Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Which I Probably Offend People From Oakland...

I'm still happy these days...despite the best efforts of Mother's Day and my 35th Birthday (note to any childless people nearly 35:  Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT Google: having children after 35.  You will not be happy with the results.  Apparently, if I even manage to conceive now - and apparently that's a big if - my future child will be born with three heads.  I'm ignoring Google)

I was really ok about the weekend until Friday afternoon when I was returning my rental car at the Oakland airport, and hopped on the little jitney bus to go to the terminal, and there, on the seat next to me, was a baby that was about 8 weeks old.  Baby T would be about 10 weeks old now.  I really wanted Oakland to have a chapel where I could go and cry.  Lots of airports do have chapels.  I see them.  I've never gone in, but I see the signs.  Oakland doesn't.  Smug prepsters who are too cool hiding behind their ipads to need to go to a chapel.  Grrrrr.  So I found a quiet spot, curled around my suitcase, covered my head with my jacket, and sobbed for 15 minutes.

And then I got a frappuccino, because really, I deserved a damn frappuccino.

(which begs a whole other entry about the idea that food could somehow make the situation better, and my thought process that would lead me to believe that since I was sad, I somehow concluded that I deserved sugar and caffeine...but in fairness to me, I did get the sugar free syrup, and only drank half...still, the thought process is what it is)

That being said, before the baby-sighting threw me into the abyss, I spent Thursday evening at the Piedmont Springs spa in Oakland.  It was part of my Project Happiness: Trying New Things.  So let me tell you about the hot tubs at the Piedmont Springs.

Actually, first I should tell you about hot tubs in general.  Public ones, that is.  When I was 19 I drove across the country for Spring Break in my 1987 Oldsmobile, by myself, on an ill-advised man-chasing trip. It was 1995: the early, heady days of CompuServe, and it turned into a bad scene pretty quickly.  Me, being stubborn and overly dramatic, thought that it would be a cool gesture to steep myself in heartbreak and visit said man's hometown.  While I was hanging out in Contra Costa County, I met up with another friend, who was also made via CompuServe, and he took me to the Albany Pools and Spas, where they have these giant wine-vats converted into hot tubs.  They're all outside, in private rooms with the roof open, fairy lights hanging everywhere, and I was smitten with this magic place where one could rent a hot tub for $15 an hour, and sit in it.

So, fast forward to me now, living in California, with an office in San Mateo, allowing me to go up to the Bay Area pretty much whenever I want, which is kickass cool (because I love San Francisco, but it's too frigging expensive).  So I've been back to the place in Albany several times, and it's just as awesome as I remembered it.  But then, people in my office recommended this place in Piedmont, which supposedly takes the awesomeness to the next level.

Last week, as part of my Trying New Things Every Week project, I rented myself a hot tub at Piedmont Springs.  So I got to spend a couple of hours here:

Pretty sweet, eh?  The only thing about it is that I don't really think I'm a fan of Piedmont in general.  I'd been there before once to visit a stationary store (yes, on my trips to different places, I like to do things like visit new stationary stores.  I'm sorry.  It's me.) and I get the distinct vibe that Piedmont thinks it's a hipster town, with hipster guys wearing man-purses filled with gadgets, riding their expensive bicycles, and smugly drinking their Peet's coffee, making lists in their heads of all the ways they are a superior man.  There are outdoor cafes, lots of independent shops, small-town atmosphere.

Frankly, I found it boring.  I'd be much more of a fan of Oakland if, instead of taking pride in these little hipster scenes, they took pride in what was authentic to them - their hip hop and blues music history, for example.

I've never been a fan of the whole Northern-California-Superiority-Complex anyway, but I live in Southern California, so I would say that.

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