Friday, June 27, 2008

and it ain't three buck chuck!

yesterday the most amazing thing happened: i saw my good karma returned directly to me. i know that karma is really a much more complex and serious concept than the way we like to throw it around, but hey, i'm from california--cut me a break!

so it's morning. i've been super busy and not in a happy way. in short, i've actually been in quite a funk lately. so i'm bumbling around the postage stamp--i mean--apartment, sweating in the humidity, swearing under my breath like a displaced fallen jw from oklahoma, probably looking for my keys*. Basically, the usual 'running late' routine. keys finally pulled from the depths of that bag, no that other bag i was using the day before, i thrust open the door with exaggerated haste. like, "feel my pain, no one in the history of the world has been late and frustrated before". except i can't storm into the hallways as intended because a really large, (and i mean almost as large as when my dad and uncle sent my darkroom enlarger in the mail) and equally heavy package is sitting there looking up at me like, "ooh, have i got a surprise for you!"

maria, the elderly polish lady who lives next door, who, through the seamless workings of my perfect cross-cultural communication, thinks my name is also 'maria'--is standing, little arms crossed, leaning into her door jam shaking her head and saying, "me no know! JU PEE ESS!" i imagine her standing on the other side of the door just like that through my prior huffing and puffing and key finding shenanigans. just waiting to announce this most unusual apparition.

there are so many unusual things about this package. in addition to its size and weight, there is the fact that it's actually addressed to me. it's not some magical cord or piece of secret recording gear that emre ordered off ebay. it's from california, which makes sense, except st. helena? not exactly my stomping grounds. instead of just opening it i stand there, sweat forgotten, puzzling over what it could be. this is how the racing mind works. it loves suspense and unlikely tales. who do i know in napa? ezra's brother. let's see, recently ezra's brother's girlfriend was invited to mieke's bridal shower, which i threw. maybe she accidentally sent mieke's gift to me, thinking the shower was here. but how would she have my address?

so the sleuthing skills are obviously not cutting it. i grab a knife to open and there lies a card from rutherford ranch winery. "dear kitty joe, thanks for your gracious help and suggestions for a wonderful trip. have a nice summer. --leonard" and below, an entire case of wine, perfectly separately and carefully packed in molded hi-tech cardboard. excuse me while i marvel over someone sending me AN ENTIRE CASE OF WINE in the mail! like i'm some rich executive receiving meaningless gifts from rich people. except i'm not rich and this is so meaningful!

leonard is a slightly cantankerous man who has been taking the art history class that i 'teacher's assist' literally, for twenty years. every day he sits in front of my work station, warning me not to knock over his coffee, disapproving of my tattoos and thanking me for my smile that brightens his day. leonard likes to argue and disapprove of some of the more 'colorful' or rebellious artists who come as guest lecturers to my class--like my boss. and once, leonard decided not to come to class because he didn't want to hear the lecture about the miami art basel fair. but when i mentioned that my dad would be attending, he said, "now i have to come! i must meet your father!"

leonard is a bit of a jet setting man, so i love to question him about upcoming travel. before heading to cuba, he said, he'd be going to san francisco and the wine country. naturally i had to chime in and brag about my beautiful homeland and where he should go. i fretted momentarily that my suggestions would be greeted with laughter, as his plans involved things like "dinner at the french laundry". if you're too lazy to click that link, it's a wikipedia entry that says "the french laundry is considered by critics to be one of the best restaurants in the united states AND THE WORLD." how's that for a review? nevertheless, i sent leonard a tailored version of this travel guide.

and the rest is box of wine in the mail history.

*more on key finding tomorrow, perhaps

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

on the table again

photo courtesy of amy and her magic fisheye

Friday, June 20, 2008

flowers are so last week

on the ' to do' bulletin board at work:


Thursday, June 19, 2008

new: little blurbs for the three of you who check my blog daily.

yesterday marked a week since i got my new tattoo. remembering the pleasant healing feeling of flaming ants walking inside my arm the last time, and the cautionary and torturous warning not to scratch, i smugly made a mental note that this tattoo hadn't itched. and just as i was pulling out the celebratory champagne....the flaming ant march began.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

new york, go to your room!

like a mischievous toddler intent on misbehaving in front of those whose parents wish to impress, the weather during my sister's one week stay here in new york was abominable. hot. humid. hellishly hot. did i mention humid? and of course, now that she's gone, it's back to its lovely late spring self, making innoncent faces, like, ME? little old me? make trouble for you? no. couldn't be. please don't give me a time out like that last tantrum when your dad came and i plummeted the temperature down to the teens and blew frigid wind. even when i knew he'd be taking the open-top red apple bus tour. couldn't we just forget about that? it was winter! what was i supposed to do--be relatively mild like the week prior and after his visit? oh. oops.

new york weather--i've got my eye on you. and don't think i forgot that time you employed your friend 'ice wind' to steal my dad's favorite hat up into the air and land it over an inscalable fence. hargmph.

