Monthly Archives: July 2009

Letters From The Bay, Week 3: Little Suzy Fat Ass Moves to Fog City

This city is making me fat.

Actually, my mom started it, with all her trying to be nice and buying me peanut M’n’Ms and putting them in a red mug and making the whole shebang look so dang enticing I just can’t get enough.

I bought another bag of them, for my office, because one enormous bag of M’n’Ms just isn’t enough for this Suzy, so I had to buy another bag of them to keep me…I mean, each other, company.  They live in the bottom drawer in shame, my M’n’Ms.  Shameful chocolately goodness.

I was going to write about bus love in this week’s letter – because I have seen bus lovin’ like whoa this week – but I can’t.

All I can think about is M’N’Ms.

And Blue Barn salads.

And too many glasses of wine with my roommates.

And about how I had all of the above, about ten minutes ago.

Especially the wine.

Aaaaaaaaand we’re done here.


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Letters From The Bay, Week 2: Bones to Pick

I have a couple of bones to pick with this city.  I would pick them with my own hands, yes, I would pick them with tender loving care, but it is so effing cold here that my hands no longer move.

The Golden Gate University campaign “Shine” showing lots of pretty, sun-dappled students frolicking in the hot hot heat of the city?  It should be called “LIES!  ALL LIES!”  Because that sun?  That shiny, sunny sun? Not only does it not shine here, but I don’t think it even really lives here.  In fact, I think the sun went where the rest of California has gone: to Colorado.  Where the sides are square, the mountains are big, and everyone wears Patagonia.

San Franciscans really need to look into Patagonia. What in the heck is up with all the crazies wearing shorts?  Don’t they know it’s WINTER here?  Clearly July’s arctic conditions have made everyone funny in the head, because even I know the weather patterns by now: Summer = Winter, Fall = Summer, Winter = holy hell it rains a lot here, Spring = Lather, Winter, Repeat.  Duh.

Speaking of shampoo and nonsense, I have lathered, rinsed, and repeated every single day, and my hair eternally looks like crap in this town.  And if not crap exactly, then definitely an interesting haystack/wet dog hybrid.  I never won any hair awards, but I mean to tell you that I am not down with looking like a hybrid of haystack/wet dog.  I am actually not down with looking like any hybrid of any sort, unless it’s a hybrid of hot/awesome, thereby leading me and my hair to be rendered Hawesome by all who behold us.  Hawesome, I’ll take. And the hair experience I’ve had thus far, I’d like to return for a full refund please and thank you.

Here’s what I’m not returning for a full refund: all my IKEA stuff.  I think it matches my Patagonia jacket and mittens quite nicely.

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Letters From The Bay, Week 1: Stuck

I got stuck yesterday.

Not in an elevator.

Or a tar pit.

Or anywhere else that people typically get stuck.


I got stuck yesterday.

In the grocery store.

It started out with the best of intentions.  Of course.  I mean, what doesn’t start out well intentioned? Except for, like, murder or fraud or blue Jell-O with fruit on the inside and other insidious crimes against society.

I intended to go to the grocery store, and I intended to get home.  Unfortunately, only one of those things actually happened, because by the time I’d arrived and done my shopping, I had no idea how to get home, and I was too exhausted to really try.

Thank God for roommates with Priuses who get to leave work at 2:00 p.m.  And who are also, coincidentally, very nice to the new kid.

But while I was standing there (and standing there and standing there – California traffic is truly as bad as they say) waiting for my roommate J to pick me up, I was thinking about the irony of being stuck at a dang Safeway, when just two short months ago, I thought if I moved to a brand new city, I would never be stuck again.

Because two short months ago, I felt completely stuck in my own life, no matter where I was.  At work in my beige cubicle, at home with my parents, at coffee, at the mall, in a completely different Safeway across the country. I was completely stuck in every facet of my life.

And now, two short months later, I am so unstuck it’s unreal.  Except when I go to Safeway, it seems.

Two short months later, I have a brand new job.  It’s hard, I’ll admit it.  I feel like a moron approximately 62% of the time, and I have started to experience dizzying bouts of panic that I’m not going to be able to finish my work before 8 p.m. and I’m going to have to manage public transportation late in the evening, pressing through the dark fog that creeps into a San Francisco night like a gloved hand just looking for something to grab.

I have a brand new apartment, complete with two strangers, lime green walls, and carpeting that looks like a frat partied oh so hard upon it.  Luckily it also has bay windows, a fireplace, and amazing proximity to everything that is fun about my new neighborhood. Oh, and about those strangers: they’re so very lovely.

I have a brand new city to call home.  SF, Fog City, down by the bay (where the watermelons grow) – call it whatever you want: San Francisco is where I live now.  It’s a truly amazing city, and I’ve already learned so much.

