Monday, February 28, 2005

relationships and their antidotes

It's been exactly two weeks since Valentine's Day has come and gone and I'm just now realizing it has passed. I was really looking forward to it this year, I planned on cooking a big fancy meal for my boyfriend and me, and sent cards to all my friends and family. However, things got lost in the shuffle of a last minute trip to Los Angeles so that the boy could interview at UCLA's Anderson, and Valentine's Day came and went without much notice. Perhaps that's one of the luxuries of being in a LTR, that one can treat the day and all it's implications with some degree of ambivalence. In one of the notes that I managed to send out, though, I did have to acknowledge that Valentine's Day can be a rather painful occasion, particularly for a dear friend who recently had a nasty and drawn out break-up with her boyfriend of a couple years. I advised this friend to do as I had done in the many years that I was single on Valentine's Day - go out and buy herself a nice piece of jewelry. Women have far better taste in accessories than men, as a rule, and she could treat herself to something fabulous that no boy would ever be able to pick out for her. I got a return letter from her a couple of days ago; it seems she followed my advice and bought herself not one piece of jewelry but a whole jewelrybox full! Brava to that. I shouldn't be surprised, though, this same friend is somewhat of a genius when it comes to jewelry. For the Christmas right before her boyfriend broke up with her in the first of their several splits, he gave her a beautiful infinity symbol necklace from Tiffany's. He (who broke up with her a mere week or two later) said something to the effect of that's how long his love for her would last - infinitely (ah, hindsight). She was touched at the time, however, and truly loved the present and the boy. Fast forward a few weeks, after the nasty split had happened and she was stuck wearing this beautiful but awful symbol of their relationship around her neck. She marched right into the nearest Tiffany's, explained the situation, and walked out with a lovely silver starfish necklace. Things were patched over with the boy in due time, though and all was again quiet on the western front, except that he noticed that she was wearing a different necklace. He asked her what had happened to the present that he had gotten for her. Her ballsy reply? "Because I learned that I am like this starfish, you can cut off a piece of me and I will grow back. You cut out my heart and I got over it." The relationship did not last much longer.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I'm supposed to be working on an essay for class, but the assignment was terribly and wonderfully vague and now I'm stumped as to what I should be writing. I have three open Word documents with about two sentences in each of potential essay topics but not the actual energy to write anything meaningful. Or perhaps, the ambition to only write that which is meaningful but without the energy to back it up. I don't know, I don't think that even made sense. In the meantime, I've mindlessly eaten about a million m&ms.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

a face for radio

I’ve just started volunteering for a local radio station (check it out at: Last night I had my first lesson in the fine art of production and got to fiddle with the soundboard and learn the first steps of using ProTools. It was awesome; I learned something completely new and helped make a PSA (listen for the one touting Japanese lessons). I’m excited to learn more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

is there an echo in here?

She did it to me. She didn’t mean to, but she did. That one comment changed everything. (See “BrightMorningStar’s comment on my January “resurfacing” post.) She meant to be encouraging, to urge me to continue writing into the void. But, the thing is, now it’s no longer a void. Now there are people on the other end. Faces illuminated by the sickly blue light of computer screens, reading my blog. I check almost daily now, scrolling down the page eyeballing the repeating phrase “0 comments ” over and over again. Now that there’s proof that people, someone, is reading this blog, these zeroes no longer mean that I am shrouded by invisibility, they mean that people are reading but people aren’t connecting. It’s like there’s an audience but no one is clapping, no one is even shifting in their seat and coughing uncomfortably. Shift, damn you! Cough, people! The silence is deafening.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

a voice from the void

BTW, late last week I found a blog of particular interest to me: She's in a graduate writing program at Columbia and seems to have a unique and honest take on things.

