Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good intentions

I had every intention this morning of writing a post. This would be as my alarm was going off at 4:15 a.m. Every day this week I have been up some time between 4 and 5 in the morning. So much for not being a morning person. When I was finally able to peel myself out of bed, I had too much to do other than writing a post. I have been leaving school between 4:30 and 5 in the afternoon/evening. I don't go straight home because I have errands to run. I walk in the door around 6. On my way home, I was chatting with relatives. I do that most evenings. Make phone calls all around the country to touch base with my extended family. I talk to most of them at least once a week. My dad and his sisters? I talk to them daily. (Speaking of my aunts, today was my aunt's last chemo treatment. Just in time for her birthday next week. Well, it had better be the last one.) I keep wondering where I am finding this energy. Because surprisingly I am not tired during the day. Around this time I do find myself fading though.

So the school year has been going OK so far. I have a challenging class. They are bright. They also ran all over their teacher last year. She's no longer at the school. My challenge has been to keep them challenged while laying down the law at the same time. They have spent a year thinking that they are in charge. I didn't mince words when I let them know that they are not. I get a lot of eye rolling and some occasional tears. "Please don't call my mother." This is the point when I roll my eyes. Today I even managed to work in a little head roll. You know. That kind of head movement that looks like a chicken. Oh, and with hand on hip. I think the words that came out of my mouth at that time were, "Try me."

Did I mention how much I love my job? I do. Honestly. I can't imagine doing anything else. Because I like these kids. And I believe in them. Because there are enough people out there who don't.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Checking it twice

I saw this over at Kevin's so I just had to copy it.

The Checklist
Just bold the things you have accomplished in your life.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs - Doesn't everyone do that?
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River - or was it the Colorado River?
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat - *sigh* That's what I get for not eating those Jack in the Box burgers in the 80s
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach -- This past summer in fact. The bug mobile came to school and I got to hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach as well as a few other insects.
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair - How many times have I told y'all that Miss Clairol is my patron saint?
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Obviously I still have a lot of living to do. (Awww. Crap. Now I'm going to have Bye Bye Birdie stuck in my head all day.) What have you done?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

High school

I think that I originally saw this one over at Tami's. With the school year starting on Monday, I thought that this one was quite appropriate. And now I am off to meet some fellow teachers at Office Depot because it's Educators' Day. And they're serving food as well as giving away tote bags with office supply samples. It was the samples that convinced us to go. Then it's back to school because my room and I are still not ready for Monday.

Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!

And yes, I was a drama freak. Behind the scenes though because I am too shy to speak in front of a group of people.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nothing like the boys of summer to cure ya

So the baseball game was loads of fun on Monday night. So much fun that I may be going to Friday's game as well.

This week has been filled with meetings and discussions. I love this school district. They are truly committed to making changes so that the kids can be successful. It's not just lip service. Yesterday I spoke to the new art consultant for the district and volunteered to be one of her model classrooms. She has this whole plan for integrating the performing and visual arts into the curriculum -- something about which I feel passionately. Yesterday I also heard about the kind of field trips that the kids in my grade normally take as well as this other fun project. Apparently one of the local businesses partners with the kids in my grade to help them create their own films. How cool is that? Right now I can't imagine ever wanting to leave this district.

Last night Grasshopper called to ask about heading to the pub tonight. I tried to tell her that my schedule is pretty crazy this week and that I did not think I would be going anywhere. I don't think she heard me. She wants me to come along because she is meeting one of her guy's from HellSpace and he is supposed to be bringing a friend. Ummm. No. I know she's going to call back tonight so I guess I'll just be blunt then.

I guess I should start thinking about getting ready to get out of here soon. We have the first of two fun-filled days of discussing equity issues.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Feeling a little blue

Every now and then I get into these moods. Some would say it's very Cancerian of me. I don't know what it is. It's just something that happens every now and then. Of course, it usually occurs the day after I have gone out. Sometimes not, but usually.

What happens when I go out is that I see all these couples. It seems the world is full of them. And then I am reminded that I am not part of one. It's just me and the cats. Then I think that perhaps my joke is becoming the truth -- that I am destined to be one of those crazy old ladies with a bunch of cats.

