goodbye 2006

The catering prep is complete, and the MSG and I are all gussied up and ready to go throw a party! Have a wonderful night, however you celebrate it, and I’ll see you next year.

uncomfortably numb

Yesterday I was fairly blase about a quarter of my finger being numb. Today I see the scar and don’t think much of it, but the thought of permanent numbness is wigging me out. It’s not like I need feeling in it for it to work. Perhaps it is the finality of the injury: this will never work as it once did, and I will die with it not working as it once did.

Shortly after we first met, Jonathan and I had a conversation about emotional experience that set my little brain-wheels a-turnin’. It seems I articulated something I hadn’t fully considered yet, which is rare for me – I usually only express opinions I’ve carefully thought through – but the more I think, the more I realize its validity. It’s not that we experience less as we get older; rather we experience things for the first time less often. Experiencing things for the first time requires a lot of time and energy, both during the thing and then in post-processing. Consequent similar experiences are compared to the initial template, requiring less output from the individual.

Really we just expend less and less energy until we must do nothing at all, and then we fade away.

This was a lot more upbeat in my head. Hey, where’s the funny photoset about existentialism? Damn.

long live frankenfinger

Frankenfinger is dead! Long live Frankenfinger!

I spent way too long at my HMO today, waiting to get the sutures removed. When I finally saw the doctor, it took him longer to open the sterile suture removal kit than it did to remove the sutures. He said it has healed well, and although I may never have feeling in part of my finger again, it will function like normal.

Thus ends my first adventure in laceration. May it also be my last.

To celebrate Frankenfinger’s newfound freedom, I share with you this darling Flickr photoset: Tiny Animals on Fingers.

no small thing

Why the mind needs detail in dreams –

My car was broken into again. Jonathan and I went with the man from the Larkspur ferry to find it. It was in a small courtyard I remember stumbling upon in Seattle over the summertime. It felt like summertime, too, right after a heavy rain; the pavement was dark with thick green moss sticking up here and there. All the windows of my car were smashed out, all the doors and the trunk were open.

The club I used for Urban Golf two years ago was still in the trunk. Is still in the real, non-dreamed trunk. The radio was gone, the hole filled in with glossy black plastic.

Along one side of the courtyard was a large house with open sliding doors to its kitchen. I stepped inside and noticed that a child had placed a piece of yellow butcher-block paper on the floor and traced the outlines of two dog bowls on it. Named the bowls. One of the names was Travis. I called for the dog but the dog never came.

The man from the Larkspur ferry told me over and over, “It happens. This happens. No one was hurt. Go home.” I turned to Jonathan to ask him what to do, but he was gone. I remembered a dog; was there a dog? Next thing to go was the man from the Larkspur ferry, then the car. I was alone in the courtyard as the sky rumbled.

The mind tracks the small things. Jonathan in a blue shirt. Green moss on dark pavement. The man from the Larkspur ferry. Yellow paper and dog bowls. A golf club I almost never think about. The mind tracks, relies on these things to steady the whole, to make it a story, a piece of what happened. But it didn’t happen and won’t. The mind consumes a hundred details a millisecond, reconstitutes them as realities.

No small thing will be left alone.

name meme

Too sick to write anything of substance, but you get a meme.

YOUR SPY NAME (middle name and current street name) Mencotti Oak.

YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME (grandfather/mother on your dad’s side and your favorite candy) Margaret Ferrero-Rocher.

YOUR RAP NAME (first initial of first name and first three or four letters of your last name) H-Bern. Do you feel the H Burn?!

YOUR GAMER TAG (a favorite color, a favorite animal) Black Swan. Duh.

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, and city you were born in) Mencotti Erie. What?

PORN STAR NAME (first pet’s name, the street you grew up on) Bianca McClellan.

SUPERHERO NAME (“The”, a favorite color and the automobile your dad drives) The Aubergine Passat!

YOUR ACTION HERO NAME (first name of the main character in the last film you watched, last food you ate) Angel Pad Thai.

