Monday, July 26, 2021

Flora Flora and Mint Julep


A few weeks ago Ellen's boyfriend Jeff, who is a drummer for the band Flora Flora, invited me and Larry to attend his album release party in the basement of a bar in San Francisco.  I said, "Will we be the oldest people there?" and Jeff said "Probably, but you should come anyway."  So we did!

That whole weekend was pretty fun.  On Thursday, my neighbor Camay and I drove up to the Legion of Honor and saw the Pompeii exhibit.  We decided to get the audio tours.  The young woman whose job it was to explain how to download the tour to our phones was extremely patient, but I could almost see the thought bubble above her head saying "I got a fine arts degree for this???"

The Legion of Honor Café is finally open again, so that was very exciting.

On Friday I paid a visit to Meyer Appliance to check in with James, the salesman who sold me a GE refrigerator in March.  I know there are lots of supply chain issues, but Larry advised me to go in person and advocate for our refrigerator.  Every few weeks I stop in to get a different story from James about when my refrigerator might arrive.  He looks concerned (or as concerned as you can look with a mask on), prints some papers, purposefully strides off to the back office, and then comes back and tells me lies.

I don't mind visiting James at Meyer Appliance, though, because it's right next door to the Goodwill.  This time I got a great pair of Jaclyn Smith for K-Mart chartreuse jeans.

For our big excursion Saturday night, I booked us a room at a Victorian B&B in the Mission, since Flora Flora was the headlining act and didn't start until 11 pm.  Can you imagine anything happening in Los Altos at 11 pm?  My mind reels at the very idea.

We drove up to San Francisco, parked our car, and found our excellent B&B, The Inn San Francisco.  They take the whole Victorian thing quite literally, and the place is full of potted palms, antimacassars, velvet drapes, tasseled lamps, and little wood tables.

We had some great Peruvian food (It took some nerve to try Peruvian again after my last experience, but it worked out fine this time).  Several cocktails were consumed, and then we headed to Amado's.  It was a lot like a speakeasy - you had to show your ticket to a lady in the bar and then she opened a funky wooden door and gestured down to the basement.

Mint Julep played at 10 pm, and they were quite good.  And then - Flora Flora!  We enjoyed the music very much, and had a few more cocktails while we listened.

So that by the time we headed back up to the bar, I was drunkenly enamored by the upstairs wrap-around balcony above the bar and insisted that we all take photos under the comically large lamps.  My family indulged me, so here are some nice photos for you to enjoy.

Susan walked us back to the Inn because I had a package that had arrived in Los Altos for her.  Here is a bonus photo of Susan modeling her Teletubbies Gay Pride hat.

The next day was a little rough, not gonna lie.  It's been quite a while since I downed six(?) bourbons in one night.  Larry was very nice about it.  He drove home and even stopped at Five Guys for hamburgers to take the edge off.  There was some napping in the afternoon, and then we had a lovely outdoor dinner with our neighbors.  Derek offered me a bourbon after dinner, and for the first time in the history of our dinners, I had to decline.  Maybe next time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Pretty Good Fourth


I wouldn't say I had a *glorious* fourth, but it was perfectly acceptable under the circumstances.  (A reference to the Steve Buscemi-narrated video about Biden's presidential candidacy: you can see it here if you are unfamiliar with it.)

We attended four separate events this weekend!  Unmasked!!  They were not exactly wild parties, and none of them involved fireworks, sadly, but as I said, acceptable under the circumstances.

On Friday night Larry and I attended the town of Los Altos First Friday event, which is held, as the name suggests, on the First Friday of every month in the summer.  It consists of a handful of local bands set up on street corners from 6 pm - 8 pm and a few stores staying open until 8 pm instead of 6 pm.   

But, hey, we take what we can get out here in the 'burbs.  You can listen to a high school jazz trombonist, or to the old men playing in an all-accordion band in front of Le Boulanger, or watch the old ladies in sparkly hats doing Charleston-esque dances with each other while their husbands stoically wait for it all to be over so they can go back home and watch TV.  (We did all three!)

We also enjoyed a spot of outdoor dining.  We get to keep our parklets in Los Altos at least through the summer, so that's nice.  We ate at Fiesta Vallarta where I got to practice my rudimentary Spanish with our extremely tolerant waitress, and we had those margaritas that come with a tiny beer upended in them.

On Saturday we got together with our neighbors Camay and Derek.  We very much enjoyed our evenings together during the pandemic, and they have graciously agreed to keep up the tradition.  And now we can all sit at the same table!!  And use the same salad tongs!!!  Their son and his girlfriend were here for the weekend, so we had a fresh audience for our interminable and pointless stories.  They were good sports.

In case you haven't heard, Larry was selected as a Santa Clara Valley Water Ambassador from a wide field of candidates (according to him).  There are no actual duties, but he has been educated in water issues, so feel free to contact him if you have an interest in reservoirs.  He donned the regalia I made him for his birthday at our cocktail hour.  He has promised to wear the faucet hat to the next Ambassadorial event.

On the Fourth itself, we drove over to Alameda to visit the USS Hornet, a decommissioned aircraft carrier that is now a museum.  When our girls were little, many of their little boy friends were taken there for Boy Scout sleepovers, and I heard a lot of horror stories from the chaperones, so I've always been curious to see it.  And Larry wanted to see it, because, well, it's a big boat, and boys of all ages love big boats.

The USS Hornet is pretty cool.  Larry was a good sport about taking some Marc Jacobs-inspired fashion photos for me.

When the USS Hornet was in service, there were 3000 people aboard.  It's a pretty big boat, but it's not that big, and it boggles the mind to think of that many people crammed onto it.  There are hanging bunks literally everywhere on board, and corridor after corridor after corridor below deck.  Up on top you can hang around on the flight deck and look at the views of San Francisco.

I volunteered to take a photo of a man and woman trying to get a selfie on deck, but I kicked over the man's drink in the process, so I thought it best not to ask him to take a photo of us, which is why my photo is, in fact, a selfie.

When we got home we watched A Capitol Fourth on PBS, that corny country music and fireworks show they do on the Capitol lawn every year, since most of the fireworks shows around here were cancelled due to the pandemic.  Then we watched The Tomorrow War, because it felt like many Americans were at home watching The Tomorrow War, and we wanted to be a part of that.  It was real dumb, but the aliens blowed up real good.

Okay, so we're up to three outings.  Our fourth and final outing was on Monday to our neighborhood block party, where we stood around unmasked and drinking wine with all the neighbors we've been waving at and yelling greetings to for the last 15 months.  It was great to re-connect with everyone.  

And then Monday night I got to watch the Bachelorette on my friend's couch.  I think this season is going to be a corker.  But why do they keep letting Katie go on camera in those god-awful frocks?  Where does she even acquire them??  From slutty dolphin trainers??? (That's Jeanette's joke.)

So, yeah, I wouldn't call it glorious, exactly, but it was great to have places to go and people to see over the Fourth.