Friday, March 31, 2006

55 Fiction Friday: Safeway edition

Friday gets some errands done.

Oh, c’mon –she just pulled her checkbook out of her purse? Like she didn’t know she was going to have to pay for the groceries when she got in line. Now that the checker has scanned and totaled everything – now she decides to start filling out her check. More time with the Enquirer, I guess.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

20/20

Straight-ripping this from brimful.

I set my iTunes on shuffle and wrote down the first line of the first twenty songs (excluding songs where the initial lyric is, or contains, the title.) There's some embarassing stuff here - but here it is:

  1. Take me to heart, and nobody can make me do wrong
  2. I never thought you were the letter writing type brimful - "If I Wrote You" - Dar Williams.
  3. Tears on the sleeve of a man, I want to be a boy today brimful, encore une fois! "Pretty Good Year" - Tori Amos
  4. I'm not talking about a year, nor not three or four - sandhya (the lurker who came to stay ... I hope) "Forever" - Ben Harper
  5. I can't hold this day any more
  6. Love (love) is a verb, love is a doing word * brimful, aka Goddess of Lyrics - "Teardrop" - Massive Attack
  7. Love is like a never-ending melody, poets have compared it to a symphony scorps1027 gets very close. "Desafinado" (English lyrics. Many, many recordings. I have Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, and Astrud Gilberto/George Michael versions on my iTunes. Perry Como's version uses the title 'Slightly Out of Tune.')
  8. I've got no chauffer to chauffeur me, I've got no servant to serve my tea scorps1027! "Nobody But Me" - Lou Rawls
  9. Love - I see you there, adrift on the air
  10. Missed the Saturday dance, heard they crowded the floor andrea! "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Jazz/swing standard - so recorded by many, many people.)
  11. Sit back down and talk to me about how you want to be
  12. I told you how I feel, but you don't care
  13. The people keep repeating that you'll never fall in love - brian! (There's a first time for everything!) "Let My Love Open the Door" - Pete Townshend
  14. I'd say love was a magical thing, I'd say love would keep us from pain -had I been there
  15. You're my love, you're my sweetest thing
  16. Nicky's in the corner with a black coat on scorps1027 (a rockstar in her own right) "Beautiful Girl - INXS
  17. You are far when I could have been your star brimful - "Kissing a Fool" - George Michael (and I ain't ashamed!!)
  18. Shattered dreams, worthless years, here am I encased inside a hollow shell - cookiemonsta is close enough: "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will be Forever) - Stevie Wonder
  19. You think you gotta keep me iced - you don't andrea (brimful with the assist) - "Love Don't Cost a Thing" - J. to the L-O
  20. I was at the mall, sippin' on a milkshake - cookiemonsta! Ladies Love Cool James - "Big Ole Butt"

* - Initially, I thought this was "Love (love) isn't fair", until I decided to check it against the lyrics as found online. Mmmyeah - more than a few of what I think are the first lines may be mondegreens.

Your assignment: without Googling (or other search engine-ing), name the tunes!

Stay on These Roads

Two good friends are considering a joint trip to l'Espagne (which I recommend to anyone, by the way.) As part of their negotiation process, they have been revealing neurosis in a game of bizarro one-upsmanship.

Recently, I spoke to my favorite Good Ole Boy and encouraged him to come to Ireland with me in August (a law school friend is getting married there.) As much as I'd love to hear the Southern drawl meet the Irish lilt, my spontaneous offer has caused me to think about the things that make me a, um, "more challenging" person to travel with. In no particular order, here's the list:


