Friday, December 30, 2005

And now with more cowbell




















I'm not sure it's even worth trying to convince myself not to buy this. Sequins, man, seeeeequins!!

!!!!

Well, this is a little odd

http://anonymouse.org/anonwww.html
http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://budapestbyblimp.blogspot.com/

Seems some people want to read me but only in secret.

Chicago! Chicago!

One week away from the fray. I cannot wait.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tribe.net and TOU

Hi guys! Nice to see you poking about - hope you enjoy what you've read so far!

For the time being, I've chosen to put my comments in Liz's blog. This could change, but she said exactly what I would have said, so in the current interest of keeping redundancy down, I'll continue there.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

When the shoe fits?

(via)
Apropos of several comments from independent and unrelated sources:

The Black Queen
4 Power-Finesse, 3 Leader-Follower, 3 Unique-Ordinary, and 1 Offense-Defense
It is said that still waters run deep, and this is to some extent true
of you. You watch the backs of your minions, keeping them safe. You
allow your underlings to do much of the dirty-work, and then you use
your considerable power to bring the opponent to his knees. Preferably
at your feet. Your extravagant power is impossible to ignore, but
sometimes 'they' forget just how powerful it is. All this said, however,
beware the charming white knight, who alone of the pieces can steal your heart without you realizing it.

The What Chess Piece Are You Test by Gundark27 on
OkCupid

Sunday, December 25, 2005

"He was injured. Injured bad."

(via)
This boy has a serious future in storytelling.

'Tis the season!

Regardless of what and how you choose to celebrate or ignore this month's activities, may peace, joy and happiness find you and your loved ones healthy and close to your heart.

And in the words of the inimitable languagehat: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Grumpy Grinchdom to all (check any that apply).

Oh, Frisbee, I thought I knew ye!

Having heard from no one definitively (due to possible schedule conflicts), or not at all (due, I assumed, to definite schedule conflicts), I mentally downgraded Christmas Eve dinner to a movie night, relaxing alone on the couch with some last minute sushi from Whole Foods. I headed downtown to finish errands and ran into ooga at Whole Foods on his way to another dinner. In the course of conversation, he asked, "What should I bring when I head over to your place?" I told him not to really worry about it as I hadn't heard from anyone and was just going to chill. Accommodating fellow that he is, he invited me to his dinner, but there was a 'thanks, but no thanks' from me as I was enjoying the breathing room and quiet time of an unplanned evening.

No sooner had he walked off than DaShiv called asking what he could pick up on his way over. While on that call, kenko called to find out what the plan was (or at least I think that what his message said) and was ready to head on over. A 180 in under 15 minutes. Suddenly, there I was, standing in Whole Foods, with an hour and a half hour to pull together a dinner and drinks and make it back to the Mission to start cooking before people began to arrive. So...apple stuffed pork chops, braised root veggies, olives, cornichons, pickled peppers, bread, beer (DaShiv), wine, chocolate covered butter cookies and ruby port (ooga). BAM!

Right here is where a couple decades of restaurant work, menu planning and professional entertaining pay off: it was actually easier to assemble a dinner for three plus nibbles for four than it was to put together my own peckish pickings for the evening. And you know what? As much as I was looking forward to downtime alone and as exhausted as I thought I was, as soon as I heard everyone was on their way over, all of the fatigue evaporated. What this says to me is that I'm showing signs of approaching some semblance of being 'growed up, proper', because I love to throw 'dinner parties' at home! I mean, come on, first I use the word 'delightful' without irony and now I hold 'dinner parties'. And describe them enthusiatically. With explanation exclamation points(!)

Gaaahhhhh!!!!

Addendum: *coughs* Ok look, we're all friends here, right? I know for a fact that no less than 30 of you breezed on through here and read the above entry. Not a single person was so kind to point that I, in my joyful haste to describe the oh-so-It's-A-Wonderful-Life series of last night's events, allowed Herr Doktor I. Spelchekum to correct "exclanation" to "explanation" and not "exclamation". I find this to be not a little disturbing and let me tell you why. It's disturbing because this means y'all would let me wander around for hours in blissful ignorance about the huge piece of tarragon stuck between my teeth or with my fly unzipped or something unslightly unsightly (hee, mynx!) in my nose.

I just can't take you guys
anywhere, can I?

Sheesh.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas Eve!

I am drinking eggnog and wearing my cowboy boots.

All is well with the world.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Step 9 (Heartbreak, healing)

On my birthday, I received a letter from my mother. This was unusual, but not unprecedented. It was, in fact, precedented enough to trigger a depth charge of an emotional response from me for many different reasons. Those who have been along for the ride for the last 20 or so years will know exactly what I refer to; those who don't, will have to rest assured that there has been no shortage of dysfunction, chaos and trauma in the story. Not only does it pain and exhaust me to recount - thus relive - that past, the details truly are no longer important. I refuse to make a spectacle of the puzzles and heartaches that life hands us and how we sometimes crash and burn magnificently. That is our wreckage through which to sort and seek understanding and consider possible futures. That is a personal and intimate process. One that deserves to be honored, respected and nurtured.

So. The letter. It came on my birthday. I have waited 5 days to open it. I waited until I had my contingency plans and various methods of addressing said missive on hand. I considered every possible angle for her contacting me this time. I got angry and sad, weirded out, detached and indifferent, defensive. I laid things out and had responses for any of her potential ploys. I waited until I could accept any crazy assed, manipulative and deranged take she's sent my way previously. And here I will add some details: not once in almost 30 years of getting letters from her, in various circumstances, has a single one not been:

- an unmitigated assault on my character as a daughter and human being, usually containing the reminder that she really should have stayed on the table and gone through with my abortion X many years ago
- a crushing guilt rampage full of vitriol and abject misery
- a suicide threat
- a suicide letter 'intended to reach me after death'
- some sort of explanation of her imminent demise at the hands of an incurable disease
- manic and utterly incomprehensible
- any creative combination of the above

Not once has this pattern changed. In light of this, I got some sleep, waited until I felt settled. Ready as I'd ever be to, once again, defend my well being against one of the few people on this planet whom I should never have to address in said battle and on said subject.


I scanned the letter, first, quickly looking for the usual catchphrases. Seeking the guilted comments, the pointed fingers, the excuses and judgements and attacks, the everything that is such standard issue with these missives.

Scanning the letter, I stopped short and began slowly reading from the beginning. Carefully. I recognized the import of the language, timing and structure of what she sent to me. For the first time, she has done the one thing that I cannot do for her. She has sincerely apologized. Without conditions or qualifications or justification.
She made herself vulnerable and accountable. She has come back into the room, laid down the weapons that she never needed to use on me and stood up to be counted while naming the past.

