July 31st 10:36am - Traditional Thai Massage

I was in Thailand and Laos for a month this summer.

Traditional Thai Massage - head, back, and shoulder - in Thailand.
  • Feet poked and prodded with a stick
  • Head and upper back punched
  • Masseuse's feet used as a leverage against my back to pull my arms as far behind me as possible
  • Arms twisted behind my back
  • Me: sat cross-legged. Masseuse: laid on my back with her full weight and I stretched forward until I couldn't lean forward anymore. And until I couldn't breathe anymore.
  • Forehead, temples, and collarbone jabbed. Hard.
  • Head slapped
  • Masseuse crawled all over me
  • Ears pulled
  • My legs and arms in air at same time sticking out in various directions
  • Toes yanked on
  • My body was stood on, walked on, and sat on
  • The masseuse's feet were used to massage my thighs, while her elbows dug into my shoulders, and her knees dug into my sides
End result: soreness, pain, and, the next day, bruises
Somehow it still felt good...

July 30th 5:20pm - French-Fries and Lemonade

My brother and I were in Spain for two weeks roughly seven years ago. My fifteen-year-old stomach had been incessantly craving french-fries and lemonade. The entire two weeks. We were generally in Granada, a moderately small city, that didn’t have a McDonalds. The fact that it didn’t have a McDonalds devastated me. Our meals were odd things like cold tomato soup, which is never good, and fish. With eyes and scales and bones. I inevitably ate the microscopic bones. They would get lodged in my throat, consequently forcing me to choke. Additionally, the food we were fed was in miniscule, diminutive proportions considering the colossal quantities we were raised on. We supplemented our “meals” with bread and chocolate and the occasional nibble of cheese. Aka we lived on bread.

So, when we arrived at the airport with a very modest amount of money left, we came to the desperate decision to use it on food, seeing as we had essentially starved for the previous two weeks. I was delighted to see that there were french-fries and lemonade. Real lemonade. From lemons. Every time I had ordered lemonade in Spain they took it to mean limonada. The servers had given me Sprite every time. Uni-lingual idiots. Not understanding the nuances of the English language in their native Spain! Anyway, I happily placed my order and started salivating like a rabid dog at the sight of the largest lemonade and french-fries offered. They placed it on a tray, I surrendered the very last of my money, and ran away with my treasure.

Every table and chair in the dining area was occupied. The smell of the fries tantalized me. Tortured me. I felt like I was being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. My brother walked ahead of me, weaving his way through the countless chairs and tables positioned almost on top of each other. He squeezed through one particularly small area and I followed. As I turned sideways to wedge myself through the two chair backs my backpack hit something (it turned out to be somebody’s head) and I lost my balance. My hand, off-kilter, tilted the tray. My perfectly-balanced french-fries and lemonade toppled. I reached out with one of my hands to try and salvage some part of my heaven-sent meal. My outstretched fingers connected with an older woman’s breast and my greasy fries and extra-large drink plummeted onto her lap and chest.

“Oh my god!” she screamed in a thick English accent, her white hair bobbing as she jumped up.

“Oh my god!” I screamed as tears welled in my eyes for my lost little bit of bliss.

July 29th 3:28pm - If I Were Britney Spears

Britney Spears is constantly stalked and harassed by the paparazzi. They pursue her, they hassle her, they hound her. In response she runs over their feet with her car, she attacks them with umbrellas... essentially she doesn't counter their actions with the most prudent tactics.

If I were Britney Spears, I would mess with them. I'd mess with everyone.

I’d go buy one of those pregnant bellies and wear it sporadically. I’d just wear it out for a stroll in the park or to the grocery store. I’d wear it for three weeks or so and then ditch it only to don it again five months later. Just to mind-fuck people.

P.S. Britney, if you’re curious, I believe the official title is “empathy belly.”

July 28th 12:48pm - Rock & Roll Party

Every summer my parents have a lip-sync rock-n-roll party. Well, almost every summer. They've been hosting since the year 1986 and have only cancelled twice. Last summer my mom shelved the operation because she broke her arm, and when I was in 8th grade the party was abandoned because Mom gave one of her kidneys to her sister. Those two rare occurrences aside, my parents have been holding it for over twenty years. My brother, sister, and myself weren't allowed to go until we were "of age."  

