Wednesday, March 30, 2011


For someone who is decidedly not all lovey-dovey moon and stars, the movie Serendipity is one of my favorites. Fairly certain I've mentioned this before but I'm reiterating because even the concept of serendipity, for someone who generally is cynical and jaded is one that I really like. It's somewhere between blind faith and mere coincidence. Formal definition is: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Recently, Andy and I were discussing that I needed SOMETHING (his exact word) to do with my time. He jokingly sent me (I never asked him how/where/why he found these) a series of craigslist links in our IM conversation. The first one was for a legit writing gig about college football. The others were for silly things like home healthcare and sperm donation. I emailed myself the writing gig one, but let it languish in my inbox for a few days. I mean, I know my college football. But I'm not an ACTUAL writer. This here little blog read by, what, five people? doesn't exactly make me J.D. Salinger, just a j.d. (rimshot. Awful joke). I would LOVE to be a capital W writer, I think on old lists of life goals is "published writer", but I can't actually do that, right? I mean...come on! (Note to self: only you limit your potential, no one else does. So knock it off, asshat.)

But I was sitting at the beach house this weekend and I fired off one of my generally sarcastic, ridiculous emails to the email address listed in the craigslist ad. Why the heck not? It was of the tone found in any of these blog posts or if you've been lucky enough to get my more personally point by point detailed emails, it's in there too. Even after sending it I was like, sha, as if, I've dealt with enough online resume deals to know chances of ever hearing anything are slim.

Two days later I get an email from the very clever site proprietor wanting to set up a phone interview. Really? Me? I get nervous the next day as the time for the conversation approaches. I HATE, and do all things necessary to avoid, talking on the phone. But it's not so much an interview as, "You want to tackle writing? Go on ahead!"

I'm going to write six snark filled pieces on the SEC East. For money. I am a paid motherfucking writer. For the first time in my life. Whhhhhaaaaa? How the...?

As Andy said, "Welcome to the world of slave wages blogging!"

I'm a little petrified. And part of my gig involves actual like journalism stuff. Which, um, it never even occurred to me to take a single journo class at LSU while I was taking various playwriting and short-story classes. (Did you know I took those? I did. There are some bad short stories buried on this hard drive somewhere.) And that phone avoidance thing? Yeah. Gonna have to get over that right quick.

But I'm also terribly excited. I got more excited this evening when website bossy dude said that out of more than 100 resumes I (and others) had been chosen. *I* stood out. The...hell...

So for the happy ridiculous circumstances that led to the confluence of events that got ME to write for a (hopefully) bigger audience, I have to thank Andy.

Now pray this goes well. And if you have anything snarky to say about the 6 schools of the SEC East or want to enlighten me on their traditions, as I never went to any of their stadiums, pass it along.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Decisions and Cooking

Do you ever feel paralyzed by making decisions? Even the really little ones? Like there are just too many choices? Tom Petty sang that the future is wide open but maybe it's frighteningly wide open. At least that's how I feel lately.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Barry Bonds (sports blogging)

TK wrote a really thorough and lawyerly post on why the Barry Bonds trial is a waste of money. I actually completely agree with his premise. But I'd still like to offer a counter-point. After trying my hand at sports writing once previously, I thought I'd give it another shot.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fat Girl in the USA

Being female is HARD. And I don't mean that in the flip way I mean that when I complain about flat ironing my hair and putting on make up and figuring out what to wear. The buffing, the painting, plucking, shaving...the sheer effort to look as good as we want to look FOR YOU. Yes, that's all hard but that's not what I mean.

I've never been a man so I'm not going to say that that's NOT hard, I'm sure for it's own reasons it all very much is too can't compare, right?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Joke

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'm telling my grandfather's favorite joke. I have no idea how I know this was his joke or when he told it or when I understood it, as he died when I was ten years old, but I know it was his. The man was larger than life, joked with everyone, had these ridiculous bushy eyebrows, was always warm and effusive with us grandkids.

