Sadly, the holiday season is winding down. I decided to start to put away my holiday decorations. Actually, my 'holiday decorations' only consist of Xmas Stockings with the pets' names on them (and mine, from childhood). Actually, most years I don't even bother hanging those up. Actually, this year was one of those years. I'm not really into holiday decor. Still, I had removed them from their top secret under bed hiding place, so it was time to put them back there. They were conveniently located in the middle of my living room floor where Fondue left them after she attacked them. Trespassers! Interlopers! You will be punished! So, I lift them up and notice that Fondue has destroyed the leading 'L' off of Olita's stocking. Poor Olita, that dog has had it out for him from day one. I'm not surprised that Fondue focused her rage and fury at Olita's stocking instead of the other three. I am a bit surprised that she can read.


B and E

There are things that I do, that are not common, but do not seem out of place. I mean, they aren't things I do all the time, but also aren't things that seem incongruous to my personality. What I am trying to say is, last week, in the harsh 60 degree California winter I locked myself out of my own house while wearing nothing more than a robe and socks. People have keys to my house. I have always handed out spare keys like candy in case I ever lost my keys or locked myself out; I just never thought I would actually do it. It's like how I have enough AD&D insurance in my name to pay off my brother's considerable medical school loans, but don't plan on actually dying or dismembering. (Note to Michael: killing your sister to pay off your medical school loans is not only wrong, but will also mean you will be forced to care for three badly behaved pets.)

Let's go back to the beginning. It is Sunday. It is late to still be in a robe, but I have just gotten up and frankly won't be dressed any time soon. I let the chihuahua out to do her outdoor chihuahua things. Sniffing, Bathrooming, Running in Circles, Barking. The barking is getting out of hand, she is targeting the kindly retiree across the street. He is walking over to say hi to her, I think about going outside to intervene, the barking escalates, I notice my Sunday NY times is missing AGAIN. I am out of my mind with anger and confusion. I go outside and shut the door behind me, checking to make sure it is unlocked, but perhaps not paying too much attention to the results of that check. Neighbors get talked to, chihuahuas get calmed down, papers are still missing. I start to head back inside, turn the doorknob and hear the little click it makes when it does not open for you.

I'm a resourceful woman. I pick up my chihuahua and start ringing the doorbell of my spare key wielding neighbors/aunts. No answer. Now, I'm a little freaked out. I go to my messy backyard to figure out how to break in to my house. Unfortunately, I usually think about my house security needs in terms of how to keep people from getting in. There is no faux rock hide-a-key or unlocked back door. The only window that happens to be cracked is the bathroom window. It also happens to be a very high, very narrow window. Still, I grab a chair, pop out the screen and start considering how I will get through it. The one problem is I won't fit through it. The other problem is I would need to exit the window head first onto my porcelain bathtub. So, I'm stuck. Luckily only figuratively.

My next decision is that my neighbors'/aunts' yard is much nicer to stay in than mine. If their gate is unlocked, I can hang out in their jacuzzi until they come home. After all, I'm dressed for it. Fondue and I head back over and break into their yard. We are sitting on the porch, waiting for my heart rate to go down, when my aunt opens her back door. Apparently, she was in the shower during my doorbell ringing frenzy, but now she is clean, dry and ready to let me in my house.

Also, my New Year's Resolution is to start wearing PJs to bed. Not sexy, but apparently, necessary. Very, very necessary.


Keepin' Curfew

I think we are all making time this busy holiday season to start knitting baby blankets for the young Ms. Jamie-Lynn Spears. I am not here to start in on accidental pregnancies or young parents, after all both of those were critical factors in my own conception and birth. I just want to talk more trash about the Spears family.

So, first the parents name her after themselves, Jamie and Lynne. I don't know, I would go the George Foreman route myself. Rachel-Dog, Rachel-Cat, and Rachel-Other-Cat.

Then, she's 16 and pregnant.

Okay. And then we are surprised because she "never missed curfew"? Really? Because you can't pregnant before midnight? Because you don't have to talk to your children about sex and birth control until they get sent to juvie hall? So now, this poor girl, is now about to become some sort of symbol for all that is wrong with today's youth. And she's just a young girl, that became accidentally pregnant in the midst of much family chaos.

Any decent stage mother would've shipped the girl off to Europe for nine months and then pretended the baby was Britney's. Britney is too messed up to keep count at this point, so who loses? But, Mama Lynne in her infinite wisdom, allowed another of her kids to be thrown to the wolves. Brilliant, she should write a book. Oh wait.


Ten More Shopping Days Until My Birthday

A $3.00 egg McMuffin for $50.00? Sign me up!



Newsless Sunday

I am trying to have a good Sunday. I am watching Weeds Season Two on dvd and wrapping Festivus presents for you, gentle readers. That should bring me great joy. But, there is a dark cloud hanging over my day.

After crawling out of bed at an unreasonable hour, I went outside to get the paper. Just to discover that my Sunday New York Times was missing. Oh no, the neighborhood car radio theft is one thing, but fucking with a girl's erudite crossword is another thing altogether. I know, I can't finish it, but I still like to fill it up with random words and keep it on my desk at work. Makes the bitches think you are all kinds of smart.

I better not be missing out on important world geo-political news because I am without my Style section. I better not.