The house transforms into a hippie stronghold. Posters of Jim Morrison, The Beatles, Bob Marley, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Woodstock, etc. adorn the walls. Large tie-dyed tapestries swathe the ceilings. Incense burns. A bar with bartender intact is a necessity. Everyone arrives bedecked in 60's or 70's clothing, or as a musical artist. Someone might bring whacko-tobacco brownies. There are roughly twenty performances each year. It's quite the procedure.

Two summers ago I went for the first time. This fabulous year was... eventful, to say the least. After the lip syncs were over my sober father decided to play catch-up. He achieved this by inhaling innumerable shots in rapid succession. This, as it turns out, is not an advisable method of inebriation. Within an hour and a half he was lying on the floor of the upstairs hallway. His tie-dyed pants in a twist, his long wavy blonde wig on his head sideways, and his patched vest barely covering his back completed the ensemble. Five o'clock in the morning found him in the hot tub with my cousin, sister, and the son of one of his softball teammates who is my age. My dad resolved he was, in fact, hot, and sat up on the edge of the hot tub. Then he spoke.
     "You're my niece," he said to my cousin and pointed at her.
     "You're my daughter," he said as he pointed at my sister.
     "You're J-Man," he said as he pointed at the friend's son.
     "You're you," he said and pointed up to the sky.
And then he fell. My dad fell backwards out of the hot tub. They watched as his feet flew up in the air and as he fell to the ground and rolled, wet, down the bark-covered hill to come to a stop a little ways down. Those remaining in the hot tub erupted in hilarity. J-Man ran down the hill to retrieve the party's host. My dad eventually made it to his room to find three people in his bed. When my mom had gone to bed earlier she had discovered the party's emcee and his girlfriend asleep. Instead of expending effort in moving them she came to the conclusion that it was a big bed and it could fit three people. She got in. While it is a big bed it can't fit four people. Dad fell asleep on the floor next to the bed. He awoke the next morning to find bark from the yard enveloping the floors of his room, bathroom, and closet. 
     "Who the hell got bark all over my room?" he asked. 
His face reflected puzzlement when we informed him that he was the cause of the bark-plagued room. 

That morning we rehashed the affairs of the night before. My mom told us she found one of my dad's softball teammates peeing in the wine closet thinking he was in a bathroom. We came to find out that he had spent the night but had left the next morning to go to work. While driving he got pulled over by a cop. The cop gave him a breathalyzer, and he failed, thus procuring a DUI. The morning after!

July 26th 7:31pm - Funnyman

One of my friends has an uproarious endlessly amusing man for a father.

While driving to San Francisco a couple of years ago he told me a story.
When his children were young and trusted him without question, he would mess with them. He accomplished this in everyday life by telling them lies, but achieved this fine goal by other means as well. Driving south to San Francisco, there is a tunnel. He would tell his children to hold their breaths while going through the tunnel. They would close their mouths and their cheeks would puff out. He would slow down to 5mph and watch them in the mirror. Cars would honk and swerve around his car. Other drivers would swear at him. He found it incessantly amusing to watch as his children's faces turned blue.

I am from wine country and when driving anywhere, we generally pass by vineyards. One time I was in the car as he was driving. He turned around and smiled at us.
     "Watch this!" he beamed, his face lighting up.
He rolled down the window and yelled as loud as he could into the vineyard.
     "Jose!!" he screamed.
We watched as twenty heads popped up. They were the heads of the grape pickers.


July 25th 9:15am - Diseased Toenails

You know you should get another pedicure when... your male friend looks at your toenails and asks you if they are rotting.

This happened to me on the 4th of July. What was left of my toenail polish from two months before had warped and he thought my nails were literally decaying!

July 24th 6:10pm - Mouth or Foot

During spring break of my freshman year in college my best friend and I decided to fly to London. One of our friends was living there for a semester and we thought nothing could be better. Free housing, fine company, and a ten-day-long excursion were ours to be had. My friend had never been to London before, but I had gone a couple of summers before with my family. At the ripe old age of nineteen, I knew everything there was to know about London. Clearly.