  • I am not a morning person, but I come off like I am. I can't really interact with people in the first 20-30 minutes that I am up (and woe be unto you if you try.) That is very much me time, and I like to spend it quietly. After that, I can be pretty gregarious. Because I tend to wake up way early, things are out of synch: I'm superchatty while the other person is still hatching. Not pretty.
  • I am, in some ways, more of a vacationer than a traveler. My father is of the school of thought that if there are 10 things to see in a city and you are there for 1 day, by God(s), you will see them all. I, on the other hand, would rather see 2 in the morning and spend the afternoon in a cafe watching people walk by. This is one reason why I like traveling alone - I went to Paris and skipped the Louvre because the line was too damn long, but spent 5 hours in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. When it's just you, you're all you have to think about.
  • I'm randomly neurotic at meals. I can't sit with my back to an open room. I can't stand it when a table is covered in eaten dishes - I have to stack them. Both of these things are true right here at home, and don't change when I'm on the road.
  • I'm very laidback, but that can make me resentful. Generally, if someone else has a strong preference for where they want to go for dinner etc., I'll go along with it because it's usually not a big thing for me. BUT, when I'm traveling with someone who is pickier than me, I eventually reach a point where I become enraged. Why should I, by dint of the fact that I'm not that picky, always have to cede? And it's entirely my fault. It's my fault because, of course, I don't have to. If when I push back, the person resists, I really seethe. All me, all me. I know.
  • I'm a brazen hussy. Okay, not really - but I am much more forward about meeting people when I'm abroad. If you're a fellow traveller, or staying at the same hostel, or look like you speak English - I'll invite you along. (This isn't so different from what I am like State-side, just ... more so.)
  • "Turning Japanese"(as one travel friend calls it. And, yes, I do know what the song is actually about.) I take a lot of pictures, and it's not always obvious what I'm snapping away at. I have a penchant for metalwork, flowers, and food. I have entire trips where I have no pictures of the actual people involved.

Um, so who's up for a road trip????

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Step Into a World

I'm number 2...oh no, I lied
I'm numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

-KRS-One

Will I be be lording it over coworkers tomorrow? (Especially the Star, who's a double U-Dub?) That would be an affirmative.

Friday, March 24, 2006

55 Fiction Friday: Doc Marten edition

Freaky Friday:

When did she get so…staid? When did she stop looking at the Manic Panic? When did she start picking up “Jane” instead of the constantly, rotating Indie magazine du jour? Recently, she’d caught herself sniggering at someone’s outfit and referring to it in her head as a “get-up.” “We become what we hate,” she thought grimly.

Bollywood Basics

(in our seats at the Castro last Saturday night to watch "Parineeta," part of the Asian American Film Festival)

Non-desi friend: I'm really looking forward to this movie. I don't know what to expect.
Sobriquette*: Did you see "Bend it Like Beckham?"
NDF: Oh yeah!! I loved it!!!
Sobriquette: Well, it's nothing like that.
(maisnon's laughter is drowned out by the rising crescendo of organ music and cheering.)



* - formerly known as Nonblogging Friend.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

6:05 a.m.

Happy Vernal Equinox, my peoples!

Since Monday, every day I have woken up at exactly the same time. I don't have a clock in my bedroom, so I wake up, walk to the kitchen, and the clock on the oven says 6:05 am. (An argument could be made that I am actually waking up at 6:04 a.m., but I digress.) The internal bodyclock is an amazing, amazing thing.

I've never been much of a sleeper (see numerous sleep/insomnia-themed 55 Fiction Fridays.) One thing I'll say about law school - it taught me how to sleep. It wasn' until my second year of law school that I learned that once you woke up, you could stay in bed and, eventually, you'll fall back asleep. Yes, that's right - at the age of 28, I learned how to sleep in. (To my friends with kids, I should probably just go apologize to my mother right now - I can't imagine that she got much sleep...well, ever... after I was born.)

I'm still not a tremendously good sleeper and you'll never find me in bed past 9 a.m. unless I am (1) sick, (2) fighting off sickness, (3) am operating on less than 4 hours of sleep from the night before, or (4) hardcore procrastinating about something.

So. My daily rhythm cycles with the sun. I'm always up, but I'm much more energetic in the morning during the spring and summer. This morning, I meditated, put together a dresser, and sorted laundry - all before getting ready for work. I arrived at work feeling like I'd already had a productive day. Yesterday, I stopped by the library and picked up books on meditation, crafts, and knitting and spent the evening with visions of placemats and mittens dancing in my head.

Spring is springing - Mr. Soleil says it is, no matter what ideas The Weather has - and I think I am too.

