Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cruise Control

I silently made a vow to myself (how else does one do it?...I mean I didn't blog about it, I suppose, or get all Scarlet O'Hara on the field), that I would get out there a little bit more. Spend less time staring aimlessly into the computer, screwing around, doing nothing. Well...I was feeling a little bit like this scene (one of my all time favorite movies, by the by). Apparently when I made this vow I didn't realize how much alcohol it would involve. I suppose it doesn't have to involve alcohol, but, well, it has. Not that I'm complaining.

And ya know what? It's been flipping FUN! This sort of post grad school let's relive undergrad rebirth? I'm enjoying myself. Immensely. I don't know if it's Indian Summer, I don't know if it's putting most of the various things that have happened in the past behind me, becoming more fully in charge of who I am...I dunno. But it's working, you guys. (More after jump...)

I made the "Live like you were dying" vow pre-Louisiana trip, when Angela, my amazing non-stepmom, said, "You really need to be enjoying right now because soon you'll have a job and that'll be that and you won't have this kind of time." Ohhhhh. Valid point. So I should stop moping and obsessing about an irrelevant boy and that I don't (yet) look like Cindy Crawford and embrace all of this? I should practice what I preach and go DO stuff instead of just sitting in front of the computer? Yeah, okay. Makes sense. Think I'll try that.

And I want to thank Sara B. for an off hand comment she made in, like, March to expect more of men which got my tiny brain churning and forced me to put some silly self esteem crap behind me. Thank you, Sara B. and your awesome (free) psychoanalysis!

So I'm enjoying the hell out of this free time. New Orleans you read about (mostly, I never wrapped up that story. But it was epic). But since then? Fantastic. And yes, some of this is diversion from the looming grey wall of realness that is on the horizon. The one I continue to ignore with the time tested method of denial being more than a river in Egypt. With the ostrich head in the sand method that is effective but ineffective. Ya know. What I always do.

This weekend. Sigh. This weekend. Did I mention the weather in SF is amazing right now? I made a plan on Thursday and had someone who was willing to follow me in my ridiculousness. Props to Cheryl on that front. We went to Presidio Social Club for lunch, which was actually disappointing in comparison to the other times I have been there. Then we walked down to the Marina Greens and watched the Blue Angel's "rehearse" for their Saturday and Sunday shows. (Did I mention it's fleet week? The biggest we've had in 10 years? With 1k sailors invading our city? WHHHHEEEE!) And that was flipping awesome. I love the military. I love military planes. I get giddy and ridiculous about it. There are things I find sexy that are...I dunno, odd?: the catcher throwing the runner out trying to steal, a ferocious hit in football, and the sound of jet engines. Judging by the group of people standing along the bay in San Francisco, I am not alone in this last belief. Cheryl and I discussed the relative sexyness of being a "naval aviator". Rank higher or lower than professional baseball player? We were torn. But on a crystal clear SF day as a the FA/18 Hornet flies just over the Golden Gate Bridge and then incredibly fast across the bay, no more than a 100' off the water? We went with naval aviator. So. Bad. Ass.

After the practice, it still being daylight, and a Giants game ready to commence in about an hour an a half, us both being unemployable law grads, we did what any self respecting person would do in that situation: we drank. First at Delaney's on Chestnut and then wandering up to Union Street. We attempted to go to the Bus Stop, a fratastic Marina sports bar. I should point out for those of you not from here that might wander upon this here blog: I am not a denizen of the Marina. In thinking about it, the last time I had hung out there was January. The Marina, while home to cute shops and great restaurants, is where every sorority girl and frat boy from Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin moves when arriving in our fair city. They are skinny, they are blonde, they are Tory Burch wearing drones. I am not one of them.

So after realizing that The Bus Stop was decidedly not going to work for us, we went to the almost totally underground den that is Bar None instead. And at 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, Bar None was blissfully empty. Cheryl and I pulled up chairs at the end of the bar, near a spate of TV's and commenced drinking and watching baseball and talking to Otto, our bartender. I'm the one who pointed out to him that the Giants game was starting on TNT before being moved to TBS. There were four other patrons in the bar at this time. Young Navy guys. How do I know? Well, they looked fresh off the boat, had short cropped hair, and proffered out of state IDs when asked. Yeah, my powers of observation amaze Cheryl, too. Cheryl, it should be mentioned, is tiny and Asian. This means that 2 drinks and the girl is DONE. As an expert functioning alcoholic, I watched her intake as we drank $3 Stella's throughout the Giants game. As we watched, the bar got more and more crowded, which amazed Cheryl. Well it IS Friday night in the Marina. And FLEET WEEK! Did I mention that already? Oh, yeah, I did. The game was exciting. And heart breaking. But it's more fun when your heart gets broken with dozens of other people yelling. And with beer. We stayed in our spots at the now packed Bar None, guarding our chairs with our lives.

