May 31, 2007

-image-old yearbook photos

Okay. Nice to see I’m putting my lollygagging and avoidance of the gay ‘n’ chatty Boheme public to good use today. Seriously. I was there for 2 weeks straight, every dadgummed day, because our beloved employee C was graduating and had time off for some serious hoopla and hangovers. And she will neverevereverever get time off again. I mean it, C! But when she came back, I wept messy tears of joy and relief and just threw the keys at her. (Sans money, okaay, true, no need to keep harping on that.)

But I needed some quiet time. Some very very quiet time.

So here’s what I’m doing with it: Looking at this website called, strangely, Family Old Photos. Which seems backwards to meee, but maybe English is not the site owner’s first language. Or some other, slightly less snotty-sounding explanation.

Anyway, the site has a section of old yearbooks and just now, browsing around, the entries — little bios like we all had next to our senior photos — are hysterical. I’m posting some here, leaving the full names off.

Here’s one that seems rather nice, to start, but then, well …. seems to kinda go south; maybe it’s just me:

yearbooks1d.jpg

yearbooks1e.jpg

“She’s very nice and smart, but she’s allll yours, Jesus.”

Next here’s her classmate, uh, “Penny.” Wow. And “reeeeeerrr!”

yearbooks1b.jpg

yearbooks1c.jpg

“Like most lovable jesters, he’s extremely lazy and gloomy.”

Then, from a different high school several states away, there’s poor, misunderstood Celia ….

yearbook3.jpg

…. whose write-up said this:

Celia B. comes next on our roll. Few of us are fortunate enough to be intimate friends of Celia. She has a rather indifferent nature which has perhaps been misinterpreted by many of her classmates. Her own clique however term her a “peach,” and they know. Celia is “out” for a good time and she seems to be having it.
“Of all mankind each loves himself the best.” —Terence

Yeeowwwch! Yowwchha! Yowwie! And what’s with the quote at the end??

Well, this was 1922, so the happy ending here is at least she’s probably dead now.

-image-loosey goosey

So my dearheart husband, MB, helps out every morning at Boheme for a couple hours before ambling off to his real job, his own business. Customers love him. He’s a big, personable, easygoing fellow — unlike his twitchy wife — and he’s a great conversationalist. He relaxes people. So he’s a hit. All the gay men just looooove him. Plus he got a new haircut about three weeks ago, so the schwing factor — always very high — is now through the roof. Which isn’t what this post is about, but, oh, well, I got a bit swept away and now he’s gonna read this and get a big head about it all. Calm thyself, MB.

Hm. Okay. Losing focus. See, I’m taking a day off from Boheme right now and it seems I forgot to — oh, nothing major — just leave my employee, C, the money for the cash drawer and she called my phone “39 times” she said, but I didn’t have it with me because I still haven’t figured out what cell phones are for, apparently, so she just sat for an hour and a half of business time, calling my cell phone, drinking coffee, and doing the puzzles in the paper. All of which I heartily endorse, because, well, what the heck is she supposed to do when dealing with an idiot boss? So when we finally got the message(S), MB called her back and said, “Hey — I’m sorry to hear your employers have become retarded.”

So I’m having that kind of day. Verrry mentally loose and glitchy.

Anyhoo. Back to Carla the Intuitive Clairvoyant. Didn’t I mention her?

She came in the other day for her meeting day, took one look at MB in all his glory, and said, “Oh! You got a haircut!”

MB just smiled. “Yeah.”

Later as she was leaving, she exclaimed some more and MB just smiled and I recognized the particular amused glint in his eye. I knew we were thinking the same thing. So Carla left, all floaty and high because of MB’s haircut. Or whatever.

I turned to him. “You got your hair cut three weeks ago.

“Yup.”

“She’s here every week.”

“Yup.”

“She’s a clairvoyant.”

A brief pause.

“Guess she was just feeling my inner haircut.”

May 30, 2007

-image-wanting

My friend/customer M has lived an incredibly hard life. She struggles and she’s not afraid to say so. Not afraid to be open. Take an emotional risk. Say, “I suck.” And she’s one of my very favorite people because of it.

The other day she started telling me this ….

When she was 20 and desperate and strung out on drugs, she prostituted herself for 3 months because she couldn’t see straight, couldn’t see anything else to do. It was during this time that she first slept with a woman. Shortly after that, she told another, older woman, a woman she trusted, what had happened. The woman just looked at her and pronounced, “Oh. You’re gay.”

