• Just Saying No and Saintly Aspirations…or How Catholic School Traumatized Me Part I

    Why is it so hard to say ‘no’ to certain things?  I don’t have a hard time telling people ‘no’ when it comes to things like, ‘hey, wanna go all the way?’ or ‘do you need a receipt?’ ‘would you like some fresh ground black pepper?’ or ‘are those real?’. 

    But then last Saturday some Jehovah’s Witnesses saw me through the front door my brother left open and instead of telling them (as is always my plan) that I am a high ranking member of the Church of Satan or some kind of severe sexual deviant and please leave me alone, I got roped into talking to them and even took one of their warning pamphlets full of scary comics.  They must like illustrations for some reason.  When I was a kid at catholic school they gave us this comic book about some girl they wanted to make into a saint for some reason.  Laura Vicuna, I think she was called.  She was Chilean and lived on some ranch with her mom who was sort of slutty and was living in sin with some abusive rancher guy.   I guess Laura kept telling her mom to quit her wicked, sexy ways and find god but she refused and the mean, evil old rancher guy beat Laura to death when she was sick with a cold.  Hard core, right?  We were kids for crying out loud.   So, for this she was nominated for sainthood. 

    Oh, saints.  Talk about people who have a hard time saying no.  Mostly to pain.  One time my pop took my to church on one of the holy days before Easter and all they did was read aloud all the horrendous ways different saints died.  It was almost comical because a lot of them died in very original and creative ways.  Falling off rocks and roofs—ripping out their own eyes and other horrible tortures.  One of the star saints in the parish was this little masochistic boy who would put sharp rocks in his shoes because, he thought, if Jesus could die for my sins, the least I can do is feel a little pain.  Damn.  Really?  I just Googled ‘saint deaths weird’ and St. Mungo popped up.  He didn’t die in a weird way but his name is weird enough and when he got old he supposedly had to hold his limp, saggy chin up with a bandage.  Anyhow, that was a boring church visit.

    I got a call from my friend Manellie from high school.  She told me she finally graduated from medical school in the Bahamas and did I want to come to her party?  As nice as she is, I know the only reason she invited me was because she had dialed my phone number by accident and got nervous and didn’t know what else to talk about.  She casually mentioned she’d had a kid last year.  Then she asked if I still kept in touch with Shizu and could I please tell her that Manellie says “hi” and then insisted I tell her that she thanks her for raising her awareness and consciousness and that she still boycotted things like grapes because of her.  She wanted me to stress that. 

     Getting a medical degree and having a baby are fine accomplishments.  I always feel weird when people tell me these things because I feel like a super rough sketch of what I’m supposed to be.  So, the more I thought about it, the less enticing this party seemed.  Babies.  Doctors.  Husbands.  Lawyers.  I found myself having to say yes.  And then I thought on it some more and took the weak-ass, lame way out and texted her my apologies and I think she hates my guts now.   I say no at all the wrong times.

  • What Would Your Scroll Say, the Deaf Chef, and My Food Addiction

    Recently, my friend Carolyn visited from Australia.  I met her back at Cal in my younger years when I was more ambitious.  And a little less jaded.  We had History of Pop Art together and for the two weeks before she quit we sat next to each other and endured horrible, cryptic lectures in a warm cozy room perfect for sleeping.  My favorite section was the one on performance art.  Mostly because so many of these pieces were so oddball and freakin’ strange, how could you not love them?  There was one guy, Vito Acconci, who would follow random people in the street and take pictures of their nervous reactions.  In a piece called Seedbed he crawled under a ramp and masturbated while people would walk above him.  They couldn’t see him, but boy howdy, did they know he was there.  They got to hear the audio and every now and then, he’d say things like, “I’m grabbing your ass.”  Sweet.  Seriously, if I’d have known I could become famous and rich for being a creep, I would have honed my creep skills long ago. 


                Another of my faves was Carolee Schneeman who, in one performance, would strip naked, read from her book called Cezanne, She was a Great Painter and then would slowly (and for good reason) pull a small strip of paper from her vagina.  And she’d read from it.  I’m not sure I recall what it said on that scroll, but I wish I knew.  I sometimes wonder what my scroll would say.  In any case, I’m sure it was heartfelt.


