My weekends have been making me happy but they don't make good copy.
It's Sunday evening. I'm sitting at Prism Cafe. Seven other laptops — various Macs and a rogue Dell — are open and aglow. Something wickedly, mournfully trumpety, chat and polyrhythmic is playing overhead. There may or may not be a glass of pilsner at the table next to me. Across the street, two dryers should be spinning my dark clothes to a warm, soft finish.
Saturday started with good quality A. time, including doro tibs at Cafe Colucci (yummers). After bidding her good afternoon, I crawled into San Francisco through thick clumps of weekend traffic (after lucking out and noticing my damn-near-empty gas tank and finding the only West Oakland pump that hadn't heard about the recent price dropoff) and made it to a co-worker's boyfriend's birthday party in McLaren Park. A dozen years in the Bay Area and I'm still finding parts of the city that are completely new to me. There was beer, cheeseburgers, friendly volleyballage, ex-co-workers become friends-of-friends materializing out of the ether, dogs running around and loose jams on acoustic guitars.
Then most of the partygoers adjourned to a warehouse loft/practice space off Bayshore Boulevard, where a bit of jamming with members of Sweet Crude Bill became a rousing 80s-pop acoustic singalong. I'm going to say the peak came somewhere a Journey song that, until I remember differently, was probalby "Don't Stop Believin'."
If you are going to dress up for Halloween, what will you be? Why?
Submitted by Auweea.
Lazy me will probably find a Bob Marley T-shirt, wear it under my jean jacket and schlep my acoustic guitar around on my back.
Super-motivated me might go naughty-schoolgirl.
I'd have to thrift:
A short plaid skirt.
A cardigan sweater and/or sweater vest.
And add it to:
A button-down shirt-and-rep-tie combo.
Raggedy-ass combat boots.
Who knows which me will win?
What was your very first job?
Submitted by Laurel.
From age 13 to 17, I delivered a tiny, uninfluential paper no one's ever heard of to between sixty and sixty-five doorsteps along a few streets south and west of the Forest Glen Metro station in Silver Spring, Md.
My brother Erin helped me unbundle the stacks that a big gunmetal-gray cargo van would drop off at the end of our house's driveway. Then we'd put them into a cart and wheel them around through silent stretches of suburban street, lit by waning pools of lamplight. If it rained or snowed, we'd bag them in small plastic sleeves. My aim and control were ferocious. Most days, I could put a rolled-up, rubber-band-bound newspaper atop a penny on your welcome mat from your lawn's streetside curb.
Oh dude, but that one time I didn't? I was 14 or 15. It was winter. I was three doors away from the warmth of home and the satisfaction of another day done, and I'd heaved a color-slick ad-filled Sunday paper, safe in its sleeve, onto the left front edge of Mr. C——-'s porch. It landed like a dream. But then it kept going on sheer momentum and a sheet of half-melted ice. Then it tapped the thick sheet of fancy ribbed glass window beside the front door and the whole thing blew like a safecracker's wet dream.
I paid to replace the glass. And there must not've been too many hard feelings, because Mr. C——- hired me for a couple of summers afterward to tag along in his van on contracting jobs, lifting sheetrock and pounding nails and bracing ladders. I put on solid muscle, got a lot of paint on my overalls and listened to more than a little Shirley Caesar on a crackling radio.
What's the best way to spend a rainy day?
Submitted by Vee.
Sipping something hot and looking at something hotter. Um, what?