Category Archives: Digressions

If Mitt Came to Coffee

If Mitt Romney sat down at my diner booth unannounced, as he did this week at a New Hampshire diner where a Vietnam veteran and his parter were having breakfast, I’d find it hard to swallow. Literally – I’d be so terrified of RoboMitt that I’d probably find it hard to finish my breakfast. I find Mitt Romney terrifying, and his vision for our country, even more so. And if he asked me, through his genetically engineered veneers, if he could count on my vote, I’d probably answer, absolutely.

Because while I’m sure Mitt Romney is a nice person – really, he looks nice, and I genuinely believe that he is – I’m 100 percent sure that I don’t believe in his twisted vision of what our country should be. And I’m even more sure that I don’t want to live in that skewed view, which is where I’d have to live if Romney is elected president. I love my job, my city, and my country. I’d have to live here because I don’t want to leave. So I’m staying, thank you very much. And unlike Mittens, who believes we are a nation of idiots, easily duped by lies and propaganda, I have a more optimistic view of my fellow Americans and in what we deserve.
Because in the America that I believe in, Mitt Romney’s tax returns should be public, and my reproductive health should be private.
In the America that I believe in, marriage is a civil right that every man and woman can enjoy, regardless of whom they love.
In the America that I believe in, healthcare is a foundational cornerstone of an intelligent and productive society, and if you take that away, we may not have a leg to stand on. Literally.
And in the America that I believe in, the Mormon ideology can be summed up in three words: Pray, Pay, Obey. America needs a leader who will think critically, act heroically, and do what’s right, regardless of what is popular. America needs a leader who is guided by his own intellect and intuition, and not by the writings of a former polygamist who advocates bigotry, racism, and the wearing of fancy, secret underwear to his fancy, secret clubhouse.
So, Mitt, while I’m sure you are a really nice person, I’m really, REALLY sure that you do not have my vote. I stand with the President.
Pass me the coffee and get the heck outta my booth.

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It’s been awhile. I didn’t totally know what to do with this space a year ago, so I left it alone. It used to be daily life, but then that got a little boring, so it became stories and vignettes about life in San Francisco, but eventually, even the weird and sad become normal here. What to do?

And then came Pinterest. This beautiful explosion of photos and drawings from everywhere on the Internet. Where all the world’s scrapbookers have finally found a place to stash their visual stuff. But…then what? What do you do with it? I have found Pinterest to be zero percent useful in my practical life (grocery shopping, going to the gym, bills) but beautifully useful in my writing life. One picture can be worth a thousand words I guess, but what happened to those thousand words? They’re still important. And interesting. And good. Just one Pinterest photo has the capability of plunging me right into a narrative. Imagine that the story is like a lazy river, and you are dropped in, somewhere in the middle, and you just have to pick up the slack and start writing. Characters and plot become revealed to you as you move along. Writing is like that. And photos, lately, have been the entry point. The point at which I am dropped in. And I’m hoping to take you with me.

Today starts a new project – a photo a day from Pinterest, with a story to match.

Let’s drop in, shall we?


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The pot and the kettle

“Ring ring!”
“Hello, Kettle speaking.”
“Hey, it’s just me, the Pot. I was just ringing to get your attention. For fun. I’m actually sitting right over here, next to the fruit bowl. Turn it, tuurrrnn it. There you go. Hey. What’s up?”

“Oh you know, nothing much. Just hanging out, heating a latte, on my stainless steel range, glancing in the general direction of the New York Times over there on the counter. Have you seen that story what’s happening to all those poor kettles in Brooklyn? So many cabinet-less kettles out there. It’s a systemic problem for black kettles, it seems. I feel bad. I wish I could do more.”
“Waitwaitwaitwaitwait. You feel badly for black kettles? You do know you’re black, right? Your mom was pure cast iron.”
“No, she was Teflon. I thought I told you about her that night, at the dinner party, during the polenta incident. Or was it before… Anyway. She was Teflon.”
“Honey, nothing that heavy is Teflon except Ronald Reagan. Just because she went off to the great Goodwill drop-off in the sky doesn’t mean you can deny.”
“There’s no denial happening here. I’m all stainless steel underneath this jacket. I just thought you knew that about me, that’s all.”
“Uh, nope. That is no jacket and you are no stainless steel. It’s cool, it’s cool. Just don’t forget where you came from, that’s all.”
“Is this becoming a racial issue? Because I don’t like your tone.”
“Uh, again, no. I’m just keeping it real. From one black piece of kitchenware to another, let’s not kid ourselves here.”
“I’m starting to steam, so I think it’s probably best if we go back to our separate burners and cool down.”
“Fine by me. Don’t let that ladle slap you on your way to the sink.”
“Oh I won’t. And it’s a spatula, asshole.”
“Oh, go fork yourself.”

