I'm generally three or four years behind everything. I mean, I'm just loving that new "Lady Gaga." So I'm still winding my way through G-shit because I just got a Gmail account and am working out the kinks.
I'm all over my G-calendar and plug in all of my nerdy activities so that little reminders get sent to my Blackberry and I can feel technologically savvy. Last night as Ray wrapped up our filming of Weekend What's Up, my phone glowed with a reminder for "If Not The Chronicle, Then What?" a panel and "party" about how much newspapers suck.
I really should go to this, I thought. Brock is on the panel and Melissa is up for Hot Media Bitch or some such thing. I figured if I haightailed it out of there, I could make the last half of this thing and win the friend of the year award while appearing interested in new media.
We film WEWU at PariSoma at 10th and Howard so I hopped in Rhonda the Honda and booked it down Mission. In the midst of this, my brother called me for our Tuesday phone call.
"I can't talk!" I screamed at him. "I'm late for this thing and I'll see you on Thursday and I gotta go."
"Alright, Bethy." He calmly responded. "I love you."
I found this exasperating. Oh Alex, always so calm, relaxed and mellow. He got all the good, happy, thin genes and I got the "big personality." It's driven me nuts for decades.
Simultaneously, I was texting Brock and Melissa. "Where are you!" "Are you there?" "Is there a list?" "Put me on the list!" "Hello?"
I got these random text responses like, "I'm at Swagapalooza with Brittney" and "I'm still at work. What are we talking about?"
I thought that was really rude. I mean, here I am running through the urban jungle trying to support these assholes and they're not even going to show? As I neared 2nd street, I turned Rhonda down some alley and rolled into a parking lot, coming to a stop in front of the kiosk. There was much confusion, what with the language barriers, and I finally figured out that the attendant would park my car and return the keys to me. I handed him $10 and he handed me a ticket and my keys.
I spun around and ran towards the Commonwealth Club, or at least where my vague recollection told me the Commonwealth Club was located. I lept onto sidewalks, jaywalked in front of busses, I was hustling as fast as I could until finally, Brock sent me a text.
I stopped dead in my tracks. "Oh my God, it is? Are you sure?"
"Yes. It's definitely tomorrow."
I took a deep breath and turned around, making my way back to the parking lot.
"Hi." I smiled as sweetly as I could. "I was just here 2 minutes ago. I got the day wrong. Is there anyway I can get my money back?"
In this economy, I wanted my $10. But I was met with an awkward and difficult to understand lecture about how they don't do refunds. "Once you park car, you pay."
The gentleman who'd parked my car mere moments before appeared. "You back? You forget something?"
"I got the date wrong!" I gave him the 'Oh, aren't us women idiots' look. "I was here 2 minutes ago. Is there anyway I can get my money back?"
"Oooohhhh. Oh no. We don't do that."
"Really? I was here for like, 10 seconds."
He looked horrified. "You talk to supervisor."
He pointed down the alley, into some cavernous building that looked like the shooting location for Michael Jackson's BAD video. "Will you come with me and tell him I was only here for a minute?"
I marched off towards the supervisor as he ran after me. "Thank you so much!" I screamed, staring straight ahead. "I really appreciate this."
The supervisor sat in his office with his feet up on the desk, and a collection of 3 or 4 attendants surrounded me as I explained my error apologetically. "I'll be back tomorrow, I promise. I was only here for a minute and I got the date wrong. It's tomorrow, not tonight. I'm such an idiot."
The supervisor didn't seem to care. "You got ticket?"
I handed him my ticket. He scribbled "VOID" on it and handed it back. "You give this to them."
"Them" had become my curious entourage. We all walked back outside and down the alley to where my car was parked next to the parking kiosk.
I handed the one guy who hadn't joined our little field trip my voided ticket. His nametag proclaimed, "Hector" and with great disgust and disdain, he handed me $10. Then, in an unnecessary display of douchery for the benefit of his co-workers, who if I do say so myself, had grown to enjoy my effusive apologies, gave me this bullshit tirade about how "next time" he won't be so nice and really, they're not supposed to do this because it's "no fair."
The gentleman who'd been my sidekick this whole time dove in. "No, no. no. She nice. She come back tomorrow. Is okay! Is okay!"
But Hector was having none of it. "Next time, she don't do this. Take money."
The rushing, the panic, the texting, the mix-up. I was done with Hector. "I'm not taking your money. I spoke with your Supervisor down there."
There was no 'Oh, silly me' look. There was only 'urban warrior' look. And just as I suspected, Hector was a big wimp. "Oh, okay. You can go."
Yeah, thanks dipshit. I know.
I got in Rhonda the Honda, kicked up the Lady Gaga and got the hell out of there.
Which is a very long way of saying, there's this thing at the Commonwealth Club tonight and you should go! You can sit in the back with me and pretend to care about new media...