The social experiment

I’ve been trying to be more social, and last week I was actually successful.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this already, but at a recent work party, I met the girlfriend of one of MB’s co-workers.  We have a lot in common: we’re both new to SF, originally from the east coast, and interested in writing.  We’ve been hitting it off really well.  Last Thursday we met at 2 PM to chit chat over coffee and hot chocolate.  The next thing we knew it was five hours later.  Crazy!  I only noticed because I was getting hungry.

On Sunday I went to this writing “marathon.”  As you know, I’m doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and was looking for a meet up.  There were just a couple, and were either at weird times (10 PM to 3 AM) or way the fuck out in some part of town I’d never heard of (which isn’t saying much I guess).  But then I saw a posting for a general writing meet up inviting people doing NaNoWriMo.

We met at Jumpin’ Java in the Castro at 10 AM.  I’m ashamed to admit I still don’t have a handle on SF public transit and so either walk everywhere or take cabs.  Sunday I took a cab.

At first I thought I had the wrong street because it seemed to be all houses.  But there nestled on a corner was the cafe.

I got a lot of work done very quickly.  It was both comforting and energetic to be surrounded by six or seven other people also writing.  You’re buffered from the freaks, and there’s also this unspoken, subtle pressure to KEEP WORKING.  The organizers scheduled it pretty well: 10 to 11:30, writing; 11:30 to 12:30 break for lunch; 1 to 2:30 more writing; another break; and then the end of the day.  The scheduled breaks keep people from chatting too much, and give you a target to work towards.

As for lunch, when you walked in, they had you write down your order so the cafe could prepare everything beforehand.  By the time 11:30 to 12 rolls around, they have your sandwich or whatever all ready, and you just pay.  And then to sit there and eat and talk about writing was really nice.

I thought I’d stay all the way till 4, but I pooped out by the 2:30 break.

Afterwards I met MB in Union Square (walked this time), and from there we took a little stroll around SoMA and hit another cafe we like in the area.  Thank goodness the game show host barista wasn’t there.  It made hanging out so much more peaceful.

By the time we headed home, it was after 5:30.  I had been out the whole day, from 9:30 on.  Wow!

Today I made up for it by being a bum and writing at home.  Around three I decided I really wanted some chocolate, did some Yelp research, and found the Blue Fog Market.  It’s a little bit of a schlep, but I thought a walk would be nice, and I wanted to stop at the Macha Cafe along the way, which someone on Yelp described as having Japanese-style snacks.

But they don’t.  I was very disappointed to find a totally American menu.  I asked the woman about the Japanese snacks, and she said they used to have some, but not anymore.  Bummer!  I had wanted a green tea and a mochi.  Instead I got a peppermint tea and a croissant, which actually really hit the spot.  Next time if I want Japanese snacks, I’ll just go straight to Japantown (which is where I hung out and ate my croissant anyway).

The Blue Fog Market was equally disappointing.  I mean, they had some fancy stuff, but it wasn’t that great.  Plus the chocolate was way more than I wanted to spend.  On the way back, I stopped in a random grocery store, and they had just what I wanted.  A small bar of dark chocolate for under $3, and which will last me a good week.

I forgot to mention: when I was telling my mother about the writing meet up, she said, “Oh, it’s for other housewives?”

Hunh?  First off, I said, “It’s for writers.”  Secondly, “It’s on Sunday,” ie, not on a work day.  Third, does she think I’m a housewife?

I don’t know how my mom’s brain works sometimes.

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