Presidents Day

I spent most of the three day weekend in my pajamas, devoting myself in turns in to the book I'm reading (I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe) and to my most recent writing assignments. It was an ideal way to spend such a gloomy three days. In between thunder rolls, however, I did manage to hit up the Lake Merritt farmer's market and pop out to a couple of tasty meals with friends. As usual, the Grand Lake Theater had something bitterly smart on their message board, something about celebrating President's Day by recognizing the hypocracy of the current democratic system. Lest we forget.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The 100 Things project

100 things about me (harder to do than you'd think):

1) I like bubble gum ice cream
2) I don’t have tonsils
3) I have forgotten more languages than most people know
4) I bite my cuticles when I’m nervous
5) I need lots of sleep
6) I am not a cyborg, but I know some people who might be
7) I love all animals
8) I have a pet turtle who will probably outlive me
9) I am an omnivore, but I try not to feel too guilty about it
10) I hate the sound of people eating popcorn in movie theaters
11) I like old musicals
12) I was a tomboy
13) My current favorite color is a pale robin’s egg blue
14) Nothing is as refreshing as watermelon juice
15) I’ve been to 47 of the United States
16) I am a liberal
17) I am a feminist
18) I do not think ‘liberal’ and ‘feminist’ are dirty words
19) I admire Anna Quindlen’s nonfiction writing
20) I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, even though I am grown up
21) I love Pablo Neruda
22) I am highly skeptical of people when they tell me I’m wrong about something
23) I am rarely wrong
24) I can kick your ass at Boggle
25) I rock Trivial Pursuit
26) I am bad at keeping in touch with people
27) I am the queen of care packages
28) I do not support war
29) I do “Books for Soldiers” (check it out:
30) I am in love with my boyfriend
31) I am scared of long-term commitment
32) I have a dry sense of humor
33) I always walk to my car with my keys in my hand
34) Every new season is my favorite
35) I am a great cook
36) I heart NY
37) I could never settle down anywhere but California
38) I love to watch jellyfish swim
39) I am a closet hypochondriac
40) I never thought I would be one of those people with a shitty desk job, but I was wrong
41) I have a mean streak, but for entertainment purposes only
42) I played defensive tackle in high school
43) I cry just about every time someone cries onscreen
44) During the “Friends” heydays, I was known as the Phoebe of my group
45) I have an affinity for plants and flowers
46) I have sensitive skin
47) My stomach just can’t take roller coasters
48) I dread cleaning, but I love a clean house
49) Sometimes I think that I’m pretty close to figuring things out
50) I love water, but I’m a terrible swimmer
51) I bleed blue and gold
52) Saturday is my favorite day of the week
53) I’m going to make a fabulous mother some day
54) Like every other girl, I too went through a photography phase
55) Just because I’m from California doesn’t mean I’m Barbie
56) I’ve ruined Apple Martini’s for myself
57) I prefer email to talking on the phone
58) I think that puppies influence my biological clock more than babies do
59) There are some losses that I will never get over
60) My birthday makes me squirm
61) I love all holidays
62) I’m trying to donate to Locks of Love (check ‘em out:
63) I’m too disorganized to use my Palm Pilot
64) I appreciate snarkiness
65) I like to eat my vegetables
66) In my cd player right now: the “Garden State” soundtrack
67) The latest movie I saw: “In Good Company”
68) I’m currently reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
69) I like the smell of clean laundry; my year living above a Laundromat was smellerific
70) I’m a shower kind of girl
71) I have a brother, we are nothing alike and I’m not sure why
72) When I was a kid I thought that everybody would always be nice
73) I’m better at writing about others than about myself
74) I like to make jewelry, but only the first earring in a pair
75) I love to look at houses
76) I believe in questioning our leaders
77) I am amazed by people who are very directed with their lives
78) Falling flower blossoms are just about the prettiest thing on Earth to me
79) I can be really lazy when no one is looking
80) I’m addicted to the news in all its forms
81) I appreciate good gossip, even if it’s about people I don’t know
82) Sometimes I wish I had more willpower, and by more I mean any
83) I used to take great delight in being outrageous, now I only enjoy it periodically
84) I like to make people laugh
85) I have a terrible memory
86) I really wish I could surf
87) If you wake me before my alarm clock, I will not be your friend
88) I can’t stand the smell of eggs
89) I sunburn easily
90) I have become good friends with my parents
91) I dislike people who always have to have the last word
92) I think people should look forward more to their marriage than to their wedding
93) I am learning to cope with death so that I can help others learn to do the same
94) I remember celebrities names and personal information with alarming clarity
95) I never remember to do anything unless it’s made it onto a list somewhere
96) I am not religious
97) I will get my first tattoo with my grandchild on their 18th birthday
98) I have a temper
99) I prefer dark chocolate
100) I will die of something random at a ripe old age (see for yourself:

