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Tuesday, Mar. 9, 2010
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Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009
Marco: Wait, so is it Wahnce? Or is it Wahnce?
Megan, Annie, and Evany: ?
Marco: Waaahnce or Waaahnce?
Megan, Annie, and Evany: ??
Marco: Wahnce [Holds up one finger] or Wahnce? [Holds up three fingers in a loose scout salute]?
Megan, Annie, and Evany: ?!
Marco: WAHNCE or WAHNCE?
Megan, Annie, and Evany: …
Marco: The movie? With the singing? Is it Wahnce with an oh, like “one time,” or Wahnce with a double-you, like “I want that”???
Megan, Annie, and Evany: Oh, you mean Wahnce?
Marco: You guys are killing me.
More words on: marco
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Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009
One of the things that so freaked me out when I was pregnant were the (always sourceless) romantic-doom statistics that people kept quoting at me. Couples fight eight times more frequently after they have a baby! A couple’s split rate is highest in the baby’s first year! And so on and on. It got me worrying that by having a baby, I was recklessly gambling with my heretofore happy relations with Marco, and I wasn’t entirely sure I would prefer what lurked behind Curtain Number Two. Harmonious little family? Buxom blond astride cantankerous burrow? Matching bedroom set?
And having this baby has indeed been hard on our relationship. There are all the obvious reasons: the crippling lack of sleep, the crimped sex life, the sudden inability to hit the town at will. But also I’m not…entirely…at my best right now? Rather I’m an unkempt shrew with confusingly large and leaky breasts, snapping clichéd complaints at Marco (“Don’t Wake the Baby,” “Why Are You Spending Time with The Boys (and Not Helping Me at Home),” and “Money”) through clenched, unbrushed teeth.
My unattraction goes beyond the poor hygiene and poor-me whining. On a deeper level, I fear I’ve gotten into the bad habit of letting my lesser, more selfish self take the brain reins.
As a pregnant woman, you’re given the green light to be bitchy and whimsically needy. Bring me the black rose from the top of Mount Impossible! And some marzipan ice cream! Over the duration of my pregnancy, the basic human lessons I mastered in kindergarten — how to be nice, how to share, how to temper my tantrums — slowly began to unravel.
I keep thinking of this irrational pregnancy behavior as a deer run. Despite the No Trespassing signs, you let yourself go down it again and again, and eventually the overgrown little trail becomes a beaten path. Then a road. Then a freeway. Until finally it’s the only route you ever take, regardless of your destination. Crave a delicious morning bun(s) for breakfast? Don’t ask your pardner nicely if he would be so kind as to get them for you, provided he has time, or (crazy) go get them yourself. No! Stamp your feet instead! Weep! Wave your scepter! Until the world bends to your will and those mawesome rolls are placed, as if by magic, at your swollen feet.
Oh but then the baby pops out and suddenly you’re deprived of the blank check a swollen belly gives you to be a complete monster. Unfortunately by that time you’ve developed nasty habits of voicing your every frustration and expecting to have every whim satisfied. But weirdly your mate is no longer in any way willing to indulge these habits? Especially now that there’s a new kid in town, screaming and wailing out his every whim and frustration?
Another small but not insignificant part of the problem is that Marco and I are now spending more time in each other’s company than ever, never before. Constant togetherness is nice if you’re on vacation, sunning your parts on the Lido Deck. But it can be nerve-wearing over the longer, less-sunny haul of parenthood, especially during these dark newborn days, a frantic, sweaty time steeped in ineptitude and self doubt, and getting increasingly tense and pressurized. And when I’m finally ready to blow my top, a state I achieve at least five times a day, the only adult in range of the molten vileness is Marco. And vice versa!
Best of all, we exchange the majority of our petty hissing while desperately trying to get the baby to sleep, a time when we can’t actually hear anything due to the brain-fraying murrr of the omni-constant white noise machine — fuzzy static being a key aural ingredient in out constant battle to get and keep the baby asleep.
Evany, muttering: [Some sort of complaint wrapped in criticism infused with passive aggression.]
Marco, in a whisper-yell: “What?!”
Evany, eyes rolling: “Huh!?”
Miami Sound Machine: Murrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Until we just about want to stab each other’s brains out with forks. Quietly.
Of course it doesn’t help that the door to our bedroom is being propped open with a bowling pin, which randomly topples just as the baby’s drifting off to sleep. The hair-trigger smoke alarm isn’t doing us any favors, either.
