Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Take a stick of butter

Thanks for all of the pat-pats. I definitely needed them. Fortunately Simons came home last night, took one look at my face, which had crumpled off in despair and was lying on the floor moaning, and hied himself off to the grocery to purchase a rather large block of manchego (mmmm....cheese) and a reasonably priced bottle of cabernet. He even watched Steel Magnolias with me, although the generosity of his gesture was somewhat marred by his heartless remarks about, "Behold, the magnolias are gathering around the grave. They are made of steel." Sadly, smacking him isn't as effective as smacking the dog.

Today is an improvement, even though the first thing I did was pour the pot of coffee into the sugar bowl. I can tell that I feel better, since I didn't cry, but sort of gave a muffled giggle, before giving up on pouring and instead applying the coffee pot directly to my lips.

I did send a mockup newsletter to the oncology people, so maybe they will hire me after all. If not, I can always claim mental retardation and say that they are not an equal opportunity employer and sue. Believe me, they totally think I am disabled. I'm surprised the woman could even hear me over the wind whistling between my ears. I may even have used the word, "thingy," since proper diction was just not happening for me. And if she happened to hear the dog vomiting in the background, she will have marked "Gross" as well as "Stupid" on my resume and set the whole thing on fire.

In better news, Simons and I are heading down to the Castro tonight for some Halloween action. Simons is a little nervous that Hot Gay Steve is putting the "weenie" in Halloween, after he told a droll little story about going out on Saturday in naught but a pair of lacy girl's panties. Simons doesn't care so much on principle what Steve wears, but he seems a tad uneasy with that image of his friend being burned into his brain forever and ever amen. But a Castro Halloween will probably be quite dramatic, and I'm certainly looking forward to getting THE HELL OUT OF THIS APARTMENT! Somehow i have forgotten to arrange for a costume, so I'm going to see if the old debutante dress will fit over my enormous arse (doubtful) and will slap on the old tiara and go as a deb. Everyone else will be much sluttier than I, since all costumes these days look like Paris Hilton going to church, but it can't be helped. I'm too old to be slutty anymore. Where are my teeth?

Anyway, I have redeemed myself after the chicken pie debacle, and have wrought the most beautiful little sweet potato biscuits (with hame) ever and am eating one (several) right now with butter dripping off one knuckle. So delicious. So filled with yummy calories. Nothing like butter to cheer one's soul.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I'm having an awful day.

Blew a telephone interview for what would have been the easiest damned freelance job EVER. The dog was vomiting in the background. My landlord was outside mashing door buzzers because he forgot his keys. I was sore and tired and out of it and made not a lick of sense. And before anyone says, "There, there, I'm sure it wasn't THAT bad, Jemima," let me just say that I've ALREADY gotten the "Thanks but no thanks" email from the woman.


The dog won't quit hurling, under the desk, in the kitchen, all over the living room rug. So she probably has giardia and is dying and we can't afford to take her to the vet here, who probably needs a Rolls Royce payment or another case of Dom Perignon.

I want to cry, but I'm too tired and my head already hurts.

So I'm going to write a mock up newsletter for the interview that I blew, and maybe see if they'll give me another shot.

And I did send a cover letter for another freelance job, this one regarding food editing and writing (please, God, are you there?). So if you have some intelligent vibes or just good thoughts, send them my way...

Trust me. I need them.


I hope that all of you had a weekend full of chocolate and Tivo, to make up for mine of dirt and pain.

Oh God, I'm so tired I may perish. Simons and I went camping on Saturday in the Sierras near Tahoe, and it is HUMILIATING how out of shape I am. But it was so beautiful and so amazing to me that we live close enough to such things to make a weekend trip out of it. No bears, thank God, although we dropped packs and pitched the tent so late on Saturday that neither of us noticed we were sleeping underneath a bear scratching post, raked with claw marks and dripping with sap. Heh.

Do you remember how excited you'd be to go camping when you were little, or hell, even in college? It's a little different now. First, Simons might as well have driven to Tahoe by himself, since I was nose-deep in a book the whole way up there, and practically eviscerated him when he politely asked if I'd like to pull over to go to the bathroom. (Thankfully I finished it before we started hiking, or there might have been bloodshed.) I burned the butt out of the dinner, see previous post about dissatisfying chicken pies, which were not improved overmuch by tasting of shit, carbon and stove fuel. Also, because it had been so long since we'd truly camped, we forgot all of the essentials, namely bourbon, cigarettes and cards. So after sitting there wondering at the billions and billions of stars, freezing our fannies off on a rotten log for oh, ten minutes, we gave up and went to bed. It must have been 8:30.

