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Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Backwards Down the Stream - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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July 13th, 2007


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01:51 am - Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Backwards Down the Stream
It was a weekend so wild it could not be written about until Wednesday! Whoa!

This just in: it is now Thursday.

First on the itinerary was seeing Transformers with gymble and her husband. And, you guys, it was awesome! Really! There were GIANT ROBOTS TRANSFORMING INTO STUFF AND THEN STUFF TRANSFORMING INTO GIANT ROBOTS AND BACK AND FORTH AND I WANTED TO FLAIL EVERY TIME. It was thoroughly entertaining (and funny!), and there were hot chicks, one with cleavage and one with an Australian accent. It was everything you could want in a Transformers movie, except a plot that makes sense and brilliant dialogue.

Before the movie, however, I got to see the Cloverfield trailer, which is taking the Internet by storm. I had seen the bootleg version, but it was nothing compared to the experience of seeing it in a theatre. It was way intense and really awesome and I'm looking forward to it. If you enjoy Ye Olde Mysterious Website ARG Nonsense, check out 011808 and 1_18_08.

After the movie, I made my way into the city to celebrate Dan's (incidentist) birthday at the 21st Amendment, which was located on 563 2nd St. Not 2nd Ave., which is where I ended up initially. When I did get to 2nd St., I was incredibly confused to find a plethora of parking spaces, including one right by the bar itself. I actually reparked there for the novelty of it.

I was a mere forty-five minutes late, but, luckily, they hadn't ordered yet. And there were, like, a dozen people there. Dan is very popular. Some people I knew, and most people I didn't, but I sat next to Colin and spent a lot of time talking to Tom and his girlfriend...Jessica. There are a lot of Jessicas in Dan's world (and mine, honestly, and with very few exceptions, I have found them all to be good people). (To be a more accurate storyteller, perhaps I should have oriented Tom as Jessica's boyfriend, as I don't know whether Dan knew Tom independently of his friendship with Jess, but that would ruin my punchline. And you can't sacrifice a good punchline. Or a lame one.) Notable conversations included scientific nitpicks in Transformers and Live Free or Die Hard and the idea to start a small business dedicated to answering Hollywood's science and technology questions so that they get it right.

It was an unexpected surprise (is there any other kind?) to see Sarah, one of Dan's exes from way back, whom I had met...way back. We had an Invisible Fight and then threw coasters at each other.

Also in attendance was Trinity (yes, that's her name, isn't that awesome?), who found my voice familiar because we had seen Urinetown together several years ago. Now, she was in a band called Out Damned Spot. I laughed at the name, and she said, "You get the name?" Who wouldn't? Apparently, a lot of people, as she always gets asked about the name, like is it about Tide or something? She was baffled, since she thought it to be the third most popular Shakespeare line. The first was "Romeo, Romeo..." The second was, of course, "To be or not to be..." And the third was "Out damned spot!" Really? We discussed. It was good Shakespeare fun.

Afterward, a small cohort of us attempted to go to Kan Zaman, which turned out to be extremely packed and busy, so we hung out at a dive bar called Mario's. But before that, Dan, who was turning 27 on 7/7/07, bought seven lottery scratchers. In the bar, we all took turns scratching. And Trinity's ticket won! A free ticket, but it won!

Then Jess arrived, and her ticket won FORTY BUCKS! The stars shone upon Dan, indeed. Not brightly, though, as his free ticket was a clunker.

I left Dan stranded in the Haight, gasping for his life. Or I drove him home. One of the two.

Sunday was to be an exciting day, as I was going to meet wounded, from the GGMM! I was late, again, but more like half an hour due to traffic rather than forty-five minutes due to being an idiot. I still had bizarre parking car-ma, however, as I managed to find an open spot on Lincoln at 17th, giving me only two blocks to walk. wounded greeted me with an exuberant hug and began talking really fast, which she would continue to do throughout the day. I am a fast talker, too, but unlike me, she seemed to be unable to talk slow...at any time. It makes everything exciting!

She introduced me to her friend Apple and her sister Pear (in case you're wondering, those are not their real names...but even the names they gave me initially weren't their real names! They were tricking me the whole time with their Americanized versions of their actual Greek names!), and we began walking toward the Japanese Tea Garden, wherever it was. We appeared to be going in the right direction. We walked along Stow Lake. And wounded saw the people in rowboats. And decided we should do that. So we did. And it was the most awesome disaster since Independence Day.



