Sunday, April 30, 2006

Champagne Smoothies

My friend Emily is brilliant. On Saturday I worked a later shift than normal, so she and I met at the Ferry Building for brunch. Over snacks at Market Bar, I regaled her with tales of the recent spate of older men who have been hitting on me. And by older, I mean 60 and above. Cases in point: the 70-year old who chatted me up after Glass Menagerie at Berkeley Rep, and the two members of Freda Payne's band who didn't even pretend they weren't checking me out as they flagrantly stared. Then, on my way to the Ferry Building that morning, I was approached by a gray-haired gentleman who invited me for coffee, saying it didn't matter to him whether or not I had a boyfriend. Yes, old man, I'm sure it doesn't.

Let me remind you, gentle readers, that I am 36 years old. Not exactly super-young, but not yet ready for the geriatric set either.

Well, after hearing these stories, Emily offered me what she called a silver lining. She believes that much older men, as well as their insane and just plain classless counterparts, will often be so bold with women they don't know because they have nothing to lose. But what drives these men to behave this way is that they have noticed how attractive the women are. All men are affected by this attractiveness, according to Emily, but most, including the smart, fun, age-appropriate men we would actually be interested in, aren't quite so forward. But we should take note that those men are thinking the same flattering things about us that the old coots are. I told Emily that if she bottled and sold that thinking, she would be a millionaire.

Her brilliance did not stop there, however. I also happened to mention that if mimosas were non-alcoholic, I would drink them everyday, as they are one of my favorite beverages. The always-thinking Emily suggested that maybe adding protein would cut the alcohol's effects, and she immediately began trying to create a champagne smoothie recipe. Champagne smoothies! I don't know about you, but I can't think of anything more fabulous. At that point I decided that Emily and I should open a spa featuring champagne smoothies and her way of perceiving the unwanted attention of old men. Our spa would become the so popular, even the founders of Canyon Ranch would flock to it. Just wait and see.

Champagne smoothies, aside, I have a little sad news. Generally, I keep this space upbeat and only report my bouncy, entertaining, seat-of-your-pants adventures. But the mother of a dear, dear friend of mine died a couple of months ago, and he was just this weekend able to tell me about it. With all due respect to my other amazing friends, all of whom I am incredibly lucky to know, it's possible I may love this fellow more than anyone I am not related to. So please think of lots of happy thoughts for the incredible and talented Schleevin as he works through his mourning process. And his mom, Susie, was super-neato; so I bet they're all thrilled with her company in heaven.

By the way, I have been hesitant to create any new posts for the last couple of days because I wanted Nephew Sassy's photo to remain front and center. So why not scroll down and have another look at him? You know you want to.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

He's Here!

Nephew Baby Sassy made his grand entrance this morning! His full name is Mikey Jet Sassy; doesn't that sound like a superhero? Mikey Jet was born at 6:11 a.m. after 20 hours of labor, which I guess makes my sister-in-law Maki the superhero. To quote my brother Michael's birth announcement: "Mom and baby are just fine. Dad's a wreck." It's a little hard to believe my brother Mike actually has a child, given that he's still, at almost 40 years old, just a big kid himself. I haven't spoken to the new parents yet, but I did hear from my sister, The Fabulous Patti. FP said that she talked to Mike today and promptly told him that Baby Sassy is far cuter than she thought he would be. And that he must get his cuteness from Maki. Ah, family. We Sassys actually do love each other a lot, trust me. FP also told me our brother was considering the names Mikey Boink Sassy and Mikey Pooh Sassy. Seriously. I think everyone is happy they settled on Mikey Jet; he certainly will be when he hits junior high school.

My friend and co-worker Angela also had a baby this week. Her son Luke was born Tuesday morning. This has been a good week for superstar debuts.

