Monday, December 03, 2007
No doubt there will be forthcoming Paris stories, but for now let's just say that due to a lapse in packing attention, Marja somehow managed to come to France with neither her pants, nor her socks. This meant that she spent our four days in the dress and tights she'd worn on the plane and...looked fabulous ALL THE TIME. It was really a remarkable thing to witness.
In more current news, last night while I was in the living room contentedly decorating my wee, yet costly, impulse-buy Christmas tree, my kitchen sink was ever-so-quietly filling with foul water that had been mysteriously regurgitated through my disposal. When I went in to make dinner, it was a nasty shock. Turning on the disposal made the water level rise alarmingly rather than lower. A plunger, even when wielded by a strong neighbor, did nothing. At an inch and a half from overflow level, I called the landlord who came and bailed the water into a bucket with the intention of doing further repairs today. All was well until the upstairs neighbor took a shower and the water crept back up the drain into my sink, filled with a revolting sort of silt that I can only hope the neighbor had not just washed from his body. The good news is that now I know how to fill my apartment with the delightful aroma of vomit without having to go through the exhausting process of actually vomiting. Woo hoo.
Speaking of the aroma of vomit, apparently an ice show is coming to town: Brian Boitano skating his heart out to '70s hits by Barry Manilow. Which, incidentally, Barry will be on hand to perform live. How is that a real show?
Saturday, November 17, 2007
1. 6-7am upstairs neighbors' accursed cat.
2. 7am-present next door neighbors' newborn infant.
3. 8:24am wrong number.
4. 8:33am next door neighbors' attempt to soothe infant with liberal application of techno music.
8:36 am. Okay, okay. I'm up, people. You win.
Also? I hate you.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Two things the French enjoy:
2. Labor strikes
Oh, how they enjoy a good labor strike. This time it's a transit strike which means the trains, buses, and metro are essentially shut down. Presumably the taxis are gleefully running to and from Roissy, but with the strike-induced traffic, I can only imagine how long that ride would take. Or, more alarmingly, what it would cost. 100 Euros? 200?
It kind of redefines the whole "bargain travel package" thing.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Two of the most distraught callers ranted about accountability and the need for San Franciscans to rise in protest. I was right there with them until BOTH of them mentioned their dogs. "I mean," said one, winding up the call, "I have an old dog who loves to run on the beach...and now he can't."
Seriously? With the scope of this disaster, you're primarily worried about how it affects your dog's routine? Well, ma'am. I'll be honest. You just lost me.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Is October 8 too early to cover the front of one's house with spooky cobwebs, witches, skeletons, etc?
The answer is:
Today the question is:
Is November 4 too early to erect a fully-decorated ten-foot Christmas tree in one's front room?
The answer is:
Let's all calm down here people. Do not let retailers entirely skew your sense of time. Halloween is not actually a month-long festival and Christmas is in December. Late December. If we start counting down before Thanksgiving, advent calendars are going to have to get a lot bigger.
1. NY, NY is a hell of a town
2. The Bronx is up
3. The Battery's down
4. The people ride in a hole in the ground
Oh wait. Wrong list. I already knew all that from "On the Town"
Here we go:
1. My mother is a very organized traveler
2. It is possible to become quite intoxicated on two glasses of sangria. Particularly at Alta.
3. There are still hotel rooms available in which countless thousands of people seem to have been smoking since, say, 1952.
4. On the 19th floor the windows only open two inches.
5. Even if the website says student tickets will be available if you come in person to the box office, there will be no student tickets available.
6. Jules and Talya live way, way too far away from me and my life would be much improved if they lived within sangria-drinking distance all the time.
7. The R will get you there, but not back.
8. The F train will get you back, but not there.
9. Many, many, many people enjoy running.
10. My father is a rock star.
Actually, I knew a lot of that already, particularly #'s 1 and 10. Oh, and #6--I am definitely all too aware of #6.
If I were a millionaire, or, heck, a billionaire, and I had a warmer coat, I would probably move. For this year though, two days will have to do.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Ruby's mother: We've got to take Ruby to school. She's playing the villain in a melodrama or something this afternoon.
Ruby's father: A melodrama? I don't think that's what it is.
Ruby: I'm playing a rabbit.
All assembled adults: A rabbit?
Ruby: Yes. But a rabbit is a villain to a garden.
All assembled adults: Ohhhhh.
Friday, October 26, 2007
2. Ditto celery root.
3. It is difficult to read by the light of one candle, even when the waitress, seeing your plight, brings you a bigger candle than anyone else has.
