Sunday, October 25, 2009

And it's Sunday again. The weekends seem to pass more quickly: perhaps because I have more obligations (perceived or otherwise)? This weekend, though, has been exceptionally productive:

1) Friday, the Blue Velvet party went [mostly] as planned. Hook made the cupcakes (delicious!), and instead of watching the movie, we had homemade egg rolls. Later, I picked up H's guitar and played the few things I remembered from when I took lessons, these being three chords + the pentatonic scales. But Hook found the tab for Bach's Bourree in E Minor, which I'm going to learn & which will be my formal reintroduction to guitar playing(!)

2) We finally made it to the MOMA, where we saw the Avedon exhibit, as well as this. The P_Wall reminded us both of Joe Page's work, though Page is way, way better.

3) Last night we went for the first time to the Roller Derby! Our initial lack of comprehension of the rules did not damper our enthusiasm for the sparkly pseudoviolence that transpired. Highlights included the $5 beer + shot value combo (holla for value) and the Rocketdog booth where one could sign up to foster (adorable) homeless dogs. And the derby, of course.


This morning had the chilliness of a real fall morning. I'm going to hold off on using my heater until the temperatures drop further.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Worst day ever, part two?

NO. It was actually a pretty good day. Though I woke up late, I managed to get out of the house on time - and with good hair! And not having skipped breakfast or percolated coffee! The students were awesome: one talked to me all through recess, telling me what to expect at this weekend's Fall Fair, and I was invited to sit at the coolest lunch table while I was on lunch duty (the sitting being an arguable dereliction of duty, but whatevs). The rainstorm that gathered in the late afternoon cleared before I walked home, and I bought the best-ever Mountain Goats EP on iTunes. I am listening to said EP at the moment. I have a red velvet cupcake waiting for me in the fridge.

What detracted from this pleasant day, you might wonder? PARKING TICKETS. I just paid $199 in parking fines and I am not pleased about it. This beer is helping, but not enough. Oh, San Francisco, I love everything about you but your pigeons and your redonkulously-strict parking regulations!

Major plus and major spoiler alert for those living in this metro area who will be hanging out with us this weekend (i.e., Drew): Hook is going to throw a Blue Velvet party at which we will watch "Blue Velvet," eat blue velvet cupcakes, and drink PBR. Win(!!!).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Slowly, I am joining the rest of the human race.

Most excellent news: I'm one step closer to becoming a functioning member of society! That is, I replaced my terrible Razr of Doom (which was killed in last week's giant rainstorm) with an iPhone. I realize I'm about two years late to this trend - as I am to most tech trends: oops - but this phone is so exciting. I mean, this morning, I looked up a pancake recipe on my phone! And bookmarked it! And then downloaded the Emoji app and sent some texts composed entirely of pastry icons! Such utility cannot be paralleled.

I did suffer - and indeed, am still suffering - a bout of guilt: that is, I felt slightly frivolous buying this phone. After all, it's doubtful that I actually need internet access at all times. But the iPhone is a beautiful object. Also, I get lost a lot, so the maps will help me. Also, the joy I felt yesterday sending texts was equal to the joy I felt when I sent my first-ever text message - and I haven't felt that way in a long time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


That bears repeating: worst day ever. I had no idea that SF could be considered a rain capital of the world, but so it can. (Aside: and of course I, not having packed thoughtfully, left all waterproof outerwear in Minnesota. DOI.) Going to work this morning, I got drenched. I'm not exaggerating: my shoes were completely sodden and my jeans were wet from the knees down. You may be wondering how this was even possible. Well, friends, I don't know. The rain was coming down in sheets & these sheets were blowing sideways in the wind, and my umbrella is basically decorative. Fortunately, today was my short day (school gets out at 1:05 instead of 3:15), so the agony of having wet feet was [mercifully] truncated.

BUT THEN. Oh, but then I called the district center to inquire after the paycheck I should have received last week (but didn't). The payroll person claims not to have received my time card, which I most certainly faxed on time! Not only did I fax this documentation on time, but I called the payroll coordinator to make sure the fax had gone through - and it had. Oy! So I will be getting paid sometime in the indeterminate future.

Still more shit hit the fan when my phone broke - the display just...went blank. Water damage, I think, from today's helladeluge. I called Verizon, only to discover that I can't buy a new phone without extending my mom's family-plan contract. (Aside: I am not allowed to extend this contract because my mom hates hates hates Verizon.) Verdict: I must keep this phone until February, when the contract expires.

Things are looking up, though. For one thing, I changed out of my wet clothes when I got home (again: DOI). My phone's display is better, I think, though I'm currently letting the phone and battery dry separately. And I'm going to buy a raincoat and rain boots online tonight: EMS is having a sale, y'all! And Target has a hella good selection of boots. There's not much that online shopping can't fix. Furthermore, I got not one but TWO letters in the mail, plus The Miracle of Mindfulness (which I'd recently ordered on Amazon). Score! The rain - at least, as it appears from my window - seems to be subsiding. I have some Mothership Wit in the fridge. Breathe. Repeat.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First post from my new apartment! Yes, friends: I'm mostly moved in to my new place; I say "mostly" because I still have a big pile o' possessions (all my shoes minus three pairs, printer, FADO lamp, some coats, makeup, etcetcetc.) @ Hook's place. But, all my IKEA furniture is assembled and arranged, the boxes broken down and taken to the recycling barrel in the courtyard. So life is good.

