Saturday, December 31, 2005

Shop our online store for even LARGER quantities of faith!!!

I thought I’d heard it all. And then I heard this:

Me: Hey, mom, which service are we going to on Sunday? (Christmas Day)
Mom: Oh, church is closed on Christmas Day.

Oh no they DIH-N’T.

That’s right. Closed. Church. On Christmas Day. Forgive me if I - the girl who goes to church only a few times a year - asks, do these people think they work for Banana Republic?

Apparently, this is the trend among many of the country’s “super churches”. The massive memberships require hundreds of volunteers, and apparently church officials seem to think that most members would just rather be “home opening gifts with their families” than going to church.

I realize I’m a bit of a hypocrite complaining about this since I almost never go to church. But I’ve honestly never heard anything more cockamamie in my life. So let’s dissect this a couple of ways. Let’s just say that of the church’s 10,000 members only 1,000 show up on Christmas Day. Isn’t it worth it to have at least ONE service (as opposed to the normal four services) for those 1,000 faithful who really want to worship on Christmas Day? And of those 1,000 let’s just say that 100 people have had a really tough year. They’ve lost a family member to cancer and it’s their first Christmas without them. Or maybe they’re contemplating suicide because the holidays are a tough time of year to get through when you’re depressed. Or maybe they’re alone or they don’t have anywhere else to go. Or maybe – and this is a really crazy notion – maybe they just want to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They actually care more about that than any presents they could possibly receive. Surely there are still a few of those people left. ?? Right?? Are there? Isn’t it worth it to scrounge up enough volunteers to have one service to help those 100 people who really, really need it or who really, really want to celebrate Christmas?

Let’s look at it from a business perspective. Take Jesus and Christmas and everything meaningful out of it. If you’re a church official, don’t you instinctively know that Christmas and Easter are THE biggest days of the year for you? The time to shine, the time when the non-regulars like me show up in their special hats and finery to not feel so guilty for not going the rest of the year and see what church is all about? Wouldn’t this be your big opportunity as a church to recruit some new members? Garner some more tithes? Maybe find a few new members that will eventually help you add on another annex and basketball court to the church?

I don’t know, I just don’t buy the whole “we don’t have enough volunteers” thing. For example, when you want to volunteer for the SPCA in San Francisco, you sign something, you commit to working at least (I believe) 12 hours per month for at least 6 months. If you can’t commit to that, you can’t be a volunteer. Period. Sure, church volunteering is very different from walking dogs at the SPCA. I thought about being a volunteer at the SPCA during ad school but after hearing the requirements, I realized I didn’t have the time to commit so I couldn’t do it. Maybe churches should consider something similar. Weed out the people who aren’t serious or ask in advance if they’re willing to volunteer during peak times of need or attendance.

And for those who’ve chosen the church as their profession, I have to ask, don’t they know they’ll be making some sacrifices? It’s kind of like a manager at Macy’s saying “I’ll work every day of the year EXCEPT the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas.” Those are the biggest days of the year and they’re NOT optional. If you want a career in retail, you give up those 2 days. Period.

Maybe this is just an elaborate reverse psychology-type move to get people like me in motion, to help us realize that we want the option of church on Christmas Day. By taking it away, you’ll make me want it more. Aha! You DO care! We GOT you!

Guess what? You DIDN’T get me. In fact, you’ve left me more confused about religion than ever. Church is always open. That’s what I was always taught, anyway. Does sending a DVD sermon to every member via the US Postal Service really compensate for the live service on the actual Day? Even an irregular churchgoer, heathen sinner like me knows that’s NOT What Jesus Would Do if He was here.

