Connections

I know everything is connected, but sometimes things feel more connected than usual.  For instance, I haven’t really written very many posts here, yet it seems like in the last couple of weeks, there could be connected updates to nearly every one of them.

Let’s see…

Because I wrote about my Oscars search, a Very Important Reader found the entire show for me and now I’ve seen it! Kathryn Bigelow!  Hurt Locker!  I noticed that the guy who won the Oscar for writing Precious BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE  was an actor I used once.

I thought it was particularly funny that when they panned to Sandra Bullock in the very beginning of the show, they said “Can that woman act – and what is up with all that Hitler memorabilia?” since the broadcast was before the subsequent gossip.  Anyway, I do feel complete now, having finally seen the show.  Plus I was able to read and discard all the old magazines that covered the event.  My living room and I both thank Very Important Reader.

Another update…way back in January when I was in Los Angeles with Awesome Photographer and we did that drive, we went so fast that the number 9 came off my watch.  I know that seems impossible, but I’m convinced it had to do with the extreme speed and the crazy switchbacks we navigated.  When we got back, I brought it into Tourneau, who sent it off to Switzerland to be fixed.  As you can probably guess if you read the previous post, I was really on the fence about fixing it.

If I didn’t, would that mean the loveless spell would be broken?  Ultimately I decided that I couldn’t not fix it.  If the curse was to be lifted, it would have to be by something beyond my control.  Several months and over a thousand dollars later, the watch was ready to be picked up this past week.

In between those two events, the person about whom the Lincoln, NE post was written, snuck back into my life.  I was, of course, initially wary and not sure that his reappearance was a good idea, but being the ever-optimistic Sagittarian, whatever doubts I had were ignored.  We were, finally, going to spend this past weekend together.  Were.  I picked up the watch on Thursday and on Friday, Lincoln wrote me a form-letter-like email canceling.  The very day we were supposed to go.

Damn watch.

I can’t stop wondering why it is that I am hyper-conscious of connections to these arbitrary events in my life and yet I am terrible about keeping connected to the more important things around me?

My friend Kate died this week.  She was young and had two daughters.  It was not unexpected, but in some ways, that makes it more tragic.

One time when we were riding the subway, long before 9/11, she told me that whenever she gets on a train, she does a quick look-around and mentally picks out who will be her friend in the event something disastrous happened.  I laughed and looked around the car.

“Who would be your friend on this train?” I asked.

She looked at me and just shook her head.

“Um, you.  You would be my friend.”

Kate was awesome.  And it turns out I was a terrible friend.  I was her friend on that train ride.  I just didn’t go the distance.  I let time and geography and excuses get in the way.

I could say that this was a wake-up call and I’ll always appreciate what and who is around me, but that wouldn’t be true.  It’s sad, but it’s more likely I’ll post some link on Twitter than pick up the phone to speak to a friend.

But if disaster ever does befall me when I’m on the subway, at least I know I have a plan.

Working Girl

I’ve been thinking lately that I work too much.  Way too much.  Even the job title itself seems pack mule-ish:  Producer.

For years I worked on staff at various ad agencies and lived and breathed each production. Freelancing, it’s even worse.  I’m always thinking that whatever project I’m working on will be my last, so I never let myself take days off or have a proper vacation.  And, I never say no.   I have to work while I have it, I think.  And it turns out, I always have it.  (Must knock on wood!  Can’t jinx it!)

Financially, it’s great.  Life-wise, I’m not so sure.  I actually love what I do, so it’s not a drag, but there comes a point, when I’m putting in yet another hour, that I have to wonder if all this is worth it.   I used to joke that when I died, my epitaph would be “She had a great reel,” but these days those five words don’t seem so funny.  Even loving what you do, how much work is just too much?

A few years ago I was going through a particularly rough time and a friend recommended I go to a psychic she knew.  I managed to remain tear-free long enough one cold winter’s day to do it.  The guy was amazing.  He told me a lot of stuff about my past that was completely accurate and I had no doubt that he was for real.

Yay!  I was excited to hear what he’d have to say about my future.  Things would have to get better.  And then he pulled the rug out.   “You will never worry about money.  Ever.  But you will never find love.”

What?!  How could he say that?  Even if that were true, didn’t he want repeat business?  Who would ever go back to him after hearing something like that?  I was in a fragile state as it was, but this news just made me crumble.

