Thursday, June 28, 2007

The San Francisco Treat

The day after Rockville, Brandon and I set off on the part of the tour that we thought of as our anniversary treat: the West Coast Swang.

Did you know that San Francisco is really cold? Like really, really fucking cold especially when you've packed a suitcase full of sleeveless dresses? I went to Macy's and bought what looked like the warmest thing they had, a blue corduroy blazer with pre-frayed edges. I've never owned one before and I felt like an executive who fancied herself down. Listen, I'm an executive, but I'm business casual. Don't confuse me with The Man, 'kay?

SF was just beautiful. I'd read in our guide book that there's something awe-inspiring about taking the trolley (just like in the Rice-a-Roni commercials!) to the top of the hill and seeing the Bay and Alcatraz off in the distance. So true, guide book. So true.

Brandon and I did all the things you're supposed to do: riding the trolley, looking at the sea lions in the harbor, checking out Union Square. (When we were there once, there was what looked like an impromptu swing dance lesson going on.)

Our last evening in San Francisco, we went to Book Passage, a gorgeous bookstore that looks out right onto the Bay. This is Ron Jin, the wonderful event host.
(An aside: I was looking for something to read on the plane and Ron recommended Bento Box in the Heartland, a memoir about growing up Japanese in Indiana. A solid recommendation, that also had the effect of sparking in me a desire--nay, a need--for Japanese food.)

The evening was lovely. Would you like some gossip? I thought so. I met Caroline Grant, an editor at Literary Mama and also the editor (with Elrena Evans) of a forthcoming anthology about being a mother in academia. Well, Caroline's sister is Libby Gruner, of Midlife Mama and many other places.

I also met Eileen Bordy, whose work has appeared in Brain, Child several times. One of her essays was about what happens when your drinking buddy joins AA. "I was jealous," I told her, "that you had a friend to push you around in a grocery cart." She laughed, and we wound up going out for drinks and dinner with a couple of other women, one of whom may kill me for putting her picture on the blog (but email me if you want it down, B., okay?).

After that, Brandon and I went out to a karaoke bar. It was our first foray into public karaoke. Let's just say that it's one thing to sing songs you've practiced in front of your friends and family, but it's an entirely different thing to pick up a microphone to the tune of "You Ought To Know" and scream, "IS SHE PERVERTED LIKE ME?"

I'm betting the older Indian gentleman running the karaoke machine won't soon forget us.


Caroline said...

Oh, sorry no one warned you about our weird cold summer weather (come back in October and you'll love it), but it was fun to meet you. You should just tour the country and host B,C parties!

Jennifer said...

That would be an awesome job! Hey, I met Elrena in PA--can't wait to see the book!