emma b. says

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Temper Most Foul

Well the foulness has abated I thought I might share with the internets further tails of the horrors on MUNI...
... the other day I was running late as is my custom and I boarded the bus without fanfare and was grateful for a seat. So I whipped out the New Yorker and was reading the fascinating profile of the dreaded Nino Scalia (how could someone so brilliant be so unrelentingly dogmatic) when I was distracted by a repetitive movement in my peripheral vision. And I looked up. I shouldn't have. Seated kitty-corner to me, in what I call the "special seats", nominally reserved for the elderly, the pregnant and the tards, and more often than not the crazies, though if options are nil I will sit in them (I am not pregnant, nor elderly so that would make me either a tard or crazy, or both) . There was a heavy-lidded, sleepy eyed man with an Apple key-board box in his lap, and he was scratching at his crotch. OK, well, fine. We all get a little itch that needs a scratching from time to time, and a good many of us endeavor to be as discreet as possible while satisfying our primal/primate needs. I guess sometimes only an Apple key board will suffice, very well then, I am going back to Nino now and will pretend that I saw nothing.

So there is Nino and me and Title IX barrelling down Haight Street when again I am disturbed by the periphery. Heavy-lidded, sleepy eyed man appears to be in full doze and completely heedless to the fact that he has forsaken any pretense of discretion behind the Apple key board box and is now raking with abandon at his clearly vermin infested nether regions. The populace of the bus has summarily dropped all laissez-faire and are collectively staring at the human train wreck, open-mouthed, somehow we skipped the tittering stage and are in full on holyfuckingmotherofchrist mode. And still he scratched and rakes, crossing and uncrossing his legs, you can hear 40 people sigh the sigh of the resigned urbane when at last he sticks his chubby hand down the front of his sweats and begins rubbing his itchy in earnest. Nino sits on my lap ignored and I struggle to tear my eyes away, knowing that I will have to remove my eyeballs once safely ensconced in my corporate cubicle, and dip them in the handy-dandy vat of bleach I keep under my desk for my various muni travails. Having watched enough medical shows as a kid I feel I can safely deduce that heavy-lidded, sleepy-eyed man had a serious case of crabs, and what he needs is a full body wax and fumigation. I will tell you I have never seen a bus full of people exit so quickly by the back door sporting each and all that particular grimace worn by a seven year old who has just been exposed to cooties.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Icecream is Good!

chocolate bunnies and lambs! fingers richly dyed in the vegetable colors of food coloring, and it smells of sulfur and eggs! and fililments of green plastic grass, in your hair! caught in the hem of your easter dress!

and later when you have grown out of easter baskets and squirming in church in false petticoats, but after that phase of getting high in the parking lot with the pastor's son, when you have achieved the state's permission to drink bloody marys and get tatoos in your Sunday finest! you might just find yourself alone on a rainy Sunday, and all of the precepts of faith might have deserted you, as you weep alone in your bed reading the last book in the chronicles of Narnia, even in Good Friday was a fine, sunny day of lunches out and manicures and pedicures and some choice shopping. But Sunday, Easter Sunday leaves you a little desolate and a lot lonely. No rousting for the twice yearly trip to church, no Sunday dresses, no Easter basket, no fancy hats, no hunting eggs, no sticky peeps, no chocolate bunnies, no hunt for eggs, no sunshine. Just a late March downpour and tourists clumped under umbrellas, and sickly ocher sky, oh, and a head ache. And half a pint of Ben and Jerry's in lieu of a bunny and a basket, but even that cannot assuage the headache and the looming loneliness, and in the morning the scale will make accusations.

That, and I think I've lost my cell phone again... I suspect that I lost on Friday at the Reverend Horton Heat on Friday night when I was dancing with the rockabilly boy whose moves were less smoothe than silk, but that's a whole other lament....

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ready your rafts, the flood is coming

Who knew there was such velocity in a rain drop, last night I opted for pyjamas (until I stripped them off mid fevered dream, no, not that kind, I was hot) thinking that the flood might break through my bedroom. In the end, the body imperative won out, should disaster catch me in my bed, I am likely to be caught on the evening news wide-eyed, clad in a sheet. I have been known to wake with scorched flesh where the seams of my bottoms fell.

And still it falls, fitfully and capricious, intermittent sunshine, so long spring stawberries, oh for a patch of sunshine, and the prickle of a rising sunburn.

But the rain is falling, and now it's falling in earnest, lashing at the sidewalks, sending tentative fingers at the cracks near my heater, trailing water across my dear slanting hard wood floors, tracing my rug, soon it will be chasing the dust mice from under the bed, ruining my shoes, staining my walls and flooding my lungs.

