Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rico's Birthday, Ole's Birthday

Well, now that I've resumed my little blogging habit, I'm finding that I very much enjoy it. I still am distracted a lot of the time by Twitter and Facebook; so we'll see how long I keep up with my posts here before they fall victim once again to me spending too much time on other websites.

Anyway, after a Thanksgiving filled with much food (as well it should be), I had two birthdays to celebrate. On Saturday night, I made my way to Kozy Kar, a relatively new, I believe, bar in Polk Gulch for Rico's birthday. Kozy Kar features 70's era decor, 80's music pouring out of the sound system, stiff and occasionally quite large cocktails, and on this particular 2009 evening, at least, wall to wall denizens.

As always, I was most interested in the soundtrack. While the majority of the music filling Kozy Kar was a mix of relatively mainstream hits by the likes of Billy Idol, Journey, Animotion and... heaven help us all... the Gap Band, there were some gems tucked in there. "Cool For Cats" by Squeeze, "See You" by Depeche Mode and "Special Brew" by Bad Manners are not the most obscure songs ever written, but it's been a while since I've heard any of them playing at such a hipster filled joint. It was a fun night, overall, and it ended with me, Rico, Nina, Onkar, Joel and Frances dining on pizza and left over Thanksgiving pies at Joel's place at 3:00 in the morning. Did I mention that the drinks at Kozy Kar are on the strong side?

There was precious little time to rest between the end of Rico's party and the beginning of Ohlena's, however. To celebrate the birth of Ole, a bunch of us gathered on the lawn at the Park Chalet. Ole, herself, arrived with her boyfriend Kevin at 11 a.m. Personally, I showed up at about 1:30. It was a perfect day for an outdoor party. We sat in the fog-free sunshine and enjoyed snacks and drinks in near 70-degree warmth. That's rare for Ocean Beach at any time of year, let alone late November.

After Ohlena's party wrapped up in the late afternoon, I made my way home and was very productive. I managed to do laundry, clean my bathroom and write half my Christmas cards all by about 8:00 p.m. Maybe I should attend two parties over the course of 18 hours more often. It seems to inspire me to get things done.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day of Thanks

What? Two posts in one week? Can you believe it?!? It's almost like my blogging heyday of 2006 and 2007.

Anyway. It's Thanksgiving, and it seems appropriate to acknowledge that on this little chronicle. To celebrate, I spent almost two hours at the gym working up a decent sweat late this morning, and then I went to work. Yes, I work in an industry that doesn't take holidays, but that's okay. After work, I'm going to enjoy champagne and room service snacks with my sister, Fabulous Patti, who is visiting from Los Angeles. Not a bad day, if you ask me.

I will admit, however, that I have been somewhat out of sorts lately. Between my upcoming 40th birthday, which is not sitting at all well with me, and other frustrations, I've haven't felt particularly thankful. Some might even say I've been downright blue. That's kind of a ridiculous attitude, considering the cushiness of my sassy life; so I'm now going to list a bunch of good stuff for which I should be thankful. I've done this Thanksgiving exercise on this space before, but I definitely think it's necessary this year. So here goes...

1. A job I enjoy in the industry of my choice. This is particularly significant right now, considering the economy.

2. The two trips I take to Hawaii every year, which are paid for by that aforementioned job.

3. Other little vacations, like L.A. multiple times a year and Vegas for Andrey's birthday every July.

4. A nice home in a fabulous neighborhood of a world class city. Sometimes when I'm jogging in the morning or just running errands, I look around my neighborhood and realize how lucky I am to live there.

5. Speaking of jogging, I'm thankful for my ability to exercise. There's nothing better than a daily endorphin rush.

6. Singing songs. I don't claim to be the best singer in the world, but I have a decent voice and manage to stay on key most of the time. Plus, singing never fails to put me in a good mood. It's like an anti-depressant.

7. Music in general. I don't know what I'd do without the likes of The Beatles, The Go-Go's, Nick Lowe, The English Beat, The Monkees and all the other musicians and songs I love.

8. Parents who raised me to believe that being well educated for just the sake of a good education is its own reward. I never cease to be surprised and horrified by people who think college is nothing more than a means to a larger paycheck.

9. My friends. Especially those willing to listen to me sing songs and/or sing with me.

10. Good theatre and a decent nightlife in San Francisco. There's always something fun to do or see here. Having lived in a much more boring town in New England in the mid-90's, I definitely appreciate entertainment and recreation opportunities.

Okay, I think that's a decent list for now. The sassy life is a good life, even if it is making me turn 40 and deal with situations and people (read: stinky boys) who bug me. If life were perfect, I suppose it would be quite boring.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Glamour, Gala and Songs To Sing

As much as I hate the shorter days, I must admit that autumn has been treating me well so far. About a week and a half ago, my company threw a very fancy party to celebrate its anniversary. A gala, if you will. It was super fun to get dressed up and enjoy the snacks and drinks with my equally coiffed and fanicified co-workers. The party was even in the fanciest room of one of San Francisco's more swank hotels.

And did I mention we had snacks and drinks? Yum.

To give you at least some idea of the glamorous time that was had by all, I'm posting a couple of gala snapshots. Above are me and Christine, and below are me, Tom and Phil (in a photo taken with my cell phone). All are coworkers and dear friends of mine. After the fancy party, I scooted across town to meet Frances, Nina, Onkar, Joel and several others for karaoke. We went to one of those private karaoke places in Japantown that gives you your own room and lets you have at it where the singing is concerned. Unfortunately, this particular establishment did not have the greatest song selection, but we made the best of it. We sang Beatles, U2, more Beatles, Roberta Flack, The Exciters and um... more Beatles (Onkar and I were in charge of the song selection at one point and chose about eight Beatles songs in a row).

This past weekend I was a little under the weather, but that only slowed my momentum; it didn't stop it completely. I discovered that the Soap Opera Network can comfort you quite well when you are infirm because they show reruns of the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" for hours on end on Saturdays, followed by a couple of episodes of "Gilmore Girls." I think my brain forced my health to improve to get me off the couch and away from all that television.

And in mere days it will be Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, and of course, the most important holiday of the year: my birthday. In 27 days I turn 40 years old. I'm not really certain how that happened; I just I know that I never signed off on getting older. However, as my co-worker Mike pointed out, getting older is better than the only realistic alternative. So get older I will. And if all goes according to plan, I'm going to have a super fun 40th birthday party. It's going to be at this very hip art gallery and lounge, and I've hired DJ English Steve to play 60's soul and power pop, along with post-punk, new wave and a little bit of ska. Plus, my band, Sober Nixon, is going to play a short set. I may as well take advantage of my captive audience and sing to them, right?

Hopefully, all this will make 40 as fabulous as my 30's have been. Hopefully.