This getting old business is highly overrated, and I want my money back. The goddamned dog took up the whole tent, sleeping HORIZONTALLY between us, and I shivered and shook and writhed around claustrophobically ALL NIGHT and must have been sleeping with my head on a downhill slope and my back on a a pile of bowling balls, because DAMMIT it was uncomfortable. I woke up glaring crossly at Dog's wet nose, who was yawning smugly in my face, stretching and jabbing her pointy toes into my bruised and tired ribs.

Anyway, the morning was a considerable improvement, thanks to the fancy camping coffee filter I gave to Simons for Valentine's last year, which brought to mind the time I made my friend Suzy (Floozy) shoot hot grits out of her nose at a Waffle House when we were in high school. She remarked snidely on the amount of sugar I was pouring into my coffee, and without looking up I responded, "Ah laks mah coffee like I laks mah men...hawt, black and sweet." It was even funnier considering I'd only ever even frenched one person at that point, but that's a different story.

Leaving our tent behind, and good riddance, we climbed this enormous granite ridge, up above the treeline, and from there could see miles of lakes and spruce trees (i guess that's what they were, must get plant book) and no one else in sight. There were no planes, no sounds of cars or backhoes or even human voices. Just the wind and the sound of rushing water.

The last two books I've read have been a pioneer woman's journal on a wagon train to Santa Fe and into Mexico, and the other, a work of historical fiction, and no, I won't say which, because it's deliciously smutty. It was most bizarre to suddenly feel as though I'd left behind all the trappings of modern life and should suddenly take up chopping wood and hunting bear. It brought out all kind of quaint speech patterns, and Simons and I almost started calling each other "Mr." and "Mrs." He ruined my illusions though, by bringing along a GPS...plus, he just looks like an architect and not a bear trapper/hunter/Revolutionary soldier. Oh well. He has many other fine qualities.

Dog had a fine time on her first ever camping trip, gambolling about on the lake shores and freezing her skinny hiney off going swimming in 40-degree water. She kept plunging down the slopes, leaping around like a jackass trying to see above the shrubs, which meant she had no brakes and would just blithely careen off of various dropoffs and cliffs. She so exhausted herself that she was immune to all of the torments we inflicted on her during the ride back. She didn't even mind that we stopped for the best cheeseburgers EVER on the way home and didn't bring her ANY.

We are back in our fairly squalid apartment now, which is a little sad. Simons is at work, and I am here, looking for work as usual. Everything is dirty; clothes, dishes, tables, stove. And I'm too cold and sore to feel like cleaning. But I can't work unless my house is clean. So I'm in quite a pickle.

I have photos, but the camera is in the car, which is parked 10 blocks away. So more camping later.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Here are the fruits of two days' labor.

Ten chicken pies for Simons to take to work.

Rather than have him spend a lot of money on lunches, I went and spent even more money so I could spend two days making these.

And why are there only ten instead of the promised twelve.

Because I ate two of them. Not because I was hungry. But because they were there. And the worst part about it is that they weren't even any good.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm getting as bad as the malls, talking about Christmas when it's not even Halloween yet. But what with the writing and the plane ticket searches for the trip home, I guess I've just got it on the brain.

First, yes, Charleston has had White Christmases...at least one that I can recall. Sometimes it's 70 degrees, which is a little unsettling, but somehow it's always sunny and crisp and lovely. My parents have lived in the same pink three-storey house since I was three years old, so every Christmas that I can remember (save one) was in that house. When we were little, after setting out the cookies and bourbon for Santa, my sister would let me sleep in the bed with her and read me The Night Before Christmas. The book was my grandmother's, so the pictures were very old fashioned and Dickensonian, with ruffly nightcaps and funny hairdo's. And we'd lay our stockings at the foot of the bed, one with Snoopy and the other my mom made out of felt, that looked like a high heeled boot complete with sequins and rickrack (Mom must think Santa likes burlesque). And waking up in the morning, those stockings looked like someone with a case of the dropsy was wearing them, they were so full of little goodies. Those were mainly fancy soaps and toiletries, with a clementine in the toe.