I would like you to take a close look at these pictures. First, note that each of us is only holding one oar. Then, note that Pear in the back appears to be sitting at the front of the boat, which is designed to cut through the water. Finally, note the directon in which we appear to be rowing.

Your eyes are not deceiving you: we are rowing backwards. This was about the only way we could achieve any semblance of forward motion after going in circles for about ten minutes.



We let Apple have a go at rowing herself. She found it very difficult.



So I helped her out. She and I ended up being the best rowing team. P.S. wounded sucks at rowing. It took a while for her to point the oar right so that she wasn't just slicing through the water.



Rowing is HARD! Lookit!



And it's damn nigh impossible to do it all by yourself! Especially if you're very, very right-handed, and your left arm is basically useless when it comes to coordination and strength. I couldn't keep both oars oriented in the right direction and push them both with the same force. Well, I couldn't do either one individually, which made the combination impossible.



wounded gave it her best shot, but she couldn't see through her hair, and we crashed into an iceberg.

Well, actually, I did most of the crashing. As we attempted to go through a tunnel, we began drifting to the right, right into the tunnel wall. Pear made her sole contribution to the team by pushing off the wall as I pushed off with my oar. When we were out of the woods, we were...right into the woods, as we were still on the edge near the bank, and the water was shallow and not permissive to the oar. I tried to push us away, and as we made our escape, we went through some branches. It was an adventure, really.



Girls gone wild!

At least the scenery was nice:



All the other boats laughed at us and looked at us funny since we were rowing backwards, but it was the only way we could do it. We tried, several times, to row forward, and every time we made some headway, we ended up going in circles before long. Not that we weren't going in circles most of the time. And running into other boats. It was fucking spectacular. Really, one of the most memorable experiences I've had in a while. Also, I attacked some reeds.

After we got back on land, we tried to get to the Japanese Tea Garden again. On the way, we saw what I had dubbed The Pimple from far away, as it looked like this giant purink hemisphere coming out of the ground. On closer examination, it was actually half a head, an art installation temporarily on display called The Dreamer.



When we finally arrived at the Japanese Tea Garden, we discovered that it cost four dollars to get in, and none of us cared enough to pay to see some flowers. So, it was time to eat. On our way to dinner, we explored the Shakespeare Garden, where a wedding was ending. We paid homage to the copy of a Shakespeare bust and read the hundreds of Shakespeare lines related to flowers and crops and other grow-y things, however tangentially.

I had called zmayhem to ask for food recommendations, and she had singled out Park Chow as the place to go, so that's where we went. It was right next to a magic shop that was closed, but we looked at the stuff in the window.

Dinner was notable because wounded ordered Thai-style noodles that were a little too spicy for her. She was turning red. As an Indian, having been born with taste buds of steel, I found it pretty funny. Apple got the same thing and had no such issues. Pear was very glad she'd gotten the pesto pasta that had no chance of being spicy. I got smiling noodles with chicken, and the dish was incredibly flavorful, with a strong lime tinge to it. JZ (on Emmett's behalf) had also recommended the ginger cake, so wounded and I split the ginger cake, which came with pumpkin ice cream. It was very good as well.

After dinner, I offered the girls a ride back to their hostel, and they were extremely gracious, but, seriously, guys, that's what cars are for. They're for giving people rides! Why make people take three times as long in a bus or two? On the walk back to the car, it was very windy and somewhat chilly, but I was okay, whereas Apple was still cold. As she'd been coveting my jacket earlier, I now had no choice but to give it to her, because that's what I do.

Riding in a car is also better than taking a bus because you get the radio, which meant I could turn up great songs like "Home" by Great Northern, which wounded took a liking to. With the help of her map, I impressed myself by getting us to our destination without getting significantly lost (Geary turned into O'Farrell for no apparent reason at some point, but I managed to get us back on track), and the Canadian trio got to experience the ridiculous hills we have to drive up and down.

We arrived at the hostel, and I parked illegally to give everyone hugs goodbye. It had been quite a fun time, I say.


Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: Interpol - Pioneer to the Falls

(43 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:dazzy9
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:18 am (UTC)
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Awesome pictures! And, you're a great story teller. I feel like I was right there. :-)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! That's one of my favorite compliments, as it's what any storyteller strives for.
[User Picture]
From:cindywrites
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:33 am (UTC)
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This just in: it is now Thursday.

This just in: it is now Friday (the thirteenth).

That's quite a weekend. The boat trip must have been hysterical. I was really worried I was going to read about a shoulder dislocation when I saw the rowing. I'm glad I didn't.
[User Picture]
From:cindywrites
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:33 am (UTC)
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Ack! I wasn't first. How was I not first?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
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You snooze, you lose, Cindy!
[User Picture]
From:cindywrites
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
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But I was not snoozing as your email can attest. *sigh* I fail at the internets.
[User Picture]
From:tamarai
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
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So she has snossed and lost?

(Sorry, I cannot resist the power of Mike Doughty's genius in the face of "you snooze you lose.")
From:metabeta
Date:July 14th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
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I literally gasped when I read your comment.

*high-five Doughty love*
[User Picture]
From:tamarai
Date:July 14th, 2007 04:31 am (UTC)
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Good gasps are good.

*high-five back atcha*
From:blackbird01
Date:July 13th, 2007 11:41 am (UTC)
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That sounds like a great visit. And the pictures of the rowing fiasco are hilarious.
From:metabeta
Date:July 13th, 2007 11:41 am (UTC)
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I was worried half the time that the story would go, "And then rowing dislocated my shoulder again." I worry.

Also, I'm so glad you liked the robot movie. I liked the robot movie, too.

Also, your voicemail pre-robot movie was pretty good. I give it three out of four stars.

[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
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Damn, I'm slipping.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jennythen
Date:July 13th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
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That sounds like so much fun! I love that you wore the shirt.

Detroit to San Francisco, round trip: $463. I'd have to sleep on your couch and I wouldn't be able to afford to do anything besides eat cereal and ramen and watch television, but we could make it work.

Amazingly, I dreamed about visiting you last night. I'd won tickets to the LA NBC Studios to meet Jenna Fischer and Christina Aguilera, and when the meeting was over I noticed the cheap bastards hadn't paid for my return flight. Because you were the only person I knew in LA (thanks, dream geography, for having my back) I had to sheepishly call you for help. You picked me up and I got to see your sweet apartment and meet your pet squirrel.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
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Aww! I love that dream! And you are totally welcome to sleep on my couch and eat cereal and ramen and watch television. Especially if you bring Jenna Fischer.
[User Picture]
From:annabelleonyx
Date:July 13th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
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How come when I went to SF I didn't have fun adventures like that? Ohhh. I bet it was because I didn't meet up with any famous internet people.

Next time.

The story is awesome.
[User Picture]
From:homegoddess
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
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What a great day. Love your pictures.
Thai-style noodles that were a little too spicy for her. She was turning red.
Mr. HG loves spicy food but it also makes him turn red and it makes sweat run down is forehead. He eats it anyway. I think it's cute.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
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You cut your hair!

Is your left arm really pretty useless? I'm surprised. I sort of thought most people could use either arm for most thing. Which one do you dislocate?

Also, I swear, many people don't think it's no big deal to give rides. I personally think it's all about where you were raised as places have very different car cultures that determines attitudes. Also, rowing is so not that hard! Your boat must have been defective.

Final thought: my sexy Indian buddy from law school can't eat anything spicy at all. I don't think that's the reason for you buds of steel.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
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You cut your hair!
My parents made me.

Also, I swear, many people don't think it's no big deal to give rides. I personally think it's all about where you were raised as places have very different car cultures that determines attitudes.
I don't know, I guess in high school I got rides home and to various events from so many people (and then in college...and grad school) that I'm now making up for all that.

I sort of thought most people could use either arm for most thing. Which one do you dislocate?
The left one, but it was useless before that. I've always been very right-handed. My left hand is so uncoordinated, it's kind of pathetic.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Kind of interesting then that you show aptitude in things associated with both sides of the brain.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
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Isn't it? I took that brain test and came up 70% left-brained, though.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
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maybe there is little correlation and it has more to do with upbringing? I can do everything almost as well leftie as rightee, except use chopsticks or print, but I can barely add.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
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well, and even your writing leans towards precision and rule following, which I associate with math/sciency things. Maybe 70 fits you.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
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True. I suppose I am only 30% poetic and creative.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
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Psh. intuitive and, rumor says, sometimes funny & witty. Who said poetic?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
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Intuitive? What does that mean in this context?