Macfisto, my spiritual guidepost…what say you? Anyone?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

KY: The state, not the jelly

I’m going home for Christmas today. That’s right, I said Christmas. Because in Kentucky, they don’t say “Happy Holidays” they say “Merry Christmas”. “Holidays” doesn’t really refer to Channukuh or Kwanza or Ramadan. Nope, “Holidays” refers to Veteran’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of people who observe other holidays besides Christmas in my hometown of Lexington and my home state. But from what I can tell in my 19 years away from home, the whole “Happy Holidays” sentiment hasn’t really caught on as much as it has in other places. I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard someone wish someone else a Merry Christmas in my 5 San Francisco holiday seasons, even when someone’s positive the person they’re sending their wishes to is Christian. Yet I could almost guarantee that tomorrow I won’t even make it to baggage claim before I hear someone wish someone else a Merry Christmas. While I know this is wrong and I still wish people happy holidays myself, there’s something comforting about hearing the words “Merry Christmas”. Like Pavlov’s dog, the words “Merry Christmas” send signals to my brain that I’m home and I’m about to see my family and I have to admit, when I hear it tomorrow, it will finally feel like Christmas to me and I’m looking forward to that.

In fact, as much shit as I’ve listened to people dish out about the south, about me making out with my brothers (ewwww), about how my teeth are mighty plentiful for a southern girl blah, blah, blah, I have to say, there are a gracious plenty things I love about my state and about my holiday traditions that I’d never change, no matter where I live the other 364 days of the year.

For instance, people out here laugh when I tell them the first earthquake I ever felt was in Kentucky. I couldn’t possibly understand the seriousness of a real earthquake. True.

But, to you sassy people (or to all y’all, if you will) I also have to say, in MY native state, a tree that falls through the roof of someone’s house after some low-grade thunderstorm does NOT headline EVERY SINGLE NEWSCAST on EVERY LOCAL STATION for 2 days. If that was the case, we’d never have time for the important news. You know, the basketball updates.

Because out here, the number of choices and causes you can choose to support is mind-boggling and that’s why I love it. But it’s also why I love returning home a few times a year, to slow down the pace. At home in the KY, the biggest discussion point is pretty much blue or red, Kentucky or Louisville, Tubby or Rick, do you still eat Golden Flake chips? (one of Rick’s old endorsements when he coached Kentucky) do you still buy Ford cars and trucks? (Rick’s chosen endorsement car brand when at KY). The answers, of course, as anyone with any horse sense will tell you are blue, Kentucky, Tubby, no and HELL NO. In Lexington, you like Kentucky. In Kentucky you like basketball, Kentucky bourbon and horses. Period. And if you don’t like any of those, you might as well put your family in the witness protection program and ship yourself out to North Dakota or some other no-name basketball/bourbon state.

Yep, in the KY the choices are pretty simple. Nobody sums it up any better than the Aunt in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”: “Whaddya mean he don’t eat NO MEAT?” Mmmhmm. In the KY, meat’s bigger than Chip and Pepper jeans or Havania flip flops. Vegans? Organic meat and produce lovers? Low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-carb diets? Je m’appelle cou cou shou shou WHAT? Those haven’t really caught on yet, at least not at Christmas.

No, when we come a callin’ on ya mama an’ em, we bring homemade biscuits, potato chips dipped in chocolate, bourbon balls and of course, the mother load of the Kentucky Christmas: a country ham, which is basically a ham rubbed in salt and aged for about 100 years. Yep, it sounds gross, but you slap a piece of that on one of your mama’s homemade yeast biscuits and have a few sips of your Maker’s/Booker’s/Woodford Reserve and water and you can damn sure bet you’re gonna taste somethin’ that’s gonna make you slap your grandmamma it’s so good.

For the Christmas movie selection, it’s safe to say that most Kentuckians won’t see any movies about gay cowboys. Nosirree. We opt for the holiday blockbusters. This year, I predict my family will see no less than 4 films during my 6-day visit: “Rumor Has It”, “Kong”, “The Family Stone” (which I’ve seen but will pretend I haven’t) and (hopefully) “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

During my 6-day visit, I will also run into people I went to high school and/or college with. I will explain no less than 17 times that no, I am not married and no, I do not have kids, no, I do not live in Kentucky anymore and no, I do not want to move back. I live in San Francisco and after an uncomfortable silence, I will answer the question some ballsy person will invariably ask: no, I’m not a lesbian. I will tell people I’m a copywriter and they will ask me at what law firm I practice my copyrighting. I will try to avoid the college acquaintance who lectured me on straying from God’s Path when I told him I was going through a divorce 4 years ago. I will try to avoid him because if I see him and have to exchange more than 2 words I can almost guarantee that I will cause him some sort of bodily harm.

