Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The rainbow

After the storm has cleared, the rainbow appears. Such is my life.

So the other teacher seemed evil. She wasn't evil, just blunt. Yesterday I followed exactly what she said and everything was better. I taught the lesson that she modeled. Her feedback? There were some things that I needed to work on (She gave me specifics and how to deal with them.) but overall I did a great job. Feel my Ninja power as I kick ass!

On Monday night I think that Natasha felt my pain. When I woke up in the middle of the night (as I am prone to do when I am stressed), I discovered that Natasha was sleeping next to me. Then again it could be the weather and her search for heat. Nah. I'm going to go with the first explanation -- her need to comfort me.

So I have a game plan for the weeks leading up to break. This would also be known as the weeks leading up to my trip to Mexico. And did I share? Apparently I will not have to spend the entire trip with my mother. Family friends have hooked me up with a hotel room. Gotta love having friends with money. Now to solidify plans for the cats while I am gone.

Back to the kids. I know. You thought that we had escaped those brats. Thursday the Opera is coming to the school for a performance. Some of the kids will be participating. Rehearsal on Tuesday? Fantastic!!! Seriously.

The next step in motivating the rugrats is a project. I had an idea in mind -- a classroom cookbook. My aunt, a retired educator, helped me to solidify this with a timeline. She is well worth the minutes I spend talking to her daily on the cell.

So now I'm smiling. I've never needed drugs for my bouts of depression. I've only needed a sounding board. Although I have also come up with a plan to improve my social life. First, I am going to become involved in the local knitting/spinning guild. Second, I will return to studying Portuguese in January. And I'll make sure there is some dancing in all of this.

All I know is that I am glad that I did not truly hit bottom. That's where I thought I was on Monday evening. Because I'm a Cancer. And I always think the worst. So yeah, things are shaky jobwise but after Tuesday, I believe that I can climb out of the hole. And see the rainbow that appears after the storm. This last line was for those of you who have difficuly making inferences. Which is our focus in reading in my class this week.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Opening up a vein

Just when I started thinking that life could not possibly suck anymore, it is. I returned to work on Monday and discovered that one of the other new teachers had not returned. Instead she had been replaced. Why? Something about classroom management.

One of the veteran teachers insisted that I meet with her after school on Monday. It seems that the perception is that I have similar problems. She is trying to ensure that I still have a job next year. And here it was, I thought that things were getting better. Just shows what happens when I try to think. I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under my feet. So I spent nearly two hours with her mapping out the changes that I would make starting tomorrow.

Oh, and to top it all off, there was discussion about my wardrobe not being professional enough. I explained that when the temperature dropped, I suddenly had a lot fewer wardrobe options. I told her that I could have more options if I could actually afford to dryclean some stuff. She is going to show me the bulk place that she uses. I mean it's not like I purposefully go to school thinking, "Hmmm. I think I should have a little gap between the waistband of my pants and my shirt." I am sorry that I am thin and long-waisted. First time I've ever been smacked down on a job for my wardrobe. Makes me want to start to reconsider my neighbor's idea for a business. The B&B&B. That would be bed and breakfast and bordello. I tried to tell her the idea would only be legal in certain parts of Nevada.

So right now I feel like I've been kicked while I was already down. I'm not sure how I'm going to crawl out of this hole. I did spend most of Monday night crying. Because that's what I do when I'm feeling exceptionally hormonal and life keeps throwing out more crap. Reminds me of something that my friends in high school and I used to say. "Life's a shit sandwich and each day you have to take a bite. The only difference is how big a bite you have to take." I feel like I've eaten half the sandwich in one sitting. And then I called Queenie because she saw me walking to my car after the meeting and knew that something was amiss. Well, actually she knew that something was amiss when I kept shooing the kids away for opera practice. (Remind me to tell you about that one day.) She assured me that I am a great teacher. That doesn't mean that I still won't be canned at the end of the year though.

So where do I stand? No friends that I count on except Queenie, no love interest, and possibly no job come June. Do I feel calm, relaxed, and all that other stuff? Hell no. I am at my neurotic best, waiting for someone to pull me in from that tree limb.

With that said, I think it may be in my best interest to not go out this week. Because I'm pretty sure they don't let you blog from the psych ward. And now I'm going to resume my pre-school crying. Because the asshats that control stuff have also decided that today is tree trimming day. And not in the festive way. Which means that all cars must be moved by 7 a.m. This would be the perfect time for one of those asshole men I have met over the last few months to call, just to say how wonderful I am. In the meantime, I think I'm going to email the Belgian. He did just send me wonderful vacation pix from Tunisia. There's one of him in a bathing suit. If you ask nicely, perhaps I'll send it along.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Making choices

For those of you who come here for the food, let me get some things out of the way.

Turkey hash with poached eggs

Yep. That's what I had on Saturday -- and Sunday -- after a quick trip to the grocery store. I had onions but what I really wanted was scallions. And I needed bell pepper. And eggs. I cannot believe that I only had one egg in the fridge. Something seems so wrong about that.