He would have these HUGE St. Patrick's Day parties where he would invite over all these clients and stuff and all the furniture would be cleared out of the living room and they'd rent party tables and chairs. I don't know how we managed to fit all those people in their house, but we did. My grandmother would slave over giant pots of corned beef all day, pulling out portable hot plates for all the pots of boiling water, which is HYSTERICAL when you know that she wasn't even Irish, she was French, German and English from upstate New York. But she'd married an Irishman and that's the way things went. My grandfather was actually born and raised in San Francisco (hence me being 3rd gen native), but HIS parents were fresh off the boat Irish and it's pretty in your roots when you're that Irish.

Now, he told lot's of jokes. Silly ridiculous phrases. "What a life without a wife but ten times worse with her!" In the eulogy I gave for my grandmother I mentioned how every single time they went over the Golden Gate Bridge he'd say, "Better go through the wide lane! Mother's in the car!" I'm sure there are other jokes and phrases trapped in the far corners of my brain if I thought about it. But this one? It's my favorite:

An Irishman is stranded on a desert island. He's been there for days, weeks even, roaming around by himself, when on the beach he comes upon a lamp. As anyone who has ever found a lamp knows, he picks it up and rubs it. And sure enough! Out comes a genie.

The genie says to the Irishman, "I will grant you two wishes, but only two! Use them wisely. What would you like for your first wish?"

The Irishman thinks about it for a minute and he says, "Ye know, I'm quite parched. I would just about kill for a bottle of fine Irish whiskey."

The genie says, "Your wish is my command." In the Irishman's hand appears a bottle of fine Irish whiskey. He is so grateful to for it, having not had a drop of alcohol in several weeks, that he gulps the whole bottle down as quickly as possible. "Ahhh! That was just fine!" he exclaims to the genie upon finishin. He looks down and finds that the bottle has refilled. "What's this!?" he asks the genie.

The genie responds, "Your wish for a bottle of whiskey was so modest, I made it a refilling bottle of whiskey. So long as you possess that bottle, it will never be empty."

The Irishman thanks the genie and says, "Well that's fucking grand!"

The genie then asks the Irishman, "What would you like for your second wish?"

Without missing a beat the Irishman says, "I'll have another bottle of whiskey!"

(For the record: I am at home this St. Patrick's Day, about to nap for a few minutes and then convince myself to go to the gym. I'm conflicted (as with much else these days) about how I feel about this. But it dawned on me earlier that my last St. Pat's Day was an epic night in Baton Rouge after a baseball game and trying to break into the football stadium at 3 a.m., and the year before that involved green jello shots at Dos Gringos in Scottsdale, AZ while I was there for spring training. So, I guess I'm okay with being home and not making an ass out of myself. Mostly.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Natural Disasters

I am not at all capable of processing the devastation that happened/continues to happen in Japan. It's overwhelming. I make it small, into little bites, to process it. I try to stay away from the news because it both over-sensationalizes it all and completely misses the point. I'm not good with big scary amorphous things I have no control over. In my family we deal with things by making jokes about them so I wasn't that surprised when my dad made a joke on facebook about his house being moved 2 blocks east by tsunami waters.

Aside: he texted me the day of the earthquake before it happened that he was in Santa Rosa and if I could check on the dogs, great, if not, no worries. I didn't because I was off doing other things (nothing). But then the earthquake hit and we got coastal tsunami warnings (his house is on the street that faces Ocean Beach) and I'm texting him at 2:30 a.m. wondering if I should go get the dogs because omg my dogs! Yeah. I'm an idiot. He wasn't worried so I stopped worrying.

So, I'm not good with this stuff. I wasn't good with 9/11 or Katrina, either. I feel overwhelmingly useless. I feel overwhelmingly heartbroken by what the people of Japan (or other place of natural disaster) are going through and then I, selfishly, feel frightened for myself.

Even as I try to make the Japan earthquake small, it hits close to home. We're on the same ring of fire, what happened in Japan could quite literally happen here at any time. I lived here in '89. In fairness, I was 9 years old and it's mostly a blur, but I still know what earthquakes are like. And our '89 pales in comparison in intensity and duration to what happened in Japan. So I've felt a little more anxious than usual the past couple days. This isn't combining well with my recent "life is a meaningless waste" attitude either.

