Friday, January 27, 2012

On Location, San Francisco

I'm trying.

Today is beautiful, and I woke up to find out that my plans for the day were later than expected, meaning that I was conscious early. (Only the French would start a garage sale at 2 in the afternoon on a Saturday.) Faced with the choice between wallowing in my stuffy dirty apartment, attempting to clean said apartment, and dragging myself out of the apartment early to enjoy the sunshine, I chose to throw some things into my long-neglected Google messenger bag (including the tablet PC I am currently typing this on) and leave.

Now I'm sitting in Ritual Coffee on Mission Street, surrounded by San Francisco. Surrounded by about ten iMacs, a scattering of eyebrow-pierced lesbians, and a lot of hipster guys wearing glasses and t-shirt hoodies.

This is the normal. I'm trying to take a picture of it, but it's not working out for me quite. Bad angle. As you can see.

The sky rained down on us last week, and this week it rained in a different sort of way. I'm definitely back on the uptick of this roller coaster.

It's funny. Now that I've kind of stopped caring about this town, and stopped trying to get something out of it, it's finally stopped kicking me in the ribs and started to provide a little. Perhaps that's the way to live in any city, in any town: don't try to grab onto what you can get from it. Let it all come to you. Or maybe just don't have expectations. (I think RuPaul said something like that on Season 2 of Drag Race.) (And yeah, I just admitted I watched a season of that show. Hey, it was on Netflix.)

Okay, time for me to go pick up a bun at King's Bakery -- I'm actually going to try to tackle the 7x7 Big Eat this year, as much as I can afford -- and head over to that garage sale. I'll be late at this point, but for the French I'll still be early.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Niners Flubbed It, and I Cocked Up My Beaver

I just spent about five hours standing in a bar, and now my feet and legs hurt like hell. I wouldn't mind it so much if there was a victory at the end of it all, but as luck would have it the San Francisco 49ers proved they still can't win an NFC Championship, so the pain is all for naught.

At least I can go back to not giving a shit about football again. I only gave a shit in the first place because my coworker James wanted to see the game with someone and asked me to join him. Otherwise I would have been "cleaning my apartment" (hahahah, that joke never gets old) and running errands like grocery shopping and maybe even a Goodwill run.

Day was not a complete loss: we did chilaquiles for brunch at SanJalisco (go there: hardly any wait on food and the place was packed with Mexicans, which says something about the quality and authenticity of the food), and really the first three quarters of the game were pretty good. Until the fuck ups started adding up and we had to face the fact that the Giants would be going to the Superbowl instead of us.


Last night, however, I did something at a bar on the other end of the spectrum: attended the annual Burns Night at the Edinburgh Castle.

Burns Night at the Castle

My ex actually suggested the event — we were both lame and had no plans for a Saturday evening — and it turned out to be a bit more surreal and entertaining than we had been hoping for.

Burns Night at the Castle

The featured celebrity was the guy who played bagpipes in So I Married an Axe Murderer (which I haven't seen, admittedly). Various special guests got up to read some of Burn's poetry to us, tell us fart jokes, and recite somewhat inaccurate history at us. (The problem with being a nerd, especially a British history nerd, is that I actually got bothered when someone was going on about how the Church of England was founded by Edward VIII, and how Mary Queen of Scots was under arrest and eventually executed by Elizabeth I because she refused to convert from Catholicism. Sorry, not quite true.) I even tried haggis, and while I won't say it won me over as my new favorite dish, it wasn't nearly as offal-awful as I had been led to believe. One more tick to my Belt of Adventurousness.

Tomorrow in San Francisco: getting my first facial. As an overly-generous Christmas present I got a gift card for a local day spa, and my company gave me a free day off for Chinese New Year (hooray for dragons!), so I'm using the combination of the two windfalls to see what this whole pampering thing is all about.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dripping Down Your Face Again

Ah, laundry! Finally, I get to do you after two weeks of waiting for the machines to be free, waiting for the right number of quarters, waiting for an evening where I wasn't occupied. If I admit that I love having freshly-cleaned clothes, does that make me old and boring?


