April 30, 2006

If You're Anything Like Me: Issue Three

If you're anything like me, you've had a hard time welcoming wrinkles while still having some very adolescent acne. I mean, WTF about that?? Isn't it hard enough to have one or the other? Come on!

So, again, if you're anything like me, you've tried to figure out how to minimize both at the same time. And, you've ended up with some product that claims: "warning: may cause sensitivity to the sun."

Hmm. What the heck does "sensitivity to the sun" mean? What the hell does that mean?! A rash? More easily sunburn? Wear SPF 192? Give me something, people, give me something. Don't just say "may cause... blah" and then not tell me how to avoid what it actually causes.

Well. YOU, my friend, need no longer wonder. Because I have found out, from my own science experiment of ignoring the warning altogether, that "sensitivity to the sun" means that, if you go out there with a nekked face, you're gonna get sunspots. RIGHT. AROUND. YOUR. EYES. At first, you will wonder, "hmm, is that a freckle I never noticed?" And then, you'll feel like "holy crap! That is a big mother f'r sunspot that will grow and grow and is a permanent fixture just below the right side of my goddamn pupil. Mother of God! I'm scarred! I'm scarred for life!!!"

And that, my friends, is how to answer THAT question. Damnit. So my advice: wear suncreen. For. Ever. Amen.

Eyes Wide What

Tonight, I was watching a movie, and having a few sips of wine... and then I pause the movie for None Other Than (drumroll)... Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I admit: I'm a bit hooked. So much so, in fact, that I can tell you last week's ep was not worth watching. Not because I watched it, but because I read the TV Guide preview of it and found it was just a recap of what's gone on all season. Considering I've only missed one episode , I didn't bother to watch last week.

Anyhoo. Tonight, I pleasantly absorbed myself in the velvet candy of G.A. "Velvet" meaning the process of the show's finely vague yet focused "plot." Candy, obviously, is that everyone on the cast is yummy in one way or another to look at.

During the commercial segment, between the last bit and the end of the show, I realized something. Did you ever see the second or third episode of "Lord of the Rings?" The ones in which Froto becomes all wide-eyed and dazed over "Precious?" The ones where his face looks proportionally smaller than what best suits the size of his eyes? Well, hello. Tonight, that was me. I sat here, on my floral couch with my pink blanket covering me... and googled and awed at the waves on the screen. They were incomprehinsible, yet I couldn't turn away. A day of exhausting lacrosse and a couple of beers and WHAMMO, welcome Gertie the Zombie with Big Glossy Eyes. And now that the eyes are trying to focus on turning these words into tiny letters, I go. I go. I go to bed.

Hopefully I won't have any Froto in me tomorrow. But right now, let me tell you - BIG. EYES. (my precious...)

April 27, 2006

Big Date "Whoops"

Ah, to be dating again... isn't it absolutely splendid? The rain (for now) and the floods (for now) are gone, it is staying light out later, and LOVE is in the air.

And the coolest thing is, I ACTUALLY was excited about going on a date with this guy who I went out with last Saturday night. I've been in situations before where I have met a top-notch fellow, without the attraction, but some sort of connection was there - and I went out with him "just to see..." And see I did; I saw that the guy was a decent first impression and a very lousy second one. And third. And even, if I held on that long to the "top-notch fellow without the attraction" idea, the fourth. Let's just say that I didn't let one poor impression ruin a possible good thing. I waited for a couple of them (er, as I hope he would?). That's good, right?

So! As I was saying, spring is in the air and the opportunity for LOVE looks good - how can it not? Except, of course, when Gertie unconsciously (yet apparently consciously) sabotages a perfectly good date.

Recipe: take a nice gentleman (yes! in this day and age AND in San Francisco I was surprised to find one too!) who majored in the same subject as you at University (but give him multiple bonus points for still being interested in said subject), and add other ingredients such as: generally sociable, tall enough to be taller than you, a nice smile and shining eyes; and you have a great date.

Recipe for disaster: take the ingredients above and throw it at least two, if not more, comments which you personally find highly ironic or comical, yet somehow they come off as insensitive, man-ego injuiries. Whoops. That's not what I meant!

Result: Nice gentleman is nice enough to finish the date, man enough to try to take any sexual advantage he can before he leaves, but not stupid enough to call you again.

Damn. I tell you. I am 33 and STILL learning. This coming off of a year-plus long relationship! Note to self: don't drink more sake than he does (especially when he is the one offering) and keep your mouth shut, even when in deep conversation about the situation on Darfur. Another note to self: commenting on the current situation in Darfur is okay, but making comments about the pleats in pants or telling him you doubt he'll actually call you again while he's TALKING about the situation in Darfur, is a big No-No.

