12/23/2006

best craft post ever.


Susan Beal has written one of the most comprehensive, linked up posts on DIY projects for the holidays (or anytime) I think I've ever read. And I'm not just saying that because she mentions me! Really, check this piece out, you still have more than 24 hours to whip up some last minute gifts!

In other news I think I just saw the best shirt ever, it said New Jovi and had a picture of the garden state between the words. I didn't have my digital camera. But I did take a picture on my phone, so when I get back to SF I'll be sure to post it up here. I'll definitely be coming back home with some Jersey souvenirs. OK, I've got about three hours of gift wrapping ahead of me so I should sign off.

That fabulous wreath I found on Craft, go to their blog for directions on how to make that gem.

Jersey Vacation.

After one of the worst flights ever, with turbulence so intense I really thought the plane was going to rip in half, I made it safely to Jersey. I'm in my mom's kitchen, Sade is playing in the background (one of the first good songs I've heard on the smooth jazz station she has on), I'm typing on her super slow computer, and it's actually warmer here than it was in SF when I left. I'm looking forward to being offline for the next few days. I doubt my little brothers will let me on to their computers much anyway. I have a cold, and maybe a fever, yet somehow I'm still flled with anticipation for the holiday, seeing all these people I never get to see and filling my guts with food and wine. I'll report back with any Bon Jovi sightings. Happy Holidays. xo

12/20/2006

What I want for Christmas.


I was just reading Whipup.net, during my lunch time break and found the most beautiful ring I think I've ever seen. I really dig when artists mix industrial materials with softer ones like fabric or thread. The rings are by Corina Rietveld. Her website is all in German, so I have no idea where or how to get one of these beauties, or even how much it costs. But I want one.

More mini things.

My final craft fair at the Crucible was my best this season. It was a little cold in there, but the Crucible really is an amazing place, I'd like to take some jewelry making classes there in the future. My East Bay week-end was also filled with visits from lots of friends and great gatherings. I know it's corny, but sometimes I really can't believe how lucky I am that I have such amazing people in my life who love me and care about me as much as I do them. I'm a lucky girl. Below are some pictures from what I had at the Crucible, check out my Bird tree!



And I love that when my friends consume copious amounts of alcohol and we're gathered together for a 'holiday' party, this is what we spend our time doing:

It may be hard to tell from the pictures, but these are little figurines that Roger and Sarah had on display in their house, someone had the idea of making a little scene in this low hanging light. We spent a while playing with the light that night. And yes, we were just drinking.

12/18/2006

doppelganger.


I always thought I was unusual looking. Or at least, I liked thinking that there was no one else out there that looked exactly like me. But lately a lot of people are confusing me with someone else. The most disturbing incident happened a few weeks ago at Shannon's book release party. You know those people that look at you a little too long and then look away as soon as you make eye contact? If it's a guy doing the looking I like to think that he's so taken with my beauty he can't peel his eyes off me, but then when I look his way he's too intimated by my startling good looks to come over and introduce himself. Don't tell me you don't think the same thing. No really, I don't want to know. Anyway, this particular night it was a girl who was looking at me like that. She didn't look away when I made eye contact and smiled at her, she walked over and looked at me hard. I said "hi" a little freaked out that she came closer just to get a better look, as if I had some growth on my face I wasn't aware of or some other deformity I had failed to notice. Then she seemed to snap out of what ever reverie she had been in, "I'm so sorry", she seemed a little uncomfortable all of a sudden, "but you look exactly like my childhood babysitter." When I asked where she was from and she told me Michigan, I assured her there was no way it was possible. She seemed a little disappointed and again commented on the striking similarities. What I really wanted to ask was what you never have the nerve to ask in those situations, "Was she pretty, really unfortunate looking, or just average?" I was also wondering if I looked old that night, because I couldn't have been more than a few years older than this girl. I mean I usually get carded for a drink, so it sort of freaked me out that I was being mistaken for a 26 year olds child babysitter. Really I would have asked her to e-mail me a photo if I didn't feel like I had let her down by not being who she thought I was. How much does it suck that when a stranger tells you you look just like someone else they know you rarely get to see that someone else to compare notes? I mean, I want to see me in three dimensions and a doppelganger seems the most probable way for that to happen. Or a wax sculpture, but I doubt that's happening anytime soon.
Maybe I wouldn't have been as freaked out if the same thing hadn't happened to me two days earlier. I was at one of my craft fairs, sitting there, minding my business when this pretty decent looking boy came up to my table. He kept glancing up at me and not really looking at the things on my table. Then he finally made steady eye contact and asked, "Haven't we met before?" The longer he looked at me the more convinced he seemed to be that we had indeed spent time together before. And when I say time, I mean had sex. I looked at him and really tried to place him, half the time I want these things to work, I want to be able to look at the person and recognize something and then be pulled back to a memory with them in it. But as I looked at him I got nothing. "Sorry, I don't think I know you." He sort of smirked, almost winked at me and continued to look at my stuff. It was as if he didn't believe me and I got the awkward feeling he thought we had slept together or something. I started to actually question if I had met him drunkenly at a party and gone home with him. But even when I'm wasted I don't black out and really there wasn't a hint of recognition in his face for me. As he walked away he looked at me again, as if he knew some secret but wasn't going to say it out loud, he took my card and smiled. Again, I felt sort of bad that I wasn't who he thought I was. But why does this keep happening? I swear I have about 5 stories like this just from the past six months. If there are so many people that look hanutingly like me, I've got to run into one of them soon, right? I'm not sure if I would love that or hate it. Maybe it would result in some ninja like fight, where we would agree that only one of us can walk this earth and so we fight each other to the death. Or maybe we'll just walk by each other and barely notice.

12/15/2006

The final countdown.


Hoorah. The last week-end of fairs for me. Saturday and Sunday I'll be in the East Bay at the Crucible. You have no idea how happy I am to put the duct tape and sewing machine aside for a few weeks. I did way too many craft sales this season. And as a consequence I've spent the last three Fridays at home making stuff. While there's nothing wrong with spending a Friday night at home, I can't help but think there maybe something wrong with how into Trading Spouses I've gotten. I'm such a fucking sucker for reality TV. But really, the one tonight was good. A Miami Beach wife married to a model trading places with a lower income family in Buffalo NY, if that doesn't make for good TV I'm not sure what does. And I thought last weeks episode was good. I kind of scared myself when they showed the previews for next week and I got really sad realizing I would be flying when part two of tonights show aired. I even thought about asking my step-dad to Tivo the show. But then I realized how fucking ridiculous that was. I'll just rent that shit when it's on DVD. Just kidding. Sort of, do they have trading spouses on DVD?

See that cute dog up there? Well I'll be spending a lot of time with him this week-end. Jake's one of the best dogs I know and I can't wait to see the little guy. That's right, I'll be spending the entire week-end in the East Bay, because that's how I do it. If I make the trip that far from the city I have to stay at least two nights.

12/12/2006

busy time.


I know, I haven't been posting a whole lot lately. It's been eating away at me, but between making stuff for craft fairs, writing for sfist, working full time and trying to keep a little bit of a social life I've been stretched a little thin this month. I've got some good stories I can't wait to share. But for now you'll have to just take these pictures from one of my fairs this week-end. Check out the bags I'm making out of reclaimed billboard material. Two fairs left this week-end in the East Bay at the Crucible and then I'm done!! After that I'm off to jersey & new york to see some friends and family. Oh the mini stuff pictured here are things I bought for snow globes I plan on making. And if you want to make your own snow globe check out sfist.com later today, as I wrote up an instructional piece on how to do it.

Some amazing handmade doll creatures:

Eden's jewelry with some paintings by Hillary on the wall:

12/07/2006

heart breaking.

I don't know the Kim family, but my thoughts are with them during this heart wrenching time. Here's a beautiful piece on Wired about James Kim.

12/06/2006

Pet Noir.


I'm sure this is getting old, but so much of what I'm writing these days is going on sfist. So here's another link to a piece up there today. It's on my dear friend, Shannon O'Leary's book release party last night.

12/05/2006

More Craft Shows.

Here's another piece I wrote for sfist on more craft shows this week.
Get Crafty!

12/04/2006

snow globes.


It's crafting month. On top of all of my fairs this season, I'm also going to be writing a craft column for sfist.com from now on. Look for it there on Tuesdays. Really I should be writing it right now, but I'm too busy playing with all the things I bought on the way home for a new project I'm trying out. I've been wanting to make snow globes for a while now, ever since I saw the director at my old non-profit job make them for every one in her family one year. I thought it was a genius idea, and I'm not surprised it's been popping up all over the place. It seems easy enough, although really I can't tell you because I haven't tried it yet. After having a drink with Sarah I stopped by Pearl. They still don't have my damn mini birds I need for earrings, but they do have an entire section of dollhouse figurines, trees, furniture, food, you name it. I felt a little weird being in that section of the store, like it was taking some serious points away from my hipness level. But I guess I stopped really worrying about that stuff a while ago. I spent a long time there, I mean everything is mini-- I couldn't get over it, mini soda cans with real labels, little metal singer sewing machines (of which I bought three), and mini people. If I was self conscious in picking the mini things out I felt even weirder when the cute check out boy, probably a sophomore at the Art Academy, was ringing up my items, 'mini people walking, mini farm animals, mini evergreens, three mini sewing machines and plastic swans'. When he asked the standard, "Are you a teacher or a student?" I wanted to respond, "No, just a weird lady who doesn't have a dollhouse but really likes tiny things, want a mini-coke?" But I just shook my head, maybe feeling sorry for me, he gave me the discount anyway. It was sort of horrifying having to go back in the store once I looked at the receipt and noticed he rang up my 'mini people walking' twice. "You rang one of my items up twice."
"Oh, sorry, which one?"
"My set of mini people."
That's a long way of telling you I'm just thrilled to be making some snow globes, snowy (or glittery) domes for all my little animals and people. OK, maybe I am a little weird. I'll let you know how it goes. Actually, if all goes well I'm going to photo document it and make it my column for next Tuesday. Speaking of- I should hop to it.

Good news is always welcome.

I know I've been a little absent around these parts, but this week-end was my first craft fair and I've been up to my elbows in duct tape. I don't really like to think about how bad all those tape fumes probably are for me, especially since I have 4 more fairs coming up. I'll post info about them soon.

Really, I just wanted to rejoice in the wonderful news of this headline I've been obsessing over this story of the Kim family, who has been missing since November 25th. And it's such fantastic news that Kati and their two girls were found alive. Thinking lots of good thoughts and crossing my fingers they'll find James next.

11/30/2006

The Prettiest Blue Ever.

Tomorrow Susan over at West Coast Crafty is going to post my craft piece that was on SFist. Regardless of my piece, you should go over and check her blog out, she's one of my favorite crafty blog writers.

Also I'm totally taken with this brand new color of duct tape I got recently. It's this lovely shade of blue and I can't stand how good every color looks with it. I'm sort of obsessing over it with pink and white right now, how juicy is this blue?


NPR craft competition.

A great way to combine all that time you spent reading celebrity gossip blogs this year and your crafting skills. Check it out: NPR craft competition.

good books for cold weather.

In between crafting and working I'm managing to read a book I'm pretty into right now, Melissa Bank's new one called The Wonder Spot. It's not earth shattering, but the prose are pretty easy to sink into and she walks a good line between chick lit (god I hate that phrase, but it sort of fits here) and literary fiction. My mind is circling around one line I can't seem to get out of my head since I read it last night, "I went all the way from hating to liking her, and the distance made me feel like I loved her." Maybe that line's sort of stuck with me because it reminds me of my ex and how two days ago I was cursing his name and feeling an utter hatred for him to yesterday when we had this really sweet and pleasant conversation and it reminded me just how much I loved him. Either way, the line sort of appeals to the fiery Italian in me, we go to extremes with people, and when we make that effort, from wringing our hands in frustration to showering you with words of adoration, it just means we love you.

It's cold here in SF, dipping into the 40's and I'm glad I have a good book to read.

11/27/2006

what i did this week-end besides eat and drink.

My first fair is this saturday night at the Mezzanine.


I'm not much of a purple person but this sea horse wallet is one of my faves.


Little owl card holder.

Big owl.

craft away.

Below is something I wrote for SFist. Since it took me so long to add all the links and it has some good info for craft shopping if you're in SF, I thought I'd post it here as well. I have to write in the third person for SFist, and even though I think that can be a drag, I'm not changing it back to first person here. It's starting to be that crazy time of year for me again, where I'm frantically making stuff for all the holiday fairs I'm doing, so consider this the official beginning of my crafting madness. I'll post some pics up soon.
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
We're just as taken with the shiny new mall downtown as you are, but once you're inside it you may as well be in Wayne, New Jersey. Charm your friends and family this holiday season with some gifts you can only get in our lovely city, and rest easy knowing that you're helping local businesses and crafters thrive. Don't know all the local talent San Francisco has to offer, or where to shop for it? We're here for you. Below you'll find a list of some of the craft fairs happening in the bay area this December. Because when it comes down to it, wouldn't you rather do your shopping in a bar, with a drink in hand? We know we would. So avoid long lines for the new Tickle Me Elmo (did they really need to make another one of those?), fluorescent lighting, and those scary make-up ladies trying to push perfume and eighty dollar blush on you. To help get your list started we asked a couple of our favorite local designers what they want this year. So read on and give your Aunt Eunice something she can't buy at the mall in Indiana. You can thank us later.

Jenn D'angelo, creator and designer of Noo Works clothing line, and the woman behind the fabulous Fasionfest at 12 Galaxies, tells us what's on her list: "What would I like to receive? A cute pajama panty set from Boi.oi.oing, a big chunky medallion necklace from Cast of Characters, she makes a lot of stuff from found jewelry so it's always random and cool, a beer holster from Brew Holster Cult, even though I already have one, and one of my cutie heart sweatshirts, zip up." If you plan on charming Jen this year, you'll be able to get her everything she wants at the 12 Galaxies Fashionfest on December 10th from 12-5pm. By transforming your favorite local watering hole into a craft emporium it can't really get any easier for you. Where else can you eat breakfast, nurse your hangover, and shop?

We're stealing some ideas from Jill Bliss, local designer and founder of Blissen, this year. As a local artist with her own line of stationery products available from Chronicle Books and a crafter extraordinaire, we wish we were on the receiving end of Jill's shopping list. But we've jotted down what she wants and we may end getting some of this stuff for ourselves: "Lotta Jansdotter's Smyka bag, Lotta moved away while I was temporarily relocated in So Cal, but now I'm back and missing my Lotta fix! Nooworks' black forest collection, the hearts patterned sweatshirt, actually I couldn't wait for someone to buy this for me I ordered one the other week! Cara Lyndon's, vintage earrings, I keep seeing Cara's earrings in various shops and wishing my ears were pierced! If someone bought me a collection of hers, especially any of the dangling ones with the ear threads, I'd be forced to get out a needle and ice. A Minor Thread, perfect pink tote, I'm a sucker for totes. I'm surprised I haven't bought this one yet. And finally, Lisa Congdon's mod bird, I never got one of these a few years ago when Lisa began making these, which i regret."

Here's a list of some craft fairs to get you started. We know there are a lot out there, so feel free to let us know about others in the comments section.

12/1-12/3 Maven: Urban Design + Craft Fair Fri. 5-9pm, Sat & Sun 11am-6pm 1700 Dwight Way in Berkeley
12/2 Chillin’ 8pm-2am at the Mezzanine 444 Jesse Street in SF
12/7 Appel & Frank 5pm-9:30pm at The Regency Center 1270 Sutter Street @ Van Ness in SF
12/9 Twelve Designs Trunk show 11am-5pm at Levy Art & Architecture, 3361 Mission Street @ 29th in SF
12/9 Root Division 6pm-10pm Holiday Art Sale 3175 17th Street in SF
12/10 December Fashionfest 12pm-5pm at 12 Galaxies 2565 Mission Street @ 22nd in SF
12/14 Feria Urbana 6pm-11pm at The Canvas Gallery 1200 9th Ave @ Lincoln in SF
12/16 Holidayland Gift Sale 1pm-7pm at Blank Space 6608 San Pablo in Oakland
12/16 & 12/17 Gifty Holiday Art Sale 10am-4pm at The Crucible 1260 7th Street in Oakland

11/26/2006

I want snow.


I just talked to my friend in Seattle, he said it's been snowing for hours. It's 34 degrees and sticking! I miss winter snow storms. He didn't seem happy, saying it's only supposed to snow once a year in Seattle and that usually happens in January or February. He says global warming is the problem, and while I'm just as concerned as he is, I say go out and play in the snow.

11/23/2006

sorry, sort of.

I felt kind of bad after I wrote my last post. I started thinking about all the vegans in my life that I admire. I mean, one of my favorite vegan friends kept me company tonight while I cooked food for tomorrow. She casually sipped her wine while I scooped out buckets full of sour cream and cream cheese for an onion dip from scratch and she wished she could try the tomato fennel gratin and green beans with crispy shallots. Also after I left work, I went to Rainbow Grocery, the best organic/health food/co-op grocery store in San Francisco. At Rainbow I ran into another magnificent hard-core vegan, an ex's sister. She's fantastic and interesting and every time I run into her I think about how I should have just married into that family. Oh well. Anyway, all this to say that I guess some days what drives me fucking crazy about this city is also what I love most about it. I mean it's a town full of people with some of the most out-landish (compared to status quo) ideals on the planet, but they stick to their convictions. Forming groups and clogging the streets with protests. And really, that's what shifts the paradigm at the end of the day. But still, I think you're fucking stupid if you boycott Thanksgiving dinner because someone is cooking a turkey. I'm sticking to that.

