Rightly Named Holiday

This has been a good Thanksgiving. I'm a fan of thanks and a fan of gratitude. I know I have a good life. Even on those crappy days when all I want to do is watch Court TV, I still know I have a good life. Some people don't even have cable. 

My holiday meal was early. I found myself in San Jose at 1:30, standing in my cousin's hospital room and waiting for my turkey and gravy. It's been awhile since I've written about Tiffanie and you should know she is doing about 500% better. She is awake, and talking, and sassy. She isn't herself. Well, she isn't the Tiffanie she was seven months ago before the accident. Her brain is still in a different place. She is awake though and remembers my name and blows me kisses and sticks her tongue out whenever I take her picture. So, she is herself, just a different self than the 2007 Tiffanie. Last time I was at the hospital, visiting, this was hard for me. That time I hung out with her awhile, hugged her goodbye, and sat on 880 missing the conversations we used to have. 

I was a little anxious today. Wondering if the sadness would come back. The complicated sadness that had me missing her 'old self' and being ecstatic about all her new progress at the same time. But, today I walked in to the room, saw her, smiled and just sat down to talk. 

I loved watching her try to steal more rolls when we were eating, loved watching her blow me kisses, spell my name. I got it this time. The gratitude. That she made it out of that awful accident alive, that she came out of that coma, that she knows who I am and who she is and how good those damn rolls are.

It was great to be able to share a meal with my family, to catch up on the gossip, to pile my plate with too much food and then go back for seconds, but leaning down to hug Tiffanie and having her kiss my ear. That's all I really needed. 


Yes, I Would Arrest Me Also

Speeding tickets aside, I'm a half decent driver (well, I use turn signals, sometimes I down shift near crosswalks). I imagine if you were in the car with me a few weeks ago when I went to Amoeba to sell my dad's old records you might have a different opinion of my driving expertise. My step-sister was with me and oddly enough now every time she gets in my car she double checks the lock for the seat belt and makes the sign of the cross. Even though she was raised Jewish.

So, Suzanne helps me load box after box in the back of my car. I thought I was fine. We got on the freeway, got off the freeway, drove to Amoeba. Then, I guess it turns out I wasn't exactly fine after all. Grief, not linear, doesn't lessen by a small amount every day. It's circular. Better one day, worse the next, then better, then better-er, and even better-er. Then you dig up your dad's old records from your garage and so, worse again.

So, I turned the wrong way down a one way street, instantly realized it. Made an illegal u-turn. And then because boxes of records can be heavy, I parked at the corner-- yellow loading zone be damned--and put on my hazard lights.

I got one box of records to the counter while Suzanne watched the car. When I was picking up the second box, the Berkeley bicycle cops arrived. Not exactly to help with the lifting. Apparently they had seen, um, everything. And, in case I had forgotten my driving errors, they helped remind me:

"Mam, you're parked in a loading zone"

"I'm so sorry, I'm taking these boxes to Amoeba and they are heavy and I was just dropping them off and was going to re-park.  I should not have parked here though, I know that was wrong."

"Yes and before that you went the wrong way on the one way street, followed by an illegal u-turn."

"Yes. I did do that. I turned down the street and when I realized I was going the wrong way, tried to correct it.  I don't normally make mistakes like that. I don't know what else to say. These records were my dad's and I'm selling them because he passed away.  And I'm emotional about that, but I didn't realize that it would effect my driving like this. I can't believe I went down that street the wrong way. It's very dangerous."

Then she stared at me for awhile, and turned to her partner.

"You have any questions for her?"


And then back to me.

"You still have all those boxes left to bring in?"


"Hurry up and then get parked correctly and then be more careful next time"


Then, I just stared at her for awhile. I'm used to things like this happening to me. I know how to remain calm. This is my life and after 37 years it's all common place.  But, somehow, this being Berkeley bicycle cops and all, I was still expecting to end up in handcuffs. And as hot as ending up in handcuffs can be from time to time, I was happy not to go there with them. And not even a ticket.


True Love

I could write about my own dating life, but why? Half of you readers have already received late night phone calls from me gushing/bitching about it in painful detail. Making you read about it would just remind you of how inappropriate it was of me to place that call, that late, that drunk, on a work night and get me thrown out of your will. And what would my life be without the promise of someday inheriting your aromatherapy candle collection? I can't risk it. I'm going to talk about my step-sister's dating life instead.

