Monthly Archives: August 2008

Wishin’.

Sometimes I wish I were a better person. 

Able to be more honest about how I feel.

Less likely to judge people based on stereotypes. 

More likely to have faith in people.

Not so down on the world all the time. 

More confident in my decisions.

Happier with my body.

Kinder to strangers.

Smiley.

I also wish that I liked wearing glasses.

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a dabble into politics

I was super fired up yesterday morning.  All other political issues aside, what upset me most were the responses I saw to Sarah Palin and how this affects women voters.  So, why exactly would a woman follow McCain now that he has a woman veep?  Oh, that’s right, because he has a woman veep.  Am I the only one confused by this assumption?

After I saw someone tweet this:

Did you see that sign in the audience: “Hillary supporters for Mccain”. Suh-WEET!

I was just… upset.  That anyone would make an assumption that a woman would follow a woman because she’s a woman.  But then boy pointed out that the assumption has already been made that a black man will follow a black man because he’s a black man.  And that’s just crappy.

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talk to her

I’ve been incredibly sad all week.  I’ve been trying to hide it, but screw it.  I’m sad.  No reason in particular, several little reasons. 

A few months ago someone was mugged and beaten on the doorstep of my apartment building.  I received a note on my door that the tenants were chipping in to buy the victim a gift card while she recovered.  And that was it.  No information about what time of day it was or police involvement or how bad of shape she was in.  So I haven’t really been staying at my apartment because when I do I feel trapped inside.  My friend told me she thought I was brave for moving to Oakland and I do regret moving here.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Actually, I do know what I was thinking when I moved here.  And if I were of rational mind at the time, I would have exercised my right to cancel the lease within the first 30 days. 

So most of this summer i’ve been establishing the gourmet ghetto side of Berkeley as my neighborhood and a well worn corner of boy’s couch has been my stoop.  Tonight I am back home.  I threw out tons of dead and aphid-ruined plants last night and struggled to sleep in a place that doesn’t feel like home.  I nest.  I cannot nest here and that is driving me nuts. 

Also, when I am sad I don’t like to be alone, but I also hate talking on the phone.  I’ve been hassling boy to hang out every night together which isn’t a great idea because I know very well how unpleasant I am.  But I don’t want to sit in a room alone.  I am 2 seconds away from e-mailing random people I haven’t hit up with random e-mails in a while.  And if I weren’t so insecure at the moment I just might.  But you know that fear of having someone ask “so, why are you emailing me?”  Yeah, that’s why I’m not.  So sorry to that long lost high school acquaintance and that person I like to play random e-mail tag, you’re it with.  Not today. 

I want a pen pal.  Like a snail mail pen pal.  I like writing letters, it’s a fading art.  I hear prisoners make great pen pals 🙂 

I miss the east coast.  I haven’t told boy this because I don’t think he’s ready to consider moving, but I miss it more than I ever thought I would.  My last visit reinforced that I have a support network there that I don’t have here.  Everyone within a day’s drive and there’s at least one person from every stage of my life.  I am considering a mid-winter visit to remind myself why I chose to move.  But at the moment, I wish I were on the other side of the country.

I really love beauty in crude things.  I finally got back into Love in the Time of Cholera and I am enamoured with the writing.  This, by far, is one of the best lines I have ever read:

But first he enjoyed the immediate pleasure of smelling a secret garden in his urine that had been purified by lukewarm asparagus.

Isn’t that awesome?  It has scent, touch, emotion combined with urinating and food. 

Have you seen the move Talk to Her?  There is this segment where someone is telling a story and the story is being played out like a silent movie.  In it he talks about a man shrinking down in size much to the chagrin of his lover.  He decides to still try and find a way to please her, so he walks up to her vagina which is portrayed on screen like this huge moss-covered box.  He sticks his hand in and it comes out with this slime all over it, but he’s absolutely intoxicated by it, so he walks inside.  I know, this is disgusting, which is what I thought too when I saw it in a theatre in Paris at the age of 20.  But thinking about it, this man is so in love with this woman that he wants to live inside of her just to satisfy her all day long.  It’s kind of beautiful.  (it’s also a good movie that has much more to the plot than what I put here.) 

I think crude beauty is also why Secretaryis my favorite move.  There are a few scenes toward the end, when the Lizzie West song is playing, that bring tears to my eyes.   And this is silly, but if you go to YouTube and search “Lizze West, Chariots Rise” there’s a great clip of Secretary.  But in fear of people judging my movie tastes and perhaps me personally off this clip, I will instead share the song via a Harry Potter clip.  Enjoy.

