March 25, 2010:
So the first day for my San Francisco vacation had arrived! The tough part was that roughly 12 hours of it would be spent in transit to that mysterious city. It would be Train-Bus-Train. Oh well. I had some good books and pod casts and a fully charged iPod. Bring on the boredom!
Yeah, I’m in the future, too.
It was a long, long trip. Most of it spent on the bus, which wasn’t too bad, since I got to seats to myself and could stretch out and not be bothered. Which is kind of sad. A tiny, microscopic part of me kind of wanted to talk to people. To meet new fellow Americans. To interact with these citizens.
Or mostly talk to that cute girl a seat up.
Too bad, cuz she promptly went to sleep and didn’t wake up till her stop. And I’m smart enough to know that was planned from the beginning. Clever girl. Either way, I was only running on 4 hours of sleep, and really wanted to snooze more than I wanted to schmooze. Sue me.
Let’s say I fast forward for you, and tell you what I saw:
Landscape, farm, ocean, trees, mountains, clouds, ocean, EMU FARM, a European style shopping district, highway, train tracks, back of some dude’s head, McDonald’s, landscape, farm, graffiti, book, my iPod, fruit stand, trees, the back of some lady’s head, ocean, creepy guy with a dirty coat, farm, city, etc.
Throughout this journey of mythic proportions I texted back and forth with awesome people (clocking in at a new high of over 60 texts!), listened to SModcast, listened to each and every comedian album I had with an emphasis on Patton Oswalt and Nick Swarsdon, stared off into the infinite, ate trail mix, and so on.
I arrived at the Oakland Train Station at roughly 8:30 pm, with my cousin Veronica and her husband Dennis waiting for me. Dennis was surprised that I ended up at that Train Station. I didn’t know what he meant. He enlightened me that, apparently, the section of Oakland I arrived at is one of the worst areas around.
But we were on our way, when Dennis also asked if I would like to visit the Fire Station he used to work at. I said Heck Yes, and within ten minutes of arriving in Oakland, I was inside a Fire Station eating one of the best meals I had ever eaten. Fire Fighters know how to cook. They are crazy good at it. It was broiled chicken breast stuffed with apples, herbs, and spices. There was also baked red potatoes with some of the best damn salad I’ve ever scarfed down.
After the Fire House, Dennis and Veronica showed me around Oakland, pointing out the huge difference between neighborhoods that live “above” the 580 freeway, and those that live “under” the 580. The difference is immediate and costly. Money does not travel far past the 580.
Topics of Conversation @ Oakland: No need to visit the Hell’s Angels, fires we started, Purple People, the Bullseye Wall, salt water taffy, Mojave Desert let down, fake camera paintings, Religious Business, no Burning Man for Veronica, Mama Wii, Faces and Heels, etc.
We got to my cousins’ home, which was really, really nice and also populated by a dog and two cats. The dog’s name was Puppy, the older cat was named Puck, and the younger cat was never seen. I also forgot its name. Oops.
What’s important is that Puppy is a nice dog, but not very interested in anyone other than her masters. But Puck is incredibly social and talkative. Probably one of the nicest cats I had ever met. And HUGE. To the point that I was starting to wonder if Bobcat was in Puck’s genealogy.
I soon hit the wall, and went to sleep in the Guest Room. It felt GREAT. A quick end to Day One.