Sleeping Like a Rock (of Love)

When I finally tear myself away from the t.v. at night and crawl into bed, Galileo is always there to greet me. She does happen to be a big fan of the bed, and unless she is sitting next to me on the couch, or meowing for fresh water, she is on the bed. So, we always have two seconds alone before the other animals catch on that it's bed time.

I've been trying to dream more, or remember my dreams more, or something. I try to say (out loud) what I want to dream of at night before I fall asleep. I've decided that saying this out loud to Galileo is slightly less crazy than saying it to the pillow. So, Galileo and I sit in bed and, uh, talk about what we want to dream of. Last night we decided we would dream of fish, mittens, and hot cocoa (she normally picks fish, fresh water, or human slaves to constantly pet her). Our dreams did not come true. Or mine didn't. Galileo looked pretty happy this morning, so she probably had the fish/mitten/hot cocoa dream that I was gunning for. So, what did I dream about? Rock of Love: Season 2: Return of the Cheap Strippers. Now, it's not on the air yet, so we will all have to wait for the real deal. In the meantime, let's review what the sandman delivered to me last night.

So, in this dream, I am on Rock of Love: Season Two. Except, I'm me, not a cheap stripper. More like a would-be-expensive stripper, or a HR professional with low morals. And I am just making out with Bret the whole time. What a dream! If Bret and I were together my life would be full of touring with a crappy band, spending my free time in strip clubs, and dating a man that wears more makeup than me. And, then, the downside, listening to his crappy band all the time, never having a dollar for a diet coke, because I spent all my $1's at the strip club, and getting pink eye because my whore of a boyfriend used my eyeliner again. I guess, that makes it more of a nightmare.

Tomorrow, I plan to ask to dream about bad 80's bands, balding rock stars, and stripper poles. Hopefully doing that will guarantee me that nocturnal cup of cocoa.

Galileo says: if you put down the camera, you could pet me with that hand...


Soup Season

The good thing about the unbearable harshness of the California winter (rain, more rain, and sometimes wind!) is that it is the perfect weather for eating soup. I've been on a soup frenzy. Minestrone, Pureed Roasted Vegetable, White Bean and Sage, Won Ton and Hot and Sour. Most of them I've been making myself, but occasionally I outsource the job to a local Chinese restaurant.

The White Bean and Sage soup is fantastic, super simple and hands down my favorite soup to make. It goes like this:

2 Cups Diced Onions
1 Cup Diced Carrots
4 Garlic Cloves, Pressed
1 Tbs Olive Oil
15 Large Fresh Sage Leaves
6 Cups Cooked White Beans (if using cans--about 3 cans, reserve liquid from canned beans)
3 to 4 Cups Veggie Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

1) In soup pot, saute the onions, carrots, and garlic in olive oil on med-low until onions are translucent. Stack the sage leaves and cut into thin strips. Add sage to vegetables. Add cooked beans and 3 cups of vegetable stock, bean-cooking liquid, or water. Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is hot and simmering.

2) Ladle 2/3 of the soup in blender in batches. Puree until smooth and add back to pot. Thin soup with remaining veggie stock if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I also add fresh rosemary with the sage a lot. And I have adapted it into a better blended, less liquid state to make white bean puree, which is fantastic on toasted bread.

The Pureed Vegetable Soup may be even easier. I like to roast vegetables in the winter months. Lots of them. I cut up as many root vegetables as I can find, toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and Herbs de Provence. Roast in oven at 350 ish for 30 minutes ish, stir on occasion.

The vegetables are great just like that, but you can make a double batch and puree half of the roasted veggies in the blender with some veggie stock and you have instant soup. Almost as fast as ordering from the Chinese place. But, alas, no fortune cookies.


Où Est Mon Chien?

Fondue says: if I don't sleep under blankets all day, I won't have the energy to bite your toes all night

I think you are aware that the weather is getting colder. I will spare you my diatribe on the agony I feel when the temperature dips below 70. I will focus instead on how the rest of my household suffers. The cats do okay, they are well-insulated with their soft fur, and they sleep on the bed in a kitten pile. That leaves the chihuahua. Her fur seems to be mainly decorative, not very functional. And judging by how my black coat looks; her fur sheds if you merely look at it. She is a tiny dog; and she is cold.

She has clothes. First I bought her some clothes from Target. After all, that is where I get most of my clothes. She didn't seem to like wearing them. Since we all know tiny dogs love to be dressed, I figured her objections were based in social consciousness. So, I went to American Apparel and got her some sweatshop free t-shirts. Alas, she still seems unhappy. So, while we still wear clothes out and about; we run around naked in the house. Even in the bitter, bitter cold of the California winter.

So, how does a tiny dog stay warm, in an unheated house, without clothes? Apparently, by burrowing under blankets. The problem is when you are tiny, and sleeping under a lumpy blanket on the couch, you are effectively invisible. So, Lolita steps on her a lot and that leads to barking and meowing and general discord. The other thing that happens is I tend to 'lose' her a lot. It's happened a couple of times. I tear myself away from the t.v. and try to get some chores done. A couple hours later, I realize I have no idea where the dog is. I look for her, room by room and can't find her. I try to remember if I have let her outside and just forgotten about her (I get it, I'm not going to be mother of the year). Then when I head to the computer to start working on the 'missing dog' posters, I notice the blanket on the couch is moving.

Then she pokes her tiny head out, looks at me with her chocolate-colored eyes, and burrows back under.