4. When the book is any part of The Divine Comedy, it will automatically be harder to read than any other book you might have thought to bring.
5. The first time you have dinner in a restaurant alone after a break up is far lonelier than you will be prepared for it to be.
6. If your recent ex was (and presumably is) a big fan of chocolate pudding--if chocolate pudding indeed was one of the major elements of your relationship--you may find eating chocolate pot de creme to be a bit heartbreaking.
7. This is a bummer because you love chocolate pot de creme.
8. When you are already extremely full, it is foolish to eat chocolate pot de creme even if (lucky you) you do not find it to be a particularly emotional experience.
9. If it is part of a prix fixe menu, you will eat it anyway (see #7).
10. When you are very, very full, it is even harder to read Dante.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Dante is just dozing when he is roused by the noisy approach of the spirits of the Slothful , who run continually around the Cornice crying aloud examples of Zeal and Sloth which form the Whip and Bridle for their meditation. The spirit of the Abbot of San Zeno, as he rushes by, calls out directions for the Poets' journey and tells them about his convent. Presently, Dante falls asleep.
And so do I.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Today was like that. I had a lot to bring in from the car, so after the first load, I just left the front door of my parents' house open. I went back to the parking lot, got the rest of my stuff, and came back to the house. I was gone for maybe seven minutes. I walked in, put everything down, and closed the screen door behind me. When I turned away from the door I saw something, sort of half registered it, and then did a complete cartoon double take. There was a bird about the size of a pigeon sitting on the window sill in the living room. This wouldn't have been such a big deal except that the window was closed and the bird was on the inside.
Seeing a bird inside the house is strangely shocking. The wrongness of it almost took my breath away for a moment. I was looking at it; it was clearly sitting right there, but my brain was saying: THIS SIMPLY CANNOT BE. The panic was soon to follow. Oh-my-god-that-is-a-a-big-bird-how-the-hell-am-I-going-to-get-it-out-of-here. I opened the screen door and just stood there for a moment trying to formulate a plan. Meanwhile, the bird looked at me, lept lightly from the window sill, flew toward me, and, making a graceful turn into the entry way, flew straight out the door. It sat for a few minutes on the porch railing before heading for the trees. Throughout our encounter, it was as calm as though it had just dropped in to pay a social call.
The equilbrium between inside and outside was restored almost as quickly as it had been disturbed, but I stared disbelievingly after that bird for several long minutes. When, at last, I reached to close the screen door, my hands were still shaking.
Friday, October 19, 2007
But who knows? Maybe as I walk home, I'll find a group of Frenchmen trailing behind me, entirely bewitched.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
After nearly two months of sleeping under a mosquito net, I have lately been wondering if it's still necessary. Am I no longer plagued by mosquitos solely because of the net? Or have the mosquitos, in fact, gone? And I'm just being a paranoid weirdo? It is, after all, mid October. How long can mosquitos even survive as the weather gets colder?
While the net doesn't bother me when I'm asleep, it does present some difficulties when I'm awake. For example, I can't turn the lights off and on once I'm in there, nor can I reach the snooze alarm. I am nostalgic for the old days when I could freely extend my limbs beyond the mattress perimeter.
Tuesday night, I kept the net open and was entirely undisturbed all night. I congratulated myself for my courage and foresight in having undertaken this experiment. Last night, filled with a renewed sense of well being, I left the net wide open again. At 2am I was awakened by an intense itching on the side of my neck. Soon after I heard the tell tale whine in my ear. I reached (easily) for the light, searched for the interloper, saw nothing except one stray fruit fly, turned the light back off and, groping in the dark, pulled the net closed around me.
And now I know.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We used to be so close. What went wrong? Why must everything I eat make me sick? Wait, I know. If you're food that won't make me sick, raise your hand; the rest of you, hands down. Okay. Great, great. Thanks, seltzer water. Thanks, rye crisps. I'll be seeing you at dinnertime.
Dear Men in my Building,
I know you. You are all quite fit. Really--looking good, fellas. So, why have you all adopted the Fee-Fie-Fo-Fum tread? You are not giants. You are not even slightly overweight. Why the crazy stomping? Could you please stop? Because you're waking me up. Thanks, bye.
Dear Fruit Flies,
Fun is fun, but it's time to go.
Dear Neighborhood Cats,
Shut up. No, really. Shut up.
