Last night was spent again prowling the streets of San Francisco. I checked out the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoma) for both the student rate and then the half-off Thursday night rate, which came out to a grand cost of $3.50 for a ticket. Just as I was fearing, the girl at the box office asked me if I was current student. "Yes!" I said, probably a bit too defensively. I was prepared to explain the discrepancy between the Clemson, South Carolina location of my ID with an excuse something like "I'm doing an internship" or, as was suggested to me by a lady at work, "I'm working on my Ph.D. thesis remotely." But the girl let me get in with nothing more than a skeptical look. Whew. The old James charm is still working.
The museum was pretty entertaining--there was a huge special exhibit of artist Chuck Close's self-portraits--but, honestly, I just don't "get" a lot of modern art. It's just not my thing. I found the ones I liked the best and had the most opinion about were the ones that had some description as to what the artist was doing. I think that says something, about me and about art. Either I require a literary impetus to understand things or modern art as a whole is entirely too elitist. Sure, education in the arts yields to a more nuanced and deeper appreciation for a particular work, but I think the best art can be understood and appreciated even without knowing all the backstory, why this is great, how this is a departure from yada-yada-yada, etc. Simply put, I don't like things that require learning how to see before seeing it.
And that's why I don't get artsy girls, in both senses of the word "get".
But here was the most exciting part of my MOMA visit--the free food. Apparently there was some sort of lecture about art-deco or something or another theater architecture and because of that, there was a reception with wine and orderves. I proceeded to down two glasses and eat more than my share of crackers, rich cheese, and tiny sandwiches.
Yummy, yummy, yummy in my tummy.
The next stop was North Beach to visit my favorite spot for drinking alone, Vesuvio. And, as it never fails, I met interesting people at the bar. A couple was having an argument about Che Guevara and decided to ask me, random guy at the bar, on my opinion. Having seen Guevara postcards at the MOMA's gift shop just an hour or so earlier, I had a great answer. "I like him--because he always looks so cool in his pictures."
I mean, look at this motherfucker!
A cigar, cool hair, and a scowl. It doesn't get any cooler than that.
It seems I've discovered the easiest and best way to defuse any particular loaded question--bring in an unrelated but amusing fact that cannot be disputed. It's best if that fact shows unabashedly how shallow you really are. After that smile harmlessly.
"Pro-life or pro-choice?"
"Both. I choose to live." [sheepish Larry David-esque grin and shrug]
"Yankees or Red Sox?"
"Neither. Pirates--high five!" (Nobody can argue with a Pittsburgh Pirate fan. Primarily because nobody can name a Pittsburgh Pirate player.)
"Gay marriage or civil unions?"
"Yes." [pause] "Don't I look cute in this hat?" [performs curtsy]
See, with this method, it's actually pretty easy.
Anyways, long story short of the rest of the night they got me really drink with free shots and then I proceeded to hit on the waitress with a guy from Barcelona.
Me, talking with a stilted High School Spanish class accent to my newfound friend: "Ella es muy interesado en mi. Ella le gusta a me mucho--muchissimo. Pero ella es muy ocupado." (She is very interested in me. She likes me a lot--a lot a lot. She is just busy.)
Him: "Si, claro." (Yes, of course.)
At this, the waitress, who was within earshot the entire time, smiled tersely.
She so totally wants me.
Because I look like this guy when I rock out: