Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy frickin' new year.

Allow me to be uncharacteristically bitter for a moment. I feel guilty even considering it, but... eh.

I hate New Year's Eve. I hate the ball drop. I hate the kissing at midnight. I do not like this holiday, despite the hullabaloo and brouhaha that will occur on into perpetuity. This could, partly, be due to the fact that my significant other for the past six New Year's Eves kissed someone else at the stroke of midnight. Each and every year. Why? Because it was funny. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

And I thought I had plans for tonight, until my "person" failed to call me. And I've been the one doing the calling for the past week or so. So. I guess that's that.

I'm considering going down to the Bay to watch the fireworks alone, but that just seems even more depressing than what I'm doing at the moment: sitting in my apartment alone, nursing a sprained left knee, and drinking a glass of two-buck Chuck.

Wow, I think this might be the angriest of all posts. Fret not, tomorrow morning I will awake as my typical effervescent self. Allow me to wallow for a few minutes. Or maybe the next 3 1/2 hours. sigh

What is right?

I cannot bring myself to turn on the television, to watch the news. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that we all seem so entranced by the graphic video of Saddam Hussein's execution? Don't get me wrong, I fully believe that he was an evil man. And I completely understand that I, living entirely removed from his influence, do not have the same appreciation for the gravity of his death as someone who lived under his fist. I simply cringe at the exuberance the general public seems to be displaying at the visual image of his death. I don't know what is right. I feel like a traitor for even thinking we should preserve some basic dignity for all people, particularly when reviewing the myriad atrocities that occurred at this man's whim. Maybe I should be stronger, maybe I should be able to face his death with the resolute judgement that so many seem to possess. Frankly, maybe this is a critical flaw in my personality. I simply do not, however, hold that trait. I feel an overwhelming sadness when I think of the life and death of this man. Perhaps what it comes down to is that he, in life, embodied many of the darkest parts of humanity. Now, in death, I am afraid that he has managed to conjure up a small part of himself in our hearts, causing us to hunger for the scent of blood.

Maybe I'm full of crap. I just don't know what to think. Instead, I choose to disengage, making myself not only socially irresponsible, but also cowardly. All of you who are wiser than I, what do you think?

Friday, December 29, 2006

A year in review

I know I've been bad about posting recently. In part, this has to do with the fact that my family has been in town for the holidays. Also, I've been a whirlwind of social activity (cough), which has put a damper on my blogging time. Mostly, though, I've been doing a lot of reflecting upon the past year. This has been a year of massive life changes, a year of heartache and euphoria, a year of transition, discovery, and revelation. I feel like 2006 has been the year of becoming an adult, and also of becoming more of a person than I was before. Don't get me wrong, I feel like I've always been a distinct personality with a concrete set of values and all that jazz. I just feel like this past year has forced me to define who I am and what I want. And, to be completely honest, I feel like the majority of that has hit me within the past few months. A quick-and-dirty list of the good, bad, and ugly of 2006:

1. Finishing school.
2. Resigning from a job for the first time, simply because it was a bad fit. Oh, and telling my boss that I disagreed with her ethics. Awesome.
3. Giving up on a love that I nurtured through thick and thin for a quarter of my life.
4. Learning how to let go of a friend.
5. Rebuilding my relationship with my sister after six years of living far apart.
6. Building a home for myself in a city I love.
7. Getting my first real job.
8. Hating my first real job.
9. Discovering that I can love my first real job.
10. Learning to accept my body as it is, without the need to torture myself.
11. Buying the world's greatest pair of jeans.
12. Beginning to pay off my student loans that resulted from seven years of college education.
13. Remembering that I am a girl.
14. OH! Starting a blog!!!
15. Ahem. Packing away my childhood teddy bears, because really, what 26-year-old woman should still be sleeping with those??? crickets
16. Reconnecting with lost friends.
17. Creating my own family (pictures to follow. I need more time to define exactly what I want to say on the subject.)
18. Pursuing someone who I'd liked for a while, with no assurances that my feelings were reciprocated.
19. Learning to hope that maybe my feelings were reciprocated.
20. Buying a sofa.
21. Letting go of (or, at least, learning to compromise on) a dream.

