Thursday, March 27, 2008

That Time Of Year Again

I thought of THIS entry today, as I was remembering what it was like in the weeks leading up to BlogHer Business last year.

This year's event is a week from today. Wheeeeeee!

Originally posted on March 4, 2007

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

So here's what I've learned in the last few weeks, while I've been buried under work, tackling such important issues as the broader business implications of social media and also are glow-in-the-dark ice cubes* a good idea or not:

Even when myriad details are filling my brain -- not just ice cube logistics but things like figuring out how it's humanly possible that the Packing and Shipping vendor requires me to have Packing materials Shipped to her (not kidding) -- it turns out that my everyday running narrative doesn't shut off. I don't always hear it, but it's there, humming in the background like a radio turned to low volume. And occassionally I remember it's on and listen in for no particular reason and catch a few seconds of my Running Narrative Show.

And um.

Well, for example.

I know that my weight would suggest otherwise, but sometimes when I'm really busy, I forget to eat. And so sometimes it gets to be 3 p.m. and I haven't consumed anything except coffee, and then my body gets really annoyed with me and I realize, suddenly, that I'm starving. Which means that out of nowhere I go on a RAVENOUS RAMPAGE, frustrated because I'd rather not interrupt my flow and so I storm through my apartment looking for the easiest and nearest-by thing to eat (even though you and I know perfectly well I'm not going to find much).

Now, I recently had friends over. And because it was a special occassion I served them my very famous hors d'oeuvre, the one I like to call "chips and salsa."

And so last Thursday, when I was very much in my "focusfocusfocus" mental state and I realized I was crushingly hungry and fled to the kitchen, I saw the chips (hurrah! hurrah for food!) and tore into the bag.

And you know? Perhaps because I was so shocked or surprised or delighted to have something as unexpectedly delicious as chips in my kitchen, I shut off the work brain for a few moments and tuned in to the Running Narrative Show.

Thursday's lunchtime edition was apparently featuring haiku. Why? We don't know.

But I call it, Chips For Lunch
"Thin & Crispy" brand
ironic I love it best
since I am neither.

*That's a shout-out, Marc.

* * * * *

Often my Runing Narrative Show features the state of my apartment, which is -- once again -- one of utter disrepair. Chips bags and post-its and coffee mugs and water bottles and mail are strewn literally everywhere.

It occurred to me that I actually receive a whole helluva lot of catalogs and magazines that serve no purpose because I never find the time to look at them. Sure, they make lovely display pieces, but I don't think my guests believe for one second that I actually read Gourmet, since that's what I end up using as a placemat for the chips and salsa.

* * * * *

My cat, Monster, has taken to peeing on my doorstep inside my apartment again. I don't know why. I don't understand his patterns. It's awful and I'm trying to curb it, but mostly it's all I can do to just to keep up with cleaning it, using all sorts of fancy products that claim to be able to completely remove the scent of cat piss from hard wood floors.


You know, I am more or less unfamiliar with the inner workings of international chemical warfare developments, and seriously doubt that too many chemical warfare engineers read She Walks with any regularity, but just in case at least one is reading this now -- I sincerely hope you're working cat pee into our defense strategy. Because seriously. We would totally win.


I tuned in to Friday's episode somewhere around the time I realized I was actually listening to Monster peeing on the door.

And because I was so stressed and not in my right mind, and with a huge deadline looming over me, Running Narrative Show became something straight out of The Twilight Crazy Cat Lady Zone.


And like a complete raving lunatic, I shot up out of my office chair and ran to my closet, having no idea what I was looking for or what I would do with it once I found it.

But then I saw the enormous roll of electrical tape and suddenly a plan formed.
[Over the holidays, Ish was in a very random comedy/improv show in the city, and there maybe was drinking, and maybe the theater he was in was still sort of under construction, and maybe one of my friends accompanied me to the ladies' room and decided it was rude to have a huge roll of electrical tape just sitting there, in the bathroom, and so took it and stuck it in my purse without me knowing. Later, on the street, I wondered why my bag was so damn heavy and you can imagine my surprise when I opened it to find a huge roll of electrical tape next to my wallet and lipgloss. My friend thought that was hilarious.]
I grabbed a big pair of scissors, and went to my doorway.