Reparation.


It has been a long journey. While I have never sought vindication and no longer need validation, I have been vigilant in maintaining a safe place to thrive, because when I walked out the front door of her house 22 years ago, I realized that no one else was going to do it for me. Painful as the decision may have been, I was and have remained willing to make that trek alone in order to move on. But there are some kinds of wounds that require the presence of both parties for proper healing and while I do firmly believe that if you ask the Universe sincerely for something, you'd better get ready to hit the ground running, I realized that the odds weren't exactly stacked in my favor with this particular situation.

And yet...I am looking at the letter that I never thought I'd get.

In the last several hours, I have wept. Deeply. In joy and relief and disbelief and then belief and once more from the top, with feeling. Despair dissipates as
the biggest heartbreak in my life begins to heal. Of course, there'll be bridges to be crossed in the future, but the woods have been cleared and this part of the saga, at last, closes in a most spectacular and satisfying manner.

From the humblest, newliest healing place in my heart, I wish all of you the merriest of Christmases.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sometimes, I really miss Tribe.net

From
No connection between you and
SF Bay Area
0 friends
Date Wed, December 21, 2005 - 1:10 AM
Subject wats up
Message just want 2 say hi and u realy hot

I want to refer him to a tribe, but I can't decide whether it should be 'SF Drunks', 'Drunky Typo', or 'Beer Gogglers'. On the other hand, someone may have finally started the 'Nice try - No dice' tribe.

Because, see, here is the deal: while I appreciate the attempt at a compliment, I am not hot. Or hott. Or hawt. (Well, I'll take hawt, but only because the spelling is ridiculous, it makes me snicker.) Monica Belluci is hot. Cate Blanchett is hot. Penelope Cruz is hot.

I am not hot.

You can look at my pictures or see me walking down the street and you'll see cute. You may even see pretty. But, seriously, for the love of the English language and personal dignity, do not call me hot on sight alone. To do so smacks of being contrived, superficial and desperate. Three qualities I would hope aren't associated with me as a public or private person.

If you have gotten to know me in person or through some form of interaction, the appropriate usage of the description changes a great deal and warrants an entirely different discussion. If someone who knows me well, on an intellectual, platonic, romantic or carnal basis, wants to call me hot, you can be damned sure it'll put a wiggle in my walk. But trust me on this: my physicality runs the gamut somewhere between soccer mom cute and bedhead disheveled.


I am not hot and I am perfectly happy with this fact.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ah, yes:

Hi Bob!

*waves*

Birthday goodies

My birthday turned out to be somber and cathartic in a way that I'd not expected, and while on the upswing, I am still sorting things out. Auspiciously and appropriately, fellow Sag, amberglow, offered this video (via) by Sigur Ros as a collective celebration of the (not so prone to aging) Sagittarian spirit and I'd like to pass it on. Watching the video, it's not hard to identify who from my group of friends is whom and watching the role reversal age-wise in the video tickles much and the playfulness moves me a great deal.

Everyday, I meet some of the most physically beautiful and beautifully engineered people I've ever seen face to face. People who can, without concern, spend more on cosmetic adjustments/repairs/maintenance in a single procedure than I will make in a year. And do this repeatedly. However, what I find is that I'm drawn to are those who, instead of trying to fight or deny the 'ravages' of age and life, choose to incorporate them and wear themselves and their lives/histories much like well loved jeans. Offering equal homage to successes and failures, sharp minds and poor eyesight, salad days and quieter nights - taking all of it and returning the volley with deep, genuine smiles and compassionate actions even the midst of tears and stiff knees. Without dread, regret or apology.

I see a sharp rise of this most often in people 10 or 20 years my senior and I love each and every time I experience it for the simple reason that each and every time I see someone following a path that I strive for, I feel as though the way is being paved for me that much more on a daily basis. In short: such as looking at Mini Disc pics and feeling her confidence in the future shining through from the past, I meet older people whose qualities I admire and strive to emulate and feel as though the future is giving me a smile and nod of assurance about things to come. And with these reminders, the perspective shifts. And even the craziest things cease to be untenable and more like interesting pains in the ass. And fodder for good stories. And reasons to laugh bubble up: oh, the circus of it all - and that's what we have and this is what we do.

And that this is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Scenes from a restaurant

He: "That's impressive. How do you come up with such colorful descriptions?"
Me: "Well, sir, I do have a college education."
He: *laughs self importantly and smiles like a crocodile* "I have a college education and I don't think these things up."
Me: "I suppose it doesn't hurt that I'm a writer."
He: "Oh really? What do you write about?"
Me: *stares pointedly at him* "The things I see."
He: "Such as?"
Sir's wife: "David, she writes about idiots like you. Now, can we order dinner before she has enough material for a novel?"
Me: *smiles*

Friday, December 16, 2005

Oh noes.

A friend found my first silver hair when I was 13. (Go ahead...do the math.) So I've had 23 years to enjoy slowly losing my God given hair color, and truthfully, it's been fun. But the eyebrows? THE EYEBROWS. Don't I at least get to reach 40 before the eyebrows start throwing in the color towel?

Apparently not.

Endings and beginnings















How It Ends - Devotchka

Hold your grandmother's Bible to your breast.
Gonna put it to the test.
You want it to be blessed.
And in your heart,
You know it to be true,
You know what you gotta do.
They all depend on you.
And you already know.
Yeah, you already know how this will end.

There is no escape,
From the slave-catchers' songs.
For all of the loved ones gone.
Forever's not so long.
And in your soul,
They poked a million holes.
But you never let them show.
C'mon it's time to go.

And you already know.
Yeah, you already know
How this will end.

Now you've seen his face.
And you know that there's a place,
In the sun,
For all that you've done,
For you and your children.
No longer shall you need.
You always wanted to believe,
Just ask and you'll receive,
Beyond your wildest dreams.

And you already know.
Yeah, you already know
How this will end.

You already know how this will end.

Though perhaps seemingly morbid for a birthday contemplation, what I find so deeply moving about this song is its clear eyed assessment and embrace of benevolent faith in the face of an indifferent and sometimes malevolent world.

I look at the photo above and like to think that the Mini-Disc is smiling directly at me because she did know how it would end and had every ounce of faith that it would end good. And then begin again in goodness, to start the whole crazy cycle from scratch for yet another year with ever an honor of the past, two feet in the present and a keen eye toward the future.

