I woke up this morning at about three and couldn’t really feel my legs. I realized I had been sleeping on my cell phone plug. That was another one to add to the list of weird things I’ve woken up next to. Other things on that list include an orange, a lemon, my cat humping my blanket, hairballs, and a balloon with a face drawn on it. Strange things can happen in the night. When people are on sleeping pills it only gets weirder. One of my friends was prescribed some gnarly little blue pills and would “sleep eat.” This is a very dangerous prospect for someone like me who likes to eat in the waking hours. I’d be gi-normous. She woke up with her face resting on a tuna sandwich once. There’d be open jars of mayo and cream cheese and hot sauce bottles strewn across the floor. I think this is why they tell you to take a pill and hit the hay. Not take a pill, forget you’ve taken one already and take some more while standing in front of an open refrigerator. Poor girl. At least she found her cure: she falls asleep at parties.
Dang, am I ever grateful this heat wave is coming to an end. People go absolutely psycho nuts when it gets slightly above 70 degrees in this town. Panic sets in. This may very well be because they do not know what to wear. I have sold all my hot-weather clothes for a reason known to no one and so I just suffer. In very extreme weather I always feel bad for the bums. Either you’re soaked or stewing in your own bum juices. I walked by a bum who looked remarkably similar to one I used to see everyday in the Financial District. He was pretty dirty and he had the happy habit of exposing his buttocks. This time ‘round he was sitting so I didn’t get my expected treat. He was wearing a shirt that said “IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING”—quite possibly the most ironic t-shirt a bum can wear. I would have taken a photo but I always feel a little bad and rude about it. I did actually try to take a picture that would have cheered me up my whole life through. I saw a topless fat man doing tai chi in camouflage shorts in front of City Hall. I got to work and tried to look at it and the camera hadn’t taken the shot. And just when I was in need of some cheer.
I quit tap. I hate to admit I am a quitter because it’s so lame to quit stuff and I already think I have commitment issues, so I usually try to stick it out. But it was too terrible. I was by far one of the worst people in that class. All the other, older tappers would give me these sympathetic looks and try to help. And I can admit when I’m bad at stuff—like metalwork, another failed attempt—but it was getting to the point where I would loathe Wednesdays. I’d start panicking on Tuesday evening and it would peak at 5:30 Wednesday. Yikes…so I’m glad I had the courage to quit. I am, however, sorry to be missing out on the freak parade and my favorite Cosby-sweater wearing, uni-browed classmate. At the last class I went to he asked me if I had a snack he could eat.
It always wigs me out a little when people carry birds on their shoulders in public. Call me old-fashioned, but that sort of seems like the kind of thing you should do in private. This guy in tie-dye sat in front of me on the bus yesterday with a huge gray parrot on his shoulder. It kept sliding off his shoulder and picking at his moles and I just could not understand his insistence on bringing that jerky bird on the MUNI. I could see my reflection in his angry yellow eyes and all I could imagine was him hopping on my lap and biting me. Because that has happened to me and I’m sure that streak is not over.
Feeding the seagull is exhausting business. I feel like it’s a distraction, but to say so would be impolite. Every time freakin’ Cap’n Jack is even the slightest bit hungry, he knocks on the damn window. Last Friday I was given the task of putting on latex gloves and feeding him thawed out smelts. It sounds kinkier and far more fun than it really was. Some stinky fish juice landed on my foot. And now I have to fend off the other jerky two-footed gulls that try to eat Jack’s food. Yesterday there was even a crow. And two pigeons. We have slowly managed to make ourselves a working aviary right down the road from City Hall. And I have unwittingly become the new Bird Girl of the Tenderloin. Here is my pet:
This past weekend, my pop needed help with a self-portrait project for some photo class he’s taking. He asked me to help him with a death mask. There’s something very strange about slathering Vaseline and then plaster on your dad’s face. At one point one of the little straws I stuck in his nose fell out and I tried as gently as possible to shove it back in. I just ended up hurting him—I think—because all I could see was his body jerk around like a flapping fish. I’ve mentioned fish twice so far. I wonder if I can manage to somehow sneak one more fish-related story in somewhere.
