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.

October 8th 9:20pm - The Intimidator

My two roommates and I graduated college and then skipped across the world to Thailand. We commenced our journey with Bangkok and worked our way north into Laos before returning to the capital and then south to the islands. Our voyage from Thailand to Laos (the Mekong River separates the countries) produced unrivaled entertainment. We stayed in a hotel in Chiang Mai (in Northern Thailand), and drove in a van for seven hours to the city of Chiang Rai with nine strangers. From Chiang Rai seventy-some foreigners traveled in a slow boat for two days, eight hours each day. It wasn’t until I returned to the States that I learned the slow boat was, in fact, a good investment.
The fast boat only took a few hours total, but apparently resulted in wind-stung travelers sitting, freezing, sometimes wet, watching their luggage and belongings float down the river, oftentimes in “fast” boats that would break down on the river until another boat happened along.
The first day on the slow boat passed relatively uneventful. I.e. we got drunk off Thai whiskey with Aussies and Kiwis, smoked ganja in the back with Israelis, and mingled with English and French.

The second morning we boarded the slow boat. And waited. The Thais had downgraded us to a smaller boat then the one we had had the previous day. While everyone had before had their own seat, now there were almost thirty people standing crowded in the front. We were docked next to the boat from the day before. The windows even lined up. Unrest rippled through the crowd. We muttered. People gestured. By-now-familiar-faces contorted and bodies shrugged. Someone geniusly started a (always-effective) chant in English: “Big-ger-boat! Big-ger-boat!” The yell spread. “Big-ger-boat!” Clapping hands, stamping feet, and thumping fists beat in time with the mantra. A massive, formidable bright blue ball emerged from the crowd in front and took her stand on a step. She grandly raised her fleshy arm in the air and announced, “Quiet please!” The roar died. She declared all occupants of the boat were going to take a Democratic vote. The Thais stood aside, bemused. The three of us considered each other with raised eyebrows. Last we checked Thailand wasn’t a democratic country. And these particular workers didn’t speak English. Her dark hair pulled back, her bright blue shirt tight against her flabby stomach and colossal bosom, she towered over everyone standing in the immediate vicinity. She bellowed, her Canadian voice harsh.
“This is ridiculous. We are not going to have thirty people standing in the front of the boat for eight hours. We either need a bigger boat or a second boat,” (this amid subdued cheers) “Everyone who wants a bigger boat, raise your hand.” A flurry of hands shot in the air. “And raise your hand if you want a second boat.” This was to an outbreak of encouraging yells. “And raise your hand if you want to just suck it up and be crammed on here for eight hours with everyone.” No response. She then addressed the non-bilingual Thais. “We are either going to need a bigger or second boat.” Because we were stationary on the water, the heat settled around us like a blanket. The chanting began again. “One-more-boat! One-more-boat! One-more-boat!” reverberated in my ears. Crazy Canadian wildly gesticulated. The Thais’ faces spoke confusion. The foreigners standing in front marched to the back.
And then there was a mass exodus. People snatched their bags from the rear where the workers had heaped them in a pile. They lifted them in the sky and flung them from the small boat onto the substantially larger one we had occupied the day before. Luggage soared through the air. Bodies and flailing limbs clambered through the windows. My friends and I dashed to the bigger boat. I joined the assembly line. So efficient we were. Those from Europe, Australia , and the Middle East stood side by side with North and South Americans heaving bags, souvenirs, and even a guitar or two into the designated luggage space.
End result of the mutiny: both the larger and smaller boats traveled to the next destination with the travelers split between them. And the snack bar ran out of beer.

