Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Gifts of Joy

Out of nowhere I got a package. The return address is listed as O. M. Banta in San he had been playing the game of him knowing something that I did not (my critics would argue that is probably true of most people). But inside...oh, the magic! The wonder of it all!

1. A tea towel that says "Caffeine is not a drug. It's a vitamin."

2. Pens with vile slogans like "Verdant Fields Nudist Camp...get in touch with your OUTER self! Enjoy ping pong, volleyball, and our famous bottomless buffet!"

3. A card in-joke that made me laugh.

4. Douchebag Citations. Oh, they are breaktaking! There are probably fifty choices for your citation; everything from Crunchy douchebag to Smug douchebag to International douchebag. You can check off as many of them as you like, and then it ends with "But you're [ ] my [ ] somebody's douchebag. Unfortunately we have already discussed that we both know at some point he will get one.

5. And then...a book. It's out of print now and I couldn't find my copy of it. So he found it for me. And wrote a perfect inscription in the front.

Oh yeah. Totally made my day. He kinda makes a good week and a good life.

And I am totally going up to Coffee Garden to use my new pens and my new pad of citations. I may not be able to control myself.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Can Not Kill All Of You.

Once again realizing my frailties in my inability to not kill the world. All the world. All of them. Every last effing one of them.

But hey. I have plans for Thanksgiving, and not just minor ones. One of my oldest and dearest friends have reappeared, not to call her old in the slightest.

Got that goin' for me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

At Least I'm Not An Angle This Time.

Yeah...this would be a paean to the Boy.

You have been warned.

So yesterday I was yanking mail out of the mailbox and recognized both handwriting and then address of a Certain Boy of Whom I Am Extremely Fond.

It is, sans doubt, the sweetest and most beautiful thing I have ever gotten from a boy. This includes my boyfriend from when we were 16 who said "Can I show you something?" and ignoring my response of "Have I already seen one?" raised his sleeve to show my initials inked onto his arm.

In retrospect my reaction was probably not called for or well thought out; but shrieking "You DUMBASS!!!!! Are you KIDDING me? We aren't going to be together past high school, what were you THINKING?!" In no way, shape, or form actually excuses me.

Yes. I was that rotten of a person.

So I really, really don't deserve the incredibly sweet and heartfelt sentiments that were expressed to me. But I do appreciate them and may in fact have to carry said card with me for future reference, any time I need a smile.

Oh. The card on the front reads "I'd better get a library card. Because I'm checking you out."

I promise what was written inside was much, much sweeter. But no less any part of The Boy, whose head cock, evil point, and smarmy delivery is rife every time I look at the front of that card.

Yep. Love him.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I left my heart (and my toiletries) in San Francisco

Best way to travel: People with whom you have common interests.

Which is pretty much why we ate our way from one end of the city to the other and back again.

I still remember when things were up in the air with The Boy and I was discussing them with a friend..."He's a chef," this friend said. "Nobody talks about food more than you do. The only person in doubt about this working out is you."

Fine. I am a shallow human being, and I love to eat. And yes, I am in love. That being said, I offer the following travelogue.

We got in Friday night. I had threatened Ricky on at least four separate occasions that if he checked a bag I would actually skewer him; we were trying to make The Boy's restaurant before close so we could all adjourn from the same place with A Plan In Place. That being said, immediately upon setting foot in the airplane I was informed that they had run out of overhead space, and I would have to check my carryon bag. Kill me now.

I am not sure what Delta's thought pattern is, but for future reference, if ever they tell you to check a bag which by rights you had packed as a carryon, MAKE SURE YOU GET THE NUMBER FOR THE BAGGAGE CLAIM. When I disembarked I looked at my ticket and discovered that they had listed my flight number. Nice. I knew what flight I was on, what I needed to know is which luggage claim was the one where I could retrieve my carry-on-now-checked luggage. You will be pleased to know that it was eventually located on an unlit, unmoving, and unmarked baggage thingie. Which only took me 45 minutes and a stream of epithets normally used by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens 3 to locate. During the interim of which Ricky's plane landed and we started the Marco-Polo game of trying to find each other in the San Francisco International Airport.

