Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I did this.
I didn't do this.
I kinda did this.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain -- Does Twin Peaks count?

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty -- Damn it...if only I hadn't been so lazy on my 8th grade class trip!

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Held a lamb -- This one seems awfully kumbaya to me.

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon -- No, but I'm running my first 5k tomorrow!

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice -- I'm glad Joanie talked me into this one!

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise -- I've been on the bay cruise, but I don't think that's the same thing.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors My mom was born right after WWII when pregnant women were still birthing their babies away from the cities, but this is the street my mom grew up on:

And OMG I still have those jeans and they're skin tight. OINK!

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelos David

41. Sung karaoke

Can you see me FEELING the song?

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted My mom and grandfather have both painted me, but from a picture so I don't know if that counts.

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check I've kiiiinda bounced checks before, but my bank always pays them so the recipient of the check has no idea.

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial -- Ask me about this one again in late January!

71. Eaten Caviar -- I think fish roe on sushi should count, but I'm not sure.

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating -- I've caught fish that I've eaten before but I have not been responsible for cleaning them.

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous
-- Frank and Ty from Trading Spaces and Clinton Kelly: Cable TV stars for the WIN!

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

Burying Boppa's ashes in the back yard:

Note, those are the same jeans as in the Hemel Hempstead picture up above and they're tighter here, but not as tight as they are now.

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee
-- Probably like 99 times in my life. It AMAZES me that there are people who have never been stung!! It happened EVERY summer of my childhood -- multiple times, even! I'm just tooooo sweet. Awl.

100. Read an entire book in one day

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm blaming the meloncholy on hormones.

I went to an all-hands meeting on Tuesday where the focus was kind of conflicted:

The company has BAJILLIONS of dollars in cash and t's a very safe place to be right now.

but also:

There is to be absolutley NO travel and NO catering and NO hiring.

And they just announced a mandatory furlough between Christmas and New Years. If I was eligible for vacation right now, that would be fine...but I think I might have to take it unpaid. TBD.

And then this whole time of me picking my nose all day long my boss has been all "Don't worry...we absolutely need you. Just be patient, keep yourself occupied...nobody has raised any questions about what you're doing. Don't stress."

And then yesterday my boss tells me that the days of this department operating at will and at any cost are over and that he wants to find a way for me to get involved sooner rather than later so nobody questions my value.


And all this NPR-listening I've been doing lately makes me think that OMG THE SKY IS FALLING I WILL BE DESTITUTE AND WE'LL ALL BE FIGHTING FOR SPAM AND BROWN BANANAS!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I can keep my job, I will get great experience (eventually) and a great paycheck and everything will be okay.

If I lose my job, I don't know what to do. Jobs that can sustain my mortgage are difficult to get, as proven by the length of my retirement. I'm thinking that I might rent my place out, move in with my parents and maybe get a job in a different field. Or a low-level job in this field. I like what I do and I don't want to give up, but I've been treading water for MONTHS now and it's exhausting.

I want to find a rich husband. More than ever. He can go to work and do whatever it is he does and I'll supervise the cleaning lady, run his errands and cook his meals. I'm completely serious.

I still don't regret taking the severance and leaving PG&E and I'm still excited about whatever new things are coming my way, but the past few days have made me wish I was still there because it is familiar and comfortable and the people there were my family.

Nobody here knows that I'm awesome and I haven't had the opportuntiy to show them yet.

And I swear to you, whenever I see a blue PG&E truck, my heart jumps a little bit.

Only in San Francisco

Tony, one of my gay boyfriends, invited me to be his date to a fundraiser party for this movie:

I've never seen What Ever Happened to Baby Jane but it's all kind of creepy, no?

But I love me some Tony and I love me a room full of drag queens so I figured it would be a campy good time. What I wasn't expecting though, was for it all to be such a magical night.

But first, let me remind you that I am NOT a fan of house parties unless I know a solid 50% of the crowd. My anxiety goes OFF THE CHARTS and I generally just can't wait to get home and put on my pajamas and hide. In a professional setting I can chit chat till the cows come home but put me in a social setting and I freak out. I think it has to do with anxiety over people not wanting to talk to the fat chick (and all the associated BLAH BLAH BLAH coo-coo crazy in my head).

But anyway.

It was a straaaaaaaangely warm night on Friday -- I think I remember looking at my phone and seeing that it was like 70 degrees at 10PM, but I didn't need technology to tell me that it was warm. We got the house and it looked empty, but that's because everyone was out on the back deck enjoying the weather.

