December 30th 5:15pm - Last Saturday's Mystery

All that is known: this occurred sometime in the forty minutes the electricity was out. Also during that time another male friend removed his own clothes and remained nude.
Forty minute electric black-out = inexplainable torn jeans + nakedness

December 29, 2008 5:15pm - December 22nd

This year my birthday comprised of naked boys in Christmas aprons (friends... though strippers would have been a reasonable guess as well), wine, Vodka, and beer, a bar with beer pong tables, raw eggs cooked on a stove-tops’ open flame, and cops. Four times.

December 27, 2008 4:23pm – Birthday Report

My birthday was on December 22nd.
Twenty-three years ago I managed to insert myself into this world two months before my due date. As her first child disembarking two months early, my mom was deprived of normality – aka Lamaze classes, a baby shower… essentially any and all customary preparation.
My seven-months-pregnant mom and my slightly inebriated dad returned home from a holiday party whereupon they both submerged to bed. My mom awoke my dad hours later professing she was having the baby. My dad’s response: “No you’re not, go back to sleep,” coupled with his body rotating away. My mom shrugged, rationalized he was probably right, and attempted to harness sleep. Later, she again determined she was going give birth. She re-woke my dad to the same reaction. She ascended from bed and called the hospital, who adamantly insisted she come in. After another unresponsive reception from her husband, she packed what she unknowingly judged crucial birth-items, and equipped herself for the hospital. She roused my dad, who, once he comprehended she might actually have the child, supported her to the car and drove her to the hospital.
My dad jubilantly called his sister from the hospital at four-thirty in the morning.
My dad: “Hey! Guess where I am right now?”
My aunt: “Jail?”
I was born three hours later.

December 26th 8:31pm - Licensing Foreigners

A couple years ago the Extended Family visited my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. As is custom, kid table (ages 17-23) and adult table subsisted. Allowing illegal aliens to secure driver’s licenses was a prevalent topic at the time. Following a charming, hands-linked, heads-bowed, exuding gratitude prayer, we assembled ourselves properly, grandma overseeing her offspring and family. Everyone gracefully reposed and commenced consuming food. Within minutes the topic transformed to licensing foreigners.
The adult table (kids table’s focus: champagne):
* “Illegals don’t deserve licenses. We have enough legal foreigners who don’t know how to drive as it is.”
* “If they can’t legally live here, they shouldn’t be allowed to legally drive here.”
* “And the problem isn’t just with one kind of foreigner.”
* “Asians go so slow and are such bad drivers because they can’t see. Their eyes are slits.”
* “Well, shit, the blacks are always speeding because they are racing to get away from the cops.”
* Laughter. “Leaving a TV or two behind in their escape down the road, huh?”
* “I’m serious. They’re always running from something. Maybe from a girlfriend pregnant for the third time...”
And the conversation persisted. The following day a cousin informed the family that as a college class assignment she had recorded the dinner conversation and was writing a paper on it. Grandma almost plunged to the ground.

December 25th 11:56pm - Christmas Dinner

My brother gains incessant gratification from procuring eccentric gifts. One year he bequeathed me a “Sister to Sister” card, signed with (naturally) his first and last names. Another year: no card, no present. This year: a book entitled, “My Horizontal Life. A Collection of Stories: One Night Stands.” I wasn’t exceptionally enthusiastic, consequence of any insinuation. Brother harassed me with assurance the book was supposed to be hilarious.
He acquired another book for my nineteen-year-old sister. She opened to an arbitrary page, read a paragraph, and, open-mouthed, passed off book. I read, snickered, and distributed to Brother, who sequentially perused the passage, and despite Mom’s appeal to examine section, closed and returned the book to the youngest child in our family.
Christmas dinner topics of conversation (evidently instigated by Brother’s gifts): romance novels (i.e. detailed, intense porn), sex, and celebrities.

December 23rd 6:58pm – Last Night. Birthday Dinner Conversation.

Two families. Eight people. Prime rib. Five wine bottles. Dinner conversation:

* A blacked-out cousin getting arrested in Santa Barbara on Halloween and waking the next morning in a hospital bed with a split lip, throbbing jaw, catheter in his penis, and no recollection past drinking at a friend’s house. The police report included assault against an officer, resisting arrest, drunk in public, underage drinking, and damage to a bystanding car.
* In younger years, a girlfriend getting hit on by an unknown man, girlfriend tells boyfriend, and boyfriend + friend tipping Unknown’s car on it’s side.
* Same man, also younger years: instigating a fight with another unknown, getting hit by a policeman’s riot stick and restrained by Policeman while Unknown sucker-punched him. He and friend ultimately concluded the night in jail.
* Same couple, woman, family in tow, visited not two or three, but seven or eight Christmas tree lots investigating for the flawless tree. After extended deliberation, she returned with family to Lot #5, and Almost-Perfect Tree was already purchased. Obliged by not-so-ecstatic family to select a tree, she did so and returned home to find tree was cut with a slant. Requiring a straight-cut tree, she appealed to Husband to mend it, and in response he subsided on the couch and slept. Not amused, she called the tree lot and requested they send someone to cut the tree properly. They did, and Husband awoke to a roaring chain saw wielded by a stranger in his living room.

December 21st 11:58pm - Elf Party Message

In the holiday spirit, just wanted to share some Elf hilariousness aka one of many messages I received regarding the much-discussed infamous Elf Party. See below:

Dear Santa-

I can't wait to see you and your elves at the North Pole (aka Broadway Studios) on Saturday starting at 8pm. I know it's a $10 cover for charity and am SOOO excited that I will see Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Ebenezer Scrooge, the Gingerbread Man, Rudolph, and especially Tony the Elf! I have learned to get there EARLY and kick-off the fun with some Xmas Cosmos, Reindeer Pee (bud light), and Peppermint shots!

I have learned my lesson and will at least come dressed with an elf hat.
Tiny Tim

Dearest Tiny Tim:

I see you are still on my "Nice List." After our party on Saturday, this won't be the case! Ho Ho Ho!

My entourage of elves can't wait for you and your friends to play flip cup games in the back room and dance in the front room...the North Pole is huge! I hear Mrs. Claus and her Candy Cane Strippers are ready to party! That's strippers not stripers, young Tim. Ho Ho Ho!

You are right, don't worry about the guest list too much, if you are dressed up, you will get into the party! Invite all your friends!!

Saturday. 8pm. Be There.
Kris Kringle
I deem that excellent advertisement!

December 20th 9:09pm - Bum Molestation

Last night a friend and I journeyed (aka drove twenty minutes) to downtown San Francisco for dinner before presenting ourselves at another friend’s Christmas party. We determined driving was an absolute necessity (as opposed to employing public transit) to avoid the crazies and conserve transport time. Upon street parking a few blocks from our destination, three insanity-infested homeless people instantaneously enveloped us. The woman immediately gravitated toward my red-Google-embroidered-beanie-clad friend and nestled under his arm, enclosing him in a hug-like embrace. On the opposite side of the car’s sidewalk, I giggled. As the shorter man tottered to the woman, the taller of the two men informed me: “Yo, that man jus out of jail. They married,” he added with a wave of his arm and a triumphant nod. My friend awkwardly removed the woman’s arms from around him and marched to me. “You all married?” Tall Man questioned us. To our “No,” he replied, “You brother and sister?” Again, “No.” Tall Man’s face echoed perplexity. His concentration on me, my friend’s head and eyes frenziedly motioned to go as Molester Woman assaulted his head, seizing red-Google-embroidered-beanie and staggering away with it. My friend’s distressed reaction prompted Convict to approach his “woman.” He wrestled it from her grasp, returned with the beanie, and punctually demanded payment and the words, “That was no easy thing.” I laughed. My friend pocketed treasured beanie as Molester Woman resumed her assault on him. He extracted her arms, and she, at the apparent lack of back-pocket-wallet, again snatched beloved beanie and slipped away to his “God Damnit!” I found this highly amusing and rewarded my entertainment with $2 conveniently dispensed to Convict, as he was closest to me and his “woman” currently had possession of Friend’s hat. Convict eagerly deposited money and then targeted the beanie, ceremoniously returning it, again, to Friend. When Molester Woman almost commenced molestation for the third time, Convict Husband enlightened her as to my generosity. She flung herself at me, beseeching me for $1 of the $2. I replied: up to husband, and darted away with Beanie Friend and my life intact. As we dodged cars, Tall Man reassured me, “I’ll watch your car.”

December 16th 6:43pm - Sex is Healthy

A conversation I had recently... actually, a one-sided dialogue I listened to. In a restaurant. With an elderly impressionable gentleman sporting a top hat at the next table. He may have had a cane.
“Laughter” denotes my contribution to the conversation.

“When I had sex with him my crotch broke.”
“I was just out of practice.”
“Sex is healthy but you need to stay in practice. Otherwise your crotch breaks.”
Choking Laughter.
“But really, sex cures all. I had Strep Throat and I swear he fucked it out of me.”
Gagging Laughter.

December 15th 3:26pm – Elf Party: 3rd Annual Continued

The car Boozy Reindeer was forced into contained two exceedingly sober male friends. Sober Reindeer lobbed Boozy into the backseat to front seat objections and inquiries if she was going to join them in the Boozy-Reindeer-Home-Expedition. She begrudgingly entered the car and situated herself next to Boozy.
Boozy opened the car window and repeatedly shrieked, “Merry Christmas!” sprinkled with laughter. Sober Boys did not find this continued act amusing. Driver shut and child-locked window. Displeased Boozy Reindeer began spitting into car’s backseat and floor. Spurting sounds stopped Sober Driver’s hearing. He asked if Boozy Reindeer was spitting in his car. Sober Reindeer’s reply, “Uuhhhh?”. Boozy spat on car floor. It alighted in Driver’s baseball hat. Sober Reindeer inescapably emitted a gasp and snatched baseball hat from ground.
“Did she just spit in my hat?” Driver demanded.
“Uuhhhh?” Sober Reindeer replied as she endeavored to polish the spit into the hat with part of Boozy’s costume.

