Friday, November 30, 2012

fear the judgment of the children

Today was a rainy day, and Lola's thoughts when I picked her up were on another rainy day spent waiting for me at dismissal time.  She and her friend "were sitting in one of the only dry spots on the stairs, you know, it was all wet.  And we had one of the only dry spots.  And then this car came tearing down, it was going so fast, and we all gasped.  And I said, 'You shouldn't drive that way down here, because it is full of judgmental children, AND WE WILL JUDGE YOU. ' And we did."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

a very deep thought

"On the outside, I may appear to be an emotionless, sarcastic jerk, but like an onion, as you peel back each layer, you find exactly the same thing.  And then you start crying."  (Courtesy of one of my Burning Man campmates).

insults and metaphor

Today as I was driving Lola to school, she asked me what a metaphor was.  It was especially pleasing for me to get a question I could actually answer, and I delved into metaphors and similes, making up some and quoting famous ones.  "The fog crept in on little cat feet" went over well, but Lolz balked at "Shall I compare thee to a summer day."

"Summer days are hot," said Lola disapprovingly.  She and her sister, native San Franciscans, prefer a cool, foggy day.  For Lola, Shakespeare was an idiot.

"NEWSFLASH, LOLA:  you and Iris are not normal.  YOU ARE NOT TYPICAL."

Lola did not take the point.   A new insult has been found:  comparing someone to a summer day.  Those are fighting words, all right!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I'm really sorry for all my failures.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

the crazy man and the mystery of his shoe size

Act I.

The Sober Husband needs new slippers and new sneakers, but somehow over the nearly five decades of his life, he has avoided learning his shoe size.  I buy his clothes for him, but he's on his own foot-wise.  "If you only managed to learn your shoe size, you'd live in a wonderland," I nagged him the other day, "where I'd keep a stack of slippers for you.  Like when you said you needed new pants, and I told you to look in your dresser, and there was a pile of them I bought when they were on sale."  

We were walking through the Castro when we had this conversation, and the Sober Husband suggested that he walk up a block to visit a store which sells garish sneakers as well as campy t-shirts to get his feet sized.   I vetoed that suggestion.  "Stores like that don't measure your feet," I explained.  "They rely on you to know your size when you go in.  Normal people know what size their feet are.   Iris and I know what size our feet are."   We sneered superiorly.  

The Sober Husband was unconvinced. 

Act II.

The following day, while Iris and I were taking in a matinee of "Seven Psychopaths", the Sober Husband and Lola stopped by that same store in the Castro in an attempt to get his feet sized.  "You were right," he admitted; the store didn't even possess a shoe sizing board.  "They treated me like I was a crazy man.  I think they thought I was insane."  

It was a double victory for me, as the Sober Husband had predicted that "Seven Psychopaths" would be too gory and upsetting for Iris, but in the end she had, as I'd known, enjoyed the movie.  


The sad part is this was probably the highlight of my entire year: having a laugh at the expense of my usually better-than-me spouse due to my superior knowledge of how to buy shoes.  It's all downhill from here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

the things we ate

People think Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, but here in this vegetarian household, I bring the feast.  Yesterday we had nine dishes, none prepared ahead of time (due to the chef being in a funk), all made Thanksgiving morning.

- Asian marinated cucumber salad (to give us something light and crunchy),

- garlicky mashed Yukon Gold potatoes (Lola's favorite),

- turnip gratin (so simple but so pleasing),

- lantulaatiko (a Scandinavian rutabaga pudding which has become the Sober Husband and my holiday tradition, served every Thanksgiving and Christmas like clockwork ever since we were
dating and first discovered this food together),

- Tofurkey! marinated and roasted with little potatoes and carrots (mock if you must, but it tastes fantastic),

- homemade cranberry sauce (this year's had cherries, Cointreau, apricot preserves, and ginger, and it was a disappointing recipe which will not be seen next year, the one underperforming dish of the year.  Last year's cranberries with sugar and orange zest were much better),

- green beans cooked in vodka (seen every year),

- mustard-chive monkey bread (the only really time consuming and tricky thing which was made), and

- sour cream pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream.

There was only the one pie, due to the chef's health kick and huge weight loss, and not coincidentally it was a pie which the squash and pumpkin-hating chef does not eat herself.   Another non-coincidence was some complaining by the minors over the relative lack of pies, which was met by the spirited rebuttal that they could eat the leftover tres leches cake in the refrigerator if they needed to stuff their yaps with sugar.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

hate reading

It's terrible, it just is, yet I have no shame over my newest filthy, unforgivable habit.  I'm hate-reading,  I'm reveling in schadenfreude over the last election.  I don't feel bad about this, as I was on the losing side for virtually every election during my voting lifetime and have sadly bucked up every four years.