Up until age 30 or so, I had a plan. I would finish school, get married, and have three kids. Yes, I had planned on the number of kids. The key to this all was that the marriage needed to be near age 30 because I didn't want to be too old when I started having the three kids. And no, having one was not an option. I am an only child and know what it's like. I don't think that I've ever met an only child who intentionally planned on only having one child. So the marriage never happened. And kids? Well I've always believed that you need to be in a committed relationship before you start having kids. I think that's one of those quirks of having divorced parents.

Over the years, I have learned to let go of the plan. It's much easier to do that. If I didn't, then I'd start blaming myself because it is so obviously a demonstration of my failure that I did not meet those goals. And then I cry. Because I start thinking that I have screwed up my life beyond repair. This is how I spent most of Sunday.

So today I packed up some stuff and headed to school. Hey, my social life may seemed screwed up but I do have my dream job. I also started thinking about other things I could do with my time. Like maybe start hanging out in places where the people a little more like me -- a little older but with their stuff together. Because other than the lapses in my social life, I like to think that I am pretty together. And tonight I'm off to do something that I haven't done in a long time but absolutely love. I am off to watch a baseball game with one of my new coworkers. Because maybe this is a new start.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I am an anachronism

You Belong in 1972

If you scored...

1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

I think I may have to take another look at my wardrobe. Maybe this explains my love of Sly and the Family Stone, Bill Withers, and Al Green. Then again those are some of the first songs I remember singing along to.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Interviews may be starting soon

So Grasshopper is incapicitated this week and probably will not be at the pub this evening. That means I'll be hosting "the show" solo this week. Over the past few weeks, I have had to do this a few times due to her dating schedule. We have toyed with the idea of having guest hosts. Given Grasshopper's injury, it may be a few weeks before she can proudly sit upon a bar stool and sling commentary along with me.

Who is the ideal applicant? Well, ideally you are willing to be as bitchy as Grasshopper when it comes to annoying men. If not, I may be willing to assume that role. (Prior to meeting Grasshopper, I have had numerous years of experience in this area. She just does it so well that I have deferred to her. Proof of this is that Retail Boy has not shown up at the pub at the same time we are there since that fateful evening. He knows that she will tear him a new one if she sees him.) Also, a good guest host knows that when war breaks out, you never leave your allies behind. Thus the need for frequent text messages and/or phone calls. Yes, I realize that we are in the same pub but it is easy to lose track of someone. There must be constant communication. Finally, a good guest host recognizes that whining from men is never acceptable.

If you think you have what it takes, drop me a line.

Hmmm. I'm starting to think that given how this year has unfolded thus far that perhaps I should change my profile. Yesterday I was talking to a new co-worker. She's 24 and I impressed her with my partying skills. (She is familiar with my former party places in SF and knows some of my former partners in crime. OK. So scary is that one of these people is a former teacher of hers. She was also shocked when I told her my age. Nothing new there. Thank you, melanin.) "Former partygirl?" Nope. I was just on vacation and now I'm back. That's why I think my theme song for the fall will be SexyBack -- because this song makes me want to dance. On bars or tabletops.

Tonight I have been just a little bit wired. That would be pure adrenaline. No other substances. Well except the deadly combo of two buck Chuck and adrenaline. The two can keep me awake until noon if I want them to. Thank you very much. I had originally toyed with the idea of heading out but when it took me an hour to find parking by home, I changed my mind. Besides the bartender tonight was one of the secondary ones. He has been trained so that (1) he is not surly towards me and (2) he remembers my preferred drink. With that, I have had my Carlos Santana fix, I will finally go to sleep so that I may go out in about sixteen hours or so.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I want sleep

This week has been pretty uneventful. Each day I get up at crack of dawn so that I can go to my training class. The state of California has an official reading textbook for grades K-6. Apparently one must attend a week of training in order to use these materials properly. Oh, and there is homework too. It's OK though. I will need the hours for professional development when I am ready to renew my credential.

When I finish there, I head over to the University for my final week of work there. What kind of stuff have I been doing there? Lots of cutting and pasting -- literally. Because the powers that be have decided that I really need to do these projects before leaving. OK. Let someone else have the thrill of returning the huge stack of library books.