December 14th 8:46pm – Elf Party: 3rd Annual

As mentioned on December 7th’s entry:
The Annual Elf Party generally encompasses costuming ourselves in Christmas attire, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and exhibiting irrational decisions.

The following transpired at the 3rd Annual Elf Party:
Mini-skirts, felt reindeer antlers that exploded with colored lights at the tap of a button, brown sparkling scandalous stockings, and Ugg boots (doubling as reindeer hooves) embraced our bodies. We were equipped, organized, and inebriated. We – six females – entered the Elf Party.
Two hours later revealed one incomprehensible reindeer seated on the sidewalk outside the bar with two reindeer and a scantily clad Mrs. Clause convened around her. Two Reindeers and Mrs. Clause ineffectually endeavored to entice Boozy Reindeer to rejoin the party. Boozy’s greatest contribution to rejoining consciousness: crooning Christmas carols. A bewildered homeless man lurched past, orbited back to Reindeer and Mrs. Clause, and united his voice with theirs in song.
Reindeers and Mrs. Clause surrendered party idea and adopted a get-Boozy-home strategy. Boozy vehemently rejected that proposal and instead insisted on rocketing to her feet and darting down the street. Sober Reindeer raced after her, followed shortly by an inebriated Mrs. Clause and another reindeer. Spectators watched as Boozy snaked down the sidewalk pursued by reindeer, hobbling Mrs. Clause (recovering from knee surgery), and reindeer.
A Travelodge complete with un-costumed male drunkards assembled on second story balconies appealed to Boozy Reindeer. She sprinted into Travelodge’s parking lot and up the stairs. Sober Reindeer penetrated the lot to see Boozy Reindeer lean over the railing howling, “Merry Christmas!” Sober watched as Boozy virtually tilted too far and almost plummeted to the concrete below. She rushed upstairs to cajole Boozy to return to ground (safety) and home. Boozy laughed and shouted, “Merry Christmas!” to cheers from the men. Mrs. Clause crossly clomped up the stairs and ordered Boozy to a waiting car. Boozy giggled. Mrs. Clause repeated the command. Boozy giggled. Mrs. Clause angrily hit Boozy Reindeer in the head. Boozy giggled and hit Mrs. Clause back in the head. Hits repeated. And again: livid Mrs. Clause and laughing Boozy Reindeer striking each other in the heads. Watching men on balconies robustly applauded the continued Christmas character’s clash. Sober Reindeer thrashed between Mrs. Clause and Boozy to thoughts of: this is some bullshit, and, after much exertion, powered Boozy downstairs. Boozy Reindeer escaped and ascended the stairs again to laughter and ovation. The same commotion ensued, and the tussle concluded with Boozy being wrestled into a car.

December 11th 11:33pm - Jokes!

* What do Walmart and Michael Jackson have in common?
- They both have junior pants half off.
* Why are New Yorkers afraid to die?
- The light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey.
* The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.
* Definition of a Transvestite: A guy who likes to eat, drink and be Mary
* What do you call a dog with no legs?
- Doesn't matter what you call him, he ain't gonna come.

And, compliments of Ellen DeGeneres:
* Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.


December 10th, 2008 11:12pm – Deforestation Internet Porn

My 6th grade teacher assigned the class varying group environmental project topics. She allotted my group deforestation. This having transpired over a decade ago, the Internet was still moderately novel, my researching skills obtuse, and computers sparse in individual households. Our house boasted one computer, located in my parents’ room. As concerns my embryonic computer skill level, even composing an e-mail proved an unsolicited challenge. Thus, researching attempts included typing into the Internet address bar. Myself in the foremost seat, four friends sat around me inscribing notes when woman-on-woman sexual exploits embraced the screen. I shrieked and clicked the exit button. Pop-up after pop-up surfaced. To my hitting the red x once, four – five vulgar images materialized. Man-woman, woman-woman, man-women, men-woman... my 6th grade mind staggered. My mom elected this incomparable moment in my childhood to ascend the stairs. I heard her approaching. Steps away from her room, despite my attempts to exit the porn, the screen froze. I couldn’t force it to deviate from the vulgar pictures. Oh, and the unwanted videos. Somehow the screen would not alter, but the videos still managed to play. My mom entered. Panicked eyes, I heaved myself in front of the screen. My mom forced me to move. She found four petrified 6th graders and a screen occupied with oral, masturbation, anal, and activities I can’t name to this day. We tore downstairs accompanied by battling hearts and thunderous screeches. Time and explanation later, a disbelieving mom was finally a believer. I blame

December 8th 5:42pm - London Corruption – Night 9 Description

Evidently the male dorms were not as heavily supervised as the female. Whereas the girls had to break open a window, craft a ladder, and imperil their lives, the intoxicated boys loped through a ground-level door to escape. Night nine after much booze and towering spirits, several of our male counterparts fled the dorms with the always-inventive-streaking-intention. The campus housing us renegades was an exquisite aged masterpiece complete with cascading fountains, stunning polo fields, and striking wrought-iron fences. The males disbanded into two separate groups in attempts to avoid detection. The bulk of these two clusters wore nothing but cleats. Some, however, were entirely exposed, feet included. A mammoth iron fence barricaded the boys from the pristine polo fields. They resolved to ascend it to cavort across perfection, a.k.a. grass. In efforts to scale the fence, one nude boy stepped down upon an iron decorative spike, thus impaling his foot. He hopped, naked, to the infirmary at 2:45am. The nurse had to be roused. While fastening a bandage around his foot, she was absolutely astounded to acquire another nude damaged American soccer player. This one had successfully attained entrance to grass glory, but had gouged his right foot’s toes into a spiked sprinkler head.

December 7th 11:43pm - Elf Party: You Know You're Drunk When...

Saturday night my friends and I attended the infamous 6th Annual Elf Party. This notorious event generally encompasses costuming ourselves in Christmas attire, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and exhibiting irrational decisions. The following transpired last night:

You Know You’re Drunk When:
* You forget you have your friend’s license and debit card in your purse. You never go to the party. She sneaks in.
* You pay $20 for a $10 cover and stagger away without obtaining change.
* You pass out in a chair on stage. Your friend exits the party and returns you to her house. You share her bed, snore like a three hundred pound man, and are the cause of her misery, awake for hours.
* You dance into the street and molest a car detained by a red stoplight with your ass. A cop car arrives and you ultimately conclude the encounter held against a wall by a screaming cop’s riot stick. You know it was a bad decision when his partner gets out of the car.
* Necessity requires you and your friend to urinate. You walk around the corner and up five steps, squat alongside each other, and release your pee. It streams down the steps onto the sidewalk. A male passer-by stops to observe, you warn him he will be urinated on, he doesn’t move, and your joint pee splatters on him.
* You throw up in a cab, in your roommate’s bed, and in the shower.
* You determine it logical to consume two more bottles of wine after returning home past 3am.
* You attempt to cook a frozen pizza. You place it on the rack. While extracting it from the oven you burn your arm on the rack. It is undercooked. You eat it anyway.
* You return home with a roommate and four visiting friends. Neither of you have your house keys. One of the friends batters the door in with her ass.

December 4th 11:58pm – London Corruption - Night 8 Depiction

While I was cavorting with other girls in another dorm room (per curfew commands), the three I shared a room with intellectually resolved to escape the dormitory confines to mingle with the aforementioned beer-bent English chaps. Bolts dissuading like-minded dorm occupants exhibited little resistance to three resolute fifteen-year-olds. This trip transpired in the weed-transporting, knife-wielding days before 9/11. One of the girls had traveled complete with Swiss Army Knife. Swiss Army Knife became screwdriver in the remove-window-bolts-quest. After little knife laboring, the bolted windows were no longer fastened, and the girls could communicate with their English male counterparts. The only obstacle: three stories’ height. The joint decision: knot all bed sheets together and descend to the ground. Inevitable inspiration: movies. The girls undressed the beds, secured the sheets, tied one end to a bedpost, lobbed the sheets out the window, and dismounted, embracing fabric with hands and wall with feet. From their opinions the following day, dismounting three stories using sheets is treacherous and strenuous and not recommended.
They were individually referred to as “Spiderwoman” the remainder of the trip.

December 3rd 11:56pm - London Corruption – Soccer Trip

The English are eminently recognized for their fanatical soccer passion.

It was a soccer trip to London. Four reputable coaches, two parent chaperones, fifteen boys between fourteen and eighteen years, fourteen girls aged fifteen to seventeen. The girls would compete at the professional level, the boys at the semi-pro. Practices run by English coaches for a week and a half, we would train English-fashion, compete at premier levels, and absorb English athletics, culture, and history.
My parents deemed the trip a good idea.
Day 2: Four raucous English teenage males exhibited their beer aptitudes. Seven raw American teenagers observed two English boys’ gnawing knacks. They expertly removed beer bottle caps with their teeth inside seconds. We, untrained Americans, despite manifold efforts and shouted counsel, were not so skilled.
Day 3: The same riotous Englishmen revealed veritable beer-bottle proficiency. One striking, refined gentleman demonstrated his expertise: strike top of beer bottle with palm and bottle’s bottom plunges to ground.
Day 4: The male team’s solitary goalie attempted to attain the standard situated by the previous night’s Englishman. He struck the top of a beer bottle with his hand, the bottle’s neck broke, and he unintentionally powered his naked palm into jagged glass.
Day 4: Late Afternoon: Genius Goalie’s mom (female chaperone) dashed son to the hospital. He couldn’t compete for the remainder of the trip.
Bonus Material: Genius Goalie is currently a Navy Seal.
Day 5: A curfew was instituted on the American representatives in our entirety.
Night 6: Inebriated teenage girls, abiding by curfew decree, draped ourselves on open window ledges and harassed all who passed. Our four esteemed coaches staggered by, embellished with our beer-expert English friends’ bicycles. Chuckling coaches disassembled bikes and rolled, flung, and hurled the innumerable elements into bushes, trees, and sidewalks.
Night 7: The two male seniors on the expedition assailed two coaches, capsizing twenty-gallon containers on them. A chase ensued. A elementary-aged Chinese group also residing on campus was not amused.
Night 8: All Americans on campus: Lockdown. Three of our female teammates Spider-Womaned down the dorm-building wall to join English Beermen.
Night 9: Two male teammates separately concluded their nights in the infirmary attributable to streaking injuries.