Yes, it’s a unique place, the KY. It has its challenges but it also has its charms. For every fond memory you Californians have of your first Iron Man, your first Alcatraz swim, your summers in Outward Bound and where you were during the ‘Quake of ’89 I’ve got one of my first 4th of July fun run, the first tornado I thought I might not live through, the day I learned that the cute pigs I saw at the after school animal farm would someday become a prized country ham, and when I learned that the really cute new guy at my high school was a Louisville fan. That was the end of THAT guy.

So Merry Christmas, y’all. And Happy Channukah (why the “C” only sometimes? D Shaw? Jaime?) Happy Ramadan, Joyeux Kwanza, Happy Boxing Day. Peace and joy to everyone, even if its just for 24 hours.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Chestnuts roasting on the Panasonic

The air is crisp, the sidewalks are bustling with merry shoppers, everyone’s sipping their signature eggnog lattes….ahhhh, the holidays. Excuse me, won't you? I think I need to put another log on the TV.

Oh, but wait! I don’t even need to add a log! The festive and kind people at Channel 7 have done it for me. That’s right, for the umpteenth year in a row, Channel 7 “presents” (?) The Holiday Log, a festive fire that flickers non-stop for 3 days on your TV screen, playing nothing but holiday music.


I would (almost) pierce an unmentionable just to have been a fly on the wall of that marketing/sales meeting way back when, I’m guessing circa 1992, that someone threw out the Holiday Log as an alternative to programming, yet still an enticing hook for advertisers and potential sponsors. Naturally. Because nothing says “gather ‘round family and friends!” like a flickering log on your 27” screen.

Seriously, namer-guy, could you NOT come up with something better than “The Holiday Log” ? Does the word log make anybody else but me laugh? Am I the only 30-something person with 2nd grade humor left in me?

How does this happen, this Holiday Log? I imagine it was a specific item on someone in marketing’s “to-do” list, to name the log segment so they could create appropriate collateral and get the sales team all jacked up to sell it. I’d guess they had about 2 weeks to come up with a name and on the Thursday night before it was due, maybe they went on an 8-hour bender at a bar that allows you to self-serve meatballs from a crock pot, came to work late the next day, opened Microsoft Word and began typing options and settled for the first one they typed since the meeting where they’d present the name and concept to the sales team started 5 minutes prior to their typing.

“Fuck it. Holiday Log. Sounds good to me.”

But you know, cool, whatever. Give the people what they want. I, for one, can’t wait to get myself all Holiday-ed up by tuning in to that log, excuse me, THE log. The Holiday Log. Maybe they can get Dr. Extra Smiley Local Dentist Guy (his name escapes me…Dshaw? I know you know who I’m talking about) to sponsor it. After all, if you’re a friend of the log, you’re a friend of mine.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's time to water Bill

Bill lives on my floor. Actually Bill used to live on my floor. He died about a week before I moved in and unfortunately, because he was (I think and have heard from neighbors in the building) slightly schizophrenic, he’d alienated himself from all family and friends. So no one discovered his body until about 2 weeks after he died. The building manager said that by the time they found him, his body was so decayed it was black and is too freaked out by the memory of it to comment any further. Apparently the forensics team left the door to his apartment open and the overpowering stench managed to seep under the door cracks and find its way into apartments causing everyone to self-evacuate for a few days.

A sad way to go, huh?