Today might be a little different though. I set my alarm a little early so that I could finish last night's homework. As I was contemplating getting up, things started moving. Apparently it was only a 2.9 though. *sigh* This is the most awake I have been without the aid of caffeine all week.

Is it Friday yet?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Easily distracted

I had all these plans for Friday night -- cleaning and laundry. Then Grasshopper called. She was in need of a burger from Triple Rock. So of course I had to go meet her. Then it was off to the pub. I told myself that I would leave early. Then I got into conversation with a cute and charming guy. So much for leaving early.

I overslept on Saturday and when I called into work, they said they didn't need me anyway. So I was supposed to be cleaning and doing laundry. But I really didn't feel like it. There was lots of cheesy TV viewing. Don't ask me what I watched because I can't even remember. There was something lacking in this procrastination, though, so I went flipping through the directory of my cellphone.

You can warm up the tar and break out the feathers now. I called the Child. Because he's fun to talk to. Well, and he's also 6'4" and kind of cute. We met at the pub and talked about all kinds of stuff -- including the huge age difference. We agreed that we would just keep hanging out until one of us gets tired of it all.

Sunday rolled around and I actually got some cleaning done. No laundry but there was some cleaning. Then Grasshopper called. She needed chocolate. She was going to call me once she hit downtown. After a few hours, I called her. She had already had chocolate and had moved onto Guinness. There was only one answer to that. I had to join her. When I arrived at the pub, she was working on a Guinness and talking to this group of three guys. There also was a new bartender. All four guys asked if I was the other one who commanded the corner seats along with Grasshopper. Well, duh. As I was sipping my second Chimay, I felt someone tap on my back. It was Chef Guy. I told him about the change in my work schedule for the next week. He swore that he would call me about dinner. We'll see.

There probably won't be much partying this week. I found out on Friday afternoon that I have to go to a training class all this week. That means I have to be there at 8 a.m. every morning. I think that's why it was so easy for me to say OK to Grasshopper on Friday. And so now I'm back to waking up before the sun rises as opposed to just coming in at this hour. That just shows you how much I love my job. Because I am definitely not a morning person. I guess summer is finally over.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

All cute and cuddly

I thought that I had to work today. Then I overslept. The twit who answered the phone when I called to see if I still needed to come in said that someone would call me back. Huh? I knew then that I was not going in. Then a couple of minutes later she called me back to say that they didn't need me today. I told her that was OK with me because at this point I was not planning on coming in. I hate dealing with idiots.
Today's quiz is another one that I first saw this at Sachi's.

You Are A: Pony!

ponyWho doesn't love a pony? You are one of these miniature horses, renown for your beauty and desired by many. Full of grace, you are a beautiful and very special animal, full of strength and majesty.

You were almost a: Monkey or a Puppy
You are least like a: Turtle or a GroundhogThe Cute Animals Quiz

Works for me since I was born in the Year of the Horse.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Grease is the word

Thank goodness I do not have to be up early in the morning currently. If I did, yesterday would have sucked. When I did awake, I had to spend some time rehydrating and caffeinating. I do this by alternating between glasses of lemonade and ones of iced tea. And then I had to relive the previous evening. There are some mystery folks though. Like the guy whose number I programmed into my phone. I guess I shouldn't worry about it because he obviously did not make enough of an impression since I could not match the name to a face. Then I went to read my book later in the day and discovered a business card stuck in there. Nope. Wasn't ringing any bells either. There was a time that I used to decorate my bulletin board with these mystery numbers.

As the day wore on, I realized that I had missed two of the crucial food groups -- carbs and grease. I solved that by going to Panda Express after work. And when I asked for the large soda, the guy at the register asked, "You know that's 40 ounces?" Yes!!! That's why I wanted it. Couldn't the idiot see that I desperately needed liquids. I'm starting to get tired of folks trying to do portion control for me.

After getting my food fix and feeling much better, I decided to call Chef Guy. We had a nice chat. He also solved one mystery for me. The business card? His roommate. So he's supposed to call me back sometime in the next few days now that he has my phone number. He said something about going out to dinner. Why this almost sounds like a real date and all.

And since I have to be at work tomorrow morning at 10 (tutoring center), I will be staying in this evening as well. Really. Besides I don't know tonight's band.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A homecoming of sorts

This would also be known as "It's raining men."