And that is how I discovered that industrial strength electrical tape is not very easy to work with. And also why working not at home is maybe sometimes a good thing.

I plopped myself down on the floor, about three feet from where Monster has claimed his space, and I ripped a long strip across the whole hallway like this, _______, sticky side up, with the ends curled down to stick to the floor. Then I cut several 8" or so strips of tape, and ran them length-wise.

Um, like this:

I would just like to re-state how difficult it is to unroll and cut electrical tape while you are sitting in your hallway with cat pee and a deadline, but I managed.

I was probably laughing maniacally.

My thought was that cats hate to have tape on their paws. And I was certain that Monster would want to investigate this new hallway development, as he wants to investigate anything new in the apartment to determine -- I suppose -- if it's something worth peeing on. And I thought he would go to step on it, and discover its horrible stickiness. And that that would stop him from thinking the doorway was a nice place to hang out.

So moments after I put the tape down, Monster decided to check it out, as above. He stepped on it and jumped off it, towards the door. Then he tentatively came back over it, and, upon realizing it was still sticky, even though he was coming at it from a different perspective (cats? not so swift), ran away from it.

Later that evening a knock came at my door. I was still in the throes of working-with-deadline, and didn't really think through the implications of actually opening the door to speak to the couple standing in my hallway.

I should have.

Upon opening the door, I realized I had not showered in three days, was not wearing makeup, and was in sweats that probably could have gone over and opened the door all by themselves if you know what I mean.

I can't imagine I opened the door with anything less than a look of desperation in my eyes.

"Hey, um..." this cute couple looked at me and said. "I'm [some name I couldn't retain] and this is Brett and we live in #4. We're having a little housewarming tonight, some champagne. It'd be great if you could come by. At like 8:30? It'll go probably till midnight or so."

And do you know what I said?

No. You don't. Because I don't, either. I'm certain it wasn't coherent, and went something like, "Working from home deadline early morning I am not sure about sorry pants mess welcome! try cats I'll dinner kind of hectic thank you so much that's very nice of you."

And then because I was feeling so terribly self-conscious and was convinced they'd seen the bizarre arrangement of tape on the floor directly behind me, I figured I should offer something of an explanation. So I started to say it was there to keep my cat from peeing in the doorway, but then stopped myself because I didn't want them to realize that meant they were probably standing inches away from said pee.

"Oh, um, that's tape because cats don't like it and I'm having a problem with my cat...uhm...who...likestorunintothehallwaywhenthedoorisopen." Yeah.

And then Sherlock ran into the hallway.

"Um," said the guy, "But can't they just jump over it?" He didn't want to be rude, you could tell, but he saw the flaws in my lie immediately.

Well, especially since my cat was already in the hallway, having jumped over it.

"Oh, not that cat," I said, trying to sound not lying. "His brother. And um, it's not that he's just...he sits at the door a lot, trying to get out. And um, claws at it. And I think this might make it less desirable now."

And even as it was coming out of my mouth, I realized I was essentially telling my neighbor that my cat claws at the door in an effort to escape from me.

I am pretty sure the conversation ended swiftly thereafter, as I reclaimed Sherlock from the hallway and they retreated down the stairs wondering about the batty recluse cat-torturer they're sharing a building with.

* * * * *

I end this entry now saying it's five days later and the tape has worked so far. Unfortunately, it has also attracted a bug who is now lying dead in the middle of it. I may have to work on an upgraded system this weekend.

In the meantime, to prove that I may be a crazy cat lady but am not a horrible cat-mommy, I bring you this video. Because I'm proud.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beauty & the Geek: I Watch It So You Don't Have To

As I've mentioned before, I occasionally help out my friends at Midseason Replacements by recapping shows no one else is covering.

Shockingly, no one else is covering Beauty & The Geek. We may presume that this is because I am one of six people in the country over the age of "college" who watches this show voluntarily.

The full recap is here. Some excerpts are below.

Beauty & The Geek is a show about making hot people look dumb and uncomfortable, and about making smart people also look dumb and uncomfortable. And then sometimes it also has sex. Win-win-win.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

You just can’t anticipate a velociraptor impersonation.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

It is at once horrifying and fascinating, because you really can’t tell who’s got more power. Social experiment, indeed! It is all so thought-provoking. Plus, hot chicks in a hot tub!