Personally, I think Bill still lives on my floor. Many nights I’ve been sitting by my “Vertigo “ staircase outside my door, furiously waving my laptop in the air to steal a wireless signal and have seen shadows on the wall and thought one of my neighbors’ kids was sneaking up on me, only to find no one there when I turned around. The elevator arrives on my floor, uncalled and the doors just sit open, waiting. For a while it freaked me out. Then two of my neighbors attended his memorial service last week and I got a little back-story on Bill.

Bill might very well have been schizophrenic. But apparently he was also one of those rare people who blur the lines between genius and insanity. His brother spoke about the 97 journals he found that Bill had filled with his thoughts. 97. According to him, every single journal was a lucid and beautifully written literary masterpiece about Bill’s observations on everything from family, neighbors and weather to foreign policy, current events, books and films.

Sure, his brother might’ve been biased on the “literary masterpiece” part. But a neighbor told me a story about once discussing with Bill how he was returning to New York to get his black belt – a huge accomplishment (I just learned how big it actually is). Bill was fascinated. He spent 2 hours asking questions to fully grasp what was involved in the training, how one qualified for it, etc. After my neighbor returned from New York, he found a long letter from Bill underneath his door congratulating him on his achievement. My neighbor is also a writer on the side, an incredibly smart man with a well-developed vocabulary. He said the letter was so beautifully written (same words as his brother) but so complex that he actually had to look up some of the words. He was touched because not one other person had taken the time to question him about his training and what it meant to him and thus no one really understood why it was such a big deal. No one but Bill. Bill got it.

Bill also wrote letters to everyone in his family every week. He addressed them and stamped them but never mailed them. His family read hundreds of them between the time he died and his memorial service and was overwhelmed at the emotion, beauty and positive thoughts in every single letter. Imagine being on the receiving end of all those years of unsent thoughts. After being alienated from someone you love because of a mental illness, probably doing everything you could to see and help that person only to be denied but then discovering they were thinking of you all along, every single day, every single week, year after year. I can’t think of a more amazing yet torturous gift.

The thing that overwhelmed them the most was that in the thousands and thousands of pages of journals and letters there was not one negative thought, not one bad word spoken about anyone, no anger at his situation, no frustration. Bill took a genuine interest in everything, especially anything that anyone took the time to talk to him about. Because while he alienated his family, he couldn’t hide from his neighbors. He accepted their visits, loved their children and took an interest in their lives.

Bill lived in the building for 30 years.

Only 2 people from the building went to his memorial service. That part made me the saddest.

After living in this building for 5 weeks, I have a brand new understanding about the importance of neighbors. It’s a weird niche, neighbors. People you’re friendly with but they’re not really friends. (with exceptions of course…I’ve become great friends with a wonderful family across the hall). People who know the comings and goings of your daily life more intimately than family but they’re not family either. People you’d probably share your water supply and flashlight with because of their immediate proximity in the case of an earthquake or some sort of crazy terrorist attack. People who might make a sheet ladder with you if the building was on fire or at the very least bang on your door to let you know something was happening and that you needed to get the hell out.

People who, after 30+ or – years (depending on when they moved in) shared all those important and strangely intimate day-to-day experiences with you but who can’t be bothered to come to your funeral.

That’s why Bill’s shadows don’t freak me out anymore. I like to think he’s just exploring, after so many years of being alone in his apartment for whatever reason. He knows there’s someone new on the floor and maybe he wants to see what I’m up to every night out there on the stairs. He’s probably reading over my shoulder right now, maybe making some notes in his journal about the new girl in 603 and her weird laundry habits.

I noticed there’s a tree from Bill’s apartment that’s sitting on our floor. I catch Joanne and First Family (my nice friends across the hall) watering it from time to time (coincidentally, they’re the 2 people that went to the memorial service) and that makes me happy. I’m going to start looking out for Bill’s water levels too. In fact, I’m going to try and be better about taking 2 minutes every day to do something nice for someone that doesn’t fall in the friend or family category. It’s so simple to make someone’s day, yet how often do we actually do it for someone we don’t know that well? Pay a genuine compliment to someone we don’t know? Mail someone that we’ve never even met some gorgeous painted hearts? (Thanks again, Miz Gina…you rule).

