Archive for April, 2002

Apr 30 2002

Wedding Day

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Congratulations to Candi and Brian, who are getting married today! Wishing you both a beautiful, joyful wedding day and a lifetime of love and happiness!

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Apr 29 2002

I’m back

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I didn’t get picked for jury duty! Yay! But the system is as mysterious to me as ever. On Friday, there we all were in the waiting pen, and there was an announcement that there was one case scheduled for that day. So they’d let us know as soon as the judge and lawyers were ready for us. Then they warned us that if jury selection could not be completed today, we’d have to come back on Monday to finish it. Two hours later, there was another announcement saying that they wouldn’t be ready to see us that day, so thank you and you’re done for a year.

My question is: what were they doing for those two hours and why weren’t they ready for us? It seems to me that whatever they had to talk about or arrange should have done before coralling us in the pen. Maybe Becky can enlighten us?

At least I’m done for a year or more.

But our iMac is still swooning, so instead of being incommunicado (incommunicada?) during the working day, I’m incommunicado/a after work, when real life begins, which is even more annoying.

And to cap off the annoyance, we haven’t been able to get the repair guys to pick it up and start repairing it. John dropped by their store on Friday with the receipts showing that they had repaired it two months ago to the day, and telling them that it now had the very same problem (black screen, but everything else working fine). They said they’d call about having someone pick it up on Saturday.

John called them three times on Saturday, and nothing. Then we got a call on Sunday afternoon, the purpose of which seemed to be to confirm that there was something wrong with the computer, but not to set up a time to pick it up or anything. So John’s going to call again today.

You would think they’d be kissing our asses and apologizing for doing such a lame job in the first place, but nothing. Unbelievable.

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Apr 26 2002

Love/Hate: Cary Grant

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It’s not even 7 am yet, and the day is already a total pain in the ass, even if it is Friday.

I have jury duty at 1:30 this afternoon, so I will almost certainly be there until 5:00. Following that, I’m having dinner with my aunt, the undisputed queen of the insult lightly veiled as a compliment, though it can be entertaining to observe this art form if I’m in the right state of mind, but I’m not.

I am convinced that I’ll be chosen for a jury at the 11th hour and it will be a Beowulf of a trial: long, boring, and a requirement. I am further convinced that I will have to keep up the manic pace of this week, getting to work at 6 am and working as long as I can before heading off to Skankville for jury duty. However, my bosses appear to think that I am going to sit on a beach and am slacking. Hmmm.

This morning, we discovered our iMac was in a coma, despite having had an extended and expensive hospital stay exactly two months ago. So no e-mails and no blogging for me until it revives, if it does.

Then, just before we left the house, we couldn’t find Hannah. Our routine is to give the cats treats before we leave for work, so they are busy eating and don’t give us the “How could you?” faces. I can never make them understand that we have to go to work to keep them in food and litter.

Anyway, we couldn’t find Hannah and spent about 15 minutes looking for her. Then she magically appeared from her mystery hiding place as if she’d been there all the time. So then we were late, and the whole day is going to be a rush of annoyances leading to the ultimate annoyances of jury duty and passive-aggressive dinner. Bleah.

But here’s the love/hate for the week. See y’all Monday (I hope)!

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Apr 24 2002

Time or money

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The ways of government bureaucracy are truly mysterious. After a hard day of sitting on my ass in defense of the justice system (I still haven’t gotten out of what my brother calls “the waiting pen” at the courthouse, and am beginning to take it personally, especially since I am really better accessorized than most of what are supposed to be my peers), I found my new driver’s license in the mail.

Though pleased to get it, since it expires, as I hope I do not, on my birthday about 5 weeks hence, and to note that I am now lighter than advertised, I am also surprised that they sent it at all. I’m still battling with them over that ticket I paid over 2 years ago and which they claim I haven’t paid at all, yet they continue to renew my license and my registration. You’d think that they would refuse to do either of those things until I paid up, but as I have learned in the few short years I have been dealing with the DMV, logic does not apply.

