Oh, Lefty, how I adore you. I adore any establishment, no matter how sketchy, at which a man at a piano openly asks, “Any requests?”
“FREE BIRD!” I yelled, as we walked in the door. I continued to sing at the top of my lungs, arms draped around whomever was close enough, "requesting" songs that are obviously not a part of the piano bar canon.
“Play 'Sister Christian!' 'Ghost BUSTERS.' 'It's Raining Men. It's Raining Men. It’s Raining Men.' 'ALL MY EXES LIVE IN
And then there was my frequent, random demand for more cowbell. At the end of belting out certain songs, I liked to take the mic, throw a kiss to the audience and yell, "Thank you, San Francisco, goodnight!" My only regret is that I didn’t get enough sleep, not that I didn’t make some other conference gaffes. Live and learn.
Mistakes were made, understanding that they were bound to happen. First off, despite fervent warnings from everyone about finding a place at the intersection of comfort and style, I brought the worst possible selection of shoes that were neither comfortable nor stylish. A rookie mistake, which on the mistake spectrum is located far from taking your friend hunting, and then shooting him in the face, and closer to, say, sitting down to an evening of cable TV, only to discover that perhaps H.O.T.S. is not the kind of movie you want to watch with your grandpa. It was a slightly painful and long-remembered, but could-have-been-worse scenario for sure.
Next, I failed to bring my North Face down jacket, mostly because I didn’t realize that walking along the streets of
And I didn’t allot enough time for non-conference shenanigans. My cousin Kevin, who’s lived in the Bay Area his whole life, came to the city to meet me and catch up. We haven’t seen each other for at least ten years, and seeing him connected me in a new way to memories of visiting
I also met up with…wait for it…a couple of MySpace friends, who happened to be in the city to see Eddie Izzard Saturday night. It was my first-ever MySpace moment; perhaps my first Internet-Only Friend moment, and I’m sure that there are people scratching their heads about what the big deal is. This is the part where I repeat: "I’m Amish, remember?" In short, they were totally nice, normal people with excellent taste in comedy, which is perhaps the best endorsement anyone can get from me.
In the "win" column, both my cousin and my MySpace pals commented on the quality and reputation of the Westin St. Francis, and it was all I could do to pretend like I had chosen it for that reason, dahlink. I have to agree that I was thoroughly impressed with the concierge who took my call the night I asked where I could get some Band Aids. He said, "I'll send some right up" with such enthusiasm that I wanted to call back and ask for a pony. Providing speedy free Band Aid delivery is the mark of a good hotel (are you getting this down, Frommer's), but it just so happened that’s where the conference was happening, and I got a really good rate on my
My plane was delayed in
And without shitting you in the slightest, I can’t wait to do it again.