I had to drive across the Bay Bridge yesterday and I suddenly found myself thinking, "Great. This is exactly where I want to be." Then I had to drive through the Caldecott Tunnel, another place I was loathe to be (as there was once a gasoline tanker accident in the tunnel). Sure, these aren't the most rational fears. The bridge is mostly safe, or something or so they tell us or we just ignore so we can easily get from one side of the bay to the other, and the tunnel has more bores now. However, in the aftermath of Japan, these are the things I think, ramping up my anxiety.

I can't just hide under the covers forever (I very much am right now...for more reasons than just this though), and we take our chances and be as prepared as possible and you keep on going because you can't be paralyzed by a pretty big "what if" fear, but I'm still a little freaked out.

We don't even have an earthquake emergency box. No one seems particularly worried about this. I guess because if there is a natural disaster and marshall law is declared my family IS marshall law? I don't know. I should probably make my own just in case.

This is also why natural disasters make me anxious. After the '89 quake I basically didn't see my parents for a week as they were at work nonstop. And yes, I'm a grown ass adult, but still, you want to feel safe and know that everyone you know is safe instead of purposely being in the Marina as it liquifies and turns into a ball of fire. I won't get that reassurance.

So to cope I put my fingers in my ear and go "La la la la" and pretend it's all going to just be fine.

You can find me under the covers.

*I'd say something about the resilience of the people of Japan or the fact that their superior engineering saved thousands of lives, but that seems trite. I won't say "pray for them" because is there anything more useless? Thoughts are with them is also trite but they most definitely are. So...yeah...useless...

Monday, March 14, 2011


My family is freaking bougie. I try to ignore this and go with the whole "Noooo, we're totally middle class salt of the earth folks. They're all cops for chist sake!" But my mother has both invested well and inherited and I am forced to admit that anyone with a hobby of collecting muscle cars and more than one jeweler she goes to regularly makes us more than a little bougie. I'd also say that her being bougie and me up to my eyeballs in student loan debt doesn't necessarily mean that I'm bougie, but my own penchant for designer purses and things that sparkle would speak to the contrary. I'd like to think that the me that screams profanity at sporting events is more of my personality than the me who can spot the girl with the Chanel clutch from across the room but who knows. *shrug* These are the parts of my personality I have yet to figure out, I suppose.

The reason I bring any of this up is that my mother's bougie penchant means I get to spend my afternoon driving to the 8th circle of hell (San Ramon) to pick up her latest purchase. Instead of doing what I want to do (nothing, screwing around on the internet). Why she can't wait until tomorrow on her day off to do this I have no idea. Check that. Yes I do. She has impulse control issues when it comes to certain things. Instant gratification her need. (THAT'S where I get that from *lightbulb*)

And what, exactly, is this purchase? She got another car. A bougie car. I won't even admit to what because just...for the love of god. Just know that my mother and the women dropping off their kids at Burkes are probably all in the same quasi-SUV thing now.

This is made even MORE ridiculous because she had a year old SUV that she got rid of six months ago. Because she didn't want to keep purchasing insurance on a car that she only drove to and from work (her work is like 3 miles from our house, if that). So she got rid of it. Only to decide...try to stifle your laughter...that the sedan she currently drives wasn't conducive to taking the dog to the dog park because it had no proper back area. He needs a car where he can be all the way in the back! Yes, she is using our little mutt as an excuse to buy a new car. That is strikingly similar, only more of a luxury brand, than the car she just got rid of did. *shakes head* So she purchased this from a private party. In San Ramon. That I have to now take my stepdad to pick up. At 3 p.m. In the East Bay. Guuuhh.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ice Dreams

Have I mentioned I picked up a nasty hockey watching habit during this year's bar study? Yeah, I did.

I'm currently curled up on the couch watching a hockey game that I know the results of, that ended several hours ago and I don't even care. It is beyond awesome. 

I know this is useless to be upset about and really how could anyone know that at my rapidly advancing age I would fall so thoroughly in love with hockey but damn do I wish my parents had known to channel my youthful angst and aggression into this sport. There's no way anyone could have known to. There was no inkling of it anywhere in my growing up. There might have been when I suddenly and quite completely switched allegiance from baseball to football as a college freshman, enjoying the pure adrenaline and speed of football over baseball, but probably took this exact and precise moment in time and the confluence of events that occurred to get me here. So here I am. In love.