We decided to replace any kind of doubt or anxiety with excitement and anticipation for our first adventure without adults. We had a contact number for our friend, and that's all we needed. We thought. We landed in Heathrow two giggly girls flush with the thrill of riding on a plane for countless hours and then getting off to a new world. We went to the phones and called the guy we were staying with. He informed us he was actually in Ireland for St. Patty's Day and wouldn't be back in London for another three days. Ok, we thought, well, we'll figure it out.

An hour and a half later we were still stuck in Heathrow Airport. We lugged around our bags, assailing anyone who looked like they knew anything about the monstrosity of an airport. We were so tired. Two hours later we had finally located and boarded a public transit that took us to the Tube (aka London's Underground Railway). Two and a half hours after disembarking from the plane we were finally on our way to London.

After a little while we decided it was as good a time as any to descend. We got off the Tube, walked up the stairs and out of the station, and there it was: London. Except that this part of London was nothing like the section of London I had seen on my last trip. Oh well, we concluded, we'll just find a hotel.

After an inordinate amount of money spent on the hotel, a wonderfully hot shower, and a three hour nap, we were ready to explore. By this time it was close to eight o'clock at night. We took to the streets. There was nobody walking the streets. We started looking in restaurants. There were few eating, and all were in suits and very professionally dressed. We walked into a bar/restaurant. We both had the deer-in-headlights-what-the-hell-are-we-doing-where-the-hell-are-we look. Aka the foreigner look. Two nineteen-year-old blonde girls (if you can call my hair blonde) crisp with our first six months of college completed. We looked around. To our left a small round table of what appeared to be five thirty-year-old men began shouting and motioned us to come over. We went over. "Australia or Canada?" was the first question. "America!" was our joyful answer.

Over the next few hours we learned a couple of things. 1: We were in the financial district of London. Very few bars in the financial district. 2: Very few Americans travel. And 3: Nobody in London would deem flip-flops worthy of covering their feet. Londoners wear real shoes.

I was in flip-flops. During the shoe conversation I looked down at my feet. A fine layer of dust manipulated my feet, making them appear far darker than the rest of my body and legs. My toenails were gnarled and mangled from my current soccer season. I had three blisters visible to my glance. One was a blood blister. My feet looked repulsive. I kind of understood the whole no-sandals-in-London thing.

After a lot of beer and fielding inappropriate questions from the drunken men, the one Irishman at the table stood up. He looked down at me.
"Give me your mouth or give me your foot," he announced with a flourish.
I didn't know what to say to this. I looked around at the eager faces of his drunken companions. I looked at my friend. She smiled and shrugged. I leaned back, wrapped my hands around my hamstring, and pulled up to raise my foot in the air. Irishman seized my foot in both his hands and lowered his mouth down to suck on my dust-covered-travel-weary toes. He then exited the bar with (surprisingly) a smile contorting his face.

July 23rd 10:42am - Face-paint

The day after the demolished-laptop-screen occurrence was the friend's dad's birthday party. It was on a boat. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, the boat never left the dock. The water crashed against the boat, rocking it from side to side. It proved a complication to the drunken swaying the open bar provoked. My hair whipped around by the windchill factor, I still had a fabulous time. 

On the return drive to our battlefield soaked in laptop tragedy (Circus Circus), we saw a miniature golf course. With everyone in immediate accord, we decided to stop and play a round. Necessity: playing for stakes. After some debate, it was determined. There was a face painting artist in Circus Circus. Those players who finished in the first three got to pick how the loser's face was to be decorated. The loser had to maintain the face paint for either the whole night, or the whole day, depending on when it was initially decorated. 

I had an amazing game of put-put. Until the last couple of holes. My stroke of luck instantly ceased to exist and suddenly what had appeared to be my strong 2nd place finish became disputable. Then it became doubtful. My heart pounding, I stood up, proud, at the last hole. And failed miserably. I lost the game by two strokes. I was at the mercy of the decision-making skills of three boys. 

