Night One in San Francisco | Uber, Tacos & Fashion

IMG_7172

Flying to San Francisco for work reminded me of the strains of business travel. Looking around the full flight, there were a few people tapping away on their laptops, two guys bookended me in the cramped row. As a moderately tall person, I suspect the seats are shrinking.

Other than first class, is there a way to fly without requiring a chiropractor to untwist your spine?

IMG_7160

As the landing gear came down, I looked out the window and started a conversation with the man in the window seat. He grew up in Evanston and is now in the IT cloud sphere. Thankfully, my background in marketing allowed me to quasi understand and converse about his work. It’s all about knowing the buzzwords. “Agile” is your friend.

Before today, I’d been in an uber car once. Today, I took two: one from my house and one from SFO. San Francisco has a few more options than suburban Chicago. Uber Pool lets you share a ride with someone else heading to the same area. I shared my uber with Katie and we both paid $15 for the ride. Her catch phrase was “right on,” so I’m pretty sure she’s not from Chicago.

Seven hours after leaving for the airport, I was at my hotel. I checked in and promptly switched rooms for one with a shower that was higher than my navel. I rinsed my face with cool water and popped a Tylenol.

I got restaurant recommendations from Jenn at the front desk. Then, I headed into the brisk evening air. SF is strange in that it always feels chilly. Compare that to Chicago which can best be described bone chilling. Thursday’s high is one degree. One.

Armed with Yelp, personal recommendations and a fleece, I started out into Union Square. Chicago has its weirdos, but California is an entire different level. The city smells strongly of marijuana and it’s as though the entire city is attempting to be discovered on some talent show. There was a guy with a full drum kit on the sidewalk. Take that bucket boys. Outside of an art museum there was a man standing with his head down and legs spread wide, not moving. I prefer sleeping laying down, but different strokes. He was still there after I left the restaurant.

IMG_7165

I ended up at Tropisueño. There were several groups waiting for a table. I’ve previously said traveling is better with others. The first few days of this trip will expose the other side: traveling solo.

IMG_7164

Tonight, I was able to grab a spot at their communal table. Within five minutes I had chips and three salsas.

I am the Gollum of salsas.

Then, an entree and drink. While I ate my chile verde, pork braised in salsa verde with rice, beans and warm, pillowy corn tortillas, two men and one lady were sat opposite me.

As I ate, I listened to the trio discuss who the best dressed were in their office. They all agreed Gallway seems to be in “top 10 percentile.”

“But he’s married to someone in fashion,” one of the guys said.

They continued on as I had a love affair with my dinner wondering how poorly I’d fare in their fashion police. I started thinking of excuses.

“I came straight from the airport.”

“My luggage was stollen.”

“I only buy things for less than $20.”

Then, as I spoke with the waiter about how the pork was braised, I realized fashion isn’t my game, tacos are.

IMG_7167

Ain’t No Party Like an Al Pastor Party

20130713-193943.jpgHow do you kickstart a conversation?

Person #1: Hi. I’m Mr. So-and-So.

Me:  Hi, I’m Andrew.

Person #1: Where’d you go to school? What do you do?

After everyone in the small group answers, an awkward silence results. We have all been in one of these dead end conversations. It’s painful. You look down at your glass, wishing the libation were stronger or that there were more of it. I tried unsuccessfully to spark the conversation asking about upcoming summer travel, passions, and any recent good reads.

You can read all the books and blogs about networking or developing your inner extrovert, but I discovered a secret yet to be enumerated. And it goes against all conventional wisdom. Continue reading Ain’t No Party Like an Al Pastor Party

A Case for Singlehood

Thom

There were no less than three weddings today, according to my Facebook feed. I liked zero of those status updates. Not that I don’t love weddings or celebrating that a friend found someone in a homeless place. I’m convinced those are the lyrics Rihanna meant to use. The issue is that I view weddings as a zero sum situation, especially if I wasn’t invited. In fact, as soon as I learned the meaning of a “zero sum game,” I realized how many things I think of as such:

  • A dollar for you, is one dollar less for me
  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Women
  • Fried mushrooms
  • Corner pieces of pizza
  • Sunscreen

I’m not positive, but I think Thomas Malthus‘ theory (that there are a finite amount of resources on Earth) was written after he read the Society page of his local paper.

Continue reading A Case for Singlehood