Monday, July 8, 2002

Monday Mondaine

Oh, my children, that was the longest, funnest, tiringest weekend in memory! I'm rather amazed I survived. Too much stimulation. Too little time for reflection and repose.

To briefly bring you all up to speed, here's a very terse little diary of my life since last I blogged:

Wednesday, July 3: So much to do in the office! I was here all frigging day, answering phones, finishing things up, all by myself. Then I got to go grocery shopping. When I got home, I watched TV for a while, then helped the Grandmother make custard base for homemade ice cream. Got to bed kind of late (after 1)

Thursday, July 4: Got up good and early (7 am... where's the Freedom, I ask you), showered and shaved and got dressed, helped the Grandmother pack up all the things we would need to make ice cream into the ice-chest, and headed out before 11... picked up my Daddy in Concord, after driving through not-too-bad traffic and just-bearable heat (Miss Marjorie lacks air-conditioning), then drive down through more not-too-bad traffic to San Jose to Aunt Terry's house... arrive there at 1-ish, it's really hot, fighting and yelling with Grandmother while trying to get the ice-cream machines working in the garage (where' it's really hot!)... eating a huge meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fruit salad, etc... swimming in the amniotic-fluid-warm swimming pool, eating some more, visiting with family... head home around 5, drive back through Concord, get home at 7, shower again and fix my hair again and head out to Barry's in El Sobrante... arrive there, eat some more, chat with many friends, watch the fireworks displays in the distance, chat some more with friends, head home around 12, get in bed and go to sleep around 1.

Friday, July 5: Living Sober Conference, Day 1... I let myself sleep in til 9 am (too tired, too tired), got over to the City on BART, went to a 7th-step workshop, ate some (wildly overpriced and undermayonnaised) lunch, then spent four hours dancing around and selling raffle tickets at the Fundraising Booth (win one of these lovely fabulous prizes, the more you buy the better your chances, all proceeds benefit the Conference, you can't win if you don't play, etc. etc. etc., all the while bopping around to the happy come-hither disco playing on the stereo that was one of the prizes)... cute sober boys everywhere you looked (ranging from the kind you fantasize about screwing to the kind you fantasize about introducing to your parents)... then went out to dinner at a lovely tacqueria many blocks away (did I mention I'd been selling raffle tickets while standing? on my still-sore-from-last-weekend-feet?), then came back and attended the Meeting (laughing, crying...somehow managed to get all of my emotions to the surface), then the Musical (fabulous, just fabulous!), then schlepped back home and got back in bed around 1 (I see a pattern forming here).

Saturday, July 6: Conference, Day 2... up at 7 again, packed a drag bag including the new shoes and things I bought after the last time I posted here (black and white spectator pumps, black hat with a black and white flower which I ended up not wearing after all, black purse with white polka-dotted flap, a new wig styled in a WASPish little Dutchboy, etc), as well as anything else I might need, and drove up to Dalton's to pick up him and his drag-bags... get across to the City and start in at the conference at 11... though I am not scheduled to work in Fundraising on Saturday, I noted a shortfall of staffing and sold tickets some more, until I went across the hallway to the Information Booth, where I WAS scheduled to work on Saturday, incidentally and unintentionally spending another four hours on my feet, dancing and selling tickets and doling out info... then walk to Union Square in order to procure shopping bags, discovering along the way that Union Square is rather farther away from the Civic Center than I thought, and that the intervening neighborhood is rather more unsightly than I expected... spent two and a half hours traipsing through the major stores of Union Square, enjoying myself immensely while buying a little something in each to get a shopping bag, Saks and Macy's and Nieman's and Sephora (I was too intimidated by the doorman at Gucci to go in there, the staff at Louis Vuitton was too busy selling several-hundred-dollar wallets to Japanese tourists to help me procure a nailpolish duette, Bullock & Jones was gone, Victoria's Secret was too inundated by tacky people and signature perfume to be countenanced, FAO Schwartz was inundated by children, and I already had a Tiffany bag)... returned to the conference and ate a hot dog and some dolmas, then joined my pal and Fundraising Chairperson, Danny R, in a search for the key to the dressing room... then laboriously put myself into drag with all my girlfriends clustered around in a large well-lighted dressing room (funny how six drag queens can totally dominate a space designed for eighteen chorus girls), recreating Marlénè Manners as "Miss Union Square," a fierce and formidable young matron in polka-dots and pearls with six pricey shopping-bags on each arm... joining Miss Daisy as "Miss Folsom Street" in a leatherette sheath with cap and whip, Miss Cookie Dough (in the uncanny guise of Nurse Diesel) as "Miss Laguna Honda Hospital," and Miss Lorraine Dubonnet in hostessy beaded gown and tiara as "Miss Pacific Heights," not to mention other folks unknown to me, such as Miss Buena Vista Park (tulle and ivy and kneepads) and Miss Cow Palace (beat-up rocker chick), and many others I don't have the energy to mention... we all gathered together, about twelve of us as neighborhoods, landmarks, and streets of San Francisco, and made a grand presentation at the beginning of the main speaker meeting... during the meeting I couldn't quite sit still (I had too many bags to wrestle with, and frankly the speakers didn't interest me), so I was up and down and in and out of the dressing room... and in the intermission I somehow found myself selling yet more raffle tickets... then after the meeting, we sold tickets for another fifteen minutes, then went and had the raffle drawing (which was very exciting: a bald man won a free haircut, a black man won five sessions at a tanning salon, and a dyke won a male nude lithograph)... then spent the rest of the evening talking and dancing with friends... then got out of drag (which for some reason takes longer than getting into it) and went out to midnight breakfast with Danny and Dalton and another friend Tom and his two out-of-town houseguests at the Baghdad Cafe... then finally made it home at 3 am... and fell into a dead sleep.

