Sunday, September 28, 2008

Perfect Day

If you find yourself needing the recipe for a perfect day, search no more. I stumbled upon the ingredients this afternoon.

After a morning run, I took a cab ride across town to the Portola Nail Salon where Carla, Laura, Frances, Olena and I got mani-pedis for Carla's 30th birthday. Yay, Carla! Mani-pedis are relaxing enough, but get your nails done at the Portola Nail Salon on a Sunday afternoon, and you know what you get? Free mimosas! Oh, that's right, my friends. Granted, their mimosas are made with really cheap sparkling wine and Sunny Delight, but for the bargain price of free with your nail service, they are delicious.

I had three.

After our nails dried, we headed over to the Beach Chalet for brunch with Andrey and Berto. That photo above is of us as we're digging in. Yes, Ocean Beach is cold and foggy, but it's wonderful to watch the waves while you dine. Or in my case, chow down. I hadn't eaten all morning; so by the time we sat down to brunch at 2:30, I was a little hungry.

Now, I'm very full.

Regardless, mimosas tossed with mani-pedis and blended with brunch cook up to a golden, bubbly, perfect afternoon. I'm still feeling the stress of moving and the bad living conditions that are driving me to move; so I appreciate any perfect afternoon I get. The good news on that front, however, is that I've started moving stuff into my new apartment! My goal is to be all moved in by October 6th or so. That would give me a week to clean my old place and throw out anything I don't take to my new abode. And then I will be done, done, DONE with my nuisance neighbors, bad apartment managers and the once lovely apartment building that in recent years has become nothing more than an overpriced, dilapidated tenement house.

And speaking of the move, I must scoot and get back to the packing and purging. My crap isn't going to just get up and walk over to the new place. It sure would be nice if it would, though.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Love Reminder

Do you ever find yourself questioning your love for something? I suppose, in general, love is a pretty irrational emotion. All I'd have to do is line up all the men I've ever loved/crushed on/been hopelessly infatuated with, and you'd see quite clearly just how irrational love is. But this post isn't about men.

In the nearly twelve years that I've lived in San Francisco, I've been pick-pocketed, mugged, had my identity stolen and, most recently, plagued by nuisance neighbors and the vermin they have brought into our shared apartment building. All of this has caused me to ask myself, in all seriousness, why I love the City by the Bay so much. My career has gone really well, but I have the kind of job that is in demand anywhere. So I give San Francisco precious little credit for any success in that realm.

But then last night, I was reminded why I love my little town. After a quick drink and giddy conversation at the Attic, my friend Carolyn and I went to a party for Rodent Records in a warehouse on Minnesota Street (by the way, prior to last night, I had no idea where Minnesota Street was, even though it's mere blocks from Tom and Chris' pad). We were there to see the Kirby Grips play a reunion show, which we caught and loved. But this party was so much more than the Grips' set. There was a whole parade of bands, and the warehouse was an artist space adorned with the artists' work.

As I watched the Kirby Grips blast through power pop number after power pop number while some very strange film was beamed on the wall behind them, my heart swelled, and I remembered why I love San Francisco. Sure, you can go to a cool bar and then see live music in a warehouse in New York, L.A. or Chicago, but there seemed to be something so San Francisco about the evening. And nuisance neighbors, vermin and crime be damned, I was happy to be there last night and to be in the City.

We'll see if that love can survive the stress of moving to a new apartment and the few more weeks I have to live with my idiot neighbors and pest control issues.

In other news, the Emmy Awards are tonight. You may recall me telling you that my brother Michael was nominated for an Emmy this year. He and his band mates were nominated for writing the main title theme to the animated Disney series, Phineas and Ferb. Well, that particular honor was awarded with the other Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, and... my brother and his band mates didn't win. The main theme for some reality show that lasted two episodes before it was canceled won. What's up with that?!? I suspect a fix, frankly. I know it's supposedly an honor just to be nominated, but since I wasn't the one up for the accolade, I don't have to be gracious or have a good attitude. However, all was not lost, Michael and his wife Maki were able to pose for this photo with Steve Buscemi at the ceremony, which I think is pretty cool.

So even though you'll never again hear the title theme that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences deemed best this year, you can hear the song my brother co-wrote on the Disney Channel on a regular basis.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thank You, Rhode Island

I grew up in Southern California; the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, to be specific. I now live in San Francisco and am writing today from Honolulu, Hawaii, where my mother currently lives.