At this point, I’m seriously considering just paying the $57. Although the powers that be feel that a juror’s time is worth about $10 a day, I think I’m worth more than $57 a day. So rather than take a day off, go to the DMV, wait in line interminably and try to explain it to someone who barely speaks English and doesn’t give a crap (a lethal combo in a government employee), I’d really rather pay the $57.

Though that does mean giving in to the system, and probably doing exactly what they want. Not to mention giving in to one of my myriad character flaws, which is that I’d rather give money than time in most cases. In fact, I’d probably pay not to go have jury duty. There’s a whole new money-making scheme for the powers that be.

I’ll have plenty of time to contemplate the pros and cons of the moral cave while sitting in the pen. And it will be good practice if I ever do get on a jury.

4 responses so far

Apr 23 2002

Day One

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The courthouse was further from my office than I thought. It took me half an hour to walk there, and I walk pretty fast. Good thing, because it is in a skanky, skanky neighborhood where a girl feels a little nervous walking by herself. I was positively relieved to get in the building, with a passing thought of gratitude that I was not, as others were, ascending the steps in handcuffs, or taking the elevator whose sole purpose is to ferry people in and out of the county jail, which I guess is in the same building.

Maybe boredom isn’t so bad after all (especially when I consider the kind of things that go on in Oz).

So it was essentially a wasted day. Hung around in the big room with nothing to do other than read and ponder the human condition. Spent the lunch break on the steps returning phone calls. Back in the room for another hour, sent home. Called after 6:00 last night to learn that I’m due back there at 11 this morning which at least gives me a couple of hours to get some work done. Stay tuned.

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Apr 22 2002

Jury duty

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I have jury duty all week. I wonder if it would be less horrifying if they could come up with something less obligation-sounding than “duty”. “Service” is just as bad, and possibly worse. Maybe even French fails to make this one sound like a good idea.

If the last time I served is any indication of what to expect this time, I won’t be able to post much, since I’ll be in a big room with no internet access all day and by the time I get home I’ll be on my last nerve.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if they had a case on hand and we got called into the courtroom to be potential jurors. Let’s say you have 10 cases going before the court today. Call 300 or 400 people, examine them and pick your juries. But the way it seems to work is you wait and wait endlessly in a big room with nothing to do but read, despair, and be appalled by your fellow human beings for up to 8 hours. It’s like waiting for a flight that never leaves, only without the bars and duty free shopping.

Since boredom is my biggest fear after Death, I’m dreading this week.

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Apr 21 2002

Miranda

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Just back from spending the day with our friend Carrie and her daughter Miranda. Miranda was an unwitting guest at our Thanksgiving dinner (she was still having the finishing touches applied before being born on January 3), but I hadn’t seen her in real life before today.

Miranda is the kind of baby who makes people have more than one kid, or have one in the first place. She has big, angelic blue eyes and seems to be completely happy with the entire world. The only noises she made the whole time I was there were giggling and cooing. She smiles a lot.

So Carrie and I were able to have hours of sitting peacefully in her backyard chatting. Carrie lives in Oakland, and in her backyard there are lemon trees, grapefruit trees, and palm trees. There were hummingbirds, butterflies, and dragonflies. Jasmine was blooming. Maybe all this was keeping Miranda entertained.

Carrie shares a beautiful house with three or four roommates, though the house has been sold and they all have to move in about six weeks. It’s a Craftsman house, built around 1910 or a little earlier. It is huge (7 bedrooms), with lots of fireplaces, porches, original copper light fixtures and original tilework, etc. It’s gorgeous, and charming. I have to admit that I felt much more envy for the house than the baby. Which is probably why I have a mortgage and four cats, instead of four roommates and a baby, however beguiling.

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Apr 20 2002

First anniversary

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It’s the first anniversary (birthday?) of my blog today. You can blame the inimitable Candi, of the late, lamented Spitfire!, who thought it would be a good idea to unleash my trivialities upon an unsuspecting world, and even hosted me for the first few months. Thanks, girl! You are the bestest.

