Dear Frankenstorm, don’t wash my family and friends away on the East Coast! But DO force my parents to figure out how to charge their cellphones in the car. Because they should know how to do that (by the time they read this, because we just talked about it, right Mom?).
ONE of my family was on MY coast this weekend! My sister was in San Francisco for work – a giant Public Health conference (yes, she does amazing things that help people, unlike someone else we know who writes a blog and then complains about being tired from nothing.)
I got to visit her. And it was awesome. She reminds me of my sense of humor. And that there’s another world outside of LA. It’s nice to remember that.
I arrived at her hotel room, and could hear her laugh, down the hall. “HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” We squeezed each other. “Is your hair longer? Shorter? Darker? Straighter?” We ALWAYS notice the hair first. “It’s the same as last time I saw you! So, longer?”
I took the BART from the airport. [Snooze! I’ve lost my storytelling skills.] My sister’s voice rang in my ears as I approached the ticket machine. “Yeah! Take the BART from the airport to the hotel. It’s so easy!”
It’s so easy! I thought, as I smiled at the woman in front of me. I like to make friends in this kind of situation. I can totally spy over her shoulder, see what she does, and do that. EASY. I made some weird comment about one of the ticket machines being out of order and she smiled again. I am so in.
Then it was her turn to buy a ticket. I studied her every move. Cash. Check map. Press start. She turned to me and said in this extremely Asian accent, “I, use, BART?” Question mark!?!?!? I could feel the line jamming up behind me and my mustache broke out in a cold sweat.
“Ummm…..?” I asked the guy behind me if he could help her. He was not Asian “I’ve never used the BART before.” You’re useless whitey!
OMG. Ok. “OK!” Uhh. Asian lady said “Richmond”, so we found that on the map. She kept inserting and canceling her cash, so it was like in and out and back and forth and completely throwing me off my high-pressure-ticket-buying game. Finally, a man four people back helped me accidentally overcharge her $.75 for a ticket. But we did it. Hi-fives!
I got my ticket and walked down to the platform, where a train was waiting. Everyone boarded the same train, so I figured I couldn’t be totally wrong. I was hoping to get to the Union Square area. My stomach sank a little when the conductor said “Next smehhh, smehhhh smehhhh” in an inaudible mumble.
I need a $*&%#$* map! A nice Canadian business man asked me if I knew the stop to switch to Berkeley. DO I LOOK LIKE THE INTERNATIONAL BART AMBASSADOR?! “Ummm, no actually… I don’t even know if I’m on the right train…” A dude sitting under the map I was struggling to decipher gave Canada his stop. And then told me to get off at Powell.
“Omgthankyou” I thumbs-upped him from across the train. By the time it was my stop (and I was the only one to get off), everyone was alerting me “This is Powell!” and wishing me well on my trip. Thanks entire BART train car! I’m not from here.
I told my sister this entire story. “OH…. We just took a cab from the airport.” She had advised me that a thing was EASY,when she had never done it before. Sisters!! Actually, her advice made me power through and actually figure it out. She does love me.Ervin was worried dudes would be hitting on me left and right in SF. See above picture for results: Negative. We went to dinner, then tried on Baby Gap hats for my nephew. I bought the one I had on, which I think is a Beaver Bison Cow Bear. And I love it.
The next day, we carbo loaded at Dottie’s for breakfast (best Cinnamon Crumble Cake or something – EVER) for our run across the Golden Gate Bridge! It’s .08 miles one way. EASY! These are men’s shoes I bought because I liked the color. And then I replaced the laces with hot pink ones, which is good because I saw a dude at the gym wearing them, too. Ugh, Sasquatch feet… someday we’ll be friends.Those are the happy faces of Public Health! Takin it to the streets! And bridges! I’d like to see what everyone else from the conference was doing that Saturday. Johns Hopkins rules!
And this is me, posing with our fearless leader Piper, who kicked our butts on the bridge. She just competed in Tough Mudder — unfair advantage! I’m not gonna lie – this picture is in here because I figured out a way to pose for pictures, that conceals both my bingo wings and my second foot.
Also, it was GORGEOUS that day. No Frankenstorm on this side of America…Oh yeah. Crushed it! We can run 50 yards in a row without stopping!
I gotta be honest about my time in SF though. I did get hit on a few times. By some really precocious hobos. The day I left, I was walking to my favorite BART station and a homeless man asked “Would you like a gentleman companion for this evening?” “Nooooo thanks……” The way he used “gentleman companion” and “evening” made him sound so fancy!