Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What a Difference a Bob Makes

After seven years of never-ending Bobness, he's finally gone and the entire block has come out of hiding.

Yesterday I spoke to a neighbor across the street I've never said a word to before because she's always been securely contained inside her car or rushing into her house - much like everyone else on our block, myself included.

We started talking about landscaping and within seconds remarked how much nicer the neighborhood is without Bob. She, like me, stopped spending any time in the yard because that creepy freak was always all up in everyone's business.

One down and one to go. We still have the Shitty Bitch on the corner who tried telling our arborist to cleave the oak tree in half so there wouldn't be any branches on her side of the property.

When he told her he couldn't do that or else the tree would fall onto our house, she said she didn't care about that. What a sorry sack of shit. Her broken hip/stroke/heart attack can't come soon enough.

And here's the kicker - when we had the garage sale a few weeks ago, she waddled over to chat with some of the neighbors. When she heard we were moving, she enthusiastically asked if we'd be renting out the house. I told her most likely, yes, and then she asked if we had anyone lined up to rent it. When I said no, she said her son would love to rent it.

Her son, with two of the brattiest kids I've ever seen. Those kids would destroy the house and that shitty bitch would be over here every day looking for something she could steal.

When my grandmother died, I mentioned it to her in passing one day and the first thing out of her shitty bitchy mouth was that my grandmother had told her she could have an antique tea cart. Klassy, eh? But yet, she was allowed to breed.

At any rate, the moving process continues. Selling more stuff (what did we do before Craigslist?), donating a ton of other stuff - soon there won't be much to pack other than a large bag of cats.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Super Sunday

Thanks Miriam, for a fantastic Girls Day Out and for helping me run 6 miles with no training. Sure, I'm sore and wondering where I left one of my lungs on the race route, but I did it, and I'm sure I'd have walked the whole thing had I been there alone.

The 2-mile walk back to the car was nice - a long, gradual cool down that allowed me to feel just how tight my right Achilles tendon had become. How it didn't explode in my ankle and roll up into my ass cheek I'll never know.

So, kids, here's our lesson for today. When you sign up in February for a race in July, you should train for it. It's better that way for all involved.

However, doing it without training will allow you to feel a special sense of accomplishment you wouldn't have otherwise, and you'll treat yourself with a delicious piece of pie afterwards.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Last night I was excited about having all day Saturday to focus on the kajillion things left to do for the move when I got a phone call.

Someone needs an urgent photo shoot - a test shoot to help sell a new contract. Greaaaaaaaaat. I called the agent and right from the start it was clear that she has a ginormous bug up her ass (in the shape of her own head). Not only is my Saturday going to be ruined, but now it's going to be ruined by a total asshole - even better.

We finally agreed on a time and while I was trying to get her to tell me the address, she asked me where I'm located. First, what the hell does that matter - is she planning on coming to my house to make me breakfast?

I tell her I'm in Alameda and she says, "Oh that's so far away!" The job is in Tiburon. I told her that's only about 30 minutes from me. "Oh no, that's at least 45 minutes." Again, who gives a shit? Is this really important?

Trying to lighten the mood, I told her it doesn't take that long if I'm driving. Then she says without any trace of humor whatsoever, "What are you driving, a helicopter?"

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have my own chopper and heliport here in my back yard. The neighbors hate me, but I think it's important to have options.

This agent is supposedly one of the wealthiest in the country, selling homes to celebrities and billionaires, and unfortunately, she's a humorless troll. She started asking me about equipment and how much time I could spend photographing this house, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I suspect I'll get there and she'll immediately start telling me what to do and how to do it. And just like the other day when I couldn't hold my tongue, I'm not sure today will be any different. I couldn't care less about this house, its views, how much it's listing for or what she wants me to photograph. She can have a big giant poster print of my colon.

Had she been at least polite or in any way flexible about timing or not grilled me on where I live and how long it takes me to drive, she might have been in for great service, but right now, it's all I can do to not call and cancel.

But just like Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, because if I don't, she'll just keep calling me, and then I'll end up killing her with my tripod.

If she turns out to be just as shitty as she was on the phone, I'll quietly gather up my stuff and leave without saying a word, because all I care about is getting this move behind me and starting the next chapter far away from this bullshit.

She arrived over a half an hour late, which is funny considering how concerned she was about me being able to get there by 11am, and she lives five minutes away. Amazingly enough, she camped out in a small corner of the house and made numerous phone calls, allowing me to work without distraction.

Many times she mentioned that she has two chateaus in France. Two. Chateaus (or chateaux, if you want to be really frenchy about it). In France. She asked me if I could scale a 6-ft. tall property fence to get a better shot of the front of the house, to which I said I would not, but I would gladly ask the neighbors up the hill if I could use their deck. They weren't home, but I tried.

While trying to weakly explain a particular shot she wanted of the back of the house, I thought about pushing her down the stairs right into the pool, but I didn't want to spare the extra time. At ten after 1pm, I said I really had to get going, to which she quickly replied, "Oh I have to go, too, I have clients waiting for me..." She was probably very late, but who cares about time when you have two chateaus in France.

Friday, July 25, 2008

So, About That Job...

...The one I mentioned a few posts back... I had a little photo shoot a few weeks ago that I couldn't talk about, but now it's old news. And if you cruise my Flickr photostream, you already know the scoop.

I was hired to get a head shot of Kay Ryan, our new poet laureate, who lives in Fairfax, but I couldn't tell anyone until the official announcement was made (which I think was last Thursday).