He continued.  “Oh, don’t let that bother you; you can always buy a bauble to distract yourself.”  Whoa.

As soon as I left his place, I burst into tears.  And two seconds later, I hailed a cab up to Tourneau and bought myself a watch I had been stalking for months.  And he was right; it did make me feel better.  Sort of.  It’s the perfect watch – so beautiful, so simple and I love its weight on my wrist.  But I look at my watch a million times every day and there is at least a quarter of a million times every day that my heart stings a little.

Constantly working allowed me to buy the thing that was supposed to distract me from the fact that I didn’t have anything in my life really worthwhile outside of work?  Hmmm.

This wasn’t the life that I was supposed to have.

When I was four, I went to day camp.  Being a Montessori run one, it was pretty cool.  One time, right before Parent’s Day, they gave us each a large piece of wallpaper and some pen and ink and had us draw what we wanted to be when we grew up.  It was a pretty advanced art project for a bunch of four year olds.

On Parent’s Day, they laid out all the pictures with our names covered up.  There were probably 20 or so paintings on the ground.  There were firemen and ballerinas.  Astronauts and police officers.  Baseball players and office workers.  There was a lot to look at.  My mom asked me which was mine, but I refused to tell her.

“Which one do you like best?” I asked.  She tried to tell me numerous times that they were all great, but I was having none of it.  “Which one do you like best?”

She knew there was no way out and pointed to one.  “I love this, but I’m not sure I understand it.”

“Wait, you knew it was mine!” I said.  But I realized she couldn’t have.

“I love it,” she repeated. “But can you explain it?  What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I remember thinking that was such a stupid question.  She was looking right at it. It was a girl, outside,  holding  flowers.  How could she not tell?

She asked again.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  This time I answered.

“Happy.”

She still has it framed in her bedroom.

The older I get, the more I want to find a way to reconcile the workaholic me with the four year old me.  But, I don’t know know, maybe, just maybe, I’m not as far off as I think.  My work does make me happy, so perhaps I should aim for just a little less happiness in my life.  You know, get a bit more balance.

I’m going to make that painting my desktop image – as a reminder.  Hey, it’s a start.

Share

And the Oscar goes to…

I have been horribly remiss about posting.  Things in my world have been slightly off kilter.  Almost normal, but not.  For one thing, I still don’t know who won the Oscars.  And I am a die-hard Oscar fan.

What I mean to say is that I’m a die-hard movie fan, but the Oscars are probably the most important night of the whole year for me.  And the morning the nominations are announced is probably the most important morning of the whole year for me.

By that time, I’ve more or less seen the films I want to see and the remaining weeks until the ceremony are spent catching up on the handful I missed – as well as seeing the ones I really am not interested in but have to see because they were nominated.  If I’m really busy, as I was this year, it becomes almost like work.  Sometimes I don’t even enjoy it.

About two weeks before ‘the’ event, I found out that I had to be away, far away with no Oscar access.  And apparently Time Warner doesn’t let you set your DVR that far in advance.  Missing the show was all I could think about.  Well that and flying coach, but nothing else.

Then, just like a cheesy movie plot, shortly before I was to leave, someone kind of amazing came into my life.  Someone who seemed as crazy about the Oscars as I.  He seemed, then at least, amazing for lots of reasons.  It was an extremely finite period of amazingness, but that wasn’t apparent till later.  Back then, it was an intoxicating combination of someone who was super interesting, a good kisser and who would DVR the Oscars for me.  Ooooh, that’s a bingo!

The cheesy movie plot continued.  I received an apologetic email the day after the show.  He didn’t tape it.   I mentioned this to a  guy I was with in Faraway Land.  “I don’t know…if I liked you, I would have made sure I taped it.  That’s kind of what you do.”  I tried to ignore that.

What I couldn’t ignore was that I didn’t have the Oscars telecast.  I didn’t want a list of the winners.  I didn’t want to watch a clip of the Best Picture or Best Actor awards.  I wanted every minute, including the songs and the Irving R. Thalberg Tribute.  I even wanted the at-last-week’s-luncheon-we-gave-the-Technical-Awards speech.

I wanted my best night of the year.

