Sunday, November 19, 2006

The whirlwind continues

Sometimes when life gets crazy, I think, "Oh, it's just a really busy month." Tatertot says she does that too. But we realized we are just deluding ourselves. So continues the battle of work vs. play vs. rest. Ah well, here are highlights of the last crazy month:

A Visit to the Big Apple with BK

I went on a week-long trip to NYC with BK for fun and the AIGA Gain conference (on Business & Design). We karaoke'd with Linda, KT, and Albie at a dive bar in Chinatown. Cousin Bill, as usual, showed us all kinds of great food and shops. I picked up a couple of cute collector toys and vintage accessories in Greenwich.

Glowing Apple in the Big AppleI ate a lot of Asian cuisine this time, like fancy sushi, Thai, Chinese, Automat food, and soup noodles. Bill also took us to some yummy soul food and later to the most amazing dessert place called, "Room 4 Dessert." We toured the Rockwell Group's studios and saw some cool presentations at the conference, including a funny one by the guy who did The Bubble Project.

BK and I visited the glowing Apple Store late at night for a geeky kick. And we saw "A Chorus Line," in the furthest seats back, but it was still a good view. And I finally got to see the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store! I didn't buy anything there, but Grace did take me to the Penguin store, where I picked up a cute dress.

Happy Birthday, Scorpios!

I am living proof that Scorpios and Leos really like each other. I am a Leo, and the Scorpio birthdays were out of control this month. I know of at least NINE friends (Aynne, Tater, TK, KT, Ernie, Matte, Genghis, Josh, JY) who have birthdays this month. I was kind of freaking out about all the invitations and planning. Sadly I couldn't attend them all. (Do you realize that Scorpio babies probably had parents who got it on around Valentine's Day? How cheesy is that!?)

Anyway, I helped plan a surprise house party for Tater (which somehow evolved into a karaoke fans vs. karaoke-phobic crowd), a group dinner/gift for TK, and I sent a gift to KT who decided to spend her day in L.A. I tried to attend parties for the others, but sadly I couldn't make all of them.

JY's birthday/housewarming was rather impressive; it turns out he lives a block away from me, and his stunning new condo looked like something out of "Queer Eye." It was newly decorated, very spacious, with original art on the walls, a newly tiled fireplace, and a beautiful view of the city. And they hired a bartender to serve drinks. Happy Birthday, indeed!!

Dodging bullets, drunkards, and eggs

I returned from NYC, just in time for Halloween. I joined a team of friends to perform the dance moves from MJ's "Beat It" and Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield." We had been holding weekly rehearsals for just over a month. Last year a big chunk of this group had performed "Thriller" in the Castro. I even got my friend Michelle to help record video of the rehearsals and Halloween night performance.

We even had a dress rehearsal the night before Halloween, in an old, empty Wonder Bread factory warehouse. On Halloween, we met up at Joy's place and headed to the very crowded Castro district in 80s-colored, raggedy layers of fishnet, lace, funky belts, and Members Only jackets.

We picked a spot in front of Sullivan's Funeral Home. Our dance routine was short, so we repeated it every 30 minutes or so. The crowds loved it! They were snapping pictures, and shouting in excitement. And sometimes you'd get a drunk passerby trying to get in on the dance routine. At one point someone dressed as a giant piece of toast tried to butt in. It was pretty funny.

Around 10:30pm, we started to get in position for our last performance. But then we started to notice a surly group of people pass through the crowds. Then we saw a few of them verbally arguing right next to us. We sensed something wasn't right, so we started to back away. Then, we heard the sound of broken glass, and then, 5 or 6 gunshots! Someone screamed and everyone scattered, shoving down the street barricades. I ducked behind a big metal thing on the street divider, covering my head, hoping the police would show up soon. Some of us weren't sure it was real; we thought, "Was that gunfire? Or firecrakers?" But an ambulance showed up, and the next morning it was reported that 7 or so people were hit by gunfire!