December 2nd 3:25pm – Pepper Sprayed

In 8th grade my mom resurrected her working-world life and suited up as a real estate agent. Simultaneous with her Agent resolve was pepper spray. Mom immediately procured Mace for protection against the crazies, zanies, and insane she was confident she would encounter in her new profession. For easy accessibility, she situated the spray on her keys.
It was logical: easier to locate her keys, simple to grab if her safety was compromised.
My mom, my sister, a friend and I were in a sandwich shop one blistering afternoon. I was contentedly perusing the menu when abruptly a scorching, fiery sensation molested my mouth and nostrils. My eyes streamed and my vision curled. I staggered and coughed. Incomprehensible sounds emanated from my throat as I clutched my scorched tongue in one hand and my blazing eyes in another. My sister bowled herself to the ground. My friend blindly darted away, gagging and wailing.
My mom said later when the three children surrounding her began behaving like burn victims with cries and screams charging the air, others in the store bestowed horrified and perplexed expressions on her. She elected to discard the pepper spray that day.

December 1st 11:40pm - My Inbox

These texts concerning pre-schoolers (4-year-olds):

* "One of my students brought a condom to school today."
* "One of my kids got a haircut and now has a marijuana leaf shaved into the back of his head."

This concerning Thanksgiving weekend:

* "I injured myself last night while force-feeding a boy salami and cheese."
"He liked it."

And this from a department store's display window in San Francisco:

November 30, 2008 11:47pm – Cars: Hazardous Contraptions

Last week a car hit me.
In the past thirteen months I have essentially ceased all physical activity. Last week I regrettably discerned my swelling sides and bulging stomach. I had a vision of a portly, obese self and thought, one day. Not yet! The Vision instigated unrivaled inspiration and within minutes I dashed down the street. When I say dashed, I mean prodded. Or scuttled. It was uphill. I drove my arms back and forth, back and forth. My self-narration comprised the following:
“I will not die. I will not die. Maybe moving my arms faster will automatically force my legs to go faster… Nope. That didn’t do anything. Except my arms are more tired and my legs hate me. I will not die.”
I peaked the hill and with wild abandon flung myself downhill. My body soared, my feet lightly ricocheted off the concrete. A streetlight revolved from yellow to red and I fluttered across the street. Delight that through the previous thirteen months I preserved the ability to run downhill overwhelmed me. A smile erupted across my face. And then a punch exploded into my side. With no effort at preserving my upright position, I tumbled to the concrete. A car had reversed into me as I gloriously paraded past. The driver either failed to notice me, the flying sprinter, due to my intense speed, or just didn't care enough to stop. The car leapt away from me and rocketed down the street. I shrugged, stood, and resumed running. Or scuttling.

November 29th 8:15pm - You Know You're Drunk When...

You Know You're Drunk When (Incidents Over Thanksgiving Break)...

* You awake the next morning with a very large, very colorful, very unexplainable bruise on your right buttcheek.
* You stand on the sidewalk in front of a downtown bar with your pants at your ankles and flip off a cop driving by. You have no reason.
* The following day you have a bruised ear from falling over while pantless flipping off cop. You plummeted into a brick wall. Your ear caught you.
* You continually steal beer from your female friend. She informs you that she will slap you every time you attempt to abduct her beer. You plunder her alcohol twenty-five times. She strikes you twenty-seven times. You have a headache the following day.
* Upon returning from the bars you force your friends to ballroom dance with you in the kitchen.

From a Previous Thanksgiving:
* Your friend arrives with a beer bong named Dick. You tell your mom to suck Dick.

November 24th 6:18pm – Welcome Home

My parents’ initial dream of producing five children came to a screaming stop after three. They were fairly unfortunate (I felt privileged with siblings so close in age) to give birth to three children in three years. I was a raucous sixteen-month-old when my tow-headed brother was born. My dad took my mom home from the hospital and charged through the house, installing my mom in their bed, baby in arms. Confirmed comfort from my mom denoted Dad’s departure to work. Mom sunk into the pillows and euphoria as she adjusted herself to breastfeed the blush newborn. She scarcely discerned me wobbling on my stunted legs down the hallway towards her. She closed her eyes, exhaling, as I stumbled to her holding my stomach.
“I don’t feel good,” I enlightened her, as I leaned over the edge of the bed and regurgitated my stomach’s contents onto new mom and suckling baby.

November 21st 7:34pm – The Castro on Halloween… Enough Said

College athletes inevitably amalgamate. At USF, the Women’s Volleyball team primarily dated the Men’s Soccer Team, the Women’s Soccer Team: Men’s Baseball. Some on the Women’s Soccer and Volleyball teams cultivated friendships. The day after Halloween my sophomore year I inquired how the night before was. The following is the story I received from Volleyball:
A few of the Volleyball girls, in unruly, big-haired, flamboyant-colored wigs, valiantly schlepped scantily clad to the Castro (for the record: that year two of my teammates braved the Castro naked, bodies concealed only by a skinny layer of paint). Amid two hundred revelers and raucous dipsomaniacs, the Volleyball girls appealed to a man costumed in bum attire to take their picture. He willingly consented and paced backward to allow all in the camera’s frame. The girls posed, colossal smiles, vibrant arms around multihued bodies. Bum retreated several steps, camera elevated. One of the girls chuckled as a drunken man on stilts staggered past. Bum twirled and hurtled into the hordes, camera in hand, picture untaken. Most girls would screech and snivel. Volleyball girls bellowed in exasperation and tore after him. Dodging through a man dressed as a kissing booth, the cast of Napoleon Dynamite, and Britney Spears (pregnant belly in one hand, baby in another), they perceived him some steps away. One of the girls sprinted and launched herself football-tackle at him. Her arms enveloped Bum’s chest and her bulk crushed into his, bodily forcing him onto the concrete. Within three minutes of Bum’s attempted flight, one girl ensconced his derriere, while another sat on his back, stocking-adorned legs on either side of his head. Her hands enveloped in his shaggy hair, she repeatedly struck his head against the street, reiterating, “Don’t steal from girls!”

November 20th 11:48pm - The Female Species. For Men -

The Female Species
For Men: A Guide into the Female’s Mind and Heart

One of my friends once told me her criteria for a man.
He cannot:
• Weigh less
• Be shorter
• Have longer hair
• Have smaller feet
• Eat less
• Lift a lighter weight in the weight room
• Shave more areas

November 19th 7:50pm – Halt, Drink, Drive, Wine

I am from wine country (I blame my childhood location for my wine obsession). Months ago, some friends and I determined a wine country trip was a necessity: wine tasting, with my parent’s house as final destination and sleeping quarters.
First, I need to address something. The concept of wine tasting enthralls me. Typically wine tasting groups (unaffiliated with a company) encompass anywhere from two to seven people. Unless tasters have money to hire an escort or limo, or desire to partake in bus services, someone has to drive. The notion amuses me. Halt at a winery, drink, get in car and drive to next winery. Halt, drink, drive, winery. The roads are frequently narrow and curl, twirl, and weave between vineyards and surrounding trees. As my friends and I much prefer spending our meager money on essential things, like our social lives – aka booze – instead of transportation, we always drive. This occasion we fortunately had a runner in our midst. He wasn’t drinking heavily until later, thus becoming the flawless driving candidate.

Six wineries and countless bottles later, the five of us (minus the semi-sober runner) staggered from yet another tasting room, the sun accosting our eyes and striking our faces. Winery owners embellish the ambience with plentiful gardens, serene walkways, exquisite flowers, and majestic watercourses. We flounced in the smoldering glow of the day toward an oversized boar statue stationed in the walkway’s heart. One of my friends reported she desired to jump on the boar’s back and requested we take a picture. We, inebriated, confirmed and stationed ourselves accordingly. We observed as she raced toward the sculpture. We watched as she launched her long body, limbs sailing in air, legs stretched to straddle beast, left hand grasping at boar's left ear. We inhaled as tender inner thigh united with blistering metal marinating in sun for four hours. Our concern liquefied into laughter as she rocketed off the boar's rear, her shriek puncturing the still air. She grabbed at her thin green dress and groped, embracing cool hands to charred skin. She vowed to never again spread her legs for a metal boar blistering in the sun.

November 18th 11:53pm - Joke Time! As always, inappropriate

* What do you call two Mexicans playing basketball?
- Juan on Juan

* One night a policewoman pulls over a drunk driver.
She politely asks him to step out of his car. He willingly does so.
She says, "Anything you say can and will be held against you."
He replies, "breasts"

* Why can't mexicans be firemen?
- They can't tell the difference between jose and hose b

* Why do black people always have sex on their minds?
- Because they have pubes on their heads

* What do you call a blonde with more than one brain cell?
- Pregnant

*What do you call 300 white men chasing a black man?
- The PGA tour

* What's white and fourteen inches long?
- Absolutely nothing!

