The hilarious Beth Spotswood invited me to a Nintendo Party thrown just for women. There was promise of free booze and snacks, and getting to meet Beth was high on my list of things I'd been wanting to do. Of course I said I would go. It was at DogPatch Studios in what their website calls the "hip and creative side of Potrero Hill." It was a neighborhood I'd never been to before, and all I knew about it I learned from Google an hour before I was to leave for work. I decided then and there that I wasn't spending ten or more dollars for a taxi to take me three miles, so I called up Google Maps' "take mass transit feature" (love it). It told me that I could take the 12 Folsom bus to pick up the K @ Embarcadero and Folsom, and that it would take around 45 minutes (and cost $3). [Why I didn't just walk to the Embarcadero station and take the K directly there is beyond me. I'm still trying to figure this MUNI shit out.]
So, I head to the bus stop at Battery and Broadway, as Google has instructed me. I note that there are two points marked as stops on the map, but only one bus shelter with arrival times. The electronic sign says the 12 Folsom is 12 minutes away, so I waited. About 14 minutes later the 12 Folsom showed up, passed me and stopped across the intersection to pick up about three people. There was no shelter where they stood or sign designating it a waiting point. That was where I was supposed to be. I'd just missed my bus. I fished out $15 and hailed a cab.
Once in the cab I couldn't figure out why we were getting on the freeway if we were only going 3.3 miles. I was sure the taxi driver had misunderstood my directions. Still, I don't know my way around SOMA or Potrero Hill, so I just rode along silently, hoping he was going to 20th and Tennessee and not 40th and Hennessy, or whatever he'd thought I said. Then, just off the freeway, there we were in a pretty, but quiet part of San Francisco. There were homes, but few people out on foot and not many cars. No eateries or little retail shops, either. Just warehouses and lofts and work/live spaces. Because I didn't need the full hour to travel since I ended up in a cab, I was the first person to arrive at the party. I hate that.
I made my way to the second floor of the DogPatch studio since there was no bar nearby where I could tie one on while waiting for 7 o' clock. Inside was a gorgeous space set up like a large, large living room with couches and lounging chairs and it was all very modern with clean lines. Five young, fit and pretty women, all dressed the same, greeted me when I walked in. The whole setup was creepy and artificial, and I felt awkward when one with super long curly hair gave me this charm bracelet, with Nintendo bling already on it, and told me when I finished each game that I'd get a new charm. Then she asked if I wanted champagne. All at once I got a little more comfortable with the situation.
Beth arrived soon thereafter, and she's just as fabulous and funny in person. No shit. I was even more thrilled to learn that Melissa, she of The Sweet, was coming, as I'd met her awesome ass before. Knowing that she and Spots are BFFs let me know that I was in for a few laughs. They did not disappoint.
"How long do I have to play this game before you'll just give me my jewelry?," Melissa asked the Nintendo gal. Melissa is a whip smart attorney who breaks down city codes and Supreme Court rulings for her readers like it's something fun to do. But apparently the anagram game was kicking her ass. Knowing Melissa, I'm pretty sure she got her charm anyway.
I played Guitar Hero on DS, or rather Guitar Hero: On Tour. This was my first Guitar Hero experience, and it was highly satisfying because every real guitar I've ever picked up has hurt my delicate girl fingers too much to keep playing. It was very hard for me not to bust out some cock rock moves, but I was trying to reign in the dorky amongst new acquaintances. I also owned at Mario Kart on DS, but I have mad experience under my belt from marathon Murfreesboro Mario Kart sessions, so that was to be expected. It was the Brain Age game that really left me feeling defeated. I had to look at a 5x5 grid of numbers and memorize them all. I think I got 8 right. My brain age was evaluated as 39. As a mere 30 year old I find this displeasing. So, I drowned my pain in more champagne. Seemed a good solution.
There was brie, which is my weakness. There were water crackers and strawberries, too, and little sandwiches made from fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella. Then, all at once, I was standing with a champagne flute in one hand, a little plate full of fancy cheeses resting on top of it, in a fancy pants loft in a part of San Francisco I'd never been to before, mingling with writers and editors from the Chronicle, and I thought: where the fuck am I? Me in that kind of situation sounded in my head like the setup for some kind of sitcom, but no. Brittney Gilbert, this is your life. And I wasn't entirely out of my element, either. I had a great discussion with the foul-mouthed, super sharp Eve who Beth mentions regularly, because Eve is Beth's editor at The Newspaper. What was really weird was that Eve knew who I was. I didn't even know what to say to that. We talked Emily Gould and web branding vs. web creating and how women are perceived and reacted to online and Japanese hair straightening techniques. And dogs. The lady is fascinating.
Because I got there early and had a long BART ride ahead of me I decided to jet around 9:30. But not before Beth and Melissa and I discussed how that Bay Area man who said he'd been attacked by a mountain lion. Somehow Beth had not heard this tale.
"Yeah, but there was no real evidence of any attack," Melissa explained. "He was just dirty."
I asked what happens to you when you falsely report a mountain lion attack. Apparently nothing was the consensus.
"Let's do that tonight!," Melissa squealed.
She lowered her voice into a serious-as-a-heart-attack tone. "I was attacked by a saber-toothed tiger. He came into my apartment, and he drank my beer."
"No, no," Beth said. "I was attacked by a dinosaur!"
By this time I was about to piss myself I was laughing so hard.
"And he raped me." This is when I think I totally lost it. "And then he raped Melissa. And then he stole my couch and left."
WHERE HAVE THESE LADIES BEEN ALL MY LIFE? When haven't I wanted girlfriends who can joke about dinosaur rape without a second thought? Never, that is when.
I had to peel myself out of there before I got too wasted for a school night. It was then that Becky and I tried to take the T back to Embarcadero so we could get our bridge-and-tunnel asses back to the East Bay. We didn't know what the fuck we were doing. We were looking for a machine to sell us out ticket to get on, but there wasn't one to be found. We then opted to share a cab, but one never came, as the "hip and creative side of Potrero Hill" is a dead zone. I called Ian and asked if there was some secret MUNI ticket booth that maybe we were overlooking, and he said, "If I were you, I'd just get on. If they ask you for your ticket tell them you tried to pay." This was good enough for me. We headed back to the platform. Becky had the balls to ask a stranger dude how we paid for our ride, and he told us you paid when you got on. Ohhhhh. Huh. Makes sense.
It took me a good hour and half to get to my front door from the time I left the party. I can't wait to move into the City.