Still, I think we’re doing okay, despite the alarm bells and hissing fits. We manage to find things to laugh about every day, and there are definite bright spots…sipping coffee in bed, decorating the tree, singing at the baby. Good, cockle-warming days! But for the first time ever, I can understand how something as small as a baby might unravel an otherwise happy twosome. Just as I can now see how a woman might go so crazy as to drive her kids into a lake, something I could in no possible way fathom before. Not that I would ever do such a thing. (Relax!) But I can sense the first icy glimmers of how such things could go that far.
It’s scary! But it’s a helpful scariness, the kind that keeps me alert and watchful and determined not to let things spiral downward. It also gives me a new empathy and forgiveness for parents, or anyone who makes bad decisions, or lets their lesser self take charge, or lets a good thing come to an end. And I kind of like this kinder, tender-er view of my world? But yeah: More sleep, please, and a pinch less petulant shrieking and kneejerkiness.
More words on: babytime | marco
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Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
Lest you think all I’ve been doing lately is having babies and then complaining about said babies: We’ve also been decorating! (Wow. Could we be any more staid? I fear our break with the rebel alliance is now complete.)
After much consternation, and a great deal of trial-and-erroring, we’re finally done with the dining section of the house. But we sure did have to wend our way through a parade of tables and accoutrement before we got it right. (Eek! Sorry! The following epic description of this particular decorodyssey is super freakishly detailed…if you have a life to live, maybe just stick to judging the grainy, amateur photography?)
Here we see (back in the corner over there) our original square table from the Alameda flea market. Sadly, it didn’t quite cut it in the new space, what with being too small at its smallest and too big and cornery and hard to navigate when expanded. Also I didn’t love the jumble of dark and light woods going on between the table, credenza, and chairs. I don’t necessarily need everything to matchy-match, but this combo felt a little too “look what we picked up off the street on big trash day!” random.
We decided a cornerless (AKA round) table was in order, so next we Craigslisted this little number from CB2. (Marco is a master Craigslister, obsessively checking the listings multiple times each day.)
Unfortunately, this table turned out to be a little too little. Marco kind of liked it, but I felt it gave things a depressing “icky, flavored-coffee cafe” feel. Plus it didn’t have a leaf, so we would never be able to serve more than four people…not at one time, at least. And its dark wood-grained top actually exacerbated the wood-WOOD-WoOd problem.
So! Feast your eyes on our new, just-right Goldilocks table:
The table is vintage (spotted at Eames Loft by Marco’s friend Janet), and it’s in crazy-beautiful condition, all gleaming and smelling of polish and elbow grease. It comes with a built-in butterfly leaf, which means it’s stored within the table, versus in some tippy, hard-to-get-at corner of the garage. In its leafless state, it’s a good 10” wider than the CB2 table, and just that little added girth really makes it feel proportionate with the space. It was spendy at $440, but the dollars Marco made for selling the other two tables got us almost all the way there.
With the table down, all we had left to do was accessorize, which Marco and I just so happen to love to do to, perhaps to the point of unhealthiness?
Little green bud vase (with bundle of sage): Heath Ceramics. Taller white carved vase (with cheap-o Safeway flowers): Sara Paloma Pottery. The white chairs are from Crate and Barrel, and I think they provide welcome relief from all the wood. They also tie in the white-white Ikea cupboards found in the adjacent kitchen. Comfy, too!
Sadly our beloved credenza was too deep for the space — a table centered under the light fixture just doesn’t leave enough room along the side for much else. So Marco found us a new vintage credenza on Craigslist:
It’s very, very similar to our original piece, only it’s shallower by 7”, which fits the space much, much better. It weirdly was also the same steep $440 as the table, but Marco posted our original credenza on Craigslist and it got picked up as one of Apartment Therapy’s recommended buys for the week, which helped us get a tidy $460 for it. Net: $20!
Wooden iPod player: Vers Audio. Salmon-hued side lamp: Vintage, discovered by Marco in one of the antique shopies on the main drag in San Anselmo.
The white faux bois vase was a $3.99 shopportunity from Marshalls. Marco disdainfully says it “looks like celery,” but sometimes Marco is wrong? Little ceramic bull: Jonathan Adler. Bumpy white vase: Ikea.
Salty, peppery elephants: Daiso, $1!
Next up: Cuting up the Ikea-blank kitchen cabinets!
More words on: decoration | house-ing | marco | my favorite things
sometimes I worry
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008
Last night, as we were sitting down to my very favorite tacos in the whole wide world (at La Taqueria on Mission at 25th, make sure to order the carne asada with cheese), I heard Marco gasp. Something about the small sitting-twisting motion of sliding onto the stool had triggered old injuries, and just like that, his back was thrown.
On the half-block walk to the car, Marco was a sad, slow-moving hunch of a thing. “Wow,” I said to him, “You went in all young and strapping, and you left an old, old man.”
Marco, in an elderly mutter: “Stupid Dorian Gray tacos.”
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Monday, Aug. 11, 2008
The other night I rewatched Lost in Translation and was struck anew with my love for Sophia’s way with the little things. This time, it was something that Scarlett said in the middle of a relationship freakout in a call home to a friend. So she’s tearfully unloading about how she’d gone to see some chanting monks and was all disturbed because the experience didn’t make her feeling anything. Then, onto her bonfire of complaints, she tosses in this tiny camel-breaking straw about how her husband has “started wearing hair products.” I just love that! It’s such a weird whatever kind of non-issue, but it’s the exact sort of small fact that would trigger a realization that the person you’re with is different than what you’d imagined or hoped or planned on.
Recently I spent some high-quality time with a friend who’s going through a not so awesome divorce, and I asked her if and when she first knew that it wasn’t going to work out between her and her husband. She told me that there was no big, horrible event or battle to blame, more it was a series of small misses and faulty communications over a long stretch of time that caused the unraveling. And that maybe if they’d stopped and nipped things in the beginning, when the issues were small and ridiculous, they’d still be together. But since they let the little things build and accumulate, they’d snowballed together into an impossible impasse.
I trotted out my favorite analogy about how long-term couples are like garden gates, where over time weather warps the wood and causes the frame and door to swell in different directions. And as the door loses the ability to swing clean, you either have to force your way through with a kick or a shoulder-shove, or make room by shaving off some wood. Otherwise the door freezes and you have to just let it go and maybe find a new way to get into the back yard. Etcetera.
Then I started ruminating on what the small schisms might be that would cause Marco and me to swell in different directions—because if we stay together as long as I hope we do, the law of averages and human nature dictate that inevitably there will be real hurdles and growing-aparts that we will have to clear.
Then my friend said, “Whatever it is, it’s probably happened already and you didn’t even notice.” I gasped, and then we laughed and laughed, because she and I both know how worrier me so loves to dig my teeth into paranoid thoughts just like that. Oh, we do have fun!
When I got home, the first thing I did when I walked in the door was corner Marco to tell him what my friend had said and then ask him what relationship-ending seed he thought might already be growing between the two of us. Marco, without even pausing for a beat: “Oh. Your worrying. Clearly.” Bam! Ha ha! Wait.
More words on: marco
Thursday, May. 22, 2008
Our local Domino’s Pizza used to have the most beautifully depressing table set up on the sidewalk out front, a tipsy, dirty, sunburned table with a breathtaking view of of the gas station. And plumly located just inches away from four-lane exhaust jamboree that is Grand Avenue! There was also a moldy umbrella, which I never ever saw unfurled, and a rusty metal folding chair. One chair.
Marco and I liked to entertain ourselves with talk of going there for our anniversary (four years of dating this September!), how first we’d get into position: Marco in a suit, teetering in the rotten chair, with me hovering at full attention beside him, my gown blowing in the wake of all the cars whizzing past. And then we’d cellphone in our order, giving the address of Domino’s Pizza itself as our delivery destination. As confusion ensued, we’d tell the pizza people inside to look out their front door. And there we’d be, smiling and waving and pointing at our hungry, pizza-shaped mouths.
But all our plans were dashed the day Domino’s ad hoc pizza patio suddenly up and disappeared. Gone! Nevermore!
Marco and I were very glummed by the loss, and would always sigh woefully whenever we walked past. But then one day our love of the insane local Domino’s was renewed anew when we caught sight of this magic in the making:
This kind of beautiful does not come from Corporate. Clearly this is the ambition-child of a power-hungry Branch Manager who spotted his pizzamen lounging during a lull in business and, in a fit of got-time-to-lean-got-time-to-clean-liness, sicced them on this little project.
While the lettering may look like it was done freehand, I can attest that many painstaking manhours (three different pizzamen were painting on it as we passed!) were spent taping off the outline for each letter, “oinch” by “oinch,” and then painting in the negative space. However they opted not to paint in the logo, which if you look close is constructed out of nothing but teeth-torn tape, a testament to the glory of restraint. For, more than anything, our Domino boys in blue know the sublimity of the sub-standard.
