Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It never fails...

She thinks when she was small

There on her father's knee

How he had promised her

"You'll always be my baby"

"Daddy come quick

The dreaming tree has died...."

- The Dreaming Tree, Dave Matthews Band

Funny that they played this song last night. I don't think I've ever heard them do it it live.

This date always kicks me in the ass...even when I try to prevent it. (Odd that fall is my favorite season anyway. I can't explain that.)

And for some reason, lately, I've started thinking about the inevitable day (god, I can barely type the words) when I'll lose my mother. I can't even fathom it. One of my friends at work recently lost hers, and when I stopped into her office to see how she was doing, I found myself crying more than she was...because I can't imagine it. Or really, I CAN imagine it, and I don't want to. I try so hard not to let my mind go there because it's too scary.

It's a fear I've had SINCE my dad died, actually. I was always afraid something would happen to her. When I was 19, she underwent surgery for her uterine fibroids, and I was a basket case. I think she was, too, because the first words out of her mouth when she regained consciousness were, " Are they benign?" Thankfully, they were.

I guess there are some things you never completely get over, and losing a parent when you're still a child is one of them. There's still a part of me that's a deeply wounded 8-year-old who doesn't understand why her father had to die.

The 43-year-old me doesn't understand, either. Never will.

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's that time...

They're baaack!

They will be Saturday night, anyway. For just one night, sadly. I've gotten spoiled with their usual two-night extravaganzas here each year.

See, each show is completely different. They rarely repeat songs from one night to the next. So for the uber(dork)-fan... it's a huuuuuuge treat, to get hours and hours and hours of live music from the boys over the course of a weekend. And it's so cool at the end of the first night to realize you have THREE MORE HOURS of them to look forward to the next night.

Even though getting to and parking at the venue where they usually pay is a huuuuge pain in the ass. And my seats this time are pretty meh (unlike last year's ninth row seats on the second night. Yum.).

Even so, I'll do my best to savor each moment tomorrow night, because it will be over all too soon.*

On a completely different subject, is there anything better than spending time with old friends? I had lunch with a group of them today, and it was just delightful. Thanks, guys!

*yes, i realize just how ridiculous that sounds.

Photo borrowed lovingly from the Warehouse, the official fan website. Shut up.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yeah, WHO are YOU??!?!

I ADORE this song. It makes me want to drive really fast with the windows all the way down, volume up, singing at the top of my lungs.

In other words, it takes me right back to my teenaged self.*

Also, here's a tip from me to you: don't try a new, untested (on you) hair product** on a day when you actually want to look good. It might add a whole lot of extra time to your beauty regimen.

BECAUSE THE STUFF SUCKS. It's like putting a bunch of grease in your hair. It also smells terrible.

I knew I hated that guy for a reason.

*except for the driving really fast part. remember, i was good girl then. i don't know what's happened to me since.
**no, i didn't buy it. free sample.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I have the greatest friends, chapter 319...


I was having an awfully "bleh" day yesterday. Really tired -- I was awakened a few hours after going to bed by the most excruciating inner-thigh cramp EVER (hula + walking + not enough sleep/muscle resting time = OWWWWWfuck). I was feeling out of sorts... and just didn't feel like doing much of anything (and I seem to have unwittingly gotten back on the caffeine roller coaster... dammit...and since I don't usually do any caffeine on weekends...well... bleh.). I got a couple of things done that I needed to do, but I didn't even want to go shopping for a new raincoat. You KNOW I'm off my game when I don't want to go clothes shopping. Or shoe shopping.

After dragging my ass downtown to retrieve my car (I'd left it at work the night before, while I went out to dinner and cocktails with a friend) and dragging my ass through Trader Joe's (nice and uncrowded on a Saturday evening) I came home to find a small package on my doorstep from my dear pal Kim:

Oh. My. GOD. How awesome are those? The "free toy inside!" is that little pig you see in front of the box. And on top, the package proclaims that these are "accoutrements for first aid."

I laughed, I clapped my hands with glee, I snorted... and immediately felt worlds better.

As I told her, I kinda want to give myself a paper cut, just so I can use one.

Thanks, Kimmy!!

You can have your own bacon strips!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Excessively random....

- I've been home for a week and a half now, and I still haven't unpacked everything. I have some gifts that are still sitting in my luggage, along with assorted items of my own that I haven't needed yet. Gee, why is my apartment so messy??

