Sunday, November 30, 2003

It's really hard to have a good Thanksgiving under the following circumstances:
a. You're a vegetarian.
b. Your Grandmother is from the South/Midwest . . . and doesn't know how to cook for vegetarians.
c. You have a very small family.
d. Said very small family is largely uneccentric and uninteresting.
e. Grandfather is dying of cancer.
But given all of these circumstances, Turkey Day wasn't horrible. It was okay. I wasn't expecting a whole lot more than that, anyway. I've accepted the fact that my grandmother will always forget to make vegetarian food. (I usually spend Thanksgiving munching on potatoes. Which is okay by me.) It's the Ed dying part that blows. He's the nicest, most loving man in the world and he really doesn't deserve to spend the remainder of his days in so much pain. Ed's the kind of guy who should die in a freak repelling accident, or in a rockslide. Or by falling into a grapepress. He should die on a Boy Scout Trip (since he's been Scoutmastering for 50 plus years), or making wine. Either way, he'd go out doing what he loves. His heart has never been used; it beat far too slowly. Only when he met my grandmother 12 years ago did he have a pacemaker put in. He has all the will and strength of someone half his age. But now his body is riddled with the cancer that so kindly lodged itself in his lungs after working for years as a plumber in asbestos-ridden homes and ships. Ed doesn't deserve to die just because there were no building codes back in the day. But he will. And it probably won't be very long until then. And without Ed, I fear my hometown will be entirely devoured in darkness.

But on a far less depressing note, my weekend at home was alright. Good, in fact, if ya' wanna get all technical and stuff. I was very anxious to get back and see mia famiglia, despite the mask I put on that I don't miss them. I do miss them a little teensy bit. I spent a lot of good quality time with my mums, which is a whole lot different than spending good quality time with a dictionary, let me tell you. We rummaged around department stores on the absolute worst of shopping days in an attempt to find me a decent winter coat. But I'm a finicky bitch: all the coats that fit me were ugly, and the ones that I liked didn't fit. Bugger me. I did however find the following wonders that I cannot have until Christmas (because that's how my mom shops for me, takes me out and lets me get things that I deem cool, but hides them from me and wraps them up for Christmas . . . so much for the element of suprise): a pair of vintage white lace knee high Victorian boots, a purse in the shape of a corset, yet another swing dress . . . and a new glass pen from Dicken's Fair.

Dicken's Fair is by far my new favorite Christmas tradition. Because it's just a San Francisco thing, it feels far more authentic than RenFaire . . . and I prefer Victorian garb to RenGarb by far, anyway. Plus it's always nice when your parents indulge your bizarre costume party fantasies and pay your admission and food. Alas, I was not in garb. Because this was unexpected. My mother just woke me up and announced we were going . . . and then I realized that my corsets were still in Santa Barbara. Teach me to leave them behind!

Plus, I got to see The Best Friend, whom I have been missing terribly. All in all, a lovely trip back home to the bay.

And it is officially only 13 more days til Big Bad Voodoo Daddy! I cannot contain my excitement.

Saturday, November 22, 2003


That's my number.

I am the 745th girl to play J.J.'s bongo drums.

Let me elaborate: J.J. is this blind music major that I see around campus. He's really friendly--so much so that it sometimes borders on annoying--and he's been doing this experiment-type thing about girls playing the bongos. I am not actually entirely certain about what, per say, this is, but I do know this: this is an awesome way to meet women. Hell, if I had a quaint disability such as blindness (hey, I'm halfway there!) I would totally come up with something as novel as this to meet people. Raffi and I were returning a game to the front desk in San Raf, and J.J. walked by us and started talking to us about music. At one point he takes these bongos out of his backpack and asks me if I would play them for him. I confess that I have no musical talent, but he asks me to play anyway. He demonstates how to do a beat and I fail fucking miserably. He then asks me to do a drumroll. Apparently, I do such a kickass German drumroll that I get to go on his special list. "You just say that. All the girls are on the special list, aren't they?" says Raffi. J.J. proves him wrong by reciting to us the entirety of the special list, with reasons for why some of them were on there if they were extra special. German drumrolls are apparently extra special.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I found the perfect Christmas card! It's all weird and kinda spooky and Edward Gorey-fied . . . but it is out of stock on Gorey Details! I am greatly dismayed. No one will have a spookified Christmas if they cannot have Christmas with the Great Veiled Bear. I am deeply saddened. Deeply.
I am spending way too much quality time with my dictionary.

Monday, November 17, 2003

I made friends with an ex-con on the bus home from LA yesterday.

Yep, it was fun. All I wanted to do was read my art history textbook. All he wanted to do was talk to someone. In a way, it's kind of sad. But I learned a whole lot about how to not break my parole and still have fun! This guy, a tall, muscular, mustachioed dude, was just getting back from a 15 day parole pass trip to Ontario, CA. (See, when you're on parole, you are limited to a 50 mile radius of your hometown, and you can get a pass to vacation outside of that area so that if you are pulled over you are not in violation of your parole. He is wise in the ways of jail.) He went down there to hook up with some college girl and ended up hooking up with her mom, instead. He showed me a picture. She was wearing a black cowboy hat atop her dark curls. It made her look like she was from New Jersey. He then told me about his dead friend, who was recently hit by a train. He showed me pictures of him, too. Apparently, he just carries this stuff around with him. He even had those little ribbon rememberance things you get at Mexican funerals. This man is infinitely prepared for things to tell what Chuck Palahniuk calls "single-serving friends" in Fight Club.

