April 30, 2008

Funny conversation #6

A: "I saw the best episode of Good Eats the other night. It was all about knives. I learned how to look for good ones, what materials they should be made of, how to take care of them...plus, Alton Brown was pretending he was an infomercial knife salesman and it was really funny."

S: "Do you know what my soul just did while you were saying all that?" [drops head to shoulder with eyes closed and emits a loud snoring sound]

A secret


I am afraid I won't do it right.
I am afraid it will hurt.
I am afraid to tell people.
I am afraid they will see the syringes I will have to have.
I am afraid it won't help.

April 29, 2008

Compare and contrast

Time 1: Like clinging to a piece of driftwood during a hurricane at high seas. Terrified. Exhilarated. Anxious. Doubtful. Drowning.

Time 2: Like reclining in a hammock on a lazy early summer day under a shady tree. Smiling. Content. Secure. Happy. Relaxed.

April 23, 2008

Detergent wars

I've had this little ongoing battle with one of my neighbors for a couple of months now over laundry detergent. Namely, someone is always using mine.

I am very lucky to have a (FREE!) washer and dryer in the garage adjacent to my apartment. I have a section of a shelf that is mine where I keep my detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, etc. For awhile everyone had their own little sections and everyone seemed to respect everyone else's.

Recently I'd started noticing that the lid on my detergent bottle was always loose and there were drips of detergent running down the side. At first I didn't think much of it. I thought maybe someone was in a pinch and borrowed some because they were out. After about a dozen times, though, I got fed up.

I began by covering all my detergents with a bath towel in a not-so-subtle "back the fuck off" message. Last night I found my bottle empty and sitting pointedly in the middle of the laundry room.

I'd just bought a new bottle and thought it was ridiculous that I should have to hide it in my apartment so no one would bother it. I mean, we live one block from a grocery store! So I decided to try a humorous approach. I taped a large fluorescent green note to the front of my detergent bottle that said:

Please stop using my detergent, yo! If I have to continue to provide laundry detergent to the entire building, how am I supposed to continue to pay for my anal bleaching and pole-dancing lessons?

Back to cleaning and stressing out...I probably won't be online much for the next few days.


...is torture. But it's been awhile since I've had anything to anticipate. Surprises are also torture, but I love them dearly.

Now I will try to sleep.

April 19, 2008

April 18, 2008

"You're so beautiful..."

I wrote recently about my last trip to Penny, my Vietnamese waxing lady, and the taming of my eyebrows. She was encouraging me at the time to get a bikini wax, and I wanted to think about it more.

Well, I went for it.

Holy shit. It was a very strange and painful experience.

To begin with, at the salon I go to, the ladies sing out a greeting to you as you walk in the door and call out to ask you what you want. It's a fairly humbling experience to make a public proclamation of your desire for a bikini wax. I was prepared for this, but I was unprepared for the excitement it seemed to generate. Three ladies started shouting instructions to each other in Vietnamese, and my trusty Penny came forward to assure me: "Ten minutes. I get everything ready. Be good."

When she came back to get me, she gave a moment of privacy in the little waxing room with her version of instructions to take off my pants--she made a swish sound as she acted out the dropping of one's drawers. I giggled nervously.

Penny came back and said, "You lay down. I have look." Obediently, I laid back, feeling weirdly vulnerable as she eyed me critically under the bright lights. "Oh my God!" she cried in mock horror. "Out of control!" I couldn't help laughing out loud in amusement and embarrassment while protesting, "Stop that!"

I confided, "I'm really nervous."

"No worry," she answered. "Baby hurt much worse."

"I've never had a baby."

"Uh oh," Penny said. "No, no. Is okay. I make nice," and set to work.

There was no room for modesty. She put me into all sorts of strange contortions and focused very intently on the business at hand. After each rip she insisted on showing me each cloth strip and saying, "See? So nice now!" A couple of times I yelped in surprise and pain, "FUCK!" only to temper it with, "I'm so sorry, Penny!"

She patted my crotch and crooned, "Is normal. Is okay. Be good girl for me. Just for me." Then she bent down for the next round and began to sing softly, "You're so beautiful....to meeeee..." At this point I cracked up.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finished and she rubbed lotion all over me. This was a very strange experience. Then she instructed me to stand up and let her have a look at me. I stood carefully, feeling rather raw, and she knelt down on the floor directly in front of me and studied her work closely. "Mmmhmmm...mmmhmmm..." she mumbled, crawling on the floor and gazing up at me from all angles.