Oh, and I had a whole wheat English muffin with it as well. Toasted with butter. And with the Bartlett Pear Jam I bought in Pt. Reyes. The jam? Tasted like a pear spread on the muffin. I may have found a new addiction to replace the honey addiction that replaced the crack cheese addiction.

Now onto other stuff, non-food related. Saturday night I did head out. However, it ended up being just me and Queenie. Since it was just us, we headed to SF. We could have done the salsa place but then I remembered that the Peruvian guys we met a couple of weeks ago in SF wanted us to go there with them on this particular Saturday. Why tempt fate? So it was off to SF and my continuing introduction to Irish bars that have dance floors. Now I must admit that I have been to our usual spot many times before meeting Queenie. Saturday night's stop was Kell's. I like to think of it as being in that borderland between North Beach and the Financial District since it is around the corner from The Bubble Lounge.

So the choice was to go there. Instead of all the other places we could have gone. Like my home away from home in North Beach. Because I decided that dancing was more important than meeting guys. Queenie? She meets guys wherever we go. Because she's 25. I love her dearly but she is also a constant reminder of my age. My home away from home? We both meet guys. (That's where I met UG.) There's just not really any dancing there. So this was a hard choice to make before I told her it was OK to go to Kell's. Because I had just spent several days at home with the cats. My sex life? Vague memories. Maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to tell the kids that I don't need their help in getting a date a week ago.

I know part of this is hormonal. The hormone swings always seem to magnify the fact that I am well on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady. Ah. Crap. Now I've actually written it. Excuse me while I take my depressed ass off to a corner and cry. By the way, this is a major improvement. In the old days, pre-therapy, I would have said "off to a corner to slit my wrists." At least I have not gone off and posted an ad on CL. I did read some though. I also thought of dialing a few numbers in my phone but then I decided that there were reasons why I have not dialed those numbers in months. I'm not sure how much longer the self-restraint will work though.

Maybe I should go out on Wednesday night. I need some worshipping in my life about now. Of course, I am going to a conference over the weekend. Maybe there will be some hot, single male teachers there. OK. I just made myself laugh hysterically with that one. Because in case you have not noticed, there aren't a lot of men in education. But the conference is for math and that happens to be one of the few areas in education that is heavily populated by men. At the very least it's somewhere scenic.

Eh. I'm going to Mexico for Christmas. That will be the ego boost. Sort of. If only men were taller. Although I've never met a short guy from New Zealand. Hmmmm.

*sigh* I hate it when the weather turns gloomy. Seems to do the same to my mood.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another double

I once more did my annual Turkey Day cooking. The difference is that this year I did not have to work on Wednesday so I decided to get a headstart on the cooking since everything tastes better as leftovers anyway.

I'm starting to think the holidays are all about meat and carbs. And don't worry. This was the taste sampler from Wednesday. Thursday I did actually add vegetables to the plate.

Another tradition is that I save the wings for my aunt. She headed over Friday for leftovers and a doggy bag. Now I have been obsessed with this one dessert since I had it at Baraka in February. Didn't know what it was called but knew the ingredients. Thank you Google for answering my question.

Galaktoboureko. You'll have to scroll down a ways to find the actual recipe.

And for those of you desperately waiting for it, here's this weekend's quiz. I'm off to look for turkey hash recipes. Of course that means I'll have to go grocery shopping because I have no eggs and what is hash without eggs?

You Were a Deer

Graceful and gentle, you appreciate beauty and balance.
A giving soul, you are able to sacrifice for the greater good.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Back by popular demand

Yes, I'm back. Of course, I wish I could say the same about my voice. It seems to come and go. Hopefully it will be back completely by Monday but I doubt it. I have improved from Wednesday. Now I can actually talk at a regular level. But yelling? So not happening.

My first year teaching something similar happened. I showed up to work on a Friday feeling kind of so-so. As the day went on, I started feeling worse. By the time my last class showed up (I was teaching middle school and had three groups of students.), I had almost no voice. Luckily I had won them over by that point in the school year. When they realized that I had almost no voice, the more boisterous members of the class turned and shouted, "Shut up. Can't you see that she has almost lost her voice?" I taught the rest of the day at a near whisper -- and no one missed a word.

That is when I realized the power of whispering. I stopped yelling at my class. Instead, when I really wanted their attention, I would drop my volume. I have tried it a few times this year. They're a little slower to catch on. I try to explain to them that my vocal cords cannot take yelling all day long, even when I am healthy. I have also explained to them that this is why I don't drink coffee, but instead drink tea with honey all day long.

You should have heard me in the grocery stores on Wednesday. It almost made me want to go out drinking. Because my voice had that perfect level of raspiness. What a bummer when I spoke to my dad latter that afternoon and had most of my voice back.