That was way more than I would have ever wanted to know about this guy. Why can't I have a peaceful busride back to campus where I can be boring and academic and read my textbooks with fervor? That's all I want. But I guess with an ex-con, one feels compelled to nodd and smile like you care. God knows why this guy was in the pen. I was not about to ask. Really, I just wanted to do my art history homework.

The really interesting part about this was that he told the same exact things to the woman who came to sit with us at a later point on the bus ride . . . the same fucking routine, only in Spanish this time.

This engagement ring, on an only slightly related note, is an amazing tool. Had this ex-con been hitting on me, rather than just being lonely and odd, I certainly would have had to employ its laser-beam like powers on him. Last weekend, the guys, Heather and I all went to see The Matrix Revolutions. We got there exceptionally early, grabbed coffee, and got in line. Before the "queuing" (as those silly Brits would say), we perused Borders for a bit. Now, keep in mind that this is The Matrix and, naturally, I am all gussied up in vinyl and boots and the whole fucking shebang. I look like Trinity, but with a pretty girl's makeup. I'm wearing this ratty little jacket I love, with patches from cult movies running down both of the sleeves. So, we walk in, and Heather and I peruse the first table of books we see and I am immediately caught by the eyes of some long haired Renaissance Faire junkie. He compliments me on my outfit. I am now prey. I say thanks, and explain that we're seeing The Matrix, just so he doesn't think I'm a bondage freak everyday. He then takes note of the Rocky Horror Picture Show patch on my jacket, and starts up a conversation about going to Rocky. He is from Marin! Lo and behold! We go to the same Rocky back home! And then, by an odd turn of events, he offers to drive me down to the NuArt in LA for RHPS . . . if I give him my number. "Oh, thanks, but that's okay. My fiance lives down in Santa Monica, so I go to the NuArt with him, usually." I flash the ring. He is silent. This cat has eluded yet another hunter.

I thanked Marcus immediately. Never again will sleezy guys be a problem. I am freed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I can't believe that I have to follow up my engagement announcement posting with yet another tale of dead fish.

So, uh, yeah. We totally blow at fishkeeping. Archimedes is dead. I scooped him out with Heather's incense burner, because we still haven't bought a net. Then I flushed him. He has gone the way that all good fish go. Whatever. I've grown very disillusioned with this fishkeeping thing. They are cheap pets. I want something substantial. Like a frog. Maybe we'll get a frog. Something. Anything. Anything that UCSB allows us to have that won't die immediately. As for me, I'll stick with my stuffed cats.

Marcus and I are going to get a bunch of kitties and a Caanan dog. And we shall name the puppy Jujubee. And we shall call him Jew Puppy, for he will be a dog of the chosen people. And he will herd the children, dear little lambs that they will be. And he will not die. For he is not a fish. He is a dog. And they are different.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I realize that last week I said Monday was the best day of my life. I'd like to make a correction. Last Monday was the best day of my collegiate academic life. Halloween was the best day of my life.

It was raining like mad when I left Santa Barbara, and the rain followed me down to Santa Monica, it seems. We went to the pier just after sunset, and it was just beginning to drizzle there. But nevertheless it was Halloween and no one was particularly interested in playing arcade games or riding the ferris wheel, so they were closing everything down when we got there. Marcus was really hoping for the ferris wheel--he loves those things. The play he wrote for me contains one. It's a very 1950's sort of Boardwalk romance icon. I think that's why he likes them. But we got no ferris wheel ride that night. So instead we walk along the pier and I am freezing fucking cold and I suggest that we go get coffee to warm up.

"We will, but I want to walk along the beach a little bit first."

"I don't have beach shoes, really. And all the sand is wet."

"Let's just walk here a little longer, okay?"

"But, honey, it's so cold!" He pulls me to him. I press my face to his chest.

"Honey, I got you a present."

"You did?" He never gives me presents.

"Yes. I wanted you to have this, and I want you to know that Moulin Rouge is more than just a movie, ok?"

We were going to a midnight showing that night. I open the gift paper--it's wrapped in Christmas wrap--and inside there is a still of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, signed. He begins again:

"It's not really signed. The signatures are just tacked on. You can see the pixels around the names. I wanted to get you a signed 3rd edition script, but it was too much. Anyway, I know you like that press shot. It's cute."

"It is. Thank you, honey. Um, could you put it in your backpack? I don't want to get it wet. I'll look at it more closely later."

I snuggle up against his chest again, trying not to freeze to death. Here the words he says to me get jumbled.

"You mean more to me than any movie, or any play, or any poem, or any other peice of art. You know that. You mean more to me than all art can ever be."

That last bit is a line from Dorian Gray. I look up. There is a Zales box in my face, a glittering diamond ring inside it. I'm floored.

"Will you marry me?"

All I can do is laugh. Well, it's not exactly laughing. It's shocked laughter, combined with joyous giggles. My hands fly to my mouth. I don't know what to say or do. I forget all about Dorian Gray. I turn and I jump and I spin. I am so happy.

"Honey? Will you?" He waves the box at me.

"Yes!" I jump toward him and throw my arms around him. "Yes!" And we kiss, and I am still laughing.

"Take that thing off." He points to the lover's knot I wear on my left ring finger. I do, and he slips on the most beautiful, sparkling diamond ring in the world. It is simple and poetic and shines like fire. "You really do mean more to me than all art can ever mean."

"That's from Dorian Gray, you know."

"Is it?"

"Yes. Sibyl says it to Dorian on the night she gives up the theatre."

"Well, it's true. I love you . . .

"Beyond poetry."

And we kiss, and I lace my hand in his, and we walk away from the bright lights of the pier, the shadow of the ferris wheel--completely and utterly warm.