Friday, June 30, 2006

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Sunday, June 25, 2006


Drinking or being drunk without supervision is usually a mistake. I've made this mistake a few times in the past. A few dozen times, perhaps. A few many dozen times or so, but not that often. In short, it's something I don’t recommend.

The type of drinking I'm referring to isn't solitary drinking in the comfort of your own home while bidding on heinous eBay items or watching VH1. Although that also should not be allowed to happen. Though there's little likelihood of serious damage, except maybe for passing out & cracking your head on the edge of the sink or running up your Visa debt.

This weekend I happened to find myself in a precarious, unsupervised situation for the first time in a long time. I met David and an Army Game guest from out of town at our favorite hang out down the street.

Quite by accident, two strong, tasty margaritas fell into my mouth and down into my stomach, one right after the other. It happened so fast, there was no time to react or maybe have dinner along with them.

Before I knew it I was making my way from the restaurant, looking for fun things to do before walking home. David had to drop off the army guy at the hotel, so I was left unattended in my sloppy state.

Two margaritas may not seem like much, but when they’re strong and you haven’t been drinking for a while and you started with an empty stomach, that’s all it takes.

I was easily sucked into Peet’s for a frothy mocha Freddo. From Peet’s I wandered over to the bookstore and cruised the tables picking up all sorts of things. I left there without doing too much damage and started my journey home.

I remember snapping a multitude of phone photos. Unlike the night I redecorated my apartment in vomit, I’m sure the camera phone photos will be harmless. But the whole situation is rife with potential peril. Anything could happen.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sacajawea. Birthday. How.

That's Native American for "Happy Birthday Julie." Julie's nickname is Sacajawea. It's not really a long story, but if I told it to you, you'd nod quietly while thinking "She used to drink way too much."

In honor of Julie's 38th birthday, I'm posting a story we wrote together many, many, many years ago Dolce Spazio's in Los Gatos, sometime back in '86 or '87 - I can't remember and nobody cares. Cue the story.

We each wrote two sentences at a time and this is what we ended up with.

-- Nature is a Whore --

It wasn't so much the smell, but those little, curly, black hairs that tend to stick to the perspiration on my back side. Upon realizing this predicament, it was clear to me that boning Josh would be difficult to lie about. The memory was forever burned on my brain. The scents of the animals in their cages and the grit from the sugared Winchell's donuts enveloped us in a rank, gravely, sticky, cocoon of love.

The way he methodically removed the kibble from in between my toes sent me reeling and made me oink like a piggy. It was for this world of scum and lethargy for which I would gladly die that convinced me were were living a lie. I had had wholesome romance before - I wasn't a stranger to real love. Moist bodies covered with rock-hard granola... unfiltered apple juice spilling on the night table while we practiced our sterile love. Those days are over now, and I have new asparagus to harvest, and I must seek a thicker, creamier custard filling for my maple bar of love.

Another yeast infection had thwarted my plans for trying on new jeans at Penny's. Dammit, is life a boiling cauldron of hate, and is my path bound to be laden with steaming geysers of lime grenadine? I never really wanted to be a dock worker, but the smell of old, shriveled hermit-crabs, always extra-fresh in my nostrils made me long for the sea. Waves of God-forsaken plankton crash upon my mollusked rocks. Sounds of seagulls screaming for "MORE potato chips! MORE styrofoam!" made the waxed brine in my ears drip down my chilled neck.

He was the one eating raw mussels... the juice running off his chin, soaking his parka, that luered me to the oceanside. He reminded me of one of those little, chiseled, balsa-wood, old-man-of-the-sea, pipe-in-mouth, never-without-a-yellow-slicker, beach-side tiki dolls. I desired him like the kind of desire that draws maple syrup to hot cakes. I would be insatiable.

Should I approach him like life's shit-messenger approaches me everyday? The delivery demon of bad tidings that turns my half-and-half to cottage cheese and injects stale oxygen into my glazed raised? Or would I act just the opposite, frolicking up to him in my hip waders, babbling about the best Dolly Madison fruit pies, then ask him if he wants to suck the lemon filling out of my own?

I am simply a pawn on Satan's chess board of naughty bishops and saucy rooks. Or maybe one of those cardboard cut-out kiddies from Chutes and Ladders, forever climbing 10-foot candy canes. Oh, the knife-like pain I feel every time I think of jilted love, flat cream soda, frenzied laundry days, and Ken-L-Ration Meaty Chunks in Real Beef Gravy. Love gallops through my heart like Ichabod Crane, only slowing to a trot to leave steaming road apples in the pasture that I call my soul.