Then again, it gave me a perfect excuse for not going to Sack of tomatoes. It seems that T-day was at my dad's brother-in-law's house. Now, there is only one person in that family who actually likes me, my father's sister-in-law. Of course, she catches a lot of flak from her family as well. Her family's take on me? Spoiled brat. Ummmm. Stop hating the player, hate the game. I know some of you are wondering about the reference. Let's face it. I can play my dad like a fiddle most days. Not that I've played a fiddle but I did take cello. May be why my ex used to say that I should become an actress. (Of course, the only one who always sees through the act is my mother. Then again, some of this I learned from her.) I can't help it that they grew up wanting and all. I don't think they were poor, kind of like my mom's family, but they did not have the finer things in life. I mean shouldn't every 16 year old back in the 80s been well acquainted with Ernie's and Victor's? Well, my sixteenth birthday was not spent at either, but instead at this place, Alexis, which was almost my name. Not around anymore but it was at the peak of (S)Nob Hill across from the Mark Hopkins.

So my stepmother doesn't like me much because I've always had more than she has and I know more stuff than she does. My dad and I have always been huge trivia fans. My dad is also a huge fan of Scrabble thanks to his mom. When my dad puts down some mystery word, I never challenge him because I know that he has studied the Scrabble dictionary in depth. What truly irritates my stepmother is when we watch Jeopardy. Not my fault that I can come up with many answers before Alec has finished reading the clue. To be fair, I started pausing a second or so after Alec finished reading the clue. Same result.

So she belongs to all these organizations -- because she is married to my dad. That is about the only reason why these women welcome her. Me? Well, yes, I am my father's daughter but I am also far more charming and know how to work a room. I remember the venom that seethed under the surface for some of my mom's sorority sisters when I was accepted to a certain deb ball. "How did you get your daughter into that ball?" Easy. One of my mom's college friends knew the women on the committee and knew that I would be able to charm them. The one time my name actually hit the society page (Pat Stiger's column, for locals). Like that will ever happen again. And I read that column like a Bible when I was growing up. I know. Funny for a girl from Richmond but then many people underrate Richmond. I mean, how many of you shelled out dollars to see Coach Carter? (No, that was not my alma mater. Mine was the one that was supposedly the "Owls" in the movie.)

And I guess I should be saying that I will be resting the remainder of the weekend but that would be a lie. Instead, I will be doing a little salsa on Saturday. And if that's dead, then I'll be doing some tiki bar action. With fellow teachers. 'Cause we get down like that when the kids are away. And maybe I'll chainsmoke some cigs so I can hopefully recapture that raspiness again.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks and all that other stuff

Neil has this idea that we should all thank our first commenter. I started wondering if I should thank my first commenter here or at the old blog. Turns out it's the same person.

Thank you, Gloria. I don't know if I'd be blogging if it weren't for you. You talked me into contributing to Online Misadventures due to my willingness to actually meet the freaks -- ummm, men -- who post on CL. And I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed blogging. The natural response was to set up a blog that was purely me.

And Gloria, through your blog, I have discovered many other bloggers. I don't know if I would have ever found Cookie Crumb if it were not for Gloria's love of Bean Sprout. I went for the dog and stayed for the food.

Jen and Laurie? Well, Jen commented on Gloria's blog so I followed the link. I couldn't stop coming back. And that's how I found Laurie.

So thank you, Gloria, for opening up a whole new world to me. And may all of you enjoy Turkey Day. Well, those of you who celebrate it. I must now return to the kitchen so that I can truly start torturing the cats. There's something about the smell of roasting turkey that gets them going.

And hopefully after Thursday I will regain full use of my voice. Because right now it's pretty scratchy and on it's way out. Good thing I was too tired to go out last night. Damn kids.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Curse words

Yeah, that's right. I said it. Curse words.

They have been a part of my vocabulary since early childhood. The first evidence of my using a curse was at age four. My dad and I had gone to visit his family. In driving from Georgia to Alabama, I suddenly discovered that we had left my favorite stuffed animal behind. I quickly informed my dad of this. His reaction? He kept on driving. My response? "Turn this damn car around now!" My exclamation was eventually met with a backhand over the top of the front seat. This would be after my grandmother, who was riding shotgun, said, "Why I think she just said a bad word." My dad tried to placate me by stopping at the next department store and buying me a new toy. Not good enough. My grandmother mailed my animal to me along with some new toys once I returned to California.

In first grade I knew kids from higher grades. They expanded my vocabulary. One night my mother sent me to my room as punishment for something I had done. While I sat in my room, I pulled out paper and pencil to compose a letter to my mother. It read,

"Dear Mommy,

You are a mother fucker.


I left the note on the floor in the hallway outside of my door. I regained my sanity and reclaimed the note before my mother saw it. When I was around 30, I told my mother about the note. We still laugh over it. And mention how it's fortunate that I retrieved the note as I would not be alive today if I had not.

Back in the days when I was the queen of the fag hags, I used to frequent this one place, The Pendulum. Now the reason why I appointed myself the queen was because there was not a bar in the Castro that I could enter in which they did not know me. I met this woman who tried to declare herself a fag hag but then had to back down when I asked, "When you walk into bars in the Castro do the bartenders greet you by name and offer free drinks? Do the regulars at that bar walk up and ask, 'Where have you been lately? We've missed you.' Do your gay friends start saying that you know more guys than they do? Do you get free drinks from random guys?" So back to The Pendulum. It was the place where younger African American males met older White males. On a good night there would be five women in the place. And you've got to love a place with a padlock on the women's room. They also had a DJ who shared my love of Teena Marie and a back deck. On Sunday nights the back deck action was all about dominos and Spades. Me? I'm all about the Spades action. As the game would progress, the more talk would come from my mouth. I remember one night that the guys at the table said, "Girl, you have a mouth like a sailor." My response was, "Just shut the fuck up and deal the next damn hand."

