Still AliveSorry for the silence, my darlings, but I've been done in by trying to share too much with you... I had a super busy weekend, and then spent all my free time yesterday telling you about it, but I didn't even get halfway through the tale since I had to actually work and stuff... oh, the indignity! I have all this stuff to tell you about, but I can't finish in the same fashion in which I started... so consider the following to be like the Unfinished Symphony. I may give you a rapid précis at the end, but I may not. We'll see...
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So, I had this wonderfully busy weekend. On Thursday (which isn't really the weekend, but it counts sometimes) I went with my Grandmother to get our nails done... she needed a pedicure, and I needed an acrylic fill, so we went down to the place she usually gets her hooves serviced. I have been neglecting my regular manicurist, who is a true artiste and who is so good at shaping and filling that she's built up an extensive and devoted clientele and so I have to make appointments at least a week in advance... but I never remember to make an appointment a week in advance, or even at all, and so I let my nails get into a disgraceful state and then just wander into any of the hundreds of nail salons that now infest every shopping district in Oakland.
The salon Grandmother began frequenting when she finally decided that she couldn't reach her feet for hygienic purposes anymore was recommended by our next-door neighbor, and differs from the hundred other salons not one whit, except that they do offer somewhat better service than some of the places I've been into. There are several big pedicure chairs, with vibrating black leather seats and elaborate white mini-spas at the foot, some manicure tables with surprisingly uncomfortable old office-chairs with "lace" slipcovers over the tops, and a platoon of recently-immigrated Asian women who call themselves "Jennifer" but whose cosmetology licenses are all made out to "Tran," who look enough alike to be terribly confusing (one assumes they're related to each other) and whose grasp of the English language is pretty shaky; there is usually, also, one man wandering aimlessly about who might be the husband or brother or son of one of the women, a small child of some description playing in the corner, stacks of such useless publications as Parenting and Woman's Day interspersed with fascinating but indecipherable glossies printed in Korean and/or Vietnamese, and a cruddy television with really dreadful reception tuned to some dreary local channel.
Anyway, Grandmother got her little piggies trimmed and massaged and pumiced and painted, and got her fingernails buffed and polished as well, while I had my acrylic fill performed with a good deal of craftsmanship. Not quite as good as my regular and more-expensive Montclair manicurist would have done, but pretty damned close.
Afterward we went to dinner at Emil Villa's Hick'ry Pit, one of the three restaurants in Oakland that we can patronize with any regularity, since they all have adjacent parking-lots (Merritt Bakery & Restaurant and The Buttercup Kitchen are the other two). It's sort of depressing that in a city with so many dining venues we are limited to these three quite nice but rather limited places just because they're the only ones we know with handicapped parking near the front door. That's the one real advantage, in my eyes, of suburbs over cities... you can usually park your car within spitting distance of your destination.
After that we went to Long's Drugs for a few necessaries and a whole lot of unnecessaries. I went in there to get an anti-fungal substance for my fingernails (I'm always getting mildew under my acrylics) and some Tucks for my tuchus (I'm enjoying my first case of hæmorrhoids); I came out with the abovementioned articles as well as two tubes of Max Factor Pan-Stik in the hard-to-find "Fair" color, a new pressed-powder compact (I keep losing or breaking mine), a birthday card for my coworker JB, some dental floss, and the latest issue of Vogue. Grandmother, who was just along for the ride, ended up with a sack of Miracle-Gro potting soil for African violets, two bathmats and a new shower curtain, another mat of ersatz Persian design for the front door, a jar of peanuts, some educational coloring-books for the great-grandchildren who would be visiting this weekend, some Metamucil in a new tablet form, a hamper for my nephew's room, a box of cookies, and a packet of nail-files. A good time was had by all.
So then came Friday. Friday at work was supposed to be very quiet and rather boring... I'm trying to get caught up on all my meeting notes, turning the six separate sets of yellow-papered handwriting into transcripts or minutes, as the case may be. It's something that takes a lot of dedicated time, you can't just do it and three other things at the same time. Unfortunately, when I came into work I got a message from my boss... the man who has been hounding me on a daily basis for the last two weeks to get these damned meeting notes done now turns around and tells me to forget about the notes and work on a flyer that needs to be in all the campus mailboxes no later than Monday.