It seems only fair and natural that I should see my calling in life coming from the bowels of the bureaucratic world of motor vehicle registration and licensing. I'm waiting in an intestinal line to pass or be passed. Sometimes I wish I had been born Chaka Khan, then life would have been so easy, so fulfilling, not to mention all that good food all the time.

Is this what is to be the end of my existence, or just the end of this particular story? Or am I just fixating on Chaka Khan's split ends? I need to know where I may fit into this grand, scheming plot: this vexing, twisting, whirlpool of grief, anguish and cramps. Maybe this is only a tale of woe written by a fictitious shadow. A good story is like a firm doughnut, and this one is lodged in my esophagus.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cute Overload

Found some old pictures of the boy kittens when theys was teensy. Hard to believe they were ever this small.

Ninja as a baby Sylvester. Even then he had a ginormous noggin.

The day I brought Neo home, a year after we got Ninja, they were playing together right away, though I bet Ninja thought Neo would always stay that size and not grow up to kick his ass & become AlphaNeo.

Baby NeoNeoNeoooooo. Mew!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Day to Me

Stop Corporate! Huzzah!
The migraine meds work - huzzah!

Tonight at dinner we overheard a fascinating discussion between two women. Seems one woman's husband continues to self-sabotage his efforts when it comes to laundry. He has trouble keeping the socks sorted properly. Sounds like this man is in dire need of help. Immediately.

I asked David to please pop me a good one in the mouth if I EVER start talking to him about laundry with any shred of seriousness.

Thank you to Ms. Crafty for the crafty coaster - I love it! The cat is still in the bag... Ha!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Official Diagnosis

Went to see my doctor today to chat about headaches. Tuesday was day six of Headache Watch 2006.

After a lengthy interview about my headaches, I was officially diagnosed with migraines. This wasn't news, but nice to be taken seriously and to have a doctor give thoughtful consideration about how to manage the situation.

Once we covered the headaches, I told her the story of my right kidney ache. A year or two ago - I forget now - there were a couple of weeks when my lower right back ached. Mildly at first, and then a few days later, to a frightening degree.

The only thing that seemed likely was a wee kidney stone might be knockin about. The night it got really bad, I popped half a vicodin and waited it out. It had dissipated by the following morning and life went on. No idea if anything ever passed - the pain just gradually disappeared.

But it's back this week - though very mild. Rather than hope for the best, I told her all about it to see what she thought might be going on. She was equally thoughtful in her approach to my kidneys, asking a lot of questions and explaining symptoms, etc.

We agreed that a ct scan at this time didn't seem necessary, but that I should monitor the ache and if it worsened, to give her a call and we'd start some tests.

I thought we were all finished and I'd soon be on my way back to work when she said, "To be sure, I want to rule out any ovarian cysts or possibly the appendix." I was thinking, "cool, that seems reasonable," and then she said, "So I'm going to do a pelvic. Go ahead & take off your pants and underwear & lie back on the table."

Hello! What? I was about to leave! Now you want me to take off my pants? Won't this cost extra? I don't even know you! The pain is in my BACK - ABOVE my pelvis! Don't you know where my kidneys are?

I'm not averse to the annual pelvic exam - I'm okay with taking care of myself - though no woman I know, including myself, enjoys lying back on a table with your feet in [cold] stirrups with your hoohah on full display. It's something we endure because we have to, not because we want to.

But OK - I was there to find out what's going on - I had to do my part. As I could have told her, there was no funny business in the reproductive area; the appendix neither. Nice to have that ruled out, but it would have been nicer to know in advance that it would be a hoohah check.

Go for the headache meds, stay for the pelvic. They throw that in for free!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Headache Hiatus

Woke up without a spike in my head today. Might as well be Christmas.

But not quite Christmas, because on Christmas morning I wouldn't be on a Bart train sitting near a woman who was leisurely and liberally applying lotion to her damn feet.

So tomorrow morning when I'm on a train, should I clip my nails and pluck my eyebrows? Or bring a dry loofah and exfoliate?

Monday, June 12, 2006


My noggin is awash (possibly) in cluster headaches. It's hard to tell for sure.

As the name suggests, they come in clusters - you go through a period of having headaches and then there's a "remission" period. The headaches themselves are similar to migraines in that the pain is localized on one side of the head, but that might be the only thing they have in common.

The clusters tend to be seasonal, and the headaches tend to occur at the same time every day. Both situations have been true for me. The pain is always localized on one side of the head throughout a given cluster, and then sometimes it switches to the other side when the next cluster sets in.

They tend to come in the springtime and last til early summer, sometimes longer. There are often breaks between the clusters - a few days or a week or so. During a headache marathon, it's hard to remember the days you don't have one - it feels like one very long, excruciating day that will never end.

