A break and gossip

Took a break from the grind yesterday by hanging out with a blogging pal.

We arranged to meet in the Mission for lunch.  Normally I’d have taken a cab, but when ES was here, she got me to “practice” taking public transportation and so now I feel more confident.

I needed to get to a BART station, the closest of which is Civic Center.  But I wanted to avoid that area.  I should have just walked to Powell, but like a dummy I walked all the way down Van Ness, thinking I’d hit Market.  I would have eventually, but way out of my way.

At the Powell BART station, I bit the bullet and put $20 on a card (which seems to be the only option when using your debit or credit card – have I mentioned SF public transit sucks?).  As I was finishing, a homeless guy appeared out of nowhere and asked me for money.

Hello, you don’t do that to a woman by herself with her purse open!  You spring up on her out of nowhere, of course she’s going to dart away like a quarterback with the ball and you’re a 300 pound line backer.  As I walked quickly away, he said, “You’re fast!”  That’s right, mofo, get away from me.

As I was riding the BART, I realized that I could take it out to Richmond the next time I get a hankering for good Chinese food.  A whole new world! Don’t you DARE close your eyes.

My friend and I met up on the 24th and Mission platform, and walked to Papalote Mexican Grill.  Apparently it was on Bobby Flay’s cooking show, and I suspect the prices have been jacked up.  The burrito, while tasty, was about $8, which is steep for the Mission, and my friend said her small bottle of water was $2.50.  That’s movie theater prices!

I got the chili verde burrito with pork and it hit the spot.  I was glad there didn’t seem to be any rice.  Too much rice in a burrito fills me up.

Afterward, we walked down 24th Street, stopping at Dynamo Donuts.  Unfortunately they were out of bacon donuts (yes, donuts with BACON), so I made do with spicy chocolate and lemon pistachio.  I had the chocolate one this morning, and I have to say it wasn’t that great.  I expected it to be much richer.  Maybe the lemon one will be better.

Eventually we made our way to Dolores Park, which I’d never been to before.  It was such a gorgeous day just to sit and hang out.  At one point, another homeless guy approached us and offered to sell us – what? a homemade bong?  I wasn’t sure as I had turned away, but apparently that’s what he said.  For the rest of our time there, he wandered around, bothering people.

It was great to get out and get some sun.  In fact, I think I’m both a little sun- and windburned.  Should really invest in a hat.

Today it’s back to work. Working on an essay with the theme of “family and friends,” due April 1. Want to send query letters to some agents for my memoir, four in San Francisco and a couple in New York. I pitched a couple of ideas to a magazine and am waiting to hear.

While doing some research on literary agents, I found this helpful list of “bad” agents, and one of them, Mark Sullivan Associates, was a place I briefly worked for in college! He’s on the list because, like other “thumbs down” agents, he charged up front fees. An agent really shouldn’t charge authors anything.

His reasoning, according to a discussion board, for charging fees is:

The book must be read carefully, and a written evaluation proving the agency’s attention and effort should accompany a contract or a rejection, in either case. We provide this.

You know who provided the written evaluation? Students like me.

He mostly hired graduate students, but he had no problem employing me, a mere sophomore. It was pretty thankless work. I’d have to read most of these giant manuscripts, and type up a page’s worth of evaluation. Needless to say, I didn’t do it for very long.

I remember the guy being kind of a jerk. He was one of those arrogant nerds, a know-it-all and full of himself. He had a Japanese girlfriend (from Japan) who I guess didn’t know any better.

So funny to see him on a worst agents list.

1 comment

  1. You always have my mouth watering. I could really go for a burrito right now.