Wednesday, August 25, 2010

excuse my absence...

desperately busting through a deadline while mercury is haphazardly spinning backwards, with my entire technological world including phone, desktop coputer, laptop, software and harddrives failing me. above: a visual representation of my foray through this adventure.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

i am action hero. i mean heroine.

on occasion i'm reminded that i live not just in a city, but in a backdrop. new york can be very surreal, with all of the scads of people and tourists (sorry to give them a distinction separate from people...but they are their own species) and jumbles of buildings and SO much going on all the time, plus the zero probability that you'll leave the house and not stumble upon a film or television crew, or some ridiculously gaunt model dressed outlandishly inappropriate for the task of say, just walking down the street. after fourteen years of living here, i've grown fairly numb to this reality, however, yesterday my awareness of the vain entity we call new york was supremely heightened.

jade and i decided, spur of the moment, to play hookey and use the last of the free movie passes we've been nursing (thank you, amy!) to see 'inception'. being expert navigators of the subway and city, we should have had enough time to get the the theater comfortably. but that ever pesky--and i challenge anyone who doesn't believe in astrology to dispute the effect--mercury in retrograde slowed the trains to a torturous eye-rolling, finger tapping, forehead pressed against the window, pace.

when the sluggish subway doors finally opened, we wordlessly ran, weaving through the erratic crowd whose content was unusually high in wild card tourists (ug. ground zero!), out the station and up the stairs. on street level i shouted out, "let's pretend we're in BONES"! bones being one of the countless detective shows that jade is obsessed with. accordingly, we ran wildly through the streets and people-choked sidewalks, pissing off countless elderly people, ruining countless snapshots of midwesterners smiling on hallowed ground, hoping to hold off that 'dastardly' mosque, ignored by countless businessmen ground so far into the daily grind they probably did not even notice our fleeting pass, foiling countless traffic cops attempting to herd the mighty crowds at the crosswalks with plastic yellow chains. up the stairs of the subway, through traffic, past the decade of digging around in that gaping hole in the ground, up the pedestrian overpass--no time to stand on the escalator. we were secret agents for sure, desperately hoping the previews would stretch on long enough to counter our tardiness.

only problem was, i'm not quite as physically fit as a brilliantly smart and gorgeous anthropologist slash fbi agent. and jade, despite his football injury, doesn't exactly look and function like a ken doll killing machine fbi agent. in the center of the elevated pedestrian overpass, we huffed and puffed and i somehow managed to yell out, "aren't you glad no one is chasing and trying to kill us?!" i may have been hauling ass, but i would so be dead, and i can bet you our action sequence didn't look nearly as glamorous as the ones we watch on hulu.

finally finding the movie theater and weaving through the empty, superfluous maze of stanchions, paying the extra three dollars for our 'free' tickets (the new york city surcharge!), we thought we had it made, but had forgotten about that very unique and puzzling feature of new york city movie theaters: the average of eight floors one is forced to escalate through in order to reach our always high altitude movies. always single file escalators inevitably stocked with large hipped women who have likely shown up 1/2 hour prior to the start time of their movie rather than 10 minutes after, as in our case, therefore, going nowhere. and more running, running of stairs and pissing off of aforementioned large-hipped ladies when we absolutely MUST get around. we're agents, damnit! stop obstructing justice!

and finally we make it into our almost private 1pm showing of inception and the overbearing movie-strength air conditioning i so often bitch about that forces me to carry a sweater around in 100 degree weather can't blast cold enough. sweat is pouring down our faces in a way most unbecoming to fbi agents, but we grin and high five each other as just as we sit, the screen goes dark and the opening credits begin.
surely bones and what was that dude's name? feel the same way at the end of the episode after they ALWAYS catch their killer.

and if we thought we felt strange on our way into the movies. let me tell you, and if you've seen inception, you'll understand, how strange it was to walk out of that movie at ground zero with the multitudes of towering cranes and half built but ancient megalithic buildings and conspicuous and suspicious people everywhere with no apparent reason for crowding around such a construction site.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

baby remember her name. remember. remember.....

i originally wrote half of this post back in may, on allyson's fifteenth birthday. then, true to form, i lost my notebook. by the time i found it a few weeks ago, i'd weathered my bazillionth harddrive crash that left me without the iphone snapshots i took of allyson working on her incredible project. but now that it's opening, it's high time i share this with you-photos or not!
or how about i swipe one courtesy of Jeff Kan Lee, of the Press Democrat?

okay, i know i'm beating a dead horse here with the incredulity of the relentless march of time. but cut me some slack. my little niece allyson turns fifteen today. do you know what i was doing when i was fifteen?! why, of course, i was doing just what she is: making straight a's and nerding out much to the glee of my teachers.

this shouldn't be so shocking to me though, because in many ways, allyson already is mature beyond where i was at my quinceanera. for example, at fifteen, when people asked me what i wanted to do with my life, i withdrew into depression and turned the volume up on the 'love and rockets'. what's that you say? STILL the same response at 34?! i couldn't hear you over the music...

allyson, on the other hand, only feels uncertain as to if she should go for the harvard law degree before the parsons fashion education. but that uncertainty only lasts a moment before she reasons, "best to get the law degree out of the way FIRST." wise beyond her years? i have a theory about that. as an infant, she seemed already to be on a deadline--her brow always furrowed with concern. i'm pretty certain she had consciousness years before her actual birth. proof that even as a mere egg sitting in my sister's ovaries, she heard everything her mom said to my teenage self: as soon as she could say 'mama' she was furrowing that brow at me, pointing at my nosering and insisting i remove it. "why that there, auntie kitty kat? take that out!!"