* I was in the food court at the mall the other day and noticed an old man watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair: green, red, orange, and blue. The old man kept staring. The teenager would look back at him. Finally the teenager said, "What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?" Old man's response: "Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son."

November 17th 7:36pm - Drunk Logic

As my friends and I have now been in the wondrous five-day workweek a few months, we concluded a Vegas excursion was essential to our sanity and continued existence. This past weekend embraced the vitality and debauchery that is Vegas. Our first night in Sin City: Friday. 14 girls: LAX Nightclub. The night’s inebriated depravity concluded with four girls misplaced, one of whom texted another friend notifying us she was in the pool at the Luxor. Casinos, aka labyrinths, exist to confuse poor souls (sober or drunk) such as myself. After drifting aimlessly for ten minutes, the friend who had received the text as well as myself approached a security guard.
Me: “Hi Sir. Hypothetically, if I were to go in the pool, which direction would that be?”
Guard: “The pool’s been closed since 1am.”
Me: “Hmm. Well, hypothetically, if I were to go in the pool tomorrow, which direction would it be in?”
Guard: “Are you staying here?”
Me: “No.”
Guard: “Who’s in the pool?”
Me: “One of my friends.”

Security Guard marched off, another guard, me, and friend in tow. We careened through eternal vibrant slot machines, people, and betting tables. Upon piercing the pool area, we glimpsed vomit by one of the pools and a pair of heels and purse by one of the hot tubs. We loomed over the water. Boozy was fully clothed, fully immersed against the hot tub’s side. This was an effort at concealing herself from us. Seconds later her face emerged, water surging down her expression. She informed us the water felt so good. We informed her she needed to depart from the heat. Boozy slothfully materialized from the water. Security Guard presented her the warmth of two towels. Boozy lurched into the casino, saturated short black dress clinging, heels in hand, body trickling water. Friend escorted Boozy through the Luxor back to New York New York.

Boozy later vindicated her reasoning: Drunk Logic advised her to remove heels and slither in the hot tub entirely dressed. Drunk Logic reasoned if Boozy submerged herself fully in the clear water of the hot tub, those approaching wouldn’t glimpse her. The culprit: Drunk Logic. Clearly!

November 16th 10:10pm - The Male Species - Appearance

The Appearance
Clothes do not concern men. The solitary instance they might notice a new outfit of yours is to contemplate with a cringe whether they paid for it or not. A woman might require an hour to prepare, a man: fifteen minutes. All shirts resembling the same color appear identical to men. The color, cut, style a woman might notice, a man won’t. A woman could wear a black tank one day and a long sleeved black blouse the next and a man would consider her adorned in the same shirt. That is, if the man noticed at all.
You could cut eight inches off your hair and your significant other would behold you, speculating why in the name of God you look different. It’s not that they don’t care about you, it’s that they just don’t really notice.
They have other more imperative material on their minds, like sports and work, and what they’re going to do to you later no matter what you look like. They notice when you’re not wearing make-up, or when you look slightly less attractive, but they don’t know why. And they will not squander time speculating.
With a woman’s hair and make-up flawless complete with new dress and matching shoes, a man would recognize you look good. He won’t care where you got the clothes or what brands they are, he’ll just care that you are his and you look hot.

November 13th 5:58pm – Glooby, Globbey Gak

For those of you within my age range, some of you may recall Gak; that marvelously gooey, gummy substance available in a variety of colors throughout our childhood. The elite Gak altered colors in the sun. My younger sister’s ambition subsisted in acquiring color-changing Gak. Our dad asserted his opposition to the goo procurement. His argument pivoted on the certainty that should she purchase Gak, it would inevitably terminate in the carpet or a pocket or a shoe or someone’s hair. In fairness, that was a reasonable theory. However, as our dad was daily occupied with work on the opposite side of town, it was a small feat to obtain the sought-after sun-transformed Gak. One night, the solitary income provider’s homecoming was devastated when he glimpsed the colorful container. Our dad repeated his frustration with the purchase to no avail. The Gak had already been initiated into the family.
Two days passed and the male champion of the family returned home, exhausted, to his three wild young children. Our dad snatched a beer and retired to the back porch in a feeble effort at relaxation. He colonized one of the plush deck chairs and leaned back, feet propped on surrounding wooden seating. He fastened his eyes shut and then released them to contentedly scan his yard. Within moments he soared to his feet, emitting fury, beer set down and forgotten. Fuming, he stalked onto the grass and stooped, scooping white substance into his hand. He furiously marched into the house, spewing anger and white matter. He screamed at my sister for misplaced Gak, quavering his goop-enveloped hand as he yelled. She wailed, tears crushing eyes, exclaiming her Gak was in the container. This was irrefutable when she produced said container, complete with glob. Dad, still bellowing, demanded to know what he was holding, if it wasn’t Gak.
Mom quietly explained that our dog had been taken to the vet earlier that day. She had an issue and had to be put on dog medication. The vet warned one of the side effects would be discolored excrement. Dad clutched dog poop in his hand.

November 11th 6:23pm – Winery, Bee, Mouth

I grew up in Sonoma County. Its proud heritage: wine. Whenever my parents’ friends would visit, the habitual, chosen destination comprised wineries. The Children (myself included) frequently trailed behind the adults at said wineries. Some of my earliest memories encompass us kids scampering through vineyards and tasting rooms, wreaking havoc at wineries. One particularly sun-drenched weekend afternoon my siblings, some children of family friends, and I conducted races on a winery lawn. The inebriated adults sprawled in the shade applauding the contestants … a.k.a. offspring. I galloped over and sprung repeatedly in the air until those older and wiser instigators (ages six and seven to my five) granted my participation.
Within minutes seven kids assembled and aligned. Our destination: the big tree on the opposite side of the grass. A girl screeched, “Go!” and then shrieked in mirth as her dad hoisted her in the air and looped her around. My body pulsating, I threw my leg forward at “Go.” I wanted to win. My competition fluctuated from three to eight year-olds. I scurried, my arms charging and my brain fleeting. I thirsted for victory. I darted a step ahead of the six and seven-years-olds. I would touch the tree. I would win. My eyes radiating, my mouth agape in a preemptive celebration, my fingertips extended… and my mouth ruptured with agony. I disintegrated on the grass a foot and a half from the tree. The ensuing minutes dispensed with me, tears ornamenting my face, trying unsuccessfully to persuade my dad that something was wrong with my mouth. He was convinced I was upset because I lost the race. I was convinced something had happened. As he informed me nothing was amiss, my cheek erupted, swelling viciously. I had been so elated by the idea I might win, I had released my lips into a joyous smile, and a bee had soared in and stung me on the inside of my cheek!

November 10th 10:17pm - LeBron James and a Box of Heart Candies

The University of San Francisco’s weight room, locker rooms, training rooms, and offices reside below the basketball gym. Accordingly, those marching up from the locker room, etc., to life outdoors oftentimes inevitably journey by the basketball court. Striding up the stairs, one of my friends (and former teammates) perused the players below. She swiftly deduced that those rippling-muscled tattooed older men were not USF men’s basketball team, but rather a professional basketball team. Her dreams and desires confirmed by the appearance of LeBron James, she dashed out of the gym and tore through the dorms to her room. She seized her roommate, snatched her camera, and snagged a small box of heart candies originally intended for one of the trainers as a thank-you gift. She dragged Perplexed Roommate to the gym, babbling something about the Cavaliers and LeBron James. She eventually regained coherency and announced their existence in our gym to her roommate, gesturing majestically toward the door she had exited from a few minutes prior. The door was locked. She elongated her neck and coiled in abnormal positions that normal humans should not be permitted to attempt in efforts to glimpse LeBron James again. Her roommate adhered to the unnatural-body-position plan until they admitted defeat as locks and guards obstructed all doors. They resolved that this one-time opportunity was not prone to present itself again. So they waited. And waited. They lingered until the team exited. LeBron ambled by, accompanied by backpack and team.
“Mr. James, Mr. James!” my friend roared.
He didn’t acknowledge the fanatical voice reverberating his name.
“I have a present for you!” she persisted.
He ceased walking and rotated.
“You have a present for me?” he inquired.
“I do!” she exuded exhilaration.
She bestowed upon him the heart candies (sheathed with her name and phone number) and then requested a picture with him. He conceded. Roommate (no longer perplexed) captured a priceless, hilarious photo.
My friend, grin-consuming face, positioned her arm around his back. Mr. James stood, easy smile, candy box in hand.

November 9th 10:02pm - Mommy: Presidential Candidate

My cousin has two young children, ages three and five. Today he narrated the following story:

With Election Day nearing, the children were exposed to the incumbent vote. The five-year-old’s kindergarten class orchestrated a mock ballot and vote. My cousin voted, children in tow. As the five-year old voted in class, and both parents had cast their political verdicts, the three-year-old remained the solitary entity in the family to not have participated in the election. My cousin constructed a polling booth in their house and the son, eyes shimmering, inscribed his presidential preference. When asked, he rejoined he voted for “Mommy.” The subsequent morning, upon proclamation of Obama’s triumph, the three-year-old immediately dissolved into tears. At his parents’ inquiry, he affirmed he was crying because Mommy didn’t win.

November 6th 9:24pm - Texts (Mainly from Teach for America)

I do believe TFA, as the program is not-so-affectionately referred to, constitutes the majority of the hilarity (slash discouragement) currently in my inbox:

* "One of the kids somehow ran into the chain link fence at a dead sprint. It was the best moment of my teaching career."
* "So far today Yancy chocked Charles, Charles peed on Yancy, and Roc'queeal ate two blocks. Oh ya and Devin stripped down ass naked."
* "Every day I hate the existence of children more and more."
* "One of my students threw tacks at me today."
A Depressing One:
* "Do you think it means I'm desensitized if I'm not that fazed by a 13-year-old boy saying he wanted to shoot me until he ran out of bullets and have everyone watch all my blood pour out of my fat ass?"
"Oh ya, and a second grader brought a crack pipe to school today."