Although not producing any new humans, your sassy Gal-Friday About Town had a pretty good couple of days herself. On Wednesday afternoon I met Gretchen and we walked across town to Zeitgeist. You haven't lived if you haven't spent a sunny weekday afternoon sipping Chimay on Zeitgeist's patio. It's a hipster, urban version of heaven. After chatting about work, music and Gretchen's husband (we love you, Paul) for a couple of hours while soaking up the Mission sun, Miss G and I took off to Street on Polk for a delicious dinner of cheeseburgers. Street is a little too high end to actually call them cheeseburgers, but their "ground sirloin" is one of the best cheeseburgers you can find in the City. Delicious.

Today I didn't have any social plans, so I took the opportunity to drop far more money than anticipated on new running shoes and exercise clothes. Endorphin addiction can sometimes be an expensive habit. Then I took another cross-town stroll to the Haight and went record shopping. I love walking across this city; it's actually small enough that I can walk virtually anywhere from home as long as I give myself an hour to an hour and a half.

Tonight I'll be heading to bed early before embarking on another fabulous work week tomorrow. I hope Mikey Jet is having sweet dreams tonight and reveling in his first day on earth.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Oooh Baby, Band of Gold": Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 11

Freda Payne at the Plush Room

Right about now I bet you're saying, "Uh, Sassy, Freda Payne had... what... two, maybe three hits? Exactly how is she going to fill an entire evening at the Plush Room?" Well, it just so happens Ms. Payne is paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with this show, and she does a tremendous job. Pitch perfect renditions of "A Tisket, A Tasket," "Miss Otis Regrets," "You've Changed" and Ella's take on "Mack the Knife" fill the performance. She also satisfies her fans with "Band of Gold" and "Bring the Boys Home" at the end of the night. All in all, this was one of the best shows I've ever seen at the Plush Room (all of Paula West's performances notwithstanding). I even bought a cd afterward and had her sign it. It's something to get a jaded media-type like me to actually ask for an autograph.

Two of Freda's musicians ogled me as I walked through the lobby of the York Hotel on my way out the door. I took the opportunity to tell them how much I enjoyed the show, but really now. I guess it wouldn't be my life if some much older, inappropriate man didn't think he could behave any way he wanted toward me. Ah, well. Such is the burden of being sassy, I suppose.

In other music news, I have officially become addicted to iTunes. Over the past few days I've downloaded everything from the Grass Roots to the Clash to the La's to the Knitters. Soon I will be like Ann Marie who claims to spend $50 per visit to the Apple music site. I already have a decent-sized cd collection, but there's just so much music and so little time.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Yes, Virginia, there really is...

... such a thing as too much chocolate.

I was feeling a little melancholy when I got up this morning, so I decided to make myself some chocolate chip pancakes. Given that my culinary skills are not as well honed as my other many talents, I ended up putting too many chocolate chips in the batter. Of course, that did not stop me from eating the ooey-gooey, chocolately goodness I had created, and my pancakes made me a little bit sick.

To pass the time while my body tried its best to metabolize all that sugar, I loaded a ton of songs into my iPod. Some are from cd's I already own; others I downloaded from iTunes. But all are very fun. I then took my newly fattened iPod to the gym where I ran five miles on the treadmill and walked another mile as a cooldown. That cheered me up far more than my diabetes-inducing breakfast had. I think I'll stick to the anti-depressant effects of endorphins and leave the emotional eating to those who cook better than I do.

Good news! I was finally able to post the photo of myself and Ann Marie from last week's blackout at Favorite Bar 2 and its surrounding neighbors. I think the problem may actually have been my computer and not Blogger, which is a mildly disturbing idea. Regardless, I know you've been on the edge of your seat waiting to see us in all out blackout glory. So scroll down and have a look.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Toes, Tunes and a Blackout

I must say, I certainly made the most of my one day off this week. First I went to the gym yesterday morning and had the most fabulous workout. If you are not a person who indulges in exercise endorphins, you are truly missing out. After that, I took advantage of the warm sunshine and got my first pedicure of the year! I usually get pedicures every few weeks, but it has been so rainy since December that I haven't bothered this year. Why pay for cute toes if you're just going to shove them inside a pair of boots everyday?

