Wednesday, June 30, 2010

goose face

Facts about Fabio:

Birth Name
Fabio Lanzoni

6' 3" (1.91 m)

Hit in face by goose, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, while on first ride of the new Apollo's Chariot roller coaster. [30 March 1999]

Friday, June 25, 2010

pride weekend

Gearing up for gay pride weekend in SF. Gotta look my best. Gotta get ready. WHAT COLOR IS THE HANKY THAT SAYS, "I LOVE CANASTA"?!??!?!

[SFW but has images of dudes in tighty whities:]

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

your morning routines

Recently I asked a few friends to write me with descriptions of their morning routines. I'll start with mine.
  1. Start waking at 6:30 with daylight, bird twitterings, and dog movements. Put on eye mask, fall back into light sleep. At 7, Mom lets Boo into the backyard, where he sits on the grass with a deflated soccer ball and growls loud enough at squirrels to occasionally wake me. Alarm at 8:45-9, snooze until 9-9:15. Drink a cup of water immediately after sitting up, to kick start metabolism. Check phone, email, and depending on day wonder what is wrong with S that she never flirts with me by email anymore or think fondly of my adorable girlfriend. Get up from bed, lay down on floor, 150 crunches and 20 leg lifts, noting persistence of spare tire. Brush teeth, wash face, glasses, moisturizer, sunblock. Get dressed in jeans and t-shirt if biking, work clothes if driving. Take lunch from refrigerator, put it in bag. Shoes, helmet, reflective pants cincher, headphones playing Top 40, NPR, podcast, or Peter Gabriel. Leave house 9:10-9:35, arrive at work 9:20-9:45. Drink caffeine addiction-kicking concoction of 1/3 decaf, 1/3 regular, 1/3 hot water, plus a sugar packet and three half and half thimbles, read email, Times and Huffington Post, eat oatmeal scooped out from gallon-sized Ziploc at desk. Dawdle. Drink water. Wait for bowel movement. Start working.

  2. i typically wake up around 9, then go straight to the gym, then back home to start writing from my bedroom/office, until i need a break. unless i'm hung over, in which case i lay in bed until i'm overwhelmed by guilt, then get up, pretend to work, watch some tv, and see what happens. or if my girlfriend spent the night, then i sleep until she has to go to work, then start writing or go to the gym.

  3. approximate morning routine

    • 8am or so - wake up to the alarm on my phone. look around to see where kitty is. she's usually lying on my chest or at the foot of my bed. pet her for a few minutes before getting up.
    • brush my teeth and shower. this takes about 10 minutes.
    • put on the clothes i set out the night before (which is usually the same pair of jeans that i wear every day + a tee shirt), comb my hair, apply toner to my face, clean out my 10 ear piercings with a cleaning solution so they don't get infected, apply spf 15 face moisturizer. this takes another 10 minutes.
    • boil some hot water to make tea for the drive into work. put 2 scoops of food into kitty's bowl and top off her water cup if needed. this takes about 5 minutes.
    • drive to work, which takes about 10 minutes.
    • 8:50 - meet nils for breakfast at no name.
    • 9:30 - sit at desk and turn on laptop. look at emails.
    • 9:35 - go to the microkitchen and get coffee and my ice pack from the freezer. go back to desk and ice knees. start doing work.
    • 10:30ish - go back to microkitchen and put ice pack back. get a snacky. usually a banana or a cup of brown cow yogurt. usually vanilla, but sometimes peach or blueberry.
    • 10:35 - 12. work and/or meetings.
    • sometime between 11 - 11:30 - figure out my lunch plans via IM. usually i eat with nils and we chat about which cafe to go to and where/when to meet.
    • 11:55am - start walking to cafe.

  4. i would actually find this fascinating, except i am scared to hear how healthy other people are, because my routine is so shameful! i set my alarm for 7:30, snooze every 20 minutes for the next hour and a half (while checking my email on my phone), wake up at hmmm 8:55, try to brush away the cookie mush embedded in my back teeth with limited success (because i hate brushing my teeth at night but love eating cookies in bed at 2am), maybe take a shower, throw on clothes, put concealer on any acne i can locate, and leave by 9:10 so i can get to work by 9:45ish.