Then we'd creep downstairs...it was always very cold, because the third floor had no heat and was remarkably drafty (gusty even). And we could never see what was at the bottom, because Daddy always cut a 25-foot marsh cedar tree and stuck it straight up the middle of the spiral staircase. You'd have to go to the landing between the second and third floor to put on the star. After Hurricane Hugo, there weren't anymore cedar trees that tall, so now they have a 9-ft tree in the living room, but it's just as beautiful. Still, those tall trees were the envy of all our classmates, and my mom is the queen of tree decoration. We have about 20 boxes of ornaments, some ancient and decrepit, some with working parts and ships in bottles and ones that my sister and I made. And she puts on garlands with ARTISTRY, so they loop and arch just so. And when everything is on, we cover the entire thing in antique tinsel, which is the devil to pick off afterwards, but looks just like ice when the white lights are on. It always looked like a fairy tree. So we'd creep around the tree at the bottom and see the veritable sea of wrapping paper and presents, sometimes a bicycle, once a pair of stilts, and I think one year there was a puppy, but that was for my sister, so I don't remember.

The one year we weren't at home for Christmas was after Hugo, because the house wasn't liveable. And rather than put up a tree in our dinky little temporary home in a friend's carriage house (far too small for a family that needed sulking room), we went to Boone, NC to learn to ski (ha) and build snowmen (Daddy and my Uncle Ricky made an anatomically correct snow-woman with cranberry nipples and a bottle of Jack Daniels...the mothers were not impressed) and go sledding. The main thing I remember about that one is all of us waiting downstairs for my grandmother to finish fixing her hair...and when you're 12 and 17 (me and my sister) and 8 and 5 (my cousins), this seems like a damnable waste of time. And when she finally did come down, in a foul and martyred temper, she said, "You didn't need to wait for me. I'll be dead soon." The silence was palpable, as all of us, grownups and children alike, tried to figure out what in the name of God she was talking about. It's a family joke now that when one of us is feeling ill used, we say, "Don't worry about me. I'll just go eat at Shoney's for Thanksgiving. Two pies for 49 cents." Sometimes we just shorten to it, "Two pies for 49," and roll our eyes.

We always pull out the stops for Christmas dinner too, with stuffed goose and forty sides and mom makes a dacquoise, which is chocolate hazelnut ganache with layers of almond meringue and almond buttercream. It takes Mom hours, but everyone really loves it. She also conveniently forgets what a pain it is every year when she's agreeing to it. And the whole extended family comes, and drinks Rum Punch and gets very jolly. Who knows where we'll be, since we have several families to please this year. How in the world do you organize that without hurting anyone's feelings?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I hate fake Christmas trees. I hate researching their statistics. I hate learning about their synthetic makeup. I hate that some Chinese mother is withering her ovaries sniffing their cheap PVC chemicals. I hate their buying trends. Hate. Hate. Hate.


I'm finished. Finally. Now I have to go shower now, and cleanse the grinchiness of faux Christmas items from my skin...lest Santa decide to give me fake jewelry or fake hmmm-gasms or fake cheese to get even. (shiver)

Also, Kelly Love, your faux Christmas tree is excused from my earlier tirade. Because, it's pink. It's not trying to pretend to be burly lumberjack tree or quaint Swedish clog under the balsams tree or anything else. It is a shiny shiny pink tree, and is perfect as it is.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Another freelance job came rolling in today from the media company, and on top of the whole linking of gastric bypass to dementia and Alzheimer's (furious eye rolling and tsks of disbelief), now I have to promote ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES. And is it about how artificial Christmas trees are the devil's playthings and inhabited by gremlins who lick all of your advent calendar chocolate while you're sleeping?

Negatory. I have to say nice things about the crappy faux trees.

Who buys pre-lighted plastic trees? Tell me it's old people with no family to speak of, because do people REALLY buy that for their children? In which case, HOW DO THEIR CHILDREN KNOW WHAT CHRISTMAS SMELLS LIKE? Are these faux Christmas (buyers) obsessive compulsive cleaners or afraid of bugs or allergic to pine? And speaking of, do buyers of these appalling trees hang those pine tree scented air fresheners in their living rooms to add that fresh piney smell?

My own auntie actually hires someone to decorate her tree, which gives me the absolute vapors, but at least her tree is real. You're SUPPOSED to have Brandy Alexanders or cocoa or AT LEAST tea or something, and maybe some ginger cookies and you decorate the tree with friends (gay Navy merman ornaments, anyone?) or with family (tiny broken wooden toys from when we were tots). It's TRADITION. How traditional can you be when you go into the closet, drag out your Trapper Keeper-smelling tree and unfold it like a damned umbrella ALREADY lighted?

