A Game of Catch-UpI am somewhat calmer now, though still seething with resentment. But a couple hours of mind-numbing television (featuring those bred-in-a-Disney-laboratory cutey-pies, the Lawrence brothers) and a good dinner (homemade vegetable soup with cornbread, iceberg salad, and a big glass of milk) always put me in a quieter frame of mind.
So, as I was commenting earlier today: you know your life is all wrong when you have to go into the office just to get some rest. From Christmas week to New Year's Eve, I was trapped on such a carousel of events and happenings that today, the day my vacation ended, was the only really restful day I've had in quite some time (up until the Technology turned on me...see below).
Yesterday I was lying in bed, spending my New Year's Day not pondering last year's growth and thinking about what I was going to do with this year, but rather wondering what the hell had hit me: I had a sinus headache, every corner of my body hurt, I was unspeakably tired, my hair was seriously fucked up, and my eyeballs felt gluey. I knew I'd had a long night, but I felt as if I'd been having a long week...a long week full of exertion and pain and unpleasantness.
In between naps, I satisfied my curiosity by sketching out a list of what I'd done all week that would lead me to such a pass...so I fished up a piece of paper (actually, a Freshmen subscription-return card) and a pencil (in fact, an off-color lipliner) and jotted down a few things. The result, translated from the original heiroglyphs around the original naked boys of the text, arranged in reverse chronological order (like most blogs), runs as follows:
Monday, December 31: wake at 10ish, read a little, clean a little, futz a little; pre-prepare for evening by choosing and packing suitable drag (long black fur-collared duster, black palazzo pants, man's white wing-collar shirt, burgundy sequin-and-lace corset, black suede demiboots with 2.5" square stacked heels, and lotsa-lotsa 'diamonds'...almost too many) in the very cold basement; in the afternoon, run out and do some errands, go to the bank, the donut shop, and shop for prizes for the New Year's Eve Dance (in my capacity as Raffle Mistress) at See's, Papyrus, and Starbuck's; run home, make a few phone calls, eat a couple of crackers with cheese and finish off morning coffee; run back down to Lakeshore to get Grandmother's three-wing combo dinner from KFC (don't know how she can stand it...); shower, shave, trim eyebrows, and perform necessary pre-drag facials; get into new black jacquard-stripe Bert Pulitzer suit with gorgeous scarlet Tommy Hilfiger tie and cordovan Giorgio Brutini kiltie mocs (just in case I changed my mind about the drag at the last minute); drive down to the office to change into the drag (I can't get into drag at home...Grandmother would have seven kinds of fits...hence the charade with the suit); drive to San Francisco (no traffic, miracle of miracles) and park right behind the dance; discover that the dance hasn't started yet, and that the door is manned by rather questionable boys I didn't know, and to whom I did not wish to explain my identity and purpose (I hate having to say who I am...people should just know...but then, even God had to tell Moses who was speaking to him); walk all around the Castro neighborhood in search of a cup of coffee and a cookie or something to quell the gnawing hunger (in heels, mind you...sensible heels in comfortable boots, but all the same...), running into various friends and waving to sundry admirers (yes, I looked fierce) and giving kindly but don't-touch-me looks to divers bums; return to the dance to find that my services as Raffle Mistress are not especially wanted, thereby precluding the necessity of having spent money I couldn't afford on prizes that I don't really have any use for and getting into drag that I would have just as soon have not worn (though fabulous, it's uncomfortable and not conducive to meeting gentlemen for romantic purposes); then, wallow in dudgeon for a bit (...okay, I wallowed off and on all night and into the next day); spend the next four hours talking, standing, hugging, walking, kissing, dancing, and schmoozing, mostly with cold-sufferers, out in the night air where I could avoid the heat of the dance floor and revel in the second-hand smoke; drive home, dodging traffic and drunks as I rid myself of wig, heels, and pounds of jewelry on the way; arrive back home, wash my face, brush my hair, floss, etc; realize I hadn't eaten anything but two crackers with cheese, a cookie, a few pieces of chocolate, a banana, and a handful of Altoids all day; make a ham sandwich with a glass of milk and go to bed, finally falling asleep around 3am.
Sunday, December 30: get rousted out of bed at 9 am, having only managed to get about six hours of sleep; put on new dark-olivey-taupe herringbone cashmere/worsted Borrione suit with grey shirt and olive jacquard tie by Geoffrey Beene, and caramel calfskin Hush Puppies slip-ons; accompany the Grandmother (looking unusually natty in basic black with pearls) to her gawdawful ghastly church service; spend rest of morning listening to songs I don't like before being subjected to a tedious sermon on self-sacrifice (a noble concept that was rendered prosaic and parsimonious through unnecessarily secular interpretation); think about how nice the world would be without Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and all other restrictive, self-righteous, behavior-controlling organized religions—alternating that happy thought with dirty musings on what I'd like to do to the young man three pews in front of me (whose butt is so cute); go to lunch at the Buttercup Pantry and eat too much Scottish bangers and scrambled eggs; go home and get undressed, start to take a nap, but instead remember promise from Caroline for belated birthday movie-and-dinner; get up and dress again (tan Gap easy-fit khakis, mulberry Old Navy turtleneck, white Sperry deck shoes), go down to the Grand Lake Theatre (in the driving rain), stand in a very short line...and then sit spellbound for three hours, scrunched up in the bottom of my seat and gnawing at my manicure while The Lord of the Rings thrilled and fascinated me to my very marrows and withers (and while I developed the serious lovejones for the Elf-warrior Legolas, as played by the hot-eyed honeypot Orlando Bloom); then schlepp out into the even-more-pouring rain and head over to Mezzé, our new favorite Mediterranean-Rim restaurant, where I ate too much French onion soup with gruyère toast, too much roast pork loin with yam purée, and too much sorbet trio with lemon shortbread; then back home (the rain had let up just enough for us to walk a bit after the meal) to watch a bit of television before I made Caroline leave (she works nights, so is somewhat more nocturnal than I) so I could go to bed at 3 am.