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sometimes marco makes me mad
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2008
Look! Captured! A rare glimpse of Marco’s bedside table:
What we have here:
- Mid-century Scandi-modern tripod lamp from eBay
- Blue-glow LED clock from the future, via the MoMA Store
- Puka-shell necklace from the tropical Hawaiian island of Kuaui
- Generic motel ashtray filled with six screws and a guitar pick
- Jaunty kerchief
Am I living with Schneider from One Day at a Time
? A time-traveling gay man? A Dr. Frankenhangten who, as the inimitable Pamie suggests
, is “planning on building a surfer”?
More words on: marco
Tuesday, Apr. 1, 2008
Things that make me irrationally irritated:
1. When Marco sneezes, which he always does very loudly and repeatedly, and which always reminds me of the allergy problem that he refuses to visit an allergy doctor to see if he can get medicine to fix.
2. The snortling and throat-clicking, also allergy-related.
3. When Marco’s screws the lid on too tight, which obviously means he’s trying to save all the good soda and pickles for HIMSELF.
4. When Marco Early Parks, sometimes parking entire blocks and blocks shy of our destination.
5. When Marco leaves used Q-tips in places other than the trash.
6. When Marco insists on wearing his weird baggy elephant vagina jeans.
7. When Marco says “a little sumpum sumpum” or “check it out, dog.”
8. When Marco doesn’t hear me the first time.
And…that’s it. On the flip side, he almost never snores, and he gets genuinely sad whenever he hears about someone dying even celebrities that noone likes, and he does all our laundry, and he guitar-plays Jesse’s Girl on demand, and if he spots a garage sale sign that’s come unpinned, he stops and carefully rights it. And, best of all, this morning I discovered that his weird baggy elephant vagina pants fit ME to a yay!
More words on: marco
Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2008
Easter of last year, Washington Mutual (an evil, evil bank that PS: Ate up $700 of Marco’s dollars in its maddening and always hungry bureaucrazy) ran a “Free Range Checking” campaign (a glorious pun, I know, too bad and sad that they’re awful and wrong and you should never, ever bank there!) They celebrated this campaign as anyone with endless (and surely shadily obtained!) resources does: They plastered their windows with gigantic posters of hypnotically cute baby chickens.
My want-o-meter went deep into the red the very first second I saw that poster, oh! And then, upon closer inspection, I realized that the poster was mounted on the OUTSIDE of the window, and surreptitious picking revealed that it peeled away with unexpected ease! My internal needle soared into white-hotter realms of desire, and I started hatching great, Marco-alarming plans of visiting the bank in the (t)wee(t) hours of the night and robbing it of this, its most precious asset.
But before I could even purchase a ski mask, the campaign winds shifted, and (that rotten bank!) Washington Mutual started systematically removing the chickens from its branches. I came home and dejectedly delivered the news that the chickens had all but disappeared, and Marco clucked sympathetically.
But! The very next morning, luck lightning struck with astounding timeliness when Marco decided to stop at our local branch to deposit a check in the blue, pre-dawn hours before his frighteningly early work begins, and he caught the chicken-removal team just as they were putting up the next round of posters. After much hand-gesturing (the chicken-removal team spoke little English), Marco learned that the beautiful chicken poster had been crumpled into a big sticky ball and shoved into the trash. Sadness! However fears that the poster was balled beyond rescue proved unfounded when the poster softened in the warmth of the back of Marco’s truck and over the course of the day it unfolded all on its own, just like a pretty flower.
And now those gigantic chickens have a new lot in life: Now they must focus their Rasputin stare upon our naked bodies as we scrub our skins and hairs with foaming agents!
More words on: decoration | marco | my favorite things
heigh ho, silver, away
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007
Last week I noticed a strange buzzing sound coming from the bathroom (no, not that sort of buzzing), punctuated by manic bursts of giggle. After about twenty minutes, Marco emerged, bald as an eagle. Apparently he found a pair of long-forgotten clippers in the cabinet and decided to try them out? The first tentative swipes went well, but then he hit one of the corners of his pointy head, thereby jarring the guide loose and leaving the unguarded blade to mow a naked furrow into his lux black hair.
When his regular hairdresser did something similar with his eyebrow a few years back, Marco just used a Sharpie to fill in the missing hair. But this bald patch was far too deep and noticeable to just color in with marker, so there was little else to do but shave off the rest of his hair to match the hole.
The results are pretty startling! His never-before-sunkissed dome is an infinitely lighter shade of pale; next to his dark brown face it looks like one of those swimcaps ladies who swim sidestroke wear. The bristles are so strong and so sharp, he can hang a towel from them, and it takes all your strength to remove it from his head's velcro grip. And though he insists he looks like a pre-cancerous Yul Brynner, I think, with his exaggerated features now untempered with the balance hair provides, he just looks like a gigantic mouth on a neck. Kiss me, my gigantic mouth on a neck!
