Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Put a Spell on You! Happy Halloween!

Ever since my brother and I retired our haunted trail/haunted garage parties back in junior high, I haven't been too big on Halloween, I will admit. It's just not my thing (with the exception of last year, clearly). In fact, this year I traded shifts at work in an effort to avoid having to wear a costume while I waited tables.

Of course, that backfired. Wednesday we were informed we would be expected to be in costume Friday night as well. Luckily my lifesaver Beth loaned me her black beret, I tied a red scarf around my neck, put on a black and white shirt, et, voila! Je suis francais. OR, a pirate, which is what one of our creepy regulars called me. I almost wish I had left him believing that, because when I told him I was a french bohemian, he began following me around, calling me mademoiselle and trying to kiss my hand.

The only highlight of last night was when a chubby guy in a monkey costume joined one of my tables, asked me for Jack on the rocks and said, "Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

Before I could think of a witty reply, monkey boy reached in his pocket, pulled out a banana, and slammed it on the table.


When I came back to the table with his whiskey, he grinned and said, "You really are a cute lil' artist!"

I hope he washed down the banana with his Jack Daniels.

I'll leave you with some of my Halloween favorites:

"You didn't tell me you were gonna kill it!"

Happy Halloween, kiddos! Be safe. Eat candy. Drink pumpkin ale. Watch Hocus Pocus.

The Blogger formerly known as Thing 2

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The 29th of October

I’ve been debating whether or not to blog today, about today, all week. Because after all, today is just a day: It’s two days before Halloween. It’s my day off. It’s Thursday.

But it’s also October 29th. And for the last seven years, I’ve cringed when I heard this date. My brow furrows when I see it on the calendar.

October 29th.

Seven years ago today, my mother died. So, yeah, it’s Thursday, it’s two days before Halloween. But for me, it is now and always will be the day my mother died.

Am I being a little dramatic? Maybe. I don’t know. Is it okay to be dramatic? Maybe. I don’t know.

The fact is, I think about my mom every day. I miss her every day. But on October 29th, each year, I think about her and I miss her more. This year marks the seventh year of missing my mother, and it brings up a lot of questions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you.

Isn't it fantastic how Sylvia Plath was completely bat shit nuts and completely genius, all at the same time?

I mean, come on.

From "Lesbos":
I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.
I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air,
Me and you
Meanwhile there’s a stink of fat and baby crap.
I’m doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.
The smog of cooking, the smog of hell
Floats our heads, two venemous opposites,
Our bones, our hair.
I call you Orphan, orphan. You are ill.
The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.B.
Once you were beautiful.
In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: 'Through?
Gee baby, you are rare.'
You acted, acted for the thrill.
The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.
I try to keep him in,
An old pole for the lightning,
The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.
He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill,
Flogged trolley. The sparks are blue.
The blue sparks spill,
Splitting like quartz into a million bits.
I get it, I don't get it, I suddenly feel like my day is going much better than it first seemed. Seriously. Read the rest of that poem and you'll know what I mean. Even if you don't know what the eff she's really talking about, the utter craziness/loveliness of it is comforting.

Or, maybe that's just me. I think I need to quit blogging when I'm tired. 

"Gee baby, you are rare."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Brandi, I love you, and your new album.

Here's why:

She's talking about sex dreams! Hello!

A walk with my dad.

This weekend I took a walk with my dad. Normally, we take our walks at the cemetery where my mother is buried. That might sound a little weird, but it’s actually a great place to walk. It’s peaceful, somehow.

Every time we go to the cemetery for a walk, we have an unspoken ritual. Dad parks the car in the same spot, by the same tree. We walk over to the grave, sometimes with flowers from the yard to put next to it, more often, not. We stand there for a minute. Nothing is said. I look over at him. Then he says, “Ready?”

And we walk.

This past weekend, we didn’t walk in the cemetery—there’s a new trail along the old railroad lines that he wanted to show me, so we took our walk there—but it still felt like our old ritual.