Okay; it didn't quite go down like that. We talked about Darfur at 2 am, and at 3 am I think I let out something like a "ha," when he said, and I quote "I'll call you;" but you get the drift. Sabotage. Sabotage. Sabotage. So, if he ends up being self-depricating enough to actually call me again (which, in opposition to my defiant behaviour, I would like very much), I'll let you know. But you know what? I doubt he'll call, and I don't blame him. I was sub-consciously yes conciuously mean. Lesson learned (again). Oy, Rifka! You see what I do with your passed-on strong genes? Sheesh. Sabotage.

PS - he wasn' t really wearing pleated pants. Please! They were really hot jeans. Regardless, I probably made some "ass-a-nine" comment for the complete idiot package. Ha ha.

April 24, 2006

She Found Me!

[Ed note: all the links go to the same old post, so don't get too excited]

Don't know why the first post about this didn't post. Actually, I do. Thanks, Rifka.
Yes, Rifka, even though you are now a big bumbling fly, you are right - I do spend too much time on the internet....

At my old place, in "The Haight" in San Francisco, there was this big, black bumbling fly that used to come in and a-buzz-buzz-bumble all over the place. Even my friends noticed it. At the time, I had named her "Big Bertha The Fly." She most liked to hang out with me late at night while watching TV or early in the morning, in the bathroom (!), while getting ready for the day.

One day, I told one of my friends who had noticed her "distinguished" presence, that this fly liked to hang out at my apartment quite often. So often, in fact, that not only did I name her, but I started to contemplate the lifespan of flies, and wondered if this was just ONE fly the whole time, or a variety of similar flies who happened to like the space, or, if the lifespan of a fly were quite short, were these all multiple flies who were the offspring of the original fly (Big Bertha) who had created a home for herself in the confines of my same space?

Just before I considered myself 100% crazy, said friend suggested that the fly was my Deceased Grandmother. And, in a strange way, it made sense. So I accepted the fly as the conscious efforts of my Deceased Grandmother to pass judgement on my every life move, and renamed it "Rifka," Hebrew for Rebecca (which was the name of my Grandmother - original nomiker Jayne, or Rebecca... who knows at this point, as she was very vague on both this subject as well as The Great Depression). Imagine the power that [stupid- in parentheses in case the fly can read. Well, if the fly can read, then I'm in big trouble anyway] bumbling fly had.

Yet apparantly, she, the omnipresent Rifka The Fly, continues to wield her power. Just 3 measley months after moving, here She is. A-buzz-buzzing (in her opinion "hanging out"), out of nowhere!, with me in the bathroom here in my new place in the Marina, while I have my head upside down in a very lame attempt to tame some of the most untamably thin hair known to man. And this fly, Rifka, while buzz-buzzing around, is complimenting me on my interior decorating, but is also issuing blasphomes to my father's side regarding the genetically deficiant hair situation. Not only that, but Rifka is telling me to stop staying up so late, that successful people in this world have always been early risers, and that brownies are not a good breakfast and losing 12 pounds just because you had a rough time breaking up with an idiot man is no excuse for being thinner. Also, she is only partially accepting of the man I just had a date with, because he is Persian in origin, which means he is from Iran. Additionally he is leaning very strongly toward a nomadic life, which is not acceptable at all for a woman such as myself, according to Rifka The Fly, and why should I give him some milk before he leaves on his next adventure without me? Well, the Fly is a-buzz-buzzing way ahead of herself, but that's not the point, I guess.

As you can clearly see, this fly is not at all me superimposing internal concerns on an immaterial yet possibly omnipresent and naturally appearing insignificant insect. This is obviously Jewish Guil---er -- I mean--- Jewish SENSIBILITY --gone haywire and disguising itself as a bumbling foolish insect. Right? Right??

April 17, 2006

It's a Good Thing I Sometimes Read the News

I've been so busy lately, that one of my quirky SF news blogs has sat patiently waiting for me to read its feeds. To be honest, I've purposely been tuning out on local news because it is laden with The 1906 Earthquake Anniversary(!) crap and I've already seen that PBS special - at least 3 times. The first 2 times it was really interesting.

So I happened to finally give the blog feed some attention, and Thank God! Because I just found out something very important. If I hadn't known about it - trust me... I'd be first very freaked out, and then VERY PISSED OFF.