By 10:00 p.m. we had found each other and a taxi, although it had become close and at one point Ricky had already observed that this airport had become our Waterloo.

Made it to the restaurant, made it to the B&B, made it home to fall into a deep and abiding coma.


We had brunch at a place called Stackers. I went for the bacon waffles, which were *exceptional*. They were crispy all the way through, with a delicious helping of bacon in each savory bite. Then we went to the Farmer's Market, where we ate our way through...twice. Of particular note was the prosciutto and cheese sandwich with dijon mustard, and the apricot conserves (which Ricky promptly bought and we later figured out would have to be shipped to him owing to the magic of 9/11 airport security. More on this later.), and the cheeses. Apparently the salmon candy was lovely as well, but I was having no part of that.

We then moved on to Union Square and got to play dress up with The Boy, which was fun. Ricky needed to do a little shopping, and at one point in Ben Sherman while slumped on the dressing room waiting chair we suddenly heard a lot of yelling going on in the dressing room. "What did he say?" I asked.
"Something about Chinese finger traps," Jed responded.
"No he didn't."
When Ricky finally emerged, he had a tale of woe; apparently the shirt he had tried on had sleeves too small for his biceps, and in trying to remove it he had become trapped with his arms behind his back. And was, apparently, yelling about Chinese torture traps.

I hate losing.

Then on to Jed's restaurant. We had reservations and because we were In The Know with a Very Important Sous Chef got the coveted #32 table...apparently this is coveted because it has a window and you can look out and comment on all the jackasses walking past. Which, naturally, appealed to us. So, on to dinner...what can I say, except this was exactly the moment where I left my heart and replaced it with ten pounds of extra fat? And that it was completely and totally worth it? Absolutely incredible meal, there is no going back from food like that. I had the tri-tip with port-red wine sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes, and grilled beans. Jed had the jumbalaya, which Ricky couldn't stop eating, and Ricky had the wild mushroom ravioli with truffled mascarpone. I threatened to stab him with my fork if he didn't quit eating my mashed potatoes. It didn't stop him. *I* didn't stop him; I would have had to get another fork and that might have taken too long for me to pause in shoveling food into my mouth. The wait staff spoiled us senseless, and I have to say it was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip.

We will not discuss one of the more popular gay bars in the disco, except when I leaned close to Jed and shrieked into his ear "I am pretty sure this is violating the fire code!"
"Absolutely!" he roared back. "This many flamers in one room?"

(Interesting side note: a large and burly guy there took umbrage that an openly heterosexual couple would dare to show themselves being publicly affectionate there. Ah, irony, apparently a straight couple snuggled into each other was in fact the black fly in his chardonnay. He sat there making snide comments and being outraged that we were putting our arms around each other and kissing one another IN PUBLIC LIKE THAT. "Why didn't you say something to him?" I asked Jed, who said "Because he was bigger than Ricky and I combined, and I figured jail would seriously cut into our weekend time together." Point, set, and match.)

Sunday was a less exciting brunch. I can't remember the name of the restaurant. Jed and I had croque monsieurs, for which we both have a passion. It was...okay. Not great. Just okay. I didn't hate it, but also didn't want to weep with joy over it either. Then we walked through the park in the rain, which was fun--the rain had driven off all the hippies and the entire drum circle, which was something of a Christmas miracle. Yes, I ran from the dive-bombing circling pigeons. Yes, I was mocked for my fear of having a pigeon poo on me from above. And yes, I whined nonstop about how many stairs we were going to have to take in order to cross the park to make it to the museum.

In the course of the museum, at one point Ricky became disgusted. "Oh, there would be an awkward pause in conversation, but let's kiss and that will make up for it," he sneered. "You two make me sick. I'm going to go be installation art." Whereupon he started posing in one of the upper windows for the benefit of the milling masses below.

It was in front of a John Singer Sargent painting that things really fell apart. I got started on modern art and my philistine opinions thereof. "Now THIS," I said, gesturing at it, "Has got to be harder and require more talent and discipline than somebody painting three stripes, gluing a spoon to it, and adding a handful of the artist's shit and calling it 'Untitled'."
"Stripe, stripe, glitter, FLING!" Jed suddenly volunteered, demonstrating the modern artist's development of a painting. Which is when he and I completely lost it, and laughed for probably ten minutes, to Ricky's intent disgust. Nobody finds this as funny as we do. I don't care. Every time I see a Rothko now I will just picture 'Stripe, stripe, glitter, poo-FLING!' and feel better about it. And probably snicker.

