Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Feel Ya, Babe


But you make it look damn good.

Too bad there isn't a competition category for Breezy Elegance.

Monday, May 28, 2007

lolmonster

I don't know if you all have been following the "lolcat" phenomenon. I didn't get it at first, but somehow it grew on me. You have to read through enough of them to understand some of the references.

If you have NO idea what I'm talking about, you can read about them at this Wikipedia entry.

Then you can go to the main source for all things "lolcat" at I Can Has Cheezburger?

Once you're sufficiently brushed up on the lolcats, you must MUST check out the "lolpresidents." (Warning: takes forever to load.) I practically peed my pants.

All of this is to say, I very much appreciated this lolcal (below). Ish made it and surprised me with it. Because he's cute and clever.

(And probably just as fed up with my damn cat as I am.)


A Lot Of Not

I get on these kicks, I guess, where I start writing about my weight and/or most recent weight-loss endeavor. I'll declare some sort of new-found insight or inspiration, and then write about it a couple times.

And then I won't bring it up again. Perhaps you've noticed this?

Because it'll be a week or a month or three months later and I will have stopped whatever new approach I started, and rather than having lost weight, I'll be right back where I started. Or possibly even heavier.

And then I don't want to write about any of it anymore because even though I have SO MUCH to say on the subject of weight and weight loss and body issues and OHMYGOD, it's still the hardest thing to discuss. It's the thing I'm most private about in my whole life. In actuality I will talk about my parents or my feelings or my opinions on politics and religion and education or we can talk about deep-seated fears or even sex. I may cry and get choked up about talking about, say, my mom. But I'm comparatively comfortable doing it.

Writing about my body? That's just terrifying.

Now, sometimes it's true. Sometimes I get really good suggestions or feedback or support and it's wonderful. But at the same time, the LAST thing I want to hear is someone I don't know who has no real basis of understanding me or my background offer advice. I do not want advice. I especially do not want advice from someone who starts their advice with, "Why don't you just...?"

Because I have, just.

I also feel like I can't just write about it to write about it. Like, if I don't have a plan or idea or something in place, then what's the point? Won't it just seem like I'm whining?

Maybe. I guess.

But here it is, almost June, which is to say almost one month shy of my 32nd birthday, and I started this blog when I was 29 and you know. Lots of things have happened in these two-and-a-half years, but significant weight loss is not one of them.

And why not?

I don't really know. I have given up trying to get at The Answer. The Solution. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's lots of things. (Probably.) But I'm tired of feeling this way.

There are a ton of things I don't or can't or won't do because of my size. Did you know that? Are you the same way? I don't think it's all a matter of self-esteem, though some of it is. It's just -- there are things I'm missing out on in this life because I'm so damn heavy, and it occurred to me this morning: maybe I should list them out.

Maybe if I write out what all I'm not doing, all the things I do differently, and see it in print, exposed to the world, I can be inspired to change for real. So here goes, in no order other than how I think of them:

1. I do not get bikini waxes.
Probably a lot of things will fall under the category of "cosmetic." It's just that at my core, I do not believe that I can ever be beautiful enough at this weight to have the details matter much. Sometimes I get facials because my face is probably my best asset, and I want to take care of it. And I get pedicures because I wear sandals a lot. But a bikini wax just seems unnecessary. I don't wear bathing suits, for one. And for two, my confidence is simply not high enough to allow me to drag myself to a salon and be all like, HERE ARE MY INNER THIGHS to some poor stranger. No matter how much I'm paying her.

2. I do not wear heels.
I have a few pairs of shoes with some heel to them, but they hurt my feet and knees and entire body to wear for any length of time. In fact, I don't buy "hot" shoes at all. I buy "cool" shoes that are easy to walk in. Granted, even when I'm thinner I don't like uncomfortable shoes, but there's a huge difference shoes that are "uncomfortable" and shoes that basically make it impossible for me to get around.

3. I do not buy nice clothes.
I have some outfits that are suitable for "important" work days, and a couple standard black dresses. Otherwise, I dress for comfort. It's not like I'm devoid of good taste, it's that my options are incredibly limited. If I want to wear something that actually fits me and looks tailored, I'm a. going to have to go shopping at a "specialty" store or the "Woman" section of the department store, and b. going to have to spend a lot of money on it.

Granted, I usually spill stuff on myself, which makes buying/wearing "nice" clothes never an economical decision, but that's not the point. The point is, "plus-size" clothing, as a concept and an experience, is humiliating and ridiculous. I usually decide it's simply not worth it.

I'll stick to jeans and layered t-shirts, thanks.