Overwhelming gratitude for another hour. Another day. Another year. And sincere thanks for the wonder, pain, struggle and beauty of it all.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Notes from hither, thither and yon

Yesterday, 'pup came into the city and we walked around my neighborhood, had killer garlic noodles (that will ensure that I, at least, won't get kissed until some time in 2006) at a Vietnamese place down the street and then sat in the Irish pub on the corner watching the 'wildlife' pass by the window and a bowling tournament replete with the worst hair styles for men circa 1987. I laughed so hard it hurt a couple times, I didn't think about anything but the immediate present for several hours and this vaguely familiar feeling formed into recognition and I realized that I was relaxing. It was nice.

It struck me that I've always got 80 things on my list; I've got a plan and an itinerary that I'm constantly amending - more accurately, adding to; I'm always a day late and a dollar short on some sort of self-imposed deadline that no one but me gives a random shit about, but that I'm inexplicably and passionately committed to; that I go until I drop and hit the ground running as soon as I've rested enough to get back up, or before, for that matter.

It's not a complaint nor is it something that makes me unhappy because not only does the work hard/play hard lifestyle have its merits and benefits but it also brings me a great deal of satisfaction. The industry that I'm in as well as the city where I reside demands that you bring your 'A' game, so this kind of drive is well suited, if not downright requisite. They will eat you alive, and pick their teeth your bones without a moment of hesitation or remorse if you don't and sometimes even when you do.

It's common knowledge that restaurant is intense and that this is the most intense season of the retail year; similar to a basic physics equation, that energy, that tension has to go somewhere and, pardon the vulgarity here, but since we don't fuck, we fight. As such, we verbally scrap like recalcitrant children almost every single night.
One of the things I've become especially adept at lately is biting back at work and though I've said to a friend that "it makes me want to cartoon punch everybody in the face", perversely, it also has its merits. For example, this 'response in kind' lets the boy's club in the kitchen know that I'm not soft. On some paleolithic level, it breeds respect in them, and I am therefore deemed worthy of keeping my spot by the camp fire for another night.

In spite of my inherent distaste for competition, I'd be painting an unfair picture of myself if I didn't admit to gaining a sense of satisfaction at being able to run with the pack and hold my own (truthfully, most guys can't cut it and being female makes it that much more unusual and, in some ways, that much more rewarding.) It's the truth in action of the phrase, "Living well is the best revenge." A quiet kiss-off to everything and everyone that's posed as an obstacle. Perhaps what is more important has been the acquisition of the skills to successfully navigate the slippery slope of 'doing as the Romans do' in the areas of the unsavory while maintaining my personal integrity in the process. No small task some days, and other days it's just plain exhausting, I'll tell you what.

So, as ever, it's a mixed bag: for every metric ton of bullshit, there really is a pony lurking about somewhere. And I'm hoping that the next pony that I find can tell me a thing or two about relaxing. Relaxing is some tasty goodness of which I could use a hearty helping.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Trainwreck fascination

Yesterday in Chicago, a Boeing 737 from Southwest Airlines, skidded off runway at Midway airport and came to a halt in a nearby intersection, killing a 6 year old boy and injuring several others. I am not a fan of "disaster-porn" nor do I relish catastrophes or the loss of property, limb or life, but there is something in my pre-reptilian brain that latches onto pictures such as this and this. Then my mind spins off and I cannot help but imagine the tiny, fleeting moments that cascade in multitudes, as they always do, but in this case establishing the threshhold that will forever demarcate 'before' and 'after' in some people's worlds.

Looking at the cars crushed beneath, for example, I imagine what it would be like to glance in your rearview mirror and see a plane literally barreling down on you, shoveling traffic poles and snow and other cars ahead of, around and underneath it. Unable to do anything but watch and, even if it was'only' a split second, how those moments seem to suddenly step out of 'normal' time and stretch themselves out impossibly. Also in the first one, with the car at angle, facing the jet engine as if awed into frozen immobility mid-escape, or perhaps simply at resigned rest in acknowledgement of the impossibility of escape, staring certain annihilation in the eye. Only to be spared by literal inches.

There's such an incredible collection of singularly significant moments collectively experienced in a situation such as this, intensified by the crucible effect of the specific circumstances. The scenarios abound and the mind buzzes at the juxtaposition of the big and the small, both of which form a kind of exponentially expanding enormity, because in their own and individual ways, each life is a kind of universe, in and of itself, but also within the greater fabric of life.

Part of what fascinates me on a purely human level about all of this is that it's such a stark reminder that for all of the fretting one may do, for most things in life one hasn't a prayer of a chance of predicting, let alone controlling the course or outcome. Or as Baz Luhrmann said in 'Sunscreen':

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Understand that I think that life is a precious and wonderful thing, but it's a terminal experience, by definition. A terminal experience whose ending we cannot independently control. I guess you can be accepting of this fact or embittered by it, but either way, you can always hope for a part in a good story.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

And so the saga goes....

Someday, I'll start a regular installment called "The Roommate Chronicles". Nothing snarky, mean or pejorative. Just the facts as they stand. Because I could not make this shit up.

Not in a hundred years.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Also:

Eggnog.

What more needs to be said, really?

10 days

I just got my first birthday rush.

Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes.

The madness has begun.

Monday, December 05, 2005

"Baby, it's cold outside!"

[That title's for mynxie, whom I think not so secretly giggles at my Brat Pack/old timey refs. Kisses!]

Ok, so it was only 42 degrees the last few nights, but even this heavily culls the herd of verbally effusive corner thug-lets and gives the fleeting illusion of living in a mannered neighborhood. And the "ooohh aaaahh" of sleeping with the heat off and window cracked open, buried under four blankets. Pure heaven.

I may not come out until March.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

December!

So, here we are again. Holy wow. I think I'd love it even if I hadn't been born in it, but as it stands, I was. In that weirdo, associative way that my brain works, December is like coming home after the longest day through bustle and bluster, rounding the last corner to see the light spilling from the windows and then closing the door behind you and stepping into the warmth and comfort and the shining faces of loved ones. Home.

Admittedly, the Scrooges and parade pissers have it right, to an extent, there's a great deal to be disgusted by about the Christmas season: it's commercial gluttony, it's social vacuousness, it's cultural vapidity, it's unrealistic pressures, it's propensity for exacerbating bad family dynamics, it's socio-economic inequality. Yes. These do abound. And having severely borne the physical, psychological and emotional brunt of all of those elements, I understand fully how much the season can suck.

But.

And I do mean 'BUT': We have a choice in how we perceive and react to our environments. For example, with a birthday nine days before Christmas, believe you me, it was a well-reheased exercise in hope, guilt and let down as child. Later, in high school and through university, it was frequently an irritating speed bump in the flurry of other activities and obligations. For several years, I personally remembered the day itself only because of birthday calls. Most of which I would miss.

