This post doesn’t even deserve a title

May 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm (It's all about me, plays well with others, the fam)

If we count this coming weekend (the upside to this trip to LA is that I get to see The Agent and The Future CEO, the downside is that I’ll see them in LA), I will have been out of town for 7 out of 8 weekends. Plus a day or two on either side here and there. I am not complaining (I swear!) but I am bone tired. So let’s just run through the past two weeks quickly, shall we?

  • The rash got worse before it got better. It peaked the day and evening of the wedding that was the main purpose of the Boston trip.
  • The wedding couple wore Converse All-Stars. So cool.
  • C was in San Francisco, so I stayed at her Boston apartment without her. My Boston friends D+Z arrived in SF the day I left for their city. We should all have waived at each other in the air.
  • It takes leaving the Bay Area to realize that not everyone has a smartphone. That realization has me more addicted to mine than ever.
  • I had thoroughly forgotten how much I hate humidity. Humidity brings out my evil twin. It also explains why I had so much less sex in Massachusetts. (Kidding.)
  • Subway systems are AWESOME.
  • I bought skinny jeans. C and the salesperson talked me into them.
  • C and I should not be allowed to go shopping for skinny jeans, then drink, then sexually harass talk about waiters.
  • I bought a Red Sox shirt for T’s son, which is something I’ve been wanting to do since he was born two and a half years ago.
  • The best thing about Virgin America is CurrentTV. You know that person on the plane who is laughing out loud at something only he or she can hear? That was me. Watch, laugh, thank me later.
  • The Man and I celebrated my stats final exam (and final class!) with a quick little dinner at Outback. Somehow I got the menu with the nutritional information. I didn’t finish my salad and yet still worry about fitting into those new jeans.
  • I still got to overlap with D+Z for a day in SF! Their two-year-old daughter gave me lots of hugs and sat on my lap and drew me a picture and could use her daddy’s iPhone better than my daddy can use his. It kind of rocked.
  • I get a new fridge today! The freezer door on the old one didn’t seal properly so it’s being replaced.
  • The Man’s cousin and her fiance (plus a vodka soda) convinced me to go to the driving range tonight. If I turn into a golfer, my dad might think The Man is the best boyfriend I’ve ever had.

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Birthday Celebration #1 and #2

May 5, 2010 at 11:55 am (It's all about me, the fam)

I still can’t manage to wrap my head around the fact that I’m 30. Three-zero. Thirty. As in the age my mom was when she had me. As in it’s now sad if I’m irresponsible and not vaguely charming. As in sophomore year of high school was half my lifetime ago. As in there are kids with learner’s permits who were born the year I got mine.

It’s frightening, in a way, or at the very least arresting. That’s not to say that I’m unhappy with my life or would prefer the alternative to getting older (30 trumps dead every time), it’s just a little bizarre to say it out loud or stop to think about it. But the celebrating? Oh my how it rocks.

Birthday Celebration #1
Two weekends ago The Man whisked me off to a quiet mountain retreat near Yosemite. We hiked (and I got to wave at the source of my water in the city), napped, wandered, and breathed. He taught me to play pool, befriended the staff, and stuck his head under a waterfall. I drank my lunch, ate ice cream in bed, and got chased by a bee. We both arrived sick and left healthy, a testament to the curative properties of fresh air, mountain well water, and time spent contemplating the moon.

Here I am looking out over Hetch Hetchy Valley during my perfect weekend.

Caught staring

The Man indulged my obsession with these little red and yellow flowers that grew out of the moss. The bee guarding them was the size of my fist (or so it seemed at the time), black and fat with the satisfaction of stinging city girls, so I ran walked calmly away while The Man kindly snapped photos.

Ooh....ahh....pretty.

Birthday Celebration #2
I still wake up expecting a 10 am wine tasting. And crave a nice crisp half glass of sauvignon blanc or viognier.

Sometimes the things you’ve been planning for years feel anti-climactic in the moment, but not this one. Future CEO’s fabulous family and my fabulous parents and our fabulous friends made for the perfect, insanely indulgent weekend of wine, walks, food, and fire. Most of those pictures ended up on some other camera (and may not be suitable for sharing), but it was a damn good time. One I’ll certainly remember for the next thirty years.