For today, I think I’ll just make sure Bill has enough water. His shadows are kind of nice to have around.

(Told you I was having a funny hiatus. Maybe all that ammonia and bleach got to me.)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Come and knock on my door (but bring your kitchen scrubber)

I haven’t blogged for a while because truthfully, I haven’t been feeling all that funny lately and haven’t had one of those “I can’t wait to blog about this!” moments I’ve generally had about 5 times a day since I started writing this. But I live in this quirky building downtown and after getting to know some of the people in the building and hearing some of the interesting, odd and moving stories about people that have come and gone over the years, I realized that this building’s having kind of a funny effect on me. Not so much “funny ha-ha”, more like “Funny-makes-you-think”. And that’s how Stella got her blog back.

So until I’m motivated to blog otherwise, I’ll be acquainting you with a few of my fascinating, wonderful, quirky neighbors and city-livin’ as I know it in my new building. As always, names have been changed to protect the innocent parties completely oblivious to the fact that I’m soaking up every detail of their interesting personalities like a curious sponge.

Joanna is an outspoken woman in her mid to late 60s. She owns some sort of high-end retail boutique in Hayes Valley and has traveled all over the world selecting clothing, furniture and home accessories fit for the celebrities and very wealthy that shop in her store. I love Joanna. She doesn’t mince words and sometimes being on the receiving end of her bluntness can be a little off-putting but because her intentions are good, you just can’t help but like her.

Joanna recently schooled me on doing laundry in our basement Laundromat. She noticed I was using a couple of dryers that apparently produce condensation due to “poor implementation by the lazy installing company”. She was appalled that I’d not only used this dryer but that I’d actually – gasp! – washed and dried my “delicates” (the old school term for panties and bras) in public machines. She was equally appalled that I was using hypoallergenic All on all my clothing but most especially on my delicates. According to Joanna, the people in advertising have been perpetuating a 75ish+ year hoax on consumers by making them think they need the harsh chemicals found in the Alls, Tides, Cheers, etc of the world. Apparently only trash collectors, mechanics, machinists (?) and other such boorish professions need the harshness found in these detergents. Not a sweet, young freelancing flower like me.

No, what I needed to do was hand wash my delicates –actually all my clothing - in good old-fashioned Ivory Snow. Didn’t I understand how much unidentified hair was in these machines? How she’d once found a used condomstuck to the side of a washer? (“And, honey, there was still stuff in it. You know..STUFF!”) How me putting my clean clothes in the condensation filled dryer was like putting them in a heated, germy Petri dish? I was agog. I envisioned the Summers-Eve like conversation between mothers and daughters that I’d clearly missed somewhere along the line where mom and I walked arm in arm, laughing and talking in hushed tones about the proper way for me to cleanse my panties. I felt robbed. Thank goodness for Joanna.

Tonight I took a field trip to Walgreen’s where I bought bleach, ammonia, latex gloves and a special kitchen scrubber brush that would have a decidedly different mission during its sad little life than its name implied it should. I filled my tub with scalding hot water and bleach and let round 1 begin: the soaking of the whites. After about 45 minutes of this, I drained the tub, took my shower nozzle and hosed everything down and filled the tub up again and added my non-white delicates, this time with ammonia. I donned my latex gloves and used the kitchen brush to create washing machine-like agitation for about 5 minutes, then let them soak for about 15 minutes.

Somewhere during the agitation cycle, I realized that I’d forgotten to buy the recommended prescription of Ivory Snow and that ammonia and bleach as a pre-cursor to hypo-allergenic All were probably not the gentle cleansing that Joanna had intended when she recommended hand-washing. It was then I also realized I might be a tad bit OCD and possibly even a little bit insane. I got an image of Laura Ingalls (you may remember her as half-pint from “Little House on the Prairie”) washing clothes next to a babbling brook on a washing board and I started to laugh hysterically. What the fuck was I doing? HAND WASHING MY PANTIES. Yep. But if I’m hand washing delicates, by God, you better believe that my OCD-ass is gonna make sure these things are spic and fricking span. And I stopped laughing and started scrubbing... with the kitchen brush, for God’s sake. A kitchen brush, scrubbing the crotch of all my underwear. Oh, how far I’ve fallen. I wanted to laugh but how could I? No time for laughing! Pa will be here soon to take me back to the house where Mary and Ma are waiting for me to help with dinner! Mary’s blind, for God’s sake! Somebody has to roast the chickens that Ma killed this morning.