Those of you who have been following my adventures on and off my blog know that 2001 was the worst year of my life. Almost exactly a year ago, my 70 year old mother, in poor health after battling breast cancer, was abandoned by her second husband. He is half her age and a Marine. So when he abandoned her, he also abandoned the US government. Unlike the US government, however, my mother is now penniless and subsisting on welfare.

In August, my beloved father, who was also one of my closest friends, my true companion and confidant, died suddenly in his native London. This was a staggering blow to our entire family, and we are all still struggling with the magnitude of our loss.

And to round off the year, on the Monday of Thanksgiving week, John was laid off after almost 10 years in the same firm.

But good things have come from these tragedies. We have survived them all. I have been comforted, supported, and loved through all this not only by my family, but my friends (you know who you are) and my father’s friends. I have grown closer to my older sister and my mother. John is happier doing a contract job than he was at his old job. The cats are healthy and happy. John and I still have each other. And I am so very lucky to have so many people who care about me.

Borrowing an idea from the fabulous Becky, who earlier this week celebrated two years of entertaining and enlightening the public, here are some of my favorite entries from my past year. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Sunday Morning

Paris Paradox

En Route

Nearly New Monet

Linguistic Annoyances

Memorial Day

Cleo vs. the Pigeons

Marilyn’s Birthday

Father’s Day

Seen & Heard

Peaches

Beaujolais Nouveau

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Apr 19 2002

Love/Hate: Travelling Light

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Love/Hate for Friday, April 19, 2002

Travelling Light

I think that women carrying around tons of stuff in their handbags is a myth. So is the notion of men waiting around for women to get ready — at least at our house. I travel light. I have often gone to Europe for three weeks with one carry-on bag, which in turn means not having to wait up to an hour at baggage claim, surely the longest part of any trip. So while those poor souls are gazing anxiously at the baggage carrousel, I’m already halfway to where I’m going, vacation started.

All you have to do is bring three or four mix and match outfits you really like and wash things while you’re on the road. I usually wear my nicest (or heaviest to carry) outfit on the plane because airline staff tend to be nicer to you if you look like you belong in Business or First, even if travelling coach. One of the advantages of being a girl is that we are allowed a handbag as well as the carry-on bag. So bring a really big one and have your make-up, jewelry, etc. in there, along with tickets and entertainment (books, magazines, minidisc player). I never bring extra pairs of shoes, just the ones I’m wearing, and roll all the clothes as tight as I can to get them in a case that’s carry-on size. Then have them pressed at your hotel once you get where you’re going. If you buy too much stuff while you’re away, mail it home. You won’t have to carry it and when it arrives it will be almost as good as a present.

I also get ready fast in the mornings, whether at home or abroad. I am always waiting for John before we can leave for work in the morning, and put in contact lenses and do my face and hair before he’s dressed, which is one of life’s enduring mysteries to me. What takes him so long?

And what the hell is he carrying around with him? Here is the entire contents of my handbag today:

1. Wallet
2. Address book
3. Sunglasses
4. Keys
5. Minidisc player
6. Today’s shade of lipstick in case touch-ups are needed.

That’s it. Basically, I only bring things that I’m going to use that day. Compare it with the mammoth list compiled by John. I hate carrying around tons of junk I’m not going to use. What’s the point? Travel light, move fast!

2 responses so far

Apr 18 2002

Earthquake

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96 years ago, the buildings I live and work in hadn’t been built yet. On this day in 1906, the city was awakened at 5:12 a.m. by an earthquake that measured 8.25 on the modern Richter scale (compared to 6.70 for the 1989 quake). Three thousand people were killed, 225,000 were injured, and most of the city burned. Though the quake itself lasted only a minute, it is still considered one of the worst natural disasters of our time.

Here’s how the Financial District, where I work, looked after the quake.
I would have been a little luckier in where I live: the great mansions on my street, particularly the Haas-Lilienthal House, three blocks away, survived. Legend has it that the H-L house’s inhabitants stood on their balcony and watched the city burn. The house preserves a crack in the wall from that disastrous Spring day almost a century ago.