I think, I hope, I've finally broken the streak of bad that attacked me the first two weeks of the year. The gums are mostly healed, the heartwound closing up into just another scar, the pride picked up and put back together in a semblance of a whole. The string of bad has died down, the tears have dried and I don't feel like I'm drowning in them anymore. All that's left is a lingering cough (which has moved up from the lungs into my sinuses, so now I'm coughing and have ear pressure problems, hooray), a hole in my mouth that catches stray lentils, and a messy apartment to cleanse of the stench of sorrow and dead 2011.

Last Saturday I hung out with old friends, some of whom I've known since 2000 (when we met in person - 1999 if you count when we met online). It was a mellow night of light drinking and little debauchery, and I pointed out that if the ghosts of our turn-of-the-millenium selves could see us now they might be a bit disappointed. Ten, 12 years ago there would have been a line of open liquor bottles in the room, and more laughing and nakedness and goofiness.

Despite the tameness, though, it was a good and cathartic evening. The next day I did brunch at Foreign Cinema for the birthday of Michelle, a friend from high school, hung over and tired but more at peace than I'd been since the year started. (That's not necessarily saying much, sure ...)

I miss my out-of-town friends. I especially miss having a best friend.

It started raining tonight, supposedly the beginning of a week of rain. This is SF: I'll only believe that when I see it. I miss a good, drenching rain.

On Monday I went and saw a short piece that my friend Jeremy had written for San Francisco Theater Pub. (By the way, this is a great, practically-free way to get some more theater in your life without all the muss and fuss of a formal theater house. Plus, you can drink beer. Or wine. Your choice.) It's the second time I've been to an SFTP event, and both times I've really enjoyed myself. Not a bad thing to do on a Monday night. I might even hit up the Valentine's Day event, to help me forget that I won't be getting laid that night.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Low Bar Getting Lower

Let's just call this a good week to have painkillers sitting around the house.

The (London) Suede song came into my head this evening, for no reason. I haven't listened to it in years, maybe not even since college or grad school.

First 10 days of the year: life kicking me in the ribs while I'm already down. All right, then, life. Keep kicking. Kick hard. Because when you stop, when I get back up and the bruises start to turn green, it'll just mean that I get to kick you back five times harder. Until you bleed.

Not being able to eat solid foods has turned me practically into a vegetarian for the week. (Besides the chicken soup, that is.) I don't like it. I'm not craving a big hearty steak (yet), but I'm blaming my current mood on the fact that meat just doesn't taste right when it's processed to the point where you don't even have to chew it.

I do, however, still like the fact that I get to eat a shit ton of ice cream.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oral Surgery Is for Chomps

Okay, okay, having your wisdom teeth out isn't as bad as I thought. Aside from the 30 minutes of screaming weeping once the Novocaine wore off from the procedure (and before the prescription meds kicked in), and the two times I spent ten minutes emptying my stomach into the Porcelain God, it's been pretty sweet.

Most of the weekend has been spent sprawled out on my bed, watching Futurama on Netflix. My mom and sister came over yesterday for a couple of hours, bringing curative supplies like chicken soup and ice cream and the World's Cutest Nephew, and my sister even spent some of that time cleaning my kitchen and fridge. The Ultracet, when not making me nauseous, keeps the world hazy in a rose-colored way, and I've gotten to indulge in multiple cat naps throughout the day. I'm actually feeling much better than I have almost all year.

Except for the fact that sitting upright for ten minutes straight is making me feel woozy. Time to crawl back into the bed with my ice cream and Diet Coke, and watch another episode.

Just hope that I stop looking like a droopy chipmunk by 9 a.m. tomorrow when I have to be back in the office. And no, people, I will not be posting pictures of that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Auntie Biotic

You could say I'm a bit stubborn about certain things.

I'm great about doing the regular keeping-up-with-one's-health stuff. I see my doctor for my annual physical (okay, so that's mostly so she'll keep prescribing me the pill). I see my dentist twice a year, get my cleanings and renew my oft-broken promise to floss.

But when something actually could potentially be wrong, I hold back. Not sure why. When my back had problems, it took me weeks to finally give in and call a chiropractor — and that was only after an entire day of being unable to roll out of bed without extreme pain. (By the way: it is amazingly humiliating to be unable to tie one's own shoes. Or put one's own socks on.) So I guess it can be no surprise that when my wisdom tooth started acting up, I had to be harassed into making an appointment with my dentist.

