In awkward places

This weekend was a consciously active one for me, in the interest of being social, and artistic, and doing fun stuff. Last night I went to WAM’s I<3SF Visual Treasure Hunt after-party. I had tried to round up a few people, but no one could make it, and I was kinda excited about being forced to go out and mingle with fellow-photographers and browse the photo selection.

This was a first time event for WAM, and it seemed a wee bit under-attended. Next year this will easily rock, but this year the room was sparse, especially early in the night. Really sparse. That, plus loud music, and the fact that I seemed to be the only person there who knew not a single other guest, made for a slightly awkward situation. Every person I did find the guts to chat with was quite friendly and welcoming, but it was still pretty challenging for a socially-inept writer like me.

The 10 finalists were on display – two of my photos were included! Yes, there were only about 10 or 15 photographers, but still. I’m proud. This one was my favorite:

On the last day of the Hunt, I took a run to St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, to try to catch a photo of an Indulgence (based on the lesser-used definition of the word). That one didn’t turn out so fabulous, but on the way out, just as 5:00 Mass was letting out, I ran into this.

Washington Square Park was full of beautiful young people, making the most of the sun. One couple was making a little bit too much of it. Mam’selle was grinding on M’sieur pretty darn well; I think his pants were still buttoned, but I couldn’t swear to it. And a shocked and horrified elderly Italian man, on his way home from church, was strenuously trying to convince them that this was, in fact, a Bad Idea. They were unconvinced.

Anyway, after I viewed the other photos that made the finals, and watched the slideshow, and sipped a ginger ale and whiskey in the corner for a while (I knew I shouldn’t have made that Tom Waits joke while I was planning my evening), I decided to take a break from the slight awkwardness. I wandered down to Beale Street for some karaoke, only to find that the bar has moved thanks to the Transbay Terminal demolition. Wandered on, enjoyed the night in the city. Took a few photos, wandered down a pier to chat with the night fishermen (channeling the awesome Kirk of Monkeyface News).

I returned, just in time for the awards. I timed it perfectly, and managed to insinuate myself into a friendly group of Burners who knew nothing about the photography contest and just happened to be on the right listserve. And then hey, I won! Second place! Out of 10 or 15, but whatever, I won! And I got a little SF <3’s You trophy!

That’s my beating heart, there. I tried kissing it, too, but that didn’t work out so well:

The kiss kept turning into a nibble.

Now, I’m on my way to SF again for a post-apocalyptic book club. My first meeting. Hell yeah. Actually, first I’m on my way to the laundromat. Maybe I should chat up someone there, just to keep this social mood alive.

Also, on an unrelated note, unless you have a table worth thousands of dollars, coasters are pretty darn useless, yet somehow the gift industry has convinced us they are completely necessary. I smell a conspiracy.


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