People who don’t live here often ask how we can, when there have been the two “Big Ones” in the past 100 years, countless little ones, and more to come. I wonder the same thing about people who live in places that are routinely flooded, or destroyed by hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards. I guess the answer is that you live with the natural disaster you can handle.

I don’t worry every day about the big quake that is supposed to send California back into the ocean from whence it came, though I know there’s the possibility. We keep a good supply of bottled water, candles, canned food on hand at home, and have a plan for what to do if it strikes while we’re at work.

So while we know it could happen, it’s at the back of our minds, not the front. For us, it’s worth the small risk to live in such a beautiful, temperate, tolerant place, where 96 years later, it looks like this at the dawn of a new Spring day.

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Apr 16 2002

Country living

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I love to visit my brother and sister, who live in the country, though I can’t imagine living there all the time. Being somewhere you can’t hail a cab tends to make me nervous. They live more than five miles from their village, and when you get there, this is all it is:

Post office
Hardware store
General store (which rocks), where you can also buy necessities like gas for your car and propane.

That’s it. So if you run out of milk and the store is closed, you better hope your neighbors have some. But there are definitely nice things about living in such an isolated place:

1. You can blast your stereo as loud as you want and no-one complains, because there’s no-one close enough to hear it.

2. You can’t hear other people (or their stereos) at all, just the wind in the trees, the birds, and the crickets and frogs (I live with people above and below me, so this is big for me).

3. You can let your cats out in perfect safety, which also means no litter boxes.

4. You can sit in your garden in the sun, or lie in your hammock reading, with hummingbirds buzzing around.

On the other hand, you have to drive 45 minutes to get to the closest Safeway, DMV, etc. And things happen that would never happen in an urban setting:

1. Waking up to discover corpses neatly placed beside your bed (mice, moles, bats, birds), prizes from your cats’ nocturnal hunting. Interesting fact: the cats never eat the moles, because their fur grosses cats out. Something about how it grows the wrong way. But they still kill them anyway. My sis and her husband have a corpse rule: whoever finds it first deals with it. I would immediately develop even worse eyesight than I have now.

2. Waking up to discover that there was frost last night, and you’re out of firewood, which is how you heat your house, so you have to go and chop wood and then build the fire and then jump back into bed until it’s warm enough to venture out from under the covers.

3. Waking up to discover that deer have eaten everything in your garden. Country dwellers do not find deer the gentle, charming Bambis that city folks do. Rather, they see them as relentless, evil landscape destroyers. Apparently deer don’t nibble a few leaves here and there, they ravage everything unless your garden is draped in deer netting.

4. Waking up to discover that it has rained in the night, and you left your car window rolled down, so your (red Italian leather) wallet is soaked. My sister leaves her keys in the car, and often leaves her wallet on the front seat of the car so she won’t forget it, so that’s how that happened. Not only does she never lock her car doors, she never locks her house doors. The house doors don’t even have locks. Can you imagine?

So when you wake up in the country, you never know what you’ll find.

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Apr 15 2002

DMV

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I hate the DMV. I equally hate the Department of Parking and Traffic. Here’s why.

In January, 2000, out of the goodness of my heart, I lent my adorable car Josephine to my friend Paul. He parked it across the street from his uncle’s place, and failed to realize that it was street cleaning day. $33 ticket. He also forgot to mention it to me (not on purpose, he’s just like that), and I got a notice in the mail in March informing me of the ticket’s existence. So I paid it. The DMV cashed it two days later. End of story, right?

Wrong.

When my registration was due in 2001, the DMV informed me that I hadn’t paid the ticket, and it was now $57. I got copies of the check, and sent them with letters to the DMV and the DPT. Foolishly, I thought that would be the end of it.

Wrong.

They each mailed the letters back to me with handwritten notes on them, each instructing me to call the other department. So I did. Guess what? The flunkeys who answered the phone each instructed me to call the other department.