There are more, naturally. It was a big year, and one list cannot hope to contain all the changes. I look forward to 2007, feeling more hope than I have felt in a long time. I hope this is the year that I learn to take command of my own destiny. I hope this is the year when I accept that I am enough, just as I am. I hope this is the year when I will learn some great truth about the universe that rocks me to the core. Frankly, I hope this is the year when I love someone who rocks me to the core. And I hope this year I will grow more, with less hurt than in 2006. Maybe that's impossible, but it is what I hope for.

These are not resolutions, mind you. I'm saving that list for Monday. In the meantime, it is enough to just look back and remind myself how far I've come. Thanks, 2006. And please don't take offense to this, but I'm glad you're over!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

That is all there is to say. May you and yours have a blessed holiday season, and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How not to start a date

Note to self:

When someone takes you to a lovely, posh party, please consider the following carefully. When the servers bring around a tray of oysters, and you know you hate oysters, do not attempt to eat one of said oysters. If you should make the foolhardy decision to try and look cool by eating an oyster, do not choke, gag, and spit it out into your napkin.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We didn't start the fire

This is not my story. This did not happen to me. But when you (you know who you are) called to tell me about it, I had to share it with the world. And stories are always best told in the first person. Also, since we just talked for about ten seconds, I am adding in details. Why? Because this is how I imagine it happening.


So, I was at this singles party. And I was having a really good time, talking to this cute boy. I wasn't really paying attention to my surroundings, trying to make eye contact and look seductively through my eyelashes. I laughed at something he said, and leaned cutely against the wall behind me. Thirty seconds later, I smelled something funny. Cute boy looked up at me, his eyes widened, and he grabbed for the nearest curtain, throwing it over my head to quell the flames bursting forth from my hair. After he'd successfully put the fire out by smacking me in the head a few times, I finally noticed that I'd leaned into a menorah. It's alright, though. For the rest of the night I got to introduce myself to everyone as the hottest girl in the room.

To you, I grant limitless points. Ten just won't suffice. I don't think even 100 will do it. You have as many as you want.

Good work!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Somebody's excited about dinner tonight!!!

The History of Us

I come from a family mired in tradition. We've discussed this before, so this should not come as any kind of shock. Maybe I'm weird, but I've never really thought of this as a bad thing, even as a teenager. Okay, so Fruitcake Day is my personal hell, I'll cop to that. But, in general, I love family traditions. I love making biscuits from my great-grandmother's recipe. I love hanging the Christmas tree ornaments that I made with Memo when I was two years old. I love the tortoise shell comb that I keep in my cedar chest. I love that I have a cedar chest.

Living in the South, tradition was a part of every day. People there do things a certain way simply because that's how they've always been done. In the mountains, traditions seem slightly more malleable, like the creation of Bluegrass based on the influences of a few hundred years of folk music. In San Francisco, I feel like tradition is a bit like water: continuously swirling around my ankles, slipping through my fingers, inconstant and reliably undependable. Living here makes me feel somehow more "old school" than I've ever felt before.

Case in point: every year my family makes jam. We've done this for four generations, in lieu of giftcards or whatnot for teachers, friends, and colleagues. The recipe, while really simple, is a mass of edits, proportion changes, and scribbles. This year, I made my own jam for the first time. I felt an enormous sense of pride staring at the plastic cups lined up on my kitchen table, capped in wax and covered with saran wrap and green ribbon. And then, handing it out to my coworkers, I felt the strangest mixture of embarrassment and shyness. It was the kind of feeling I used to get in elementary school, whenever I had something to say and wanted to raise my hand. How odd is that?

I suppose that there is a part of me that still feels slightly out-of-place in this uber-trendy city. I feel somehow as though, by upholding traditions, I am betraying the forward-thinking person I present myself to be. Intellectually, I know that's ridiculous. And, regardless of the small insecurity I feel, I know that I will not change into someone who throws my history to the wind. It was just a surprise to meet this piece of myself that I thought I'd outgrown.

This is so stream-of-consciousness, and I have no idea what I wanted to say. (Way to go with the planning of this one, right?) So yeah. I guess that's all for now. Will you send me your traditions?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Armed for battle against the germies

I have a cold. My face feels like it is entirely full of solid grossness. Never fear, noble reader! I have just armed myself with Sudafed (alas, the pharmacy was closed, so I had to get the crappy "non-pseudophedrine" kind), Thera-Flu, and tissues with lotion. I also have four movies sitting here: Best In Show, Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, and The Muppets Christmas Movie. And despite the fact that I would much rather be partying like the social butterfly I am (cough), I am in for the night.