Of course, since she is my friend as well as my step-sister, we all know she is something special to look at. If you're my friend, you are hot, hot, hot. No offense to the uglies out there, but when talking for hours to someone about my chihuahua or court tv, it's important to me that they be easy on the eyes. So, she's a hottie and she placed an ad up and promptly had her email box blow up with potential suitors. Some she liked, some she didn't. The thing is, unlike me, she's nice. She had one guy that she wasn't really in to, but still thought he was nice and interesting and had a hard time breaking his heart. Eventually she did. She let him know that she wasn't attracted to him in a romantic way, but would still like to hang out, but would understand if he didn't. I think when she typed the last bit of that sentence she maybe didn't realize how exactly he would take the news. Just so you can can understand his lack of understanding, I'm pasting his exact email below:

"Here's more or less how things are going to go from here. You have two choices. You can:a) never hear from me again.b) Call me before 3:30 pm. Apologize in a sincere fashion for being dishonest and foolishly, prematurely judgmental. We had no opportunity to establish chemistry Sunday. You will sincerely acknowledge that. If you wish, you may admit that your reaction has been due to the embarrassing way you presented yourself, and a desire to avoid feeling as though you were the unattractive party (you were). You will give your word never to lie to me again under any circumstances.

If I believe you, I will say so and graciously accept your apology. You will then ride the BART to Fremont, arriving no later than 6pm. You will call me. I will pick you up.I realize you probably have plans, and am totally unmoved by any problems this causes you. We will have dinner. At no time will you complain or question my directions, you will simply follow them. You will trust in my demonstrated honesty and respect for you. Since you're a free citizen, you'll have the opportunity to leave at any time. Doing so will result in us never speaking again. I will not negotiate with passive-aggressive, disrespectful people unless I absolutely have to. I don't have to in your case. This is your one and only chance to become my friend, much less anything more.

FWIW, I really enjoyed writing this, on so many levels."

Oddly enough, she has decided not to respond. Not to reveal too much, but I've pissed a few dates off in my life and I've dated a few kinda crazy people in my life as well. It's the combination of the two, added to a slightly dominant personality that allows the creation of the above masterpiece. Frankly, I loved the fuck out of the email. Except the part where he thought it was ok to send it to my step-sister. She isn't giving me his address or phone number, but I will find it eventually. And when I do, I will drive to Fremont, give him the chance to apologize in a sincere fashion for being a total asshole. And I will allow him to give his word never to talk to her again like that under any circumstances. Then I will graciously accept his apology and kick his ass anyway. And, FWIW, I will really enjoy doing that last part on so many levels.


Customer Service

I'm sure y'all already know this, but last week was the Amateur Porn Awards sponsored by Good Vibrations. Being a big supporter of the arts, I volunteered to help out at the VIP party thrown beforehand. Also, I made my step-sister and my friend Leslie, volunteer with me. I bribed them with pastries from Tartine. You can buy friends, you just need the right currency.

Leslie got a grown-up, responsible job, checking for VIP wrist bands and making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. Suzanne and I were in the corner, guarding the top of the steps on the side of the floor that had the access roped off at the lower level.

Not many people snuck past the rope to go up our flight of steps to visit us. There was the one guy that when he found out I had a decent camera at home, gave me his business card because his "friend" was looking for someone to take dirty pictures of him. I was gracious, but you know, that card made it into the recycling bin pretty quickly once I arrived home.

Then the guy, at the beginning at the night, that wanted a refund because he didn't like the choice of beer. For the record, those bitches at Good Vibrations can throw a party. Free beer and wine, performers, snacks, a wheel you could spin to win adult-themed prizes. And tons of hotties just wandering around, some barely dressed. There are worst ways to spend a night, Budweiser or no Budweiser. So, first I told him "after the 10th beer, you're not even going to be able to taste it anymore, don't give up so quickly, no one likes a quitter." That didn't work. Then I went with "You should switch to wine anyway, this is California." Well, being a hater of local economies, he replied "You can't chug wine." I happen to know for a fact, that you can. You don't go to a crappy high school, spend your college years in a drunken stupor, and not come away with a few life skills. I told him that and added "bring the wine over here, I'm going to chant 'chug, chug, chug' and help you through this." That didn't work either. So, I took his VIP wrist band and gave him his money back. Ending the night having made ($10.00) for the cause. Not the most successful volunteer. Which may explain how I ended up sitting in the corner in the first place.

Oh well, Suzanne and I didn't care. We made our own damn fun.. Mostly, we spent the night making up new dance moves: 'The Cracked Egg', 'The Vegan Grocery Shopper', 'The Lunch at Cafe Gratitude' and 'The Keeping the Damn Pets Off My Lap So I Can Get Some Get Work Done'. It's hard to put into words the sheer brilliance of the dances. Our next step is to dust off our go-go boots, iron our tube tops and head out to dance clubs to show off the moves and make our fame and fortune. Luckily for you, you knew me when.