Thursday, August 31, 2006

Timing is Everything!

First of all, let's all just take a moment to acknowledge that I suck. I could say that I've been on vacation, I could chalk up my sparse posting as of late to a nasty shitstorm of events in my life that have taken up all my time. And I would be half right in both cases. But the truth is, I just got lazy. My apologies to my one reader. (Hi Honey.)

Anyway, I'm back. And I gotta say, it's amazing how much a few minutes can affect your life in such drastic ways. Two days ago, Gianni had his orientation afternoon at kindergarten. Naturally, we were all planning to go and embarrass him, er, I mean send him off in fine fashion. The plan was for Gianni and Rick to pedal over on the tagalong bike and for me and Tea to meet them at the school. But thanks to some dumb-assed forgetfulness on my part and a booster seat that wasn't quite strapped down to the chair, Tea managed to do a full face-plant on the kitchen floor the minute G and Rick were walking out the front door.

I called Rick on the cell phone and told him that we were going to be a little late, since we had to rush to the doctor and make sure Tea hadn't knocked all of her teeth loose in her grand stunt. Rick came back inside for a second, made sure that we were all fine (bloody, but fine) and then went on the way. They arrived at school with no difficulties, Gianni had a grand time,and I missed the whole thing because I was sitting in a doctor's office for two hours waiting for a consultation that took five minutes to tell me that Tea was just fine. (insert tiny violin and expletive-filled rant about health care here.)

When we saw the local news later, I realized what a blessing a blood-soaked face-plant can be for a family. Because Rick was a few minutes late getting started, he and Gianni were a few minutes late crossing California street. Thus, they barely missed this lunatic, who plowed down 14 pedestrians deliberately and was finally stopped literally blocks from Gianni's new school. While sitting in a waiting room with a grumpy, scraped-up baby is no fun, we all realize that it could have been much much much much worse and thank goodness for life's little delays.

So thanks Tea, and I promise not to be such a scattered dumb ass next time and buckle the booster seat.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Chron Will Print Anything These Days

The paper proved that already, when last week they published a whiny, entitled "humor" essay by a young "writer" living in her grandmother's Eichler home in Palo Alto. For free. Really the only way to do the story justice is to read it in the voice of a 16-year-old Valley Girl. The walls are, like, green? And the couch is totally orange? And it's, like, really cold? I totally have to wear my fake fur coat all the time! Like, there's not even a jacuzzi tub! Eeuww!

Anyway. It sucked. And I'm not even an Eichler nut.

The paper printed a pageful of letters to the editor regarding the story today, including mine! I'm proud, not just because I got a letter in the paper, but because I got the phrase "takes a dump" into a family newspaper. That is a true accomplishment. Joe Eichler would be proud.

Editor -- Need I even say it: a gift horse that takes a dump on your lawn is still a gift horse. In a time when even non-freelancers can barely afford to make rent on frighteningly small and ugly places in the Bay Area, I cannot even begin to measure how much chutzpah one would have to possess to tell us this tale of "woe." The writer lives in an architecturally significant home that, for better or worse, is historically intact, more because of your grandmother's laziness in maintaining it than anything else. It's rent-free. It's worth a fortune. Cry me a river.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Irwin Allen it Ain't

People are still talking about where they were during the Earthquake. I'm not talking about the 1906 Big One, or even the 1989 Pretty Damned Big One. (In case you're wondering, I was not born yet, and sitting on a couch in Illinois watching the World Series, respectively.) I'm referring to the moderate temblor we experienced just a few days ago. Yes, it was a shaker. Or so I'm told.

For a bunch of supposedly jaded Bay Areans, we sure love to talk about quakes, no matter how tiny. I was walking from the family room into the hallway with Tea for her bedtime. Rick was in the kitchen and he said: "Earthquake."

I said: "Huh?"

Rick was certain that we'd just had an earthquake. The windows rattled. The light fixtures swayed. By the time I looked, there was nothing. But he was certain. He checked the USGS Web site. Nothing reported yet. So I told him to go to the real source of all information.

"Try The Well," I said.

He checked into the San Francisco Earthquake topic on The Well and, before the USGS had a chance to check their seismographs, there were already 20 posts about the quake. Felt it in Bernal Heights! Didn't feel it in the East Bay! I didn't feel it, but I'm on vacation in Europe (thanks for sharing.) People were beginning to go through the stages of Earthquake Processing on The Well. Which are:

1. Report whether you did/didn't feel the quake, even if you don't live in the area. No matter how inane or uninteresting your observations. Please share.

2. Bring up your Bay Area Cred with regards to Earthquakery. I was born here! My grandparents were born here! And the old standby, I was here for Loma Prieta! I was standing on the San Andreas Fault! I am OLD SCHOOL.

3. Segue into how you scoff at people who freak and jump into doorways for anything less than a 6.0 shaker. Ha ha, you cowardly rubes! Look how casual I am.

Now, I have missed pretty much every quake we've had here for the past two years. And by "missed," I mean slept through, mistook for a truck driving by, or otherwise didn't catch because I was too busy gazing at my own thumb or something. But each time I hear the newscasters catching up or see that red square on the USGS map, I bow down in deference to the mighty earth, knowing that, while this time we were safe, it's just a difference of a few Richter points and 30 seconds between standing on solid ground and finding ourselves under the weight of our house and worldly possessions. I cross my fingers and thank some higher power that I still have a doorway to stand under and that my plaster ceiling is intact. May it continue to be so indefinitely.

By the way--4.4, centered near Glen Ellen in Sonoma County. And we're fine, mom.