This is how we look

Justin and Stephanie at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park

I like this photo. I think it shows us for real. The scene was incredibly backlit, but if there’s anything I’ve learned about taking pictures, it’s to refrain from using the flash. Of course immediately after this, I took one with the flash, and photographically it came out “better,” but almost too better. And in it our smiles don’t look as natural as they do here, which was a deal breaker.

There’s a story behind every photo, and lately I feel as though I’ve been leaving more and more stories out. Simply for lack of time and energy. Coming back from an adventure with 50-100 photos to edit and then distill into a blog post kind of overwhelms. I’d like to try to get back into the habit of telling more of the stories.

In this case, we were sitting on a bench in the Botanical Garden, completely surrounded by foliage. In front of us was a pond covered with lily pads. The sun was really beating down, which is probably why I look a little red. Moments before, I was taking this awesome picture of the sun shining through a large leaf. Except there was this other leaf behind it, kind of obscuring the ideal I had in my head of this solitary leaf illuminated by the afternoon sun.

So without thinking much, I pinched the other leaf off the branch. Stephanie looked at me with a “what are you doing?” kind of face—something that does not happen often—and then my own internal value system kicked on, and I felt bad. Kind of like I’d committed some crime of nature for the sake of a stupid photograph. So much for “leave no trace” and all that. Suffice it to say, I won’t be posting that photo.

And I was already feeling off that afternoon, because before we left for the park, we found parking tickets on both our scooters. On a Saturday.

In our neighborhood, because there’s such a crush for parking, we’re only allowed to park for 2 hours from 8am til 9pm, Monday through Saturday! Except that we live in the neighborhood which means that we can apply for a residential parking pass ($60 annually) and park permanently. But considering we were only scooters, taking up so little space, and probably not worth the time or efforts of the parking enforcers, we neglected to get the passes. I’ll be the first one to admit, they’re big and yellow and would look ugly on the back of our scooters.

Well our assumption worked for 3 months, until last week, when I rode my bike into work, and came home to find my first parking ticket. $50. Turns out there’s not a lot that makes me angry. People hacking my blog, yes. People hurting other people, yes. Parking tickets, hell YES. I felt (and still feel) personally attacked. Like some faceless government agent was punishing me just for living there.

So you can only imagine my delight upon discovering we’d accrued two more parking tickets on Saturday, both for $50. I mean $150 isn’t the end of the world, but in the span of three days, considering our track record over the last three months? It burned me.

Anyway, this morning, we got our shit together, filled out the necessary forms, dug up our registrations and additional proofs of residence, and trucked down to South Van Ness at Market to personally deliver the forms and pay our $60 each, in order to become bonafide, don’t fuck with our scooters, residential parkers.

Update: I’ve recorded myself reading this post here: This is how I sound


Ditto on the parking tickets. Also speeding tickets when you’re not the fastest car on the road. My rule of thumb is that you’re allowed to do damage to govt. property in the amount equal to the bullshit fine. In your case, you’re entitled to throw a rock through a window.

Ha. My version of throwing a rock through a window: writing a long letter protesting the fine—just in principle. If they’re going to waste my time and spend my money, the least I can do annoy them with an essay to read and forms they’ll need to fill out as a result.


Email (optional)

Blog (optional)