                I am way off topic here.  Carolyn, my friend, told me that some girl we knew in school moved to Paris and is having a long distance relationship with a deaf chef.  Mar’s sister is deaf and still finds ways to call him and cuss him out and so I know these things can and do work.  Apparently MC Def Chef is hot and nice but deaf and has no way to communicate with her besides text messaging which sucks.  And now her traditional Chinese dad wants to disown her because ain’t no daughter of his gonna marry some fool who cannot hear.  For real. 


                A chef boyfriend would be the end of me.  I love food so much, I’m totally ashamed.  Like I cheat on the meal I’m eating with another one I’m secretly fantasizing about.  Like oh, bacon, you’re so yummy and delicious and wonderful, and then I’ll start to think sexy thoughts about Brazilian barbeque.  I feel so awful about it.  But it cannot be helped.

  • Bra Party Etiquette and Saluting Men of Genius

        Last Saturday my ma and I piled into the family car and headed to her friend Betty’s house for a good old fashioned bra party.  Yep.  You sit around drinking wine and wait for your turn to be fitted for The Perfect Bra.  Sounds great right?  So, like, first you have to sit through a presentation about who developed this company and why and what products they have.  I guess they are really proud that Oprah wears their sports bra.  They passed it around for all to see—a massive, oppressive, elastic suit of armor for the bigger gal.  There wasn’t much room for boobage, but I guess at least you can rest assured those babies aren’t going anywhere.


                They make you take a couple foil sticky stars—the kind your teacher gives you for being real sweet in the first grade—and stick them to your shirt so we can all see where your nipples are.  I got handed the sticker sheet first.  I hate to admit it, but I had to look.  I had some idea and all, but I wanted to be really accurate.  Exercises such as these make for some very awkward moments.  Most of the women there had a hard time with star placement.  Some of those stars were riding mighty low.  One woman had a hard time because she only had one breast after her mastectomy.  And everyone’s stars kept falling off.

                When it’s your turn you head to the bedroom and the fitter takes your measurements and gives you a few to try.  She then comes in and looks at you.  She taps her chin and really considers whether too much spillage is occurring.  Maybe the bra is just too big.  She helps you adjust the boob just so for the perfect fit and then asks you how many you want.  The fitter took this opportunity to ask me all about my mom being sick, which is always such a cherished conversation.  Especially with total strangers. Who are looking at me in my bra and trying to sell me microfiber thongs in the 4-pack.  I think I changed the subject and, just so I could get out of there, I bought two very expensive bras I’m not even sure I liked.  She said they gave good lift. 

                Throughout the afternoon she’d send certain women down to show us their newly improved racks.  Most of their stars appeared to have sunk to their tummies.  It was truly mind-blowing. 


                We have come to the section of the blog where I have decided to honor men and women of genius.  Genius honestly abounds—we just don’t readily acknowledge it.  And maybe that really just points to deficiencies within each and every one of us.  Take my uncle Gummo* for example.  He is allergic to Windex.  I mean, he had very bad Windex-poisoning which involved tingly hands, nausea, and general yuckiness.  I didn’t know this was possible until my brother told me he got a Gummo lecture about using non-organic household cleaners instead of expensive spray orange oil.  My brother also got scolded for using some kind of nasty spray bug killer to massacre hundreds of god’s creatures.  Gummo, I am happy to report, has invented an eco-friendly ant trap.  And for that reason, I honor him here. 


        To make your very own eco-friendly ant trap you must first take an empty plastic salsa container and you cut a little hole in the top.  Then you stir up some honey and boric acid.  And there, my friend, you have it.  It completely doesn’t work but maybe these things just take time. 


        The other man of genius I want to honor is my cousin, Numbnut*.  He is a self-proclaimed genius.  He recently told my grandma that he is a genius.  I’ve determined that we have to amend of our traditional notions of genius.  Sometimes genius means getting into half a dozen car crashes (sometimes with and sometimes without insurance), “surprise” babies, and dropping out of state college to sell steak knives.  I think sometimes people are just too smart to live normal lives.  My grandma said he looked at her after telling her all about his supreme intellect like he thought she should give him some money.


    If only I had me some smarts.


    *Names have been changed to protect geniuses.