After my pedicure, my newly-painted, exposed toes and I hit Amoeba Records where I dropped far too much money on cd's... although, on second thought, is it really possible to spend too much money on music? My first purchase was the brand new Matthew Sweet-Susannah Hoffs album, Under the Covers, vol. 1. Matthew Sweet is a terrifically talented singer-songwriter type whose tune "I've Been Waiting" is one of my favorite jingle jangle alterna-pop songs of the early '90's. And Susannah Hoffs is, of course, from the Bangles, who were, for the record, an extraordinary band before that "Walk Like An Egyptian" nonsense was released. It was all downhill from there, but they have some great early work. Anyway, Sweet and Hoffs have put together a collection of 60's pop covers, and it's super fun. While still in the store I noticed that one of the covers on this record is of Love's "Alone Again Or". In that moment I was reminded that I was introduced to this song in the 80's by the Damned's version (sorry, original artist purists), and I decided I had to have a copy of that one. So I found a rather expensive because it is out of print used Damned cd and added it my purchase list. I had downloaded the Love version of "Alone Again Or" from iTunes weeks ago, but today I own all three renditions I know exist. Because apparently, unbeknownst to even me, this is my favorite song in the world, and I have to acquire as many versions as possible.

After cd shopping and touring several Haight Street vintage clothing stores, I met Ann Marie at Favorite Bar 2. While we were there a short blackout hit the neighborhood, plunging the bar into darkness. Most of the FB2 denizens paid little attention to the lack of lights and calmly continued to sip their cocktails. But Ann Marie and I jumped into action, falling into a fit of giggles and taking photos of ourselves with her cell phone. I have finally been able to post the very attractive shot that you see to your left. Aren't we just lovely? Actually, I think the photo turned out okay, considering we really couldn't see her black cell phone very well in the extinguished light of the bar. Our amusement may sound lame to you, but we enjoyed ourselves. Ann Marie and I have a keen knack for turning an ordinary evening of sitting in a bar into an Olympic event of fabulousness. Add a blackout, and we become gold medal champions of fun.

Plus, the bartender working at FB2 last night displayed her incredible sense of memory and told me she recognized me from seven years ago (!) when I spent a couple of sessions in the acting class she was taking. I had decided her acting teacher's style wasn't for me, so I think I only attended two or three classes... again, seven years ago. She also said she had seen me in a show but couldn't remember which one. Regardless, it was quite likely a play I did at least six years ago, as I only act very occasionally now. That is one impressive memory. I had vaguely recognized her, but I decided it was just because she looks a little like my friend Camilla. Anyway, our bartendress then participated in Ann Marie's and my funathon for a bit, and she and I compared notes on who we know in common from theatre and other arenas (we came up with Morris, Dawson, the folks in the Rough Theatre Company, Pete and Jeff). San Francisco is one tiny city.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Made It!

I got to the ceremony a little late because I didn't get up until 4:50, but I was, in fact, at Lotta's Fountain at 5:12 this morning, exactly 100 years after the great San Francisco earthquake struck (okay, almost exactly.... technically the ceremony was an hour early because the U.S. didn't set the clocks forward for daylight savings time in 1906). The fountain's surroundings look a little different today than they do in this photo, but I figured an image of what had been was more appropriate.

I had to jog to the fountain to make it in time, so it's a good thing I love to run. And since 5 a.m. is not exactly the ideal time for a woman to be walking the streets, jogging was probably the safer option anyway. The commemoration was super fun; being there kind of felt like being part of history. I had to hold back a stream of tears when a vintage horse-drawn fire truck was driven down Market Street, and the city's emergency warning sirens were sounded after we observed a moment of silence at 5:12. After all the speeches were done, our movie star mayor interviewed the 11 earthquake survivors who were there. Even though I generally like them a little geekier than him, I certainly hope a man as charming as Gavin flirts with me when I'm 100 years old.

And because this is San Francisco, at one point during the ceremony the aroma of marijuana wafted by me. Well, it was a celebration of the city's spirit, and a lot of people who live here love their pot. Also, because it's me, I not only saw two people I work with who were covering the event, but I ran into three other people I know. My friend Grant and his girlfriend told me they had stayed up all night because they didn't think they'd be able to get up for the ceremony. Now, that's intense. And yes, they looked really tired.

