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the end of the unemployment period

July 7, 2010

Today I started my new position at Wired magazine, which I am excited and happy about.  Now, I must look fondly back on my 2 month period of unemployment.  Although in reality it wasn’t what I thought it might have been.  Turns out it is difficult to write a book.

The very tricky thing about working and not working is that when you have a job you have money but no time and when you don’t have a job you have time but no money.  So the time when you could have gone somewhere you can’t, and the time when you couldn’t have gone somewhere you can.  This of course is not a good argument for why you couldn’t write a book during an unemployment period.  But the last two months were not generally a good argument for joblessness in any sense.

I spent what seemed like most of my time sitting in bed staring out my window.  I have this great room in the Lower Haight, and I could look out to Twin Peaks, and watch the weather change, which was comforting in the regular immutable sense.  I was reading a lot of Bukowski and kept wanting to take up drinking more seriously, perhaps in a graduate program or on the dusty road to Baja.

Sometimes, I would get excited and read O magazine, which I was also reading a lot of because basically the whole theme of this publication seems to be inspiration.  O said I should make a vision board so that my dreams would come true (because you need to be subconsciously reminded that you want to go to Africa so that when someone invites to pay for you to go to Africa you will do it, because you already know it’s your dream).

I ended up thinking a lot about making the board, but I don’t like clutter so I didn’t.  And now I’m at Wired so to hell with the vision board, and Bukowski for that matter.  I need my wits about me.

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3/4 length black spandex capris

June 28, 2010

The other day I was in this kind of posh spa thing in Pac Heights, and I usually just drop in and announce loudly that I am a REVIEWER from Citysearch and I am here to REVIEW.  People typically could care less when I say something like this and kind of look at me and smile and then go back to their business, which is fine.  But at this place I had apparently made this announcement to the owner.   Of course I had no idea that she was the owner, because honestly she looked like she had just rolled out of bed at 6am to go to the gym but had missed and ended up at work at 1 in the afternoon: her hair was all mussed and in one of those high ponytails that looks like a fountain, and she was wearing a black warm-up suit with the vertical white stripes running all the way up the sides of both the pants and the jacket so you’re kind of not sure if it’s a jumpsuit or separates or what.

Why do women get so dressed up at night and literally not give a shit about what they look like during the day, when it’s LIGHT out.  Judging by our daytime outfits (black ¾ length spandex capris) we are always either going to or coming from the gym.  Do we do anything else?  Yes, but we don’t want you to know what it is, and when we are in our gym clothes we are invisible like Harry Potter!

Men are totally taken in by this too.  They’ll spend the whole night staring meaningfully into your eyes, take you home, and then the next morning will look at you in astonishment when you bounce out of bed already in your black 3/4 spandex capris, like, “How did you have time to be going to or coming from the gym already?” What they don’t know is that we wear those underneath our clothes AT ALL TIMES, because we just never know when it is going to be daytime and we are going to need to put them on.

all the other girls here are stars you are the northern lights

June 25, 2010

I made my 4th trip to the Fillmore last night, this time to see Josh Ritter.  Now I like Josh Ritter, and not least because he plays that kind of pretty, twangy, up-tempo then down tempo music that reminds me of Montana.  Like Patagonia or Antarctica, Montana is one of those inspiring places where the vistas outnumber the people, and things seem possible and like they might even definitely turn out in some simple but good way, and even if they don’t they would because you’d be the kind of person who likes ambiguity with your vistas.  Now, San Francisco itself is a city characterized by surprising views, like when your fully grounded walking up Fillmore and suddenly it drops off the side of the world at Bay and you’re staring down at the Marina and the water beyond and on and on and on, and you think to yourself, “Oh there it is.  Eternity.  It is the sea matched with the sun.”  Like literally you find yourself quoting Rimbaud right there, and for a minute you get the happiness shimmer in your chest, like the tilt-a-whirl or a whip-it in the park on a sunny afternoon.  It’s that Montana feeling again.  It’s an almost subconscious realization that what you think is true might be wrong, but the real truth might be good, if totally outside the parameters you were imagining.  It is very difficult to imagine anything truthfully, which is why you should never daydream about approaching vacations.

