May 31, 2006

Into the Mystic

I have always loved Van Morrison's 1970's song "Into the Mystic."

One time not too long ago, I heard the song on the radio on my drive up to Napa. As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed it; and as my parents and I leaned over burdened vines picking grapes for winemaking, I flippantly mentioned my love of the song. In fact, I added something way too serious, like: "if I were to die before you guys, I'd want it played at my 'ceremony.'" My dad's reaction: a hearty one-chuckle, shoulder-raising laugh to himself with his back hunched over some grapes. My mom's reaction: "Well then, I guess I better figure out what song that is."

Maybe the song resonates with me simply because it was created in the era in which I was born. More likely, it resonates because I've lived in places for which the lifelines of people and industry - at some point at least - depended upon local waterways. And when you live and breathe that kind of history, and you sail those kinds of waters, it simply seeps into your soul.

For my first 19 years, I lived exactly the same distance from the Pacific Ocean as I did from San Francisco Bay. My high school years were splattered with frequent visits to the ocean, in all kinds of weather, and for all kinds of reasons. Soccer training runs on the wet sand (stamina and strength building). BBQ's (stamina and strength building). First dates (stamina and strength building). Prom after-parties (stamina and strength - well, you get the picture). Ha ha ha! OK, I'm kidding about some of that. Nevertheless, who the hell could complain? I digress... Onto more mature revelations....

There is a taste there, at the ocean, and at other waterways. There is a smell. A feel. And for those like me, there is something centralizingly home-like. It's risk, liberty and calm all in one. It's like a secondary heartbeat. Or it's your circadian rhythm. It's. Just. There. You cannot ignore it. It draws you in. You absolutely transform with the presence of The Water.

I remember the hot August night where the sand illuminated green with every phosphorescent step of our feet, or maybe it lingered in the hope of a virgin kiss. I remember the horrible night when we all decided that, in our grand, huge 17 years of Life Experience and our 1 short year (uh, cumulative) of driving experience, it was a great idea! to drive up Highway 1 (reference: the crookedest, cliff-hanging-est, crazy-ass-iest death-highway EVER, peering over 300-foot drops to rock cliff ocean deaths...) to camp under the ocean cliffs while cozying up around bonfires at Drake's Beach... Only to be ushered fervently to the parking lot (and into our cars' back seats) by the super-high tides, fog, and bitter bitter cold. Ah, those blissful nights full of nature's education! Don't get too comfortable, because, you might get too comfortable.

Then I moved to the suffocatingly landlocked state of Colorado for university. Every chance I got, I went to lakes and glaciers. Forget snow and skiing. The warm stillness of a pontoon boat on Horsetooth Lake (with multiple kegs - stamina and strenght build- oh you know my drill...), and the cold aqua fury of a glacier in Estes Park... Both brought the same revitalizing energy. Oh, how I loved the seasons in Colorado.

Then, to the Seine. My little countryside town in Normandy hugged The Seine on both sides. Though it may have been an ugly industrial town to some, for me the concrete walls hugging the river were a breath of fresh air. It was one of the few places I could go, before mastering French, where I really felt at home. Later I figured out the people; amiable at worst, and really agreable at best were my relationships with the locals. I had some Irish friends from the only local Irish pub, and a French boyfriend who has the best fake American accent I had ever heard (and to this day the tightest buns I have ever known; woops, digressing again). I went back often, to my dirty cargo-embedded Siene river, where I would peacefully smoke disgustingly Red Marlboro Reds while my listless hair moved in time with the under-current of the river. And as I walked home, past the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, I also crossed the stone-paved square where Picasso studied sunlight on the city's church spires. I would feel complete and disappear in the bliss of history. And then I'd negotiate a decent price for broccoli to have with dinner that night, from the open-air market where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, and I'd forget absolutely every sense of calm derived from the past hour.

Almost a decade now since The Seine, and since then I've been in San Francisco. I don't know when I first heard Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic." But I've been back here for that long and never before, although I have always felt connected to the song, have I felt as connected to "Into the Mystic" as I do now.