She is so nice and really funny - it was an honor to work with her and I was thrilled to do this for the Library of Congress.

Check it out on

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I need to go to sleep and wake up in Canada, all moved and settled in whilst I was snoozing. Doing all this by myself is bullllllshit. Not feeling so positive today, obviously. I'm overwhelmed and every time I turn around there's another issue/problem/whining cat/deranged garage sale lady.

A few days after the garage sale, which was a couple of weekends ago, a weird lady came back to the house asking for a transformer for a lamp she bought. I should have told her then I wouldn't go looking for it and I should have shoved a $5 bill into her crabby, wrinkled mouth.

But I thought we might actually have it somewhere, so I told her I'd see if I could find it and asked if she lived in town. She said she didn't and that she'd be back the next day. Great! After she left I closed the curtains and locked the porch screen door.

Sure enough, she came back the next day and when she couldn't get the screen door open, she knocked/clawed at the front window. Funny, but that will never make me want to come to the door, so I kept working and eventually she left.

She came back again when I was actually not home and left a friggin' note on the door. I'm no accountant, but if she doesn't live relatively close by, she's just spent another $5 making repeated trips to my house.

I'd have gladly given her money back the first time, but I honestly thought she'd find the transformer on eBay or elsewhere, rather than keep stinging me like an angry wasp.

Came home today after a shoot and guess what was sitting on my porch? The goddamn lamp she bought with a self-addressed, stamped envelope taped to it. I know what you're thinking because it was my first thought, too - What should I send her in that little envelope?

Of course I'll do the right thing and send her money back, but it might be graphically enhanced and very securely taped to another piece of paper, or it could end up soaked in tuna oil right before it makes it into the envelope, because these things happen sometimes.

What a giant waste of time and energy. She must be a joy to live with. Speaking of joys, people have GOT to stop walking in front of the lens when I'm trying to photograph their goddamn properties.

Do you not see the big tripod and the shit attached to the top of it that makes the pretty pictures? Do you think we can just photoshop out the blurred vision of you obscuring the view, oblivious to the rest of the world and the people in it? Is my job somehow not as important as yours?

Unfortunately, because I'm a jangled mess of nerves right now, I actually told a guy today to please stop walking in front of the camera and to either come up or go down the stairs - one or the other, because I need to get the shot and move on.

Speaking of moving on... I had the flying dream again last night, but sadly, I was flying in and around a house to survey the best shots. Right after that, I was talking to Jennifer Aniston at a party. She'd had a major face lift and was still in recovery. As one might expect, she was aloof and not at all as friendly as you might hope she'd be.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Selling Your Crap

I think it was George Carlin who commented on how strange it is for Americans to sit in their yards surrounded by their crap, selling it to passersby who are happy to trade you $10 for something you don't think is even worth dropping off at Goodwill.

But by golly, it can be worthwhile if you can endure the pain of standing around in the blazing hot sun all day to earn a little gas money.

We parted with a basement full of useless crap - useless to us anyway - and cleared about $700. Not a bad wage for a Saturday I'd otherwise have spent watching HGTV or napping on the couch.

Oh, to nap on the couch. I can't wait to do that again someday, especially now, when my legs can't support my body's weight and I'm so stupid tired I'm actually enjoying an HBO boxing pre-show.

The whole garage sale scene is fascinating. What you think will be a big seller is oftentimes not, and what you think should probably go straight into the trash can goes like hotcakes.

And then you have the Bargain Bettys. No matter what price you quote, they want it for less, even if what you quoted is ridiculously under-priced.

One woman obviously didn't want the sweater she was holding, as all she could do was tell me everything that was wrong with it. I was ready to rip it out of her hands and tell her she wasn't allowed to buy it.

It seems like people are happy to find a treasure that doesn't cost much - a momentary source of joy, and no more. Things that might bring long-term value, like antiques, aren't popular. Few people are willing to barter. I kept saying "make me an offer, this isn't Macy's!"

Thankfully, we got rid of a huge amount of stuff and nearly broke even on the cost of my trip to Vancouver last week. Not too shabby.

And one shopper told me I had great teeth - who doesn't love to hear that? The best part of the day, by far, was David making a run to Peet's for me. Best husband ever.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's Been Too Long...

And I've missed you so... please forgive my absence. I wasn't breaking up with you, I just needed some space. You know, time to think. It's not you, it's me.

But I'm back, at least for the moment. There's so much going on right now, it's tough to sit down and write about it, as I was just telling my good friend Rooty yesterday.

Rooty called me with a most interesting job offer. A single job that is, as in "gig," which I enthusiastically accepted but cannot talk about until next Wednesday. Curious? I hope so!

I'll do my job this afternoon, then maybe, just maybe, you might see the results of it next Wednesday. That's all I can say about it.

On the moving front, things are progressing, though now I feel like it's happening *to* me, because I've been so slammed with work, I've not had time to actually pack anything or even think about how we're going to move a whole house and four pets.

But I have thought about how to make it a bit easier - give up a little control and let my husband help. WHAT? I know - it's a big step for me, but I'm all about growth.

Today I asked him to clear out a giant bookshelf for me so I can sell it tomorrow in our moving/garage sale extravaganza. I don't know what he put where and I don't care. I wasn't reading all those books right now so it doesn't matter.

The biggest hurdle for now is getting four metric tons of crap moved out to the driveway/front yard where the bargain shoppers of the world can pick it over and take it all away.

So what I'm I doing writing a blog post? Procrastinating. And now I'm done. Back soon, I promise. Call me. Miss you love you bye.