Sunday, May 21, 2017

the room where it happens

Today was pretty rough - I do not like being hungover,and I should probably take steps to avoid such situations in the future. But the fact that I only had a hangover once in my entire California sojourn must mean that I'm growing up! (or, the people I was hanging out with have all grown up, take your pick)

Part of the problem was that I woke up at nine even though I had no reason to, and has also only had six hours of sleep, so the morning was going to be rough regardless. I walked down the hill to grab a soda, which I thought would help, but then I also got a latte, which definitely didn't help. But I enjoyed some journaling while doing some people-watching - it was Bay to Breakers today, which meant that people were dressed like damned fools, and I got to see some of them as they fanned out from the race looking for bathrooms. In other words, I was glad that I went out in search of sustenance early, before they all turned into drunk zombies.

Then I went back to Katrina's and spent the afternoon getting ready to depart, which meant laundry, packing, taking a long nap, and talking to my parents. I left there a little after six and took a lyft to a hotel - I'm staying in a hotel for my last two nights here, which will hopefully get me in the mood to start writing in earnest this week. When I got here, I dumped my stuff in my room and left immediately to go to Chandlord's - she very generously, very graciously hosted me and Claudia (aka Santy Claude!!! don't tell her I said that) for takeout pizza and a bottle of wine (which she decanted because she's a lady). Many jhokes were told, and I ate five pieces of pizza like a total glutton because I hadn't had good gluten free pizza in five months and was rather desperate.

When that was done, I said my tentative farewells, walked back to the hotel (all of a block and a half) and messed around online until now. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

looking for a mind at work

Adit happened.

I could probably end there, but that would shortchange a lot of important people tonight, so I shall attempt to persevere. I spent the morning/daytime/early afternoon working at Katrina's apartment, and that was good, but I eventually realized that I should vacate and take advantage of the gorgeous weather. So I walked for twenty minutes and ended up in the Castro, where I got an iced coffee at Reveille and did an hour of journaling. I was also reminded of why I don't always love San Francisco, since a fifty- or sixty-something man came in and I'm pretty sure he wasn't wearing pants...he was wearing a tshirt that came to his thighs, but I'm pretty positive I caught a testicle shadow as he was bending to pick something up. Fucking San Francisco.

sssanyway. I eventually went down the block to Beso, where I had first dinner with Jen and Joann. They were in town to catch the Hamilton matinee, which I'd helped procure them tickets for, and so we discussed the show over tapas and wine. Then, they left the city and I went straight to second dinner...at Barzotto with Sheila and Rajiv. They had a v. nice gluten free pasta, and also the company was obviously stellar. Then we went to Hawker Fare, where we met Chandlord for a drink - and when Adit showed up, it became a second drink. Sheila and Rajiv v. gracefully bowed out, but Adit, Chandlord and I continued to ABV, where I had two jackels and a lot of friendship (including Adit's friend Sumeet, whom I hadn't seen in forever).

And then Adit and I walked until it was time to part ways, and I wasn't ready to say goodbye, but I had to call a lyft anyway. And now, after three glasses of wine and four cocktails, I should probably call it - goodnight!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

born in arizona, moved to babylonia

I'm falling asleep sitting up in bed, so this is going to be too brief - today was a tour of all the things I loved, starting with a leisurely brunch at Caffe Union, and then a tiny bit of shopping, followed by a mani/pedi at my favorite nail salon. Then I took a lyft back down to the Marina and hung out for a couple of hours with Chris and Leah at Nectar (yay!) before buying some cupcakes and schlepping back to the opposite side of the city to have dinner with Adit and Priyanka.

There are probably more interesting things to say than that, but I'm beyond exhausted - goodnight!

Friday, May 19, 2017

baby i'm so rising

I overindulged in food and friends, but I don't regret any of it. I spent the morning attempting to get some work done - this mostly involved standing at the kitchen counter working on my laptop so that Duncan wouldn't sit in my lap and distract me (Duncan is a cat, not a boyfriend or a vagrant, fyi). I also made perfect avocado toast and iced coffee, which felt v. much like my old San Francisco life, except for the fact that I don't live here anymore and perhaps never will (but never is a word I never like to use).