I moved recently, as you [2 readers] know, from the historically historic land of psychodellia in the Haight-Ashbury (think Summer Love of '69 - uh, some of those guys are still there, by the way - I'll be happy to introduce you if you visit) to The Marina. Correction: The. Marina. Epitome of Pretention. Home of Tony Ridiculousness and Un-Necessary Fanfare About Your Little Annoying Dog. And Also Your Anorexia and Your Stupid Platinum Hair. But wait, I'm eventually trying to bring y'all back around to a song, right? OK.

OK, so. Here I am. Yes, me, Gertie,sitting in my semi-more-luxe-but-smaller-and-equally
-expensive pad in The Marina. And for hours now, and not just now, but for hours and hours that total up to days since I moved here... I hear foghorns. My new place is literally 2 faint blocks from the rocky reef of San Francisco Bay. If you do not live near a lighthouse, or a foghorn, or if you have not grown up a water-baby like myself, you cannot possibly ascertain the comfort of the foghorns. They are long, easy, deep quotation marks into the black sky, and the gentle blows envelop you like a down comforter on a cold night. Just like your sleeping bag when you were 17, in the back of your '84 Jetta, which was burrowing against the salty cold air at Drake's Beach while you huddled in the backseat, and both of you were cursing the high tide and the whipping wet wind. And then, back in the mesmorizing calm of the foghorn, in that slow and constant warning of caution which is always the same in tempo and urgence, you can close your eyes, knowing that no one, no one who hears it tonight, will perish on the rocks.

May 27, 2006

And The Wind Died

Isn't that funny, that expression: "the wind just died down?" Well for one, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that's proper English. But it's a saying, and so the saying goes...

So the wind here, which has been tempestuous as of late, has just died down. My curtains are not blowing and billowing onto the hot radiator anymore. Just now. Complete and total calm. And with that, I believe it is time for my brain to do the same. So much thinking. Oh! The thinking! I look quite stable, to be sure, but the wheels are ever cranking. Good night.

If Oprah is SO GREAT... Then Let's Set This Up

OK People. I swear to "God" or some other power or spiritual humanity, that Oprah is a true positive in our time. Some may agree, others may not, but the plain truth is that she moves people. Masses of people in fact; at the very least for only an hour at a time, and at most in a life-changing way. And that's good stuff.

And by now, my readers (yes, again, BOTH of you. Oh, are there more now? Golly!), you know I have some bizarro fascination with Charlie Rose. And if you have been reading lately, you also know how I lament [and praise the fact] that "The Charlie Rose Show" continues minus its main attraction. Indeed, whether Mr. CR is there in person or whether he is replaced by someone of almost equal caliber, it's a really good show interviewing really interesting people from all varieties of passion: current affairs, politics, history, science, the arts...

Now Oprah, Oprah has yet to be on "The Charlie Rose Show." And, well, frankly, I think she is an fascinating character to enter into discourse with. Yes, yes, she has opened her secrect halls of Oprah to all of America, so some might think "what more could we possibly learn about Oprah?" But in my opinion, if you can put friggin' Barbara Streisand in front of Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes" and still get her to open new views of herself, then putting Oprah in front of Charlie Rose may not only take her achievements of "almost" saintliness to new heights, but it may also show us a side of Oprah that is thrice-times-over more dynamic than the one we already think we know.

So. Charlie, Oprah.... Listen to me, here. I know your teams are fielding tags, so don't be so coy. Don't worry; I won't sue you for "taking my idea" of putting you two together for an interview; no, I won't ask for rights (because it is a damn good idea), but I will ask you to give me both personal and ample notice of the airing date! Or, sitting in the live audience as your guest wouldn't be too bad either. Ha ha! And! If you want! Just give me a topic of discussion and I will sit at the table with you - ready, willing and able to give some of my own insights as well. Er, no, I'm not published on any specific issue... why do you ask? Oh really? Ok. No, no problem. I totally understand that you'd want to do the interview without me. Ok. Uh. Yeah....

And a P.S. to Oprah!! - Oprah, here's a funny thing: you don't know, but after I graduated university and then doing a little job stint in France, I came back to the US and started looking for "real" work. While I was searching, I took a temporary job at one of those "paint-it-yourself" pottery places. In my downtime at the pottery job, do you know what I did, Oprah? Among other creative and decorative things, I painted my resume for you on a plate! And it was geared toward getting a job at Harpo Studios. And I was going to send it to Harpo (addressed to you, of course) with some freshly baked cookies on it! How's that for a resume? Oozing with creativity, eh? Handmade; handwritten; completely truly my resume. But I didn't send it. For a couple of reasons, now that I think about it: probably because I hadn't seen your show enough so I didn't have enough confidence in myself at the time that you'd actually a)receive it and b) appreciate the strength of its ambition; and c) because I knew enough about you to know that you like to offer people without other possibilities the opportunity to succeed, and I knew, deep down inside, that I have that opportunity, but I was just not taking advantage to it, and that all I would get from you for knowing that fact is a scowl of dissapointment greater than my mother's. The End.

