May 28, 2002

Love a long weekend...

Saturday was the wedding of my friends Joel and Claire. I've known Joel for over 10 years and Claire for about 5. They're both great people and it was wonderful to see them make it legal. It was a California style wedding--Catholic ceremony in a Lutheran church, reflecting their two religions; big plates of asparagus and paella for the dinner; nice red wine; the bride and groom danced to Barry White. My friend Angie was my date for the occasion and my sister called me a "lesbian for a day" as I danced with, held the arm of, and generally hung out with her for the evening. I have to say, it was the most fun I've had at a wedding, and I'm not a big fan of weddings in general. Mostly I was happy for my friends--Claire was glowing the whole day and Joel couldn't manage to hide the ever-elusive look of love most people are lucky to ever receive. Congratulations to them!

Sunday I went to brunch with my parents, a shoe sale at Nordstrom Rack, and heard a band play. We had brunch at Darla's which had a fantastic portabello mushroom benedict. The best thing about Darla's is they give you free treats for dessert. That day it was chocolate chip cookies. At Nordstrom Rack I bought a pair of sandals and a dress for my trip to Europe this fall. Then Angie and I went to see Hot Buttered Rum at Connecticut Yankee down in Potrero Hill. They're a really great band, like a cross between bluegrass/Billy Bragg/and O' Brother Where Art Thou. I heard them for the first time at a lame staff appreciation thing my work put on, HBR being the only cool thing about it--that and we got to take a 2 hour lunch. I became totally enamored of them and couldn't wait to see them again. They were great, of course. They're one of those bands that makes you grateful you were in on the ground floor of something great. If there's any justice in the world, they'll make it big. Oh, and they're all really cute, too.

Monday I slept in then went to see "About a Boy" the new Hugh Grant film. There were people sitting in line downstairs at the AMC 1000 for hours waiting to get into "Star Wars". I breezed right in, though the theater was packed. The movie was good, well-acted, entertaining, only occasionally painful. I liked the music. Monday was also one of those perfect parking days. It took me awhile to find a spot in the AMC parking lot but I got a spot no one else had the guts to try to get into and I had no problem. At Trader Joe's, where I went after the movie, I waited to get in the lot, but once I got in, I got princess parking, right up front. And at Safeway, where I went after Trader Joe's for the things you can't get there--aluminum foil and Diet Pepsi, I went around someone waiting for a spot and got an even better one. Funny how a little thing like parking in San Francisco can make a San Franciscan so happy. Ok, so it wasn't as eventful a day as the other two, but sometimes that's just as good.

I think every weekend should be three days. I need one that's scheduled up, one that's spontaneously eventful, and one where I get to be a slug. That's the perfect weekend for me.

Posted by Alyssa at 09:06 PM
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May 23, 2002

There's been a bit of a delay getting this done, but better late than never. Bay to Breakers, the annual big wacky race in SF, was this past Sunday and I did it for the second time. Last year was lots of fun, I walked with my parents, it was sunny and nice, everyone had a good time. This year was a little different.

First of all, usually the hardest part about B to B is getting up early on a Sunday. It's a real struggle. However, this year my parents were out of town and I was housesitting for them out in Sausalito. So when I got up at literally the crack of dawn, there was a pretty nice payoff. I had to get myself out of the house by 7 so I could drive into the city and park the car then take the train to the race which started at 8.

On the way into the city it started to drizzle a little bit. I thought to myself, well, at least it won't be unpleasantly hot today. I parked, ended up paying $5 for a shuttle to B to B after waiting almost 1/2 an hour for a train, and finally arrived at the race after it had started, much like last year. So much for planning ahead.

It was sprinkling for the first 2 or 3 miles but not bad, people were still in costume and having a good time. There were some neat costumes as usual, but not as many elaborate ones as last year.

