Nov 27, 2004
I'm wearing fishnet stockings with tube socks. My mom eyed my legwear and said, "Fishnets? Are they back in again?" I scoffed. As if fishnets have ever not been in. If there's one thing that can be said about fashion, it likes women to wear things that may someday help them catch a meal. Just the way Jesus did it. This is a perennial truth.
I buy a lot of clothes and stuff at Anthropologie. If you're familiar with that store, then you know that this means I really don't like money at all and am frequently looking for preposterous ways to throw it away.
Beulah and I agree that that fake Tiny House show that's in the Geico commercial would actually be a really great show to watch. I'm no fan of reality television. No, sirree. But I might enjoy watching that couple live a year in that house. For kicks.
So, maybe it's obvious that I'm stalling, but I'm afraid of getting started on what may turn out to either be a heap of crap or a very longwinded escapade, neither with a shred of brilliance. But I suppose there's only one way to find out. Fasten your safety belt. It's not going to be a bumpy ride or anything, but I like saying things that imply I can control you.
Last weekend, I came down to San Diego to get my car fixed and to sing in church. My mom has been acting as my manager since she and my dad began attending a new church in their new neighborhood. She has been calling periodically and trying to get me to schedule a date and sing. It has taken months. I even picked a date in October, but they had scheduled someone else. I was beginning to feel like one of the members of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Just not Crosby. One of the other guys. That no one knows. I felt like Stills and/or Nash trying to book a gig at a hole in the wall as a favor to a friend and getting bumped because Dan Fogelberg came to town. When my mom finally booked me, she called to say the pastor was giving me ten minutes to do whatever I wanted. I could sing two songs. Maybe lead the congregation in something, my mom suggested. I don't do this, just so you know. I'm not some traveling troubadour. What was she expecting? That I would tote in my guitar and teach them all that "Doe a Deer" song? Not happening. I don't even have a guitar.
On Friday, my car got a new radiator, after which Sarah and I went down to the Gaslamp to watch the new Bridget Jones movie, which was largely a disappointment to me. If it wasn't for Colin Firth (and Hugh Grant to a lesser degree), I can't imagine it would have been watchable. If it's possible for Renee Zellweger to look any uglier, it might have to involve surgery and a series of blows to the face with a two by four. The kind with a few rusty nails in the end of it. It was actually painful to watch her. And not at all believable that there would be men battling for her affection. Unless those men like rosacea and girls who walk like their joints have been splinted. I once knew a girl in grade school who always walked like that. Kind of on her tippy toes all the time and with knees that looked like they didn't bend. And I can assure you, no one liked her. I think she also had a weird tuft of blonde hair under her chin, but that's neither here nor there.
After the movie, we strolled a few blocks, reaffirming for me that I despise the scene down there. The Gaslamp on a Friday night is such a drab display of ick. It's not as flip-flopped and t-shirted as Pacific Beach. But it's the same gross clientele with the same natty pick-up lines and the same bullshit posturing. I detest it.
I wonder if the psychic whose sign this is had any foreknowledge of how much the misspelling of the word "psychic" might depress business.
We almost went to Airport, but I insist that there is nothing particularly cool about going to a club where everyone inside is a friend of the door staff. Not only do I revile the currency of bouncer worship, but I can't imagine that anyone who is willing to be friendly with these power-mad, near-minimum wage-earners and their orthopedic shoes and flashlights and earpieces and bad haircuts is someone I want to be standing next to when I'm pouring booze down my throat. I maintain a modicum of standards where I can.
We went instead to Nunu's, my reliable home base. There was a line out front, so we went to the back and were let in by the door guy who regarded us as regulars. We were greeted with aplomb and almost immediately invited by my bartender friend Jeff to a party after closing. Two French guys -- both chefs -- were annoyingly all over us. I said something about us being gourmands, and one of them started running his hands down my midsection from behind and saying, "I don't think so." I assume that was him saying that I'm not fat enough to be a food-lover, so maybe that was compliment enough for me to tolerate the intrusion. My standards here might be questionable.
