Dress Red – Red Dress

Today is a day that’s taking me back to a few jobs I’ve had over the last few years. First off, I’m in Mountain View…no Alaska, I’m not down the street, I’m in the heart of the Silicon Valley. My assignment today was to take a family friend to a seminar gig. Mountain View is pretty cool. Not only is it the home of Shoreline Amphitheater, but has a very cool little downtown area…that’s where I am right now. So why does this bring up memories of jobs I’ve had? Well, my job in Alaska was in the prestigious Anchorage neighborhood of Mt. View. There’s a much different demographic than the millionaires that surround me at this Starbucks. Those of you that have either been to Anchorage or live(d) there know what I’m saying. So what else? Well, I was listening to K-Fog a bit this morning and one of the morning drive-time guys is riding in the California AIDS ride. In the summer of 2001, I spent a week and a half working the AIDS ride. It starts at the marina in San Francisco and ends in Los Angeles. Today the guy reported that it was red dress day. I remember this day, anyone who’s ever had anything to do with the California AIDS ride would remember this day too. It started as “dress red day” because the course wound around the coastal roads of the south central coast…the idea was to look like a moving living breathing cycling AIDS ribbon. Well, leave it to these guys to interpret it as red dress day. Gay-Straight-Liberal-Conservative, whatever your normal daily life consists of, this day is a day to dress in drag. It’s pretty wild to see hundreds of these guys pour into a campsite with their red dresses…mostly sundresses, but there were some cocktail dresses and as the DJ said this morning, sluttier dresses (why is spell check having a hard time with sluttier?). Tonight the ride lands in Lompoc, California…Lompoc holds a fond place in my heart because when I was there last, I was put in charge of a campsite. I met the client in the middle of an empty field and within a few hours, there was a tent city complete with hospital, massage, chiropractors, podiatrists, and lots of people in red dresses. It was both one of the greatest summers of my life and one of the worst. Looking back on it though, even the miseries make for good stories and the good times make for even better stories.
The third job this all takes me back to is the two years I put in as a barista at Coffee People in Portland. Watching the leisure crowd that could somehow spend hours in a coffee shop with their laptop typing who knows what. Between 1998 and 2000, there wasn’t wifi or blogging (yeah, I know there was, but not on any large scale) or my iPod to drown out the steaming of milk and chatter of millionaires (I just had to add iPod, wifi and blogging to my dictionary, so that tells you something).
I had a lot of thoughts yesterday when Blogger was down for most of the day about what to type up, so this is my chance to catch up on the thoughts I scribbled down in my black spiral notebook. Stay posted.

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  1. You are now
    “the leisure crowd that could somehow spend hours in a coffee shop with their laptop typing who knows what.”

  2. yeah, lots of writing was lost in my hard drive crash…the ideas are still in my head, but the hours of actually typing them out have been lost. One more thing for the summer.

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