Saturday, October 30, 2010

These Things Do Happen

Dear Anonymous Driver on the Bridge,

I just wanted you to know that when you paid for my toll on the Bay Bridge today, it was exactly what I needed. Not sure if you could tell that I was having to scrounge for that fifth dollar, but your unexpected gift to a stranger came at exactly the right moment in my life.

Thank you — it's nice to know that people can still be pretty awesome.

Love and blessings,


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Over the Moon and Under the Influence

Dear Friends Ken and Elsie, if you read this:

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You totally missed out on awesome.

I woke up this morning with a terrible hangover. Had gone out to an art gallery opening last night with the Ceramics Crew, and then joined Leonie and Gabe for drinks at 83 Proof. I blame Leonie: she kept encouraging refills on my bourbon, and before I knew it I was three sheets to the wind and four drinks down in a two-hour period. (I also thank Leonie, since she was nice enough to foot the bill on my drunkenness. I owe you a few, girl — and it's good to see you again.) Cabbed it home and could barely see straight when I walked in the door.

The rainy gray day I (eventually) woke up to was perfect; I ended up just staying in bed until past noon, emerging every once in a while to down another glass of water. By the time I rolled out of my apartment, say around 5:30 or so, the rain had reduced down to a heavy mist, and the Giants-Phillies game was well under way. Stopped at the local Toast Eatery, watched a few innings over a BLTA and almost felt like a real San Franciscan (in a good way, Geof ... not in a douche way). It was a good night for Bay Area sports.

The Trashcan Sinatras played tonight at Cafe du Nord's upstairs venue, the Swedish American Hall. I'd never been there, didn't know what to expect, but it was a nice experience. No drinks, but it's a quaint interior, and the sound was fantastic from my second-row-back seat. Was chatting with a few of the TCS-regulars (the band has a small, but fairly rabid following ... so you go to enough shows, you start to see the same people over and over again, which is awesome), and realized that I'd been a fan of these guys full on half my life. I suppose that's not such a big achievement, except for the fact that they're still around, still making music, and I'm still able to see them live. Also, they are still fucking awesome; every time I go see them in concert, it reminds me once more why they are my favorite band of all time.

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Pure bliss.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Exploding Comedy

Of late, I've been drinking a lot of seltzer water, slowly using it to replace the Diet Coke in my life. It's additive-free, calorie-free, and somewhat cheap. Kind of like water ... but bubbly. (Wait ... isn't that exactly what it is?)

I buy the two-liter bottles from Safeway. Today I finished an old one and went to open a new bottle. I twisted the top off, and was suddenly drenched in an explosion of fizzing wetness as the contents, under pressure, exploded out from under the cap.

After a three-second pause to assess my soaked shirt and the puddles on my counter top and cutting board, I burst out laughing.

Seltzer water is fucking funny. Whether that's because it's such a pervading feature of old slapstick comedy, or if it's just really funny on its own, I'm not completely sure. But it is. Funny.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Backing Up

Chiropractors are like mechanics.

They overwhelm you with information, explain what's wrong in words that you think you remember from high school biology class, do a little adjusting, and you still walk out of there wondering if that was worth the $100, or if you just got taken for a ride.

I'm not saying my chiropractor is a bad one — from what I understand, the fact that she's only recommending three sessions total, instead of 10 or more on top of X-rays and other thingies, is a good thing. She also seemed really confident that my back pain is fixable, so long as I take care not to sit so much, and to have proper posture when I do.

Only problem: I sit in front of a computer for a living, and most of my hobbies (knitting, ceramics) involve being hunched over in an improper position. Oops.

Admittedly, the back feels better, even though it still hurts from time to time. And on a positive note, trying not to sit in front of the computer for long periods of time has forced me to do some good things, like sleeping enough at night and cleaning the apartment a little. Downside: no Krav for at least another week or so (I've already missed the last two or three weeks), and my Hulu viewing is down to bare minimum. Life is totally hard.

My second appointment is tomorrow evening. Because I know how to spend my Friday nights in style.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day of 42

I know that summer is over when my shoulders actually start tanning again. But that's because I live in San Francisco. Most other towns I'd be dragging out the sweaters again, instead of just leaving them at home like I have been lately.

The last two weekends have been glorious in their packed Saturdays. The first weekend in October, I convinced my friend Elk to come with me to Dixon's Lambtown USA. I've been intending to make the trip out to this fair for years, ever since I was dating Sweetness and driving by the billboard for it on the way to Woodland. Never was able to make it — either I'd forget the weekend and miss it, or have something else planned for that time — but this year I made a resolution to go, wrote it into my calendar, tried to talk my knitting sister into joining me. (She did not, alas.) Totally worth it: it's a small festival, something completely unlike the overcrowded chaos of fairs and festivals that you come across in the Bay Area. The entry fee was dirt cheap ($2), there was easy parking ($5, across the street, and it only took two minutes to walk from my parked car to the main entrance), and the food was actually well-priced:
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This plate was $6 for the whole thing. In SF, it would have been $12, easy.

This year was the second one in which the lamb festival had joined up with a regional alpaca festival ... which meant that the whole place was heaven for a meat-eating animal-fiber-loving knitter.
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They look deliciously soft and mellow.

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Sheep-shearing competition. Seriously.

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Holy crap a lot of sheeps.

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Part of the petting zoo someone had set up in the middle of the festival. There were also ducks, and bunnies, and puppies, and kittens, and crazy chickens.

I also picked up a cheap incredible sheep skin, something I've wanted for a long time. It's kind of like this one from Ikea, but thicker and brown and so much softer than anything the Swedes can pump out of their clean lines of design. I have it draped over the back of my desk chair at the moment, and it makes me so incredibly happy, you'd probably be sick if you saw it.

I'm definitely going again next year, if at all possible.

After Lambtown I had to head down to Mountain View for my sister's birthday party, which was interesting, and slightly reminiscent of the parties I used to have at my place in high school: lots of food out for munching, people hanging around, doing their thing with music in the background. Funny.

This Saturday, my ceramics friends got together with some others for a BBQ in Golden Gate Park, oysters featured as the main dish. We got there just as a kid's party was finishing up, and they left us their awesome bounce house to jump around in for a couple hours until the rental company came by to pick it up.
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I haven't been in one of these for years. Chuck and Norma had a great time.

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Meat and oysters

It's Fleet Week in SF this weekend, so every once in a while there would be some awesome aerial work overhead. I'd been watching the practice runs for a couple days already from my 39th floor view at work, but it was still great to see them from the point of view of below.

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Doing a loop. Hard to see the plane.

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The crowd watching the Blue Angels.

After the barbecue I headed to a party at Claire's house, where about 90% of the attendees were French or fluent French speakers. Most of the time when I was part of the conversation they were polite and spoke in English, but I really had my work cut out for me when they lapsed and started going on in le fran├žais. There was a point where I was just drunk enough to be able to speak in decent sentences and participate fully in a conversation, but it's pretty obvious that my foreign-language skills are utterly un-keen. Definitely time to start practicing again, maybe take a couple refresher courses to re-instill some vocabulary in my wee brain.

On an unrelated note, I think I threw out my back, but not sure how. All I know is that I have problems picking things up off the floor, and even rolling over in bed hurts like hell. My primary care physician recommended a chiropractor that's local to me, so I may have an appointment for a session soon. Question: when the hell did I get so old? My body has betrayed me. Sob.