  5. on a usual morning

    i sleep at 2am after reading, writing, listening, playing
    at 10am i am awake. half clothed.
    kettle on the stove, 2 tablespoons of grounds in my filter, 1 teaspoon of leaves in my pot

    i sit
    in my robe
    on my couch
    with my cup in hand
    computer balanced on my lap
    morning breezes through the window
    clatter of dishes clatter of doors from my neighbors

    i read words on the screen, check accounts and newsfeeds
    this is one of my most favorite parts of the day. luxury for 1 hour.

    hygiene routine: wash face, brush teeth, moisturize, sunblock
    decide what to do: errands, climbing, biking, searching, research
    food: yogurt, granola, fruit, leftovers

    12pm leave. 12pm stay.

  6. i'll write more later but it basically consists of snoozing at least ten times, drinking a cup of coffee and checking my personal email and facebook before going to work, and the normal stuff of showering (not always in the morning) washing my face, brushing my teeth, taking a shit, wearing an outfit, brushing my hair (if i remember) and inevitably leaving the house much later than i'd like! oh and i try to have a few minutes to stare at the ceiling to center myself and i cannot interact with any other human beings for the first hour after i wakeup.

    • Stare at multi-colored Target alarm clock set anywhere from 7 -13 minutes fast.
    • Hit snooze. Hit snooze.
    • Attempt to catnap until I'm sure I'll be at least 5 minutes late to whatever appointment looms. Listen to the middle-aged gay couple next door chat in booming voices in the next apartment over. Reassure myself that I'm not a bigot because I hate them.
    • Scroll through my iPhone email immediately, enjoying the pinging sounds indicating that I matter.
    • Step on the scale, step off the scale, step back on the scale, shrug in resignation. Sometimes smile in surprise that I'm getting away with little exercise and rich food--or just deluding myself that it's all just water weight (no matter).
    • Do a few yoga poses in slapdash manner, resenting runners (especially the ones with bouncy ponytails) outside the window.
    • Before leaving the house, take a swig of orange juice straight from the bottle--although I will later hypocritically criticize my live-in boyfriend for doing the same thing.
    • Good morning: obtain coffee before appearing in front of adolescents to teach first class. glorious morning = i remember to bring eco-friendly coffee cup to work to brandish in front of all the guilty fools pumping caffeine into paper cups. Enlightenment!

  7. I wake up in the morning when my Blackberry's "antelope" tone rings, and then reset the alarm for 30 minutes later. Then I start feeling guilty for staying in bed and get up and stagger to the shower, during which the reprogrammed Blackberry goes off again. Then I towel off, brush my teeth, shave, apply facial moisturizer, and put on boxers and an undershirt. Then I apply hair product, use a blow dryer, and then put on the rest of my clothes. Then I go downstairs, boil water, make tea and oatmeal, sit down to eat, and then brush my teeth again before heading out.

  8. i set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. every day, under some sort of delusion that i will wake up early and work out, or go to work early and be real productive. maybe every 1 in ten to 14 days, i actually wake up at that time. More often than not, I get out of bed at 8 something and race to the shower. Shower up (wash, exfoliate, pumice, etc.), brush my teeth, put face lotion on. Then I put water on the stove to boil. Then I get dressed, which usually doesn't take too long on a work day. Pour boiling water into a bowl with oatmeal. Put on eyeliner, perhaps mascara, perhaps some eyebrow powder. Then I eat my oatmeal, and check my email/facebook/nytimes. After all that is done, I head out of the house, take a quick glance to see if I see the bright orange jacket meaning the pervy crossing guard is by work (he almost always is), and then walk around to the other side of the block, past the intersection for work, then around in a loop, to get to work and avoid disgusting sexual harassment. This takes about ten minutes max. Then work. This is pretty standard, with some minor deviations.

