Thursday, June 29, 2006

losing a piece

Princess is moving to Seattle this weekend; he's trying to improve his quality of life and see more of his sister and her family by transferring to a different paper. I'm helping him drive up, which should be interesting. Because I haven't driven stick in years, and because he's sort of a scary driver himself--being the well-bred gentleman he is, he likes to make eye contact with the person he's talking to. Which is fine when you're sitting across the table with him, of course. Nervewracking when he's behind the wheel.

Anyway. After weeks of relative sloth, suddenly I have several pieces of writing due all at once. Not even laziness on my part, but other people's schedules, blah blah. A lot to write, not much time, and we leave Friday morning, and I try to think about this as a fun road trip to Seattle, not my handing my closest confidante and boon companion over to a new city. We were friends in college, and he moved out here soon after I did. I've known him for fifteen years, and boy do we have dirt on each other.

At his going-away party at the Lone Palm tonight, he hugged me as I was leaving and said, I'm glad I don't have to say good-bye to you yet, and I nearly lost my shit right there. I had risked a margarita, knowing that alcohol could make me maudlin, but I'd been doing fine up until that point talking to people I hadn't seen in a long time and others I'd heard about but never met. Catching up. E is pregnant with her third child. I finally met D's husband and their baby, and what a delight that was. Didn't realize that S is apparently seeing C's sister. Met D and V, both of whom I know solely through email, and liked them in person very much. The two of his ex-boyfriends with whom he'd had the longest relationships were there, and I was glad to see them. It was a very nice party as long as I didn't tell people how I really felt.

I feel safe saying this here because I know he doesn't read my blog, but I'm actually rather a wreck about this, when I let myself think about it. Which I've managed not to do for the past few weeks. That flight home Monday night, though, I suspect is going to suck.

Friday, June 23, 2006

another proof of the natural superiority of dark chocolate

It's safer.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

ah, george?

Are you sure you're getting across the right message when you say Iraq should take courage from Hungary's history? Because Hungary is finally free after being under the Soviet Union's thumb for so long? At least from the twisted way I see things, it's easier to equate Soviet Union (large external power) with the US (large external power) than with one internal dictator, which I think is the comparison you're trying to draw.

Or are you simply so determined to bring everything back to your precious stupid war that you will take any opportunity to reference it, no matter how inappropriate or ungermane doing so is?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

someone else with ranids in the freezer

I can't begin to comment on this.
once a year, whether you need it or not

when no one is forgotten and nothing goes to waste
when sadness turns to laughter when anger's defaced
you'll start to know the way I feel about you

when weakness turns to power when evil turns to good
when the helpless are remembered by those who never would
you start to know the way I feel about you

and if I could, I'd run out into the street and I'd scream to everyone I'd meet
that I loved you more than words could say
and that I loved you more than life this father's day

when caring is exalted when kindness knows no bounds
when integrity comes easy when love is all around
you'll start to know the way I feel about you

and if I could, I'd run out into the world and tell every boy and girl to love
before love takes itself away
just like I'm loving you this father's day

Peter Himmelman, This Father's Day, off the 1986 album of the same name.

It is getting a little easier. This is my third. Not easy, but easier.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

any smack i've talked about the guild's booking agent?

Just forget it. I was an idiot. A fact that is coming vividly to life as I cover for her this month while she lollygags around at her ancestral home in the Phillipines, eating mangoes that have been lovingly wrapped in newspaper as they grew so their skins would be thin and tender.

This stuff is hard. I'm "on" for three hours, twice a week; the Guild's phone line has been forwarded to mine, and I hang out from three to six pm Tuesdays and Thursdays waiting for clients to call in with work, and models to call in to ask for work. There are quite a few more of the latter than the former right now, so it's kind of heart-breaking. So there's the time on the phone, which is non-stop, and then a couple hours afterwards where I call people back and wrangle the details. Oh, and some of this: I don't think we're the sort of modeling agency that can help you, ma'am, no matter how many people have told you your little son is cute enough to be in pictures. I really don't think these are the kind of pictures they mean.

Also, there are artists who don't want to work with specific models, and vice-versa, and a great deal of fancy-pants dancing around the subject when it comes up. No, Mister Client, I'm afraid Jane Model's not available. She's, ah, got another commitment. Ah yes, every week you're hoping to book. Yep.

One of the weirder challenges, though, played out today. I had a last-minute call from a guy who needed a female model for some photo work. Which is very expensive with us, prohibitively so, for various reasons that are not interesting. But this guy needed to shoot reference, and he had a fairly specific idea of body type, so I tried to find someone who was not me to do it.


So yesterday afternoon I had to call him and say, well, I'm tattooed, and I know that's not what you're looking for, but I can't find anyone who's available on this short notice who is also the kind of round you're looking for, and comfortable with photo work. He agreed that that was all fine, he was sure it would work, but then he woke me at nine freakin' ay am today to ask me what color I am, and if I can talk about my body type a little more because his wife had been explaining what various height/weight combinations should look like (there's a list of us on the Web site with just that info, and not much more), and here I was totally groggy and trying to explain that in my case 5'6" and 150 may sound a little heavy, but most of my junk's in the trunk, and I'm muscular but no longer cut (RIP aikido practice), and since I just got done with my period my breasts are about yay big, and there was a little part of my mind floating above the rest of the operation saying what in the name of Sam Hill is going on here? Shouldn't I be talking about what I can do, my skills and accomplishments, not my water retention?