Where is this all leading? Well, now I'm teaching kids. It's kind of frowned upon if you curse in front of the kids. (Don't ask my current kids this question though. Apparently their teacher last year used to curse all of the time. Believe me. They could drive you to this. The little vultures see the look on my face and say, "Go ahead and curse. Our teacher last year did." Did I mention that I have my current job because they ran her off? Of course, they do know that I do occasionally have homicidal thoughts and that the only thing that stops me is that I love my job. Oh, and did I mention that I know the third graders who I will have as students next year and completely love them?) Woo. That was a mighty long aside. Back to the main topic. Cursing in front of kids. There is a kindergarten teacher who thinks that we should be allowed one curse per year. As each situation arises, you will think to yourself, "Do I want to use it now or save it for later in the year?" Most of us have agreed that the phrase would be, "Shut the fuck up ... now!" So this kindergarten teacher and one of the fourth grade teachers have agreed that the word that is sorely missing in our vocabulary at work is "fuck." They came up with a hand sign. Originally it involved raising your hand to your forehead and rubbing only your middle finger across your forehead. It has now evolved, as more teachers have learned about it, to patting your first three fingers over the eyebrow on that side. Our joke now is that we can tell how bad someone's day has been by the impression on his/her forehead. The best part? The kids have not figured out the code yet.

So we freely walk the hallways asking, "How [two taps to forehead] are you?" Especially bad day? The appropriate response is nonstop head taps. At least that's what I did last Thursday. We are still waiting to see a teacher with a huge dent in the forehead.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love my coworkers? If I haven't, then I have not been giving them enough credit in ability to stay sane. Oh, and props to those parents who recognize how stressful my job is and feed me or give me hugs when they see me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

On a fence

So many of you have asked me about my feelings toward Underwear Guy. Well, I hope the title of this post helps to clarify it.

When we parted ways last on Tuesday, he said, "Call me the next time you are in San Francisco."

And I guess I fibbed. If he was truly the perfect gentleman, he would have walked me all the way home. Instead, we parted ways at the last entrance to BART on the way home for me. Might be why I offered a cheek for the kiss instead of my lips.

My friends at work who are around my age question my exclusion of men my age or older as far as dating is concerned. These are women who still dream of having the happy marriage with kids. I tried to tell them that my doctor had helped solve part of this problem years ago. I still remember being about 30 or 31 and my gynecolygist proclaiming that I was "hormonally fragile." She then went on to explain that the only way that I would have children completely naturally would be by age 35. At 40, I have done the math. Even if by some miracle (Because in vitro? Way too expensive for words.), I actually give birth to a child in the next year or later, I will be heading into my 60s when this child heads to college. I don't think so. I am too selfish to allow this. By my 60s, I want to be in a posision to be truly enjoying life. This means the children have finished college and have started their careers. My mother's solution to this is that I adopt.

So one of the things that Underwear Guy has in his favor is his desire to not have children of his own. We had a whole conversation about his love of other people's children. Apparently he now has a namesake who is showing signs of becoming a rampant Republican -- a regular Alex P. Keeton. Fortunately he sees this as a slap in the face. Underwear Guy even agreed to speak to my kids about his job.

Hmm. That last sentence seemed like a total non-sequitar to me. But I'm going to ignore that. Instead I'm going to try to put down in words all the things swimmming around in my head since my class on Saturday morning.

My class was part of a part of "Teaching American History." My old landlord in SF would ask whose history are you teaching. And this would answer many of the questions in my family. One of the teachers present asked how to deal with the lack of information on certain groups in history texts. Did this make a difference in where the student was from? The facillitator told her that a lot depended on the child's teacher. At the break, I told her that it also depended on the child's parents. My parents? They regularly supplameneted my history lessons with oral histories from our family as well as books from Marcus Books.

Eck! I've just realized that I have strayed from the post title. Or have I? My favorite Southern author has always been Faulkner. On Saturday we were asked to read a number of quotes and to write a response to one that reverberated for us personally. Me? I chose Faulkner. Over Martin Luther King. Over Albert Einstein. Over Frederick Douglass.

"The past is not dead; it's not even past."

Bottom line? I have all these wonderful ideas for my classroom but still have not made up my mind about Underwear Guy. My coworker Queenie (I finally remembered the name I was going to give her.) and I are going out in SF tomorrow night since we don't have to work on Wednesday. She says that I should call him. I don't know though. What if there's someone even more interesting in the place?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Another one sure to get interesting comments

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are very passionate and quite temperamental. While you can be moody, you always crave comfort.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. Your feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You see yourself with pretty objective eyes. How you view yourself is almost exactly how other people view you.

Your near future is calm, relaxing, and pretty much what you want. And it's something you've been anticipating for a while now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Friday, November 17, 2006


through conferences and dead.