Delay in Enlightenment

What am I doing right now? Typing to you. What am I supposed to be doing? Going to Buddha school and reaching enlightenment. But, I can't. I need to get some more work done for my customer. Sure, I'm mad. I should be getting my mother-fucking meditation on right now, not avoiding work by writing in my blog. I'm not surprised though, I am used to everything conspiring against me on buddha school night.

Once there was some bay bridge accident and the other cars made it so I had to drive s-l-o-w-l-y and then everyone in the inner Richmond district got home ten minutes before I got to the neighborhood and took up all the parking spots.

Then there was the time that the critical mass people got to the intersection two minutes before me. So, I had to turn off my car and read my book instead of driving to buddha school. Then the one guy stopped his bike to chat me up while I was parked there. Actually, that part wasn't so bad.

Then tonight, I get back from lunch and find out a customer is announcing a merger and I need to drive to Pleasanton to be there for the announcement. And work on materials for them to distribute tomorrow.

It is important to know that I will not be defeated. To all you haters, trying to keep a player from their beginner's mind, you will not win. You can block the bridge, steal the parking spots, scream at me about my oil consumption, make me do the job I'm paid for, but you will not win. I'm still going to get my mother-fucking zen on. Namaste.


Out and About

Friday night Sara and I went to see my hippie boyfriend, Sam Beam, of the Iron & the Wine play. The sound was off for the opening act, we ended up sitting in the lounge area, reading The Economist and drinking wine. My boyfriend sounded good. But, I guess I prefer the spared down Iron & Wine, just Sam and maybe his sister, some guitars and the angst. The band was too much. Or maybe not enough. Needed more to get things really going energy wise, and was too much to keep things quiet, moody, and spare. The emo blade cuts both ways.

It should be noted that Sara and I are on a kick to expose ourselves to nighttime culture as much as possible. Sara, to celebrate a much deserved break from grad school studying. Me, to reluctantly force myself out of the house and away from my television. Thanksgiving week, we went to the Berkeley Rep to see "After the Quake" a play based on short stories by Haruki Murakami. As much as I hate missing Ghost Whisperer, I agreed to go because Murakami is one of my favorite writers. Even though that one part of "Kafka on the Shore" (if you read it, you know) still freaks me out to this day. Luckily, our love is strong enough to overcome and luckily, he didn't repeat any shit like that in "After Dark". So the play was great, though I thought the female lead was horrible. Next up we are going back to the rep to see "Argonautika". We like our shit to be mythical. That's how we roll. The fact that I am giving up a precious Wednesday night (America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, AND Project Runway) speaks to my commitment to local theatre, friendship with Sara, and Jason & the Argonauts. Except, you know, the whole Medea thing could've been handled better.


Music Review

"Ya boy is off the wall. I'm Michael Jackson, these other niggas is Tito" Jay-Z 'Party Life

The good things you have heard about the new Jay-Z cd, American Gangster, are all true. It's many kinds of retro fun, references from the orginal gangsters of the 20's, 30's, 40's, heroin superstars of the 60's and 70's, and the Sugar Hill Gang 80's. A lot of the lyrics feel heavy, feel dark. New York film noir of music. And then the retro riffs threaded through, lightening everything up. And a soupcon of misogyny. It is important to not forget the bitches.

The story behind the album, is that Jay-Z saw an early screening of American Gangster and was struck, not just with the tale of Frank Lucas, but the parallels to his own past, and his love of rapping about drugs in general. I guess that shit impresses Beyonce, so keep on keeping on

Most importantly, it has a good beat and you can dance to it.


My friend, Karen, one of my fabulous Maui co-vacationers, shared with me what the kids are asking for this holiday season. Apparently, while waiting in line with her son to visit Santa, she overheard the young boy in front of them ask for, "a wheel barrow full of cake". Indeed. Please consider my holiday list edited to include a wheel barrow full of cake. It would be great if the cake was a white cake with either mocha or lemon frosting. It is critical that the wheel barrow be red. Much depends on that.


Aloha Maui Flora

Maui smells like heaven and I wish you could scratch and sniff your computer screen so I could prove it to you. Instead, squirt some floral perfume in the room and look at my pics from the island.

Aloha Maui

How was my trip to Maui? Abso-fucking-lutely wonderful. I am a California girl. I like California. I pay the taxes and barely whine about it. But Maui? Te amo, Maui.

A good vacation is always enhanced by top rate traveling companions. For Maui, here is the cast of characters:

Trish, looking sultry at the condo welcome meeting

Karen, primping in paradise

Me, making random tourists take my photo

Maui, like most things in life, is best described in lists of small, connected, observations:

1) In Wailea, if you want the local valets to respect you, you need to roll up in your rental car, cranking the new 50 cent cd from the crappy stereo.

2) When on an all day scuba diving trip, it is best to wear five times the amount of sun screen you think you need and then reapply every 2 seconds. Am I right Trish, or am I right?

3) If you drop off your friends for their all day scuba, skin burning trip at 7:00 AM, you can get to Hana and back by 2:00 PM. Regardless of what the concierge and tour books tell you. It is important to get the other cars on the road out of the way so you can drive as fast as you like.

4) The seven hour round trip to Hana also includes stopping twice to take pictures, once for a leisurely breakfast and a short hike in the sacred pool area above Hana.

