Word Cookie

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Shopping for Diversions

Tonight I went to the grocery store. If that's not the most enthralling sentence that will ever grace this fair blog, then I just don't know. I went to, of course, buy something for my dinner, but also to distract my sad little lonely heart with an activity and a lavish meal (see time spent in ice cream aisle, then frantic move to produce aisle in fear of "single girl alone with her ice cream tub" syndrome).

So, while I was at the store, a few funny things happened. One, while I was in the cookie aisle (this was before making my way to the ice cream) I noticed a guy in a jogging outfit carefully putting bag after bag of Pepperidge Farm Milanos into his cart. He must have had 5 packages in there--oh yeah, All Varieties. What could I feel for this man but admiration? I've always believed that the Only good reason to exercise is to increase the percentage of junk food your body can absorb before it starts storing fat to pad you through the apocalypse or your favorite sitcom marathon--whichever comes first. Way to go, Jogger Man, for wearing this ideal proudly on your nylon short-shorts. And good thinking getting the elastic waistband.

Secondly, I had to admire Jogger Man's nerve. I'm always way too self-conscious to ever let myself veer into the waters of the openly ironic. Openly ironic being anything that I can imagine a chubby, 8th grade bully teasing me for doing. Example: I hate wearing clothes I bought at a store back to that same store--even if its months later. Or the day I realized I had coordinated my handbag with cats on it (meant only in retro sense) with my shirt with cats on it (meant only in a retro sense) and was forwarding a cat-themed email to a friend. While petting my 17 cats. Point being: I feel my attire places certain boundaries on my behavior. I fold like a cheap deck of cards to imaginary expectations. This is clearly not an issue for Jogger Man. He bounds through boundaries...puns...etc.

While all this hilarity was going on, I have to say I was enjoying a pretty snazzy soundtrack. Cher, REO Speedwagon--if I had memories of doing lines of coke off mirrors, or killing a 24-pack with my frat bros, these songs would tug at the old ticker. Me being young, innocent, and all, nostalgia wafted down to me in the form of Madonna's Vogue. What a song! Pure greatness. But, something about hearing:

"Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don't just stand there, let's get to it
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it

Vogue, vogue"

...while squeezing fuji apples for bruises just doesn't make you feel all sexy and fun. "You're a superstar, yes, that's what you are, you know it." This fancy guy next to me was having a hell of a time controlling his four blonde monster-children as they ran around the fruit screaming and tearing up the plastic bags. He had the weariest, "How did I get here?" look, and I thought, Oh, buddy, I bet you miss those lines of coke.

So, what about the rest of the story? This blog post is about all of, maybe, 90 seconds out of my night, after all. Reader, I went back home, made my little dinner, and enjoyed the time to myself. Somehow, being afraid of spending another night with myself in my apartment is always way worse than the actual reality. I usually end up having fun and feeling pretty good. Insert pithy insight into perception vs. reality, and loving our own damn lives.

While I really don't want to make a habit of bemoaning the single life while also propping up my fabulous self-contained girlhood, I feel it necessary to wring that meaning out of at least this one entry. Because it can be easy to forget, because a lot of people try to convince us otherwise, because I haven't developed the power to control the future, and because I don't want to make a malady out of a good thing in the hopes of an imaginary remedy. So, in short--C'mon girls, there's nothing to it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

One week down...one to go.

A hollowness in my heart, no spring in my step, and a hateful resentment towards my empty sofa...what can all of this mean? The Colbert Report is still on hiatus--for one more sad, sad week. What will I do? Reruns. But, what will I do on the larger, metaphysical scale without the preternaturally handsome wisecracks of Stephen Colbert?

One option: take comfort in the Viva Colbert posters popping up around the Mission. Sadly, the one on my way to work has been covered by graffiti and posters with missiles or something on them (back to relying on visual interest of the Dona Tere taco truck/guy peeing behind it). Happily, I was able to snap the above picture with my cellphone before it vanished. But apparently the Colbert campaign is still going up elsewhere.

