Monday, August 7, 2006

Cramps, bloating, and general crankiness

So what do you do when faced with the above?

In the past, I would have headed to Andronico's to stock up on my favorite foods (Didn't you wonder how I know the deli there so well?), make sure I have enough chick flicks on hand, and hibernate for at least 24 hours. My feeling was that the bitchiness needed to be contained.

Times have changed though. I was faced with the same on Friday night. My response was to have a burrito, down some ibuprofen with some red wine, redo my toes (The hot pink was so going to clash with the dress I was thinking of wearing.), make sure my legs were smooth, squeeze my butt into a dress that I wasn't sure would fit anymore (In the last three years I have gained ten pounds.), and slap on some makeup. The dress? Well, did it ever fit. And I walked down the street with attitude extraordinaire.

Once more Grasshopper had a movie date with one of her men. That meant that I was killing time until her arrival -- or so I thought. The first couple of hours were pretty rough. Lots of whiny ass bitches coming up to the bar. The bartender wanted to slap them. I wanted to slap them. May have had something to do with my off-kilter hormones. May have had something to do with Grasshopper not being around to be the bad cop to my good cop.

I knew I had entered hell when this one woman sat down next to me. Her perfume was the most noxious odor I have smelled in I don't know how long. Now I know that I douse myself pretty much with perfume before I leave home but my stuff smells good. I sent a text to Grasshopper in hope that she would show up soon to deal with the situation. She didn't.

Me: What is that fragrance you're wearing?

Smelly Girl: Why? Is it bothering you?

Me: Well, actually it is.

Bitch knew the shit stank. Why the hell was she fronting like that? She claimed that she had only sprayed it on her hair. More like poured half the bottle on her hair.

My fave bartender was not faring much better than I was with the patrons at this point. Many an idiot walked up, ordered four drinks, and then left a $1 tip. What the fuck??? That is not a tip on a near $20 tab; that's charity. No wonder Grasshopper and I rule the place if the rest of the patrons act like that.

Next I went out to get some fresh air. That's when I ran into Retail Boy. He started whining about how Grasshopper and I mistreated him on her birthday. As far as we know, the only thing we did to him that night was to not run over to him and kiss his butt as soon as we walked into the place. First of all, our priority at that moment was to get drinks. Secondly, it was Grasshopper's birthday. Shouldn't he have been the one running over to kiss some butt? The day after her birthday she discovered the series of text messages he had sent. Lots of whining. Some crack about how could I say that he's the bad guy when I am obviously so mean to him. I mentioned these messages to him on Friday. "When you sent the messages, did it ever dawn on you to with Grasshopper a happy birthday?" This was followed by more whining. I walked off and sent Grasshopper a text to warn her about the whiny ass little bitch. Saturday Grasshopper and I discussed the fact that by the time Grasshopper showed up, he was gone. I told her it was because he knew that she was going to rip him a new one. Her response? "One asshole isn't enough for his shit."

I was ready to go when the band started. They were funktastic and so I stayed. Good thing too. I temporarily found a new guy. The lead singer/guitarist of the band. Lots of text messages flew back and forth. Thge first batch started after the pub closed. Like I left. Because I'm royalty, damn it. Then we chatted face to face. Suddenly he was tired. Hello. It was only 2:30 a.m. More text messages followed over the next hour or so as he drove home, got settled in, and then went to sleep. At the same time Grasshopper was receiving messages from one of her men. Oh. And our fave bartender? Well, apparently he had sent out messages to three women. One responded. Our phones were all going off almost in sequence. Everyone else in the bar hated us I'm sure.

Finally things died down with the phones. Well, at least they did with mine and Grasshopper's. I think mine was the result of a joke I made about "the wife." Perhaps there was some truth in my joke. I mean why does a guy text at 3:30 in the morning unless he is trying to not disturb someone by talking on the phone. Or maybe he has a prepaid phone and didn't have too many minutes left. Whatever. The bartender? He made a sudden exit so maybe he fared better. (Grasshopper occasionally lurks around these parts so maybe she'll share the result of her messages.) Grasshopper managed to find a ride home and I tagged along. Walking sucks at a certain hour. They kept saying "this morning." If I have not been to sleep, it is not morning yet. I don't care if the sun has come up -- which it hadn't in this case. But still. It was just approaching 5 a.m. Kind of reminiscent of the days I used to hang in North Beach. Back then the earliest I got home was 5. It was usually more like 6 or 7 when I'd come in.