11/22/2006

Just be happy you were invited.


Only in San Francisco will you hear a story of someone boycotting Thanksgiving dinner because a turkey is being cooked. Seriously. I got word of this from a friend today, to protect the innocent I won’t name names. But this friend, we’ll call him John, decided to have Thanksgiving at his house this year. John invites a ton of people over, mostly vegetarians, but turns out there are a few folks coming who eat meat and would love a real turkey. Imagine that--a real turkey on Thanksgiving Day. So John decides to cook one up, despite that fact that he’ll probably eat the Tofurkey, he’s a good host that John, really accommodating. Well someone’s feelings got hurt, it turns out one of the friends of the people who asked for a real turkey in the first place is vegan. Once he caught wind of a real bird being cooked he decided to boycott John’s Thanksgiving Day meal. If you ask me they’re all probably better off with out the vegan there anyway. Some vegans take themselves a little too seriously. Especially the real preachy ones, it hasn’t happened in a while, but when I worked at a non-profit I came across a lot more of them. When they go on and on about how much better they are then you for not using any animal products I want to just rip their leather shoes off and stick some rotting pork in their mouths. To be clear, I heart many vegans, but I like the ones who can watch their boyfriend eat a double beef burrito and laugh when he says he might have to throw up. I don’t know any vegans who would boycott a meal at my house because I chose to cook meat, especially on Thanksgiving Day. My mom made a Turducken two years ago on Christmas day when I was a vegetarian. Did I cry? No, because we don’t do that where I’m from. Back on the east coast you suck it up and sit at the table with carnivores. I love this city. But only here will you hear about a vegan boycotting a thanksgiving meal because a turkey was being cooked.

winter in San Francisco

We may not have snow here, but we do have giant pine cones.



11/21/2006

fancy office speak.

I guess everyone has already seen this, but it's new to me. And I can't even believe how perfect it is. From the backs of the balding men to the intensity of the dude singing. Wow. And when this stops being funny to you, go over to you tube and watch David Cross doing a parody of it. Consider this another addition to all the office speak posts.



Thanks for sending this link Jean, it made my day.

11/20/2006

a thanksgiving dildo.

This year Nekoda will cook up a storm again, hopefully making my favorite roasted root veggies with rosemary & thyme. And Chip will no doubt bake up his Kentucky sweet potato pie. There will be a tofurkey, which I will happily devour, despite the fact that I am a card carrying meat eater once again. We will drink endless wine and probably bourbon, and maybe when we all get full enough and drunk enough we'll run around in the park. I will roll home.
Last year I was at the farm. It was the first year I've ever lived in San Francisco that I spent away from my friends. I blame it on a bad boyfriend. The farm was nice, I think it rained. We built a fire in a make shift fire pit outside. It was a hippy Thanksgiving that could have only happened in California. From the wacky old dead head to Jon, my boyfriends best friend, handing me a giant glass dildo he had blown just for me during dinner. If everyone wasn't so stoned I would have blushed even more. And not like you need to know, but it's been just about a year, and I've never put it in me. The thing is so long and thick I'm scared it will dismember something inside of me. After Jon handed me the dildo, reaching across the yams and cranberries, he said "I expect a full report." No one even batted an eye and I thought then of my mother and what she would say if I told her someone gave me a hand blown glass dildo during Thanksgiving dinner. God bless this state, and how far it is from Jersey.
Everytime I open my sock drawer that dildo bangs around, but I don't know where else to put it. I imagine a future lover finding it years from now, "Wow, what do you do with this?" He wouldn't believe me that I've been too scared to use it, or that someone gave it to me as a gift on Thanksgiving day. Or worse, he'd insist we try it out.
I should get rid of that thing. Drop it off at Good Will or sell it on ebay. I'm sure someone would love it. Can you regift a dildo? Is that wrong?

11/19/2006

sunday.



It's Sunday, Jack says you should take a nap.

11/17/2006

Another review.

This time I reviewed Beach House for SFist.com, check it out.
Beach House Review

11/16/2006

more fun with work words.

Since a lot of you probably won't see the comment Jean just left on my office speak post, I figured I should post it here. Because it's really fucking great. Feel free to comment with more. You know you can make a bingo board with the words & phrases filled in instead of numbers and discretely play with your favorite co-workers during meetings. Not like I would ever do that at my job. Onto Jean's list:

here are my favorites (despite the sports metaphors, my department is all women). keep in mind this is only a partial list:

bandwidth
full court press
visibility
speificity
rolled up
buckets
finessed
reallocate
tap in
mindset
place hold
radar screen
fruits
low hanging fruit
loop in
piggyback
flesh out
nugget
pan for nuggets
tough nut to crack
dragon to slay
still has legs
cross pollination
pearls
tidbits
on top of that speed bump
lots to tackle

11/15/2006

I'm on Sfist!

Check it out! I have a review on Sfist today.
Southern hospitality, Mission style

11/14/2006

cupcakes!


This week-end I had the treat of meeting and dining with the owner of Love at First Bite, a sweet little cupcakery and bakery in Berkeley. My friend Julie, who moved here from Whidbey Island with the owner Pat, to start this little business, was familiar with my duct tape wares and she wanted to discuss selling some in the shop. Love at First Bite is a small little bakery, packed with some of the cutest stationery and trinkets I've seen under one roof in a while. I wanted to touch everything. Especially the mini mini cupcakes, that I wish I had taken a picture of to show you. They are bite size and adorable. I mean if you can't get happy around a bunch of cupcakes something's not right with you. We ate at Cesars around the corner and it was good, nice and empty when we got there and overflowing with people by the time we left. Lots of great tapas, including this anchovy dish with the fish just sliced down the middle and laid flat on some flavored mayo and toast. I was a little afraid to try it, but other than the slime factor it was tasty. But you don't want to hear about anchovies when I have cupcakes to talk about. One of my favorite things about Love at First Bite are the names and flavors of their cupcakes; Monkey Love, Pretty in Pink, Pumpkin Bliss. Yum, the names alone make me hungry. There has been quite a cupcake craze going on lately and I'm glad these ladies are catching the wave of it. Good news was they loved how the wallets came out (I have to say I think they look pretty good myself) and so they'll be selling them alongside all the other adorable things in the place. Below are some pics for your viewing pleasure. And since my last post was so fraught with drama and bitterness it only feels right to post some happy pictures. There's a whole slew of cupcake blogs out there but my favorite is All Cupcakes, All the Time it makes me squeal almost as much as Cute Overload. Enjoy! And go eat a cupcake.

Julie, happy with the card holder I gave her.

The inside of Love at First Bite.

A close up of one of the samples I made for the store (and later gave to Julie). I made the cupcake out of oragami paper, but I'm going to try some others with felt too.

A blurry picture of another wallet.

11/13/2006

a bad idea.

I don't really know what made me think it was a good idea to call up a bartender at two in the morning and give him my number, telling him I thought we should "hang out sometime". Not to mention that this particular bartender was 18 years sober and had told me that he doesn't date girls that drink anymore. Sure, he would totally be into hanging out with a wasted girl he had been serving drinks to all night. Forget that he worked at my neighborhood bar, where I briefly worked, and drink often. Forget all that. I was under the influence of my friends that night and they were certain he was hitting on me. And after he followed me out of the bar, I was convinced they were right. But when he followed me out of the bar he didn't really have anything to say, he just kind of looked at me and asked me why I left the bar without saying goodbye. "Well you were talking to a customer" I told him, but what I was thinking was, how come you followed me out of the bar and you aren't making out with me now? It was confusing. And when I met back up with my friends they yelled at me and told me how badly I had blown it. So when I got home that night, more than a little tipsy and still hearing my friends chastising me, well I thought how I would be really flattered if i was bartending and some guy I had thought was cute got home all drunk and late and decided it to call the bar he was just at to give the cute bartender there his number. I would be totally crushed out. Maybe. It seemed to go well enough, I mean, really, I can't honestly tell you how the conversation went cause I was sort of too drunk to remember. But I did give him my number, I know that and I can only hope I wasn't so wasted I gave him the wrong number. I might have done that. Either way it's been two weeks and he hasn't called. And I did tell him I would vist again on the day he worked and I haven't yet. Mostly because I'm assumming that if he wanted to hang out with me he would have called me. And I think that's sort of a fair assumption, but you see, this is my neighborhood bar and I'm sort of bummed I've felt too akward to go back. So Dave and I are on our way there now. Wish me luck.
** update **
On my home tonight, Derek called from New York. Years ago, Derek was just as in love with SF as I am now, but he told me that once you're in NYC you don't even think about SF. And I seriously started thinking about moving there. Not just because I'm tired of certain things here in SF. You know, I have a lot of people I love there, including my family and it's New York. But then there are so many reasons I've been staying away. Bartender guy, not as cute the second time around. I still didn't have to pay for any drinks and he was sweet and all but tonight he told me he's going to quit bartending and go to Cosmotology school. I'm not kidding. He wants to cut hair. Oh he's not gay, he's just a straight man in San Francisco. And at one point in the night he farted really loud and sort of giggled after he did it. That's funny and all, but not so hot. Maybe I'll get a haircut from him in a year, but that's as close as I think we'll ever get. God, New York sounds good to me now.

a note to myself.