i've always known she was a strong-willed, intelligent go getter. if she wants something, even if it depends on the help of someone else, she will do anything she can to make it happen. back when she was ten and starstruck, knowing i worked hi-profile events in new york city, she sent me a mini-sharpie key chain in the mail, to ensure i was ready to harvest autographs when her heroes showed up. and she called me weekly for updates on who i'd served.

but during this past visit she blew my mind. this is how my now fifteen year old niece spends her free time: after the straight a's, the soccer, running track, the girl has solicited donations of last season, samples and seconds from big label clothing companies and has spent hours and hours and weekends and evenings and her summer receiving them, organizing them and finally moving them from a donated storage space to a donated storefront, to give them away to girls in foster care programs getting ready to go back to school. seriously. jaw-dropping determinism and incredible charity from a girl wading through potentially the most narcissistic time of one's life.

during past visits i've taken allyson to the beach to collect seashells, to hike in the redwoods, or to the movies. this time, with four months time to spare before her project opened, she just wanted a ride to her storage unit and some help hanging up and inventorying her latest donations. it was probably my favorite three hours spent with her.

i feel honored to know allyson, let alone call her my niece. i see all of my sister and brother in-law's finest characteristics shining so strong in her. bravo, allyson.

here you can read a couple of real articles about her project:
the press democrat
the winsor times
threads for teens website
threads for teens blog

and of course, i can never resist a chance to remember holding these big neices and nephews in my arms...they may be growing up and taking over the world, but still i'm they're auntie kitty...
little allyson plotting to take over the world.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

in the flesh!

on friday night, genie, known to many as the inadvertent gardener was kind enough to plus one me at a blogher event--monster blogging convention in nyc. i have kept this little blogspot for four years, compelled mostly by having kept journals for twenty-three years prior to that. yet i have never attended a blogher coference.

being someone who exists on the fringes of the blogging community--actually, not even on the fringes, but really quite invisible to the blogging community, this was a total and complete oddity to me.

in addition to the prohibitive expense of the conferences, i've just never been much of a belonger. (isn't that a word, yet?). i've always tried to look on the bright side of my ostracize-inducing upbringing as a jehovah's witness by recognizing that being forced from day one to stand on the outside (no pledge of allegience, no eating of other kids' birthday cupcakes, no making of construction paper santas or valentines), i never struggled with the painful goal of fitting in. hell, i didn't even fit in with the jehovah's witnesses, being a non-believer, wanting to wear combat boots from age eleven, having an agnostic father, and a believer of a mother who extended her worship to boy george (oh, i'm getting in trouble right now) and let--no--encouraged me go to school dressed like him (is there a label for a girl who dresses as a man dressing as a woman?).

so i keep this little blog here without much ceremony. my peeps in california have a way to feel connected to me (shut up, facebook), and i continue some sense of journaling (no matter how unfortunately censored by your complaints and judgments it may be). but it's small. i can't and refuse to twitter or tweet or understand what tumblr is and how it's different from blogging. i don't make money on ads, or hold giveaways from companies desperate to influence my vast readership. i just do my best to keep posting, and delight when one of my handful of commenters joins in with my words.

so the blogher party was such a mixed up experience for me. it was at once business (the nyc hilton catering to us, the keynote speakers were awesome and inspiring), and high school reunion (or what i imagine a high school reunion would feel like), and prom (helium balloons!) and project graduation (take a polaroid with props!). there were activities to entertain us, drinks to loosen us, the popular girls walking around like celebrities--which leads me to the other twilight zone aspect of blogging that i'm still trying to digest.

you read people's daily journals. every now and then you hang out with them in a small group of other bloggers . they feel like old friends because you share in their daily thoughts, but so do thousands of others, so they feel like celebrities too. so when you see them at the conference, you default to that 'i don't want to be a groupie' feeling and avoid them. and you feel like a jerk for that because you like them and would love to say hello. and when one of them recognizes you (not for your fairly inconsequential blogging voice, but for your stripes and polka dots, tattoos and loud stories) you feel so happy, as though they aren't normal people with the capacity to remember human interaction. these basics of the blogging world still mess with my mind.

but then i run into danielle, who rocks my world and actually does feel like a friend, and i marvel that i am spending a very normal friend hang with genie, a woman i'd only met in the flesh for about 2 minutes previously, yet feel is a friend via our online friendship. and we run off with a group of women whom i'd never met, yet share a passion for photography and also happen to post random strings of words on this intenet thing. and we take pictures in times square, as if i haven't lived here for 14 years, and i delight in the fresh eye their excitement at being here brings to me, and all in all, it's pretty damn awesome.

Friday, August 6, 2010

adventures in my own stupidity

who would be stupid enough to crane their head out a truck window after they themselves had depressed the automatic window-rolling-up button, thereby smashing their face with a pane of glass baring all of the pollution of new york city and the lovely bqe? why, that would be me.

to my defense, there was a big van double parked in such a way that made swinging into the treasured parking space nearly impossible. and a douche in a yellow hummer honking behind me. and it was 1 million, i mean 1 hundred degrees. oh, i heart new york, i heart new york....and summer. i really just love summer!

okay, yeah, so while there is may be no excuse for rolling your face up in a truck window, it sure would have made a hilarious video.

Monday, August 2, 2010

overheard at mc carren park. 10pm sunday

child one to child two: dag! smell my armpit! i smell GOOD!