Ditto this year. The exact same thing. Finally, the DMV person told me to come down there and bring all the paperwork with me.

Me: “So what you’re saying is I have to take time off from work and come down there to fix your mistake.”

DMV: “We’re sorry, ma’am, but you will have to come down here.”

Etc.

My brother tried to clear it up at the DMV where he lives, but they said the City & County of San Francisco was its own incorporated thing and they unfortunately couldn’t do anything about that. Ugh. Not surprisingly, I still haven’t called them and I still can’t stand the thought of it. I’m going to have to go and buy a really big can of patience somewhere before I go. But considering that I have jury duty next week, I think I’ll store up what little patience I have for that.

One response so far

Apr 12 2002

Love/Hate: Cold

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OK, kiddies, John turns 40 today. Yet he remains endearingly immature, as do I.

Plans for today:

Seeing Frailty after work.
Dinner at our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
Presents.
Incredible cake from Rubicon with stars on it! And those sparkler type candles.

Etc.

Don’t forget, this means less than two shopping months before MY birthday!

Here’s your love/hate for this week. Have fun!

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Apr 11 2002

Scaredy Cat

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Our cat Jack is the most obnoxious of our cats. She’s the loudest and has the most to say. She is extremely assertive, especially about informing us that it’s time for her to eat (whether it actually is or not), or when trying to scavenge off our plates. But despite her brash exterior, Jack is, in fact, a scaredy cat.

The first time Jack saw my brother’s dog, Jed (who never chases cats and usually sleeps with my brother’s two cats at night), she hid under the couch and wouldn’t come out. I’m sorry to say that I was secretly pleased, because it was Thanksgiving dinner and my brother had also brought his friend Carrie, and I had been somewhat concerned that Jack would either be yowling or jumping onto the table to get at the food. This would have been horribly embarrassing and completely negated the desired effect. This was when we discovered that Jack was a secret wuss.

When I got home yesterday, Jack and Hannah were waiting for me in the hallway as usual, and everything seemed normal until I went to feed the cats. Feeding time at our zoo is not a quiet and refined affair. Cleo starts up, and since Jack thinks Cleo is the coolest thing around (she could be right), she starts up too, trying to imitate Cleo. Sophie also puts in her bid not to be forgotten. Hannah doesn’t really say anything — like Buddy, she knows the food is coming and isn’t worried about it. She also uses the Buddy method of going through the living room and into the kitchen through that door instead of the hall door like everyone else. It’s nice that he lives on in little things like that.

But yesterday, for the first time since we brought Jack home as a dollar-bill sized kitten, she didn’t come running into the kitchen when she heard the music of food. So something was wrong.

It’s amazing how many places there are for a cat to hide in a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. I looked everywhere and called for her. Finally I tore the couch apart (literally — there were cushions everywhere) and she streaked out from under the couch. And vanished. Again with the searching, but this time not finding. I was pretty much freaking out, even though logic told me she had to be somewhere in the damn apartment. Why didn’t John get home? He can fix anything.

Finally, he did, and was all calm and found her hiding place, took her out and she was 100% fine. Something must have scared her, but I can’t imagine what. I was there the whole time and didn’t hear anything. The funniest thing is: Jack is, paws down, the naughtiest of our cats. But at the thought that something could have happened to her, my stomach ached and I freaked out. It must be why she always has one of the other cats to snuggle with or play with. We love her in spite of her faults. I guess that’s what love really is.

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Apr 10 2002

The sound of music

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Faithful readers may recall how a few months ago, I had to do both my job and our Admin Assistant’s at the last minute, and without thanks. Well, the same situation arose yesterday. My boss called me (from home) at noon to say that our client, the San Francisco Symphony needed their reports by 3:30 that same day. And they get 25 bound copies. Eek!

So I swung into action and discovered that our AA had not printed the two documents which accompany every single client report, every single quarter, so I had to do those too, which delayed things. So, as I did before, I got the info for the report, put it all together, printed it, had it bound, and delivered it. Again. And so far, sans merci.