Yesterday I tried my best to get up early but failed. By the time I made it out the door, it was 10:30 a.m. I then had to make a decision. Should I go up to campus only to have to turn around immediately to head into San Francisco or should I head into San Francisco? I decided on the latter.

I left home armed with my birthday gifts -- a giftcard for Macy's and one for Banana Republic. Never made it to either store though. Grasshopper had given me a book to read and I had finished it on Tuesday night. It was the first book in a trilogy and I was in desperate need of the second. On my way to Berkeley BART, I stopped off at Half Price Books. They only had the one I had just finished. I then decided to get off BART at Montgomery Street in San Francisco. That way I could stop at Stacey's. No luck at Stacey's either. They had the first and the third books but not the second. So I headed toward Union Square and Cody's. No luck at Cody's either. By this time I realized that it was nearing lunch time. Screw the rest of the shopping. Besides it was going to take me hours in Macy's and Banana Republic since I had nothing specific in mind. I headed up the hill to Borders and struck paydirt. Then I noticed the 3 for 2 sale on trade-size paperbacks. Well of course I had to look. (By the way, this is why I usually go to the library instead of bookstores. Bookstores are a dangerous place for me.) I saw a title by Alice Hoffman that I hadn't read. Now it was just a question of picking up two more. I almost got A People's History of the United States but I think I might actually have a copy of that somewhere at home. Instead I got Fast Food Nation -- been meaning to read it for years -- and a chick lit anthology.

Armed with books, I hopped back on BART at Powell Street to head over to 16th and Mission. The goal was to stroll out 16th to Bryant because the fable bar was there. Not that I could remember the name of the bar. And it was hot. So if there hadn't been a bar there, I was going to be really mad. There was indeed a bar there -- The Double Play Bar and Grill. According to the sign it's been around since 1909. The current owners have been there since January of this year. I settled in at the bar and ordered...

a Myers's and coke...

and a club sandwich with fries. Actually they call it the Seal Stadium Club.

Did I mention that this place is basically a sports bar with a restaurant attached? My kind of place. Why? Because these kind of places attract guys. To talk to. To buy me drinks.

I also realized what I miss about hanging out in San Francisco. Remember the Stalker Guy? Never would have happened in San Francisco. While I was there, some drunk/stoned guy had asked the bartender to call him a cab. He then decided to move from one end of the bar to the other just so that he could sit by me. The bartender, my friend, immediately told the guy to move back to the other end of the bar. There was some grumbling and then finally the bartender stated, "If you start bothering her (me), you will have to move." Luckily for the guy, he waited until about a minute before the cab pulled up to start getting creepy. Muttering stuff like, "I'm going to rip your balls off," and "Where's the pitbull?" Around this time one of the regulars offered to buy my third drink.

After finishing that third one I realized it was 2 p.m. and that I probably should go because, hey, I still had to go to work. My tab? $7. Because the food was on the house. It is a shame they are only open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Otherwise, I would go there more often.

I saw this sign in the BART station on on my ride back across the Bay and thought of Laurie -- and a few other folks.

And yes, I was sober by the time I got to work an hour later. Well enough to do my job. Which I could do with one-quarter of my brain functioning. Maybe less.

Yes, they treat me like royalty in Berkeley but only minor royalty. In San Francisco, I get treated like the true empress that I am. Well, that's what I thought before I returned to Berkeley.

The shocker was that it was 85 degrees in Berkeley today. That meant that I couldn't go straight home. I mean I have no air conditioning (or cold beverages) at home. I was forced to go to the pub. Where I met some nice older men. (One has a son who is 32.) And they paid for all of my drinks up to that point. Don't ask me how many but just let me say that if I had had to pay for all of them, I would have gone home at that point.

Nicole and the Sisters in Soul -- the evening's entertainment.

My first victim -- ummm, guy -- was newer to the area. He is a student in creative writing. You know how I like those creative types. But then I finally had to ask that dreaded question -- his age. He is -- 23. *gasp* Throw this one back because he is too young. We did exchange phone numbers though. Because he is tall. And well-read.