- Am I the only one with this problem? I don't sleep very well unless I'm in my own bed (and even then...). Consequently, I didn't get much sleep on my vacation. And since I've been home, I've been so busy I haven't slept nearly enough. Gaaah!

- It's really a shame that sunning is so bad for the skin, because I sure as hell look better with a tan than I do in my natural state of extreme pale pastiness.

- I am amused that the last full day of summer here is a stormy one. It's all gray and rainy and all I want to do is curl up under a blanket on my couch. (Notice I didn't say anything about unpacking...)

- My hormones are out of control. I really need to get... uh... yeah. Nevermind.

Here are a few more random shots of Hawaii, to distract you from the lameness of this post:

The beach at Kailua. Sigh...

Back in Waikiki. Ooh, sparkly!

The view from the patio at Duke's. It can be quite a scene there, but you can't argue with the view. Or the cocktails.

The view from the deck at the Marriott whateveritslongname is. Where we saw a woman who's legendary in Hawaiian musical circles: Aunty Genoa Keawe* (also where I had the mai tai in the pineapple). She's nearing 90, and still performs every week in Waikiki.

Let's see... should I unpack and clean house, or go back to bed? Hmmm....

*if you click on the "discography" link on that site, you can hear the song we've just learned in hula. and when i requested it at her show, they asked me to dance it. i declined. i didn't know it well enough to dance, solo, in front of strangers IN hawaii...! yeeek.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


High-larious. From start to finish.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's coming...

I can feel it in the air, even.

Fall, that is.

Don't try to tell me it's already fall because we're past Labor Day. Fall doesn't begin until the Autumnal Equinox, which isn't until this weekend. (I got an "A" in my college astronomy class*. You can't fool me!)

And it's coming on so quickly. As I stepped outside after work this evening for my walk, my first along my downtown route in about a week and a half, everything felt different. I didn't need sunglasses, because it was already starting to get dark. And there's a chill in the air that hasn't been around for months, despite our cool summery weather in SF. It's a different kind of chill. A fall-y chill.

Fall's my favorite season. We get our best weather here during the fall; there's little fog, lots of sunshine, and there'll be a heat wave sometime between now and November (though we're actually expecting a little rain tomorrow night). There's some kind of romance about fall for me, and always has been. The chilly nights, the smell of fireplaces, the sweaters. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Most of the holiday season (because, see, winter doesn't start until a few days before Christmas...).

Can you feel it?

*i remain proud of this so many years later because i never thought it was possible for me to do well in a science class. this was a first. i said i was a dork; i never said i was any good at math or science...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Aloha Hawaii...

I had a lovely little routine going on my trip. I'd get up and go for a walk and sweat like never before. Then, I'd stop in at Starbucks to get a frosty beverage, which I'd take to a bench across the street where I could enjoy the scenery.

Then I'd meet Miss Sassyhair on the beach, for some sunning and swimming. This is the view we enjoyed most days (and yes, that is my toe.) She was smart to suggest the renting of umbrellas on the beach, especially since I'd already toasted my back on my first day there. The beach umbrella is my new best friend.
Then, we'd clean up and enjoy cocktails in the evening, sometimes in pineapples...

(I'm still trying to figure out why my nose looks so enormous in this picture.)

My favorite flower anywhere: the plumeria. I was pleased that the lei stand I found on my last trip -- the only one I could find in Waikiki -- was still there, and the women running it were as warm and wonderful as ever (and gave me extra flowers every time I stopped by).
Diamond Head. I didn't hike it this time. Once is enough.

One day, we rented a car to drive to the town of Kailua, on the other side of the island. Much more authentic Hawaii than Waikiki, to be sure. These pics don't really do it justice. The beach in Kailua is gorgeous.
And then, the following day, I saw a headline in a local paper about how security cameras will soon be installed in the parking lot of that beach area because of all the car break-ins there. Bummer.

Another sunset shot, this one taken from one of my favorite spots in Waikiki: the Beach Bar at the Moana Surfrider hotel. Excellent mai tais, spectacular scenery, and decent entertainers... most of whom had hula dancers with them. Yay! I got to indulge my hula obsession quite a bit, actually. Notice the crowd on the beach? This is a nightly occurrence, people gathering at every possible vantage point to watch the sunset.

And one evening, I accepted a hula sister's challenge to attempt to dance on the beach. One of the songs we've learned is about Mamala Bay, the body of water off Waikiki, and she's challenged all of us who visit Oahu to do the dance along the shore there. When the song kept coming up on my iPod on my morning walks, I figured it was a sign. Now, this is one of our more difficult dances anyway, and trying to do it in the sand (after a few cocktails, natch) was impossible. And pathetic. I gave up about halfway through.