I think I know how. Last night I was up late watching BBC America. On came a show I’d been meaning to catch since the preview—Love Me, Love My Doll. It was a documentary all about men who have formed “meaningful” and “loving” relationships with their Real Dolls. These dolls are really amazing and if I was lonely, rich, and sans any semblance of hope for a relationship with a real woman, I’d go out and buy me one of my own. They are fully customizable and supposedly feel like real women. They interviewed a woman who worked at the Real Doll factory and she said she’d had some interesting special requests: pregnant dolls, a doll that looked like an 80-year-old woman, and a doll with an over-abundance of pubic hair. I guess they ended up just sending the guy packets of additional hair so he could go as hella hair-happy as he liked.
The guys they interviewed were, as you can well imagine, characters. One of them was black guy named Davecat with emo bangs over one eye. His was an Asian doll—a pretty one with hooker hair and heavy eye make-up. They showed him lying in bed with her, rubbing her stocking feet. When she first arrived, he said, “…it was just sex, sex, sex…but now we use words.” He lives at home with his parents who just don’t understand. He feels tortured by his love for this doll. He still tries to date “organic” women sometimes but they end up just letting him down. I feel you brother.
Another guy was called Gordon and he was from Virginia. He had two dolls who were dressed in Wal-Mart attire. I don’t know how a factory worker can afford these dolls. Maybe there’s some kind of low-income, needs-based award offered. He admitted that the reason he did not have human female companionship was because he was very ugly. His words. He also said that before he got Ginger and Kelly, he was a doormat and that now that they’re in his life, he feels a sense of empowerment which I find refreshing. Disturbing…but whatever. Gordon also collects weapons like swords and semi-automatic guns—so his life, he feels, is full.
And these men cannot wait to get home to their dolls. They feel like they can go out into the world where real women exist and if they get rejected, man, it’s cool…I got me a hottie just waiting for me back home. And she never says no. One man took a lot of posed pictures with his dolls. He called them “family photos.” The dolls were doing things like reading books and sitting in lawn chairs in the garden. Gordon films himself with the two dolls. I took copious notes so as not to forget anything. I was apparently very impressed by this show. In one of the last scenes, Davecat sends his poor beloved on a two-week journey across the country for a tune-up. The repairman had dolls crammed in all over the place. He admits to having “tested out” a couple extremely attractive dolls which seems slightly unethical…not to mention a little gross. He tightened up Davecat’s doll’s limbs and cleaned her up because she was beginning to smell a little fishy. And there you have it—three fish references. And I’m only a little grossed out. For your viewing pleasure:
Yesterday I had to take a cab ride out to the Hall of Justice (which sounds a lot cooler and a lot more heroic than is actually the case) and it proved to be nothing short of amazing. Hailing cabs is one of my few and limited talents. On maybe a couple occasions it has not worked as expected. Like the time the cabbie angrily threw my umbrella at me through the rear window, or the time Vanna and I had to walk through the misty Santa Barbara morning looking like two soggy slags. The nice people at Carrows called us a cab.
Well, I waved down this cab right near the courthouse. I got in and realized I was in a movie. Had to have been. The cab driver was wearing a black leather cowboy hat with a matching black leather vest. And the soundtrack to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was blasting over the stereo. I kid you not. And he drove like a madman. I thought to myself, for sure, this is the way I am going to die…in some crazy cowboy’s cab. That would just be the way I die. When we finally stopped and I was paying up I told him I liked his music and he handed me his cell phone number in case I would like to request him specifically.
The Hall of Justice, like all government buildings these days, makes you go through a metal detector. I had to take off my big leopard belt and then the guard asked me if I was carrying a corkscrew and could I show it to him, please. Of course, I grabbed the other set of keys with the mace attached and he flipped out and told me I couldn’t come in. And they don’t do the courteous thing and just hold it. He told I could hide them someplace outside the building and then just hope they’re there when I get out. And lucky for me they were there where I left ‘em—in some bushes. There is nothing as awesome as carrying mace and a corkscrew. The two-prong attack is probably the most effective.
So, I sort of thought to myself, I need to make me some quick and easy money. I like making money basically just so I can travel. I ran through Craigslist’s “Etc.” job listings and thought I found what I was looking for. I could be a medical test subject. I have asthma and so I found a PAID asthma study and emailed them for more information. It was all good until I got down to what exactly would be required.
In a span of 8-12 weeks, I would need to go in to have blood drawn, my lung function tested and an EKG on three separate occasions. Then, in an 8x8x8 room, I’d be exposed to some ozone gas and then made either run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike for 30-minute intervals within a 4 hour time frame. 17 hours later, I would need to return for either some breathing test or some horrible procedure called a bronchoscopy.
