I headed out a touch late, and Teshi called, a bit concerned, when I wasn't at the appointed place at the appointed time. Twitter was being a bit flaky, so none of my Twitter commentary after starting out actually made it through.
6:18P: "Nothing goes further than a random afternoon smily face, no words attached." 4th St & Market
I arrived, just as Teshi popped out to look for me. The party was waiting to be seated; the party included JD, Ryan, Sabrina, two people I assumed to be connected to JD in some esoeteric fashion, and a tall, thin woman in a power chair who I knew at once must be leora. Introductions and chattering occurred, although I marked it curious that JD did not think to introduce me to his two friends.
There was much communications-juggling, as JD attempted to ping people who were not yet present.
A large dude with a lot of blond hair showed up: Tif's promised cousin. There were more introductions, and I endeavored to explain how we all knew each other. When it came to JD's pair of friends, I stopped, and allowed as how I had no idea who they were.
Hilariously, and much to my chagrin, it was maidenus and her consort; I had met them but a few weeks previous! Thus my faceblindness mocks my social connections.
Tif showed up eventually. We were seated, and had an energetic waiter. I ordered a chocolate shake; the waiter suggested something to make it more interesting, such as a banana; my recoil must have been visible. The waiter was ... a little weird, even after I mentioned OMFGNO, ALLERGY. (Not swell-up-and-die, but OMG OW allergy.)
Abe showed up somewhat later, and food ensued. Tasty!
The noise level was appalling for any kind of coherent conversation at any distance further than one person away, and sometimes not even then. There was much hilarity despite the noise, and occasionally even because of it: at one point Tif said something of the sort (about the noise) to her cousin, who totally could not hear her on account of the noise.
Tif's cousin declared that given that there were ten of us, one of us had to be an axe-murderer. This was a cue to share the AK-47 Guy story. (It's one of those things that's going to only sound more and more preposterous the more times it's told. Egads.)
JD showed off his banana bag, which features Engrish so notable that at first it was thought to be a deliberate joke.
7:54p: Someone link Tif to the Queen of Wands vagina dentata strip, please.
Abe has this habit of trolling, like responding to some reference to Harry Potter with "but I don't follow Lord of the Rings" and the like, and mixing Star Trek and Star Wars, and Trekkers and Trekkies. (For the record, the term "Trekker" never resonated with me. Not sure why.)
Leora declared Maiden the cutest.
The party at the diner broke up, with Ryan, Maiden, and her consort heading in a homeward direction, and the rest of the party zipping across the street to the nearby Metreon, as it was close and offered places to sit and chatter (quieter places!), and both quiet and close were issues, given that Tif has a worse time with noise than I do, and Leora was uncertain of her battery.
As we paraded in, JD spied and hailed someone I didn't know. Turns out it's a neighbor of his, someone who they'd already encountered two times earlier that day. There was much hilarity.
There was much chatter, complete with shop-talk. We eventually de-convened, as the place we were sitting started to shut down. We headed in our different directions: Abe for home (in that slacker's paradox where walking is easier than catching a cab, and while catching a bus might be easier yet, it would mean following someone else's advice).
I realized as I emerged that in fact my place-memories had betrayed me, as I had been to the Metreon before, for the new Star Trek movie, but I had been so disoriented then, and going the wrong direction to start with, that it had not been planted in my brain properly, so I did not recognize it when walking it again. Unnerving thought, that.
Tif's cousin was for his hotel, and the rest of us were for Powell Street Station. The elevators had been out earlier, causing Leora to have to come up through the mall; this time, the near elevator was on, much to everyone's relief, especially Leora's battery. We chattered (mostly shop talk) before heading our separate ways: Sabrina and JD for the Muni, Leora and me for BART, and Tif was about to head off Muni-ward when we hit the elevator and saw the problem.
In the nook of the elevator door slept a dude, in pale blue pants and a black sports team jacket with gold and green logo-ing. The seat of his pants was discolored with stains we feared we knew the provenance of, although at my distance he did not give off a noticeable odor. He was a complete roadblock, such that one would be uncomfortable to step over him, and completely impassable for Leora's chair.
After a quick assessment, Tif hit the intercom button to summon a station agent; the agent advised that BART police would be on their way. Tif headed off Muni-wards after assurances that I'd stay until these things were seen out.
As we were waiting, the elevator dinged, upward bound, and a man with a bicycle appeared: yet another item with wheels that ought not to run over the guy. The man -- shirtless, capped, frowny -- proceeded to holler and chivvy the sleeping dude until he removed himself and his things from the elevator alcove.
The way cleared, Leora sailed in, and I took the escalator down. We met on the BART platform and continued chatting, covering such topics as the instructional graphics on her chair's controls: do not expose to rain or snow, one that I can't recall but was fairly sensible, and one that seemed to indicate that one ought to read and drive. "RTFM!" I proclaimed it, at length. The so-called "horn" was a polite little beep; I ha-ha-only-seriously suggested an air horn attachment.
And we all went home.