Thursday July 27, 2006

five nights in San Francisco (and one day at the Ewok Village)

A few days late here, but whatever. I spent most of last week shuttling myself back and forth between San Francisco (Clift Hotel) and Mountain View (Google). Buckets and buckets of meetings, but the trip was broken up nicely thanks to such distractions as Wednesday's "Welcome to San Francisco, Harry!" party @ Lazlo. (trivia: did you know Harry is working out of Mt. View for the month?).

After showing up two hours late (thanks to the sushi waitress that forgot about us and the 800 miles trek through the sketchiest neighborhood of all time - think: old Detroit City in RoboCop), we met up with a crowd chock full of SXSW alumns and dodgeball superusers including such special guests as: ValleyWag Nick, Ms. Aubrey, Danny Denver, Eris Free.

Thursday night. Grabbed dinner with Sean.S and headed to Boca to see some band called the Extra Action Marching Band. Aaaccccctually, the night before (@ Lazlo) everyone was chatting them up in a "Are you going? You gotta go!" type of way, so when Sean called me and was like "I'm heading to this. You want to go?" I was in.

Two opening bands: #1. a shirtless dude in a cowboy hat riding a pogo stick horse (huh.) and 2. Golem, some Yiddish band that made the place rock like some hipster bar mitzvah (apparently they're from NYC). Extra Action came on next - essentially a, er, hipster marching band complete with huge instruments (tuba, trumbone, drums, etc.) and flag-waving color guard girls in thongs (huh!).

And, so they don't play on stage... they just kind of wander around the venue playing wherever they want (after making a grand entrance from the back of the room). So, the whole place turned into one sweaty, drink-spilling, marching band dance party... which was pretty awesome.

And got more awesomer when they led people out into the streets - Pied Piper style - for another dance party. Girls on cars. People waving flags. Cars honking because they're blocking traffic. Pretty rad.

Anwyay, they're coming to the east coast soon, so check it out. (ps: I bought 2 tix for the Knitting Factory show)

Sat 8/12 @ Kitting Factory [tix]
Tue 8/15 @ Boston
Wed 8/19 @ Brooklyn

CheeseBikini himself, toasting up a round of the worst tasting liquor ever.

Not shown: Anthony Townsend and some other dude who was wearing a Dooker tee.

Friday. Done with my 18-meetings-in-three-days routine, I checked out of my fancy hotel (ps: Happy to report that me + Steve Hall, superstar intern, successfully checked-out of the hotel without getting charged for accidentially overflowing our sink and flooding the hotel room) and switched over to crashing with Pam.

Have you ever met Pam? Friend from high-school, er, kindergarten who alse helped me + Alex w/ dodgeball PR back in the day. Ever see that pic on the top of teendrama? From my 1st grade class? Anyway, that's her: bottom row, 2nd from the right).

Anyway, we met up after work. I took a nap. We crashed some birthday dinner...

... annndd some girl spilled a glass of wine all over my crotch. (best part: the spill came from a failed Watch Me Balance This Glass On The Flat Part Of My Head! attempt.)

ps: After much crotch paper-toweling and one round of laundry, jeans = clean!

As we go to pay the check, Pam pulls out her phone - which has the wallpaper set to a picture of my dad (Big Dig!). Stalker! (...and a wee bit of foreshadowing.)

Saturday. Slept in a little bit, grabbed a delicious breakfast burrito and met up with some of Pam's friends before going on a hike. We stocked up on water and sandwhiches and oranges - as if we're preparing for this 8 mile trek into the jungle - when really, we're just hitting up this 0.7m trek through dead grass...

... in search of this place called the Tourist Club which is supposedly this "pub in the woods". So, we hike the, er, 12 minutes in and basically stumble upon a cross between the Ewok Village and some German biergarden.

So, we unpacked and ate lunch and then checked out their fine selection of board games. We settled on Pictionary.

So, I'm not much of a board game superfan. When we started out, Team Double-D (me + Dunstan) fell behind pretty quick compared to PW's and Melissa's skills. Our comeback mounted only after we realized that Melissa was a closet Pictionary pro (the moment when she rolled and then instinctively knew how far to advance without having to count squares was the tip off). You know that moment when you don't care about something until you realize that someone else cares about it more than you do? Yeah, that was it. It was our destiny to bring them down.

(ps: Am I crazy? Maybe that is just a symptom of having two younger siblings.)

Once our momentum started building, we were unstoppable. See, this? That's a "salute", motherfucker. Man, we are good.

ps: Team Double-D wins in the end. Pow! A climactic showdown took place in the final "All Play" square. I may have even high-fived Dunstan at the end, but it's all still a blur.