Oh. Also? I really do like Bar None but I know DAMN WELL it is definitely my brother's bar. At one point, when still not crowded, Otto hands us menu's and says something about them being sticky, "That's how it is at Bar None." I say, "Yeah, I've been here before...and my brother practically lives here." "Who's your brother?" I mention his name, Otto says, "I should have figured that out from your credit card! And why am I charging you for food?" Yes, I realize the double edged sword that is being his sister, the advantages and disadvantages. I do make sure to behave so as not to embarrass him and hopefully didn't take too much advantage (wait, who cares if I did?). I find out later from my mother that my brother attempted to go to Bar None that same night and couldn't even get served because it was so packed and ended up leaving. By planting myself at the bar for the better part of an evening I got treated better than he did. HA! He must have attempted an arrival after I left because I never saw him.

While we were at Bar None, several naval aviators arrived. Have you all ever seen me blush and get all giggly and girly? It doesn't happen often. Usually I'm a quick wit and pretty in command. Around men in uniform who I both extremely respect and find ridiculously attractive by virtue of said uniform? I lose all power of speech and thought. Cheryl, funny enough, has previously seen me like this (guy in bar review I had a ridiculous crush on). So when one of these pilots stood next to me, who I had been angling to get near all night, and ordered a drink, I literally couldn't talk. I blushed. I got giggly. Cheryl SHOVED me into him, in her new found brazenness. I made an ass out of myself. Naturally. It...I have no words. I eventually recovered when he made it back at one point and talked to him about his call sign (Tina, because his last name is Turner) and his 2000 hours in an FA/18 Hornet (I knows how to read patches on flight suits). He, much like Chuck, was not at all impressed by my random accumulation of  knowledge. And ya know, lingering "I don't look like Cindy Crawford/Marina chick" thing. But at about the same time, a tall, broad shouldered attractive blonde guy comes over and says, "Yeah. I wore that same costume last Halloween." Giggle. His name was Dan.

It's about 12:30. Creepy old dudes are hitting on Cheryl and she's smashed. I must take her home. I take Dan and his cousin with me. We walk Cheryl the block and a half up a steep hill to her place. I have offered to drive Dan and his cousin, Vance, back to their hotel. They are visiting from Southern California. Vance, who is 20 and using Dan's Ohio ID (where Dan now resides after playing the foozeball at OSU), insists on talking in what he calls a Scottish accent but for those of you who have ever watched My Fair Lady is definitely Cockney. And it's completely ridiculous. I have no idea why this started or what it's evolution is but it's freaking hysterical.

Have I ever mentioned that one of my truly female characteristics is that I have zero sense of distance? Math, spatial visualization, direction, and distance. Stereotypes: they exist for a reason. I am a helluva lot further from my car than I think I am as we wind our way through the Marina, down Union Street. Whoops. But this leads to a detour to Lombard Street and HiFi Lounge, where the bouncer is a guy who was in my class in high school and he lets us cut the line and skip the cover. I have impressed Vance and Dan. Vance goes and makes an ass out of himself on the packed dance floor. I am not fitting in at the bar, in my puma's and grey v-neck amidst dolled up Marina girls. But I'm sitting on the couch talking endlessly to Dan, so life could be worse. He's making me laugh. And he's cute. (Ohhh, I wonder how this story ends?)

We then leave, after a few drinks, and head to IHOP because I desperately need to pee. This has become an odyssey for what should have been a five block walk to the car. When we leave IHOP, I almost start a fight by telling a guy his friends are retarded for standing in the middle of the intersection eating pizza. Vance almost escalates the fight. But Dan, being large, defuses it and we keep walking. FINALLY making it back to Presidio Social Club, where my car is. I drive them back up Lombard (they could have ditched me, gone the other direction and been there an hour earlier) to their hotel. Where I drop off Vance, while Dan and I continue on a grand circle tourist tour of San Francisco, taking him to my favorite spots. Would have been better if a moon was out but the parking lot at the Palace of Legion of Honor at 3 a.m. is magical. Idiot boy didn't kiss me there though. But this will be where he becomes the owner of my Abercrombie jacket I've had since freshman year of college.

