Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Joanna, Jsin, and the Sutro Baths

I met joannasatana and jsinevil yesterday! We saw the ruins of the Sutro baths! We ate in a cafe that was made out of an old train car! We drove through the twists and turns of Lombard Street!

I began my day by driving to the Berkeley BART station with a printout of Yahoo! Maps driving directions. When I was almost there, I suddenly realized that the directions were totally wrong, or at least they would have taken me there via a ridiculously long way around. I decided to dispense with the directions and attempt to find my way there by memory. Luckily, my memory proved very accurate, so I found the BART station very easily. In fact, I arrived earlier than I had expected to, and a train immediately arrived at the station, so I caught an earlier train than I had expected to, and therefore arrived in San Francisco half an hour earlier than I needed to.

I was hungry, so I bought a milkshake from a fast food place right outside the BART station. Some guy in the fast food place attempted to persuade me to sit with him, and became angry and rude toward me when I turned him down. I escaped the fast food place, milkshake in hand, and stood outside the BART station drinking it. A crowd of scary drug dealer people milled around me, and a guy with a severe speech impediment suddenly initiated an attempted conversation with me, which I understood nothing of, due to the speech impediment. I think he was selling drugs, but that's only a guess, based mostly on the fact that selling drugs appeared to be the primary function of the street corner. I moved away from him and finished the milkshake. Two people approached, who looked distinctly like joannasatana and jsinevil, and the one who looked like joannasatana was looking at me with an obvious thought that I looked distinctly like queerbychoice! It was a good time to get away from that streetcorner. Even then, we didn't manage to finish our initial introductions and walk to their car before being offered more drugs.

Joanna attempted to drive us to the Sutro baths, but ended up driving around in circles and repeatedly apologizing to me for being lost. The apologizing was quite unnecessary, since although I'm not at all fond of being lost when I'm the one driving or navigating, I find it entirely pleasant to sit in the back seat calmly enjoying the sights of San Francisco while leaving it all up to Joanna and Jsin to figure out how to eventually get us where we're supposed to be going. Besides, I hadn't been expecting them to have a car while in California, so even with the lostness, the trip was still shorter than I had been expecting.

Eventually we found our way to the ruins of the Sutro baths. It was not until we had arrived there that I found out the place is a sort of Satanist holy ground, because apparently Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, claimed to have cursed the place and caused it to fall into ruins. Also, Anton LaVey's grandson had personally given Joanna and Jsin a list of Satanist places to visit while they were in San Francisco, and this was on the list. Isn't it just so fitting that the very first time I meet any Satanists, they immediately lure me to a Satanist holy ground without informing me that their reasons for going there are Satanist??? (Actually, I didn't mind in the least, because it was a place well worth seeing for completely non-Satanist reasons. And besides, Satanism is by far the least annoying religion I've ever encountered, mainly because its practitioners - all two of them that I've met - do not come across to me as taking it anywhere near as disturbingly seriously as the Christians and pagans and other religious people I've met seem to take their religions.)

My left shoulder is sunburned, though! Every single time I ever attempt to risk sunshine with the protection of sunscreen, I always manage to miss a spot somewhere. This time it was my left shoulder. The moral of this story is that sunshine is way more dangerous than Satanists.

Joanna was too afraid of heights to actually climb down to the ruins to see them up close, so she stayed on the cliffside above and watched while Jsin and I climbed down to them with our cameras and photographed them thoroughly. I shall post my pictures of the Sutro baths later, after I have time to sort through them and remove the pointlessly redundant ones - probably next weekend. (None of us are in the pictures, though. Who needs photographic proof of having met when you have three witnesses?) And I am happy to say that I managed, despite some precarious teetering on a very thin section of cement that I had to cross twice, not to actually fall into the Sutro baths.

I'm also happy to say that I thoroughly approve of Joanna's taste in husbands. I mean, I had approved already, because I have only ever heard good things about him for seven years already, and also when I eventually (many many years after first hearing about him) saw photographs of him, the photographs made a good impression too. But I had never actually conversed with him (online or offline) until yesterday. So now I approve more knowledgeably. Joanna needs to do a better job of pestering him to actually write in that unused LiveJournal of his, so that people other than her can enjoy his presence more often.

I found them both very comfortable people to be around. (Texan drawls and all!) I was somewhat concerned that they might not find me to be so comfortable to be around, because I tend to be a person of very few words and very long silences when offline, and this seems to make a lot of people uncomfortable if they are at all more extroverted than I am, which I had the impression (before ever meeting her) that Joanna, at least, was. But if they found me untalkative, they at least weren't bothered enough by it to mention it.

Later we ate in a cafe made out of an old streetcar. Joanna and Jsin ordered exactly identical meals. I considered ordering the same thing too (except for the drink; they had tea, and I don't like tea), but it said on the menu that it came with vegetables, and I didn't want to have to pick vegetables out, so I ordered something that didn't say it came with vegetables. As it turned out, they both came with vegetables, but the vegetables were on the side and didn't need to be picked out. Menus should be clearer about these things! Oh well, the food was good. Then Joanna drove us down Lombard Street, and then they took me back to the San Francisco BART station, and I went through the gates and they stayed behind. I think they should come back! Jsin mentioned to me a vague interest in maybe moving to the Santa Cruz area someday. I think they should do this, so that it would be more possible to visit them again someday.
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