More words on: marco
a twice-chewed beaverwood v-day
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007
Walking with Marco to his car after the Literary Death Match (which went well, I think? aside from the shrieking , booze-swept lady in the audience?):
Marco, limping slightly: So…I have some good news and some bad news.
Evany: Oh boy.
Marco: So the bad news is, the “Check Engine” light came on in your car again.
[This, after the light coming on and the mechanic fixing the car on two separate occasions already.]
Evany: Groaning, stomping noises.
Marco: But the good news is, I got rear-ended today, and your car is totally totaled!
Marco spent the next few weeks calling the rear-ender’s insurance company twenty thousand million times, and after much badgering they finally sent out a claims adjuster, who made an appointment with Marco to come take pictures of the battered car at 11am the next Saturday. When, at 11:15, she still hadn’t arrived, Marco called her cellphone. After a handful of rings, she groggily picked up the phone and hoarsely reported that she’d be about an hour late. When she finally arrived, a bedraggled woman with a Mohawk and a filthy messenger bag moaning about her rough night, Marco politely asked what it was that she’d been doing all night, expecting a long, lurching story filled with bourbon and flat tires and sidewalk brawling and emergency rooms. “Oh, you know…laundry,” she said wearily.
The woman took some photos of the car and told Marco she’d submit her report by Monday…Wednesday at the latest. When we hadn’t heard anything by the end of the week, though, Marco called again and discovered that the insurance company hadn’t heard from the adjuster yet, shrug. Marco called back the next day, shrug, and the next…he started leaving long messages of nothing but the crunching sounds of entire bowls of cereal being consumed. But it wasn’t until we threatened to start billing them for rental cars (nothing lights an ass-fire like consequences, hoo) that they finally, finally scrambled to get the report from the adjuster and finally, finally returned Marco’s calls to report that the car was, indeed, officially totaled. And the very day before the city was scheduled to tow it away, the insurance company came and carted the crushed little Silver Tooth far, far away away.
And then last week the check finally, finally arrived, weighing in at a clean $138 more than I initially paid the car six or whatever months ago. Lemon; lemonade!
Now we just have to get the insane fly-by-night, laundry-tired insurance people to pay for all the time off Marco has had to take off from work to nurse his sad, bruised back, fun. In summary: yay for do-over insurance checks! Pray for Marco’s poor little back! And don’t ever, never let Evany and her faulty mysticism do the deciding when it comes to buying a car.
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ode to marco (with a rebel yell)
Thursday, Sep. 21, 2006
A few months ago, I randomly discovered a piece of “twice-chewed beaverwood” on eBay (I’ll leave it up to you and your despicable imagination to come up with the search terms I used to get there, because now I actually can’t remember how I did it).
Obviously I was ultra intrigued by something, anything called “twice-chewed beaverwood,” so I clicked in to learn more. But there wasn’t more. That was it! Just a foot-long piece of wood, neatly gnawed by actual beavers at either end. A plain old log! And yet…wouldn’t it look nice up there on the mantle? You know, if ever I owned a mantle? And the price was so right: only $2! Sadly, the shipping was over $20, and ultimately I couldn’t see my way clear to spending twenty-something dollars on what was essentially just a block of wood, albeit fondled by beavers. Allegedly.
So I let the auction go, and went humming about my way. But Marco! He mentioned my discovery to some guys at work, and apparently one of them, a hunter, scoffed and said the forests of California are CRAMMED with twice-chewed beaverwood. So Marco asked him to bring a piece back for me. You know, for Valentine’s Day? And that’s exactly what he did:
It’s totally insane (Marco was laughing and laughing as he dragged it into the house): crumbly and muddy and HUGE…almost five feet long (forget putting it on the mantle, it IS a mantle), but there it is. My very my own piece of twice-chewed beaverwood!
Thank you, Marco! You sure are one awesome Valentine.
More words on: marco | my favorite things
my boyfriend the pot-head, etc.
Monday, Jan. 23, 2006
A few weekends ago, Marco and I went to the mall (Marco really, really loves the mall; he was raised in El Paso), and while we were promenading level two, I spied this pair of green-on-green sneakers at Payless Shoe Source. For years I have been looking for exactly this kind of sneaker. These shoes have it all. They’re two kinds of green, and they’re both really good greens, and the visible advertising is super low-key, which I like, and then the shape is really good, too, nice and low-tech. Also the official name of the shoe is “Rebel,” which is pleasantly insane. And all for just $25!