I have a men's XL Abercrombie jacket. It lives in the back seat of my car, ya know, just in case. This is SF with ever changing weather, after all. Dan says, "I'm cold!" Did I mention it was an atypically gorgeous SF night? So I retort with my classic line, that Kathryn and I have made ubiquitous: Man up, Nancy! But then I offer him my jacket. (In retelling this story to Angela she will say, "You're a boy! I mean, I totally am too, but you're a boy! You like beer and junk food and sports and give a dude your clothes and you're not all into attachments and just want to hang out!" Yep.) After our circle tour of SF we will go back to his hotel and make out on the roof, where he even made a joke about me getting my jacket back. But I will forget it when I leave without saying a word later. There was no turning back. I couldn't show back up and be like, "Um, jacket?" And calling the hotel to get his room to get the jacket wasn't happening. And this wasn't a long term arrangement, obvs. So, jacket, as Irene said, becomes a casualty of war. (Cuz of fleet week. Get it?) We'll add it to the list of epic nights that are a ton of fun but not repeatable.

And I'm only at Friday! Welllll. Saturday morning. I get home, sleep for a bit, and prep for game day party at Michael's. The game day party ends up being me, Chuck, and Michael. I invited a bunch of people that all, for various reasons, couldn't make it. Blah blah blah whatever. I enjoy my time with them. Michael was laughing at me because a) I'm pretty sure I was just continually drunk from Friday night and never actually sobered up and b) I was giddy, which always leads both Michael and Chuck to think I'm just drunk.

Here's the deal: I've been in a RIDICULOUSLY good mood lately. Part of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Part of me is just enjoying the ride. (And yes, see above about fear.) I feel really in control. I'm turning down guys. That's bizarre. I'm making decisions for me and I'm totally happy with those decisions. I LOVE being single. I love not being responsible for the moods of someone else. I don't want to be all, "Doth protest too much..." Sure, there are times when I wish I had a permanent partner in crime. But there's also something empowering about being able to, and knowing I can, just do it all on my own. I have amazing friends and a hysterical family and it makes it all a bit easier. Sure, I'm totally uncertain about the future. But for this exact moment, I'm enjoying the ride.

At Michael's, there was another bat shit crazy performance by the LSU Tigers. But I'm becoming more and more convinced it's crazy like a fox. Some sense to the madness. I don't want to fire Les Miles anymore. You win some close ones, you lose some close ones, a couple calls go your way. It's an insane ride. I love that they both get into it, too. Because on any given day, neither of them care the least bit about football. I yell, I scream. They yell and laugh. We told Michael about Mark Sanchez who he found adorable. When the game ended it was still relatively early. And for me, there are like four more hours of football to watch, but Chuck and Michael are over it. So I debated about trying to head back out downtown-ish (it's fleet week!), but had mentioned to Angela, who had skipped being social for feeling under the weather, that I would stop by. So I ended up going over to dad's and hanging with Angela and having some fun, chit chatting. We pick up some more beer. Dad comes home and we chat some more. It's now 2 a.m. and the thought of driving the like four miles home seemed impossible. So I crashed there. Thank god for the extra bedroom.

Woke up in the morning with a dead phone but an invite from Beth to watch the Giants game at the Connecticut Yankee with her and a couple of her other friends. Since dad doesn't have a TV and following the above, going out and being in the world thing, I raced over there to meet her. We had a good time but I was definitely feeling a little exhausted. After the exciting game I went back to Dad's and spent the evening eating nachos, drinking more beer, and finally being exhausted and going home, for the first time since Friday (other than pit stops to change).

And ya know what? I still had plans for Monday. I love sailors. Partly I love sailors because I want to be one. Partly I love them because somewhere in my female psychology you put any schlub in a tightly pressed uniform and I lose all power of thought. The Giants had to go to game four against Atlanta. The weather was still perfect. I had enlisted my cousin Jen as my wingman. (Yeah, I said wingman, I'm keeping with the fleet week theme, here.) However: although I love my cousin Jen, she is quite possibly the flakiest person EVER. So when she flaked on my Monday morning I wasn't shocked, just disappointed. I was not going to let this fleet week just pass me by with only Friday night having seen any sailors! I texted Cheryl, hoping she was finally over her hangover, but she had peaced out to Southern California. I had already tried Lex the previous day and heard nothing, as she's equally as flakey as my cousin. What's a girl to do? Stay in? I resorted to the last person I could think of: Chuck. And my non-baseball fan heterosexual platonic best friend comes through. Go watch the game at Pete's Tavern by the ballpark? Sure, why not?