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Meanwhile, the girls are studying. There is some confusion about who Siegfried & Roy are. One model thinks they’re magicians, but Amanda puts an end to that: “No you guys. That’s psychology. Sigmund and Freud.”

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sundresses & Spring Fever - One From The Archives

I originally posted this in May of 2005.
I was thinking about it this morning, since we've had a recent run of warm, sunny weather, which means that warm-weather clothing is not far behind.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

so Once Upon A Time i was going to go on this whole verbal rampage about how much i hate summer because of how much i hate summer clothes, only because i cannot really wear sundresses ever because of the whole Mashed Potato Boob and ghetto booty thing i have going on (even when i weigh lots less than i do now).

and so i started trying to describe why sundresses don't work for me and my body type, but that got long and boring and blah blah blah.

"this isn't working," i said to myself, a good glass of wine or three in. there must be some way to convey the sundress issue.

"a-ha!" i thought, upon having another glass of wine, i could just draw it for you, imaginary internet friends.

this is what happens when lunatic women with imaginary internet friends are left alone with wine, a computer, and no date.

and so i did draw it.

which means that you are about to see:
  • "artistry" that is the result of someone (who has no idea how to use photoshop) using photoshop while a bit sauced

  • something i like to call "artistic license" with regard to "fashion"

  • me naked


the first thing i realized is that, in order to properly convey why i cannot wear sundresses, you need to understand why other women can.

take this "person" for example. she has a reasonable body.
where is your other arm?

sure, her hair needs a little work (in this case blond really is a sickness, whatever) and she could probably use things like arms and feet, but you get the idea. she has a body that when dressed in a pink-patterned, flowered, feminine, spaghetti-strapped sundress, looks like she should. um, like:
you need more hair

see? isn't that cute?

but that is not what i'm working with. i'm more like:
image to scale

so. when you add a cute, flouncy, frilly, feminine, flowered little sundress on top of this kind of body, you get:
give it up

and this is why i do not wear sundresses.

The End.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No Amount Of Co-habitating With A Hot Man Can Make Me Stop Blogging About My Cats

I don't have an updated photo of our kitchen, but it's probably enough to say that our countertop is shaped like a big U. And in the corner of that U is a lazy-susan.

Monster, since he was a kitten, loves being in cabinets and cupboards and closets. He has also been very good at figuring out how to open the doors to such things. Back when I lived in a house, weekend mornings were filled with the sound of












B A N G!





In case you're unfamiliar, that is the sound of a cat trying to get into a kitchen cabinet that is kept shut by a magnetic closure. Monster would get his claws in between the cabinet door and the cabinet backing and pull, just enough to move the cabinet door away from the edge, but not enough to open it. Then he'd let go and it would lightly bang against its close. Kind of like someone trying desperately to pull open a locked door, when all the door will do is rattle in its jamb.

Monster would repeat this "light banging" roughly eighty thousand times. Eventually, he'd pull hard enough that the door would suddenly break free of its magnetic seal and fly open with so much gusto that it would ricochet back and slam shut again.

This meant, by the way, that Monster wanted breakfast.

Occasionally, he'd get a cabinet open, and then crawl into it. If he discovered it was a cabinet that did not have his food, he would then begin mewing incessantly, presumably decrying his lack of reward.

If he managed to get into the cabinet where his bag of dry food was kept, he would then just eat through the bag and help himself to as much kitty chow as he pleased, often spilling heaps of it onto the floor for good measure.

But back to the lazy-susan.

For some reason, Monster really likes that particular cabinet in the kitchen, and when he goes to it and starts mewing at it, we'll open it and let him sit in there. (Note: he gets bored and leaves after being in there for like, 14 seconds. Oh, to understand the inner-workings of a cat's mind.)

Recently, Monster has decided that he should be able to enter the lazy-susan from the other side. The problem is that there isn't an "other" side, there is merely the back side of the counter. Aka: a wall. The wall, however, made the egregious error of having paneling, which Monster mistakes as cabinet openings.

And he does not understand why he cannot get in.

