arm and hand in a short pumping motion.

Yes. She was doing that.

No wonder she glared at me. I had been old and in the way in the back row of the 6-Parnassus.

How inconsiderate of me.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Franciscans As They Live Today, 15 September 2014 (Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity)

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Good Evening:

A miscellaneous collection of photographs of San Franciscans as they are, in love, in solitude, together, apart. I took many shots in bad light, so I converted them to black and white and performed other edits in iPhoto to conceal as many flaws and bring out as many virtues as possible.

The Morning's First Cup of Coffee, Starbucks, Market & Stockton, San Francisco, 14 September 2014

The Morning’s First Cup of Coffee, Starbucks, Market & Stockton, San Francisco, 14 September 2014

Sometimes, the Male Species Makes Itself Useful

Sometimes, the Male Species Makes Itself Useful, Market & Stockton, San Francisco, 9/14/2014

The Wedding Party & Photographer, Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco

The Wedding Party & Photographer, Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco

Solitude, East Stairway of the Metreon, San Francisco

Solitude, East Stairway of the Metreon, San Francisco

Chess Players Outside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

Chess Players Outside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

New Shoes & Dinner, Powell Street, San Francisco

New Shoes & Dinner, Powell Street, San Francisco

Bicyclist in Front of City Hall, San Francisco

Bicyclist in Front of City Hall, San Francisco

Three-Wheeled Scooter, Divisadero & Haight, San Francisco

Three-Wheeled Scooter, Divisadero & Haight, San Francisco

Three Men & a Scooter, Market Near 6th Street, San Francisco

Three Men & a Scooter, Market Near 6th Street, San Francisco

Waiting for the Boss to Open the Store, Saturday Morning, San Francisco

Waiting for the Boss to Open the Store, Saturday Morning, San Francisco

Crossing Mission Near 4th Street, San Francisco

Crossing Mission Near 4th Street, San Francisco

Discussing Politics on the City Hall Steps, San Francisco

Discussing Politics on the City Hall Steps, San Francisco

Finally, this young lady, so obsessed with the fine art of the selfie that she bought a camera attachment that helps her take better pictures of herself. Now that is vanity. Or tremendous self-confidence. I can never tell the difference.

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Vonn Scott Bair

Street People in San Francisco, Saturday, 13 September 2014. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity)

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Good Morning:

Saturday morning had me up and running early, performing chores. For starters, I bought breakfast for the actors, directors and playwrights participating in a 24-hour theater festival (where you write, rehearse and perform a set of short plays in 24 hours, and yes it can be done). No matter where I went up and down Market Street, I saw something like this:

Market Street Near 7th, 13 September 2014

Market Street Near 7th, 13 September 2014

At 7:00 a.m. on a weekend morning, San Francisco’s homeless are still asleep on Market Street. Something so obvious to me now to which I had been so oblivious before: old age. Our homeless population has aged before our eyes and now they have to cope with advancing years.

Powell & Ellis, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Powell & Ellis, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

And with age comes increasing physical disabilities. Oblivious me, I had never noticed the canes and wheelchairs before.

Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Sutter & Powell Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Sutter & Powell Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Market Street, near Stockton and 4th Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Market Street, near Stockton and 4th Streets, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco, 13 September 2014

Polk Street Near Fulton, San Francisco, 12 September 2014

Polk Street Near Fulton, San Francisco, 12 September 2014

San Francisco has one of the largest gaps between the richest and poorest in America, and that gap becomes most obvious early on Saturday morning.

All photos taken Saturday, 13 September 2014 (except for the last, 8:00 a.m., 12 September 2014) with my point-and-shoot, cropped, edited and converted to B&W using iPhoto.

Vonn Scott Bair

Casual Friday, San Francisco, 12 September 2014. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity)

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Good Evening:

September is our warmest month, and brings out the casual in San Franciscans. All photos take with my point-and-shoot, cropped and edited in iPhoto.

Young Love at Fulton & Polk

Young Love at Fulton & Polk

Cannot Wait for the Green Light to Start Her Weekend

Cannot Wait for the Green Light to Start Her Weekend

Good Idea, Let's Take the Rest of Friday Off.

Good Idea, Let’s Take the Rest of Friday Off.

