The fun part of the trip. The original plan was to drive up to Napa on Sunday, but since we hadn't gotten to see Haight Ashbury on Saturday, that became Sunday's trip. That's how I like to travel. I like flexibility. Folks who have to see and do everything, or who have a very set or tight schedule, should not travel with me.
Dan and his fiancé Brenda live a block off Haight. He graciously offered the use of their garage while we wandered up and down the streets. We go there, punched in the code, and drove in to the garage. Unfortunately, I had a large rental car. No amount of jockeying could get me into the spot. So we had to back out and find alternate parking. Think of trying to find parking on Capitol Hill only 10 times worse. Luckily, there was a pay lot. It was vacation, so we paid.
First thing on the plan was to find food. Dan suggested a place called
All you Knead. Good food and big portions. I was wearing my Utilikilt and hadn't noticed much attention, but I also didn't see any other men wearing skirts or kilts either. But Deborah commented that after I would walk by a table, girls would grab their friends or mates and point or discuss. It's relatively commonplace around here. Not so much there. Even so, men, get your kilts and wear them. Rare is the girl I've met who didn't like them.
Then it was 4 more hours of shopping in little boutique stores and people watching on the street.
Stopped by an anarchist bookstore. Deborah commented outside
I think it's a gay bookstore. But inside the proprietress heard, and stated,
Not exclusively; we're an anarchist bookstore. I bought a copy of F.A.I.R.'s Extra and a tract-book of a speech by Clarence Darrow on crime and punishment.
It seems most of the stores in the Haight want you to check your bags at the door. Most of them glare at you and say things like
You'll need to leave that up front. However, another bookstore handled it much better. As we walked in, he simply told us,
I can hold your bags here. I bought a collection of novels by Dashiell Hammett.
Lots of used clothing stores. Didn't find anything I liked.
At a kitschy store, I did buy a touristy necklace with the Chinese symbol for the rat. I've worn no jewelry for a long time. Mostly because I never found anything i liked. Anyway, it's not particularly pretty nor does it have much significance, and really it's kind of dorky, but I am not wearing the Chinese rat symbol. Even though I wasn't actually born in the year of the rat.
Had to use what was the worst bathroom I have ever seen ever. Deborah used it first. Said it was horrible. I figured Honey Bucket bad. No, worse. I won't describe it. Suffice to say I was quite surprised she had used it when I actually entered the thing. At least I could stand up.
Afterward, we went to Amoeba, a music store we heard about. Seemed decent sized from the front, but it is T-shaped, with the bottom of the T facing the street. You step inside, and it is one of the largest record stores I have ever seen. So we perused a bunch. Of course, most of the music we could have gotten over the internet or from local record stores. Still, I wandered around looking for labeled sections for bands that I know people in. Couldn't find a section for S.M.P., or even any CDs for them in the
Misc. S section. Neither any Noxious. Third try was a charm though. Assemblage23 had its own section. Then I hit the used CDs and picked up a bunch of CDs, as well as a couple of new ones. I now have Group Therapy to complete my collection of Concrete Blonde studio albums. Picked up a couple of Johnny Cash CDs and the new Hate Dept. Total of 6 CDs, though I can't remember all of them off-hand.
After this, Dan called and wanted to say goodbye in person. He had just dropped off my parents at the airport and was only a couple fo blocks away. So we headed to his flat, got directions for the quickest way to the airport, and said our goodbyes. Not a bad little apartment either.
On the way to the airport though, we got a little side-tracked. Dan's directions called for turning right on Gough and getting on the freeway. We started following the signs to the freeway, but missed Gough. So perhaps we missed a bit of a shortcut by following the official route. However, we did drive by a gay block party with a fetish/BDSM theme. Thumping house music accompanied by fat men wearing only spandex shorts and leather clad men pulling along chained slaves along the sidewalk. Still wearing the kilt, I decided we would not take a detour to check out the festivities. It was a foregone conclusion though, as we didn't have any slack time in our trek to the airport. Were we to stop and dally, we would have missed the flight.
Overall the trip was enjoyable in spite of the day and a half of stomach flu followed by the family dinner. Got to get away from the daily pressure I face here. Got to relax on Sunday. Got to spend time with someone whose company I quite enjoy. Still, I really wish I would have gotten sick on company time instead of vacation time.
Well, theoretically vacation time. I didn't officially put in for vacation for it. Considering I had already worked over 40 hours the previous week, and this week I have put in over 50, I figure my one day off doesn't yet even the score.