First Bay Area Commute Drive
2013-02-02, 7:40 p.m.
Wow, what a day.
My day started veeeeery early because my idiot next door neighbors, whose living room is next to my bedroom, periodically like to throw parties where they (a) boom shitty weird techno music, and (b) scream. I am not kidding. My bedroom shakes when they do this. They don't do it every weekend, but the last time they did it, they didn't shut up until about 3 a.m. This time, they didn't shut up until about 4:30. I continue to ponder calling the police about it, but then I think, "what if they're crazy, and it's obvious that I was the one who called if I do?" So I was up at 3 a.m. in my living room (could still hear their racket), watching Nostalgia Chick videos.
Around 4:30 when they finally got quiet enough to sleep through, I thought, "Fuck, I have to be up by 8 a.m. This suuuuuuucks." Especially on a weekend when I get a whopping two damn days to sleep for a full night anyway...well, not this one. And I had other reasons for wanting to be well rested for the night.
I went into SF *yet again* because Jackie wanted me to go to an event with her. I'd found out about said event being held at a new store, which sells...stuff Jackie would be interested in. In the days of the Internet and everyone having Google alerts on themselves, I feel bad about saying the name of this company. Let's say....they make custom widget clothing for a select clientele of human beings, most of whom live in the Bay Area. Anyway, upon finding out about this, Jackie wanted to go and she wanted me to go with her. I was...completely at a loss as to why, since I look terrible in widgetwear and it's pretty much the opposite of my dress style. I kind of figured that I'd stick out as a sore thumb among the widget clientele, so I was kind of uncomfortable with this. Especially since I figured the logical point of a party at Widgetwear was to well, sell widgetware. But she wanted me to go more than I didn't want to go, so I went.
On the way over there, Jackie and I discussed the price of widgetwear and how she gets hers custom made and how much that costs her, since she is tiny-sized and (I can say from experience from many shopping trips with her) generally can't find widgetwear sized to her. I did not know this sort of thing was as expensive as it was. She said she wanted to go in there and see if their widgetwear cost the same as the guy she goes to or if it cost more.
Anyhoo, after a nice lunch and a visit to a very fancy ass coffee bar--I'm not a coffee person, but they did have expensive yet delicious dessert that I had instead-- we went to this event. I was not the only obvious non-widgetwear person in the place, so that was comforting. It mostly seemed like a party more than anything else. By which I mean, they didn't really have...merchandise around for sale. They had some design layouts and I guess some fabric samples, and Jackie talked to one of of the owners about ordering widgets.
Here's the thing: after hearing how their business is being run, Jackie and I (and L after I told her this story) are convinced that these people are going to go out of business very quickly. For a supposed custom widgetwear shop, they do not have anyone on site who can make or tailor the widgets. They don't even have any employees who know how to sew, I think. All they do is take your measurements and then send them off to the East Coast or Hong Kong. If the sizing doesn't come out correctly, they'll just have to send it back to the other coast or other country. REALLY? REALLY? For a business that uh...really makes it sound in their title like they make widgets, they aren't making widgets, or even doing alterations of widgets, on this end of the state. As for the pricing, most of it was above Jackie's price range, and she was all, "I could just get my guy to do it for me without having to mail measurements to another coast, or I could just go to freaking Hong Kong again and get them myself rather than this. Cut out the middleman. Jackie said they were probably paying $4000 a month for the retail space they were in, and if they don't actually DO anything there but take measurements....then why have the retail space and cost? They could just freaking do this business online if all they do is order widgets elsewhere. This makes no sense, and we figured they probably need to sell ten very expensive custom widgets a month just to pay the rent. I am not an expert in making widgets, or running a business, but none of this sounds like it's going to pay off well.
Anyway, after that we did a little shopping. And then Jackie dropped me off at the BART station to meet L (who is spending Saturdays in Castro Valley taking jewelry classes) for the ride home. Except this time, I'd asked her if I could drive all the way home.
You see, L needs me to drive her back and forth to the Oakland airport in a few weeks for yet another trip. Which I am very nervous about. Now, I've known for awhile now that the The Time Has Come that I start learning how to drive back and forth between my current home and the craziness that is the Bay Area. I sure as fuck cannot practice this with Mom or Jackie (who is terrified of me driving after all the years of stories), and it's kind of expensive to rent Zipcar to drive out there and back all day anyway. I figured at some point, given the right opportunity, I'd do it with L in her car. I at least wanted to do the first run with her in the car to babysit my ass, which she did spectacularly. We started out in Hayward and after the first few freeway changes that she led me through, it wasn't too bad. We made it home safe. Huzzah! First long drive from the Bay Area to here! At night, no less!