Tony said I'd love the house. I believed him because the other guy I know from this circle lives in an AWESOME OLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD victorian with what appears to be original EVERYTHING, which is also why that house is rumored to be falling apart from the inside, out.

But maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, Tony wasn't kidding. I LOVED that house. It was actually a duplex and I'm not clear on the relationship between the two owners -- if they knew each other before they moved there or not, but it seems to have worked out because Tony said that both sides are usually open when they have parties.

The ornate side was SPEC-TAC-U-LAR. It was kind of traditional victorian meets a modern color pallette.

The window coverings involved GOBS AND GOBS AND GOBS of richly colored silk (?), the furniture and upholstery were RICH RICH RICH and the colors were awesome and funky and freaking gorgeous. The best part though, was that the "wallpaper" throughout the entire place was hand painted by one of the guys who lived there. It was so ornate, I can't even tell you. Monkeys, flowers, scrolls, patterns -- you name it. All hand painted.

The bedroom was OH MAH GAH gorgeous. Like where you'd expect a really, really, really spoiled princess to live. A real-life princess. Not like those chicks on My Super Sweet 16. The canopy and the bedding and the OH MAH GAH of it all was spectacular. And GRRRRRR, I was trying to be cool about it all so I only took one quick camera phone pic of the canopy but it was all dark and sexy with the mood lighting and the picture didn't come out.

The kitchen was also fantastic. It was filled with really dark, heavy old-timey looking cabinets and appliances, but with turquoise walls with an intricately painted gold pattern. It was gorgeous. GORGEOUS.

And OMG the bathroom! Tony said I couldn't leave without checking out the bathroom. How exciting could it be? Except that WHOA! The toilet was actually this big wicker chair and you had to lift up the chair seat to reveal the actual toilet. It seems like they're just asking for a mess with that, but it was super cool and hey...maybe they sit down when they pee. I dunno.

The other side of the duplex was much more true to the victorian decor, but with a surprising number of taxidermied heads on the walls. The whole place was lit with gas lights (they say there are only 40 or so homes left in SF with the original gas lighting) and the vibe in there made me feel like I was in that PBS reality show called 1900 House or whatever -- the one where the modern day family lived in a home true to the turn of the century. It was really dark and victorian but it also somehow managed to *not* look like someone's grandma lived there.

There was a grand piano just off the parlor and a man in a tux playing for anyone who wanted to sing. Tony and I found seats in the parlor and sat there listening to a fantastic impromptu concert preformed by a few drag queens who were not currently in drag, which made it that much more awesome.

So I was sitting there in this beautiful house (albeit one I wouldn't want to be in alone on a stormy night), surrounded by the nicest strangers I'd ever met, listening to handsome men sing cabaret and I just could not get over how lucky I am that THIS is my life.

Here's one of them, actually:

She's a gorgeous lady, but he is also a handsome man.

We eventually moved outside and I sat on the deck talking to a woman who was gushing about how magical the night was. I was glad that it wasn't just me.

I was reaching my limit and the awesomeness of it all wasn't enough to make me forget that I was uncomfortable, so Tony and I left after a couple of hours, but daaaaaaaaamn that was cool.

Other notes:

1. There was this chick dressed up in like an all-white Raggedy Ann outfit and really exaggerated eyelashes painted on her face. Tony said that he's never seen her in the same outfit twice and that she used to be in Fellini movies. I was like daaaaaamn, I thought Fellini was a bajillion years ago. He said yeah, but this chick was in her 50's. And seriously, I would have guessed she was 35. I REALLY wanted to know more about her though. Where does she live? Does she have a job? Does she take the garbage out? Does she go grocery shopping? I couldn't imagine her living out her day-to-day life.

2. But speaking of Fellini, once he said that I was able to put my finger on the vibe. I felt like I was in a Fellini movie. Kinda eerie, what with the ornate setting and the distant sounding piano music, but kind of awesome too. And considering I was in the home of the guys who are making that movie, not unexpected.

3. And if any of you SF'ers have ever been to see Trannyshack's Golden Girls episodes, Baby Jane is played by the same guy who plays Blanche!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Job is a mixed bag.

Things I Love About My Job:

1. The fact that my boss thought it was HILARIOUS when I told him that the only thing on my calendar today was the application of lip gloss. He has since referenced the lip gloss a few more times. Like, "I know you have lip gloss to apply tomorrow, but could you also do blah blah blah?"

2. I can get a delicious tuna melt in the cafeteria for $2.95. If that's not a value, I don't know what is.

Things That Make Me Nervous About My Job:

1. Sometimes my job sounds like something I can totally do and sometimes my boss uses words like "strategist" to describe my role and I'm like Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shit.

