Adam Avitable before and after a tiring flight

My gay ol’ time in San Francisco

Adam Avitable is addicted to technology

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:

Adam Avitable is the 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:

Adam Avitable on Twitter

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:

Adam Avitable's view of San Francisco from the Four Seasons

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:

Adam Avitable goes to the movies!

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).

Maura and Dre at Max's Opera Cafe in Palo Alto
Maura and Dre
Thumbs up from Jenny Grace at Max's Opera Cafe in Palo Alto
Jenny Grace
Julia and Shane and Sarah at Max's Opera Cafe in Palo Alto
Julia and Shane and Sarah

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.

Text from Dre

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.

Jess and Dre at the obnoxious, superficial, crowded Madrone Art Bar
Jess and Dre at the obnoxious, superficial, crowded Madrone Art Bar

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!

Muir Woods

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:

Muir Woods

Muir Woods

Muir Woods

Muir Woods

The moon and a tree outside of Muir Woods

Plus, of course, the obligatory, raised camera one-handed self-portrait:

Adam Avitable and Jess

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:

Adam Avitable on Twitter

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.

Sangria and tapas at Cha Cha Cha's in the Mission District

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.

Cab driver in San Francisco who smelled horrible

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.

Adam Avitable before and after a tiring flight

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.):

The One With Joey's Bag
The One With Joey's Bag


48 thoughts on “My gay ol’ time in San Francisco”

  1. My eyes are bleeding.

    Seriously, I *TOTALLY* agree with you on the TSA. I live around Washington DC (because no-one actually lives *IN* DC, the smell of congress would kill them or render them sterile) and work in Seattle Washington.

    I am getting to know the TSA agents by name in Seattle, Milwaukee, and Regan Airports.

    Doesn’t stop them from pissing me off though. I have a “butterfly” bag though, if you travel a lot, I would TOTALLY invest in one. I don’t have to take my laptop out of the bag at all, which makes life less suckish.

      1. @Avitable, I work in a very VERY narrow field and I have kids in school. Until my eldest hit school we would move every year or two… (like the military, minus the shooting and people shouting at me)

        Once the kids were in school, it because obvious that they needed stability. So I go where the work is, and they stay there. I fly home for 4 days every 14 and try to cram a LOT of living into two and a half days. (minus travel time)

      1. @Avitable, I was gonna ask you the same thing about the iPad, but yeah…you are covered with the iPhone and the Kindle. I finally convinced G to stop paying for 3G on her iPad since she carries her new iPhone 4S around with her everywhere. Made no sense to pay for something she won’t be using anymore.

  2. In my defense, I don’t live in the bay area and the whole “non trendy, non uppity bar” text was sent *en route* to said bar, as told to me and not actually seen by me. My host for the evening ended up admitting, at the end of the night -when not one… not two… but THREE drinks had been poured down my shirt by random drunken strangers and I threw a little pouty high-maintenance fit about wanting to GO. RIGHT. NOW! – that he’s really only gone out a few times since moving to the city last year. He was trying really hard to show us a good time and feels really, really bad that it we all didn’t have a better time. I must say, though, that you didn’t even laugh when I called you dude and told you to grind up on somebody at the SUPER trendy, SUPER uppity art bar. So it must have really super sucked zombie taxi driver balls for you. 🙁
    I still loved seeing you and am wishing we’d just gone and hung out in the hotel bar (or something!) with you guys instead. Maybe then my underwear wouldn’t have ended up soaked in liquor. Or maybe they would have, but it would have been more enjoyable.

    1. @Dre, hahah! You know, it wasn’t really *that* bad . . . okay, no, it really was. I don’t actually blame you at all, though – I know you had no idea.

      I’m glad we got to see you guys and hang out, though, and you are right, sometimes having underwear soaked in liquor can be a good thing! 🙂

  3. About 10 years ago, I spent about 24 hrs in Amsterdam, by myself. I had a morning flight the next day and was majorly paranoid about missing the flight back here to the States. Not knowing anyone, not speaking/reading the language, what safer thing could I do than watch a movie? American Beauty.

    What? No Alcatraz?

  4. I’m assuming “twinkle-eyed” is another way of saying “goofy as shit” because that’s what the face I was making in that photo says. Never thought you’d actually post the damned thing.

    I’m really glad I got to see you, meet everyone, and hang out for part of the evening with the group.

    Next time you’re here, we’ll see what we can do about having a box of Rice-a-Roni delivered to you by a nice gay.

  5. Love Cha Cha Cha but love Esperpento’s in the Mission even more.

    And the minute I saw the intersection where the bar is located, I thought to myself, “Oh it has just got to be douchey.” That area of Divis used to be all kinds of gritty but now it seems to attract hipster types.

  6. You can’t tell I was shopped in, at all! I show up in my bikini to most restaurants now-a-days hoping to get better service. Clearly it didn’t work for us this time.

    So glad that you had a good time and hopefully you’ll want to return soon!

    1. @Clown, nope! My Kindle Fire and the Looxcie bluetooth camcorder that I just got are in that picture above. That was taken the night I packed. I was using my iPhone to take the photo, and you’ll see my Android in the photo, along with my case that I use to charge the iPhone.

  7. Glad you had a great time, and sorry I didn’t get down to Palo Alto to see you. It would have been easier for me to meet you for coffee after you visited Muir Woods. I’m very North Bay.

    If you come back again, you should see about visiting Marin Headlands. It’s right off the Golden Gate Bridge, and you get some fantastic views. Angel Island is also really nice, and if you like history, you’d enjoy that as well. It’s an old military base and immigration station.

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