I just assumed they would do the stereotypical penis-on-the-face. At worst with hair on the balls or something. However, they came to a unanimous, creative decision to have me painted as a battered wife. The next day we walked to the face painting stand and got in line behind a slew of small children, all heights ranging below my waist. When it came to be my turn, the boys described what they wanted. I emerged with a split lip, a bruised eye, a cut eyebrow (with stitches), and a bruise in the form of a hand-print wrapped around my upper arm. When I turned around the little girl next in line burst into tears and refused to get her face painted. I walked into the brunch my friend's family was at to an onslaught of questions. Walking through the casino I kept attempting to hold one of my friend's hands. He would push me away because he didn't want to be seen with me. People would stare. And point. The looks of disgust they awarded him amused me to no end. When I walked into my apartment that night my roommate's face fell. I had to rub off some of the paint before I could convince her that it wasn't real!

July 22nd 11:49am - Circus Circus

Over a year ago one of my friends convinced me that it was a great idea to go to Reno for the weekend for his dad's birthday party. We would stay in Circus Circus and have an amazing time. This was right before finals. I thought it was a brilliant plan. I would simply write my final eighteen-page paper at the hotel and/or in the car during the drive. The final count of people on this excursion: four: three boys and myself.

The first night we arrived relatively late and decided as we had to get up early the next morning we would stay in. The adventure began when we checked in. We got the key, found the appropriate room, and opened it. We entered to a hawaiian shirt hanging in our direct vision. Confused, we entered further. The lights were off, the television was on, and there was an overweight man lying in bed. The dim reflections of the television played across his face and bare chest. "Is something wrong?" he asked, voice quivering. One of the guys replied, "Ummm, nope, just checking... ummm, wrong room. Sorry," and we walked out, chuckling and perplexed. Apparently the man shared my friend's semi-common name and the hotel's reception desk workers hadn't understood that we were checking in for the first time.

When we finally got our own room we immediately opened a bottle of Jager and some beer. After some drinking it was geniusly decided that we would play Roxanne. For those of you who don't know the song Roxanne (by The Police - released in 1978), you must have lived under a rock. The drinking game that correlates with the song requires massive amounts of drinking, the possibility of regurgitation, and the definite loss of brain cells. The words "Roxanne" and "red light" prompt drinking. "Roxanne" = a sip of beer, "red light" = a sip of a mixed drink/sip of straight hard alcohol. Needless to say, after the song it was no longer necessary to drink, but drink we did.

I got pushed and fell on the bathroom floor, one of the guys stripped to his boxers and jumped around the room in red knit hat, white shirt, and boxers, and another decided it would be fun to have a pillow fight. My laptop had made its first appearance with Roxanne and had been kept out to continue playing music. After the pillow fight had made it's debut fifteen minutes in existence, Boxer Man determined that picking up the laptop to dissuade anyone else from hitting him was, in fact, a good idea. He picked it up, held it out in front of him, and said, "You can't hit me, I have the laptop." To which the pillow fight initiator swung at Boxer Man. Boxer Man altered the position of the laptop. It is in contention to this day whether the laptop was being used as a shield or whether it was an attempt at moving it out of harm's way. Regardless, the laptop was dislodged out of Boxer Man's hands and crashed to the floor. The broken screen making it impossible to see anything on the computer caused an abrupt halt to the drunken debauchery. Everyone went to sleep. It is still under debate whether it's 50/50 Boxer Man and Pillow Fighter's faults, or whether the blame lies more heavily on one over the other.

July 21st 3:58pm - Propositioned in the Financial District

My brother Trent moved to San Francisco for an internship for the summer. He's living with me, but for the first three weeks he was here I was in Thailand. He had to adjust to life in SF without the assistance of a seasoned veteran such as myself.

Weeks ago Trent was in the financial district and apparently the walk from his work to the bus stop provides many obstacles in the forms of bums, beggars, and hobos. As he pushed his way through the people barriers he found himself mechanically responding, "No thanks man," pause, "No thanks," pause, etc. etc. as he was approached and asked for money for varying causes. These causes fluctuated from: "Please help," and "I need booze," to "Ninjas kidnapped my family. I need money for karate lessons."

A well-dressed man in a suit approached him and asked, "Do you want to slave?" Trent replied, "No thanks man," robot-style. The man's response: "I'll pay you." Trent: "No thanks." Immediately afterward he caught a bus home. It wasn't until he got on the bus that he asked himself, what just happened??