By the way, if you don't know, Lotta's Fountain was the location for the commemoration this morning because it not only survived the 1906 quake but served as a meeting place for people in the days following the disaster. There's a survivor ceremony there every year, actually, but it's not usually as big as this one.

After the ceremony I went home and crashed on my couch until I had to get ready for work a few hours later. But tonight my work week is over, although I'm going to have an abbreviated weekend this week. I have to work on Thursday, but I get to do my absolute favorite part of my job that day, so I don't mind. I'm going to have to cram an entire weekend's worth of fun into Wednesday, but I think I'm up for the challenge. If not, I'll just have a Power Bar.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Thanks, Easter Bunny!

Well, Peter Cottontail took his annual trip down the bunny trail yesterday, and we celebrated by metaphorically donning our Easter bonnets and gathering for brunch at the Rex Cafe. An incredible cast of family and friends attended: my sister The Fabulous Patti, my aunt Mary, my uncle David, my little cousin Anna, Denise, Paul, Emily, Brad, Jack and Jim. Mimosas, Bloody Marys, delicious food, brilliant conversation and two treat-filled Easter baskets all made for one marvelous holiday. I took some commemorative photos, which I will post once I get them developed. Knowing me that could take a while, so don't be surprised if you see Easter photos in September.

However much fun we had, though, I think my mother trumped us. Diva Mommy lives in Hawaii and told me that she enjoyed an Easter sunrise service on the beach with Diamond Head in the background and warm, soft winds kissing her cheeks. Now that is an Easter deserving of a diva.

Today I struggled through both fatigue and an Easter candy hangover while at work, but I managed. As I have mentioned before, I work kind of late Sunday nights and have only ten hours before I have to be back at work Monday mornings. Some weeks are better than others, but tonight I am exhausted. So I'm off to bed in just minutes... literally. I may rouse myself at 4 a.m. so I can go to Lotta's Fountain for the centennial celebration of the 1906 earthquake tomorrow. 4 a.m. will come awfully early, and we'll be awash in earthquake stuff all day at work. But then, who knew I'd live here for this anniversary? This may not be something I want to miss. I'll let you know how that goes for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Here Comes the Sun

Guess what? Something completely glorious happened today: the sun came out! And it was warm! To celebrate I broke out my flowy vintage spring dress and went to Mario's Cigar Bar to meet Gretchen and Paul for a late lunch. We sat outside and chatted while munching on fabulously satisfying delectables. Gretchen had to work at 7:00, so she and Paul went on their way at about 6:30. But Ann Marie had called me, and she caught up with me at Mario's where we continued to enjoy the early evening sunshine while gazing upon Washington Square Park from our outdoor seating. At about 8:00 we made our way to Favorite Bar where we met Brad and a friend of his. Actually, his friend is a recent ex-girlfriend, and frankly, she's... well, let's just say a handful. Given that she chatted up several other men while Brad was left to hang out with us leads me to believe that perhaps they shouldn't stay friends. I know they've broken up, but her behavior was a little tacky, to say the least.

But this post is not about this woman's strange antics; it's about how spring made a rare and very welcome appearance today. This very coy season may well not stay long; it's supposed to rain on and off all weekend. But the taste we had today was delicious.

Tomorrow it's back to the salt mine to start my work week. Weekends go by so fast.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Theatre That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 4

The Glass Menagerie at Berkeley Rep

Really I should say that the second act of The Glass Menagerie made me happy, as I was a little preoccupied through the first act. You see, Terry and I arrived about 10 minutes late, as we had gotten stuck in hideous traffic approaching the bridge. Now, I have both attended and acted in enough plays to understand that it is really distracting when late-comers grope for their seats in the dark. However, when we arrived, a woman I assume was the house manager instructed an usher that we were with the press, so we needed to be seated immediately, despite our tardiness. The usher griped as he lead us to the appropriate door, but once we walked through that door, he told us we would have to stand in the aisle for the entire first act. And then he walked away.