Read what you write, read it and absorb it and take it all in and listen. Alcohol is not your friend. Remember that. Remember you will not like yourself the next day. You will wake up with a shame over all over from feet to scalp and you will frantically call all of the people you offended the night before. Apologize; say it was your evil friend the drink that made you do it, made you too honest in those places where silence would have been just fine. The page is a safe place to be, so visit often. Fill it with words and dots and read them to yourself out loud, shouting, whispering. Memorize the rhythms of your voice and get that down on paper. Sometimes maybe you should do this instead of leaving the house. Sometimes maybe you shouldn't even think of leaving your room. Get blank paper, computer, pen, and fill it, fill it with words big and small, abstract, ordered, just remember you need to do this. The page will not hate you in the morning because of something you told it last night. Trust me. Remember this, you can stay home some nights, in fact you should. Turn off the TV, the radio, don't even play music. Write it down. Write it and read it and memorize it and then write it some more. Do this often.

11/08/2006

breakfast.

i watched as they poured the batter
both of them looking eagerly on
as if there were a child
being born in that pan
they knew the exact moment to drop the berries
onto that creamy white oval

i watched from the doorway

but i wanted to eat what they have
i wanted the sticky maple love they share

i want to tell you about these pancakes
i want to tell you about the perfectness of them
i want to tell you in as few words as i can
and i want you to get it

but you are always talking about the history of us
you say,
we can not make pancakes together, not on a sunday morning,
we have too much history
but we have no history
no one has diligently written down the details of us
no one has questioned,
no one will be reading the story of our love in high school
history classes decades from now
you and i,
we do not matter enough to make history together

we are more like a fox news report at 2 in the morning
the only viewers passed out and farting

history
you throw the word around like a toy
like something easily acquired

i have no history with you

maybe years down the line when we are fatter and uglier
maybe then

when we can recall the time we burnt a chair in the road
when we can laugh about drinking sangria
and almost killing ourselves on the drive home

when i can explain the simple fact of a pancake
and you can shut up long enough to understand

pretty.

With the Dems now in control of the House, the Senate still to be called and a woman from SF as the Speaker of the House, this is how i'm feeling...


Thanks for the lovely photo Molly!!

not like it means anything.

San Francisco
Proposition J, Call for Bush/Cheney Impeachment
Yes   90,937 59.4% 
No   62,036  40.6% 
99% of precincts reporting
Updated 11/07 11:41PM

11/07/2006

It happened!!!

Britney finally dumped that dip shit husband of hers. I mean this is huge huge news. I love how she waited until she got all skinny and attractive again before she filed for divorce, maybe she's not as dumb as we all thought. This is huge... Just kidding. I don't even think I can carry on the joke. The democrats took control of the House of Representatives! And this is all proving to me that I'm nowhere near as jaded as I thought, 'cause the whole thing kind of makes my heart flutter a little. I know that even if the Dems take the Senate too (and right now they need three votes) the President will veto everything. Really, either way there will be complete gridlock. But I don't give a shit, for the first time ever we have a woman as the Speaker of the House and she's from my fucking city. Bring those San Francisco values to the House, Nancy.

11/06/2006

Vote!


About a month ago I woke up in a panic. I was certain it was Election Day and I was totally unprepared, about the only thing I was certain of was that I was going to be voting for Chris Daly as my supervisor again. I called my boss on my way to the polling station and left a message saying that I forgot it was Election Day and I was going to be late. I saw a cute guy walking around the corner with a dog, I thought, "Aww, cute voting guy, I'll smile at him because I bet he just voted." But I got to my polling station and the doors were shut, there was no sign in front of the building written in marker which said 'Polling Station! Vote here!' I was confused. Then I realized it was a Thursday. Then I realized that the election was in November. I unnecessarily called my boss back and left a message saying I was wrong, it wasn't election day and I would be there on time. The whole thing sort of made me feel a little shameful about how uninvolved I was in politics these days. For a good ten minutes I genuinely became nostalgic for the non-profit I used to work at, where it was part of our job to be well-informed citizens with opinions on issues, especially around election time. I don't miss the busted bathrooms and having to manage grown-ups that acted like children, but I do miss the political atmosphere of that place. I miss how inspired I was by people who volunteered hours and hours of their time just to sit in a phone bank and call apathetic voters who were pissed off you would even think of interrupting their favorite TV show, all in the hopes of reaching one person who would actually listen and place a more informed vote.

A few days ago I saw an article about a ballot measure in Arizona which will determine whether or not Arizona voters would essenitally recieve a lottery ticket just for showing up at the polls. If the measure passes (and you want to place bets it won't?) one lucky voter in Arizona will win one million dollars for voting. I don't even think I'm able to comprehend just how many layers of wrong this is. There are people who will be voting just to get a fucking lottery ticket. The state is essentially bribing people to get off their fat asses and vote on issues that effect their lives, their children’s lives and the rest of the world. Damn America, that's sad. Not to get all preachy and on my soap box (I sort of already have, huh?) but it’s our civic duty to vote, and it's really a sorry state of affairs when we need to come up with cute ways to convince citizens to go to the polls. If the chance of winning one million dollars is what's bringing someone to the polls, you think they're going to place well informed votes?

Also, something else that should get you riled up, if you're a woman, you haven't even had the right to vote for 100 years yet. The 19th amendment, which prohibited both the federal government and the states from using a person's sex as a qualification to vote, was passed in 1920. And something far more disturbing, if you're a person of color, you didn't recieve the right to vote until 1964 when Universal Suffrage was passed all over the US. Universal suffrage gave the right to vote to everyone, regardless of race, sex, belief, or economic or social status, and the South didn't pass this until 1964. 1964.

All this to say that tomorrow is Election Day. Vote. Please. If you're in SF Blue Space will be holding an election night viewing. Oh and one last thing, that completely epitomizes why I love living in San Francisco, tomorrow, on the ballot, we will actually be voting on the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney, it's proposition J and you can bet your ass I'm voting yes.

11/05/2006

i am not addicted to my phone.

I'll be a better blogger this week. I promise. But it's been a long weekend and I lost my phone. Out of the 100 or so numbers I had in there I had one committed to memory, make that two. It sort of terrifies me how attached I've become to that little piece of technology, but it makes my life easier and I liked my razor phone damn it. In the hopes that it will magically appear, I think I'm going to hold off on buying a new one, and I sort of look forward to the next few days without a phone. I say that now, by tomorrow night I'll probably be having a panic attack.

Molly’s art show was this weekend and it was fantastic. There's nothing like being in an entire room full of her creations. You can make an appointment to see her art, which will be hanging all month, so if you're in SF just get in touch with the gallery.

If you haven't seen I Am A Sex Addict yet, I highly recommend it. JJ and I watched it today and I think it's one of the most upfront, palatable movies about addiction I've seen. Caveh Zahedi manages to be funny, introspective and gut wrenchingly honest while telling the story of his addiction through the relationships he's had in his life. At times he reminded me a little of Woody Allen. I'm really looking forward to seeing Volver, I'm a big fan of Pedro Almodóvar, and this one looks good.

11/02/2006

give me some country.

seriously. i'm not trying to be cute here. give it to me. even Jersey country, 4 acres of litter and evergreens and daffodils, I'll fucking take it. The gunshots sounded like a toy to me tonight and that's sort of not OK. Everyone got up from the bar and ran outside. It was four shots at some truck that was driving by- no one got hit, but is that an OK consolation prize? Josh just got back from visiting NYC, and he's young and was acting all hard saying SF violence is nothing like NYC violence. I sort of wanted to punch him when he said that. Violence is violence and it doesn't matter which coast you're on. Seriously. Give me a house in the mid-west with Gillian Welch playing in the back round and a tornado on the way. I'll wear overalls.

some more advice.