4. I do not go to clubs.
I'm a little old for club-hopping anyway, and was never interested in Seeing and Being Seen, but right now, I avoid those kinds of trendy places like the plague. For one thing, I don't have the clothes to pull it off. But honestly, even if I did -- even if I found some way to dress my body in an uber-chic way -- I know that I would still appear invisible at these kinds of places.

5. I have stopped going to my gym.
I know how ridiculous this is, trust me. I need to get over this one, and I will. But the truth is, I realized I stopped going to the gym because of how it made me feel. I am the heaviest one in the whole place. That is not an easy cross to bear, or a distinction I can easily ignore. Even though I will either have to, or move to a different gym.


So crazy!

I am reading back through this list and it just seems so dumb. I want to delete this post, even, because the whole thing seems kind of pointless. I just feel so stuck and confused.

* * *

Ish and I are meeting with a personal trainer tomorrow night. I've never been to a trainer, not really. I'm very interested to see what he thinks and how he might have me/us approach a routine together.

As always, I'm skeptical but optimistic. I figure, something's gotta work sometime, right?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step toward high-heel shoes...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The man coming to the stage now plays to audiences all over the Bay Area and beyond, a very funny guy, put your hands together for...


Usually I write stuff and joke about tempting fate and it laughs at me and concurs. I'll write about how much I spill on myself, for example, and the next day I'll end up with my shirt covered in Mystery Spots. You know how it is.

So I thought maybe I was being a little brazen with my post yesterday, daring to joke about my boyfriend's supposedly impending divorce and all.

Oh, you know? Here's something I love, something that never gets old -- Ish and I will be somewhere like a restaurant or club, and someone will ask if we're married. And then I get to smile and say, "Well, HE is." Ahahahahaha.

Whew. Good one, huh?

But seriously, folks.

Last year, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend was a VERY NOT GOOD DAY. Ish was maybe sort of laid off, without warning, from a job he really didn't like. (Talk about salt on a wound.) And given his then-tenuous hold on his "life's plan" (welcome to the club, kiddo), it threw him into a pretty sucky tailspin. That very day he began speaking of packing it all up, packing it all in, and moving to LA and scraping by and trying to make it as a comedy writer. It was bad. And that evening, while we were busy trying to think of the positives, there was a freak cat accident in the kitchen and my Sherlock kind of went crazy and then lost his footing at the same time Ish was approaching him and, as these things go, Sherlock managed to regain his footing all over Ish's face.

This is to say that last year, Ish spent Memorial Day weekend feeling both broken down and, well, bloodied and scarred. From his girlfriend's cat.

At one point over that weekend, he actually did the "pitiful milkshake" dance. He'd been explaining his situation to our friend Lisa, and somehow that devolved into his standing, slumping his shoulders, and then rocking them back and forth with his head bowed, sighing the words, "My pitiful milkshake. Brings all the boys to the yard. Damn right." SIGH.

It was hilarious, despite itself. (Maybe you had to be there.)

Anyway! Can you believe it's a year later?

Yeah, well. So Ish has made a lot of changes, grabbed a tighter hold on his at-least-for-the-forseeable-future life's plan.

And I've written a little bit more about him, since he's such a big part of my life. But I've been holding back, too, inasmuch as he's still technically uh, someone else's husband. Right. I mean, that's why I've never even mentioned his name.

This morning, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, he got up and turned off the alarm. He went to the livingroom to grab his Blackberry, which had recently bleeped to indicate he had a new message. He then walked back into the bedroom, and read the key sentence aloud.

Turns out, he's divorced. She'd written as soon as she'd heard from her lawyer this morning. They're divorced.

Ish is a free agent.

So if you don't mind, I'd like to re-introduce him to you all now:

Invisible Internet Friends, meet Ish -- formerly of the pitiful milkshake, now "newly single" -- otherwise known as Peter Bartlett.

But you can call him Pete. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Every Girl's Dream

As I know I've mentioned once or twice or a half-dozen times, my friend Susan is getting married and I'm doing what I can to help her with the planning.

But I don't think I also mentioned that three other members of the Loose Interpretations are also getting married. As is my friend Emily. As is Elisa, one of the BlogHer founders (who also happens to be, you know, my boss). As is my sister, Samantha.

That's seven women I see or speak to regularly who are in the throes of weddingness.

Now.

I love weddings and wedding planning especially, and mostly think all this talk of tents and menus and dresses is actually very fun and exciting. However, being on the outside allows me to see (or rather, reminds me) of just how huuuuuge the wedding industry really is.

I accompanied Susan to a gorgeous wedding fair at the Four Seasons Hotel where we happily drank champagne and tasted chocolates and met potential vendors. Unfortunately, we also made the catastrophic mistake of "signing in" upon arrival. By which I mean adding my name and home and email address to a list. Doing this wasn't really voluntary (it was part of the package), but I considered giving a non-real email address. Except then I thought that maybe being in touch with a few vendors would be a good idea if, say, I ever wanted to officially get into wedding planning.

