The other night I took the dogs out for their midnight walk. As I was crossing the street, I couldn't help but notice the screaming coming from the park. It was Madison on a binge, having a shout-out with an extremely loud woman.
As I was crossing the street, another of the park denizens was exiting. He saw me and said, "Don't go in there, Derek." I nodded and continued walking the dogs up the street.
Welcome to my San Francisco, where even the homeless guys are looking out for you.
And I thought: Wouldn't it be great to have a site where I and others could post all their funny stories of San Francisco? And then I remembered I already did. I started it in '98.
So, for the first time in a year and a half, I posted a new story there. And it's not about crazy homeless fights in the park. It's about boobies.
Maybe personal sites are like fashion - they always come back around.
Me and the lovely wife have some photos up in our neighborhood cafe and we're having a little wine and cheese opening. The event also doubles as a launch party for our new photo magazine, JPG. Please come celebrate with us!
When: This Friday, February 25, 6-8pm.
Where: Reverie Cafe: 848 Cole Street (near Carl).
Yes, there'll be copies of JPG Magazine avaliable. Also, cheese. And coffee. And wine and beer. And us.
Here's hoping you'll be there too!
UPDATE: It rocked! Thanks to all who attended.
I shared a lovely meal with some friends last week at a swanky new restaurant. Early in the meal, I overheard two waiters talking. Something about having to make room for the mayor. I thought they were joking.
Later, someone said, "Well there he is." And over my shoulder I saw that familiar gelled 'do. It was Mayor Gavin Newsom.
It's not the first time I've been near the man. I saw him onstage at the Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown last year. Then again in October stumping for some D5 candidates. But this time was different.
Maybe it was the recent one year anniversary of the gay marriages he enabled. Maybe it was learning more about the man and his life-long passionate support of the less fortunate. Or maybe it was seeing the recent headlines about his divorce, about fellow democrats blaming him for their failures, and worse.
I don't know what it was, but this time, I wanted to reach out to him. To say thanks for being the one politician I can respect lately. Thanks for caring about San Francisco in such a deep and personal way.
I didn't. He was eating and I didn't want to interrupt. But if I had, this is what I would have said:
"Someday, sir, it will be my pleasure to vote for you for president."
Things I saw at Wondercon, a list in no particular order.
If there's one thing better than having super-talented friends, it's having super-talented friends who let you participate in their projects. Today Heather and I went over to Robin's garage studio for the rockstar treatment, which consists of a white backdrop, a few lights, and a camera. All in all it's pretty low tech. The fanciest thing in the garage was the iPod playing the tunes. Whatta blast. Thanks Robin!
Into every generation, a pouty blond is born ...
Take Buffy the Vampire Slayer and remove the vampires, the witty dialogue, the compelling characters, and the genre-bending ideas. Add in more demons, more religion, a cast that all look like they just stepped off a runway, and give everyone utterly selfish motivations. Finally, take the girl, the pouty blond with the weight of the world on her shoulders, and remove her higher calling and replace it with a lower one. There you go: You have Point Pleasant.
If Buffy was a tale of female empowerment wrapped up in a vampire story and smothered in fantastic writing, then Point Pleasant is a female disempowerment story where the protagonist is simply buffeted from one teary moment to the next, utterly devoid of the genre aspects that allow a story to willfully diverge from reality, and smothered in people much too skinny to be real.
Which is really too bad, because the story could be a great one: The daughter of satan and a woman, with the power to do good and evil. It's much like the central tension that drove Buffy and Angel: Sometimes to do good in the world means looking at the evil in yourself. It had promise.
But while Buffy was on a quest to find her place in the world, and Angel was on a quest for redemption, Christina just seems to be on a quest to pout and make bad things happen to bad people. In fact, everyone in town seems to be so selfish and pointless, the only person I find myself rooting for is Lucas Boyd, who is, by all appearances, the villain.
Mostly, I just miss having a Joss Whedon show to look forward to. Hurry home, Serenity.
A new feature to the ol' dotcom: Just a Link. Approximately three years after everyone else got one, I've added a little sidebar link blog to my site. It's for quick links. Just little one-liners: A link and a thought. The same thing I said was not "all that revolutionary" five years ago. And, yeah, it's not. But it is fun.
What's changed? Delicious, a "social bookmarking system." Plenty of other people have gushed about it already. Bottom line: Delicious makes sharing bookmarks social the same way Flickr makes photos social. And when formerly isolated things become social, wonderful things happen.
With Delicious, you can add bookmarks easily, republish them on your site, subscribe to other people's bookmarks and share your own. Plus your links contribute to the global zeitgeist, where you can see what the most popular links of the moment are.
Not being revolutionary has never been so much fun.
Now that I've been working at Technorati long enough for the Kool-Aid to kick in, I decided to trick out my blog a bit with some nifty Technoratiness. Here are the highlights:
1. Search! Google may have this site indexed back to 1997, but it can take weeks for new entries to show up there. If you're looking for something I said in a blog post, Technorati's got my posts indexed within minutes. So I added the Technorati Searchlet to all the index pages.
2. Technorati This! Each post now ends with a "Technorati This" link. Click it to see if there are any other blogs out there talking about (and linking to) the post you're on. It happens!