When I got the all clear, I gratefully reached for my pants and Penny said, "Next time, we go much deeper," and went downstairs to ring me up. This felt like a very strange way to end the experience, but I got dressed, went downstairs, and gave her a great tip.

"Next time much deeper!" she called after me as I went out the front door.

April 15, 2008

Mah 'hood.

I really love my neighborhood. Everyone complains about how far out it is, but it's pretty quiet and safe; it's close to the ocean, Golden Gate Park, and I can see the Golden Gate Bridge everyday (and I never tire of looking at it); plus, I can hear the foghorns at night.

I've also gotten to know lots of people in the neighborhood that make me smile.

There is the guy at my local wine shop who always remembers what I was serving when I bought my last bottle. "How did that Chardonnay pair up with those spicy Thai peanut noodles?" he'll ask as I come in the door.

There's the little Indian guy at the convenience store (I've mentioned several times before) who is always trying to get me to take the day off and go to the beach with him, meet him for coffee in the morning, or run away with him. Today he marveled that we were wearing the same color shirt and said for the thousandth time, "Have you had your coffee yet today? We can run across the street and grab a cup!" Upon my polite decline, he shook his head and said, "Some day we will go together."

There's the Chinese lady at my Walgreen's pharmacy who always rings up my purchases. This afternoon I had on a hat and sunglasses, and before getting my prescription, she asked for my last name. When I said, "Ashcraft," she laughed and said, "Oh! I didn't recognize you today! You're in disguise. Plus, you're earlier than usual!" This made me smile.

And then there is my elderly Chinese neighbor whom I watch every morning doing her Tai Chi moves in the backyard. This afternoon I was outside right next to my open window where I could hear my bird Cricket unceremoniously flinging her expensive bird pellets all over the floor. (To my ears, it sounds like quarters hitting the floor.) "I'm going to pick you up by your tail feathers and smack you around a bit," I threatened her, thinking that I was alone outside. My neighbor cautiously peered at me over the back fence. "Oh, sorry!" I cried, "Not you!"

April 14, 2008


I have a good feeling about this.

April 12, 2008

Funny conversation #5

[in the middle of a conversation about who "rolls hard" and who doesn't]

A: "I roll hard."

S: "No, you don't."

A: "Yes I do! I totally roll hard."

S: "Sweetie, you roll moderate at best."

A: "No, no. I roll hard. At least sometimes. I'll wake up and say, I think I'm going to roll hard today."

S: "You've never rolled hard in your life. You wouldn't even know where to begin."

A: "Fuck."

April 10, 2008

Hell's bells and cockleshells...

...I'm old.

On Facebook I just found the little girl, Tess, for whom I used to babysit when she was five. She's a woman now!

But now I have to tell a story about her.

I started babysitting for Charlie and Tess, who lived next door to me, when I was a mere 13 years old. Since I was still a kid myself, we had a lot of fun together. One of our favorite activities was making "sandwiches" out of each other using the giant couch cushions as buns, and small throw pillows, Easter grass, and whatever else we could find as condiments (pickles and lettuce, respectively).

One night I had taken my glasses off and was rubbing my eyes while Charlie and Tess wrestled on the couch. Tess's hand and slipped between the couch cushions and she found something. "What's this?" she asked.

Charlie saw what she'd picked up and yelled, "Tess! Put it back! Put it back!" She started giggling.

"Let me see," I said, reaching out my hand and putting my glasses back on. Tess held in her hand a bright purple vibrator. My hand immediately retreated and I said, "I think you should just put it back where you found it."

"I know what it is..." she teased mischievously.

"What is it?" I asked.

"An electric wee-wee," Tess announced. Charlie covered his face and moaned, "Tess, put it back!" She obediently replaced the vibrator between the couch cushions.

"Now go wash your hands," I instructed.

Funny conversation #4

A: "Am I a lost cause?"

K: "No, you're more like a used car."

April 9, 2008


Today is lousy.