As we started up the infamous Hayes hill it started raining a little harder. As we walked up Fell it started raining harder. Once we hit the park it was raining hard. I was soaking wet. It was a long 4 miles from there. People still managed to be energetic and playful. It was great to see their spirits while mine flagged. I even considered quitting at one point, but I'm nothing if not determined. I started it, I was damn well going to finish it. I kept myself entertained by taking pics of the naked people. Interestingly, though there were fewer costumes because of the rain, there were seemingly many more naked people. Who knows, maybe I would have been happier if I hadn't been wearing wet clothes.

It's interesting that the more you see naked people walking down the street, the less strange it seems. Toward the end I had to remind myself that it wasn't a normal thing to see a naked man standing in line to use a portapotty.

The crowd was impressive as usual. Despite the rain, 75,000 people participated. I bet every one of them was just as excited to see the finish line as I was.

Check out all the rest of my pictures...

Posted by Alyssa at 09:49 PM
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May 17, 2002

I've been lax, I know, writing lately. I've been housesitting for my parents and haven't spent much time on the computer. Their computer set-up isn't as cozy as mine. So I've tried to post here and there but I know it's been ages since there's been a musings. So here we go. It's going to be just that, by the way, complete musings, random things that have come up this last week or two.

I was walking to the car last night and found myself walking behind a couple and their two kids. One was maybe 5 ish--I'm not good with ages--and the other was just a baby, in a carrier the man was carrying backwards, so the baby was looking at me behind them. As usual I found myself making faces and waving at the little guy who was staring right at me.

I starting thinking about babies and their recognition powers. When you're that young and have no experience with language or anything else, how do you suppose you distinguish one thing in the world from another. Sure everything looks different from everything else. But do you recognize that one person is different from another? Presumably you might see your mom and dad often enough that they're familiar and, looking at me, the little one isn't thinking he's seeing his mom. But can he tell me from the next woman walking behind him? Can he tell me from a mailbox?

Then, surprisingly, what should appear in my inbox but this bit of information gleaned by from

"Never underestimate the intelligence of an infant. Six-month-old babies can distinguish the faces of two monkeys better than adults or older children which scientists said on Thursday suggests babies have some early capabilities that do not increase, but lessen, with age."

So much for him mistaking me for a mailbox...

Am I the only one who always thinks her cell phone is ringing when listening to Pink's "Get The Party Started"? It's got that cell phone-y beeping in the background. I listen to Alice 97.3 all the time and they play it a lot as I'm walking home. I always have to turn my radio off to check even though I know better. I think it may be an insidious plot to drive me insane. I never should have made fun of her name.

When you run a spellcheck on my name it offers up as an alternative spelling--Abyss.

I was thinking the other day, as I am wont to do. I started thinking--what might I regret not having done at the end of my life. Slightly morbid, but of course I imagine them finding a cure for mortality at some point before I croak so it was purely hypothetical. Here's what I came up with:

1. Not getting a novel published. It's been my goal since I was about 13 and has remained unwaveringly a goal since then.
2. Not having enjoyed my life. Sometimes I feel like I'm constantly in a state of waiting for something else to happen, something that will make my life kick into gear. If I spend my whole life waiting and I never get out of neutral, I will regret it.

Surprisingly, that was about it. I've been to most of the places I always wanted to go, mostly in Europe. There are still things in the world I'd like to see but haven't, but I don't think it would cause pangs on my hypothetical deathbed.

There are things I'd like to have, a really great fast pretty car, a house, a pair of Jimmy Choos--but they're material. I am, my one similarity to Madonna, a material girl in some ways, but I don't fool myself into thinking I'd be happy if I had those things. They're just things.

There are things I consider, like marriage and children, that I wonder if I might regret not doing. But right now I'm not sure where I stand on those things so I can't say whether the regret would arrive.

So that's it. Frankly, I thought I'd have at least a Top 10 list of possible regrets but I seem to have fewer needs than I thought. I highly recommend making a list of your own. Mine was a revelation.

Well, there you go, a few random thoughts. I'll write more later, I promise. Mom and Dad get back Monday so I'll get back into the groove. Oops, something else I share with Madonna.

Posted by Alyssa at 05:18 PM
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