As Pictionary champ (!!), I was selected to pick out Round 2 of board games (smell ya later, Pictionary). I checked out what the Ewok Village had to offer and the best I could come back with was that same stoopid Apples to Apples came we played at the beach last weekend!!!

Anyway, we skipped the rules entirely (same as last wkd) and used the cards to play a modified version oflast week's hit, Dance Pary Charades - er, insteadit was Elbows on the Table Charades (er, Worst. Game. Ever.)

Okay, enough of the games. We hiked out, got in the car and drove through the windiest road you've ever done seen which eventually dropped us out at Stinson beach. So we walked around a bit (saw a dead Sea Lion!).

Now, on Wednesday night I met up with Marjorie from Meevee who invited me to go surfing with her on Saturday (lessons too!). We ended up going on the hike instead, but had the "Man, I bet surfing would have been cool" feeling for a bit until we rolled up to the beach and saw...

... the whole place is one big shark advisory! Jesus!

And worse, hanging right above is the *last sighting* which was less than 24 hours ago! And, of course, there's people surfing all over the place, just waiting to get eaten! Suckers. (btw, Will told me that the reef a few miles off the coast of Stinson Beach is home to one of the biggest shark breeding grounds that man has even known!).

ps: Best part is that the shark is the same PowerPoint clip-art shark that my friend (hi, sm!) used to tell PPT stories about. Huh!

Okay, Saturday night. Rewind a little bit to the crappy SF experiences Alex and I have been having all week - the whole walking 800 miles without a cab in sight combined almost getting stabbed with a screwdriver by cracked out junkies in the Tenderloin district - and I'm making plans with Heather.d (yup, visiting from NYC!) and Julie.B (Jupiter old skool represent!) to meet up. They were supposed to go to a show. The show was sold out. They couldn't find a cab to take them somewhere else? Pam and I couldn't find a cab to meet up with them. And then Heather.d sends me this message from across the city which pretty much sums everything up.

Anyway, we ended up finally meeting up at some place near Market Street (Amber?), had a drink and then journeyed over to Shine to check out this Flickr photobooth that I read about on the innernets.

Shine = eh, but not my scene. Frat boys in buttondowns all wasted dancing to booming techno dance party. But the photobooth was pretty cool.

Push a button, four pics get taken and uploaded to Flickr (sorry, but you don't get a print-out of the pic). It would have been cooler if our pics actually made it on Flickr (right now, the booth's Flickr stream seems to be stuck on July 22).

ps: Click around some of the Flickr pics. They're filthy!

So, we left and took a cab to Elbo Room where found yet another photobooth. This one actually worked. $3 bucks! [bigger]

Sunday. Whew. I switched my flight home to the red-eye so I had a whole day to kill. Me + PW hit up some random cookout in, er, some area of San Francisco I don't know anything about. Big backyard + low buildings = pretty awesome. (I'm so used to backyards in NYC being framed by six story apartment buildings, leaving little room to see the sky.)

I spent some time in the grilling rotation - whipping up delicious skirt steaks and chicken things. This dude in the pink (who kind of looks like Sasha from Flavorpill?) whipped up some little mini meatballs.

Oh, and back to that autographed pic Pam had of my Dad (a.k.a. the Celebrity Selectman of Medway), somehow it turned into an ad hoc art project. Get your portrait taken with Big Dig? Sure!

Er, check out the rest of the collection on Le Flickr.

I like to think this is what it looks like just before you get to see Jesus. (except without Brian Lam's little dog staring you in the mouth)

And to the red-eye home. Sucks. While the magic sleeping pills KM gave me made my eyes feel really heavy, but I still felt like my mind wasn't going to be fooled into getting a good night's sleep.

It got worse when I woke up half way through the flight cause the dude sitting in my row was snoring like my Uncle Neil. I'm talking SSSSSNNNNNNNOOOOOORRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEE. I woke up, looked around and got the "Are You Fucking Kidding Me?" look from the guy across the asile who apparently was also awakened by the snorting / snoring. I debated giving the snorer the quick–whack–with-a-magazine-and-then-pretend-to-be-asleep trick, but he was much bigger and meaner looking (even in his sleep) than me.

I should have taken a video of the ridiculousness, but alas I was so sleepy I was not thinking right.

Fast forward to 7am when I arrive home to pick up my keys from my brother (Little Sister Katie was crashing at my apt all week). He answers the door looking like Powder with his fresly cut wiffle (Why JJ, why?). Man, Jackie is going to kill you.

(the end).

Thu 7/27 @ 2:58 PM | # link| Comments (4)
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