Since that weekend, oh, I dunno, FOUR FRIGGIN MONTHS AGO, I have gotten at least one -- usually three to five -- emails from wedding vendors EVERY DAY.

And they all basically read the same, with some slight variations: Everyone is very much looking forward to MY SPECIAL DAY. My day is going to be special. My day would be even special-er if I decided to go with florist x or DJ y, of course, but everything about my day is about me, and my day, and my specialness. And not forgetting how special it will be.

Over and over I am emailed about how I must cherish my special day. Except sometimes I'm told to cherish!!!!!! my special!!!!!! day!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, many of these emails like to congratulate me. A LOT. Invisible Internet Vendors really think that my impending foray into non-spinsterhood is the greatest thing they've ever heard of. Apparently, this is the happiest time of my life.

Well, right. Except that I'm not, actually, getting married. I'm not engaged. In fact, the current would-be contender isn't even divorced yet.

So here's what I want to know: Where are the emails congratulating THAT? When's THAT industry gonna take off, hmm? Where are all the cries for CHERISHINGNESS now?

Because seriously. I would totally throw money at any vendor who'd send me something like the following email:

Congratulations on your boyfriend's upcoming divorce!

We know how you've been dreaming of this day, ever since you were a young girl of 30. Now, your dreams are coming true...

Since the night he uttered those magic words, "The paperwork has been drawn up," your life hasn't been the same. And we want to help ensure that your first step on this new, tenuous and slightly embittered journey together is a memorable one.

Remember, your boyfriend's divorce is all about you. Such an occasion only happens once, maybe twice, in a lifetime, and you should be sure to secretly enjoy every second of it. That's where we come in.

Our seasoned experts will guide you through the many steps of the Divorce Day planning process, including:
  • Hosting a celebration that doesn't also reek of desperation!

  • What to wear for the Big Day. It can be challenging to find the right ensemble, the one that says "I'm here for you in a concerned and yet completely non-threatening kind of way, no really, I hadn't even considered re-marriage, I swear, perhaps we should have more sex." Accessories are key.

  • Finding the right music. It's important to strike the right balance between "celebratory" and "inappropriately happy."

  • Vendor selection. Many girlfriends-of-single-men-to-be make the mistake of ordering flowers, balloons, caterers, and more. In our experience, the best celebrations are intimate, and involve nothing more a few close friends and an Animal House-based DVD marathon, hot dogs and copious amounts of vodka. For the more adventuous spirits, we may also recommend an endless loop of Sinatra's greatest hits, prescription-strength fatties, and/or naked hot-tubbing. Whatever your style, we can help you make it happen!


We understand that you are unique, and that your day should be a reflection of who you are as a person, a girlfriend, and a woman of fairly loose morals.

Contact us today, and let one of our premier consultants show you how your boyfriend's divorce can be something you'll cherish for a lifetime.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Surprise!

So yeah. We've been doing a bit of re-decorating here at She Walks. And I gotta say, I love the new look and feel.

Thanks to T who did all the hard work (hard work = listening to me give helpful instructions such as "I'd like it to be less bloggery," and "I like shiny colors").

I still have some tweaking to do, and the banner may change a bit from time to time, but mostly it feels like I've moved into a new, fabulous house. Yippee!



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Conversations With My Parents

I have just JUST started to learn how to use GarageBand and iMovie. I need a lot of work.

But I also happen to have a few hours of cassette-tape recordings of me having conversations with my parents when I was somewhere between the ages of 18 and 30 months old.

I thought it would be fun to resurrect them.

Enjoy!




Or follow the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQQK5GBfplc

Customer Service

Quick Update:

My new blog design is still in the works, and also I had a whole lot going on last week, all of which should be blogged about. I went home with Ish for the first time -- to his family's place in Arizona -- and that was kind of a big deal. Also I tried to board the plane with a wine opener I forgot I had in my purse (I come prepared, folks) and security did not take kindly to that, as you might imagine.

Also, my a cappella group, The Loose Interpretations, is going to be famous. (Not, I should add, because of our singing ability.) We're honestly going to be featured in a nation-wide magazine. More on this later.

ALSO also, I got to pretend I was Press last week at the San Francisco International Film Festival and will be writing about the films I saw because I have to because that was the deal. Even though I totally misunderstood my responsibilities and almost got kicked out of the place.

ALL THIS ASIDE, because I've been running around and behind at work, I thought I'd share this simple experience.

