Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
I had the most ridiculous conversation with my father last night. He’s giving me his old car (which is 10 years younger than my current car) and I am very, very grateful. I think I’ve thanked him about 82 times, literally. So, it should be coming in the second week of March. My dad lives in Virginia, and he shipped the car here using a company that will drop the car off at a terminal in San Bernardino, which is about an hour and a half from where I live. So, I had asked my friend Diann to drive me there, and she said “No problem.”
Yesterday, my dad happened to mention to me, on the phone, that the place where the car is being delivered isn’t open on the weekends. What follows is our conversation verbatim.
Me: “Oh, really? Crap. I’ll have to figure something out, then.”
Me: “Well, Diann was going to drive me, but I can’t ask her to take off work.”
Dad: “Why? She’ll do it. Tell her you’ll buy her lunch or something.”
Me: “No, I can’t. Her sister’s sick, she’s been going through chemo, and she just had surgery. Diann’s already taken a bunch of time off work—“
Dad: “So what? Ask her; she’ll do it.”
Me: “No, no. I can’t. I won’t ask her to do that.”
Dad: “What about your neighbors? Ask them.”
Me: “Dad, they’re my neighbors. We’re friendly, but I can’t ask them to do that. I’ll just get a cab or something.”
Dad: “How much will that be?”
Me: “I don’t know. Couple hundred.”
Dad: WHAT?!? No, you’re not doing that! What about that woman in your office?”
Me: “Dad, she has cancer, too. She’s going through chemo now and can barely get into work half the time.”
Dad: “Oh. What about some of the guys at work?”
Me: “No, they’re in Canada on business.”
Dad: “Ask your boss!”
Dad: “Ask you’re boss, he’ll do it!”
Me: “You’re kidding, right? Dad, he’s my boss. I can’t ask him to drive me, especially on a workday, to San Bernardino!”
Dad: “Why not?”
Me: “Why not? He’s my boss! He’s my boss, not a friend! You can’t ask a boss for a favor like that.”
Dad: “You’re being negative!! You won’t even ask anyone! How do you know if you won’t ask? You’re so negative!”
Me: “I am not being negative, but I will not ask my boss to drive me to San Bernardino; that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! I will figure something out, but that is a ridiculous suggestion!”
Dad: “Fine. Fine. You figure it out.”
The thing that annoys me about this conversation, besides the obvious, is that it points to something about my dad that has been a continuing cross to bear. When I was a kid, my dad labeled me with certain descriptors, and no matter how much I’ve changed, he still clings to them with a righteous death-grip, the kind that strikes certain parents who live with the belief that, all things considered, they know their children better than their children do.
When I was a kid, my father decided I was “a worrier,” “a pill,” “negative in attitude,” “not happy unless I was miserable,” and “loath to go anywhere or do anything new or different.” Now, I doubt that I was those things then, let alone now. And even if I was those things then, isn’t it kind of hard to say what came first? Was I only happy unless I was miserable, or was I only happy when I was miserable because my dad told me that’s how I was? Now, I don’t want to be the kind of person who blames their parents for their problems even when they’re an adult, but that’s not what this is. This is my dad still assuming that I am all the things that he thought I was when I was a kid. I think I could’ve become a hugely famous, flamboyant, popular, globe-trotting, self-assured singer or actress, and he would still think that I was a little, pill-like worrier.
Anybody else experience this?
As a side-note, I really think that the boss suggestion was just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard my extremely intelligent father say in my life. It’s as if there are no social constraints in my dad’s world. He has a boss, too. And I doubt he would ask his boss for help moving, or a ride to the airport, but for some reason I’m unreasonable for not asking MY boss to do something like that.
My boss owns a company. He’s probably a millionaire. He pays people like me to do things like pickup cars and run errands. If I asked him for a ride to pick up my car, he would grimace uncomfortably, then offer to pay my cab fare for me to do it alone. He’s a nice guy, and pretty down to earth, and he likes me, but…come on. People who own successful companies don’t give rides to their employees! I can’t think of anything more awkward than asking my boss for a ride to San Bernardino, just the two of us, except perhaps for the actual ride, just the two of us, which would be exponentially more awkward. Am I wrong?
Friday, February 17, 2006
Today, I added to my blog again, after 7 months of inactivity. Yeah, me!
PS - I don't think anyone will read this, so, it's kind of just you and me. But, that's okay, diary.
Today, I am bored out of my skull.