October 7th 10:50pm - Parking Attendant

A few weeks ago I parked in the downtown parking garage on 5th and Mission. I scampered in to the mall to purchase a birthday present for a friend. Time constraints required I leave within twenty minutes to make it to dinner on time. I raced in, bodily shoving past people and hurdling over “Caution: Wet Floor” signs. Anyone who has ever shopped in downtown SF knows there is almost no physically possible way to park, enter the mall, locate a present, wait in line, purchase said present, and get back to car within twenty minutes. But by god I was going to try. Ultimately I was able to detect gift, buy gift, and dash back to car. Except that I couldn’t find car. I was absolutely no-doubt-in-my-mind-completely-positive it was on the third floor, but I guess I hadn’t noticed which end it was by or any sort of landmark. I waddled up one direction (inhibited by shopping bags, of course), desperately searching for the dirty white Jetta. My dirty white Jetta. Nowhere. I cut across to the other side and continued my frantic struggle with my completely useless vision and the slightly darkening night sky. I must have looked either dreadfully misplaced or frenetically mad. Or both. I may have had a crazy look in my eye and a grimace of concentration on my face. I really don’t know. I do know that as I shuffled around a corner a golf cart hurdled towards me, screeching to a halt five inches away from my sandaled feet. I screamed.
“Can’t find your car?” a man who appeared to be dressed in a Halloween parking attendant costume inquired.
“Well, no, actually, but...” I replied.
“Get in,” he said with a corresponding arm motion.
“Get in! The parking structure hired me to help people find their cars.”
“Jesus,” was my very intelligent reply. “So it’s not just me?”
As we flew in very intricate circular patterns around the parking garage in our golf cart, we determined that downtown San Francisco + large parking structure + speedy people (such as myself) = this man’s job. And we were okay with that.

*For the record: total time it took to find car upon entering the 3rd floor: thirty-three minutes. Thirty-two of which were spent on the 3rd floor. The thirty-third minute was on the 4th floor.

October 6th 8:15pm - Amusement on Phone

The 4 best text messages I presently have in my phone:
* Mormons have weddings on Sundays because they really don’t care about hangovers on Mondays.
* I found a tiny stray kitty in the ghetto right next to my school and brought it home. I named it David Hasselhoff. I now think it’s a girl.
* So I decided I’m really not cut out for the working world. I’m moving to South Africa and giving shark cage tours.
* (From an English friend): I’m feeling as rough as a badger’s bits. Dreadful. We’re still off to Berkeley after brekkie. How about a beer later? Bring a friend like a tricky little winger.
* My boss' wife's name is Sweetlana and his daughter's name is Aristotle

And a few picture messages:

The Clinton picture was from a few months ago. But still funny.

October 5th 12:25pm - July 3rd

It was July 3rd. It’s one (of many) family traditions to attend a firework show at a particular high school in the vicinity. I’m not talking little shoot-off-firecrackers-you-bought-on-the-side-of-the-road firework performance. I’m talking colossal explosions of brilliant colors dominating the night sky and decorating the brain. As is usual with such extravaganzas, we travel in numbers. Friends, families, and the bums off the street are welcome. It is, without fail, constant chaos. Gathering food, drinks, lawn chairs, blankets, night clothes, bodies, and getting all into cars to travel across town is always an experience. Ultimately the kids, i.e. anyone under the age of twenty, sit in the car while the adults run around like madmen attempting to congregate all ingredients necessary for the excursion that really just comprises sitting on a football field for four hours.
I was fourteen. I had ventured from the volatile car environment multiple times in efforts to get to the haven my room provided only to be yelled at, “We are leaving right this second, get back in the car!” every time. I complied every time. However, after forty minutes and patience had elapsed, an idea accosted my brain. I climbed over limbs, juice boxes, and elbows from the back of the van to the driver’s seat. I sat for a moment surveying the puzzle before me. There were inordinate amounts of buttons. The keys were in the ignition. I turned them. Nothing happened. I turned them more. The big white stalker van roared beneath me and the music blared. I concluded it would, in fact, be a smart decision to put the children-occupied car in reverse and turn it around. Just so the whole process of exiting the driveway went a bit faster. One of my friends lunged forward from the back seat. Her parent’s had already taught her. Push foot on brake. Check. Move stick thing by the left-hand side of the steering wheel. Check. Hit gas. Check. Except that just as I hit the gas my brother came walking toward the front of the vehicle. Except that instead of reversing, the car shot forward. He swears to this day I almost ran him over.

