Sunday, October 29, 2006

Alo to the Ha

Back from Hawaii, jet lagged and in much need of sleep. Stories of the awesome trip will soon follow, but for now I leave you all with this picture of my travelling companion and I watching the sunset over the ocean from our hotel balcony.

Monday, October 16, 2006


This story epitomizes my father and stepmother. Extremely sweet and well-meaning, falling short in execution.

Last night I had them over for dinner, and made my first attempt at risotto. They showed up about fifteen minutes early, dessert and something else in hand.

"I made you and John presents!" my stepmother declared. "I found this big box with pictures and made you each a little album of when you were little."

"Really?! Thanks, that is so sweet of you!"

With them looking over my shoulder I began flipping through mine. Baby pictures, Santa pictures, playing in the snow with our old babysitter, old ballet costume pictures, some little girl that isn't me...

I looked again.

"Um, this isn't me."

"What? It looks just like you! Then who is it?"

"I don't know, but it's definitely not me." I started laughing.

"Why didn't you catch this when you looked through the album?" a pointless question directed at my father.

"I don't know, I would think I would have caught that..." he said. "Oh well, I always hated going to those dance recitals anyway."

"Thanks, Dad."

We kept looking. My stepmother insisted that this little girl looked very much like me (chubby and brown haired) and my father and I tried to figure out who it actually was.

"Your cousin, Shannon?"

"I don't have a cousin Shannon. Shanna, maybe?"

"Sure, sure. Shanna. Must be her."

"I can't picture Mom actually having acquired ballet pictures of Shanna."

"Well, whatever. What's for dinner?"

We're still not sure who those pictures are. But two things are certain: They are not me and the risotto was awesome.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

To Do before I leave for Hawaii one week from today

Considering the fact that at 8am next Sunday, the 22nd, I'll be on a plane headed for paradise, there are a few things that I need to get done in the next few days:

- Pedicure. (Also applicable for the wedding I'll be singing in the night before.)

- Bikini wax. (First ever - yikes!)

- Make copy of house keys for friend who will be taking care of the cat.

- Make sure every single client knows that I will be out of town, and will know how to get orders while I'm away.

- Convince pharmacist to fill birth control one week early.

- Get out the fifteen stitches that are somehow the result of having two measly moles removed. (Good thing you guys can't see me right now. I look like I was in a knife fight.)

- Actually start planning my trip. For instance, how will I get from the airport to the hotel? What kind of things do I want to do while I'm there? Luckily I will have a partner in crime for the last 5 days of the week, but for the first two I will be flying solo, so I might want to have a back up plan just in case lying on the beach directly in front of the hotel gets old.

- Come to terms with the fact that I will most likely not even lay eyes on my brother the entire week that I'm there. My generous, fun brother who is flying his big sis out to visit him. They have changed his schedule dozens of times since we booked my ticket, and this latest change has him out to sea for the entire week, supposedly returning the day that I leave.

He seems ok with it. He didn't try to get me to change my ticket (it would have been too late anyway), and he didn't utter a single bitter line about the fact that he payed for it. All he said was -

"I'm numb to it all at this point. There is nothing the Navy can do to me anymore that will upset me. I'm just too exhausted by it all to get mad. I know you and Jason will have a great time when you're out here, and I'm glad about that. I'm really happy that I was able to do that for you. I'll email you some places to go, and remember - stay away from the West side of the island. It's not as nice."

Maybe it's because I've been stressed about a lot of things lately, but for whatever reason, this situation makes me much more sad than I would have imagined. I'm looking forward to the trip, of course, but I'm getting increasingly nervous about the 48 hours that I'll be out there alone. The fierce part of myself says that it will be awesome - I'll read, write in my journal, take surfing lessons, relax... maybe I'll meet people to hang out with, maybe I won't. Either way will be great.

Unfortunately, the other, more insecure, part of myself seems to be relishing in this opportunity to worry. Worry about the injustice of my brother's situation. Worry that I'll be bored and forced to do nothing but think for two days - I do enough of that at home. Worry about the mole scars that I'll be wearing band-aids over the entire time I'm there. Worry about the additional tests that I have to have on the dense boob spot when I return. Worry about what it will be like with the chef when I get back. Worry that I'm not doing well enough at work.

Maybe there's one more thing I should add to the 'ole To Do list:

- Get your hands on some Valium.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


"You know, Berkley, I was thinking," I said to my downstairs neighbor of almost two years, "you're the only person in my life who has met every person that I've dated over the last year and a half."



It's true. Berkley is the best neighbor anyone could wish for - friendly, supportive and helpful without being intrusive. His apartment is on the ground floor in the front, so his front porch is also the entrance way to the apartment building, and he has met and been friendly to many a man walking me home from a date.