* * * * *

When I first learned I'd be working from home, I went out and got the necessary home office things. A desk. A desk lamp. A little filing tray system thing. And yes, a printer.

You know how sometimes when people buy office-y things or electronics-y things, they spend lots of time researaching their options and looking for the best deals they can find?

Right. And you know what these people don't do? They don't wander into Office Depot, look around for three-and-a-half minutes, and go, "Hey, that one looks like it will work."

But that's what I did because, I guess, I like to live on the edge.

So.

I got the first (yes, "first") Epson printer home. I opened it, I hooked it up, I installed the drivers.

It wouldn't print.

Now, I'll grant you. Printers have come a long way since I first worked in an office. Since the days of Office Space's infamous "PC-LOAD LETTER" scene and its aftermath. The printers of 2007 are very, very sophisticated, and apparently so are their error messages.

Because rather than have some cryptic, "load"-related message my printer's window simply said: Call Customer Service.

How concise!

So I called customer service and they walked me through nine hundred variations of "troubleshooting," all of which were basically rooted in the very advanced technique of Did You Try Turning The Printer Off And Then On Again? Also known as Now I'm Going To Have You Unplug The Printer From The Outlet.

And after a good 20 or 30 minutes of off/on, plug/unplug, it came down to:
"Now what does it say."

"It says 'Hardware Issue. Call Customer Service.'"

And that's when the man on the phone took all of my information and then explained to me that the printer was having a hardware problem and I'd need to return it.

I am perhaps more amused than I should be about a printer's error message saying, essentially, "I'm broken."

ANYWAY. I returned the printer and replaced it with the same model.

And it worked. It's quirky, mind you. It's a very high-maintenance printer. It insists on cleaning its heads ALL the damn time. If I go a week without printing something, sometimes its alignment gets wonky and I have to spend half a rainforest's worth of trees printing "test pages" to get it all corrected. And I've already had to replace the black ink.

But at least it worked.

Until a few days ago.

A few days ago, it started telling me there was a paper jam, but a rather quick inspection told me the printer was lying. I turned it on and off several times anyway, hoping it would rethink it's stance. It didn't.

Instead, it started telling me that it has a paper jam, that I should refer to my manual, and call Customer Service "if necessary." Hmmm.

So I open my manual to learn more about what I should do. And here is what it tells me.

If my display message says "Printer error --> See your documentation" my "solution" is:
There is a problem with the Epson Stylus CX5800F. Turn it off and then back on. If the error does not clear, contact Epson. See page 59 for details."


Of course, 59 just has the 800 number.

I see. So my "error" is that "there is a problem." Sophisticated, indeed!

Anyway, I call Customer Service and get another opportunity to troubleshoot. He is slower than the first guy, and reading from a script. It takes a long time for us to get to the part of the script where he's basically telling me to see if there's paper stuck in the printer. As if I have not already considered looking for the jammed paper.

I tell him it is all clear.

We then spend another five minutes ("Okay, ma'am. I understand that there is no paper stuck in the machine. What I need you to do now, ma'am, is to please close the top of the printer...") getting to the part where he tells me to turn the printer off and then on again. Then to unplug it.

It got kind of exciting when he instructed me to find the lever at the front of the machine and flip it up and down three times. (I am not even kidding about that one little bit.) Ohhhhhh, yes, the magic troubleshooting THREE TIMES of up/down with the lever. Of course that will do it! Why didn't I think of that???

Then we had to turn everything back on and I got to tell him that the error message was the same as it had been. And that's the point at which he told me my printer was broken.

I appreciated the information.

In the end, Epson offered to FedEx me a new printer at no charge (as long as I send back my old one), so that I can enjoy my third model of a printer that doesn't work.

Perhaps the engineers at Epson might want to consider adding the error message: Printer Error. Give Up. Buy an HP.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This Is Not The Grocery Shopping I Grew Up With

My first memories of grocery shopping with my mom involve hopping in the car and driving over to the Grand Union supermarket, located in the Goodwives Shopping Center of Darien, Connecticut.

And if for any reason you'd be interested in knowing what that shopping center looked like, with its shoe store and hardware store and pet store and luxury sedans circa the mid-70s, go watch the original Stepford Wives movie. That's the very same shopping center.

Women wore pearls, is what I'm saying. They did their hair and make-up and put the kids in their matching outfits and shopped in their lipstick and heels or tennis whites and were, if sometimes coolly, polite to one another.

Here in San Francisco in 2007, my neighborhood grocery store has neither the term "good" nor the term "wives" associated with it in any way. In fact, it is one of the "Ralph's" stores.

Say "Goodwives" aloud. See how it sounds all snooty and British and fancy? Like So-and-So The Third is going to appear with an ascot and an underbite and tell you a story about someone named Muffy?