Sadly my supply is running dry as more time goes on past the election.  But here's a toothsome gem, one which doesn't age:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

surcharge, shmurcharge

In the aftermath of the election, some CEOs of chain restaurants are spitting mad that healthcare may be in their employees' future.  The head of Papa John is charging 10 cents more per pizza, which frankly strikes me as a bargain. I'm happy to pay an extra dime if it means a struggling, hardworking pizza chain employee can go to the doctor.

As Wonkette reports with delicious snark, another CEO is trying to egg customers into stiffing waiters on their tips to punish them for wanting healthcare and Obama:
 John Metz is nobody’s fool, so John Metz, CEO and owner of Hurricane Grill and Wings as well as some Denny’s and Dairy Queen franchises, is going to pass the cost of Obamacare onto the employees AND the customer. “If I leave the prices the same, but, say on the menu that there is a five-percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it, and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz told The Huffington Post. Metz is a WINNER, you guys, and WINNERS do not pay for the health care coverage costs of others. They make you, the customer pay for it (SUCKER) and if you don’t want to, then YOU get to be a winner and make the waitress pay for it.
Frankly I'm all for him doing that.   We've done that already in San Francisco, and restaurants, waiters, and diners all seem to be fine after adjusting to a new reality.  When a new law called "Healthy San Francisco" was passed, restaurants of a certain size had to start providing healthcare to their employees.  Many restaurants decided to put a surcharge on the checks labeled "Healthy San Francisco", to make it clear to the consumer that she was having to pay out of her own pocket extra for her meal in order to give the doctor-craving waiters and cooks health insurance.  And you know what?  All the doom that was forecast didn't happen.  Restaurants are still opening at a crazy rate (our economy has perked up here, thanks to Silicon Valley); people are still eating out.

Just yesterday I took little Lolz and a pal of hers out to lunch, and we paid our "Healthy San Francisco" surcharge on top of our tab.  The heavily tattooed staff who waited on us and bussed our table looked healthy, and the surcharge was modest enough.   Funnily enough I didn't have any sort of class rage against my waiter, the way that John Metz seems to think I should.  We all of us get sick, and we all of us need some medical care from time to time.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

it's that special time of year

It's that magical time of year, when I am constantly reminded that I am unlovable (the only person in the world who has ever genuinely loved me after getting to really know me is the Sober Husband, and that's probably because by then he was stuck with me), unloved, unlikeable, and mostly unliked.  Also, I've lost the one advantage life gave me, which was that for a while I was pretty damn good-looking.  I was an ugly child, a hideous adolescent, and then I blossomed into a hot chick, but that didn't last long enough.  I have lived too long past my sell-by date.

Yes, it's birthday season!  Happy fucking another year older to me.  I can't wait until it's over.  The actual day is Tuesday, but the dread and funk arrive ahead of time.

Friday, November 16, 2012

a very special genre

I'm co-teaching a "lit club" class at Iris uber Alles's school.  It's like a tiny little foray into the working world, and I love the children.

Not long ago I asked them to tell me about what they like to read, and one shared, "I like books where mermaids commit suicide."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

detente pictured

There are a lot of gray animals around here lately, and there is only a fragile detente at best, with your humble narrator at high risk for small bodily injuries.

Monday, November 12, 2012

not appropriate

Iris and I went to a clothing exchange over the weekend, where we each scored some great finds.  Most notably Iris got a beautiful leather jacket and I got a Michael Kors dress; I also ended up with an extremely ornate, bead-encrusted wedding gown.

"I don't understand why you took that wedding gown," said Iris.

"I've always wanted to go to this event called 'Brides of March,' where everyone runs around bars all day in wedding gowns, both the men and the women."  (Indeed several people at the clothing exchange had lit up at the sight of the wedding gown, all thinking of the Brides of March, but it was me that the gown fit perfectly.  Although I've been married twice, I have never owned a real wedding gown.  I have lots of friends who have had inordinate amounts of fun at the Brides of March pub crawl, and I've always intended to get a wedding gown for it, but I've never managed to find one in my size at a thrift store).

Iris made a derisive sound.  "You are a forty seven year-old mother of two!  THERE IS SO MUCH WRONG WITH THAT, I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN."  She shook her head.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

so very cute

This morning I was tired, from insomnia-caused sleep deprivation and from far too much exercise over the past several days.  The Sober Husband called my attention to the fact that one of my foster kittens had diarrhea (in the litterbox, good kitten, and which I had already realized and arranged to get some medications).  I had a realization and shared it with him.

