Apropos that the California Academy of Science would launch its NightLife series of evening events sandwiched between Darwin Day (an international celebration of science and reason) and Valentine’s Day, the heart-shaped holiday that induces flights of romantic fancy through casual doping with phenylethylamine, the so-called ?love-chemical? found in chocolate. It was date-night in the City and the Academy, with its stiff cocktails, DJs and apparent ability to attract people of ?breeding age,? was doing its part to continue the survival of the species. Bravo.
I attended as a spectator (my breeding already accomplished, my pregnant wife at home) as a ?plus one? with my pal of 20 years, the San Francisco Weekly’s Hiya Swanhuyser. My plan ? talk shop and imbibe on the Academy’s dime. I ‘ve always found it mildly amusing that those in the news game are said to be writing the ?rough draft of history,? when that rough draft often comes with rougher mornings and little more than a smudged note reading ?$8 for Nathanson Creek, non-varietal-appellation-and-vintage-specific red wine,? to aid one’s recollection. In this case, complimentary booze for journos was history. Soon was my $8. The prohibitive price was probably for the best seeing as it takes a mere three glasses for my reporting to devolve into Origin of the Specious. The accuracy, let alone legibility, of my notes is already compromised by a professional predilection for the fanciful (Damn it, Jim, I’m a writer not a reporter), though this makes me a fine candidate to pen The Bible 2.0.
It was one of those weeks. By the seventh day, I totally crashed?
Once, a former employer struck the word ?goddamned? from a column of mine because, as it was explained, they were ?one with God.? I replied that I was ?one with the damned.? I don’t work there anymore. Since then, even non-varietal-appellation-and-vintage-specific red wines have?tasted better. Nothing like a little punctuated equilibrium to keep one evolving beyond the welter and waste and darkness.