Tuesday, September 21, 2004

please replace me with an Atari

<>So Saturday I had friends up from the south bay to hang out in the City and do City stuff. There was a tiki art exhibit which was the catalyst for making all of this happen, and while I don’t know how interested anyone was in the actual tiki art, it worked to get my friends to come see me, so I was happy. There were a few pieces in the gallery that I really enjoyed, but we were done rather quickly. We had time to kill so we stopped at a dive bar for a drink so we could feed the meter one last time before dinner. (After trying to explain to Sara that in San Francisco, we don’t just sit on park benches in the Tenderloin to pleasantly relax and feed pigeons and take in the scenery. There’s a reason there’s a giant fence around that park.)
Now, I’ve lived in this neighborhood for ten years, but I clean up better than most of the other residents. I got the distinct feeling they had us pegged for out of towners that got lost in the slums. The first charm was that the bartendress asked us what we wanted, but told us “nothing complicated.” Yay! What a great place! We went about enjoying our drinks while all hell broke loose around us, with a drunken Irishman throwing a cellphone, smashing a bottle, and storming out. Awesome!

On to dinner, at Axum East. I’ve been to the one in the Lower Haight several times, and was pleasantly surprised. Much bigger, and the food seemed just as good. A little different ambiance, but whatever.

Decided to catch the earlier Mousetrap show instead of going to the Vertigo bar, and since I was confused about the actual time, we piled into the car and went. At some point I realized it was an hour earlier than I’d thought so we stopped for a Barrel of Monkeys flaming drink for four at the Lingba Lounge. Charles requested parlor tricks and got them, then looked perturbed.
Out to Hunter’s Point for the Mousetrap thingy. There was liquor and a burn barrel and some couches, so I was happy. The sky was beautiful and I had some of my favorite people around. It was a good time. Oh yeah, there was a life size mousetrap, like the game. Yeah. Cool, but just a fraction of the fun for me. Fun was getting up and down the hillside in my ridiculous furry platform boots with chrome heels. I totally did not break my ankles!

Where next? Sara wants to go to Noc Noc. I mention donuts at the roundabout and Charles wants to go back to do it. And the Mighty Festiva is squealing with joy as we jerk around the circle several times. Charles has not been drinking, and deserves to have his fun too. Finally we exit the circle and make our way to Noc Noc where we get nearly rockstar parking and find ourselves with a crappy floor table. We are all folded up sitting on the floor in a room full of stinky smokers and hippies. The table next to us looks more comfortable. Sara mentions that next she wants to go somewhere she can dance, and I suggest the table next to us. It hardly takes any cajoling at all, and she is ON IT! Charles gave me money to put in her waistband. The people sitting there look bemused, then get up and vacate. Yay! We got a much better table. Unfortunately, sara cannot find the money she earned.

Saturday morning we got ready to go meet Sara and Charles to ride Mt. Hamilton. Paul has never been before, this is one of my favorite rides. But, it’s raining. Just a little when I wake up. Forecast says it will clear up. Anyway, we’re all on dirtbikes, and traction is really just a bonus. But Charles will have none of it, so Paul and I decided to go without them. Then got lazy and confused and made bizarre plans based on the fact that we both thought it was Saturday. Anyway, it ended up not mattering because he couldn’t start his bike. It seems that the XR series won’t run without a sparkplug, and his was stolen while it was parked by my house. Sheesh! Very ironic, since we had just been discussing this very issue, and the fact that his sparkplug wouldn’t even work for smoking crack. Something about a carbon core, or, oh who cares, anyway, two up to Scuderia was an adventure, as I haven’t had a passenger in ages and I only have one passenger peg.

Fast forward to the afternoon, when we finally got to Mt. Hamilton. It had rained in San Jose also, but it wasn’t raining when we got there. The ride up was nice, very little traffic, but the road was a bit slippery. Water in the corners where the trees were. Very thick fog at the top, but very very pretty. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve gotten to the top and NOT seen that asshole UC cop. Guess it was too cold for him to bother. Took the little telescope tour/lecture, and warmed our asses on the heaters inside, then headed down the back. I think this was one of the nicest runs I’ve ever had down the backside and Mines road. Saw a lot of wildlife—deer, quail, some other neat looking birds. Paul saw two tarantulas. Just a beautiful day for a ride. Stopped at the Junction, which for once had no other motorcycles, but was full of colorful locals inside. Headed back into the East Bay, where I of course became lost. Took me like an hour to recover and finally found my way back for a cup of tea before heading home for another week of drudgery.

I thought the whole point of computers and all that crap was so that we could spend all our time playing, while the robots and computers did all the work.
I feel so gypped.

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