When we take our walks, sometimes, it’s just a walk. But sometimes I get out all the things I want or need to tell my dad, but can’t seem to otherwise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In December, drinking horchata!

"Here comes a feeling you thought you'd forgotten!"

What's that? It's the bliss that ensues from listening to the beautiful pop sounds of Vampire Weekend!


I'll be doing the white girl dance all down Logan Boulevard on that day. I don't care how cold it is. If I'm lucky, I'll find some horchata.

They're playing at King's College tonight. Sigh. Don't even get me started.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Poo-tee-weet? Poll Results are In!

With a whopping 13 total votes...

And we've got an even amount of Swayze and Twitter lovers. The Twitter naysayers led, but I'm still undecided. I think I'm going to have to, just for the sake of my future as a journalist and blogger.

Your thoughts?

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Magical Moments Waiting Tables: ‘Never Trust a Drunk Man Playing Golden Tee’ Edition

Tonight, if you plan on getting shitfaced at your local bar and inappropriately flirting with your waitress to the point of her considering calling the authorities, here’s a little advice for you:

Remember to sign your credit card slip. Remember to add in the tip. Try not to drop a twenty on the ground as you storm out of the bar, stumbling into barstools.

My new buddy John forgot to do this last night. Guess who added in her own tip and pocketed the twenty. Yep, that’s me. The girl wearing “ninja” shoes who is “pretty, but would look better in purple than that gray shirt.”

John, who started playing the Golden Tee at about 4 p.m. yesterday while consuming approximately 10 Stella’s and four Crown on the rocks over the course of the evening, started off pretty harmless. Weird, and a bit of creep, telling me he was going to buy me heels because I kept sneaking up on him in my “ninja” shoes —but nothing too disturbing. Just your average borderline sexual harasser.

Not surprisingly, though, once he added whiskey to the mix, he started upping his creepy factor:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Ocean Sits Between Us

and there's no sign that we'll ever cross.

And another great song by Miss Katie (hat tip to Jasmine for all this good bizness):

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mondays, Mums, and Mom

Because Mondays are my day off, for me, it’s always a disconcerting way to start the week, one totally devoid of any real responsibility or need to be anywhere outside of my apartment. By early afternoon, I’m restless, irritable, and feel useless: Shouldn’t I be doing something?

I miss Monday afternoons at my old job, because even if I didn’t have a pressing deadline, or a meeting to go to, I was still needed somewhere. I had a responsibility. What I wouldn’t give for some metadata to work on right now! Because even though that was the most boring and mundane aspect of being a content specialist, it still was important for each website. Now the most mundane aspect of my job is a toss-up between stuffing napkin holders and refilling ketchup bottles. Yeesh.

So in recent weeks, I’ve developed a new routine of heading out of my apartment, into the real world, every Monday afternoon. Usually, like today, I take a book to Starbucks. If I’m feeling ambitious, sometimes my journal gets pulled out of my bag and I attempt to write. Just an hour sitting in public, drinking my chai (or my pumpkin spice latte, this week), and reading my book, and my restlessness begins to calm, and I don’t feel quite so useless. I should probably be taking this time to apply for jobs, but that has the opposite affect on my psyche.

But today my Monday ritual got me so fired up that after two hours of reading, I finally had to put the book down. (I’m reading The Women’s Room, by Marilyn French.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Recommended Reading: Her Fearful Symmetry

As soon as I read the NYT book review of Audrey Niffenegger’s new novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, I was planning my trip to Borders to pick up my copy (30 percent off right now). 

Before all you The Time Traveler’s Wife haters start hmmphing and questioning my taste, hold it.

While there are some elements to Her Fearful Symmetry that, like TTW, might have you haters rolling your eyes—no, there aren’t any time traveling librarians in this one, but yes, there are ghosts—this is a fast-paced read with clever plot twists. So give it a chance.