By the end of the evening, I had four guys (two sets of two) trying to walk me home. One set was able to get rid of the other set quite well -- as I wanted them to. So I was left with two hot guys walking me home because they were "concerned" for me. By the time that I got to my doorstep, I learned that one of the guys is the executive chef for Hornblower. Ummm. I could really use a dinner cruise. Good thing that I got his number (He didn't get mine.) and swore that I would call him. Because I will. Because he was hot. And because he can feed me.

And men of the world? Beware. Because I am woman.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Now that I've scared all the men away

I think that perhaps the men read the title on my last post and thought, "What? Where are the tales of partying?" They were there. They just had to read past the title. Oh well.

Well, my time at the University is winding down. I have desperately wanting a certain t-shirt since May. Yesterday I received it. I also told the student who dropped it off that I would try to come back for visits. We'll see.

The front...

and the back.

Oh, and this was one of my purchases from Target. I couldn't resist since it was only $1. I haven't even checked yet to see if the thing actually works. But who cares because it only cost $1.

Doesn't everyone need a tabletop disco ball?

And finally, here is an update on the cats. I had pulled the boxes out of the closet so I could get the material I'll need for the school year out. Still don't know grade I'll be teaching. Either 5th or 6th. Wish they'd hurry up and tell me because I've never taught 5th so that will require a lot more prep time.

A rarity. B&N actually getting along.

I've been taking it easy so far this week but I'm hoping to make it into San Francisco for lunch today. The important thing is that I have to go into work early since I will be in no condition to work after lunch.

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.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

The food porn has ended

I found this one on Sachi's blog.

And now I am going back to bed because I just got home about five hours ago and really shouldn't be up right now.

Friday, August 4, 2006

The food porn continues

The bad thing about going out on Wednesday night was that I slept until it was time for me to go to work. That means that I did not eat before heading out. I spent a great deal of time at work thinking about food. The challenge was trying to come up with a restaurant in my neighborhood that I have not tried yet. Then Neil gave me some inspiration.

When I lived in San Francisco, I loved going to Moishe's Pippic. I have not been able to find a similar culinary experience since moving back to the East Bay. That is until I moved into Berkeley.

I often find it humorous that I have never gone to Saul's before this. Back in March I turned down a job as their office manager. That's the humor. They were going to hire me knowing that I live in the neighborhood yet had never find time to eat there. I didn't take the job because I knew that for what they were paying it would not be a longterm choice for me -- and they deserved someone who was going to stick around for some time.

The biggest challenge in going into Saul's was trying to decide what to get. Because I wanted one of everything. I mean, did I want a sandwich? What about the brisket? The thought of latkes and applesauce got my mouth watering. It also reminded me of another place that I used to go to on a regular basis, Suppenkuche. (Yeah, I'm too lazy to look for the code to make the umlaut or however you spell it.) Same neighborhood as Moishe's. *sigh* Crap. I'm going to have to get a wiener schnitzel fix soon. Maybe I can talk Grasshopper into joining me there for brunch on Sunday.

Now where was I? Oh yeah. Saul's. So I thought that I would be safe if I chose a route that did not include Andronico's. Not. I ended up passing by Vintage Berkeley. The store called to me and I could not resist. When I got in, I discovered that there was a tasting going on. Well, of course, I sampled. I then returned on my way home from Saul's to make a purchase.

I decided to go with the Reuben...

and a little dessert.

Now the only question is what to have for dinner tonight.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Why do I do this to myself?

I completely rearranged my schedule yesterday so that I could go to the movies with Jade. I got up at crack of dawn (8:00 a.m.) so that I could go out to the tutoring center to help out with paperwork (Another director has quit. The place is cursed, I'm telling ya.) and still make it back to the University to do my time there. I get to the job at the University only to receive a phone call from Jade. Something has come up and she can't make it to the movie. I asked what kind of appointment. She muttered something about her husband's business. Have I mentioned recently how much that guy irritates me? At least now he's stopped telling me, "You're too skinny. No man likes that. You don't have enough boobs or butt," whenever I stop by there house. I swear if she wasn't my oldest friend, I would have killed that man long ago.

So there I was, 1:30 in the afternoon and off work. It was just as well that Jade couldn't make it. She wanted to see Miami Vice. Normally that would be one of my "wait for the rental" choices. So without her around, I went to see Clerks 2 instead. Of course, I still had a couple of hours to kill before the movie.