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Only for you only

Guys, my coworker Nina and I are working on a little side project, and I would love for you all to know about it. All 100 or so of you – small test group!

VeryHilary has always been an outlet for writing, stories about my ridiculous adventures, musings on life and the occasional picture or two. But lately I have felt like it’s a little bit limiting, in terms of being a place for all of the things I love, am inspired by, doing, seeing, etc.

Enter Nina, my dear friend and co-worker, who is a brilliant designer and has an eye for all things awesome. Between her design skillz, my writing skillz, my photography abilities, and her well-curated sense of style, we think we can make a little place on the internet for… something. What that something is, we’re not exactly sure yet. It’s a work in progress.

But, I would love for you guys to be able to meander over there now – even though, may I say again, WORK VERY MUCH IN PROGRESS – and tell us what you think! Is is funny? Is it interesting? Is it helpful? Would you like to see more design? More cooking? More photos? More ideas?

Don’t judge. Just enjoy.


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Let’s discuss

Please watch this:

And then let’s talk about how I can make my hair do that.


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A token December 2009 post

Things to be excited about:

– “Don’t Stop Believin'” as sung by the cast of Glee.  Is this on repeat on my iPod?  Yes.  Am I ashamed?  No.

– The upcoming season of The Bachelor.  Is this marked on my calendar?  Yes.  Am I ashamed?  Less than I should be.

– A weekend in Vail with some of my favorite ladies, one of those being the delightful and delovely LP!  Back from across the pond, I can’t wait to give her both a giant hug and an earful of gossip about my city life.

– Hot pink OPI nail polish.  I got some for Christmas and I simply can’t wait to be pink all over.  I don’t know about you, but I always feel better with nail polish on and I am rarely without it.

– Another glorious week in the square state!  I have to work at home for the next two point five days – feh – but at least I am HOME in my HOUSE and all my work time is accompanied by both pajama pants and big mugs of coffee.

What are you excited about?

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Letters From The Bay, Week 12: Hardly Strictly Hugs

Part IV: Hugs all around

So that’s how we were going to play it. A tall gangly stoner with keys to a Benz, a missing roommate who probably had 12 tattoos by that point, an innocent bystander who probably regretted even waking up that morning, seven hundred thousand hippies, and me.

And we all had to get the hell out of the forest.

“Um, B,? I said, much nicer once I realized he was our last hope for getting out of the woods.  He was the ship to our Crusoe, the rowboat to our Molly Brown, the coconut phone to our Gilligan. “Do you remember where your car is?  Because this is the largest urban park in the country, and we’re smack in the middle of it.”

“Hilary,” B said, stoned scoffing. “Please.  I know this forest like the backa mah hand!”

Sometimes when B is stoned he also talks like Ma Kettle.  Nobody knows why. It’s a scientific mystery.

“I cain git us outta this forest no problem.”

“Okay then, let’s go!”

“Okay!  We just have to walk up this hill…? I think?”

At this point, I’d like you to imagine a hypothetical children’s book featuring pirates searching for buried treasure.  Imagine a red dotted line, leading from the palm trees to the trunk in which the hypothetical treasure is ensconced.

Now imagine a hypothetical four year old took a bright red marker and drew all over said map.  Or you could imagine that a hypothetical pirate had just smoked a lot of hypothetical pirate marijuana and you put him in charge of your hypothetical hunt.

Where the fuck is your treasure now, huh?


Luckily – very luckily – there was a full moon in the sky and a large crowd to follow, and eventually we made it to the Benz. I’ll spare you the details. I’ll also spare myself the trouble of writing the words “and we paced back and forth in front of the same large building” for ten minutes straight.

D promptly confiscated the keys and slid into the driver’s seat.  B miraculously navigated us back into familiar territory, and D giggled the whole way while I precariously wedged myself in the back and tried to not to whap B upside the head with either my elbow or my Chaco-ed foot, while he blissfully sang along to Michele with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Thank God I do yoga.

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

After miles of zigging and zagging, we crested one of San Francisco’s many enormous hills and B announced “We’re here!”

Yes, Internet: we had arrived at THE MANSCH.

