Thursday, August 31, 2006

On the side of a delivery van

I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
They may taste kinda funny
But it keeps them on my knife

The greatest day EVER

It's not even 11 am, and already this is the greatest day ever! First of all, I woke up with sunshine coming in my window. This is highly unusual in San Francisco, especially in my neighborhood. Then I got an email from one of my two best friends in the whole world, saying he's coming to visit me in two weeks! Upon arriving to work, I was told that they've found a space for me to use to practice during my lunchbreak, meaning that I don't have to wander around looking for places to play anymore. But the real high point came when I checked my bank account. Apparently I had one more paycheck coming from Stern Grove, a paycheck that I didn't know about and hadn't planned into my extraordinarily tight budget.

This is SO much better than finding twenty bucks in an old coat pocket!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Deja vu all over again

I always feel an internal shift with the change of seasons. Not that seasons change all so much in San Francisco, but watching kids return to school and starting my new job is enough to create the sense of autumn. With the adjustment I always feel this sense of awakening. Smells cause a physical reaction, specific sounds are tangible. I know that this is simply what most people call deja vu (which I'm still not sure I'm spelling correctly???). Occasionally I can remember exactly what it is I'm recalling, but usually I simply remember the sensation of being at a certain crossroads in my life. However, in anticipation of future deja vu, here is a list of specific things that I know will one day send me spiralling back to this past year in San Fran:

Weather at 59 degrees
Sourdough bread
The weight of fog on my skin
The burned-food-like smell of coffee beans roasting
The sound of Cantonese
Pink Lady apples
The smell of casserole with those fried onion thingies
The sound of an approaching bus
Waist hugs from little kids
The smell of Peking Duck
L'air du temps perfume
The smell of Redken shampoo
The completely unique smell of the San Francisco Ferry Building
The explosion of sunshine after a month of rain
Sex and the City
The taste of an amazing tomato
Sufjan Stevens
Eucalyptus trees

Friday, August 25, 2006


My day generally begins one of two ways: Either 1) my alarm blares at me, causing me to groan, roll over, and cover my head with a pillow, or 2) Puck begins biting my big toe, causing me to leap, screaming, from my bed. Today, however, my neighbors provided the most amusing wake-up call I've had in quite some time.

I awoke at 7:30 a.m. to Madonna's "Like a Virgin" being played louder than I have ever heard it in my life.

I should add that my neighbors are in their 80s and speak only Russian.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The scariest thing of my life

Meet my dad:

He's a college marching band director. Now, meet his Mini-me:

His students had a bobble-head made of him as a fundraiser. Seriously, this might be the creepiest thing I've ever seen. At the same time, however, I'm feeling a need to acquire one for myself. Really, how many of us know someone who is a bobble-head?

One more photo, just for good measure.

P.S. - If, for some unknown reason, you also feel the irresistable pull to own one of these fine pieces of history, click the link.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Today I...

1. Washed and dried about 50 coolers for the end of the season at Stern Grove
2. Drove my golfcart backwards across the meadow for the last time
3. Ate pizza
4. Installed a fancy new showerhead in my bathroom
5. Cleaned every square inch of said bathroom
6. Cuddled my cats
7. Discovered that Puck has lost his baby teeth
8. Vaccumed
9. Mopped
10. Created a budget and bill payment schedule
11. Did laundry
12. Emptied all my drawers and got rid of everything that I don't like
13. Acquired a case of wine
14. Drank half a bottle
15. Wrote this

Who's a superstar? That'd be me!

Every new beginning

So those of you who've been reading this blog may have noticed, but I've been in a really poopy mood lately. After a variety of moderately traumatizing run-ins with a wide assortment of friends and former friends, I've come to one conclusion:

It is time to get with the program and chill the hell out.

Yes, it is sad to let go of the past. But hey, there's a reason it is in the past. Call me niave, but I have to believe that there is more to life than pining over what might have been. The time has come (okay, so it came about a month ago) when being pissed off at the world has run its course. Beginning right now I am finished being angry and hurt and scared and all that bullshit that comes with the always awkward experience that is breaking up.

To quote a dangerously "emo" pop song (and no, I'm not sure which one it is, but I've definitely heard it...), I'm standing on the edge of everything I've never been before.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Worst Headline Ever

From the newspaper in San Carlos, California:

"Picture of cut on back of woman allowed in trial."

Wait. What????