I got some bad news this morning and then had to go have what felt like a quart of blood drawn at the doctor. The Olympic torch is running through San Francisco today, and traffic is tied up downtown and on the Golden Gate Bridge with the protests and making everyone crabby. While coming home this afternoon, I saw two men get in a wreck on Geary Blvd. and jump out of their cars screaming at each other.


Walking home, I passed a little Russian flower shop that had just put bouquets of lilacs--my second favorite flower--out front. Their smell was irresistible to me, so I bought a giant bunch of them to cheer myself up. The man who sold them to me told me in a thick Russian accent, "Enjoy!" I thanked him and assured him I would, and he said, "Very beautiful smile." I grinned and thanked him, and stopped then stopped off at my usual convenience story.

"Beautiful!" cried the little Indian man behind the counter who always asks me to run away with him. "I have not seen you for a month! Where have you been? My day is so much better now!" He kissed my hand and asked, "Where did you get flowers? Not from a boyfriend!?" I laughed about this.

On my way down the street a half dozen people stopped me to admire and sniff my lilacs. I felt like Miss America parading around with this huge bunch of flowers cradled in my arms. (I should have practiced my wave.)

Now I am home and I cut up the bunch of flowers into three bouquets in my kitchen, living room, and bathroom. My house smells wonderful.

I feel better.

And to make myself feel even better I’ve accepted an invitation tonight to "Spontaneous Drinking Night" where I will join a bunch of people I’ve never met at a bar I’ve never been to for a couple of pints.

Suck it, Wednesday, April 9, 2008!

Lilacs--4-9-08 004Lilacs--4-9-08 003Lilacs--4-9-08 001

April 6, 2008


When someone leans in to kiss you, it's probably (almost) never the right reaction to jump back in alarm and cry, "Oh, my God!"

Oh well. That's how I roll.

April 4, 2008

News from home

Last night when I called home I got some surprising news. My uncle Tom had an accident and is, at least for now, paralyzed. His legs and hands are immobile, and he is unable to speak.

I don't know all the details around the accident--how it happened, if other were involved--but I'm trying to figure out what my emotions are around this.

On one hand, this sounds like my worst nightmare and my heart goes out to anyone experiencing something like this. On the other hand, I've always thought he was a hypocritical bastard.

He's been a raging alcoholic and abusive to my aunt for years. He is a huge Bible-thumper, and was known around town for passing out in his underwear in various front yards with a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.

When I was a kid, he would pick me up and hold me too close and rub my back and legs and say, "Does that feel good?" and I would squirm out of his arms and go hide. (I was already very familiar with men like him.) When I was in high school he looked at pictures of me marching in a Christmas parade in a little booty outfit and said wistfully, "My God, look at those legs..."

My family started hinting that I should come home. I really have no desire to visit him--I haven't seen him in nearly ten years. I'm not even sure that I would go in for his funeral. Maybe that sounds callous. I thought about sending a card, but I mostly find myself just wanting to tell my aunt, "I'm so sorry for everything that you've been through." I probably shouldn't say that right now.

April 2, 2008

A respite

It's been so nice to have my friend Tony here that I'm sorry to see tomorrow come. We always fall into a cozy pattern together with our weird little habits that probably ensure we'll be single forever, such as flossing while watching the news.

He washes the dishes and I wash his clothes. He makes me breakfast and I make him hot tea. He makes my bed and I read funny articles out loud to him. He falls asleep on the bus and I watch for the stops. I don't make fun of him for practicing his martial arts moves in the elevator, at the bus stop, and while waiting in lines, and he doesn't make fun of me for talking and singing in funny voices to my birds.

Today while sitting in a coffee shop on Fillmore and people-watching, we somehow got to talking about typing. Tony confessed that sometimes when he can't sleep at night he imagines how he would type out the things he is thinking, or how sometimes while bored on the bus instead of drumming his fingers randomly he'll press them into patterns of typing letters to make words. This shocked me, and I cried, "I do that, too! I thought I was the only one!"

While shopping for a gift for Alexis and Ilsa and their new baby Theo, he picked up a book of baby names. He said, "Let's see what our baby's name will be..." and flipped to a random page and poked his finger at a name. "Aya," he announced. "Aya is what you say in Chinese when you've messed something up."

"I thought that's what you say when you break a block," I said.

He frowned. "Huh?"

"You know, like in karate: 'aaaaaaYA!!!'"

He rolled his eyes at my lame attempt at a joke.