Monday, December 22, 2008

Just kidding

See number 9 on this list?


It is here. The Traditional Christmas Cold has arrived. I would stay to complain about it longer, but I have to go gargle with salt water for a while and then go back to bed.


Midnight miscellany

1. Last night at Evany and Marco's party, everyone looked fabulous. It was like my fantasy of my grownup life come true. Men in ties, women in cocktail dresses. Everyone standing in companionable cocktail party clusters chatting attractively. Just what I always wanted.

2. I saw MILK at the Castro this afternoon. It's been playing there nearly a month, so I assumed it would be me and maybe twenty other people, but the line stretched down the block. To see Harvey Milk's story in a sold-out house at the Castro where we all smiled at each other even as our umbrellas dripped unpleasantly on one another's shoes, where people clapped like mad for the organist before the movie even began, where there was (and always seems to be) an enormous feeling of good will... Well. That felt like a huge privilege. I am proud, proud, proud to live here.

3. The bus stop at Haight and Divisadero is strangely convivial late at night. I did not previously know this, but I was there at 2:30am on Friday night (Saturday morning) and just now, as well. People are chatty and bond over the ridiculousness of waiting for a bus in the middle of the night. People go out of their way to not seem scary since after midnight is a wary time among strangers. On Friday (Saturday for sticklers) I was coming home from the klezmer madness party I'd been at (really--accordions, clarinets, a drum, a bass, a viola, a violin, a bed tipped on end to accommodate them all) and the bus didn't come for a very long while. In the end, a man named Amir offered to share a taxi with me and then wouldn't let me pay for my leg of the journey. Thanks, Amir.

4. I have a crush on this band I just heard. Ramon and Jessica. They are charming in such a way that you want to put them in your pocket and keep them with you all the time.

5. Daniel and I were dancing in the lobby of Cafe du Nord as people cleaned up around us. The song over the speakers may have been "You Send Me."

D: I start my house-sitting gig tonight.
K: Oh yeah? You didn't tell me.
D: Yeah. A cat named Jack.

[We continue to dance for a while in silence.]

D: An actual cat. Not a guy named Jack who I call "cat" because I play jazz.
K: Oh. I'm glad you clarified that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry and bright

You know what? I'm happy. I like it.

It's just a little mixed bouquet of things.
1. We had some impressive hail earlier in the week and I was safe in bed at the time, which, of course, is the very best place to be while listening to hail.
2. Having lost my normal gloves, I've been wearing elbow length leather gloves that are the color of boysenberry yogurt.
3. I'm going to an album release party for an accordionist tomorrow and just the very idea of such a thing makes me smile.
4. I bought jolly gifts for my family. Including a book about a chicken who goes on big adventures.
5. People I love are soon to be coming into town from distant places. (Are you listening, Jules? I'm still counting on you.)
6. I feel myself sneaking into my winter break schedule during which I stay up far too late for no apparent reason and then sleep and sleep. Since I still have three days of work, this is premature and makes for bad mornings. But...almost, almost time.
7. Last night, around midnight, while employing phase one of #6, I had some quality time with my Christmas tree. No other lights but tree lights. Just me, the tree, a blanket, some music, and some contemplative gratitude. The tree and I had been waiting to feel that moment of bonding. We're both glad it's come.
8. I haven't wrapped the presents yet and I love wrapping presents.
9. I don't have the Traditional Christmas Cold. (knock on wood, cross your fingers, say a little prayer...)
10. I've just discovered that I like Sigur Ros. I know all the cool kids liked Sigur Ros years and years ago, but what can I tell you? I'm a late bloomer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My new calling

Last night I was one of the storytellers at Porchlight's Holiday Spectacular and I think I'm hooked. I spent days being stomach-churningly nervous about the whole thing, but a weird calm came over me after the first sentence came out of my mouth. I can't account for it. Even doing readings of my work (which I actually enjoy doing) in front of far smaller groups of people makes my heart pound and my hands shake. But there I was, obliged to use a microphone for the first time in my life, no notes to read from, a whole auditorium full of people and I just clicked into some mystery other self. I talked about dating mishaps and the audience laughed; I quoted the sweet thing my ex said on our first date and the audience "awwww-ed"; I quoted the psycho thing he said the last day I saw him and some woman in the third row said, "Oh, hell no." I got off stage and a man in an aisle seat gave me a high five. I felt like a rock star. Rarely do I feel like a rock star. Plus, since I went first, it meant didn't have to be nervous all night. Instead I got to listen to everyone else. And drink. Sweet.

Another highlight: Chuck Prophet's heartwarming Christmas song, "Jesus Was a Social Drinker."

Seriously. Porchlight. Check it out. It's always a good time. Warning: you will probably fall a little in love with these women. It's very hard not to.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Still not the same

Well, radio friends, we're back in this realm. Yesterday, I heard some ad on the radio that went on and on in the Twelve Days of Christmas vein. It said things like, "On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven slices of hot dog." and "On the fifth day of Christmas, my cupboard gave to me five golden potato chips." I thought it was some weird thing about dieting during the holidays. Um...turns out it was a public service announcement about people starving. Unintentionally starving not "oh my god, I'm so fat in these jeans, I'm totally going on the cayenne cleanse" starving. People in our own community who are suffering from poverty and hunger.

And really, if that message can be misconstrued as a weight-loss program, maybe there's a problem with the copy. Just a thought.

Friday, December 05, 2008

You shall bend to my will

Well, people. You can't say I didn't warn you.

It has happened. I am done with school and am now the Master of Humanity. Stay tuned for your orders.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Job sharing

I call from work to check my (nonexistent) messages at home. I'm struck by the fact that the recorded voice that asks me to "please dial my password" is not the voice of the lady who's been politely requesting me to dial my password for years. I find it oddly unsettling. The new lady is no more melodious than the former lady. Why the change? I dial my password. I am then requested to "enter my mailbox number." Amazingly, just as I was really beginning to worry about her, this second request comes from the original lady--the lady who's been keeping watch over my voicemail for most of the last decade. I'm reassured to hear her. All the remaining prompts are spoken by her. Who then is the password lady? Why does she get just one prompt? Is she in training?

I like to imagine that she the sister of the other lady, down on her luck in the economic downturn. Her sister says, "Look, I can't offer you a lot, but I'll try to help you out. You can be in charge of the first prompt. I've got to hang on to the other ones myself, but hopefully it'll be enough to keep groceries on the table."

She's very selfless and unfailingly cheerful. Such an act of sacrifice would be just like her.