Man, I am hot about this. Fake trees are just plain wrong. Who's with me?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saving the World...

...one runner at a time.

I'm off this morning to volunteer for Team In Training, at the Nike Women's Marathon. If you've ever wanted to run a marathon (it was on my list of things to do before I die), TNT will train you, coach you, map out your goals, show you how to eat, lift weights, stretch, which shoes to buy, etc. In return, you raise between $1500 and $4000 or so for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It's a pretty awesome program, and when I did my marathon last year, you wouldn't have believed how many runners were wearing a purple TNT shirt OR how many people on the sidelines were waving purple TNT signs and ringing bells and cheering us on. So many people affected by these cancers. So many people doing something about it. If you want to do something about it too, come on by the tent! Or see if there's a LLS office in your town.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tonight's Menu

Simons has invited some fun but definitely snoo snoo arty types for dinner tonight. Therefore I am mucking out the house, beating the dog, and trying to sell my car, all at the same time.

Here is what we're having:

Butternut squash and apple soup with saffron

Baked spiced sweet potatoes with garlic and olive oil
Goat's milk yogurt with rosemary

Chicken breasts with roasted lemons, olives and capers
whole wheat pasta

Pumpkin honey cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

Don't you wish you were eating this right now? I just did.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


A Little Pissed

Simons has lost his wedding ring. Okay, well, maybe not totally lost, but it's at work and he's home without it on his finger. Am I right to be slightly pissed about that? It bothers me that he just takes it off while he's doing AutoCad because it hurts his finger. Um, TOUGH SH*T! Marriage is always shiny and sparkly and comfy. Sometimes it gouges your freaking eye out when you're washing your face, but you deal.

A Lot Pissed

I was supposed to run the Chicago Marathon this weekend. But what with getting married, moving across the country, and a nasty and persistent case of Plantars Fascitis (like a stone bruise but has to do with your tendon), that didn't happen. But my running partners wanted to stay in the room I was getting, seeing as how the nearby hotels are hard to book, and I got a good discount as part of Team In Training. I said they could, if they paid me in advance. Well, they did not, despite repeated urging. And yesterday, a week after the deadline, they finally deposited two thirds of the total $816 in my account. And when I called, one of the girls, oh, let's call her Jill, said she thought I was still coming and was all shocked that she and the other girl, um, Theresa, had to pay the whole thing. Um, Jill and Theresa have known since June that I wasn't going to run it.

Well, as tempting as it was to just write them a check back and tell them good luck sleeping in the park and GEE, HOPE IT DOESN'T SNOW, I would actually be screwing a charity, since TNT had already booked the room. So I had to go ahead and pay for it out of my credit card. Keep in mind the moving and the unemployment and whatnot.

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Oh my God, I'm so broke. Let it go. Let it go....

Making a Stand...a Really Weak Stand...Maybe...Ok, Probably Not

Well, let's not get too carried away. My ancestors were Jewish right up through my grandfather, but I'm Episcopalian. So I'm a little honky Protestant myself. But I almost feel like that makes me more responsible for not carrying on the archaic, bigoted tradition.

But a little part of me really wants to go.

YOU SEE? THIS is how the Germans got away with persecution. Everyone wanted to go to their little SS parties and rallies and book burnings and such and no one put their foot down and said, "NO! I'LL BE DAMNED IF I WILL!

Now you see I'm going to hell for sort of making humor out of something that is not at all funny, for wanting to go to the goddamned ball AND for putting on airs about being able to change the world.

But my wedding dress is so pretty.

And my nieces, my nieces are so cute. Really. If you think you can stand it, behold, THE CUTENESS! Gird yourself.

Moral Dilemma

I'm having a dilemma right now, and I've got to make a decision before Simons comes home. His parents are members of this group, which is this really old fashioned society type thing that has a gigantic shmancy ball every January. However, it only allows members if they are white, protestant, probably rich, and date their geneology back to Charleston in Noah or something. So I'm fundamentally opposed to it, since my family was in Charleston in 1792, but were all Jewish and weren't allowed. Now that I'm married into it, they want me to be the freaking belle of the ball, where I get to wear my wedding dress and eat dinner or waltz with the president. So do I tell them to fuck off or do I leap at the chance to wear my wedding dress one last time? See, I'm very shallow. Actually, Simons' dad offered to fly us home for it, and I am DYING to see my two nieces again. Dying, I tell you. Are nieces worth dropping my principles? And maybe it would be fun, albeit elitist? Or would my soul wither and blacken (like my heritage)?