October 3rd 12:01pm - Rental House Kitchen Occurrence

When I was in 6th grade my parents bought a couple acres of land. I was ecstatic. I recall sprinting up and down, up and down, up and down the stairs while screaming. What then constituted an appropriate demonstration of happiness would at this point in my life qualify as a week’s work-out.
They sold the only house I could remember having lived in and began building on our plot of land a ten minute drive away. In the interim, instead of being homeless or living in the storage unit they rented indefinitely, we moved in next door to a friend of ours. He had been in my kindergarten class, and then my brother’s, if that gives you any idea how long we had known him. I’ve known him as long as I have been afflicted with conscious thought, as far as I’m concerned. We packed up our lives, deposited most of it in boxes, and moved the remainder (what we simply couldn’t live without) into our considerably smaller temporary family headquarters.
The neighbor would climb onto the roof and into my bedroom. I would stir from my peaceful slumber to the ruckus one inevitably makes when climbing through another’s bedroom. When he did find success in noiselessly slinking through my window, I would soon after jolt alert to stuffed animals being caressed across my face.
One afternoon I resolved to make myself lunch. Directly reflecting my amazing proficiency in the kitchen, I actually had options. I could either assemble salad out of a bag, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or pasta noodles with butter and salt. I opted for the noodles. The water tumbled from the tap into the pot. I threw in some noodles and turned the stove on high. My vast experience advised me it would take approximately fifteen minutes until my feast would be soft enough to digest. I sat at the kitchen table.
I felt heat reflecting on my face. I smiled, close-lipped, relaxed. It was a nice feeling. Then I realized my eyes were closed. I had fallen asleep for conceivably a long time. My eyes shot open to reveal flames licking their way from the pot upward, climbing the refrigerator toward the ceiling. I sighed. And walked outside. My brother and our neighbor were playing basketball on the hoop in the cul-de-sac. I sauntered over.
“Hey boys,” I quasi-yelled. “There’s a fire in the kitchen. Can you help me put it out?”
My brother instantly caught the ball and turned to look at me, the ball clutched in his hands.
“What?” he asked.
“I’m serious,” I replied. “There’s a fire in the kitchen.”
The boys barreled to the front door and into the house. I followed closely behind. I entered the kitchen and filled a tall glass with water. The flames were contained within their initial location in the pot. The boys stood a short distance away, watching. I advanced five steps and did the only logical thing to do when there is a fire: I flung my glass of water on the blaze. Instantly sparks erupted, the inferno exploded, and the three of us hurdled backwards.
“It’s a gas fire!” the neighbor screamed. “DO NOT throw water on it! We need baking soda. NOW.”
I opened a cupboard, grabbed the baking soda, and shoved it in his outstretched hand. He poured massive amounts of white powder on the pot. As the powder consumed the flames the fire alarm went off and reverberated in our ears. Our neighbor lugged a chair beneath the smoke detector, climbed up, and demanded my shirt to wrap around the device. Without considering the logic in this, I ripped off my shirt and tossed it at his head. He caught it and smothered the detector in it. It couldn’t read the existence of any smoke. It occurred to me only after the alarm had ceased that my shirt really wasn’t a vital element in the incident.

October 2nd 5:30pm - Biden/Palin Debate Tonight

Tips on how each candidate can "win" tonight's debate.
Either VP hopeful can accomplish this by avoiding mention of certain aspects...

* Do not mention Alaska, "the Last Frontier." It is one hundred years behind the rest of the country.
* Attempt to not bring up the fact that you have a gun in your car's glove compartment.
* Do try not to discuss any topic where the phrase "foreign policy" is even somewhat related.
* Don't talk about how strongly you oppose pre-marital sex. Your unmarried pregnant 17-year-old daughter is...
* Veer strongly away from any mention of beauty pageants and beauty queens.
* Five kids, is it? And you think you can juggle vice presidency and family life? My parents could barely do it with three kids!
* Avoid mentioning McCain is old and thus more likely to die

* Avoid mentioning you are old and therefore more likely to die

October 1st 9:40pm - Instructions on Pranks

Section 3:
Result: School Officials are Livid, but Can’t Punish Anyone (because they don't know who the culprit was)