Natasha waiting for me as she often does.

At home I finished off the last of my leftovers from Monday night. I have not felt like cooking this week and there are so many places I've been meaning to try. Monday night I headed down the street to Khana Peena. This is their second location. I've been to the original one plenty of times but that entails driving. Now when I'm trying a new place, I usually have one dish to try based upon the cuisine. When it's Indian, I always go for the Chicken Tikka Masala. When I'm up on campus, I occasionally head to Naan and Curry. They are inexpensive and fast. But the Chicken Tikka Masala? Tasty sauce, dry meat. Every time I go there, it's the same. But Khana Penna? Nice tender chunks of chicken. And since I already kind of trusted them, I decided to have a couple of more dishes. Thus the leftovers.

Starting at the top and going clockwise, there's rice, Lamb Dhal, Saag Paneer, naan, and Chicken Tikka Masala.

After the movie, I was hungry once more. This time I went Cancun. I've been meaning to try them out for sometime. I used to go to Tlaloc all the time when I worked in downtown San Francisco. I loved Tlaloc because they had items like mole and nopales on their menu. I was torn trying to decide what to have at Cancun. Usually when I try out a Mexican restaurant, I go for the carnitas plate. I have learned the hard way about the stuff that some try to pass off as carnitas. They should be lean and with the right amount of crispyness on the outside. But then the mole was calling to me as well. It is nearly impossible to find mole around here and I usually content myself to wait for my mother to bring some sauce back from Mexico. The mole I have had here often does not measure up to that I've had in/from Mexico. I ended up going with...

I ended up going with the carnitas instead of the mole. In the future I'll know to add guacamole.

It was imperative that I have food in my stomach. Last night it was time to head out with Grasshopper. She had mentioned going out on Tuesday but I pointed out that we only had a one day wait for our fave bartender. She agreed.

The band was Crude Bill. One of their first few songs was an antiwar song. It's times like these that I'm happy to live in Berkeley. Here's the last chorus:

But if you try to take away our voice
You're going to get it
You son of a bitch.

Or something like that. I told the singer the name of this blog so perhaps she'll drop by and correct me.

I told Grasshopper about how our fave bartender was stating that he hadn't been to a movie in some time. Before I left, I asked him to think about what he wanted to see and when. Hopefully he'll join us for a movie.

Finally last night was important to me. I walked instead of driving. And lived to tell about it. I'd like to thank the raging hormones of PMS for making this possible.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Career choices

It dawned on me that I did not post a quiz on Saturday. This is the one that I meant to post and now it seems even more fitting.

Your Career Type: Investigative

You are precise, scientific, and intellectual.
Your talents lie in understanding and solving math and science problems.

You would make an excellent:

Architect - Biologist - Chemist
Dentist - Electrical Technician - Mathematician
Medical Technician - Meteorologist - Pharmacist
Physician - Surveyor - Veterinarian

The worst career options for you are enterprising careers, like lawyer or real estate agent.

So glad to see that I was right about that law school thing all those years ago. Now would someone please tell my mother? Oh, but do not tell her about the physician thing please.

And why was this a fitting quiz? It looks like I will be back to teaching elementary school. This morning I had a job interview and immediately following the interview, I headed over to HR to sign my contract for the school year. 'Cause I'm just that good.

In celebration, and also my dropping iron level, I headed over to Triple Rock after doing time at the University.

Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone but one of their best-kept secrets is the roof garden.

And look, Gloria. I remembered to take a photo of the burger this time. It's the Blue Rock -- smoked bacon, grilled red onion, and Maytag blue cheese.

Sticking to the pomegranate craze, I had the pomegranate cider.

I thought I was finished with pictures at this point but then I just knew that I had to include this one for Daniel.

See no evil. Hear no evil. Feel no evil. Monkey Head Arboreal Ale.

The joy of having time off in the afternoon. The only one of my friends who is not working at this time of day is Jade. However, she is frequently busy with other things. Don't ask me what. It's a mystery to me.

So tomorrow, it's back to the usual. Hanging out with Grasshopper for our "show." And now? Sun and pints? It's naptime.