This just in: it is now Thursday.
First on the itinerary was seeing Transformers
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.