The other Dan White

It’s very strange to be named Dan White and live in this particular city. I’m a calm, quiet, law-abiding person — and it feels strange to share a name with such a notorious local person. Imagine how you would feel if your last name happened to be “Manson” and you found yourself moving, for some reason, into the Panamint range. People would talk. Or what if your last name was Ripper and you found yourself living in Whitechapel, England? I’ve already had a couple of mildly awkward interactions because of this.


I love San Francisco. However, I’m noticing a small problem. Skinny, vintage-clothes-wearing, Conor Oberst-worshipping, authentic-dive-bar-seeking hipsters have taken over this city. They are starting to affect my life. For example, I am in serious need of new glasses but I can’t find anything that doesn’t have thick black wire rims to broadcast an ironic-nerdy look. I’m afraid that if I wear such glasses, the irony will be lost on a lot of people.

A recap on the Steinbeck Fellows reading. Plus — John Prine returns

Thanks to everyone who showed up to the Steinbeck Fellows reading. It was a great time — and the crowd was so much bigger than I expected (standing room only. Cool.) in other news, John Prine played for free at an enormous festival at Golden Gate Park this weekend. I joined a small throng of Prinefreaks who made a single-file line that snaked its slow way to the very front. Prine is one of my heroes; his songs are so precise. (no word or phrase feels out of place to me. He can switch gears from heartbreak to comedy and back again. Sometimes he’ll even figure out ways to combine these things in the same three-minute song.) Prine sounded great to me; he battled throat cancer a couple of years ago, and, if anything, his voice sounded scratchier, deeper, croakier and more distinctive than before. More than this, it was…