I have completed all of my report cards and about half of my parent-teacher conferences. There have been many promises of lost privileges and ass whoopings. Not that I entirely condone the latter. But some of these kids? Can make you have homicidal thoughts. I sometimes find myself asking other teachers, "If I were to kill this certain student, do you think I could get off on justifiable homicide or at least temporary insanity? And if not, how many years do you think I'd get?" Don't get me wrong. I love the kids. They just irritate the hell out of me at times. Like yesterday.

Yesterday would be the first day of conferences. It would also be the day that I realized around lunch that I really wasn't feeling well. Sinus headache, swollen glands, feverish chills. Yep, I really felt like sticking around until 5:30 to meet with parents. By this morning, I realized that the headache is due to a sinus infection. I also confirmed that I am indeed running a slight fever as well. Any other time, I would have stayed home but I had conferences. And they were for some of the biggest behavior problems in my classroom. No way I was going to miss out on those.

There were some other happy moments though. After lunch yesterday, it would be mild to say I was a queen bitch to the kids. After they lined up on the yard, I barked out (as well as my sore throat would allow), "You will walk to the room in an orderly fashion. You will go directly to your chair and sit down. You will not make a single sound. Do not even think of raising your hand when you are seated because I do not want to hear you." I then quizzed them to make sure that they understood. There were a couple of offenders and I quickly sent them out of the room with a timeout form. I then turned to the rest and asked, "Who wants to go next?" Toward the end of the school day, one of the girls handed me a letter that she had written. Luckily I did not read it until after school. She wrote something along the lines of, "I am sorry you are feeling so bad today but I have some good news for you. Tomorrow is another day and it will be better." I cried.

Then today my first conference showed up -- the wonderful folks from Sri Lanka. They came armed with a package of fresh samosas (I'd post a picture but I consumed them pretty quickly.) and a thermos of fresh Chai. I so want to move in with those folks.

So now I am debating crawling into bed because unfortunately I have signed up for a seminar tomorrow. I guess I shouldn't complain because I will get paid for my time. And they'll be feeding me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A break in a long night of work

Thursday is the start of a fave time of year -- report cards and parent conferences. Yes, I am being sarcastic. Every year I vow to change my habits and every year I don't. Basically I start off the school year not as organized as I'd like to be. As a result the grading starts to pile up until I suddenly see the report card deadline looming closer than I thought. So my report cards for conferences this week needed to be complete by today. Guess what I spent a great deal of last night doing?

I took a break last night to meet up with Underwear Guy for coffee -- his suggestion. It worked well for me because it was at about the point in the evening when I realized that I was really going to need some caffeine to make it through the night. He was in the area because he had given a lecture earlier. He said that while having drinks with the dean after the lecture, the dean mentioned something about needing lecturers for nest summer. Underwear Guy is intrigued by the idea but just knows that something big will break and then he'll want to kick himself for taking the job. Because he always follows through on his commitments. So while it's nice that he understands commitment, it is also a bit unsettling to meet someone who has greater wanderlust than I do. And he's only going to be around for another couple of weeks because in December, he heads off for another assignment. We'll see how it goes.

And now I only have eleven more report cards to complete by Friday.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Why can't there be more holidays?

I think I may return to work today a lot more rested than I have been. Well, temporarily at least. Seeing as I have to finish report cards this week.

Friday's shopping trip never happened. I never heard from Jade the entire weekend. Not surprising though. She's been known to do that.

I had agreed with my co-worker on Thursday that we should head out Friday night. (I really need to come up with a name for her as I have a feeling she will continue to be mentioned here.) After much debate Friday afternoon, we decided that there really was nowhere else to go but North Beach. That meant our usual dance spot there. So I finally got the dancing out of my system Friday night. As we were leaving, we were approached by these two Peruvian guys. They seemed to think that I was Brazilian. They also wanted us to go out salsa dancing with them sometime. I got the phone number of one of them. He tried to trick me into giving him mine.

"Why don't you call me to make sure you entered the number correctly?"

"One minute. I haven't quite saved it."

I fiddled around with the buttons and then called.

"Why does it say 'Private'?"

Hmmmm. Now how could that happen? Perhaps because I am smart enough how to block my number on my cellphone. Idiot.

On the way home, we noticed that my old fave bar was still open so we decided to stop in to say hi. The bartender gave us flak for stopping in at the end of the night. The owners were overjoyed to see me.

"We haven't seen you in forever. You never come to see us anymore. And my, don't you look sexy."

I now remember why I always prefered to go out in SF as opposed to the East Bay. The unadulterated worshipping. Suddenly I knew that I had to head back there on Saturday night.

My coworker had a date Saturday night. Their only plans were dinner though. We decided that after dinner that they would meet up with me in SF at the bar.

Well, of course I got there before they did. As I was enjoying my first drink, I noticed a guy making a beeline toward me. I groaned inside, fearing the worse. Shows how much I know. Turns out he was perfectly nice and fun to talk to.