May 25, 2006

Echos of the Past

I'm at it again! Reading Brit Lit from 1893. Here's a quote, from Oscar Wilde's play "A Woman of No Importance," for which, if you remove the word "English" and replace it with "American," you can feel today. Er, at least, I can feel today:

"Oh, your English society seems to me shallow, selfish, foolish. It has blinded its eyes, and stopped its ears. It lies like a leper in purple. It sits like a dead thing smeared with gold. It is all wrong, all wrong."
- A Woman of No Importance, Act II.

If I were not reading this play online, I'd be underlining several bits of text and getting ready to transfer them to a post for modern day comparisons. Because many literary plots transcend time. But I'm American, and I'm lazy, and I'm not in school anymore, and apparantly I am "a leper in purple" whatever that means. [ed note: yes, I know what it means. Geez, give me some credit] So. There it is.

I will leave you with a warning: If I somehow happen to bookmark this online edition of Wilde's play, and go back and actually finish it, I'm afraid there will be some very dramatic, 19th Century whimsical writing going on over here. I can't help it! In fact, it's a good thing you're not sitting in my apartment... because I'm reading the play... OUT LOUD. I love pretending to be British!!

May 24, 2006

Where the hell is Charlie Rose?

I admit fully to being a night owl. It's something I'm working on, because I'd really like to start up a morning running routine. Ha ha ha ha! I am laughing out loud because I know I can think this all I want and then still wake up too late to make it happen.

Anyway, I think I have said many times that I love love love Charlie Rose. His midnight program on PBS is one of those things that, if I'm up, I will automatically put on.

Lately late at night I will flip the TV to PBS to watch my Charlie, and he is not there. His show is there, with guest interviewers (who are good, as are the guests, don't get me wrong). But I can't help but wonder where Charlie Rose is? I mean, this guest interviewing has been going on for a while now. Is he okay? He looks pretty healthy. I want my Charlie back.

May 23, 2006

"Start Rip"

I am entering the 21st Century and burning all my CD's to the computer. Well, I had a few CD's burned already, but then I heard about the new Microsoft Media Player Version 11 (Beta) and immediately decided it was time to create "a library."

Rip? Create a library? I am utterly awed by the new language that is created with the evolution - I'm sorry, no - the meshing of computers into our lives. It is neverending and constant and always changing. The necessity of the computer, the efficiency of it, and the wasting of time of it [reading blogs that have absolutely no pertinence to one's immediate life or interests]. etc., etc, is all so overwhelming and so required at the same time. The realism of it, the escapism of it, all needed.

At this very moment, I am in the middle of "ripping" a Radiohead CD to the compu. Oops, I mean, just finished. Damn, that was fast. Please hold for a second while I go retrieve and insert the next CD into the drive for "ripping." Oh goody, Stephen Malkmus! Oh I remember the time I saw him live at the Fillmore....

"Start Rip." These are words which, to my grandmother, woud have had absolutely no significance. I am absolutely fascinated by the evolution of All Things Computer. And also fascinated with the steadfastness of things that endure time and the "meshing."

When I was in high school, one of my electives was Humanities. On the first day of class, the teacher asked the collective of absent minded students: What is "Humanities?" And we were all like, huh? A form of English maybe? And then he answered his own question: "Humanities are the arts that stand the test of time. Certain poetry. Certain sculptures. Certain writing. Certain ideas." We were introduced to these "certain" things throughout the course. In that class we learned Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in their original Olde English, and were forced not only to translate the texts to mondern English, but also to recite them in their origninal form. To this day I can still remember the first 2 verses of the recital flawlessly; but I truly don't know whether I remember because I have the memory of an elephant or because the verses actually moved me (er, when translated. Er, well, maybe when pronounced and spoken in proper Olde English and knowing the translation at the same time. I have a thing about languauges; I'm simply very good at them).