Unless you want to receive a message that says:
all up in my business...damn girl.
Do not, while having drinks with your ex-boyfriends best friend, drunkenly mention that you may not be as over your ex as you thought you were and continue to probe about who he is currently seeing. Twenty bucks says it will get back to your ex. If I didn't have the memory of my ex calling me two months ago, crying, apologizing for cheating, and begging me to give our relationship "another shot", I'd probably feel a lot shitter right now. But I have a feeling that one will be my trump card for a while. (and i am completely aware of how emotionally immature this is.)

11/01/2006

bacon.

This is old, I am not 'almost 30', I am 30. My break-up can no longer be called recent, well, depending on how you classify certain things. But I got nothing right now. I'm tired from two late nights in a row and I want to sit on the couch and try to get into Top Chef. If that bartender that followed me out of the bar Monday night actually calls, maybe I'll have a good story for you soon. But here's this for now.
.................. .......................... .......................... ........................ ...................
We are sitting at the bar, you don’t need to know what time it is, but I will tell you it is too late and at this hour we should both be home, or making out with each other in a car. But we aren’t, we’re talking about our respective recent break-ups. There is a fire going behind him and the table is long and rectangle and I won’t finish this beer I’m sipping on but I’ll do my best, because it’s well past closing time and the bartender didn’t have to pour us these drinks.
He is saying how he feels like something died in him this time, how he’s mourning this great big loss in his life, even though he knew it had to end. I feel so much more pragmatic in talking about my break-up, and it takes him off guard. He looks at me and I know he’s wondering where my emotions are.
I’ve been wondering the same thing lately.
Things are different in me.
For one, I’m eating bacon. Thick, fried, slabs cut off the side of some cute little soft rolly polly pig. I think about it every time I take a bite, and I don’t flinch one bit. I ask for seconds. I order BLTs. For Christmas this year we cooked a chicken, an entire chicken, in my oven. I could taste the death in every bite. Dead bird. I love birds. But now I want BBQ chicken and Club Sandwiches and Cobb salads.
Something has finally shifted in me. I attribute it to almost living thirty years. I’m not as fresh faced and doe eyed as I used to be, I know now that we will never utilize the earths surface to its fullest potential, that me not eating chicken won’t change a god damn thing. I need protein and I’m too tired to fight small battles. I’m hanging up my activist cape and savoring the sweet smell of frying bacon.
We are back at the bar. You don’t need to know who I’m sitting with, but I will tell you he is about my age and as the night gets later my urge to kiss him is growing. I don’t want him to think I’m insensitive so I say, “Don’t you feel like you’re getting more jaded as you get older?” He looks at me a little shocked, “No way, he mutters, I’m getting softer.” I want to tell him that sometimes you need to start building walls around you’re heart and when you don’t do it fast enough the lining of that vital organ starts to weaken.
I want to tell him about my brother again.
About his wife and 1 year old boy and how he’s used up all his happy endings. You only get so many in a lifetime, and I think he’s even stolen a few of someone elses. It goes like this, relapse, use, detox, sober, relapse, use. Maybe live on the street for a while, maybe sleep with prostitutes, maybe be a prostitute, depending on your money situation at the time. If you have a home and a wife and a kid and a decent job, you’ll sleep with crack whores. If the money’s tight and you can’t even get a cash advance, then you’ll whore yourself out for your next high. And you go and go and go until the money runs out or the family finds out and someone comes and saves you. My brother doesn’t deserve to be saved anymore. Because someone has always saved him. Someone has always dropped everything, gotten on a plane and bailed his sorry ass out.
I can feel the bartender behind us getting restless, kicking the other drunks out, before we leave I want to tell him, sitting across from me, his glass almost empty, I want to tell him that before 15 years of this I was softer. But I can’t afford to be anymore. Something tells me he won’t understand. I barely get it myself.
We finally get kicked out of the bar and we walk to my house just a block away. He is full of good stories and I wonder if he knows how much of a sucker I am for good stories. I want to hold on to him, I want to keep him in my life, because the longer we sit here, on my couch, my eyes starting to close, begging sleep, the longer we sit here, the softer I feel. And maybe I can tell you why I can’t afford to be soft anymore but I can also tell you that I can’t carry these bricks in my chest forever. And maybe if I reach across the couch right now and kiss him, maybe one day we’ll be talking about turkey dinners and we’ll wake up to one another frying bacon in our small kitchen with yellow curtains and too much sun.

10/29/2006

i won...

Blog Of The Day Awards Winner
...and I didn't even know I was in the running! Levi nominated me for a Blog of the day award, and I'm flattered. Flattered enough just to know people beyond my friends are actually reading my ramblings. So thanks Levi! I think I won for my Late Delivery post, which he said reminds him of Richard Brautigan, one of my favorite writers, who I don't think I could have survived college without. Levi has some pretty great ramblings himself, so be sure to go and give his blog some love. And because Richard Brautigan was a much better writer than me (but I'm honored to be compared to him) and just in case you haven't experienced his beautiful little poems, I'll post some below. I just looked for my Brautigan books and can't find a one, I fear they're in Jersey, hopefully not in a water damaged box in the basement. But thank god for the internets, I found this lovely site, where you can feast on Brautigan's delightful words until you're full. Here are some of my favorites:

THE SHENEVERTAKESHERWATCHOFF POEM

For Marcia

Because you always have a clock
strapped to your body, it’s natural
that I should think of you as the
correct time:
with your long blonde hair at 8:03,
and your pulse-lightning breasts at
11:17, and your rose-meow smile at 5:30,
I know I’m right.

IT’S RAINING IN LOVE

I don’t know what it is,
But I distrust myself
When I start to like a girl
A lot.

It makes me nervous.
I don’t say the right things
Or perhaps I start
To examine,
Evaluate,
Compute
What I am saying.

If I say, “Do you think it’s going to rain?”
and she says, “I don’t know,”
I start thinking: Does she really like me?

In other words
I get a little creepy.

A friend of mine once said,
“It’s twenty times better to be friends
with someone
than it is to be in love with them.”

I think he’s right and besides,
its raining somewhere, programming flowers
and keeping snails happy.
That’s all taken care of.

BUT
if a girl likes me a lot
and starts getting real nervous
and suddenly begins asking me funny questions
and looks sad if I give the wrong answers
and she says things like,
“Do you think it’s going to rain?”
and I say, “It beats me,”
and she says, “Oh,”
and looks a little sad
at the clear blue California sky,
I think: Thank God, it’s you, baby, this time
Instead of me.

DEATH IS A BEAUTIFUL CAR PARKED ONLY

For Emmett

Death is a beautiful car parked only
to be stolen on a street lined with trees
whose branches are like the intestines
of an emerald.

You hotwire death, get in, and drive away
like a flag made from a thousand burning
funeral parlors.

You have stolen death because you’re bored.
There’s nothing good playing at the movies
in San Francisco.

You joyride around for a while listening
to the radio, and then abandon death, walk
away, and leave death for the police
to find.

KARMA REPAIR KIT: ITEMS 1-4

1. Get enough food to eat,
And eat it.

2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.

3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
and listen to it.

4.

to do.

If you're in San Francisco and need something to do today, go to the Open Studios in Hunters Point. I went yesterday with Chris (I'll post pictures soon) and it was fantastic. The studios are in the old naval base, which is highly contaminated but the old buildings pushed up against the Bay offer some of the most beautiful views of the city. There over 100 studios to visit, all conveniently clumped together. With so many different artists to view they run the gamut from really fucking good to not so much. But a lot of them have food and wine and the voyeuristic side of me really got into being welcomed into so many people’s personal spaces. Today's the last day of the 4 week fall open studios and you can also visit open studios in the Excelsior and Bay View. The nice thing about Hunters Point is you can park your car and walk to all of them. It's from 10-6pm today.

10/26/2006

sick day.