It also tells me that I should wear pink more often. Because that also gives me an excuse to carry the cute little Kate Spade bag. There was that scary moment though. Some random woman approached us as we were talking to comment on how I was rocking the pink. She also pointed out that she too was wearing a pink shirt. And then she kissed me on my cheek. The guy asked if I knew her. Ummmm. Nope. Now that I think about it, maybe the pink is too powerful.

I this is around the point in the conversation when we started to discuss underwear color. (See number 1.) He seemed to think that since I was wearing so much pink, that my underwear should match. I explained that I did not own any pink underwear. So he offered to buy some. But it wasn't said in a sleazy kind of way. Because we had also just finished dissecting his lack of style on Saturday night.

The guy also knew some of the folks I know in the place, including a former bartender. Now the former bartender would have read me the riot act if there was anything wrong with this guy but he didn't. My friend also seemed to approve of him once she showed up.

Eventually my friend and her date left to check out another place.A bit later my phone rang. It seems my friend and her date had missed the last BART train and the first of the All Nighter buses wouldn't be coming for another hour. I told them to sit tight and that I would be there within a half hour.

The guy offered to walk me to my car. I told him that I needed to catch the bartender to settle my tab. It seems that I didn't have a tab though because the guy had already settled it. So off we went. Upon reaching my car, he asked for my phone number. What the heck. He then explained that he didn't believe in the whole "you have to wait a certain number of days before calling" thing. To me this said that I should expect a call on Sunday.

So I rescued my friend and her date from downtown, dropped them off, realized I was hungry and hit Nation's, and then headed home.

Around 2:00 Sunday afternoon my phone rang. It was the guy. It seems that he has a business thing in Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon. So we're going out when he finishes up. Argh! Now I have to sit around obsessing over what to wear. And trying to figure out a name for him if the date goes OK. But I can't call him "fill-in-the-blank Boy." Because he seems to be more of a "man" than a "boy." Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Obviously I need to get out more

Your Travel Profile:

You Are Very Well Traveled in the Western United States (63%)
You Are Well Traveled in the Northeastern United States (43%)
You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in the Southern United States (31%)
You Are Mostly Untraveled in Canada (20%)
You Are Mostly Untraveled in Latin America (13%)
You Are Mostly Untraveled in the United Kingdom (13%)
You Are Untraveled in Africa (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Asia (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Australia (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Eastern Europe (0%)
You Are Untraveled in New Zealand (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Scandinavia (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Southern Europe (0%)
You Are Untraveled in Western Europe (0%)
You Are Untraveled in the Middle East (0%)
You Are Untraveled in the Midwestern United States (0%)

So if anyone wants to send me a plane ticket...

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Happy feet

Around the time I wrote the last post, I realized that what I was missing was missing was regular physical activity. Back in the day this meant dancing at some club for hours on end. When I first started teaching, I was enrolled in bellydancing classes. (Perhaps this is why I started to be mistaken for a "dancer" when I went out.) Dance has always been a part of my life. That's what the real problem is. I can dance all I want at home for the cats but it just isn't the same.

Dancing began when I was four. That's when my mother realized that I would be tall and that she wanted me to be graceful. She signed me up for tap lessons. She forgot that I was painfully shy back then. Classes consisted of me standing around and refusing to do anything. Then I'd go home and execute the steps perfectly for my dad. After some time my mother decided it was a waste of money. When I was nine and asked for ballet lessons, she threw this back in my face. I ended up with piano lessons instead -- my request though.

In the meantime, my mother who always loved dancing taught me cha-cha, swing, and mambo. I got to college and signed up for ballet and jazz classes. In the club kid days of the 80s, the cool thing was to come up with your own move -- something that others would want to emulate. I never got there and instead could mimic someone a couple of beats behind him/her. I guess this was unique in some ways. So I'd mimic moves off of the ultra-cool in the SF underground club scene and take them back to San Diego.

A few years ago, I was hanging out with a former friend in SoCal for her birthday. One of her sisters is a bellydance instructor. My friend had requested that her sister dance for her birthday. After I saw the performance, I knew this was a perfect form of exercise. I have never been a fan of gyms. The first few months, I would awake in the middle of the night in extreme pain as I discovered muscles that had not been used previously. After a year or so, I took a year off. I was sure that upon my return, I would be in pain once more. The surprise was that I wasn't. It seems that the muscles had not forgotten.

Over the last few years I have sworn to myself that I would return to classes. But then I had that job that did not facilitate making plans with folks. When I took the Portuguese class, I almost had to throw a hissy fit so that I could make sure that I got off work in time to attend classes. I guess I could have done the same with the dance classes but by the time I thought of it, I knew that it was time for me to leave that job.

Where is all of this heading? This week I found out about a samba/Afro-Cuban class at the secondary school in my school district. It's this afternoon and I plan to be there. Hopefully the dancing will fill that void in my life.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Adrenaline junkie

Bottom line is I need a date. The closest thing I have gotten to a date is this guy who approached me a couple of weeks ago, a longshoreman. All I was trying to was pick up my lunch at the local card club. (Yes, there is a card club within walking distance of my job. Scary, huh? Don't let me start about the rooming house next to my job.) So there I am paying for my lunch when this guy approaches and asks how tall I am. So original. I either get, "How tall are you? I like tall women," or "Are you a model?" or "What is your ethnic background?" The last one is usually after hearing me speak. Stupid fools that men are. Ummmm. Not that I hate men. They just sometimes lack originality. I'd better stop now before I dig myself into a hole of "man-bashing."

