Friday, September 29, 2006

GAH!

Just devoured a half tub of Dulce de Leche. The fatness! THE FATNESS! Get it away! A pox on the Haagen Dazs! Must get out of this apartment! The walls! The walls are closing in on me! GAH!

Alms?

I was plugging away at the emailing clips and and job searching yesterday when I got a desperate phone call from Simons at Ocean Beach, calling from someone else's cell, and immediately I assumed he was bleeding since I'd been berating him before he left about surfing buddyless. And no, I wouldn't go with him even if he asked (well, maybe then) because I NEED SOME TIME ALONE. Even when you are with the person you love, emailing/begging for jobs should really be done alone in a dark room surrounded by trickling water and bats. I'm just not used to this sudden shortage of personal space.

Someone had stolen his car key while he was surfing, and some other surfer said it had happened to him and because the car and wallet were still there, he had assumed everything was okay until a week later when all his credit cards were hosed. Nice. So I RODE THE BUS for an hour to get there--ME, who has never taken public transportation in the United States ever. ME! And I didn't get lost. There was a fair amount of galloping across streets and begging bus drivers for directional information, but I at least picked the correct bus lines and stuff. Hooray! And I found my husband and everything is golden. We are home now, with no credit cards, no money, no jobs (for me) and no way of paying for anything. Tralallaa.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This is it

Total miles covered: 3000
Days on the road: six
Number of states traversed: nine
Surfboards lost en route: three (fuck you, Oklahoma City)
Number of times the dog barfed: seven
Number of times the dog pooped on the Taos Pueblo Indian reservation: one, but it was big
Blatant misuses of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” by Midwestern radio stations: about 10 million
Number of trucks that began making bad noises in the middle of New Mexico: one
Number of trucks that snuffed out at a Super 8 Motel in Grants, New Mexico, while psychotic vagrants sparred brutally with nearby trees and threw bottles at hapless motorists: one
Number of U-Haul employees who assisted in unpacking and reloading belongings alongside of gross highway in Grants, New Mexico: technically two, but one was faking.
Number of times we will ever U-Haul anything again: zero times infinity

Here is my synopsis of the trip out west: Santa Fe was awesome! We got to see some friends in Nashville! Arkansas roads are shitty! Indian pueblos are neato! Ditto chilies rellenos! U-Haul is the spawn of Satan!

Here is Beulah demonstrating how to look cool on the road. She definitely had the full blown model act going on, what with the constant vomiting, expensive shades, refusal to eat anything, nonstop smoking and complaining and general witheredness. Perhaps I am callous. So be it.

After sitting in Atlanta traffic for three hours (I was driving), we visited the first night with some friends in Nashville, Suzy and David Howerton (Howie) and their young son, Evatt. We had a sublime evening of fine wine and homegrown tomato tarts and lettuces, seated on the porch under the stars. My friend Kimberly, whom I love dearly, had decided a few weeks before, to join the newlywed caravan as a new divorcee, and met up with us after berating the bellman at the Lowes Plaza for taking too long with her luggage. I feared she was going to dislike the fleabag motel I’d chosen in Oklahoma City. I’m afraid none of us did.

The best I can say for it was that we were only there for about seven hours. Then we plowed through a gale (I was driving) until we hit Texas and realized that all the surfboards were gone. Kimberly was behind us and hadn’t seen them, so we assume someone stole them during a gas stop or had picked them up quickly off the side of the road. May Simons’ “Blue Shark” deal them as bad a blow as it did me last year.


Anyhoo, we hit Santa Fe before dark, in time to head to hills of Tesuque for dinner and sunset at George and Donna’s country cabin. Their house is absolutely inspiring. George found old redwood rafters and western saddle trees for footrests and a “hog scraper” to use for the sink. The whole effect was gorgeous and very cozy.

Early next morning, Kimberly drove us to a place called Tent Rocks, a canyon made up of white teepee-like rock formations. All of the ones with little boulder hats stay pointed, while the ones that lose them just melt away. We found lots of Apache Tears, tiny pieces of black obsidian washed out of the softer ash, and climbed around on the rocks and were generally amazed. It made me wish I’d paid more attention in geology class. I guess I wouldn’t have been in geology class if I were big on paying attention in general.

Wednesday we decided to spend an extra day in Santa Fe, and Kimberly took us up to the Taos Pueblo, to take a tour and see the Indians and maybe buy some turquoise. Although the tour was a little rehearsed, Simons and I loved meeting this old man who was replacing the adobe on his house before the snows. Apparently the underlying bricks are over 300 years old, and the outer mud just gets a new coat rubbed on the exterior every fall. They have festivals and dances every season, and I’m dying to go back and see one for myself. One man collecting willow bows flirted with us by the river, and we “rescued” a dog with porcupine quills imbedded in her nose. We could hear the sacred flute playing from inside one house, and the smell of burning pinon was everywhere. This nice Indian man, Steve, sold me some turquoise…here’s me wearing it.