5) Mai tais are best when you float the dark rum on top and decorate the glass with a fresh flower. Of course, it is hard for the mai tai to be bad.

6) Pineapple tastes better when you make Karen cut it the fancy catering way.

7) The appetizers at Wolfgang Puck, Maui, are better than the entrees.

8) You are never going to figure out how to work the surround sound in the condo, so please don't waste precious vacation time attempting it.

9) They do make hula outfits for chihuahuas; don't give up until you find one.

10) Before you go to the beach, paint your toe nails bright purple. It will help you feel more tropical.


Aloha Oakland

Well, these are a bit late. But, in case you think I missed the chance to dress up the chihuahua for halloween, I wanted to set the record straight.

Here is Ms. Fondue is her hula girl costume:

Already losing the leis that were lovingly tied to each paw, but still looking sharp. Even from the side view:

I looked all over Maui for a dog hula costume and couldn't have been happier with it. I got a regular sized one for myself, but didn't want to get upstaged by Fondue, so I went western.


Rachel is the Reason for the Season

By unpopular demand, here is my demanding holiday gift list. Don't be freaked out by the high prices; you are buying for Christmas and my birthday.

Falling Apart

Not all of you know how I have suffered the last couple of weeks. Let me break this down. I woke up one day, not only suffering from the common cold, but from lady cramps as well. Being the brave little trooper that I am, I still managed to drag myself into work at the HR farm. I took calls, I answered emails, I drank coffee. I am a fighter.

The next day I woke up feeling twice as bad. Still, I had meetings with clients and emails and coffee to conquer. I squeezed into a suit and embarked on the one mile journey to the office.

Every once in awhile, I am made aware, that there is a force greater than me in the universe. I feel it is a positive force, that tries to guide us in a productive direction. I am also aware that I am not always so great at picking up on hints thrown my way to guide my journey. But eventually, I catch on. Case in point. I sit down at my desk, sick with the cold, achy from lady cramps, I try to make myself feel better with a piece of toffee. Crack. My dental crown falls off. Yup, I am literally falling apart at my desk.

I took the hint. I made an emergency dental appointment, cancelled my meetings, went home and sat on the couch with a couple of pets, a box of kleenex, and a heating pad.



It is hard to be a man in a house full of bitches. Poor Lolita. He spent almost ten years as my only pet, and now not only has another cat, but a crazy dog to deal with. This weekend he found his out. I left the door open accidently, and he went for freedom.

I don't know how long he was out there. It took me awhile to realize the door was open, then I had to go around the house and do roll call. When roll call came up short, I headed out. It was dark. I couldn't see him, so I turned and was going to get a flashlight. Then I noticed Lolita, standing on the fence. Then he saw me, and did that cat thing, where you turn around and pretend no one can see you. Even if you are a 13 pound cat perched on top of a fence with a white belly glowing in the moonlight. And you just made eye contact 2 seconds before.

I grab Lolita. He meows, mourning his lost freedom. A dramatic wail; a wail that could wake up the hounds of hell themselves and set the world on a... Wait, where was I? Yes, Lolita was grabbed and escorted inside. And he was dirty. Dirty, dirty, dirty. The white fur a dingy grey in the light of the house. I don't know how long he was out there, but I know he spent every second of his freedom just rolling in the dirt.

He still smells a bit earthy


Things My Dog Won't Eat

  • Lettuce
  • Grilled Tofu
  • Beets


This is Where Your Bitch is at

Shhh. Shhh. It's okay. I know, I know. I've missed you too. I am sure you have made good use of our time apart. I imagine you have used your free time to memorize my previous postings and recite them, drunkedly, at parties. I bet you have found the time to finally sort through the underwear drawer, to wash your pets, braid your hair, and learn conversational Russian. I have also been very, very busy. With what? Catching up on back issues of The Economist? Building dioramas of past bad dates? Don't be silly; I've been watching non stop trash t.v. Pop culture is still culture people. Recognize.

I am even sadder than you are about the writer's strike. Luckily, I have awful taste in television shows; the shit I watch writes itself. So with Project Runway ramping up, and America's Next Top Model barely holding my attention when sober, I've been almost overwhelmed. Still, I have managed to take in the occasional episode of I Love New York 2: Return of the Man-Ho. Thanks to that Steven Covey workshop, I know how to make time for what really matters. I managed to almost avoid Tila Tequila, but the cat fights keep drawing me in. And this week Tila takes her slurred speech, barely dressed, trampy self to meet the parents of these people? That is what I call focusing on the family. I hope by starting to watch the show, I can answer that age old question: Does a slutty bisexual really have twice as many choices for a date on Friday night? Or just twice as many chances for vd?



Attracted as I am to glittery things, in much the same way birds and babies are attracted to them, grabbing wildly, trying to put them in my mouth, I bought the word 'hope' this week. It was silvery, glittery 'hope', big block letters dusted in shiny decadence. It was an early winter holiday time decoration (can we say christmas, even if we do not exclusively mean christmas? It's much less to type); purchased at Kohl's, because I am klassy with a 'k'. I debated between 'peace', 'joy' and 'hope'. But lately, hope is what I have been missing the most, so I took it to the check out counter, got it wrapped in plain brown paper, and took it home to hang on my bathroom mirror.