  9. i wake up, usually from some sort of mundane but wakeful dream, about driving somewhere in my car or about sitting at a restaurant with a friend that i see all the time talking about the weather. i snooze for about 20-50 minutes, depending on how ambitious i was the night before. i wake up and wash my face and put on face lotion. i wander around my apartment for 5-20 minutes, depending on how late i am. I do fake-busy things, like organizing my work bag or looking in the fridge or looking in my closet aimlessly or checking my e-mail and finding there was no new e-mail in the last seven hours or stretching. then i get dressed quickly, then brush my teeth, then put on a little makeup, and then pack my lunch. sometimes i make my bed. i get a pair of shoes and carry them to the car because i like driving in flip flops. takes about 15-30 minutes.

  10. i wake up at 6.30 to my alarm or slightly before due to the sound of my dog scratching and moving around in her crate. i let gog out of the crate, she stretches and then we walk out of the bedroom. i close the door behind me so angela won't wake up and then take gog for a walk. she's deathly afraid of traffic and refuses to walk in our busy neighborhood so i drive her a half mile to the park. we walk a mile-long loop around the end of the park and then drive home. i take a shower and get dressed, eat a bowl of cereal while reading the local paper and check to make sure angela is getting up around 8. then i put on deodorant, brush my teeth and shave using an electric shaver. the last three things i do in random order every day. then i kiss angela, usually as she's climbing into the shower with a dumb, just-awakened expression on her face, say "see you buddy" to gog, close the door behind me and walk the 2 blocks to my office.

  11. it varies, but here's mine for today: 630 my alarm goes off, and then begins a 9 minute snooze/debate over whether i'm really going to drag my ass out of bed or just sleep in for another hour... since i'm feeling anxious about the half marathon and my inability to run any distance without getting extremely tired, i get up. after brushing my teeth, things get moving - morning shit (like clockwork, every morning), then out the door to run (very slowly) along the fremont creek trail. get back at 740, do some yoga moves in my living room (inversions!) while listening to best of the 90s - basically every bay area radio station and then take a shower and get dressed. sometimes i take a post run shit, but not always. switch the radio to npr, warm up some black chicken, date and gogi berry soup i made a couple of days ago eat that with walnut bread and butter (goes surprisingly well together!). while everything is heating/toasting, i put on moisturizer, make myself a pb&j sandwich for a snack, pack my lunch (leftover korean food from lunch with my mom last week, hopefully everything is still good), put on sunscreen, apply mascara. 830 - gather up my stuff and head out the door for my 5 minute drive to work (i'm driving cause i'm going to dinner in los altos tonight, don't hate me environmental people). and thats all there was.

  12. i don't really have a routine except that i'm always in a rush. i wake up about 1 hour before i need to be in the office, shower quickly, run to my car cursing and drive frantically to work... usually to arrive just in time or 5-10 min late for whatever meeting i'm supposed to be in. on the weekends my routine consists of preferably sleeping until noon.

  13. 7:30, snooze, stumble, put water on to boil for coffee, make bed, pee, make coffee, consider breakfast options and preferences (yogurt? cereal? oatmeal? toast? ice cream? fruit? etc.), start drinking water, sit and sip 2.5 cups of coffee with or without food, brush teeth, move bowels, shower, put on underwear, blow dry hair, put on other clothes, pack bag, consider outerwear options (jacket? scarf?), make sure of Metrocard and keys, leave.

wedding ring

JY's endless muffhunt led us a few weekends ago to a club in downtown Oakland where patrons were smiling and polite as they sweated on one another to the rhythm of terrible music. So many reasons to love Northern California: its attitude of lovey dovey acceptance, its limber homosexuals, its terrible music, its charming, bumpkin patois. (The dance party was called "Hella Gay.")

JY, who like most of us is more sassy and extroverted in the little white square of a chat box than she is in the wide world of non-online life, broadcast with her body language fear of contact, which is exactly the wrong message to send when one is sniffing for truffles. I took the lead in smiling at and hokey pokeying next to strangers. I became one of those people who says "HI!" really loudly and thrusts a hand forward for vigorous shaking - because one lesson I learned from improv is that people respond better to strong, clear decisions, even if they are imperfect, than they do to hedging. Do you shake a hand or hug goodbye a friend of a friend you've just met at a dinner party? It doesn't matter, as long as you commit emphatically to one or the other. I'm not very good at this, and am often doing the bee dance of indecisiveness, alternating hesitant offerings of hand and embrace, embarrassing everybody, so I was happy to practice my social skills on strangers, in the service of securing for JY somebody to snuggle, and soon I had directed the attention of a western shirt-wearing lezzie to JY's erratic dancing. Western Shirt's friends followed her, and then we all crowded around the same twenty-five square feet of space, chatting and spasming. I kept my movements to friendly Jazzercise, to entice the ladies, but not to give them the wrong idea.