Check out these great ovens. The women wake up at 4 a.m. to make their bread before the heat of the day. Can’t you just imagine the laughter going on between these two ovens in the pre-dawn hours?

Later Kimberly took us ALL OVER New Mexico. This is the mountain that God gave Georgia O’Keeffe, the Pedernal. She said that if she painted it enough, God would give it to her when she died. Isn’t that a romantic word? It sounds like "PAH Dur-nal." It looks so different in all kinds of light. She loved painting this mountain right across from it, with lines of chalk between the striations, which they think resulted from The Meteor.
And then Kimberly took us to The White Place, another GOK haunt, and looky what I found.

That night we went to Pasquale’s, a James Beard dining experience. God, I love the food here. So spicy. So many colors. So many things to dab about, like art for your mouth. And so much cheese.

After that, we had to leave, to get out of the limbo of not traveling and not really staying. It’s hard to really enjoy a place, knowing that you have so many days of driving and moving ahead of you. So away we went, ignoring the growing rumble under the hood, determined to make San Francisco by Thursday morning in time to meet the police officer who was saving us a parking spot. And then all hell broke lose.

“Simons, it sounds really serious. Like it’s the engine dying.”

“No, no, Sarah [stupid female], it’s just a pipe that’s come lose under the cab that’s rattling around.”

“Well it sounds like it’s rattling the truck to pieces. If you can see it, why don’t you strap it down or duct tape it.”

“It’s fine.”

Five miles later, we sat motionless in a Super-8 parking lot, while a scary homeless man beat the living shit out of a tree, screaming all the while. Unbelievably, a U-Haul place was less than a mile away, and they had a BIGGER truck that we could use. Apparently our brand new truck “threw a rod.” I would equate “throwing a rod” with “busting a nut.” It ain’t good. At any rate, it was dead. Very dead. Totally dead. And that meant we had to take everything out of our 14’ truck and put it in the new/old 17’ truck, complete with stale cigarette smoke and lingering body odor.

We finished loading right before a dust and lightning and wind storm, and amazingly, it was my turn to drive again. The wind was so strong, it blew my door backwards and dented the side panel of the truck. How droll.

So after that five hour delay, we had to drive all night through Flagstaff and Needles and Bakersfield (the meth capital of California). We switched off every four hours, but neither of us got much rest. I can still remember the owls flying over I-40, all white and ghostly, and wondering if I was dreaming or driving.

But after all that, here we are in our new home. Nob Hill with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the back door, and the sound of the sea lions barking. There is a cable car that rumbles its way up our street…there it is now, and a gourmet shop right around the corner. This is it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Random

The truck is packed, and by packed, I mean that we are a bunch of ridiculously materialistic needy Eurocentric bastards. I can't believe how much crap we have and are unwilling to part with. We finally quit loading yesterday after we started hurting ourselves, dropping stuff on our feet and running into things. That happens to me all the time, but it's kind of unusual for Simons.

I've just finished packing the random assortment of crap leftover in the dumping ground formely known as The Kitchen. Let's see, one box has:

Dryer sheets
baboon skull
one random piece of wood
a suitcase strap
one can crushed pineapple
one can cocoa lopez (all we need is rum)
bathing suit cleaner
one subwoofer
one tweeter (I had to ask Simons what these were)
glass star on chain
Boys Are Stupid coffee mug
chair cushion
pecans
conch shell
jar peanut butter

What the hell?

Things I have left to do:
Buy Doggles for Beulah, the dog who is in a permanent decline now, from all this packing.
I'm also stopping by Whole Foods to get her some calming drops.
Then I have to go to the pharmacy
The jewelry store to repair some stuff and buy a wedding present
The post office to send the wedding present
The effing Comcast store that is in BF North Charleston, to return the modem
And some other places I can't remember right now.

Gah! We're never getting out of here!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Despair

I hate packing
I hate moving
I hate being married
I hate not being financially independent
I hate having to deal with someone else's moody bullshit when at least he has a goddamn job and has laid eyes on the apartment where we're moving and knows how to navigate the goddamn public transportation system, whereas I have no idea and no job and no fucking clue what I'm doing
I hate feeling like I'm going to cry
I hate saying goodbye to my sister
I hate compromising on packing space
I hate selling my car
I hate that I haven't sold my car
I hate not having enough time
I hate this crappy iBook since i had to give back my G4
I hate eating off of plastic plates
I hate not being able to find anything
I hate that I have gained 10 lbs and the aforementioned moody bastard probably thinks I'm hideous and that none of my clothes fit
I hate feeling separated from my friends
I hate feeling so goddamn hateful

I really really hate packing

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A whole box of sweet cracker sandwiches

We have an apartment.

Oh.
My.
God.