One birthday that I did then and do clearly now remember, was spent at the Cloud Room, a favorite bar of mine in Seattle. It was a Sag birthday celebration and the piano singer was sitting with us after having sung a swingin' "Happy Birthday" to the group. He commented that it 'must really suck having a birthday in December', citing the usual litany of complaints.

If you've never been to the Cloud Room, as the name suggests, it grants a fairly amazing view of the city. Probably less so these day, but time was when you were afforded fantastic sights.
Listening to him talk, I looked out window at the city and through gaps between skyscrapers, across the bay, then around at the group assembled, many of whom could be here only because they'd come home for the Christmas holiday. In that moment, something I'd been trying to articulate for quite some time clicked and I replied, "How could I possibly complain when the entire city is wrapped up like a huge present and all of my friends and their friends - who would not otherwise be here - are celebrating for so many different reasons, right here, in this room, beside me? This is like being a guest of honor at the best party of the year. And I don't have to do a thing make it happen, just show up and enjoy it. Not too shabby, so says I." And so I still say.

As regards the holiday season on the whole, maybe it's the lucky star I was born under or the right slice of life scenario I've been dealt, but especially in the holiday season, my experience working with the public has been largely positive. Often, overwhelmingly so. People are a bit more prone to stress, but given the opportunity, their best behaviors surface more often than not and a little bit of grace extended goes a long, long way in this season. Just as it should and what I know is this: it's less about perfection in the material sense than genuine presence in the personal sense. It's about the spirit in which it's performed and the ability to appreciate the 'moment', however long that moment lasts or whatever form it takes.

All of this to say that I think what is most important is the filter that one chooses to draw their experiences through. The holidays, especially, are one of the weirder passages of time on this planet, but there it is, and so you have it. Nothing about that is going to change anytime soon but despite most circumstances, there is still a choice to be actively made as to whether the holidays are woeful or wonderful. And that choice is yours. So, things sucked before, but this is now and the beauty of this now is that it doesn't have to suck anymore. How 'bout that? I won't deny that it may require some effort and there are no absolutes, but I can almost guarantee that the investment and payoff will be well worth it.

If only for five minutes, reclaim the holiday. Hating it is too easy. Own it. Make it yours. Start turning it into what you always wanted it to be. Rewrite the damned tradition if the tradition doesn't suit you. You may be surprised to find out how many others disliked it as well and didn't have the courage to take a chance on mixing things up a bit. Or a lot, for that matter. Do whatever it takes, but whatever you do, don't settle. There truly is wonder out there to be experienced. You simply have to remember how to see it.

And go make a snowflake too, while you're at it.



Well?

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Today Is The Day"

Today is the day to act like
Today is your day
And you will be surprised that it is,
That it is.

Now, if that grass looks fun to roll in,
Then roll in that fuckin' grass
Look at that bird, he can fly,
Don't you wish you could fly?

Well, today is the day to act like
Today is your day
And you will be surprised that it is,
That it is.


Turn up the sun, hotter, brighter
Make that yellow guy huge!
The bigger, the hotter, the wetter, the better it is.

Now, if that grass looks fun to roll in,
Then roll in that fuckin' grass
Look at that bird, he can fly,
Don't you wish you could fly?

Well, today is the day to act like
Today is your day
And you will be surprised that it is,
That it is.



Thank you, Apollo Sunshine!




















(BUNNIES!!)

Monday, November 28, 2005

And then I bought the Baby Jesus a pony

preparing to hop into the shower, I hear the Frisbee phone ringing

Me: Hello?

K (my boss): Frisbee? It's K.
M: Hi, K!
K: Um, hey, we've only got 12 on the books and it's storming tonight, so we won't need everyone. You're last on, do you mind not coming in?
................

Oh yes: happy dance.

Fever, broken

The best thing about being sick is how good you feel when it's over.

Tom yum gai, sriracha and jalapenos: healing tastiness in a bowl. May capsaicin abundantly spice your long and healthy life. Amen.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Clearly, I taunted the Baby Jesus in a previous life

Viciously ridiculed him. Stole his Pudding Pop. Drew and quartered his precious Stretch Armstrong. Flushed his goldfish, Skippy, down the toilet. Made him eat Circus Peanuts. SOMETHING.

There's just no other explanation for feeling like this.

I would, however, like to thank Andy for his wonderful three hours of fun and "choonage" that helped take the edge off of this nasty bug earlier today. Andy, you're a gem!

Dog sick and dreaming of a White Christmas

Full-fever-ow-my-bones-hurt-who-turned-my-nose-into-an-alluvial-source? kind of sick upon waking and my faithful supplier of tom yum gai isn't open for another 5 hours at least. Eeesh.

I wanted to go out and play with the camera phone and the regular camera, but I think this is going to be a ''sleep through two movies on the couch, getting that practice run in for the the big sleep tonight" kind of days instead. Perhaps I can take artistic, fever dream pictures of the pile of tissues that's growing like a small colony of Tribbles.

In non-infirmary related news, Susie, one of my closest friends wants to fly me to Chicago for Christmas. [!!!!!!!!!] We met years ago when she was the sous chef at the Fish in Seattle and lived around the corner from me. It was years of sweating blood in the restaurant together, playing dj for one another, catching flicks, dissecting dishes, reading cookbooks, and scheming up weird new recipes, and it's a friendship I've dearly missed having in close physical proximity. To cap it off, one of her cooks will be on vacation, so I can get back in the kitchen with her. Huzzah!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"There'll Be Some Changes Made"

Thanksgiving marked the end of our Indian Summer here in SF. Last night, the skies opened up and it's been gusty and turbulent ever since.

Similarly, something else came to an end over the course of the last day. A sort of suspended animation that I had begun to suspect being more of a permanent state than a passing phase. And things seem brand new in a way that they haven't for long, long time. I'm sure this makes no sense and it's nothing specific so much as a subtle shift of something buried that's now ready to surface. Sometimes, it's the most ordinary things that make life truly remarkable. It's been a wonderful surprise and a long, deep sleep feels like the perfect way to celebrate.

With that....

Friday, November 25, 2005

In the light of day

Scratch that: it was one of the best Thanksgivings on record. I'd make this a tradition in a heartbeat.

Oh my!

We had so much fun we forgot to post.

It was a good Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Details from the front line:

- Work gave me a second turkey last night. You know, because just one the first time around wasn't enough. Who says hazing is a thing of the past?

- The kitchen is being systematically destroyed. CALA is open all day today and for that I would bequeath them my firstborn. Instead, they'll have to settle for seeing me on the hour, every hour.

- Bloody marys are proof of the existence of a benevolent God.

- I never knew that handling a 20 pound bird could be so *cough* suggestive. *blushes*

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Oh dear....

