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Happy Independence day! I spent the first few post-midnight hours of the fourth of July in a fine American strip club, enjoying the company of beautiful American strippers, who are well-paid and who all seemed clean, healthy and happy, if overworked. This truly is a great country, y'all.

The bachelor party was lovely, a fine mix of high and low culture. We all met up at a hotel in North Beach, and drank, and gave the bachelor gag gifts, and drank more, and talked, and laughed, and drank (what's cranberry vodka and cranberry juice -- a caped cape cod? a caped crusader cod?). It was great to see Scott, of course, and I like his bunch of friends, though I haven't seen most of them since the time I lived in Santa Cruz, except at a party or two (but then, even when I lived in Santa Cruz, I mostly only saw them at parties). Around 9:30 we went to Farallon, one of the best seafood restaurants in the city, certainly the fanciest restaurant I've ever patronized, complete with light fixtures in the shape of giant jellyfish. We were a loud raucous party in our own private dining room ("the winehold," so named because the wall mural depicted the hold of a ship filled with jugs of wine). The waiter was wonderful, and set us at ease. The wine flowed, and the food was divine. I had some braised octopus and a marvelous pea soup with crayfish, and for my entrée two softshell crab, with vanilla bean pound cake and raspberry compote for dessert. All exquisite. We made merry. It was fabulous. We spent three hours at dinner.

Then, except for a few defectors who had to return to points south, we all piled into cabs for the low culture portion of our evening, because what bachelor party is complete without a visit to a strip club? Heather had asked around to find a good woman- and couple-friendly place, and the club where we went fit the bill exactly. Heather and I stayed with the party for another three hours there before pleading exhaustion and heading back to the East Bay, getting home about 3:30. We pretty much fell right into bed, and I woke up today a bit dehydrated but not terribly hungover otherwise. I can only hope I am fêted in similar fashion at my own bachelor party!

A good night. And I can assure you that absolutely none of us snorted cocaine off the belly of a dead hooker, and no one in our party shot heroin directly into his or her left eyeball while the rest of us took turns licking the right eyeball, no matter what sorts of scurrilous rumors you might hear.

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