Thursday, August 10, 2006

A homecoming of sorts

This would also be known as "It's raining men."

Yesterday I tried my best to get up early but failed. By the time I made it out the door, it was 10:30 a.m. I then had to make a decision. Should I go up to campus only to have to turn around immediately to head into San Francisco or should I head into San Francisco? I decided on the latter.

I left home armed with my birthday gifts -- a giftcard for Macy's and one for Banana Republic. Never made it to either store though. Grasshopper had given me a book to read and I had finished it on Tuesday night. It was the first book in a trilogy and I was in desperate need of the second. On my way to Berkeley BART, I stopped off at Half Price Books. They only had the one I had just finished. I then decided to get off BART at Montgomery Street in San Francisco. That way I could stop at Stacey's. No luck at Stacey's either. They had the first and the third books but not the second. So I headed toward Union Square and Cody's. No luck at Cody's either. By this time I realized that it was nearing lunch time. Screw the rest of the shopping. Besides it was going to take me hours in Macy's and Banana Republic since I had nothing specific in mind. I headed up the hill to Borders and struck paydirt. Then I noticed the 3 for 2 sale on trade-size paperbacks. Well of course I had to look. (By the way, this is why I usually go to the library instead of bookstores. Bookstores are a dangerous place for me.) I saw a title by Alice Hoffman that I hadn't read. Now it was just a question of picking up two more. I almost got A People's History of the United States but I think I might actually have a copy of that somewhere at home. Instead I got Fast Food Nation -- been meaning to read it for years -- and a chick lit anthology.

Armed with books, I hopped back on BART at Powell Street to head over to 16th and Mission. The goal was to stroll out 16th to Bryant because the fable bar was there. Not that I could remember the name of the bar. And it was hot. So if there hadn't been a bar there, I was going to be really mad. There was indeed a bar there -- The Double Play Bar and Grill. According to the sign it's been around since 1909. The current owners have been there since January of this year. I settled in at the bar and ordered...

a Myers's and coke...

and a club sandwich with fries. Actually they call it the Seal Stadium Club.

Did I mention that this place is basically a sports bar with a restaurant attached? My kind of place. Why? Because these kind of places attract guys. To talk to. To buy me drinks.

I also realized what I miss about hanging out in San Francisco. Remember the Stalker Guy? Never would have happened in San Francisco. While I was there, some drunk/stoned guy had asked the bartender to call him a cab. He then decided to move from one end of the bar to the other just so that he could sit by me. The bartender, my friend, immediately told the guy to move back to the other end of the bar. There was some grumbling and then finally the bartender stated, "If you start bothering her (me), you will have to move." Luckily for the guy, he waited until about a minute before the cab pulled up to start getting creepy. Muttering stuff like, "I'm going to rip your balls off," and "Where's the pitbull?" Around this time one of the regulars offered to buy my third drink.

After finishing that third one I realized it was 2 p.m. and that I probably should go because, hey, I still had to go to work. My tab? $7. Because the food was on the house. It is a shame they are only open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Otherwise, I would go there more often.

I saw this sign in the BART station on on my ride back across the Bay and thought of Laurie -- and a few other folks.

And yes, I was sober by the time I got to work an hour later. Well enough to do my job. Which I could do with one-quarter of my brain functioning. Maybe less.

Yes, they treat me like royalty in Berkeley but only minor royalty. In San Francisco, I get treated like the true empress that I am. Well, that's what I thought before I returned to Berkeley.

The shocker was that it was 85 degrees in Berkeley today. That meant that I couldn't go straight home. I mean I have no air conditioning (or cold beverages) at home. I was forced to go to the pub. Where I met some nice older men. (One has a son who is 32.) And they paid for all of my drinks up to that point. Don't ask me how many but just let me say that if I had had to pay for all of them, I would have gone home at that point.

Nicole and the Sisters in Soul -- the evening's entertainment.

My first victim -- ummm, guy -- was newer to the area. He is a student in creative writing. You know how I like those creative types. But then I finally had to ask that dreaded question -- his age. He is -- 23. *gasp* Throw this one back because he is too young. We did exchange phone numbers though. Because he is tall. And well-read.

By the end of the evening, I had four guys (two sets of two) trying to walk me home. One set was able to get rid of the other set quite well -- as I wanted them to. So I was left with two hot guys walking me home because they were "concerned" for me. By the time that I got to my doorstep, I learned that one of the guys is the executive chef for Hornblower. Ummm. I could really use a dinner cruise. Good thing that I got his number (He didn't get mine.) and swore that I would call him. Because I will. Because he was hot. And because he can feed me.

And men of the world? Beware. Because I am woman.

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