Friday, May 06, 2016

The Real Fucking Deal

Yesterday, H and I went to In-N-Out Burger for supper. It was after swim practice and I wanted to have some shared meal time seated across a table from him, even if only one of us was actually eating. H picked a spot right next to an older mother (maybe in her 60s) and her adult daughter. Neither one stood out in appearance but it soon became clear that the daughter was ”neuro-atypical” (the term of art for those with autism spectrum disorders). She was speaking very loudly and matter-of-fact-ly, about things that normally would be considered inappropriate in this setting, for any number of reasons. Over the next 30 minutes, she initiated dialogue with her mother about whether a man would ever willingly choose to be with her; whether her friends were real or fake; the details of her father's suicide by carbon monoxide asphyxiation in the garage of the family home when she was two years old and whether he had ever attempted suicide before that; and more. All the while, her mother ate and listened and occasionally responded, quietly. A couple of times, when her daughter's volume grew even louder, mom would hush her or try to redirect the conversation. I never saw the mother's expressions because I was next to her, not facing her, but I could feel her embarrassment and shame—given that my 7-y.o. could easily have overheard---and I'm sure she wondered whether I would become uncomfortable enough to comment or even passively change tables. To be honest, I was paralyzed, because the story I heard broke my heart and was shocking, if only (but not only) because it was so unexpected to hear it, at In-N-Out Burger in Marin, on that day, at that time, &c. My first thought went to H—how would he react and how would I respond? I gazed intently at him as he talked about this and that, trying to discern whether he was picking up on any of the daughter's words, waiting to see if he would turn and look at our neighbors, or do what any kid might do and ask me why this person was talking so loudly. None of those things happened, and he was mostly focused on his cheeseburger and fries and the poster behind my head, of an old-fashioned In-N-Out with original prices. He calculated that his meal would have cost $0.50 and I tried to explain inflation. Eventually, mom and daughter finished their meals and got up to leave.

If I could go back to one moment in time, I would go back to that moment, the moment just before they walked away. I would have looked mom in the eye, maybe put a hand on her shoulder, and said, "You're doing a great job. Happy Mother's Day."

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

As I go through his live performance clips, the word that best describes Prince for me is 'consummate'. In every sense. For me, there won't be another. He embodied the act of consummation, all on his own. He was whole. My innocence, a figurative virginity, has been lost with his death---ironic, considering how voraciously carnal and incarnate he was in life.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I have come to understand that San Francisco hipsters do not age well. No, no, no.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014



Best birthday in a while.

  • Kiddo spent the night at grandparents' house, and it was a brilliant success. Like, beyond my wildest dreams. He has asked to go over every Saturday night ("I made a deal with A-kong").
  • Had a gorgeous dinner at The Commissary.
  • Watched Miami Vice again and was blown away by how well it encapsulates the series and characters (save for one minor complaint, but we won't sue), and yet feels updated for 2006. 
  • Slept in until 11AM, then picked up a very happy boy who was excited to have been allowed to stay up until 11PM the night before.
  • Managed to surprise the hubby with an unexpected anniversary present, via text message at the restaurant. Totally patting myself on the back.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

If---

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
   But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
   Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; 
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
   And treat those two impostors just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
   And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
   And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
   To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
   Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
   Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
   If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
   With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, 
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, 
   And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 

--Rudyard Kipling

[Via Let's Panic]

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How/why did I think this Pinterest thing had something to do with Harold Pinter?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Loser (i.e., Me)

Yesterday brought some bad news; an unexpected death in the family, if you will. This brings to an end the most disappointing and difficult year I've had in my life. I was already so down in the trenches that the impact of the bad news was probably far less than it could have been, had I been having an easier time to start. Should I be thankful for that? An inauspicious end to an inauspicious year, is how I think of it. Isn't the end of the world coming in 2012? Finally, something to look forward to.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Being a California girl, New York City (in my age 16 imagination) was either the uptown of MANHATTAN or the downtown and Brooklyn of DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN. I realized last night that in fact, those two NYCs were my reality for the dozen years I lived there. How lucky am I? For a city to be everything your 16-year-old mind dreamed of, and more? I still miss NYC terribly, a year after moving. I wonder when that will fade, the wistfulness.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tom Scocca and I share a birthday, it seems. Don't know why it freaks me out, but for context: I greatly admire Tom Scocca's writing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Undernotes Of Irony, With A Genuine Finish

