Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why I don't own a dog

So as you all know, I spent this past weekend dogsitting. Here are the culprits.

This is Meadow. I could never get a picture of her face because whenever she was facing me, she was too busy trying to lick my hands.

This is Gabe. Isn't he pretty?

Gabe is the traumatized dog. He used to belong to my friend's mom until about a week and a half ago. My friend's mom was diagnosed with lymphoma a few months ago -- on my friend's 45th birthday -- and she had just had her first chemo treatment. My friend called her mom to see how she was doing but got no answer. After a couple of hours, she sent a neighbor to check. Her mom had had a heart attack and was dead. Gabe was there with her.

After my friends returned on Monday, they shared their nicknames for the dogs -- Dumb and Dumber. I had figured this out by that time. I shared with my friends that they no longer had to worry about whether the dogs would get along. My evidence was Meadow's incessant licking of Gabe's face. Also Meadow, cheap slut that she is, kept rolling onto her back so that Gabe could sniff her goods. The final straw was when Gabe kept trying to mount Meadow. This would be in the den where I was trying to watch movies on DVD. The den is small. They were almost on top of me. Ewwwwwww!!!!

I've always loved my friend's house. If I had a house, I would want one like it. One of the best parts is the backyard. It was pretty nice weather so the dogs and I spent many daytime hours in the yard. The dogs played while I smoked and drank red wine. Ah ... this is the life.

Well, it would be if it wasn't for Friday when I had to clean up dog poop. And not just any dog poop. Runny dog poop. The dogs had been hanging in the garage while I was at work. Fortunately that was the last poop cleaning session I had the entire weekend.

Then there was Sunday when their neighbor showed up to scream at me about how the dogs had been barking too much over the weekend. I have heard tales about these neighbors for years. Oh, and the guy came by at 9 a.m. on Sunday. When I told the tale to Jade, she said that she would have slammed the door in the guy's face. I told her that was not necessary since I had never opened the door. (The door is wood and glass. Lots of glass.) This guy looked like someone who should have been on Jerry Springer -- greasy, stringy hair and missing some teeth in the front. There was no way in hell I was opening the door. On Monday after I moved my car out of the driveway, the neighbor came to apologize. He said that he realized that he had probably scared the hell out of me. When he got home on Sunday, he looked in the mirror and realized how scary he looked. His words were, "I looked like a hobo and here we are only a few blocks from the ho stroll." (Have I mentioned how much I love urban living? Really. No joke. I love it for these random interactions.) On Monday I thought to myself, "This is cleaned up? Not really seeing a difference." He then gave me an abbreviated family history. Lots of crack addicts and folks with records. Enough said. He was grilling tritip so later in the day he brought me a plate of food as a further apology. I was afraid to eat it but smiled and said, "Thank you."

Speaking of food, I decided on Saturday to torture the dogs. Sure my friend said to help myself to the food but she's only a few blocks from KC's. I haven't been to KC's in years and wanted to know if the meat was still good there.

Three-way combo with beef, ribs, and sausage.

I ordered the sauce on the side because it is my feeling that good barbeque should be able to stand on its own without sauce. It was all quite tasty. I don't think that they make the best sauce but it is passable. Oh, and what's on the plate is only about a third of the meat that came in the combo. Unfortunately, the little cups of potato salad and beans (the only side dishes they make) were supposed to go with all that meat. What I also like is that KC's hasn't gone all new-fangled on the bread. To me, barbeque has always meant squishy white bread. Cornbread is OK but it is not as effective in sopping up sauce. Any other kind of bread besides these two choices just seems completely Yankee to me. (By the way, the same choices apply to fried fish -- snapper and catfish -- if one decides to have bread. Of course with fish the natural choice is hush puppies.) So basically, I was one happy camper and able to torture the dogs for more than one meal.

I received my payment for the weekend so now I can pay rent and go out this week. (Remind me to rant about how I hate how my current job only pays once a month -- on the 8th. What's up with that?) I also did such a good job that my friends asked if I would be available for Labor Day weekend. My plan is to be in L.A. that weekend to help celebrate Kate's birthday. I might try to meet up with at least one other blogger that weekend as well. I did tell them that I had a possible replacement to recommend though.

Right now I'm just happy to be back with the kittens. I don't think I will ever have dogs -- well, at least not dogs that size -- unless I have a large piece of land.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Animal Adventures

My weekend has been mostly consumed by animals. First there was my two -- Boris and Natasha. Then add on my friends two dogs -- Meadow and Gabe -- and my neighbor's cat, Angel. As I am still dogsitting, I think I will save the dog stories for the next post.

The main part of the dogsitting was that I had to stay with the dogs. I did go home briefly each day though. Friday B&N were highly upset with me. In fact, Natasha kind of took a swat at my arm to let me know how perturbed she was. Luckily she was just perturbed because this meant she swatted without claws. By Saturday they had adjusted somewhat.

Boris will sleep just about anywhere and through anything.

Natasha on the other hand is picky about where she sleeps, the cable box being one of her favorite places. You also cannot sneak up on her. I need to start using the camera with the zoom because it is nearly impossible to get a picture of her sleeping otherwise.

I did have some human contact on Friday night. I went to the usual place to meet one of my bar friends. Her fave band was playing and as the night progressed we decided that people needed to start dancing. By the end of the evening there was quite the little group dancing. And the backup singers gave me compliments on my abilities.

I also received the most depressing news on Friday. My bartender is leaving after this week for five weeks in China. I pointed out to him that he will miss my birthday, so we will be celebrating it this week. The same will apply for my bar friend as her birthday is the day before mine -- the same day as Laurie's.

Let me just put it this way. It's a good thing I went out on Friday night because I may not have made it through the weekend otherwise. Just look at the time of this post. It's a holiday and I'm up. That's all I'm saying.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Perfect for this week's activities

It's Saturday. You know the drill.