So, every night when I brush, but pretend to forget to floss, my teeth I stare at 'hope'. Every morning when I finger comb my hair and debate if I want to spend the extra five minutes required to put on makeup; I stare at 'hope'. I have definitely felt like I have needed some hope these days. So then I started thinking. How productive is it to have so much hope? Not in a pessimistic way, but maybe in an alternatively optimistic way. Hope, to me, implies some grabbing, some reaching and searching for something not yet on the horizon. But. Does that stop us from seeing what is in the present, what is already here? Does hope take us away from our current condition in ways that encourage, or allow us to ignore the condition? Does this hope related yearning propel us forward when we are stuck? Or does it hurl us forward and cut us off from what we are at the moment? Is it both?

It's amazing how much philosophy you can buy at Kohl's for under $5.00. Maybe I should go back for the 'joy'.



As days go, I've had better

I got a call from a good friend of mine. The news was not great. The news was awful. A mutual friend of ours, Lydia, committed suicide early, early yesterday morning. Alisa (the friend that called), Lydia and I went to grade school together in Philadelphia and then all to the same high school. I cut out and headed to California a few months later.

Lydia and I have not been the best at keeping in touch. She came to California a few years back and stayed with me for a week. That was great. Then last year, we got back in touch again. She sounded amazing. Her life was exactly what she wanted. She had fallen in love, gotten married, and was about to have a baby boy. I was so happy for her. Lydia was someone you liked and someone you wanted everything for. Almost as much as you wanted it for yourself.

Then a few months ago, her life went 180 on her. She was splitting from the dream guy, he had taken custody of their son and she had not been able to see the baby in over four weeks. And then sometime this weekend, she had enough.

A couple weeks ago, I had this dream. In this dream a friend of mine (not Lydia, a different friend) came to me, sat by the edge of my bed, and told me she had killed herself. Outside of novels, foreshadowing can just be a bitch.

So, let's raise our glasses to Lydia. Let's hope she can now find peace. In her honor, I will share some of my favorite memories of her.

  • The girl could sew. 8th grade, home economics, I am struggling with putting my shitty, purple apron together. Lydia is across the room, sewing a dress with pleats.

  • She knew how to accessorize. During her trip to California to visit with me, she bought about six pairs of new shoes. Obviously, the girl had her priorities in order.

  • She was smart as hell. I remember this even during grade school. She just knew things. Full of culture and random facts and handy to have around.

  • Lydia was goofy. Half the time she came across as somewhat loopy, but she was just a sharp girl that didn't always advertise.

In summary, she was pretty, nice, smart and complex. She was a good person to have in the world. It sucks that she no longer wanted to be in it.



No one explained this to me in college. *

While I am freaking out by the idea of having to deal with 10 more cats (plus a chihuahua, ay dios mio), I am very excited about the idea about getting to wear Prada while cleaning the 12 litter boxes.

*the thing with Salon links, like my link above, is you first have to watch their 'ad of the day' before you get to the actual article link. Click the next, watch the ad, enjoy the magic. Unless you are me and you just pay them their annual blood money for premium log-in service so that they will just leave you alone already. I am here for all your tech support needs.


Get Thee to a Nunnery, Perhaps Though a Buddhist Nunnery

There are very good reasons why I have not been keeping you all updated on my dating life. It is not because I have not had dates. Know this people: I get play. It's just, well, let me illustrate with two recent examples.

* A guy asks me out to dinner. Says, "Can I take you out?". Vetoes the place I suggest for a place three times as expensive. Asks to split the check. I am not one of those girls who reads 'The Rules', I am feministy, I do not follow traditional gender roles. I just think that whole thing could've been communicated differently. That's $45 I could've spent on strippers.

* Same guy, at said dinner. Asked what books he has read recently. Says, "I don't really read books, I have a hard time finishing them." That is not something you say to an English Major. He might as well mentioned his love of taking sex tourism vacations in order to meet young boys. I glanced down at my plate and attacked my overpriced (but tender, so tender) chicken mole.

* Then he mentions that he did, a couple years ago, manage to get through 'The Tao of Pooh'. A book with slightly less words and pages than 'Goodnight Moon'.

*That same night I come home to a frightening email. Another guy. I read the words no woman wants to hear (or see typed). "I'm really into soft rock." Aren't rocks, by definition, supposed to be hard? I bet it is easy to cheat when challenging this guy to rock-paper-scissors. 'Scissors cut rock. I win!' Envisioning a life chock full of Kenny Loggins' songs. I clutch the chihuahua to my bosom and cry.

And yes, you want to know about Maui, of course you do. It was wonderful. Wailea smells like plumeria, Hana smells like guava, and Kihei smells like surfers and mai tais. More to follow once I get the pictures loaded...



There is a chance that I will not blog at you for awhile. Please don't leave nasty phone messages if I don't (you know who you are, Suzanne). If things go well in Maui, I will not have time to blog or I will only blog after the mai tais and then promptly delete the posts when sober. Thanks for your understanding, now I have to pack my things:

brazilian cut bathing suit

bikini waxing kit

patent leather go-go boots

camera (what happens in Maui, will make its way back to California)

sun screen


attorney's cell phone number

food who packs food on vacation? Um, me. It's a condo, so I just wanted a few things available before we have the chance to hit the Hawaiian supermarkets. I'm only bringing essential items, things you can't get on the islands. Coconuts, pineapples, sugar, kona coffee...