Try to explain that to a cat.

*Update: WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME? I meant either "Co-habitation" or "Co-habiting" in the title. CERTAINLY "Co-habitating" is NOT A WORD. I'm so disorientated!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Metaphysical Dilemma

Let's just say that I'm not entirely sure where I fall in the "there is a heaven"/"there is not a heaven" discussion. Having been raised with basically zero religion, I find many religious beliefs to be fascinating and sometimes inspiring, but also sometimes totally crazy. A lot of times I just don't get it.

Are my parents watching me from heaven, or what?

I guess I just kind of assume they are, without really saying so or thinking too hard about the details, la la la. Because as soon as we start down that road, it gets weird and silly very fast.

Like, do they get to choose when they watch me? Do I get to choose when? Because there are all kinds of times in my life when -- hi -- I don't really need an audience. Ahem. And occasionally when I am experiencing one of those times, let's say when I'm taking a shower, it's like, Okay! Hi Mom & Dad! You can pull that magical fluffy cloud-shade down now! I'm about to get naked and you are not invited! Go watch your grandson or something! Hey, I hear it's going to rain! Why don't you go bowl with the angels so we get some thunder!

Right. Totally crazy.

I bring this up because this morning, I was in the bathroom, not dressed yet and was, um, sitting. And while I was sitting, I decided to blow my nose. But after I blew my nose I realized the waste basket was all the way across the bathroom and at a tough angle. I would have to be a very good shot to get the tissue into the basket from my position. Still, for fun, I closed one eye, and concentrated, and sure enough. I made it. Totally a 3-pointer, all air.

So yeah. While on the one hand, going to the bathroom and blowing my nose is precisely the kind of private* moment I experience that convinces me that no, my parents aren't literally watching me from above; the other hand is like, Damn, I hope my dad saw me make that shot!

*Well, private except for the part where we tell the whole internet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

TEN Updates In ONE!

I am tired and fighting off a cold with all my strength and willpower. I miss blogging, and yet haven't been able to mostly because by the time I get to sit down at night with a laptop and notwork, my thoughts are mostly incoherent and typing is hard because it requires wiping all that drool off the keyboard.

So I dunno, let's make a list of things I'm thinking but not writing about. HOW FUN FOR YOU.

1. People keep deciding to follow me on Twitter. I do not understand how they find me or why they choose to follow me, because I feel like they're thinking, "She's going to say something funny" and then they discover I'm slightly less entertaining than the side of a cereal box. Especially Cap'n Crunch. Not only is that an entertaining cereal box, but the contents are pretty darned tasty, too. Mouth-ripping be damned.

2. The move/moving in together is going well. But it must be said that those are two decidedly different things.

As far as the actual, physical move goes, I'd say we've gotten to Settled In Level One. Most boxes are gone except for those that are filled with things that will require Configuring.


The problem with the cooler-than-I-am bathrooms is that they are modern and stylish and chic. And if you're like me you're thinking, well that sounds great! Except I have learned that the term "modern" when applied to "bathroom" translates to: Oh hey look, there is no under-sink cabinet.

One must therefore conclude that in the "modern" world, women do not need Feminine Products. And also their houses stay magically spotless, because when there is no under-sink cabinetry there is no place for cleaning products. Except perhaps out in the non-existent other storage area.

So until we figure out where these sorts of things DO go, they remain in boxes. Under the sink. In the hopes that the Modern Bathroom will be so appalled at the unsightly cardboard heaps sitting beneath it that it will magically sprout a cabinet.

The moving in together part is also going well. I thought probably that it would be a snap moving in with Ish because
a) we'd been spending EVERY night together as it was, and
b) we'd both lived with partners before

Yeah, well.

The good news is that I have managed to avoid the trap of obsessing over where our relationship is going now that we've moved in together. I was sort of afraid I would instantly catch The Crazy. You know, like, "Honey, where do you think this painting should go? Because I want this to be our decision, not just my decision now that we're here together and living together and gosh. Isn't it so wonderful that we've brought our relationship to the next level? Which reminds me, WHEN ARE WE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT ONE?!?!?"