I drained the tub again, added another round of scalding water and a cap-full of hypo-allergenic All and began the agitation cycle again. I then scrubbed each individual piece within an inch of its mass-produced life and agitated again for about 5 minutes, drained the tub again (and determined at this point that I’m definitely losing it) and turned the shower nozzle on everything to rinse. I hung everything from my shower rod and the doorknobs in my tiny little studio. And started to laugh at the sight of it. Until I realized I needed to take a shower before bed. That’s right. In the dirty underwear tub. Oh dear. Clearly, more cleaning needed to happen.

So I left the gloves on, I filled the tub. Again. I added bleach and let it soak for 30 minutes or so. Then I drained and scrubbed with Comet cleanser. Nope, not clean enough. (I have no clue where this newfound cleanliness obsession suddenly came from). I rinsed and added straight ammonia to my sponge and scrubbed for a few minutes while my delicates hanging from the shower rod dripped on my head. In no time at all (! Insert happy-looking advertising housewife here) I had myself a sparkling tub, a little bit of a headache from all the fumes and – oh my holy shit, what the fuck is THAT?? DEFCON FIVE, people: ammonia/bleach water had infiltrated my right rubber glove. We have penetration, I repeat; WE HAVE PENETRATION. CUTICLES ARE DAMAGED. Mother fucker, wouldn’t you know it, I NEVER get manicures but I got one today to cheer myself up and now look. Ruined. $8 down the drain. Literally.

I collapsed on my bed and looked around my studio. I started to laugh again, this time at the thought of me ever bringing a man up to this little passion palace that I sub-lease from dear, wonderful BLH who just gave birth 2 months ago. I realized it’s a really good thing I’m single because tonight in my sub-leased studio, I’ve got panties and bras hanging from every available doorknob and hook, I’ve got a crib and bassinet in one corner, I’ve got breast-milk storage guidelines and lovingly-produced children’s art hanging on the fridge and a baby mobile hanging in my kitchen doorway. TOTALLY HOT, right?

So much for being delicate on my delicates.

This is the staircase in my building which was supposedly used in "Vertigo" (you can see why).

Friday, December 09, 2005

What's wrong with me?

Where have all the blog-worthy moments gone? WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?? Can you please tell me some jokes? Recommend funny books? Something? Is this the price and the curse of working? Cause it went away 2 weeks ago when I started this job. Did I throw up my sense of humor in the bathroom on that fateful first day?

Please, help Stella get her groove back. I'm in a downward blogging spiral. Recommend movies, books, yoga, drugs....something. I'm dull as a butter knife over here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Feast your eyes on this

Ladies and gents, meet crack. Blogging crack, that is. OK, she actually prefers to be called Deepi but once you wrap your undamaged grey matter around her words, you’ll be addicted. Funny, witty, spicy, crazy….you’re gonna love her as much as I do. I mean come on, an Indian goddess reared in…Texas? Show her some love, pretty please. You won’t be sorry. (No pressure, Miz Deeps!)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy Birthday to me: I'm an aunt!

Ok, so I’m a fake aunt, but it feels real to me. Baby GIRL (I knew it) Duck arrived today at 3:51 am – 9 lbs 2 ounces! (Ouch, man – that’s gotta leave a mark.) I’ve never actually welcomed another human being into the world on the first day of their life and I have to say, it’s pretty incredible. I’m still all verklempt. She’s perfect and beautiful with big round cheeks. And she squeaks a lot. I love her and can’t wait to watch her become her own little person and spoil her as much as her parents will let me. OK, I’m all verklempt again.