(I am not, and have never been, athletic. I am not from the driven kind of family where we fight for success, which translates into us not being great athletes. My parents were/are young and got divorced when I was young, so the thought of them spending hours driving us to any kind of practices anywhere or investing money in our playing habits is laughable. My wish for a different kind of youth is beyond moot.) (Also: SF didn't even have a rink most of the time I was growing up. I know that's insane to imagine, a major city without an ice rink, but it's true.)

Still. I wish... (I haven't cried at this ad or watched it about a dozen times. Nope. Not at all.)

I can't get enough of it though. I find it magical, the way they glide down the ice. I could watch Ovie skate all day. (When he's on, he is very, very on.) The way it's all so fast and seemingly effortless. The way the players skate backwards on the ice when on defense. The classic hockey stop. The slashing at the puck with the stick and crashing the net. I love learning the different team histories and about the players and who has a rivalry with who and why. I love hockey nicknames. I ask bartenders/restaurants to change the TV no matter where I go now so I can watch a game/highlights. (It helps that it's currently just spring training and basketball. Not all 20 TVs in an establishment need to be turned to ESPN.) I want to absorb every last second of it. I want to buy jerseys and go to games and cheer as loud as possible. Do you know that moment when something and everything suddenly makes total and complete sense? What is that? Kismet? That's how I quite suddenly and all at once feel about hockey.

But it's more than that too. Because, as opposed to the way I know I can't play football and have only the mildest interest in throwing a baseball around, I want very desperately to skate and to eventually learn how to play. I will break my ankle or wrist. I have almost no doubt about this. See above where I'm not athletic? Yeah. I also lack any semblance of grace. But I want this. It feels like a really bizarre thing to want, to be able to glide down the ice and not fall over and to hopefully one day get proficient at it. For now, since ice is hard to come by in Northern California, I'm going to figure out where the pair of rollerblades I know I had at one point are and drag them out, head down the street to the school playground and start there.

This should be amusing...

I also hope at some point it becomes really really awesome. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ya like dahgs?

My brother maintains that I have no sense of humor. This proves that my brother doesn't know me very well. It's not that I have no sense of humor, it's that I don't share his lowest common denominator sense of humor. Him: Apatow fan. Me: Not. Mel Brooks is funny. The Coen brothers are often funny. Monty Python is funny. Mostly I like really twisted dark comedy. Which is why when Snatch was on the other night, I had to watch. And I laughed hysterically. The Brad Pitt, in the full on pikey accent asking, "Ya like dahgs?" remains one of my favorite things in movies.

And in bad non-sequiturs: I do like dahgs. Very much. Which I believe I've copped to before. At my mom's house we have a 38 pound mutt. (I know because he just went to the vet and got weighed. She said he needed to go on a diet. I feel strong because I pick him up all the time.) I adore this dog. We play, we watch TV together, we walked Land's End the other day with my mom, which was great, him and I jogging up the steps. So yesterday, I grabbed the dog and took him on a walk around Lake Merced.

OMG. I was gonna punt the dog into the lake and it would have been totally justifiable. 38 pounds of constant tugging. Somewhere when he was a puppy (which isn't that long ago, he's only a year and a half old), he developed an intense hatred of bicycles. If one cruises by he chomps at it and snarls like he's taking down big game. I have him on, literally, a short leash. But if the bikes come from behind I can't hear them so I'm constantly off balance pulling him in, as a not very athletic person, I'm waiting for this to make me fall. Mercifully it didn't. When we first start the walk and I'm still getting adjusted to him being a pain in the ass, some big buff dude rides by on a bicycle, dog chomps, and guy flips us off. Um. It's an at best medium sized dog. ON A LEASH. For serious? That was necessary? Then dude is stopped at a bench a little ways up the path and sort of snarls at us being a jerk. I didn't say or do anything and just kept walking but I shoulda called him out on being a douche. Muscle bound idiot intimidated by a tiny dog? I'm not walking my 90 pound pit. From his perspective, I imagine a lunging dog isn't the most welcoming site, but that was seriously uncalled for.