  • Thank You Richie Simmons, Fun Day (Life on the Mountain), Frito Boats and Other New Experiences

    All I know is whenever I am feeling sad or alone, I can count on the tail end of Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies.”  All the big “losers” get to dance down two rows of other fatties Soul Train-style and shake their shit!  It is freakin amazing!!!!  I laugh so hard I almost pee, and sometimes I think I do pee.  Just a little.  I inherited this crummy old VHS tape from my good pal Margs back in the Beauty Store days.  We put it on one day after the store was closed and I think we followed the workout a bit and it actually makes you sweat up a dang old storm.  There’s this one super hairy gay guy who does this classic gay dance club move and every time I see him, I have to say “heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey” (in my best queeny voice) and mimic the move.  It’s almost an OCD-type of compulsion.


    I thought a lot about Richard Simmons and the giggly Soul Train line this weekend when Mar, Marcus and I headed to Shingletown, CA for its annual Fun Day.  It really forced me to confront some of my fears.  I also periodically experienced out-of-body sensations.  But first things first.  We stayed with Mario’s parents in a nice little trailer on their huge property.  It was so nice to have a bed waiting after our treacherous journey through hot, smelly, tweaker-filled Lake County.  We did stop at the Iron Skillet, a known trucker stop complete with showers and laundry, for midnight chicken fried steak, but still…the trip was difficult.  I’m ready to dive into bed when I see that country-type bedding.  It was a cute quilt with beavers and deer on it and trout, but I always associate these things with extreme dust and I can’t be having dust.  Dust kills me.  So I tried sleeping on the covers and that seemed dumb and them I slept under them and then I was fine and they even proved to be my saving grace from one of my hugest fears. 


    Bugs.  And I’m not talking any stupid bug, I’m talking angry, hurtful yellowjackets that want nothing more than to bite and sting the shit out of you.  I woke up to the angry buzz of one who looked like he was caught in the skylight screen inches above my damn head.  I buried myself under the beaver quilt (which I am sure is some kind of innuendo) and suddenly it stopped.  I was for sure he was on the bed with me.  I laid there petrified as hell, wishing I had gotten up early to see the Civil War reenactment that supposedly started at 6 a.m.  But no…I needed sleep.  And now this.  Awful.  Well, as it turned out, it was actually on the outside of the skylight screen, so no matter.


    My uncle Mel is always calling us city kids and yadda yadda, you guys are wimps.  It’s true.  I can’t even deny it.  But maybe if I had gone to Cal Poly and learned how to castrate baby goats with my teeth I might be a little more rugged.  Mel said some girl in his class decided to volunteer for the demo but no one told her it might be kind of messy with braces.  Yikes.


    Fun Day really sort of exposed me to a number of things I have never encountered before.  I know that for breakfast I ate a Frito boat which was chili con carne with beans and loads of shredded cheese on a nice bountiful bed of corn chips.  I felt so wrong about it, so I gave half away.  I saw a clown in a wheelchair which, if you can believe it, made the clown even creepier.  I don’t think he was asked to come either—he just sort of thought it’d be great fun to show up and wheel around scaring little tow-headed kids all day.


    I saw a freakin’ Civil War re-enactment—again something I have no familiarity with.  They take it very seriously.  They stay in character pretty well and marched around in formation.  They fired loads of big guns and cannons and charge at each other.  At the 11 a.m. show the South won.  The emcee was trying to pump people up and actually said, “Now, who wants the North to win?”  A few cheers.  And then, much more enthusiastically, “NOW, WHO WANTS THE SOUTH TO WIN?!  LET ME HEAR A REBEL YELL!”  I guess, to be fair, the North had to win at the 2 p.m. show.  Of course during that show, some kid fell into a manzanita bush and pierced his kneecap and the ambulance came a 15 medics tried to help him and so the North’s win was kind of a gyp. 


    Aside from that entertainment, there was a men’s glee club, a four-woman troop of line dancers sans any semblance of rhythm, some fiddley-folky type of band, and some greasy old country singer who used to play with Merle Haggard.  He was good.  He really wanted booze though, and he talked about drinking between just about every song.  He played a lot of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson covers with his little drum machine accompaniment, and for his entire 45 minute set this retarded guy stood right up front clapping and cheering by himself.  He even jammed on the air harmonica.  My day was complete.