Dear Lady Upstairs,
Before you moved in there was a family with a toddler in what is now your apartment. This toddler used to run flat-footed up and down all day over my head. Things in my apartment shook. It was noisy. I didn't like it. Fortunately, you don't have any children of your own (you do have a stompy boyfriend, but I've already written to him, so don't worry). Why then, have you been compelled to borrow someone else's flat-footed toddler? I can't imagine any reason that I would get up at dawn every morning, go out to borrow a small non-verbal creature, bring it back home, and let it run wild in my apartment. And yet, that's what you do. Huh. Weird. Do you think you could stop? 'Cause you're waking me up.
I'm sorry to tell you this, but I'm not really enjoying your long, long poem. Do you have any idea how I can write a paper about it while secretly really writing a paper about something else? Like maybe Jane Austen? I'd appreciate any tips.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Guy #1: What are you gonna do today?
Guy #2: I don't know what I'm gonna do. [Pause] These shoes are telling me I should do what I wanna do.
Foolishly, I didn't even ask my shoes for their thoughts this morning. They probably would have had a better proposition than "walk to work." Next week, I'm definitely going to check in with them before we leave the house.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
"Although the program notes characterize the piece as dark and lugubrious, it's actually rather playful and matter-of-fact, a reflection of Russian acceptance of life's inequalities and perils."
Roy C. Dicks; Russian Reality (dance review); The News & Observer(Raleigh, North Carolina); Jun 16, 2007.
I find this unaccountably hilarious. Mostly though, whether the dance be dark and lugubrious, or a playful reflection of Russian acceptance of life's perils, I find that I'm not particularly keen to see it.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
His mother caught up to him and, to my surprise, pulled his pants down at once. She guided the wriggling boy toward the curb, took his tiny penis between her thumb and forefinger and directed his stream of urine toward a tree. Apparently bladder control was not one of his superpowers.
Fortunately, I don't think there were any arch villians in the vicinity at the time, because that kind of thing can be damned embarrassing.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I truly don't know where they came from or where they are having their little fly orgies that result in still more flies. Nevertheless, I've done my best to dissuade their permanent residency. Basically, aside from the wild clapping campaign, my strategy has been to put all my fruit in the refrigerator.This is quite a sacrifice
since I am a fruit bowl user generally and don't actually enjoy cold fruit. Still, desperate times....
Imagine my dismay then when I opened the refrigerator this morning and four flies flew out quite cheerfully from its chilly depths.
What then? What then must I do? Burn down the house? I can just see it now, all my worldly goods smoldering in a black heap on the sidewalk. And what's that moving above the cinders? A plume of smoke? Why, no. I believe it's a little cloud of fruit flies.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Like a bad and hard soldier, I got very very brave. I used to be very very scared of crickets. One night one got on me. I was about to scream at the top of my lungs, but I just looked at it and was like wait, it’s going to be alright, that cricket can’t do nothing, it’s not going to bite you, and it just flew off. And I said wait, that’s just a harmless little bug.
Monday, September 24, 2007
When she was opening her presents, she always said her thank you's and frequently said, "These are the best presents ever." Still, who among us has never made a faux pas? She opened a big present and said happily, "A kite!" "Wow. It's a pirate kite," said her mother. Sophie, fairy-loving child that she is, replied, "I don't like pirates." Instantly, she knew her mistake. You could actually see the dismay flicker over her face. "But I love Uncle Billy's present, though!"
Nice save, Sophie. Emily Post would be be proud.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Nevertheless in the spirit of looking at the bright side of life here are three nice things from today:
1. Whole Foods sells oatmeal in the morning. They even have brown sugar and raisins and milk there. This may not strike you as exciting, but when you are obliged to go to Whole Foods at 8am because you forgot to buy flowers for a work event, hot oatmeal is very welcome indeed.
2. Dahlias. One bunch is dark pink and the other is purple. I find them so cheerful that I would like to just carry them around with me.
3. This morning I heard the Mill Valley song on the radio. I learned it in elementary school, but apparently it was an international hit before I was born. Go figure. I sang along. I got all misty eyed and nostalgic about my home town. Aww.
That's it people. That's all I got. I hope to be funny again sometime soon.
Friday, September 14, 2007
French onion soup is delicious. Why is it delicious? Because in the wee tureen of steaming onion broth, there is also half a pound of melted cheese and a quarter of a baguette. When you have onion soup from a can both the cheese and bread are necessarily, albeit tragically, absent. Therefore, onion soup from a can is not delicious. Not at all delicious.
Heed my words.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Speaking of hell, we spend a fair amount of time discussing it in my Dante class--quelle suprise. Yesterday the professor asked us to share our own notions of hell. One woman said, "Well, what about here? Marin County?"