Ricky flew out Sunday afternoon; after we had said our goodbyes, Jed and I wandered around Haight-Ashbury loathing the hippies and everyone there, then went downtown to establish our hatred of those people, too. Then back to his place to watch a movie and talk all night, and then home.

It was one of the better weekends of my life, I must admit. Food, fun, laughter, attack moths, showers in a claw-footed tub so far off the floor it was trying to kill me (or at the very least cause me to strain a groin muscle), shopping, friends, dancing, movies, some actual sleep, holding hands, nature in a man-made construction way, running from pigeons, fat tourists, Nike runners, caffeine, and general mayhem. I need more of those kinds of vacations.

*The "more on this" portion: in going through security they confiscated my lotion because it was 4 oz. and not 3.5. However, my 15-inch solid steel wicked sharp knitting needles didn't do so much as cause a raised eyebrow. Please explain this to me. .5 oz of lotion cannot possibly be allowed, but something that could run two people through at once and they are fine with it? Also, I can take scissors with a wicked sharp point if they are under 3.5 inches, but a contained thread cutter is not allowed? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining--I am glad they will let me bring knitting. But...really? REALLY? 4 oz. of lotion might be terrorist driven but 15 inches of pointed steel isn't dangerous in the slightest?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mama T Can Kick Your Heinie

So there I was. Alone. Bereft. Single without purpose, if you will...and then I saw

A lot of money.

So when I talked to Mama T I pointed out that, in fact, she had left lots of money.

"No, I didn't." she said sweetly. "I left the seed money for the Jed And Delanie Perpetual Travel Fund."

My mother? Best! Mother! Ever! I dare you to deny it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

They Make Me Tired.

I didn't used to be tired. The vim and vigor of hating an entirely new species or subcategory of species always seemed to rejuvenate me.

But the hipsters.

Oh, the hipsters.

How tired they make me.

It doesn't help that I live in an area which is overrun by the vermin; nor yet does it help me that I can't ignore them when they are shrieking into their mobile phones to their friends about how they have a great life, they spend $X on $X and if *they* (whomever the hell they are) are planning to go to Provo to X, *they* had better plan on a million zombie people already being there.

I am getting old, people. Boundless rage takes more effort than it did. After hearing the above-referenced coversation I had to go home and almost take a nap.

So for future reference, my dear loathed subspecies of human, please try to do it when it is not later than 10:30 at night, because I will then be forced to walk hom listening to you behind me, also walking, and realizing that even if I killed you there are far too few places to hide the body.

Sometimes, I miss the days when I only knew about Rocky Horror and Sundance.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Creeping in our petty prints from day to day...

Wheresoever they burn books, they shall also, in the end, burn human beings. --Heinrich Heine
What if they don't necessarily BURN the books, but they, in perhaps a "fit of pique" (euphemism for Complete And Total Temper Tantrum of the First Order) they, say, are looking for a particular book on bookshelves that are crammed this way and that, doublestacked, loaded to the ceiling, and generally in disarray, and can't find said book?

And what if they, at that particular moment, leap to the next step of logic which works only in their own particular psyche--not that they should enlist someone else to help them, or perhaps engage in a catalogue of book locations--but rip every goddam book from the shelves and decide to start over, screaming like Rodan the whole time?

Three weeks later, the piles have been...lessened.

In yet another "fit of pique" (euphemism for Another Full Tilt Temper Tantrum, Wild Hair and Screeching Included), I (oh, fine, forget they, we all know it's me) pulled out a card table and started hauling books out. The sign for the card table read "Free Books. Seriously. Take One. Take Ten. Take Them All. I don't care. Just cart them away and feel good about the fact that you are helping me to not die under the rubble of 15,000 paperbacks."

At the end of the day, there were nine books left on the table.

I love this neighborhood.