    After this hot dusty day (and after I had to flick a freakishly huge tree-eating beetle off my arm) I headed back to the trailer to take a well-deserved shower and wouldn’t you know—it didn’t work.  It forced me to squat and take a cold bird bath which was humiliating and impractical so I finished the job with some wet naps and sighed and chalked this all up to it not being the best of situations.  But at least I was with Mar and we had fun and gas together. 

  • Drunks, Baby Jessica–Holler at Me Girl, and Inventions

    We haven’t had much luck with our temp service.  Last time they sent us a very slow typist with bad breath.  She was a bitch as well.  Not soon after that, we were sent an alcoholic John Denver look alike named John.  I didn’t notice it the first day he worked, but the second day he reeked like the reekiest shitter in the smelliest bar.  Not too unlike R Bar.  I thought I was making it up so I walked out of the office and then back in again a few times and each time I was hit with a wall of funk.  And he moaned and coughed and burped throughout the day.  I counted as he got up to get about 7 glasses of water.  He only peed once.  What can I say, it’s a small office after all.  Plus I had no real amusement since my usual office-mate Esteban was gone to New York to have strange, older adult debaucheries.


    I contemplated telling but I felt like a snitch.  And in our line of work, snitches is bitches.  For real.  But I hit some limit (I think it may have been the moaning)  and told the attorney “the temp is drunk.”  He said he thought he’d smelled it the other day but wasn’t sure.  Then he told the office manager who told me she thought she’d smelled him last month when he’d worked at the office.  AND I caught him on MySpace.  I think he may have been trolling for lovely young men.  I sound so hateful and I’m really not.  It was actually really terrible.  The kind of terrible that you kind of have to laugh at.


    The other day Grammy’s attorney told her something like, “did you know that the way cat’s can tell if they’ll fit someplace is with their whiskers?”,  and then proceeded to tell her about the science of whiskers in relation to fatness.  “It’s too bad Baby Jessica didn’t have whiskers, huh?”  That totally didn’t get the response Grammy was hoping for.  Then we got to thinking about this Baby Jessica girl.  What the hell ever happened to her?  She’s like 20-something now.  I wonder if you ever shed that crummy image as that poor dumb baby who fell down a well and got stuck.  Everytime I close my eyes and think of Baby J, I see that dirty little baby with a bandaged forehead.  I think she had casts as well. 


    I did a little poking around on the internet and found a virtual online SHRINE to Baby Jessica, the sweet little baby who united a town, and warmed the hearts of the nation.  And you know it had to have been made years after this thing happened since the internet wasn’t invented until Baby J was at least in Jr. high.  I wonder if she is on MySpace.  I want her to be my friend.  I want to ask her about her life, and she’d better be doing something fabulous after all the trouble the townspeople went through.


    Speaking of inventions, I was having drinks with my cougar-friend and she turned to me out of nowhere and said, “I have an excellent idea for an invention!”  Inventions are great, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason, I always find myself on the verge of peeing in my pants when people start to describe them.  Because usually, they get super excited and you want to be nice about it, but the inventions are crazy.  I mean, sometimes a genius invention gets invented–like the iron lung or pre-cooked pound bags of bacon—but usually inventors are crazy people who invent crap you don’t really need.  Like any annoying exercise equipment or things like Zima or Beanie Babies.  So all of this is running through my head and she says, “you know when you go to the doctor and they tell you to get undressed,” this was already hilarious, “and they do not have hangars for you?  Well, what if you could sort of—I don’t even know how you could do this, but, what if you could carry your own special hanger with a pouch for your panties?”  I honestly don’t really see this as a problem that needs to be solved.  “I just put my clothes on the chair with the rest of my stuff.”  “WHAT?!  Do you know what kinds of FILTH and GERMS are on those chairs?!”  So this conversation went on and on and she determined that there is a real need for this type of thing and she could make a million dollars with this grand idea and I will be sorry when she does and she can finally retire and not worry about having to cougarize any young prospects.  That might be nice for a change.    