Why Don't We Just Take the Rest of Friday Off?

Why Don’t We Just Take the Rest of Friday Off?

Uber Employees Posing for a Photo

Uber Employees Posing for a Photo

I Wonder What He Just Remembered That He Forgot.

I Wonder What He Just Remembered That He Forgot.

I hope you’ve gained some ideas on how to enjoy your weekend.

Vonn Scott Bair

The Return of the Social Experiment in the Office Cubicle!

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Good Evening:

Once upon a time, a co-worker found a $1 bill, taped it to a cubicle entrance and said that whoever lost it could take it. I ended up writing two posts about the social experiment in the office cubicle, about how no one took the bill for a few weeks, and about how and why it finally disappeared. By a remarkable coincidence, the events took place almost exactly one year ago.

On Wednesday, I found a $1 bill.

My turn.

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This time, the three of us studying this phenomenon used a little more scientific care. Last time, my colleague forgot when he first displayed the dollar; this time, 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, 10 September 2014. I have taped it to the exact same location, wrote the exact same note on the stickie, and photographed it once ready (obviously).

Two reasons why this isn’t scientifically “clean,” for lack of a better term. First, my handwriting differs from his. Ideally, he should have written the message. Second, other departments at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and in City government have poached a lot of employees from HR; we have a lot of new faces around here. In other words, too many variables. Nonetheless, I still dare to hope that we amateurs might have found something worthy of professional attention.

Let’s see what happens this time.

Vonn Scott Bair

And She Bakes, Live. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!)

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Good Evening:

For my part, I too do not consider American theater all that adventurous nowadays. It’s a money thing: theaters need to get people into the seats; they know what has put butts in seats in the past; therefore, the entire nation sometimes feels like one big Shakespeare retrospective.

Fringe Festivals are adventurous.

The San Francisco Fringe Festival, one of over 200 such festivals worldwide (and it’s surprisingly hard to get an exact number, but 200 minimum seems about right), dominates the local theater scene every September, and the first event I’ve seen, And She Bakes, Live., based upon the cooking/comedy YouTube series, is also the first I’ve ever seen that begins with a performer asking every member of the audience if he/she has peanut allergies.

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Daliya Karnofsky (shown above on the right setting her stage) plays a mildly wacko baking show host who combines actual recipes with gripes about the men in her life and in the lives of her fans. She actually cooked some Gluten Free Peanut Butter Vegan Treats on stage (I ate two; they were very good) and had to check for audience allergies. One audience member claimed to have severe peanut allergies, but since it did not occur to the spectator that perhaps she really needed to ask for a refund, Karnofsky put her in the seat furthest from the stage.

I’ll be the show was a serious adventure for that spectator. Good news, she got out unscathed.

Before the show, Karnofsky did something to me that no actor has ever done before. She told me that I reminded her of a macaroon. Because I’m not fashionable now, but since I’m gluten-free, like the macaroon I’m coming into my own.

“Am I dipped in chocolate?”

“Why yes, how did you know?”

I said, “It’s a mind-melt thing,” but since the Fringe is so noisy, I doubt she caught the pun.

Karnofsky’s one-person show is one of the highlights of the Fringe this year, and a good example of why I like to see the shows of which I know absolutely nothing. If you know what’s going to happen, it’s not an adventure.

Vonn Scott Bair

Herman Melville at Ocean Beach (Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!)

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Good Evening:

Moby Dick, Chapter 1, Loomings: “Circumambulate the city ["the Manhattoes," or New York City--ed.] of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon…What do you see?–Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries.”

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“Also from Chapter 1: But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive.”

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“Some years ago–never mind how long precisely–having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”

What Are Those Two Black Dots?

What Are Those Two Black Dots?

“…almost all men in their degree, sometime or other, cherish very nearly the feelings towards the ocean with me.”

Surfers at Ocean Beach, Sunset, 8 August 2014

Surfers at Ocean Beach, Sunset, 8 August 2014

Melville’s magic, and the Pacific’s, still has a hold upon the imaginations of “mortal men.” So much so that despite the dangerously frigid waters, diminishing light, and perpetual threat of undertow, these two had to go out for one last ride upon the waves.

Vonn Scott Bair