Sunday, July 7: Wow, I'm still alive! Slept until 11, laid in bed until 1, dragged myself painfully out of bed and drank coffee and watched TV... sooooo tired... Shiloh came over and we had a visit, then Caroline came over and we all three visited, then went out and had a bit of lunch/dinner... then my sister Suzie (who I will put in the Cast as soon as I find a decent picture of her) came over and we visited some more... went to bed at 11, having been awake just over twelve hours, and went right back to sleep.

And now here it is Monday. Lots to do at the office, and as soon as I'm finished here I have to write a couple of letters and file a grievance form and do some other tedious and mind-numbing tasks. But I'm sitting down for God's sake, and that's all I ask of a day.

And now, for the usual Monday entertainments:

The Monday Memory

The Pamplona Running of the Bulls is on at the moment. People have already been hurt. Can you remember the first time you heard about bullfighting, and what you thought about it?

I've always thought the Running of the Bulls was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. To put yourself in all that danger for no reward, just for the fun of it and to say you've done it, is peculiar in the extreme. But it's not my culture, so I try to be open about it. I do have a funny memory about that, though...when I was watching this really long miniseries, The Winds of War, there was a scene of running the bulls in Pamplona, and it was supposed to be set in the Thirties or Forties, of course...and one of the extras fell down in the scene, and one could clearly see that he was wearing Nikes. I always thought that was hysterically funny for some reason.

I first learned about bull-fighting in my favorite childhood book, The Story of Ferdinand. I didn't think much of the sport itself, and in fact I have never understood sports at all. But I loved the idea of Ferdinand...who, though he was capable of being strong and fierce, declined to bestir himself on behalf of pointless sports and instead led a pacific existence in the shade of a cork tree. He was a very gay animal, I think...he appealed to the foppish aesthete that was budding inside me with his love of flowers and quietude. The drawings in that book were quite attractive, too, I remember. Grandmother read that one to me quite often. I think I still have the book, too.

There were also a lot of cartoon bullfights that I thought were very funny, Bugs Bunny and like that. And oh, those outfits are sexy! I just love the tight pants with all the embroidery and those girly lace shirts and the smart little jackets and the tight little shoes. It's such a very dramatic look, so taut and whiplike and powerful, yet ornate and rather effeminate at the same time.

But I was well into adulthood before I discovered what exactly a bullfight entailed...from Ferdinand I had understood that the bull was poked and prodded by the bandellerinos and the piccadores and the torero...I didn't realize until I read a later novel in adulthood that the former two groups were intended to wound and enrage the beast while the latter flamboyantly slaughters it. That struck me as rather uncivilized, like bear-baiting or cock-fighting or fox-hunting (another one that doesn't make sense--people riding horses following dogs chasing a fox, and then watching from horseback as the dogs tear the fox apart--but which looks just gorgeous, the costumes and the traditions and what-have-you).

But then, I try not to condemn that which I don't understand. I don't see much difference, as far as cruelty goes, between bull-fighting and chicken-farming. And as far as sport goes, I don't understand that at all. So I guess I don't have an opinion on blood-sports in general.

But still, I just love those outfits!

Click here and here and here to see more Matadors!

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