You are a Cautious Red Light Dater

Your dating motto is "slow and steady wins the race."
You prefer a long courtship to a whirlwind romance.
This doesn't mean that you are anti-social or cold.
You just need time to warm up to the right guy.
Your online dating style?
You are likely to take your time on your profile.
Then, wait and see what kind of guy emails you.
As you get more comfortable, you meet more people.

Have I mentioned how annoying I find it to have to correct someone else's grammar? The quiz text above actually had one of those mistakes that I used to lecture the sixth graders about making. I know that none of them wrote the text because after a school year with me, they would know better than to make that mistake.

Y'all have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 26, 2006


Let me get this out of the way first. Jolene was kind enough to tag me.

Name 5 things in your refrigerator
1. Leeks
2. Lemon curd
3. Couscous with pinenuts and parmesan
4. Four different kinds of mustard
5. Bratwurst

Name 5 things in your closet
1. Quilt I started years ago and still haven't finished
2. Yarn - to keep it safe from cats
3. Boxes of books
4. Portable radio
5. Leather pants

Name 5 things in your purse
1. Lancome lipstick
2. House keys
3. Driver's license
4. Receipt from bar
5. Green mini bic lighter

This time around I think I will tag Jenna, Silly, and Jennifer.

I passed by this house the other day. I wish I had the money. *sigh*

Yesterday I had a fantastic lunch. I House does a barbeque every other week in their dining hall. Tasty and only costs $6.75. Did I mention that it is all you can eat as well? I think I know what will be a regular part of my summer.

I let the inner Holly win out and contacted the guy who is trying to convince me that golf is a real sport. I think it was his name too. He has a golf tournament this weekend so I will probably meet him sometime next week.

I am also dogsitting this weekend. I received a frantic call from a friend yesterday afternoon. I hadn't talked to her in about a week and a half. Apparently her mother passed away last weekend so she has inherited her mother's dog. Now she has two dogs. My friend always goes out of town Memorial Day weekend with her husband and son. They had hired a woman to dogsit for them. The woman chose to have a nervous breakdown shortly after they left. By the time she called, the poor dogs had been locked in the garage for the whole day. I would have done it for her anyway but then she offered money. I am a little short on next month's rent and was debating when I was going to call my dad to hit him up for a loan. It looks like I won't have to do it because what she offered is about the same amount I was planning to ask my dad for. Funny how things sometimes work out. After I fed the dogs last night, I sat in the backyard (How I miss having a yard.) smoking a cig and sipping on the merlot I found in the cabinet. My friend said that I could help myself to the wine and Scotch. My friend has also said that it is OK if I throw a party at the house. Hmmmm...

Think that about covers it. I am just feeling exceptionally Holly today.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Are there any songs about Wednesday?

Here it is Thursday morning and all I can hear in my head is the Mamas and the Papas singing "Monday Monday." Someone help me out and find a song about Wednesday, hump day. Crap. Now I have thoughts of sex stuck in my head with a Mamas and Papas soundtrack.

I had figured out the plan for Wednesday way back on Monday. So much for plans though. I think the theme for Wednesday was "getting sidetracked."

While running an errand for work, I decided to give one of the CL guys a call. We quickly discovered that we were in the same city. He asked me exactly where I was. It was 2 p.m. at precisely this moment and I didn't really need to say where I was because it was quite obvious. As it turns out, we were about a few blocks away from eachc other. He picked a spot that was a bit closer to me because I was on foot and he was on skateboard. Yeah, you heard me. He was on a skateboard, but I knew he probably would be because he was in one of the two pictures that he sent me. (Of course seeing that picture my first thought was, "My goodness. I certainly hope that I am not about to commit some crime here." If he should make it into any future posts, he will be known as "Sk8r boi." Oh, and he's 28.) We met up and sat and chatted. Then he had to get going because he was starving. I could have gone but I had had lunch hours before. As we parted ways, I told him my real name and assured him that yes, I would be calling later because we also realized that we live about six blocks away from each other. After having dinner, I called. Ended up heading over to his place and watching the sunset from the roof while having a beer. Then he realized that he hadn't had dinner. Since I had already eaten, I left.

I could have gone home at this point but I had had a plan. Besides, it was only 9:30. Let me go back to Monday night. That was when I called Emerald and Kate. (Kate is my college roommate.) Emerald remembered that the first time she went to this place was last year for my birthday. Jade joined us. By the end of the evening, Jade had decided that the bartender was interested in me. Who? Me? Nah, he was just trying to get a good tip. So what if he eavesdropped on our conversation and then joined in? So what if everytime he had a free moment, he was back chatting with us? That means nothing. It's all about the tip, I tell ya. I made the mistake of telling Emerald that Kate also said that she thought that the bartender was interested because she thought he was more attentive than he needed to be. Emerald pointed out that she often misses the subtleties in human behavior whereas Jade and Kate do not. She therefore feels that the majority rules and I should act accordingly.

This is where my shyness and insecurities enter. Y'all never guessed that about me, did you? As I have told many a person, I am just a shy person who has learned to overcompensate for her shyness every now and then. The best I can do around a guy who I truly find interesting is to clam up. Otherwise I'm a babbling fool. Bottom line is that I sit there thinking, "What if he doesn't like me and I make a total idiot of myself?" This is not a hypothetical. I have done this in the past. Now I'm all for making a total idiot of yourself -- as long as you have nothing to lose. I am not ready to give up my favorite bartender.

Part of the reason why I enjoy going to the place is because of my fave bartender. I think we all need that person in our lives with whom it is safe to flirt but also know that it will go no further. Who knows though? Perhaps one day I will have enough liquid courage to cross that line, but it wasn't Wednesday.

Instead I first met two women who insisted that I come join them. So much for my plan of flirting with the bartender because they were seated at a table away from the bar. We talked. We drank. We laughed. Then around 11 or so they had to leave.