I had a few minor revelations during the course of the day, that I would like to share with the internets. It's official! I hate my job!

Did you know what happens when you slide into one of those funks? The kind that doesn't completely mitigate function, but the kind where, due to lackadaisical oversight a few bills go unpaid? Well by dint of economics and usage, they fucking compound, and then they goodly folk at PG&E (ha ha ha bite me hard motherfuckers) send you one of those yellow notices, gently reminding you that you owe them a kajillion dollars. That might be stretching the sum a tetch, but if we are talking approximations that is what it feels like to my slim pocket book.

and the credit cards, are, mercifully, reigned in.

but the myriad and petty things vying for checks and debits, nickel and fucking diming me to a diminishing balance. Nay, let us not discuss the fortune I would save if I renounced liquor and cigarettes, I am not an ascetic and cannot discourse reasonably on the economics of privation.

OK, new topic. What is with me and Hole? I think I might need an intervention, I think I might be perceived as tightly strung, possibly violent, predatory single woman, minus the addictions and the multiple nose and breast augumentation, reduction respectively, oh, and the psychosis. But ever since I saw Hole open for Camper Van Beethoveen (hello bookers?) I have been entranced by the disaster that is Courtney Love, no matter how great my need to naysay, the disaster has some kind of charisma...

Oddly enough (not exactly, thanks to my recent discovery of internet music...) Camper Van Beethoveen is on the headphones, and I know that I have been writing much of music and memory lately. But, help me out, I don't think I am so wrong is making a broad supposition, that if the sense of smell is the greatest memory signifier, then old songs are the second most potent signifier. At one time to be in one moment and then to be in another moment, and that moment has it's own specific prism of colors and hair styles and sartorial flair, and in one moment you are riding the elevator in business casual and pointy boots staring at the screen of the superflous factoids and in the next you are deep in 1987 where you made the ill choice of black spandex under the ripped (good christ, acid washed) and people still referred to highlights as frosting. And you get off in the lobby mildly disconcerted, with an ache that is substantially more than nostalgia, it's the ache of missing, missing the sky-blue-pink world of promise. In the long-locked before, before all of that sunshiney optimism got choked by bills and rancid politics and bosses with insecurity complexes, before ex-husbands, before heartache, before good grammar was lost on me, before cursive disappeared.

But that was before, before the towers that most americans couldn't give two shits about went down. That was before the blue dress and the blow job. That was before anyone ever confused a Newt with a salamander, that was before the Berkeley fires, it was before the US beat the russians at Albertville, it was before anybody but a geography nut had ever heard of Mogodishu, and everyone had to make a mad rush towards old national geographics to delineate the fragile cultural borders, before the Balkans imploded and I had the misfortune of seeing massacre happen "en live" , I was living in France at the time, I simply could not fathom a massacre at my back door.

Then again, we humans are nothing if not adept at averting our eyes.

How long now 'til it comes back to bite us in the ass?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Reason #463 to Jealously Guard Your Heart, plus a recipe for half-assed bolognese

Pere Bovary called this morning with tears in his voice, I immediately thought someone was dead or gravely injured. Well someone is, his body is intact, but his heart is smashed. My little brother flew to the Carribean to meet with his True Love for a week in the sand, before he sells his house, has quitted his job and swapped continents for a woman. She flew in, quit him, and flew out again. I suppose there are worse fates then to be left in the tropics with so many flavors of alcohol and twee umbrellas, but somehow I think that all of that sand and cavorting couples might be the devil's special.

I am heartbroken for him.

And now for the half-assed bolognese.

For the next to last Carnavale, and the hottness that is evil brother Justin, and with 4o minutes to spare (we watch the East Coast feed as we are codgers and need our rest)

Take three sweet Italian sausages (Aidell's Neiman Ranch, if you can get them)
remove casings and crumble.

Finely chop six shallots, three large cloves of garlic.

Sautee shallots and garlic until translucent, add sausage, brown.

while browning, add several really generous pinches of herbes de provence, lotsa pepper, lotsa salt ( I used red Hawaiian salt, that has a marvelous clay taste... but, whatever)

add three gulps of whiskey - reduce
add largish cup of red wine reduce

if you can get them, add half can of San Marzano tomatoes
if you can't add three quarters of a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes, stir.

add three swirls of the sugar container.