July 20th 4:25pm - Payback

Just as my wonderful, adoring father had had an ingeniously devilish idea, I too came to a conclusion as concerns the whole car revenge thing. Granted, it was years later, but to be fair I had never really given the inevitable retribution much thought. Until one night.

God graced me with a brilliant stroke of intelligence and I had an idea. My dad's own car was (still is) a 740iL BMW, silver and black. It's a large, beautiful car with A LOT of power. I'd like to think we, his children, are his pride and joy, but the Beamer ranks up there. So, I searched under an online picture database for his car. I pasted the pictures into a Craigslist ad and wrote the following:

Posting Title: 740iL silver BMW-great condition-basically stealing
Posting Description: I have to move to Europe in two days and can't take my baby, my car. It's in perfect condition, and to ensure that it sells in such a short amount of time I'm asking $10,000 OBO. I would never normally sell, but it doesn't make sense to ship it over. It's an automatic, has a sunroof, CD player, heated seats, automatic rotating side mirrors when you reverse... basically anything you could ever want. Please contact me as soon as possible. 
Contact information:

I posted all of his personal contact information. I wasn't so crass as to provide his name, but I did post his house telephone number, e-mail address, and work and cell phone numbers. I wasn't living at home at the time, but came to find out later that as I had posted it around 10:50pm, the house phone started ringing by 11pm. A couple calls were received that night, and a couple the next morning before my dad went to work. His work phone, cell phone, and e-mail all had been contacted. I didn't tell him until later I had done it and the reasoning behind it was a destroyed dream of a 16-year-old (completely exaggerating. As mentioned before, I found it highly amusing). 

*For the record, my parents did actually buy me a car. I was nineteen. They got me a white Jetta.

July 18th 4:22pm - Passat

When I turned sixteen my parents gave me the big white van to drive. I had been trying to get it stolen for years. I would leave the keys in the front window on the dashboard and the doors unlocked. Nobody ever took it. When we drove through Death Valley a couple years before on a road trip, the air conditioning broke. The temperature gauge in the van read one hundred and twenty-one. It remained on one hundred and twenty-one for two days. Without air conditioning. Having the front windows down (the middle and back windows weren't mobile) did not help. The sliding door broke years before that. Everyone who got in the van had to climb through the front doors. A piece of rope held the door closed for months until my dad got it fixed. The cloth seats bore remnants of the pen drawings Trent, Krista, and I illustrated on the many drives to Southern California. The ceiling had a burn mark in it from when Trent's friend Tyler lit his hair on fire while my mom drove them to the movies. Paint was missing off the front bumper from my mom pulling too far forward in the garage. My dad finally hung a tennis ball from the garage ceiling. Mom was supposed to stop when the ball rested on the windshield. She still ran into the staircase leading from the garage to the house ten times too many. To describe the van in one word, I would say rickety. And old. A big, old, rickety van we had had since I was in second grade.  

When I turned sixteen I was given the soccer-mom-mobile coupled with the promise that I would get a new car soon. I wanted a silver Jetta. While at my friend Kimmy's house one day my dad called and told me to get home immediately, he had a big surprise for me. I thought I had done enough nagging about getting a new car. I had put some good, solid effort into the get-Kara-a-new-car project. It must be a car. Only explanation. 

I pulled into the driveway a little while later to find a beautiful, sparkling clean silver Passat in the driveway. The largest red bow I had ever seen in my life sat on top of it. Dad and Krista were outside smiling. Trent videotaped. I got out of the van and started jumping up and down, shrieking my happiness in unintelligible sounds. Trent still videotaped. I eventually asked Dad for the keys. I wanted to drive. His response was, "Well... actually... you're not twenty-five." I questioned him. What does that mean? He revealed to me he had actually taken his car into the shop to get some things fixed on it and they had asked him if he had a preference for a rental car. A stroke of brilliance had illuminated upon his brain and he requested a Jetta. They had a Passat. It was decided a Passat was close enough. He had just happened to find an enormous bow in the closet at home, he remembered where the video camera was, and things had just fallen into place...

As a sixteen-year-old, one dreams about the car they want. It is imperative to one's happiness. I was absolutely depressed for about three minutes. Then I just found it highly amusing. We had a great laugh about it. And I vowed revenge!