  • Crabs Happen

    I had to have some blood drawn at the doctor’s the other day.  It’s a real pain in the ass because you have to wait for all the old people ahead of you to pull out their IDs, argue, refuse to pay and misunderstand everything they’re told.  I waited and went around to the lab and waited and then got seated and waited some more.  The phlebotomist was busy with another patient and I could hear him, humming away and suddenly I started to think about how gnarly the series finale of M*A*S*H was.  The chicken was a baby?!


    I realized the phlebotomist was humming the theme song.  “M*A*S*H, huh?”  “‘Suicide is Painless.'”  Yikes.   “Well, good, I know I’m not crazy.”  “Neither am I!”  His response was weird and then I got to thinking, he’s new here, what if he’s a psycho and instead of just drawing my blood, he gave me some weird blood-borne virus?  It could happen. 


    On my way home from the doctor’s I got stuck behind some slow pickup truck bearing the bumper stickers “Real Men Love Jesus” and “I Pray, Get Over It!”.  He was an angry, masculine Christian, so what?  So he drove like a freakin’ idiot.  And he didn’t see me tailgating him like an asshole madwoman for like a mile.  And then I couldn’t take it anymore and I honked and the angry Christian whipped around and gave me the freakiest, most hate-filled stare I’ve ever gotten–swear.  It was like Satanas himself was givin’ me the old hairy eyeball.  So, the only thing I could come up with was flipping him the Bird with a fierceness!  This only made him angrier and his Christian girlfriend got in on the act and stared me down and I kept on honking and then I thought, now what awesomely witty thing can I scream out the window as I pass them by?  “Stop praying and start driving?”  Hella weak.  And when the time came for me to put them straight, all I could say was, “why don’t you learn to drive asshole!”  Super weak.    


    Speaking of weak, I was shopping in a weak store called Rave or something turbo-teen like that, and this Indian man was in there with his kids and his (very obvious) new girlfriend picking out clothes for her.  This always bothers me.  He even stuck his head in the dressing room to make sure the crap he picked fit properly.  He picked such winners as skin tight white lace-up jeans and a crocheted halter.  Hoo-chi-fy your life!


    My ex-law firm has collectively adopted a baby.  This concept is new to me.  I think it might be similar to maybe sponsoring a race car?  Or maybe a spot of rainforest.  Maybe it’s like when you and a group of friends go in on something really cool like a Wii or maybe a cute little puppy and then you fight over who gets to take it home.  Only with a kid, you know no one is going to reserve him during his icky, asshole teenage years.  It might be more of a punishment for poor attorney performance.


    Yesterday was as perfect a day as they come in San Francisco and so Mar and I took a drive out to Pacifica Pier—the scene of the infamous seagull on my thigh attack—and we watched Filipino kids fishing for crabs.  They’d lower down this netty thing loaded with fishy bait and wait for crabs to happen.  They really just wasted their time and fishy bait since, just below them, was a super fat seal chillin like a vato.  They’d notice he’d eaten their bait and set another crab trap and lower it down only to forget about the seal and so on.  It was the greatest thing I’ve seen.


    It has replaced the vision of the crow flying at me and Mar with a rat in his mouth.  Then he dropped it over the railing onto the freeway.  That was the number one greatest thing I’d seen for a very long time.

  • Strangers with Candy

    Did you know that Smokey Robinson has his own line of frozen dinners? I didn’t either. Not only is he an accomplished song writer and singer with groovy green eyes, but he has now joined the ranks of Mama Celeste, Marie Callendar and Linda McCartney. Good job, I say.


     I keep a little notebook full of ideas for blogs and “to-dos” and thangs. But sometimes I just list off a bunch of random bits that, a month and a half later, make no sense. Here’s what I’ve got for 3/5/07: breaching whales, mall horror, cow birds, and Mexican kidnapping.  Also on 3/5/07, ” ‘White Boy’ flossing his teeth with Marianna’s hair.” That I do remember. My friend Wayne suggested we head to The Holding Co. for goodbye drinks for a friend of ours because, “nothing ever happens there.” It just so happens that was wrong and we encountered a slew of crazy characters including one who reminded me of White Boy from “I Love New York”. If you don’t know who this is, you will. I sense star power. So, this crazy White Boy comes in the bar swinging a trophy over his head, his tie undone and his shirt untucked. I think he came and sat at our table because he saw Wayne—the only black guy around for probably 5 blocks. I think the first thing he said when he plopped down drunk as hell was, “I’m the ghetto-est white guy you ever met.” And then he told us he was from Vallejo, so automatically, we gave him some ghetto points.