We will not discuss how many books remain on the floor to be disposed...or shelved...but hey. I got rid of at least 100 of them! J. said that it had nothing to do with the kind of books or the genre, but the beating of the heart that is quickened by the word "FREE." Anyone can tell J. from me that just because I am the literary equivalent of an intellectual savant doesn't mean that people just picked things up because they were labeled free. I saw them out there. They perused. They looked. They selected things that might be interesting, or at least look like something they might want to give to someone as a Christmas present.

You see, you can always tell the books I have either (a) loaned out, or (b) bought used. If it is a book I bought new and read, it looks exactly like new. I owe this talent to my mother's original bookstore owner employer, Marie. She owned Bittercreek Books in Vernal, Utah. Very early on (fifth grade or so) she noticed that I was a voracious reader, and that there was no way my parents could keep up with my junkie-level reading habit. I had already devoured everything in the grade school library and the public library as well; so she decided to help out. She taught me how to read a book so that it remained looking like new. Don't open the book too wide (it breaks the spine), don't rumple pages, don't besmudge the cover. Once those basic rules had been established and vetted, her entire bookstore was my jungle gym...and I have been unable to ever break the habits in which she trained me.

Basically, it means that if I talk about a book with someone and promise them I will loan it to them, I will bring it to them and they will say "This looks new! I can't read this!" And I will reassure them it'll be okay, and that yes, I really have already read this specific copy of the book before. They will then suffer massive guilt over violating said pristine-looking book, even if it has been read three or four times by yours truly, and I will feel guilty for them feeling guilty when said book comes back with cover whacked, spine suffering scoliosis of bibliography, and general wear and tear.

I never know what people do with books that trashes them; the only real incidents I've had have involved me reading in the bathtub, and even then I usually already have a duplicate of said book in question. I have intimations, however. My mother takes the paperback, curls back the cover and pages she's read, and proceeds from there. I suffer heart palpitations even thinking about it.

Downside to getting to read everything you can get your hands on in a public bookstore; you really can't ever feel like a book is your own. It's just on loan and always needs to be kept treasured and carefully.

Meh. I got rid of a hundred books. 14,900 left...anyone care for a tour of the reorganized Librarinth?

P.S. No. I did not find the book for which I was looking. I also did not find two other books which it suddenly occured to me should be there. Dammit. So much for the checking books out of the private library.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Turn and Face the Strange Changes

Today is my last day of indolence, as tomorrow begins a new and hopefully long term job. It's been a while, sRemove Formatting from selectiono when I got word I immediately texted everyone I knew with the good news--my personal favorite response was from N., who texted back "Congratulations. Sorry you are being forced out of retirement."

Which made me laugh. In honor of his commiserations (though I am extremely glad to find work, trust me) I offer the following things I will miss about being forced out of retirement:

1. Comfy clothes. There is something tremendously satisfying in getting up each day and wearing exactly what you feel like wearing. I have not missed the waist-strangling swampass of panty hose, I can tell you, nor yet the moments where you think you are having a hot flash and perhaps The Change of Life has come upon you, only to remember you are wearing a wool suit and the HVAC has crapped out. Converse sneakers v. hammer-toe-inducing high heels and/or having to find socks that match your outfit? I can't even find socks that match each OTHER half the time. No contest.

2. Self indulgent reading. I suppose, were I a true retiree, I should have spent my time napping on the sofa with an afghan (also one of N.'s longstanding pursuits). But I am a lousy napper, unless I am in the presence of Rachel Who Rolls (because if she doesn't get put down for at least one nap a day she gets cranky. You can tell if she's had a nap because there is less slapping and pinching than otherwise. Notice that I said less, not the complete absence thereof.) So instead I have had the luxury of perusing my overburdened and drastically overstuffed bookshelves. This, of course, led to a particularly fine temper tantrum when I was looking for One Specific Book, couldn't find it, and started pulling everything off the shelves in order to properly organize them into sections. For future reference, this is a very, very bad idea. Thigh-deep piles of books through your bedroom, the "library," down the hall, and into the kitchen can only result in stubbed toes, knocking things over, and a level of cursing previously undreamt of in your Horatio-like philosophy when you can't figure out which section a particular book falls under. I was also going to do my traditional and limited to books and CDs anal retentive sorting (genre, then alphabetically by author/artist and then chronologically within the artist) but at this point I still haven't finished and have taken to shoving stuff back on the shelves. How lovely to end up where I started, except for all the calories I burned with my white hot rage.