The game was fun. We got there early enough to secure good spots at the bar facing the big screen. And of course you know the game was as crazy and exciting as the other three. And Chuck enjoyed himself as we made fun of the crowd. There were a few Navy guys in attendance at Pete's but mostly we just watched the cougar lady flirt and this one girl and guy who were surely headed towards a bedroom together. After the game I alerted Chuck to the fact that I was not ready to go home yet. We headed down the Embarcadero. On our way, we passed this giant ship docked near Red's Java House. All lit up, with a big 8 painted on it's side, it was damn impressive. Turns out, upon later googling, it's the USS Makin Island and it's damn cool. (My dad would see it the next day as it went under the Golden Gate Bridge en route back to San Diego.) 

We first went to Fiddler's Green, near Ghiradelli Square, where we drank some more and watched two officers chat with other girls. We head around the corner to The Parlor. Chuck is not an ideal wingman. Chuck is 6'3" ish and not unattractive. I don't think people necessarily think we're together when we're out (no flirting, no light touching, no romantic interaction, should the generally observant person pay attention). But still. Not ideal. I thought Chuck would want to go home after The Parlor. I've already dragged him on this ridiculous, and kind of a bust, adventure. But I think he's had just enough drinks where he's game now. We head up Broadway to The Hut.

The Hut used to be called the black hole of death. You could never go in there without getting completely schnockered. Chuck has been there with me before. My brother used to bounce there when I was underage. When HE was underage. I used to know, and adore, the bartender, Steve-O. But since then? Well. That was a long time ago. We go in and it's all this like art student hipster kids, you know, black hair, dark make-up, tattoos. And they are playing some seriously hard core death metal. Wha? We have one drink there and leave. We walk up Grant past a couple of places and then down Green. We go to Columbus Cafe which is usually a pretty legit bar, but before Chuck even orders he's tired of the Morrissey/Smiths music that they are playing. I head a door or two back up the street to Gino and Carlos. Gino and Carlos is old school. Like old Italian dudes still hang out there, playing cards. It's not all dark and moody inside, or loud, like most bars. It's well lit, accepts only cash, and has ridiculous Halloween decorations. Basically: it's perfect. And Chuck and I end up staying there 'til 2 a.m. A girl from South Jersey starts flirting...with me. I think. I dunno. It was all very confusing. There were a couple Marines in there, but they left. Although not an ideal wingman, as even Chuck admitted, I had a fantastic time with him. We discussed everything. Hook ups, break ups, his motto: FB'N'H, sports, family. The last time just him and I hung out was a good six months ago. And for a random Monday night in October, things couldn't have been more fun. Even if I never did make out with a sailor. (I'm totally fine with that, btw.)

We finally close down the bar, not before Chuck almost gets into it with the cast of Jersey Shore (girl had friends there. They were AWFUL. I wanted to punch them myself). We mosey back down Green and onto Broadway where there is an Army MP with whom I have this exchange:
MP in front of strip club at 2 a.m., after man says "Thank're awesome" to him.
Me: Do you hate all the male attention you get? Like these guys that say, "Thank you for what you do". If they really cared shouldn't they just do it too?
MP: I'd really rather women just showed me their boobs in appreciation.
Me: HAHAHAHAH! Well played. 

We walk to the car and across Broadway I see two Navy officers walking out of Cable Car Pizza. I, probably more buzzed than I thought I was at this point, shouts, "HI!" out the window and waives. I don't think I thought I did this out loud. They say, "Hey! Can you give us a ride to Pier 35?" Me, "Sure, why the hell not?" It's kinda sort on the way to wherever the hell I'm going. And this is how Chuck and I end up driving two Navy officers back to the ships at Pier 35 before I drive him home. 

Thus concludes a very long, very fun, very alcohol soaked weekend from which I am still recovering. And why I don't feel the least bit guilty about not having done a damn thing today, save write this blog. You're welcome. 

1 comment:

  1. Jeezus! That weekend rocked hardcore!!! I'm so gladyou're taking Angela's advice...she's right. Once you're working, you won't have time to enjoy life anymore. No more feeling guilty. You do whatever the fuck you want to do! There's time to be responsible later...when you're dead - I mean employed.