    As is the custom, Marianna got accosted by this crazy drunk and he actually flossed his teeth with her hair. Accidentally. And when he pulled away he said, “Damn, I think there’s a piece of meat in your hair!” Are you freakin’ kidding me? Who the hell does this happen to?  I forgot to mention that as he was talking to us at, his gum fell out of his mouth and on to the table. He picked it up and flung it over his shoulder and it almost hit a waitress. I think the excitement of winning the coveted office trophy got to him. I can’t even imagine what it was for.


    Right. And the next note-to-self entry would be 4/1/07. “St. Stupid’s Day.” Right! So, I was hanging out with Jim at the beach and we were watching this angry man angrily fly his kite. She thought the kite might have been an extension of his penis in some way and he was demonstrating how adept he was at using it. He was an exhibitionist, she said. I didn’t really get that. But it gave me the lamest idea. I texted Mario to tell him “With Lisa (Jim) at the hospital. Will call you.” Of course he called me worried and I made up this story that Lisa got stoned at the beach and walked too close to a maniac flying his kite and the kite string…it cut a slice of her face off! It was a terrible April Fool’s Day.


    The thing is that weird things do happen and Jimbo does often get herself into weird situations like getting skunked or losing her phone on the sidewalk or getting forced to feed feral cats by a feral cat enthusiast.  The other day she was trying to feed the meter and somehow this was confusing because she was trying to stuff quarters into the keyhole of her car door.  The one thing about Jim that is amazing is her unrivalled driving skills as I really appreciate someone who can smoke a bowl while avoiding a cop and getting us to “Strangers with Candy—the Movie” on time.


    Unfortunately her car is the Doggie-Deathmobile.  Mar and I got in the other day and there was an inch-thick layer of dirty dog pelt covering the whole interior.  There was mud too.  And I began to die and I think that’s when I lost my sense of smell again.  For a while she used to glitterize her car and would glue weird funny little shrines all over the inside and when we’d drive with the windows open the glitter would kick up and we’d come out looking shiny as hell.  It is a weird world—Jim says we’re like the girls in “Beautiful Creatures” only slightly less homicidal. 


    The last few words in my little notebook?  “Lunging madwoman, ugly art, an unfortunate man.”  I think I know what I was referring to, but I’ll save that for another day.

  • The Cruelty of Nature

    Nature can be cruel. I inherited three birds from The Genie a few years ago. They were his mom’s birds and he hates the idea of animals in cages so he decided he’d let them fly free—only they have clipped wings so, really, they’d just be doomed. I took these rowdy birds and they ended up killing my poor canary by stressing him out. There’s a lone, angry female love bird and there were two budgies. I came home one day and the prettier of the two was lying stiff as plaster on the bottom of the cage. I think the other two jerks had stressed him out as well. Bird hearts are very fragile.

    It’s amazing that this bitchy love bird has lived without a mate—I think they usually die when their mate dies. She still nests and lays pitiful empty eggs. The other day I caught the budgie and the love bird trying to mate. I guess it has finally come to this—I guess we all do unfortunate things when we get lonely.

    Speaking of, every time I visit my grandmothers—who are so clearly hard-up for some serious company—I get to learn things about them that really pushes the limits of what I consider disturbing. In this way, I have really learned tolerance. I have also learned of neat things I have to look forward to as a very old person. And I have learned that my grannies are neat but really weird. Yesterday my grandmother told my brother about a time when she was nursing and milk poured out of her nipples like waterfalls. This is the same granny who told me she often wondered whether old people got white pubes. This grandmother has taught me honesty.