Sarah and I did go to the party. It was someone's birthday. I don't remember whose. We met a number of nice people, drank a number of stiff drinks, entered into a few minor contests, and left in time for me to just barely make it to bed before sunrise.
The following night, I had plans to go out with Krissy and Dorian and Pam. Our friend Becky works at Club Rio, so we stopped by there early enough to be embarrassed by the male strippers doing their thing. We played a little shoddy pool and then took Becky with us to Nunu's, where we didn't stay long enough for my taste. Then we went back to Dorian and Krissy's place and ate late-night Mexican and played strip poker until it was late enough for me to be concerned about my singing obligation. Not to mention the fact that I was playing strip poker only hours before I was going to be sitting in church having to think about the fact that I was playing strip poker only a few hours ago. Which is in fact what I was thinking about, when I was sitting in church, waiting for it to be time for me to sing.
Apparently there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Even my sister Sarah, who was good enough to drive up to watch me, said she was welling up a wee bit. I'm pleased that people liked my singing, but this sort of thing always makes me feel guilty and hypocritical. Because once I finished singing, I sat in the pew and wrote jokes for the rest of the service. And that's the cruel truth. And one of them was pretty good. And one of them was about the pastor.
Later that day, I found a John Deere tractor just sitting there, waiting to have its photo taken with me. And you know how I am about things like that.
Monday night, Martín and I went to the Paul F. Tompkins Show, the show's namesake having returned from England at last. We had a fine time. Laughed it up good. Ordered the halibut, both of us, which is the only new thing on the Largo menu these days. But they served carrots instead of peas, and that's a fair cop. I hate cooked carrots. And I adore peas. And it's hard enough working up the juice to look forward to something you've ordered at Largo, only to have your hopes dashed by substandard vegetable replacements. Cooked carrots. Plegh. It's almost a fruit. Not at all pleasing. The show, by contrast, was very pleasing, ending in a rendition of How Soon Is Now? with the Watkins Family adding violins where once there were synthesizers. I've been planning to cover Every Day Is Like Sunday with Josh for some time now. And I was going to replace synths with violin, too. But now I just feel like a copycat.
We had a few drinks at The Dime after the show with our friend Tom and his friend Marcia (whose name might be spelled "Marsha" -- I've not yet seen it written). And then I went home, feeling a smidge badly for keeping Martín out so late. But not really. Corrupting my friends is a favorite pastime of mine.
Tuesday night, I had dinner at A.O.C. with my mathematician friend Paul. I will gladly go again. And I will order the brussels sprouts. Because they were magnificent. I adore brussels sprouts. And I don't care how much of your nose you wish to wrinkle when I say it. They are grand. And they make me feel like a giant. Eating entire heads of cabbage like popcorn. It's fun. After I eat them, I go and make my magic harp sing for me. She's a bitch and will betray me at the drop of a hat, but the songs are pretty for now. And I believe in living in the moment.
That's not actually true. I don't believe in living in the moment at all. For the record. I've noticed that I tend to not do it almost as a rule. But that's a matter for another entry. One with many, many commas in it. And time set aside for a potty break. Perhaps in the form of a musical interlude.
Once I got home, I picked up Audrey and took her with me to Steve and Chris's place to help them with some Mac issues. If that was at all ambiguous, I meant that Audrey came with me so that I could provide the computer help. Audrey doesn't exactly perform Mac troubleshooting. She's remarkable, but she's not magical. And, for the record, that's me showing up in Studio City after midnight to provide IT assistance. I can't imagine anything less sexy. And then Audrey peed on the carpet.