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Not exactly nine to five...

But I'm working.

Hear that, Internet? I'M WORKING.

Yours truly just finished a press release for a media optimization company and sent it off. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself, even if I do know nothing about bariatric surgery. Yeah, just so you know, don't believe everything you read in press releases, because some schlub like me wrote it. Oooh, maybe they'll give me free bariatric surgery so I can look like Kate Moss! I'm already envisioning my sleek thighs and rippling biceps.

Vogue Editor: "Jemima Kate Moss, do you feel guilty about the influence your sleek thighs have on thousands of impressionable teenagers?"

Jemima: [Giggles vacuously and takes puff of Marlboro Red] "Can you repeat the question?" [Stretches aforementioned thigh, which seemingly disappears like an optical illusion]

Maybe I should just go running instead. It's cheaper than hospitalization, and since AmEx just called to pre-order my firstborn child, I should go for the cheaper option. I know one person who's had a gastric bypass, but I haven't seen her since it was done, and I always thought she was totally gorgeous and didn't need it anyway. It seems so drastic. Internet, do you know anyone who has resorted to it? Did it work? Was it worth it?

So...that was two hours of billable work. Excellent! Now I just need to create a professional webpage, pitch a story to Dwell, get some watches repaired, write 300 thank you notes, call Cingular, send a cover letter and resume about a job, and go to the bookstore. Oh, and walk Devil who is glaring at me from the depths of her bucket. Who knows, maybe I'll see The Flasher again and THIS TIME, he better watch out!

Monday, October 16, 2006


Simons and I went sailing in the Bay this Saturday with a friend of ours from Charleston. His ex-wife, who owns an excellent art gallery in Charleston, had an affair with the owner of a giant pharmaceutical conglomerate after HIS wife, who is best friends with Simons' mom, had an affair with her tennis pro. Simons housesat at her amazing four storey house on Legare Street while she was off in Maine gallivanting with said tennis pro, and I always wanted to throw a croquet party in her luxe backyard. Well the art gallery owner’s now ex husband is an awfully nice man, and he came out here presumably to avoid witnessing the illicit love affair between his wife and another man and to complete a psychology degree in marital and family counseling...God, he could write a book. Anyhoo, he has a GORGEOUS sailboat which is practically a work of art with shiny wood and glistening metal and a gigantic red spinnaker that is too preppy for words.

Our new home

Wind Direction






My husband is my caliente

Sadly our sailboat owning friend is a teetotaler, which is only sad because there’s nothing that goes down better on a yacht than a mimosa, or a bloody mary, or a julep or really anything with rum, or hell, alcohol for that matter. But, it was still a nice way to spend a Saturday. We spotted sea lions swimming in the middle of the bay, which is a little freaky since it’s 150-feet deep in some places. That’s just so much deep darkness…

And we crept up on Alcatraz, which I must admit, I’ve never had much desire to visit. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to avoid going to prison, so why in the hell would I want to pay money to GO? Anyway, it looked so damned haunted and COLD up there, surrounded by all that deep and dark and chilly hard stone, now I want to go read the Count of Monte Cristo all over again. I haven’t read it since sixth grade when we had to read it in French, and something tells me it’s time to pick it up again.

Then my favorite auntie, (Ant) Scott, was in town for a legal conference, and we went to Stinson Beach to try to feed Beulah to the sharks. Sadly, even the sharks know she will give them indigestion. That damned dog got a UTI on Friday, and so I found a vet that would accept us on the same day, walked in and said, “She has a UTI. She needs some Baytril.” Well, the swiving vet insisted on doing an ULTRASOUND and a needle extraction urine sample and charging us freaking $280 (she wanted to do a bacteria culture that would have cost $170 more) to say, “She has a UTI. She needs some Baytril.”


I should have just given them the dog, since we pay that much in replacement toothbrushes every month. The good news is that Devil seems to be feeling much better and we have had no more desperate pottying adventures in the park. However, the vet called on Saturday night to recommend we bring her back in a week for an additional ultrasound and needle urine extraction so that she can make sure the UTI is indeed gone. I wanted to say, "Well if she ain't pissing 65 times, isn't that a good indicator that it's gone? Oh wait, if it doesn't cost anything, then it can't be true..."

