Monday, December 29, 2008

The SDS Show

Growing up, "warm fuzzies" meant two things: "Warm fuzzies" were what you got or what you gave or what you felt (or all three) when someone did something nice, like gave you a hug, or helped pick you up when you fell, or rubbed your back when you were sad. "Warm fuzzies" were also what we called one-piece footed pajamas, which all of us kids in the neighborhood had even though we only wore them in the winter and in July when it was cold enough.

My mom's friend Grush has a granddaughter almost exactly my age with whom I share a name. She lived in Utah but would often be in San Francisco for what I remember as weeks at a time in the summer. One morning after a sleepover, she, DeeKay, and I, while sitting in our pajamas, decided to put on a show. We'd noticed that we were each wearing one of the primary colors - I know I was in yellow, but I don't remember which of them was in blue and which in red. We picked a song that was very popular among us kids that year and choreographed our steps. We had color-coordinated hula hoops instead of canes to dance with, though I don't remember why we had three hula hoops at the house; not only were there only two of us living there, but none of the dozen-plus kids in the beighborhood, except maybe Tam, could hula hoop for longer than half a minute.

I'm a little nut of brown
Lying on the cold cold ground
Everybody steps on me
That is why I'm a cracked you see

I'm a nut (cluck, cluck)
I'm a nut (cluck, cluck)
I'm a nut, I'm a nut, I'm a nut (cluck, cluck)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

So, Long Time No See!

I haven't been away. I haven't been sick. I have been busy at work, but not so busy I had to stay away from the blog for two weeks. I've just lost interest.

It's not you, honey, it's me.

I've also been wanting to write somewhere else than here. It's time to change our relationship - I think it would be best for me to use other media. In fact, old media: Paper. I have an old journal waiting for me to come back. I've already touched base there, in fact.

I've been slacking in the story-telling, and that's what I originally wanted to do here. I haven't told a story since mid-November. I didn't really want this blog to turn into "what I did today" posts.

I'm not going to take the blog down, I'm just going to use it differently. Instead of setting myself writing goals that are attached to quantity, I'm going to work on quality. Of course I reserve the right to remark on what's going on around me. With a blog, I can be a columnist.

Anyway, anyone dropping by might see longer periods between posts. but I mean for it to be that way.

May all your wishes for 2009 come true!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A Poem For The YaYas
(with a nod to Jenny Joseph)

When I am an old woman, I shall wear lavender pajamas
with a red robe that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my 401(k) on vodka and hair color
and ingredients for blackbottom cupcakes, and say we've no money for gasoline.
I shall sit down on the BART train floor when I am tired
and drink lots of coffee in tiny cups at Trader Joe's and press kids' bellybuttons
and skip along the sidewalks
and make up for the sobriety (!) of my youth.
I shall go out in the rain without gel in my hair
and pick the french fries off other people's plates
and teach children to curse.

You can wear terrible wigs and grow more obnoxious
and drink three bottles of champagne at a go or only banana bread for a week
and hoard Christmas ornaments and things in boxes.

But now we must have jobs or partners that keep us solvent
and insist on equal pay for equal work and celebrate Obama
and set a good example for the children.
We must meet friends on retreats and read our favorite blogs.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to drink champagne.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas In San Francisco

Today was Cookiethon! over at Park Place. This is a day in December on which HR and some others have a cookie-baking frenzy and bake a boatload of a bunch of different cookies.

I do not make cookies, but I have mad skillz when it comes to eating cookies. Hardly anything is too rich for me and the only thing that keeps me from eating butter and sugar on bread every day is being a grown-up. I had to leave the house for a little bit when the peanut butter cookies came out of the oven, only because the scent was so overpowering I couldn't breathe.

When I mentioned I had never heard the song "Christmas in San Francisco", Nutmeg and I went on an online search for it. We could only find the lyrics and Nutmeg said the song is so bad she couldn't sing it for me. Then she got the idea to ask KOIT, the local easy-listening radio station, and ask them to play it. KOIT is famous (or infamous) for playing Christmas music from sometime in November through Christmas. She wrote an email asking that they play this song for her friend who'd been raised in the city and had never heard it. Just as Zirpu and I were getting ready to leave, the song actually came on. In these multi-cultural times, I think it's okay to use a Yiddish word to describe a Christmas song, and that word is schmaltzy.

All of my favorite Park Place people showed up, including Gaia and Byronium who had just arrived the night before from two weeks in India, and Pumpkin, whom, I believe, I conjured by wearing socks that don't match (as he often does). A couple of very young girls had a grand time decorating the spritz cookies (sugar cookies from the cookie press). Nutmeg insisted we watch Steven Colbert's Christmas Special and we listened to carols on the iPod/CD player. JR brought home a 7' tree on his bicycle. HR, Cutie G, Byronium and others made cookies. The rest of us ate them and drank coffee and eggnog. It was raining and cold (well, not New Hampshire cold) all day.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yesterday's Future

I have a nicely bound "anything book" that I filled with high school crap like book covers, report cards, school IDs, and prom memorabilia. In the notebook is an assignment I did in tenth grade for my Honors English class. The teacher wrote the questions and I interviewed a family friend.

For extra credit I pretended to interview myself in 2024 (at which point I would be 56). Reading the extra credit part of the assignment was so painful that it took me four tries to get through it. When I was 15, I was planning that by the time I was 56 I would:

Have attended UC Santa Cruz and Boston University;
Be fluent in Spanish, German, and Japanese;
Have published at least four novels and at least three books of nonfiction;
Own my own restaurant, through three closures and one almost-bankruptcy;
Adopted three boys;
Still be friends with the friends I had in tenth grade;
Occasionally write columns for the San Francisco Chronicle;
Have been on Time's bestseller list at least twice; and
Be taking one course at a time in things like film making.

I wonder when I thought I would sleep. Sometimes I look back and think I must have been a really annoying person when I was teenager.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shacking Up

While I've been resting up from the strain of posting every day, I have been reading a lot. I thought Daughter of the Saints would be more concerned with the life of growing up in a polygamous family, but it turned out to be a lot more about schisms within the offshoots from the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

The thing that I wonder is why in the world the US government even cares about polygamy. I think the problem with it isn't polygamy itself, it's the marrying of young teenage girls to men several times their ages; the exclusion of teenage boys who are thrown out of the community for the smallest infractions so that they can't attach themselves to, or be attached to by, girls their own age. Certainly polygamy as it's practiced by groups like the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints is wrong. To me, polygamy is a feminist issue. The girls and women in these LDS offshoots are treated unequally in so many ways, not the least of which is that the men hold the power and the whole point of having many wives is to have many children.

Thinking about polygamy ties right back into conversations I've been having with friends about Proposition 8. One pointed out that the problem is a semantic one around association of the word marriage with a church-based ritual and religious beliefs, and sent me a column by conservative Douglas Kmiec about breaking "marriage" from the state-issued license. This makes sense to me, though people love traditions and I don't think we'll wind up with everyone getting civil unions recognized everywhere and some people getting "married" in their places of worship and/or by clergy.

The law should protect the rights of 13 year old girls who don't want to marry (and should protect teens who do want to marry from making hasty choices). The law should protect gays and lesbians from having their relationships ignored no matter what state they are living in or visiting. Beyond that, why does the state/federal government even care about what consenting adults call their relationship?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I've been very relieved to not have to post every day.

I don't remember its being that hard last year - but then again, last year I was used to daily posting.