    The other grandmother is constantly embattled. Cost Co. recently over-charged her account by something like $8.00. She got my grandfather to drive her over so she could yell at them. But the whole way over she sort of cried to herself—whimpers, I guess. And then when they got there, she got her game face on and yelled in broken english until they reimbursed her. This grandmother also likes tests of endurance. She is constantly falling down. She fell down the stairs recently. All the way from the top to the bottom and hit her head all along the way. Amazingly, she didn’t break a single bone, but did manage to snag prescription pain killers. In addition to her tests of will and endurance, she likes to test her memory. Apparently she hides things from herself and others—like keys and important papers—and then tries to remember where she’s put them. My grandfather recently found a key hidden under an apple. My grandmother is brave.

    I am not brave. I’m actually kind of dumb sometimes. This stems from uber-boredness I sometimes experience in those periods of time between my really awesome and fun times. You know, lulls. So, I decided recently to glue fake nails on so I could pretend to look really cha-cha and like I don’t work with my hands. But I have really narrow nail beds and so the nails all sort of looked too big and then I painted them and they only looked worse. So, before my tax appointment I decided to take them off. The instructions tell you to submerge your nails in acetone until the nails “melts” off. I didn’t have that kind of time. So, I pried and bit and did everything I could before I had to make that damn appointment. This was a very bad idea. I ended up with half-melty nails and I’d have to shake this guy’s hand and talk taxes and I decided to wear some knit gloves to hide my monstrous hands. I felt like a damn leper! I ended up taking off one of the gloves because it was a hot day and I lost it. This hand was covered in black fuzz. Sometimes there is just no winning.

  • Meat-on-a-stick, smelly vistors, “are you freakin’ experienced?” and about a beard

    I was riding down the elevator yesterday and it stopped on the second floor to let three super slow Salvadoreans on. My building houses the Salvadorean consulate. And wouldn’t you know it, one of the guys was walking around eating a damn pupusa. I have some trouble with the eating-while-you-walk thing. I mean, some foods are meant to be eaten on the go. Go-gurt, for example. Ice cream. Foods on sticks like corndogs, I guess shish-kabobs–that’s iffy. But I think it must only apply to foods on man-made sticks. Because chicken and/or turkey legs are also right up there with the wrong-est thing you can eat on the street. I especially like buffets where people can’t wait to eat and they sort of eat as they walk the food line. This fat woman bumped into Mar at Marie Callendar’s the other day while eating some pie. As much as I can’t wait to eat my freakin’ tater tots or enchilada pie, I wait til I set the plate down. And believe me, I fight the good fight not to be a full-on fatty on pretty much a daily basis. So right now as I wrote that, some smelly young bum just came a-knockin’ on the door and asked for a lawyer. The lawyer’s on some phone call, so I gave him a business card. They always tell me to try not to talk to the bums for too long. Don’t engage them too much–they could strong-arm their way into the office and, I don’t know, sit on an upholstered seat? He asked me if the attorney would fax him stuff. “Where would he be faxing stuff?” “To me.” Like the guy has a fax machine. He was carrying all of his possessions and I don’t think a fax machine is easy to tote along on your city-wide journeys. I mean, bring the pet, bring the blanket, the electronics are a maybe. I’m hungry, so I’m cranky. I try to be nice but when blood sugar is low, all bets are off.

    Did you know there was such a place as The Holy Land Experience? It’s located in Orlando, Florida, so there’s half the explanation right there. They sort of try to make it seem like a theme park, but I think to be considered a theme park, you kind of usually have rides, right? Well, this is a themed park. A real, live long-haired, bearded and besandaled Jesus walks around with a wireless microphone and greets the children and welcomes you to the Holy Land. I can’t imagine a less-fun experience for kids than that. No rides. Just some scale model of Jerusalem, some faux ancient-looking buildings that house a fun gift shop and scroll exhibit. And a reflecting pool for…reflection. Not a water ride. I’m big on rides. I think they could have made it fun and religious. Why must the two be mutually-exclusive? I can picture a ride into the belly of a whale. And any number of devil/hell/demon/eternal suffering rides would be bad-ass!

    Kristin just told me that Peaches was a librarian and an elementary school teacher before she was…Peaches. See. There is surely hope for me. I say, I need me a Casio on which to orchestrate awesome toe-tapping beats, some crazy sex-charged lyrics (oh so easy to come up with), and a freakin’ beard and I, too, can taste the sweet, sweet sweetness of supreme greatness. I’m just too lazy.