That was OK because by then I had run into this other woman who is a regular. She in turn introduced me to this other woman who is the girlfriend of the bass player of the band that was playing. They were also sitting at the bar -- back on track. We chatted about what had happened to the Irish boy who used to manage the place. We talked about the slimy guy who kept on trying to pick up on every woman who came within three feet of him. We talked about the young women who were trying to flirt with her boyfriend. She said that she felt like a groupie when she goes out to hear him play. I told her, "No, sweetheart. You are a Band Aid." Then there was that lovely moment when she left for the bathroom and I desperately was trying to get rid of this random guy. Why? Because you've got to love a guy who opens with, "So have you ever dated a white guy?" I responded with, "If you had said Native American, we could have had something because that's the group I'm concentrating on currently." Obviously he was drunk because he wouldn't leave. Or maybe he was just stupid.

The Band Aid returned eventually and we continued chatting. The final part of our conversation was about the bartender. He's single. She knows this because he once asked one of her friends out. He went out with her friend once but nothing more came of it. So now I am her new project. It also looks like I will have to go out again on Friday night because they asked and I said that I would show up.

And for now? Well, now I have to go answer some more emails from that CL ad. While I was out last night, I got another response. And he's kind of cute. And he's French. Of course, I should probably also write to the guy who belongs to a golf club or the one who owns a sailboat but that's just my inner Holly talking again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Entertaining myself

If you read the comments from yesterday's post, then you know that the cute guy at work returned yesterday. He'll be around for the summer and then it's off to L.A. for a year. I know this because I grilled him. After a year in L.A., he will be returning to the Bay Area. The most important question I had for him was which car he ended up buying a couple of weeks ago. He got this. I forgot to ask what color. I guess that will be today's question. I so want to go for a ride in that car. Of course, this is not why you are here today so let me get on with it.

I went through with it and posted the ad. I had second thoughts about it after reading Kenneth's comment yesterday. Then I remembered that I'm not supposed to be nice and went ahead and wrote an ad. Nothing made-up. Just my usual self.

I received ten responses in the first hour. I like to think it's because I'm sassy. I ended up with something like 25 responses in total.

The first response I received? "Hey." I kid you not. That is all the guy wrote. What kind of response is that? He could not seriously think that I would write back with a response like that, did he? Yeah, I wrote back. It was a slow afternoon. This response was better than the pictures I received from another guy later in the afternoon -- one of his back and one of his chest. Why? Just tell me why. Big pecs do nothing for me.

What other stellar responses did I receive, you ask? Well, two of them were from married men. I guess I forgot to mention that I don't date married men. It looks like one was foolish enough to use his real name on his email. I should Google him. Another guy also answered using his real name and I did Google him.

The second answer was better because he actually wrote something and he included a picture. So the picture was headless. That's what happens when you are not exact in your requests. I always respond to a guy who makes me laugh though. Actually I responded to all of them in some way or another because I was feeling nice. It also helped when bachelor #2 made me laugh. I was instantly in a good mood for the rest of the afternoon.

One guy only sent a picture. He didn't bother to write a single thing. He looked kind of cute in the picture so of course I wrote.

Another guy sent a photo (cute again) but then wrote that he is not really into smokers. I sent him a photo. He sent me his phone number. Actually when I responded to the handful of guys with photos, I ended up with a few phone numbers.

I think I have improved in writing ads since that first one I posted last January. That time most of my responses were from guys who were almost old enough to be my father. Ewwwwww!!! Just the thought of it makes me want to take a shower. At least this time I did not put in a minimum height preference so I did not get that hate mail. Actually I think it was the header for the ad that did it this time.

By the way, Neil, the first time I tried this endeavor is when I created that email address. You'd be surprised how many guys just don't get it. Actually I'm not, now that I think about it.

There were actually a few in the batch that I would consider meeting. If that happens, I'll let y'all know.

And for those of y'all who like photos...

Apparently this is Boris's new bed.

What kind of picture did y'all think I was going to post?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's me, not you.

I often had students inform me, "I'm bored," back in the days when I was teaching. I would explain to them that that was more of a statement about themselves than anybody else. To say that you are bored means that you are looking for others to entertain you. In an effort to not utter those words myself, I have decided that one thing I could do to fill my time is to write more often than I have in the past. I just hope that I can come up with enough interesting stuff. OK. So maybe some of my past posts were not that interesting to y'all but at the time they seemed very interesting to me.

Now it's not that there is not plenty of eye candy at work but I like to take the "look but don't touch" approach at work. Things are kind of slow now that it is summer though. And I believe that my fave has now left. Oh, but ladies he is moving to L.A.

With that said, I realized yesterday that I am starting to feel like I am in a rut. Therefore, I have decided to embark upon an "old" form of entertainment. Yep, you guessed. Good old CL. Now while it is kind of entertaining to read the ads, I have found that it is even more entertaining to write an ad and then read the responses you get. It's been well over a year since Gloria and I embarked on that adventure so I am kind of overdue. Now this time around I think I should run a variety of ads to add to the entertainment factor some more. Problem is that I thought that I had saved the text to my past ads but apparently I didn't. It just means I will have to start from scratch. Oh well. Just means that I can kill more time. Thanks to Kenneth who commented over at Laurie's, I have also learned about yet another free dating service.

So I think I should be thoroughly entertained this week. And if I was nice, which of course we know I'm not, I would probably point guys this way so they can really see just what they're getting themselves into. Nah. We like laughing at their expense.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A change of pace -- sort of

I had to work on Saturday morning so I stayed in on Friday night. Even more so, I got off work on Saturday and went grocery shopping and then I went home. OK. So maybe that doesn't sound that shocking but I stayed in on Saturday night as well. Well, maybe I had some help staying in on Saturday.