"San Francisco residents are being warned not to be alarmed by bells and sirens that are scheduled to sound at 5:14 a.m. Tuesday in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has directed fire departments and places of worship across the city to sound their bells and sirens immediately following the traditional moment of silence observed at a ceremony at Lotta's Fountain on Market Street at the junction of Kearny, Third and Geary Streets."

- San Jose Mercury News

April 05, 2006

If You're Anything Like Me: Issue Two

If you're anything like me, you'll absolutely laugh the next time you are in Safeway or some other big conglomerate grocery store, and all of the sudden realize the store is playing "I've got a Ticket to Ride" while you're on your way to the milk aisle. Come on, have you ever heard '80's hard rock amplified throughout a Vons or a Safeway or a Cala or whatever? You better laugh.

If You're Anything Like Me: Issue One

If you're anything like me, you have watched several scenes on TV or in movies in which a couple of people are arguing in the bathroom while one of them is in the shower. They could be siblings, a married couple, boyfriend/girlfriend, but I think I have seen this scenario a bazillion times:

One of the arguers is in the shower. The other arguer is pacing the remaining space of the bathroom. Finally, the person pacing gets fed up, or is done, or considers this a perfect opportunity to accentuate his or her feelings, and so he or she flushes the toilet and storms out. The person in the shower screams and shakes.

Now, again, if you're anything like me, you wonder what this reaction is all about. You've lived with siblings or parents or signif others and shared the bathroom from time to time but have never had the flushing scenario. You may have even had a roommate flush the toilet while you were in the shower. Nothing to react to.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not stupid. I know that someone jumping, shaking or shreaking in the shower as a result to a toilet flush is adjusting to an extreme change in water temperature. I just never knew whether it was a warm-to-freezing or warm-to-boiling change.

Well, that's because, if you're like me (California suburban, then Colorado suburban, then French suburban), never before have you lived in a building that operates on a boiler. Because, now that I do, I know what this is a reaction to.

It's from warm-to-boiling. 3rd-f'g degree boiling. Thanks, upstairs neighbor.

Another Thursday Night Absolutely Awry

I won't pretend to be the out-all-night rager I used to be. In fact, last Thursday night's events are still a little blurry, but certainly not what was planned.

I was doing my standard sales hustle on Thursday afternoon when a colleague contacted me with tickets to that night's pre-season baseball game. I won't pretend that I enjoy baseball either, but what I do enjoy is ballpark $6 dogs and ballpark $8 beers and the surprise of finding out who we're sitting next to. I especially like when I go to games with guys and they buy me whatever I want to munch on or drink. After all, the dogs are $6 and the beers are $8, and I can suck a lot of those puppies down. I once in the past 4 years or so went to a Giants game with my parents, and at one point my mom said "YOU are an expensive date."

Being a single girl in her early 30's, my circle of male and female last minute rabble-rousers has decreased exponentially since those foregone "wild" days. So I called my gal pal WR, otherwise known as my alternate date to all things festive, and even though it was 2pm and the game started at 7:15, she was in. Yippee! But she was only in on 2 conditions: 1) we had to arrive at the game late so she could go to an art show at the W Hotel for a bit first, and 2) I had to be in charge of bringing items of warmth and possible water-proofing from impending rain (uh, yeah, have you heard it's the rainiest spring since 1904 out here? 1904!!). I conceded, as I am such a good negotiator, and we agreed to meet at 7:45 in front of the W.

As the sales day was slow due to lack of inventory, and the ballpark is on the other end of town, and additionally the ballpark is surrounded by limited and expensive parking, I decided to drive super early to my office and park there, then walk 1.25 miles to Union Square and pick up some over-due make up replenishments at Sephora (since you have to pay for parking to shop there too), and then finally stroll my way another half mile or so South of Market to the W Hotel. I brought my digital camera so I could take funny pictures of us freezing our asses off at a rainy night game. Ha ha.

Well, I must walk a hell of a lot faster than I expected, because I found myself with 20 minutes or so to kill before meeting WR, and nothing to do. So I took out the digi cam and snapped a few retarded pics, got bored, and decided to go up to the XYZ bar and see if I could sneak into the art reception that I never RSVP'd for but RW did.

"Walk in like you own the place." That's the rule. Works 99% of the time and worked like a snap in this case as well. So I waltzed in like I had been there for hours, dropped my Giants Game Preparedness Bag and jacket, grabbed a complimentary glass of white wine, and searched for WR. I found her by the olives (no surprise). What was a surprise was seeing me already with wine in hand and early for our date.