So M was telling me all this as we sat out on the front patio of Boheme. As she smoked, tears streamed down her cheeks. Tears streamed down my cheeks too. And I just let her talk:

“But was I? Was I really? I mean, she just said that. Poof! You’re gay! I’d never been with a woman before that and I was a total zombie at the time. A total mess. But this woman just said that and then said I was an addict and dropped me off at a rehab house for gays. So I’m grateful that she pointed me to sobriety, but, you know, she labeled me as gay when my resistance was low. I was totally vulnerable. But I was at this place for gays, right? And since I found acceptance from gays as gay and rejection from straights as gay — I was GAY. And it’s easy to become that because, well, suddenly, you’re in and accepted and there’s no going back. I don’t know the other life. I know this life. And now I don’t know what I am. I literally don’t know. I want what God wants for me. That’s what I want. But how would I ever explain this — all this — to a man? And I want kids, too, but my eggs are probably too old now, I guess. And I know all these people with kids. They talk about them all the time. I go to their parties and people I don’t know — people with kids — come up and ask me, “Do you have kids? Do you have kids?” And I always say, “No, but I can imagine.” But, Tracey, I can’t. I really can’t. I mean, I don’t know what that’s actually like. But I know what it is to want. So is that something? Does that count? I know what it is to want.”

She stopped and looked at me. And then we just sat there and cried from all the wanting.

May 29, 2007

-image-the letter

So she sent me a 2-page letter about our conversation, radically misquoting me back to me, making some stuff up completely, wanting an apology for what I never said. The thing is, I would willingly own — without hesitation — what I actually said, but I won’t take responsibility for what I never said. Because I need my sanity. Desperately. I am selfish about that.

Honestly, I just don’t even know this place she inhabits. I don’t recognize it. I mean, I see it, see that she’s there in this … this elsewhere, but I can’t find it. If that even makes any sense. I think that once, years ago, our souls must have inhabited the same place or a similar place or even neighboring places, back when I was little and she was free, back when I was her daughter and she was my mom, but now, now … I don’t know her place anymore. And it scares me. For her. For me. Where is she? And where will I be someday?

When she tells me in the letter:

“May God judge you for what you said for He knows the truth.”

Or

“God will and is judging between you and me right now. He knows me and He can read my heart, so He will judge, whether in this world or in our life to come.”

Or

“You’re also ripping apart our marriage and this family.”

Or

“If your goal was to rip my heart apart and have me weeping every time I think of you — Good job!”

Or

“God forgive me for anything I did to inspire such ugliness.”

Or

“The great one on this earth (ed.: she means Satan) is very powerful, but I know the one that I worship.”

When she says these things ….. where is she? Where? Where?? I’m sorry. You don’t need to hear this. Not your problem. And it’s nothing new, actually. Many years of this, stretching back to when I was a teenager. But these are all complete thoughts, complete sentences, from her letter. I haven’t cut and pasted thoughts together. They’re just there.

I just feel so so so tired, peeps. I’m sorry. Forgive the dumping. The totally pointless rambling. I just needed to write …. oh, something … here, because I don’t have any words for there. How can I?

I think I like Anne Lamott’s idea: When she can’t think what to pray anymore … what to say … there are just no more human words … she writes the situation or the person’s name or whatever on a piece of paper and puts it in her God box. Basically saying, “God, you take it. I’m done. I am DONE.”

And I am. I am done.

May 27, 2007

-image-sibling rivalry: film/tv

Okay. I’ve put together some pairs of real-life Hollywood siblings. The focus here is siblings who work in film or TV and all you gotta do is choose between them. You must choose. None of this “Well, I liked him in that, but then I liked the brother in that” stuff.

CHOOSE, okay!?? Also: Pretty please.

Just copy and paste the questions with your answers. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten some so there’s no need to email me with that. Thankee.

Okay. GO!

1. Warren Beatty or Shirley MacLaine?

2. River or Joaquin Phoenix?

3. Charlie Sheen or Emilio Estevez?

4. Joan Fontaine or Olivia de Havilland?

5. John or Joan Cusak?

6. Beau or Jeff Bridges?

7. Tim or Tyne Daly?

8. Mary Kate or Ashley Olsen?

9. Julia or Erik Roberts?

10. Randy or Dennis Quaid?

11. Owen or Luke Wilson?

12. John or Jim Belushi?

13. David or Shaun Cassidy?

14. Jake or Maggie Gyllenhaal?

15. Alec or William Baldwin? (I know there’s more. Who cares?)

16. This Wayans or That Wayans?

17. Rob or Chad Lowe?

18. David or Keith Carradine?

19. Michael or Virginia Madsen?

20. Ralph or Joseph Fiennes?

21. Jane or Peter Fonda?

22. James Arness or Peter Graves? (oooh! hard!)

Okay. Phhhhew. That’s it. It’s all you now.