Had the day off on account of Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day. Woke up at eight, made breakfast, had some coffee, hung the rest of my clothes in my closet. Met Hook for lunch and ate a chocolate croissant on the walk home. That croissant, though delicious, may have been a terrible idea: I'm not sure I'll be hungry for dinner. Oooops. I'm reading The Rules of Attraction and I alternate between semi-enjoying and loathing it. I don't so much dig multiple narrators, though I think the strategy works well here. (Aside: none of the narrators is vibrant enough to carry an entire novel-length narrative, don't you think?) Applied to a few editorial jobs: keep your fingers crossed.

Good news: Hook and I joined a gym! Bad news: the gym is far away (18th and Geary), so we might not go very often. Or ever. Just kidding: we will totally go. Good news: Pilates classes are included in the cost of the membership. Bad news: those classes are held when I'm at work.

I wish the sun would come out, but it's a bit late in the afternoon for that. Siiigh! Haven't given up hope yet, though - the weather here is krazy.

Tonight will bring the viewing of multiple "Office" episodes and an early bedtime. I'm so stoked.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My heart is buffered by particleboard.

IKEA happened, and O what a trip it was! I am now the proud owner of a dresser, two [baby blue] Lack tables, a drying rack, a new down comforter/cover, some Lingonberry jam...the list goes on. As one might imagine, IKEA is not a fun place to be hungover. Then again, IKEA is never fun and hangovers are also never fun, and so the lack of enjoyment was totally predictable.
On the plus side, my room is almost fully furnished, and Hook and I split a "princess" cake at the IKEA cafe. The princess cake was like a Swedish Twinkie.

Hook and I were just discussing the time, way back when, when texting hadn't yet become an integral part of one's daily life. At the present time, I can't imagine a day without texting - it just sounds impossible, doesn't it? Yessssssss. And yet, there was a time (2005) when friends of ours did not have text plans. That's all. That's what I'm thinking about. I shouldn't be as flabbergasted as I am, but only about 10% of my brain is working right now.

Now I'm going to On-demand this week's "Top Chef" and drink at least two more cups of tea. Good evening to you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Indeed, it feels like the post-party afternoon that it is. Hook and I got the apartment cleaned up; Hook is napping. Still hoping to make it to IKEA before evening, but chances are slimmer than they were fourteen hours ago. Gah! I really need a dresser!
This is all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Here's hoping I don't have swine flu.

After some hemming and hawing (and some difficulty figuring out how to use the district's electronic substitute location system), I called in sick to work. Lame? Yes. You know what's also lame? This headache that feels like my brain is in a fish tank. Also this sinus revolt.

On the plus, we made banana chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Eating these, I felt momentarily better. Perhaps by this logic I should eat pancakes constantly until my flulike symptoms cease? Or until I explode? Which would precede the other? God, I need Day Quil, but I'm too tired and lazy and unshowered to move.

In other news, this weekend is the big IKEA trip/the final stage of my move to my new apartment(!) Most of my stuff is over there now (minus a bunch of clothes, my printer, and an adorable IKEA globe lamp), but I still need a few key pieces of furniture and a down comforter before I can call the place my own. I'm a bit concerned about what my new roommates think; I mean, I'll show up for a few hours, leave for a few days, show up for a few hours... I have no food in the fridge, toilet items on the bathroom shelf. Soon, though, it's gonna change. I can feel it.

And there is this: I have a Halloween costume planned. Sabina is lending me her slutty 1950s gal getup (shortshort poodle skirt, midriff sweater, neckerchief); Hook is going to wear a short-sleeved, collared shirt and a skinny tie. We'll be like, the NASA engineer + the NASA engineer's sexy wife, or something. Details to be ironed out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nostalgiafest, nostalgiafest, you are a part of my daily life.

Though I haven't actually stayed [overnight] at my new apartment, my room is certainly feeling homier. This afternoon, I spent the longest amount of time at said new place that I've ever spent there (i.e., three hours); during this time, I was able to install a custom-cut dowel in my closet, unpack almost all of my clothes, sort these clothes into categories (and hang ten items in the closet - have to retrieve the other hangers from my car), unpack all my books and arrange them into neat stacks in the "reading nook," and decorate the large, blank wall. By "decorate" I mean "create an elaborate framework of postcards using landlord-denied thumbtacks." OK, so I don't know for sure if thumbtacks are a no-no, but wait 'til I post a photo of the postcard wall: you will undoubtedly agree that it is any landlord's nightmare. HA.

As tends to happen when I'm packing/unpacking, I got distracted and managed to look through an entire scrapbook whose contents date from September 2002 - May 2007. Oh, holy nostalgiafest. It's difficult for me to fathom my own prior meticulousness re: saving and chronologically-ordering scraps, stubs, and emails; in some ways, I wish I still saved everything, though I'm not sure I would now make the time for such preservationist activities. Reading through five years' of emails was lovely and difficult: I was reminded of how giddy I once was, irrational and rash. Striking, how these years-old messages shed light on current relationships.


