Monday, September 29, 2008

I Can See Russia From Alaska (When I Look in Your Eyes)

Gentle Readers,

I'm sorry I've been gone for so long. I've been working on other projects (see below), but I miss you desperately.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Plans

Sigrid insists that I come back to San Francisco for Christmas. A chilly breeze is whistling through windows of office and see lonely flakes of snow flying around leaden skies, so readily agree. Call Dave to tell him of plan. He says that he's just gotten of the phone with his mother and that she is insisting that we come to her house and he would like to go see her. Am shocked and ask him Why? (Last trip included awkward dinner with Dave's mother and her new beau, Dave's 9th grade math teacher. Both Dave's mother and math teacher drinkers and dinner--at nice Little Rock restaurant--loud voiced, spilly, and argumentative--or rather, dinner not those things, but Dave's mom and beau. I sat silent throughout meal practicing Tibetan meditation technique of Being with the exhalation of the breath--not very successfully.) Try to gently remind Dave of this, but he says that he Loves his mother's cookies. Cookies are made not by mother but by housekeeper, but let this detail slide. Dave says stiffly that we will talk about this later. Agree. Spend rest of afternoon thinking about one's attachment to family. Sigrid certainly not easiest person to get along with, not to mention husband, but do desperately want to go see her and it isn't just because Elizabeth is growing up quickly. Ask Oliver if he is going home (to Oregon) to see his family and he says brightly O yes. He has 4 brothers and 3 sisters and their kids, and his parents, and they all meet at the family farm. Ask him if his girlfriend is going too. No, he says sadly, she doesn't like clog dancing. (!!)

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Cope with extremely chilly weather today by ordering, picking up from diner, and then eating at desk: cheeseburger, chocolate milkshake, and side of fries. Meal delicious, but turns to sand in mouth when against better judgement click on link on news blog that takes me to alarming story about Sumatran forests being chopped down and burned. Panic eat, and am busy shoving fries into mouth full of burger when the Contessa enters my office wrapped up as though getting ready to take horse drawn sleigh ride. Ask her if it is still cold outside. She ignores this, surveying the greasy pile in front of me. Whoa, she says, you really went whole hog! Fries too! Become very angry and ask her coldly if that is all she came by to say. She replies, No, not at all. I actually came by because I haven't seen you in forever and I miss you. Feel extraordinarily guilty and can only say, O. Also, the Contessa adds, I was wondering why you never write your blog anymore. Tell her that I have been very busy. She waves this--clearly idiotic in her view--excuse away. Feel self becoming angry again. I have been busy, I tell her, which sounds weak. Besides, I didn't even know you read the blog. She says, Yes I do. It Is Funny. Ego properly stroked, I admit to her that I've been feeling a bit at sea vis-a-vis the blog. I am no longer a secretary and I am no longer thirty-years-old nor have I been either of those things for quite some time. So it feels weird to post on a blog called TYOS. That doesn't matter she says, look at The Jesus and Mary Chain, look at Maroon 5--do those band names have anything to do with the content of the songs? Tell her that a blog is not a band and posts are not songs (certainly not, she says, shaking her head in horror, that's not what I meant at all) and that I would like to come up with a new, more apt and inspiring title. She says she will Think About It.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

When it Rains

On way in to work, skies very dark and rain, though not torrential is brisk enough to warrant use of umbrella. Umbrella exhibits unhelpful tendency to turn itself inside out , which turns it into a bowl, then wind pushes edges down, dumping collected water on very angry self. Feel that this bodes ill for the day and tell same to Oliver who says when I enter that it looks like I just Went for a Jog. Go immediately to bathroom to try to neaten self up. Return from bathroom in worse shape--not improved by Oliver taking one look at hair and saying, OOH, Woah. Have sharp reply being formulated in head which will probably not be ready until am preparing to go to sleep. But before can stutter out placeholder, Oliver flaps phone message in my face. It is from a literary agent--friend of friend of the Contessa's who was encouraged to send manuscript to and did, on Friday. Call. Agent says he would like to meet for coffee, and that he thinks the manuscript is Magnificent (he must be exaggerating) and he can't wait to meet me in person. Am, naturally, stunned. Call Dave, who says that he is not at all surprised. Not at all? No, and he is very proud. Experience strange but mostly pleasant mixture of emotions.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pleasant Weekend

