Thursday, March 10
Sean and I decided that this was going to be a shopping day. We went outside to discover what was basically the most perfect day imaginable, sunny and in the high 70s. I can't even begin to tell you what a good mood this put me in. Anybody who lives in the Northeast will understand: we've had the shit kicked out of us this winter. Being able to forget about that for a few days was the greatest thing ever. We had a lovely outdoor breakfast of bananas and Odwalla bars and decided that we'd walk to Haight St.
It was a really long walk from Japantown! Especially with all those hills. Phew. Along the way, we took a little detour into Buena Vista park, where there were indeed some buena vistas. Including this one:
At the top right you can barely make out the Golden Gate Bridge. And in the foreground, "Matthew's Best Hit Soda," a grape-flavored Japantown find, which Sean theorized was named after Matthew Wilder's best hit, "Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride." I don't know if he was right or not.
And then it was just a little bit further to Haight Street. I went a little shopping-crazy, I must admit. There were some really cool stores, and I could have easily spent twice the amount of time and many many times the amount of money, but I did pretty well. My favorite places were Kid Robot, for all sorts of amazing-looking Japanese toys, and Ambiance, a store with all this repro vintage clothing, which, being a compulsive thrifter, I'm generally pretty snotty about and look down my nose at. But this stuff was incredible! Everything was just perfectly Right, and not at all cheesy, and unfortunately rather pricey as well, so I just restrained myself and got a pair of markdown shoes.
There was a delicious Mexican lunch somewhere in there, and then even more shopping afterwards, and I think Sean was beginning to tire of waiting around for me to finish sifting through each place, and we did have to get a move on soon. So we went back to our hotel and rested up for a few minutes before heading off to our soundcheck.
We were playing that night at these video game audio awards, which were part of the whole Game Developers' Conference. So we met the Duke there, and there were a bunch of people running around setting stuff up, and a bunch of other bands who were waiting to soundcheck, and everything took forever and people didn't really seem to know what they were doing. Or at least the ones who knew what they were doing weren't Union and therefore weren't allowed to touch anything. Everyone was supposed to get like a 10 minute soundcheck and we just stood up there for 9 1/2 minutes while the soundguy tried to figure out the mysteries of how to make sound come out of the speakers. It was bad. We were rather apprehensive.
Anyway, they tried to rush thru setting everything up, and the doors finally opened like a half hour late. We had a little schedule where everything was planned down to the minute. Bands were playing one song, in between some of the awards. We weren't the first band up, so we were hoping that meant they might have stuff figured out by then. But alas, it was not to be. We got up there and started playing Science Genius Girl, and I went to sing and... nothing. Nothing of Sean' keyboard, either. Soundguys fumbling around at the board, and still, nothing. I wondered if we should stop or what, but I figured "oh, I'm sure they'll have it sorted out in a second..." and then they didn't, and it was really awkward and confusing. Somewhere in the second verse, my mike came on. That part was awesome. Anyway, we limped through the rest of the song and went out in the hall. Random people offered us their sympathies. Oh the sweet sweet irony, that this should happen at audio awards. Anyway, this event turned out to be even more pointless than the other one, except that we looked mighty fine in our white outfits.
Sean and I then went in search of some food while the rest of the awards were going on. We ended up at a Mel's diner, where I had the cheesiest grilled cheese I've ever had, which was really good until it suddenly became not-so-good. Eating made us somewhat less cranky at least. We went back to the awards, which were finally ending, and collected our gear and a few more random peoples' sympathies, and went back to the hotel.