All in all, a fabulously relaxing trip. And now I'm trying to figure out how I can become independently wealthy, so that I can live there. And also in New York. Any ideas??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


No, that's not a Hawaiian word, but it should be. Translated, it would mean "I'm not ready to go back to reality."

I mean, I'm pretty lucky; my reality's pretty good. But still.... it ain't this....

I did manage to find a way to cushion the blow of the end of vacation a bit, though. There were several business class seats available on my flight home for a little more money, and I was the first at the podium to upgrade when given the chance. Best money I've ever spent. Of course, now I'm not sure how I can ever fly coach again after that experience, but that's a worry for another day.

Right now, I just want to look at that picture some more. And remember how I felt as I took it.

Aloha. Waaaah.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Go big or go home...

You might call that the theme of my little jaunt to New York in June. There were lots of biggests, smallests, worsts.... which seems entirely appropriate for that city.

For starters, I stayed in the teensiest hotel room ever. No, seriously. I'm not exaggerating. I took this picture standing up against the wall... which was mere inches from the bed. And the foot of the bed was only inches away from that other wall on the right. That armoire? Is the only closet space in the room. Now, I knew from reviews on Trip Advisor (a godsend of a website, by the way) that the rooms were small, but I still laughed when I got inside.

The hotel was in an excellent location, though, even though I'd hoped to stay outside of Midtown this time (at one point in my extensive research, I had reservations at three different places), and it was the best-priced place I could find that was also really clean and felt safe. However, if I'd had a travel companion, we'd have killed each other after a couple of days here. For me, solo? It was perfect.

I got in late on a Friday afternoon, had dinner with my friend John, who's just moved to New York, and then we were off to another friend's way impressive 34th floor (I think) apartment on the west side with amazing views of downtown and the Hudson. I mean, AMAZING. He has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river and says he and his wife hardly watch TV since they moved in. They just stare out the windows all the time. We had cocktails on the building's amazing rooftop terrace. Wouldn't you love to see these amazing views? I'd love to show them to you. I didn't take my camera. I didn't think I'd need it...

So the next day, when I got up, I thought it would be a great idea if I went first to that amazing bakery* on the Lower East Side that makes gluten-free stuff so that I'd have little breakfasty treats for my entire trip. Good thinking, right?

Except that I then toted all my goodies (including some frosted cupcakes) around with me all day long in 1000 degree heat and 999 percent humidity. Can you imagine what happens to delicate baked goods in these conditions? Yeah. I had to toss the cupcakes, as the frosting became this scary transparent and probably poisonous glaze.

After my bakery stop, instead of heading back to my hotel to drop off the goodies, I decided to go wander around in Soho, since I was nearby. Now, when I was getting ready for this trip, I searched everywhere for some cute shoes to wear while running around town. New York is a city for lots of walking, and I didn't want my feet to suffer, but I still wanted something cute. You know, those shoes that look like athletic shoes, but are more stylish? I couldn't find anything that fit the bill, and out of desperation, I bought these:

Very comfortable, yes. Also, pretty ugly. I wanted something cuter. Then I realized: hey, stupid, you're in a shopping mecca, surrounded by a million shoe stores in Soho alone! GO SHOPPING FOR SOME SHOES!! What a brilliant idea, I thought. I ended up with these:
Cuter, no? A little less dorky anyway. And I chose to wear them out of the store, even though it was so hot that my feet were swelling and these were a little more snug than my uglier shoes.

And that decision produced the largest heel blister that I have ever had in my life. It was massive. I even took pictures, but they didn't turn out well so you're spared that delightful sight.

In my cute(r) new shoes, I then headed off to the Village, my fave part of town, had lunch, shopped at the flea market, and people-watched. Loved every moment of it (except for the blister part).

That night, I saw the New York City Ballet, something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager, and I was not disappointed. Just walking into the theatre choked me up, because I attach way too much significance to silly moments like this. The theatre was gorgeous, the dancing was spectacular, and I was thrilled. (And now I'm on their mailing list, and just got the sales pitch for their winter program... which makes me want to plan another trip now....)