Now say "Ralph's." See how it sounds like you're maybe hocking up a hairball? RALPH'S.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I want to live among the uniformly well groomed with people unknowingly named after vaginas. It's just...comparatively speaking, the bar here at RALPH'S is a little low. So low I'm afraid I'm gonna stub my toe on it.

* * *

My neighborhood RALPH'S is located between my apartment and Ish's apartment, so I'm getting to know it pretty well. And ghetto as it is, I've still found that it's best to do my Cliche Shopping at non-peak hours.

Huh? you ask. What's "Cliche Shopping"? you ask.

Well, I will tell you.

It is when I, as a single woman, have to go to the store for some basics and am not wearing nice clothes or makeup and my hair is in a "loose" ponytail by which I mean piled into some hairband and jutting out into many directions because, I justify, such a look is fun and "whimsical."

Yet however fabulous I know I am, I simply do not believe that the rest of the world is seeing me and my overweight self in sweats with "whimsical" hair and a boob-stained shirt and hot-pink rubber clogs and wedding-ring-less finger and thinking, "Wow. I envy her self-esteem."

No. No, they are not.

They are thinking "Oh, that poor, unloved girl."

And then they see what I'm actually buying at the store, and I'm pretty sure that's when I go from being "poor" in their minds to being a cliche of tragic proportions.

Because right. I'm buying:
  • Cat treats, in two flavors.
  • Cat food.
  • Wine.
  • Frozen diet entrees. On sale.
And you know. I understand their looks of pity. They cannot see the subtle distinction between the "work from home" look and "will work for food" look. They cannot tell that I would buy food for someone other than me and my cats if I weren't so likely to set it on fire while preparing it. They cannot guess that not only do I have friends outside of internet chat rooms(!), I actually have a boyfriend! Who has, like, a job! And even all his teeth!

They do not know these things. Just as they they do not know that I also have a BLOG and if they are MEAN TO ME I will tell the whole Internet on them. (See below.)

* * *

Every night, Ish and I alternate sleeping locales so that every other morning I find myself walking home. Past RALPH'S.

And this morning it dawned on me. "Hey!" said my brain, "I'll bet 7:30 a.m. on a Wednesday isn't a peak hour! I'll bet no one will notice the cat food this early!" So I stopped in.

True to form, I was not looking, shall we say, hot. Not only was I my typical messy self, but given that I'd been awake for all of 20 minutes and hadn't felt the need to do things like, oh, I dunno, shower, I was looking extra special.

But! As I wandered from the cat food aisle to the checkout, I discovered just who's patronizing RALPH'S at 7:30 in the morning. And you know what? I'll see your Pitiful Cliche alright. I'll see it, and raise you Old Asian Ladies With Nine Hundred Cans To Recycle, Greasy Men In Suits (????), and Tranny Hookers Just Off A Long Night.

Take that, judgmental "business casual" shoppers!

This morning there was only one register open. I figured this was okay, since there were only two people in line ahead of me, and they appeared to be together.

There were several items on the conveyor belt, and also several items in a grocery cart in front of the belt. However, both people were standing at the end of the belt, working very hard at trying to work the "slide card here" machine. This did not make a lot of sense to me.

One of the people punching buttons on the machine was a tall and lanky man, wearing brown clothes and baseball cap and had a very bushy mustache. The kind of mustache that makes you think of the Village People. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Accompanying him was another very tall, very husky and broad-shouldered man with long, scraggly gray hair in a ponytail. He was wearing a navy blue t-shirt, a black mini-skirt, pantyhose, and large black pumps that had seen better days.

From the un-make-up-ed, haggard look of the man, I'd say he'd seen better days, too.

I finally realized that the two of them were buying breakfast for several people, all of whom required separate transactions and/or receipts. Even though, from the looks of it, everyone wanted the same thing: frozen french toast, maple syrup, and gallons of Mountain Dew.

Now, I cannot be sure that this couple was um, in any way associated with the other tranny hookers who are known to populate the neighborhood closest to this RALPH'S. On the other hand, it was kind of amusing to envision the happiest little whorehouse in SF -- a motley group of transgendered folks, merrily singing and eating french toast as they bask in the gloriousness of a new, sun-soaked day in the city of light and acceptance.

Because that is, I'm sure, what the tranny hooker business is all about. Sunshine and french toast and singing. Shush.

ANYWAY.

So as I'm waiting there for someone to fix the problem and get on with the checking-out process, some other guy comes up and gets in line behind me.

And he? He is a man of BUSINESS. I know this because he was wearing a suit. And also, he had Things To Do. And I know that because he kept looking at his watch and sighing loudly and shifting his weight. There, in his cheap suit and creepy looking face and greased back white hair.