You know what? Chips and guacamole are mighty tasty at 5 a.m. Wash them down with a little red wine and what a treat. Somehow I was awake around 9:30 a.m. So not right. Finally at 11 I went back to sleep and didn't get up until 3:30 or so. Because the scary thing is that I told my neighbor that I would be heading out on Saturday night.

Saturday evening found Grasshopper and me doing some shopping at Target. Dangerous. Especially for Grasshopper but she may not have realized it. While shopping, I became hungry. Very hungry. Wondering if I was going to pass out in the aisle hungry. I can turn downright evil when that happens but I managed to bite my tongue. Then it was off for sushi before heading back to the pub. It was a slow night. Not many folks to make fun of so we contented ourselves with sitting outside. Grasshopper learned that she apparently has a boyfriend. Huh? Seems like I would have known this if this were the case. Heck. Seems like she would have known it. Around this time, Travel Writer showed up. I think he has hit the end of his usefulness.

I was restless by Sunday. I guess I should have taken that road trip earlier in the week. After catching up on some TV viewing (Thank you, DVR.), I headed into San Francisco. Because there was something missing in my weekend -- comfort. Yep, that's right. There's more food porn coming up.

I thought a great deal. At first I thought of brunch at Suppenkuche but I couldn't motivate myself to get out in time for brunch. Then I thought about heading to Savor since I love the New Orleans there. There were also thoughts of Lovejoy's. Finally I settled on Esperpento.

The first time I went to Esperpento back in 1995. I had just moved to the Mission and my neighbors had invited me out to dinner with them. I have been hooked on the place since then. I have been to plenty of other tapas restaurants since but I have yet to see a menu with as much variety as theirs. And the sangria is pretty good too. The place is small and loud. Especially when the mariachi band stops by to do a few numbers. The waitstaff could be better. (I learned long ago that if you plan to pay by credit card, then you better be prepared to wait some time.) And reservations? Yes, I suppose they do take them but they always struck me as the kind of place that you just drop in. When I started ordering, the waitress tried to cut me off after ordering four dishes stating that that was enough food for me. Pffffft. I ordered one more dish.

While I waited for my food, I sipped on sangria.

I had gambas al ajillo,

calamares fritos,

judias verdes rehogadas,

patatas bravas,

and croquetas de pollo.

I finished off the evening in one of my other favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco, North Beach. I went to the place that used to be my home. I was going to say it was my second home but I think back in the day, I spent more time there than I did at my actual home. And while I was there, one of the old bartenders walked in. I haven't seen the guy in something like five years. He told me that I still looked the same. Awww. That meant more to me than any twenty-something telling me that they cannot believe that I am 40. He then proceeded to pay for my drinks. It felt like the old days. As it turns out, one of the owners of the place, another guy I have not seen in years, has bought another place out on Bryant. My bartender friend invited me out there but I've got to go sometime in the next couple of weeks since the invitation was for lunch. Free food and cocktails. I think I may have to go later this week. Especially since the owner will probably be there.

Once I got back to Berkeley, I did stop by the pub. I did also have homicidal thoughts for a few minutes too. Then I got over it. Nothing really exciting to share from there though. More of the same old crap.

The trip into the City did just the trick. What I realized was that while I was looking for comfort, I had kind of missed the point. The important thing was not that I used to shut myself up at home with food and movies for one day out of each month. It was always about taking care of me. It was one day a month that I allowed myself to be completely selfish. I haven't done that in quite some time. Maybe that's what the past week's food fest was really about.

When I went out over the weekend, that was the element that had been missing -- the me factor. I love hanging out at the pub but sometimes I feel like the guest who's been allowed to stay out of the kindness of someone's heart, not because I was really wanted. I don't know if I explained that well. Let me give it another try. I have always had rather dynamic friends. They are great people. Sometimes being around them makes me feel like I do often when I am with my family though -- lost in the shadows. So now I just have to remind myself periodically that I need to do things on my own -- either at home or in places they've never been -- so I can remember what it's like to shine.

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