Friday, 3 October 2008

Beyond the Palin

I spent the first part of this evening with about 25 other people packed in the kitchen of the hostel where I'm staying in San Francisco. The occasion was the Vice Presidential debate and the chance to see Sarah Palin in action! There were several nationalities present in the kitchen, all of them seemingly in favour of the Democrats.

To spice up proceedings we played a spot of Sarah Palin bingo. Each of us was given a sheet with keywords or phrases that she might use during the debate. Prizes were on offer of the first to get a line. I was off to a flying start as Palin mentioned being a 'soccer mum' within ten seconds of her first answer, but it wasn't to be and I didn't win.

Now first let me say that if you ever wanted to get a definition of the phrase 'out of your depth', you just need to look at Sarah Palin. But fair play to her, she stuck in there in the debate. To quote Big Ron Atkinson, "she did the ugly things well" and stayed with what she knew. In the main, she actually came over as far more likable than Joe Biden, who despite his comprehensive knowledge and experience, still comes across like a bit of a grumpy old bastard.

After all that excitement, it was time to head out for my last night in San Francisco (redux). I headed, of course, to the Mission District, my favourite part of town, where I hit a few of my favourite bars.

Previously I had been staying at a hostel in the Mission District (the one that serves cake for breakfast), but I'd been forced to leave after a spate of customer service blunders that made Fawlty Towers look like the Hilton. I'd considered strangling the staff with my bug infested bed sheets, but thought it best to make a swift exit instead.

As I headed out, I felt the first rain for the 6+ weeks of my trip. It's clearly a sign of things to come as I fly to Seattle tomorrow.

So before I sign off, let me raise a glass to a few of my favourite bars in the Mission.

Casanova Lounge - Where they play ska and northern soul and happy hour runs 6-8.

The Lexington - The Lesbian bar where I played pool with an 80 year old man.

The Lone Palm - Where post punk and new wave music perfectly soundtracks the silent films they show behind the bar.

The Belgian chip place where the dishes are named after artists and I got into an in depth discussion about clay pigeon shooting.

And finally Amnesia (Opposite Dave Eggers' pirate store - for all your glass eye and eyepatch needs) - Where after around seven vodka & cranberries I saw a bluegrass band play a killer cover of Here I Go Again by Whitesnake. To say it was one of the most seminal moments of my life is not an exaggeration.


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