"I feel that almost everything you say to me is conveying a piece of negative information.  Like that almost everything you talk about is either damage or disgustingness caused by animals or [perennial topic of anomie and worry not appropriate for the public].  It's making me fear you opening your mouth.  I'm dreading talking to you.  We need to fix that."

The Sober Husband feistily argued the point with me for a while, which caused me to further stiffen in my views.  Then he broke off and stared at the latest foster kitten.  "That orange one is over there.... "  He paused.  "Being cute."

I walked over and saw the kitten, bent over vomiting heartily.  I turned to the Sober Husband and ran my hand through his hair affectionately.  "Well said!"

Friday, November 09, 2012

a mystery

Tonight I had the Sober Husband drop me off at the gym.  He proceeded on to a cocktail party, while I had a good, long, strenuous workout.  By the time I was out of the shower, he was waiting to drive me home.

I felt like exercising, not drinking.  WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME?  I used to be so much fun.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

the fashion police

Since I became so obsessed with working out and lost a huge amount of weight, I've taken up dressing like a skank.  One member of the family (the Sober Husband) not only enjoys this trend but strongly encourages it.  Another apparently has no opinion or perhaps has not even paid attention.  However, a third member is disapproving.

Yesterday I was having a stressful time (a little foster kitten had a health crisis, which was quite disgusting, and when I bathed him, he sank his fangs deep into my wrist; the kitchen sink clogged up and then when the Sober Husband attempted to fix the clog, a pipe burst;  we were running late to get to the polls), and little Lola took that time to raise an issue with my clothes.  I was wearing a form-fitting silky t-shirt and a faux wrap skirt which was designed, as the catalogue had said, to "occasionally reveal a tempting slice of leg."  Lolz, seeing the slice of leg, was tempted to point out to her mother that some thigh was on display, and the crabby old mother hissed, "Do not say anything critical to me.  There is nothing wrong with my clothes."

Other outfits have met with disapproving attempts at censorship, including a lace t-shirt ("From this angle, I can see your bra in that shirt."  "Lolz, that is kind of the point of this shirt") and a  retro low cut cocktail dress ("It's so wide here", gesturing at the cleavage and trying to pull the sides of the neckline together).

I'm just dreading Lolz's reaction when I sport my newest acquisition, a tight dress with a lace bodice.  Yes, the dress looks vaguely like something a mid-priced hooker might wear, but I'm okay with that.  It's a truly great dress.  A person can go decades without acquiring such a fabulous dress.

I have tried to explain to Lolz that her mother has not spent so much time slaving at the gym and broken her recreational ice cream habit in order to wear caftans and burqas, but still, the remarks, the looks, and the tugging at the necklines go on.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

it's just that easy

"I don't want to argue," I said.

"No, you don't have to argue," said the Sober Husband strenuously.  "You can just concede that I am right!"

areas of expertise

Over sandwiches Lola asked me thoughtfully, "What is the fourth dimension?"  After I finished chewing, I called the Sober Husband in.  He has a Ph.D. in physics, after all, and I, moronically enough, was not sure about what the fourth dimension was.  This was the right thing to do, as the Sober Husband lit up when Lola repeated her question and said, "Ah!  Now, what is a dimension?"

Later I had my moment in the sun.  "What is the Antichrist?" Iris asked her father.  He was blank, and I intervened.  "Leave this one to me,"  I said.  I didn't have a born-again Christian childhood for nothing.

Friday, November 02, 2012

annoying coworker

Lately I've been thinking that perhaps it's time for me to get a job.  However, in one of my volunteer positions, I have been working closely with someone who irritates me profoundly, and this is making me remember all of the annoying coworkers I've ever had.  I realized I had been  remembering all the paychecks and happy hours and nicest clients, not thinking about the psycho bosses, insane deadlines, and other unpleasantnesses.

Today my annoying co-volunteer was especially annoying, and I thought perhaps instead of vowing to get a job,  I should instead vow to never work in any office again.  I shared some of my thinking with the Sober Husband and Lola.

"I was romanticizing the work world.  I was just thinking, 'Oh, there's always someone to go to lunch with or out for drinks.'"

"I feel like I live in the movie 'Office Space'", the Sober Husband shared.

Little Lola, who has never actually held a job, for inscrutable reasons of her own found what I had to say hilarious.  Between guffaws, she asked, "You thought that?  Lunch?  Drinks?"  She slapped her leg in amusement.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

even kittens

Even kittens can't cheer me up.