3. Technorati Tags! This is the one I'm really excited about. I rejiggered the way I use Categories in Movable Type to be more tag-like. Now, after each post, you'll see a list of the tags I applied to that post. Click the quote bubble icon to go to the Technorati Tag page for that word, or click the text to see all my posts tagged with that word. It's the best of both worlds: you can choose whether you want to hear more from me about it, or more from everyone about it.
More tricking out to come.
Don't waste your time lamenting the cancellation of Enterprise - the show's been a dog since the first time that sappy theme song aired. If you want to see the best science fiction on television, watch Battlestar Galactica on the Sci Fi Channel.
When the original Star Wars movie came out, I was four years old. And yet I still remember watching it in a drive-in in Memphis, Tennessee. It may be my oldest memory - sitting in the back of my parents' car as they were watching a different movie, looking across the lot to another screen - the one with space ships and lasers on it. I was changed forever.
I was five when Battlestar Galactica hit the airwaves. One look at the spaceships and I knew this was just a horrible Star Wars ripoff. It may have been my first experience with righteous indignation. I spurned the show then and ever after. Even when my college mates watched it ironically, I resisted.
That was then.
When writer/producer Ron Moore announced that he was "reinventing science fiction" with a Battlestar Galactica mini-series on the Sci Fi Channel last year, I wrote it off as yet more bombast in a particularly bombastic medium. But then I actually watched it.
It was beautiful. Spooky. Personal. Dark. Imagine a robot that looks like a human having a conversation about God with a human scientist who's given up on his humanity. Imagine spaceships that travel silently through space with maneuvering thrusters that account for actual physics - the ships keep going when the engines go out as they would in space. And, of course, imagine menacing mechanical evil - not the cheesy Terminator kind, and not the sprawling dirty Matrix kind - a truly robotic kind, scary because of how little of it is revealed.
Fortunately for all of us who grew up with Star Wars lunchboxes, Ron Moore's vision was picked up by the Sci Fi Channel and turned into a full-fledged series this year. And it makes good on the promise of the mini-series. Of course there are spaceships and ray guns. And they're incredible. (Trivia note: The CG effects are done by Zoic Studios, the same talented folks who did amazing work on the all-too-brief Firefly series.) But the series is about more than that.
It's political (a recent storyline revolves around a rebellion on a prison transport ship). It's personal (how do relationships evolve when people are stuck on a ship for, well, ever?). It's sexy (the Amazonian blond Cylon haunting the doctor, Starbuck's memories of her long-lost lover). The list goes on.
And to make it all that much more entertaining, Ron Moore is blogging the series and responding to questions from the Sci Fi message boards. After every episode, there's a new post with some meditation on the Galactica universe, the show, and his personal experiences making and watching it. It's like DVD commentary without having to wait for the DVD. Pure fabulousness.
The show's on Friday nights on the Sci Fi channel. Don't let the transporter hit you in the butt on the way out, Archer.
I've always been the creative sort. A maker of things. With a drive to succeed. And I've always dated strong, independent women. Creative types. Writers, actresses, editors, and, God help me, designers.
So it comes as no surprise that I now find myself married to Heather. Beautiful, wonderful, creative, successful Heather. I do love her so.
But there is something wrong with our relationship, my friends, and I'm gonna tell you what it is because, and I mean this, I think we're really that close. See, last year, something happened. Something so unspeakably horrible that neither of us could have ever predicted it.
Heather won Lifetime Achievement in the Bloggies.
Yes, 2004 will be known to some as the year George Bush was elected again, proving that Americans really are that stupid. 2004 will be known to others as the year of the unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. But to me, it will always the be the year that the dark cloud of Lifetime Achievement gathered over the House of Powazek.
I want you to know that it's not true what they say. Heather did not use the million dollar prize as a bed to roll around in. She did not use the bills to light fancy cigars made of the finest tobacco in Canada, wrapped in crisp Benjamins. We did not hire a houseboy.
In fact, Heather has never been more gracious, more magnanimous, more humble about her gigantic victory - a victory shared only by those trailblazers of blogness Jeffrey Zeldman, Evan Williams, and Jason Kottke, who all really did hire houseboys.
Which just makes it all that much worse.
People, there's a deep and scarring inequality in the House of Powazek. But you can make it right. Because, amazingly, I was nominated for Lifetime Achievement this year. And now I have the chance to catch up with my successful bride, if only for one brief, shining moment.
To vote, just visit the URL below, scroll scroll scroll down, look for the "Lifetime Achievement" section and click the box next to "Derek Powazek." Then just enter an email address and click submit.
Do it to level the playing field for all those guys married to women they know could really kick their asses. Do it for all the out of work houseboys in San Francisco. But, most of all, do it for me, before Thursday, because that's when the voting ends.
I'd do it for you.
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts from February 2005, including:
And I'll Call it ... San Francisco Stories
27 February 2005
Party Friday Night!
23 February 2005
Almost Meeting Gavin
21 February 2005
Things I Saw at Wondercon
21 February 2005
19 February 2005
This Year's Girl
17 February 2005
New: Just a Link
14 February 2005
4 February 2005
3 February 2005
A Special Letter from the House of Powazek
1 February 2005
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Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
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And I'll Call it ... San Francisco Stories 27 February 2005
Party Friday Night! 23 February 2005
Almost Meeting Gavin 21 February 2005
Things I Saw at Wondercon 21 February 2005
Rockstar Treatment 19 February 2005