The only problem: the Payless at the mall didn’t have my size. So Marco drove me over to the Payless by our house, and they didn’t have my size, either! So the next morning, we looked up the addresses of all the drive-able Paylesses, and we hit the road. Luckily this modern-day Cinderella story ended at the second Payless we visited: the Payless on East 14th, it had my shoes! And they’re perfect. I wore them all over Seattle and they we comfortable and looked cute with many outfits, and I am just so happy with them.
But, more to the point, how awesome is Marco? To go so willingly on a Payless treasure hunt all over the East Bay? I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. He and I just celebrated the two-year anniversary of the day we met (it was September 11th, 2004, at Adam and Julia’s beautiful wedding), and we’ve been living together now for…wow, five months! And it all just seems so natural and comfortable, like we’ve never been not living together. It’s weird, after struggling so long trying to make things work with other people, to finally experience something that is just…easy. It’s almost eerie. (I’m trying not to let my jinx-o-phobia freak me out here…though, based on the complicated logic of my superstitions, the very fact that I’ve just acknowledged that I’m putting myself in jinx jeopardy acts as a kind of safeguard against something terrible happening, because in my world, self-awareness dilutes the potential for ironic comeupance. Of course now it occurs to me that nothing courts ironically twisted endings like posting something gushy in your online diary. Oh no!)
One of the very best things, though, about dating Marco is that I think he’s actually transformed me into a better person. For one thing, I just like the version of myself that comes out when I’m around him. There have, of course, been times when my bitchy side comes out for a visit. Like for instance last week, I was trying to tell him a story about a party which happened to transpire in “Marin County,” and he interrupted to ask, “You mean the hospital?” What? I rolled my eyes and huffed, instantly and completely exasperated at him for derailing my story, and then I launched into a long detour of bickery. (Apparently people who grew up in Marin County, as I did, have a habit of adding on that “County” whenever they refer to the area, while people from other counties don’t actually do that. Like if you’re from Alameda County, you just say, “I’m from Alameda.” This is why Marco was confused, why he thought I was actually talking about a hospital. A fictional hospital called “Marin County” that was the site of a big…party. Of course Alameda is also a town; it’s a town and a county. As is San Francisco. And Sonoma. Whereas Marin is geographical area, filled with entitled hippies trying to manipulate you into sharing their exact ideas on nonconformity. ANYWAY!) Generally speaking, though, I like the person I am when I’m around Marco. This Evany is excited to try new things and curious about my surroundings and I enjoy doing whatever it is that needs doing, even if it’s an unfavorable task, like the dishes or laundry.
Marco’s also a lot more industrious than I am, and his energy has this great momentum that carries me through projects that I’m not sure I would have been able to complete on my own. The over-the-bed photos for the Sleep book, for instance, which Amelia (the illustrator) used as a basis for all the illustrations. Marco was the one who figured out how to set up the camera, which wasn’t at all easy as it sounds. We spent a LOT of time fiddling around with duct tape (which we used to attached the camera to mic-stand, which we balanced on a ladder using luggage as counterbalance…an unfortunate setup that never quite stopped bobbing and weaving) before Marco hit on the solution: he made a mount for the camera out of wire and brackets and then drilled that directly into the ceiling, then used the camera’s remote shutter clicker to take the photos from down on the ground, or the bed, or wherever. That simple ingenuity paved the way for hundreds of pictures, and those many photos gave me what I needed to start writing, which led ultimately to this sweet little blue book that I love so very much. All because of that ceiling mount, created by Marco.
I also don’t feel crazy when I’m around him. Early on he made it clear that he wasn’t really phased by my desire to “talk about the feelings,” something that (with few exceptions) has universally bummed out every boy I’ve ever dated. And even the boys who were okay with the endless talk-talk-talking, they somehow never had the right things to say when I finally ran out of words, and then I always ended up feeling crazier than when I started. Which isn’t to knock all the boys I’ve ever dated — much of what didn’t work in the past was me, me being anxious, me not knowing my mind, not being sure about what it was I even wanted. But Marco just kind of goes along with it, smiles and says, “That sounds hard,” or whatever, and I feel better. And something about the very fact that it’s permissable for me to talk about my crazy thoughts and concerns, and that the act of talking about it doesn’t end up breaking everything, has caused my desire to talk about all that stuff to almost disappear. Weird…it’s like he’s some kind of EMOTIONAL SCIENTIST!