May 26, 2007

-image-said here, there, and around

M: I mean, the place was guhrrrrosss. And she’s not even a witch!

*****

MB (Referring to an old Southern gay gentleman, with his soft Georgia accent, wanting to give our friend A a free trip to Germany.): He’s ginger pervy.

*****

MB: Ugh. I had to talk to the ever-oozing Richard.

*****

M (questioning her lesbianism): I mean, it’s not like I played on the college softball team or something!

*****

ME: He is shaped like a garbage bag full of garbage.

*****

Ginger Pervy: I give the old ladies in my building flowers from my garden. I mean, I don’t want to die an ass****.

*****

Troy: YOU try having a geriatric cat.

*****

ME: So how many Spa Girls are there now?

J: Well, uhm, there’s three.

ME: Three?? So Spa Girl 1, Spa Girl 2, Spa Girl 3??

J: Uh-huh.

ME: Oh, Lord. What is wrong with you? Do they know about each other? Do you tell them?

J: No.

ME: You’re a disaster.

J (laughing): No, I’m not!

ME: No. You ARE, Rico Suave. Okay. How old is the oldest one again?

J: 26.

ME: And — let’s review. You’re what? 83?

J (rolls eyes because he always rolls his eyes): 55. And I’m going to Italy soon to find an Italian Spa Girl.

ME: I don’t even know what to say to you anymore. (pause) You’d better have some more coffee then.

May 24, 2007

-image-nutso insane and how to get there

Sometimes I’m just sitting around when deep self-awareness smacks me rudely upside the ol’ noggin: “Oh, I see. I am now nutso insane.” This could seem like a bad thing, but it’s not, really. Mostly because insanity conveniently covers, oh, about a gazillion jillion sins. Slobbery ol’ love may cover a measly multitude of sins, but insanity? Fuggedaboudit. It’s useful for everything.

Why did you do that? I am insane.

Why did you say that? I am insane.

Why do you think that? I am insane.

What’s the DEAL with your hair? I am insane.

See?

So today I was sitting around at Boheme, bossing MB around because apparently “my foot hurt” or something. The Talker was in da house, going on about interest rates and pollution and “what’s wrong with everything.” For a solid 45 minutes, there was just the sound of his rambling voice punctuated by droning “uh-huhs” from poor MB. As for me, my hobbling foot pain was now clutching at my throat, rendering me speechless. See? There really must be something to that whole reflexology dealio.

Just then, from my position behind the espresso machine I saw The Talker do IT. The thing. The deplorable, unforgivable thing.

He sat down at the table where my stuff was. Which isn’t actually the thing, but that’s what set it in motion.

It was obvious it was someone’s stuff. He even asked whose stuff it was. “Mine.” Still, he sat. Okay. I was okay with that. Sorta. Okay. I’m lying, but, I mean, I wasn’t nutso insane, not yet.

My stuff at the table where The Talker now sat, all cozy and chatty, consisted of three things: my coffee and my notebook and MY MAGAZINE.

My brand-new mixed-media design magazine.

My magazine that was a little escapist splurge at, ahem, 14.95.

My magazine that I had not even looked at yet.

My magazine that The Talker had taken and started casually thumbing through without asking. Commenting on it all the while. Like some utter buttmunch who gives away the ending of a book you really want to read. Or a movie you really want to see. He was totally violating the virginity of my magazine experience and you can’t get that back, can you, and from the depth of my secret bunker 5 feet away, I went suddenly, completely sonic-boom psycho. I threw a look at MB. THAT look. The “I am now insane and not responsible for what comes next” look. He haaates that look. Under my breath, but loud enough that MB heard me, I muttered, “Oh, no, he DIHn’t” Because I’m so hip-hoppy street cool, homey, blahdie blahdie poopants.

See? I still cannot think straight. Hours later. I am still not over The Magazine Incident.

Because I have this thing about my magazines. I know I’m insane. I am insane. But it’s really really simple: DO NOT TOUCH MY MAGAZINES BEFORE I’VE EVEN READ THEM. MB knows this. From many a bitter pouty lonely night where history has repeated itself with horrible childish consistency, he knows this. But the magazines — they’re a little luxury to me. A teeny thing for me. They’re always some kind of design something-or-other and I just want to sit and revel in it and have my pretty pretty moment, dammit! I don’t want diamonds. I don’t need wads of cash. I don’t care about cars. I just want the joy of discovering what’s inside my little paper splurges all by myself. And first. Because, well, I am three years old and insane.