Oh, back to my aunt and uncle. We visited some shops, and Scott bought me a lovely knitting book called Last Minute Knitted Gifts. 90% of the projects in it are so lovely, I want to hug the pages. I’m determined to make all knitted gifts for Christmas, although I may be a bit late. I hear sweaters take an awfully long time. I’m working on a baby sweater for Sarah Elizabeth (who discovered her hands this weekend!) and after that, maybe I’ll make a gorgeous raglan sweater for Simons. With a zipper…Mmmmm, hot zippered sweater....Mmmm, removing hot zippered sweater from husband...mmmm

We all ate at Nob Hill Café last night for dinner, Scott’s favorite place. Divine. So divine. Carbonara with vats of butter and garlic and parmesan and pancetta. When I die, I want to come back as carbonara.

Thursday, October 12, 2006



Must wash out brain with lye soap and stab eyeballs with hot forks of displeasure.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've been flashed.

And I'm SO PISSED about it. There I was walking my dog back from the park, enjoying the sunshine and outdoors. And I may have smiled pleasantly at this "nice young man" because i'm from the South and that's what we do. Then I noticed that he has his penis out of his pants and is woggling it at me in a disgusting fashion and hissing something menacing at me. "You like that?" I think it was.


Anyway, I called him a pig and kept walking, but the whole way home I felt alternately furious and helpless and a little like crying. And I made up all these other scenarios where I'd followed him screaming until he ran away in shame. Or that I'd laughed at him and mocked him. Or that I had a cell phone on me and called the police. It was awful that this hideous fucker had created this power over me, my mood, my day, and sadly my memory.


Now I know nobody cares about hearing my dream from last night, because you're probably not in it. HOWEVER, I'm now convinced I'm probably going to die, so I'm writing about it anyway.

First, and this is not the death part, I was fixing Thanksgiving dinner in this strange house, which presumably was mine. But I was wearing roller skates and the kitchen was steep. Like Nob Hill steep. My father in law was giving himself vapors watching me skate to the top and back.

Maybe that was a sign that I will overcome challenges (and hills) and San Francisco will become comfortable for me? Dammit, I hope so.

THEN, Simons and I were driving this beautiful old timey silver truck through the woods on a perfect fall day. All the leaves were changing and the light was incredible. You know those days when it just Smells like autumn, all crisp and tingly like something's about to happen? And then we came to this bridge that although small, was famous for being the only way people could at one time get to some certain island. I thought it was Wadmalaw (marsh island in Charleston) in my dream, but maybe I made that up. Simons wanted to take all these pictures of the little white bridge to sketch, and the great part was that Woo (Jack Russell I got for my tenth birthday who passed away last year) and my sister's deceased gigantic black lab, Bushman, were there too, romping around gaily and getting in the way. And we couldn't take too long because this older couple in a car were waiting to get across the bridge too.

Old people. Dead dogs. A BRIDGE!

Hello! I'm so dreaming about The Passage.

Oh well, at least Woo and Simons were there too, and it seemed quite lovely and cozy. Notice Beulah Devil Dog wasn't there. That's because she's going to the hot place where refrigerator-opening, perpetually scratching, toilet paper eating, carsick dogs burn for all eternity. HELL, I SAY! HELL!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fear of Failure

"They" say procrastination is nothing more than a fear of failure.

Okay, I'll buy that. But how do you overcome it?

Is it luck or self discipline or just a matter of closing your eyes and leaping? Is it a fear of regretting the things you never did or didn't try your hardest? Or maybe overcoming this fear of failure means accepting failure as a friend and doing it anyway.

This freelancing thing is tough. The lack of money is ridiculous. Moving to a new city where I don't know anyone or have any writing contacts or even anything concrete to write ABOUT yet is kind of...um, challenging. I'm trying to be positive here, and although "depressing" and "exhausting" and "dark and hopeless and full of woe" all come to mind as adequate descriptions, I'll just go with "challenging" instead.

I've been working on some ideas, and have called a few people, which has lead to more potential food writing ideas and contacts and so forth. Anyway, yesterday, my husband's friend put me in touch with this other writer and said we had to get together and would just love one another. Well, as it turns out in the course of awkward conversation, this "writer" used to work for W, Women's Wear Daily, Time, Harper's, etc. and is THE fashion writer in the US. And although she was nice, it was that kind of nice where you come away sad and shellshocked and overwhelmed. No one will ever want to read my stories. I'm too old to start this. No one will ever pay me to write. And I'll be a terrible waitress.