(I also love how he just called to say that he came up with another band mashup: “I can’t believe I never thought of the Kajagoogoo Dolls!” Other mashups he’s invented: The Beagles (which would play only Beatles and Eagles covers). And the English Beat Farmers. The Thirty-eight Specials. REM Speedwagon. And so on and on.)
But okay right, what I started out to say was how, ever since I started dating Marco, I’ve become a better person. Marco’s one of those people who gives little old ladies whom he’s never met a ride home. Or like…okay, this is a good Marco story. Sometime last year, he was waiting for his tires to get changed, and these two guys rolled by, and they were trying to push-start their car. So Marco ran out into the street and started helping them push. They tried once, and it didn’t catch, so they pushed it up to speed again, and it finally caught. And that’s when a guy came running out of an apartment building yelling, “Hey! That’s my car!” The two guys, the guys who Marco had just helped out, were stealing the car! The car thieves peeled out, and actually Marco took off running, too, so maybe that’s not the best story about helping out people in need. Here’s a better one: for awhile, a senile old man used to come knocking on Marco’s door and insist that he owned the building, and then he’d say stuff about…a flag? Or something? He didn’t really speak English, so it was all very confusing. Bu
t Marco would stand there and try to talk to the man as long as it took for the man’s daughter to come get him. Or another time! We were walking home from the coffee store when we came across an old man (different from the old man with the flag issues) who was standing on the corner, by himself, clearly confused. He was asking everyone that walked by if they knew the name of some street, and no one seemed to know what he was talking about. My instinct — and I’m not at all proud of this — was to sort of shrug and keep walking, because it seemed like this guy had a LOT going on, and I was just trying to enjoy my Sunday, enjoy my coffee. But Marco, who had seen the guy walking around the neighborhood before, stopped and figured out where he had to go, and then Marco offered to walk the guy to his house (it turned out to be a group home for the mentally ill). So slowwwwly, very slowwwwly, we walked this man, his name was John, home. It took us maybe fifteen minutes out of our way, no big deal. And it made me feel good!
So when an elderly woman came up to me when I was walking around NY on my own, and politely asked me if I could do her a favor, I actually stopped and asked her what I could do to help. This isn’t something I would have done in the past. And it turns out that this nice lady just wanted me to steady her as we crossed the street, she was a shaky walker and she didn’t trust herself to make it. She put her hand on my arm, I walked her across the street, and she was very appreciative and told me what a lovely girl I was. See? I’m a lovely girl! A very, very lucky lovely girl.
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everybody has a good time
Monday, Jul. 18, 2005
Some things I want to remember include:
Marco accidentally got very drunk last weekend (champagne was popped in jest and then consumed in all earnestness), and he made himself remarkable by doing the following remarkable things: he sang country songs and clapped hard like a mechanical monkey until Stephen called him a “hillbilly”; he asked me to brush his teeth and when I actually did he just lay there on the living room rug and laughed and laughed and laughed and tried to bite the toothbrush until his face was covered with foam; and then when I finally got him over to the bed, he told me he didn’t feel so well, so I fetched him the pasta pot from dinner and he immediately put it on his head. When I tried to lure him out of the pot, explaining that pasta pot helmets make sleeping sad, he yelled, from the muffled depths of the 10-quart pot, “Why are you doing this to me?” Finally I managed to talk him out of the pot, and when I left him (to go watch ice skating!) he was dozing comfortably with the pot at the ready on the floor by the bed. But when, hours later, I came to bed (ice skating!), the pot was back on his head. I told him he looked like that cartooon dog that was so ugly he had to wear a miniature house on his head (and who would only take it off to scare away criminals), and he yelled that he had no idea what I was talking about and accused me of being drunk. But I was not drunk, I am not drunk. That dog was REAL!
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Caroleen and Jeff’s chickens are now officially laying eggs! And some of those eggs are brown, and some of those eggs are a slightly lighter brown, and some of those eggs are GREEN, which seems like a kind of miracle. Chickens do pretty things! Also it turns out that fresh eggs laid by happy, SOMA chickens not only look like something Martha Stewart might herself lay, but they taste GOOD, too (much as, I’m pretty sure, Martha’s eggs do). Though as Joy of Cooking warned, a fresh egg that’s been hard-boiled is amazingly hard to peel, who knew.
