Sunday, August 14, 2005

Economics Conference, Day Two (more story time)

Refer to previous post for Day One.

While I slept, I didn't dream about the possible cockroach fest in my room, or the fact that Norman Bates might be hiding in the shadows. I dreamt about a boy that I saw during the day in San Francisco.
While standing on the corner of Third and Market on Wednesday, I noticed that the cards were not driving up the street on Third. I strained to see what was slowing traffic when I saw a figure in a ragged trenchcoat, wrapped in a blanket, walking across the street. The figure was a boy, could not be older than 16, who seemed like he could be homeless. As he walked across the street, he and I locked eyes. Part of the reason I became a teacher is because I can't stand watching kids suffer. I don't mean struggle, I mean suffer. The look in this kid's eyes was part resilience, part suffering. I drew my eyes away, feeling this horrid sadness that I could not control. I didn't pity him, it was just a really deep sadness, if that makes any sense. As the crosswalk turned green, I turned and looked at him. As he was walking away, he was still looking at me, with the same expression. It really bothered me, enough to even dream about it. I hadn't felt that depth of sadness in a long while.
I woke up around 4:30 to the sound of squealing tires. What to do? Go back to sleep and have get the later ferry? Or get up and get the hell out of dodge. Obviously, the latter was the decision. Of course, there had to be one more nasty experience. With no ventilation in the bathroom, water started to drip down from the ceiling and soaked the floor. Ew. I was out of that room by 5:15 a.m.
The ferry ride was quiet and smooth, with the fog strangely absent during the morning. Due to the lack of fog, what welcomed me was a beautiful picture of San Francisco during the dawn. It was a wonderful sight. If you haven't visited San Francisco, you must take the trip. It is truly a picturesque city. Once off the ferry, I hit Peete's coffee again, but I wanted a nice breakfast this time. Down the street was Noah's bagels. Let explain something, Noah's must be putting crack in their bagels, because they were soooooooo damn good. An "Everything" bagel with onion & chive smear, wow! Noah's and Peete's, the perfect combination.
The conference was excellent, and once again I'll post more about it later.
At the end of the conference, I received a call from my wife. It was asked that I go to 4th and Market to the Old Navy, and then search the "flip-flop" rack for deals (2 for $5). At this moment, I had my backpack full of books, and a shopping bag that was really full of books. I wasn't about to walk the 30 minutes over to Old Navy with all this crap. So I wandered over to the trolley to hitch the ride that would take me right up to the front of the store. It was called the "F-line". I got to the station at Embarcadero and Chestnut. Here came a trolley.
There went the trolley. It was full. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I waited. 7 minutes passed.
Here came a trolley.
There went the trolley. Again, it was full. This presented a problem. You don't give up that easily when Old Navy is at state. I stepped over the tracks to the opposite side. I would catch the trolley in the other direction, but the turnaround was only a few blocks away. The trip might be a little longer, but it was no big deal.
Here came a trolley.
There went the trolley. Surprise! It was full. Now I started to fret. I walked over to the schedule to assess my options. Either it was the "F-line" trolley or the #10 bus that arrived every 15 minutes. Well, I'll wait here for the trolley and catch the bus when I see it.
Hey, isn't that the bus right there?!?!?!?!
Sure enough, it had pulled up across the street, and I preceded to waive it down, sprinting across the intersection like a crazy ass with a bag full of books. But it worked, and I found my way to Old Navy.
By this time I was tired, sick of crowds, and ready to go home. The city is great to visit, but I was dying for quiet. Old Navy was not the solution. The packed store is blaring music and the people in the establishment all look like Valley Girls. But I head to the flip-flop rack and find the deals. The only problem is that there are 15 colors, and it was my duty to call my wife. So here I am, book bag in one hand, cell phone in the other, huge backpack knocking into everyone, with a mammoth scowl. Four 12 year old girls started getting pissy with the fact that I was hogging the rack, which warranted a nice turn of the backpack to keep them at bay. After satisfying my wife's flip-flop fetish, I took another bus down Market to the Ferry Building, went to Larkspur, and drove the two hours home, thankfully without any traffic.

All in all, an interesting trip. I'll get to the Economics portion later.
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