However, for a few years I was a New Englander. Well, not really. I attended Brown University, which I LOVED, and after graduation, I stayed in Providence, Rhode Island, for about four and a half more years, working in both Providence and Boston. I very much did not love living in Providence as a college graduate. In fact, I hated it. I worked with some rather unfortunate people, and while I had plenty of friends (most of whom also had attended Brown), I never felt connected to New England culture. By late 1996, I could not get back to California fast enough and high-tailed it to San Francisco in November of that year.

I pretty much have never looked back, save several trips back east to visit my friends. While I find New England to be beautiful, and I love to visit the area, there is no love lost between myself and The Colonies. I would never want to live there again, and I generally am not shy about saying so. However, this week, former Republican Senator (and fellow Brown graduate) Lincoln Chafee may well have redeemed the state of Rhode Island, and perhaps all of New England, in my mind. He showed insight, intelligence and frankly, common sense this week, and I, for one, and happy that he did not keep that common sense to himself. I usually keep politics off this space, but.... From the Associated Press via the CBS News website:

Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, who left the GOP after being defeated for re-election in 2006, called Sarah Palin a “cocky wacko,” but admitted to a Washington audience Tuesday that she has revived a “lackluster McCain candidacy,” the AP reports.

Speaking to the New American Foundation, Chafee was asked about Palin by an audience member and he responded by saying that her candidacy has “thrown this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election.” Chafee, who is supporting Barack Obama, said that her speech to the GOP convention also energized Democrats. “People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, ‘I just sent money to Obama, I couldn’t sleep last night’ – from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there.”

In an interview with the AP Thursday, Chafee said that he “found much of Palin’s convention speech objectionable, particularly her ‘mocking’ assertion that Obama was overly concerned with al-Qaeda terrorists getting” their rights read to them. That “got to the core of everything wrong with the last eight years,” said Chafee. “I consider that wacky, and certainly her tone was very, very cocky,” he added.

Cocky or not, that woman is a wackjob who scares the living daylights out of me. So thanks, Linc, and thank you, Rhode Island. I now am feeling like I didn't appreciate you enough while I was there.

Okay, all of that said, I only have 24 more hours left in Hawaii. So I'm off to the beach.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

... All I Ever Wanted

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with the Go-Go's. It's just that I am in dire need of a vacation; so I have been humming that Go's song to myself nonstop. Luckily for me, I am leaving for Hawaii on Saturday afternoon, and let me tell you, this trip is not coming a moment too soon.

Not only am I dealing with the home issues I alluded to in my last missive, but I have had the world's most frustrating day. I had to take a day off work to go to St. Francis Hospital for a medical test that, as it turns out, I didn't need. Let me repeat that: I was in the hospital at 9:00 this morning for a test I didn't need. Now, the responsible doctor at the hospital assessed that I didn't need said test; so he didn't do it. However, I did waste time there and had to get an expensive scan. And as for my primary care physician... the one who insisted on this unnecessary procedure even after I asked if I really needed it... well, he's getting fired. Just by me, but still. I've decided that his services are no longer useful to me.

What is wrong with people?

Forgive me, I usually reserve this space for happy musings, but I am so angry about what happened today. This situation has illustrated for me at least a few of the many problems with our health care system. Not to mention giving me a better understanding of the ridiculous, over-inflated costs. On the bright side, after I left the hospital in the same perfectly healthy condition in which I had arrived, I called work to see if they wanted me to come in after all. They said no; so my friend Chris, who had come to St. Francis to drive me home, and I enjoyed an outdoor mimosa brunch instead. I suppose that's a way to make lemons into lemonade. Or mimosas, anyway.

Another bit of good news is that Gretchie and I went to see a good play last night: Yellowjackets at Berkeley Rep. I will admit, the script could use some editing, but the acting in this show is phenomenal, as is often the case at Berkeley Rep. I even began to develop a teeny audience crush on one of the actors as I watched his work. However, the characters are all teenagers, and I highly doubt, based on his program bio, that the guy I was crushing on is much older than 18. So nevermind. But still, it's a pretty good play.

We'll talk again when I return from Hawaii, or perhaps while I'm there. I'd tell you I'll miss you, but I so need to get away that, in all honesty, I probably won't.