Instead, thankfully, I find myself just trying to get used to the little stuff. (It's still The Crazy, but far less scream-y.) It's just -- suddenly everything is important. I find myself wondering, "Will our relationship work, now that we're officially trying it on for size?" And then everything falls into that line of thinking. See the way he uses the salt shaker? What if he's the one I end up with? What if we decide to spend the rest of our lives together? That's a heckuva salt shake he's got. I might see salt shaking that way for decades! Who would have thought? Huh. Salt.

I don't mean to imply that Ish shakes salt in a particularly good or bad way. It's more like, everything matters a little more now. Which is awesome. It's just a lot to take in.

3. The garage to this building empties out to an alleyway. To get to work, I have to drive down the alley, and then turn right again onto a super-busy one-way road. This wouldn't be hard, except I then have to turn left off the super-busy one-way road, and I have ONE BLOCK to do it in. We are talking crossing FOUR LANES of traffic to get to the fifth lane, the one that will allow me to turn left. This means that every morning, I start the day off feeling like Frogger.

4. I spent $228 at the vet today to learn that my cat is healthy.

5. Speaking of wood, I did not intend for this to happen, but when you combine my stuff with Ish's stuff and then buy a few pieces of new stuff, you end up with -- wait for it -- that's right. NINE different types of wood grains in one room. NINE. I don't know what you do about this, either. Can you paint Ikea laminate furniture? (Don't judge.)

Seriously. In light pine we have the coffee table which matches the kitchen caddy and all the kitchen cabinets. (But not the bathroom cabinets. Because if you remember from when this post began about 3 years ago, the only color that matches my bathroom cabinets is "invisible.") Slightly darker, we have the side tables Ish bought in China which are roughly the same color as my mom's kitchen table but which do not match in style at all. Next up we have the sort of red-hued laminate bookshelves and tv stand from Ikea. And rounding off our collection we have the super-dark, nearly black shelving unit and dining table we purchased recently. That match each other more or less (less), but nothing else. Not to mention the green wood chairs. Yes, green.

6. Hot tranny mess.

7. If you have not seen it, I implore you to check out Stuff White People Like. It's like one long indictment of stuff I either do, have, wish I did, or know people who do. (Note: if "reverse racism" is something you believe exists or is something that's even part of your vocabulary, you will probably not enjoy the site at all because you will miss the point entirely.)

8. Did you guys participate in Neil's "Great Interview Experiment"? It's pretty cool, and you can still get in on the action. An awesome blogger (hi, Sassy!) who is all very writer-y and interesting and traveled and cool, has asked me all these questions I never would have thought to write about but am so excited to have an excuse to do so! Yay!

9. Do you want to hear the most San Francisco thing you've ever heard? A friend of mine, let's call him Q, started seeing a therapist we'll call A. When Q first met A, she seemed very familiar, but he couldn't quite place her. He spent much of the session wondering if he'd ever met her before. After the session concluded, a few days later, he realized: A is one of his top matches on an underground online dating site. Man, I love this town.

10. We're having a housewarming party on Saturday. This has resulted in most people I know asking me the following question: "So are you ready for the housewarming on Saturday?" And that makes me a little nervous because maybe they think the party is going to be way more awesome and elaborate than it is. Basically, if you put enough interesting people in a room with good food and a lot of booze, they will probably have a good time. (Realize, however, that this requires far less "planning" on my part than it does "other people showing up." Which is what we're counting on, what with the boxes and invisible cabinets and nine kinds of wood and all. Let alone the forty-five million cats we own.)

Anyway, it should be super fun and I am looking forward to it. I think it will help make me feel like I really do live here. With Ish and everything. Even the Loosies are going to sing!

Of course, you're invited. (Email me for info.) But if you've never been to one of these kinds of parties, let me just say -- food, booze, cat hair, funny people, many of whom are wicked smart and downright loony. This is what you should expect.

And sure, maybe you know this, but ohmygod. Let me tell you a little story.

One of the very first parties I ever threw in San Francisco involved inviting EVERYONE I knew, because this numbered 9 people. However, at that time in my life, I was an active member of a group we'll call Young Nerdpants.

For the record, "active member" meant I signed up to receive their emails.