I took a cab over to the Symphony with the box of reports, and was beleaguered by horrible traffic (any SF residents who read this: Pine Street is all torn up around Hyde and Larkin, and Civic Center not much better). This gave my cab driver plenty of time to expound on how the Israelis are treating Palestine just like the Turks treated the Greek population of Istanbul (then Constantinople), taking away their land and driving them out and then wondering why they’re pissed off.

We finally arrived at Symphony Hall, where the driver paused to wind up his diatribe as I collected the box of reports.

Despite the fact that the guy who has the apartment below us tortures us on most weekends by blasting classical radio — yes, radio, instead of buying his own CD’s and listening to them, commercial-free — so loud that we can hear every word of the commercials and the Wedgwood on our mantel shimmies alarmingly, I haven’t been put off by classical music. In fact, I have it on as background music at work — the very same station, actually — in the hopes that it will be soothing. I was brought up with it and still enjoy it. So it was quite exciting to go in through the Musicians’ Entrance. I had to sign in and show ID, and once I went through the doors, there were musicians everywhere, carrying instruments, laughing and joking. I got to pass the Green Room, where they were hanging out, and even overheard some of the rehearsal. Cool!

So my industriousness was rewarded, if not by work people. Possibly tant mieux.

3 responses so far

Apr 09 2002

Farewell

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qm.jpg

Farewell to a great lady. The end of an era.

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Apr 08 2002

Daydreaming

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When you visit somewhere on vacation, do you ever imagine the kind of life you could have if you moved there? I’m always living these parallel lives in my imagination, and since we live where housing is so expensive, it doesn’t seem such an unreasonable notion. We could sell our apartment for more than twice what we paid for it, even given the current recession, and buy something else outright with money to spare.

Recent notions:

This 1845 house near where we used to spend summers in Maine when I was a child.

This “romantic and restful ocean view home”, near where my brother and sister live.

An apartment in Paris, near Caf&eacute Flore. As long as John had a satellite dish, he’d be happy.

Or, why not buy a ch&acircteau with its own vineyard? Ch&acircteau Suzy could be the next big thing to come out of Bordeaux. Well, maybe Ch&acircteau Suzanne.

Then there’s Italy. Imagine a beautiful apartment, perfectly situated in the Tuscan countryside between Italy and Florence. Or on the Grand Canal in Venice. “Liable to occasional tidal flooding.” Well, everything has its drawbacks.

Where would you live if money and other annoyances like work were no object?

2 responses so far

Apr 07 2002

Time change

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I absolutely despise the time change, and am amazed that as a nation we haven’t risen up and rebelled against being forced to change our body clocks twice a year without the reward of going somewhere different, just as we rebelled against unfair taxes and told England to take a flying leap in 1776. We aren’t, on the whole, a nation of sheep or pushovers (or are we?), so it is surprising that we just accept this disruption twice a year without complaint, except for those in right-thinking states who refuse to have anything to do with such a sick and despicable notion.

I don’t really care which one we pick, I just think we should pick one and go with it. Of the two, this change is the least enjoyable for me. I already get up shockingly early to go to work, and of necessity go to bed equally shockingly early. So being forced to get up at 3:30 a.m. instead of 4:30 a.m. (yes, you read that correctly) is not my preference.

And my body, with all its faults, which are neither small nor few, is never, ever fooled. It knows damn well that it got an hour’s less sleep last night, and it’s seconded by my brain, whose performance is correspondingly even more sluggish than usual, especially when faced with the necessity of cognitive thought and/or mathiness as required by work.

I also hate being late, or feeling rushed, and when the time changes in this manner, I wake up at what is really 6:30 on a Sunday morning, but is now, through the forces of evil, 7:30 a.m., and already feel late and short of time, which is not a happy feeling for me.

It’s a fairly new century still, and isn’t it time to not make a change? Let’s rebel against the enforced and senseless time changes and demand freedom for our body clocks once and for all. 2002 can have its place in history, along with 1776!