While JY worked her dork game on Western Shirt ("I admired her loafers!" she later breathlessly recalled), I did what wingmen are supposed to do and made polite, unintimate noises with my mouth toward Western Shirt's friend, whom we shall call Kati, pronounced Katie. Topics glossed included "Oh where do you live?" and "Well now what do you do?" and "Heh heh heh!" (when the speaker couldn't be heard over the noise). Almost immediately Kati said, "Some people say they work in retail. You ask them what they do. 'Oh, I work the cash register at Urban Outfitters.' No. That's not retail. I work in retail; you don't." She said she was the regional manager of a loose-leaf tea retail store. "My friends think I'm a nerd and all, but I could stay home all weekend reading about maximizing profits." She asked my name, then my last name, then noted that her two previous girlfriends were Chinese and that she liked that "type," and asked me for my number. Rather, she asked me to input her number into my phone - she watched over my shoulder while I did this, to make sure her name was spelled the "Japanese way" - and then had me dial her phone with mine. "I'm going to text-stalk you!" she said, and I said, "Heh heh heh!" and cringed. I got a few flirtatious texts in the next two days, which I ignored, and felt bad about ignoring, and so then I spent a non-billable hour consulting with friends and drafting a properly contrite and ego-cushioning text response, which I never sent.

Those friends also pointed out that I was a fucking coward, and the right thing to do would have been to say at the outset "I'm not interested" or "I have a girlfriend" or "さようなら, rice king!" but I was caught off guard, I wanted to keep the peace to facilitate JY's chat with Western Shirt, I didn't know how to politely reject her - all excuses basically boiling down to I was a fucking coward.

ANYWAY after this episode I decided that since I am a fucking coward, the best way to communicate unavailability to potential suitors would be the most passive way, me being the Chinese type and all -

(Graphic designer Yang Liu's take on the difference between the German and Chinese approach to problem solving.)

- so I asked R, who not only has banana-eating fruitarian friends but also makes silver jewelry and knits on the side, to make me a decoy wedding band, so that when the next awkward situation arises I can push my glasses up or staunch a bleeding nostril with my left ring finger, signalling to future Katis both that my mucus membranes are sensitive to the dry Mediterranean climate of the Bay Area and that my heart belongs to a sleepy passive bottom with a Brooklyn address. Ohhh you're going to get mad at me for writing that and you'll make me delete it, won't you??

R is very talented. She asked me to come to her house for a ring fitting, and she made me a simple silver band that week. It's about a third of an inch wide and gently textured with indentations from a ball peen hammer. It fits perfectly and I love it, and I don't take it off, not even to shower or sleep. S says, "But people will think you're married!" but there isn't anyone who would be fooled into thinking that I'm married that I wouldn't want to fool. S also said, "Nobody put a ring on you put it on yourself!" and then she obscured the rest of her statement with her own uproarious laughter. The joke's on you, S, for I secretly tattooed the words BRISTOL PALIN under that ring! HA HA HA!

Here is the ring, as modeled by R:

R, who is even more obsessed with documentation than I am, has websites to document all of her jewelry projects and her knitting projects. She also put together a pictorial tutorial on the lost-wax casting method of jewelry making, which you can check out here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

30 bananas a day

From R:
i just met a guy here who said he started eating only fruit 6 months ago and has lost 25lbs and is "running faster than ever." he eats 40 bananas a day! 40! he was helping me with my computer and i noticed he was eating a huge plate of only cherries, like maybe 50 of them. i asked him if he had horrible digestive problems, and apparently he's just fine. and then it turns out there's a whole community of people doing this -

Update: i run into my new fruitarian friend about once per day in the hallway. he's so good natured and sweet and always answers my intensely probing questions without judgment!