I called my friend, Phillip.  He loves the Oscars; he would have taped it.  “Oh, sorry, I only have the Red Carpet.”  I looked online, all over.  I called everyone I knew.  No one had the entire show.  So I waited. I’d have to find it somehow.  I didn’t want the news any other way.

I didn’t use my computer for well  over a week.  I was with only a few people and, they, thankfully, respected my craziness and never spoke of the show or its winners.  I didn’t read any newspapers or turn on the television.

By the time I got home a couple of weeks later, the headlines had moved on.  I told my neighbor to make sure all my magazines were face down when she gave me my mail.  They’re still sitting that way in my living room.

Mr. Amazing was gone.  In his place was Mr. Indifferent.  He wasn’t nearly as fun to spend time with.  Or at least I’m guessing he wouldn’t have been;  I never saw much of him.  The cheesy movie plot never developed, not even in a straight-to-DVD fashion.

42 days later and I still don’t know who won.   Should I just read the list of winners already and give up trying to find the real thing?  It’s kind of ridiculous that I still hold out hope that I’ll find someone who taped the show, still has it saved, and will let me come over and watch it.  In silence of course.  I like my Oscar experience pure.  It’s also kind of ridiculous that I think about that teensy amount of Mr. Amazing time more than the vast amount of Mr. Indifferent time.

I’ve had my Academy acceptance speech written for years.   I’m on stage.  I look at Oscar and then I look to camera.

“Mommy…(pause)….I finally met the man of my dreams.”

Cut.

Share

Life Coach

At the time of this writing, I’m four hours and thirty-eight minutes into a fifteen hour flight – and then will still have a few more hours to go after that.  I’ve traveled a fair amount, and this isn’t my first “long-haul,” but for some reason I have had a lot of anxiety surrounding this trip.

For one thing, I’m flying coach.  This would be awful on its own, but I haven’t been able to stop mentioning it.  And every time I mention it, it makes me feel worse.  At first my “in coach!” emphasis followed a logical flight-related statement.  Then it mutated into bringing anything and everything back to my flight.

Would you like another bourbon?  Yes, it’s not like I can have that in coach!  I can’t talk now.  I’m on my way to yoga, to practice for the contortions in coach!  It’s freezing out…kinda like the air in coach!

Finally it’s become like that ridiculous “in bed” game that people play with fortune cookies.  I guess it’s a battle scar; I wish I didn’t have it, but I’m not going to let you forget I went to war.

I’ve also been nervous about the ability for this plane to get to its destination intact.  I should stress that I’m not usually a nervous flyer.  And of course I’m wearing my lucky necklace, which has never yet let me down.  But even before I ticketed, this flight seemed troubled.  And it hasn’t helped that Seat-Mate has the same feeling.  Our paranoia is feeding off of each other.  We even discussed that maybe our sense of foreboding has nothing to do with the flight itself, but is because the world may end while we’re in the air.  It would be a shame to have flown this far in coach only to step out to a barren land.   It’d be more horrific though if the the world did end but somehow and we could  fly around forever, in coach,  fueling up from sky-buoys.

I don’t want to die right now nor do I ever want to die in coach. I want to live to make the coach flight back.  This bit of traveling came at the wrong time.  So often when I’m home, I’d like to be away, but right now all I can think of is being home.  And I haven’t even arrived yet!  I’m not sure if there is a difference between missing and longing, or if it even matters, but I’m feeling a really strong pull back to my Tree of Souls.

I heard a story the other day about an Air India flight and how it was a complete free-for-all.  A woman decided to sleep in the galley because her seat was uncomfortable.  The flight attendants preferred poker to attending to the flight.  At one point, they put a tea cart out and made an announcement that people should just  help themselves if they wanted anything, and then returned to their cards.  In order to get the tea,  however, one would have to step over the sleeping body on the floor.

I loved this story.  Finally, I had one thing that made me feel that things could be worse.  I had just finished telling Traveling Companion that story and within five minutes of my doing so, our flight attendant made this PA announcement:  “Welcome on board.  Smoking is not permitted and there is no sleeping on the floor.”  For real.

It’s kind of funny, but I really don’t think that I’d have fully appreciated that moment if I hadn’t been in coach.