Anyhoo, it’s my birthday. Who’da ever thunk I’d be where I am at the ripe old age of, ahem, 18? It’s kind of bizarre, nothing’s right or permanent, my world is upside down but strangely, I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be, which is in the city I love, surrounded by so many unbelievable friends and interesting people and on the way to..something. I’m not even sure what yet, other than a full-time job in this career I still stalk. I also had this dream last night that I met this faceless, amazing, funny, sensitive guy….but he was THE guy. I could feel the chemistry in my dream. WHERE ARE YOU?????? Can you at least send a few of your hot friends over to my birthday party tonight to make out with me? Help a sister out! I guess the dream will have to suffice for now.

So here’s my list of random learnings and musings for the year. Some are insightful, most aren’t. I’d like to say they’re things I’ve been thinking about and learning from over the year, but most are things I thought of in the last 15 minutes. Enjoy them and please feel free to share your own random learnings. That’s what birthdays and blogs are for, right?

One last thing, thanks to the handful of you who read this thing regularly. It’s fun to write it. And you’re just lovely for the comments you leave and the funny things you say and for enduring my sassy, sometimes pointless comments back on your blogs. Is it lame if I say it makes my day when I read it and see your shiny little fonty faces? Because it does. I wish all of you could be here tonight for the cocktails and karaoke bash. But don’t worry, I’ll drink and sing enough for all of us.

-Your gut is always right.
-Safeway Soups are worth the $4.99.
-You can love and miss a city (or two) as much as a person.
-When the homeless man tells you it’s a holiday and that you don’t have to put change in the parking meter, he’s lying.
-I’m gullible.
-If somebody is into you, they call you. They don’t email. They don’t text. They call. For fuck's SAKE, why is this hard?
-Using the “you look like a celebrity” angle to pick up a woman and then telling her the celebrity she looks like is Gregory Peck is not effective. (and no, I’m not the one who stole his Walk of Fame star.)
-When they bring you a hot plate at a restaurant and tell you not to touch it, don’t touch it.
-It takes more than love to sustain a relationship.
-I will never be able to stop quoting random movies. As my friend, or even as a random reader of my blog, you’ll just accept this, overlook it and learn a few key movies so you’ll at least know what I’m talking about when I start a sentence with “If I got to ride yo ass like Zorro…” or “I’ve got nipples, Focker, can you milk me?” or answer a question barking on one leg with “Whatever YOU like.” (name all 3…I know you can do it, Dshaw. Anyone else?)
-The African-American man collectively loves him some Rbrown. Is it my hot, hourglass bod (ahem)? I just don’t know.
-9 out of 10 dentists agree: trying to “be friends” with people you seriously dated is stupid and pointless and wrong.
-Speaking of dentists, change yours if he/she wants to cap any tooth in your visible smile region with gold.
-It’s shallow but I get angry when I go for long periods without: a good haircut, good color, decent moisturizer, a proper Mission-style burrito, a good spicy tuna roll, an excellent work-out or a nice glass of wine. Can’t I have them all in moderation? Even if I have to sell platelets or panhandle? Is that so wrong?
-I will (try to) never date an advertising man again.
-I can survive on much less money than I ever thought possible.
-And it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
-“Blinded by the light/wrapped up like a douche/another runner in the night” – I still don’t know the words to that freaking song. Revved up like a deuce?
-I don’t understand why a brunch restaurant would run out of oatmeal and bagels every Sunday. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Is this not the biggest brunch day of the week? Are these expensive items to stock? Do they not learn from their inventory mistakes? Apparently not.
-I’m an idiot when it comes to college basketball. This will never change. For anyone.
-Living in another country- even for 6 months - is the experience of a lifetime.
-Can’t say it enough: your gut is always right. Never tune it out. Otherwise you’ll find yourself married, working in marketing and living in Atlanta.
-I have the most incredible family and friends a person could ever ask for.
-And if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them, so thanks. You rule.