i saw him just now reaching into the refrigerator for a beverage. i craned my neck to see what he picked, and it was a bottle of sparkling fruit juice. i was like "omg, is it ok for you to drink that?" and he laughed and said no, not really, but it contains water and organic fruit juice, which seems fine. he said he ate grapes for breakfast today but also went over to the cafe and got a bean wrap. except he scraped the purreed bean out with a spoon and only ate that, being careful not to eat any of the tortilla. he said the bean made his face sweat and also made him crave more immediately.

more nuggets: he tries to eat 2 heads of lettuce per day, along with celery. so it's not strictly just fruit. he makes a simple green smoothie of medjool dates, banana, and romaine lettuce, and he's working with the chef at the cafe to possibly add that to their menu!

i asked him if he ever gets bored of eating only fruit. and he said "no! there are so many options! you can eat grapes for breakfast, and pineapple for brunch!"

im starting to become very endeared by my fruit eating friend. did i tell you that his officemates call him "fruitbat"? aww.. fruitbat. heehee.

he's been doing this for 6 months! he said he had to ease into it though because you have to train your stomach to be able to handle it all. it's easiest if you eat only the same type of fruit at once. for example, dont eat bananas and oranges together because they digest at different ph levels (?). i dont know if he ever eats cooked fruit. and i dont know why he could eat beans! i did not notice him farting while talking to me, but perhaps next time i'll just ask him. :D i did ask if he plans to do this for the rest of his life and he said yes! that there are other people in the community who've been doing this for 20 years! i am already on track to getting friendlier with him!

Monday, June 14, 2010

overwhelmed by desire

to see the Karate Kid.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

boy horse

H and I met recently for Thai food. I picked him up in the Mission and drove us to the Tenderloin. On the walk from the car we passed two independent piles of human excrement. On one particularly offensive looking heap somebody had centered an empty package of menthol cigarettes. There were several of the totally exploded kind of homeless person you don't see too often in New York but seem prevalent in California cities, unshod, deranged, unreachable, around whom you and your walking companion walk silently. H said, "Welcome to the T.L., baby." I didn't know what to call him. Sometimes he goes by his Chinese name, sometimes by his chosen name, H, which had come to him when he found some beached cup shards while walking on Ocean Beach, and never by the name I first knew him by. He had gotten a tattoo of his Chinese namesake, a phoenix extending from his right shoulder to his right wrist, the tail of which was just visible under the cuff of his plaid shirt. It was complete at his shoulder but H was still waiting to make enough money to color in the rest. We ordered far too much food, including a brackish black broth with udon-like noodles, deep-fried pork belly, and a wine-colored, average penis-sized sausage sliced into stretched coins, and ate until we were sick. We talked about whether to wear a helmet at all times. I called us a bunch of pussies for feeling sad about girls. After we pushed the last pieces of pork belly into our faces, H looked over and said, "So. If you had to be half human, half animal, what animal? And which half?" I said winged horse, human head, the conqueror of two domains. H said slug head. We walked back to the car and saw that somebody had stepped onto the menthol cigarette package and left a footlong streak of diarrhea on the sidewalk. In the car H said, "So are you into pissing and shitting, or what? Scat? Because you keep talking about shit." We went back to his apartment in the outer Mission. Very San Francisco, four bedrooms in a Victorian building shared by strangers, closed terrace turned into guest bedroom via Christmas lights and secondhand bed, toilet in a closet, sink in a different room, five hundred pound 1950s-era gas stove with exotic broiling/charring/grilling compartments, storage compartments built into the walls, dirty homemade ceramics, dozens of teas, motorcycle helmets, custom fixies with cruiser handlebars, crap pinned to walls, crap leaning against walls, translucent colored crap hanging in window bays, boy in second bedroom playing the same twenty-second loop of an intolerable electronica project. We had peppermint tea with cookies H's mom had mailed. I was going to stay in the city since I was to be in Oakland the next morning, but H was staying with another person that night so it would have just been me, alone on H's sheetless bed under a naked brown 50W overhead bulb surrounded by mountains of his dirty clothes, books, bike parts, broken things, with garbage trucks making slamming noises up and down South Van Ness. I said I was going to drive home. He said, "What are you reading?" and I said, "Shit," and he said he had been reading sci-fi again. He called it "candy," and said it was a break from political tracts. H is a union organizer. He pushed a battered copy of "Dhalgren" into my hand and told me I would like it. I gave him chocolate covered blueberries. I drove him to his friend's apartment. Just before closing the passenger door behind him, he laughed and said, "Hey, do you remember when you wrote that story about me and you said I kissed like a horse?" Not so, dear H, I said you kissed like a "fourteen year-old boy horse," but I also said you were hot as hell.