Simons called at the end of the baby shower today to tell me he'd signed a lease for $1770 (not too bad all things considered. Hope I get a fucking JOB soon!) for a one bedroom apt on Russian Hill right near Lafayette Park on the corner of Washington and Hyde. It has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and trolleys out the front. It has a gas stove pour moi, and lots of room for all our stuff, even a storage room! The owner was happy with Dog, probably more so than I, and didn't add a pet deposit, and didn't even ask us for first and last month's rent in advance. Just a security deposit and the rent. HOLY CRAP!

So I'm unbelievably excited, but Crikey, i have 12 days to move. TWELVE! Oh my God, I have to go lie down. And smoke. And I need a drink. Maybe more than one.

PS: May I just say how APPALLED I was that people showed up EARLY for the baby shower. My sister was sitting there breast feeding Sarah for Pete's Sake (fourth Protestant exclamation in one post) when this woman shows up twenty minutes early. What, does she think we have time to sit around and entertain her when we're still cooking? HOW RUDE!

Babies, Babies Everywhere

I can totally relate to Aleigh's post from earlier this week. There ARE babies everywhere. I think I've already mentioned that four of my seven bridesmaids were all sitting on les petits croissants. I've been knitting blankies since April, and am desperate for a new project. Today is the last baby shower though, for the Wench and her little bun, who will be Amelia Reed, I think. She will go by Reed and have horrible issue since her mother picked out brown and khaki as baby colors. Um, I'm not saying she needs everything in pink, but why khaki? Just because something doesn't show vomit doesn't mean it's a good color for a nursery.

Okay, to be fair, the nursery is pretty cute. So is my friend. This is the Wench.

Bad Dog

Yesterday was not one of Beulah’s finest. Before leaving my sister’s house, I had cut myself a nice piece of fresh blueberry scone, wrapped it tenderly in paper towel, and put it in my raincoat pocket. After loading the car, I told Beulah to hop in, and off we went. My mouth already watering, I reached for my pocket, only to discover someone’s snout already in it, busily finishing off the last delicious morsels of paper towel. After a sever scolding, I insisted she ride in the back, where she sulked the whole 90-minute drive home.

Then last night, I went over to the old homestead at Rutledge Place, drank frozen mojitos with mint from the garden and watched a riveting game of ping pong. Vince had made mashed potatoes with truffled salt (Oh my GOD, so divine. Every time I opened the jar, I had an...um, special moment. I may have to go buy my own jar until Simons gets back.) and salmon burgers. Yum! All of a sudden Vince yells up from the backyard grill, “Beulah just ate two salmon burgers that were cooking. Do you think she’s okay?”

Beulah was better than okay... until I got to her.

So that was breakfast and supper. I dragged her away from her feast and went home, very hungry, embarrassed, furious. I thought a nice hot shower might soothe my temper. It did, but I had a nasty premonition while I was drying off, and sure enough, when I got out, I went immediately in search of my Invisiline trays, only to find them mauled into a thousand pieces next to the couch. The scream alerted Beulah to my wrath so I had to root her out from under the bed with the mop, howling with fury and hatred. I promptly flung her outside for the night.

Today, I have emailed our dog trainer, Susan Merritt, of Purely Positive Dog Training. “Why, Susan? WHY IS MY DOG SO BAD?” She eats stuff that can’t even TASTE good! She eats sponges and toilet paper and dental floss.

Last week, Beulah climbed up on top of the kitchen table and drank two shots of espresso I had blearily forgotten to take to work. Beulah was shrieking and hurling her body against the sliding glass door and walking around on her hind legs when I got home. Well, that was actually pretty funny, but I DON’T CARE! MAKE IT STOP!

Hopefully Susan will have some good advice. Or a taser. Or a shovel.


This just in:
"Who is your veterinarian? It might be a good idea to speak with him/her about these issues. She sounds a little anxious and obsessive to me. You might want to speak to them about medication (antidepressants). I would expect Beulah, as on older dog, not to engage in these behaviors so much. However, she has been successful at it, and that's enough reason for any animal (human included) to keep engaging in it.

I would crate or confine her more for about two weeks -- she needs more management. I would also keep everything out of her reach; take absolutely no chances and assume that she will steal everything. Also, do increase her exercise if you can do so safely in this heat. If you have any other questions, we should probably set up a private session. Let me know about your vet.

Best, Susan"

Susan is the goddess of dog training, so I think it's time to have a special lesson with her and figure out how to show Beulah that things out of her bowl do not belong to her. I'm not so keen to have her on antidepressants though, but I'll definitely talk to my vet. Perhaps switching families is still bothering her...although come to think of it, she did all this stuff with them too. She gets tons of exercise already, at least four walks a day, plus tons of ball throwing at the park, beach and marina, but maybe when we move I can start taking her running again. She hates that (grin).

I will admit that I am loathe to throw a lot of money at this problem, buying Scat Mats and Dog Alarms and such, which ultimately inconviences us as much as the dog. You have to plug these things in when you leave, move them when you want to put something on the counters, put them away when company comes over so your house doesn't look like an altar to your dog's bad behavior. Maybe I can just hogtie her when I leave in the morning. Now, THERE'S a good idea.