And in case you were wondering how this got posted, the lucky necklace prevailed.  And brought me this:

Share

Remember By Heart

I saw a TED Talk yesterday and they posed the question, “What do you remember?”  It’s an interesting question, because it wasn’t the usual “What do you want to remember?” or “How do you want to be remembered?” or any of those iterations that put free will into it.  “What do you remember?” is an entirely different thing.

I remember things like my best friend’s phone number from when I was six.  (628-1336)  I remember the phone number of the Sarasota chapter of MADD because I loved it when I saw it on a mailing once when I was down there.  (342-4242.)

I remember the way the blue nightlight looked through the steam of my humidifier when I was 4 and had mumps. I remember the color of the sky when I was floating in the ocean for a long time on an uncharacteristically calm day years ago.

I remember a dream I had where I took a bottle of wine off of a shelf.  It had a screw top which fell off and there was only about an inch of wine left and I didn’t know why I had saved the bottle in the first place.  I don’t have any idea why that dream, of all the millions I must have had by this point, is the one I remember.

I remember one time at the height of allergy season when I sneezed and gobs of stuff came out of my nose on to everything – my hands, my shirt, the table.  There was no graceful way to deal with it and my boyfriend just laughed and said, “I love you.”

My kind of Valentine's Day chocolate

I remember the best Valentine’s Day gift I ever got, but not much around the circumstances of receiving it.  It’s a small Whitman’s Sampler.  When you open it up, the ‘chocolate’ is actually Walt Whitman quotes.  Amazing. Incidentally, I remember going to see Walt Whitman’s house when I was a child, but not as vividly as Teddy Roosevelt’s home, which I remember so much that, even now,  I think I could actually give the tour myself.  I also remember the runner-up favorite Valentine’s Day gift.  It’s a rock which is shaped like a heart, naturally,  and was found by the person who gave it to me.  Should the Whitman’s Sampler not be able to fulfill its duties as Favorite Valentine’s Day gift, this rock could easily step in.

Last year around Valentine’s Day,  I was in what I thought was the beginning of a long-distance flirtation with someone but, as it turns out, it was near the end of it.  I wanted to do something fun and romantic but not necessarily Valentine’s Day specific, so I chose President’s Day.  I thought it would be amazing for us to meet in what I decided was the dead middle between us:   Lincoln, Nebraska.  How awesome would it be to celebrate President’s Day in Lincoln?  It was goofy and spontaneous and I made a little invitation that looked like this:

It was met with crazy pragmatism.  “I could fly to New York twice for the amount of money that going to Lincoln, Nebraska would be.”  Um, yeah.  I remember that.

Sometimes I remember that I’ve forgotten really important events or people I’ve loved and that concerns me.  I don’t understand memory.  I wonder if you can control it.  I don’t think you can.  I don’t even remember what the focus was in the talk yesterday when they asked that question.  And that was not even 24 hours ago.

I remembered to update this, though.  That’s something.

Happy Valentine’s Day.  Happy Chinese New Year.  Happy President’s Day.

xo

Share

Easy, Brees-y, Beautiful

They did it!  The Saints won.  I’m ridiculously happy, as you could probably guess.   I watched the first half of the game in my Who Dat Nation sweatshirt and my signed Drew Brees cap and then at half-time, I panicked.  The horror was brought on, no doubt, by The Who, but quickly escalated when I realized that I hadn’t worn either of those items during the pivotal game against the Vikings two weeks before.   I tore them off as fast as possible to put on civilian clothes.

The Saints' 50 Yard Line. For Real.

Thank God I did, because as soon as the second half started, the Saints began turning the game around. I only wish I had realized it sooner.

Other than the New Orleans victory and today being a snow day and all (Central Park photo proof below), it’s been a bit of an odd week.  I’ve been uncharacteristically nostalgic.  Even the most mundane things were making me wistful.

A few days ago, I misplaced a super-important document, which is kind of weird, because when it comes to super-important documents, I am generally well organized. I realized I may have misfiled it and so decided to go through two huge file containers to find out where. Usually I just shove documents into various folders, and rarely do I ever go back into them to pull anything out.

Because of that, I discovered I still had things like insurance policies from 10 years ago, instruction manuals for answering machines and other 20th Century contraptions and an absolutely bulging file of my dog’s medical records. He died two years ago.

Of course I had to go through and review every single one of his vet bills for the 12+ years I had him. And, wow, did he go to the vet often. But even weirder, I was getting misty-eyed about giardia and elevated liver enzymes.

