Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hard Hat Area

I am working in a construction zone. It makes for an interesting change, but isn't super condusive to accomplishing anything. I'm temporarily housed in a conference room while my actual office is being built. It's freezing, but we're forbidden from using space heaters since they will short out our computers. I'm not too sure which bathroom I'm allowed to use and I don't have a garbage can (not that I'd use it in lieu of a bathroom, mind you, I'm just saying.)My boss is alone on another floor so having him sign letters has become a sort of field trip.

Mostly though, we are infurating the construction workers. They do not want us here. Really. We are significantly in their way. I just got an email about a mandatory safety meeting at which I imagine we'll be informed that we are required to wear hard hats and steel toed boots to work. Here's another idea. Why not close the building? I know. It's revolutionary, but since we're embracing a safety-first attitude, why not go the whole way? I guarantee that I'd be safer at home. I promise. It's so safe there that I don't even OWN a hard hat.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Funny or not funny? You be the judge.

Um...raise your hand if you think Laughing Sal is the creepiest thing you've ever seen. I know it's hard to tell from there, but my hand is definitely in the air. The only really good news about the restoration is that Sal is now quite a bit farther away from me than she used to be when she was at the Cliff House.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I am cleaning out my office (a loathesome task, I assure you, but we're moving and it can't be helped) and I keep coming across scraps of paper on which I've written overheard things students have said in the hall.

1. "If you're going to go to the trouble of saying 'alas' why would you spoil it by saying 'alack'? Why did they even invent 'alack'?"

2. "I'm not that into breathing, connecting to my soul, and standing on one foot. Pilates is more like breathe, connect with your soul, and do a lot of sit ups."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

There goes the neighborhood

I am not an athlete. You know this. Everyone knows this. I announce it immediately--right after making clear my opinion of cats. This means that I don't ski or skate or bike. This means that I don't play anything that could remotely be considered a "sport," including lighthearted passtimes such as volleyball or, you know, catch.

Thanks to my dear friends Anne and Peter, though, I have found one exception. Bocce ball. I love bocce ball. I'm not even particularly good at it, but every so often the fates allign to make it seem like maybe I am. It's perfect. There's no running, no one throws anything at you, you don't have to catch, you don't have to hit a ball with a stick or anything remotely stick-like.

Imagine my shock then, to read that the proposed construction of bocce ball courts in Clayton has its residents up in arms. Who are these people? And why are they not terribly grateful and excited, one wonders? Instead, they're going around saying things like this:

 "You just worry about what that does to your neighborhood. It brings in a
lot of people that don't obviously live here," she said. But, she added,
"I have nothing against people playing bocce ball."

They're saying other things too.

But perhaps I'm being unjust. It is a slippery slope, after all. It starts with people who don't obviously live there playing a friendly game of bocce and next thing you know they're smoking crack in your garden and corrupting neighborhood youth. And from there, really, can shuffleboard be far behind?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Even your hands?

How is it that even after all this time I still haven't quite got the hang of sunscreen application? After a windy picnic in the park, I'm in good shape except for a bright red right ankle, three scarlet knuckles on my left hand, and a burning right wrist.

Oh. You mean you have to put it on all your skin?

Thursday, May 19, 2005


On the N, a Dutch man is telling a French woman how he finds himself in San Francisco.
"...That's why I left Holland. I couldn't stand it much longer. In Holland people hold you back. If you act crazy, people are like, "Heck no.'"

Gosh darn those Dutch.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Stop the presses

I heard this on the radio news this morning, "It turns out that a grenade lobbed at President Bush during a visit to Eastern Europe was intended to harm him."

Do you think there was a crack team of experts working that one out?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I'm driving home around 10pm. I make a left at the unremarkable intersection of Geary and Stanyan where to my surprise, a full-sized chartered tour bus is double parked. I turn to see what perviously overlooked San Francisco site is worth a visit. It is a Kinko's.

If you're ever in town, don't miss it. Apparently, it's a really good one.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Change of pace

I went to the late show of Millions. There were eight of us in the theatre; six of us alone, and one couple. It was intensely satisfying to outnumber them.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Or suspenders

Dear Young Man I Passed on My Way to Work,

When you find that your pants are so loose that you must clutch several inches worth of waistband in your fist in order to actually walk, it may be time to rethink your style. You might start by purchasing (dare I say it?)a belt.

A Well Wisher

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Maybe later

A beautiful young woman and her friend sit behind me on the N Judah. She is upset about a breakup and her friend tries to console her. First he gives her that thing about how she has to be ready in herself--how she must love herself--before she can be with someone else. I feel confident that she already knows this. He then tells her tales of his own breakup of yore, in which, to hear him tell it, he was the very picture of calm acceptance when his girlfriend up and left him.

"You must live life on life's terms," he says, "not your terms. The reason I'm not upset about Lily is because we had so many good times together. Did you and this guy have good times?" She nods. She is crying. "So, you see?" he continues, "instead of thanking life for letting you have this time with this amazing person, you just want more."

She replies, "You know, I can't focus on his amazingness right now. Right now I need to focus on his blindness, his ineptness, his throwing away the best thing that ever happened to him..." her list goes on as they step off the train.