2 responses so far

Apr 05 2002

Virtuous

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I’m feeling quite virtuous, which is so unusual for me that I feel compelled to report it. And I feel virtuous even though I have just demolished half a tiny bag of orange spice almonds. Damn Real Foods for putting them right by the check-out, especially because all I was buying was virtuous laundry soap and dish soap, all biodegradeable, no animal products, or testing, etc. Like I said, virtuous.

I have a load of laundry in as I write, and I have also wrapped all of John’s birthday presents. For those who don’t know, it’s April 12, or 1 week away. So go buy something, or e-mail him at bazuemague@yahoo.com (don’t ask).

It’s overcast and depressing today, so I walked (partially virtuous) to North Beach with the intention of taking the 45 bus from Washington Square. I just missed one, and sat down on one of the green benches to await the arrival of the next one. There’s usually fun people-watching there, and you can almost always count on a dog or two, but no dogs today. And it looked like there was a heap of black clothes on the grass on the Moose’s side of the square.

The bus took more than 10 minutes to arrive, which equals one hour in Suzy time, so I was getting really bored and starting to look for a cab when the heap of clothes started moving. It was an elderly gentleman who got up, dusted off his hat, which had a little red feather in it, collected his briefcase, which he must have been using for a pillow, and his cane, and started walking slowly toward the cathedral, looking like Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi in the genius movie Ed Wood (why isn’t that on DVD?), and just as heart-wrenching.

But it made me think: would I have been sympathetic to him if he hadn’t had the accoutrements of cane, briefcase and hat? I probably would have dismissed him as one of the many homeless and/or crazy people who meander the streets. A sobering thought. Feeling less virtuous at this point.

On my way down Polk Street, I saw that La Place du Soleil had a charming and touching tribute to the Queen Mother in their window. It was a picture of her in her coronation robes and crown, in a pretty gold frame and surmounted with a black chiffon bow. I think she would have approved, especially of the little dog sleeping peacefully in front of the photo.

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Apr 05 2002

Love/Hate for Friday, April 5,

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Love/Hate for Friday, April 5, 2002

Heat

I hate being overheated. Hatehatehate. I especially hate sweating. In fact, I personally believe there’s only one good reason to sweat, and it ain’t exercise. At least, not in a gym.

When I lived on the east coast, I used to start dreading summer in February. The summers were hot, humid, and bug-filled. I’d start sweating just getting dressed in the morning, and when I stepped out the door to go to work, it was like a hot, wet blanket had been lifted out of the washer and draped over me. I never felt clean, or comfortable.

After one stifling summer too many, I started renting an air conditioner for the summer. It was an excEt arrangement. The appliance company would come out and install it in May or so, and then take it away again in October, and I didn’t have to come up with all the money to buy my own. And I was able to actually sleep on summer nights instead of tossing and turning with a sweaty sheet over me. Added bonus: the window was closed so the bugs had to stay in their own homes. If you do have to live in a climate which treats you like a TV dinner, going from the deep freeze to the oven, invest in air conditioning, either rent it or buy it. You’ll wonder how you ever did without it.

But when it’s too hot, you can be completely naked and still be too hot, and completely miserable. And it’s very unusual to be naked in most areas of daily life, so even if being naked did help, it wouldn’t make much difference. Your hair will either frizz out or go completely flat, depending on its nature. Your hands and feet will swell with indignation at being forced to endure such absurd extremes of temperature. You’ll sweat everywhere, making you damp, uncomfortable, and eventually, with the addition of oxygen, stinky. Your make-up will slide off your face as if by magic, since your face will be oily and sweaty, and it will begin to sprout zits, no matter what your age.

So is it all that surprising that people go crazy during heat waves and start killing their fellow man or other acts of violence? According to this article in the Guardian, the murder rate in New York City jumped by 75% during the heat wave of 1988, and all of England’s major riots have occurred in the summer. You don’t hear of people going nuts during a cold snap, or at least, if they do, it’s not because of the weather.

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