I love this city, that's no secret. But nothing makes me love this city more than being out and about on a weekday. Oh how I long for the days of irregular schedules and part time work. I adore my job (and I'm not just saying that because some co-workers may be reading) I really like my job. But lately the office has been wearing on me. The 9-6, in a cube all day, in front of my computer for hours on end, it's starting to make me feel a little insane. I was sick today. But just being outside when my body knew it should have been downtown made me start to feel better. Granted, it was a gorgeous fucking day out, I guess we're finally getting the summer I thought we were going to get ripped out of. On my way to coffee Jennifer called and when I told her I was home sick and right near her house she suggested breakfast. Boogaloos, I haven't been there in months because I don't really like waiting for an hour on the corner of Valencia and 22nd, clogging up the street with all the other hung over hipsters. I'm not even mentioning my new breakfast spot for fear I'll have to write my name down and wait to eat there one day. After breakfast I sat in Ritual, another place I always avoid because of the crowds. But you know what, I like it there. They make great coffee and tea, they have good baked goods (even vegan ones), free wireless so you can bring your computer and not feel like an asshole, everyone else there has a laptop in front of them. It's enormous, and they have comfy couches and pretty decent art on the walls that changes often. There are also some very attractive people to watch there, or maybe they just seemed more attractive to me because I wanted what I was sure all of them had, good paying creative jobs that allowed them to not be in an office all day. And even on a Thursday at noon it was packed. "Don't these people have jobs, why are they all here now?" I complained to Jennifer, "You have a job and so do I and we're here." She had a point and really I was just jealous, I want to be able to stroll around Valencia Street at 11am on a weekday and be blissfully unaware that downtown exists. People were smiling at me and making small talk on the street and in the grocery store. People were laughing and winking. Maybe it had to do with the weather, or maybe people are just happier when they don't have to work in a big office with not enough windows. After stocking up on movies and food I made it back home and just when I thought I would never let another TV series into my life along came Weeds. I rented it because I knew I was going to be on the couch for a while, I thought it would be like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development, the kind of show you can rent but not feel the need to mainline like the Sopranos or Six Feet Under. But fuck, I’m hooked; I’m already trying to figure out when I’ll have time to watch more episodes. This show will not control my life, I will not let it make me be a slave to the TV, I will not turn down offers to go out with friends because of it, I will not rent it on a week-end and sit in front of the TV watching six episodes in a row when it is sunny out. I swear. I also finally got a chance to buy The Liar's Club, by Mary Karr, I can't wait to start in on that. I hope it impresses me as much as seeing her did.

10/24/2006

Marie Antionette and one-night stands.


Long ago I had a one-night stand with a short, muscular, blonde haired, blue-eyed surfer. At least I think he surfed. He did something that made his muscles prominent and thick. Some exercise on a regular basis that gave him a well defined six pack, the kind usually found in museums. Not really my type. I tend to gravitate towards the flabby stoners and drunks, the ones who don't make me feel bad that the last real work out I had was a drunken late night game of kickball. I had nothing in common with this surfer (we'll call him 'Surfer' not to protect his identity, but, because for the life of me, I really can't remember his name). I knew I would never see him again, and it was almost laughable when he wrote his number down before leaving in the morning, I guess it was more of a courtesy then anything else. The Surfer did, however win for muttering the best last words any one-night stand has ever said to me on their way out the door. Before leaving and throwing a pillow in my face, he looked at me and said, "Don't watch anymore shitty movies." Besides having some pretty decent sex, we also spent most of the night arguing about 'Lost in Translation', a movie we had both recently seen in the theater. He hated it, I adored it. I can honestly say that once we started in on these conversations I stopped entertaining any thoughts of seeing him again. In fact, this may have been the most Zen like one night stand I have ever had, I was totally aware of what it was, and so I was completely in the moment with it. I just knew I could never get involved with someone who so fiercely hated 'Lost in Translation’; in fact maybe it was his violent reaction to this movie that cemented it as one of my more recent favorites.
The Surfer's biggest complaint was that nothing happened in it,
"Life isn't like that you know."
"But it sort of is, maybe you just don't want to pay to watch it.”
"No, I really don't, that's my point."
I bring all this up because I've been hearing a lot of the same sort of complaints about Marie Antoinette, Coppola's latest film. I will come out right now and say that I absolutely adored this movie. I thought it was delicious; the music, the food, Versailles, the costumes, the fucking hairpieces, the shoes. It was absolute eye and ear candy. Sure, Jason Schwartzman was unbelievable and stiff, I could overlook this, after all, he muttered about ten lines through out the entire movie. Sure, some of the language felt a little silly, like when Marie Antoinette says the dressing ritual is "sooo ridiculous", but I see where Coppola was trying to go with that language. She wanted us to get that this hated Queen started off as a 14-year-old girl, not really ready to handle what she was being thrown into, and sort of home sick.
I don't know about you, but I don't usually go to the movies for a history lesson. I love dramas, but I have enough to draw from in my own life most days. I like smart, witty films that tell a good story and make me laugh, but I also read a lot of books. Sometimes I want to go to the movies and just fucking sink, forget about the e-mails I forgot to send at work, the cat litter I have to buy, or that one day we're all going to rot and die. And in terms of all that, Marie Antoinette was just perfect.
Sofia Coppola paints movies, sure she uses big wide brushes where lots of folks would prefer some fine lines, but she gives us grand, beautiful pictures. I didn't go to this movie for a detailed account of the history of France during Louis XVI's reign. I went because I knew there was an 80's sound track to a movie that was set in the 1700's, I knew Sofia Coppola would take risks in the telling of the story and I liked the hot pink font on the poster. I will say seeing it made me want to dust off my high school history books and remind myself of the details that weren't in the movie (which were a lot). And that's the thing that gets me with all these reviews saying it was self-indulgent, fluff that didn't tell the whole story of her life and what was going on in France at the time, do we ever rely on movies to teach us real, accurate histories? Unless they're documentaries we shouldn't. Shame on us in fact, if we do.
Perhaps I was drawn to this movie so much because it bore some resemblance to 'Lost in Translation', the isolation Bill Murray's character feels upon arriving in Japan is quite similar to the loneliness Marie Antoinette feels upon arriving in France. There are the same big, sweeping shots and long silences, in fact you hear more music then dialogue in the film. I'm quite certain the Surfer is sitting somewhere cursing Sofia Coppola and her boring movies. No doubt he would call this a chick flick. I'd be surprised if he ever even sees the movie. Thank god for one-night stands and good directors who know how to indulge our senses.

10/22/2006

To the lady that rang my bell four times Sunday morning,


That wasn't a nice thing to do. Maybe noon on a Sunday isn't morning to you, but it is to me. I was on the toilet when you rang the bell. I had been up until 5am that morning. I was thinking how maybe I would go back to sleep after I was done peeing. When the bell rang I decided I would ignore it. I do that. I wasn't expecting anyone and I think most people I know would have the courtesy to call before just stopping by on a Sunday morning. But you rang the bell four times, one right after another- ding ding ding ding. I thought someone was in trouble, maybe me. So when I ran down the three flights of stairs, hung over and not really done peeing, and I saw you there, dressed for church and trying to hand me a pamphlet through the gate, I was angry. Sorry I slammed the door in your face. But you were not bloody and dying and that is the only reason I could think someone I don't know would ring my bell at noon on a Sunday. That wasn't very nice of me, but I hope you understand how you sort of ruined my morning. Oh and I heard that mean thing you said about me to my neighbor, that wasn't very Godly of you. Assuming you were there to spread the word of God, but I guess I'll never know. Please don't ever do that again.

Late Delivery.

I owe you a poem,
because it’s been two years and two months
and I barely wrote that summer.
So here, take this—it’s still damp from night swimming in the Sound,
its eyes are narrow and blood shot and all it wants is sleep
but your body is next to it in the car
and just the sight of you is like too much caffeine.
This poem has sand down its pants,
thick white stones and broken bits of shells.
This poem will drive home shirtless with the Postal Service playing quietly in the background.
This poem should have been written two years ago, I can feel
it sagging from not enough air.
But I’ll empty my lungs for it, sacrifice some oxygen,
bring that summer back to life.
The jellyfish, keg beer, and so many crosswords,
you always had to do them in pencil didn’t you?
This poem is covered in cobwebs and dust,
far away from the both of us now.

10/20/2006

my old undies return.


I came home last night to two great pieces of mail waiting for me. First off was a bulky package from Philly, I knew without looking it was from Cathy. Back in June, when I visited her and Aurura, I forgot my most comfortable pair of velour pants (my only pair, that I used to sleep in every night), my beaten in old white t-shirt and one of my favorite pairs of underwear. Cathy, if you're reading, I'm just hoping all those e-mails about the nasty things you were doing to my 'panties' (I hate that word) were a joke, you were kidding, right? I hope so, because I was so excited about having my comfy clothes back I stripped right there in the hall, and put them all on. Something, by the way I would do a lot more of if I didn't have roommates. Also included in the package were some great sketches for the story of mine she's illustrating and this little gem, which I'm calling 'night man', cause it looks like the night is eating up his head. I hope the scan picks up the three dimensional aspect. Cathy, you need to send me more packages, if you do, I promise next time I'm in Philly I'll let you keep all my undies. Also waiting for me was a fat envelope from Molly, I had no clue what it was stuffed with and I nearly peed my pants (but thank god I didn't because I was so excited to have them back in my life) when I found it was the essay Calvin Trillin had written about his wife in the New Yorker, which I had mentioned I wanted to find after hearing him talk about it at City Arts & Lectures last week. It's called Alice Off the Page and it was in the March 27th issue of the New Yorker if you're looking. It's just heart breaking and beautiful and I'm thrilled at the length of it, as I have a feeling I'm not going to want it to end. Go US Postal service. In the name of mail and since I really don't have a lot to offer here today you should click on over to Post Secret, which is on my page over there under links, it's one of my favorites.

