December 12, 2001

I had something very profound to say about December 13th. Unfortunately my computer crashed and I lost it all. Suffice to say, thank you to everyone who has been in my life this year. I'm grateful for everything I have and everyone I love in this crazy, mixed-up, post-September 11 world we're living in. As conflicted as I feel about 31, I know I'm heading into it with a pretty good life.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Posted by Alyssa at 09:36 PM
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December 09, 2001

I made Christmas cookies with my mom yesterday. It's something we do every year. It takes all day and by dinner time we're covered in flour, fingers stained by food coloring, and full of sugar from tasting our creations.

We have traditional recipes we do every year. This year Mom and I tried to introduce some different cookies. Mom proposed taking out some of the old ones and replace them with new ones. It didn't go over well. As soon as she suggested eliminating one, someone in the family shouted no, that's my favorite. So instead of eliminating any, we added one or two.

Everyone loves Bourbon Balls, a specialty of my Aunt Peg. Since she's gone, we make them. This year Dad suggested Framboise Balls as well, and we gave them a try. They turned out well. Check out this pure chocolate--isn't it beautiful?

We always do the sugar cookies last, as the frosting process takes some time. No matter how much we dread them, we always have a good time. I was feeling particularly artistic.

The spritzes are my thing, as I was the only one who ever was able to make them come out right. We have an ancient cookie press, I suspect from the 50's from the look of the box, and we've used it ever since I can remember. It used to be I was the perfect height to see where the press met the cookie sheet, eye level with the counter. I suspect that's why I started doing them. Mom bought sprinkles this year with dinosaurs and cars. I spent a large part of the day decorating these silly little things. But it made me happy.

Posted by Alyssa at 10:02 PM
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December 07, 2001

I went to Ba-Da-Bingo last night. It was definitely the coolest thing I've done in San Francisco this year.

Ba-Da-Bingo is put on by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Francisco's most notorious "religious" sect. Half the door intake is donated to non-profits in the city. It cost $15 to get in and 2 cards good for 10 games each. Besides the bingo itself, it was worth the cost for the floor show.

The drag queen sisters wore fabulous outfits (Sister Sparkle was just stunning), Sister Betty (the Chairnun) was caustic and nasty, and the other sisters frolicked and made suggestive comments when appropriate, and everyone made fun of Sister Dana.

Spankings were given as punishment for a variety of offenses--leaving your cell phone on (no one did last night), having a birthday, spilling your blotter ink. A young, fresh-faced Canadian was the sad committer of the latter offense and red-facedly endured a spanking and being placed in the dunce's chair until he was so pathetic he was let go.

The actual play was very fun, regular bingo along with Lesbian bingo (your numbers making the shape of an 'L' on your card) and Sisters' bingo (your numbers making a cross on your card). There were certain phrases and words you were supposed to yell back when certain numbers were called (oh-oh-oh sixty-nine). And the prizes were significant, the lowest I recall being $100. They also raffled off DVD players.

I got lucky and won one game. Unfortunately, so did 4 other people. We split a $125 pot, which left me with $25. I donated $5 back to the sisters. I walked out last night with a profit of $5. But I'd had a great evening of laughing, playing, and some free condoms, without it costing me a dime. Works for me. I'll be Ba-Da-Bingoing back there again. The first Thursday of every month.

Posted by Alyssa at 11:00 PM
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December 02, 2001

"The wind was wailing at the windows: it had wailed all day; but, as night deepended, it took a new tone--an accent keen, piercing, almost articulate to the ear; a plaint piteous and disconsolate to the nerves, trilled in every gust.

"Oh, hush! hush!" I said in my disturbed mind, dropping my work, and making a vain effort to stop my ears against the subtle, searching cry. I had heard that very voice ere this, and compulsory observation had forced on me a theory as to what it boded. Three times in the course of my life, events had taught me that these strange accents in the storm--this restless, hopeless cry--denote a coming state of the atmosphere unpropitious to life. Epidemic diseases, I believed, were often heralded by a gasping, sobbing, tormented, long-lamenting east wind. Hence, I inferred, arose the legend of the Banshee. I fancied, too, I had noticed--but was not philosopher enough to know whether there was any connection between the circumstances--that we often at the same time hear of disturbed volcanic action in distant parts of the world; or rivers suddenly rushing above their banks; and of strange high tides flowing furiously in on low sea-coasts. "Our globe," I had said to myself, "seems at such periods torn and disordered; the feeble amonst us wither in her distempered breath, rushing hot from steaming volcanoes."

"I listened, and trembled;..."
--Charlotte Bronte, Villette

The wind is insane here. I stood on Market Street today waiting for a bus with my hair flying. I love the wind usually. It's cold today though. And the threat, and sometimes more than a threat, of rain made me more nervous than happy. Yesterday the wind made the rain horizontal and soaked my jeans in two minutes. The wind is making me nervous.

"Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm, whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main, -
Wail, for the world's wrong!"
-Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dirge

The last few days have not been good ones. I've gone through a wide range of emotions. I was incredibly worried about a friend, relieved to find he was ok, angry for what he'd put me through, disappointed to find my illusions about him shattered, sad to find no solution to the way I feel, afraid that a longtime friendship may have to end, and finally incredibly lonely. The details are my own. The emotions are out there and anyone who's seen me over the last few days has felt them.

"Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts."--Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

I'm turning 31 in less than two weeks. I find myself analyzing where I am in contrast to where I was last year, as the momentous 3-0 approached. Last year I felt free, I'd emerged from a relationship in which I was unhappy, I had many good friends, I felt like I could do anything, I was ecstatically happy. This year I feel like, despite the good things in my life, I'm floundering. While I still feel like I could do anything, I don't know what it is I want to do. While I'm still free, I wonder if I'm missing something by not putting myself in the dating pool. While I still have some very good friends, some have moved away, some have moved away from me.

"It's an ill wind that blows no good."-- John Heywood

I see all the good in my life, and when I look at it objectively I know I'm happy, even when I don't feel it. I have a great apartment, where I live happily alone. I live near the ocean, something I always wanted. I have a job; that's enough these days. But I have a job where I like the people I work with, I like my boss, I'm good at what I do. I have a wonderful family whom I love. I have wonderful friends, no matter where they are, whom I love. I have a computer and a website. I have books to read. I have movies to watch. I have music to listen to. I have a great couch that I love to fall asleep on. I have a cat I love, even though I'm allergic to him. I have an ocean of possibilities still open before me, if I choose to see them.

"You're only misleadin' the sunshine I'm needin'
Ain't that a shame
It's so hard to keep up with troubles that creep up
from out of nowhere, when love's to blame

So ill wind, blow away
Let me rest today
You're blowin' me no good"--Harold Arlen

I'm trying to remember the good things and not dwell on the bad. I'm trying to keep perspective. I'm trying to get excited about birthday 31. I'm trying to remember that I usually love the wind.

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."--Kahlil Gibran

Posted by Alyssa at 10:48 PM
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