For example, I learned that the Safeway is known as Dateway and you need to be pretty when you go there because romance might be borne of tradition, but in our Marina grocery store, romance is also born over the bananas.  Wink wink.

I learned the Marina express bus only runs during peak hours, and is guaranteed to be creeper-free, as it’s always full of the pretty people who inhabit my ‘hood. Catching it is critical to getting home on time, in one piece, and looking good while you do it.

I learned that the best fro-yo in the Marina is sold out of the back of a liquor store, and the best hangover food is served to you on the sidewalk, right next to the bar that did you in.

I learned that it doesn’t matter where you go, you still might get stuck sometimes.

But when you do, you can just call a lovely stranger with a Prius to come unstick you.  And while you wait, you can make flirty eyes over the fruit.  Because that’s what you can do when your life is upside down and you live in an apartment with lime green walls and you have a crazy job in a big new city and you can do whatever you want.

I got stuck in the grocery store, but I’m really just stuck scratching my head because all of a sudden, I have an amazing new life.

Sometimes when you’re stuck, you’re free.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time

Note to self: the next time you have a good job that pays well and does NOT require you to work until midnight, you should keep it. 

Exchanging it for a job where you DO have to work until midnight is not a good idea.

It might seem like it is, but it’s not.

If you ever have the urge to do this again, please refer to this post.

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I’m a MOH no mo’

Well, that was fun.

We laughed, we cried, we ate, we danced.  And oh yeah – some of us even got married!

I feel relieved that everything went so well – nobody fell down, passed out, said anything inappropriate, or called off the wedding.  My hair looked stupid (never go to the Skye Salon and Spa in Parker, and never have a stylist named Stacey!) but LP looked so beautiful, and as it was her wedding, that was what mattered.

She always yelled at me because “You’re so pretty!” is our default cover your ass move when you have bad news.  For example:

“Hi LP!  Um, so, our love chihuahua may or may not have chewed up your favorite pair of underwear and peed on your bed while I was supposed to be watching her.”

“She did what?!?!”

“You’re so pretty!  Have I mentioned today, how pretty you are?  PRETTY PRETTY, that’s you!”

But really – and I’m not just saying this – she looked spectacular yesterday.

As promised, I brought the funny to the wedding.  At least, that’s what everybody told me!  I did hear people laughing, and at the end of the toast there was lots of cheering, so I took it as a good sign.  If you’d like to read my MOH speech from last night, see below.

If you don’t want to read the MOH speech, that’s cool.  I mean, I’m pretty tired today, so I wouldn’t want to be reading speeches and other people’s funny on the interweb.  What I would want to be doing is drinking a margarita in my pajamas at 3:30 in the afternoon.  And I’m halfway there…if only I could just find that tequila….

LP’s Wedding Toast – July 3, 2009

Hello everyone.  My name is Hilary and I’m your resident MOH – maiden of honor – this evening.  I would like to preface this speech by letting you know that I am, in fact, going to make fun of the bride.  We are equal opportunity teasers, always have been, and I give this speech knowing full well that on my wedding day, many many many years from now, when she stands next to me and gives her MOH toast, she will have her comeuppance.

Dana and I have known each other since sophomore year of college.  We met when we discovered we lived in the same 20 bedroom mansion but had never met, which is a common occurrence when you live in the sorority house.

We lived together in the house together for two years, and then we lived in an apartment together for another year.  And after living with someone for three years, sharing bedrooms, bathrooms, personal space, and lip gloss, you get to know them well enough you could almost write an owner’s manual.

Mike, you’ve never lived with Dana, and I have, and I have a journalism degree so I think this makes me uniquely qualified to do exactly that.  And so, I present you with the Dana Partner’s Manual: full of incredibly helpful, and possibly life-saving, advice.  So buckle up, and I won’t be offended if you want a copy of this later.

When Dana told me the story of your engagement, she said that her dad Sam apparently asked you if you’d ever seen Dana really mad, and if not, you might like to reconsider your offer.  Sam, is that true?  Did you ask that?  Well, I have to agree with him.  But it’s too late for that now.

One day you WILL see Dana really mad.  Nobody knows when or why, but it will happen.  However, I’d like to help you stave off that day for as long as possible, so I bring us to the first chapter in the Dana Partner’s Manual:

Chapter One: Having an argument with Dana.

There are a few topics of conversation never to broach with Dana:

  1. Butter
  2. Chairs
  3. Who it was specifically who left the door open on a windy night, while a candle was aflame near a real (and crispy) Christmas tree, in February and almost torched you in your bed at 2 am.  And also, the coffee pot was on.