I've had the misfortune recently of being trapped in cars with twenty-four year olds - can you believe there were twenty of them?! Jkjk. Anyway, here's how these conversations went. The first person was intelligent and clearly a caring person, and in three or four years she might make a perfectly companionable road tripper. But in her 24 year-old incarnation, she was insufferable. She received many more questions than she asked, and even without prompt made declarations about herself, e.g., that she had "like ten years of cross-country running experience" but now preferred to "go on really superlong hikes, like fifteen miles or more." She had lots of ideas about how things should be done, but hadn't yet learned to discern when it is worthwhile to fight to get one's way and when it doesn't matter, and so she steamrolled everyone in the car with bossiness. An interesting thing I learned being around her is that one really easy way to goad recent graduates from U. Penn is to refer to their school as "Penn State."

The second person was friendly and eager to engage in conversation, so much so that even though I was sitting in the backseat on a nauseating grind up from sea level in Fremont to 5000' feet in Yosemite, using 99% of my concentration to keep the In-n-Out double-double animal-style with extra pickles plus cherry milkshake I'd just eaten from spraying forth in a meaty froth all over the red leather interior of her much older boyfriend's little red BMW, she twisted her body around to face me and JY so that we could hear about her experiences spelunking in Yuba County and the various two-wheeled motor vehicles she had owned. Mind you, she was not boastful like the first 24 year-old, but merely excruciatingly boring. "First I had a 150 cc bike. Which is like a scooter. Then I had to get a license. I think anything over 150 cc and you need a license. Then I got a motorcycle. But I had to sell it," so on. I cannot describe to you precisely what made her nattering boring, because in another circumstance, I might be very interested in learning about other people's passions, but just something about the way she delivered those words . . . supernatural forces, zoochosis, or maybe just excessive politeness, compelled questions from my mouth along the lines of, "Oh, how much do motorcycles cost?" and "How come you decided to sell it?" JY looked at me in wide-eyed disbelief at one point, and later, at the campsite, berated me, saying, "Why did you encourage it?!" But boringness knows no bounds of age, and what made her seem 24 to me was not that my contacts spontaneously dried out when I listened to her, but that she was telling us also that she wanted to change her name from Susie Penny (an approximation of her birth name) to Gondolia Pupusa (an approximation of the name she wants for herself) so that when her Edwardian dress designs start to attract notice, her business name and personal name are aligned. This seemed like a very 24 year-old thing to say.

The third person was 24 years old but looked so much like a twelve year-old boy that she entered the Maker Faire on a child (12 and under) ticket that I bought for her as her supervising adult without arousing any suspicion. She likewise seemed like a lively, intelligent, and completely insufferable person. She had just spent a few years, after graduating from college, in New Zealand, and all wayward points of conversation were drawn as if by invisible woolen filament back to the mother sheep, back to the best country in the world, apparently known to nobody but one curly-haired 24 year-old American (though not by choice!) intercontinental air traveler. I'm giving you a ride from BART? "Cheers." It's too hot in the car? "Let me take off my jumper." We pass an All-Blacks bumper sticker on the San Mateo Bridge? "Whooo! Kiwi pride!" Decorations on the child seats on the pushcarts at K-Mart? "We don't have those in New Zealand!" I could not control myself after the jumper comment and snorted, "You mean your sweatshirt? Welcome back to America, honey!" Also insufferable was talk of rewriting classic works of English literature as a stories about a 2010 Kiwi auto race, and cheery intentions to apply for fellowships in poetry writing. What kind of curmudgeonly old person am I that I never want to spend another second with a 24 year-old?