That's my Grandmother. This was the last picture we had taken together. I dreamt about her the other day and am still processing it.

Ugh. This just happened to me a couple weeks ago and now here it is again. The other week I had this break up dream, where I broke up with a long term partner. I went around the entire next day feeling like I had just dumped someone. Who wants that? But, the most recent one is worse. In this dream my Grandmother had just died (she died in June and we were very, very close). Instantly, with her death, I was cut from my family. Not in a rude, I saw what you blogged about me way, but my main connection to them got severed. So, in the dream, I am in my Grandmother's house. In the tiny room I like to sleep in when I am there. I am trying on pairs and pairs of her shoes because I didn't have the right ones of my own to wear (this is how you can tell it's a dream). Everyone is running around and ignoring me.

I am having a shoe crisis, my Grandmother has just died, and I am alone in a busy, busy house.

So, I wake up and I know that the dream was not how things really went down. In the reality, my Grandmother's passing was still a hard, hard thing (we shared the same birthday, she helped raised me, she bought me shoes). But my family was great and I had never felt more connected to them. I loved being around them and cracking jokes, eating food, making someone buy me another beer. And, of course, in reality I had the right shoes. I always have the right shoes.

I also feel, I hate to get too woo-woo, but I feel like I haven't really lost my Grandmother. She was older, her health was failing, and I got to spend so much time with her in this last year. I was sad not to see her anymore, but felt like it was a relief for her to move on.

Still, today I am sad.


The Lion, the Lamb, the Lolita, the Fondue

Even though they normally fight like, well, cats and dogs (figuratively, literally, constantly), Lolita and Fondue have found some common ground. United in peace for minutes on end, they spread pet hair over my freshly laundered sheets.

When, I showed how upset I was at the prospect of washing the same sheets twice in one day, Fondue responded like so:


The Big and the Small

A tiny dog, named Fondue, encounters the ocean for the first time while camping in Big Sur.

"Oh, what is that? It is so magnificant. I must hike down, must get closer. It's smells fishy, heavenly. Oh, birds. Soft, soft sand. Wait. No! What is this? I hate when my paws get wet. This sucks. Let's go home to the kitties now."



Oh Kittens. It is an exciting time around here. Next week, at the tender age of 22 (can I get away with 22 or is that pushing it? Maybe 26?) I am heading off to Hawaii for the first time ever. Maui even. Which I hear is very romantic. Sadly though, I cannot bring the pets with me.

What makes this trip exciting and different for me is that I will be forced to do nothing the whole time. Nothing. I am what you call more of an adventure traveler. I like to hike until I get blisters, hit every museum and rodeo in town, and then spend the last hour left in the day shopping. I get back home and am exhausted. And I sit at my desk at the HR farm with my head against the keyboard. People talk. But on the island I will be sitting on the beach in a bikini that I will surely look good in again by next week, sipping drinks that involve fresh juice, colorful umbrellas, and buckets of rum, and eating the flesh of young coconuts.

Oh, and to be on an island that feels like an island and not just because I am in Alameda, at the small dog park (the dogs are small, not the park, except the park is also small), with a floral print shirt on trying to force the issue. I can only imagine what it will be like, but I know I will have a gdamn flower in my hair. That is for sure.



    (things my dog tried to eat)

  • Toothbrush, while it was still in my mouth

  • Beloved silver, sequined votive holder

  • My aunt's cosmopolitan (drink, not magazine), I don't know how many sips it takes to get a chihuahua drunk, but she was sipping for a little while before we realized it. Of course it was hard to tell if she was running around in circles and nipping at the other dogs because she was drunk or because she is just plain crazy.

  • Long overdue library book, mmm the sweet taste of the new Murakami novel.


Too Much is Never Enough

Ever see the movie 'Heathers'? It is exactly like that with me and my friends except we are all named Rachel. Or Rachael. But, mainly Rachel. Right now there are two Rach(a)els in my core friend group, and 3-4 more by association. Plus my hair dresser is named Rachel. And my physical therapist. Rach(a)els like to support their own. And we are all really nice. Plus we can all accessorize. I guess that means it's nothing like 'Heathers'.

A few weeks back, Rachael was sick. And Rachel was out of town. What to do? Sometimes during this time I would go to a dinner party and half the people there would not have my name. I was very confused. I was worried about the Rach(a)el to non-Rach(a)el ratio. I was worried the balance of the very universe would be jeopardized, that the fabric of our very lives would be torn in unrepairable ways. I needed to get us more Rach(a)els.

So I did what the kids do. I got on My Space. I created a profile, complete with a chihuahua picture and got to work. I searched for my high school best friend, Rachel. And I found her. And this weekend we met up for coffee. She's great. She looks good, she is Buddhist, she has fantastic tattoos everywhere, she is doing something with her life. All these things are wonderful on their own. Even better all together. And down right miraculous if you went to our high school. I'm just saying: ghetto. So, I have a new Rachel. A new, old Rachel. My scarcity issues are in check once more. The life fabric is untorn or maybe just torn in repairable ways. The universe is saved.



Schadenfreude: pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune

Let's give it up for the Germans y'all. I experienced Schadenfreude and then learned the word all within 15 minutes. Where does one go to learn such wonderous, worldly, words? One goes to Avenue Q. I went to the play on Tuesday with Leslie and we had a blast. The puppets were great, the songs were great, it was applicable to our lives and cutting edge (well, cutting edge if I was in New York and it was five years ago and I was 23). The best part was the 'Bad Idea Bears' these two cuddly, pastel colored faux Care Bears that give you the worst advice ever.