This morning I decided to host my first Thanksgiving dinner.

I have lost my mind.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

3 things I have today that I didn't have 24 hours ago:

1. Cowboy boots. [!]
2. A camera phone. [!!]
3. A 20 pound turkey. [...]

I have never cooked a turkey before. It has never even crossed my mind to cook a turkey before. I'm praying that my Thanksgiving post does not include the phrase "hilarity ensues."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

File under: "Pardon me?"

Me: Was there a problem with the foie gras?
She: No, I'm full, thank you. He doesn't like foie gras.
He: It's not that I don't like it, I just don't eat it. Every other day, I put two pieces in my front pockets and two pieces in my pits. Works like a charm on women.
Me: I'm sure it does, sir.
She: This is my brother. I am not married to this man.
He: But the Saran Wrap underwear doesn't hurt, either. The ladies do like those.
She: Shut up!
Me: I see.
He: Oh! Would you like to see?
She: I'm sorry. I'm so very sorry.

[I truly wish I could make this stuff up.]

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Well, huh!

I'm not sure I thought I could do a full year, but I'm glad that I have. So much so that I think I'll continue to do so.

Thank you to the friends who have been readers and commentors as well as the readers and commentors that have become friends. It's been fun sharing the twisty bits of my brain with you. I don't forsee this ever being a place for vast profundity or soaring brilliance or political savvy. As much as I admire those who want to write the next "Great American Novel" or be the Voice of a Generation and say Really Important Things, as much as I want to want to be driven to do and be those things, it's not what I want or who I am and there you have it.

This last year online, especially with this endeavor, publicly forming and exploring a 'voice' and ultimately pushing the process of defining an identity and a direction - both with writing and with life, though sometimes the two are hard to separate - has been fantastically distilling. And in the weirdest way (I'm sure this won't make sense to many people), it's been both gratifying and reassuring to go through the ongoing crucible of "figuring it out" that we call "life" and still find out that you are, in fact, you. Because that's the risk and that's the test of putting yourself out there, isn't it? Will you still recognize, respect and like yourself at the end of the day?

So, again, thanks to everyone who has stopped by and especially to those who have chosen to hang about: I've completely enjoyed every comment and email. And here's to another year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Here we go again....

Mynxie started it and Mefi finished it. I've returned to that-which-I-said-I-would-no-longer-do and here are the results:

I used to be 'programming in QBASIC'; I blame six months of working at Burlingame Country Club and the Marina on this change.

You are 'French'. In the nineteenth century, it was the international language of diplomacy. It is a 'beautiful' language, meaning that it is really just a low-fidelity copy of Latin.

You know the importance of communicating 'diplomatically', which for you means both being polite and friendly when necessary and using sophisticated, vicious sarcasm when appropriate. Your life is guided by either existentialism or nihilism, depending on the weather. You have a certain appreciation for the finer things in life, which is a diplomatic way of saying that you are a disgusting hedonist. Your problem is that French has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Next, I have no idea what I'm supposedly 'liberated' from as I've never been repressed, but being that I have zero fascination with bondage, I imagine that it's consistent with a certain kind of rationale.

The Liberated Lover
68% partner focus, 61% aggressiveness, 90% adventurousness
Based on the results of this test, it is highly likely that:

You prefer your romance and love to wild and daring rather than typical
or boring, you would rather pursue than be pursued and, when it comes
to physical love, your satisfaction comes more from providing a
wonderful time to your partner than simply seeking your own.

This places you in the Lover Style of: The Liberated Lover.

The Liberated Lover is a wonderful Lover Style, and forms the
kind of free-thinking, sexually-exciting, self-confident lover that
society once condemned but that a liberal-mind cherishes and exults.
The Liberated Lover is a treasure to find, though it can sometimes be
difficult to do so because they are often already engaged in
relationships or are in high-demand if "in the market."

In terms of physical love, the Liberated Lover is possibly the
most thrilling and demanding of all, with the one potential drawback
being that it is possible to feel 'overmatched' at times by their
prowess and selfless giving. Given trust and understanding, and the
right lover, the Liberated Lover can be a delight in bed.

Best Compatibility can probably be found with: The Exotic Lover (most of all) or the Carnal Lover, or the Suave Lover.

Finally, I may have to muster the energy to be morally outraged or at least righteously indignant: Elmo?!?! You must be shitting me. The description fits for the most part (though I am real, do you hear me? Real, I tell you!! No fantasy world here, pal!), but Elmo is even further down the evolutionary ladder than Scrappy Doo.

I demand a reassignment of mascots.


Elmo
You scored 39% Organization, 68% abstract, and 69% extroverted!
This test measured 3 variables.


First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.


Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.


Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert.
By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an
extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was
somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more
about herself.


You are mostly organized, more abstract, and more extroverted.


Most people either love or hate Elmo. I hope you love Elmo, because that's who you are.


You are both somewhat organized. You have a good
idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably
clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Elmo has the
same basic approach. His place is pretty tidy, but he doesn't spend all
of his time cleaning it up.

You both are abstract thinkers. You definitely are not afraid to take
chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you
playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your
desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very
romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough
to get by. Elmo's whole life is based on fantasy and his imagination.
In the beginning he was a regular character, but now he spends most of
his time in this fantasy world.

You are both extroverts. Elmo likes to talk talk talk. He'll talk with
people, goldfish, tables, whatever. Without interaction with others he
gets very sad. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you
don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look
forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as
part of a team.


So.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sweet, buttery Christ!

And cowboy boots. I joked about it earlier, but now I see that there was far more truth in the statement. WTH?

First, I do a 180 and move to San Francisco.

Then, I chop off my hair.

Next, I turn my back on the call of corporate life.

Then, I really chop my hair off (but only in the back this time and, oh yes, start playing with the colors.)

If that weren't enough, I start yearning for a dog.

And now I want cowboy boots.


This is not a midlife crisis, this is a previously unrealized teenage rebellion of near disassociative proportions.

I want a dog

There. I said it.

[I suppose there's a greater message here that my subconconcious is trying to convey, but hell if I know what it is.]

Friday, November 11, 2005

You Know You're From San Francisco When...

My roommate sent me a version of this list a few days ago. Usually, I'm put off by the preciousness and feigned exasperation of them, but this one is fairly spot on. As a matter of fact, it's apparently so San Francisco that all references to Burning Man were deemed unnecessary.

You've been carrying on an affair of "intense eye-contact" for two years with a person who rides home on the same bus and gets off one stop before you. You do not know their name.


You bitch constantly about how hard it is to meet people in the city.