At least it’s Friday, and Monday is a holiday, so it’s a long weekend. I made some homemade classic cupcakes from my Hey There, Cupcake!” book last night, although, I made chocolate frosting, whereas the recipe calls for vanilla frosting with pink food coloring added, and a maraschino cherry on top. I didn’t have the food coloring or the cherries, but I did have Valrhona cocoa powder. I was supposed to sift the powdered sugar with the cocoa, but my sifter was still wet from making the cupcake batter, and it kept gumming up. I ended up scraping that step. By the way, it’s really hard to cream butter with a hand-held mixer. I don’t know if it would have been easier with the stand-up KitchenAid had those bastards who robbed me last year not robbed me, but, there it is. I’m pretty proud of the cupcakes, and last night, I had one with a cup of display tea from Adagio. As I said, it was nice.
It’s strange, but I don’t feel like gorging on the cupcakes like I would a store-bought item. Perhaps the knowledge that I made these from scratch imbues them with a certain amount of reverence. I’m incapable of eating one quickly. I am savoring every bite. It’s nice; I enjoy making a ritual out of my dessert.
Last night, I dreamt of Adam Hovorka from high school. I don’t remember the substance of the dream, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it was sexual, or relationshippy. In fact, I think it probably was. Why in the world did I dream about him? Who knows. I found myself, in the boredom of the day, thinking about him more. I actually looked him up on one of those on-line people finders, and while I think I found him (and learned his middle name is “Troy”) it would’ve cost money to get more information. When I clicked on a sample version of the report I could’ve bought, I found that they supply you with contact information. I realized, when I thought to myself: “Well, I don’t want to get in touch with him,” that what I was looking for was his marital status. Why?
Adam Hovorka. He constantly teased me in high school. I dreaded the sight of him. I used to imagine him seeking me out just to call me fat (or “gordo” in Spanish class). But I think, even then, that I was pretty sure that he liked me. You know, liked liked. I think that’s why he always teased me. Not in a seven year-old braid-pulling way, but because he maybe didn’t want anyone to realize that he liked me. But, I know that he thought I was smart. I know that he liked me, even if it wasn’t like like (but I think it was). And, although it was impossible to like someone who made my life such a hell (I experienced the kind of teasing, from him, that shouldn’t make it to high school; the shit he did to me usually dies out in 8th grade) I still felt a kind of pull towards him. I’ve thought about him before this; I’ve looked him up online before this.
So today, I had this fantasy of the way that things should’ve gone in high school. He’s teasing me, and it goes too far; he says something that is irretrievably awful, even for a bully. And people gasp. And I look at him, my stare unwavering. I stare him down, emotionless, until he begins to feel ashamed of himself. He starts to apologize, but I stop him. I tell him there’s no need. He blinks at me, unsure. “Do you want to know why?” I ask him. “W—why?” he responds. “Because,” I say, “I’m worth 10 of you.” I stare at him some more, and he blanches, and the teasing stops. But, after that, he finds himself captivated by me. If I cared enough about him to notice, I would’ve caught him constantly staring at me. Finally, with a hunger that he can no longer hide, he seeks me out. He tells me that he can’t stop thinking of me, and he finally asks me out on a date. After many nays, full of worldly wisdom regarding the futility of basing your opinions on the desires of your peers, and the importance of thinking for yourself, I give in, exasperated by his tenacity. We end up a couple, and when his popular friends suddenly include me in their circle, I balk. “So, I wasn’t good enough for you then, but I am now?” They say yes, in their ape-like speech. I lean in, stealthily. “Well,” I say, “how’s about you go to hell?” “What?” one of the stereotypically pretty bitchy high school girls asks, nostrils flaring. “Go. To. Hell.” I leave, and Adam follows me like a puppy dog.
Clearly, I have unfinished business from high school, huh? I think that the self-knowledge that I have today, while far from complete, is still pretty empowering. I only wish that I’d had a shred of it in high school, when, instead of standing up for myself, I felt compelled to say “Yo tengo herpes,” as a response to a Spanish-class entreaty to say something about myself, just to cut Adam Hovorka off from raking me over the coals for the mortifying cold sore on my lip.
It’s really important to me to not be completely dominated in relationships, and I find myself still struggling with that. I’m always afraid the guy will get tired of me not being completely compliant, and dump me, as though all relationships are still like a bad romance novel from the 50s. And I am completely disturbed by the fact that I am having romantic dreams and thoughts about a guy who made my life hell in high school. What kind of masochist am I? Luckily, I always give myself a pass regarding dreams; you can’t help what you dream, after all, no matter how disturbing (a couple of months ago, I dreamt about a brutal axe murder. Yikes). But what about all of the conscious revenge-fantasizing I did today? Frankly, if Adam Hovorka showed up on my front doorstep (George Bush showing up with a “Kick Me” sign taped to his ass is honestly more likely) with an apology and an explanation, both related to his treatment of me in high school, I know I’d slam the door in his face.