I spend the next 4 miles fighting the dog. I'm PISSED. Working out is my zen relaxing time, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, working out SUCKS. But it also is about me and clearing my brain and zoning out for a little bit. So now that I've been tugging on a leash for over an hour, this walk seemingly endless, as he's now decided that joggers and strollers and motorcycles and UPS trucks on the road bordering the path are also the enemy, I want to tie him to a tree and leave him there (I'm irrationally angry, I would NEVER harm my dog). He was just being an ornery little monster. I think maybe there's just too much going on at Lake Merced, too much sensory overload for him. I don't know. But we're not walking that path together again, that's for sure.

Another fun fact about me: I hold grudges. Like whoa. It's the Irish/Jewish blood in my veins. We don't forget a slight. I may forgive at some point, but I won't forget. Stubborn to my own detriment on occasion. This extended to the dog. I came home and told my mom what a pain in the ass he had been and then spent the rest of the evening ignoring him. And he knew. Oh, he kneewww.

Except. Unlike with most people who I will continue to be pissed at for perpetuity? The dog does this:

Blue shirt, brown sweats? That's me. He's sound asleep as close to me as possible, his head running parallel to my leg, his feet just beyond he computer screen. And how can you be pissed at that? Dammit dog. You're forgiven. I'm still letting someone else walk you today. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Notes on a Scandal (Sports Blogging)

Those of you that care not for when I ramble about athletics, skip on over this one.

Everyone else? Strap in. Here are my thoughts* on the scandal and shit storm at Ohio State University:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I'm explaining this for a final time (I'm fairly certain I've explained it before somewhere, once upon a time, who knows where I put it).

Friday, March 4, 2011


I thought being done with the bar exam would be a big giant relief and I would be a normal human being again. Um. Yeah. I completely figured that one wrong. I was a giant anger ball for the past week. Mostly, I think (I really have to stop typing "I think". OBVIOUSLY it's my thoughts. Gah. Bad writing.), because it meant the future was here and that's scary for all of its own reasons.

So like I said, giant anger ball. Which I didn't want to shout at the internet because it's all just very me me me and I find it annoying and self indulgent so don't really want to expose everyone else out there to it too. And there's definitely still stuff I'm working through, both on an emotional level and on an actual tangible clean my room run errands level. Sometimes those are the same thing.

Instead, after wanting to claw my skin off/punch a wall/kick something, I finally called up Cheryl and we ramped up the ole BNBD meter. On a Tuesday night. It's Thursday. I'm fairly certain I'm still hungover. (It's now Friday. I feel mostly human again.)

But ya know what? It was one of those in vino veritas/bacchanalia much needed release kind of things. Despite the hangover I felt much better after acting like a drunken idiot than I had prior to it.

My mom kiboshed my road trip to New Orleans because my car is actually HER car, so despite being 30 I am stuck in the 'Sco (Yeah, the Sco. I'm hip. What of it?), which lead to some of the crankyness. I realize, after pouting about it for a day, that it's probably better to not just drive to Louisiana without a plan or a place to stay. On the other hand, as my dad said when we talked about it Thursday night, "What's the point of living if you can't be spontaneous?" And in true defiant teenager fashion, that's when I went out and got drunk.

After the BNBD night, I peaced out to the beach house and basically laid around there doing nothing. It was magnificent. I indulged in all my guilty pleasure foods and played tug-o-war with Maverick.

And now, I am back at my house and it's time to seriously get shit together. Like yesterday. So we're gonna do that now. Slowly. Lists and checking things off and such.

Not a particularly exciting update but I'll have more soon (I hope).

In the meantime, it's Mardi Gras weekend. Which should be a national holiday(s?). In honor of NOT being there, I've decided to make a ton of New Orleans food and indulge. Because that's the point. Sheer hedonism. We're gonna do Mosca's Chicken a la Grande. I might start that with some Crab Maison via Galatoire's. There will definitely be Abita. Maybe a hurricane or two. Pick up some Po Boys? Sazerac's are also decidedly New Orleans. Oh, and for dessert? It's just not Louisiana if you aren't flambeing some bananas. Although: If someone knows where in the city I can get a decent approximation of a King Cake, that'd be appreciated. I should probably invite some people over for this...

Now THAT makes me feel better.