From a different friend:
* "Oh my god I got a ticket for blocking a driveway and the tow truck had just pulled up! Oh, and his dad came home and knocked on the door when we were naked."

And conversation:
* Me: "I'm driving on the 80 and just passed a billboard that said, 'Never shake your baby' with pictures of babies on it. Ummm..."
* TFA Friend: "They have those here! I saw one that said, 'Never EVER shake your baby.'"

November 5th 9:50pm - Ballot

Yesterday I half-awoke as dawn fractured the sky. Heavy-eyed, I lethargically dressed and dragged my sleepy self around my apartment in an attempt to organize my life enough to vote and work. I heaved my legs down the stairs one by one, purse in tow, and managed to get in the car in between yawns and deliriousness. As I drove I looked at the voting address. I drove one block before distinguishing my destination. It was in a garage: just a normal garage. It could have been my garage.

For those of you who don’t live or vote in San Francisco , I have two features to divulge:
1. We (San Franciscans) vote in garages.
2. Prop R: Re-naming a sewage plant from the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. Advocates of the prop: Bush is liable for the economy and the Iraq war and identifying a sewage treatment plant with our current president is suitable. Adversaries of Prop R: the plant is superior and reliable, thus the alteration is unfair to the sewage plant.

Oh how I love living in San Francisco!

November 4th 11:39pm - Accompaniment to BART

Last year I accompanied (and by accompanied I mean chauffeured) a friend of mine and his cousin to the BART station. Cousin’s voyage: BART to airport, then airline home. I ceased my transportation responsibility in close proximity of the underground and the boys exited laden with luggage. I reclined the seat and settled back to await my friend’s return. I fiddled with my phone and fumbled with the radio. I glanced in the rearview mirror and observed a gawky man rapidly walking along the sidewalk towards my car. I remained in the driver’s seat while he loomed on the opposite side. Normally I am tremendously deficient in the whole detect-suspicious-character game (I blame my appalling eyesight), but this man justly depicted the crazy destitute. He slouched, elevating only his glittering eyes, ogling in my car. His stride dawdled as he neared. I stared into the rearview mirror, body facing forward, eyes back. Upon reaching my car’s trunk, he exploded, as if at a track meet when the gunshot signals the race’s launch. Arms propelling body, he rocketed to the passenger side door next to me. I screamed, effectively deafening myself, and hurled my body to the opposite door, hand clamping down on the lock as he simultaneously grasped the door handle. The lock clicked as he heaved at the handle. I jerked back to my seat and screamed again, some bizarre collection of unintelligible sounds; I’m sure further impairing my ear capability. The Man glowered in the window. I glared. One last effort at the (thank God) secured door, and he thrust himself away, streaking down the sidewalk, limbs flailing. My friend returned to my car to find me wild-eyed and garbled. His first words: “What the hell happened to you? I was only gone five minutes.”

November 3rd 10:51pm - Kara's Flawless Formula

Years ago I roguishly instigated a particularly original, innovative procedure: one shot=one tally on arm=faultless birthday shot calculation throughout day/night. A few months ago a friend I had coerced into following Kara’s Flawless Formula on his 18th birthday did so again on his 22nd. The drinking commenced with four of us at a restaurant accompanied by drinks and eats. The gaiety persisted to a friend’s house complete with pool. By three-thirty in the afternoon the other female and I observed as the two boys tackled two handles of Captain Morgan, affectionately identified as C Mo. The inaugural shot launched the Shot Tally. Seven tallies in, the boys claimed sobriety. Ten shots defeated, the boys claimed sobriety. Fifteen deep Birthday Boy flipped into pool, phone in pocket (View photo. If you observe closely you can see black tallies on left forearm). The boys claimed sobriety. Eighteen down words stumbled jumbled and staggered. Birthday Boy flipped into pool, phone still in pocket. At twenty tallies the boys divulged they might be slightly intoxicated. “Slightly” stated with closed eyes, asinine smiles, and dripping words. Twenty-one: Birthday Boy slurped and then lurched to the bathroom. He continued the bathroom trek seven times before vowing to take shot number twenty-two. Twenty-two: Birthday Boy swigged, staggered to bathroom, and concluded his shot-inhalation with a crumple on the couch. It was 7:30pm. I drove him home at 10:30pm. The following day he awoke in his bed feeling fine and recalling little. His mom enlightened him as to the remainder of the evening. Once home, he inadvertently locked himself in the bathroom. After an hour, she rapped the door. Response: incoherent blather. After an hour and a half and much trepidation she jimmied the lock to find her twenty-two year old son sitting in the bathtub, shower curtain on head, twirling the bathtub knobs in what can only be assumed was an attempt to open the bathroom doorknob.

October 30th 3:20pm – Twenty-Two Fourteen Year-Old?

My despair at being carded while purchasing glue earlier in the week instigated the only possible outcome: I laughingly disclosed the story to my friends. One of them enlightened me with this response:
Recently she arrived at the airport hair up, no make-up, donned in sweats. When she checked in the front desk clerk inquired if she would like an escort to her gate. She replied in the negative and asked why she would need an escort. The clerk answered that anyone traveling alone under the age of fifteen could have the services of an escort if they desired. Her response, “I’m not fourteen, I’m twenty-two!”
Obtuse clerk: “Oh. Sorry.”
I feel exceptionally superior. At least I wasn’t mistaken for a fourteen year-old!

October 29th 4:05pm – Freshman Dorms

As USF freshmen partook in Orientation Week (events, games, dances, and more), soccer pre-season absorbed my life… i.e. quadruple days. One week before school commenced my classmates initiated late-night hallway ruckus. I (mostly) initiated putting myself to sleep at 10pm to prepare for physically and mentally strenuous sessions the following day. I unintentionally neglected comedy, dance, and Monte Carlo nights, plus (happily) hall meetings. After one late-night dinner I sleep-stumbled into my dorm room and slowly, eyes half-closed, pulled down my shorts and up my shirt. I removed my underwear and sports bra and stooped, fumbling for a drink in the refrigerator. The towel pursuit had just launched when I heard laughter. I heard snickering. Nude me violently straightened, now completely conscious, and slapped my arms around my body. My head wrapped round endeavoring to isolate the source of mirth. My dorm room was situated such that the floor’s common room was adjacent and extended further out than my room. Consequently, the common area’s windows diagonally gazed at my dorm windows. My floor having been deserted the past week, I hadn’t thought to tow the blinds down. Both rooms’ window coverings were up. Thirty sets of eyes gawked at my pitiful attempt to cover myself. I shrieked and threw myself across the room, landing in a heap on the carpet. I later ascertained a floor meeting had been progressing when someone had glanced out the window, seen me, and pointed. Ignorant nakedness persists in being infinitely more amusing than floor rules. Unanimous verdict: stripper-who-threw-herself-across-room=insane. I didn’t have many friends on my floor freshman year.

October 28th 11:05am - Carded

When I was young and overweight I sewed. This year I made the very ambitious, very unrealistic decision to sew my own Halloween costume. I have not sewed in ten years, minimum. Yesterday I embarked on the journey that is the fabric store. Shiny-eyed and eager, I lingered in the store absorbing art supplies. My twenty-two-year-old self felt worldly and accomplished enveloped by people that construct marvelous creations from piles of cloth. After an eternity exploring every aisle, I checked out. Between scanning fabrics, wood products, and glue, the employee inquired after my birth date. I replied before the request struck me as odd. The conversation that followed:

Me: "Sorry, I'm just curious, but why did you need to know my birth date?"
Employee: "We aren't allowed to sell glue to anyone under eighteen."
Me: "You think I look eighteen?"
Employee: "Well, younger than eighteen..."

I came directly from work so was even in work clothes. I only get carded for alcohol half the time, but essentially got carded buying glue.

For the record: this was the result of my valiant attempt at hand-sewing a costume:

October 27th 11:37pm – The Vampire Affair

Mid-October some friends and I elected to attend “A Vampire Affair” at the W Hotel in SOMA, SF. The W Hotel primarily subsists far outside the post-graduate, newly-financially-independent scope. However, through our meager connections we attained tickets (normally $60 apiece) to this costumed extravaganza. When dressing myself for the evening, somehow the disguise-yourself-as-a-vampire concept neglected to input within my brain. I dressed in what I, an intermittent attendee of such hotels and events, deemed suitable for such swanky ness: some green silk dress contrivance paired with black spandex (all the fashion, you know), and black boots (very low heel so killing myself would be a possibility as opposed to a certainty). I inputted my green silk-clad self into the cab confident I at least looked the part of one with more than $300 in checking, and I departed the taxi goading. I adore dressing up and didn’t process the vital fact for my first (and probably last) appearance at the W everyone costumes themselves in fake blood, black lace, and pointed vampire teeth for the event.
My friends and I, plastic red keg cups in hand (classy, I know), vacated the cab and resided on the sidewalk a few minutes until the oh-so-delicious Screwdriver + Sprite in keg cups adventure ceased. A costumed woman, stumbling friend in tow, and a row of firefighters presently surfaced in our consciousness. The cabbie had released us twenty steps from the W Hotel, paradoxically directly before a fire station. Fifteen uniformed (dark blue pants, suspenders, and SFFD-insignia-crusted shirts, black boots) firemen positioned in one row observed us and the two thirty-something women. Some firemen leaned against their glistening red fire truck, other stood erect, arms crossed. Composed Woman, enclosed in black, exhibited white plastic fangs as she summoned a limousine. Stumbles’ attire was complete with fangs, three-inch red heels, black fishnet stockings, red lace garters and bra, and black shawl. Composed conversed with driver, motioned to Stumbles, opened limo door, and retreated, door agape. Stumbles gaudily gestured in the firemen’s direction and pursed her lips, bowing forward, arms compressed, enhancing her white bust.
She turned, lurching, and bent to access the limo. As she did so, she evocatively lifted what I had assumed to be her black shawl, revealing a red lace thong and two white butt cheeks. Our giggles overwhelmed firemen’s whistles while Stumbles penetrated into limo and flounced around, shutting the door with a brazen smile. Enthused by inebriation and Stumbles, we linked arms and pranced into the W, intoxicated by images of what the night might comprise.