I'm sure that you and your ORANGE JUICE and CHEESE have a very important deadline, Sir. You're just going to have to find some way to COPE.

So he leans into me (!!!) all of a sudden and says, "Is that with them?"

"Excuse me?" I asked, having no idea what he was talking about.

"Is that their--" and he nodded to the two people, "--uh, cart?"

HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW? I thought. But I guess the man realized I'd been standing there for fucking ever (note: this a key point in this meandering story, pay attention) and so maybe I would know.

"I think so," I said.

But then the man looked downright outraged, as though this had impacted his personal time-space continuum. How can someone be PAYING and also STILL HAVE ITEMS TO PAY FOR, he seemed to wonder.

"I think they're ringing up separate transactions," I offered. Since I'd also wondered this -- without the outrage -- and also manged to figured it out without even having to ask.

And then he said something that I did not expect.

"It can't be easy shopping in those shoes."

He was referring to the size 15 heels on the man in front of us.

And for a moment, I thought I'd misjudged Mr. Creepy. Perhaps, I thought, the 7:30 a.m. RALPH'S crowd is indeed a kinder, gentler, more accepting crowd of shoppers after all. Perhaps in their non-hot-ness, they are more the kind of folks I moved to this city to be around.

But then, things started to turn ugly.

Mr. Heels and Pal were taking an entire lifetime to get through their multiple transactions, and a line was forming behind me. They knew that they were taking a looooooong time, too, and just kept eyeing the line behind them as if to say, "You got a problem with something?"

And just as a grocery clerk came out to open a new register to save me -- he had looked right at me and said those six glorious words: I can take the next customer -- Mr. Creepy Orange Juice and Cheese Man practically SPRINTED over to him.

He KNEW I'd been in line forever, and yet still felt it was his RIGHT to sprint over to the new register.

And then three OTHER people from WAY behind me got in line behind HIM.

And I, who had been there FAR LONGER than ANY OF THEM (which they all totally knew), was left standing behind the French Toast Squad, fuming.

I eventually stormed over to the OTHER line, paid, and left. And I was not feeling chipper or happy about my off-peak RALPH'S experience at all.

Especially when I realized that I've come all this way, all these years, into a whole new life...

...and people are STILL wearing fucking heels to the grocery store.

Monday, May 07, 2007

And Don't Even Get Me Started On The Hedge Clippers

Anyone else watching Shear Genius?

Good. Then you will understand where I'm coming from when I ask this:

Good Sir? Yes, you in the bandana. I'm really curious about something. How is it that you live in LA and are a hairdresser and yet you do not feel comfortable admiting that you're gay...

...but still think it's fine to change your name to Dr. Boogie???

Friday, May 04, 2007

On Fridays, Booze Casserole, and Blogging

It's Friday, and sometimes around here that means I post...um...well, it doesn't always really mean anything. Sometimes I post "fun" things but sometimes I don't, and also sometimes I don't post at all.

But hey, it's FRIDAY. That much is certainly true.

* * *
As part of any crisis situation, my good friend Snarky's immediate reflex is to make a casserole. It's how she was raised.

Now, mind you, "crisis" may be loosely interpreted because she is female and familiar with The Crazy, et al.

Ex:
me: So TheBoy and I had a long talk this weekend...

Snarky: Do I need to make a casserole?

See how that works? Neat, huh?

But then when my father died, Snarky went into overdrive.
[after bursting into tears] Ohmygod, ohmygod. Sweetie! I'm so sorry...I'm...YOU NEED A CASSEROLE! I have to make you lots of casseroles! All the casseroles! Can I come over? You don't want me over! You don't need company! Is Ish there? Soup! Maybe you need soup! Everyone loves soup! I'm worried you don't have any groceries. Are you drinking? Maybe you shouldn't be drinking. But your father...do you even HAVE any booze? OHMYGOD I'M GOING TO MAKE YOU A BOOZE CASSEROLE!


If Booze Casserole isn't the best damn thing you've ever heard in a state of shock and mourning, I don't know what is.

(note: Snarky was the one who coined the term, "Breezy Elegance." The first time I remember her using the phrase was after I described to her, over IM, from the depths of a low-carb diet, that I had somehow sprayed "crumbled" bleu cheese all over my desk and computer and keyboard in an attempt to eat said cheese with my fingers. )

Anyway, I bring this up now because just last weekend, Snarky turned up on the doorstep with a basket draped in bright colors, filled with various containers of homemade soup, condiments, and a dozen miniature bottles of liquor.

Ish looked at her and asked, "Are you some kind of angel?"