“As part of this visit, you will have an IV placed in your arm and you will be given medications to relax you [this already sounds bad]. The back of your throat will be sprayed with a numbing spray [again, not liking the sound of it]. A small, flexible plastic bronchoscope tube (about the diameter of a pencil) will be passed down your throat and into your lungs. A number of samples will be collected from your airways…Following the bronchoscopy procedure nurses will monitor you for approximately 2 hours. You will need to be accompanied home by an adult companion.” Oh holy hell. That is just yucky. I like the way it casually describes this procedure. Almost like a spa visit. You will be relaxed and numbed and then a gnarly tube shoved down your throat. And the compensation for all of this? $1,100.00. It does note that you will receive a lesser amount if you don’t complete all your visits. I don’t think I can do it, though I feel Hawaii a-callin’ me.
What can be said about WonderCon but “damn.” I’ve been going for the past four years and every year I come away with a new take on the interesting and weird world of fanboys and girls. This year I made it a point to go to the Costume Masquerade. Right. Cart before horse. WonderCon is an annual convention held here in SF for comic book, sci-fi, and movie fans. It attracts ‘em from way far and wide and all levels of…shall we say commitment? I count myself a step below a fan. I’m just not. I like the spectacle; I like the parades of costumed die-hards; I like the bizarreness of it all. I’m not really into crowds so periodically I find myself having to take breathers with the other convention-weary.
This year I was so weary, I didn’t get any really good photos and so most everything I’m finna’ show you has been “stolen” from other people’s Flickr accounts. I think the highlight of my week (and possibly month) was the costume competition I began to tell about above. Mar, Grover, Bianca and I made a point to jockey for the best place in line and ran in to get the best seats we could. Before the show a guy was walking around handing out his “business card.” Here it is:
As groovy an image, it might better serve him to have…I don’t know, a name or phone number on it?
Once we were seated, the anticipation nearly killed us. What would follow can only be described as sublime. I sat there and was basically treated to 30-some-odd groups of people gracing the stage in costumes they’d made themselves. It was clear that half the people there didn’t know you had to put on a skit. So, they’d saunter across the stage looking 10 kinds of horrified. There were some who were very prepared like the troop of chubby red-headed belly dancers.
The rule was DON’T LAUGH. I think that was the only rule. But how can you contain yourself when 4 rotund girls step on stage as She-Ra and friends and dance and pull XXL-sized panties out of their bras and throw them on stage? Or what about when the Star Wars Good Guys disco danced and waved light sabers as the super old and crippled person playing Yoda just sat and swayed? There was some dumb bimbo who walked across stage all sexy and called herself the Queen of Heartbreakers. She flashed her crotch when she got to center stage.
Also in full effect: an amazing Spiderman 3 re-enactment, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, some anime kids who ended their performance with some DDR-inspired moves, a dancing gecko and the Sesame Street Yip-Yaps. It was incredible. I have not been simultaneously elated and horrified since that “I Can’t Find My Breadcrumbs” performance piece a few years back where the meanest black girl I knew flung herself on stage wearing a thong and a skirt made of rag strips. Amazing.
At the end, the Spiderman kids won and I think it was well-deserved.
Sometimes I feel like this must be it. Things cannot get better or be funnier. And then my brother’s girlfriend tells me about how some distantly related aunt ran off with some other married lady and raised their two kids (one of whom is called “Rico Suave”) in the suburbs. I guess this distantly related aunt met another lady she fancied and they had some brief encounter. This lady was just not sure she wanted to leave her family for this new life and so this distantly related aunt somehow stole a pair of the lady’s underpants and took them to a voodoo practitioner who cast some kind of lesbian love spell. We have yet to hear whether it has worked or whether she has missed her knickers.
In other animal news, I now officially have a pet seagull with one peg leg. I’ve named him Jack D. in honor of one of our badass clients who is a paraplegic cop killer. I believe this seagull must only be able to swim in sad little circles and so I’ve decided to take pity on him and feed him buttered bread or whatever’s handy. The woman I work with fed him a hard-boiled egg. He actually knocked on the window the other day to get my attention. I feel very blessed like some modern-day St. Francis. Anyhow, it’s a welcomed change from my usual role as victim of bird attacks.