"Burn." On to a classic album from The Black Crowes. Anyway, back to the original underscore of the post; am I the only one that has noticed the the velocity of change in recent times? I doubt it. (On to U2.) Am I the only one who still clings to crap like The Canterbury Tales, 20th Century novels and 19th Century art? I doubt that, too. In fact, I could probably go online right now and search out a hundred groups who have created online homes for their respective old school passions. Chat rooms. Discussion groups. Nerds. Hipsters. And all the oblivions of people in between. Google search, go. Then on to the next CD. Start Rip.

May 22, 2006


This is an e-mail I wrote to my mom this evening, in regards to a few things, including a book she recently passed to me, Billy Crystal's "700 Sundays." The e-mail went deeper than I ever intended it to go, and I thought it a rather poingnant post. You should know (only because I'm quite proud of myself) that my mom was a "non-reader" for decades and decades. In fact, she used to ostracize me for lying in bed on weekends as a pre-teen absorbed in a book and "wasting my day away." It was only when I read aloud to her from "Angela's Ashes," while we took the long drive up to Napa to make wine, that she got hooked on books. That was about 8 years ago... all I can say is, if you are moved by the e-mail below, then you will also be moved by the book that is mentioned, and you should definitely read it. Because life is ultimately about family:

I have been up and down my stairs today at least 5 times, and let me tell you, I think I know your pain! Today at the house I didn't really want you to go upstairs to the top floor because I was already empathetic about your knee, but man oh man! After those stairs and my stairs thrice times over, I can really feel it! So from now on, even though you love my apartment, don't come up and down unnecissarily! OK? Ok.
And, I just want you to know that I also know about a lot of your other pains and worries. And I don't like to be one of them. (Please don't worry about me! A non-point because I know you will). I finished "700 Sundays" yesterday, and then re-read what your sister wrote on the note to you when giving you the book, and with that I could really see what she was talking about. Because really, you only had about "700 Sundays" with your dad, too. And your mom had to be so strong. And so did both of you (beyond some rebellion), in a way. And luckily for all of you, you had a strong family pulling together for the sake of all. And looking at today, the smaller families who are dispersed all over the world, those days are pretty much gone, unless the strong bonds of the previous generation are continued and emphasized. And I really do think that you and dad, and both your families, instilled that sense of togetherness in me and M, and you shouldn't worry about us supporting each other and both of you guys, no matter what comes. There is so much more I could digress into here but I won't. Just know that you have been (intro to belated Mother's Day recital) an amazing force in my life, and I appreciate having you as my mom every day and everything that you do for me and all the sleepless nights you spend worrying about your almost 34 year-old baby.
Oh, and by the way, I HATED and LOVED the last bit of the book. It was so sad and so prolific at the same time; how his mother, who was so strong (like all the women on your side) was fighting every bit to maintain the integrity and possession of her own body because it was her identity (like Rif at the end, putting her make-up on and fixing her hair for the MD) , and the fact that Billy C. knew and respected and admired every thread of his mother's being and intention throughout all her good and bad years. Anyway, thanks for passing the book along; I laughed out loud at parts (Aunt Sheila chapter) and cried at parts (mom aging chapter) and then laughed again. I love you!

Daughter (!)

May 21, 2006

A Running Irony

My longtime visitors to this blog (yes, both of you) may recall my many frustrated posts about training for the Nike half marathon last October. I actually didn't have that many posts, because I didn't train as much as one probably should for running 13.1 miles, which in turn was what made everything about writing about the training so frustrating. Er, still with me?

Ok. Since October, I have been a very lazy girl. I have maybe, maybe run 8 times since then - about once a month - and nothing to the length or degree of difficulty in training for the half. So isn't it ironic, with my last run having been 3 weeks ago for about 45 minutes, that this morning I got up at 5:45am (that alone is a miracle) and ran a 12k race (7.4 mi) before heading home, hopping in the shower, and heading off to work?! I dare say it is. Especially since I drank some wine last night and went to bed at midnight.

My knee did give me some trouble starting at mile 4, and it was pretty much agony to keep pace for the next 3.4 miles, but my running partner and I finished faster than we had expected either of us to be able to manage in our respective physical shapes (she is in her late 50's and has never run that far).