No amount of pain reliever, decongestant, or antihistamine can eliminate the pain. Lying down, sleeping, keeping still - it's very difficult to do. Nothing helps, and the pain is so deep down in your head, nothing can reach it.

It starts to seem like it could help to get my thumb inside my eye socket behind my eyeball, release some pressure in there, or to grab my hair and keep pulling, like I'm stretching my skull.

Even when I use valium or magical codeine fizzies, it helps take the edge off, but I can still feel it lurking, just below the surface, waiting for the drugs to wear off so it can grind me into the floor.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Shop For Pads

This afternoon I took a trip over to Target to pick up the usual staples like toilet paper, contact lens solution, toothpaste, cat litter, and of course, tampons and pads.

It's not the most exciting errand, but I can easily zone out and go about throwing things into the cart. And by zone out, I mean when I'm there, it's like I'm in my own bubble. I'm aware of other people in the store, but they become a blurry background that goes with the ambient noise of the store.

The thing is, I haven't shopped for panty-liners in years. I just recently used up what I'd had in the closet. So, there I was in my bubble in the tampopo/pad aisle, studying the dizzying myriad of options.

There's the original, the thong-shaped, scented and unscented - then there's the "body shaped" mini, also in scented/unscented varieties, and then there are different package sizes of each.

And then there are different brands. It requires a certain level of concentration to figure out exactly what might be the best option. As I was standing there about to decide on a package, I became aware of someone else standing in the aisle, watching me.

I wanted to stay securely in my bubble, so I tried to tune out this maxi pad pervert. I was aware that it was a man standing there watching me, but tried to continue with my business & keep moving. I threw the package of pads in my cart and as I did so, it was clear this guy was moving closer to me - he wasn't shopping for anything - he was pursuing me.

As I turned to leave that aisle and continue around the corner I could feel him right behind me. My first thought was to turn and strike, but I kept thinking, Who the hell would watch someone shop for pads and then follow them through the store? It was so freakin strange.

Then I heard or felt something that made me realize someone might be having a go at my expense - I whipped around and right behind me, about four noses away, was JEFF!!!

I let out a yelp and Jeff started to laugh. I should have known. What's better than shopping for personal hygiene products and having a good friend surprise you while shopping for personal hygiene products? Nothing.

Just Another Floor Tile

She sat still just long enough at the same moment I happened to be holding a camera... doesn't happen very often.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Damn That Richard Gere

Had a lovely day off shooting photos for the SF Food Bank, but I almost didn't make it. I went to bed early, but instead of waking up early and popping up out of bed, I slept a bit too long and had a horrible dream about fooling around with Richard Gere.

In the dream I'd been fooling around with Richard Gere for too long and ended up missing the Food Bank event. Even in the dream I realized I'd missed the event and I was disgusted with myself for being such an idiot.

After realizing I'd had this horrible dream, I then realized (after actually waking) that I had indeed slept too long and was so disoriented, couldn't remember if I wanted to leave by 7:30 or be there by 7:30. Of course it was the latter. I wanted to be there by 7:30 and I had 10 minutes to get ready.

I rushed out of the house, stressed that I would arrive too late and miss the start of the event. As it turns out, I arrived just as things were getting started. I was there right on time. But I don't want Richard Gere showing up in my head ever again. What a weirdo.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Puttering Around the House

Wonderfully mellow weekend. No rodent activity and all seems stable for the moment. Watched movies, caught up on sleep, shot photos, read the paper, did crosswords, read magazines, cooked, enjoyed breakfast treats and coffee at Peet's, played with Henry and the cats, and stocked up on stuff from Trader Joe's.

We watched Layer Cake on PPV and it was fantastic, until the very end. I guess on one hand they wanted us to know that crime never pays, or no one ever gets out alive, but on the other hand, it's a crappy way to end a movie after your audience becomes invested in a character. Feels kinda cheap, like the director just wanted to stick it to us - gotcha!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cats & Rats

Today all three cats - about 40lbs worth - went to the vet. Having since learned that little Jimmy was no mouse, but a juvenile RAT, I had to take them all in for rabies boosters.

The five minute drive down the street was agonizing for Neo. He hates the car and hates to be in his cat bag in the car. Hates, hates, hates it. He thinks we're driving to Canada and he'll be in there for months.

Despite the shock of realizing I'd taken them not to Canada but to the vet, they were all amazingly well behaved and sociable with the staff.

After the vaccinations, Neo rubbed against the vet's leg and she exclaimed, "He forgave me!" Neo's the toughest little cat I've ever met yet he can be so sweet.

When we got home they were released back into the wild of the front room and there was no hissing or growling. They may have even bonded a bit more.