May 3rd, 2008

Island in the Sun

Wanna Go for a Ride?

A few weeks ago, I went to hecubot's book reading in the Haight. Fellow Buffista Sylvie was there, and she had brought a friend of hers from work. Or her ex-work, I think it was, actually. Anyway, before the reading, the three of us were talking, and her friend mentioned she lived in the East Bay, so I offered her a ride across the bay; I could drop her off at a BART station on the other side on my way home. She thanked me for the offer, and we joked around a bit about the state of my car. We talked a little more after the reading, too.

I also offered to drop Sylvie off at her place, of course, as I had done so on previous occasions. By the time we were off, however, her friend had unexpectedly changed her mind, as she was asking how late the BART trains ran and when the last bus might leave. I told her it was really no trouble for me to take her, but I came to realize that wasn't actually the issue. I tried not to take it personally even though I was a little hurt that Sylvie's trust in me wasn't enough for her. And besides, I had taken a ride with a woman I'd just met a couple weeks before. But I knew that was just the way the world was. Plus, she could have had some bad experiences of this nature.

Muni had shut down early, so she had no choice but to ride with me a little while longer after I dropped Sylvie off. I took her to the nearest BART station on my way to the highway.

I considered writing a post about the experience, but it's just as well as I didn't because it may work better in this context.

Tonight, I went to a Rice Alumni Happy Hour, the most well attended I'd ever been to. After the drinking, those of us who remained went out for our traditional burritos.

Emily (tigeremme) had BARTed in, and she asked me for a ride across the bridge before I had a chance to offer it to her. Outside, the group were determining which direction they were heading, BARTward or anti-BARTward. Ryan was talking to a girl I had seen back at the Skylark and throughout the night; I didn't recognize her and had not gotten a chance to introduce myself, but I assumed she was a Rice alum who knew someone, possibly Dave, whom she'd sat next to at dinner. I had noticed her iPhone a few minutes earlier, and that was the extent of our interaction. Ryan noted that I was heading toward the East Bay, so she would have company on BART. But then he realized I wasn't taking BART. I said I could still take her across, however, and asked where she needed to go. Her car was in Berkeley, Shattuck and something-or-other. I could do that, sure. Sometime during this conversation, we introduced ourselves.

So she, Emily, and I walked to my car. On the way, I discovered that she wasn't a Rice alum at all; she was a friend of Ryan's from work. So she didn't actually know any of us, but she said we seemed like good people, and I agreed. She and Emily talked music during the drive, and I learned that she had taught herself how to play the accordion, which I thought was awesome. I dropped Emily off at Rockridge and then attempted to find Shattuck and something-or-other. Ryan's friend thanked me for the ride, and I said that people had given me rides for years and years, so now I took every opportunity to give people rides as a form of repayment. What else did I have a car for?

I followed some random streets and found my way without her having to bust out Google Maps. I dropped her off at her car, and she thanked me once again.

Now, she hadn't even met me when she accepted a ride from me, and she didn't know I was also taking Emily (I don't remember the exact timeline of when I brought that up, but I honestly don't think it made a difference, based on her reactions and behavior, especially in comparison to the earlier woman). But I assume she thought I was safe enough based on Ryan's trust, or perhaps she was just incredibly naive.

Which is the more common reaction, then? Do you routinely accept rides from people you hardly know based on their association with people you trust? Are you automatically suspicious of anyone (especially a man) who offers you a ride? Do I look like a serial killer rapist?
Blue spirit

The Cut of My Jib, the Height of My Brow

This morning, I saw Iron Man, which was awesome and badass and funny and entertaining. And the scene after the end of the credits is unbelievably flailtastic. The script was clever, the performances were great, and the special effects were sweet. Even arbitrarium, who knew nothing about the comic, loved the movie and will be convincing people who were skeptical to see it.

Since there was pizza in the movie (er, spoiler warning?), we had lunch at Pizza My Heart. Then we checked out GameStop, I to see whether they had a demo of GTA IV to play (they did not, sadly) and she to buy Mario Kart Wii.

After returning home, I walked to a nearby comic book store for Free Comic Book Day. I picked up an X-Men by Mike Carey and a Superman by Grant Morrison. I also read the latest issue of Ex Machina without buying it. Just like old times!

When I came back, I still had to wait a few minutes for Doctor Who to be ready. Donna continues to be awesome.

Then I watched last night's Battlestar Galactica, in which very little happened.

The order in which I watched these two shows is indicative of my comparative level of excitement for each.

I finished the third trade of Astonishing X-Men, which is entertaining enough but maddeningly incomprehensible to someone who wasn't reading Grant Morrison's New X-Men previously. Thank God for Wikipedia, even though I did get WikiSpoiled.

It had been almost forty-eight hours since I had watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother, so I had to watch one. I'm almost done with the first season, and I love it, and I'm addicted. I hope I can get caught up before the season finale.

And then I attended the Berkeley Opera. Wearing this shirt. Emily (tigeremme) was assistant conductor/musical assistant/coach/accompanist/violinist. The program comprised two one-acts. The first was Bluebeard's Castle, by Bartók. They had "supertitles," so called because the English translation was above the stage. It was like watching anime! Live! And in Hungarian! The music was good, and about halfway through, I picked up on the symbolism and appreciated the story (what little there was) a bit more. During the intermission, I entertained Grace by reading aloud the synopsis of the second opera, L'enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel, because if there's one thing I like, it's dramatic reading. The Ravel was very different, since it had puppets and dancers in addition to the action on the projection screen. I'd never seen a ten-year-old boy be attacked by his math book before. Opera is weird.

This is all just to say that my day looked like this:
  • Iron Man
  • GameStop
  • Free Comic Book Day
  • Ex Machina
  • Doctor Who
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Astonishing X-Men
  • How I Met Your Mother
I think that sort of sums me up as a person, actually.