Monday, August 14, 2006

Funny Faces

When someone asks you to make a face, do you have a default? I definitely do, and there are photos attesting to this dating back to the era of diaper-wearing. My "funny face" involves crossed eyes, tilted head, and this bizarre thing I can do with my mouth that makes me look completely inhuman. This face is attractive in no possible realm of existence. I am not sure why I love to create it, aside from the notable fact that it is guaranteed to illicit laughter. It also never fails to get my students' attention, a power-play which is not lost on me after one year of classroom teaching. I suppose these things are simply more valuable to me than looking chic and sophisticated all the time.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cleaning House

Yesterday evening, J and I came to what may be the first mature decision of our relationship: we decided to walk away from each other and let bygones be bygones. No more phonecalls, no more "hanging out," nothing. Admittedly, I'm having a hard time forgiving him for all the crap of the past six-plus years. It is extremely difficult for me to let stuff go, and I know that having some distance will help that. I'm sad to be letting go of something that I invested so much of myself into, but I'm also surprised by how natural it feels. Partly, I think, this is because I've been letting go slowly for a long time. Mostly, though, I feel a major sense of relief that it is done for good. We don't have to keep emotionally pommeling each other until the dawn of time. We're finished.

While I feel really calm about this right now, I know that there are things I am not looking forward to. Post-breakup, we never went through the division of stuff. We're going to do that now, and that part really sucks. I'm not even a little bit excited about the moment at some point on the horizon when I will run into him with his (future) new girlfriend. The big one, though, is that I am cutting my "best friend" out of my life. I put that in quotes, because lately we haven't been any kind of friends, let alone the BFF variety. It's just weird, letting go of someone who knows ALL of my stories, gets all of my favorite jokes, knows every food I like and dislike. The list is endless, really. But I suppose part of the fun of starting something new is rediscovering yourself.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Finding home

I've discovered (or perhaps rediscovered) a certain aspect of voyeurism living in my teacher/hero's house. I'm here for another week, and each day I find out all sorts of new things about him, as well as his family. He and his wife are both playing in one of the finest symphony orchestras in the world. This I've known since I met them. For that reason alone, they inspire a degree of worship in me that I haven't felt in a long time. I have respected them both so much for the careers they maintain, and for the seemingly exotic lives they lead. After living in their house, among the objects that they see each day, I am blown away.

The house itself is fairly simple. It is situated on the side of a steep hill, a feature which makes me homesick for my Appalachian mountains. Growing up, we always had a set or two of windchimes on our deck. Here the windchimes are everywhere. There are at least six sets outside the bedroom windows, and seven more outside the kitchen. The tree in the front yard has windchimes hanging from several limbs. It is the sound of comfort.

The kids of the family are both in high school, but their childhood art still hangs on every wall. In between a magic marker drawing of a unicorn, and a crayola spaceship, there hangs an original Salvadore Dali sketch. Seriously. Don't you love these people already? All the walls are covered in family photos from parties, the birthday cards they make for their friends, and old movie photos. There are also family pictures in Rome, Japan, China... you name it.

From the beginning, I knew that these were incredible people. I knew that I idolized their professional achievements. But what I find today is that I cherish their degree of "normal." Their home shouts "WELCOME," then chuckles "We love here," then whispers "We are extraordinary." Most importantly, it makes me realize that I don't want to become a carbon copy of who they are, but instead I want to become the best version of myself, so that one day maybe my house will welcome some other wildly confused new adult.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Why is it, exactly, that I feel guilty for my own limitations of patience? When I look at myself logically, I recognize that I generally exhibit nearly infinite amounts of patience. Yet, there's a big part of me that feels guilty each and every time that I lose my patience.

Case in point: my ex-boyfriend.

This is a man who, by infinite accounts, I owe nothing. This is a man who owes me nearly 1800 bucks. This is a man who has managed to make me feel small in every conceivable way. Despite all this, when we agree to meet this evening to discuss repayment of this debt, this man stands me up. Even though I have purchased, and prepared, steak and an assortment of grilled vegetables. Even though there is wine. Even though he has begged and pleaded for this meeting for a looooooong time.

He called me two hours after he was supposed to show up. He was on the phone, and couldn't tell the person he'd call them back in 30 seconds in order to call me and cancel. No, instead he chose to call me well after the steak had been sitting on the grill for far too long, and my patience was worn to the approximate width of tissue paper.

Even still, I feel guilty for my apparent inability to "let it go." J spent the past six years pushing my boundaries beyond what I've ever considered my comfort zone to be, and insisted that I was too "uptight," too stressed out. He actually had the nerve recently to tell me that I was happy to be depressed about my life. Newsflash: When you are looking for a job and facing THOUSANDS of dollars in student-loan debt, when you've been in a dead-end relationship for six and a half years with no hope of a future, when your "partner" owes you nearly two-grand, the stress just happens.

Maybe I'm crazy. Feel free to tell me if you think I'm crazy. I just think the road to patience turned to gravel about two years back.