Saturday, December 29: had to rise unnaturally early for a Saturday, after just about six hours of sleep, in order to attend a memorial service; get into the old teal-grey glen-plaid Botany 500 suit (the new suits weren't ready yet) with a plain white Arrow shirt and sober dark burgundy-black-and-tan Ziggurat tie with black Bass cap-toed Oxfords (now, if I said I went out of the house without telling you what I was wearing, after having gone into disgusting detail heretofore, you would be scratching your head wondering if I was suddenly taken to nudism); drive over to the Chapel of the Chimes, one of the most beautiful buildings in Oakland, where, in the main chapel, the friends and family of Ed Miller gathered to celebrate his life and memory (he was a man I knew, though not well enough...a man I admired greatly and aspired to be like, and even more so now after I've seen and heard how many lives besides mine he touched--the service was really beautiful); walk about talking with everyone and looking over favorite spots in the old Julia-Morgan-designed columbarium (where I used to spend a lot of time as a teenager...my high school was nearby), slowly developing a blister from those damned stiff Bass shoes; go to brunch with a group of AA friends at Emil Villa's Hick'ry Pit, where I ate too much--pork chops with over-easy eggs and O'brien potatoes--and talked about our late friend. Got home, changed clothes (Gap casual, neutral colors, I'll leave it at that), met with Shiloh, and picked up Daisy for an afternoon of shopping in the City; struggled through rain-frenzied and shopping-mad traffic, screaming and fuming all the way, before finally finding a parking space near the Burlington Coat Factory; picked up the finished suits (which fit like a dream) and completing them with a few accessories (satin Perry Ellis waistcoat, some ties and shirts, several pairs of socks); drove up to the Castro area and very easily found a very nice parking place (much to my surprise); walked the Circuit and shopped a bit more, buying CDs (Marlene Dietrich arcana, a Della Reese retrospective, and Sharon McNight as Sophie Tucker), Thank-You notecards (Crane's, burgundy and gold embossed on cream stock), and porn (three mags featuring my new fave, Billy Brandt, plus the Freshmen January 2K2 issue, from which came the card I originally used to write this list); then drove back to the Ds' charming El Cerrito abode, where I ate too much spaghetti with sausage and too much broccoli (which occasioned eating a lot of Gas-X for dessert) before wiping up the floor with my friends over a few rounds of the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" board game (trivia is my truest forte), and then viewing clips and outtakes from the Hedwig and the Angry Inch DVD; drive back home (still pouring rain, mind you, which is never restful, even in a Volvo) and fall into bed, (ahem) read my new magazines, and go to sleep around 3 am.
Friday, December 28: I got to sleep in that day, and spent most of the day with Caroline, who is about to break up with her boyfriend (who hasn't called her all week, despite her having taken off New Year's Eve and Day solely to spend it with him), and so is in need of company and sage advice (I don't know how good my advice is, but it's better than the advice she gives herself); we went shopping down Lakeshore and Grand Avenues on foot (they're not terribly long, but there's a hell of a hill in between them), stopping here and there along the way but spending most of our time at the Gap (where they had nothing good in my size, though Caroline tried on twelve pairs of pants and bought three) and Collectible Designs (where I took my revenge by going through every rack and poring over the jewelry cases, coming away with a pleated cream chiffon skirt, a silver and grey leaf-patterned panne-velvet blouse, and a gorgeous Florenza brooch). Then we went to my office to see if a package had arrived for her from Avon (they wouldn't ship to her PO box, and she doesn't trust the mailroom in her building) and so I could save and archive my email and run through the office's email and messages; then on to my sister's house in Alameda, so I could drop off the Christmas presents for my niece that had been left at our house, and to receive my birthday present from her, a black velvet sheath with white damask lapels that just happens to fit perfectly and makes me look something along the lines of Sophia Loren (but with a different head); then we ran out to San Francisco International Airport to pick up Shiloh on his return from his family Holiday in Pennsylvania and had a quick bite at an iffy but not altogether bad Italian restaurant there; after meeting our bedraggled traveler at the luggage carousel, we went back to the East Bay and had coffee at Au Coquelet, a favorite late-nite hangout in Berkeley, and then took Shiloh home, where he gave us our Christmas presents (star-shaped candles for Caroline...she loves anything star-shaped...and a selection of gourmet lime-themed condiments for me) and my birthday present (the most gorgeous pair of pearl-and-rhinestone Hobé pendant earrings). And then home, a little TV, and (as old Sam Pepys used to say) so to bed at around 3.
Thursday, December 27: my birthday...see previous blog...busy, busy.
Wednesday, December 26: didn't mention it before, but after cleaning up the dining room and living room, I went out shopping with Grandmother at Southland Mall, the scene of previous shame in Christmas shopping, and spent several hours with her poking around and snacking like pigs in the Food Fair.
Tuesday, December 25: Christmas, see previous blog, lots of work and lots of food, with an AA meeting thrown in at the end for good measure.
Monday, December 24: Working to put Christmas together. CF.
Sunday December 23: Galaxy Girls' Holiday Show; preparation and labor (but loads of fun).
Well, that's as far as my list goes. Before that, it's all a bit of a haze. I remember doing a bit of work on this blog spot. And wrapping up all the loose ends at the office so I could take all these days off. I should have just stayed at work. It was so much easier there!
I think tomorrow I will stop thinking about the past and start thinking about the future. Or better yet, thinking about the present and letting the past and future take care of themselves.
So until I rant and ramble again, my darlings, may every happiness be yours!
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