On Friday after work, I’ll head to Monterey where I’m meeting The Man for an unofficial Celebration #3. I leave Wednesday for Celebration #4 in Boston (plus wedding #2!) and then that’s it. Sometime in late-May I’ll begin acting my age, I promise.

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Friday Four

April 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm (Friday Four, It's all about me, the fam)

Hi there. Thanks to the miracle that is scheduled publishing, you’re now reading this while I’m on my way to Napa(ish). I’ve already had a haircut, picked up Future CEO’s cake (we each get our own because she likes yellow cake and I, well, don’t), picked up Future CEO, her little sis (Future Financial Adviser) and little sis’s hubby Nuclear Sub Dude (who I first met way back when I talked of sandwiches and blow jobs) and proceeded across the Bay Bridge to meet our respective parents in the land of Bacchus. I’ll be there until Monday, but I promise I’ll tell you all about it when I get back…*hiccup*

I’m (probably) listening to something from my Coke, Armani, and Richard Gere playlist*. Like Metric’s “Gimme Sympathy” or Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass”.

I’m (probably) reading The Windup Girl, the May book club selection.

I’m (probably) craving Terra’s Wurtele Cab.

I’m (probably) coveting a fun little clutch/cross-body bag that would leave my hands free for a wine glass!

Happy Weekend Everyone! See you on the other side of 30!

*This comes from a segment or interview I saw years ago that talked about fashion in film or perhaps Mr. Armani’s influence on American men’s attire. What I remember distinctly is the discussion of how Gere’s character takes pleasure in getting dressed for an evening, taking his time and doing a bit of coke to enhance the experience. For me, since I don’t own Armani and don’t do coke, this is the mix that accompanies a glass of bourbon or a flute of bubbly and long, thoughtful, Saturday night gazes into my closet.

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Things I Shouldn’t Do Before I Turn 30

February 1, 2010 at 12:08 am (future, plays well with others, the fam)

We are deeply into birthday planning for The Celebration (it’s like The Situation, but with a tad less fist pumping) when Future CEO, her family, and my family will gather in Wine Country for an extravaganza that has been years (seriously) in the making. Future CEO and I are talking dinner reservations, her little sister and brother-in-law are talking flights (and a night in my shoebox apartment), my father and I are visiting the wine cellar* to select from his collection of bottles from my birth year, and my mother just keeps repeating, “Whatever…I’m retired.”

As that big birthday approaches, I’m trying not to think about what I wanted to accomplish by that lovely round-numbered age. So instead, let’s think about all of the things I shouldn’t do before I turn 30 in four months.

1. Develop a meth habit. Just messy.

2. Sleep with Tiger Woods. Just dirty.

3. Date Chris Brown. Just dangerous.

4. Marry Heather Mills. Just crazy.

5. Faint three times during my birthday week. Just been there, done that.

6. Catch up on old Seinfeld episodes. Just don’t think it’s funny.**

7. Fall down an elevator shaft. Just bloody unlikely.

8. Compete in any Miss Universe-associated pageant. Just sleazy.

9. Pretend to like LL Cool J for his mind. Just not believable.

10. Get pregnant. Just not interested yet.

11. Visit the slums of Calcutta. Just depressing.

12. Join the US Army. Just not sure I can pull of that shade of green.

13. Spend a night in jail. Just not that into handcuffs. Ahem.

14. Camp alone. Just too afraid of deer.

15. Become a Yankees fan. Just not happening.

16. Wear Crocs. Just say no.

17. Date another 24-26 year old boy. Just prefer men.

18. Perform Backstreet Boys at bachelorette party karaoke. Just a “Livin’ on a Prayer” girl.

19. Move away from San Francisco. Just still in love with my city.

20. Drink a 30-year-old bottle of Caymus. Just kidding, I’ll totally do that.

*And by “wine cellar” I mean the completely packed extra fridge in the garage and the wine chiller that holds the really good stuff.
**Seriously.

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Jewish

January 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm (in my head, plays well with others, the fam)

Dancing Roommate and I went to a favorite bar last night for a drink. Despite bone-deep fatigue and my own certainty that I’d regret the outing when my alarm went off at 6 am, I was having a good time. DR chatted with a slightly slow Tom Hanks-type and I made friends with the 6’7″ manboy to my left. I can’t say I was interested, but he seemed to be checking his Blackberry in a way that made it obvious he was uncomfortable at a bar alone.

We sat, we chatted, Tom Hanks bought us a second round. The manboy proceeded to get drunk.