Also for the record, I signed up to receive their emails because I'd seen something in my Nerdpants Newsletter that basically said, "We're Young Nerdpants, a San Francisco chapter of Nerdpants who get together on a social basis." And I thought, HEY A CHANCE TO SOCIALIZE WITH ACTUAL PEOPLE.

Anyway, I threw my hat into the ring and offered to invite all the local Young Nerdpants to my Halloween party, because wouldn't that be fun? I mean, even Nerdpantses love Halloween, right?


Here is what happened.

One person showed up. He arrived 15 minutes after the party started, and when I answered the door I was already in full Halloween regalia (dressed as a PIMP, no less) and slightly drunk. He was most definitely representin' Nerdpants, with his gray slacks and striped button down. No irony. No costume.

He came in and I immediately asked if he'd like a cocktail. I figured I'd seem much less crazy and lots more funny in my costume if he were drinking.

Except he said no, he doesn't drink alcohol.

Please now imagine me in my pimp-tastic glitter cape, complete with pimp-stick and clear plastic heels, standing in my kitchen holding a martini trying to compute the words "I don't drink alcohol."

So I said, well, we have some soda.

To which he replied, "Oh, okay. But I can't drink anything with caffeine."

No caffeine and no alcohol. Okay.

"I have milk?" I offered. "Well, and water."

He took the water.

When I then brought him into the living room to introduce him to the remaining 8 people, he said, "Oh, I didn't know you have cats."

I then apologized for not including that in the invitation (a mistake I do not make any longer, by the way), and then said I hope he'll be okay. You know, now that he'd gotten his water and all.

And he said, and I quote: "I'll be okay. I just won't sit anywhere or touch anything."


So yeah. He stood with his water for a good whole hour before he decided to leave.

THE POINT here is that while I may not be the most amazing hostess you will ever meet, I can certainly help you get your Good Time on. All you have to do is want to.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

In My Salad Days

Before working for BlogHer, I worked at (We discussed this bizarre turn of events here.)

Now that my friend Em also works there, she has been -- for lack of better word -- "sequestered" in Bentonville, Arkansas on a two-week business trip to Walmart Headquarters.

I would like to point out that I managed to avoid all such trips.


Yesterday she called me from a Chili's, where she was waiting for a shuttle to take her back to her hotel in the freezing snow. I commiserated. I assured her it was only temporary and really, it couldn't get worse than hiding from snow inside a Chilis.

I was, of course, wrong.

Today, I received the following text message:

i ordered a salad and asked what kind of dressing they had and one of the options was "freedom."

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I don't know about you, but when I was a kid and otherwise a fan of the Muppets, the Swedish Chef kinda scared me. He was always upset about something, and every time we saw him, we knew we were moments away from his complete mental breakdown. One second he'd seem so cute and unassuming, and the next he'd be sing-song yelling and throwing fish.

I was at Ikea for almost four hours today.

"Sweetie, is this is a good price for a SKLOORG?"

Ikea is kind of an amazing, all-encompassing experience, at once fantastic and horrid. Furniture! And hot dogs! And wheelie carts! And...did you know they sell thread?

Four hours.

Mostly I think Ikea is a good idea. Because how many times have you walked into a Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn and looked at a $50+ price tag and said, "Oh, hey, see, I thought this was just a frame made out of regular old wood. I didn't realize this was one of those magic wood frames that's secretly lined with gold and aged by the teardrops of faeries."

Whereas at Ikea, that same piece of wood -- while lined with far more holes, sure -- is roughly $0.69.

Overall, I am not sure if I love or hate Ikea, or if I should just resign myself to the fact that it's a necessary evil in my life, mostly awful but occasionally awesome. Like American Idol.

There's always traffic getting there, and the act of searching for a parking spot, finding one, and herding into the store along with half the county has the feel of something exciting. You and the mostly unattractive crowd have come for miles and are trudging en masse toward...the state fair? The circus? Some amazing live performance you will tell your grandkids about?


You and 12,000 other people have traveled near and far to see if you can, maybe, hopefully, possibly, find two matching 300 lb. fiberboard cabinet doors in "walnut."

(You can't.)

The move/unpacking is going awesome, in case you were wondering.

That's sarcasm. The move/unpacking has been a royal pain in the ass.