Bringing these things up with Dana can only result in pain, heartache, and your possible demise.  So don’t do it.  Just repeat after me: I am always wrong.  Dana is always right.  In case you forget who is always right, you can ask her, she’ll tell you!  I am wrong, she is right.  Good.  Say this to yourself every morning, like a mantra.

Speaking of morning, I’m glad you brought that up.

Chapter Two: Morning Time

Morning is an interesting time for Dana.  For many people, morning is full of promise, shiny and new.  A fresh start to a new day.  But try to put yourself in Dana’s shoes.  If you are Dana, morning is a time when the whole world hates you and you’ve lost the will to live.

If you want to survive the morning intact, there are just a few simple rules:

Rule number one: no talking.  It’s okay to make her some coffee or cinnamon rolls, put them on a plate and the back away slowly.  It’s okay to turn on some music.  It’s okay to watch the news in a different room entirely.  But there should be no talking in the morning.

Rule number two: no touching.  Touching Dana in the morning is like poking a sleeping bear with a stick.  Actually, it’s like poking a very pretty bear who used to be asleep but who is now awake, and really, really angry about it.  Keep your hands to yourself, otherwise you might lose one.

Rule number three: never, under any circumstances, say anything about how her hair looks in the morning.  Just don’t say those words.  Actually, refer to rule number one: just don’t say any words at all.

No talking, no touching.  You’re going to be fine.

Actually, you are going to be more than fine.  Because life with Dana is more than fine – it’s awesome.  And that brings us to our final chapter:

Chapter Three: Life with Dana

Life with Dana is always an adventure – you might get lost, you might get frustrated, you might get into a fight about something stupid like butter or Christmas trees.  You might even get really mad at each other.  But you will definitely get the most wonderful partner anyone could ask for.

As I’ve mentioned about a thousand times tonight, Dana is my best friend.  I would even go so far as to say soul mate, because it’s a rare and beautiful thing in this life to find someone who understands you deep in your soul, who complements you, who makes you laugh, who’s there for you, and who just plain gets you.  It’s rare and beautiful indeed, but not so rare that you can’t find it twice if you’re lucky.  I think you’re both very lucky, because you have found that soul connection in each other.

So my final bit of advice to BOTH of you – yes, I know I’m very wise – is to nurture that connection.  Choose the highest road, the kindest word, the gentlest touch.  Take care of each other.

Dana and I have always joked that we’ll outlive our husbands and when we’re old we’ll wear crazy hats and start drinking at 10 am.  Mike, if you take care of her as well as I know she will take care of you, I have no doubt that we’ll all be there together.  I hope you look good in a crazy hat, and I hope you like vodka.

I now conclude the reading of the Dana Partner’s Manual with a toast: to Dana and her new partner Mike.

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Bringing the funny (and the condoms) to a Mexican wedding near you

I have finished my MOH (maiden of honor) speech for LP’s wedding tomorrow, as I’m sure you already saw via Twitter because you are just desperate to keep up with my life, Internet.

I’ve already tested said speech to my mom, and she thought it was both funny and poignant.  But she’s my mom, so maybe she has to say that.  Test run #2 happens tomorrow at the bridesmaid’s luncheon.  While the bride is getting her hair and makeup done, I will be making the funny in a different room.

So, just like a usual day really.

I’m actually not really that nervous, because the groom’s Aunty Lila already talked about birth control pills, condoms, and bacon.  What do I have to lose at this point?

My pride?  Too late for that.

My street cred?  I have none.

My dignity?  I’m wearing a hot pink evening gown.  Enough said.

Full transcript of said speech will be posted after the wedding.

You’re welcome, Internet, you’re welcome.

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Congratulations no exclamation mark

Dear Comcast:

Some of us are trying to work.  You know work?  That thing that you do, at that place, and they pay you for it?

For me, “that thing” happens to be writing, editing, planning, and researching.

“That place” happens to be at my dining room table, until I make my move out West in a couple of weeks.

It’s too bad that nobody is going to pay me for anything if I can’t do those things at that place, and I can’t do anything IF YOU KEEP KICKING ME OFF THE INTERWEB.

It keeps happening, and every time it does, I get this little message that says my remote connection has been terminated.  What, Comcast, you’re firing me from the Internet?  And then, when I sign back on, there’s a smug little note that says “Congratulations” but no exclamation mark (excited punctuation is the difference between smug and sincere, in case you were wondering) welcoming me back, only to kick me off again.

I’m tired of it, Comcast.  I’m tired and stressed out and my heart just can’t take it anymore.

And I blame you.

Because my crazy emotions are certainly not the fault of all the coffee and the Twizzlers.

That much, I’m sure of.

I have to go do that thing now, at the place, 10 feet from here.

Let’s just hope somebody pays me for it.



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