* * *

I've gotten a few notes and comments (and concerned phone calls) from you, IIFs, and my family, noting that my entries have seemed sadder lately. Asking if I'm okay.

I don't know that it's universally true (and maybe you other bloggers out there would like to chime in?) but if I'm writing about sad, hard, or emotionally charged things, it's because I am okay.

It means I've gotten to a place where I can talk about them. It means I feel like I'm on solid footing.

It does NOT mean I'm perfectly fine and, you know, auditioning to be Poster Girl For Emotional Well Being (ha!), it's just that only when I'm feeling strong can I write about the hard things.

The big truth is that my life feels sort of stable right now. Yes, I'm knocking on wood as I write this. It's a feeling I'm hardly used to, and one I don't entirely trust. I've had precious little experience living without some potentially-very-bad-thing hanging over me.

But here, now, the Fates have given me some breathing room, and I'd like to use it. I have the grounding to talk about some of the bigger, badder stuff, so I will. Because it makes me feel (even) better.

I am okay, but I'd like to be fantastic.

* * *

So! Speaking of blogging more...

Guess who's getting a total body makeover? That's right. This site!

I am working with T (and whoa, am I ever a big help!) to transform -- whoooosh! -- this blog again. The first makeover was awesome and much needed, but I'm ready for a new look.

Yippee!

Stay tuned...

* * *

FINALLY, because it's Friday and OHMYHOLYGOD did you KNOW ABOUT THIS?????

I'm-a go CRAZY and write it all big so you don't miss it:


ONLINE KARAOKE!

Did you hear me?

ON! LINE! KAR! A! O! KEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

I am soooooooooooooooo gonna do it. (And check out the many recordings already on the site. Awful! Horrid! Awesome!)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Stories

I left him a message saying I was convinced that he should start a blog. He was out of town at a bridge tournament, and told me that I was crazy.

But when he called me back, his first question was, "What would I even start with?"

I knew I had him.

I had to be delicate, though, because the truth was sad. And I didn't want him to know what I was thinking.

* * * *

I wanted him to write a blog for me. For my family and our friends, too, and I suppose the whole world. But he had to write it down mostly for us. Because he had so, so many funny great wonderful amazing stories. And I didn't know them all.

I could never remember them all.

Heck, I wasn't allowed to hear them all. (I'll tell you when you're older, he'd say. But maybe sometimes a daughter is never old enough.)

He was sick, though, and I didn't want to tell him that I was scared he would grow too sick to tell the stories before I had collected them all. I had to have them, know them, be able to tell them again.

Especially the ones about my mom. There was still too much I didn't know. An embarrassing amount, really. I was ashamed I didn't know more. Even the stories that were about the two of them -- and by God, were there a lot of them -- I wanted to know those and have those pieces, too.

His cancer had disappeared, but when it came back it did so with a vengeance. Before he was too weak to play bridge or trivia, before he was in the hospital, before my poor family had to do the hospice vigils again, I wanted it all written down.

* * * *

He was a good writer and a fantastic story-teller. I had no doubt he'd have a blast doing it.

"I don't know what you'd start with, but it doesn't matter," I told him. "You can go in any order you want. Maybe start with that list thing you'd sent me."

Not long after he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he decided to make a big long list of places he'd been, people he'd met, great restaurants and celebrities and happenstances in his life that he'd been lucky to experience.

Not proud, mind you. Lucky. He never used the word proud except when referencing his girls.

(And even then, he'd give most of the credit to my mom.)

So goddamned lucky, he'd say.

"Well who would even READ it?" He wanted to know. He was still pretending that he wasn't sold on the idea, but if he was already thinking about his readers, I knew he was gonna do it.

"I would link to you for starters," I offered.

"Oh, I don't know about that."

So we talked more and I said I would just set one up for him and walk him through logging on. He agreed that he'd write a couple sample entries, just to get the hang of it. And then we could discuss whether we'd make it public or not.

It was going to be cool. I told him I was excited, and that I thought I was creating a monster. He still had reluctance in his voice, but it was for show. He loved the idea.

We said I love you and hung up the phone.

It was the last conversation I had with my father.


* * * *

Last year on the morning of May 2, I was at home. I didn't commute to work because our company was going to a baseball game that afternoon in the city.

In the five years I'd lived in San Francisco, despite my father's history as a world-class athlete and rabid baseball fan, I had never been to a Giants game. It would have been my first.

I was sleeping in, and awoke from a very strange dream about my family where I was having a conversation with my aunt because the phone was ringing. I answered it, and it was the same aunt I was dreaming about.

She was calling to tell me that my father had died. I didn't understand at first. I thought maybe something had happened and he was in the hospital, but I didn't think... We had spoken just two days before. And he had been traveling. And it didn't make sense. There was no warning.