Somewhere after his fifth beer (sixth? seventh?) he began to joke with the bartender and other patrons. Suddenly he busted out a “Don’t be Jewish about it, man” to someone, somewhere.

Now I grew up where this is typical. My high school boyfriend AND my high school best friend required some teaching to correct their ignorance, but in a stranger? I don’t handle it very well. That many beers in, I doubt manboy felt the icy chill coming from my direction (which only intensified when he proceeded to make fun of a British woman a few stools down for having “English teeth” — complete with a chipmunk-face immitation), but I didn’t see any reason to either address it or continue my conversation with him.

An hour later we were ready to leave and I called over the man behind the bar.

“I never paid for my first beer,” I said. Because preying on a bartender’s distraction is stealing.

“You’re so honest!” manboy interjected with a tone of incredulity.

“Well, it’s how I was raised,” I replied.

What I should have said was, “It’s because I’m Jewish.”

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Bringing Back Shabbat

January 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm (if I ruled the world, in my head, plays well with others, present, the fam)

My local NPR station has a series they call Perspectives. In essence, any local resident can submit a two-minute piece on any topic with regional significance.  It has long been one of my favorite segments because of the narrative style, intimate feel, and range of topics. Today a journalist talked about a Yosemite camping trip where everyone brought his/her cell phone. It could be argued (and I might argue it) that Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Like my favorite National Park, its sights and sounds and smells can make you believe in a higher power. It can make you feel incredibly small, yet infinitely connected. It is an experience, I firmly believe, where one should be deeply present. The moral (resolution would be more apt) of the journalist’s piece was that he learned to turn his phone off when spending time with nature. I took it a little further.

My personal relationship with technological connectedness mirrors the ebb and flow society as a whole seemed to experience. I COULD NOT put the iPhone down when I first got it in 2008. I even began bringing it into the bathroom. (Yes, seriously.) I checked work email on weekends, checked personal email every five seconds, went status-update crazy on Facebook, started writing blog posts from the backseat of cars, learned to text while driving (not the cause of any of the four accidents I was in in 2009, by the way), and spent weekends at my parents’ house seeing more of that little screen than their two big hairy beasts. Then began the backlash.

I’ve found a balance that works for me. I check work email every morning, but don’t respond on weekends. I turn my phone off when I go out to dinner. I text only at red lights. I see the days when the phone gets left at home as opportunities to look up more. And when I forgot a charger in Colorado, I relished the day and a half of dings and rings and beeps not inciting a Pavlovian response.

As I sat at home this morning eating a real breakfast* and thinking about the Yosemite anecdote, I was reminded of the old Jewish custom of Shabbat. It’s an ancient practice that the Orthodox (and some others) still observe. Over the years, it was more or less translated into the Gentile notion of Sunday dinner. It’s a day of food and family and togetherness, but technically, it’s a day of rest. For me, it’s a day to be exactly where you are. To let tomorrow happen tomorrow. To return to a quieter time.

I think I want to bring it back.

My parents practice some version of Shabbat (though my father would scoff at the notion that anything he does has any connection to religion) in a very simple way. Since they moved into their new home in 2006, they’ve instituted a very strict rule about television. When dinner is on the table, the television is off. Period. And if more than one person is home for dinner at the same time, then dinner is eaten at the table…together. There are no exceptions, no excuses, no breaking of the sacred ritual that is focusing on each other for 30-60 minutes four to seven nights a week. It wasn’t the rule when I was growing up (then again I typically had dinner in a dance studio), but I want to institute it now.

Just one evening a week, I want food cooked slowly and eaten without the interruption of texts, calls, emails, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Reader. I want a rest from whatever isn’t right in front of me.

I want Shabbat.

What about you? Do you disconnect regularly? Or do you have any strict rules about your phone?

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Lately

January 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm (in my head, On dating and mating, plays well with others, present, the fam)

Lately I’ve been about the present. About the silhouette of a tree and the soft patter of bare feet. About the five distinct smells on the walk from Peet’s to my office.

Lately I’ve been about putting down the iPhone and turning off the television.

Lately I’ve been about the real and the possible. About the polite stranger who offered his bar stool and the kind neighbor who saw I needed a hug. Not about the handsome Southerner who is a walking contradiction in a thousand perfect ways.

Lately I’ve been about time outside breathing and exploring and moving.