I like to think that sometimes there is a poetry in my words.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Isn't that the type of thinking you do 30% of the time. Are you being LITERAL?

I'm going to go ... over there. Because I can't tell tone right now.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
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I'm still not entirely sure what you're getting at, but you don't have to go over there! I'm not mad at you or anything. I'm just curious. I'm not sure how my intuitiveness, or whatever you're describing, translates to my writing.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
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I wasn't linking intuition to writing, I was just rattling off one of the brain traits ... creativity, holistic, intuitive, etc. I think of writing and other 'creative' things as coming from here. You write, but you're not a free form writer, that I've noticed. I have no comment on your writing other than that. I have no comment on your intuition, having no frame of reference, nor many other traits I may associate with that brain hemisphere, except perhaps wit/funny.
[User Picture]
From:whileyouspiral
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
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It sounds like you guys had a fantastic time! Wasn't there a mention of there being video-graphic evidence of the rowing adventure? Or did I just dream that up?

(BTW, this is edk from the GGMM. Just so you don't think I'm a stalker. With you being famous on the internet and all, I'm sure you have your fair share of stalkers.)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
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You did not dream it up! But it was on wounded's camera. It's very entertaining and worth waiting for, whenever she gets home to upload it.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
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Aw. *hugs*
[User Picture]
From:tamarai
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
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Fun weekend! That is by far the best review of Transformers that I have read. (I haven't seen the movie, mind.) Is it okay if I share with various and sundry friends, both real and Internetski?

Also, you so have to start that business. Get rich off of Hollywood, Sunil! I implore you!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Feel free to share the love of giant robots and cleavage!
[User Picture]
From:tamarai
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
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Why, thanks! Oh, and here's hoping you have another awesome weekend in store!
[User Picture]
From:meghatron
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)

Transformers

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I've been bitching about Bumblebee the fucking Camero for months now, and then in the movie they have him pull up to a yellow Bug in the car lot and all was forgiven.

The sound designer deserves an tech Oscar, hands down. Those effects were incredible.

I loved it so so much, except of course for the plot and Michael Bay's disturbing attachment to slow-motion for no reason whatsoever. Because I might have missed Jon Voigt getting off that helicopter. WTF. Giving Sam the cube to protect/destroy at the end, I have no idea who failed to give notes on that one. Dumb Autobots.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Transformers

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The sound designer deserves an tech Oscar, hands down. Those effects were incredible.
*bwoh-bwah-bwah-bwoh-bwah-bwah*

Because I might have missed Jon Voigt getting off that helicopter. WTF.
HA HA HA HA I KNOW. That was the first time in the movie I noticed the slow-motion because it was completely gratuitous. Other times, like, you know, during COOL THINGS LIKE FIGHTS, I thought it was cool. Except for the fact that we were in EXTREME CLOSE UP and I couldn't tell what was going on half the time.
[User Picture]
From:soleta_nf
Date:July 14th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
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That half a head photo with you is SO DAMN COOL. And what does your shirt say? Oh wait - 'I'm famous on the internet'. LOL. <3
[User Picture]
From:wounded82
Date:July 16th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
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Hee. Awesome pictures. And it seems as if I am singing "row row row your boat" or something in that first picture of me.

Quite impressed: you are quite the storyteller! I wasn't half as witty or engaging in my entry on our meet-up! Well done.

It was quite fun, dude. Thanks for a great afternoon! We shall do it again someday!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 16th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
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Quite impressed: you are quite the storyteller! I wasn't half as witty or engaging in my entry on our meet-up! Well done.
I try! Thanks.
[User Picture]
From:kiwikazoo
Date:July 19th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Ha! See, I don't find it at all odd to row backwards since I...you know, actually row. It makes more sense to put the force on by pushing with your legs than by using your arms and back, anyways, and it's easier to control the oars.

Also, ARE YOU LADIESMAN217?!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
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Ahahahaha. Oh, eBay humor.

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