July 17th 7:34pm - Don't Care

After the soapy episode I was in high-gear do-what-you-have-to-do-as-fast-as-humanly-possible mode. One major outcome arose: I had planned on taking the insanity infested (yet still so effective) MUNI, but was now forced to drive to the interview to ensure that I made it semi-close to on-time. I drove like a crazed madwoman, the entire drive praising the SFPD for having to worry about shootings and assaults instead of pyscho, nutty-eyed women trying to get to interviews on time. One trip around the block and even with my bad eyesight I was able to determine there were no parking structures in the immediate vicinity. So, I did what every San Franciscan does when there's only metered parking: I cursed the city and rifled through my wallet, purse, and every space in the car that might yield a nickel, dime, or quarter. Able to muster a hand-full of change, I yanked the car door open to an immediate angry outburst of a honk as a car swerved around my open door and sped off. Muttering unforgivable words under my breath, I myself got out, unsteady on the steep hill in my god-forsaken heels, hobbled to the meter, and threw my money in the slot. The meter read, "1 hour limit." "Well, that's just fabulous," I thought. Narrowly avoiding the oncoming traffic hurtling towards me, I managed to open the door again and sit in the car. I ransacked through the center consul and to my delight found a business card. On the back of it I wrote, "Mr. Meterman/Ms. Metermaid, I am terribly sorry but due to unforeseeable circumstances I am unfortunately parked here. I have put in an hour's worth of change and now have to go into an interview. I don't know how long the interview will last," and then I ran out of room. I procured another business card and continued, "but I just want you to know I tried and I am sorry. Please have some understanding in this dire situation and time of need." I put them on the dash in plain sight should a metermaid come along, grabbed my life, and managed to get to the interview without killing myself with three minutes to spare. Two and a half hours later, after a LOT of talking and interviewing with six people, I finally emerged. On my car I found a $50 parking ticket with the words, "Don't care."

July 16th 10:10pm - Dishwasher

I'm in the interview process. Apparently you don't just have one or two interviews with a company. As it turns out, it's much more complex and intense than I anticipated it to be. I've interviewed with six different people from one company, not to mention multiple round interviews with a couple of other companies.

So, I was running slightly late the other day. I had taken my time checking my e-mail, eating breakfast, sitting and staring at the wall thinking about nothing, putting my dishes away and starting the dishwasher... and then I looked at the clock. I was in my room. I jumped up from the chair I was lounging in, and I was in automatic, highly concentrated, do-everything-all-at-once mode. In a minute and a half I had dressed: black slacks (ironed down the front middle, of course), turquoise silky collared short-sleeved shirt, black suit jacket, and heels. No tights. I would never in my life normally wear heels (I have bad balance), but for first impression (or in this case, second impression) interviews I feel it is fashionably necessary. I'm not sure why. When the minute and a half had expired and I had located my purse and keys, I realized my phone was in the bathroom on the opposite side of the house. So, as I usually do when I'm in a hurry, I decided to run. I went clumsily, awkwardly, clumping, out the bedroom door, down the hallway, through the living room (avoiding tripping on the rug = great sign), and I could see the final destination in sight. The bathroom door. And that's when I fell. My feet slipped out from under me. I thought such scenes only happened in movies. First one foot, then the other. My arms went slow-motion-rotating behind my body trying to catch me. They didn't. I landed on the white tile floor and to my confusion, as I landed, small bubbles floated up around me a couple inches off the ground. I started laughing, that kind of hilarity sprung by outlandish occurrences. I sat up, slowly, my entire back soaked through, the suit jacket and shirt in a wet, soapy substance. As it turned out, I had put dishwashing liquid soap in the dishwasher, not dishwasher liquid soap.

July 15th 8:02pm - Me

Just to give you an idea of what I look like... (albeit there is admittedly a picture of me on the page):

Awhile ago one of my ex-boyfriend's older brothers told me at a bar, "You have no boobs, no butt... I think my boob muscles are bigger than your actual boobs... aside from great eyes and a great personality, you really don't have much going for you."

I laughed.

July 14th 5:37pm - Intentions

I intend to post stories, write about ridiculous excursions in America and abroad, write about things I find amusing, crazy thoughts I have, and hilarious things I hear. I plan to post a blog every day or two. This blog is meant to entertain!