Today is the day I had set aside for compiling all these ideas and writing pitch letters. Only I can't do it. I feel tired and sad and weepy. Not exactly a day for inspiration. I've sat in front of this laptop all day, and accomplished nothing and all I want to do is go home and hold my nieces and go sit under a tree I don't have to walk 20 minutes to find. But I can't give up. I'm out here and I've GOT to find a job, and writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at, and if I don't do it now, I never will.

So, how do I shake this fear? How do I break into the circle?


Sunday, October 08, 2006


Simons' friend Steve has this saying that he made up when he moved to San Francisco from Manhattan. People move here for the sunshine and the cool music and the sweet rock climbing and the healthy living and the drag queens. They move here because the restaurants are paradise, because the money is good, because they like the fucking avocadoes, right? Well, on a fine weekend like the one we just had, everyone is buying into it. As Steve says, "They're buying the burrito."

I am buying the burrito. I am paying extra for the avocado.

Let's review.

Ocean Beach for surfing and dog walking.
Free bluegrass concert (Hardly Strictly Bluegrass) in Golden Gate Park, where I sat on my blanket with my dog, eating funny cookies and knitting WHILE WATCHING EARL SCRUGGS, GILLIAN WELCH, EMMY LOU HARRIS AND DAVID RAWLINGS.

Grace Cathedral to pray for Bush's impeachment
Bouldering at Tiberon where my husband went all crazy showing this rock who's boss. Um, meow?
Lunch in Alamo Square while watching the Blue Angels do aerial tricks overhead

Damn, I love burrito.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


"Please observe..."

Last Monday's Chicks With Sticks meeting/extravaganza/party down. I drove myself to Bliss Bar in the Mission, only getting lost, um, four times. Bought myself a contraband glass of wine (the expense!) and sat down with all of the fabulous knitters. See Gabbi with her red sweater project and Meaghan with her sweater and oh, just everyone!

The second picture down. That's me on the right! Me! With new friends!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jobs Shmobs

Does anyone else just find job searching to be totally debilitating? It’s a little like wearing your heart on your sleeve and having people tell you that you either are or aren’t good enough. And when they don’t bother to contact you at all…well, that’s just mean.

So I had my first interview today, with (and don’t even SAY it) a big PR firm out here. And no, I do not, under any circumstances, want a PR job. If I were to take one, no matter how fancy, I would be selling out. I came out here to WRITE, goddammitohell, and that’s what I want to do. But in the next day or two, I’m going to have to ask my husband for money, and no matter how great our partnership, some small part of me will wither and die when I do it. It’s so…so…June Cleaverish.

Anyway, the interview went okay, I guess. I met with their senior vice president, who I must say, is a complete douchebag, one of those people who has to negate every single thing you say no matter what. If you say the sky is blue, he’ll tell you it’s pink and here’s why. The other three people I met with while I was there were pretty nice and seemed fun, and my writing test went fine (I mean, really). So because I don’t want it, they’ll probably make some hideously great offer on Monday that will be so hard to refuse, because think of all the fun shoes I could buy and get ourselves out of the disgusting amount of debt we are in. Simons says I shouldn’t even consider taking it, which is kind of awesome man he is. But remember… “wither and die.”

Lots of other fun stuff has been happening. I went to my first Castro Street Fair last weekend. There were gay cheerleaders, who were incredibly mediocre, but damn I love a good sweater monkey. And lots of very large buff men with teeny weeny dogs. And drag queens…lots and lots of veeeeerry ugly drag queens. AND (!!!) I saw one of the twins from America’s Next Top Model. Actually, my friend Steve had to point her out, because I haven’t watched any of this season’s episodes. I’m too busy catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. Lust, Lust.

And Simons has been surfing, while Mistress of Evil Who Has Learned How To Open The Fridge And Must Be Stopped For The Love Of God and I have gone for lots of beach romps. I should hire her out to the military for trench digging or landmine rooting. This hole was bigger than she was.

And look how proud…

It’s new for me to walk on the beach barefoot while wearing a down parka. But there is tons of interesting stuff to poke at. The sea kelp looks like something from outer space.

Here is my kitchen and the view from my back stairs.

I love my apartment so much I want to lick it.
Which is good, because I can't afford to leave it.