So anyway, yesterday was a sort-of-shitty-but-could-have-been-worse kind of a day.
I got up early, made blueberry pancakes with strawberry sauce for boyziggy and myself (had been a long time since we'd had pancakes), showered and headed to Bernal Heights. I have a co-worker at UCSF who lives in the nearby Excelsior and suggested I check out that area if I was looking for a place in SF with more affordable housing. I also brought my GPS and printouts of nearby geocaches, and planned a visit to Maggie Mudd for vegan ice cream since I missed the queer vegetarian trip there the other week.
I walked to Powell and Market, took the J-Church to 30th St., got out my map and GPS and headed to Bernal Hill Park. Made it to the summit, thinking the whole time that I was going to have a bitch of a time getting back down. I've gotten enough stamina through walking on hilly San Francisco streets that going uphill is much less of a strain, but I am very poor at walking downhill on paths with uneven footing.
Anyway, I got to the top, and was rewarded with quite an amazing view, despite the considerable fog and wind. I started searching for the cache, taking photos or pretending to whenever hikers or dog-walkers walked by. I looked for 30 minutes, getting all dirty from pushing aside ivy and cobwebs and trying not to step in the fresh dog shit that was conveniently directly in front of where I thought the cache was hidden. By 12:30 I was getting hungry and cold and disheartened and so reluctantly gave up and picked my way down the hill, very slowly.
Tried to phone my Excelsior friend (John) from the base of the hill, but lousy reception, so I headed back into town. Armed with my Best of the Bay guide to Bernal Heights, I washed up at the tiny public library, phoned John again, then headed to what was described as a very good and popular vegetarian restaurant, Little Nepal. Got there and saw from the menu that it was clearly not vegetarian, plus rather pricey. Completely forgetting that there was a legit vegetarian restaurant, Geranium, open for brunch just a couple of blocks away, I ended up at a coffee house where I ordered a tofu scramble. Now, every time I can ever remember ordering a tofu scramble, it has consisted of tofu and vegetables. This one consisted of scrambled eggs, a couple of vegetables that I don't like (bell peppers and mushrooms), and little bits of tofu mixed in. Too hungry and embarrassed to re-order, I picked out the tofu bits, ate the potatoes and toast, and headed off to Maggie Mudd.
Getting ice cream on such a cold day meant that I had the place to myself. I wasn't even really in the mood for ice cream but damnit I was never in this neighborhood so I was going to get me some. I ordered a totally vegan sundae with two scoops of ice cream, one chocolate peanut butter and the other chocolate cardamom (!), with whipped cream ("Hip Whip"), chocolate syrup, chopped walnuts, sprinkles, and a cherry. (Four dollars.) It was heavenly. Except that, not being used to eating such rich food lately, I couldn't finish it. I stopped about 2/3 way through for fear that my stomach would explode.
Waddled back to Mission St. (loud, industrial, ugly) and took the 49 bus to the Excelsior, where I met up with John. He gave me a tour of the neighborhood and John McLaren Park. I'd like to come back and check out the park with Ziggy sometime; it has a amphitheater that might be perfect for Mime Troupe shows. I don't think living in the Excelsior or Bernal would work for us, though; even though there is transit, those neighborhoods are definitely more geared toward families with cars.
Had tea with John and his wife, met his three young kids, then he gave me a lift to Balboa Park BART as I decided I was done exploring for the day. Having already had bad food all day I convinced Ziggy to order from Extreme Pizza for dinner. We got soy cheese and lots of veggies but we knew it wasn't truly vegan because there's dairy in the crust. We wanted to order from Panhandle Pizza which does make a real vegan one, but they don't deliver to Nob Hill.
After all this junk food (for us, anyway) we decided to see Super Size Me which we had been meaning to watch for months. It was mostly preaching to the choir (we've both been vegetarian for over 10 years and mostly-vegan for the last two) and certainly not as well presented as I'd hoped, but there were some good lessons. One was the doctors being so surprised that eating McDonald's food for three meals a day screwed up his health so much. I mean, duh! Just because Don Gorske (also in the film) has eaten over 20,000 Big Macs since 1972 and still has normal weight and cholesterol, doesn't meant that a steady diet of fast food isn't truly damaging to the vast majority of people. Another depressing item was showing how shitty our school lunches are, with some kids eating nothing but fries and candy bars.
Back in my omnivorous days, I certainly ate some fast food but I don't remember going to McDonald's much. My favorite fast-food meal was a BBC at Rax; beef, bacon, and cheddar on a corn-dusted roll, usually with strawberry shake on the side. Then there was a short time when I would get lunch every Saturday at Kentucky Fried Chicken: six nuggets, fries, and an orange drink. Finally, in college, I would sometimes do a midnight run to Burger King for a bacon double-cheeseburger. We had a McDonald's too but it wasn't open that late. Due to some intensely weird Evanston (IL) zoning law, the BK wasn't allowed to bag your food - they would give you the food and a bag. The McDonald's was allowed to bag theirs, because they weren't open 24 hours, or something. Evanston was a weird city.
In any case, I'm really glad I don't eat that shit anymore. The only fast food place I'll go to now is Subway, for a veggie sandwich (hold the cheese and mayo), and I rarely even go there anymore because without hummus or something it's just not very filling. I used to get bean burritos without cheese at Taco Bell but they always gave me a stomachache.
So this morning I felt so sluggish and gluttonous just from the vegan pancakes, ice cream sundae, and mostly-vegan pizza that I didn't even go on my normal Sunday run. I am going to get in at least 30 minutes of walking heading to the Mime Troupe show at Yerba Buena very soon, but that's all downhill. I'll have to make sure to get back on track tomorrow; I have nine flights of 168 stairs planned.