I guess I figured that I could wait the pain out — I already had my regular cleaning scheduled for the 19th of this month, a few weeks didn't seem like long to wait. So what that I couldn't chew for the pain sometimes, and opening and closing my jaw was uncomfortable? I got a tattoo, dammit! Pain is nothing. Rawr.

So what pushed me over the edge to finally picking up the phone? My coworkers (conversation paraphrased):

IK: What if something happens where you get trapped in the building for some reason? An earthquake could happen, you'd be stuck here for three or four days with the pain, and we'd have to yank your tooth out for you.
Me: Haha.
IK: James, you'd help us remove a tooth, right?
JR: Sure! I think I've got some needle-nose pliers around here somewhere.
Me: Actually, we've got a lot of dull scissors over there. You could use those to get my teeth out, I'm sure they'd work just fine.
IK: Sounds like a plan to me. We've got hand sanitizer, too, so it'd all be completely sterile.

End result, I've got a prescription for Amoxicillin, an appointment for extraction this Friday afternoon, and my plans for Friday evening completely shot. [By the way, you should go in my place: Anton Barbeau is completely hilarious and a fantastic singer-songwriter. This is the first time he's been in SF (that I know of) in years and I'm missing it. Can my week get any more evil?] (Don't answer that.)

I'm really hoping that this week is setting the low bar for the year. This, coupled with the cough that won't die, the unnoticed dumping, and the PMS, means I'm a sobbing mess all over the place. It can only get better from here, right?

The plus side:
  • They'll be taking a "panorex" X-ray thingy of my head, which will not only show my teeth and their roots, but also the nerves in my jaw and my mandibular joints. The nerdy part of me is excited, and I hope they'll give me a copy to take home and frame. Or at least email me something I can use as my Windows wallpaper at the office.
  • Maybe I'll get to take my teeth home with me.
  • Maybe there will be pain meds involved that I can enjoy the entire weekend by myself. Think of the blogging opportunities!
  • I've already got a batch of rice pudding I've made for myself sitting in the fridge. I should make a batch of Jell-O tomorrow night, too.
  • I have an excuse to stay home all weekend and just watch Netflix. Well, okay, maybe I would have done that, anyway, but now I don't have to feel guilty about it!

I'll put it out here now: offerings of chicken broth and Jamba Juice runs would not be turned away.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Last Year of the World

Just as I was starting up this post, my Old Man Ex texted me to wish me a happy new year, in relation to an old memory triggered by a song on the radio. Those are the kinds of things that remind me that I've done something right in this life, to deserve to still be remembered.

At any rate: Sure, yeah, I couldn't resist it, the (un)obligatory Year-Transition Post. I started to go through all the blogs I wrote in 2011, thinking to do a retrospective of sorts, and had to stop reading mid-March. The year ended up so completely different than I had expected back then. I'm not sure what to say about it. What to say that won't make me cry, that is.

2011, you left me with a lingering insomia-causing cough, a broken heart, a wisdom tooth-ache, and a extra plumpage. You left me restless, unhappy, disappointed, jaded. I want to start over, from where I ended 2010.

2011, you were also a year of accumulation and upgrade. New phone, new car, new debt, new tattoo, new computer. New weight, new sorrow, new resolve. All this (in theory) to prepare myself for this year, and its goal of purging and letting go. The goal that you finally kicked me in the butt to reach for, 2011. This is all you.

I'm supposed to be starting the purge right now, in fact: the closet was my goal on this, my free day off. Instead, I'm writing this blog. So much to being off with a fiery start.

I will shed off the old skin, and emerge shiny and new in 2012. Just in time for the end of the world. And that's fine, everyone. That's just fine. Because the end of the world just means that there's a whole 'nother new world coming around the corner.

The resolutions:

  1. Purge my life of crap: streamline the apartment, the belongings, the yarn stash.
  2. Purge the extra weight: streamline my body, my appearance, my diet.
  3. Purge my mind: of doubt, of hopeless hope, of sadness.

I'll probably update that list later. There's more, but I'm a blank right now.