Botanical Gardening and a Rainy Day in the Mission

October 26th, 2010: San Francisco

Over the past two weeks, I’ve discovered the formula for how working with plants outside affects my mood:

(x – y) * c = mood

In the above, x represents my overall feeling of failure and uncertainty. y is the calming effect of horticulture. Both of these are multiplied by c, a constant for the mild confusion, discontent and lack of passion that defines my life.

Visual aides:

Looking over the city from a nameless place above Noe Valley.

Classy trailer with oil drum on top.

My tool for a Wednesday of weeding in the Presidio: the pick. The target: blackberries growing amongst the serpentine grasses.

Walking to the Botanical Gardens through Golden Gate Park.

Squirrel eating a pinecone like an ear of corn.

The pump house.

Ducks taking over Llyod Lake.


Stepping stones.

Plants! Plants! Plants!

The mossy side of Prayer Book Cross.

A quint-lingual wet paint sign.

The trail down from the cross.

Looking back, the world was suddenly in black and white.

The roofs of the Japanese Tea Garden.

Loner listening to youthful music near the De Young.

Serpent vs. Pussy.

Leafy greens growing in the children’s vegetable garden of the Botanical Gardens.

Watering the crops.

Why so serious?

A pathway.

Dirt doesn’t hurt, but thorns do.

Hand painting signs presiding over fennel and asparagus.

I had to play quack a gopher with the beast popping up to eat the bark off this fig tree.

A pile of mushroom spores for planting. Each brick sized block was comprised of sawdust and ‘shrooms.

The succulent storage zone.

More baby plants getting ready for deployment.

Pathway to uncertainty.

Another pathway, this one guarded by a squirrel.

Geese pooping and eating upon the lawn.

On Saturday afternoon, rain arrived in the city. Then it went away. J and I scootered to the Mission to split a burrito and horchata, then explore. Soon into the walk, it started to rain again. We ducked under awnings, into stores, and finally into Humphry Slocombe ice cream parlor. Specializing in hand made and natural ice-cream, the parlor concocts a variety of insane flavors. Some of the weirder ones are foie gras, government cheese, proscuitto, ale, olive oil, sour cream, cucumber, and chili lime. Their full menu is about thirty flavors, but they only offer 10-12 flavors per day. J and I both ordered scoops of “secret breakfast,” a delicious combination of bourbon and cornflakes.

La Palma.

A hipster breakfast joint.

Mannequin and blue Victorian.

Unlicensed sidewalk sale.

Man buying produce.

Colorful wall.

An alley of painted walls.

This kid is up to something.


J and the orange wall.

Moped with prayer flags on it.

Subtle wall.

Little girl and little car.

Low tech sign for high tech services.

Hand painted shoe repair board.

Nice line quality on a mean rabbit.

Alley markings.

Now this is what convertibles are for.

Marriage services.

Sedimentary posters.

Lucca Lucca.

A tub full of fish.

Individual cups getting brewed at Ritual Coffee.

The sheep people.

El Capitan Theater on Mission.

Another old theater.

Ducking inside a crowded import store, we escaped the rain.

Slumbering cats look dead.

Crow and man look at the ocean at Baker Beach.

The Golden Gate Bridge seen from my reading bench.

Alcatraz and the fog as seen from a rooftop deck in the “Tenderwharf.”

It was still raining when we left the ice cream. On the scooter ride home, we suffered a Thai-style drenching. But it’s not necessarily a bad day when you are soaked to your underwear on a scooter. That’s just how I do things, baby. I grab life by the bars and gun it.

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This journal helps me remember how little I do and how pointless my life is, share my mundane experiences with others, and improve my writing and photography. If you’re not a Nigerian finance minister or in possession of Viagra deals, feel free to leave your comments.

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