Bend to my will

It is I, your cyber leader, wielding my cyber power.

Do you live here? Here in the Bay Area? (And don't lie because there are only about ten of you reading this and eight of you do live here.)Well then, you must go the PlayGround Festival. Seven wonderful new short plays by local writers. Brilliant cast. Certainty of liking at least one play. Convenient downtown location. Nothing about it is bad.

The ticket price you say? Please. It's completely reasonable. Besides, I heard the Stones are charging $454 for their concert. It's all about perspective.

I will see you there, or you will know my displeasure.


A group of girls gather in the hall chattering excitedly. It is one girl's birthday.

"Oh my god," says her friend,"you're 18!" They ponder the amazing fact of being a legal adult. So many doors are now open for them. "You can do whatever you want now. Let's...let's...go to a rated R movie!" says the friend. They all laugh.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Join him!

I've been re-reading Join Me! by Danny Wallace. I recommend it to you. Well, most of you. There are probably four or five of you who wouldn't like it, but that can't be helped.
It's full of things like this:

"I rapped on the door. By which I mean I knocked on it, not that I did a little MC-ing. But, if I had've done a little MC-ing, it would've been quite angry stuff, like NWA when they're on about the Rodney King incident. Only I'd have made it less about police brutality and more about old Devon men ripping young folk off with their made-up stories of broken down cars. And there I think you'll find the main difference between British and American crime."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Better not to know

I just received an email from J. Crew.
Subject heading: Introducing our jeweled-critter bikini.
I didn't open it.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I do believe that this is the blogging temptation that I am meant to resist strenuously. Sadly, I am weak. Therefore I am about to tell you several things about which you will not care at all. Ready?

I was just siting at my dining room table (a misnomer, really, as I have no dining room. However, if I did, I would put this table in it.) which I very seldom do--a pity since it gives me a nice view of the immediate neighborhood. I discovered the following things.

1. It is raining in a very pleasant springlike way. Rainy Sundays fill me with happiness, whereas most Sundays fill me with a poisonous depression, so I am, well, happy.

2. About a year ago, the people across the street made an effort at painting their house (not a bad idea at all), but have gone only from the bottom of the garage to the first floor windowsill. As far as they could reach, in other words. Since then, they have made no effort to improve the top two thirds of the house--either by hiring a professional or purchasing a ladder.

3. These same neighbors suddenly have a baby in the family. I am totally unable to discern if the baby is the brother of the teenage girl, or if he is her son. Most worrying is the fact that despite living directly across from them for years, a nine-month period went by when I did not notice AT ALL that one of those women was pregnant.

4. The inside of my teacup is coated with such an alarming brown stain that, instead of a teaspoon, I am considering laying a toothbrush in my saucer so that I may do some vigorous brushing between sips.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


I feel quite certain that if I were personally acquainted with this bear, my life would be far less tiresome. He is delightful. I thought so when I first came across him in January. Then today, after reading his interview, I have perhaps become even more smitten.

In a seemingly unreated incident, I was just coming up my seldom used back stairs from the back alley where our trashcans are kept. There, on my tiny porch, I found a lone gummi bear, a bit swollen by the rain, but still recognizable. I have no notion where it came from.

How many small ursine encounters is it reasonable to have in one day?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The good ol' days

To my delight, I have discovered that I have access to old radio dramas via inernet radio. I'm addicted to them.

Phillip Marlow asks "Where're you going?"

The hard boiled dame replies, "I'm going back to my place for an old fashioned cry. Or maybe just an old fashioned. I haven't decided."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Salmonella in a citrus glaze

I flatter myself that I have a fairly good grasp of the English language. Not the fancy words, maybe, but the basic words I think I've got. Therefore when I see the words "sell by" I am not confused. I assume that the sell by date is the date by which something should be...sold. After that, presumably, there is, say, a two day grace period to actually consume this product. Otherwise it would be a "consume by" date, right?

And yet, I have apparently just purchased ingredients to make a marinade for my rotten chicken. Again. This is never my original intention.

Today is May 3. The sell by date is May 5. Nevertheless, opening the package evoked the gag reflex. Not good. This is now the third time this has happened to me. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this whole affair is that, having experienced the exact same thing twice before, I continue to be astonished when it happens.

Corn Flakes, anyone?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Try champagne

There is an ad in the New Yorker that reads: "Promise her anything, but give her a chicken..." Under this, in smaller italic print, it says "Fine gifts from France."

Guess what? If you want to give her a fine gift from France, don't give her a chicken. Particularly if you've been promising her all manner of other things. Just trust me on this.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Damn. I was aiming for CEO.

My old bathing suit basically disintegrated along the back seam. I don't really understand why, so I've decided it's because I am getting so strong, developing such an impressive swimmer's back, that my bathing suit couldn't withstand it and began to stretch to its very limit-- Incredible Hulk style. Or it may have something to do with chlorine. Whatever.

I am in the locker room in my brand new bathing suit. There is one other woman there.

"I like your bathing suit," she says.
"Thank you!" I reply brightly.
"You look like a secretary," she says, not without admiration.