Not to mention the characters: Elspeth, the ghost, who becomes jealous when her boyfriend Robert starts falling for…her niece Valentina, one of the twin sisters who has inherited her flat overlooking Highgate Cemetery; Martin, the brilliant, crossword puzzle setting upstairs neighbor…who suffers from such crippling OCD that he can’t leave his flat; Julia, Valentina’s twin, who insists she and her sister keep dressing in matching clothes…did I mention they’re 21-year-old virgins?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Let's Not Forget: Polanski is a Rapist.

You've probably already been inundated with news about the Roman Polanski case. You probably already have an opinion about the situation. Still, I urge you to read this thoughtful and brave post on Feministe regarding Polanski and rape.

From "Getting Over It":

What does rape do to you? Afterward? It changed me; there is before and after. Before, a child, playing with Barbies, looking sideways at boys, wondering. After, confusion. Depression. A litany of fuck-ups and fuck-its, whatevers, mistakes, trusting no one, least of all myself. Before, sex was mysterious; after, miasma. I was tarred as a Lolita. I was called jail bait.

Rape is not the only assault. Around rape is a large segment of the population that questions the victim, a culture that looks down on victims for allowing themselves to be victimized, or keep them victimized, questions about the victim’s credibility, questions about the legacy of rape and how bad it is, because how bad is rape really? Rape, because various levels and forms of sexual assault are systemic and pervasive across all societies, exists alongside one’s experiences of unwanted touching, wanted touching, sexual objectification, sexual desire, sexual harassment, incest, love, leering eyes, cat calls, roaming hands, consent, confusion, tits, vagina, rectum, penis, mouth, rape and not-rape, all of it loaded, all of it veering at rape’s ugly legacy, co-mingling, the legacy that tells us to be more careful, to dress more conservatively, to BE BETTER AT BEING VULNERABLE, or BE MORE POWERFUL, or BE MORE FEARFUL, or GET OVER IT ALREADY. Rape leaks into healthy, consensual experiences. It lingers. It pervades.

Why are Polanski's supporters ignoring his crime? And thank you, Chris Rock, for stating what so many celebrities have seemed to forgotten: "It's rape!"

This petition, that so many in Hollywood are so eager to sign, sickens me.  An excerpt:

The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.

Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
'Take away his freedom' and 'be heavy in consequences,' huh? Sounds kind of like what drugging and raping a child does.

As Steve Lopez at the LA Times writes, "His crime was graphic, manipulative and heinous, and he got a pass. It's unbelievable, really, that his soft-headed apologists are rooting for him to get another one."

LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING! (More Magical Moments Waiting Tables)

Although I’ve more or less adjusted to my erratic hours at my job over the last year—working until 1 a.m. Saturday nights, then going back at 9:30 the next morning, working at 5 p.m. the next day, you get the picture—one aspect I simply can’t adjust to is the inevitable bizarre eating schedule that goes with it.

Not only do I now eat dinner anywhere from 4 p.m. to midnight, I also routinely work the last half of my shift with my stomach growling and my head aching because I haven’t eaten anything in over six hours. Yep, waitresses are supposed to be robots. No eating during your shift. Of course, there are the lucky days when our manager lets us share some food or eat some soup, but normally, if you’re paying attention, you’ll see servers sneaking pieces of bread or begging the cooks for some extra fries or chips. My go to is pickles. Why, I don’t know, but it helps the hunger pains more. I also enjoy the amused look Luis or Antonio get when I plead, “Can I get some pickles, por favor, corazon?” (If I'm lucky, they're in a good mood, and say, "Anything for you!" and hand me a plate piled with pickles. If I'm not so lucky, well, clearly I don't get my pickles.)

The other night was a particularly painful one for me—not only was I effing starving, but for almost two hours, I only had one table. Maybe you’re thinking, that’s a perfect time to eat at work! Why wouldn’t you be able to eat right then? You’re standing right next to a kitchen!