I also found some past correspondence from my landlord.  Just one of the many reasons I love New York.

The Saints weren’t the only thing that made me happy this week.   I was officially thanked in the end credits of Shoot First and Pray You Live, a movie my friend Lance Doty wrote and directed. By officially thanked, I mean I saw my name on the big screen.  The movie is an independent Spaghetti Western which transcends its shoestring budget. It’s engaging and funny and I’m not just saying that because my name looks so good large and projected.  Here’s the song that plays over the end credits.  If you close your eyes, I bet you can imagine the precise scroll.  The song is by Dave Hill.  His name is there too.  Oh, and the actors and stuff.

Really, see it. Amazon, Netflix.  And, watch the credits!

Share

Sudden Death

I woke up  feeling all sorry for myself because all I did was work this week, but by the time I got out of bed, I remembered that’s not true.  I’m such an exaggerator.

In fact, I saw Joseph Arthur perform just two nights ago.  I love Joe – as a musician, a painter and an actual person.  I’ve seen him a number of times, but this show was really a stand-out.  Bobby Bare, Jr. opened up for him and, whoa!, I was instantly smitten – and not just because I’m a big fan of “real” country artists and his dad is, you guessed it, Bobby Bare.  And not just because he has an EP of America and Bread covers, on which, you guessed it, he covers A Horse With No Name.  No.  Because he was really good.

I guess he could have been great by doing A Horse With No Name live, but he did do Sister Golden Hair.  I suppose I forgive this.  It’s not like he knows what that would have meant to me.  Of course I was in the bathroom at that very Sister Golden Hair moment, so I only heard part of it, but it made me wholly happy anyway.

Joe was in perfect form.  And he painted live on stage, which was cool.  I’ll YouTube some of that later.  (My YouTube page is linked here for handy reference.) For now, here is one of my favorite songs in the universe, Honey and the Moon.  

Further proof that I didn’t only work this week:  on Tuesday, I had dinner with a good friend who I never see.  That Adults-in-New-York Syndrome.  After about six months of re-scheduling, we finally got it together and went to one of our favorite restaurants, Periyali.  We both have a penchant for these super delicious gigantic (2″ big!) white beans that they have.  Served on pureed garlic.  Fantastic.

Periyali used to be one of my mother’s and father’s favorite restaurants too, so it gives me that extra level of comfort whenever I go there.  I’m hyper-conscious of connections like this lately.  My dad died nearly 15 years ago, a few days after the Super Bowl.  The Chargers and 49ers were playing.  Miami.  He had ended up in a hospice there a couple of days before the game and my family and I could not find an available hotel room nearby without paying a fortune.

My then-employer did something that no now-employer would ever do:  they booked us a suite, at thousands of dollars a night, for as long as we needed it – and never mentioned it again.  Turns out it was in the same hotel that the players were in.  I’d spend my days in the most emotionally draining and drama filled situations I’ve ever been in and at night, I’d come back to this glitzy tower full of linebackers and swarming press.

Then, everyone checked out and my Dad died.

I hadn’t brought a dress to Florida because that would have jinxed things.  For me, shopping in some cheesy Miami mall for an outfit to wear to my father’s funeral might be the only thing more surreal than waiting  in a hotel chock full of NFL players for my father to die, but there I was, doing both.  I spoke at his service and apparently was extremely moving.  Someone taped it and mailed it to me later, but I’ve never opened the envelope.

The 49ers won by the way.

This year’s Super Bowl is also in Miami.  I’m paying more attention to this game than I have to any since 1995.  I really, really want the Saints to win, for a lot of reasons.  I might even wear my Who Dat Nation sweatshirt every day from now until the big game just to show my support.  I let my beloved Phillies down in October, when I didn’t wear my lucky necklace a couple of days and it’s important I keep my eye on the prize this time.

I hope this doesn’t sound all melancholy; I’m not actually feeling that way.  And, really, get off my sac, at least I didn’t mention kissing again.

Share

These Important Years

Look:

I have a lot of music.  That’s a lot of vinyl.  I have a lot in other formats as well.  And even more in my head.  But the soundtrack to my biopic could probably be pared down to two main things:  Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites and the work of Bob Mould, in all his iterations.