10/18/2006

office speak.

Yes, I'm blogging at work. But in case anyone from work is reading this- I won't take more than two minutes on here and anyway I only had about 28 minutes to shove a salad in my face for lunch today, so I'm already working over time here. Just came out of a meeting and I wanted to share the amount of times the following phrases were used:
'Let's take this offline' - 8
'What's the hook? (or the word 'hook' used in some way) - 5
'Circle back' - 3
'On board' - 2

Alma Mater.

As an act of mild rebellion I actually wrote in to my alumni newsletter from high school with an update on what I was doing these days. Julie made fun of me, but, I argued, isn't it nice to read something about someone from our class that doesn't involve marriage or kids or some grant to work on saving diseased children in some third world country? So I wrote in about what I was doing, and where I lived. My original entry said, "she is happily single with no children and a cat named Jack", but I wasn't brave enough and I recanted shortly after sending it to our class officer, "Just say after 7 years of working at a non-profit I'm now at______, and living in San Francisco." I included my e-mail address. Because I was secretly hoping someone would e-mail me. And they have. It's someone I wasn't really friends with in high school, she now lives on the west coast too and she's writing a novel. OK so maybe she just wrote me because she read that I work at a publishing company. But I'm sort of giddy. I love this shit. I won't tell her I don't work in editorial.

10/16/2006

A bucket of chicken.


Tonight I had dinner with Shannon and Jen Joseph, the woman behind Manic D Press , one of my long time favorite book publishers in SF. When Shannon told me that Jen wanted to take me out to dinner to discuss publicity for Pet Noir, the book Shannon is publishing with Manic D, I was a little surprised. Sure, I work for a well-known publishing house, but Jen’s been doing this for 23 years. We tried going to Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack but there was a wait and judging from the sounds pouring out I’m sure we would have been yelling over hipsters talking about how fucked up they got at Pops this week-end through out the meal. I’ll reveal right now that I’ve admired Jen from afar for a while. Manic D was such a part of my formative years in San Francisco, the years when I would follow Sister Spit from venue to venue, jealously watching as those bad ass women belted out their unapologetic poetry to packed houses. I didn’t know what to expect when I moved to SF as a young, eager writer, but I couldn’t have been more pleased with who I discovered here, Justin Chin, Beth Lisick, Michelle Tea, so many of whom have been published by Jen through Manic D Press. Manic D was and remains so quintessentially San Francisco to me, fiercely independent and dedicated to publishing new voices. McSweeney's and City Lights may get all the press, but Manic D deserves it more, they take chances and don’t just publish friends of friends who already have name recognition. In a snark filled world (and I don’t deny I both take part and enjoy it) Manic D remains sincere and true. Jen mentioned how out of place this makes Manic D, how they fit more into another decade, but I disagree, the snark will cycle out but there will always be a place for good, honest writing. Anyway, Jen suggested Front Porch and I was so happy to be dining with these fine ladies I kept it to myself that I had dinner plans there the next night as well. I said that I had been before, the food was great and we should definitely go. Considering that every review I’ve read of Front Porch mentions a 45-minute wait, and that’s about how long we waited when I ate there with K & C, it was a surprise to walk right in and be able to pick our table. So if you want to go to Front Porch and not wait in line, try a Monday night around 7pm. About a half hour after we had been seated the place started to fill up and towards the end of the dinner, while we were comfortably chatting away, in our own little world, I looked up and the bar was just packed with people waiting for a table. Last time I was at Front Porch I had the fish and chips, which were some of the best I’ve ever had, fried to perfection but still moist and flaky on the inside. Jen suggested the bucket of chicken this time, which was fantastic and surprisingly not a bit greasy. They know how to fry food there. I’m a big fan of their sides, black-eyed peas, corn, and my favorite, this porridge/grits dish with chili oil. The place just feels good, I like the low tin ceilings and jugs of water they put on every table. I could have listened to Jen tell stories all night, the woman knows just about everyone in the literary scene in SF and it was great hearing some inside stories on some writers I’ve long admired. At one point Shannon turned to me and said “do you still have a crush on him now?” referring to a writer who I’ve sworn I’ll marry one day. Since I can’t remember what Jen said to keep to myself I won’t share any of it here. But I will tell you that if you go to Front Porch you shouldn’t skip dessert. When I was there with K and C we split a big piece of yellow cake with chocolate frosting, which we all agreed was Duncan Hines from top to bottom (this is a good thing). And last night the three of us split the dessert special, I can’t remember the name, I think it was brioche fried like French toast sandwiched with chocolate in the middle, topped with crème fraise and a cherry, swimming in some amazing sauce. Yum.

10/15/2006

this is a poem.

I am lucky enough to be part of an amazing writing community here in San Francisco. I want to dedicate an entire post to the people I have met and what they have to offer, but I'll do that another night. I'm writing this because I met with my writing group today, we meet once a month and have been doing so for three years. There are five of us, four here and one in LA, when she moved to LA she bought one of those Star Trek looking phones so we could call her and she could still be part of the group. We do a lot of feedback on stuff we're all working on, one of us is writing a memoir, another a novel. We also write. I don't have enough of an attention span right now to tell you how much these people inspire me and give me confidence to go on writing. But they do and I cherish all of them. I've been feeling weird about posting poetry on here. Mostly because it's poetry, and a lot of people don't like poetry. But this is my space and I'm posting another poem, I just wrote it today, it's rough. So if you don't like poetry just skip this post and I'll see you tomorrow. xo.

50 Ways to Leave Your Hometown

First close the door. Kiss everyone goodbye. Make something up.
Tell them you'll just be gone a year, for a job, a lover, a class.
Tell them you'll write often and call even more.
Get in your car.
Pull out of the driveway, slowly. Take in the scene,
deeply, longingly, remember the way the river looks beyond the house,
the three boats sailing there.
Engrave in your mind the picture of them standing there,
mother, step father, three brothers, small white dog.
Do not cry.
Do not show emotion and they won't either.
Keep your calm.
Pull out the mixed tape you made just for this occasion,
the one marked "leaving home".
Hit play.
Get change ready for the tolls, quarters nickels dimes.
Look ahead of you. Drive forward.
Do not hit reverse, rewind or pause.
go go go.
Your eyes ahead of you, your heart full and in both hands.
drive drive drive.
Maybe it will take you a day to get where you're going, maybe three. Maybe two weeks.
Perhaps you will fly. But the best way to leave home is to drive.
You need to see the roads your crossing, feel the space you're creating between you and them.
Sleep outside at least once. Wake up somewhere unknown with your lungs wet with dew and a full set of stars above you.
Breathe deeply.
Empty your mind.
Do not think of home.
Look forward.
Forget.
Send postcards along the way, Ohio, Kentucky, Dallas, Las Vegas.
Tell them the weather is lovely and the car is doing just fine. Tell them you miss them and think of them often.
This will not be a lie, you do.
When you get there, fall in love.
Let your feet sink deep in the mud,
let your face fall forward, get dirty
make mistakes.
Fly home for holidays and bring gifts.
Tell your little brothers about the hills there, tell them about the skate boarders and bikers, about concrete
covered in graffiti. Tell them they would love it.
Create a place for them so that when they think of you (and they do) they can see you there, walking the steep hills,
chasing the bikers, admiring the purple pink red graffiti.
Bring them artifacts from this place-- snow globes (tell them snow doesn't happen there), Chinese lanterns,
good chocolate, weekly papers.
Go back.
Kiss them all goodbye.
Do not fight with your mother when she tells you it has been more than a year.
Tell her you think of her often (you do, this will not be a lie).
Fly away.
Kiss the San Francisco ground when you land.
Go to work.
Have sex.
Eat well.
Love your friends.
Call home.
Repeat.

10/12/2006

Talking cardoons & treasures with Molly Meng.


I met Molly Meng two years ago. It was on one of those classic San Francisco days, I had just come back from three months in New York and was seriously considering packing up and heading back East. But how could I? Sitting in Dolores Park with a great friend, appreciating the view, soaking in the sun, along comes Molly, tall, friendly and packed with life. Molly had just moved to SF with her boyfriend (now husband), and we went up to their amazing apartment overlooking Dolores. That's when I was first introduced to Molly's wonderful creations, she had bins of intricately collaged cards, created with old letters and photos and found objects. Each piece was its own little world and I was blown away. Molly has her first solo show coming up on November 4th and has started selling her cards online at shoporangebutton.com (you can also buy them at Candy Store in the Mission). I never leave Molly's presence feeling uninspired, whether we're just sitting around talking or making things in her house. If you're in San Francisco, go to her show, not only will you see some beautiful art, I promise you'll leave inspired.