Anyhoo.

I literally could not calm myself down while The Talker idly turned the pages of my magazine, mentioning this, exclaiming over that. I needed a drink. A Xanax. Electroshock therapy. Weaponry. I swear. I kinda paced back and forth on the espresso platform, watching him, watching him, like a big caged cat. Dude, put the magazine down. Now. Now. NowNowNow. And I was aware I was doing this. I was aware of my insanity. And so was MB, believe me. I’m sure he needed a drink. A Xanax. Electroshock therapy. Weaponry. For his own very personal reasons, God bless ‘im.

Ten minutes went by. Talker talking. Nutso pacing. Husband regretting. Oh, so many things, probably. Finally, finally, The Talker just tossed the magazine back on the table. A careless flick of the wrist and — swoosh! — my little paper escape was back where it was before The Talker came along and RUINED it.

Then, he was off again, gabbing: Real estate, border patrol, seminars, open houses. I took deep breaths and really tried to become less insane. Then I ambled towards him and took deep breaths and really tried to sound casual when I grabbed my magazine from the table saying, just a teensy bit shakily, “Oh, heeey, let me get that out of the way for you.”

And, I swear, I only paused my hand above his head and imagined raining blows down on it with my cool magazine bat for the tiniest split second.

I know. I am insane.

May 23, 2007

-image-people I sorta hang with

This one has a harelip scar and sells stuff on e-bay

That one has an old pug face and shaky-legged dog and wants to give our male friend a free trip to Germany out of the goodness of his heart

This one has a square head and square glasses and is becoming a well-known artist who can’t afford his own paintings

That one likes his leather jacket, parks his motorcyle on the curb, and does electrical at The Old Globe

This one has taupe-colored hair and talks incessantly about The Thea-tahh in a long snobby drawl

That one has a slight lisp and works at The La Jolla Playhouse

This one has hair like a pile of gray ropes and stares lasers when he talks

That one has a black smudge like constant cancer on the end of his nose and always sounds too bored to even speak

This one wears hiking boots with his sweatsuit and likes whipped cream on his iced tea

That one has no lower front teeth and buys too much junk because he has a crush on me

This one freaks out if there’s no raw sugar so I sometimes hide the raw sugar because I don’t like him

That one works at a p*orn bookstore and has a pencil-thin mustache, like John Waters

This one has round beatnik glasses with peace sign lenses, calls the place Bo-Anna, and may very well be retarded

……. stay tuned — there’s always more people I sorta hang with to come ……

May 22, 2007

-image-hello, soul patrol visitors

The Rank the AI Winners post below is meant to be fun, of course. Not serious. And to answer a question that I saw on your site, yes, any comment from any new commenter goes into moderation. I’ll happily approve any comment that’s not rude or inappropriate or blasting anyone for having a different opinion; that’s the basic criteria, no matter what the topic. Just because I don’t personally care for Taylor Hicks doesn’t mean I’ll delete comments about him.

It’s AI, for Lord’s sake. Funfunfun, right?

-image-rank ’em: ai winners

In honor of the American Idol finale tonight — which will NOT feature the fabulous Ms. Doolittle, a bitter pill to swallow for sure — I’m asking you all for your personal list, from best to worst, of all the American Idol winners.

Here’s a chronological listing of the winners to help you:

Kelly Clarkson
Ruben Studdard
Fantasia Barrino
Carrie Underwood
Taylor Hicks
and …. either:
Jordin Sparks OR
Blake Lewis

We’ll know which one it is tomorrow night. Why do this now, then? Because I just want to, s’all. So if that means you make two lists — one with Jordin, one with Blake, then that’s fine. Or if you haven’t watched all the seasons, just rank the ones you know. Or if you’ve never watched it, then just make up a totally random list based on … I dunno … which names you like best and we will all laugh and laugh at how cute you are. Sound good??

Good. Okay. So here’s my list with the correct answers, ‘mkay? đŸ˜‰

GO:

1) Kelly Clarkson
2) Carrie Underwood
3) Jordin Sparks, if she wins
4) Ruben Studdard
5) Fantasia Barrino (‘tho I could move 4 & 5 around depending on my mood)
6) Taylor Hicks

Okay. My list if Beat-Box Blakey Boy wins:

1) Kelly Clarkson
2) Carrie Underwood
3) Ruben Studdard
4) Fantasia Barrino
5) Blake Lewis
6) Still Taylor H-icks

All right, peeps. Ready? Set? Rank ’em.

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