Yesterday involved meandering and hanging with the gays. A perfect San Francisco day, it seems. I spent the morning poking around the Union Square area (where the Rich Ladies shop). It’s loaded with super chic Asian 25-35 year olds. It’s very good at making you feel poor, tall, old, and schlubby. I bought a 6 dollar umbrella at Ross b/c it is supposed to rain. It was that or the $500 Prada raincoat. I came back to the hotel to do some last minute work on my dress for the party–I had to make the ribbon belt, add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper, and make wee belt loops to hold up said ribbon belt. Also, ironing. Then I met Steve at the Power Source cafe again. mm.
I set out on my quest to find some of the things I wanted to see. First stop: Alessi flagship store. Alessi is an Italian design firm that makes happy things. I adore them. They put the fun in functional. We have this corkscrew:
and a smiling pasta fork named Lola. Not everything has a face (although I always did want to live in Rolie Polie Olie’s house), some things are just really cool, like the Phillip Starck juicer:
and some are just lovely, like the stemware and coffee service–clean, modern lines. Like Ikea with a better-paying job. The store was a happy place, the employees seemed to really like being there and weren’t at all “I work in an Italian design boutique.” More “I work in a place where the spoons have smiles.”
Continuing my art adventure, I went to the San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design. I was disappointed that it was only one exhibit, but it was at least a nice one. Michael Peterson was the artist. Lovely pieces, and it was very, very hard to obey the “Do not touch” signs b/c the wood was so smooth and “please touch me” looking. There was a write up about the artist near the entry which of course blathered about his vision yadda yadda and his evolution from the use of the lathe to the chainsaw (okay!), and then said that he works out of doors, never using a tarp even in sun and wind and rain so that he can be at one with the elements that shape his wood…That, paired with the fact that he makes driftwood art AND that he lives on the Washington coast, makes me suspect that ol’ Len Tukwilla was inspried by Mr. Peterson. Because lord knows I thought “I find a piece of driftwood that looks like a squirrel, and then I polish it, and then I glue eyes on it”…
All full of culture, I girded my loins for a foray into Sephora. I wanted red lipstick. I have purchased many red lipsticks in my time, and almost all end up in the trash b/c they look okay in the store and then look coral or purple when I get them home. So I meandered around in the store until I gave up and found a gay. Michael looked to be about my age and had the cynical twinkle in his eye that draws me in. He took on my challenge at once. “You need to match the red to your dress or go with a nude.” I told him that I’d read that if I matched my lips to my dress people would point at me and mock me and I’d show up on Go Fug Yourself. “Not for a holiday party. But it has to be exact. Do you remember the dress well enough?” I told thim that I’d made the dress so I was pretty familiar with the fabric. He dropped his hands to his sides and walked away a few paces. Um, come back? He turned around and said “Stop. You SEW?!” And seriously, it was like I’d said I was an alchemist. Apparently it was a good thing b/c he dove in with new vigor. Dragged me all over the damned place smearing lipsticks on his arm. He looked like a teenaged cutter. He’d smear one on and say “Is that red rusty? Does it have an orange cast?” in a way that suggested I was being quizzed. I think I did okay. I’m no good at makeup but I do know color.
He narrowed down our choices to two and plopped me on a stool. We chatted while he worked and shared our love of Bravo programming. Each time I said something that delighted him, he’d drop his arms and walk away. It was totally cracking me up. Also, he looked a lot like John Locke from Lost, but younger and gayer, and had the sort of face that hides not. one. thing. Every emotion he had went right to his eyebrows. Once we’d settled on a lipstick (literally a stick, some kind of pencil that I then put a gloss over. And apparently would never ever come off. he emphasized how hard it was to get it off.) I asked him to tell me what to do with my eyes as well. Off he went, back with two colors, a fleshy tone and a dark brown. “You must never wear green, purple, or blue,” he told me. So now I know. He daubed away at my eyes and asked how I learned to sew, “My mom was a home ec teacher.” Drops the arms, but does not leave, just gives me eyebrows. “And now you just sew and sew. Do you pass it on to your kids?” “I’m a 4-H instructor.” He walks clear to the other side of the store and comes back. “I grew up in San Francisco and all I wanted was to take 4-H. But we didn’t have it!” So I told him that Julianna was taking pack goat and I thought he was going to actually leave the store, but he recovered. Clearly I come from a magical land far away.
He informed me that my eyes “love makeup.” and I told him that they were lying to him b/c they wanted to look cool to the Big City Man. He asked why I didn’t wear makeup normally and I told him that my life is not really very glam and that I’m very bad at applying it. He insisted that I was just fine at it b/c I sew (yeah, I know). Then I told him that I’m really only good with Fairy Festival makeup with swirls and flowers and glitter. He was gone. When he returned he clasped my hand and said “We’re kindred spirits.” Which I totally knew and if I lived here we would be SUCH good friends and would watch Project Runway together.
I had about 90 min until my hair appt, so I went over to a little mall complex. I caught sight of myself in a window–heavy evening makeup and an LLBean pullover fleece. Not a good look. Like a hooker from Maine. So I went into a bathroom and wiped most of it off. The red came off with a bit of scrubbing, but first it smeared so I looked like Florence Henderson at the beginning of Shakes the Clown (go rent it, I’ll wait). I went into the Sanrio store which was not as much fun as it used to be. I think I’m close to Kitty-ed out.
I poked about Chinatown for a while. I think maybe it needs to be renamed “the hideous light fixture district” Mither-a-gad, that stuff is terrible. I first saw this through a window:
(phone pics, sorry) and because of the angle, I saw that weird squiggly red and orange one first. And I thought, “wow, that is an ugly light.” And then I saw the giant blow-glass flowers and imagined that surely these were one-0f-a-kind. Some artist friend of the shop’s owner, perhaps? Then one shop over:
And a couple down from that:
But wait, that’s not all! in addition to hideous glass you get questionable sculputure. This guy is nearly my height:
It was truly a wonderland. Like, “I wonder what sort of drugs you have to take to think this crap’s a good idea?” they ship world wide, though, so that’s nice.
Then off to get a haircut. While my stylist was washing my hair, he turned to the girl beside him and said, “I’m so glad you were honest with me. it means so much to me that you trust me. Still, I am sad.” SEriously people, how do you–as a nasty East Coaster–not crack up? he gave me a good cut though, and I went back to the room and suited up and off we went.
The party was at an apt in the Marina district, very pretty. It was loud and too hot, but everyone seemed nice. We were the chicest people there, of course. And I certainly had the best bag. Steve is too tall to be my official photographer, and I’m too light sensitive to be a Top Model, but here’s the look:
And now I’m off to explore some more. We have a 7:30 am flight….