Sun

7 May 2007

Scherzo in the sun

(More photos in this set available at Flickr.)

On Saturday, C. and I went to a great 5 de Mayo party hosted by the former president of the board of the school he works at. Horticulture is just one of her many talents, and her garden is absolutely amazing. It includes 80 varieties of roses (!), a huge array of succulents, native California plants, and more.

I found myself lamenting the fact that my apartment only has north-facing windows, and so I get no direct sunlight in the winter and only about an hour’s worth per day in the spring and summer, which isn’t enough to really grow anything – except happy cats, it seems! I love that Scherzo has figured out how to take full advantage of whatever morning sun he can get these days.


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Clueless

3 May 2007

[Full disclosure: I started this post on Thursday (hence the edited timestamp) but it’s taken me a while to get it right…]

I got home from a rehearsal last night at about 10:30 and did my typical winding-down things: checking e-mail, petting the cats, asking C. how his day went. With that last item I’m never sure what I’m going to get – C. can be monosyllabic or talkative depending on his mood (as can I; we’re both basically introverts). Last night he was pretty chatty, almost unusually so. He told me what had gone on at his rehearsals and lessons in the evening and then kind of circled back around to tell me that his school had been on a field trip that day, and so he had most of the day off since he wasn’t on chaperone duty.

In the same rather roundabout way he got to mentioning that he’d taken the time to wash his car (the sexy red 1988 BMW 325i convertible that he loves to distraction*) in the late morning, and as he was working on it his upper back started seizing up – since October he’s been having repetitive stress problems in his right shoulder from conducting, of all things – so he decided to call around and see if he could get seen by a licensed massage therapist on short notice. He said he found one place that could take him at noon, or more precisely, that he could just walk into at any time, and that was cheaper than the place that couldn’t take him till 1 p.m.

At this point in the story it occurred to me to wonder out loud whether the place was any good if they weren’t booked up, and to wonder silently whether C. had thought to ask himself the same question at the time. Apparently… not. As he finally came out and admitted after a little embarrassed hemming and hawing and nervous giggling:

“Dear… I think I had a massage at a brothel.”

My first reaction was disbelief – he had to be having me on, right? But he went on to describe how he got to the place (called Crystal Massage, which should have been his first clue) and was greeted by a woman in a nightie, then escorted to room 3 and told that his masseuse was named Lucy. Or Luci, or Lucie, or however a “massage parlor” “masseuse” would spell it. His escort, as she was putting new linens on the “massage table” (OK, fine, apparently it was an actual massage table) asked him, in heavily accented English, “Is your first time here?” C. answered that it was, and she gave a conspiratorial laugh. Should have been his second clue, yes? But no… he suspected nothing.

He kept his pants on, so he tells me, since he was just wanting his shoulders worked on. Lucy/i/ie (also in a nightie, as it turns out) walked in, saw that he was half-naked (OK, half-clothed, fine), and asked, also in heavily accented English, “You no want down there?” C. answered in the negative, and Lucy/i/ie – wait for it – walked out of the room and walked back in wearing a jacket over her nightie. What should have been his third clue was actually his first. Finally!

Why did he continue instead of leaving, you might ask? Well, he’d already paid for a half-hour, of course! He went on to get pretty much the worst massage of his life for 20 minutes (“I thought you had been trolling the Internet for a licensed massage therapist,” I teased him). But upon hearing him complain that he’d paid for 30 minutes, Lucy/i/ie apparently got mad enough to start really digging in, so the last 10 minutes were actually useful.

By that point I was laughing my head off. And of course I’ve been busting his chops about it since then, which he has graciously taken in the spirit in which it is intended: all in good fun. Turns out I’m the one getting the *ahem* happy ending here, ’cause oh, am I going to get some mileage out of this one. Any crap I get for anything from now on, and I’m going to be all “well, at least I didn’t accidentally get a massage at a brothel!”

*For those of you who actually read this far, and because I’m feeling guilty about the edited timestamp, I have a special treat:

BMW

Meet C.’s pride and joy, parked in front of the house I grew up in, in Brooklyn, NY, right after he purchased it from a guy in Queens, and before he drove it back to CA. On I-80. In the dead of winter. He’s crazy, but I love him.