I exchanged text messages early on Saturday evening with the boy who will soon be history. When he got off work, he sent me a text saying that he was too tired for dealing with someone one on one so he would be heading to my fave bar for food and drinks. So he hangs out at the place as much as I do but I doubt they love him as much as they love me. Therefore, it is my bar. Lucky for him I didn't really want to go out anyway. I hate how sarcasm doesn't show up in text. Well, I am sure it does; it is something I simply must work on. My response to this news was, "Have fun." His? "Thanks sweetheart." He must go and I must promise myself that I will not physically hurt him when I get rid of him.

While hanging out at home, my college roommate (I really must create a name for her because this other stuff is too much to type) called. See, she liked the guy when she met him a couple of weeks ago. After I relayed Saturday night's text message exchange as well as his feelings about Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, she said, "He can hang out with us at bars but we will not be hanging out with him." I knew there was a reason why she is one of my best friends.

So the boy stopped by on Sunday after he had gone out to get something to eat. I became cranky. First I was making dinner for myself when he dropped in. He asked what we were having. We? He's the one who just left from having something to eat somewhere. This then became a whole scene. I finally told him to not speak to me for a bit. He made himself comfortable in the living room and turned the TV to what he wanted to watch and turned on the fan. Did I mention that it is in the 60s? There is no need for fan at that temperature, especially not on high. I kept having flashes of the musician. Oh, and there were all the stupid comments about how emasculated he was feeling. It is not my fault that he does not understand the DVD recorder or the DVR. I also loved how he told me that my TV viewing choices were stupid. Finally he kept asking what was going on in my head and so I said, "You were just starting to remind me of the guy I got rid of a couple of months ago." He decided to leave and said he would call. Like I'm going to answer. Then I thought about it and realized that I would rather not deal with that situation and so sent a text message telling him that there was no need for him to ever call again.

I've thought it over to try to pinpoint what was so irritating. Then it came to me. (If he hadn't been so insistent about my giving an explanation immediately, then maybe I could have shared this with him. Eh. Who am I kidding? It still would have ended up the same way.) So the guy pointed out that we were not dating; we were just hanging out. True. Then it dawned on me that that what was bothering me. I am fine with "hanging out" but it has to be on my terms. And my terms means that I don't need to hear some guy whining about his day. I certainly don't have to hear about how what I like is stupid. Also this means if I say, "Please don't talk right now," well the guy should just shut the fuck up.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I feel like Ally McBeal

I was always jealous that Ally McBeal had a theme song. I so desperately wanted one but which one? Luckily there is now yet another quiz to help with this dilemna.

Your Theme Song is Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf

"I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin' with the wind
And the feelin' that I'm under"

A total independent spirit, you can't be held down or fenced in.
You crave the feeling of wind on your face... and totally freedom.

Of course I should have known that this would be my theme song. Now if I can only get my other identity issues straightened out. I mean does this mean that I should give up the knitting and sewing and all things domestic? Sheesh.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I started off writing another post for today. Perhaps one day I will actually post it. Maybe I won't. For the most part, I saw it as exorcising my personal demons. I have always written when I am trying to deal with something. It's just that it seems like there are so many things that I am trying to deal with currently so I decided to go with this topic first. Probably because I don't feel as vulnerable -- something I hate to feel -- with this one. So hang on because this one is probably going to be a long one.

Last week I was hanging out in a coworker's office when one of her friends called. They got into a conversation about religious beliefs. He asked her to ask me a question. I gave an answer and she relayed my answer. We went back and forth like this for five minutes. Then my answer was too complex for my coworker to relay and she handed the phone to me. I continued in a heated debate with her friend for about 20 minutes at this point. One of his questions was what makes us human. I told him free will and the ability to make choices. But it is more than the ability to make choices. It is the ability to live with the consequences of our choices. Later in the conversation, he asked what exactly I did for a living. I told him that it really was none of his business. (Ooo. Suddenly I have Salt 'n' Pepa going through my head.) He tried to argue that what you do for a living defines you as a person. I just don't buy that and told him as much. Sure sometimes what you do for a living really does define you but I like to think that for most people this is not a complete definition of the person.

Over the past week I have read a great deal of posts about weight and body image. Well not that many posts but the posts I have read have generated quite a great deal of comments. Hey. I have lots of free time during my day so I like to keep abreast of the comments as well.

There have been comments about overweight people. Comments about how they are that way because of the choices they make. There have been comments about how women who wear a size 2 or 4 are too thin. There have been comments about what is "normal." I have chosen to put this word in quotes because I think it is a completely subjective term. I have problems with this term because it implies that anything outside of this range is not normal.

For some women being a size 2 is "normal." At the same time some women are most "normal" at being a size 14. A few years ago everyone became obsessed with the BMI. I always thought that there was something wrong with the "normal" weight for my height on this chart. Over the last few weeks, I found this site. I like it because it takes a lot of things into consideration, not just height and weight.

Growing up I was always teased about my height and my thinness. I have never said disparaging things about another woman about her weight because I know how it feels to be the recipient of those kind of comments.

My mother has struggled to maintain what she considered to be a healthy look. In her 30s she was obsessed with her weight. Now in her 60s, she looks at how her clothes fit and how she feels. She has learned that when she is in shape, she may actually weigh more than she did previously. And that's OK with her.

For all my complaints about my mother, one of the things I have thanked her for is being comfortable in my body. Part of her weight problems when I was growing up stemmed from unhealthy food choices so she made it a point to educate me on how to make the right kind of choices. She also felt that one should not deny one's self anything either. We are both huge fans of Haagen Dazs. It's all about balance. When she was younger, my mom would deny herself certain foods. Now she allows these things within moderation.

These things are important to me because not only do I come from a family with a history of cancer but also a history of diabetes and high blood pressure. I have a cousin with type 2 diabetes who has been told recently that he will have to go onto insulin. My dad, who is also diabetic, attributes this to a lack of exercise and dietary control. Me? I insist that the doctor do a fasting glucose test when I go for a physical. According to the last test, I am borderline hypoglycemic. This means that I try to not skip meals. I can't because when I do, I feel like I'm about to pass out. I characterize myself as a grazer, constantly eating. Too long between meals and I tend to become cranky. That is probably an understatement but I cannot think of a stronger word at this moment.