October 26th 11:49pm - Sports Bra

In my inaugural soccer years I was overweight and could not for the life of me run more than ten steps before wheezing. I played goalie. Putting my substantial weight behind the ball, my foremost accomplishment subsisted in my dropkicking ability to soar the ball over my fellow eight-year-olds’ heads. Later years I played defensive positions because I loved to tackle my opponents. I honestly took pride in the fact I could annihilate them. For me, a marvelous game materialized when an opposing player’s coach and trainer carried her off the field after one of my tackles. However, at the time in my life when this day transpired, I played outside midfield. For those of you who identify with the American pastimes baseball and football and know more about cauliflower than soccer, outside mid equates running. I discerned my running ability when my family obtained a dog. She would escape and I would be the overweight wretch so blessed with the task of catching her. I grew a few inches, ran incessantly after that golden canine (yellow blob in the distance), and, henceforth, played outside mid.
I was twelve. My teammates all wore sports bras. Even though my goldfish Betty had more need of a sports bra than I, I still donned one. In our defensive half of the field one of my teammates stole the ball and passed to me on the halfway line. It was the second half of the game. The score was 0-0. I received the ball and turned in one fluid motion. I kicked it a few steps ahead and sprinted. I envisioned beating defenders with mad soccer skills. I imagined scoring. I visualized the ball’s exact placement. I felt the glory. Swoop, slice, swish, I beat one girl. Then another. My vision neared. I sensed exhilaration. Step over the ball, lunge, progress other direction. Another opponent trounced. I nudged the ball to my right side, setting up for a shot. One step and my vision virtually achieved. One more step, my right leg pulled back, seconds from whipping through, ball shot. Leg thundering forward, and my chest throbbed, my sports bra droned. My leg arrested mid-swing and swerved in the opposite direction. Arms frenziedly brandished about as my visualization banished. Diminutive wings thrashed against my sports bra’s interior as I tore across the field, bug-eyed, screaming like a banshee. Ball forgotten, my body convulsed as I ripped off my jersey and tore at my sports bra, attempting to release the trapped bee. I shrieked shock, my body seized, and I managed to grasp the sports bra and release the offending bee.
I stood, calm, shirtless, halfway across the field. I no longer screeched, and my limbs appeared adjoined to my body. I tranquilly ambled to the ball and joined the pursuit to goal. The game ended shortly after, 0-0.
Lesson Learned: If utterly crucial, leave ball in front of goal and dash, squealing, extremities slaughtering air.
Choose: life and physical comfort, or torture and momentary satisfaction in game’s win.

October 24th 8:15am – Ducky Ducky

My parents undertook an arduous task when they determined they craved children. Five exhausting, persistent years later, I was born. I arrived two months early, weighing in at 4lbs 13ounces, anxious to encounter this thing called life. My brother chased me seventeen months later, and another pregnancy transpired seventeen months following Trent ’s birth. My parents employed a nanny to oversee us troublesome bundles.
One day she had a gynecologist appointment but suggested Nanny transport us to the lake. Neither of us could swim, we were under the age of three, but regardless, The Lake = a fabulously fun excursion. In this time before MapQuest and online directions, crazy multi-tasking and cell phones, my mom struggled describing driving instructions. Swollen belly, she resolved upon driving us herself. We tumbled into the van embracing the day and bread with which to feed the ducks.
Immediately upon arrival, I rocketed out of the van and scampered to the pier with bread. I tore it into pieces and flung bits into the water. The ducks swarmed. My mom, brother, and nanny unloaded and approached the pier.
“Ducky, ducky, oooh big ducky,” my three-year-old self proclaimed as a swan hammered through ducks, attaining close proximity to me, Rations Officer. I plucked some bread and leaned over to graciously offer it to the white beast of the water. Ducky’s calm, fair brilliance summoned me like shiny substances beckon birds. Feathers glistened, sun reflecting off dripping water beads. I wanted to sink my fingers into Duckie’s luminosity. A bit overzealous, I shrieked, “Ducky!” and bent too far, designing to stroke Ducky’s white quills. Ducks scattered and feathers exploded as my three-year-old self plunged head-first into the lake. I collided with the water’s surface and sank. Seconds later the water trembled as a body hurled into the lake, the liquid pulsating. Demanding arms wrapped around my body and dragged me to the surface. My mom held me close and then propelled me onto the wooden pier and into Nanny’s arms. She then attempted to elevate herself onto the pier, her six-months-pregnant stomach proving an impediment. Her extended arms strove to haul herself up. She grasped, she gasped, and she heaved. She eventually swam around to the lake’s bank and walked up onto land.

My mom’s doctor had ordered her to remain on full bed rest until the baby was born. At that time, she was on strict orders to lie down. Instead, she was throwing herself in lakes, swimming, and saving children.

October 23rd 9:04pm - Craziness

Your co-workers will think you're nutty and have mental issues if you answer a phone call while at work in your cubicle and proceed it with screams of what the fuck broken by incomprehensible sobs as you run through the entire office to the only door on the opposite side of the building.

They may or may not ask you in following days if you're insane.

October 22nd 4:15pm – Peace Offering

In seventh grade, after a tedious day of schoolwork and a brilliant day of weather, my friend and I resolved upon walking to Clo’s Ice Creamery. Our obsession that emerged from Friday ice cream with the cross-country team continued to flourish after season, as we had few commitments when the school epoch came to a close for the day. Before Clo’s though, we couldn’t resist slithering into the gym to harass the wrestlers. One of our friends, clad in illuminating spandex, protruding muscles and sweat, taunted us to wrestle him. We looked at each other and again at him, observing the perspiration-plastered ensemble. I shrugged and paced into the ring, my competitive spirit roaring. Muscled-singlet-man versus spirited slightly taller girl = not the best competition. The bout endured some swipes and fancy footwork before being trounced by a headlock-hip-toss. I considered myself to be the quasi-vanquisher when I had him pinned, back on mat. Within seconds, I straddled a mat (no more a human) as strong hands seized my head and arm and a hip bone excavated its way into my stomach. My brain attempted to convince me I was now on the Tilt-a-Whirl at the fair, while my body pursued the forcefully physical commands of Muscles, exploding in air over his hip and thudding into the mat, somehow with him on top of me. My arms uselessly crossed over my chest, and when shoved up over my face and thrust down, they fashioned an amazing suffocation apparatus. Though depriving me of breath, somehow the arm contraption managed to allow his sweat drops to trickle onto my face. Devoid of air with Muscles’ entire weight fastening me to the ground, I conceded. Muscles released me, beaming cockiness. “You’re a boy!” I squealed, lightly shoving his chest as I slunk by. I immediately regretted that decision, as my hand then boasted the sheen of his victorious sweat.
I snatched my friend and what was left of my pride and exited the gym to the boys’ laughter. We settled our matching white floppy hats on our heads and marched to Clo’s. My infatuation for food has been long-standing, and by that time of the day after the completely unnecessary physical exertion, I was ravenous. Emptiness devoured the inside of my stomach as my friend and I deliberated over which meal to get. Hyperventilation slinked along the edges of my mind as I pondered chicken strips or hamburger. After joyfully settling on a hamburger, my friend and I retreated to the back and rifled through the games to conclude which summoned us. Ten minutes later I ecstatically ran to the counter when I heard “burger” announced. A mother vanquished my elation as she whisked the stroller in front of me and retrieved the plate, steaming ever so slightly, the luscious smell molesting my nostrils. She had been waiting longer. I sloped, returning to our table, my concentration on not salivating directly on the game pieces. The subsequent “burger” summon, I couldn’t tolerate the tease. It wasn’t until “with cheddar and avocado” caressed my ears that I delightfully stood and soared to the pick-up counter. I rotated and set the burger basket down while I ladled ketchup for my French-fries into a container. So intent on the sprint to eat, I hadn’t discerned my placement of the basket on the edge of the counter. So absorbed was I, I didn’t sense or feel it plummet to the ground. I heard the plastic strike the tile and grimaced, hand motionless over the ketchup container. I looked at my friend, devastation radiating from my eyes. She laughed and shook her head. I gazed at the ground, observing the heap of fries splattered with lettuce, ketchup, cheese, avocado, beef, and tomato. I looked at those behind the counter, tears threatening my eyes. One of the workers smiled gently, extending a basket of French-fries and chicken strips to me, peace offering.