TiVo saves

Ah, the healing properties of TiVo! Yesterday my throat started feeling scratchy, and it turned into a seriously sore throat by the time we got home from our revelry, so I stayed home from work to nap with Zen and watch recorded episodes of “Monk” and “Doctor Who”. I also took a lot of zinc and other vitamins, and ate hot and sour soup and drank Emergen-C and juice. Now I’m feeling a bit better.

Zen doesn’t know what to do with me today. She tries to curl up on my laptop, and when I gently move her to sit beside me, she walks to the other end of the couch and yowls at me. Then when I finally let her curl up as close to my laptop as she can be without lying on it, she yowls at me. So I shrug and she jumps off the couch to nestle into the tissue paper I have so thoughtfully left for her on the floor. We have done this about ten times.

Whew, typing all that out made me sleepy again. Good night.

wonder and magic

Merry Christmas, to those of you who celebrate it! The MSG and I are about to head out on our trek east and then north, so it’s likely I won’t be able to post anything else today for Holidailies, but I’m charging up my phone and camera for photographic goodness.

As a child, I adored Christmas morning. My parents, together and later separately, always made it a very special day for me. They instilled in me a deep appreciation for wonder and magic. I admire people who do this for others, whether it be tied to a holiday or not.

Here’s to wonder and magic, today and all year long.

into the abyss

Almost Christmas! Please share in the horror that is Celine Dion covering AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” because that is what we do for the holidays, we share. And then we scream silently into the abyss.

While shopping in the SFMoMA store for a grab-bag gift for tomorrow’s holiday party, I spotted a display of Moleskine City Notebooks. Since I had not yet seen them in the wild, I bought the London one for my upcoming work trip. As expected, it is thoughtfully designed and satisfying to touch and hold. I need to start filling it out soon, since my trip is less than a month away now. Yikes!

nap drug

One of the stops on our many errands today was near a curiosity shop, so we stopped in and immediately met two great shop cats. One was a big orange tabby with six toes on each of his paws, and the other was a tortie much like Zen who drooled when I pet her.

Frankenfinger is itch-tastic today. I picture a tiny electrician sorting through all the severed mess: every once in a while he plucks two nerves out of the bunch and slams them back into each other and I go through the roof.

Zen is the nap drug. This evening I went home to check on her mental state through our last two little earthquakes and decided to watch a recorded episode of “Bones” and she curled up with me. Before I knew it, the better part of an hour had elapsed. Unreal.

With all the errand-running the MSG and I did today, he still managed to treat me to Green Apple, which means that I have a new (used) book to savor. Off to do that now.

eve eve eve

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Eve to all! This Holidailies thing is rough, folks. I have very little to write about here. My offline writing has picked up a bit, which feels good, but I am overwhelmingly aware of how boring this website has become.

Today I realized something about myself: I really love giving gifts, but I really hate choosing them. Braving the mall last night reinforced this hatred. So many surly people tossing money at so many other surly people. Each year I think I’ll make gifts instead of buy them, and each year I end up running out of time and buying them and then fretting over my choices.

Anyway, it is time to curl up with the MSG and watch a movie. I’ll figure it out next December.

exceeds expectations

Fell asleep on the couch and almost forgot to post something before going to bed. Here I am.

My year-end review at work went well today. It made me think about year-end reviews for non-work life. You could solicit feedback from your friends and family, and they would rate your overall performance as a human being.

Bonuses would get tricky, I think.

The rain chomped my cheapo umbrella to bits, so I am using the one I got at work, an automatic push-button Mary Poppins contraption. It has ShedRain technology, says the label, a good technology for an umbrella to have. My last one had KeepRain and also TurnInsideOutInAnyBreeze.

And now to sleep, so that I may wake up early to enjoy the Graffeo coffee and lovely mug that Inkbot gave me. Yum.

trigger finger

Wii + Rayman + friends = one happily exhausted me. And now to rest Frankenfinger.

scary girl

Frankenfinger is all about the alternating deep ache with fast-moving clouds of itchy. I am documenting its healing process with photos, although I can’t imagine sharing these with anyone. It is not at all pretty, although the cerulean blue of the sutures is sort of neat.

