July 01, 2005
Would you like a postcard?
I am going to San Francisco and Sonoma next week. Any suggestions for what I might do? Here's what I know so far:
I'm staying in the Mission District. I hear I should have a burrito.
I'm going to meet deano and deb. deano's going to show me around for a day and I will get to see his koi and the San Andreas Fault.
I'm gonna see my friend Bill and maybe meet his gal. I haven't seen Bill in forever, it will be really nice to see how California's been treating him.
I'm going to Alcatraz.
I've found a place to take afternoon tea.
My main goals are exploring and eating very well. And maybe checking out some famous bookstores or indie music shops.
In Sonoma I will join up with a few women from Pemberley for a long weekend of fun, laughter, drink, and women-food. It should all be quite pleasant, especially if I make sure to drink some good wine.
If you'd like a postcard, send me your address.
But it still sucks. I'm already getting emails from NARAL and Planned Parenthood asking for donations and activism.
July 05, 2005
Good morning, Mr. President
I was chatting pleasantries with my seatmate when we looked up and saw a familiar face...Jimmy Carter?!? The former President, flanked fore and aft by Secret Service agents wearing their tell-tale earpieces, walked down the aisle, saying hello and shaking every person's hand. He was dressed very simply, in a subtle plaid button-down with khakis.
After registering that it was indeed Jimmy Carter, apparently sharing our flight to Salt Lake City, I thought "Oh good, this flight isn't going to crash." Not with a living former president on board.
I heard a child whisper to his mother, "You mean he was a real President?" Yes, kiddo, he was my President when I was younger than you.
I sat up straight and smiled brightly as Jimmy Carter and I shook hands. His hand was soft and papery - the skin of an elderly man - but his handshake was firm as we made eye contact and wished each other good morning.
A real President. I feel humble and privileged to meet such a great man.
July 07, 2005
Breaking in my shoes
I have a new pair of sandals and broke them in, walking up and down and around San Francisco. Deano is quite simply an extraordinary guide to the city. The good man did homework, for Pete's sake! We started around 10 am and it's almost 11 pm now that I'm back in my hostel. I have gotten such a taste of the city, and I find it greatly to my liking. For one thing, I LOVE the weather here. Sometimes it was warm enough to walk around without a jacket, other times I had wrapped my faux-pashmina around my neck.
And the hills. Somehow I kept up with Dean. I think I shall sleep well tonight. And all the delectable food I ate will somehow burn off, as surely I still must be burning calories from all that urban hiking.
Love the mix of architecture around here. I got to see the famous Painted Ladies, a row of Victorian houses that seem to be featured in movies and television shows that are set in SF. Bookstores everywhere. The narrowest storefront in town, in Chinatown. Coit Tower. The City Lights Bookstore. Rube Goldberg's old house. A gallery housed in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Telegraph Hill (the wild parrots were hiding out today). Hanging out in a park in Nob Hill, swinging on a swing, talking to a guy with a piebald-colored mini dachshund who fathered a litter of puppies. Walking into various hotel lobbies, including seeing a real Maxfield Parrish painting, The Pied Piper, at the Palace Hotel. Buying fortune cookies from a shop that actually makes them. (My sample fortune: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.)
Things to possibly check out: Beach Blanket Babylon (a still-running play that's become a local institution), Amoeba Records. More as I recall it.
Until today, deano and I have only been acquainted through our blogs and through email. But we walked around as if we'd known each other for ages. Later, we met up with his wife Deb for dinner at the Cliff House, and as I'd hoped, we got on wonderfully together.
On my own, I'd never have been so ambitious. I had an absolute blast. Thank you, deano and deb.
Is it the wine, or the town?
About 7:30 now, been up since 6, in spite of being tired and sated with wine. Last night Dean, Deb and I had dinner at the Cliff House. Gorgeous place near the remains of the Sutro Baths. The trees have that windblown look. Between us there was good food (garlic soup, prawns and spaghetti, macadamia-nut encrusted halibut) and two bottles of white - the second a Sonoma wine, Ferrari Corrano(?). As beautiful as the foggy view - there was a rock out in the water, a small crag of its own really, with cormorants dotting every available foothold - as great as the food, even better was the company. Is it too soon to say that I'm really happy to have made such great new friends? 'Cause yeah, I'm sappy enough that I want to say that.
Just before I woke, I dreamed I was sitting on the floor in a crowded NYC subway car, chatting with the guy who played Wesley on Buffy and then on Angel. A cute gal standing near us was taken with our vaguely flirty conversation, and suddenly she and Wesley were making out in front of all of us. I felt vaguely offended, and spent the rest of the dream thinking about why it bothered me, and how I was going to blog it. I saw myself writing about it in a journal, and then at a computer, writing a more selective, more edited version of it.