Now that would be an exciting day.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Hast thou forsaken me?
So, I've hit a run of bad luck lately, and I'm wondering if it has anything to do with my recent tirade against the church.
It started out innocently enough. The auction company I work for had a sale last week in Atascadero, which is about 4 hours north of LA. (As a side note, my Latino boyfriend informed me that Atasacedro literally translates in Spanish to "covered in mud," so I guess that should have been a tip off.
On the drive up, I called my friend Diann, who had adopted a cat two days before. The cat had been showing some signs of sickness, and she had been worried. She told me that the cat had died last night or an insanely contagious disease that can be spread by humans to other cats. I had petted her cat when she got him, and so spent the rest of the weekend in a tizzy about my own cats, home alone. (Later, Diann apologized for being so alarmist; in reality, the likelihood that I would have passed something to my own cats was about a gazillion to one.)
So, I get up to my hotel, which was the one cool part of the weekend. I was staying at the Marguerite room at The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Awesome place, with winding turrets and thematically decorated rooms. I wanted to stay in the Caveman Room but it was too expensive for business.
Anyway, moving on. While there, I promptly lost my wallet and pulled my back out. There's nothing more I can say about those two things that would convey the utter horror and pain-in-the-assness of the situation. Except for the fact that, the next morning, I also suffered intense intestinal difficulties.
After getting back home, I received a call from a company saying that someone had tried to buy a bunch of stuff with my credit card with them. The company gave me the jackass's phone number, but all I got was an answering machine. So, I passed it on to my FBI brother.
All in all, a joyful weekend.
Friday, July 15, 2005
So, yesterday was a medically odd day.
Firstly, I went to the gastro-doctor, because I have been having intestinal difficulties lately. Well, for years, actually, but I've finally decided to do something about it.
The doctor was a cool guy, but as soon as I heard the words "stool sample," I knew I was in for it.
The doctor also sent me for a blood test, to try and make sure that I've got all the right levels of helpful parasites in me. They filled up about 6 vials, which is quite a bit o blood.
Now, I'm no doctor, but it seems to me that the body may be a little compromised after being vampirized, and so it makes a little sense that I went on last night to completely torque my back.
A few days ago, I tried my hand at cooking polenta in a big cast iron pot. It wasn't very good, and so I left it up there, potentially, a little longer than I should have. Last night, I noticed that it was growing a little colony, and so I lifted it up to toss the contents in the trash.
For some reason, as the pot reached waist level, my entire back spasmed. Now, I am sitting at work, barely able to move. I want to just go home "sick" but I always feel guilty about that.
I've never had back issues before, but, let me tell you: they sure put stomach problems into perspective.
On the flip side, have you ever tried collecting your own stool sample with a wonky back? Not for the squeamish.
In fiber news, I am trying to make this little bear from Marr Haven Farms but mine looks like a skeletal monkey. I'll post pictures if I can get over the shame.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Alright, I know this may sound crazy, but I think there's a ghost in my house, and it's making it hard to get to sleep at night.
I guess, if pressed to think about it, I would say that I believe in ghosts, in an abstract sort of way. It doesn't seem impossible, that, in all the billions of people who have died on this planet, potentially a few may be hanging around.
Lately, my cat Sophie has taken to standing at the end of the hallway by my bedroom and bellow-meowing up at the ceiling in a mixture of outrage and alarm. I've tried looking out from the space in-between her ears, as some ghost stories say you should, but I still can't see any ghosties.
It's kind of freaking me out though. I lay in bed for a while every night, thinking that I can see things moving in the darkness.
Anyone else experiencing this?
In other news, I have joined the Clapotis craze, and am working it with Brooks Farm yummy Harmony Berry Sundae . Delish, and it's kind of exhilarating to drop stitches on purpose.
Monday, July 11, 2005
So yesterday, I went to church with my friend Lindsay. Now, I'm Jewish, but that isn't why me and church is an iffy combo. The reason is because organized religion scares the heebies out of me.
But, Lindsay asked, and breakfast was involved beforehand, so I was in.