We'll talk soon.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Stuff I HAVE accomplished today (update!)

Um, hi. Sallie Mae rocks my universe.

I have been biting my nails, wondering how in the name of all that is holy I am supposed to pay my student loans. And then, in a moment of sheer genius, I went to the Sallie Mae website, where I discovered that I qualify for


Income Sensitive Repayments.

I am imagining the sound of those three words amplified into a stadium, with loads of reverb.

I think I just lost 15 pounds of stress weight!

Stuff I haven't accomplished today

1. Figured out why my checkbook and bank account balances are consistently off by $91.
2. Hugged anyone.
3. Fixed my hair so that it doesn't look like a brillo pad/poodle hybrid.
4. Remembered to eat anything.
5. Picked anything up off the floor of my house.
6. Avoided tripping over the multitude of crap on the floor of my house.
7. Found a sofa for my apartment.
8. Scheduled the Christmas Tree Decorating Party that I've been telling everyone about for a week or so.
9. Gotten in touch with the friend with whom I've been playing drunk phonetag for about, oh, a week!
10. Figured out how to help the man with the extremely strong accent who keeps leaving voicemails on my phone at work.
11. Devised a plan for increasing my alcohol tolerance, so that I am not comatose by the end of Ballet season.
12. Come up with any ideas of what to get my brother for Christmas.
13. Mascara'd my right eyelashes.
14. Completed my morning Sudoku puzzle, even though it is categorized as "Easy."
15. Shaved my legs, even though I'm wearing a skirt today. (oops)
16. Done anything at work aside from writing this blog entry.

Ten points for me? Maybe not...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Definition of Happiness

My weekend in Charlotte was pretty good.

There was lots of cleavage, lots of wine, lots of smiles, and lots of spooning.

Life is good.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Um... yeah...

So it's come to light that I may or may not have drunk-texted a few thousand of you last night.

Ten points for me!


Homeward bound

I'm sitting in Liz's apartment in North Carolina. Liz and Leah are both out for their run, and I am... not. As much as I say I'd love to run a marathon, these gals are crazy! Inspiring, but insane. Seriously.

This trip has allowed for a lot of self-reflection. I'm coming to terms with the fact that the South is not "home" anymore. I've almost gotten killed at least three times because I tend to cross the street under the assumption that traffic will stop. I've glared at men in bars who dared light a cigarette. I've grimaced at big hair and shoulder pads. Looking at my home from an outsider's vantage point has been odd, to say the least. As I'm writing this, however, I'm reminded that I had the same reaction to all of this when I went to college from my tiny mountain town. If it's possible, I think San Francisco has turned me more into myself. I am someone who wears layers of sweaters and likes the fog. I am someone who lets my hair air-dry and then pulls it back in a rubber band. I am someone who likes *gasp* indie rock and folk music. These are not "deep" levels of my personality, but they are something that set me apart from other women in the South. They are things that I had to train myself to change in South Carolina and Houston. While I love the South, most of me is not a "southerner."

Other epiphanies from the trip: I want to stay in the Bay Area. I am not sure how long I want to stay, but the fact is that I want it to be my home. I'll always miss seasons, always miss snow, but I think it is where I need to be at this point in my life. And that might mean that playing the flute for a living is not my top priority. Saying that out loud (or, at least, writing it down) gives it a certain sense of reality that I've been fighting in my head. I don't know what I want to do. I still love playing, and I always will. Maybe that will lead to something. I guess I'm just realizing that I'm the kind of person who'd rather have a happy, fulfilling life than a particular career. Not that I think an orchestral career wouldn't make me feel fulfilled, but I don't think it's the only answer to that problem.

There really isn't any point to this posting. I wanted to get my thoughts out, and what better vehicle than the blog? No conclusions, only the thought that I am excited to get on a plane tonight and go home.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane

I'm flying to Charlotte, North Carolina tonight. I'll be taking the red-eye, and arrive fresh-smelling and beautiful at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.


I'm really excited for this trip, as I'll be hanging out with my two best girl friends for the first time in almost two years. There will be wine, cake, more wine, stupid flute duets, wine, and more wine. Liz is creating a typed itinerary including "bra/panty pillowfight." Try to contain your excitement, boys.

