Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving and other miscellany

With Marilyn's dogs, Peaches and Sugar, a few weeks ago.
J's garage.
Jake, watching my brother toy with his latest hoopty.
Adam torturing Oliver.
Why the hell do I look so drunk? Because I'm between my brother and Zaur, the crazy Russian.
J and I.
Seriously, don't ask.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

When Tom Metzger poaches wifi

The thing you have to understand is that my dad is an engineer. That means he's very opinionated and that his opinions are always right.

We were at Jonathan's tonight. They were playing around with this hoopty FourRunner that J bought as a project. I was sitting in the garage, messing with the dogs, kinda bored. I pulled out my computer and asked J for the password to his wireless. He gave it to me.

"I would never use that password," my father said. "It's too obvious."

My brother grunted and slid back under the truck.

"I mean," my father continued, "what if the white supremacists drive by and ..."

Say what?

After a moment he trailed off. Probably for the best.

From the New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur

St. Romuald's Brief Rule For Camaldolese Monks

Sit in your cell as in paradise.
Put the whole world behind you and forget it.
Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish,
The path you must follow is in the Psalms — never leave it.

If you have just come to the monastery,
and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want,
take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart
and to understand them with your mind.

And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up;
hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.

Realize above all that you are in God's presence,
and stand there with the attitude of one who stands
before the emperor.

Empty yourself completely and sit waiting,
content with the grace of God,
like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing
but what his mother brings him.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Guess hot, splashing soup burns

MY MOTHER: A stream of curses, many of which rhyme.
ME: Snicker.
ME: I have Valium. One of us should be taking it right now.


I'm loving being in San Diego amidst the fam. They're crazy, but this kind of crazy I can (usually) handle.

We (my mom, Adam/Gina, and Jonathan) were at dinner tonight and I started talking about the memoir. I told my mother: "Dad is going to freak when he reads it. You probably won't like some of the stuff in there either."

She said: "You're writing your reality. I don't have to buy into it." She said it in such a calm, confident way. It was awesome.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Today I got my blood drawn by Beyonce.

I walked into the lab and both she and her hair freaked out: "Walk dat way! Over dere! Naw! Dat chair!"

I sat down and she asked my name. "Allison," she said, "gimme dose good veins."

She asked which way my veins go. "I don't know," I said. "Our communication isn't all that great." But Beyonce is cooking punkin' pie for Thanksgivin', so she was distracted. She kept telling her cohort about it, and the more excited she got, the more she slapped my arm. At one point I thought the blood was going to bounce straight out of the vial and all over her updo.

Finally she said: "Yo' done." You can say that again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mark Doty, "Heaven's Coast"

I looked up, into the face of a coyote ...

Then from nowhere I thought, He's been with Wally, he's come from Wally. I knew it as surely as I knew the lines of the poem. This apparition, my -- ghost, was it? spirit animal? real creature carrying the presence of my love? Perhaps it doesn't matter. I've never seen one in the middle of the day before or since, and never been so frankly studied from the other side of wildness, from a world I cannot enter. Like my seals, the coyote stared back at us, and I could imagine in that gaze Wally's look forward home -- his old home -- from the other world; not sad, exactly, but neutral, loving, curious, accepting. The dead regard us, I think, as animals do, and perhaps that is part of their relationship; they want nothing from us; they are pure presence, they look back to us from a world we can't begin to comprehend. I am going on, the gaze said, in a life apart from yours, a good life, a wild life, unbounded.
I woke at 4 am and cried in Adam's arms.

I'd wanted a relationship with his mother that resembled the one I have with Marilyn, my Santa Barbara mom, or the relationship I now have with my own mother after years of hard work -- warm, filled with personal exchange, care and concern. I love him so much and I wanted that love to be reflected in the relationship I share with his family.

I'm not good at accepting things as they are. I'm always of the opinion that I can change something. In this case, though, I think I'm just going to have to learn to live with it.

It's not as though my mother-in-law is cruel or unaccepting of me. Not by a long shot. We have good conversations and smart debates. I can even drink with her and have fun doing it.

I wanted a mother figure. Maybe I need to stop crying about it and simply appreciate the mother(s) I do have.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adam's improv performance tonight

Saturn Cafe, Santa Cruz

I didn't know Joe Biden designed his own house!

ADAM: That means he sat with an architect and said: "I want this blue!" Your parents designed their own house.
ME: I never thought of it like that.
ADAM: Your dad sat with the architect and said: "I want this cheap!"