So I still have the napkin with his phone number. One coworker says that I should call him and tell him to meet me at the card club for lunch -- his treat. Another of my coworkers, who was with me at the time, keeps telling me to call the guy because he was cute. She is young. That age about which I remember one of the most important things about a guy was how he looked. I've matured and want more than looks. Unless the guy is really rich and really dumb. As in he will listen to me when I say, "Honey, don't worry about those numbers. Just let me handle the finances." Don't you love numbered accounts? You know. The ones that don't disclose a name. Those ones found in Switzerland and certain Caribbean nations. Not that I have thought of these things in depth. (Did I mention that my degree is in economics and many of my earlier jobs were in accounting? Not that these poor suckers -- ummm guys -- need to know that.)

Even worse is that my mother who tried to convince me that looks are unimportant, has tried to pimp me out over the years. Growing up it was, "You know it is just as easy to love a rich man as a poor one." Now it's, "What's the use of having an attractive daughter if the family cannot benefit [financially] in some way?" I thought the concept of dowry had bitten the dust. Oh, and now my father makes "jokes" about arranged marriages. My mother's worst fear? My stepbrother, who lives near me, is not that outgoing. My stepmother is always trying to get me to invite him to stuff. Before you have flashes of some Woody Allen-like scenario, our parents married when we were adults. (Hmmm. I seem to remember my mother trying to tout a similar scenario. "Meet a nice guy who has a single father for me.") So my mother fears that my stepmother might be trying to set me up with her son. No way in hell! This may have been a glimmer in the back of my mind for my other stepbrother because he was one of the finest guys in the neighborhood. (Yes, my stepmother lived in the same neighborhood that my mom and I did.) But I'm not trying for the Corpse Husband as he was killed about 15 years ago.

Where does that leave me? Online dating? Puh! Hanging at the pub? Nope. Especially since they have more attitude than I do at that place. I mean. Hello. I am a princess, at the least. Worship me properly.

I have spent time thinking about Emerald and Jade and her sisters. Oh, and let's not forget Kate. Ummm. They all met their mates through friends. You would think that they would recognize this and try to help a sister out. But no. They are oblivious. Even after I have dropped subtle hints. Like, "So. Does your husband have any really nice, single friends?" Then again, maybe they don't.

It's not like I need a man. I just want companionship and finding single female friends has been harder than finding a man. I had one. Her name is Grasshopper but she recently found love and has all but disappeared from my life. Because I am getting tired of talking to the cats. Walking in at the end of the day and kicking off my shoes and then playing a round of "Smell my feet" with Natasha has started to lose its appeal. A few more months of this and I will definitely be "crazy cat lady." That means I will be picking up a few more feline companions. Screw what Boris and Natasha think about the scheme.

I need to find some sort of balance soon -- having stuff in my life other than work -- because I know where this is heading. Soon I'll be depressed. And that means that I will be truly out of control.

Believe me. If you thought that I have been wild over the last few months, well you've seen nothing yet. My motto 20 years ago? "You're not really living unless you're living on the edge." Back then folks used to ask me what that meant. I told them, "You know that feeling you get when you're standing on the edge of a cliff? I mean really standing on the edge. Your heels are on solid ground but your toes are over the edge? That's what I mean." There's an adrenaline rush that comes from living "dangerously." I did it for many years and now I keep looking for a similar rush since I have given up the things -- like hitching rides -- that gave me the rush. But don't tell my mother about this. I just think of it as a quest for a thrill.

Hmmm. I am going shopping with Jade on Friday. Maybe I should hit the men's department. Because they sell men there, right?

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Last night I attended a Diwali celebration at a public library. Why? Because it was a dance performance. That included five of my students.

This program is a joint effort between the library, the school, and the dance instructor. It was nice to see my students in a different light. They looked adorable in their costumes. It was also a great way to interact with their parents, who of course attended the event. Two of the parents asked that I take photos with their daughters.

The real surprise was after the performance. There was a reception with food. Mainly pakuras. Have I mentioned how much I love pakuras? One of the mothers asked if I liked them. I quickly said, "Yes." This would be the same mom who sent me the chicken curry soup after school. Apparently the soup is a traditional dish for during Ramadan for them. As we sat around eating and chatting, she pointed out that they only live about a block away from the school. Sounded pretty much like an invitation to drop by for a meal. And she's a wonderful cook.

I keep wondering if I'll get another care package of food this Thursday. Yep, not Friday. Because Friday is a holiday. And on Friday, I have a shopping outing planned with Jade -- and her boys. She swears that they now behave perfectly in public these days. We'll see.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Fashion stylings continued

Remember how I said that music/sound is probably the second strongest sensory memory? Well, I ended up taking a trip down the memory road of fashion thanks to music.