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Open Letter

27 April 2007

Dear obnoxious BART commuter:

There’s no way that you could know that I generally dislike making small talk with complete strangers. That said, making snide comments to your seatmate in the third person is precisely the wrong way to get me to turn my head from my knitting to acknowledge you. Bonus wrongness points for mentioning Madame Defarge.

I can ignore you for much, much longer than it will take for you to get bored with trying to get a rise out of me, so why don’t you try a different tack, like maybe asking me a direct question? You don’t even need to compliment the knitting; just ask me about it and I’ll answer you politely, and maybe even chat for a little bit if I’m feeling extraverted. Here, I’ll even save you having to come up with something:

  • How come you’re using so many needles?
  • Is that knitting or crochet?
  • What are you working on?
  • What’s the point of knitting socks when you can just buy them? (Some knitters will be annoyed by this one. I’ll answer it, but you may not get small talk afterward.)

And because I’m feeling generous, a tip for dealing with future female knitters you may encounter: If you see one working on something that looks like it might possibly be for a baby, do not assume she is pregnant, especially not out loud. I did not turn and poke you in the eye, but others may not be as restrained.

Thank you,
dulcian


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Clutter

21 April 2007

Yesterday, 4/20, was my birthday. I opened a couple of great gifts from C. at midnight: the first two books in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series that I want to re-read in its entirety while waiting for the fifth book to be published (come on already, GRRM!), and some pot.

I took the day off work and meant to spend it in dolce far niente. At one point I needed to find a stamp to send a friend a card, but I had no idea where C. had put them during his latest … well, you can’t call them cleaning sprees; they’re more like shoving-stuff-around-before-people-come-over sprees. Not that I blame him – I do the same thing. Clutter in and of itself is OK with me, as long as the stuff is useful and I know where everything is. That was not the case with the stamps, however. I went through the piles I thought they would most likely be in, but no dice.

Frustrated, I was seized with the impulse to do some real cleaning. I attacked the piles and after 2 hours of work ended up throwing out a couple of big kitchen bags’ worth of junk, putting other less junky stuff in the Goodwill stash and some in the Secret Santa regift stash, and re-organizing other items to more appropriate places in the apartment. I also got rid of two bags of styrofoam packing peanuts, otherwise known in this household as devil spawn, and flattened and recycled some empty cardboard boxes. And I still felt like I hadn’t even made a dent.

I spent the rest of the day reacting rather disproportionately to the actual problem – mostly angry and sad that we have accumulated so much useless crap (a subject for another post), and beating up on myself for various things, like not being a better housekeeper, letting this make me sad on my birthday, being so self-critical (no, really), etc.

Several people phoned and I had some lovely catching-up conversations, and then I had a gig in the evening and C. took me out for a great dinner between the warmup and the concert. And I have to say I felt a lot better after that dinner and after singing Handel for 3 hours. But the funky weird depression stuff, even though some can be chalked up to monthly hormonal swings, scares me a little. And it’s just another in a relatively long list of things I complain about and never seem to actually get around to dealing with. Kind of like the useless crap.


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Managing expectations

19 April 2007

I’m setting the bar pretty low.

Blogging here is likely to be sporadic, I can tell you that from the outset. Commenting on other peoples’ blogs will be even worse. I read hundreds of blogs, but I’m a dedicated lurker. Commenting, for me, requires a heroic effort to squash the mosquito voice in my head telling me how stupid I sound and what a crappy writer I am. And then when I do comment I end up feeling guilty for not commenting more.

I won’t blog about work. I will probably blog about knitting and spinning, though I don’t generally take pictures, and my progress on projects is excruciatingly slow because I really only knit on commutes, during stolen moments at rehearsals, waiting on line (I’m from New York, it’s “on line,” get over it), and anywhere else I would otherwise be bored, and I hardly ever spin.

Singing and music will crop up, but probably only in a general and personal way, since most of what I do counts as work. If I’m organized and motivated enough I might use this space to chronicle the wines and wineries my lovely husband C. and I are discovering. Maybe also the books I’m reading.

Also? There will be whining. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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