I Need a Little Love. And I Mean a Little.

This weekend I found myself in SF. Or Frisco, as it is never called by anyone that lives anywhere near it. So, I'm there I'm in the Mission buying pvc skirts and burritos. And in between those purchases I stop at Walgreen's to get a soda. What can I say, eating a lot of carbs and dressing like a whore can tire a woman out. Well, it took a long time to get the soda. There was a guy in front of me engaging the clerk in lengthy discussion about condoms. Apparently, this particular store keeps all their condoms behind the counter. Which makes me think they do that because people steal them. Which makes me think this would be a good area to distribute free condoms. Anyway, fifteen minutes on condoms while the line behind him is snaking through the store. And we can all see him. And hear him. And all know all about his business. Like the fact he doesn't want the Magnums. And the fact he only needs a three pack. And wants to know why they aren't on sale like the bigger boxes.

He might not have been embarrassed to ask these questions, but I was embarrassed to hear them. I mean, really? I am happy for him for practicing safe sex. I am sad for him only anticipating having protected sex three times in the decade before the condoms expire. Though, I imagine his willingness to engage in this kind of public humiliation in the middle of a drugstore might be decreasing his street value.

And for the record, when I find myself needing to buy condoms in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of a crowded store, I buy three boxes of the biggest boxes of the biggest condoms, a tin of breath mints and a bottle of whiskey. I want people to know I like to party.


Paste Magazine

To those of you that may have benefited from me illegally copying cds for you. Or maybe I introduced you to an artist you then fell in love with and got tattooed on your arm and you now spend all your days stalking, er, following them on tour. Here is your chance to give back to the world.

Paste Magazine, a magazine I have been a fan of for some time, is losing ad revenue and needs a shot in the arm to continue. And by shot in the arm, I mean cash. They are doing a fundraiser on-line:


I read their magazine and listen to the free mp3s/cds that come with every issue to learn about new music and keep up with the artists I have tattooed on my arm. Consider a subscription. But, if nothing else, consider floating them $5.00 so that my world continues to be happy. I'm still crying at night over the loss/transformation of Craft Magazine, the loss of Paste would be too much.



Recently,  I dug through the stuff of my dad's that I've kept. I made an effort to keep the things where our interests over lapped. I kept some of his well-worn cookbooks because he liked to cook and I like to cook. I grab them from the shelf in the kitchen and think about him. Stir, cry, mix. I like that more than storing boxes and boxes of things that I don't really want. And kicking them and tripping over them and getting angry at them. I like that the items I kept get used. A legacy of sorts. 

So, I dug out the two signed albums of his that I kept-- a Clash album and a Nick Lowe album. Surprisingly, I managed to get off my ass and get them framed. More surprisingly, I even managed to hang them. And now, I look at them whenever I leave the house.

Still, that ain't shit compared to how my friend Phil choose to remember his father. Phil, a friend from college and beyond, is an immensely talented artist. When his father was killed, he did an elaborate piece made from leather. It sounds lame when I type that, but it's awesome. And then it hung in the Oakland Museum as part of their dia de los muertos exhibit. I saw it there and was blown away. I sat by it and took it in for a good chunk of time before wandering around to the other displays.

Recently, Phil has unveiled a You Tube video that shows him making the piece. I know you have five minutes to spare. Go look.



Person buys butterscotch lollipop from See's Candy.

Cat finds lollipop on counter, plays with, swats, knocks lollipop to the floor.

Dog finds lollipop on floor, unwraps, eats lollipop.

Person pissed.


Mother's Day

I'm not sure that this will be surprising news to anyone that knows me, but Mothers' Day is not my favorite holiday. There is the fact that the lazy pets never get me a present and the, let's just say 'strained', relationship with my own mother. In years past, I would get up early on that day and call my Grandmother before the coffee ever hit my system. I can't put into words how much it sucks to not be able to do that. Well, to not be able to do that without some sort of seance. And a seance seems complicated without coffee. Plus, I bet I don't have enough candles or scarves around to really pull it off.

So, I wanted to do something this year. Something besides being in a crappy mood for a week and something besides yelling at the pets over and over again about how ungrateful they are. (I mean, after all I've done for them, really?).

It is important to express gratitude (I hope you are reading this Fondue). So, I did what the kids do, I went into Facebook and sent an email. Specifically, I went into Facebook, scrolled through the list of high school friends until I got to ST. In high school, when things with my mother went from chaos, to extreme and absolute chaos, ST helped me out. I went to her home and lived with her and her family for a month or so when I deconstructed and reconstructed my entire life. I can't imagine I was a breath of sunshine during that period.