Josh Ritter gives good Montana feeling.  Especially, Josh Ritter at the Fillmore, a place already so magical, it can’t really be overstated: the huge lightless chandeliers, the framed show posters and concert photos covering the walls, the barrel of apples in the foyer.  And Josh Ritter knew all this, you could tell.  I don’t know if he’s played the Fillmore before, but the point is if he had you never knew it.  He never stopped smiling, so much so that I started to think it was some kind of nervous twitch, like this librarian I had once who always had what can only be described as a toothy grimace on her face.  But I don’t think that was the case last night.  I think he may have been smiling because he knew he was about to stun the crowd by calling Joan Baez onto the stage to sing with him, and then read Poe’s Annabelle Lee to a rapt audience.  Surprising vistas indeed.

you think you’re something else

June 17, 2010

It’s pretty freaking hard to please your parents these days.  It’s like going to college probably used to make these people happy, but now it’s such a foregone fact that you will go, that there’s even some backlash against these bloated behemoths of higher learning.  It’s like, you got into a bunch of pretty good schools, not Harvard but not Central Washington University either, and then your parents get mad at you for not even considering community college.  I mean wasn’t there a time when parents were proud that their kids got into a 4-year institution, but now they’re just like, “Well you could get all those credits at Shoreline CC.”  It seems like everyone is just setting us up to succeed especially with these messages like, “You can do anything you want,” “You look like Katy Perry,” “Your life will be special and filled with success, and I don’t see years of admin assistant roles in your future!”  Parents don’t even get excited anymore about their progeny getting a job, or a scholarship or a Nobel Prize, and will hardly even look up from their Facebook page as they mumble, “We always told you you were special.”

No one ever triumphed over encouragement.

let’s circle back on that

June 14, 2010

Lately, when I’m walking somewhere alone at night, and I get a little nervous, I’ve taken to walking really fast and glancing at my watch a lot.  Like for some reason I think that if a rapist looks at me and sees that I’m in a hurry and have a lot of things on my mind he won’t attack me, like, “Oh she’s busy.  She’s counting something on her fingers.  I’m not gonna bother her right now.  Maybe later when she’s got a sec.”

me, you, and the end of the world.

June 3, 2010

I was dreaming about the end of the world again.  Actually scary dreams, but when I woke up in the morning I was at a loss as to what could be so scary about hiding on top of a candy machine with Chloe, Liz, and some guy from high school who I haven’t seen in years.  Chloe thought we should let the guy hide with us, because he had helped put the air mattress on top, and I kind of agreed, but thought his presence would probably mean that “they” would find us.  Liz was adamant that he would not come up.  She was the kind of person, at least in my dreams, who probably survives the end of the world, while the rest of us are sitting there wondering if it’s rude not to let Brett Perkins sit on our air mattress.

There is such a big difference between that and this.

tonight we’re gonna party like it’s monday

June 1, 2010

Tuesday Morning 1 a.m. –

So there I was sleeping.  My bedroom is on the street, which is not as literal as it sounds, but does mean that my large windows face the street, and across the street is another apartment building, and I’m sure you’re now getting a picture of what this looks like: San Francisco.  So there I was fast asleep when I woke up to the pulsing beat of what is that?  Madonna?  It’s like so loud that it’s not even funny, and I know that because I wasn’t laughing.  So I lay there for a minute like what is that sound?  Is that a car alarm, as though maybe while I was asleep people have begun programming their car alarms like they are ringtones.  I get out of bed finally, after laying there for five minutes, weighing the pros and cons of standing up vs. death to neighbors or self.  I peek through the blinds, and lo and behold it is the LOUD NEIGHBORS.  I am looking directly into what can only be described as College Graduates Move Out of First Apartment and Come Back at 1 a.m. on the 31st to Clean It!  There must have been 8 people in the furniture-less living room like swinging cleaning rags around their heads, and dancing DANCING to like the Kid Cudi, Conan O’Brien remix of Empire State of Mind.  Not only were the windows wide open allowing these sounds to blare out into the misty night, but and this is what really got me, they kept changing the song, like, “I’m not sure if I want to sweep to this version of Poker Face, let’s try something else.”   This went on for the next hour or so.  Song, New Song, Rihanna, Swing a Towel Around My Head, etc.  I contemplated calling the police, but thought they probably had other stuff going on, and wished there was some like law enforcement middle man, a step above a civilian a step below an officer.  Kind of like a metermaid only for noise, “I’m sorry you can only play that song during business hours.  Thank you and good night.”