Sunday, John and I saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was fabulous, and then had dinner at this marvelous Chilean place on Restaurant Row -- a place my friend Cindy found on our trip to the big city a few years back. It's a hidden gem; the food is wonderful, the atmosphere is lovely, and they make the best mojitos I've ever had. So of course, I had to have a couple on this visit. I then had this brilliant idea that we should go find the Russian Vodka Room, since it was in the area. How can a place with a name like that NOT be fun?

It was. It really was. I started with a pomegranate martini, and then, because they have all these Russian vodkas (duh) on the menu, we started ordering some of those. Straight. In small glasses, yes (some people were drinking it out of carafes), but still. Straight. I thought I was being smart, pacing myself, sipping slowly, and drinking loads of water between vodkas - I think I had two vodkas. But after the martini and the mojitos AND the straight vodka, I was hammered.

Then, some other patrons who'd been sitting nearby started chatting with us and insisted we try some of the RVR's infused vodkas. Awesome! I wish I could tell you how many of those I had, but I don't remember. There was no pacing, either. Those just went down the hatch. Yummy.

We left after that, and walked out into a rainstorm the likes of which I haven't seen in years. The remnants of a tropical storm were passing through New York, and it was coming down in sheets (Central Park got almost 4 inches of rain that night). Umbrellas were pointless, so at one point, I put mine away, stood there in the pouring rain and laughed my ass off. And got soaked through to the skin.

Luckily, my hotel was nearby... and the laughing didn't last long. Because shortly after returning, my body punished me for what I'd just done by purging the contents of my stomach. Repeatedly. After a few rounds of this fun (and after John was nice enough to run to the Duane Reade across the street to buy me some water before - understandably - fleeing the scene), I fell asleep (or passed out, whatevs!) in my wet clothes.

When I awoke the next morning, I knew I needed to start rehydrating. But I was having a hard time sucking down the water like I usually do... because guess what? My body wasn't done punishing me.

I have never been this sick, ever, where the barfing continues into the following day. Repeatedly, even though there wasn't anything left in my system. And I suppose it's a good thing it was still pouring outside, because it made it a little less painful to lose most of a day of my vacation in a city I love because I'd had too much to drink. That SUCKED. I was finally able to get up and out of the hotel around 4 or 5 p.m., when John met me for dinner and we took a walk over to Bryant Park, where I promptly tripped and fell on some steps, because I was still woozy and weak. As we walked around to the front of the library there, thinking it would be fun to go in, we came across some red carpet action - some fashion awards show was taking place at the library. I love that you just never know what you might trip over in NYC.

The next day, feeling much more normal, I was off to Chinatown to stock up on cheap knockoff purses and pashminas, and finally got to Risotteria, home of the amazing gluten-free breadsticks, pizza, and everything else you might want. It's so wonderful to have so many things to choose from on a menu, without needing to think twice about whether it will make you ill.

Then it was off to Central Park, to wander and enjoy. I know this fountain has a name, but I don't know what it is. It's pretty.

Another random reservoir shot (I posted others in June). We'd hoped to walk around the whole thing, or at least a good portion of it, but some of the path was closed off for some reason I can't remember now.
(Oh, and because of the heel blister, I worse some cheap sandals on this day that aren't really designed for that much walking - especially not in hot, humid weather - and ended up with a massive blister on the ball of the same foot. Grrreeeeat.) It was a lovely day, and perfect for hanging out in such a beautiful place. That night, I dragged John to another eatery (in Gramercy/Murray Hill) that has a gluten-free menu -- a BBQ place, no less -- where we ended up chatting with a guy who lives in the Bay Area, but spends a week every month in New York on business. Now, that sounds like the best of both worlds to me. If I could find a way to live in both cities, I would LOVE that.

The next day was my last, so I didn't have time for much more than running up to the Upper East Side to gawk at the buildings and have breakfast at, yes, another place with a GF menu, and then wander in the park a little more before I had to run to the airport.

On the plane, as I stared out the window watching the city getting smaller and smaller, I found myself feeling really sad...and not because of the blisters, bruises, and self-poisoning. I don't think I can articulate all the reasons I love being in New York City, and why the notion of living there is so enticing, despite the high cost of living (although SF is close behind on that list). And yes, I realize that vacationing someplace is very different from living there.

But how do you think I fell in love with San Francisco way back when? It's food for thought.

See you when I get back from Hawaii. Aloooooha!

*have you seen "the devil wears prada?" you know that scene in the opening sequence when anne hathaway's character stops into a bakery for a bagel before her first trip to the magazine? that was filmed there.