Before I begin, I feel obligated to reassure everyone that I'm not still wandering the stripmalls of Palo Alto or other (all-too) similar Silicon Valley localities. I was not abducted by the bowling alley fog monsters. I made it home to San Francisco alive.

Now, to my story, from the beginning. I was born... wait, not the very beginning. umm. Ok. Yes. 3:30 pm. Having picked up my City Car Share car earlier in the afternoon to do some other errands (like hauling some potting soil and compost for the garden), my transport was ready. After printing out the requisite Mapblast map I headed south on the 101. It was the first time I'd been down the pennisula in several months, at least on the bay side. I noticed there aren't quite so many internet company billboards, and the ones that are left seem sort of... desperate, somehow.

Anyway, 37 miles and I was ready to exit onto San Antonio. Went the wrong way. turned around, headed into a soulless commercial area. Turn onto Camino Real. Combination Bowling Alley Thai Restaurant. Okay. Inside, several confused people standing around. This must be the noders!! When they saw my Perl t-shirt they knew I was one of them, and I was certain once I saw Ouroboros' Everything t-shirt. Right on!

I won't repeat the chronology already covered above, but will mention some impressions:

  1. that bowling alley was really freaky. I kept trying to figure out what the deal was. Were we really still in California? Had we slipped through a dimensional portal to Nebraska, or Mars? Or perhaps this was some strange post-ironic, Palo Alto contrived way to "do" a bowling alley? Like maybe the guys at the counter were just doing this as some sort of performance art piece? Maybe the tattoos were fake, and the dude carrying around the tiny little boombox held up to his ear was really listening to instructions from his MFA thesis advisor? ("Allright, Bill, now remember, this is all simulacra, but it's hyperreal! And tommorrow in seminar I want a full report on the semiotics of black light!") I mean, really, disco lights, fog machines, AND White Snake?
  2. One highlight was explaining to emphyrio and wiggy, our Dutch visitors, that this was strange even for America. I learned from Emphyrio that the Dutch play the same actual game when they bowl, but without the disco lights and fog. I assured him this was not the norm. Really! I swear! Hopefully they will be in town long enough to try another alley. I suggest Presidio Bowl in the city, guys. It's totally normal and dignified. Army officers used to bowl there, it had to be.
  3. I must correct Soy Man - above he has the lane/personnel listing bacwards, I believe. I'm fairly certain that Bindlenix, Kyhmchanir, Rischi, and I were in lane 23. I remember seeing the ghost of William S. Burroughs hovering above the pins, out there in the fog...
  4. I had a great time, even though I missed the second half. (see below) So after the bowling, there was much discussion over where to go for dinner. The Thai place around the corner? No, the more local people had a better idea. So everyone piled into their cars. I must have listened to the directions wrong because I was soon lost. I remembered "corner of University and Camino Real", but it took some looking on a map before i realized my mistake. Then I realized another mistake - the time was almost 7:30 and I had only reserved my car share car till 8:00! uh oh. Even if I found my way to the restaurant, I would be late getting the car back, and be charged some late fees, and I'd be possibly screwing over whoever had reserved the car next . Damn. I should have reserved more time. I felt like Cinderella and her coach/pumpkin dilemma. Anyway, I reluctantly decided to get on the highway and head home. I feel touched and guilty that a posse of noders actually went back to look for me! Thanx all! You're the best!

    Let's do it again soon! In the City! Golden Gate Park, maybe.