Monday, June 16, 2008

gratulacje a takze pozegnainy, emilia i pawel

that title is my effort at saying 'congratulations and farewell to emilia and pawel'. it should get a chuckle out of them in its inaccuracy, but it's the thought that counts, right? readers of this blog, especially those overseas who have found spackleshot by googling 'vegetable porn' (surprisingly many!) will recognize emilia as one of my favorite people to blog about--that stone cold polish fox who taught me to grow tomatoes. and here she is again. and by the way, i could say the same things about pawel, but it would be inappropriate.
all references to physical beauty aside, emilia and pawel came to the u.s. with limited english skills, busted their butts for low pay at the us open (where i met them in the summer of 2001) as food runners, perfected their english, worked their way up the catering ladder to butler, then senior butler, then captain, and most recently, completed their masters degrees in business in tandem while pawel continued to captain full time and emilia prepared taxes. in short, they came, they conquered, and now they're headed back to poland to dominate the economy of the motherland. when they invited me to attend their graduation ceremony, i couldn't have been more touched. i will miss them, but i expect at least emilia to continue to be a presence here at spackleshot. ah, the internet. see slide show above for snapshots from the graduation. we all cried. especially when the canons fired confetti into the audience.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

new york, new york--it's a hell of a town, you know the bronx is up and brooklyn's down

the big sis hit the big apple at 130 yesterday morning.
despite the fact that our pedometers said we walked 9 miles in the 102 degree 'weather'--somehow the term weather sounds a little too pleasant for the oven-like conditions we powered through yesterday--i want you to know that i'm not completely heartless. i did let her sleep in. just a little bit. but she, the eternally prompt and early riser would like you all to take the time difference into consideration. it wasn't 10am. it was 7, okay?
so we assaulted the city as it assaulted us back. i have to say, it wasn't new york's proudest moment. damn was it hot?!! couldn't she have come out here when it was 70 last week?
all day we wondered, how do people not all look like a puddle of sweat, like we did? granted, some people came through to comfort us, like the man in the tkts line in front of us who had droplets of sweat hanging from his ears like earrings. but somehow, the fabulous people stayed fabulous, as reported by with photos of jessica simpson, eva longoria-parker and kate hudson smiling bravely through the heat. i'm guessing the only walking they did was from the hyper air conditioned soho shops to their hyper air conditioned limos. whereas our luxe experience consisted of getting stuck on a 5 train in a tunnel under construction. people were grumpy--we were just happy to be in the a/c and entertained ourselves with amy's new fisheye lens. surely you've already noticed the fruits of our fun.

and by the end of the day i had a sunburn and amy had 18 band-aids on her feet.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

i heart spa castle (yet i am receiving no money for this endorsement--damn!)

yesterday i spent the day in heaven. it wasn't cloudy and white, but very wet. it's called spa castle, an appropriate enough name--short of calling it 'spa-disneyland' or simply 'heaven'. spa castle is a wonderland plunked in the middle of a random and faraway neighborhood of queens--four floors of pristine, high-tech korean spa. for eight hours, mieke and i wandered from warm bath (104F) to hot bath (111F) to cold bath (73F) to chilled bath (63F eek!) to steam sauna, to dry sauna, to dramatic mirrored shower to massaging water jets to LED color therapy sauna to pool bar to himalayan salt sauna to iceland sauna (like an igloo! walls of ice!). we had massage, manicure, pedicure, we drank juice, ate dinner, shared frozen yogurt--all charged to an electronic casio-style wrist band that also locked and unlocked our lockers.

this was mieke's bachelorette party--just the bride to be and the priestess. and honestly, with a spa full of naked women, who needs steak and cigars?!


spa castle: i'm ready to pack my bags and move in. hell, they've been packed for a year (obscure bedbug reference--see next post)! and at $35/day, it's cheaper than living in a bedbug infested apartment in new york city!

there are few times in my life that i can say i was as relaxed as last night. finally, the borough of queens has earned it's name.

p.s. i poached this photo from their website. what, you think i have a fish eye? and anyway, i was busy forgetting that possessions exist at all.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

how do you lose a lighthouse?

the ever-so-relevant news on the yahoo homepage this morning heralded the finding of a 'lost' lighthouse. apparently this cape cod lighthouse was thought to be destroyed in 1925, but really someone trained it out to california and recycled it south of san fran. damn hippie californians, always recycling. oh, except that 'someone' turned out to be the coast guard. so you can see how this was a really big mystery. this is apparently a big exciting 'discovery', yet totally perplexing to me. don't lighthouse enthusiast have magazines, and now probably websites? don't they make annual treks up and down the coasts taking pictures of many lighthouses? it's not like this lighthouse was marooned somewhere in central oregon (sorry jeni) or something. we're talking SAN FRANCISCO, most visited city in our nation. maybe if you asked a japanese person, they could have told you where the lighthouse was. hell, even I could have told you where it was, since i know that it's amazing and you can stay there in a hostel and soak in a hot tub under the stars, on a cliff over pounding surf, rays of the 'mystery' lost lighthouse slicing the heavens above you at 10 second intervals.
you can even buy books and postcards of this lighthouse! up top, you see my picture of the still anonymous lighthouse. and below, the news photos of this sneaky runaway.

okay, wait. so this is when we realize that maybe it's good that i'm not a reporter. y'know, i did think it was suspicious that they called this the 'point montara' lighthouse when the one i know is the 'pigeon point' lighthouse. okay, so maybe i haven't stayed at the runaway lighthouse. but i could have. there's a hostel there too, and i certainly drove by it on the way to taller, less mysterious pigeon point lighthouse. but my point here is still the same. how do you lose a lighthouse?! there is definetly something shifty going on here though, as the runaway lighthouse claims to have been in operation in california since 1875. hmm. maybe we should sic scooby doo onto this one. i can totally picture some masked bad guys running up the echoey spiral stairs...

in other lighthouse news, this is possibly the funniest, most random thing i've ever seen. it makes me cry when i watch it. i'm not going to embed it. please click here on the highlighted green letters if you didn't already above (i know, some of you need link tutorials, i've been told--ahem).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

home sick

brain hurts too much to be sincere or witty. so i give you this. and i will mortify sister christian (amy) by revealing her as my source. play this a few times at least for optimum enjoyment. now, if you'll excuse me, must put head back on that pillow.