Wednesday, after sending out my annual Thanksgiving email message, I drove down to San Diego through a number of hours of what might have been horrific traffic, but I had my iPod playing and my dog in my lap, and I was happy as a clam. And come to that, I love the phrase "happy as a clam." I don't know why. Maybe it's the notion that bivalves know something the rest of us don't. So, yeah. I was fine with the delays, but a little tired when I got to town. I went to Jivewire at the Casbah with Yen and Beulah and Jantzen, and we drank a lot and danced a little. I was finally able to spend a few moments of face time with the lovely Kate and her handsome companions. I can never stop saying how pretty she is. She's just the prettiest pretty pretty thing there is. And she's smart and stylish and fun. I totally want to kidnap her and take her with me everywhere, just so I can show her to people and say, "Look at my pretty friend. Isn't she just super pretty?"
Then it was Thanksgiving. Sarah invited her friends Linda and Jim over to spend the holiday with our family. I brought down several bottles of a merlot I really like, and I kept offering it to everyone but found no takers. I was beginning to wonder if everyone had become recent Jehovah's Witnesses and if I was making a jerk of myself trying to force my booze on them. I still don't know what the story was there. But I drank nearly the whole bottle myself. Dad helped a bit. He's a sport. And Justin may have had a splash, too. But mostly it was me. And nary a buzz to show for it.
Dinner was extravagant, as usual. My mother is some kind of kitchen sorceress. You can't believe how good everything she makes is. But it is. And why fight it. Everyone ate to busting. Then Beulah told a series of hilarious stories. Then we all watched (and intermittently dozed in front of) Elf. That was enough nap for me. After the movie, I went and picked up Yen and brought her to Nunu's for what is becoming a traditional holiday nightcap. We ran into friends we knew, met people we didn't know, and drank many drinks which we did not have to pay for. When I was leaving the house, my mother was disapproving. "You go out every night. It's not normal." I didn't argue. First of all, I don't go out every night. And secondly, I'm not especially interested in being normal. Particularly if it means going to bed at a reasonable hour. That's just not for me.
Tonight, I went out and met one of my former bandmates, again at Nunu's, somehow the default locale for all my liquored-up chit chat. We had not seen or spoken to each other in well over a year. And it was nice to not be bothered by any of that nonsense anymore. A few hours into it, Krissy came and joined us, and we stayed for a bit, until it was time to get Krissy something in a food way. My outfit, which was not fancy or anything, provoked approving comment from a bartender or two. I don't know why that makes a difference, but it absolutely does. Without fail.
When I was driving home a short while ago, the fog sat above the Del Mar valley like a translucent ribbon, sheer enough to give away the locations of the McDonald's and the supermarket. I had my iPod on shuffle, and I kept hearing songs I've never heard and wondering if I would remember them if I ever heard them again. Nostalgia is great. Repetition is powerful. But there is something to be said for feeling something for the very first time ever and having nothing else at all to connect it to. There is something nice about getting a chance to write a proper history. One that isn't bogged down with footnotes and a backstory that takes up more space on the page than the story itself. This was my Thanksgiving. It wasn't particularly eventful or remarkable. It wasn't somehow an offshoot of a previous experience. It wasn't a reminder of last year's Thanksgiving. Or a retelling of the one the year before that. Or an echo of the one the year before that. It was just a day I spent with friends and family. And it probably won't have nearly as much staying power as some of the previous ones have had. Next year won't likely transport me back to this one in a way that will catch in my throat. I'll remember it, sure. I remember nearly everything. But I won't be crippled by the memory. Nor will I likely be able to get high on the fumes of it for years to come. And perhaps that's as it should be.
So, there you have it. I don't generally prefer to do my catching up in bulk like this. Surely I've missed something. Surely I've skipped over an opportunity to tie things up with a clever quote. Surely I could have held your attention better by saying these things in smaller spurts. I seem to have even forgotten to bother telling you why this entry is called coelacanth. But that's the way it goes. You can't eat a sugar cookie without losing a few crumbs. Even if you have a gigantic mouth. Just try it.
That's it for me. For now.
Mary Forrest, an incurable romantic whose immune system is kicking in
Labels: Audrey, comedy, Krissy, Paul F. Tompkins, photos, Thanksgiving
posted by Mary Forrest at 5:22 AM | Back to Monoblog