Fortunately, I was feeling fairly lucid and was able to get the editing done on the flyer in record time and then get started on the printing... and while the printer was going, I even managed to get some meeting notes transcribed. I got everything related to the flyer finished by 4:30, and am a little worried that those involved in the flyer will expect me to always be able to do things so quickly. I think I have my boss pretty well trained to keep his expecations low, so that these lucid moments come as a pleasant surprise, but I just don't have the time to beat down the rest of the people in this organization.
Of course, part of my speed was motivated by having someone to meet at 4:30. I got together with my dear old friend Kevin, about whom I have written in this space before on a couple of occasions. The letter over which I agonized in the latter post ended up being mailed three weeks later... though I had written it with the intent of communicating its contents, there was also a vague hope that I'd never have to send it, that my sponsor would tell me to re-write or that I'd never get Kevin's address. But I talked to my sponsor about it, and she not only wanted me to send it but suggested that I submit it to The Grapevine for publication as a model ninth-step letter; and in one of those special blogiverse moments, our mutual friend Mary read the entry I wrote right after writing the letter (which I hadn't really thought she'd do, as most of my friends have a peculiar reluctance to read my blog) and emailed me Kevin's address the very next day.
And so, after some delays around finding a stamp and getting the letter signed and into an envelope without letting myself re-edit, I got it into the mail. Kevin called and emailed a couple of days later, and we made a date to get together and hash it all out and catch up on lost time.
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And that's as far as I've been able to get in the last two days (I started it at 11 a.m. on Monday). To wrap the rest of it up, Kevin and I had a super time, we learned alot about our relationship and got all caught up on our doings in the last four years. It was as if we'd never been apart, except that perhaps we appreciated each other more. I also got a lot of book-shopping done, and now have plenty to read, starting with Around the World with Auntie Mame.
Then on Saturday I had to take the Grandmother down to Merritt Bakery & Restaurant to have lunch with my cousin Michael (Grandmother's daughter's son) and various other members of the family; much to my surprise (though why such things still have the power to surprise me is something of a mystery), we ended up taking my cousin Kellie's (Michael's sister, same provenance) children home with us. And it was so hot, a dry nasty heat that dehydrated my sinuses and sapped my will, so I went right back to bed and stayed there reading. Then Caroline came over and we went shopping for computer games (I bought Sims Superstar but can't get it to install) and for groceries, then came home and made dinner for everyone, and hung out. Then I took Caroline home, and for some idiotic reason she ran out to the store afterward and then locked herself out of her house. Since only her landlord has the duplicate key, and he lives in San Francisco and had no intention of coming across the bridge at 11:30 at night, she came back to my place and slept on the couch.
Come Sunday we were all up bright and early to go to church (I purposely put off setting the clocks back so we'd have an extra hour in the morning), and since we had the little ones with us I couldn't easily pull a disappearing maneouver so had to sit through the sermon. Then to Andy's for brunch, then back home (it was still awfully hot). Immediately upon arrival at the house, I started preparing for two different drag shows... the Royal Grand Ducal Council's International Dinner and Show in Hayward at 5, and Candie Swallows' Halloween Spooktacular at the Black Cat in Penngrove at 8. I got almost everything ready in plenty of time but got hung up searching for my Lena Horne CD, and so was a half hour late to the RGDC show at the Rainbow Room, and so I was the last to perform in the show. I got off stage at 7:25, and Angelique and I were out of the Rainbow Room and onto the freeway at 7:40. I let loose all of my driving agression, and we arrived in Penngrove (approximately sixty miles) in forty minutes, only a little bit late for the show. We performed and had a great time, then afterward had dinner at Denny's and drove home (at a rather more sedate pace, since I could barely keep my eyes open).
And that's pretty much it. Thank you for your attention, and please join us later this week while I agonize about the HallowQueen Pageant and whether or not the integral part of my costume (a black fox boa) will arrive from Quebec in time. Smooches!