So, life got reconstructed, I got moved to California and eventually the friendship with ST simmered away. There is more to the story, but I'm trying to focus on gratitude and not the petulance of high school students.

Ok, my point. I emailed ST on Mothers' Day. I did have coffee first, but then I sat down and emailed her. And thanked her. I'm not sure I got around to doing that in the two decades since I stayed with her. And even if I had, I'm sure I'm overdue for doing it again. So, I thanked her, for taking me in, for helping to give me this life, for helping in the reconstruction. A life I like and am grateful to have.

Mother's Day isn't so bad.

I still miss those calls with my Grandmother.


Race, iPhones, and Google Earth

I know I look healthy, but I still get to spend a nice chunk of time at the doctor's office. Recently, I was sent to the lab for some blood work (I'm fine, no need to send the fruit baskets). The lab was behind. Way, way behind. I was in the lobby with an eight year old girl and her Grandparents. Waiting and waiting. Eventually, we started chatting. Actually, the girl approached me. Here:

"Is your phone white because you're white?"

I glanced at her Grandparents, they had horrified looks on their faces. I motioned that it was ok.

"No, it's just a coincidence."

"What does your phone do?"

And that is when I handed it over to her and we started exploring. When I opened up Google Earth things really heated up. I did a quick overview of how it works, showed her how to navigate and let her explore on her own. She was a quick study and was zipping through the continents in no time. Eventually, she brought me the phone back.

"Show me where President Obama lives"

Then I took over, giving her an overview of Washington D.C., the White House, and US History in general. I think it went well; she offered me a cheeto. 

It was probably the longest wait for a blood test that I've had to date.  And I've been blessed with a lot of lab time. Still, it was one of the best waits. Minus the cheeto stains on the iPhone.


At My Age

So, I've always thought it a bit silly to sit around and worry about aging. Not because I am so enlightened and mature that it doesn't affect me. But, because I'm rational enough to know that there are plenty of things within my control to sit around and worry about. So, I keep ticking off the years and putting money aside in my 'future plastic surgery' account. And sit around and worry about things I could do something about if my couch wasn't so damned comfortable. 

My point is, every once in awhile, I still get floored by the amount of time that has passed. You know, how much time has passed since high school, since college, since I only had one pet instead of a zoo. 

The other day I got a call out of the blue offering me a free Green Day ticket. Of course I said yes. But at the show, that whole 'time passing' issue came up.  


Me: "Remember when we saw them at Gillman St.?
Friend: "Fuck.  How old are we?"
Me: "Well, we met in high school and we graduated 20 years ago."
Friend: "Fuck."
Me: "Yeah."


Leave the House

I know, t.v. is f-ing awesome. If I could get away with doing nothing but watching People's Court all day, I would. Actually, when I say I'm 'working from home' that's code for watching People's Court, putting scotch in my coffee and yelling at the pets while sitting on the couch in my bathrobe. You always suspected; now you know.

Still, fresh air won't kill you. Here is what you need to do. Mark the date April 22, 2009 on your calendar, and go to Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco. A friend of mine from college and beyond, is having a book signing. Here. The book is amazing. More than a book-- an art collage, a memoir, a true story of childhood chaos. Cori is beyond talented. Creative in all the ways you wish you were. Check out the book; check out the reading. Get out of the house already.



I know you all have been losing sleep over the COBRA changes that went into effect 2/17/2009 and what they all mean. 

The main items are:

To be eligible you must have been involuntarily terminated-- no quitting--between 9/1/2008 and 12/31/2009.

And you need to elect COBRA (hopefully you kinda figured that one out on your own.

65% Discount on COBRA costs (paid by employers and then taken by employers as a tax reduction)

Discount lasts for nine months worth of premiums paid on or after 2/17/2009 (3/1/2009 for plans that charge premiums on a calendar basis)

Special election opportunity for individuals that would qualify, but didn't elect COBRA during the initial notice period. They get an additional enrollment period ending 60 days after the plan provides them notice.

Income limits. If your modified, adjusted, gross Federal income is over $125,000 ($250,000 for joint filiers) during the year the premium assistance is granted, the premium gets reduced-- at $145,000 ($290,000 for joint filiers) the premium is removed and must be repaid.

For more info, go here.