Simmer, watch Carnavale, hold breath for quiet moment, run to kitchen, add remaining tomatoe sauce, more salt for good measure, approx. four dashes of green tabasco. Run back to TV.

simmer to end of program.
Finish with two happy dollops of creme fraiche and an equally happy pat of butter, garnish with a "chiffonade" of Italian parsley, eat while watching Simpson's. Mmmm - half-assed bolognese.

think that cette putain de petasse de chagasse de connasse qui pue chokes on a stale baguette on her flight back to Paris.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

My Sweetest Sucker Punch

I keep getting clobbered by old songs, a quick jab to the kidneys, drops me to my knees. They always turn up in the strangest places, when I'm hold with the bank, in the intermitent peace on the bus, a snatch from a stanger's headset.

And I keep remembering long drives with a dead girl, and the volume as loud as a reasonable girl could withstand, and the blessed nothern sunshine of spring, and endless fields of mustard, and the thrill of being 18 and as heartlessly free as you will ever be. One of us didn't live to see our twentieth spring, one of us died at the first breath of summer, in the jeep with the roll bars, sitting bitch, with the cassette blaring.

One of us rolled right out of the jeep, the driver was drunk. One of us rolled out of the jeep, riding bitch, and it wasn't me, I was three cars back and the scotch broom perfumed june was full of the promise of oil-sweating, bikini sprawled, freshly minted college girls, prone on granite, cooled in the river. Later, when you in the hospital, before your lungs flooded and you drowned, I remember passing the boy that we had both slept with, he had gotten you pregnant, and he knew that I knew it, and he knew that I knew that you had not been to see her full of tubes, and sickly bruises fading to puce, and I screamed a string of incriminating expletives at him, as he loitered on the sidewalk, and I can recall just how stricken he looked, and how I choked on my words and my anger, and how less than a week later we were all gathered at her funeral. Since then I have seen the polished headstones of other friends in the same cemetary, when I drive past it on the way to my parents I notice that I have begun to think of it as the repository of lost friends.

I can still see them, in a snatch of a song I had thought I'd forgotten, they come to me in the dizzy swirls of almost and eternally twenty, from the twisted metal of cars and cassette tapes, they sing the songs of memory, a whisp of warmth in the tall pines and the dying, drying green everywhere.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Punch Drunk Shove

Oh insomnia.

Last night I think I finally conked out towards the far end of four in the morning.

The broken record player in my brain was playing the jingle to the "incredible edible egg", and the record was skipping. After the six-thousandth time, when the sheets are in tangles and you surrender to free association on the egg theme, which leads variously to the Story of the O, to Brideshead (Sebastian's mummy's plover's eggs) to having a yen for scrambled eggs well past bed time.

I'm not generally an insomniac, I sleep like the dead, and have always kept my adolescent propensity to sleep past noon on the weekends.

I wondered what hit me, then I felt a twinge and I realized that I was ovulating. Incredible, edible, egg... Funny how the brain works.

On three hours sleep I am wont to make inappropriate jokes, to wit, in response to an email about eating dates in Marrakecsh, I told my friend that he had best beware of being flogged by Adnan the Hirsute, the most deadly flatulent troll in all of Morocco. I cracked myself til my boss looked at me askance, and giggled like a madwoman for the remainder of the day. I'm giggling now - imagining Adnan the Hirsute passing a greenish sort of wind and raining friendly blows. I never got a response to my email. I really can't imagine why.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Life is a Carnavale

Friday is glorious. Trapped in my ergonomic chair I spin and rail at the computer, keep one eye peeled on the clock and the other tracking the sun across the horizon. My inbox is full of missives from the French contingency, they are planning a brief incursion in May, I am delighted. Cinco de Mayo chez moi, and it looks as if Franny-Pants is coming as well. The prospect of une bonne gallipete looms large.

Friday night, Super T and I are out on the town, in search of trouble. Finding none we fight the urge to repair to the our favorite dive bar, the one populated by aging queens and the last vestiges of the Irish in the Castro, instead we visit the Mission. Every soul in the City is out in the weather, we conclude that we need a wing man.

Saturday. I had big plans that included sunshine and sunscreen, a book and a beach, however, the weather decided to thwart me (shakes fist at sky, fucking weather) and fog over. How like June. So I pottered. And puttered.

And stayed in with a big bottle of water and a Shark's Tale. Fucking awful. Since when does a fish resemble a simpering Will Smith, and since when did fish get horizontal. The film was an exercise in celebrity self indulgence, I haven't had such a negative experience since I tossed The Infinite Jest into a corner out of pique for Mr. Wallace exercising complete intellectual git-ism. I would have stamped on the DVD, save for the fact that the good people at Into Video would not have cared for my rebellion.