But the checks clear. So I finished with him, and then went and shaved some things I don't usually (not those things) shave, cursing every artist everywhere, and went off to the Sunset to work. He seemed happy enough, if not ecstatic, but then it's hard to tell with artists, and it was a pleasant session. I drank honey-ginger tea and we talked about his kids.

Weird work, though. And I'm starting to see from how many sides it's weird.

Friday, June 16, 2006

no more red-eye flights for me

Looking for other ways to fight global warming besides using your bike and laying in a stock of energy-efficient lightbulbs? Here's a new thing to think about.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

so she accepts the process

Sunday night, I went out to a bar to hear a friend spinning obscure 80's music. I'm not sure which was more unnerving--realizing that I remembered at least 75% of the lyrics, or that nobody else in the bar recognized any of it. One woman came up and asked for the Rolling Stones. Another explained that she was from France, only planned to stay in the bar for another hour, and she'd better be hearing something she recognized in that time, like, oh, U2. Well, I'm afraid you're going to have to learn to live with disappointment, my friend more or less said. One guy won my undying admiration when he came up and asked for Gang of Four's At Home He's a Tourist; admiration only slightly dimmed by the fact that the guy then went on to describe how he just moved to SF from Florida and found an apartment and a $45k/year job in less than a week. In other words, he was really altogether too chipper for Go4, but I let it slide.

I kept thinking I should leave--Sunday is the night I write the stuff I get paid for, and I was pretty groggy anyway--but he kept putting on songs I liked and hadn't heard in years, so I kept not leaving. Content to sit in the dark nursing a pear cider and trying to remember what it was like, being sixteen, and hearing this stuff for the first time. Especially the Go4, to which Fig first introduced me, he of the poetry and clove cigarettes, but all of it: the English Beat, Ultravox, my beloved Adam, Siouxsie and the Banshees. The music I listened to as a disaffected teenager going to school in a wealthy suburb of Detroit, trying to make sense of the dominant teen culture and failing.

We'd talked about how there were songs we didn't like the first time that we do now. For me, some of that has to do with finally understanding what the lyrics are really about. It's easy enough at sixteen to know what a broken heart feels like, but it's entirely different at thirty-six, and doubtless forty-six and sixty-six and so on. The way everything becomes so subtle and complex, where it used to be so simple--and awful. We thought we knew from pain, I told him, but we didn't.

Or know that the pain that seems so terrible you can't bear it does eventually ease. It may not go away completely; your heart starts to feel like a room full of shadows, and it gets harder to approach any new situation with the same openness you once did. The losses start to feel different--am I feeling just this loss, or all of the ones that came before that I never fully metabolized? Which bruise am I poking here, exactly? Something promising evaporated not too long ago because the shadow in someone else's heart looked like me; I am all too aware that the losses I face now come with an aftertaste of my father's death, not yet fully absorbed.

But I'm getting there.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the sort of thing you'll like, if you like this sort of thing

I may have to write a whole book about newly-discovered or re-discovered animals. You think? Because I love this stuff so much. Today, the Laotian rock rat, which was thought extinct, and waddles like a duck.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

my god, it's so big

I keep looking at this photo and thinking it's a fake, like this one. But it's not. The Beeb wouldn't lie to us, would it?

I'm too exhausted to make any sense today (one hour of sleep is just, well, dumb, no matter how fun the party was), but I want to mention that I got to spend the morning keeping a friend company as she got her very first tattoo, and Princess is upping stakes and moving to Seattle, and I have just learned that the next most important commodity worldwide after oil is coffee. Yes indeed! The author of the history I'm reading on the subject of coffee goes so far as to suggest we evolved into homo sapiens sapiens back in what is now Ethiopia because we were eating coffee beans off the trees and that made our brains faster.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

armchair budgeting

In the "so you think you can do better?" category comes this brilliant idea; I'd love to play an American version.

Friday, June 02, 2006

single girl pet peeve

from deep in the drafts folder

At the risk of sounding like I've been reading too much Chick Lit, I have to vent this--it's been bothering me for months now.

If I bring a date home, here are the photos they'll see: me, my parents, my grandparents, my friend Princess, Snufkina laughing with her hands over her mouth, and some guy's hands holding two mouse lemurs. But that's it. While I have some decent shots of old boyfriends, or of myself with old boyfriends, those photos are all in albums, or shoeboxes, or cleverly hidden in an envelope labelled "nudes" in inch-high black letters.

The point is, a man sleeping in my bed is not going to wake up to find himself staring into another man's eyes watching from the nightstand. You feel me? Who needs the aggravation? Yet I seem to be getting the aggravation myself a lot; over the past couple years, I've slept with men who had anywhere from one to a dozen photographs of other lovers, past or present, in various stages of dress or undress, prominently displayed in the bedroom. What's up with that? Do guys not understand how profoundly uncomfortable that can make a girl?

I think about all the nights and mornings I've spent wandering around strange bedrooms while the gentleman has been off brushing his teeth or whatever. I look at the photos, try to figure out when they were taken, whether the woman is a friend or sister or girlfriend or ex-wife or what. What really gets me are the four-photo strips you get in those booths at the mall. Sometimes those can break my heart.

Word to the wise.