Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Day #128

Would've posted this earlier, but the San Francisco airport doesn't have free wi-fi, which is just another sign of this city's rejection of its iconoclastic past. Even the Haight feels commodified, as if Disney had created Hippie Street, USA. Ever since I arrived here, I've been asking everyone I meet what I can do for my What's New project and the answers have been too disappointingly conventional to mention.

True, I did do something new last night by reading at my friend Kathleen Caldwell’s cozy store in Oakland, A Great Good Place for Books. Kathleen’s a kindred spirit, so I know she won’t mind when I say that I mistakenly stole a copy of How I Paid for College, which I mistook as my own.

And today, while signing stock at the Mission Bay Borders, a store surrounded by million dollar condos, I met a clerk who is a surviving member of the infamous avant-garde performance troupe The Cockettes:



Best of all, however, was when I got in the taxi to go the airport and discovered that my cab driver is a notary public ordained Universal Life Church minister ready to perform marriages and absolve sins.



He charges two bucks a sin, though he’s hoping for some of the “high-priced sins.” I paid him two dollars for a blessing (actually, the publisher did—thank you Doubleday/Broadway) and he blessed my mission to encourage people to be their most audacious selves. I was so grateful to encounter a hold-out from San Francisco’s subversive past that I gave him the stolen copy of How I Paid for College.

It seemed like a truly San Franciscan thing to do.

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7 comments:

david w said...

Hi Marc - who is that "cockette" you're with? they keep popping up unexpectedly... And it's a coincidence that this blog mentions both cockettes and ULC - I've been an ordained ULC minister since I was fourteen, when ordination required a self-addressed stamped envelope. Now you can do it all online! That's my kind of religion!

see you soon, I hope, at the festival.

david w

Marc Acito said...

His name is Randy and he was also with the Angels of Light. Which David is this? Were you there today?

Marc Acito said...

His name is Randy and he was also with the Angels of Light. Which David is this? Were you there today?

Layne said...

OMG it is my dream job to be ordained by the Universal Life Church and perform weddings in my backyard.

Layne said...

OMG it is my dream job to be ordained by the Universal Life Church and perform weddings in my backyard.

Step Right Up said...

Is my mother-in-law to be allowed to come in an hour before the ceremony to decorate the cab?

AllBeehive said...

I thought I would throw in my 2 cents for NEW things to try:

Do your next book reading in an accent (british, southern, or minnesotan, or like totally valley girl to name a few)

Sleep in a tent in your living room, toast marshmallows over a tea light candle and sing kumbaya.

Bake a cake and donate it to a soup kitchen.

Eat a schnitzelwich at Tabor in downtown Portland (SW 5th and Stark) and see how many times a day you can work "schnitzelwich" into a conversation.

Learn to knit and make Floyd a Weenie Warmer