Because you need to know

Adam is unbelievably pussy when looking at pictures of pets. Dogs in particular. But he gets a big woody over cats too and when that happens, I just have to leave the room.

He was great in his improv show tonight. One of the most retarded cool moments was during "Genre Switch", when he impersonated a silent porn film. Mind you, I was sitting next to his mother at the time. She seemed to take it in stride.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Stegner paperwork

ME: This is going to be one of those envelopes I'm going to kiss when I send it off. (For good luck.)
ADAM: Want me to (blank) on it?

A matter of trust

I gave Adam my Stegner manuscript to edit. I was scared. It's an excerpt from The Project and had things in there I'd never discussed with him.

He was awesome. So awesome. Every time I let him read something, I'm glad of it.

Also, "A Matter of Trust" of course makes me think of Billy Joel. This video makes me want to go to Brooklyn ... NOW! I think I will live there some day for sure. Billy, I love you!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Rooster and Nails refuse to acknowledge flyover country, that great pause between their birthplace and the city of their resettlement. Before I left, Rooster cautioned me to make sure my housing had indoor plumbing. Nails worried about the lack of kosher restaurants.

“Like I give a shit about eating kosher?” I said. I’d put in an obligatory phone call to her two days before I was scheduled to hop in my U-Haul and drive the puzzle parts of my life halfway across the country. My walls were up. She was still with Bill. What was the truth behind their relationship? Only her hairdresser knew for sure.

“You’re Jewish,” she said, “always.”

There was my mother: making an emotional deal out of something totally irrelevant. Jewish? We rarely if ever went to temple. Kosher? I was never bat mitzvahed. Always? Like she wasn’t eating trayfe right now, catering to him, not asking that he pay rent or get a job?

The walls were up. They always were when I heard her voice, when I saw her name in my Hotmail in-box. There was always the risk of trusting her. There was always the chance that I might come to her with another request for help. No.

Rooster laughed when I called to give him the news: “You have to go through this phase?” he said. “You couldn’t just become a Buddhist like other kids your age?”

“Meditation bores me.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Me too.”


This morning I took the bus up to Rockridge. I'm meeting Betsy here later this afternoon for a writing session, and then I'll walk home. I do this fairly often. It's a nice opportunity to appreciate the more beautiful neighborhoods in Oakland and Berkeley.

On the bus ride up, we passed UC Berkeley. I watched the cracks in the sidewalk, the high heels, the big sunglasses, the ungainly backpacks. I looked at the buildings and the "Change We Need" signs still supporting Obama two weeks after Election Day.

It's all temporal. One day it'll be gone. I find myself grateful for having the chance to be part of it all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm just going off today, posting to my blog like a motherfucker.

I was just looking at the "60 Minutes" interview with Barack Obama -- bookmarking it to save it for later -- and that iconic tick-tick-tick started. Talk about a sound to bring you back.

It brings me to the kitchens of my childhood. The television was on during dinner. It was the black-and-white one they got at the time share. The television was always on. We were allowed to talk only during commercials. On Sundays, once that tick-tick-tick started, our father basically told us to shut the fuck up.

You think I'm mis-portraying him? Maybe I am. I don't know how the world sees him. Even I don't see him in black and white. But I would take a goddamned lie-detector test to prove this story's true.

Humble question

Who the hell do I know in Rochester, N.Y., and why are they (you) looking me up six times a day? Don't be offended. My small little brain is flattered. Out yourself, you.

And with this, I'm going to get dinner

You know, for all the fucking stressful shit that's been going on -- or maybe because of it -- Adam and I have really been able to support each other. I'm just now realizing how stressed he's been too. He's got so much on his plate. Fortunately, the quarter's coming to a close and next should be easier.

Over the last few days, we've really been able to be there for each other. That doesn't just count for something, it counts for everything.

Hm. Davis Noodle City sounds good.

Bitchy observation of the day

Ironic that the book we just read contained a nympho of the landswoman quality, given who just departed the group.

I can see this blog taking on a little more edge than previously. I'm letting the nasty bits shine too. Let it be. That's part of life.