One night this past week, we were doing our usual channel surfing and the husband joked, "What, no 'Real Sex: 9/11 Edition'?" (we have been watching "Real Sex" reruns on HBO and wow, that is some time capsule-worthy material, but that's for another post). With all the special programming such as "I Survived ... 9/11" and "Biography: Osama bin Laden" and "How It's Made: Ground Zero," you start to expect to see specials like "Sandra Lee's Ultimate Guide to Terror Attack-Commemoration Table Settings." But that got me thinking, a "Real Sex" episode filmed in the immediate months after 9/11 sure would be informative. I reckon there were a lot of self-destructive decisions being made, driven by guilt about surviving and the emotional abandon that follows the realization that sometimes, survival is probabilistic, and not something that is necessarily granted to the strongest, or bravest, or kindest, or humblest, or ... worthiest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dig deep but don't dig too deep
When it's late you'll see the hole is empty and oh so deadly
They want me raw and smooth like glass
They want it fast but they don't want flaws
I'm a girl's best friend
Can you cut, I can cut, 'cause I'm a rough gem


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I am not a Californian.

In the last six months, I've gotten three parking tickets (for not being able to read signs that indicate when and for how long you can park on the street). Basically, I suck as a car owner. Please may I go back to NYC?

Friday, June 10, 2011

We washed our mouths at the riverbed
When we noticed something glowing
And it was growing
Things are going to change
A hard rain falls, made of magma
Melts Alaska
And in icy Argentine they say now I've seen it all
Who knew? Volcanoes!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Currently obsessed with figuring out if I have the chops to retrofit a Western Electric 500 or Princess phone to work with VOIP. Already have ruled out anything with rotary dials. Hm. Also, why do Kartell garbage bins sell for $60? And why does no one make anything as simple and functional any longer?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The main criticism I have is the sensationalist page tag or meta-title or whatever these things are called in web-ese:

Osama bin Laden: He Died a Fool and Has No Legacy, Says Dana Vachon

Monday, May 02, 2011

News Of The World

So, I was going to be all, "Guess what? We're moving for the third time in six months!" until some government entity went and waged a covert operation and done killed Osama bin Laden. Talk about hogging the spotlight.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Also re. Franzen: I find that I strongly identify with multiple characters in his books. That's difficult to accomplish, judging by how singular characters tend to be in so many novels, even ones that I enjoy. I so love how the economy of Franzen's language is, for me, inversely proportional to the level of understanding about a person it achieves and the recognition it evokes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I love about Franzen, among many others, is how well he writes about disappointment.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We are, once again, embarking on a housing search. Here is my five-words-or-less assessment of the Temescal neighborhood in Oakland: Where The Gays/Artists Are, 2011. You know what I'm talking about, right? The formerly "urban" neighborhood, filled with amazing _____s [insert type of housing structure, something of architectural significance, something that makes a person wax nostalgic for bygone eras and/or class divisions---e.g., gingerbread Victorian; split-level ranch home; pre-war grand dame; row house; former industrial warehouse; former tenement; former plantation], first discovered by the gays/bohemians (who are always the gentrifying pioneers), that's now a little enclave of rehabbed real estate with exorbitant prices even though just across the street it's totally shady? Yeah, that's Temescal. That is so Temescal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I know what we're doing for Easter Sunday!

Here is the printed description of event at Tilden Park:
CHICKY CHICKENS
LITTLE FARM OPEN HOUSE
RABBIT RENDEZVOUS
Yeah!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

After getting knocked up, I of course quit drinking for enough time that after giving birth, half a glass of wine would, well, knock me out completely, to the extent that I really wasn't able to enjoy the wine at all. Like, I'd be asleep before I finished my supper. It was kind of pathetic and I didn't think it was worth the half glass of wine, particularly as I was still working and in need of every faculty I could muster after being a full-time milkmaid. (Not that I wasn't secretly slightly nostalgic when my kid basically weaned himself and never looked back. But that's a topic for ... never. Not that I wouldn't love to talk about it, but I respect your boundaries and all.)

However! Now that that I am a full-time parent, it turns out that I have plenty of time and reason to enjoy a cocktail or three as soon as the 5 o'clock hour strikes, and suddenly, before I could even say "Hello, 1998 to 2006!", my tolerance is way up again! Ironic that being a parent does that to you. I mean, me.

One chapter in and I already am in love with Freedom.