The first major memory came through as I played "Gypsy Woman." The first time I heard the song in a club, I searched for it. Of course, I found it at Leopold's. (I cannot say enough times how I miss that place. Not that I ever did it, but you could go in there and try to sing a song that you heard at a club and the staff would tell you what you wanted. Try doing that in a music store today.) So I purchased the single and made a mix tape the summer of '91 before heading off to England for the summer. Most of the other folks there were uptight law students. And then there were the handful that seemed a lot like me -- from large urban areas, hip to the scene. London was like a homecoming of sorts for us. Our musical tastes? Our fashion sense? We fit in, even if we did not at our universities back in the U.S. And "Gypsy Woman" played in every club that summer along with The K.L.F. I was sporting a bob back then that I would tie back with headbands created from long scarves. I had these styling patent leather Oxfords with ribbon laces. One of my favorite dresses was this above knee one that was in a floral print of fuschia and black primarily. It had princess seaming that led to a fuller skirt. Oh, and long sleeves. Actually I have photos of myself in the dress. If I ever decide to post photos of myself, I know these will be some of the first. The dress still sits in my closet even though I have not worn it in years. I think that the London memories are why I have not gotten rid of the dress.

My next major fashion memories come from the late 90s. I was at real job #3 by then. (This was after I fled back to California because (1) I did not want to be a lawyer, and (2) I did not want to stay in Virginia.) They had a casual dress code -- jeans were allowed everyday, and shorts and tennis shoes were allowed on Friday. The thing is that I never knew when my boss might ask me to stop by some political fundraiser after work. Hello. There was always a chance of running into Gavin at one of these events. And he was still single back then. So most days instead of wearing jeans to work, I wore tapered stretch twill pants and loafers with chunky heels. This is also about the time that I started collecting twin sets and scarves. Some days I would wear a pencil skirt instead of the pants. In the warmer months, the loafers were replaced with sandals. And just in case, I always carried at least three other outfits as well as five pairs of shoes in the trunk of my car. These were also the days when I went out five nights a week.

This is why I was surprised by Saturday's quiz. Yes, recently it may seem that I have returned to my old partying ways but the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way. I spent two years working 10-hour days and many times six days a week. Often the weekend would hit and I would say to myself, "I'm going to go out and do something." By the time it was time to head out, I had no energy. Also my crazy work schedule made it nearly impossible to make plans with other people. I couldn't say, "Let's go to dinner at 7 on Thursday," because I usually had no clue what time I'd actually be leaving work. So except for the CL experiment, I rarely dated in those two years.

I like to look at the earlier part of this year as "making up for lost time." Now it's pretty much out of my system and I can settle down into a different kind of pattern.

So folks please don't worry too much. I guess to other folks I can seem a bit wild and out of control at times but really I have calmed down a lot. I mean I gave up hitching rides almost 20 years ago. And Jade no longer acts like Alice when someone hands her a mystery bottle and says, "Drink this." Ooo. I just had a really scary thought. Back then, I was the responsible one of the two of us. Now doesn't that really scare all of you?

Pt. Reyes was wonderful on Saturday, by the way. I got to meet Cookiecrumb and Cranky. Alas, poor Bean Sprout was at home. I also stocked up on honey and jellies for the family. When I stopped to get the honey, the woman said, "You really should just come by our store in Sebastopol." The jelly woman asked, "More of the pepper?" Oh, and I made a new friend. This time I spent more time chatting with the woman from Windrush Farm. She carries these beautiful organic wools. We got into a long conversation about knitting and what LYS's are still open. She then gave me her email address because apparently there is a knitting guild near me with which she thinks I should become involved. I guess this means that I should pull my knitting projects back out.

Now if I can find some other stuff to fill more of my free time...

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Trapped in time

You've Changed 40% in 10 Years

Ah, the past! You may not remember it well - because you're still living in it.
While you've changed some, you may want to update your wardrobe, music collection and circle of friends.

Hmmm. Are they trying to tell me something? Still haven't made it out clothing shopping yet. That will be next weekend with Jade. This weekend I will enjoy the goodies from Pt. Reyes. Yep, I went there again.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Double dog dare me

I have been needing to go clothing shopping for some time. Now I am starting to think that it must be done in the next few days. Why? Because I have been reading blogs about what the latest offerings are -- skinny jeans, leggings, and formal shorts.

I see this all as a kind of challenge. Like the leggings? I guess they have always had a special place in my heart since that time back in the 80s when the dean at my college said that I had a kind of Audrey Hepburn quality when I wore them. (Leggings, turtleneck, ballet flats, trenchcoat. Occasionally worn under jumpers with the same flats. Or worn under skinny jeans that had started to develop holes.) How can one go wrong with Audrey? Skinny jeans were also a fave of mine at that time. Now I hear you. It's been many years since that time. Thing is I still wear the same size as I did then. Also years ago I was reading a book on fashion and my body type. Found out things that I already knew. I can wear any style of pants that I want to but have problems with skirts and dresses. Specifically if a skirt or dress goes past my knees, then it needs to be full. Straight, longer skirts that do not have a slit? I start looking like Olive Oyl.

So I am off to shop over the next few days and plan to have fun trying on all these wonderful creations. Because it's like y'all dared me to. And I (almost) never back down on a dare.