Friday, March 17, 2006

55 Fiction Friday: Wonderland edition

Friday se repose:

The sun set fast, but gloriously. She curled more tightly into the papasan chair and adjusted the blanket around her legs. She closed her eyes briefly. Reaching for her glass of wine, a thought crept into her mind on tiptoe, “I know why the Cheshire cat smiles.” Furtively, the corners of her mouth tugging upward.

Erin Go Richard Dean Anderson

Or, yet another reason why I love my coworkers.

maisnon (to coworker with paperclip attached to neckline of sweater): Love the green paperclip!
Mikey: Yeah, well, that's what MacGyver would do.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Synchronicity

Every once in a while, you catch a wave: a daisy-chain of coincidences makes you smile, or just sit back and ponder. Are these little connections around us all the time? Is it that at different times we are more in tune and thus able to notice them? How much detail do we miss in our infernal busy-ness?

Yesterday, I had 400 pages to read and a 2 second attention span - not a good combination. The sky was the bluest blue, and the palm tree outside my office window swayed winsomely. I rationalized that Blackberrys exist for the sole purpose of allowing me to do my reading on my balcony instead of at my desk.

On my way home, I decided to finally stop by the library and figure out how to get a card. Imagine my surprise when the library clerk, noting my "odd" email address, decided to conduct the exchange in French. She lived in France for years, but has lived here long enough to make jokes about how common my first name is.

I haven't determined why, but San Francisco is the French-iest American town I know (and I'm including NYC and DC in the list.) At this point, I hear people speaking French every time I go out (examples: Saturday night in North Beach, Sunday night at sush in Mountain View (which is an even bigger WTF, I might add.) I'm excited by the idea that, as my French improves, I can practice it around town.

There's more here, but I've hit a wall. I am limited in what I am willing to blog about. There are things that I would discuss with individual friends willingly, but wouldn't bring up in front of the same friends if we were all out to dinner. That's the balance beam I'm on now - there are ideas that I am digesting (which would normally take place via conversation or writing) that I am uncomfortable blogging.

Suffice it to say, it's all about interconnectedness, and how when you have something in mind, little details jump out of the woodwork. A song on the radio. An email from an old friend. Right now, I feel like I am picking up the breadcrumbs, following the path out of the forest.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Playlist

  • "Finally" - CeCe Peniston(drive to the city for ma classe de francais.)
  • "Purple Rain" - Prince (threading my way to North Beach for dinner with ads, brimful, and oodles at Iluna Basque , prepared by its 25 year-old chef.)
  • "Legend" - Bob Marley (an odd choice for The Steps of Rome - tiramisu and profiteroles with les filles.)
  • "3 The Hard Way" - Bahamadia (drive back to the 'burbs)
  • "Sweet Lorraine" - Chet Baker (dim sum with Paticus and husband)
  • Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Kanye West, Common, John Legend, The Fugees, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, etc (Dave Chapelle's Block Party with Roop, followed by sushi and gelato.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

55 Fiction Fridays: Better late than never edition

Friday looks a lot like Monday.

“Did you really want?” Beth Gibbons demanded plaintively, and she asked herself the same question. Looking at the half-eaten Chinese take-out, the glasses of cheap red wine leaving stains on her coffee table, she thought, yes, in fact, she had really wanted. But, Beth had moved on to other questions: “did anybody see the light?”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

En fran├žais, s'il te plait

Favorite story from French class on Saturday: our professor had just explained what a chauffard (reckless driver) when another student asked if the feminine would be chauffarde? Our professor said yes, but you'd never say that. The student and the professor went back and forth about it again, and the professor said "Well, I mean, women are much better drivers than men - so you'd never use chauffarde." When we all started snickering, I had to explain that the American stereotype is that women can't drive. Frenchie said, 'Women are better drivers, in fact - in France, they have lower insurance rates." Of course, that is the same thing on this side of the pond. Because my best friend is Asian, I made sure to point out that the biggest driving stereotype is that Asian women can't drive. Who loves ya, Paticus?