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Liz and I were groaning, again, about Burning Man, and I finally hit upon the perfect analogy for my feelings about the matter. The next time I’m confronted with a Burning Man evangelist, which is a common hazard here in San Francisco, this is what I’m going to say (and you totally can say this too if you want): “I’m sorry, but for me Burning Man is like toilet training: I got to the bottom of all that long ago, and I’d prefer not to go back to shitting my pants.”
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Also Marco insists on pronouncing “King Kong” like “ping pong.”
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toilet statues, bunions, disarmed
Thursday, Mar. 24, 2005
A few weekends ago Marco and I went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and also the Gap, and Starbucks, and Peet’s Coffee. At the SCBB, we procured and ingested: funnel cake, vanilla soft-serve cone dipped in chocolate, green apple slices with side-vat of caramel dipping sauce, taffy samples, and one piece each of chocolate-dipped honeycombed crumble. Real food was also consumed, in the form of a mysterious molten chicken-and-cheddar goulash obtained at a restaurant on the pier which appeared, like that child-run planet in the original Star Trek, to be owned and operated only by teens, teens with artfully articulated hair. (Best overheard, from a young woman whose street-speak flash cards appeared to have not entirely taken hold: “When did your bike get stol-JACKED?”)
On the way out of town we stopped at the world’s best gas station, with flame-detail-painted pumps, free soda with fill-up, and face-hole photo-op surfer + bikini-clad beach girl + dog painting. It was so good, Marco’s truck didn’t at all want to leave, and it took maybe 200 clutch pumps, accompanied by my rousing “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain” twanged in time with the stomping, before the truck gave in and got going.
Additionally: I have a magnificent sandal tan, and BOTH Whack-a-Mole and Ms. Pacman ate our quarters.
More words on: marco
I know, all that suspense, “What will happen when Marco meets the parents??? Tune in tomorrow for all the juice!” And then … eight hundred days of silence. What happened? Did her parents forbid the union? Was there a big battle with “how could you“s and aioli stains? Did she find out she was adopted? Epileptic? Allergic to … LOVE?
Sadly, the Meet the Parents evening was utterly tame and void of quotes or any anecdotal qualities what-so-ever. (OH! except in the bathroom of the restaurant there was one of those grotesque, hyper-real statues, about four feet high, that you usually see presenting a menu or a business card out in front of restaurants, but this one was inside the bathroom, and also his pants were around his ankles and he had a toilet plunger stuck on top of his his head (where the roll of toilet paper you were supposed to use was stored) and he had a pair of real glasses and a depressed, interrupted look on his face.) Not that a lack of anything worthwhile to report has ever silenced me here before, but something about the buildup followed by such anticlimactic okay-ness threw me. In any case, lesson learned: never publicly pre-announce pending excitement, it virtually guarantees uneventfulness (which, now that I think about it, may have been genius on my part, because who really wants tainted meat or weeping strippers or whatever to appear at the Meet the Parents dinner?).
Far more exciting are my recently confirmed (by a medical foot doctor wearing a bow-tie) BUNIONS, which catapult me directly past “officially old” and land me on the “depressingly ancient” square in one fell swoop. In any case, I just picked up my orthotics, strange plastic smooth lifts (which look much like the contoured pool chaises my grandparents used to have) that I now have to wear in both shoes. And they feel WEIRD, not painful, but weird, mostly because it’s just not natural to constantly be reminded of the fact of your feet. But still, an altogether much better option than the surgery, which I might have to have eventually if the orthotics don’t halt the growth of the bunions, and which I want to avoid at all possible costs as it involves BREAKING my toe bone, setting a pin in there, and then me not walking for an entire month. What? I thought bunions were something cute and small, like an unwanted callous, not some federal emergency that warrants medieval torture a la splinters under finger nails. Aging is full of surprises.
Also exciting: this past weekend I went to the premiere of Steven‘s movie, Disarmed, a short film about a first date, blooming love, and Body Integrity Identity Disorder (the intense desire to have an unwanted limb removed), and it was truly delightful, funny and well-paced, with none of those blank moments that jar you out of the story and remind you that you’re sitting in a theatre, possibly having to pee. This movie just swept me away for its entire 20-minute span. It was like, I don’t know, if you’ve ever caught a wave (and I’m just talking body surfing here, nothing crazy), for the duration of that wave, you’re there, just enjoying it and thinking of nothing else but the happy feeling of it. That’s what this movie was like! Also! It featured a direct reference to something I said on MY first date with Steven (we are no longer dating, just to clarify), something about how the dock of the bay is impossible to sit on because that’s the water part of things, where the boat goes — really Otis should have sang he was “sitting on the PIER by the bay.” So that’s exciting.
More words on: marco