3. Standing at the living room window judging passersby. This has long been one of my all-time favorite activities. It used to just be limited to Halloween (Rocky Horror attendees traipsing by) and during Sundance (fashionistas trudging by in their designer clothes and Ugg boots), but having been home during the day I now see how much I have been missing as far as people whom I can judge harshly and find wanting. The dogwalkers without baggies for their sordid animal leavings...the girls in their shorts so short that even the old Nair commercials would rethink the choice (really, ladies, if your shorts are miniscule enough to be showing your chicken salad to the world it becomes a question of hygiene and where have you been sitting so I can know not to sit there without bringing a towel)...the hippies with their hempen glamour...and the hipsters. Oh, you effing hipsters. There is a special place in hell for you and since I am probably going to be in hell anyway and my version of hell would be being anywhere with you, I plan to spend my time there making you unhappy to the best of my abilities--which are considerable, just ask any of my exes.

Side note: Never got around to wearing a wifebeater and sitting on plastic webbed lawn chairs holding a 40 and yelling at the Parade of Hipsters. Added to the list of things yet to be achieved.

The number one favorite Hated Passersby category, however, is the bikers in Special Outfits.

I hate them so, so very much. First of all, nobody should wear spandex in public. I do not want to see anyone prancing around in plum smugglers (or clam baskets, the female equivalent). I don't make you look at me wearing a nothing left to the imagination ensemble, what makes you think you can just trot out in public wearing your moisture-wicking Special Outfit that is tight enough to reveal what only your spouse and doctor should have to see? Furthermore, and this is a message to every one of them, YOU LOOK STUPID. Just plain stupid. You with your clip-in shoes and your ergonomically streamlined racing helmet, shaving your legs to achieve an aerodynamic advantage. YOU ARE NOT LANCE ARMSTRONG. Wearing a professionally designed team oriented fruity ensemble and pedaling like a bipedal upright shaven hamster on a wheel is not going to make you Lance Armstrong. You are not training for the Tour de France. You are riding around on a vastly overpriced bike on the streets of Salt Lake City. There is absolutely no reason for you to spend that kind of money on your hobby so that everyone can see you and know that you take it seriously--it is flatly impossible to take you seriously when I am having to look at your hindquarters as you hunch over with your Special Outfit Sunglasses and reveal the butt padding stitching on your Special Outfit because your bike seat is the size and apparent comfort level of sitting on a spatula.

And those of you who roam in packs (I believe, much in the vein of a murder of crows, a gaggle of geese, and a business of ferrets, the proper terminology is a douchebag of bikers)...I have so much to say that I can't say it at all. No doubt you go home and discuss that weird, frizzy-haired clearly special needs girl hammering on her living room window and shrieking unintelligible things as you ride past every day.

There are more things I will miss, I am sure, but to be honest I am looking forward to getting back into the workaday world. I think much of the enforced solitude has contributed significantly to me getting even more odd. But then I remember the comment one friend made as we were discussing someone we both knew. "I don't think he's getting weirder," she said. "I think he's just got more time to be weird."

We'll stick with that for now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Cave If I Must, But This Was Not! The! Plan!

So rethinking the three-to-five year plan. Considerably. Originally three to five years being here before fleeing to more temperate climes seemed reasonable...but, um, no. Not gonna happen. So making a new game plan. That's what I love about life; as the video I posted dictates, in five years' time who KNOWS where any of us will be or what we are doing? In a way I really kind of love that, the whole expanding feeling that anything in the universe could be possible. John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans." So make those other plans, and then let the chips fall where they may.

It's not entirely a bad place to be, finding hope in a future enrobed in a mystery enwrapped in an enigma, as they say :)

And yeah. Still going to make it to Comicon one of these years, dammit.

Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time - Official

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Hell.

Just when you figure out life everything changes. Unlike the bears from whom we refuse to acknowledge the little orange sticker.

Yeah. I am that much of a geek.