So maybe I won't train for the San Francisco Half Marathon in July either. It seems to work pretty well.

May 16, 2006

And Another Thing...

Don't date your clients. Hrmmph. Then why do my clients have to be so irresistable?? Damn you, D.

Update: Long, Bitter... Blah blah blah Day (And thank you, bro!)

Sorry, Y'all, about that post. Please be POST-post-warned that I had recently watched "Pride & Prejudice" (twice!) before writing that, so it was a bit pre-20th Century, and definitely overdramatic, type of reaction to such a 2006 30-something dilemma. Suffice it to say that I have weathered the storm and taken action. Even better, I somehow avoided the dreaded "tell Mom" scenario. This is one time in my life where I am thankful that my brother (i.e. The Prodigal Son) is taking center stage. Thanks, Bro. You totally diminished Mom's concerns, even for a moment. At the most 2 weeks. Cool.

If You're Anything Like Me: Issue Four

If you're anything like me, you decided that steamed mini artichokes would be an excellent side dish tonight. So we buy a dozen of them, and spend some precious happy time cutting off the stem, and peeling off the petals, throwing them into the disposal, until we hit the yellow ones, and then, as directed, we cut of the top 1/3 of the leaves and set the yummies in an acid-based water solution to wait for the sautee. Yum! We are pleased with ourselves for this time devotion and the deliciousness to come...

And then, we spent an hour and a half trying to dislodge bits of shredded-to-infinity raw artichoke petals from the clogged garbage disposal, had to waste many minutes filing our ripped up nails ravaged by a million dives into the (yes, unplugged!) stomach of the drain, and only realized very late in the game that a few pumps of a plunger (that we don't own ourselves) would have cleared that shit up in the first place. Aargh. So, if you're anything like me, we don't want to see our favorite vegetable EVER again.

Flickr Yuck, Bleck & a Raspberry

Hey! Who decided that Flickr should have a new format? I don't like it. And worst of all, my Firefox add-on (to view recent comments without searching or clicking) doesn't work anymore! Yuck. Bleck. And a raspberry (and I can't believe that is how one spells raspberry, but Microsoft Word says so. Hrrmph).

May 11, 2006

Oh, Long, Bitter, Nasty Sunny Day

Oh, curse this day! This day of UNfortune; this day on which the only goodness was the sun and lack of wind (for once, sheesh) and the so unfortunate was The Taxman (albe-him a nice old guy as far as the 1-800-1040 is concerned) confirming that, yes, indeed, I did make a VERY negative ($$) mistake on my tax return. Hrmpph. There goes a couple grand.

And so, with Mother's Day upon me, I face the biggest of single daughterly challenges: convincing my already over-concerned mother that YES, Ye of No Faith in Anything and Especially This, there is a brighter future than the Almost Bankrupt and Nowhere Near Married, which appears to be your only possible conclusion to any of my ventures. It just takes time (colleagues - and in the case of husbands, friends then - confirm). And a little credit. Yes, CREDIT! I know it's a concept overly believed in by my generation, generally not received at all in your generation, but it will have to do. Or, mother, would you rather I take all of your retirement now for a new Mercedes later? See, you don't believe me. So just pretend I'm not your child for a year. It will be better for both of us. And yes, you'll still get the 'Benz. What's that? Oh, you want a pristine '52 Benz with a canvas automatic top? Well, then... you'll have to wait a little longer. OK, a lot longer. But for you, ma, for you! I'll do it.

Er, Happy Mother's Day. Hope I don't die of almost penniless shame beforehand. Luv u mum!

May 08, 2006

Gertie Goes to Washington... Street ...Too!

The "too" refers to a certain other blogger dealing with "Washington Street." Although she made absolutely no reference the street in the post. So maybe the cabbie never took Washington? Or took it instead of a faster route? Or maybe, just maybe, she meant that she went and got her game on w/the "system." I'm thinking the latter, but we'll never know (er, unless she comments).

Anyhow, tonight was the Decorator's Showcase Preview for my company. A nice little chateau on Washington St. at Spruce St. (and I am not joking on the "chateau" part, because it held every essence of the word) in Presidio Heights. Valets as usual, due to the ordinance of the neighborhood for any parties over 20 guest. Ha ha ha. So snippety up there.