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so, i’ve been walking funny lately

All day I’ve kind of been hobbling about, sticking my butt out a little, wincing every time I get up from a chair.  Why?  Bad advice.

I’ve read in a few places (okay, I know I’m not citing anything, but I can’t remember where!  I swear it’s more than one source!) that running with a heel-toe strike is bad for the joints.  Remedy?  Mid-foot to toe strike.  This is supposedly better on the joints.  Now, I don’t know for what length of run this is reasonable, but it’s not like I run far.  And since I’ve been having knee pain, I thought it would be worth a try.  Yesterday I did 2 miles with Jack concentrating on striking the ground with the front of my foot.  And today, I am in PAIN.

I think the proper term is “calf shredding”.  And that pretty much explains the sensation.  Like the muscles in my calves have dislodged from the bone and they are so tight that my calf might pop at the slightest flex of my foot.  It hurts. 

This summer I cut back on running from 5-6 times a week to about 3 times a week.  I noticed I’m not as tight when I go to yoga and my body appreciates running less.  And Jack doesn’t seem to mind.  So I walked him around this morning then went to work and going down the stairs to the train had me sort of rocking side to side down each step.  I told a triathelete at work what I did and he just came short of calling me an idiot.  Lunch had me in the yoga room in the basement stretching my calves out over a chair. 

So I don’t think I’m going to be trying that running technique in the future.  But I am looking for some good running blogs if anyone has suggestions.

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mommy guilt

Jack.

He went in for his vaccinations today.  And what was seemingly harmless turned into a traumatic experience, more for me than for him.  He trotted happy-go-lucky into the Berkeley Humane Society Vet office remembering that this is the place where he gets those yummy treats and gets to flirt with all the ladies.  (oh, the ladies love him.)  The vet tech came in and told him how cute he was and explained how she was just going to take him in the back to give him his shots.  So I stood up, paced around – this wasn’t new.  Last time they took a blood sample in the back room while I paced.  Waited.  Paced.  Sat.  Read about dog breeds.  Finally they came back out.

“Well,” the vet tech said, “he was a little difficult.  He is just really scared of strangers.”  Well duh, was all I could think.  His leash was all wet.  “Did he pee?” I asked, knowing fully well that he would.  “Yes, but we had to muzzle him because he lunged at a vet tech.”  I think my expression dropped to a what the fuck?  face.  Seriously.  I was pissed.  She said they kept giving him more and more treats to gain his trust before they could give the shots.  Fine.  But seriously?  You are going to put my dog in a muzzle before you think about maybe calling me into the room to be with him? 

I’m sure they have their reasons for not allowing parents into the back room while giving shots or taking blood.  But I’m so upset that they put my dog in a muzzle without my permission first.  He was wearing a pinch collar all the while and his last vet tech noted his aggressive fearful behaviour, but she got to know Jack before taking blood and he was fine.  At least they recognized it as fear.  But I have been fuming about this all day.  Jack?  He could care less.  He’s been a tad lethargic all day, probably from the stress rather than the vaccinations.  Me?  I feel terrible. 

Boy and I discussed options for his behaviour back when we decided on the pinch collar.  We discussed a gentle leader, pinch collar, and a muzzle.  We decided that the best learning tool for Jack would be the pinch collar.  I just didn’t think the muzzle would give people the right impression about my dog and would reinforce the fearful behaviour if anything.  And then the vet, of all people, put one on him.  I just wish they had come to me first and asked me to stand with him to calm him down. 

This experience tops off my mommy guilt after a horrible experience I had recently at PetSmart.  I went in to get some items one day when a sales rep from a dog food company WOULD NOT MOVE!  She kept cornering me in every aisle talking about her dog’s flatulence.  What’s worse?  She wouldn’t say flatulence or gas, she kept using the word FART.  I hate that word.  Poot, gas, bubbles, whatever.  But I really hate the word fart – it reeks in itself.  So what did I end up doing?  Nervously stammering about grabbing whatever I saw off the shelf and leaving with $40 worth of stuff I didn’t go in for. 

