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Let’s talk about sex—and cupcakes

The book Best Sex Writing 2012 is available at Booksmith.

Readings from a compilation of the best sex-related writings

Sex, sex and more sex was the topic of discussion for the night as authors from the anthology Best Sex Writing 2012 read snippets of their published work at Booksmith‘s event “Cupcakes and Best Sex Writing,” last night.

Thomas Roche talking to fans.

Heated provocative passion lured in an audience so big that the chairs set up were just not enough! With all seats taken the true die-hard erotica fanatics stood the entire hour and a half for their audible satisfaction.The night consisted of humorous writings that aroused laughter as well as atheistical thoughts on sex that turned on discussion all while enjoying cupcakes from Let’s Cupcake.

The book is a collection of writings that were compiled by sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel and fellow “Sexpert” Susie Bright. Through an extensive search, they surfaced pieces that they thought to be entertaining and thought-provoking just to raise that level of awareness to their readers.

“I like that the audience was talking back,” said Bussel. “I consider the book to be a discussion starting point. I don’t necessarily think that it’s a decree of ‘you should think this.’ ”

Thomas Roche, Greta Christina, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Tracy Clark-Flory

Bussel explained that this was her third reading at Booksmith, and that this was probably the most “lively,” and she appreciates that. Bussel said that they chose pieces that were humorous and also political and felt that tonight’s readings were fitting for the San Franciscan’s of the Haight.

Among the readers panel were of course Bussel and Bright, but also Thomas RocheTracy Clark-Flory and Greta Christina.

Susie Bright signing books for fans.

Roche read from his piece entitled Men Who ‘Buy Sex’ Commit More Crimes: Newsweek, Trafficking, and the Lie of Fabricated Sex Studies which is a media criticism of research methods used to write articles on men and prostitution.

Clark-Flory then read her piece, The Worship of Female Pleasure which is a feature-type article of her experience with a woman whose business offers demonstrations and lessons on how to properly satisfy a woman.

The authors take time to answer audience's questions

Christina was the last reader for the night and she read from her piece Atheist’s Do It Better: Why Leaving Religion Leads to Better Sex—which from the title is self-explanatory.

After each reader, the audience was accepting and excited to have heard and experienced the words straight from the writer’s mouth. The evening was full of laughter, sensual tension and open discussion.

Bussel has a few more dates with the book. She is headed to Santa Cruz, Berkley and New York. She says that the night was great and she enjoys the warm welcoming from Booksmith and will possibly come back in a year or so when the next book is released.

“Every time it’s been a really great crowd with really good energy,” says Bussel. “I will definitely come back to Booksmith.”

Muni Shattered Glass

The bus driver stands against the wall, waiting after police and Muni investigator tape off scene and deliberate.

by Adrian Rodriguez – Wednesday Feb. 29 @ 8:38 p.m.

A Muni bus shattered glass after ramming into a street pole smashing through a window on Stanyan and Frederick streets, earlier today.

The 71 bus line was en route, outbound, when the driver turned and hit the pole. Officer Greer, of the Park Station Police District, explains at the scene that the transit has its own investigators for Muni involved accidents.

“I know a bus hit the pole,” says Officer Greer. “We are here just helping with traffic.”

Muni investigator at the scene refused to comment on the matter.

No one around was witness to the accident, but nearby business American Cyclery was just next door where everything could be heard.

“It was pretty minor, no one got hurt,” says shop worker Tyson Mitchell. “Just a bang and glass!”

The details of the accident are currently unavailable; however, PG&E have been called to the scene to reconstruct the pole, and it should be cleared this evening, according to police.

“I Just Want To Play”

Wednesday Feb. 8 turned out to be quite the adventure.  After waking up at 3 a.m., I switched on autopilot and biked to work as usual.  One doppio macchiato later, my senses heightened as the buzz in my head signaled overly hyped movements and gestures in jittery nervousness.  Caffeinated:  Check!

The temporary fix wore off of course.  After I worked a full day I wanted nothing more than to sleep, but I then sluggishly biked to school.  By the end of class I felt like a zombie. Blaah… Despite my long start, the day had just begun; at about 6 in the early evening I set out to the Haight!

Nate Miarecki laughs holding his guitar while "Rattlesnake Eyes" snacks on an Abba Zaba on a short break.