The bottom line is that there is a wide range of what is considered healthy. We also have the ability to make choices (Actually this idea is closely tied to the post I originally planned to make.) and we live with those choices. If someone does not like you for a choice that you have chosen to make, and your choice does not harm them in any way, then that person does not need to be in your life. At least that's what I think.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


The knitting is coming along.

I have now reached the point where I get to change needles. Up to this point, I have been using #3. The next section is done on #2. This is the back of the cardigan. I estimate that I have completed one-fourth of this section.

Natasha is really enjoying the new messenger bag I received this week. I tried it out yesterday. I was able to get a couple of books, my knitting, and my lunch in there along with the usual other stuff.

Yesterday my aunt started chemo. She will have to go for a total of six times, once every two weeks. From what I remember, today and tomorrow should be the worst of it.

Warning. Possible spoilers ahead if you Tivo'd shows from Wednesday night.

This morning I caught up on my TV viewing before heading to work. Glad to see that the hippies won on "The Amazing Race." I was surprised that Danielle won on "ANTM." I was kind of expecting Joanie to win it because of Danielle's problems with enunciation. Finally, I was kind of sad to see Dave go on "Top Chef." I hope that Harold wins at this point.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Don't ask if you don't want to know

I know some of you were kind of confused by the post yesterday. It's just that it suddenly seemed like there was a lot I wanted to chat about this week. Besides I need to have something to do besides read and knit all day.

It seems that I have been tagged by Daniel so here goes..

=== The Chain-Mail-Thing-That===

The Rules:

1. You can only say YES or NO!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone leaves a comment and asks!

Taken a picture naked? : no
Made out with a member of the same sex? : no
Danced in front of your mirror? : yes
Told a lie? : yes
Gotten in a car with people you just met?: yes
Been in a fist fight? : yes
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? : yes
Been arrested? : yes
Left your house without telling your parents? : yes
Ditched school to do something more fun? : yes
Slept in a bed with a member of the same sex? : yes
Seen someone die? : no
Kissed a picture? : yes
Slept in until 3? : yes
Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by? : yes
Played dress up? : yes
Fallen asleep at work/school? : yes
Felt an earthquake? : yes
Touched a snake? : yes
Ran a red light? : yes
Had detention? : yes
Been in a car accident? : yes
Pole danced? : yes? no?
Been lost? : yes
Sang karaoke? : yes
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? : yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? : yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? : yes
Kissed in the rain? : yes
Sang in the shower? : yes
Got your tongue stuck to a pole? : no
Ever gone to school partially naked? : no
Sat on a roof top? : yes
Played chicken? : no
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? : yes
Been told you're hot by a complete stranger? : yes
Broken a bone? : yes
Mooned/flashed someone? : yes
Forgotten someone's name? : yes
Slept naked? : yes
Blacked out from drinking? : yes
Played a prank on someone? : yes
Felt like killing someone? : yes
Made a parent cry? : yes
Cried over someone? : yes
Had sex more than 5 times in one day? : no
Had/Have a dog? : yes
Been in a band? : no
Drank 25 sodas in a day? : no
Shot a gun? : no
Joined HellSpace?: no
Does that make you a hypocrite?: no
Did you find your boss half naked or in a red cowboy hat on HellSpace?: no
Did this make HellSpace worth it?: no
Is it still dumb?: yes


Oh, and I would like to say thank you for whoever found their way here by searching for "berkeley binge purge finals" on Google.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back in action

In my efforts to prove that I really am at least a semipro, I headed out last night to Triple Rock. My main inspiration was the lack of red wine in my home. I know that what I spent at the end of the evening could have bought a few bottles at Trader Joe's but that would have involved driving. Ever since gas prices started climbing, I have not been as enamoured with my car as I have been in the past.

Before I headed out, I worked on my cardigan and cooked dinner -- roasted chicken. Mmmmm.

Knitting progress as of the end of last week

Since I was heading somewhere lowkey on a Monday night, I thought that it would be best that I take some reading material with me. Luckily I had checked Gloria's current reading list before leaving work. On my way home, I stopped at the public library and picked up Bet Me and The Lincoln Lawyer. Bet Me won out as the read for the evening. Now my plan involved sitting at a table but the tables were full so I was forced to sit at the bar. The group of guys sitting next to me at the bar instantly made me think of Laurie. They were goodlooking and looked like they could haul dirt. They also had an appreciation for beer. The bartender asked if my friend would be joining me. He meant the musician. I quickly informed him that the musician was past tense. His reaction? "Congratulations." I love a man who works hard for his tip. There was a great deal of testosterone flowing in the place because they had the NBA playoffs on big screen. Before I left, I did a little estate planning for my mom with the attorney who had sat down next to me. (Stop thinking those thoughts. I did not hire a hitman.)

I'm starting to feel like myself again. So much so that I think I might just need to head out on Wednesday night as well.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm probably going to burn in hell

Of course, most of you have probably already figured that one out. Yep, that's right. It's time for a weekend recap.

As you know, I was feeling pretty bad by Friday in thinking that I was going to lose my semipro standing. The challenge was that I had to tutor Saturday morning. My solution? Go out after work on Friday so I could head in early. So much for plans. Yes, I made it out. Did I get home early? Hell no. Things started off fine. I sat around chatting with this one guy about how the country was being turned into a two class society. Then he suddenly left. Didn't even finish his Guinness and Jameson's. Talk about some extreme alcohol abuse. The evening continued. I bonded with some random woman with whom I discussed music. Next thing you know the band was playing an oldie about which we had just been talking. This meant that we had to hit the dance floor. I should not be allowed to dance after cocktails because sometimes I forget that I am not a "dancer." The beauty of this all is that I have reached a point in my life that I don't worry what others may think. Well, at least on things like this. Otherwise, I'd never go out again. Some random guy kept on insisting upon walking me home. Getting rid of him was tricky, especially since he was kind of cute. What makes me really bad is that I managed to talk a guy on my walk home out of a copy of Street Spirit. This would be the paper that the homeless sell. That's right. I talked a homeless guy into giving me a paper for free. I think I pointed out to him that I have never had to pay for one in the past.