Weekend spent blissfully quietly. Have long been leery of squash, possibly because side dish served during childhood consisting of halved acorn squash broiled with a bit of butter and brown sugar. This dish not inherently awful, but can't think of it without stomach giving a quick turn. But for past three weeks have been seeing winter squash at the farmer's market and have become curious about what might be missing. Last night make delicious salad of bitter greens; roasted squash; toasted, salted, chilied pepitas and dressing of shallot, mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil and serve with roasted pork loin. Dave happy with meal and Jenny extremely jealous, licking her chops throughout. Am cozy and full, and for once have no trouble falling asleep nor staying asleep nor waking up too early, except last dream is set at a lake and involves the Vice-Boss and needing to read confusing spreadsheet that can't because contacts have become the size of dinner plates and won't fit in eyes. (This detail certainly frighteningly Freudian.) Get the Contessa to help me. She has a small monkey clinging to her arm and one sitting on top of her head. Am very scared of both of the monkeys but pretend not to be. The Vice-Boss claps her hands and says Now I need those documents for that meeting in Midtown! Only then do I think--despite much other alarming evidence--Wait a Minute--this is a dream! When do wake up, feel that would much prefer to plan, cook, and eat meal again as day's sole activity.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oliver Helps Out

Oliver tells me--unprovoked--that he can tell that Cindy Stevens's departure had been difficult for all of us, especially me. Do not want to ask him how he knows it's been difficult for me, but nevertheless hear self asking. Sighs, he says. You've been sighing a lot. Also, it looks like you haven't been sleeping--my girlfriend says that if you don't sleep enough it makes you look gray and it makes you snappish. Am not sure whether or not he is talking about me being gray and snappish--could well believe that he is--though feel that he is taking a far too personal tone--so ask him, Girlfriend? He replies, Don't tell the Contessa--I don't want to hurt her feelings--but I decided to get back with my girlfriend--she promised that she wouldn't cheat on me again. This exchange opens up a deep well of emotion in Oliver and as he tells me of their problems (the gist of which is that, in his view, the girlfriend has Trust issues and that's what makes her Push Him Away) feel myself becoming grayer and more snappish as the minutes progress. At the end of the conversation he produces half of what he says he thinks is an Ambien, which he is giving to me so that I can get a good night's rest. He says in parting, We need you bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday, Dude! As days of taking unidentified pills have long past, promptly throw partial pill in trash once he leaves office. Indulge idle fantasy in which Oliver is maimed badly enough to force him to take a medical leave, but not badly enough to kill him. Better nature intervenes and tell self that what really wish (not really) is that he decides to move to Berlin and had no other option but to quit.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Would like to say, first off, that am terrified of people in masks, even children. School very close to Sixth Avenue, site of annual parade at which even the spectators wear costumes. Should revise: wear uniforms and become very drunk, discover when leave office late after day of meetings (more some other time, but loss of Cindy Stevens is very sorely felt). Make way to Union Square to subway, passing scary assortment of creatures, i.e. a young man wearing dark sunglasses and tapping sidewalk with stick, evidently a Blind Man--costume which personally think would be very bad luck and might draw the attention of the evil eye--also two men wearing masks made of tin foil but otherwise not dressed up, lots of pirates, bloody doctors (people wearing scrubs smeared with red stuff), a pudgy Little Bo Peep, Brett Michaels and participants in The Rock of Love; also, entire cast of the Facts of Life--am fairly certain Blair and Mrs. Garret are men. Finally achieve subway station. Train comes right away. Settle self down into seat though see out of corner of eye that on other side of woman I am sitting next to is man whose head has been completely wrapped up in flesh colored gauze, except for eyes, which are covered by sunglasses. Determine to Pretend he isn't there. This tactic unsuccessful as hear him say to my neighbor in an low, affectless voice, I Want Your Shoes. Am 1) terrified on behalf of my neighbor 2) scared that she will get up and that the man will say something as frightening to me 3) in a general panic. Panic subsides slightly when realize that neighbor and the creepy gentleman are friends and are having a conversation. Am still suspicious and hairs on back of neck still tingling. Thankfully, during walk home meet with no further incident, except pass very small dinosaur--design of costume renders mask unnecessary and face sensibly visible--a good 20 yards ahead of his trick-or-treating group. He seems very upset, arms crossed in front of chest, face in scowl, and is making frustrated huffing noise. Feel kinship with the T-Rex.