You take the bus and are shocked to hear 2 people carrying on a conversation in English.
Your co-worker tells you they have eight body piercings - and none are visible.
Someone says "Tenderloin" - you don't think of steak.

You never bother looking at the MUNI line schedule because you know the drivers have never seen it.

A really great parking space can move you to tears.

You know that anyone wearing shorts in July is just visiting from Ohio.

You were born somewhere else.

You assume every company offers domestic partner benefits.

You experience "commitment issues" when deciding who to hang out with next weekend.

You feel prudish for never having had a threesome.

You're tan in spring and fall, pale in summer.

You'd like to spend more time exploring Berkeley, but its just so damn far away.

You found your current aparment, car, couch, running pals, bookgroup, girlfriend/boyfriend, and booty call all on Craigslist.

Your boss runs in "The Bay to Breakers"....and it's not the first time you have seen him/her nude.

You are thinking of taking an adult class but you can't decide between yoga, aroma therapy, conversational Mandarin or a building your own web site class.

You haven't been to Fisherman's Wharf since the first month you moved to SF and you couldn't figure out how to drive to Coit Tower if your life depended on it.

Left is right and right is wrong.

Your monthly house payments exceed your annual income.

You dive under a desk whenever a large truck goes by.

You can't find your other earring because your son is wearing it.

Your family tree contains "significant others."

Your cat has its own therapist.
You can't remember... Is pot still illegal?
You pack shorts and a T-shirt for skiing in the snow, and a sweater and a wetsuit for the beach.

Rainstorms or thunder are the lead story for the local news.

Gas costs $1.00 per gallon more than anywhere else in the US

A man gets on the bus in full leather regalia and crotchless chaps. You don't even notice.

Your car insurance costs as much as your rent.

When you drive under an underpass - for one moment you think "earthquake".

You realize the only Republicans you know are your Aunt and Uncle in Texas.

You go to your office manager's baby shower - the parent's are named Judy and Becky.

Your church elects a new Bishop who abandoned his family and two young daughters to fulfill his sexual urges with another man.
You make well over $100,000 and you still can't find a nice place to live.

You think anyone who drives a car to work is decadent.

You keep a list of companies to boycott.
You've lived in the Marina for three and a half years and you've been to the Mission once for drinks. You're main impression is that it's "dirty". You won't go back.

You've lived in the Mission for three and a half years and you've never been to the Marina.

You consider Tom Kha Gai or burritos staple foods.

You consider hamburgers a "rare treat".

You wear foam trucker caps and cowboy hats out regularly in San Francisco, but you wouldn't be caught dead wearing one in Stockton.

At any given time, you are carrying three or more tiny electronic devices, some of which emit noises and/or buzzing at different frequencies, and all of which "simplify" your life.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"because in space, no one can hear you scream" -or- Dreams so real

This was the line said to me by my closest friend in a dream last night. For reasons I have yet to discover, this was the line that triggered my shift from dreamy dream time to lucid dreaming. Though I don't know the individual IRL that spoke this line to me, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to him, his timing was perfect.

The dream was initially a bit confusing as I was in downtown LA with a bunch of people working on a movie. Our central location was on the top two floors of one of the tallest skyscrapers. I was on a landing in between floors when the building started to feel as though it was swaying. I looked out the window and could tell that the building was moving, though I couldn't tell if this was due to wind storm or earthquake. As I started to make my way back to the central room where my specific group of friends, coworkers and associates was gathered, the swaying became more intense and building staff started to direct groups of people to safer areas. A couple times, I was stopped by staff and managed to talk my way past them in order to return the room, even though the walls and ceiling were starting to give. It was imperative that I not be with strangers. By the time I reached the penthouse suite where we all were working from, the building was swaying to such an extreme that you could look out one window and see nothing but sky and turn and look out the oppsite window and see nothing but the ground below. I entered the room in a barely controlled panic and my friend greeted me, saying, "Thank God you made it, because in space no one can hear you scream" and smiled ironically. The sheer absurdity of the comment and the situation jolted me directly into a lucid dreamstate. [I don't know that going lucid at that point did anything more than eliminate the cliff of abject terror that I was gearing up to jump off of and maybe that was all that was needed in the end.] We rode out the quake with little more than broken furniture to be counted as casualities amongst our group and my friend held my hand throughout the entire event. When it was over, we flew around the city to see the damage. The devastation was complete, with our building being one of few still standing, but chillingly so, with only the top two floors intact and populated as the thinner windows on the floors below had exploded and people had been thrown from the building, leaving few survivors.

So, though I have an uncommonly strong fear of earthquakes, and do live in San Francisco, I strongly suspected a different sort of internal dialogue at work. With that in mind, I submitted the details to the Dreamscape program that I have on my computer. Though not infallible and most definitely underdeveloped, the program does an excellent job of both identifying less than obvious issues or presenting food for thought. It asks you to type in the dream and then go through and identify the aspects, but I've streamlined it to where I only enter the keywords and assign them to the appropriate category.

Below is what I entered and the computer generated Q & A analysis that followed. I'm not at all surprised that it pinpointed a "strong reaction" I had earlier this week.


Primary Aspect: earthquake

Secondary Aspects: skyscraper penthouse central room friends safety comfort associates strangers swaying building compression devastation windows exploded survivors

Dream Analysis: Dreaming of chaos or various sorts of disasters is common when one is soul- searching, FG. Perhaps recent events have shaken your confidence, and you're striving to make sense of your situation. You may need to make some changes in how you perceive & deal with the world around you in order to reconcile these feelings.

Dreaming of chaos or catastrophes - natural or manmade - is a safe outlet for the eruption of suppressed emotions. Have you felt out of control lately - like everything is happening at once? Yes

This is vividly reflected in your dream images, FG. Withdraw & reflect on what's truly important. Your material goals may be in conflict with your pursuit of personal peace. Perhaps you're carrying too much responsibility - worrying needlessly about things you can't control or change.

Are you fearful of an upcoming situation? Yes

These feelings are reflected in your dream. Fear & negative thinking are poisons to the self, FG - and worry is the greatest waste of creative energy. Stay in touch with your true feelings - channeling your abilities toward a solution.

Was there a window in this dream that was opaque, that is, difficult or impossible to see through? No

Consider the symbolism here, FG. A transparent window lets you see through exterior appearances to true motives - your own or those manifested by others. This may represent a focusing of attention or understanding on something that has recently become important to you.

Have you felt weak or lethargic lately? No

Your dream suggests you've been feeling misunderstood or possibly even snubbed by someone. This sometimes emerges following an unpleasant personal interaction such as a quarrel. Or perhaps you've been trying unsuccessfully to gain another's attention.