Short for The Mansion, THE MANSCH is where B is lucky enough to be playing professional house sitter.  It’s on top of Nob Hill, diagonal from the Fairmount Hotel, and right down the street from Holy Crap I Can’t Believe You Live Here Boulevard.

As we crammed ourselves into the elevator and began the ascent, the doors and floors began to whiz by in reverse, like a backwards Alice down the rabbit hole.  Garage, foyer, library, master suit, dining hall, until finally we reached the rooftop deck.  D requested that we host a BBQ ASAP.  I requested that we go back indoors ASAP, because looking out into the vast twinkling sprawl that is San Francisco always makes me think about earthquakes and I was in no mood to contemplate my own mortality for the 47th time that day.

We descended via the twisting staircase, taking a quick pit stop in the library to check out B’s literature.  Just as D was investigating the history section and I was checking around for Colonel Mustard with a lead pipe, we heard a strange thumping sound approaching.

D and I made eye contact nervously.  I instantly thought of the big one, and took very, very slight relief in the fact that I would die amongst books and fine furnishings.

“B, what’s that noise?” I said, nervously.  “Is that the elevator?  And, if so, why does your elevator sound like a herd of rhinos?”

“Yeah, what IS that noise?” B said, surprised.  B is surprised a lot.  One of the unfortunate byproducts of being consistently stoned is that you have no clue what the hell is going on at any given time.  Another unfortunate byproduct is Cheeto fingerprints all over your most important belongings, in telltale, sometimes awkward places.

“Well, if you don’t know what it is, we certainly don’t know what it is,” said D, very logically.  D is not only one of my favorite people in the universe, but he’s also really good in a crisis – calm, levelheaded.  Given the way my life generally unfolds in this city, that fact pretty much ensures that D should be with me 92 percent of the time, just in case.

“Good point,” B said, eyeing the doorway as the sound grew ever closer.  We were all looking at each other, looking at the door, looking at each other.  D gave me his famous one-eyebrow look, which means “I do not like what’s happening here” and I gave D my famous B43 look, which means “I’m going to pretend that it wasn’t me who has gotten us into yet another disasterous situation with no clear exit strategy whoopsie daisy!”

The thumping was really close now.  The door handle rattled, the floors started to shake, and then – an arm snaked around the door.  A man’s arm.  Wearing approximately 22 multicolored beaded bracelets, and a glow in the dark hoop.

I know – I was surprised too.

“Oh yeeeeeah!” B said, relieved.  “It’s my friends from L.A.!  I forgot they were here.  Duh, they came for the rave!”

“The RAVE?” D squeaked.  “A rave in your house?”

“No, silly,” said B.  “It’s the rave in the field.”

Because, you know, it’s always best to rave outdoors if you can.

“Hey you guys, come on in!”

In they came, the ravers from L.A.   In all their beaded, multi-colored glow-in-the-dark glory.  There were five of them, and they were dressed head to toe in sparkly, stripey, multicolored outfits.   Covered in bracelets and glowing lights.  I almost had a seizure looking at them.

“Heeeeeeeeey!  HI HI HI!” said what appeared to be the head raver.  “I’m, like, Kevin, and like, I’m so excited to meet you!” he squealed, giving me an exuberant hug.  Not only was Kevin ready to rave, but apparently he had eaten a cheerleader for breakfast that morning.  “Ohmahgaaaaah, are you guys coming with us?!?!”

D’s eyebrow was up again, which was a sure sign that we were definitely not going with them.

“Um, no, I think we’re going to pass this time,” I said, as though I would ordinarily rave until the cows come home (which is likely when you rave in a field, maybe?)

“Oh, like, NO WAY!” said Kevin, hugging me in his sorrow, while another one patted me sadly on the leg.  “Like, that’s so sad, because raves are like, so fun.  Like, you would love it.”

“Yeah,” I said, untangling myself from Kevin’s sparkly embrace. “We’re pretty tired from Hardly Strictly, and kinda hungry, sooo…”

“Well let’s make dinner then! Hilary, you love to cook!” B very helpfully suggested.  “How about it?”

It’s true.  I do love to cook.  Maybe not for crazy ravers, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to cook in the mansch.  I also couldn’t help but think that cooking for the ravers and keeping them fat and happy might be the only way to prevent them from hugging me again. And so, with D as my souz chef, we raided the kitch in the mansch and cooked dinner for B and the ravers.

We chopped and sliced, laughing as we went.  Who starts the day in her underpants and ends it cooking midnight dinner for strangers?

I do.

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