The first sign that I might be addicted to technology was when I assessed everything that I was packing for my three-night trip to San Francisco. Why did I think that I would need a laptop, corded mouse, two separate portable iPhone battery packs, digital camera, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Android, bluetooth, Looxcie bluetooth camcorder, plus the iPhone used to take the photo, all in four days? The second sign that I was addicted is that I took that photo, posted it on Instagram, tweeted it, sent it to Facebook, and now I’m blogging about it.
I checked into the Delta counter at ass-crack o’clock on Friday morning. My suitcase, for only four days, was packed with way too many clothes, since I tend to pack back-ups and emergency clothes for any number of imagined scenarios. (What if I tear six shirts in a row in a Hulk-like rage? I’ll have four more shirts to wear!) Pro tip, too – when you fly First Class, your suitcase can weigh up to 75 pounds without penalty, which is a good thing, since mine was almost 60.
My flight was uneventful and relatively luxurious. There’s something about free drinks, well-prepared hot meals, hot towels, and friendly flight attendants that makes flying much easier. My row-mate was on his way to Hawaii for three months to work, and we talked for much of the flight about video games and computers. I found out, though, that it doesn’t matter what class you fly, the bathrooms are still tiny. Here I am, sing with me, fat . . . guy . . . in a . . . . little . . . airplane bathroom:
I landed in Oakland, which was an endearingly small airport. My suitcase was the first one off the conveyor-belt-luggage-delivery-thingie, which is in fact the official name of it, and once again, I was fucked by TSA. This is the second time that they have removed my TSA-approved lock, stolen the lock, and gone through my suitcase without putting any notification in my suitcase whatsoever. The last time, they stole all of my 5-hour energy shots that I had packed. This time, I think they only took one. I would never blow up a plane, but I’d like to give every TSA agent a swirly. That’s the type of terrorism I can get behind.
I hopped into a cab, off to San Francisco. I soon realized, though, that something else was missing:
Rice-a-Roni-less, I arrived at the Four Seasons San Francisco without incident and was blessed to experience the type of customer service and treatment that one expects from a ridiculously overpriced hotel. My room was stocked with $10 bottles of water, $8 candy bars, $24.99 on-demand 90-minute long pornography, and a small old manservant named Woodhouse that I was allowed to verbally abuse and torture at my whim. I’m kidding, of course, but after finally watching Archer on my flight over, I had fantasies of that for days. I did, however, have a fantastic view of the city:
On Saturday, after staying in bed as long as humanly possible, I got up and did what any person would do if he or she was staying in a new city for a limited period of time:
What better way to experience a city than to sit in the dark for two hours watching Liam Neeson and an embeardened Dermot Mulroney run away from Alaskan wolves? If there is, I’d like to hear it. After a quick snack at one of Tom Colicchio’s restaurants, Wichcraft, we headed to Max’s Opera Cafe in Palo Alto for the San Franvitable blogger meetup!
I drank manly drinks that included lots of fruit juices and Malibu rum while talking and hanging out with some of the most frumious and frabjous people that I know. There was an old friend from high school, Shane Karshan, the beautiful, unicorn-adorned, luscious bottomed Julia, savvy and sarcastic twinkle-eyed Maura, fun-loving oenophile Dre, invisible ninja and ass-kicker Sarah (who managed to avoid being photographed, but I seamlessly Photoshopped her into one of the photos. You’ll never even be able to tell.), and, of course, the sexy, sharp-witted queen of bluntness Jenny Grace (accompanied by her adorable son).
The food was very good but the service was terrible, and for maybe the first time in my life, I didn’t add a gratuity to the mandated 18% that was added on for our table of 10. I usually tip 30-40%, even with mediocre service, so that’s a sign of exactly how shitty our two servers were. Even with the service, it was really nice to get together with bloggers in a closer-knit setting that isn’t as crowded as BlogHer but not quite as intimate as an orgy.
After dinner, my friend Jess and I were invited by Dre and her boyfriend to go out to a bar. Since Dre knows me, she made sure that it would be a place that I’d be comfortable. I don’t really like huge crowds, I like to be somewhere that I can have a conversation, and I abhor douchebaggery.
That last text should have been my first indication that Dre is a dirty, dirty, dirty liar. There’s a line? That I’d have to skip ahead of in order to gain egress? Ugh, ugh, triple ugh.
We pulled up to the Madrone Art Bar, which touts itself as “a full-on art experience”. Translated into plain English, that means “douche-fest extraordinaire”. The line was 30-40 people long, but we got pulled into the back entrance where we paid the bouncer double the cover charge to skip the line and . . . do what, exactly? Stand elbow to ass with 200 drunk people with absolutely no personal space or ability to move or even breathe while looking at non-art art on the walls? Fuuuun.
Needless to say, the night ended soon after, though we made a pit stop at a wine bar and had some wine, which is about as unpalatable to my tastes as vegetables are. By the time it was 4 AM EST, I was exhausted and fell asleep almost as soon as I hit the bed.
The next day, after being as lazy as possible and trying to see how many things can be done from the bed without getting up, a road trip was in the cards. I don’t have much interest in touristy adventures, but there was something about walking amongst the redwoods that sounded appealing. So, off to Muir Woods we went!
The weather was absolutely stunning, crisp and clear without being too cold, and I didn’t even mind the fact that I was exercising by walking through the park. I think one of the main reasons that I didn’t mind was that I decided to channel the spirit of an amateur photographer who thinks he’s hot shit even though he’s just as cliched, trite and hackneyed as every other weekend photographer out there. Here’s the evidence:
Plus, of course, the obligatory, raised camera one-handed self-portrait:
Driving back into the city, I realized that it was late afternoon on Sunday, and the reason that there was so little traffic probably had something to do with some stupid football game on TV:
The game was unavoidable, though – even after finding a little Cuban restaurant, Cha Cha Cha’s, the televisions were blaring with the play-by-plays of felons chasing each other around on a field over a ball and sheep living vicariously through the exploits of these overpaid morons. We focused on the sangria and tapas instead.
The next morning, after checking out of the hotel, I was given the chance to experience something that I had never yet experienced: a zombie. Yes, the undead. I mean, that’s all I can assume that this cab driver was, because the only alternative was that he stole his clothes from a dead hobo who shit his pants and was eating limburger cheese while farting from his mouth.
He didn’t ask for brains, though, so maybe he was only freshly undead. Or French. I threw dollar bills at him and rolled out of the cab before he could even come to a complete stop at the Oakland airport.
I boarded my flight at 1:00 PM PST, looking fresh and happy and smiley, but by the time I landed at almost midnight EST, even with interesting conversation with my row-mate who is a foodie and a restaurant developer, even with more Archer (godDAMN I love that show!), and even with every First Class amenity available, I was ready to get home.
And now I’m home, and everything is the way I left it, which is frustrating, because I really hoped that magical fairies would sneak into the house and do all the dishes and go grocery shopping and do my laundry and bake cookies while I was gone. And then I hoped that they would do all that stuff while I sat here and wrote an entire treatise on my trip instead of doing any chores, but . . . . well, fuck. It hasn’t happened yet. I CAN WAIT, MAGICAL FAIRIES!
(Oh, and finally, here’s my photo for the FRIENDS photo-a-day challenge, although without any of the text that I’ve been writing for each post, because, seriously? I just wrote a fucking book here.):