2. I have to be on teleconferences, which is like this fancy video conference where it looks like the other people in the meeting are sitting across the table from you but in reality, they're in Toyko or London or whatever. My main problem with this? I don't have time to lose 100 pounds between now and the first meeting on December 2nd.

Things That I Hate About My Job:

1. The fact that the guy in the cube right next to mine makes little grunty coughs ALL DAY LONG. This means that, in addition to my HATRED for him and his cough, I have to plug my earphones in whenever I am at my desk and then the hot married guy walks by and doesn't talk to me because he thinks I'm hard at work and don't want to be distracted. But whatever, right? I mean, he's SOMEONE ELSE'S HUSBAND and I shouldn't give a crap.

Plus, who ever thought I'd be attracted to a young Jack Nicholson??? I'm going with Sassy Sarah's theory that he's just warming me up for when I find a non-gay, non-married hot guy to make eyes at.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Wedding. Finally.

Okay so FINALLY, it's the big day. I get up, I cry, I break the shower, I cry, the front desk sends the maintenance guy up, I cry, they tell me there aren't any empty rooms for me to shower in, I cry and conveniently freak the maintenance guy out enough that he runs down the hall to find a room that was being cleaned, I wait until the housekeeper cleans the bathroom, I shower down the hall from all my stuff, and cry again.

Seriously. It was ridiculous, but I was trying to get it all out.

Except then my mascara wand broke and OH MY GOD I cried again. Seriously. A girl doesn't not need broken mascara ANY day, much less when she has to stand up in front of a bunch of people and hope that they are so distracted by her dazzling eyes that they don't notice her fat arms in a strapless dress.

So blah blah blah about the crying. It continued pretty much all day long until the irritation of being stranded at the church and the eventual getting-lost-again ride in the backseat smooshed against my two aunts snapped me out of it. Just assume that if you see a picture of anything before, during or immediately following the wedding, I was probably either currently losing my shit or trying to CEASE losing my shit and that I wasn't particularly successful.

Anyway, Hillary was a better bridesmaid than I was because I was too busy trying to not sweat and not cry to help Sarah get into her rig:

Jesus was there!

My mom and Ninny arrive at the church...and let me just say, that for two Brits, they're AWFULLY afraid of a few rain drops:

Sarah's aunt did the flowers:

And the perfectionist in me LOVED that they included the same flowers that I picked for the shower!

Here I am with my signature HEY WHAT'S UPPPPPPPPPPP open-mouthed self portrait shot:

I haven't seen the official pictures yet and our little point-n-shoot cameras weren't cutting the mustard, but you get the gist:

Ben and his posse look EVIL:

With the dads:

My parents await the marriage of their favorite child:

Cute couple:

Tammy, Big Andrew and Little Andrew:

My mom kickin' it with Janessa and The Pouch:

My brother's friend's son A) is adorable and B) travels with his own security paint roller. He used to love his spatula or something, if I recall correctly:

My mom with her babies:

Sarah with all the mens:


My favorite picture of my brothers, maybe ever:

Samantha and Andrew are very excited about leftovers:

Kenny hardly ever smiles so LOOK NOW because I'm sure he'll want me to take it down once he sees this:

Morven and I enjoy VIP seating at the after party:

Annnnnnnnd, that's about it. There's a picture of Kenny and Evan passing out in bed together but I don't have it so I can't post it, but even if I did, I probably wouldn't because I care about maintaining positive family relations.


All in all, my trip was AWESOME and the wedding was beautiful, even if I was an emotional M-E-S-S.


Midwestern Adventure: Iowa

Ohhhhh, Iowa.

So pretty.

So friendly.

So small town adorable.

Sarah's dad's farm is like the Bermuda Triangle though. I had to drive myself out there like three or four times and I swear to you, I got lost coming and going EVERY DAMN TIME and now her dad and brother probably think I should wear a helmet or something. But really, it's Google's fault. I could provide all you stalkers with Google directions to their house and you'd NEVER find it. And really, you'd probably never find your way back to your own house either because you wouldn't ever be able to get cell reception so you could call someone for directions.

But yeah...the farm is freaking gorgeous. If my whole family moved there, I would follow.

When I got there the night of the favor-making the guys were making a fire pit in preparation for the rehearsal dinner but unfortunately, it ended up pouring with rain and we had to hide in the garage and THE BARN. (And Shannon is totally going to read this and think that I'm a city girl for thinking that a party in a barn is exciting!)