I don't remember dreaming about blogging before. And here I was dreaming about blogging a fictional experience - it's either head-junk or maybe there's some symbolism going on. Sort of a Naked Lunch dream, my brain having been saturated with a kaleidoscope of sight, sound and taste, minus the heroin.
Hmmm. I think I need some coffee.
July 08, 2005
Song for Mike
The Boondogs have written a song for Mike. A new entry is on the Remembered page.
Just found out
So here I am, blithely recounting my travel adventures. I just found out what happened in London.
I got an email telling me that some London friends were ok, except I didn't know what happened, being on a self-imposed news embargo. So I checked the NYT and now I'm feeling sick.
July 12, 2005
Got in late last night. Trying to remember the warm sun that settled into my bones in Sonoma, the fog surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge on the way back to the airport. It's been a glorious week. The not-so-glorious bits were few and far between.
More to come.
July 13, 2005
Me & Mr. Darcy in Sonoma
(Click on image for the superfluous large version.)
Some of us did manage to have literary discussions about Austen, in between the wine, the divine food, the pool, the hot tub, and the film marathons, including what's known as the Power P&P - the 1995 Pride & Prejudice miniseries pared down to two hours. It's a good thing I knew the lines, because sometimes one could hardly hear the dialogue for all the hoots of laughter and salty remarks.
July 15, 2005
Wherever you go, there you are!
You know what's really nice? Making new friends.
You know what's even better? Finding out you have friends who are the older sister or brother you wished you had.
July 25, 2005
I could vent my spleen (terrorists, Karl Rove, John Roberts - whose wife does pro bono work for Feminists for Life, the energy bill which would double ethanol production even though it takes more fuel to make ethanol than the amount of ethanol actually produced, that I can't dial up at home because my computer won't connect anymore).
I could tell you more about my trip to San Francisco and Sonoma and my subsequent visit with family in Myrtle Beach.
I could post the results of the latest web quizzes (my power color is red-orange, I am a Type B+ personality, I was a Portugese sailor in a past life).
I could tell you about the latest cool stuff I want but don't need, like a wristband that says "scalawag" or "candyass."
It's not like I don't have things I could post, I'm just in a sort of
blogging malaise, like what's the point. I'm not chick lit, I'm not a political activist, I'm not much of a librarian blogger or a devoted Austen/shopping/crafting/foodie/reading/music/film blogger. I am a commonplace commonplace book (redundancy intended), a mote of dust in the blogosphere.
I feel cranky, and even to my own mind I'm being annoying - willfully blindered and small-minded.
Because I could also tell you of talking Star Wars with my older nephew. That my younger nephew, who was nearly ready to walk when I last saw him, has started walking. That I've had great laughs and a great mojito care of Weird Babe. That I stuffed myself silly over food and a full-out viewing of all five hours of Pride & Prejudice with my friends Tessa and Dave. That we and the LTR saw a really sweet, wonderful improv play written by my friend Clunky Robot. That the gray cat, whom we've named Ulysses, is coming in for overnight visits and likes to make biscuits on me in the middle of night, purring at full throttle. That between therapy and Paxil (fuck off, Tom Cruise) my life is a whole lot better. I still have work to do, but I accept that there will always be work to do - and that it doesn't have to be unpleasant. My world isn't bleak and I don't let assholes have power over me anymore.
So yeah, I haven't felt like I've had anything worth saying. One of those phases, but it will pass.
July 27, 2005
Love this, love this, love this. I love this.
Addendum: I knew about the VH1 promos that featured kittens rockin' out to various songs, including Joan Jett. According to Waxy, the guy who did the above also did the VH1 spots, which if you havent' already seen them, you can check out here. (Just look for all the ones with "Kitties" in the title.)
July 28, 2005
I find it interesting and frustrating that only now do more people (U.S. citizens, that is) realize that the "war on terror" hasn't resulted in "mission accomplished." Where was this skepticism back when links between Saddam and 9/11 were scattered around like confetti?
The following links cover the administration's choosing of new choice phrases such as the "global struggle against violent extremism" instead of the "global war on terror." When the language you're using isn't working - to market your product, to advocate your policy - just change it. Reframe the debate, redefine the reality. Black is the new black, extremists are the new terrorists.
What Everyone Should Know About Blog Depression
A Public Service Pamphlet [The Nonist via Gawker]
Someone wrote up something hilarious about the phases or stages of blogging but I can't find the link. This will have to do. Enjoy.