At first Terry and I just shot each other stunned looks, but then I found the usher again and asked him if he was serious when he told us we would have to stand for an hour and fifteen minutes instead of finding our seats between scenes. He said we could wait for the late seating opportunity, but we would have to sit in the back, and then we could move to our assigned seats at intermission. We took that option. And when the late seating opportunity arrived, he took us, along with six other curtain-missing delinquents, outside into the rain, up some stairs, through the staff break room to a back door. When he opened the back door and let us into the very back of the audience he merely said, "Find any open seat," and, again, walked away. No instructions as to where any open seats may be. I'm sure eight people fumbling for seats as our eyes adjusted to the light was not distracting at all.

So I was still digesting that experience through most of the first act. Not to mention that Tennessee Williams seems to spend the majority of act one establishing the relationships between the characters. But the pay off for all that set up definitely comes in act two, which absolutely sings. If you have ever felt shy, insecure, unworthy or otherwise less than fabulous (and I know you have), you will not be able to help but be affected by the second act of The Glass Menagerie. Rita Moreno stars in Berkeley Rep's production, but the amazing Emily Donahoe, who plays Laura, absolutely owns the show. She is that good.

And if our late seating experience wasn't surreal enough, after the performance a 70-year man flagrantly hit on me at the opening night reception. Welcome to my life.

That was last night, and in just a few minutes I am going to meet Ann Marie for a zinfandel tasting. Fine theatre, fine wine. These are good times, my friends.

Friday, April 07, 2006

So Cool It Almost Hurts: Theatre That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 3

My friend Carolyn makes me cooler.

Last night I met her for an early dinner, and then we went, on her excellent suggestion, to see the new Elastic Future play, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Deal. This show is a one-two punch of music and theatre that are both making me happy today. It features not only actors living out the script, but a live band playing Pixies and Breeders songs to complement the story. Okay, obviously it's a cover band because the actual Kim Deal, Kelley Deal and Frank Black have not been cast in the show. But the songs are still fantastic, and the musicians do a very good job.

I said in an earlier post that you have to appreciate the cool that is Frank Black. Well, the same definitely goes for the amazing Kim Deal; that goes without saying. And this rock and roll theatre extravaganza does justice to that cool. If you're curious, the show is running at Amnesia (yes, a bar... where else?) in the Mission through April 15th. Of course I was the only person among the hipsters in the audience last night wearing pearls, but what can you do? I'd like to believe I give pearls a sort of cool cachet. Anyway, thank you, Carolyn, for making sure I caught this show.

Today a co-worker of mine called in sick, and I was pulled off the job I was supposed to do so I could fill in for her. It was super-fun, and I ended up getting home two hours earlier than I would have otherwise. So I'm now gearing up to take a happy nap before I meet Emily and Brad later tonight. We're going to dinner and Favorite Bar, but I also hope we make it to a film release party featuring Persephone's Bees, creators of yet more music that makes me happy.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Expanding the Clan

There's going to be a new Baby Sassy! As evidenced by the photo to the left, my sister-in-law Maki is pregnant and due this month. Aside from teasing my brother about how his soon-to-be-son will be his own "Mini Me," this hasn't seemed all that real to me. Until now. All of a sudden I'm very excited about the debut of this new person. I may have to trek down to Southern California soon so Baby Sassy can meet his new favorite auntie.

And for those of you keeping score at home, this baby will be Japanese, Caucasian and African-American with a dash of Native American thrown in for good measure. We Sassys are definitely doing our part to realize that whole great American melting pot concept.

In other news, I have found another favorite bar. Chris, Tom and I went to this very fun, retro-chic place last night, and I am in love. While Favorite Bar 2 will never completely trump the original Favorite Bar, I think it will give it a run for its money. I actually used to live near FB2 in 1999 and have been there before, but in my foolish youth I didn't fully appreciate it. Back in those days so many years ago, my interest in bars was solely as a means to meet boys and be part of some scene. I'm still a fan of boys and of going out, but my "bar scene" days are long behind me. Now I'd rather relax and enjoy a place like FB2 without concern for who else may be there. With tactful vintage neon, excellent live music (you know I love that) and a tasty signature cocktail, FB2 is an excellent place to while away an evening with friends. The staff and regulars there will definitely see more of me in the future.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Venus and Mars

My friend Brad always says that men are stupid and women are crazy. Honestly, I tend to agree with his assessment, especially the part about women being crazy. I know we're insane. But one thing I will never understand is the male ego.