Eventually I showered and schlepped myself down the hill three blocks to Nopalito, one of my favorite restaurants, where I had a solo lunch with my journal and my thoughts. It was delicious, and I left completely stuffed - I've never gone alone before, and I wanted the special appetizer (a cold tostada with snapper and smashed avocado, which was outstanding), but I also wanted the quesadilla roja con chicharrones and a million other things on the menu. So I settled for ordering the appetizer and the quesadilla (which is made with a delicious combo of queso fresco, pork, and pork rinds - you may find this abominable, but I find it #winning), as well as a margarita, and I ended up eating most of it and being totally, uncomfortably, gluttonously full.

So, of course, I had to add coffee to my stomach to increase the drama. Then I settled up my extravagant lunch bill and went to the Outer Sunset, where I met up with Veronica for more 'writing' ('writing' is in quotes because we talked a lot about writing, and each also did a bunch of admin work, but as far as I know neither of us wrote new words on our intended projects). By 5pm it was time to admit that we were far more interested in each other than in our books, so we finished off the last glass of champagne left from the bottle we opened yesterday, and then the last glasses of red wine from the bottle we'd started at dinner last night. I had a great time, as per usual, and it all flew way too fast, and I'm not ready to say goodbye....

But eventually I said goodbye, took a lyft with a delightful man in his seventies who also composes flamenco music (and said a prayer to all the gods and muses that I don't have to drive a lyft when I'm seventy to subsidize my art, especially since lyft will be dead and we'll all be cyborgs by then anyway), and met up with Claudia (aka Santy Claude) at My Tofu House. Claude had had a tooth pulled today, which is why we went for soft tofu - but it was good to go back there, even if I wasn't hungry at all when the food came out and I ate it anyway like a true champ/loser, take your pick.

So, we caught up over steaming bowls of deliciousness, and then we went to the Mission to meet up with Vidya (aka Chandlord). The stars aligned and Claudia found parking immediately, right across the street from ABV, so it felt like it was meant to be. ABV is one of my favorite bars in the city, and I had my favorite cocktail from their menu (The Jackel, which is misspelled for reasons I don't understand). We sat around and talked for an hour or two, and then Claude went home and Chandlord and I walked to Market St, where we parted ways on different lyfts to different locales.

And now it's definitely time for bed - goodnight!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

i can keep a beat with no metronome

Today was lovely, but I need to sleep. I spent far too much time this morning reading social media, which now seems to be spectacularly imploding every thirty minutes or so, but I dragged myself out of bed and through the shower so that I could be out of the house by ten. My first stop was to get a bottle of champagne for the afternoon's activities, and then I dropped my rental car off at the car agency. Then I took a lyft all the way out to the ocean....

...where I was slightly early for a ladies-who-lunch date at the Cliff House with my writer friends. This has become our go-to spot since it's easy for everyone to get to, and it's a great place for lunch if you like looking at the water and being fancy. Lunch included Grace, Veronica, Anne, Barbara, and Poppy, and the six of us were there for three hours and probably annoyed the waitstaff by hanging out for so long, but #yolo.

Sadly, when it was over I had to say goodbye to almost everyone - I'll see Grace in Sedona in a month, and I'll see Barbara and V in Orlando in July, but I might not see Anne until the end of September since she might not be here when I'm back in August :( So after I said all my farewells, Veronica and I went back to her place - she and her husband had invited me over for dinner to recreate our Venice evenings, so I went back with her and we tried to work. And by that I mean we talked about working (we're both at the start of projects - me at the start of a new book, her at the start of massive edits) and looked up all the books/movies I need to read/watch to do research for SPINSTER HONEYMOON.

