Apr 26 2009

I was an escort for a day. Well, kinda.

"Klute", anyone?

"Klute", anyone?

Two of my favorite things in life: 1. executing a good ruse; and 2. helping out a friend in need. Combine the two in one — and an opportunity to wear my favorite dress — and I am in heaven. Sheer heaven.

The ruse: my dear friend “Doug” (not his real name) needed a date to a wedding. Not just any wedding, not just any date. In attendance at this wedding would be his ex, and the man for whom she left Doug. That sort of thing happens. But this is one of those “they were cheating for a while and even after Doug confronted them (for he was friends with the fellow), they still lied about it. Double whammy. So my job was to be 1. The hot date; 2. The date who would keep him from opening a can of whoop-ass on this other guy; 3. The date who would have his back should he no longer be able to suppress the urge to open a can of whoop-ass on this other guy.

How fun does that sound! My response: “Honey, I am gonna make your property value soar.”

The bride - a faerie in Middle Earth!

The bride - a faerie in Middle Earth!

The ceremony itself was short and sweet, and outdoors, surrounded by redwoods, I guess, what the hell do I know? Northern California really big trees. The couples’personal vows,  and comments by the bride’s uncle (who officiated) choked me up. The food was the best ever, as were the THREE cakes (lemon, red velvet, chocolate/hazelnut). Which nearly made up for the fact that there was NO BOOZE! That was probably a blessing in disguise, for otherwise maybe  things wouldn’t have gone so smoothly with Doug and his anger management. But seriously, what the… is this a new trend? This is Northern California, wine capital of the USA. Must I start packing my own?

My one challenge was when the bride did the traditional bouquet-toss. Doug leaned over and said “Do not let her catch it.” To which I said “Watch this.”

Can't touch this.

I got your bouquet, lady.

Taking my place among my fellow eligible gals, I extended one arm (my right, and I’m a southpaw) just as the bouquet of lilies or iris’ (I don’t know flowers — see photo to right) was coming down in front of her face, caught it, held it up triumphantly, and walked off. Mission #*$&@*% Accomplished!

But actually, the real excitement was the night before, in Carmel, CA. Where I’d have least expected to find it…

"sleepy" Carmel -- so many secrets...

Don't let the calm facade deceive you....

We arrived at Doug’s sister’s house @9pm in Carmel. Sleepy, idyllic Carmel, where one’s olfactories are overwhelmed with the fragrance of the ocean and orange and some flower the second you get out of the car. Ahhhhhhhhhhh….

Doug’s sister is not there, as she’s a doctor on call that night. But the brother-in-law, “Joe” (not his real name) is upstairs, with the younger of 2 sons — the autistic one. The seven-year-old son (the one with asberger syndrome), is in the living room watching tv with his adorable three-year-old sister. And now two houseguests. As if Joe doesn’t have enough on his hands on a Saturday night…

Also there is 14-year-old girl, on the phone, who ignores us upon entry. We later learn she’s the neighbor’s daughter. The family immigrated to the US six years ago. She was there to avoid her mother and unemployed father. Apparently, tensions run high next door. Mom threatened to smash a ceramic vase over the daughter’s head. Daughter hid her passport because “my mom is going to deport me.” Mom hid her passport because “she’s going to run away”. I’m not even going to deny you the fun of trying to guess what country they emigrated from. Besides, then someone would ultimately say I’m stereotyping, and far be it for me…

What upsets me most: the shitty copyediting!!!

What upsets me most: the shitty copyediting!!!

So Joe lets the girl hang out for a while to cool off. He offers her some advice, and convinces her to go home. He walks her there — and they both return 10 minutes later. With the police. Apparently, mom had called the cops and said she’d runaway. I thought someone had to be missing 24 hours for a response from police, but if you read the police blotter in Carmel (see photo at right), you’d understand that this is the equivelent of a bomb scare there. Eventually all was smoothed out and we were left to our our original plan of raiding their impossibly full pantry and eating every snack food item known to Trader Joe shoppers.

And I suddenly have a new appreciation of the fact that I have nothing but freedom and choices in my life. Freedom and choices aren’t everything, but they’re definitely not to be taken for granted.

Mar 17 2009

Does this make me an Earth Biscuit?