But you know what happens when it rains in the midwest?



And if you didn't know anyone there, you'd have been able to pick out the Californians from the Iowans because we were all "OMG LIGHTENING! LOOK! OMG ANOTHER ONE! OMG!"

Except you know what else happens when it rains in the midwest?


Make-up, schmake-up.

It was crazy humid and I couldn't hide over the A/C vent in the bathroom all night long, so I had to suck it up and be okay with the fact that I was going to look sweaty and rained-on in all the pictures. But really, the fact that my boobs were about ready to fall out of my dress all night long gave me something more pressing to worry about and in the end, the wet hair/"dewy" face look translated into really cute pictures:

And even though it was starting to get dark, it was PHOTO SHOOT TIME!


Where's Waldo?


Big Andrew and his girlfriend Tammy are also tractor fans:

My time in Iowa also involved a powerball lottery ticket purchase. And a sobbing fit in the Sunday school room at the church. And in the church lobby. And in the church bathroom. And in the church pews. And, while I was at it, on the altar during the wedding.

What's prettier than a sobbing bridesmaid? A sobbing bridesmaid with holiday hams.

But I digress.

Iowa was wonderful. And I really, actually, truly mean that.

Mid-Western Adventure: South Dakota

OH MAH GAH it's been over two months and I'm ONLY JUST NOW getting around to recapping the last two states I visited during my mid-western bonanza! Unfortunately, the HI-LARITY has kinda escaped my brain so I think this is pretty much just going to be a picture post, but you never know...maybe the details will come flooding back to me.

So: South Dakota: Officially checked off my list.

Ninny and I were supposed to drive to Sioux Falls, SD on Tuesday afternoon but SOMEBODY missed her flight and instead of getting in at like 2PM, she wasn't going to get in until 11PM and night driving isn't fun when you actually want to see what you're driving through so I stopped in the middle of a bunch of corn in Nebraska and rearranged our lodging and BADA BING, it was all okay.

Plus, I should mention that this was the day I was wrestling with my post-whiskey-bonanza situation and that I was on rural roads the whole time and there aren't as many (any) bathrooms as you'd think and I was afraid I'd have to fertilize some corn except that the SWEET, SWEET vision of neon that was an Applebee's out in the freaking middle of NOWHERE was my saving grace. But that was Nebraska, not South Dakota. I'm backtracking.

Ooh, and one more birdwalk: Ben and Sarah had to get to Iowa early because they had to get their marriage license 72 hours before the wedding (so that Ben didn't kidnap the farmer's daughter out from under their noses, I think) and Ninny missing her flight actually worked out for the best because instead of heading for Sioux Falls, I went to Sarah's dad's farm in Iowa and helped Sarah, Ben and Sarah's brother Evan assemble wedding favors while Sarah's dad made us spaghetti.

The farm was a challenge to get to, but holy crap you was gorgeous. And the quality time with the in-laws was something I wouldn't have had if my day had gone as planned so I was really thankful that things worked out the way they did.

Back to South Dakota:

The ultimate goal for SD was the Corn Palace, but my extensive internet research indicated that there was a great and beautiful water fall in Sioux Falls. With an observation tower! And a gift shop! And views for miles!

Except that Sioux Falls, SD is not the quaint little town their tourism site would have you believe. It's kind of a hole.

And the falls themselves?

Windy and lackluster.

But maybe that's because my past trips to places like Yosemite and Niagara Falls ruined me, I dunno. But realllly, I think that the industrial backdrop of the falls was poor planning:

Proof that my hair and I were there:

Proof that Ninny and her hair were also there:

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.


About an hour or so west was the Corn Palace:

I was surprised that there were so many tourists hanging around because all it really is is a building decorated with corn. There's some sort of basketball court inside and I think they sometimes have concerts there and the only reason I even knew it existed was because the kids on the first season of Road Rules went there.

There I am!

But it looks kinda conflicted, don't you think? Is it 2008 or 2009? OMG IDENTITY CRISIS!!!!!!!!!!! But actually, they were redecorating while we were there:

Size 11 corn:

I'm not about to go googling swastikas at work (apparently, blogging at work isn't a problem for me), but they had pictures of all the old themes and this one must raise a lot of eyebrows because it was the only one with an explanatory sign:

And then I bought a floatie pen and a couple of beer koozies, we had lunch and we zipped back to Omaha juuuuuuuuuuuust time time for me to drop Ninny off and then make my spray tan appointment. Very important agenda items, you know.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Global Warming, YAY!

65 degrees at 1AM in SF in NOVEMBER?