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

bottoms and other works of art

My mom called me and asked me to check out someone’s ass. Seriously. Well, kind of, anyway. I got this cryptic message from her, which is unusual in and of itself since my parents treat calling my cell phone as a last resort for contacting me. I think they’d rather send smoke signals or carrier pigeons or something given how rare it is for them to call. Anyway, my mom told me she had an art question for my friends and me. Puzzling. I called her back asap, my curiosity piqued. (By the by, my parents are retired and take classes at the local community college to keep themselves entertained.) Turns out she has been assigned by her art history teacher to find and study a picture of the rear end view of Donatello’s statue of David (the one where he’s a young boy wearing a floppy hat and sword). Unable to locate David’s hiney in any of her textbooks, my mom turned to the web. In her research, she stumbled across a website that she said “looked promising,” but seemed to imply some sort of homoeroticism, whereby she was too intimidated to enter the site for fear of unwittingly downloading scads of gay porn. My mother discussing the prospect of downloading gay porn with me is not something I ever anticipated hearing. Funny, nonetheless. She asked me if I had ever seen David’s ass in print anywhere, or if any of my friends (some of whom were Art History majors and minors in college) might have a book with his rear view in it. Fortunately (tho’ after I had already emailed my friend regarding the ass shot), I was able to find an image of David’s butt on an entirely clean website. Disaster averted, I have found his ass.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

big mouth

My writing class was great, far better than a class I attempted to take earlier in the semester at a less esteemed institution. That class was abysmal, the professor “lectured” straight from the book, anecdotes and all…and that was on the first day! I barely escaped with my funds, though I did sacrifice a couple of nights to the class. This new class seems far better. The students are professionals, the instructor talks to us like the adults we are. I did have a few moments of wise-ass-ness come up over the last couple of days, particularly one moment during my class. The teacher commented on a figure of speech that I had said as being one of her pet peeves, how she abhorred it. I couldn’t help myself, my squeaky voice chirping defiantly “I love it!!!” Sometimes I just can’t close my mouth fast enough. The entire class chuckled, so at least I was saved by the humor of the moment. That’s all one can ask for in those situations, I suppose. Another incident was the day before, at an orientation meeting for a new volunteering thing that I’m doing. The department director asked me if there was any way I could be there before 5:30 pm on weekdays, and my response was, “I could, but I don’t think my boss would like it very much.” This was received with a blank stare from the guy and an immediate sense of regret from me. Whoops! Why couldn’t I have just said, “no”? That would’ve been so much simpler and better received! Sometimes the quips that come out of me surprise even myself.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

writing again

I’m beginning a writing class tonight, the first one I’ve taken in years. Even though words and letters were my stock-in-trade in college, I some how managed to escape with having taken only a single writing class. It was voluntary, at that- a DeCal (student run and counted for maybe one unit) on journaling. The only thing I remember from the class was one guy’s entry about getting a yeast infection in his throat. Gross, but funny; not what you’d think, something about being on steroids for a sinus infection and then drinking beer before his doctor gave him the okay. Interesting that I can’t remember anything of what I wrote myself for the class.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

still laughing

I read this on a little while ago and I'm still laughing:
"If you fall into the subset of corduroy-pants enthusiasts who also have concerns about aerodynamics and crotch heat, there is a new locally designed trouser for you. Lindland's Cordarounds, with world headquarters in Fort Mason, has just designed horizontal corduroy pants. Claiming benefits such as silent stalking and drag reduction, frictionless Cordarounds can even lower the heat in your loins by up to 22 percent. You can't get that with your father's vertical cords. Men's styles are available immediately, and the company plans to reduce chafing for ladies this spring. "

funny wisdom at work

I'm all for people having their own mottos in life, you know, the whole Ally McBeal thing of having a theme song and all that, but it strikes me as particularly funny when these things are attached to professional emails. The best of today: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming........ WOW--What a Ride!"

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

favorite new music

Instead of doing anything actually productive this weekend, I devoted my time to hunting down new favorite music. Choice finds include: the Postal Service, Iron and Wine, and Jeff Buckley. If you need me, I'll be the one with the headphones on.