Quickly I was hit by a second wind.  It was as if I was reborn in the midst of what seemed to be a revitalization of a long-established bohemian world.  The night, full of life, captivated my curiosity and luckily led me to meet a couple of street performers in front of Amoeba Music.

Nate Miarecki and his companion whom chose to go by the alias “Rattlesnake Eyes,” were the first of many musical encounters for the night.  According to Nate, they were “just hanging out,” and “trying to have a good time.”

The pair played some music for awhile, teaching each other songs before heading out to the Mission for the night.  And then they packed up and left.

I spent the next few hours strolling the streets to see what else I can find to do, who else I can stop and talk to.  In the end I came back to the area where I started and found that there was a show going on at the Milk Bar.  The venue would become host to a gallery of catchy-garage-band noise.

Vocalist Theo Slavin, ends the set with echoed noise, twisting and turning the knobs on his effects pedals.

Vocalist and guitarist of the unnamed opening act, Theo Slavin, was excited to have the opportunity to play their first show at Milk Bar.

“I just want to play,” says Slavin.  “You never get to do it a lot.”

Drummer Taylor Meclroy adds that Milk Bar is a “cool spot,” and that “it’s a dope bar.”

The night continued and I mingled with the crowd.  To my surprise, I was feeling more comfortable talking to people.  I no longer felt like the lost child in the first week on assignment.

Two bands played before it was time for the headlining act.  The Machetes were a throwback rock and roll band with a little punk edge. The crowd responded well, accepting the music, letting it absorb into their bodies as the beats pulsed with every dance movement.

At the end of the night, I left the show feeling amped.  Being a musician myself, not only did the music resonate through me, but the words of Theo Slavin echoed in my head.

“I just want to play.”

BLOG1: Haighter’s gon’ Haighten’

Three times… THREE TIMES, I visited the Haight this week.  Each time prepared.  I confidently readied myself with my camera strapped on my shoulder and my notepad and pen in hand.  I had a plan of action!  I hit the streets with an eager heart and keen sight in search of the next big story!  There I was… UNSTOPPABLE.

To be honest with you… It was terrifying.

I wandered like a lost child in search for his parents.  My head drifted side to side.  My eyes were shifty.  I tried not to make eye contact for too long as I was constantly approached by panhandlers, weed dealers and petitioners!  OH MY!!!

I was not prepared.  I fearfully gripped my camera and the sweat profusely streaming from my hand made my notepad soggy and my pen slippery!  I’d forgotten my plan!  I ran the streets with my heart racing so fast it beat in my throat and my eyes peeled so wide my vision blurred from the tears in my frantic search for an exit!  And there I was… hopeless…

Ok ok…. That is a little dramatic.  But really, I quickly learned how much courage and confidence it took to approach people and start conversation.  Shut down after shut down, I became synonymous to the panhandlers, weed dealers and petitioners in the eyes of the passersby.

I had to get through to the people somehow! So I decided to take a look at some of the neighborhood businesses.

My first stop happened to be a coffee shop, of course.  The Grind Cafe on Scott and Haight is where I met barista Nehu Evans, 25, whom in conversation mentioned a few issues in the neighborhood.

“The panhandlers are pretty aggressive,” he said.  “Especially towards tourists.”

I continued the conversation failing to mention my nervous encounters from earlier…

It was fairly busy, so he couldn’t talk too long.  However, he provided some insight on the communal feel of the neighborhood that I soon discovered.

Not too far down I headed over to Edo Salon & Gallery at 601 Haight St.  There I struck up a conversation with Jai Carrillo and Salon Manager Tiffany Ward.

“All of the businesses share interests,” said Carrillo.  “Everyone kinda knows each other… especially in Lower Haight .” Ward added that the community hosts an art walk every once and awhile, bringing Haight residents and businesses together.

“We (Edo) continue the art walk every couple of months,” she says, referring to an art exhibit entitled NO FACE, that the salon will be hosting on Feb. 10.

Despite the rugged exterior, with street posts, walls and newsstands marked as artists’ canvases, the Haight that initially struck me as frightening began to feel a little more like home, especially after my encounter with “Lower Haighter” Zoe Jardine.

“I moved here not knowing it was a cool, hotspot neighborhood, ” she says kiddingly.  She says seeing all of the familiar faces so frequently is “like going to school…I feel safe living in Lower Haight.”

My encounters:  

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