The morning started up at our now favorite breakfast place in the area, The Brown Couch Cafe. I think that if we are in town, even San Fran side, in the future, this place merits a special trip to come out for breakfast!
We finished eating quickly in order to head for the MacWorld lecture series - this one on using the iPad with Autism Spectrum disease. A lot of interesting concepts, with a doctor/educator who is very familiar with the Mac. I can see the need for a lot of repetition when working with these kids, although the constant sounds coming for reassurance might be a little irritating unless you were prepared for it. God bless those teachers who work with special populations.
From there, it was one more lap around the exhibit floor, looking for the perfectly irreverent skin for my MacBook Air for law school. Alas, no Air skins, but they gave me the site, and let me know I could use my own designs if I so desired. So, that’s in the pocket and getting ready for future use.
From there Wayne went to a noon lecture, and I headed to a noon AA meeting in the tenderloin district. It was a pretty sketchy neighborhood, long lines outside of the soup kitchens, a lot of hustling, and, again, marijuana. I’m sure there was other stuff too. As I made my way up Ellis Street, I wondered if the place would be open for the meeting, but I didn’t need to worry. There, in the midst of barred doors and windows was an open door with a painted triangle in a circle over it. Turns out it was an AA clubhouse. This particular meeting was an open reading, gay and lesbian community. The people inside the meeting were pretty direct, and they were dealing with a lot of things besides alcoholism - there were folks on heavy psychotropic meds, meth addicts, cocaine addicts, convicts, and just regular people too. A resounding theme (we discussed the first step in the readings and following conversations) was multiple addictions, and coming to the meetings to just talk to avoid going crazy, and to deal with one addiction at a time. People had lost partners to drugs, AIDS, and other diseases; many had turned to crime to support their habits, but they all said that coming to the meetings and talking helped to save them. And, they counted their sobriety not by last day of alcohol, but by last day of the most recent addiction they stopped feeding. Humbling.
From there it was sandwich lunches (very nice sandwiches, though), and a trip back to Oakland for a wee nap before heading out with Ivan and Sue to dinner for their anniversary. Ivan managed to secure reservations to Zero Zero at 5:45 thanks to a persistent concierge, and we met up, shared pasta, pizza and story. They are such cool people - Sue is back in school getting certified as a trainer, and Ivan is still running his software business - the one thing he couldn’t quite let go when he retired and sold his business. They are getting ready to permanently relocate to Florida, and putting their Atlanta house on the market. So if any of you are in the market....we are planning a trip to their house in Florida before I start law school in August.
I was really glad we got to see them and spend some time together - I always enjoy our travels together.
Tomorrow we fly home, deep sigh. This has been a totally relaxing and pleasant trip, and I wish it could go just a little bit longer!