I was about to promise that this would get more interesting if I stopped writing about my finger, but I can’t promise that, plus I like writing about my finger. It is a Big Deal for me in its perspective-inducing powers. Also, I will soon have a scar, which I hear will make me more interesting.

Mostly I just look at the bandage and remember how lame it was not to be paying total attention to the bread knife in my other hand. I mean, generally speaking, if you’re going to pay attention to something, it probably should be the nearest gigantic piece of serrated metal.

A sulky toddler on the bus tonight kept staring at me, so I made some crazy faces at her. She was not impressed. She even crossed her little arms and frowned disapprovingly at me. I was encouraged by this, and increased the craziness of my faces, figuring she had to laugh sometime.

As it happened, her mother was even less impressed, and very loudly told me to stop scaring her child.

O, sister. If your child is scared by the likes of me, she’s going to have a shit time of it in the world. I am laid low by 5 stitches in a finger. I couldn’t scare a hermit crab.

another brief

Home again, with one strange little cat asleep on an unopened box of gifts from my mom. Finger pain at times just annoying (itch), at other times much more than annoying (throb throb sear throb). Back to work tomorrow, which should be interesting with typing diminished. Unpack then sleep and dream of life without goodbyes.

in brief

This will be brief, since my finger is really aching, and my upper left arm feels like it was sucker-punched right where I got the tetanus shot.

The MSG cooked turkey risotto tonight with broth made from last night’s turkey. Risotto is one of my favorite dishes, and I had specially requested that he make it while we visited PA. So he did, and it was outstanding. Photos forthcoming.

My dad and I walked the dog along the dam this morning, and had a good talk. Two of the three kitties escaped to the outside world tonight, but returned shortly for food and affection. We all watched “Wag the Dog” and laughed and laughed.

We leave tomorrow, and I’m not at all ready. I hate living so far away from my family.

my first stitches

First of all, to my dear Shannon: stop reading now. I’m fine, and that is the most important part.

This is taking me a while to type as my left index finger is bandaged, mostly immobile, and in lots of pain. My first serious cooking-related laceration happened today, while I was cutting bread, of all things. It initially seemed to be minor enough, but we decided to go to the urgent care center in town, and I left an hour later with 5 stitches and a tetanus shot.

I think the scariest part of the whole ordeal was losing that much blood. It was the most blood I can remember seeing, ever. Also I do not recommend the whole getting shots in a deep wound gig. But I was glad to be numbed up for the sewing part. It was neat to watch, but only for about ten seconds.

Lesson learned: never ever ever stop paying attention to exactly what you are doing in the kitchen. I was lucky, but luck is no substitute for good old fashioned caution.

Time to take a painkiller and sleep. The turkey dinner was worth it, at least.

back east

Hello from PA, in the midst of an Italian-food-induced coma. The flight last night was long and cramped, made somewhat better by my early holiday gift to the MSG: an iPod loaded up with movies, podcasts and TV shows. We watched a movie on it; despite the size of the screen, the quality of the picture is surprisingly good.

Although there is no snow on the ground, there is a tree to decorate and presents to exchange and “A Christmas Story” to watch and a big black lab to keep entertained. I do believe I’m finally getting into the holiday spirit.


Last-minute shopping complete. Time to pack up and head out.

I love the dreams I have right before I travel. Last night’s was about returning to the library to visit my former coworkers. When I walked in, everything had been refinished like my grade school. Then my upper right canine tooth fell out, disintegrated without blood in my palm. When I reached up to feel the hole it left, there was already a tooth growing to take its place. I poked at it to see if it was sturdy, and my entire hard palate popped out, clean and without pain, like a dried curve of a cob of corn.

Dream interpreters, have at. See you from the other side of the country.

you are her

An E missing from a sign in my building turns it into YOU ARE HER.