Tranquillity or lack of activity - either physical or psychological - can be a paradox, reflecting a need to become more aware of some aspect of your life that is being neglected. In other words, sit up and take notice, FG. However, these symbols may mean just the opposite - that you're comfortable with some recent decision or achievement. Any subtle feelings you noticed associated with your dream will clarify it. Did you find this dream calm & pleasant? No

Your dream symbols likely mean that indecision is paralyzing you. Perhaps you're neglecting a challenge because of uncertainty & self-doubt. Sitting on the fence yields frustration which is manifested in dreams - often before you're consciously aware of it.

You noticed a friend or colleague in your dream, FG. Were you glad to see this person? Yes

This symbolism represents feelings of safety and security. You may be seeking these qualities in a friendship - or feel you have such a companion. Although often taken for granted, secure and comfortable relationships are rare & wonderful. Perhaps this dream is a reminder to let someone know that you appreciate them.

Recall the image of the room in your dream - was it cluttered or unkempt? No

To interpret this symbol, notice the type of room and consider its symbolism. A bedroom, for instance, may reflect sexual concerns or a need for rest. A hallway, the feeling that you have a long way to go - or a porch, that you're being shut out. A garage or closet may represent difficulties in shedding old attitudes while an attic holds spiritual significance.

Recall the building image of your dream. Were you looking through a window? Yes

This represents your ability to see beyond a given situation. In other words, FG, you're using intuition wisely in some matter. You may be seeing through another's facade or false appearances.

Your dream analysis is complete. Pleasant dreams, Frisbee Girl.

Update

A week and two days later, this is now barely swollen and most of what's left is a shifting patch of pea green bruising on my forehead, lending an interesting, but unattractive new facial feature.

As I told a friend a few days after it happened, my headstone really ought to read: "Proving Darwin wrong for 98 years."

Yet another sign of the approaching apocalypse:

Tonight, I used the word 'delightful' with no intended irony whatsoever.

We are doomed. Doomed, I say.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Earworms and Muzak madness

Because we have it at work, I listen to Muzak 5 or 6 nights a week. Now, before you make the squinchy eyes and launch into a vituperative attack on the evils and lameness of said 'piped music', allow me to say that it's good. Really good.

It stands to reason that they still have the programs of the watered down versions of 'elevator music' that were unintentionally comical in their innocuously synthesized interpretations of current and familiar pop and rock music. It's a staple of sorts. This, however, is not what we get. We get Groove Armada, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Herbert, Daft Punk and Dzihan & Kamien. We get Thievery Corporation, Moloko, Bjork, Kevin Yost, Air, Blue States and Badly Drawn Boy. We also get St. Germain, Count Basic, Jazzanova, Truby Trio and Llorca. We even get Mo' Horizons, Cure, Amp Fiddler, Dusty Springfield, Ivy and Alexkid. And sometimes, when we feel so inclined, we get a little Fischerspooner, Grace Jones, David Bowie, The Real Tuesday Weld, Massive Attack, Serge Gainsbourg, The Smiths and The Andrews Sisters. It's solidly good stuff.

If I haven't made it clear in previous posts, music trails just slightly behind food and water in my world. I do not mean that in cavalier jest or breezy exaggeration. It is pure and simple fact. I absolutely love exposure to new music and will go to considerable lengths to hunt down and find a particular song or artist. So, getting to hear excellent new music at work is fantastic. But (and this is very important, here) we do NOT get playlists. Should you wonder, trying to identify a song, whose lyrics may be in Spanish, Portuguese or Indian, for that matter, may have loops from an entirely different song or sound like an entirely different group altogether, depending on who mixed or produced it on a loud and busy dinner shift, is damned near impossible. And trying to forget about it later is an exercise in futility.

Cruel, cruel, cold-hearted world.

Friday, November 04, 2005

File under: "I couldn't have said it better myself"

via

How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?
Contains this gem of a book description:

I think constricting anus 100 times and denting navel 100 times in succession everyday is effective to good-bye depression and take back youth. You can do so at a boring meeting or in a subway. I have known 70-year-old man who has practiced it for 20 years. As a result, he has good complexion and has grown 20 years younger. His eyes sparkle. He is full of vigor, happiness and joy. He has neither complained nor born a grudge under any circumstance. Furthermore, he can make love three times in succession without drawing out.


In addition, he also can have burned a strong beautiful fire within his abdomen. It can burn out the dirty stickiness of his body, release his immaterial fiber or third attention which has been confined to his stickiness. Then, he can shoot out his immaterial fiber or third attention to an object, concentrate on it and attain happy lucky feeling through the success of concentration.

If you don't know concentration which gives you peculiar pleasure, your life looks like a hell.

Well said, my friend, well said.

If you scroll further down that page, you'll find that people who looked that book also looked at this book:
How to Avoid Huge Ships. On that page, is the following book review:
A Great Metaphor for the Lessons of Life
, November 20, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
I bought this book as a joke while attending a government management seminar at the Maritime Institute of Technology (located in Baltimore Md). I remember thinking to myself "you know life is tough, but it is even tougher when your stupid". Here is a book written by an old captain who is tired of running over fools in their pleasure boats, and wants to educate those same fools in a futile effort to save their lives. One can almost imagine a sequel written by a train engineer "How to Avoid Parking on Train Tracks". At any rate for several years now this book has graced by desk, and has served as an inspiration for more conversations than any other book I have ever owned. Remember as you go through life you need to keep a lookout for the huge juggernauts that can really ruin your day.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

3 things that brought me profound happiness upon waking:

1. Not needing to look for a job
2. Not having to worry about money
3. A long, deep night of sleep

Not that my job has been in jeopardy or that rent or bills have been a problem lately, and I've actually been sleeping quite well, but this morning was a sort of extended moment. I'm sure that the time shift, circadian rhythms and biology come into play, but it had the same flavor of those moments when the light shifts just *so* and suddenly a series of subtle changes is illuminated in a way that you get a completely new sense of the vast nature of their implications and significance. And how those increments have added up to something so much larger. Suddenly you see how very far you've come and, not so much in a manner of self-congratulation but of realization, wonder, and understanding.

It's rounding the bend on the mountain, where there's a break in the trees and seeing the trailhead way down there. It's getting down the street and it occuring to you that you are actually riding the bike. On your own. It's sitting there, looking at finished product that nearly drove you insane as you wondered if you'd ever get it done.


This morning, when I counted my blessings, it wasn't as part of a prayer for rain or a personal pep talk and my to-do list wasn't laden with critical tasks and contingency plans for near misses. This morning, when the light shifted, I realized I wasn't an also-ran. This morning was a very good morning.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

To the little bling boy who sits in front of the corner store smoking blunts:

Good on you for having a sense of humor.