Um...right. Or Darfur. Whichever.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
This morning I used it for the first time. It tastes sort of like baking soda and glue sprinkled with cinnamon. What's more, it lingers for hours. I'm not sure if it's meant to promote oral health or general health or if Crest just wants you to know where they stand on the general question of health, but one thing is clear. If this is the taste of health, I'm going to have to side with illness.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Today my printer revealed to me a previously unseen error message. It stated that Tray 3 was not programmed and then gave me two options, one of which I was to select.
- Resolve all problems for me automatically.
- I will resolve this problem myself.
Oh, Option One, I knew you had to be out there somewhere. Goodbye insomnia. Goodbye indecision. Goodbye worry. Hello Option One.
If you see me around town dragging a massive printer behind me everywhere I go, you'll know why.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Today though, I noticed my actual desktop. You know, the top of my wooden desk here in physical reality. It turns out that my real desktop is a good deal less tidy that my virtual one. Not only are there dozens of documents that ought to be filed into real labeled folders, there are also scores of little scratch paper notes to myself, five pens, a calculator, a message pad, a notebook, a phone extension list, a variety of loose power cords, an envelope sealer, a plastic cup, a saucer, a small teapot, a long spoon, a pitcher, a tee shirt, and a slightly used kleenex. If the IT guys came in here to replace this computer, they'd have to excavate it first.
Here's what I'm thinking: I go to the garage and get a big cardboard box. I sweep all this stuff into it and with a big black marker label it: Misc. from Desktop. Then I'll just put it on the corner of my desk.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Last night I was awakened by something. I lay in the dark listening for the mystery disturbance. I could hear nothing alarming, just a little muffled repetitive noise that I identified as a carpet sweeper being run back and forth over the same crumb-covered bit of rug. Then I realized that no one in 2007 has a carpet sweeper and that the apartments in my building have wood floors.
What else makes a muffled repetitive noise late at night? Oohhhh. Right. That. Now I'm all embarrassed.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
However, this translator's explanation from the end of Canto I is already worth mentioning:
The gay Leopard is the image of the self-indulgent sins--Incontinence; the fierce Lion, of the violent sins--Bestiality; the She-Wolf of the malicious sins, which involve Fraud.
All right, I think I can agree that bestiality counts as a sin, but incontinence? Surely not. Messy, yes. Humiliating, yes, but not a sin. Even to call it "self indulgent" seems a trifle harsh.
[Okay, okay. If you really want to know, incontinent can mean "unchaste," but I'll be that's not the first thing you thought of either.]
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Cut ahead dream style. We, the viewers, are standing in a cave where a youngster is proudly displaying some kind of peculiarly textured what? hide? on a rack. In front of it is a little rack of bottles filled with yellowish liquid. Apparently, the villagers have managed to extract olive oil from the bologna and then they have made it into a kind a jerky which they split among themselves and chew for two years.
When I woke I spent some time considering what exactly constitutes a nightmare and whether a drying rack of bologna jerky would be allowed to count. I decided that it would.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Last night I heard an ad on the radio soliciting support for a summer camp for terminally ill children. They said that this exciting summer escapade would create "memories that will last a lifetime." Which, when you're talking about terminally ill children isn't saying a whole hell of a lot. They may want to rethink that.
Friday, February 16, 2007
-- Advisory: This movie contains mild violence, mature themes and false and defamatory claims that "TV kills your brain cells."
I don't even really know what to say about this. Is this somehow legally required? Or is it a weird joke by the reviewer? Have we ever seen a joke in that section of a review?
But it has to be a joke, right?
Let's just stick with that theory.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Everyone knows that roses and chocolate make perfect Valentine's Day gifts, but what if your relationship hasn't reached the dozen roses stage? Finding a gift that reflects your feelings for your "friend" can be stressful. What should you do if you're not sure just how special your special someone is? Trader Joe's recommends a jar of marinated mushrooms with garlic. They are wonderfully flavorful and at just $2.69, your budget will be in line with your feelings. Of course, if you're sure, TJ's also has a large assortment of roses and chocolate at great prices, but a jar of marinated mushrooms with garlic is a great way to say, "I like you, but let's not rush into anything."
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Now clearly I haven't been through any extensive police training, but if I found someone in the trunk of her car, I probably wouldn't go with suicide as a first guess. These police officers have apparently never seen any movies. At all. Because if the cinema teaches us anything it's that dead body+trunk of car=murder. Unless there is also suikidnapping involved, which, obviously, changes things.