He had just collapsed, finally, his body done with the fight.

* * * *

When we got back from the funeral services, one of the first things Ish did was take me to a Giants game.

I could not believe how beautiful it was. The sun and the Bay, and the fans and the families. The game. The history. So many people cheering, living. So many stories everywhere. And my own, too. How I came to be.

So goddamned lucky.

It was glorious.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I Knit Therefore I Am Lie.

Whew. Just writing the word "knit" feels a bit foreign, like I'm some big imposter. Like the online knitting mafia, the ones who probably kicked me and my blog out of its cool knitting rings MONTHS ago are squinting at their monitors right now, wondering if I have actually dared to discuss the topic again.

For those of you who may not remember (or um, have ever noticed, right, whatever) I used to write about knitting, because I took it up right at about the same time I started blogging. And I joined a few blogrings related to knitting (that's what those buttons are down there). And then some time after that, I got WARNING EMAILS in my inbox. Saying that I wasn't fulfilling my knitting blogging quota and may be removed from the webrings.

And I thought, "Wow. Knitting bloggers are more on top of my internet activity than the FBI*. That's kind of amazing."

But then I started thinking that maybe there is something akin to an online knitting mafia. You know?

And I picture them running this huuuuge closed-door operation, that seems all chunky and warm and woolen on the outside, but is actually quite brutal on the inside. The kinds of people who don't take "Well, I was GOING to start knitting again," for an answer.

Now, like those scenes in (I think it was) the movie Casino, where the bosses are all watching the security monitors as they record the goings-on on the casino floor, I picture the Knitting Mafia watching their computer screens. And they see a blip.

What the fuck** is SHE doing writing about yarn? They wonder.

And next thing you know, I'll go to my doorstep only to find my best pair of knitting needles wrapped in newspaper with a dead fish.

All of this is, of course, to say that I would like to start knitting again, and was just...um...you know...waiting for the right project to come along. Which you may think you've heard before (you have), except then I saw it! A project I want to do!

Turns out, you can knit a rag rug...out of old t-shirts!

This is fascinating and awesome for many reasons.

First of all, a rug is kind of like furniture. (It's more like furniture than a scarf, anyway.) And this means I will make it and it will have an immediate USE. It will go on the floor on purpose! Whereas I don't really need another scarf, because I have approximately 42 of them, and mostly that means they are folded up in my closet. (And when they do occassionally end up on my floor, they're not supposed to stay there.)

Also, if you're wondering why I don't knit something other than a scarf, like say a hat or a sweater I remind you of the following:
1. Hats require more of The Math than I am capable of performing, and even my most fabulous hat attempts end up janky.
Figure A: The Condom Hat



Figure B: The Sort Of Star-Shaped Hat That Is Very Lopsided


I cannot be expected to remember which number of stitch I'm on, or how many I must reduce by. The last hat I started was in November. Of 2006. And was for my baby nephew. Who is almost two now. I got so intimidated by the whole "reducing" thing that I just stopped. It's still on the needles.

2. A sweater? I can't knit a hat.


So and finally! The reason a rug made out of t-shirts is awesome is because I have about a hundred million t-shirts that I cannot wear because of the boob stain. Because sooner or later, EVERY shirt I own will have the boob stain. And I think "boob stain" is pretty gosh darn self explanatory, but in case you want me to spell it out because I have not otherwise completely humiliated myself in this entry, pretty much every meal I consume involves one bite that does not entirely make it to my mouth. And if I had normal sized breasts, probably this wouldn't be an issue. But because my rack sticks out to, like, HERE, the bite dribbles right down my front.

I am not the handiest at stain removal.

Instead, I just continue to buy cheap t-shirts, knowing that they have a very brief shelf (har, har) life.

When the shirts become too stained to wear in good company, but not so stained that they're throw-out-able, they then become "gym shirts." This amuses me because I currently have more gym shirts that I had gym visits in all of 2007. I'm just saying.

BUT NOW that I know I can turn these "gym shirts" into FURNITURE, I am elated. And quite possibly it will happen! (Knitting Mafia, are you listening?) Because you know? A rag rug is pretty much like a fatter, shorter scarf with a lot of personality.

Analogy
Rag rug is to scarf what I am to Elle McPherson

And I think I can do it. As long as I don't maim myself trying to cut these "strips" things.

In case you're also interested -- the How-To of t-shirt knitted rag rug is on Jessica's blog. (I do not know Jessica, but anyone who comes up with this project is a-okay in my book!)




*I do not know why the FBI would give a penguin's patoot about what I do online, but you know what I mean.

**It's the mafia. One may use the "f" word.