After some minutes, the police showed up on motorbikes, charging through the crowds. Never have I been so close to gunfire. The cell phone towers were overloaded, so I could hardly even get mobile texting to work. As we tried to account for all our dancer friends, we couldn't find two of them until later in the evening. On the way to Joy's place, where we finally reassembled, we also passed by a Bomb Squad vehicle. Maybe it was there as a precaution?

The freaky irony was that our performance started with a fake knife fight between rival gangs, except our fight was to be interrupted by Michael Jackson's "It doesn't matter, who's wrong or right, just Beat it!"

What a horribly somber evening to what started as a very fun night. That will be my last Halloween in the Castro.

***

Walking around in San Francisco has afforded me funny and awkward moments with drunk people. Recently I had a late night craving for nachos, so I headed to Panchitas. As I started to order my takeout, a girl walked into the restaurant and asked, "Excuse me, but where did you get your boots? They are so awesome!" I sheepishly told her they were a splurge purchase I bought a year ago at Bloomies. She said, "Oh, that was a goood splurge. I'm sorry, I'm just drunk and saw you walking down the street and I rreeally liked your boots, so I just had to ask! They are so great!"

And then she left the restaurant!

Later, as I waited for my food, a drunk homeless man barged in and started pestering another table. The waitress tried to get him out, but he resisted. Finally, another customer persisted and had to shove the guy out the door. Ahh, adventures in the Mission.

***

Last Friday, I gathered some ol' Bruin buddies for a comedy improv show (My coworker, Jim, and his girlfriend were starring in it). Afterward, we chatted over drinks at the Chieftain pub. It was a fun and nerdy conversation, talking about etymology, playing silly word games and quizzing each other on two-hit wonders. Afterwards, we were waiting around for a cab at 2am, and then, THWACK! My friends Pete and Tater were EGGED!

We couldn't believe it. Pete got egged on his jacket sleeve, but poor Tater got hit in the neck, so it got ALL over her white jacket, underneath her shirt, and on her shoes. I think she even got bruised. WHO does this!? I thought they reserved that sort of asinine activity for places where there's nothing to do! And to hit a PERSON is so mean!! I was also wearing a white coat, standing next to Tater when it happened. It could have been me! I guess I'm good at dodging bullets and eggs. That's just a little too much luck. Either I've got some good karma working for me, or some bad karma is coming my way...

Mo Munny, mo probs

Tater joined me at the AIGA's Night of Adult Toys, which isn't as dirty as that sounds. It was a silent auction of collectible Munny vinyl toys, customized by various designers, to fundraise for future AIGA events. There were free drinks and snacks, and the San Francisco Design Center was packed with snappily dressed designers. We bidded (bade?) on three or four Munnies each, but we kept getting outbid. I really wanted to get one that came with a little swirly poop, but I decided I wasn't willing to pay $165 for it.

Lite Brite Fro!But we also entered a raffle by one of the sponsors for a Nano, and Tater actually won! It was the special edition red one, and it matched her red trenchcoat! What a treat!

Then the emcee quickly read off all the names of the winning bids for the Munnies. And then I heard my name! I was so confused! I was sure I was outbid on everything. I waited around a bit for them to sort it out, but finally we realized that they had made a mistake. They just didn't read the real winner on the swirly-poo Munny, cuz the winning bid was scrawled so small underneath my name. Oh well.

Recently I asked Tater if she was using the Nano or if she was selling it. She said she wasn't cuz she already had an iPod. Then she offered to give it to me, since I just have an old broken one. Yay! I have such neato friends.

***

I'm hoping to take it easy now, but who am I kidding? Did I mention that I'm the only designer assigned to a project at work, about Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Relief? We had a mostly positive meeting/workshop last week with representatives from The Red Cross, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, Microsoft and Google. I presented our demo so far to this audience, which included my manager and one of our company founders. Plus I've got another holiday side project in the works.

Thank god we have time off for Thankgiving. On to the next crazy month!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Josh said...

If you didn't realize it already, Scorpios are a result of Valentine's Day ;)

8:16 AM  

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