Last Wednesday was my very first tap dance class ever. I’m turning over a new leaf. It’s time to step outside of my cozy comfort zone. And this class is sure to do just that. The room is small for the thirty or so people we’ve got in that class. Students at City College range from fresh-out-of-high-school teens to Tenderloin call girls to random twenty-somethings looking to do something with their free time to super drop dead old folks and everyone in between. And if you think about what a freak-infested town this is to begin with, just realize that a good deal of that freakshow population has, at any given point in time, gone to City College. And we’ve got a good healthy dose of freakishness in this tap class.
Kristin and I were sitting down waiting for the class to begin when in walks this guy with a unibrow, a Cosby sweater AND a page-boy haircut. I couldn’t have envisioned this any better. And he does a flying split-leap into the center of the room. And this was only the first few minutes of class. During the teacher’s talk, he sat there mumbling and doing floor exercises and did all these butterflies so as to flash his crotch. In our direction. He kind of reminded me of one of my uncles which is totally unfortunate.
The teacher kept getting irritated despite the fact that she’s very kooky and sweet. She had to lay the smack down a couple times on Cosby Sweater and once on this crazy red-head who kept asking questions in an attempt to get out of class early. “Can I add?” “Will there be enough space?” “Are these the right kind of shoes?” “Can you just add me now?” And then finally the girl looked like she was going to explode and she said (to the class), “Can I just tell a funny story? On my way to class I found a parakeet. But I don’t want the parakeet. I tried to call animal control but they wouldn’t come out for a parakeet. I don’t know what to do but I have to go.” It isn’t like a freakin’ wounded raccoon or man-hungry mountain lion. Then the teacher tried to tell some story about how some other student found a bird and it was the best tap class because no one tried to tap too hard. It struck me that maybe that someone was playing some practical joke because how random had this first 30 minutes been? And was this a preview of the next 18 weeks?
I’m one of those smug jerks who actually thinks they can conquer any challenge. But when the teacher made us tap in stocking feet I knew I was in for it. I think this class might kick my ass.
I have this feature on my WordPress account that lets me see what search terms people have used to find my site. Here’s a list of the big winners:
Model gay eye patch.
Brother makeup panties.
Allergy to Windex.
Fat girls wrestle.
Gum graft with cadaver tissue.
I am so appreciative of all the freak traffic I’ve got going on. I love it! If only the freaks would leave awesome comments on some stuff like, “Hey, Windex poisoning IS a very important problem. You wouldn’t be laughing if your eye swelled up the size of dang old golf ball!” Or, “You need more pictures of Asians girls with eye patches. I feel robbed.” And, I wish the real Baby Jessica would write me personally and tell me what the hell she’s been up to all these years?! Like, is she a party girl? Does she still fall down a lot? What are her views on Scientology? I think I might have found her on MySpace—it’s her assuming she never moved out of that crummy little Texas town. But right when I was going to click ‘Add as a friend?’ I found I couldn’t do it. I am so disappointing.
But…I have found my Doppelganger. Well, actually my friend Romeo found her online and showed her pictures to me and I showed her to Mario who just HAD to contact her and say: “You look just like my girlfriend! It’s creepy!” And it is. We pose the same way. We have the same bone structure! What’s crazier is that we even have the same interests like crafts and food and we both have sinus problems. I wish she didn’t live on the other side of the country or I’d force her to be my friend.
So. Sunday was Gravy Day and I think it was perfect because I was busy doing nothing but recovering from Friday and Saturday nights. We all were. Angela was in the kitchen in an apron by the time I reached Sasha’s house and before I even got in the front door I could smell the sausage a-simmering. There’s something so happy about that. And boy, it was so wrong what we were doing: sitting down to eat gravy, but it was that good, mischievous kind of “I-hope-we-don’t-get-caught” feeling—like smoking cigars in high school.
I actually brought the tater tots. Sasha made the biscuits. Angela whipped up some hash browns and later, Michelle brought out a taco salad to “healthy” it up. So, except for some lettuce, our meal was varying shades of brown/gray. And writing this makes me feel a little ill, but at the time it was freakin’ splendid.
I don’t know all these mystical spices crazy Angela used, but I do know sausage and bacon were involved—it is after all an ancient, secret Chinese-Texan recipe. We ate and watched an America’s Next Top Model—an irony that I am only privy to right now. Then we played like hours of video games. We sang karaoke and played Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero and Britney’s Dance Moves. I think we did this to feel better about what we had just done. Eaten sauce for a main course.