Billy Joel, "Summer Highland Fall"

They say that these are not the best of times
But they're the only time I've ever known
And I believe there is a time for meditation
In cathedrals of your own
Now I've seen that sad surrender in my lover's eyes
And I can only stand apart and sympathize
For we are always what our situations hand us
It's either sadness or euphoria

So we'll argue and we'll compromise
And realize that nothing's ever changed
For all our mutual experience
Our separate conclusions are the same
Now we are forced to recognize our inhumanity
And reason coexist with our insanity
And our reason coexist with our insanity
It's either sadness or euphoria

How thoughtlessly we dissipate our energies
Perhaps we don't fulfill each other's fantasies
And as we stand upon the ledges of our lives
With our respective similarities
It's either sadness or euphoria


I've thought about it. I've gotten mad about it. I've talked to Adam about it. I've started to write passive-aggressive posts about it.

As always, though, better to just come out with it: I know that there are family members who have read this blog and know exactly what I (and Adam as well, because I've never seen him more stressed given the combination of work and school) are going through. Those people have not reached out. Not once. Not a call or an email to say: Hey, I see what you're going through, are you all right?

I can never be phony. I can't pretend to be a part of a family when I don't feel treated as one. And it hurts. Really, it does. I have the best of intentions and would love to see some give-and-take. But this is not my definition of family, and I will no longer stay silent about it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Incredible to be Facebook friends with a National Book Award winner. Congratulations, Mark Doty!

On mental health and hope

I've been pretty open about what I've been going through the last few months. They've been some of the tougher -- but in a way, most rewarding -- of my life.

In mid-August, I started taking Lexapro. I've always battled anxiety and anger and I was hoping to deal with it medically. I was also extremely arrogant and did not choose to incorporate therapy in the process. I figured: I'm smart, I'm self-aware and resourceful. I have support from the people around me. Why bother to pay some shrink $90/hour?

The Lexapro took away the anxiety and spun me into depression. I couldn't get off the couch. I started thinking final, fatal thoughts that I knew logically were bunk, but that emotionally felt so real.

Two weeks ago, on Election Night, I suffered the worst depressive episode to date. It was so strong that Adam had to come home from work the next day to take care of me. I got off the Lexapro.

Then the withdrawals hit. They're not as bad as what I suffered while on the drug, but they're bad. Crying fits, fatigue, deep pockets of depression.

"Something's got to change," I told Adam last night.

So that's where the joke about Facebook groups comes. I'm looking into a psychiatric outpatient program, one for high-functioning people with mood disorders.

I always knew this time would come. And it's not simply because things have been tough. It's also because many things in my life are better than they've ever been. I always suspected that's when things would really start to shake out: when my mind sensed that I could handle it.

I know I will look back on this time as one of enormous growth. I already do. It is not easy and it is far from enjoyable. All I can do is be as open as possible, because it's no source of shame. All I can do is work toward healing. All I can do is press toward the future.

Amusing thought of the morning

I wonder if there are Facebook groups for outpatient psychiatric programs. You know, like "High-functioning Kaiser mood disorders UNITE!" Something like that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm re-reading what there is of my memoir up until this point. All 155 single-spaced pages, all 55,000 words. I am fighting tears. I will give this to Adam over Thanksgiving. He will read it all for the first time. This is the first time I am trusting him, trusting anyone, with it.

No wonder I sometimes feel I'm falling apart.

Here's some funny shit from the manuscript, though. It will be funny, as funny as it is sad.

Waking from the dream is like swimming to the surface of a deep pool whose bottom you’ve touched. I’m out of breath and bleary, but grateful.

I’m in Jonathan’s room. It’s the most organized place in the house. The kid is only four and already knows how to wrest order from chaos. His stuffed animals sit atop the bookshelf. They’re arranged from smallest to largest.

I’m still a little disoriented and I could swear Barney tips me a wink. He’s sitting next to Jibber-Jabber, that unfortunate monkey with shit for brains and a few double-As up his butt. True to his name, he’d yammer when someone walked by. One night Nails ran across him and he started yacking away. She screamed and stuffed him in the microwave to shut him up. After that Jibber got the juice yanked out his ass and found himself relegated to the doll shelf.

More writing

Bill spends his first night in our house on the living-room couch. “He’s temporary,” Nails tells me when I bang on the bathroom door wanting to know what variant of mold spore grew there and why it’s battling Jonathan for the PlayStation.

Bill’s an entrepreneur. Later I’ll grow to know the type: The kind for whom dreams exceed brainpower. “He’s got ideas,” Nails says. “He’s going to make a fortune. And we’ll benefit.”

“What ideas? He can’t hold the video-game controller without drooling.”

“Don’t be difficult.” She finishes her grooming with a squirt of Jean Nate. “It’s unattractive.”