Unlike last year's showcase, this home's infinite rooms actually seemed to meld together cohesively. Last year, each room was like walking into a whole new environment. This year, I think the owners had final say (thank goodness!) on what the designers laid out in each room, so the linen closet made sense, and the the colors of each room blended seemlessly, and one almost forgot that the 3-tier staircase was covered in a leopard-skin carpet. Hrmmph.

I mostly liked the outside, which originates from the late 1900's anyway so wasn't designed exclusively for the show, and the gardens with the Grecian statues. Mostly I liked the view of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge as you peeped out of oval windows on the 3rd floor. But hey - I wouldn't spend $14.4M just for that.

May 06, 2006

Social Studies

I've always been intrigued by social behavior. I don't usually admit that, as I child, I didn't have the grandest of aspirations at first. I'm pretty sure the first job I ever verbally annouced that I wanted to do was "Bridge Toll Collector" on the Golden Gate Bridge. My parents' first reaction was to laugh (most likely the reason why my second career announcement was stand-up comedian), and then my mom said: "well, I think they get paid pretty well."

My interest in the position derived from some sort of freeze-frame thing that happened in my mind every time my family stopped to pay toll on our way to the City. As the car slowed to stop and pay, also in my head the activity in the car would become slow, and by the time we stopped I would imagine a freeze-frame image of what the toll collector saw in the slice of family life that was in our car: My dad unstrapping his seat belt, lifting the right side of his body up to pull out his wallet, and sorting through the cash in the billfold; my mom retreating the visor after having checked her lipstick in the visor mirror; and my brother and I fighting violently as usual. And, as we would drive away from the toll booth, I would wonder what the collector saw in the car following us, and the one after that, and after that, and how the activity in the cars changed with morning commute or Friday night commute, and thus my social studies had begun.

Shortly after my short-sighted career aspiration of bridge toll collector, I aspired to things much greater: I decided that I would be the young voice that would end The Cold War. However, my pontificating on why we should all just "get along" got no further than speeches in the bathtub (I still wonder why; they were fantastic speeches). But I digress.

What I mean to say is, that interest in the social interaction (or lack thereof, or the interaction that takes place minus the social part - i.e. - people in who are talking to themselves or some fictional character in a public place) is still very prominent in my life. I am deeply affected by random comments made to me or anyone else by randoms on the streets; most often in a negative way, and equally intrigued by neighbors bumping into one another and their dialogues; most often in a smile-to-myself kind of way. But I am ever curious about people whose jobs require being affected by "strangers and regulars." Bartenders. Cashiers at corner markets. Bus drivers.

These people deal with strangers and regulars intermittently throughout their days and careers. Well, I suppose, in a way, we all deal with that, no matter the career. But my senses heighten to their interactions.

This evening, after a long work week, I strolled to the corner market (which is 6 blocks away, luckily my new neighborhood doesn't have hills - but still the journey to and fro takes a solid 20 minutes - which is truly too much time to take to go to the "corner" market) to get wine for a pleasant evening of unwinding. As I got closer to the store, I worried more and more that I would see the same cashier as the last few times. And of course, I did. And when I went up to the counter, he just gave me a look. A look I didn't like.

Why? Because of social pattern. There are only 3 places to buy alcohol near my apartment. Inevitably, after a while people remember you. I am sure that I discovered via pattern that there are only 3 night shift guys at one market before any of them discovered that I come in all the friggin time. After 5 months, they are beginning to recognize me as a neighborhood regular. And my purchase pattern does not waver. Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine.

I like to notice other people's social patterns, but I don't ever want mine figured out. By becoming a regular anywhere, people can assume too much about my life based on a singular activity. I know I shouldn't care, but I do. I guess that, because I try to figure others out so much (albeit probably more dynamically that most), I think they are trying figuring me out, too. I'll never really know if I am giving too much credit or not enough. Regardless, I hope those 3 guys don't think I am a 30-something solo home drinker, because that is rarely (well, okay, bi-monthly perhaps) the case.

May 01, 2006

Bad Date "Whoops" Update

Uh... for some strange reason... that guy called again. So. Maybe I didn't hurt egos that night after all. No, I'm sure that's not it. Either he likes unintentional abuse or I'm off my compass on the "good vs. evil" as date thing. Me be nice now. Promise. Smarty pants - and yes, I will correct - they have always been flat-front pants - not pleated! HOT HOT HOT.