Monday, July 12, 2004

Friday Night

Despite the overwhelming work-load (we have a course that must be completed, printed, bound and delivered by next week), I left work at noon on Friday. We were supposed to be in The City between 2 and 8 to register for the walk. (Aside: For those of you who don’t live in the Bay Area, "The City" is San Francisco; it always has a capital T and capital C, otherwise it’s just the main part of whatever outlying city you live in).

So I left at noon. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to leave home until closer to 3:00. Damnit. It’s an hour drive without traffic and I hate being late! But our company has a very generous donation matching policy and they had agreed to match up to $1000.00 for each of us, so we really didn’t want to leave without the money. Only thing is, the folks responsible for requesting and cutting the checks didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Not only did they not have the checks ready for us when we left at noon, when they finally did get it done, they only gave us one check to share! What a pain in the ass that turned out to be at registration.

We had an uneventful drive down and only got a little lost trying to find the hotel. On the directions, we were told the hotel was at 1100 Van Ness. Well, folks, let me tell you, if you’re ever going to Cathedral Hill Hotel in The City, it’s at 1101 Van Ness. That’s the other side of the street. That one teeny number becomes a BIG DEAL on a Friday afternoon in rush-hour traffic in the middle of San Francisco!

Whew! Got ourselves turned back around and onto the right side of the street, found the parking garage with no trouble, and hauled our stuff into the hotel for check-in. VERY long lines at the hotel, but the wait was good—everyone there was friendly and enthusiastic. A whole lot of laughter and good-will. It was nice. Oh yeah, and a lot of weird get-ups, too! Just one example: in the lobby, we saw a woman with a hot-pink bob-style wig sporting a necklace made out of squeaky-boobs. Like cat-toys. You squeeze them and they squeak. She called them "Honking Hooters". Hilarious! I got a picture--if it turns out well, I'll edit this message and post it here.

When we registered, we discovered the hotel made a mistake and gave us room with a king bed instead of two queens (let me remind you, I don’t know this woman I’m walking with very well, but I did not relish the idea of sleeping in the same bed with her. Walking for 2 days I can put up with, but she’s just not the sort of person who I would ever really call a friend. We’re friendly co-workers. That’s it). They "rectified" that by giving us a larger room, which still only had one king bed, and reducing the price by $10.00. Ok, so we’ll deal with it. We put our stuff in our room and went down to the walk registration. I don’t even want to relive that here. Suffice to say, after some time, we managed to get all our money posted properly, all our medical forms filed accurately, and that was finally over with.

At the suggestion of my co-walker, we went out to dinner at a steak house up the road. I’ve heard of this place but I’d never been there before. It’s called Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Anyone else ever heard of that &/or gone there? If you went there, did you manage to get out of there for less than $100.00? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Holy crap. $158.00 for dinner. Yeah, it was good. But it would have been better if I was with someone whose company I truly enjoyed. Like a lover, or any family member, or any one of you reading this! Ugh. That’s just too rich for my blood. Man. Ouch. Kate, don’t you dare tell mom how much I spent on that dinner!

It was bearable because I had a couple of drinks. I don’t remember what they were called, but they were total "girl-drinks" and I loved them! Around 9:00, we tripped our way back to the hotel where I promptly went out to our 7th floor balcony to watch the people and have a cigarette. I’m still trying to quit. I’m not there yet. No lectures, please. Then the alcohol took a turn, as it always does for me, and I got very heady and philosophical. I’m not sure if I’m saying that right. Whenever I drink (which is, admittedly, not very often at all), I tend to lose all my charisma—I withdraw into my head, stop talking, and become a people-watcher.

Anyway, I was sitting on the balcony looking across the courtyard and I realized what I thought was another hotel was actually an apartment building. I went on a little mind trip about how transient our society is, but that at least when we’re home, even if that home is only our home for a short while, at least we can be assured MOST of our neighbors are going to be around. I mean, how weird would it be if every single neighbor moved out at the same time? But these apartment dwellers in The City look over a hotel. All their neighbors are transient. How interesting it must be to imagine all these lives. And in a way, also how sad.

We had to catch an early bus, so I went to bed after that little mini-musing and slept like a rock.

Next post, "Day One: Saturday"