Then we hung out with Adam while he made dinner (a delish pasta puttanesca that I could have eaten waaaaay more of). Their son ate dinner with us, and then they showed me their Oculus VR setup - I was kind of stunned at how amazing it is. The first game they put me in involved shooting things in space, which I really liked. The second was traumatic - it just involved moving around a space station exploring it, and I was immediately afraid of heights and nauseated by my floating movements, so I had to get out. Then I tried a boxing game (I wasn't so good) and a sword-fighting game (better, but I knocked something over in real life). But I can see the future now, and in fifteen years we'll all be living in Oculus worlds so we can forget that the real world has become a dumpster fire. And people like me who can't move in an Oculus world without throwing up will end up in some sad netherworld caste where we have to take care of the physical bodies of the people living in Oculus....

...but I digress. After that, Adam made dessert (strawberries and homemade whipped cream!), and then V and I watched '27 Dresses' in the name of research. Adam started to watch with us but bailed immediately, and V and I stuck it out, but we *hated* it - there was so much wrong with the story and how the characters were built, and everyone was horribly unlikeable. Ugh. But I learned what not to do, so I guess that's good?

And then I said goodbye, came back to Katrina's with a v. friendly lyft driver, and now I shall sleep - goodnight!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

i can lead a nation with a microphone

Today was my first day almost entirely by myself since I was in York finishing my book over a month ago, and it was v. sorely overdue. I've had an excellent time in the last month, and I will continue to have excellent times, but today felt like a reward for my introvert heart for getting through so much social time without flipping out at anyone.

I woke up at Joann's and spent a couple of hours doing nothing but reading twitter (not good for my mental state, but still somehow relaxing). I mostly sat there because I was trying to wait out traffic, which has reached apocalyptic levels in the bay area...but by 10:30 I really had to get on the road. So I stopped at Starbucks for a sad breakfast of string cheese, a granola bar, and an iced coffee, and then I drove to San Mateo, where I worked out, used the steam room, and showered. I also ate lunch there, which made me feel all smug and healthy.

Then I had a doctor's appointment, since I figured I should get a yearly checkup while I was in the state where my health insurance is active. Then I drove back to the evil city, and I talked to [censored] on the way because it's [censored] - happy [censored], [censored]!

Then I checked in on my storage unit - it's all still there, and I was a little verklempt at seeing everything packed away so neatly. I grabbed four dresses and a swimsuit for my upcoming adventures, locked up again, said hi to the storage manager (who totally remembered me - he's great!), and then drove to Katrina's.

Once here, I indulged my inner hermit - I took care of Duncan, and then I walked down the street to Ragazza, where I intended to have gluten free pizza. They were out of dough, thus thwarting my gf pizza desires (I haven't had a good one since December and I'm getting really cranky about it), but I had a bunch of cured meats and cheese and two glasses of wine and some chocolate while writing several pages in my journal, which was exactly what I needed.

And now I need to sleep - goodnight!

Monday, May 15, 2017

feel good inc

Today was another long day of errands, driving, work, and friendship, and I need to sleep immediately. I woke up at Katrina's and enjoyed the feeling of lazing in bed for a bit without any exuberantly-awake children nearby - luckily her cat is mostly silent, so he didn't try to get me out of bed. But I couldn't stay there as long as I wanted to (which was alllll day) - I dragged myself out of bed, threw on some clothes, organized some tings, and then did a load of laundry.

While the clothes were washing, I went down the street and had a latte and some yogurt - it is nice to be someplace where I can walk down the street for a latte, since that hasn't been true for a month. San Francisco has its upsides. Then I threw the clothes in the dryer, showered and packed up, folded the clothes, and vacated the place - Duncan (the cat) is likely confused about the situation, but hopefully he'll handle it.

Then I drove to Berkeley solely because I forgot my jacket yesterday, which was a real bummer since it added well over an hour to my day just to drive there and pick it up. Then I drove to San Mateo, where I went to Nordstrom and engaged in a bit of retail therapy - this was the first time I've had a car and a truly free day (Milwaukee doesn't count) and access to an American mall in a v. v. long time, and so even though I had less than an hour, I did a speed round of the store and picked up a couple of cute things that entirely ignore the fact that I'm nomadic and about to go to a series of sweltering climes...