Sunday. The sun divested itself of the fog, but the chill breeze lingered. The same chill breeze that mold thrives on, the same chill breeze that discourages the baring of legs. Curses. You will still need sunglasses to behold the cold, glaring white of my legs.

Down to P&M's for my Sunday dose of television. And. Carnavale! oh! I could lick that show like cotton candy. Also, have the hots for Brother Justin, you'd think that I would know better than to truck with the devil. Apparently not. Even back in the way back, I can remember preferring Hans Solo to Lukewarm Skywalker, I guess those patterns gel early. Alas.

At some point we were talking about the new crusades movie featuring lovely, but perhaps, overrated Orlando Bloom, drools, and M was saying that they are remaking all of the epics of the late fifties... well, yes. That has been an on-going debate between Z, P and I for awhile. Appointment in Samarra, anyone? But P is taking it back a notch and I have to fully agree, especially with the passage of the bankruptacy bill. It's more 1850's London. Debtors prisons. Can I have some more please, Dickenensian, tatters everywhere. Naturally I am very pleased. I intend to cash out my kitty and open an opium den, and my bust is well suited to the whole heaving bosom thing, and I have always wanted to swoon in public with a case of the vapeurs. Plus, I like horses, a lot. Crinolines, gloves and hats, whale bone corsets, cinched and pinched. I'll have to grow my hair out, and given it's pixieish state, that's many years of awkward length and clips. Oh but the hats! And beads of jet! And pearls! If you think that I will subscribe to the Victorian sensability, you my reader have choked on your fish fork, let us all band together to collectively subvert, to pervert, break the bonds, break the banns, they might want to laquer me up like a deranged doll, just remember for all the finery, I have still got teeth and nails and the tongue of and asp and I shan't hesitate to claw your eyes out if you back me into a corner that I didn't ask for.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

73 degrees, Midnight Blue

This is what we call an interlude, when by metaphysical concensus every woman shows up to work in a skirt and open toed heels, and skirts are everywhere, every lenghth, every color. Too short, too long, too patterned, trailing into dubious footware. Long legs, skinny legs, gorgeous legs, unfortunate cankles, translucent in the sunlight, networked in bluish veins. Chipping pedicures of unfortunate provenance, six months of winter in need of sloughing.

Evening falls with the slightest hiss, and all of March's dying blossoms perfume the perfect azure sky with a certain headiness that leads to Spring madness and the newly coupled fornicating like soft bunnies under hidden eves, whilst I fend off the unwanted affections of an effusive barfly and head home cloaked in the blue velvet of this gentle evening, plucking the particular and sweetly succulent night blooming jasmine, dancing to the metronome of my own footfalls, gathering a nose gay for the impending plague.

Oh it's lovely, lovely in light and hue and tone, lovely in ways that would easily take one-thousand and fifty words, and even then the most pearly adjective could never do justice to a balmy March evening, when the whole of Marin has erupted in jade, and the night sky rounds into the most tragic shade of pacific blue, and you know that everything and nothing will ever be alright, but that particular shade of blue at evensong is eternal.

So with your good friends you put Joy Division, Hank Williams Sr., The Breeders and Patsy Cline on the juke box, have a giggle, have a shuck and jive, long for a warm bed, a hot bath, a pair of warm arms, settle on a wreath of jasmine and a glimpse of dogwood and the artifice of perfumed bath salts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Short Bus Rides Again

Not really, but you have to admit it sounds great, heroic. Short Bus took the big bus to work without protective headgear!

And another day begins.

Six blocks on foot from Market to Montgomery. Pass the cute bagel boys, mouth watering eau de toastiness dogs me for half a block. Pass homeless man with the cardboard headband, Lakota Sioux, he has such a tragic face, pony up a dollar, feel momentary vertiginous association with That PSA, reach for invisible gas mask. Jay walk at Sutter. Trot across Pine while fumbling in purse for badge, idley wonder if balloons drop from the ceiling if you flash it for the five thousandth time, give a curt hello to extremely creepy Dutch security guard who pronounces my name with a devastating leer. Get whisked to 46th floor, read superflous factoids of the elevator gods.

Login to computer, read NYTimes, check, send email, Sfgate, Salon, Truthout, WaPo, Gawker, Wonkette, RudePundit, in that order. Work. Work. Gossip. Work. Lunch with P, divvy lunches between new place with sushi and old place with roast chicken, regardless, broccoli is the staple.

And this afternoon while I was trading the usual banter with Z, political, euphemistic and fraught with innuendo (besting the bot filters at the Massive Bank) I mentioned the latest issue of Esquire. Actually what I said was something to the effect that I had been thumbing through and was startled to see all of the male models so pouty and lip glossed and effete to the point that I could exhale a drag off of my cigarette and bowl them over.