    Tune in next week for the first installment of The Strip-Club-Happy-Hour-Fun-Time-Show!!!

  • Good-for-nothing cats, goddesses and headsets, and feeling awful grateful for my senses

    Last night I had the dreamiest dream. I was dating Johnny Depp. He was way into me and I was the belle of the Hollywood ball! And then Harry Dean Stanton’s kid fell off some platform we were all on. We were standing in line for something. Julia Roberts was behind me. Anyhow, Harry Dean Stanton didn’t seem too phased that his kid had died. His wife didn’t either. She turned to leave and gave me a “Hollywood kiss” which basically involved her aggressively air kissing me until I had a bruise on my lip. And right as Johnny was about to tell me something really important, Kiki ran across my legs and jolted me wide awake! Cats are good for nothing but ruining perfectly sexy moments.

    I have to just note quickly before I forget, that lovely and interesting people (read: freaks!) abound not only in the City, but in the areas outside of the San Francisco Bay Area at large. See, I’m thinking of two recent incidents in particular. Or maybe three, if I count today. Mar and I popped into some breakfast joint in St. Helena not too long ago and sat next to some crunchy-granola types who sat and read the paper and commented on the amusing stories of hard-knock life on the mean streets of wine country. The chick ordered some egg white omelet and fruit salad and hash browns (because, like drinking Diet Pepsi with your #7 Taco Bell value meal, one good meal item offsets all the other crap) and when it came, she actually paused to say, “thank you goddess for this food.” She made the guy pause, too. For some reason this annoyed me to no end. Give me a freakin’ break already! This goddess thing has gone too far. A couple of years ago, I met Grammy’s newlywed friends from L.A. This was the first time anyone was meeting her friend’s wife and we all collectively wondered where the hell one finds a woman like that. She told me that I needed to channel the goddess power within and go to my boss and work and ask for, no–DEMAND!!– a telephone headset, goddammit!…because I am deserving. I don’t know.


    And then this guy wants Mar to give him a tattoo, but first, could they both participate in a ceremony? Tattoos are more than just art—they are spiritual! He was almost militant in his 400 words-or-less explanation of what tattoos mean to him. Mar was going to erase the email but I had to know what all was involved in said ceremony. Candle lighting. Chanting. Nothing too involved. And we began to understand why this guy hadn’t found a tattooist yet.

    The third story involves more of a conventional-type freak so I am even loathe to explain, but as I was walking to my BART today, I had to pass the Art Institute and some obvious fashion students. You can always tell a fashion student in that crummy neighborhood especially—all the chicks look like really futuristic whores. And the whori-er of the two proclaims: “I have been eye-fucked the SHIT out of today!” Which just really resonated with me. Believe me, it isn’t hard to get looks in that neighborhood—especially if you have your teeth and matching shoes. The alternatives are hardly alternatives at all.

    So this eye-fucking business reminded me of this discussion I had with my co-worker not too long ago about poor Helen Keller. Did you know she wanted a boyfriend more than anything else? Maybe not anything, but dammit, I swear, you can’t see, you can’t hear, you at least have your sense of touch. She apparently had a love affair with some guy named Peter Fagan (yes, I did Google all of this), and they were even going to get married but her bitch of a mother wouldn’t allow it. For crying out loud—that’s just plain mean. My friend Kristin doesn’t think she’d have been much fun in bed…I quite disagree. I bet she was a powerhouse of fun. And I don’t mean any disrespect—I just think she’d have been amenable to certain things others might not. Also, she probably had a highly developed tactile ability. And taste and smell as well! All was not lost.

    I am grateful for my senses. They allow me to do things like take a City College swing dance class. It’s taught by a wonderful gay guy and his partner. AND you are allowed, regardless of sex, to decide whether you want to be a leader or a follower—terms that I find kinda lame especially since I am the latter. So, there are a couple guys that follow and one lesbian lady leader. She’s actually really good. You have to rotate so you dance with a variety of people and get a real feel for what it’s like out there on the swing dancing circuit where all skill levels meet on the dance floor. We got good enough to learn the “barn dance”–a nice slice of Americana—and I think I whooped it up a little too vigorously because today I had to wear my trusty jumbo back brace and walk around Civic Center feeling fat and disabled. At least my shoes matched.