This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Classification, Alphabetization, Heavy Lifting, and Boys

I've been busier than busy lately, and holy madre de Aleister Crowley, am I tired! I've been dating up a storm -- so many, many men. I can't even begin to tell you. . . except to say that one from last week was very nice, and I'm going to see him on Thursday night.

In addition, though, one of the bookstores at which I'm employed has just expanded to three times its original size. We've been trying to put the whole joint together, but there are still megatons of books packed up in boxes, waiting for a home.

Today I alphabetized the occult, wicca, superweird phenomena, and astrology/divination sections. The fun part was differentiating between what's "New Age" as opposed to "superwierd." I ended up putting Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus and Sylvia Brown in "superwierd" with all the books about aliens and crop circles, while Shakti Gawain and Robert Anton Wilson remain in "New Age." Tomorrow I go back for Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. Towering sections of seriousness, much easier to differentiate from each other.

And you know, I love to categorize books, I really really do! I found a perfect spot in the store for the the books on how to write, which I mixed up with the usage dictionaries; I just hope that the right person discovers them.

And when all the madness begins to dissipate, I'm going to write a story or two that I hope will kill you. Not literally, as in murder, but something that will leave you feeling as though you've been through a little trauma and come out the other end changed. That's my goal.

Let me repeat myself, because that's what tired people do: I'm tired. Very. I'm going to leave you with an image that has everything to do with the way ideas are categorized, just to give you a real solid idea of how my mind has been working, nonstop, for the previous ten hours straight and will be, I imagine, tonight when I'm dreaming:

And on Thursday night, a date with someone who as of yet is unclassifiable. If all goes well, he'll stay that way for a while.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Last night, tonight, and for the next three days, my parents are visiting from out of town. This is quite an ordeal for me, mainly because of my mother, who is the master of back-handed compliments and veiled criticisms. My father, on the other hand, is incredibly positive, supportive, and surprisingly modern in his views, considering that at one time he was a conservative Republican (no offense to any readers who are, though).

Tonight after work, then, I was supposed to meet my parents for dinner. After last night, when they met my dear Matty and my mother implied several times that I was incompetent and unnatractive, I was ready for war. (In case you think I'm making this stuff up, Matty is my witness!) But oddly enough, war didn't happen.

Tonight I learned that my father was an instant Mattyfan. Apparently, he'd like more than anything for Matty to be his new son-in-law. I reminded him that my Matty is muy gay, and that I wouldn't want Matty to be anything other than who he is, no way!

But my mother's main concern (no surprise) is that I'm too close to Matty and that when he inevitably gets snatched up by some highly fortunate guy, I will once again be alone. Why, why, why does she focus on the possibility that I will lose my friend? Why does she seem to relish this so? I understand that she's worried about me, but why does she choose to envision a future for me where I am the one left behind?

More to the point (and this, I tried to explain), why does she not focus on the idea that I am once again a happy ing, that no matter what happens in the future I have made some truly positive steps, that one doesn't unlearn that San Francisco is the ideal city to explore, which I have, all because I met Matty?

Look, I know my mother is old-fashioned. But come, now! Just because I'm not having sex with a man, does that mean that the man will lose interest in me? I don't think so! But it's devastating that my mother does. It's devastating that she has so little faith in me, the person I am. Because here: I'm a funny woman, I'm very bright, I'm stylish, I've weathered the stormiest of storms, I'm level-headed, I'm very good at everything I set out to do, and I can salsa dance!

Which, okay, I have a dear friend in Kalamazoo, my best and closest friend, Gina. And while we've been separated by many miles over the past few years, while one or both of us has been involved with some guy and have gone through periods of less-contact-than-more, we've managed to maintain this friendship that I hope will last and last (if I have anything to do with it, yes, it will). Meaning, when my house does sell, I am going to use at least some of that money to visit my friend in Kalamazoo, as she has visited me here in San Francisco.

I suppose she has good intentions, my mother. I suppose so. But sometimes it's hard to fathom.

Three more days and I don't have to worry about what I should not worry about anyway!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Night I Lost My Goldfrapp Cherry


Life, my friends, is a series of choices, fortunate and unfortunate. In hopes of making the fortunate kind, we forge our paths with too much caution. This, more than any other characteristic, defines us as human, as opposed to animal.

If we could embrace the evidence that now -- in an era so fucking modern we call it post-post modern -- we are still the earth's creatures, furry animals out in the weather; if we could embrace this, sistren and brethren, we would be Goldfrapp.

