Friday was most excellent. I bailed on work early (of course, early turned out to be 4:00, nowhere near as early as I wanted) and kproche and I drove up to the city for a relaxed SF Pride weekend.
Friday night's party was the Phoenix Uniform Club's Uniform & Leather Ball. It's the only major pervy event of pride weekend, and it's a blast. Imagine the San Francisco War Memorial (Opera House) Green Room filled with (mostly) men in leather and every sort of uniform imaginable. Add Gail Wilson and City Swing, a hosted bar and a great dinner, and that's the evening. We spent the night chatting, K got in a few dances with Madame Steele, and we had a generally good time.
Afterwards, we hauled off to the Edge to meet up with Empress Donna Sachet. The crowds were insane (The Castro on the Friday night of pride, what do you expect?), but we got in and caught up with a bunch of friends.
We weren't total wrecks on Saturday morning. Learned that lesson. It was a good thing, too, because we had seats at Donna and Gary's Pride Brunch at 11:00am. The Pride Brunch is a strange animal. Originally at Stars, then for a year at the short-lived John Frank (now the home of Home) before finally moving to the Ramada Plaza ballroom, it's a benefit for Positive Resource Center, a San Francisco benefits counseling and employment service for folks living with HIV. Early on, Donna started using her not-inconsiderable political clout to get city officials and parade grand marshals to the brunch, and a few years back it became an official part of the weekend festivities. This year we heard from all of the grand marshals, including Empress I José, Alec Mapa, Ilene Chaiken, Esera Tuaolo, James Hormel and a host of local activists and players in the community.
From there we did a quick walk through Civic Center to check out pride shopping. There was a lot of rainbow tat. We said "hi" to the folks at Utilikilts and to Lex and Joe Phillips, and headed back to the hotel for a nap.
That was basically the end of our pride-related events of the weekend. I've been in the parade, and don't need to again. The crowds are a bit overwhelming, and there was nobody we needed to see that we hadn't already.
Saturday night we went to Espetus for dinner. Espetus is a "rodizio style" Brazillian Churrascaria steakhouse. Basically, cute (mostly) Brazillian guys come around with sword-like skewers loaded with meat and slice off chunks at your table. It's like kebabs on steroids. Because it's "the buffet comes to you" there's a fixed price for the meal; drinks and desserts are extra. It ain't cheap, but the food is excellent (even the skewer loaded down with marinated grilled chicken hearts).
Afterwards we repaired back to the hotel for a drink. The barman at the Hotel Majestic is singlehandedly trying to revive early 20th century cocktail culture, and he's doing a bang-up job. Every Wednesday he offers up a new special of the week; some forgotten classic cocktail that you just can't get anywhere else because nobody stocks the ingredients. Last week's was the Aviation (gin, maraschino liquer and lemon juice), this week's is the Pre-Prohibition Martini (gin, vermouth, orange bitters and a lemon twist).
K wanted to see a movie, so we walked over to the AMC 14 at 1000 Van Ness, a strange monstrosity of stadium theaters grafted on the back of a glorious old Cadillac dealership. It's a bit weird going up 7 floors (yeah, it's escalators, at least) to get to your theater, but it's actually pretty nice.
Movie was Batman Begins. As in "Batman Begins to not suck anymore." By no means great cinema, it was still a fun movie. Only had two problems: A microwave emitter wouldn't work that way, and the car chase was kind of lame. Other than that, a good revival of the Batman franchise.
Oh, and Cillian Murphy was hot, in a kind of psycho-anorexic-goth-boy way.
Sunday morning we got up, went to breakfast at Mel's, did a bit of shopping in J-town, and headed south.
Since we got home early enough, we headed out to Valley Fair mall to pick up some stuff for this week's trip to Calgary. K wanted a new travel pillow (the inflatables are nasty) so I picked up a Brookstone Föm pillow (it's the only one I found that was big enough) and we found a Lewis N. Clark Rëakt pillow for Kevin. We also snagged some more TravelSentry locks.
Is there some sort of IKEA virus floating around that is infecting marketers with umlauts? I need to know.