And he asked me why I was so angry.
I was taken aback, because he was right.
I emailed that I wasn't angry, just bemused.

But I am angry, and I have been in a righteous snit, I believe I can date it from November 3, 2004.

Here is my list in no particular order:
Cultural Blindness
Insitutionalized Poverty
Antonin Scalia
George Bush
Dick Cheney
oh the naming of names is endless
that motherfucking dickweed in Alabama who is on a witch hunt for those who have had late term abortions ostensibly to ferret out child rape.
The Sudanese Government
The beached dolphins in the Keys
Halliburton, Bechtel, et al.
I still have it in big time for Kenny Lay, who I hold personally responsible for the $500 PG&E bill I got in 1999, and if you saw the size of my postage stamp apartment, you'd think it was fucked up too.
Michael Jackson
Paris Hilton
That shameless Fred Durst, I couldn't jack off for a week after I inadvertently (OK, well not quite) saw his ode to himself and his small dick.
My inability to make a connection with a man
The Social Security Scam
Alan Greenspan
The idiot who backhoed over a stretch of Marin, the stretch that had the last bed of a particular species of flower.
Fox News
Anne Coulter, oh Jesus, how I would love to beat the everlovin' shit out of that stupid cunt, and that is not a word that I use lightly.
Walter Cronkite is on my shit list for being a turncoat, shame on his venerable gray head
Jeff Gannon

and I could go on, but I feel that my blood is starting to boil, and emitting steam from your ears is only good if your in the toon biz.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

You Know Your Drunk On Monday When

you bold and italicize
you send over-long and possibly inappropriate emails to internet heros
you can't count anymore'
your faculty for spelling has upped and left
right along with your vobulary
which you thought was prodigious
until you were proven wrong

Monday, March 07, 2005

Falling Down, Falling Up, Falling All Around

So I write out and then I quit writing. And words start to bank like spilling snow drifts, and they bank, and they bank.

I've got an almighty surplus of words jangling in my head, at some point last week I think the words "orgy" and "porgy" were having a lively game of dice in the T....


I just accidentally deleted my thoughts, fuck me, I think I am going to cry. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCKFUCKEITYFUCKFUCKFUCK

no, really, I mean it.

words, thoughts, they just bank into helpless drifts, uniformly white, uniformly smudged, no virgins here.

A lot and nothing can happen in a week, you may end up with a new nick name - that would be Short Bus, that your high school posse rechristened you, you may or may have not been pulled over by the police, you might have spent four sober nights, you might have slept alone only to wake under a vast nylon leaf and think that you are Thumbelina, you might have realized as you flying up the mountain at 85 miles per hour that rental cars are fun to thrash, and you might have noticed just how blinding the sun is at 8,000 feet. You may have stretched the cosmo's just a tetch, you may have been roundly praised for your industriousness, and in the same hung over breath, roundly excoriated for your industriousness. This may or not be a form of revenge for being newly christened "Short Bus" amongst your highschool girl posse. Oh yeah, bless their hearts, I got them good.

and tonight bid farewell to French Toast, he leaves tomorrow for the Froglands.

Et alors mon tres cher Toast, now is as good a time as any to say several things that I ought to have said a long time ago, though it is likely that you will never read this and it is likely that when the plane whisks you off to Paris tomorrow, you and I will not see one another again.

But should Chance be feeling fickle, and should Chance steer your gaze here, weeks and months hence, I should like you to know that I regret that you were not home tonight, or any night that the bus passed underneith your window these past two weeks since you said that you were leaving. I should have tried harder to ring your bell, this one last time.

And I would like to surrender my thanks. Sweet man. I see that there was a coup in there for you, but there were bars to be danced upon, there was love to be made, there was wine to be drunk and there was a ledge in there somewhere that I tumbled off of and then eeded saving. And there you were, 23 to my 29, in the back of my black car.

You might have really loved me, but I was to hopelessly damaged to care. But that was several years ago and there have been other lovers and other loves and even a divorce. It's time for you to go home now, and you are passing out of my life. But so you know, French Toast, for whatever my nearly thirty-fucked-up-self could have given, I did love you by moments, and I am grateful for the night before we went into Bimbo's afterhours and the happy mess began. I thank you for your kindness, je te souhaite que de bonheur mon tres cher ami.

I am supposing that I will see you, along with all of my other loves discarded on sidewalks, or been discarded by, on the sidewalks in heaven. And at some point all of us will tumble onto lawns that are not our own for a midday romp, and in heaven no one needs to draw the blinds, because there is no shame.