October 21st 4:36pm - The Sweet Sixteen

My junior high was only a few blocks from a restaurant/BBQ/ice cream parlor. Clo’s was a blissful anomaly to the junior high horde. Blown-up pictures of native Santa Rosans and local sports teams adorned the walls. Board games consisting of Scrabble, Monopoly, and more lingered, demanding us to play with them. Entering Clo’s zone one discovered a BBQ and seating outside, and inside an ice cream counter on the left with sprawling tables, chairs, and recliners. On meandering through a small hallway one unearthed a mammoth open expanse complete with booths, hay bales, and a stage, microphone included.
In seventh and eighth grade I ran cross-country. Our running coaches were the wrestling coaches, dads of kids in our classes. They strutted more effectively than running seven miles a route. Accordingly, the top eight males and eight females would exercise by ourselves while the adult supervision would pursue the other group. Thus, kids would lead kids on runs the coaches initially walked through with us. Coaches would inform us of the fitting course and the “Sweet Sixteen” would sprint up the hill, only to halt the instant we were out of ear and eyeshot. We would cease training in discreet locations in the hills, most involving blackberry bushes and benches. We observed our watches, always tracking how long it should take us to run the desired course. It was quite the operation. We divulged stories, faces running with laughter and blackberry juice, as the remainder of the cross-country team physically extended themselves, suffering through yet another course while the coaches/watchdogs nipped at heels. The “Sweet Sixteen,” the fast ones, the gifted ones, lounged until the decreed time. We would then line up, and, at the declared indicator, scamper down the hill, compelling our legs to exert themselves for one and a half minutes. One brief sojourn at a water fountain where the delegated Water Fountainer squashed the button with the power to issue forth water resulted in fifteen high schoolers’ elbows and bodies as the throng attacked the fountain, splashing faces, arms, and chests with water. The Sweat Simulator performed resplendently every day. Our legs delivered us to our coaches dripping counterfeit sweat and gasps of air.
Our Fridays comprised grand encounters and magnificent tales, blackberries and mirth. Upon galloping down the mound oozing sweat, our coaches would usher the entire team to Clo’s, reward for our demanding challenge: ice cream.

October 20th 11:55pm - Bag Battle and Bombshell

I am greatly disappointed to inform you the following incident did not happen to me. I heard this story from a friend of mine. It’s gloomy while still managing to command mounds of amusement. And, despite the few inevitable slight exaggerations writing necessitates, it is true.

Main character’s fictional name: Emma

A few years ago Emma was house-sitting for a week. Her charge: a male Irish Setter by the name Bitty Baby. Abbreviation: B.B. When they departed, his owners informed her where B.B.’s food and toys were, how much he craved human companionship, and how at the grandpa age of eleven, he was rapidly aging. The first few days whenever Emma sat Bitty Baby’s head promptly found her knee. She scratched his head and watched as his eyes sealed and ears lolled. B.B. died after four days, Emma’s sentinel rank suddenly superfluous. She called The Parents to enlighten them of the misfortune. They apologized profusely. They requested she dispose of the dog so their young offspring would not have to see their departed cohort. Emma hesitantly agreed. She didn’t have a car. She rode the bus to their house every day. She rode the bus everywhere.
Emma terminated the call and grimaced, nose wrinkling. She donned rubber yellow dishwashing gloves and obtained the largest black bag in the house. She positioned the bag near the golden brown mountain. She screamed as she grasped Bitty Baby’s leg. Emma’s disheartened clutch did not move the bulk. She shrieked and crashed her eyes shut when lugging the dog’s weight into the bag. She screeched when she cowered to her knees, eyes necessarily open, reached gloved arms underneath the dog’s mass, and attempted to elevate and roll the bulk. She squealed, “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God,” repeatedly as, six minutes later, she zipped the mound inside the bag. Her main focal point: breathing normal again. The energy exertion, violent muscle extension, and utter revulsion at dead animals resulted in the inhalation of a seventy-year-old asthmatic on a respirator. She rested, hunched, and raised tired eyes to the mammoth black bag.
Here is where we differ in common procedure. Here is when I call Dad, Brother, Boyfriend, Friend, Someone, Something that moves. Here is where I bribe/guilt trip/harass the people I love into assisting me in a time of dire need. Here is where Emma went wrong.
Eventually Emma painfully, sluggishly, crawled forward into a sitting position on her knees. She slowly mentally forced herself to her feet. She seized the bag’s strap and yanked it from the living room to the kitchen. Emma heaved it to the front entryway, her face contorting as she lugged, the bag thumping as it hit each individual stair. She dragged it half a block across the pavement with both hands grasping the strap, sweating, muttering profanities. A grizzly, semi-toothless man whistled at her. Vulgar, shrill words emanated from her mouth as she bonded her eyes to the concrete and braced her weight against that of the bag. Two planted feet plus two straining arms equaled bag moving two inches.
The MUNI and she arrived simultaneously. Emma struggled, thrashing the bag as she attempted to transverse the remaining four feet obstructing her and her burden from the haulage on wheels. A moan/shriek erupted from her mouth as the doors commenced their close, their embargo. Driver apologized and resurrected the doors’ release.
The bag battle ensued as Emma wrestled it up the three stairs. Driver gaped. Thirty-something man inquired if she needed help. Her raised face necessitated no words. His lengthy legs crossed what appeared to Emma the distance of eternity and his brawny arm lifted her cargo up the stairs, swinging it gracefully in an arc and under a seat. He grunted with the effort.
Emma liberally thanked her knight and then sat in silence, demoralized by the concept of extreme effort in moving a deceased dog. After five stops Thirty-Something Knight asked what was so heavy in the bag. After six blocks later she responded it was stereo equipment. Nobody should know she had a dead dog. She would judge someone if they had a dead dog that wasn’t theirs on public transportation in the middle of the day in a black bag. After thirteen blocks Emma slid to the edge of her seat, stood, sighed, squatted, and seized the strap. Knight rapidly rose to his feet and grandly announced he would carry her bag for her off the MUNI. Emma smiled, sincere gratification, and followed as he hoisted the bag with both hands and exited down the stairs. Knight marched four steps and circled as she articulated her elated appreciation for his help. Knight looked at Emma, blue eyes wild, and thrust the bag at her. Unprepared, with sixty-something pounds of dead dog propelling towards her, she lost her balance in the face of the sinister black bag and plunged backwards. As her rear pummeled the ground, the black bag fled with Knight.
Emma sat up, arms propping body, and smiled, sincere gratification.
Only regret: that she couldn’t be present to observe Knight’s face when he opened a bag he believed to be stereo equipment only to find a dead dog.

October 18th 9:55pm - The Call

Yesterday at work, slouched in my chair, eyes reeling in failed attempts to remain awake, staring at my beige cubicle wall, I jolted upright and snatched at the phone when it rang. An automated voice announced the reception of the call constituted a poll being conducted concerning the presidential election. The Voice directed me to press one if I planned on voting for Obama, and two if I supported McCain. I listened as The Voice repeated its message in another language. As I advanced my arm forward to press my selected button, the call ended. I never got to cast my vote. I have never heard of anyone I know participating in a poll. I am disheartened to say that I received The Call, and am now in that percentage of people who didn’t participate when presented the opportunity. Not for lack of desire!

October 16th 9:23pm - USF at its Best

An e-mail I received yesterday from my alma mater:

The University of San Francisco
North Bay Regional Council invites

You and your guest(s) to a

Wine Tasting

with heavy hors d’oeuvres

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
6pm to 8pm

Nicholson Ranch Winery
4200 Napa Road, Sonoma, CA

** What I can't depict is the format of this e-mail. The words "Wine Tasting" are easily ten times larger than any other words. They are big and bold, front and center. Beneath that, "with heavy d'oeuvres" demands notice, as it too remains substantially larger than the remainder of the text.
My response: oh good. Someone from USF called me during finals week asking for a donation. I haven't heard anything since, except for this gem of an e-mail. My Jesuit University. Inviting me to drink wine and eat "heavy" appetizers with a bunch of old guys. Oh, the Jesuits. Educating minds and hearts to change the world! Cheers to that.

October 15th 6:33pm - Glass Disaster Part 2

I arrived at the hospital in record time, accompanied by my dad and boyfriend. I hobbled into the emergency room, more concerned with food yearnings than with the pain factor. I sat listening to the echoing chorus of my empty stomach while my dad explained the incident to the hospital admittance person and my boyfriend held my hand. The hospital powers that be entrusted me to a doctor, and four minutes later (again: record timing) my toe was stitched and I was on my way to get food and then to my friend’s basketball game.
My doctor removed the sutures two weeks later and I returned to my soccer team amid much teasing concerning the origination of my damaged toe: food.
Though I assumed the adventure had concluded, it was not done yet. Over the next two months my toe was under high stress – it hurt constantly. After every soccer practice I removed my cleat to find my sock blood-soaked. Pressing on the tiny scar on my second toe was not consistent with feeling the corresponding toe on my opposite foot. I graced my doctor’s office with my presence three times. Each time he assured me my toe was misbehaving because I wasn’t treating it well as I was still playing soccer on it. I accepted his explanation. After the third time my mom did not. Ignoring my many protests, my mom hauled me away to the hospital again. This time it was a different hospital.
A nurse immediately coerced me into a wheelchair. My mom explained the situation in detail while I endeavored to make the wheelchair balance on one wheel. This lasted until another nurse seized the wheelchair’s back and wheeled me away to get an x-ray. The nurse enlightened me and my mom by notifying us that glass very rarely appears on an x-ray. The hospital took an x-ray anyway. When they embraced the x-ray to the light, we saw a shard of glass encroaching across my toe. The doctor exclaimed how unusual it was to see glass and summoned five other doctors to observe. By the time he made a minute cut in my toe, twelve doctors and nurses crowded around the hospital bed straining to see. He extracted an inch-long piece of glass out of my toe. The audience sighed and clapped. The first ER doctor had stitched an inch of glass in my toe. It had resided there for two months.
Lessons Learned:
1. Playing soccer on a toe that had stitches taken out should not hurt.
2. Walking after sutures were confiscated should not hurt.
3. If your foot continues to bleed two months after you had stitches removed, something is wrong.
4. You are powerless in a wheelchair. If someone decides you are going to go somewhere, you go. Popping wheelies doesn’t help.
5. Glass does appear on x-rays!