Last night Helen and I went to Favorite Bar where we ran into this man who is a regular there. I met said fellow about a year and a half ago when I was in the midst of a gargantuan crush I had on a bartender who used to work there. I know, I know, falling for a bartender is a total rookie move, but that's an entirely different story. Anyway, Regular knew I had a thing for the cute, semi-nerdy man behind the bar; he even commented on it when we met. But that late December night in 2004 Regular and I did talk about our respective New Year's Eve plans, and we exchanged email addresses with the intention of possibly combining plans. I didn't even give him my primary email address; I offered some third-tier email I usually reserve for mailing lists and the like. And I pretty much immediately forgot all about our inebriated exchange until I cleaned out my purse a few weeks later and found the scrap of paper upon which he'd written his email.

I now run into Regular at Favorite Bar probably once every three or four months. He's nice enough, but does have a tendency to be overly touchy. What starts out as a hug usually develops into a mauling session. And he behaves this way toward all the women who frequent Favorite Bar, not just me. He's always seemed harmless, much like another regular who has hit on me for nearly three years with a never-ending tenacity, even though I'm not even nice to him. But sometime around last October or November, I decided I'd had it with being pawed by this dude. So the next time I saw Regular, I rebuffed him when he tried to hug me. Rather rudely, I must admit. But as the months have passed since then, we again chat on the really rather rare occasion we see each other, and he no longer touches me so much. A victory in my book.

Well, last night, Regular and Helen went outside to smoke while I took a call on my cell phone. When they returned, he went to talk to some other people he knew, and Helen proceeded to relate to me the conversation they'd had while smoking. He apparently told her that he and I had exchanged phone numbers (huh? Since when is an email address your phone number?), and that he never called me. According to Regular, I had been really disappointed and upset about that, but he believes everything is okay now. I guess I must feel better about his lack of interest in me.

I'm sorry.... What??!! Aside from handing him an email address during a time in which he knew I was infatuated with someone else, I have never done anything to indicate I was interested in Regular. Not once. So can someone please explain to me how rebuffing the physical attention of a man you barely know is a sign that you have the hots for him and are so disappointed he does not feel the same way about you? This isn't a rhetorical question; I'm actually interested in an explanation. If only I had a strong enough ego to believe a man who rejected my advances did so because he was actually into me.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Good Things About Spring

The first good thing is that I left work tonight at 7 p.m., and it was still light outside. I don't care if we lose an hour of sleep, and the people in Hawaii and Arizona think it's weird, I love daylight savings time. Yes, the days would get longer anyway, but there's something a little magical about that first week or so after we set the clocks forward.

Another good thing is baseball season, and today is opening day! As previously proclaimed on this space, baseball is the only sport that matters to me. I don't see the appeal of other games, nor do I understand how anyone could not love baseball. The world is definitely a happier place when pitchers take the mound, the infield fly rule is invoked and my baseball boyfriends return to play.

Both of these things have put me in a rather good mood this evening. Of course, spring also is supposed to mean the end of the rain in the Bay Area, but no such luck this year. However, that's a complaint for another day.

And finally, I end this missive of whimsy with a cautionary tale for anyone who may feel blue about being single. Earlier tonight I got together with a girl friend of mine. She related to me the story of a guy she recently went on one or two dates with. For various reasons, primarily his inebriated condition, he ended up spending one night at her apartment last week, even though they were not actually on a date that night. While she was able to set a solid boundary where fooling around was concerned (in other words, there would be no nookie for him), she was unable to stop him from urinating in her bed. That's right. Granted, my friend certainly isn't interested in this man now. How could she be? But I just have to say: I'd rather be single.