Boys who say things like "when we go to comicon..." oh hell. Right there. If they are pale and tragic there is no hope whatsoever. Damn those comicon geeks.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What is a friend? A single soul which dwells in two bodies. (Or maybe more than two. I don't know.)

The best quote of the evening:
R is on the phone with R Who Rolls (hereinafter RWR). I cannot hear what RWR is saying...I just know that R says "You canNOT call an infant of under one an ahole!"

Friends matter. Some friends drift away, some excuse themselves from this mortal coil, and some decide to set fire to bridges and quit the play, because by gar that will show everyone. But by and large, the true friends in life are the ones with whom time doesn't matter. I have very few friends to start with, but my most cherished are the ones with whom I can pick up the telephone after three years and start a conversation and have it be as though we had talked to one another yesterday. It really does happen that way. And I love it.

So yes. I have spent the past few days absolutely reveling in the magic of friendship. Viva la shut-in detectives and those who will tolerate learning the Sparky Polastry dance from start to finish!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Who Never Had to Deal with The What.

As I sit here, watching the youngun play Xbox and particularly The Who, I so question everything that life has offered thus far. He makes me happy, and that's all that matters. Right? Right? I mean, he takes life seriously. One shouldn't ever take life seriously past the age of 25. So he makes me doubly happy by asserting his will on the world. I buy stuff based on what he will like. Hopefully this will make the grade.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bruises Are The New Rehab.

So there I was...carrying an armload of laundry and heading down what are admittedly some fairly steep, fairly dark stairs. There is a lightbulb for the stairs area, except that it has burned out and I am too short to reach it. Nevertheless, I persevere. Go me. Except for the part where I think I have reached the bottom of the stairs and haven't, so that the next step sends you flinging into space until you reach the bottom...which is full of things like milk cartons, wire baskets, a stage spotlight, an old telephone, etc. Yeah. Which means that right now it looks like I have been beaten with a tire iron. I would publish said bruises, but many of them are not for public consumption. My mother has taken to calling me her "Little Munchausen Kid." She finds it funny.

Wait until she has to look at all of the bruises in person. ALLLLLLLL of them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Shut-In Detectives...Part Deux...

"What Happened?" demanded Detective #1.
"NOTHING happened!" opined Detective #2.
"When you say nothing, are you questioning my abilities?"
"Absolutely not. Would you like to tell me where these bruises came from?"
"Not sure."
"Not sure? You have no idea, do you?"
"Nope. Do you?"
"Frankly, no. This doesn't end well, does it?"
"Would it help if I called you Sheisskopfh?"
"Since you can't spell it, no."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time Wounds All Heels

I've been watching Jeopardy. I'm NEVER a good person at Jeopardy; I tend to adopt my parents' friend's strategy and yell out "Frank Sinatra!" or "San Francisco!" whenever I don't know the answer...which is frequently.

But tonight I am finding myself questioning the validity of being the Powerhouse of Pointless Knowledge (my previous most-secretly-coveted title). Today I spent the afternoon reviewing a letter written by a person whom I list among my most-admired; a letter which addressed the recent Olympics and its extravagence with a view toward the humanitarian. Her points not only hit home, they created within me the voluble need to DO something. The general summation of her letter was simply that, as a whole, spending millions of dollars on a torch for the Olympics is simply a vanity when one compares the number of destitute, homeless, and/or underpriveleged to the cost of creating a symbol that the world would remember for...what, three weeks? Four?

(I'm not entirely sure. As a non-sports person, I don't tend to pay attention to these things.)

So really, I find myself as an arist voicing the query: When does art supercede the needs of humanity as a whole?

Oh, wait, it shouldn't.

Art is created when a civilization has enough of the Basic Human Needs that it can relax a bit; when gathering pinenuts no longer supercedes the need to draw antelope on a clay pot. The only civilizations which have the time to create "art" are the ones for whom survival are not in question. As a child of the West, I frequently looked at the areas through which we were settlng (read settlng without validation) and wondered how I would feel were that the only future I had to offer the world, that of one defined by the current definitions of femininity. I would look at the sagebrush, the pinenut trees, the harshness of the land and wonder how anyone could have found any joy whatsoever in an existence that appeared to be based entirely on survival.

So is "The Beloved Ostrich" really the way to go?