Then I had a writing date with Anne, Barbara, and Poppy, which I mostly spent looking at bridesmaid dresses. Then I drove to Mountain View to pick up my new contacts, and then I went to Vive Sol and sat in the parking lot for twenty minutes until it was time for dinner. Joann, Jen and I had much to discuss - I'd seen Jen more recently, since she was in London while I was there, but I hadn't seen Joann since December and we had lots to say. When we were done lingering over dinner (the staff was even more done with us, since they'd rather aggressively cleared everything an hour earlier), I drove to Joann's, and she and I continued to talk/gossip until it was time to start winding down.

And now I'm going to sleep - goodnight!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

step from the road to the sea to the sky

Too tired to blog effectively - I woke up early again, had a delightful breakfast with John and Jess and Ian, and then Jess and I celebrated mother's day by leaving Ian with John so that we could go to Equinox. She did a yoga class, and I did some cardio and a kettlebell workout that made me v. happy (before showering and getting a smoothie that made me even happier).

Then I dropped her off at home, said goodbye to everyone, and drove to the evil city. I spent the afternoon working at Another Cafe (one of my old haunts) with Tom (aka Tom Foolery), which was great. I also called my parents, both because it was mother's day (happy mother's day!) and because I always call them on Sunday.

Then I drove to Katrina's house and unloaded my stuff and said hi to Duncan. And then Chandlord picked me up and I went to the Sunset for family dinner - we met up at Enjoy Vegetarian, which is one of our other old haunts. It was quite the turnout for family dinner, including people who don't even live here - Chandlord and I were early, so we held down the fort and ordered some tings, and then we were slowly joined by Omar (in from Toronto), Misha, Marina (visiting from Boulder), Raja, Claudia, and Adit and Priyanka. They brought Vihaan with them, who was extremely sad and confused to be there, but it was generally great to see everyone.

Sadly, we didn't have enough time together - the restaurant closed at nine and they were v. v. eager for us to leave. Adit and Priyanka took Vihaan home, and Chandlord and Raja bailed as well, but the rest of us grabbed a bit of ice cream and then had a drink and discussed driving cross-country with bees, refugees and border crossings, and other things that didn't require such a high level of detail. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

i can't feel the way i did before

I just stayed up an hour and a half past when John went to bed, and 2.5hrs after Jess went to bed, which means I will probably be awoken by Ian (the big king of saliva) in approximately six hours. But I had another great day in California. I woke up this morning to the happy sound of a child playing (that is the nicest thing I can say), and stubbornly stayed in bed for another ninety minutes despite that. Then I got up so we could go for an early breakfast at Saul's, my favorite breakfast place ever (that may be a slight exaggeration) - but the corned beef hash there is definitely the best I've ever had, and I was v. pleased to have it again.

After Saul's, we came back and I took a shower before Jess and I went next door to meet their neighbors. Jess hooked me up with them because they're looking for a dog/house sitter for a few days in August, and I'm v. pleased that this is all working out - their dog is super sweet, and the house is beautiful, and I saw their patio and immediately fell in love with the idea of writing in the sun there for a week.

Then, I talked to Jess for a bit more before parting ways and driving into SF. This took almost an hour and a half, which was sheer torture, especially since it's only sixteen miles. I made a quick stop at Katrina's to check on her cat, and then I went to Julie's house to have a late brunch with her, Tom, and Deano. It was really great to see them all, and it didn't feel like enough time...but it never feels like enough time. We discussed books and tech and weddings, and a v. fun time was had by all.

Then I suffered through another torturous hour+ drive back to Berkeley. When I got here, we went to a barbecue that Jess's company had bought tickets to, stuffed our faces, and immediately drove home (with a stop to pick up ice cream). Then we hung out in the kitchen the rest of the night, where John and I drank boulevardiers with ice spheres and talked about life until the wee hours (10:30pm counts as a wee hour when there is a baby involved).

And now I must sleep - goodnight!