I suppose MG and I had a different sort of Valentine's Day than most people . After cooking a meal that used pretty much every plate and utensil in the kitchen, we decided to go take a stroll through the neighborhood. Our first stop was my very favorite bar, the Geary Club. It was MG's first time there. The Geary Club is a tiny place in the middle of a block. It doesn't have a sign or anything at all signifying its presence and it's so small it would be easy to walk by it without even noticing it. There aren't any people hanging around outside smoking, because everyone inside is smoking. Endlessly. The drink selections are nothing fancy. The word mixologist has probably never been uttered inside its walls and if you ask for anything containing more than two ingredients you'll probably have to come up with an alternative request. It has absolutely zero pretense and it's the kind of place where people go to get unapologetically drunk- not to have drinks.

It's an especially fun place when L_____ is working- not only does she look (and sound) like Joan Jett cast in a downscale version of The Threepenny Opera, but she's usually pretty sauced herself on Jagermeister. The Geary Club has a great jukebox featuring crap you'd never want to listen anywhere else but there, where all of a sudden it seems perfectly suited to the environs. It's also the kind of place where once in awhile people steal away and go have sex in the bathroom while you're having an in-depth conversation about Milton with a toothless guys who is nevertheless well-versed in the nuances of Paradise Lost as well as Samson Agonistes. Seriously. Also, for such a seriously downscale place, there a surprising number of good-looking younger women in there from the neighborhood, often alone, who come to tell their latest sorrows regarding the male species to L____, as if she were the Oprah of the Tenderloin. It's not a hook-up place, but it's a great place to drink away the shame of your last one.

The bar is run by a woman named June, who isn't nearly as much fun as L_____, but it's her place and she's pretty sweet. I can't say the same for the other broad who works the bar, who is so unpleasant I usually go across the street to Whiskey Thieves on the nights she's there. She's a horrorful bitch, but the Geary Club is the real deal. Be warned however, everything you are wearing is going to reek of cigarette smoke when you leave, though you probably won't care at that point. North side of Geary between Leavenworth and Hyde. Look for the tiny door and the orange light inside- there really is no sign and you won't see it from the street.

From there we went to DIVAS, the city's largest transgender bar in SF and it was pretty quiet. One of the ladies loved MG and gave a little performance for her, which culminated in them doing a bit of dancing. I watched, and checked out Veronica, who has always reminded me of Sophia Loren doing a turn in a Rob Zombie movie. There is something about Veronica that's always fascinated me, as I've observed her for years now. On the way out, Iris asked us if we wanted a date, but we declined. Iris has an ass that defies gravity (and human biology), but she's a bit ___- I'm not sure what the word is.
At MG's behest, we then made our way over to The New Century Theater. It was my first time there, as I'm really not a fan of strip joints, but it wasn't all bad. Again, Valentine's Day had taken a toll and the place had a sedate, sullen feel to it, though MG thought the strippers were pretty good overall. As for me, my feelings and history with this business should be saved for another time- or perhaps a book. I will say one thing, thankfully of the half-dozen girls we watched, only one was obviously surgically enhanced- the rest of the talent seemed to be natural- and thus pleasing to behold. I think we stayed about an hour, one of the girls hit on MG, which flattered her, and then we caught a cab to the End Up.

The End Up is the one place in San Francisco that is always bumping on a Sunday night regardless of whatever else is or isn't going on. It's legendary, it's fun, it's super-gay, and the music is non-stop. We danced for about two hours with Q, a recent transplant from NY, who only later did I realize probably thought MG and I were there for some purpose other than dancing our asses off. Still, we all had a good time, much better than the group of Korean thirty-somethings, who not only couldn't dance, but seemed genuinely uncomfortable with the surroundings. MG thought it was the best house music she's ever heard. The dj was pretty awesome- and I'm so glad I took the day off today because by the time we got home at 5am, Valentine's Day had turned into a long night- the kind you can only have here.