I realized last night, as I was watching Bob perform solo, that pretty much every time I’ve ever had any real emotional moment in my life, positive or negative, my go-to guys have been him or Yo-Yo Ma.  (I can make my case about why I prefer the Yo-Yo Ma Cello version over others, but I’ll save that for another time.  You know, keep you wanting more and all.)

I’ve seen Bob Mould so many times that these days, every time I do, it’s simultaneously a new and old experience.  And I kind of like that.  After all, I’ve been through a lot with him.   Last night’s show was at City Winery.  Seeing shows there is great.  It’s intimate with good sound and has creature comforts like seats and food I can actually eat.  Civilized.

But a civilized Mould is something I’m still getting used to.   I like my rock music to hurt and countless times before, he’s hurt me like no one else.   Shows so loud that my ears would practically bleed and hurt for days.  Shows so crowded that if I were subject to panic attacks, I’d most certainly have had to have medical attention.

I love it.

I had my favorite-ever rock moment during a Bob Mould situation like that.  My then-boyfriend and I were literally pressed up against the back of speaker monitor that was on stage.   The crowd was pushing further and further toward the front.   It was deafening, sweaty and magical.  In the middle of Stop Your Crying (which is a wall of sound, live) some girl spun me around, pushed me down on top of the speaker so that I was lying on my back, practically on stage.  And then she kissed me.  Just like that.  I’m talking a full-on kiss with some strange girl while the sound from the speaker reverberated through my body.  It was nuts.

And then she was gone.  My boyfriend and I just looked at each other for a second and shrugged.  Total rock moment.   And, every time we went to a show after that, he always prayed it would happen again.

Oddly enough, my second favorite-ever rock moment occurred at the distinctly non-rock event of seeing Yo-Yo Ma in a church on Park Avenue.  I was there with my faux boyfriend, Michael, who had somehow gotten tickets.  The church only held maybe a couple hundred people.  I’m not sure how he scored the seats, but he was always doing super amazing things like that, which is one reason why I had been faux dating him in the first place.

Anyway, there we were, having a truly transcendent experience.  Yo-Yo Ma.  Solo cello.  Church.   I think you might actually have to die to get more any more transcendent.  And in the middle of this beauty, an older man, dressed to the nines, sitting next to Michael, offered us hash brownies.

Um, hash brownies at a Yo-Yo Ma concert in a church?

I made Michael say no, mainly because I thought that if anyone was giving out hash brownies at a Yo-Yo Ma concert in a church, he could very well be crazy and they were probably more likely cyanide brownies.  But the guy was insistent and the room was ridiculously quiet except for the cello and his pusher-ing-ness.

While it wasn’t rock music, it was definitely a rock moment.

Ultimately, we had to eat the brownies so he’d shut up.  Plus Michael really wanted them.  Of course by the time they made it into our systems, the concert was long over.   But, turns out they were hash brownies – and amazing ones at that.

I never realized till now that my rock moments were also lessons in trust.

Share

Skywriting

I’m posting this from somewhere over Nebraska.  I left L.A. super early and saw the sun rise from the airport windows.  I love NYC so much and always feel like I’m cheating on it whenever I say something positive about Los Angeles, but it’s moments like this when L.A. seems so full of promise that I’m actually moved.  The feeling never lasts very long.

This trip was awfully quick, so I didn’t get to do too much.  Here’s the highlight reel:  Awesome Photographer, whom you may recall from the post below, and I continued our particular brand of sightseeing.

I’m thinking we should start a series.  Just to backtrack a little, here is the segment from New Orleans:

But back to the City of Angels.

Unusual drink to head size ratio

I was also introduced to what’s undoubtedly going to be my favorite summer cocktail:  vodka with cut up fresh grapes and basil over ice.  Delightfully delicious and refreshing, just like my friend who’s holding the drink.

I saw another friend I rarely get to see.  He once sent me clippings from his lilac tree via FedEx and seeing him always makes me think of kisses.

Despite appearances to the contrary, I’m not always talking about kisses.   But since I’m on a roll…..this trip was oddly marred by a flashback.  A bad kiss flashback.   Said incident should have just been a forgotten glitch but I’ve made it so horrific in my mind and there it’s stayed ever since.