Nice work, anonymous wheatpaste elves! This is one of the few Good times where street art has had relevance my life. Another current Mission graffiti campaign are these delicate stencils of eerie sayings like, "Your love is all I've waited for," or "I live for your smile." These little melancholy love notes are seeping into my heart, despite my best efforts to write them off to another stupid hipster attention-grab. Here are photos of two and my feet:

I think there is something about seeing them there on the street when you least expect it--such bald and needy mush surrounded by a million nasty stains and trash and people leering and scurrying around--that bypasses all your city defenses and makes it way into your thoughts. But I have the sneaking suspicion that these little pearls of sentiment are secretly lyrics from 80's love ballads..I'm holding out to see "Everything I do, I do it for you" stencilled in front of El Metate.

Yet, for now, all I can do is wait until Stephen Colbert and his twinkly eyes return to enliven the Monday through Thursday, 11:30 to 12:00 timespot in my heart...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

All sorts of metaphors...mostly funny ones five times their size.

Lovesick swan falls in love with swan paddle boat

Fri May 26, 3:16 PM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - A swan has fallen in love with a plastic swan-shaped paddle boat on a pond in the German town of Muenster and has spent the past three weeks flirting with the vessel five times its size, a sailing instructor said Friday.

Peter Overschmidt, who operates a sailing school and rents the two-seat paddle boat on the Aasee pond, said the black swan with a bright red beak has not left the white swan boat's side since it flew in one day in early May.

"It seems like he's fallen in love," said Overschmidt. "He protects it, sits next to it all the time and chases away any sail boats that get anywhere nearby. He thinks the boat is a strong and attractive swan."

Overschmidt said the swan will figure it out sooner or later but hopes he won't be too heartbroken.

"I'll wish him all the best and hope that he doesn't make the same mistake again," said Overschmidt."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hard-earned Nostalgia & Radio Wisdom

So, I'm trying to get this blog rollin' and I think for this first meaty post, I'll just go with quantity over quality. Just to break the ice. I plan to write about pretty much whatever topic I want, and you can rest assured that most of the time that topic will be me. So, I thought I'd transcribe some of the less incriminating entries from my inferior paper journal. Here goes:


...Oh geez. This coffee shop in the Mission--World's Most Sincere Place Ever. Adorable, short and shapely woman with big poofy hair, nerd glasses, and black lip liner traced carefully around her mouth, with little vertical lines drawn over her lips...like how little kids draw that grid of teeth, but on the outside of her face. And I thought--Impressive how she gets it to line up like that! And not smudge. She was drinking through a straw, though. Small price to pay.

Anyway, she carefully explained the reason for the cost and the pure, herbal nature of the tea, and made such a slow, loving chai. Her companion was this younger, lanky greasy-haired guy on an acoustic guitar, strumming aimless, melodic pleasantries, wandering some Tolkienesque world where the progressions never end! Then, later strummed out some Dylan and Jeff Buckley songs. I though I heard him starting T. Rex, and lost my train of thought completely talking to my friend. And I think he had an original number, too. Heard him say to the girl, "this is about a serial killer," and give a line to her enthusiastic, "Yeah, man" nodding. And she was again so sincere, so nice. It made me wonder if people like that ever just snap and lose it, like in traffic or long lines, and there goes that dippy smile? But I guess that's what Republicans are for.


Additional thoughts from yesterday: with woman in cafe--I liked that there was something that meant enough to her to do her lipstick like that---whatever it was. It was good to be around. And on the way back to Oakland, caught in heinous winds on the Bay Bridge...the windows rattled on my car and I wondered if I was going to just pop right off the road and flip into the ocean. To take my mind off it, I was listening to some debate about the future of neuroscience on NPR. And a woman said, "So, the meaning of life is..." right as I went into the tunnel and got static! I could just make out "individual human expression" or "the expression of our individual experiences" and some references to Brave New World and 1984 (always a dramatic way to make your point), and left the tunnel just in time for, "And so, there." Funny.


First affirmation: I came up with an unclaimed title for this blog!
Next stop: Literary Genius.