We agreed to finish up our wine before heading out, which would leave us a little behind schedule. But hey, it's a pre-season game, and we both are neutral about baseball, and this drink/snack gig was free, so why not? I started taking pictures because the set-up was really cool and mosied around. WR mingled as well. We finally decided it was time to pry ourselves away from the free shit and get to the other free shit - the box reserve seats at AT&T Park.

When we got outside there was a significant drizzle.
Me: "Shoot, it's raining. Sort of. Do you think the game is rained out?"
WR: "Oh no! I don't know!"
Me: "Shit. That's quite a walk to make in the rain to get there and find out that the game's rained out."
WR: "Shoot! What should we do?"
Me: "I wonder if the game is on TV, then we could see if it's rained out."

So we crossed the street and went to Chevy's which is sports mega bar, and Wendy was about to go in and check the stats when I wondered: "Do they televise pre-season games?"

She went in anyway. At that very moment it started to pour. I saw WR waiting to talk to the host (what? who asks the host of a restaurant if the game is on? Like he'd know. Sheesh). She was impatient standing there, and I tapped on the glass and waved for her to come out.

"It's totally raining, Dude. If the game wasn't called off before, it is now."

What to do, oh what to do? Go back into the art reception and free it up some more! So we retreated to the swank comfort of the W Hotel once again.

Back at the reception, we felt alive. Celebrity, even (well, I did anyway. There's something about telling people you're leaving and then making a double guest appearance). We grabbed more wine and went in with full gusto.

Since I was feeling a little arty myself, I was still walking around with my digi cam and saw WR talking to some people at a little round cocktail table. Click. Closer. Click. Closer. Click. Clos-"Excuse me!"

Woops. I had just inadvertantly edged Mr. Hot Guy and his friend Mr. Indian Engineer 8 Feet Tall out of their station at the table [note to self: do this behind the camera, didn't see you Mr. Hot Guy more often]. I started up a convo with these two nice fellows for the duration. I found out Mr. Hot Guy does research on dog poop as reusable fuel. Imagine that! And that he has a girlfriend. Oh well. I also found out the 8 Feet Tall runs and would like a running partner.

The lights started getting horrifically brighter, a clear sign that the clean-up crew was trying to get us out en masse. Exit Gertie, WR, the Nster (another girl gone wild from days of yore who was present). Well, shoot, we're all fired up now, with a game rained out, on the wrong end of town. What are we girls to do?

JohnColins. That's right, JohnColins. This is a cool bar that a few blocks away that I really enjoyed last time. It looks like an old farm house inside. And, for some assinine reason, all the guys in there are good lookin'. So I start to tow them along.

The Nster decides to jump ship when we reach the alley. Man, she doesn't know what she's missing, I think to myself. Ends up, she didn't miss much, as WR realized that the hot guys leave after work. Probably because their girlfriends or personal trainers are waiting for them.

We have a pleasant enough drink there, chit chat and start taking silly pictures because, yes, we're a little on the buzzed giddy side. We decide it's best for everyone if we leave after one drink. And on the way...on the way... well see, this is where things get a little fuzzy.

I think we were on the way to my car, back at the office. But, if we were really intending to go to the car, we would have exited the alley to the left. But we exited to the right. The next thing I know I have stopped to take a picture of a street sign, and I turn around, and WR is gone.

I do a 360 looking for her on the sidewalk. And then I see her, giving me the "come in here" finger from inside this bar on the corner. Oh no. Here we go.

"WR, I've been here before! This is the Motorcycle Tiffany bar!"
WR, laughing: "The what?"
Me: "Yeah, this is the crazy bar I went to after Work's holiday party. There are all these vintage motorcycles in here. And see those lamps? They are real Tiffany lamps! AND! You can SMOKE in here!"

The next thing I know (only from the pictures I snapped), is that WR is at the bar looking at the selection. Then, fast forward, I am being handed a beer by a fine young gentleman, who apparantly, along with his other friend, had bought WR and I a drink. How did that happen? Way to go, WR.

Anyway, the one who had handed me a beer must have been tons drunk, because he began flirting heavily. And obviously. And heavily. I couldn't believe his infatuation - it had to be beer goggles. But it's only 11pm!

I don't know. I guess we stayed for another drink. It's hard to pull away from someone telling you how cute and adorable you are anyway. But we did. We did. Not without slipping him a business card, but still.