A friend of a friend committed suicide yesterday.

Two loads of laundry tumble dry while I watch recorded episodes of “Bones” because I miss Angel.

Work is sending me to London next month.

Holiday shopping is half-done.

The plane for PA leaves in 24 hours.

hatty holidays

Add a note of “ho ho ho hat” to one of your Flickr photos. Do it!

getting things made-up

As I am only marginally female, I must share with you when I get excited about a girly product. The Studio Basics Planner – a modular organizer for cosmetics and other personal items – is truly a handy tool. It has pockets, sure, but that’s nothing special. The cool part is that it has a six-ring binder spine inside, with zippered compartments that you can attach to or detach from the rings. There’s also a removable jewelry case, which is nice for paranoid people like me who prefer not to leave their valuables in checked baggage.

This purchase was made at my trusty neighborhood drugstore, but don’t go out and buy it for yourself. Let Santa bring it to you in a couple of weeks!

In other news, the MSG is now using a calendar. An online calendar. He who eschews Web Anything Dot Anything. It brings tears to my eyes, and also the apocalypse nears.

right place right now

Originally uploaded by tantek.
The hardest part of writing something every day for Holidailies is writing something every day. But that’s what makes it a good exercise for me.

I had lunch with a friend, someone I worked with at the startup that was the reason for my move to San Francisco seven years ago. As we sat together, ate lovely Thai food, talked and laughed, I realized again how lucky I am to be here. I miss my family very much, but I know that I am in the right place right now.

And to think: had I not been so interested in computers and BBSes, I might never have logged into my first muck, and through mucks I met so many people who changed my life … I don’t know where or who I’d be right now. I probably wouldn’t know either of the excellent people – Tantek and Lunesse – in this photo taken by the MSG at the Dolby/BT show. I probably wouldn’t have this website.

I have an extremely cuddly cat on my lap, purring away and making it difficult for me to justify staying upright to ponder what might have been for much longer. It’s time to curl up contentedly with what is.

looking up from here

Saturday was the low point of this slump. I did a lot of thinking on my own and talking with the MSG and came to some conclusions. Significant though they may be, none of them are exciting enough to share. Suffice it to say that I have some housecleaning to do inside my head, and I’m sorry if I worried anyone. That’s all I want to write about that.

Today the MSG and I worked out at his gym and had brunch and ran some errands and planned what we’ll be cooking during our trip to PA to visit my dad. I am looking forward to the trip for many reasons, and am particularly excited to show the MSG where I spent part of my life. Plus, there will be snow and a Christmas tree and a big black lab named Gracie.

Time to do some holiday shopping online while listening to some new CDs: Fischerspooner’s Odyssey, Sia’s Colour the Small One, and Prefuse 73’s Security Screenings. Ah, computers.

Is anyone playing “LOST” (not related to the ABC show)? If you need to be invited, here you go. It looks pretty neat.

lazyweb: recycled paper?

In lieu of actual content, please help my flatmate Inkbot out with a question: where can she get good recycled wrapping paper and holiday cards? Thanks.

frazzle me friday: the impact of angel

From Greg, bless his heart, as a response to this entry: “Whenever you get around to watching it, write a post about the last episode of the last season of Angel and how it affected/coincided/had nothing to do with your own philosophy of life, the universe, and everything.”

When I first read Greg’s comment, I was a little cynical about it. After all, I had resisted both “Buffy” and “Angel” for years because so many people told me how much I’d enjoy them. (I do that; I don’t know where it comes from, aside from a hatred of being predictable.) I am, admittedly, a snob about some things, and don’t like to think about being affected deeply by a television show, of all things.

That said, the series finale of “Angel” reinforced something that’s been tumbling around in this old noggin of mine for a while now: sometimes you get to choose your battles, and you should choose those wisely. But sometimes you fight for what you believe in even if you know you probably won’t win, simply because you are doing what you think is right.

I aspire to be this strong.

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.