I did manage to show up at work on Saturday on time -- at 9:30 a.m. I guess I get to keep my semipro standing. I heard from the boy who will not be around much longer. Yes, the cellphone is once more working. Apparently one of his favorite movies is Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He likes to believe that it is all true -- and wishes that it was his life. Ummmm, but he sometimes has a cellphone, doesn't have a car, works retail, and is 35 years old. I suddenly remembered why I stopped hanging out with guys 35 and older. So depressing.

Sunday was a lazy day. I had to finish a book. I then decided that I should start working on my knitting again. As proof of the laziness around here, I present the cats.

They did move occasionally so that they could find a new place to sleep. I think that they left very few surfaces unslept upon.

Now that I am sure of my semipro standing, I need to do some planning for the week ahead.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My life as a movie

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

So now I'm starting to think that the Showgirls weekend really wasn't that strange.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Losing my touch

It dawned on me this week that I may be on the way to losing my semipro standing in the world of partying. The last couple of weeks I have only been going out on weekends. What's up with that? Pretty soon folks will be calling me an amateur. Further proof was that on Wednesday afternoon I was beginning to think that the highlight of my week would be reading through Neil's archives. (How many times must I tell you folks that things are really slow at work? Oh, and some of y'all could post a little more often. Well, either that or I need to find even more blogs to read. And no, this does not mean that you can comment on how often I post.) I think I will need to take an aggressive approach so that this will not happen.

My plan was to go to my fave place with one of my fave bands, Fun with Finnoula. Nothing says Irish pub like Celtic music. I apparently made quite the impression on the band on St. Patty's Day or so they told me the last time I saw them. Of course I try to forget that evening as that was when I got rid of the icky musician boy. Didn't happen though. I got home and just didn't have the energy to go out. Pathetic, huh?

Of course this was going to be after hanging out at Boalt Hall for the annual Sandy Cohen Fellowship award. And yes, Peter Gallagher shows up each year for the reception. I have watched The O.C. since the first episode. There was no way I was going to miss out on this event and I didn't. Unfortunately I did not have enough cash on me to pick up a t-shirt but I did make arrangements to get one at a later date.

Oh, and speaking of lawyers and all -- what is with law firms with interesting nicknames? Specifically, I am thinking of Mofo. Well at least Pillsbury merged back in 2000 so I no longer have the pleasure of chuckling when discussing PMS.

And now that that stream of consciousness moment is over, let's get back to the topic at hand. I cannot lose my touch because I have looked upon these past few months as training for the ultimate party -- my birthday. It would be shame to have to start all over on the training regimen. On Wednesday evening I discussed possible birthday gifts with my father. Currently I have three options: (1) dinner at this place with a few of my friends, (2) taking my friends on a ride through the Napa Valley, or (3) a weekend at this place. Other thoughts I have had are a weekend with the girls in Vegas or something like that. I welcome any suggestions.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Random thoughts

1. Forgot to mention on Monday the nicest thing I heard over the weekend. Popped outside to have a cig on Saturday night and this young woman told me, "You're too pretty to hang out in this bar." Awwwww. I guess I should have bought her a drink to say thanks. This especially made me feel good because I am probably at least 15 years older than the typical patron of the place.

2. Overheard on Monday at Julie's Healthy Cafe while picking up my lunch:

"You know what's cool? Veggie burritos. They're like a burrito but filled with vegetables."

OK. Am I alone in wanting to pound my head into a wall? Didn't think so.

Basil chicken from Julie's

3. I was reading through the gossip on Adam Brody's reaction to his love scenes with Meg Ryan when I noticed that he is co-producing a remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Enough with the remakes already.

4. I only have six and a half weeks to the big four-oh. I guess if I am going to have a party, I'd better get off my butt and start planning. My original thought was a 20s speakeasy kind of theme but then I started thinking cheesy 80s. Maybe I'll just go with standard cocktail party. I guess this also means that perhaps I should give my friend a break about her wedding plans. And hmmm -- her birthday is in September which means that her birthday will be long before her wedding. Wonder what she'll be doing for her birthday. There was some mention over the weekend of us girls taking a trip. I don't know if the world at large is really ready for us.

5. Thank you, Neil, for reminding me that long ago I thought that it wasn't really a party unless I had danced on at least one piece of furniture at some point in the evening. I gave up that practice about five years ago. I think that was around the same time that I tried to tone it down in dance clubs because I got tired of trying to answer the question, "Which club do you dance in?" Yep, that's right. The word for today is "hoochie."

6. I recently ended a friendship. I keep reminding myself that I should behave with the dignity and class that my mother tried to instill in me. As much as I am tempted to discuss the demise of our friendship, I know that she is probably already doing such elsewhere on the internets. So I'll just keep telling myself, "I am the bigger person." I might not really be, but I do know that I'm the bigger bitch. If you don't like honesty, then you should ask someone else.

7. I think my walking is starting to pay off. I could swear that the waistline does not look as hideous as it used to. I don't care that my relatives keep trying to tell me that I look good the way I am. I'm only talking about a measly two inches. I think they have forgotten that it's a competitive world out there and svelte is always good. Well, it seems to be in the post-modern world at least. (Yes, I like to manifest my control issues in my body image.)