Saturday I did buck up and venture out into the Mission. The place we went to for glasses and glasses of wine was good. We all tried to drink our way around the world and hit all the continents/countries on the wine list but I only really went to France and Greece. Every recommendation our little server gave was terrible, but it’s wine and we’re not snobs so we drank it. Plus, we were distracted by our conversations about white water rafting, speed dating, and whether or not one of the girls should meet some possibly gay guy she’d met on the internet. Most of us voted yes, but she backed out anyway.
Incidentally, speed dating sounds terrible. My friend has gone to a couple of these events. She said you basically get a number and travel from seat to seat and have a 3-minute get-to-know-ya conversation with some dude. The three minutes is either too short or far too long. Upon just seeing this person for the first time, you’re supposed to write “Y” or “N” on some form they give you. Then you talk. I guess you’re supposed to keep a tally and at the end you enter all this info into the computer at home and you can see who picked you and whether you denied them which seems kind of mean. Most of them were undatable, she said. And three of them were cross-eyed.
Speaking of…Mario and Grover were walking around outside of the Girl’s Night Out bar and they saw amazing things. First was an Asian girl with an eye patch and a white beret. This to me is killer. She has stolen my look for ’08. I’m only partly joking. I like eye patches. Then they saw a bum with a mullet playing a guitar and singing the Spiderman theme song for an audience of…wait for it…other bums. Grover also got his nose smooshed by a crazy pool playing Indian dude in the bar who said, “You have a sexy nose…no, no, no, no.” Some people have all the luck.
I like to troll the obits sometimes for interesting stories. I’m not really all that morbid—I just think sometimes they can be very interesting. A couple of weeks ago there was a picture of a man with an eye patch and I was compelled to read his very long entry all about his affinity for the sea and making model ships in bottles. It could not have been more perfect. Today I happened to see a short news story about how Eddie “Bozo” Miller died at age 89. That is a fairly long life for a man “known for his amazing capacity for food consumption.” Apparently he ate 27 2-pound chickens in one sitting as part of a bet.
This past week I got an Evite from my friend asking me to come over and eat some country gravy. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten an invitation like this and so I had to reply “yes.” I think I said I’d wear my stretchy pants and possibly a scrunchie and my fake Uggs. I want to be comfy as I eat this gravy which I’ve only had once before but I do know is amazing. The other girls plan on eating it like soup which I find very disturbing. Shouldn’t it be like…on something? It is a sauce after all. I was told I could bring biscuits if I must.
I had a terrible semi-drunken dream last night. I was in a large, beautiful house in, I think, India and somehow a toucan got in and before I knew it, it was eating the baby parrot I loved so much. I kept screaming, “No, not the baby! Eat the mom instead!” I also had lots of dreams about swarms of ants and I really hated it.
Tonight is Girl’s Night Out in the Mission. For the longest I boycotted the Mission, or the “Mish” as I heard it called by disgusting non-native hipsters, because well, I didn’t feel cool enough. I still don’t. And then I think….wait a sec. I was born here. I know what the Mission was like before the dot-com invasion. I know that Taqueria Cancun does not necessarily have the bomb-est burritos. So, funk all that noise—I have some native rights here, don’t I?
Maybe what I need to do is explore some different part of the City. The Marina is out. The Sunset’s too far out. Downtown can be overwhelming. SOMA? I can learn to like the Tenderloin, I suppose. The TL and I have an interesting relationship. Mostly I hate it, but it does provide some amusement. Mario gets mad when I walk down Hyde from his. He walked with me the other day and, despite my assertion that it is relatively safe (especially when raining), we saw just oodles of crackheads looking for their next hop fix. I saw nuns, too, so that made me feel okay. Anyhow, I got a semi-anonymous email from someone in the Tenderloin that reads:
Subject: Hello from Kiyoshi in the Tenderloin
You look like someone I know. I am sitting here in my new apartment looking down at the city and doing searches on my space for tenderloin girl. lol
My name is kiyoshi and if you want to chat let me know. My myspace profile has nothing, I am 30 and I make music and I played where is my mind by the pixies for a talent show when I was in the tenth grade. I plyed drums and this girl sang. My friend byron was on guitar. Many acid trips later I became a producer. Well I hope you dont know anyone I know. If you do then fuck off I never even knew you.
I don’t even know when it was that I became a freak-magnet, but I suspect it was long ago because I barely batted an eyelash.