Okay, I’ve had just a few too many of those weird coincidence moments — 3  in so many weeks — to make me think it’s beyond coincidence. Maybe it’s a sign… or at the very least a really big coincidence. Whatever it is, it sure got my attention.

The most recent event was tonight. I was in yoga class, led by the incredible Mark Morford. I could write a whole column on the many reasons his class is unrivaled, but I’ll save that for another post.

So I’m in this balmy room with the most amazing, glistening, candlelit bodies in San Francisco, just flowing with it. And out of nowhere I get coldcocked by a flashback:

A foggy afternoon in November 2007. My friend Kai’s birthday. I took him to lunch. I’d just returned from my “Feather In The Wind Tour: 20 Beds in 10 Weeks” (where I rented a car & zig-zagged from San Francisco to Los Angeles To San Diego to Las Vegas, NV to Livingston, MT to Park City, UT, and a few stops in between). So Kai & I had a lot of catching up to do. After lunch we were just walking and talking, when we saw a crap storefront sign for a fortuneteller. Why not?! It was his birthday, right? Plus, like so many things in life, I love the idea of fortunetellers, and astrology, and all that. I want to believe in it all. I believe in a certain… magic if you will. But no particular school of thought, you know? Like religion. I believe what I believe and I don’t like talking about it much because it sort-of makes it seem trivial. And it’s not trivial. But I digress.

So we go into the fortuneteller (who is named after a certain Heavenly Body). I sit first, while Kai waits in her parlor (living room) with the fortuneteller’s 8 year old daughter. My reading was as lame as possible. Right off the bat, she gives me some bad news (I don’t even remember now, it was super vague; like “there is darkness”). BUT “for $90 more I can help you move away from the darkness”. Every sentence was followed by “for $90 more…”, so my eagerness to believe was fast dwindling. After making it clear that there was not going to be $90 more, she continued.

“2 children! You have 2 children.”

No, I don’t.

“There are 2 children.”

No, there aren’t.

“You wanted 2 children.”

I swear to you, I never even thought about the children.

“You were meant to have 2 children!”

Oh, so that’s it! Nice save, lady. Then she mentioned someone very important in my life. She gave me one trait of this person. I won’t name that trait here, so as to not disappoint the many of you who hope to be that someone important. But I assure you, there was NO ONE in my life at that time or prior who posessed this singular trait. And man, I racked my brain trying to think of someone. I don’t know if she was so sure about this “vision” or just didn’t want to be wrong again, but she would not move on until I identified the person. But nope, no one. So you can see, the whole reading was a complete strike out. I really really wanted to believe, but she might as well have been talking to anybody but me in terms of telling me my life.

Back to the present: Thank god at the time of this flashback assault in Mark’s class I was in a seated position (or I might have been hurt). It hit me over the head like an anvil — but I know who this person is now. I know who it is! I want to go back to her and say “Tell me more! Tell me more!” But I really need the $90 for other things right now, so I’ll have to ride it out.

The other 2 recent coincidences: My friend Evan mentioning “Tasty Greek food” in Pittsburgh, PA. My dad was Greek. He said “Tasty” a lot. You can read the rest of that one here.

The third one, I’m gonna keep to myself. It’s sorta personal. I got a secret…


Nov 1 2008

C’mon. Make My Birthday.


Birthday 2008: Dogsledding just outside Livingston, MT.

Birthday 2008: Dogsledding just outside Livingston, MT.

Now accepting dares for Birthday 2009. Yes, yes, my favorite day of the year is my birthday. When everyone else has those post-holiday blues, guess what… there’s one more coming, shortly after New Year’s Day! Doesn’t matter that I’m getting older. Who isn’t? What matters is it’s All About Me. And every year, both on the date and throughout the year itself, my goal is to top last year. And this year, I want you to join me. I am soliciting dares for things I should do for Birthday 2009. It can be on the actual birthday itself, or something I must do sometime during the year. Maybe it’s something you wish you yourself could do. Maybe it’s something you think it’d be fun to read about someone else doing it. I don’t know, and I don’t care. My only requests are that it: doesn’t involve harming children or animals, and b. won’t cause my insurance premium to go up. Now put on your thinking cap and start sending ideas! Deadline is midnight December 30, 2008.