Saturday, February 21, 2009

the san francisco valentine's day weekend post

i think i'm finally ready to write about this now. i couldn't tell you what took me so long, maybe i just wanted it to soak in... the right words had to ferment in my brain for a week for this to be right.

we'll start with the pictures so you can look at those along with the story:
later middle:
end pictures will be in post.

anyhooters, i went to san francisco for valentine's day weekend to hang with tori and beth. it's was a little "spur of the moment" - i bought my ticket on wednesday to leave on saturday morning - but i really want to do more stuff to encourage that in myself, so the "fuckit" was said and off i went.
the day started EARLY - 6:30 am flight - i got to SFO at 8:30. tori picks me up and we head into the city. since it was so early, we made a major score on parking, right where we wanted to be for the day for a tiny (relatively) amount of money. we walked up to fisherman's wharf and took in all the kitschy touristy stuff that i hadn't seen since i was about 10 years old - the first time i came here - in the best possible way: so early that things were just starting to open but there were NO people there. we continued our walk down all the piers until we got to pier 45 (the last one really) and decided that it was time for breky. while beth was getting herself ready, tori and i hunted down the buena vista - one of the 100 places to eat in san francisco before you die - for their irish coffee. we get there and it was PACKED. no room at the bar even, so we skeedaddled to the starbucks across the street and grabbed some highly corporatized pastries, water and tea and went merrily on our way.
we headed back down to pier 45 and happened upon the san francisco bush man on the way. the bush man is this dude who has these screens (?) with leaves and foliage that are about half the height of his body - one for each hand - and he squats down in front of a mailbox of trashcan or something about the same height as the screens and covers himself with them. in passing, he looks like a bush. really really. and when a group of unsuspecting anyones walks by, he jumps out and "arrrghgghhh!!"s at them and freaks them out. it's HIGHLARIOUS! he was too fast for me to get him in action, but i have pics of his "bushiness".
we get back to pier 45 - beth is having a little trouble finding it - so we go into the musee mechanique and go to town while waiting for her. this place basically has all the machines that used to be "entertainment" back in the day before tv and computers and general lack of imagination. it was incredible the detail in these machines and the ideas that they came up with. my personal favorite machine was "the opium den" (what?!?). you look at it initially and there are sickly looking people (i think they were all yellow or green and NOT from the age of the machine) sitting around a table, one's lying on a bed in the back and there are doors everywhere. you put a quarter in and the people at the table start smoking, the guy in bed starts jerking up violently, a snake starts coming out of a curtain in the back, a skeleton comes out of a door on the side and it just keeps going like that. talk about entertainment! talk about attention to detail! imagination (or reality for the creator?)! it's an entire museum dedicated to these machines. the worst one was called "end of the road" and it had a decrepit covered wagon and some old west-y skeletons and stuff and when you put your quarter in for it to do something, the wind blew. that's it. wind blowing. i'd have called that a gyp. even back in the day.
so, beth meets up with us and we play in the museum some more. then we head to the mission to walk around, have a drink and generally see what's going on. we take bart (my first time!) and it was awesome to see that good public transportation can actually exist in california. get on board socal, you idiots you.
we hop off bart and head directly to zeitgeist, an awesome "tough hipster" bar in the mission where they are known for their bloody marys. tori and i had been there before because they've got this great outdoor space that is perfect for people watching and just chilling out. we get there and it's empty - perfect! the bartender was initially annoyed with us because we couldn't decide what we wanted and so he just started making us bloody marys. we took them and by the end of the mixing those bartenders loved us. YAY! the 3 of us chill out, do some talking, it starts to fill up and we start watching and all is good. we finish and head towards clarion alley, this alley of art in the middle of the mission (with a stop at the awesome sex toy store on the way). literally, end to end, top to bottom, the walls of the buildings and homes on this block are covered in public art. it's gorgeous and overwhelming and always changing. you could be there for hours and still miss something - every inch, every corner has something in it. tori took much better photos than i did of it, but i got one or 2 really good ones that i like alot. but that's just it, it's an alley.
we eventually got to the other side of it and start walking - heading for the pirate store. you heard me. pirate store. on the way, we see a sign outside a building for palm readings and stuff and i have never had anything like that done and i was curious about the kitsch and silliness of it. i had talked to tori about it for awhile and we were going to do it in san diego over the holidays, but it didn't pan out. so seeing this sign was like a 2nd chance! we decided to go in and the 3 of us got our palms read by the CUTEST GIRL in the world. that's all i can say about it until next week. we went to the pirate store, YAR!, headed to a random pizza place that i can't remember the name of and had the pizza that was on the 100 things to eat in san francisco before you die list and then headed back to the ports on bart so we could get ready for the most incredible part of the weekend - the pillow fight.

at 6pm on the dot at the justin herman plaza in front of the san francisco port authority, a huge flash mob assembled to take part in a HUGE pillow fight. and tori, beth and i were there, pillows in had, ready to kick ass and take names. here start the pictures (these are all by tori - soakedinsin - unless otherwise specified):
the pre-fight obligatory group pic - you know it's pre fight because we're dry and featherless:

here's another of beth and i ready to kick the shit out of people:

so, the craziness starts at soon as the clock strikes 6. i can't even explain the madness. it went through peaks and valleys of crazy. and this is the perfect picture and shot of motion to show the beginning:

then it got like this:

then we had a moment of zen where tori decided to take a video capture:

but, in reality, that only captured our little pocket where we were. to give you an idea of the massive amount of people gathered to fight, i give the photofloor to kapshure:

we met a lot of random people at the fight. there was one who took a shine to me, we'll call him random guy joe because, well, his name was joe. his friends had left because they were old and pussies and he hung out to see what would happen. he was an enabler if nothing else. he'd say "you wanna attack the UN?" me: "ok!" bashbashbashwithpillowlove. he'd see someone with a person on their shoulders and say "you wanna play chicken with the monster?" me: "uhm, i don't think you want me on your shoulders - looks can be deceiving..." as he's starting to pick me up. so "ok!" it was the GREATEST view. and a felt like a girl because someone picked me up and put me on their shoulders. AND we won chicken and killed the monster. so then we became the monster. so they killed us. all evening he'd say "go get that guy" "let's get that one" "that little shit totally has it coming to him" (there was one there who really did - stupid brat) and we'd attack and attack. then i find out he's a wee babe of only 22 and he started talking. oh, i should never let them talk. here's joe and the ladies doing his capt. morgan pose. yes, i said it, but he did it.

and all that "snow" you see... feathers. it was like that for hours after... here's a better one:

and here's the obligatory post-fight pic. full of sweat and feathers - oh yeah, and i bled:

all in all, it was perfect. the entire day was perfect and exactly what i needed. here's a link to tori's photoset of the pillow fight.

the next day we went to zachary's for breakfast, saw "taken" at the movie theatre (not the best idea considering tori's april plans) went to heaven (trader joe's) and picked up snacks for a night in of watching old movies. i can't think of a better come-down than that.

then, i had to leave. we drove by the ocean because it was too wet and rough and rainy to go in or even on the beach but it was still beautiful. and then i'm at the airport and see that there is a buena vista in my terminal. i text tori to see if it counts that i have an irish coffee there for the 100 things to eat in san francisco before you die and she says yes. 15 minutes before i board, i down a delicious irish coffee made with tullamore dew and no baileys. it was GOOD. and then i'm gone.

that was the perfect weekend.

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