8. Because I have this free time on my hands, I have tried to expand my blog reading by checking out some of the blogs that y'all link to on your own blogs. This is how I found The Rock Bitch, who has now moved to Clusterfook. (Thank you BWB for pointing the way.) Reading her blog, I was suddenly reminded that this is not the first time in my life that I have had to deal with someone having ovarian cancer. How could I forget? It is the very reason why I was so freaked out two and a half years ago when my family told me that my aunt had ovarian cancer. My first college roommate had ovarian cancer. She was first diagnosed at age 16. By the time, we started college the disease was in remission. By the spring it had reared it's ugly head. I remember lots of long nights of her puking from the meds. She died by the time we were 21. She was the mom of our apartment and would have made a great mom for someone one day.

9. More depressing stuff. Last week my friend lost her baby. The baby apparently died shortly before she was able to deliver her. (Yes, the baby was full term.) I cannot imagine the grief she is feeling right now. She had been trying for so long to have a baby. I meant to get a card but I am bad about things like that so instead I sent an email.

10. Laurie's post about hospitals and comfort foods made me a starving wreck on Tuesday. I spent most of the morning planning my lunch. My first thought was La Burrita but they're burritos are only OK. My next thought was Naan N' Curry but then I thought that I'd rather have that for dinner than lunch. I finally settled on Top Dog. And because I was starving, I decided to have two dogs instead of the usual one. At first I was only going to get one because I was afraid that two would make me look like a pig. Then I remembered that I have never really cared about looking like a pig and have regularly been able to put away more food than most of my male relatives. I have also been asked on dates, "How does someone as small as you manage to put away so much food?"

Bratwurst and hot link from Top Dog

11. Came across a resume in which the person listed the following as an accomplishment: "Written and oral competent in each of the six United Nations languages." Why do I suddenly feel stupid?

12. I realize why the new boy will probably only be around for a short period of time -- his aversion to phone companies. I kid you not. He gets the prepaid cellular but then runs out of money on it. A guy who cannot afford a phone cannot afford to hang out with me.

13. "That's sexy." Hmmmm. Think I'm going to have to think about that one. Not sure if it has the same effect as "That's hot." Or maybe I should stop reading the celeb gossip sites.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Someone's in the kitchen

I had a great time with my college roommate over the weekend. We started the weekend at Triple Rock. They have great fries. Perhaps we should have had some.

The next day it was dim sum at May Flower. Yes, the dim sum menu is not as extensive as at other places but there are approximately 20 items from which to select. What makes this a fave of mine though is that they serve dim sum all day. That's right -- ALL DAY. I have been known to stop in on my way home to pick up dim sum for dinner. My friend and I managed to fill up on a selection of five items. They gave us small salads and jasmine tea as well. With tip, it all came to less than $20. Probably the most important thing is that we once more felt human.

We were going to do all these other things but the food coma hit and instead decided to watch Hookwinked which we both agreed started off OK but then got a little slow.

For dinner I defrosted that gumbo I had put away. Before that I made another orange meringue pie for my aunts because I promised them. This time I used the Valencia oranges that my aunts had given me earlier in the week.

After dinner, it was off to my usual place for the song stylings of Nicole. I feel that everyone should experience Nicole at least once in their lives. My friend also loved how the bartender shouted out a greeting to me over the crowd as soon as I walked in. Did I mention how much I love the place?

In the morning, it was back to the kitchen for me to make the stuffed pork roast that I also promised for my aunts. That's what I do at times like this. Last Wednesday my aunt had her appointment with her oncologist. Apparently the cancer is a reappearance of the ovarian cancer she had two and a half years ago. (You've gotta love how they're saying it's ovarian cancer even though she no longer has ovaries.) They think that in two to three weeks she will have healed enough from her surgery that they will be able to start the chemo again. The breast cancer wasn't so bad because she had radiation treatment for that. But chemo? That was really bad.

My grandmother was a wonderful cook. I, therefore, have never really been able to understand how she raised two daughters who are for the most part lost in the kitchen. The family joke is that the gene skips a generation.

I dropped off the food for my aunts on my way to taking my friend to the airport. I then returned and hung out for several hours. This time I went home with strawberries. What to make next?

But here is the real highlight of the weekend. I wish my friend would hurry up and set a date so that we can start planning this wedding already. I did tell her to at least come up with her colors. How else can I start shopping for my dress? (She has decided that instead of making the bridesmaid wear one dress that they'll probably hate, that instead each will be allowed to select an individual dress in the appropriate color.)

Oh, and her birthday is in September. That's the why of the sapphires. Of course I would have asked for them just because.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

But I wanted black...

Your Heart Is Orange

Love equals unbridled happiness for you. You enjoy the wild ride of falling in love.
And while the ride is fun for a while, you always get off once the thrill is gone.

Your flirting style: Hyper

Your lucky first date: Anything you need your passport for!

Your dream lover: Is both daring and well grounded

What you bring to relationships: Energy

Friday, May 5, 2006

Pretending to be grown-ups

This is a continuation of the series I started back in January. OK. So now it is a series. Prior to posting this, it was a single post with the promise of more. Typical me. I have had these drafts sitting around but got too busy doing other things (drinking and knitting) to complete the posts. So prepare yourself for another long one.

My friends and I all graduated college in the late 80s and the early 90s. The early 90s signaled a change for us. We started to think that milk crates were no longer acceptable as part of one's home decor. It was time to start acting a little more grown up. We did have fulltime jobs after all.

By this time Das had become Martuni's, or something like that. Another fave place was 181. Yes, that is the address of the place. (The last I know it had become Polly Esther's.) I once stayed away from the place for two years but the door guys still remembered me -- something my friend I was with that night found insulting because she knew the owner. I told her, "Owner, schmowner. It's all about knowing the guy who works the door at a club." Actually what she found insulting was that they gave me, and not her, passes to the VIP room.

181 Eddy Street

I don't know if the photo does the place justice, but it is in the middle of the Tenderloin. The Tenderloin is not somewhere I would normally want to be after dark. Gertrude used to drive frequently and she didn't like to pay for parking. (There is a manned lot directly across the street from the club. The club also has valet.) I would beg and plead always offering to pay for the parking myself. But no. Gertrude would find a space on the street, often two to three blocks away, and we would have to walk to the club. Sometimes we had to stop at a corner to wait for the light to change. Oh, the looks we would get from the working girls.