So. How was the class? H.a.r.d. My processing of input was much more successful than my manufacturing of output. But, it's good for me - hopefully, I'll be back up to speed shortly. We are learning all kinds of idioms, and how to say things the vrai (true/real) French way, as opposed to the "French is my 2nd language" way. Kinda awesome.

After class, Misty and I went to the Marina! Imagine my surprise while taking in the sights on Chestnut St. - a Pita Pit? Wha?? In college, I lived one block away from the Pita Pit in my tiny, Canadian university town. From the PP website, that was the FIRST Pita Pit location, and now it is a franchise! For nostalgia's sake, I had to grab a pita. Not up to Kingston standards, I'm sorry to say.

After some dallying, it was time to hit the books! I went to Tartine in the Mission with images of their heavenly bread pudding dancing in my head. Helas, it was not to be - I had to make do with some divine chocolate pudding. Tartine closed at 8 pm, which I found so odd. San Francisco sets its curlers and turns in earlier than most cities.

It didn't really matter, I had plans to meet Roop, SJM, etc. etc. at the MatrixFillmore for P. Escobar's birthday. What a great space! A fireplace, great lighting, "interesting" drinks, lounge-style seating, an abnormally tall guy on the door. It became a little too crowded as the evening continued, and when I left the little area we had taken over, the crowd smacked of "I think I'm too hot to talk to you." Um, whatever. But when you bring the party with you, that doesn't really affect you. In short, I rolled into bed at 3:30 am.

Let's repeat that: 3:30 am. This is especially important since my first soccer game was scheduled for the next morning at 9 am. Which means being up and at'em at 8 am at the latest. I didn't set an alarm and I was up at 7:45 am. I have such a rockstar internal clock sometimes. Bleary-eyed, I checked my Blackberry - my player card wasn't ready, so I wouldn't be allowed to play. Thanggod - I curled up on the couch for Round 2 in the Land of Nod.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Legal snark

When the judge quotes an Adam Sandler movie, you're pretty much screwed:


The court cannot determine the substance, if any, of the Defendant's legal argument, nor can the court even ascertain the relief that the Defendant is requesting. The Defendant's motion is accordingly denied for being incomprehensible. 1


1 Or, in the words of the competition judge to Adam Sandler's title character in the movie, "Billy Madison," after Billy Madison has responded to a question with an answer that sounded reasonable but lacked any substance,


Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Deciphering motions like the one presented here wastes valuable chamber staff time, and invites this sort of footnote.

..........
In re Richard Willis King, United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wordplay

Paticus is a 6th grade English teacher and often shares her concerns about her students' writing with me. She was able to give me insights into how to get the kids I volunteer with to think more critically to improve their writing. In our last writing conversation, she asked me to distinguish between certain words. It seems her students have been overusing the thesaurus. Because we are wordgeeks, we delighted in dissecting and delineating between possible, plausible and feasible - so much so, in fact, that Paticus decided to turn it into an exercise for her kids. (If they ever meet me, they'll probably hate me.)

We had so much fun, I thought I'd share it with you - my fellow linguarati. Can you think of other examples? The future of our 6th-graders depends on you!

55 Fiction Friday: Frequent flyer edition

Friday dreams of tropical beaches:

She undid her seatbelt (lift UP on the metal flap), and felt that glimmer of excitement: gathering her carry-ons (items stowed in the overhead compartment may have shifted during flight), and leaving an airplane (remember, the closest exit may be behind you) for an unexplored destination. (Thank you for choosing United Airlines. Enjoy your stay.)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mariposa

The comfort zone of shared experience can hypnotize you into having epiphanies. My most recent flippant comment while talking to Paticus: because I'm happy in so many facets of my life, my insecurities and fears are bubbling up to the surface.

If I were in therapy, I'd say that I'm doing deeper work, getting beyond day-to-day existence. I'm uncomfortable right now - I'm revisiting past negativity that I thought I had left behind. But, I also feel oddly hopeful. I'm calling this my "chrysalis" phase - I am building a little coccoon around myself - a little distance from friends, less socializing, more me-time. I need time to pupate and examine what I value, what I want, whether I'm being true to myself and what may be lacking.

Kutti cura



..and I like her straight-up gangsta style shades, too.