The odd thing, though, is that this will be my first time leaving San Francisco in nearly a year. This realization has kind of thrown me for a loop. I'm generally a pretty frequent traveller. Not that I go anywhere exciting, I just tend to be on a plane an average of 5 or 6 times each year, usually headed to music festivals or auditions. The fact that I've hunkered down in one city for such a long stretch is odd. And, while I am counting down the hours until I board a plane (13 hours and 27 minutes to go...), I'm strangely anxious about leaving the world where I feel comfortable. I've frequently noticed the way that San Franciscans seem to forget that the rest of the world continues to function outside of the Bay Area. I've always scoffed at them, at the slight arrogance of this notion. It's somewhat humbling to realize that I've developed the same kind of feeling. I'm sort of ashamed of this bubble that I've built around myself.

So tonight I'll be stepping outside of my new comfort zone, flying back towards home and southern accents, fried chicken, and the two people who know me better than anyone else can currently claim. And I'll be back on Monday. The world will keep turning, and I'll be having a great time. Don't wait up for me!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A past-tense verb

My major task of the day: to design a San Francisco Ballet-specific MadLib. Do you remember MadLibs? You'd plug in words on a list, and then you'd read the whole thing aloud. It was invariably hilarious. Some of my most serious stomachaches have been the result of MadLibs.

So for our meeting in two days, I am in charge of the "ice breaker." Seeing as I am oh-so-busy on a day-to-day basis (read: today I only completed three Sudoku puzzles... watch out!), I was given all the creative license in the world. After clearing the idea of a "SFB MadLib" with the higher-ups, I have literally spent over half my day turning the "About The Company" portion of our website into something that will hopefully illicit gales of laughter from the staff.

I'm not sure what part of my job description this fulfilled, but I say "bring it on, baby!"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Il Divo

is basically the worst thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Counting the ways

I've had my grandparents on the brain for the past few weeks. The only bad thing about living in San Francisco is that I'm several thousand miles away from them. I'm truly blessed, in that all four of my grandparents are still alive and living independently. Naturally, there have been countless health scares, and each takes a battalion of pills each day, but I still feel pretty fortunate. I am the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, meaning that I naturally receive an untold number of requests that I "settle down and start a family" (Hello, and welcome to 1948!), but as irritating as that may be, I know it simply means that they care. And, to be perfectly honest, I would love to have all four of them at my wedding, as unlikely as that may be (particularly as I am not even dating anyone seriously at the moment). The wonderful thing about the grandparent/grandchild relationship, I think, is that we can get away with saying things to one another that no one else in the world can say. For example, if anyone else in the world kept badgering me about a husband and babies, I'd probably rip their head off. But with my grandparents, I actually find it slightly adorable. On the other side of the coin, I am the only one in the world who can lecture my Granddad about his hearing aids, or give him crap for being grumpy. I often feel that I have a "get out of jail free" pass with them. I love that I am the only one allowed in the kitchen with Grandmom while she's making Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The past two Thanksgivings I've actually felt a keen sense of sadness thinking of someone else taking over my tasks.

Memo was a porcelain artist when I was growing up. She always smelled like slip, paint, and turpentine. Although she hasn't painted in years, I will always associate those smells with her. Papayo will always smell like freshly cut grass to me. When I was a kid, he used to let me ride on the riding lawn mower with him. The one stipulation was that the blade had to be turned off before I climbed aboard, meaning that I got my ride after the grass was completely cut. Their yard is genuinely huge. As a kid, it seemed endless. Trees were covered in wisteria vines, and whole sections were overgrown. They had vast flower gardens, which they planted specifically to look like they'd just occurred in nature. Their yard is full of large, gray boulders. When my mom was growing up, Papayo pulled some of the smaller, flatter rocks together and made a "secret staircase" down from the brick patio into one of the side gardens. When I was about 15, I made it a special project to clean out that section, which had been completely overgrown. Memo and I planted daffodils after it was clear, and they still bloom every spring. Daffodils will always represent Memo and Papayo's house. There was also one special boulder, dubbed by a three-year-old me as "The Big Rock." I spent hours playing on that rock, living in my imagination. Looking at it now, it's still sizable, but not as epically humongous as in my childhood eyes. Every time I go to their house, however, I make it a point to go out and sit on The Big Rock, and ponder life a little bit.