So I then convince WR, who lives in my old neighborhood and could take our lame-ass public transpo home, that instead she should walk with me to the office and I would give her a ride! After all, we were 1 block from the public transpo and my office was only a "few" blocks more.

Now, WR had never been known to be a night owl. Nor has she ever been known to handle her cocktails as well as I. I can count the times that WR and I had agreed, before sharing a cab, that we would stop for a nightcap at such and such place, and she would be asleep on my shoulder in the taxi within 5 minutes of pulling from the curb. Needless to say, there was a point between the Muni stop she would have taken and the walk to my car where I truly thought I'd have to carry her.

But she made it. And I gave her a nice sleepy ride home. And I got home at 1:30 am. From the baseball game I never saw.

April 03, 2006

Parents and Children - And You're Already Gone

There's a thing, a thing that happens when you finally start not being a child anymore. [ed note: I'm WAY past that. And then again, not.] What happens is, you view your parents as People. You may love, admire, admonish or despise them. But you finally see that they are also human beings, that they had or still have hopes and dreams and aspirations, an affinity for the arts, creativity or mathematics, physics, science, etc., etc. and WHOA! They are just like other people in the world out there - except for the fact that they are your parents.

And most times, the things that your parents as People wanted and dreamt of that went unfulfilled, they wanted you to have the opportunity for. With hope, you realized this when you finally grew up, and can accept all that crazy shit you think they put you through when they tried to "raise" you.

See that? It's no simple phrase. I see now very clearly, after living in a highly urban and immigrant city, that the meaning of "raising children" is not only synonymous with helping them get bigger, but also means to raise them to what one could have hoped to be. Of course, you can challenge me on this, I see many interpretations, but this is the one sticking right now.

The realization that your parents are not just your parents does not come without its own burden. After all, the things they may have hoped for themselves that didn't materialize, whether verbalized or not, were set upon you. Conversely, when they are no longer Spring Chickens, and you are officially categorized as such, if you are like me, you want to ease the burden of raising you that they have carried now for the two or three decades. (Because, quite frankly, most don't stop till they are dead).

Example: I cannot possibly go to one of my parents' parties anymore, that I so reveled in and danced tip-toe upon as a young child, without personally hiring myself as the designated catering/clean-up crew. If it's one thing I've learned from being raised by my parents, it's how to throw an absolutely smashing party. But I've also learned that, to throw one, the host exhausts him or her or both themselves completely, and comes away with a dirty kitchen and no quality time with any of the guests. Because I love them so dearly, because I know the sacrifice and dedication and pride they took in raising me, I try as much to ease them on the party-management/clean-up side as I can. No fun affair, but I take pleasure in seeing them interact with and enjoy their guests. And so it is a very rare occasion that I revel or dance at my parents' "ragers" anymore, and all the more preferable to me to see them reveling and dancing instead of manning the cheese plate.

For parents, however, you are always their Children. Your personality is known from Day One. They watch and attempt to guide you through your youth and adolescence, and then you go. You go off into the big big world, even if it's in the same town. You are INDEPENDENT of them, and that's a big deal. The funny thing is, I think, that parents know before you go off to college or a job or whatever, that you are already gone. You were already your own person before you left. By 16 at the most, your die is cast. Fumble then succeed, or succeed then fumble, ever fumble or even better ever succeed, situate your self as an imprint of one or both of them, stagnate or go up or down the tubes, the make-up of You is there minus any genetics or hope or good child rearing on their part. It goes without saying that good child rearing is important, but at the end of the day "good child rearing" is just "mimic me but achieve more." Parents are housing You and making every attempt to give you the right advice before you are permanently out the door. And that is a difficult secret to know of all along. That is a difficult pill to swallow, indeed.

So what the heck is this post all about? Well, if you must know, I watched Thumbsucker tonight, and thank God it is a film that makes you think and feel [about these things]. I won't give anything away here, and although it's a bit drawn out, it dives into all the aforementioned dynamics of family; all of the aches and pains and joys of being a family unit are analyzed, and most especially, each individuals' search and understanding of happiness and purpose. Purpose. The Ultimate Question for the human.

On a final and totally non-sequential note, regardless of his attempts to broaden himself as an actor, Keanu Reeves will always be stagnant and boring but good-looking Keanu Reeves. Is that really enough to keep reeling us in to his films? To be honest, I didn't know he was in Thumbsucker. And it a) didn't improve the film and b) didn't make me any more happy about renting it.

P.S. If you haven't figured it out already, I am thoroughly intrigued and thoroughly in love with my family, dynamics and all.