"What are you doing Princeton?"
"Don't look for a job, go get some beer"
"Yay! Beer!"
"Better get a case instead of a six-pack, it's a better value and you don't want to waste money"

Yes, yes. The Bad Idea Bears are brilliant. They say what I say, but in higher, cuter voices. The bears' greatness was followed closely by schadenfreude and best of all, the song about schadenfreude. Maybe I'm just a sucker for high-brow culture, but I can't stop singing it.

Now, minutes before the puppets explained schadenfreude, I experienced it. The universe, she knows what she is doing. Here is how it went down. Funny song, funny puppets, funny song, funny puppets, intermission. Y'all know it gets rough at intermission. You have 15 minutes to grab your five pre-ordered gin and tonics, go the bathroom, and eat an overpriced bag of m&ms. So, I don't fuck around. When the lights go on, I am off and knocking people over to get to the drink shelf. I am all business.

So, I'm at the Orpheum. I have my drinks in hand. I head to the bathroom. From the top of the stairs, I look down and see this long line of men. Shit. If there are men waiting in a bathroom line, that means the women's restroom is going to be at least 20 times worse. Shit. Shit. Shit. But wait.

Wait. I make it all the way down the stairs and see that there is no women's restroom line. Let me break this down for you:

1) really long line for the men's restroom
2) no line at all for the women's restroom
3) ??
4) really

First I looked around for Rod Serling. Then I was overtaken by happiness. Happiness that comes from a bad, bitter place. Happiness that comes from watching boys fidgetting in the bathroom line. Schadenfreude.


Under Stating the Overly Obvious

"Dog fighting is a bad thing"~Michael Vick

T.v. has been letting me down. I thought t.v. liked me liked me. Lately, I have been feeling cheap and used. And not in a sexy, role-play way.

I normally don't watch t.v. in the morning, but I was desperate to get the visuals from last night's 'Man Whore with STD' episode of Dr. 90210 out of my head. I should've stuck with the man whore. There I am drinking coffee watching Michael Vick give the lamest apology ever. Dog fighting is bad? Seriously, that is what your publicist and manager have helped you come up with? That is not going to stop Peta members from making you their prison bitch for the next 1-5 years. News flash, the following are also bad: genocide, floods, and super low-rise jeans that don't hide your muffin top.

Luckily the universe is about balance. On the plus side of things: pina coladas, making love at midnight, and whiskers on kittens. Let's hear it for the kittens for keeping order in the world!


TMDTTE (Things My Dog Tried to Eat)

(Things My Dog Tried to Eat)

  • Buttons off of my hand-made raggedy andy doll

  • cat poop

  • my work badge

  • my laptop power cord. Let's talk about this one for a bit. What that means is I am sitting on the couch watching educational t.v. ('Rock of Love'?, The Two Coreys'?), and then my laptop goes ZUZZ. I look down and see a tiny dog with chocolate colored eyes staring at a power cord that has bite marks on it. The dog is fine. The power cord is dead (chihuahua: 1, working from home: 0). It gets worse, of course. The next morning at my job at the HR Farm, I have to call IT and tell them. "Hi, yes, my dog ate my power cord." "Yes, I am sorry. Yes, I will keep her away from the new power cord when I get it. Yes, and the laptop. Yes, and the blackberry. Yes, and the badge."

  • my MAC lipgloss


Picture Day

Nothing puts the fear in me like picture day.

This goes way back. Kindergarten. I get the worst case of chicken pox ever recorded. I am out of school for ever. The day I come back? Picture day. Now most parents read the mail that the schools send home. Not my momma. I show up to class, still scratching, wearing overalls, and find out it is picture day. It is important to know that I was not a big fan of the overalls. I would cry and mope whenever my mother dressed me in something that I thought looked like 'boy clothes'. The overalls were, hands down, the worst of it. Kittens, when I say I was born femme, I mean BORN femme. It's picture day. I'm in overalls. I am barely un-chicken poxy. You can see the misery in the picture. It's palpable.

Things today, not much better. I just started working at the HR Farm. And I love the HR Farm. But, sometimes they push me. I get to work; No warning. I get an email saying they are going to take my picture today.

Surely, now that I am grown-up-ish, picture day should not be as bad. No. Not true. You should know what I'm wearing. I'm wearing a light blue and orange top that frankly looks like a smock. Remember in grade school when you wore the arts-n-crafts apron so you wouldn't get your clothes dirty when you finger-painted? It looks like that. All my outfits can't be winners. So, I'm in an apron, with a messy (not on purpose messy, but due to me being lazy messy) ponytail. And they insist on taking my picture. They will not be talked out of it.

I pretend to finger comb my hair; I put on lip balm and then snap. Picture taken. I don't know how bad it looks. Normally, I would get picky, insist on seeing it, reshoot if needed. Not this time. I mean, how good could it get? The only solution is to figure out a way to replace the photo with my Glamour Shots from the mall.


Well Protected

That's Galileo (Lil' G). She is head of security at my house. Don't be surprised by her innocent look. If you come to the door, she will growl at you. She is just that brave. She rests all day on the pillows so that she can protect us all at night. Before she came to the household, my only protection was Lolita. Which is to say, not much protection at all. Lolita will let you break in, Lolita will show you where extra keys are hidden, Lolita will help you load the stereo in your car, you just have to pet him. He is what is called easy. Also called slutty, but that would be rude.