Granddad used to make up songs for me. "Rockie rockie, row row," is definitely the most memorable, and the most frequently recurring. If and when I do have a family of my own, this will be a song that I'll sing with them. When I was 2nd grade and didn't know my multiplication tables, Granddad made it his mission in life to make sure I learned them. He'd mail me index cards each week and call at the end of the week to quiz me. He owned a service station for a long time, but became an elementary school teacher later in life. I envy his former students. My imagination, my silliness comes directly from Granddad, as though it had been transfused through an IV. Grandmom always smells like baby powder to me. She is one of the most sensitive people I know. She cries whenever we leave, and she is embarrassed by it every single time. She is super easily stressed out. A few years ago, we invited my best friend, Nick, to Thanksgiving with us. When we told her he'd be coming, she panicked that we wouldn't have enough food! Now, granted, my family is large. Usually there are around 25 of us at Thanksgiving. We always have a huge amount of food, including turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, green bean casserole, pink jello salad, rolls, and four kinds of pie. But that year Grandmom convinced herself that there simply wouldn't be enough. So she supplemented by doubling the amounts of each side dish, meaning that she literally made 20 pounds of mashed potatoes. It was insanity, and so wonderful and quirky that it still makes me smile.

Having had them with me for my entire life, I know a lot of my personality comes from each of them. They are all so special to me, and I miss them every day. I know, without question, that they are not reading the blog (for reasons which I will share someday, as they are hilarious), but I wanted to write them this "love letter" anyway. So, to four of the most important people in my universe, thank you for everything you are and have been and will be.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Things that have made me happy today!

1. It's a beautiful, sunny, cool day in the city.
2. I woke up with the sun on my face, meaning I was warm for the first time in, oh, a week or so!
3. I spent yesterday evening hanging out with fabulous friends.
4. Walking down to the bus stop, passing the markets, the air smelled like autumn.
5. Apple season!!!
6. I just finished a load of laundry, and this new detergent I bought smells awesome!
7. I went to buy a new pair of jeans, since my current ones seem to have stretched out beyond compare. And what did I discover? Apparently I've shrunk two sizes! YES!!! (Gents, I know this means nothing to you, but girls, can I get a "Hell yeah"?)
8. Leaving the store, I encountered this beautiful, old golden retriever, with a white face. She and I chatted for a while, which always leaves me incomparably thrilled with life.
9. Amoeba records. And my new Kathleen Edwards CD, which I will now be listening to obsessively.
10. I've already gotten two hours of practicing done today! Ten points for me!
11. Pierre has decided to stop acting like a jerk. Which I realize makes me sound even more like a crazy cat lady, but he's been a complete asshole for the last week or so.
12. Messages on my voicemail from friends.
13. Oh, and happy birthday Ryan Gardner! Woooooohoooooooooooo!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Job crap

I really am trying to have a positive, devil-may-care attitude about my current profession. I'm attempting to go with the flow and look at my job from the perspective that it's a short-term fix to a long-term problem. I am trying to be mature and realize that it's my first job, and no one gets the dream job on the first try. (If you've managed it, please don't tell me. I'll cry.)

But for one moment, I need to be juvenile and whine about the lack of gratification I feel on a daily basis. Folks, my major task of each and every day is printing and stuffing envelopes. Yes, I work for San Francisco Ballet, a fabulous arts organization. Yes, I adore my boss. Yes, I feel appreciated by my coworkers for the job that I do. But it is really difficult for me to accept that as "enough." I'm not going to kid myself into thinking I'm one of the greatest brainiacs of our generation, but I frequently feel like my skills are being completely wasted. I look forward to the odd day that someone needs me to write an acknowlegement letter for them, because it's an excuse to actually think. I am constantly walking from office to office, asking people to gie me something to do. I am not someone who enjoys sitting idle, particularly not when I can think of a million other things I'd rather be doing. Thus far today, I have mailed about 150 letters, printed 400 or so envelopes, and talked on the phone to several elderly donors. I have also given dietary advice to someone down the hall who was freaking out about the fat in his salad dressing, checked my email 8-bazillion times, and spun around in my chair. I talked on the phone with one of my former bosses, who needed help with a formatting question. I ate lunch, and have stared at the wall for an obscene amount of time.

I don't mean to be a snob, but people, I have a masters degree. I know, I know, it's in music, but come on! I am at a loss as to how I can alter my current situation in a minor way in order to make it more bearable. The thing is, I love my life. I am generally happy on a day-to-day basis. I just feel this major sense of frustration when I'm sitting in my office, feeling like I'm coasting down a road to nowhere.