The next day I was like man, my dog doesn’t need this crap.  So I went back to return it and grabbed some Milk Bones for kong stuffers.  In the car I asked boy to give Jack a treat for being so good and after he opened the box he just said “Turn around, go back.  And don’t look.”  I was busy driving and couldn’t look anyway, but when I returned to the parking lot I looked over.  The inside lip of the Milk Bone box was COVERED in bugs, little weavel-like bugs.  I was horrified.  Disgusted.  I brought the box back in and told the guy what was up.  “Why don’t you just exchange them.”  I was like HELLS NO!  These are weavels!  You probably need to clear out the whole shelf.  I went to the next aisle, grabbed a single treat for Jack and stormed out.  Not only did I not get an apology, the guy kept going on and on about how those bugs show up in corn too and they’re harmless.  Yeah, I’ve shucked corn and seen bugs, but it’s not the same.  At all.

I had a break down about how I don’t know what I’m feeding my dog and I wish I could make all his food for him from scratch and I am NEVER shopping at PetSmart again.  (Really, I’m not.)  And organic food only and Trader Joe’s does not sell food from China so guess where he’s getting his treats? 

“Are you going to write a letter to PetSmart about this?  You really should.” said boy.

“No.  I’m passive-aggressive, remember?  I’m going to blog about it instead.”

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sometimes he’s glad i’m a red neck

I really hate to cook.  So when boy asked what I want for dinner, I sat around for a good 30 minutes and moaned and groaned, “I knoooow we have tofu, but I just don’t feeeeeeel like cooking…”  So I kicked off my shoes, pulled my hair back, slumped into the kitchen, and pulled some stuff together.  What else did we have besides tofu?  Chips.  So here it is, potato chip tofu.

 Crunch ’em up.

 Coat tofu with the chips and broil ’em.

 Flip.

 Serve with potato salad and tomatoes I stole from a neighbor.

and for dessert – Bananas Foster!  I always go on and on to boy about how my dad used to make bananas foster and how it really is a New Orleans southern thing and it’s the best.  So I finally was able to totally show off my flambe skills and make it for him.

 Brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, bananas and a goofy pose.

 Add rum and FIRE!

Served it up with some toffuti ice cream.  Boy was very impressed.

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hey, east coast, put your collars down

Some random thoughts:

What is up with this east coast preppy old school style?  I joke with boy about how I make some very mismatched color combinations and questionable choices in clothing when I get dressed for work, but I must have acclimated to the west coast’s freedom of style more than I thought.  East coast will always be the place of winter wool pea coats, leather mary janes, and summer time looks that come straight out of a Land’s End catalog.  This is me, mocking the way my friend wears her sweaters:

I totally pressured my friend into taking me to the 24 hour LL Bean store in Freemont.  Just beacuse.  It’s open all year around and it’s LL Bean.  Little did I know it’s like an LL Bean complex.  A little mini mall on its own.  It reminded me of those times in college when you’re bored and possibly drunk and you take a trip to Walmart just to play in the aisles.  What?  You didn’t go to college in a small little upstate New York town?  You missed out.

The only person I buy souvenirs for is Jack.  He got a collar from Maui, so I really wanted to get him collar that represented the east coast.  I thought maybe an LL Bean collar but didn’t find one that obnoxiously screamed THIS COLLAR IS FROM LL BEAN IN MAINE.  I ended up finding this in a cute dog store in Bristol, RI and I’m very pleased with it.  So is Jack.

I learned how to make ravioli from scratch.  My self-confidence has increased exponentially because of this.

Boston and I have a love/hate relationship.  I want to love it.  Really, I do.  Maybe in a few years if it can get its roads together.  But every visit I make it does seem a little more approachable of a place.  I mean, at least the people are nice.  My license picture was complemented twice out there!  That’s all of 2 times more than ever before!

I had no idea Maine had so many islands.  We motor boated around them on the Why Dan!  It was awesome and lovely and hopefully I will have pictures to back that up.  We brunched on an island, Chebeague, and did I say it was awesome and lovely?  And homemade cinnamon rolls that tasted of freshly baked brioche.  I want to quit my job and get a summer gig at the Chebeague Island Inn.  No, for real.

I had a good visit with my brother and will hopefully have pictures to back that up by as well.  Family is more important to me as I get older and so is letting them know I love them.  So when I had to once again hop out of the car and take off in a run to catch a train while waving goodbye and mouthing “thank you” while thinking goddamit I’m gonna miss the train, I felt bad.  This is ALWAYS how I say bye to my brother because in his presence time is a loophole of always having enough time until the last 20 minutes when someone realizes holy shit we’re LATE! and stress levels rise and 20 minutes is taken off the end of my life. But it was still a good visit and I made my flight with enough time for the stomach ache the stress caused to pass before I got on my flight. 

Those dives and the flip I did off the floating dock?  Yeah, I was totally showing off.

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