Lately I’ve been about family. About those related by blood and those I’ve chosen. About making sure it doesn’t take a funeral to gather us all in one city.

Lately I’ve been about showing people who I am, unapologetically and relentlessly.

Lately I’ve been about acting my age (but not looking it).

Lately I’ve been about choosing my tempo. About eating, dancing, running, thinking, deciding, talking, cleaning, planning, and changing at my pace.

Lately I’ve developed a raging crush on Neil Patrick Harris.

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And I’m off

October 7, 2009 at 11:49 pm (future, the fam)

OK, so it’s 11:42 on Wednesday and I’ve had three glasses of wine, gone to the ballet, and determined that my book club needs an annual trip to Vegas. I’ll wake up in four and a half hours, take a quick shower, and board a plane for Germany with my disturbingly-chipper-in-the-morning mother. (I’ve also agreed to review one more contract while waiting for my plane – yes, I’m an idiot.) And then I’m off the grid until the 21st.

So be well, perform random acts of kindness, wear cute shoes, and we’ll chat again in two weeks.

auf wiedersehen,

BS

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Friday Four (sort of)

September 18, 2009 at 8:55 am (Friday Four, the fam)

I had a deep, haunting post lined up, but then I thought

1) It’s Friday
2) No one likes deep BS very much
3) I’m really hungover

Once again my parents are in town (sort of) and once again we celebrated my parents’ anniversary (sort of) and once again my dad went all nutso with the booze ordering and had to drive my car for me.

It was a table of my dad’s co-workers, my mother, and me. It was a restaurant with two Michelin stars, a tasting menu, and a book for a wine list. Now I may be a sucker for a tasting menu, but Dad’s a sucker for a sommelier who loves California as much as France. It was the wine pairing for every course that did me in. DID. ME. IN. You have to train to drink like that.

Somewhere around the cheese course I realized that my dad was toasting me. Oh holy hell.

So here’s your Friday Four, which I promise took more effort than it seems.

  • I’m listening to Prop 8 – The Musical
  • I’m reading Saturday by Ian McEwan. Somewhere in my unpacking I found two copies and had never read either one. He needs to stop talking about brain surgery soon or I’m putting it right back down. I will puke on you Ian McEwan, I will. I’ll hunt you down and puke on you. Or, you know, I’ll just stop reading your book.
  • I’m craving Top Ramen. Don’t look at me like that, I’m hungover.
  • I’m coveting a place to eat my Top Ramen and watch bad cable. Did I mention I’m hungover?

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Chez BS

September 14, 2009 at 8:29 pm (future, past, present, the fam)

What would a new apartment be without a good knockdown-dragout fight with the cable company? If my posts are particularly short, it’s because I don’t yet have the interweb at Chez BS. I can actually call it that now! It’s my very own beautiful, organized, wonderful place. Classic minimalist with a touch of modern glamor – that’s me. Or how I’m branding myself anyway.

Case in point: my new fridge. This is what it looked like on Sunday evening.

My bachelorette fridge

My bachelorette fridge

I’m still unpacking and placing and finishing, so no real pictures yet, but here’s what I must say. Must.

The Dangerous Ex ROCKS MY WORLD. Oh yeah, it deserves all caps. It seems I’ve found a second thing he does well*. Dude showed up on a Saturday to do 80% of the heavy lifting. Not only is he big and strong, but he was also part of a high-end moving crew in a former life. While I tried not to giggle as I heard “Pivot!…Pivot!…Pivot!” in my head, he knew just how to tip the sofa around the stairway railing and lifted my obnoxiously heavy bookcase with his little finger. (That last one might be a slight exaggeration.) He has never looked more attractive to me than he did when bringing up the heavy end of the mattress**. Hand to God. And I knew him when he was fresh out of Basic and in full dress uniform and I’d been at a women’s college for 10 weeks. Yeah.

And then!

And then.

And then he started bringing out the good tequila.

Seriously.

Also mind-blowingly awesome? My parents. On so many levels. If real friends help you move, then I don’t know what you call parents who help you move, go without food for most of the day, buy you dinner, and manage to dissolve into hysterical laughter somewhere in the middle. I have the best parents ever. That is all.

*The guy has a really lovely singing voice. Ahem.
**Yes, there is a heavy end of the mattress. It’s whatever end I’m not carrying.

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