Now We Begin

Monday night Matty and I saw his favorite band, Goldfrapp, at the Fillmore Auditorium. Alison Goldfrapp sang on a distant stage -- but never too distant! -- beneath the eight blue chandeliers that hang from
the ceiling. These chandeliers were made all the more sparkling that night by how magnificently the walls, which are draped in a two-story swath of wine-red velvet, set them off to full lustre.

After waiting in line for one hour, Matty and I had found a couple of seats on the second floor balcony, across from the booze. In terms of distance from the stage, our view was comparable to that from a third-story window of an old Victorian house, which, if we extend the image, the stage would have been on the centerline of the street fronting this house, where girls in small towns play jumprope.

We were right next to the cool-people entrance through which roadies and suspect-looking fellows in suits ran in and out, flashing their passes. Guarding this entrance was a bearded old hippy in a leather hat. He read a hardcover, sans jacket. I asked for the title. Sin Killer, by Larry McMurtry*.

While we waited for the show to start, Matty and I made two bets, based on the following questions:



= Matty,


= Ing, and


= the true and correct answer

1. Alison Goldfrapp is due to begin at 8:00 pm. How many minutes will we have to wait before she'll strut her fine self onto the stage?


: 60


: 30


: 75


: I 0 M 1

(An M1)

2. Who do we have to blow in order to get past the graybeard reading the Western?


: [Identified three (3) hirsute and stocky roadies, a man in a jumpsuit adjusting the drum set, another man with a Petzl® flashlight strapped to his head (also wearing jumpsuit), several slobby-looking dudes wearing leather jackets, and the graybeard hippy.]


: [Said, Eeeew!]


: See M, ibid.


: I 0 M 1

The loser, should it be moi, was to run past the ticket counter and swipe the Goldfrapp poster. If, on the other hand, I should be the winner, then Matty --who was wearing silver sneakers -- would do the same with the Beck poster in the hallway.


: I 0 M 2

And at 9:15 pm, the show began.

I came close to being Goldfrapp'd when Alison Golfrapp, looking uncannily like a Xanadu-era Olivia Newton John, interrupted her skilled and poppy vocals to interject with these incredible Nina Hagen blasts (which she resorts to sparingly). But it wasn't until her dancers came out, wearing their tight bikinis and animal masks, that I was finally Goldfrapp'd.

That night, dear readers, I was Golfrapp'd for the first time. And then I was Goldfrapp's again, and again, and again. Indeed, in an hour and a half I was Goldfrapp'd six times in succession, the peak of it coming during the second-to-last Goldfrapping when Ms. G. sang I Want To Ride on a White Horse. Behind her the half-naked dancers pranced in high-heeled pumps. Their costumes featured large, glitter-mirrored horses' heads and long white horse tails. The details of how these tails were used during the dance are too intimate to share in polite company, but if you've seen Goldfrapp yourself, you know e-zackly what I'm saying.


At the end of the evening I realized that after such a Goldfrapping, I wouldn't be able to walk for days. Despite this, Matty promptly reminded me that if I truly loved him I'd now have to now sprint in order to steal that Goldfrapp poster, and besides, he'd won it "fair and square" in what he called "our bet". Little did he know that at the end of the show the poster would be handed out to everyone, for free. On the way out I snagged a couple, and later, on the road to Matty's house where I would drop him off for a good night's sleep, I did not, for once, get incredibly lost in this crazy west-coasty labyrinth of one-way streets. Was it the higher power of Goldfrapp, guiding us safely home? Yes, I do believe that it was.


*Larry McMurty! The guy who in his Oscar Acceptance Speech thanked the booksellers of this country for doing such a good job!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Gary Shteyngart: Sexy Punctuator

Gary Shteyngart, Leningrad's newest literary über-babe, has just published his latest comic novel, Absurdistan. I have not read this book and I likely will not, as I read short stories almost exclusively. Though I may need to make an exception for Mr. Shteyngart because according to The New York Times Book Review, he's a big fan of the comma and the semicolon, which means he writes long and elaborate sentences with many clauses. Perhaps, then, he is my destiny. There's nothing, dear readers, more sexy than an uninterrupted string of dependent and independent clauses elegantly linked with the proper punctuation and -- when necessary -- coordinating conjunctions. Now is it me, or is it hot in here?

The coolest feature of this book, if you ask me, is that one character, a lecherous Russian emigré who cashes in on his hot accent to pick up chicks, has a name very similar to Shteyngart's. In other words, this writer created an unflatteringly sleazy character who he then very clearly associates with himself. Which, that's funny, meaning, adorable!

I do love a man with a keen sense of satire and an excellent command of his sentence structure. Shteyngart won lots of critical acclaim for a previous novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, and the reviewers are buzzing about this next title.

But in the long run, who cares? Look at this guy! Isn't he yummy?