This one time at band-camp, I had dinner with a friend of mine who, although I adored, was really just a friend of mine.  What I mean, is that I had no designs. We always got along great except for one tiny incident another time earlier where he, apropos of nothing – sort of – told me how un-into me he was. This  always made me feel kind of bad, especially because I wasn’t thinking that we were ever an ‘into’ thing.

During the night in question, and over the course of two bottles of wine, I suddenly got all annoyed about the slight that happened way before.  And damn if I wasn’t going to prove a point.  We were going to kiss if it was the last thing that happened!

He knew I was going for it and actually tried to block me.   He could have been drafted as some hot-shot left tackle at that moment.  He put up his hand and said rather loudly,  “Go with past knowledge! You know how this is going to end up!  Go with what you know!”  Literally.  It was basically the anti-financial statement: past performance is indeed a guarantee of future results.  But I didn’t listen.  At this point, it wasn’t even about him that much, it was about me not feeling bad.

So I went in for the smooch and, oh my god, he wasn’t kidding.  Absolute disaster.

Afterwards, I was so embarrassed by my behavior that I could barely look at him, let alone talk and be normal.  And this is someone who I loved hanging out with.  (Incidentally, that’s a big statement for me since as a general rule, I hate everyone.)  My extreme mortification and simultaneous annoyance that he wasn’t trying to make it better made everything worse.   Then I realized that all of this weirdness made it seem like I really, really liked him, which I didn’t, and that any time I did try to address things just made it seem like I really liked him even more.  Talk about a downward spiral.

The last ten minutes of that night were spent looking at my second-favorite tree in the whole United States.  I kept passing that tree on this trip and I felt embarrassed all over again, every time.  Plus I’m annoyed that I now feel forced to find a new second-favorite tree.  And I want to call him up and tell him that.  But then he’d think I still liked him.

Which I don’t.  Though I wish we were friends.

See, Los Angeles,  you’re not really full of promise.  I ‘m glad to be home.

Share

“How were your first bites, y’all?”

It’s been one week and five pounds since my last post.  I’m more ashamed about the first part.

The second part was due to a trip to New Orleans.  It was a lot of fun but I still feel sick from all the excess.  I’ve been there a couple of times before and I used to associate The Big Easy with music, voodoo and above ground burial plots but this trip was pretty much only about food.  Well,  food and football, but I since I have a bye week, I’m not writing about football now.

The woman in the row in front of us on the plane trip down astutely observed that  “New Orleans is smaller than New York,”  but she clearly was not referring to portion sizes.  For five days, every single huge meal was fried something-or-other.  Usually fried something-or-other with cream sauce.

<—  Here’s a typical lunch.

That fried soft shell crab sandwich is actually being served on deep fried bread with a side of french fries and toast.  A side of toast with a sandwich!   Even hummus came with a vat of fried pita chips.

And, forget about vegetables.  I learned it wouldn’t be a vegetable dish in New Orleans if it didn’t have meat.  I was so desperate for something green that I actually ordered the trimmings from a Po’ Boy sandwich as a meal.  What I got was a cup of mayonnaise and a bit of shredded  lettuce.

Our brief intervals between meals were largely spent trespassing, although I prefer to think of it as going off the beaten path.  We broke into an abandoned home which was devastated by Katrina,  a television station’s seemingly abandoned satellite dish yard and a huge gravel quarry which surrounds the Domino’s Sugar Refinery in one of the outlying towns.

That quarry and its mountains of gravel was my favorite place in all of New Orleans – and not just because my absolute favorite picture of me ever was taken atop one.

I'm King of the World!

The awesome photographer behind the most awesome photograph of me ever taken was also responsible for one of the most awesome conversations ever had.  He was photographing in a supermarket parking lot at night and a security guard came out to tell him to stop.   This is the actual verbatim exchange:

Guard:     You can’t shoot here.
Awesome Photographer:   I’m entirely within my rights.
Guard:     No you can’t shoot here.
Awesome Photographer:   Why?
Guard:      Because of 9/11.
Awesome Photographer:    What happened on 9/11?
Guard:      Terrorists attacked.
Awesome Photographer:     Your supermarket?
Guard:       No.  (pause) Okay, then.  You can continue.  Next time, ask first.

Frankly, I was hoping that Awesome Photographer would have responded with a simple “get off my sac.”   That would have made my 2010 perfect so far.

I guess I’m just not meant to be happy.

Share