"Well, I guess so. And I'll tell you this - some of 'em I've liked, and some of 'em I haven't."

"Really?" He's so polite and unassuming, I was surprised that he had actually been forming opinions all of those times. I resisted the strong urge to quiz him about each one individually, especially the most recent.

"Yep. You're too good for most of 'em. Don't do that."

"I guess that's why none of them have stuck around for very long, huh?" I grinned. "Maybe we should come up with some sort of signal!"

"Yep, if I scratch my nose, it means that I didn't like 'em."

"Done." What do I have to lose? Berkley's instincts can't be any better or worse than my own. Besides, I have a feeling if he ever scratched his nose he'd just be confirming something I already knew deep down.

"Yeah, then they'll all just turn into HIBLITS," he said. "Do you know what a HIBLIT is?"


"Had It But Lost It." He grinned and turned to walk down the street.

I smiled as I watched him go.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rees writes


"So are you going to bust up into the restaurant and say, 'Hey bitches, I'm dating the corporate chef - bring me some oysters!'"

"Absolutely not. I'm not like that. Plus, I have my reputation to think about. We're taking this slow, remember? Humph... On second thought, if it means I get free oysters..."

"I'll get you all the free oysters you want," he mumbles, sinking into my neck.

"Ahh... and the perks begin," I smiled.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Naked and Talking Pretty

"Look," I said scanning the program last night at David Sedaris' lecture, "he's signing books afterwards! Damnit, I wish I had known, I would have brought one."

"Bummer, me too!" Meghan said.

Turns out they were conveniently on sale in the lobby after the show. Two side-splitting hours later, on our way down the many, many steps from our second-tier balcony seats, Meghan expressed an interest in wanting to get in line.

"You start holding us a place, I'll go downstairs and grab us some books."

"Um, ok," I said a bit reluctantly, "make mine Naked."

Reluctantly because as much as I really do love David Sedaris, and have for years, I didn't really feel the need to stand in line and have him sign something. As long as I would have the opportunity to slowly walk by the table he was sitting at and gawk a bit, I would have been happy.

So I secured us a place at the end of the line. I'm talking, the very end. Then the buzz started spreading through the crowd - this was just the end of one of four lines that were snaking around the halls. Crap.

Ten minutes, and only ten inches of line progress later, Meghan came back with our books. I was trying not to show my growing hesitancy, but lost the battle with myself when she said, "Um, yeah, I heard some of the people working downstairs complaining that they would have to be here for another two or three hours until this was done."

That did it.

"Um, I really don't want to wait here that long. I mean, it would be cool and all, but I can't stay here for another two hours!" I exclaimed in my most passive-aggressive voice. "I actually have plans later."

"With who?"

"Um, this guy I'm starting to see." (More about that later, kiddies.)

"Well, I'm sure he'll understand."

"Uh...." Too many things wrong with that statement to really respond.

"And I'm sure it will start moving pretty soon."

Now I started to feel bad. She had just bought a book that she already owned, and it was clear that she wanted to get some face time with the genius, but there was no way I was cancelling a date with a flesh-and-blood straight man (a classically trained French chef, no less) to get 30 seconds with a gay one. I don't care how many times I've almost peed in my pants reading his work.

I held out for another ten minutes or so. It was painfully obvious that the line was just not moving. She finally realized that and agreed that we could go, even admitting that she didn't really want to be there after midnight either.

"If they don't let you return the books, I'll pay you for them," I offered. Why is it that even when I am right and manage to win small battles, I always feel bad afterwards? "How much were they?"

"$40." Damn. Why did she have to get her copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day in hardcover?

We walked up to the table, inquiring about the return policy.

"Sure, you can return them. But why?" the clerk asked.

"Well, we feel bad, but we were at the very end of the line, and just can't wait around that long."

"Well, here's a secret," he confided, "we actually already have pre-autographed copies of each of these books back here. David signed a bunch beforehand, knowing that this kind of thing would happen, and totally understanding."

"REALLY??!!" We were so excited! How sweet of him! And now I didn't have to feel as bad for Meghan not getting a signed copy, and she didn't have to feel as bad about him seeing us get out of line and walk away (because, surely he was paying attention).

We continued to jabber on about how cool that was. Then our bubble burst slightly.

"Well, he really did it because he figured there would be some little old ladies in the audience who would have to get back on their buses and wouldn't be able to wait in line, but I think it's ok for you to take these copies."

That made us feel slightly guilty for about two seconds, but honestly, how many little old ladies do you know who read David Sedaris?