Title: Cement...
Victim: Any and all school officials/admins... aka the janitors

1. Procure cement. This can be acquired at any hardware store.
2. Obtain the help of men (If you are a male, force your friends to assist you). This
is hard for girls to do alone... ok. Not hard. But slightly more difficult. So, ya, hard.
3. Determine what, exactly, you want to cement. And where.
4. I've seen plastic-coated picnic tables and benches from the quad cemented to the walls of the library. I've seen a toilet cemented to our senior steps compliments of our rival high school (thanks a lot boys - it just had to have our mascot's helmet in it). I've seen plastic trash cans cemented to the exterior walls of the basketball gym. I've seen coins cemented to the concrete ground. I've seen girls underwear and bras cemented to the principal's door. You take your pick.
5. Do it and do it well.
7. After the accomplishment, do not brag about it to your friends. Someone in power will find out and you will be punished. So don't talk about it.
8. Gloat in the glory of doing something genius. I leave it to you...

Potential Outcome: Expulsion. Lectures. Sent to dark place that is the Principal's Office. Parents crying. Parents' disappointment. Detention. Saturday School (do they do that anymore?). Whipped/slapped/verbally and physically abused (in places like New Orleans where they allegedly have such forms of punishment that are corporeal. I did think that was illegal. Until this last summer). Force-fed worms. Punished into remaining home. Sleeping. Delinquent class. Delinquent school.

Title: Animals on the Loose
Victim: Anyone attending the school... adult or student

1. Look on Craigslist for free animals. There are other places to explore, not just Craigslist. However, somehow manage to capture - or buy - at least twenty relatively small, mindless animals that wander in circles. My favorite: chickens.
2. Either call in sick to school (if in high school), or conspire with a friend who goes to another school or has a free period after lunch. If in college, this amazing feat can be accomplished at any time.
3. There are various locations at which said relatively small, mindless animals can be released. The quad is always a fun place. Hallways are amusing. Releasing them on tracks during track practice suddenly becomes dodge-the-animal-laugh-and-run in place instead of lets-see-how-far-and-how-fast-you-can-run. Streets are not a desirable or suggested location.
4. After the accomplishment, do not brag about it to your friends. Someone in power will find out and you will be punished. So don't talk about it.
5. Gloat in the glory of doing something genius. I leave it to you...

Potential Outcome: Expulsion. Lectures. Sent to dark place that is the Principal's Office. Parents crying. Parents' disappointment. Detention. Saturday School. Whipped/slapped/verbally and physically abused to encourage you to obey the rules. Punished into remaining home. Sleeping. Delinquent class. Delinquent school.

Title: A LOT of Soapy Secrecy
Victim: Anybody in School... aka, once again, janitors (For the record, I myself appreciate janitors. And you should too! But some of these are too good to pass up).

1. Go to store (Suggestion: Costco).
2. Buy massive quantities of dish washing or clothes washer liquid.
3. Buy massive amounts of dye (suggested, but not necessary).
4. Carefully select a running-water fountain on campus.
* Sidenote: running-water fountain can be anywhere. No requirements on being at a school's campus.
5. Sneak to fountain at night. Preferably at night.
6. Avoid night guards.
7. Pour in liquid (and dye, if desired). All of the liquid.
8. Watch as the liquid gets processed and bubbles (or colored bubbles) get multiplied and flow into and through the fountain.
9. Run away.
10. After the accomplishment, do not brag about it to your friends. Someone in power will find out and you will be punished. So don't talk about it.
11. Gloat in the glory of doing something genius. I leave it to you...
* Disclaimer: this may, in fact, actually ruin the fountain in question. Thus, it may not be wise to do it on your own campus, but on a rival's...

Potential Outcome: Expulsion. Lectures. Sent to dark place that is the Principal's Office. Parents crying. Parents' disappointment. Detention. Punished into remaining home. Sleeping. Delinquent class.

Title: Rivalry
Victim: Rival School

1. Steal mascot/some object of significant emotional attachment.
2. Enough said.

Good luck on your quest(s).