Hi Molly.

Hi T.

Hey, do you know what a Cardoon is?

A cardoon? Is that someone talking cartoons with a cold? Or is that the instrument played by my favorite author Noam Chomsky? Yeah, I know what it is; I just don't feel like telling anyone!

Fair enough. I just found out it was a vegetable a couple of days ago, a cross between an artichoke and celery, although it doesn't really look like the baby of those two. What's your favorite vegetable to cook with?
I really tend to keep veggies in their own majestic form--my latest favorite is squash. But I truly, truly love peppers: red, yellow, green, orange--love them!!! Cooked! Raw! They’re candy and veggie all in one!

While we're on the topic of favorites, what's your very favorite thing to do in SF, like if you had no obligations to anything and an unlimited amount of money, what's the first thing you would do in our lovely city?
Well, besides no obligations and unlimited money, it would also require a yet unheard of gastronomical add-on: a bigger stomach cavity. Because I would probably chose to eat, eat, and eat some more: Firefly, Pomelo, Zinc. The other thing I would do is take classes: there is every kind of DIY class offered in this city & I’d take almost all of 'em!

Guilty blog reading pleasure?
You had to bring that up, eh? No, no, I’ve never, ever, ever, swear on a republican! spent hours on perezhilton.com !!! I swear! But I really appreciate the neurotic ravings of nancyboy.com (owner of the fab shop Nancyboy, here in town) and the intelligence, and sometimes great dense-ness, of davidbyrne.com thanks to you & other friends, actually, I’ve found out a ton of other artist/crafter websites that I’d like to actually spend more time on. Including yours!

What's been inspiring you these days?

Musicians: big, dramatic musicians that put on incredible real, true, live SHOWS: David Bryne, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, The Arcade Fire and music that keeps coming across my desk: Regina Spektor, Death Cab for Cutie, David Dondero. And, anytime I watch the brilliance that is "me and you and everyone we know" --I think I’ve watched it four times over the last month. And dreams. My own dreams have really been going crizazzy and therefore memorable (you know, in the waking hours) in a good way. And, strangely, politics. The hell-in-a-hand basket world this administration is creating is shocking and disgusting to me on a daily basis. I feel like so many of my pieces are a reaction to what’s going on. Many pieces are beautiful relics of a bygone era, and then in others, it seems the life I’m revealing was just as nasty "then" as it is today. But the pieces are more about people, and contact, and relationships.... whereas, I feel like the world we're living in today is so distant and out of touch with itself (ourselves). I like to think "the good ole days" actually existed and I’m digging those good ole days up from their past; some stories are good and some aren't so pretty.

Favorite thing you've ever made?

dang, that’s hard. I'm of the old school; I usually fall in love with all my "first drafts". My "favorite" made things usually don't have much to do with the actual piece, but with the story of the person/history behind them. So, when the piece is finished, I’ve so fallen in love with this character I’ve created in my head and by default, fall in love with the piece. I do love & will never sell the piece "Do Onto Others" that I made years ago, it was sorta part of a series of these pieces with old rulers I found...it hangs in our living room. I’ve since sold the other pieces in that series. And funny enough, one of my new favorite things is something I just finished today. It’ll be at the show in November. And you'd probably never guess what it is--it's fairly small and seemingly insignificant. Again, thou, I fell in love with the character behind it.

Speaking of your upcoming show, is there a central theme around it? Do you want to tell us anything about it or should we just come and see it?
Well, yes, I would be absolutely honored if everyone came to see it, too. But I’d be happy to tell you a bit about the central theme of it in the meantime (if I can articulate it!). The show is called "...unfinished proof" (which is also the phrase from an old stamp that used to be embossed on photos that weren't yet sealed by chemicals--literally, unfinished, and yet it was still a proof that was to be approved, in a short amount of time. For me, it's also proof that that person was...) it revolves around the idea that all the pieces are proof of these people's existence in the world--yet, as I mentioned before, these are actually characters, and the characters lives/work/pieces created by me; so, it's 'unfinished proof'. I create historical fiction with real ephemera, actual vintage photographs and books and millinery ...and on and on.... and there is a story behind each piece, which I would love to be able to tell to everyone. But I realize I won't get around to telling the 'history' of each piece to every person that comes to the show.

That's one of the things I love about your art, how it's based around old photos and letters you've found and the pieces you create build a life back up around these photos and artifcats. I know you often make up stories of these people as you work. Want to share any with us?
There is this one in particular that I’m really digging on--the pieces are about 18x24 and they're stories that this woman used to write out and then hang up on her walls. She did hundreds of these and all over her apartment, they were all pinned over each other, but each one told a complete story from her past. She would be sitting in her chair and something would occur to her and she would whip out this huge child's drawing pad and start writing. As she was writing, she would pull this box of photos closer to her and start digging through to find the photos to go with the story she was telling. She would write, first in pencil (she only used pencils at first, considering this a 'first draft' element of these stories--though, she never used an eraser) until she was finished, placing the photos through out the story. When she was finished, she would lean back in her chair, admiring the finished story, and would let out a little "there" under her breath. She would later go back over them with pen, to 'set' the story in ink, and then pin them up on her walls. They were just her life stories, but she could see the 'art' in them as well, and that’s why she liked to hang them on her walls. She was the only one left from her family. Her parents died when she was in college and she had two brothers, both of whom had since died--so, she felt like she was keeping up the family history this way.

With all these old photos and memorabilia of people, all these lives in boxes and in your studio space, do you ever feel haunted by them?
Normally, no. In fact, for all the years I’ve been collecting this stuff, I can only think of one time that I felt it was "haunting" me. Geeze, I’m still trying to get rid of the box of this person's stuff. I bought it at an estate sale, a big wooden box filled with this guy's life and the stuff he had collected, and it sat around our apartment for ages. Something was definitely funky, 'cause normally I’d jump right into the box...usually, I can barely get away from the house/the flea market/ wherever, before I start pulling out photos and letters and showing them to Ryan*, creating stories for them. But, this one, I don't know...it just sat. I kept moving it around from place to place in the studio and then it sat in the living room for a long time. Finally, I went through it, and almost instantly I felt the heavy. Now, I’ve done a lot of digging through people's stuff, in their homes, usually right after they've left this earth, and I know some people think that's creepy: plus, the stuff I bring home can seem crazy too, like stockings and false teeth and death certificates--seemingly heavy stuff, but I think it's beautiful (I feel like I’m preserving them, making them infamous, giving them their fifteen minutes, in a whole new light). And I’ve been to a flea market with another collector and when I bought an entire, spectacular photo album of a German family who sent their daughters to an all girl Nazi training camp in New Jersey, well, he thought it was wrong and told me he didn't collect sensationalist, evil things like that (lucky for me, as it turned out). He thought that focus was too heavy. But, this was a totally different kind of heavy. As I sorted thru this guy's stuff, and started reading the letters, and reading the backs of photographs I just knew I could never use any of this. I didn't even get all the way through the box. I packed it up, got rid of the wood box, and the stuff sits, sealed in cardboard box waiting for a new home. I should throw it away.
*(Luckily I married an amazing guy who loves the dig, too, and is totally, totally supportive of me and the fact that I bring a ton of other people's stuff into our house)

Anything else you want to tell us about (stuff we shouldn't die without reading first, music, idols, fun facts)?
Sufjan Stevens may be my new god. Saw him play last nite and I was blown away at his vision. You don't have to love his music (though it would be a bit of drag if you didn't fall in love with it.... I mean, for you, the listener, really) anyway! -- You don't have to love his music to see that he's a master of his vision. He had 45 people on stage with him-- strings, horns, a wurlitzer, among other fabulous instruments and a full Mozart choir. Gorge-gous! And, if you've got time, read some Kurt Vonnegut before you die. What a long overdue, unexpected surprise in my literary world. Go back to using your old camera: I just re-discovered my cannon AE1 after putting it down for a digital two years ago...and man, it's like the world has become richer. And, finally, send letters via the U.S. postal service--its not a promotion of the postal service (please, I know those lines SUCK!) but of sending and receiving mail: paper, pencil, stamps-- it's a juicy experience that we've let slip out of our hands...


"...unfinished proof..." opens November 4th at Gallery 405, 2111 Mission Street, Suite 405, 6pm-9pm.
You can also visit 8mm ideas for more info and in the future more art from 8mm, Molly's company.