Last night the orange kitty from across the street wandered into the yard. Thankfully, Galileo was on duty and on top of it. She went to the french doors. Growled and hissed and made the mmmmwwwwrrrrrw sound until the orange kitty left. Lolita, in his non brave way, noticed I was awake and tried getting petted instead of trying to help protect us all. Fondue kept sleeping.

No, I do not like being woken up in the middle of the night by the mmmmwwwwrrrrrw sound, but when I finally fell back asleep after tossing and turning for an hour, I never felt safer.


Welcome To My New Blog Home. Please Take Off Your Shoes

Kittens, I know you miss me. I know you hate that my time gets all taken up with work, sleep, and pet juggling instead of taken up with you.

I hear your cries. I have created a blog for you. Just you. Only you. And those other people, but ignore them, this is about US.

Now you no longer have to wonder how badly my dating life is going, what trouble I have gotten myself into, or what my dog has tried to eat. Now you can read all about it.

I think this finally proves how much I love you. Please stop sending all those flowers.


TMDTTE (Things My Dog Tried to Eat)

The weekly installment of TMDTTE:

pony tail holders (yes plural, I am a slow learner)
my underwear (clean)
my phone (treo, not blackberry)
MAC makeup brush
wood shavings from the cats' scratching post
grocery bag
my underwear (dirty)
piece of tinfoil that my burrito was wrapped in


Bad Mutha

There is a chance that if I had a baby, I would be one of those people that leave their baby in the car. There is a chance I would be competing with Brittney Spears for mother of the year. Outrageous!

I try to be an adult. I progressed through different levels of pets. Goldfish, lovers, cats. I'm not doing so great at the dog level. I cut myself slack when I first found Fondue. I didn't beat myself up for forgetting to feed her on occasion or even when I completely forgot I had a dog and just stayed at work until midnight. All those times. After all, I was new to the dog world. And she found me. I didn't go looking for a dog. Surely an adjustment period is understandable.

Thing is, here it is seven months later and the dog still suffers. Yesterday, for example, I forgot that my aunt who normally checks in on the dog mid-day was working. So I didn't come home for lunch. Nope, I went to Target at lunch, just to browse the Libertine collection and see if there was anything new worth buying. Then I stayed at work a little later than usual. Then I went to the gym after work for my 20 minute power workout (people, you don't get abs like mine without putting in the time). So, um, I show up around 8:00 to find one excited, annoyed chihuahua and two pissed off cats that look like they had been chased and nipped all day.

Also, today I dropped two chocolate chips down my shirt while eating at my cubicle. Then when I was fishing them out, two of the sales guys walked by. At that point I started randomly typing on my computer to look busy. I'm not sure what this story has to do with the dog either. Sorry.


Yes, Again

This whole internet thing that all the kids are talking about? Over. Rated.

I think we were all hoping I had learned my eHarmony lesson when I could not manage to spell my name correctly. Alas, kittens some lessons must be learned over and over.

Some lovely man has patched his way through my drunken personality profile and seen me for the diamond in the rough that I truly am. It was that or the fact I managed to slap up the hottest picture of myself that I could find to compensate. A good photo angle and a tub of liquid eyeliner can do wonders for a girl.

eHarmony makes you work for love. For someone like me it seems like a lot of typing just to pretend I have morals. You have to send questions and answer questions and all this other bullshit until you can finally type a proper email. At this rate I won't get laid until I'm 70.

Alas, not all of us are equipped enough to use computers for grown up conversation. I managed to type some crazy epic email. I was just being all stream of consciousness and was totally going to edit. Totally going to go back and make it look, well, coherent. Until.

Until in mid sentence, I accidentally sent it. My good friends at eHarmony only allow controlled communication. What does that mean? It means I couldn't send another email saying "oops, typeing is haard for me, sorrry ;)" It means, it was sent out and I had to just deal with it.

I know that it might be best this man sees me in all my glory now. But really.


Don't Drink and Type

I get it. I get it.

My life is an edgy, badly written episode of "I Love Lucy". In my circle of friends I would love to be thought of as the sexy one, the fun one, the smart one. There is to be none of that. I am the goofy one.

It starts with a beer or two. I have no tolerance. I drink the beer and decide to get myself up on eHarmony. Sober this has never appealed to me. I think I'm a better fit for those personals on Nerve or The Onion or a phone number written in eyeliner on random bathroom walls. These mainstream dating sites get all insistent that you use your actual age, which severely cuts into the barely legal action I am gunning for.

So, I get myself up on there and start answering the questions. I type. I save. The next day I notice that I have spelled my own first name wrong on the profile. Not only is it a common name, but if I get in a bind it can be easily found on my driver's license, library card, in the bible.

Then I can't change it. I have to write a gdamn email to eHarmony asking them to correct it. Asking them to please correct the spelling on my common, easily spelled first name. Because I just couldn't get it right the first time.

Those poor guys that see my profile and want to date me. How could they possibly know what they are getting into? God knows what that so called personality profile says. I'd be amazed that I got anything correct on there.

If I said it once kids, I'll still say it again: Don't drink and internet date. Just. Not. Worth. It.