October 14th 5:52pm - Glass Disaster

Food enthralls me. Especially in high school (really nothing has changed), I was an avid food admirer. I incessantly craved food. This could have been because I consistently played multiple sports, accordingly requiring massive amounts of calories, but whatever the reason, I was (am) forever ravenous. At Christmas my mom gave me a large multi-picture frame. Openings for nine photos with a glossy sheet of glass as defense against the perilous environment of my room were enclosed by a deep cherry wood frame. Shortly after receiving it I positioned the components on the ground to situate photos I wished to use. The outcome of walking through my room in the dark of night to use the restroom: striding across the sheet of glass, thus fracturing it into large shards. The damage: banished lethargy (a result of the cracking sounds resonating through the previously silent room); and destruction of the glass. I switched on the lights, surveyed the damage, and deposited the glass slices into a large plastic trash bag on one side of my room. The bag was leftover from the inevitable trash accumulation after Christmas. The next day as I ran out the door to go to school I noticed one of the lengthy glass sections had penetrated the thin plastic bag, its jagged tip prodding the air, hovering six inches from the ground. I endeavored to remember and do something about it later. I didn’t remember. This recurred for three days. On the fourth day I pondered in my closet what to wear to my friend’s basketball game when I heard my mom yell that dinner was ready. Visions of chicken and potatoes dancing through my brain, I sprinted through the room, my face animated. Halfway to the door the top of my foot connected with that unruly glass point. I ceased running and glanced down to see blood spurting from my foot. “Oh no,” I muttered to myself, hopping to my bathroom, feeding the carpet a trail of blood. I sat on the blue tiles as I attempted to wrap enough toilet paper around the base of my fourth toe to cease the blood flow. Scotch tape enveloped the toilet paper, applying pressure and denying the blood eruption. Succulent smells from the kitchen accosted my nostrils. Two minutes later I beamed, satisfied, and hobbled downstairs. My then-boyfriend and I entered the kitchen simultaneously, he coming from the front door and me from upstairs. My mom immediately observed my foot and demanded to know what happened. I shuffled to the table, sat down, and drooled as heavenly smells of food wafted around me. I explained it was nothing, I just ran into a piece of glass. I seized my fork and sunk it into the moist, white chicken breast while my mom insisted I go to the hospital immediately. I looked up at her, a mouthful of bliss. She stood with her arms crossed. I knew that look. I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to eat. I looked down longingly. The food focus drowned the voices of my parents, siblings, and boyfriend. I managed to consume four bites before I was yanked from my seat. The blood had penetrated the bandage. I was hustled to the car and driven to the hospital.
Lessons learned:
1. When you notice something (glass) appearing to be a hazard, do something about it. Don’t just let it rest, jeopardizing the livelihood of your toe, for days.
2. Never run through a room with said hazard at a dangerous angle, even if food calls.
3. If such a tragedy does occur: scheme. Boyfriend or Sister could have delivered plate of food upstairs and The Parents would not have known until after dinner.

October 13, 2008 10:56pm - Always an Adventure on the MUNI

Friday night a friend and I rode the MUNI from my house to another friend’s house. Armed with a bottle of wine and high spirits we believed (little did we know) we were prepared for our journey down the street. Halfway to our desired destination the bus jolted forward. I was standing in short-heeled boots. I always regret when I make the ambitious decision to attempt to go out in any sort of heels. I have no balance. I staggered forward, arms flailing. In that precarious moment when my fate was as yet undecided (sprawled out on ground versus violently snatching my life back into a semi-standing/squatting position), one of my hands connected with a seat’s edge. My hand clamped on the periphery like a ravenous snake onto its prey. My arm muscles flexed as my ever-so-weak arm attempted to pull my constantly-plumping body into a standing position. Success. I thanked the good lord in heaven I wasn’t more inebriated. I also praised the fact that my more intoxicated friend was sitting. The light turned red. And the bus sat in the middle of the street. The light turned green. The MUNI remained stationary. I noticed movement through the front windshield. It was a man. I walked a few steps forward, grasping the poles just in case the bus darted away again. I motioned to my friend. There was a man who appeared to be decently dressed leaning against the front of the bus. Just leaning. The light rotated red again. My friend stomped forward. She knocked on the glass.
“Excuse me,” she said, “I have places to be, I have alcohol to drink, please move!”
He stepped forward and circled, arms gyrating. He stared at us. She knocked on the glass again.
“Look, there’s another bus. Go get in front of that one!”
He slowly shook his head and extracted a cigarette from his pocket. He lit it and smoked. His limb lazily traveled to his mouth and then jerked away, hand flamboyantly overturned as he exhaled. The light fully rotated another time. The bus driver called the cops. My friend spanked the glass. She implored him to move, and then stridently beseeched the driver to open the door so she could move him herself. Keep in mind this girl is 5’2” at her tallest and this was a man, probably in his late 30’s/early 40’s, presumably relatively robust. In between her pleading him to move, me saying it probably wasn’t going to do any good, and the bus driver speaking with the cops, cars piled behind us, honked and swerved around as the light persisted in changing from green to yellow to red and back again. And again. The Problem glared in at us, like a monkey yearning for the exterior of the cage. He tossed his cigarette. And leaned against the bus’ face, arms crossed across chest, legs crossed, one calf caressing one shin. A few minutes later he walked forward and moved in such a way I have to assume was dancing. His legs kicked out at odd angles and his arms floated through the air, much like Elaine on Seinfeld.
The cops ultimately came. When I say cops I mean one female cop. She swaggered to The Problem, spoke with him, and entered the bus. She informed us that Crazy had said the bus driver wouldn’t allow him to enter the bus, thus he had stood in front of it thinking the driver would eventually permit his entrance. Bus Driver in turn informed Woman Cop that Crazy had dashed diagonally across the intersection and flung himself in front of the bus as it was penetrating the crosswalk. We had been stuck for nine minutes as Crazy had leaned against the bus, smoked, and danced. Woman Cop removed the man, liberated us, and we continued on our expedition with a story.

October 12th 11:20pm - Current Favorites

* "Record high. 5 of my students pissed their pants today. And one strangled another, then punched me and called me a bastard and said he's gonna tell my mom to whoop my ass."
* "I supposedly got blacked out. Got in a fight with my family and got kicked out of my own cousin's wedding."
* (and later): "I forgot to tell you. At the wedding my drunk uncle backed into a ferrari... no bueno."

And a few from the photo sector:

October 10, 2008 5:02pm – Big Legs

Text message conversation I had yesterday:

Me: “So I’m wearing a skirt today. The mailman just came by work. He said, ‘Oh! I didn’t know you had such big legs!’ Compliment? I think not!”
Brother: “Was he black? Black guys love girls with thick legs and big asses. That’s just their nature. I was standing next to a black guy a little while ago and this short white girl with fat legs walked by. He said, ‘dang she thick tho,’ like it was the biggest compliment ever. Also, he said ‘though’ even though nothing was said before that. Haha.”
Me: “Sick. Like a thick-legged fetish?”

October 9th 8:10pm - The Aussie

Three hours after the insurgence and exodus to the big boat found my two roommates, myself, and two crazy Aussies impeccably inebriated. One of my friends offered forth into the alcohol-induced atmosphere a marvelous thought: we should go see if we could rile up the well-endowed-blue-shirted-daunting-woman that had been solely responsible for the evacuation of the smaller boat. My friend and I grasped the backs of the wooden benches for support as we stumbled forward. Intimidator was in the front. We were in the back. We aimed for the bright blue target, keeping our eyes on the goal as I almost tripped on a wooden step. We persevered over the excessive backpacks and sleeping bodies in our path. We made it. We walked up to Intimidator. We paused. We looked at each other. We kept walking. Intimidator forcefully spoke to a man smaller than she was. He avoided making eye contact with her and shifted from one foot to another. We ceased walking a few steps past her. She eyed us warily. We perused our modified surroundings. There were more Thai men up here and the width of the boat narrowed. The formidable presence of a woman in command charged the air. We sat side-by-side on an oversized window ledge to plot. We needed to do something that would exasperate her. Just for fun. Our other friend joined us. She stood by while the three of us discussed. One of the Aussies staggered towards us, beer in hand. He warmly greeted us and loudly, drunkenly, inquired why we moved forward. Before we could respond he shrugged and repositioned his body to join us on the ledge. He leaned back, his posterior sticking out, feet near the ledge. Aussie overshot the ledge by four feet. We watched as he tilted back. We watched as he fell. In air his beer traveled to his mouth and his lips smiled. We watched as his back smacked the water of the Mekong River and as his face never registered what was happening.
We shrieked in laughter, our heads tilting back in hysterics while we raised our alcohol in the air to salute. The Intimidator shrieked in disbelief and aggravation and stomped to us. She bellowed, her face reddening, we shouldn’t encourage him. We shouldn’t laugh at his drunkenness. I scrutinized the water where he had fallen. Finally his head bobbed above water with beer still in hand forty yards back. The current traveling the opposite direction had caught him. My friend raised her voice, saying we weren’t traveling with him and we were laughing because it was funny. The Thai workers turned the boat around. The Intimidator roared that we were wasting time and had to go all the way back to get him. My friend retorted if Intimidator hadn’t gotten involved earlier we would have already reached our destination. We sat in the boat for over a half an hour while she was in front dictating. They stood, glaring, two feet apart. My other friend and I stood up. Intimidator glowered at the three of us. And she ceased yelling.
Afterward my friend said when she saw Intimidator and our other friend in a confrontation, she thought, well hell, the only way we can compete if all three of us take her. That’s when we stood up.
We later saw a picture a fellow boat riding traveler had taken of Aussie in the seconds his head initially emerged from the water. He had a drunken smile plastered across his face.