You: Hola morena... Hola.... Bonita, I'm talking to you.
Me: I'm sorry?
You: If I was ten years older, I'd rock your world.
Me: Excuse me?
You: If I was ten years older, I'd take you places you never even dreamed.
Me: Sweetie, you couldn't do that with a map and 20 years. But thanks.
You: Aye mami! *laughs* I think I luff you!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One would think

that I would have long ago learned my lesson as regards blunt traumas to the ever important noggin.

So can someone please tell me why I clearly haven't?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Things to remember

A. You are a beautiful and unique snowflake
B. After you're gone, life will go on relatively unchanged; much as it did before
C. There is something wonderful and amazing about that fact

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Overheard

"So we walked in and there he was: fucking the pig."

There are some statements that you simply cannot explain away.


Seriously.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Current conditions:

Bored.
Restless.

No good can come of this, I tell you. None, whatsoever.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Love and marriage

No, not mine. Hush.

Yesterday, two beautiful friends got married in a truly moving and genuine ceremony. I'll state outright that I'm a fan of weddings, when done right, and this was just such a wedding: a celebratory statement of something already in existence to friends and family who share and support the same sentiment. And yes, I cried, but to be fair, the groom started tearing up first and then I was a goner.

I love seeing happiness, I love being a part of that happiness, even if only in a fringe sense and I love bearing witness to it. It's hard to feel much more special than that. I also loved seeing so many people that I love and hearing so much good news and smiling, happy faces.


Though he had no way of knowing, amberglow primed the day at MetaChat by posting this, which I most certainly love. And I hope you do, too.

I also want say a big how-do to urbanwhaleshark who has been reading from London. Hi, uws! waves

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dear Darryl, Don't quit your day job.

From: Darryl
Date: Sep 7, 2005 11:03 PM
Subject: necrotic
frisbee girl cannibal
To: frisbee girl

frisbee girl,

you can buy a new home or refitinance with 3.25 % in
San francisco, CA in the next 7 days.

No appraiskal, no income verificatmion,no up-front paperrwonrk,
no points

You are already aproxved, so get it

Thank you!

Darryl

Friday, September 02, 2005

Conspicuous in its absence

The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators ... They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.

William Graham Sumner, Folkways, 1906


I wholeheartedly respect everyone's right to live their life and hold whatever opinions they see fit, in whatever manner they deem appropriate, to the extent that it doesn't endanger another's well-being. There are days, however, when the histrionics and the egos and the narrow-mindedness and the tendency to escalate and put on parade as opposed to moderate and find common ground and work toward understanding and practical solutions hits a point of critical mass. There are days when it happens again & again, and from loved ones who view a difference in perspective and an attempt at dispassionate or unbiased consideration to be a lack of fealty or support, or worse, outright betrayal. There are day when disbelief and disappointment make the brain hurt and the heart ache and tolerance shifts from
an act of love to an exhausting act of measured discipline.

I am thankful, even for these days, there is no question. But still. There are days.

Monday, August 29, 2005

For the record

Someone, somewhere on this block is having a come-to-God intimate experience. (At least that's what she's repeatedly proclaiming with passionate sincerity.) I would be annoyed or even envious, but its sheer theatrical force has reduced the corner street thugs to enrapt and glorious silence.

Long live stellar sex.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

On growing up and growing older

Sparked by a conversation I had with a group of customers recently (a birthday dinner for a 15 year old and three generations were present.) The exchange was very warm and entirely devoid of condescension or disrespect and the result was some interesting perspectives. I'm certain that at least part of the overall positive concensus of the group had to do with the fact that they were clearly a close group, the family members being especially so.

Predictably, this got me to thinking about my personal attitudes toward 'growing up' and getting older. I remember dreading getting down to the business part of growing up and what sounded like the pure horror of getting old. I think that I pegged that time as being somewhere around the age of 30. This seemed all the more ominous by coinciding with the new millenium: the end of life as I knew it, most definitely. Then, I turned 30 and it was nothing like I had dreamt it would be when I was, say, 12.

As soon as it dawned on me that there was a much wider range of possibilities for the 'rest of my life' than my mother's dire predictions of death at her hands, death at the hands of a serial rapist/murderer or a life of STD's in a trailer park with many children sired by as many men or my 'foster parents' ' desire for me to marry and have children with a nice Christian guy, my perspective changed dramatically.

So, now I'm closer to 40 than 30 and I find that I'm enjoying it very much. I survived a screwy childhood, made it through the crash course in life and how to live it that my 20's seemed fraught with, tried on the 'shoulds' and 'coulds' for size and recognized myself in the mix. What's more, I liked what I saw. I found out that growing up and growing old is, in fact, not a prison sentence, but open season on living my life on my terms. The older I get, the more confident I become, if for no other reason than realizing that being wrong and making a mistake is often more valuable than being right. I've also learned that others' unhappiness/judgments/values need not dictate my own.

The playing field is different now and while I could choose to make it about the size of my waist or flawless surface of my face, when I'm with, or better yet, see current pictures of the people I've known and loved for most of my life and juxtapose those elements – a thicker waist, crow's feet, scars, stretch marks, etc – with what I've known of them from the past, I see history and stories that span the range of pain & pleasure, mundane & exceptional all wrapped up in the present. To me, that's far more beautiful than an arbitrary standard of attractiveness or physical desirability.

I'm aware that others don't see it this way, but, for me, it's an exchange. I can't drink at the same pace or volume that I once could, can't party like I used to, don't recover as quickly as I once did, can't stay up for days on end by a combination of caffeine and sheer will and for that matter, can't even drink coffee like I have in the past. And, yes, my body is slower and more prone to aching than it was a decade or two ago.

So, I've learned to bring it down a notch or two and instead, I drink slowly and to savor now, remember all of the fantastic conversations/events that I'm part of, and am at ease & present in a way I haven't been for many years. And I have some incredible memories that were fostered by faster recovery times and great stories behind many of those aches. There have been some wonderful years, but I'm hesitant to buy into the idea of a peak year or age, just because it feels fatalistic to me. Some periods kick your ass & others kiss it.

I don't imagine that I'll ever be the old lady type. It's just not my style. I've always been a scatterbrain and am prone to forgetting my own name if directly asked under the right circumstances, but the older I get, the more things in my brain become connected, and those associations become stronger or perhaps more relevant. Yet the more I learn, the more I realize that there's so much I'll never know or experience. And I'm ok with that, but I'll sure as hell take as much as I can get before the end of my run on this planet.

Ultimately, it feels like getting older is a priviledge that I never expected to experience quite the way that I am – so while some of the good has most certainly been got, it feels as though there's plenty more to come.