Time now to make dinner, something quick. Sauteed swiss chard (sans sweet potatoes) and pasta with sauteed chicken and zucchini. And a Hoegaarden, for good measure. Why not? It's Tuesday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A few observations:

1) Though regular Altoids are gross, dark chocolate Altoids are god's gift to humanity.

2) One should not chew nicotine gum as though it were regular gum.

3) Getting a full night's sleep really improves one's energy level/general outlook.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pretty much every weekend I've spent in SF has been awesome, but this one rocked my face off. (Well, parts of it rocked my face off and parts were just really annoying, but I'm trying not to focus on the annoyances.) Highlights:

1) Saturday afternoon, I accompanied Drew and Chad to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, where we caught the end of the Old 97's set and a good portion of Gillian Welch's. (Aside: I think there should be an additional apostrophe after the 's' in 'Old 97's,' but since I'm not sure I'm going to omit it. And for this you may criticize me.) I was really impressed by the festival, as comparatively little of it as I saw - the lineup was solid, the crowd was wicked diverse (= a gathering of young hippies, yuppie parents struggling to weave jogging strollers through the masses, random middle-aged couples smoking from odd little pipes, bromancing frat guys: you name it), and the signage was more than adequate. We drank Olde English and Jaeger and squinted against the dust clouds being raised by the crowd's shuffle, and it was good.

2) Miike Snow. Holy god, this was the best show I've seen in like, five years. Following the festival and appropriate afterpartylike activities, we headed to Bottom of the Hill to see Loquat/Jack Penate/Miike Snow. Loquat (whose work I'd never previously heard) was kind of so-so: reminiscent of the Cardigans but not as good (at least, this was the judgment I made as I listened to their set from the courtyard). Jack Penate's songs were dancy and filled with lovely harmonies/awesome tambourine action. And Miike Snow was better than even I'd predicted: they opened with 'Silvia' and the crowd went nuts, and stayed nuts through the set. I've never seen a crowd so engaged; the word I used yesterday - maudlin, and perhaps too-strongly influenced by all those Stoli Raz & sodas, but I'll mention it nonetheless - was breathtaking. I stand by that description: I haven't felt so giddy at a concert since I was 19. Was a bit disappointed that they didn't play 'A Horse is Not a Home,' but as Drew so aptly noted, the slow songs really seemed to grab the ladies' attention. Well & good.

3) Hook and I found out that we were the winners of the RecipeHacking pizza competition(!) It feels good to win something, even something in which our participation was remote [geographically]. I'm excited to see what the next challenge will be.

4) This isn't really a highlight (lowlight, perhaps?), but I made a big Target trip today and dragged Drew along for moral support/driving guidance. (Aside: those of you who know me know that I'm a solid driver under normal circumstances, but there are no normal circumstances in California. Therefore, whenever I take my car out, I enlist the help of Hook or Drew so that I don't literally crash & burn.) The trip was mostly successful; that is, I got 85% of the stuff on my list and avoided [was steered away from] the Halloween candy aisle. But, the drive back into the city took an ass long time, and finding a parking spot took one hour. This is not an exaggeration: this is the god's honest truth. Now you know why I'm trying to sell my car.

This week, I'll finish moving into my new place, look for a part-time job, continue working toward my reading goal, and cook some fall dishes (acorn squash, I'm looking at you). I've finally gotten out of my penpallery rut, so check your mailboxes soon(!)

Finally, I've just eaten an obscene amount of granola. Obscene!

Friday, October 2, 2009

God, when did it get dark out?

Today was field trip day for the fourth graders. The destination? Day one of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival(!) If you think that taking 20 rowdy nine-year-olds to a festival sounds like a crazy idea - well, you're right. Kids were running and screaming and tearing their sandwiches to pieces and throwing these pieces in the air, and it was altogether a great time. MC Hammer played, and the class (though most of them had little to no idea who he was) went nuts. S. (the student teacher) and I milled and chatted and tried to prevent kids from running into the "woods." When we returned to school, the class had recess, free reading time, and more recess.

When I was in elementary school, we did not take cool field trips. Once, we went to the wastewater processing plant, but that's all I remember.

Day one of the move went well, though I have to buy a bunch of stuff (mattress pad, bookshelf, dowel for the closet, cushions for the mission chair) to make my room fully livable. I'm excited, though - I'm going to have a reading/plant nook!

On which note: time to kill that anthology.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Moving Day.

This is my fifth week in San Francisco. I'm beginning to feel settled, in small ways: I've established grocery shopping habits, have been to the dentist, can navigate the bus system without disastrous results. Today I begin the process of moving into my own apartment (i.e., room), which will undoubtedly increase my sense of settled-ness while subtly disturbing it - after all, I do have to repack and re-move all my stuff, then unpack, identify, sort, tidy. I'll eventually venture to IKEA. The grocery store, to buy a duplicate bottle of honey, and Bed Bath & Beyond for bed linens and an extra towel.

I don't know if my new place has a coffeemaker, but this will be one of the first things I find out.