Around this time the Mission became a hip place to hang as well. By the mid-90s I was living in the Mission and so had plenty of time to explore the neighborhood. (I had meant to go back to take pictures of some of my faves but my friends will tell you I have a mild case of ADD.) I still go back to visit every now and then -- maybe this weekend. The last time I was out and about in the Mission was for one of my CL dates back in November of '04. (I was going to link to Online Misadventures but apparently this date was so boring, I chose not to write about it.)

When I lived in SF, North Beach was another fave neighborhood. It is also the place that put an end to my true partygirl behavior. One can only stay out til the wee hours of the morning for so many years. I am surprised that I really remember much about my days in North Beach.

In the height of my North Beach partying, my friend Shrew came to visit. She just couldn't understand how I could afford to go out so often. I took her to my then home away from home. At the end of the night, when I got the tab from the bartender, she insisted on helping to pay. I said, "Why? It's only $12." That is when she began to understand how I could afford to go out so often. The simple truth was that I didn't have to pay for everything. Still don't. I live in fear of the day that I will have to pay for everything myself. I guess that's why there is botox and plastic surgery though. Oh yeah, and Miss Clairol. Don't ask me how much it costs to play your favorite tunes on the jukebox either. Didn't pay for that as well. A good night in North Beach meant getting home some time around 6 or 7 in the morning. Carrying sunglasses was crucial.

One Saturday night in North Beach I started out here at about 9:30 in the evening...

LaRocca's Corner -- Where the tourists meet the locals.

and ended here around 10 a.m.

Gino and Carlo, or G&C for short

That was extremely rough as I knew that I was supposed to be meeting the Irish boy I was dating at that time Sunday night for drinks. I blame the Aussie and Kiwi rubgy players. Rugby players are always my downfall. That also reminds me that I swore I would start going to games. Hmmmm. That could be a whole new series.

I still make occasional appearances in North Beach -- and the cocktails and songs are still free.

Oh, and Happy Cinco de Mayo! I definitely do not plan on acting like a grown-up today, especially since my college roommate arrives for the weekend from SoCal.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

May I never be poor

Over the last week, I have been reading Cookiecrumb's posts on the Eat Local Challenge. Some folks started saying that the whole thing was elitist. This of course gave way to the eating habits of the economically challenged. (Stop groaning about how PC I am.) One of the commenters pointed out that it is difficult to eat healthy when your only shopping choice in your neighborhood is the corner liquor store. So true. I guess the same can be said about banking. I used to wonder why so many people relied on check cashing stores. Then I realized there are no banks in these neighborhoods either. I guess you can add this to the list of things that piss me off. Kind of surprising, huh? Well, I plan to be a benevolent empress when I take over the universe -- except for stupid people. I have no tolerance for stupid people.

Oh, and I know I'll never be poor. A few years ago, I had the following exchange with a student.

The student exclaimed, "I thought you said that you were poor!"

"I said I didn't have any money."

"But you're carrying a Burberry."

"Oh. Well, first of all the bag was a gift. Second of all, I'm not poor."

Puzzled look.

"I am frequently broke but I have never been poor. Poor is a state of mind."

After some thought, the student replied, "You're right. I never thought about it like that."

So it would be nice if you ate organic, local foods but I'd really be happier if you just ate something that was nutritious. Of course, I also do try to stop and to think about why people make their choices before placing my values on them. Hmmm. Maybe I will make that law when I come to power -- not all meals but at least one meal a day. And of course I will have a wonderful education system that is not based upon state testing but instead on making well-rounded citizens who are capable of thinking for themselves -- within reason. I am the empress after all.

Oh, and remember -- being broke is just a temporary state.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Kissing frogs and other delights

Yes, I did make it out this weekend, but I'm really looking forward to next weekend. That's when one of my best friends comes into town. It's been over a year since I've seen her. In the time since then, she has gotten engaged. I can't wait to see the ring. Maybe she'll let me take a photo of it.

I was a little bummed to hear that Laurie's first attempt at dating post-divorce did not go well. There must be something in the air. I ran into my neighbor in the hall Friday evening before I headed out. It seems her boyfriend, who we were all thinking was wonderful, dumped her Friday morning. Now the day before he was saying, "I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you." By Friday morning it was, "I can't see you anymore." That was it. No other explanation. He was ignoring her phone calls.

I remember being in my early 30s and wanting to give up completely on dating. (I know it's hard to believe given the quantity of cocktails I was consuming at the time -- five days a week if I remember correctly. But hey, I still made it to work everyday.) My stepmother, who spent her 30s as a single mom, told me, "You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince." (Her first husband dumped her after she put him through med school. Now there's a winner.) There's a part of me that wants to believe that because she has now been married to my dad for 20 years now. Of course she had to date my dad off and on for almost 10 years before he finally got around to the proposal but still...

So I headed out on Friday night and met a new guy. Well, he wasn't really new. I've talked to him plenty of times before, just not for as long as on Friday. He called Saturday evening to ask about dinner on Sunday. Of course I said yes because I like food. Not saying that I'm going to keep him but so far he is a vast improvement over that last one.

And I may never find the right guy and that's OK by me. What I do know is that I've had a lot of fun along the way -- heartaches and all.

On a final note -- back to the friend. I spent most of Sunday morning cleaning my apartment to get ready for my friend's visit. (Yes, I was actually out of bed at 8:00 a.m. and did not have to go to work.) Whenever I clean, the inevitable happens. I suddenly become inspired to cook and I still had all those Meyers lemons around. So there were more madeleines and then I got a bit more adventurous. Pies have not always been my thing -- I usually stick to cakes and cookies -- but I thought I'd give a tart a try. (No comments from the peanut gallery.)

It's blackberries on lemon custard. I think I may grow to like this tart thing.