Let me preface the following by saying that I have never read that bible, and so know next-to-nothing about Christianity. When I was little, I thought that Jesus and Santa were the same person, which still doesn't sound too wrong to me. (If not, then who the hell is Santa? What does he have to do with Jesus's birthday? Bueller?) Besides all of this, I grew up in a house in which religion was described thusly (by my mother): "Oh, Jesus was nothing but a little Jewish boy gone bad."
Anyway, this church is one of those where the pastor dresses in jeans, and there's a band, and all of these punk rockers are there to try and tell us that the Lord is cool.
So, the band starts to rock out, and all of these people raise up their arms as they sing along, swaying, with their eyes closed. I've never seen something like this in real life. To me, this was about as strange as speaking in tongues.
The songs themselves gave me, an outsider, the following impression: all human beings are slugs who should spend their whole lives trying to appease God because he knows that we're all slugs. Meanwhile, the pastor goes on to deliver his sermon, where he (rightly so) praises flowers and the Grand Canyon as glorious things. So, flower: good; human: worthless.
I'm sorry, but the God that I believe in is laughing at all of these earnest people, wondering why they're taking things so seriously, and wasting so much of their time believing that they are worthless.
And exactly how did Jesus die for our sins again? How are little babies born marked up with a sin that they have to spend the rest of their lives prostrate to? I realize that it's a big chunk of Christianity, but I don't understand it. And how many times could this house band possibly abuse the near rhyme of "cross" and "cost" as in: "he died on that cross/we'll never know the cost"?
But, what really got me about the service was what happened next. The topic of the sermon was: To Tell the Truth. OK. I can dig it. Lies are not good.
The pastor went on to tell us all that no one has battled food and weight issues as much as he has. Personally, as soon as I hear: "nobody knows the troubles I seen," I think: Drama Queen. Moving on.
If he had battled with weight and food issues, you'd think that he'd be a little compassionate. Apparently not. He went on to assure us all, a little desperately for my taste, that he's been a member of the same gym for 10 years straight, and goes 6 days a week, ahem... religiously. One day, around the time of New Years' Resolutions, he was on the treadmill, and a woman began using the one next to him.
Here he paused, and said: "Now, I want you to know that nothing I say is intended to belittle or poke fun at anyone, but...She wasn't large. She wasn't even extra large. She was in a whole notha category." (Why do all pastors sound like they're from Texas even when they're not?) Laughter from all the assorted Christians.
He went on to say that she used the treadmill for a little while, and he became concerned that she would have a heart attack, or worse, explode from her workout outfit. If that happened, he continued, he wouldn't help her, as his commitment to God can't run THAT deep. More laughter from the assorted hyenas in the pews.
After a while, she stepped down from the treadmill, and GET THIS: she had the nerve to walk down the gym as though she was the object of every man's desire.
Of course, the pastor said, this woman was simply lying to herself.
More laughter from the jackals surrounding me.
At this point, I was ready to stand up and scream at him.
To me, the biggest lie in our society is the belief that we can only look one way and be considered attractive. This is a lie that hurts millions of people every second of the day. I would venture to say that the percentage of women in our society who are truly, truly happy with their bodies and appearance must hover around 1%, with a -/+1% margin of error. The fact that this woman had the gall to feel good about herself after working out, and to, Oh My Lord, think that she's attractive, means that she has faith in herself. Walking around that gym with a sashay in her step? That's a revolution. That's not a lie.
The lie is the idea that Christianity, at its core, is about being good. I don't know about you, but whenever I have heard the term "Christianly" as in, "that's not very Christianly of you" it's reinforced my previously held concept that Christianity was about being kind in deed and thought.
Those people scattered around me in that church, cruelly laughing at a woman they'd never even met, and that pastor, telling the anecdote from his toxically ignorant point of view, they revealed my concept of Christianity as the lie that it was.
I know that sounds harsh, but I was ready to stand up and scream in that church, and the reason I didn't was that my friend had brought me as a guest.
After that incident, I kind of kept my lips tight and my head down. I barely made a whimper as the pastor gave his reasons for wanting Creationism taught in schools.
Lindsay and I met up with some of her friends after the service, and one of them, a blond woman who touted Creationism before we headed for the pews, made a nasty comment about me clearly not liking the service, as I "didn't laugh at any of the pastor's jokes." She smiled, but her eyes were dead as she said it.
I don't want to dismiss a whole religion, especially on the evidence of one morning, but I don't know. If this is Bush's America, in all it's ignorant, science-defying, stereotype pushing, sanctimonious meanness, I'm glad that I am clearheaded.