My father takes up residence at The Boulders, where everybody’s father lives during the divorce. It’s a new apartment complex on the wrong side of Interstate 15. “You hear that?” he asks Adam, Jonathan and I when we visit for the first time. “That’s people walking. Upstairs. I bet your mother doesn’t have to hear that.”

His tears quickly gave way to vengeance. Rooster’s hired the meanest, cheapest lawyer in San Diego County. He’s gunning for blood. “That scumbag,” he says, stirring the Kraft out-of-a-box dinner for us all to share. “She banging him yet?”

“He sleeps on the couch,” Adam says.

“My ass. You don’t need to tell me. I guess you won’t. You’re all teamed up against me. The Breakfast Club. Nothing’s changed.”

Crooked walkways lead through the apartment’s necessary paths: bedroom to bathroom, kitchen to garage. Boxes line them all: the booty with which my father escaped Lomas Verdes. “I’m house-hunting on the coast,” he tells us while we practically sip dinner through a straw. How can you fuck up macaroni? “Enough of this provincial inland shit. We moved here for the schools and look how those turned out.”

My father loathes the Poway school district. He hates our neighborhood, full of arrogant snobs, Audi drivers. “Krautmobiles,” he says when he sees one. “Those leather seats are made from our ancestors.”

Writing from a few months back

It starts with the boxes in the garage. “He just needs some storage space,” my mother says. “It’s not like we’re piling them in your room.”

“Not yet."

“What do you want from my life?”

I picture Petey banging himself around his cage, trying to commit birdicide. In the end his companion did him in. Is that why she keeps edging Bill and his boxes of INXS tapes and his turmoil closer to our lives? At least my grandfather had the courtesy to give the bird away so Petey’s family wasn’t watching his demise. “I’m going out,” I say. Finally I’ve earned my driver’s license, my ticket out.

I key the engine and slip my car into reverse, then back out. My life feels greasy, slicked with everything I don’t want and can’t control.

I shift my foot from gas to brake, then switch the transmission into drive. Our house appears in my rear-view mirror: a faux French country cottage with styrofoam cornerstones. They’re called quoins. But they’re still styrofoam. You can still grab a hunk and rip.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recipe hour: Quick and dirty, hot and spicy

When you want spice but not sweat, here ya go. This is what was cooking in the kitchen tonight.

Spicy Thai Tofu with Red Bell Peppers and Peanuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 14-to 16-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained well, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add bell peppers, ginger, and garlic; sauté until peppers just begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tofu and green onions; toss 2 minutes. Add next 3 ingredients. Toss to blend, about 1 minute. Add spinach in 3 additions, tossing until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute for each addition. Mix in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle peanuts over. Consider playing some really obnoxious, misogynistic rap to piss off the annoying neighbors, but instead grab chopsticks and dig in.

Feel the love?

Adam to me, tonight: "I love you. Even if you're not a lesbian."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're in Santa Cruz today!

On friendship

"In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends." - John Churton Collins

I know a lot of interesting, insightful, fun and unique people. I consider very few of them good, loyal, valuable friends capable of seeing past their own self-absorption. Maybe part of life is learning to tell that difference.

Who By Fire

I just finished reading "Who By Fire", by Diana Spechler, for book group.

Spechler writes with an authoritative tone that I appreciate. Her approach is down to earth and accessible, and I like the combination of low diction and smart insights.

However, this book did not convince me. It was full of neat twists and easy wrap-ups, and frankly, the three main characters sounded the same.

More than anything, the characters had far too much self-awareness. Bits, the nympho daughter, for example. She's big on talking about she wants to fuck this one, that one, the other one (and she wants to fuck them all), and how it's a cure-all for the fact that her sister disappeared years ago and she's still hurting about it.

Self-awareness is a great thing for people. For literary characters, sometimes delusion can be easier to swallow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The other day Adam said: "You're back to being you. You go out into the world, take it by the balls, and give it a hard twist."

Can't argue with that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jenn and Jeff had us over for dinner last night. At one point Adam's phone rang: Berkeley, trying to suck some alumni money out of him. They call every fucking day and he just ignores them. They called during our fucking wedding. Fortunately, the damn thing was on silent.

Last night it rang and I grabbed it.

POOR UNDERGRADUATE FUNDRAISING GIRL: Uh, can I speak to Adam Sandler ...
ME: Actually, he's in jail.

I cracked up halfway through, but I'd like to think she didn't get it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Confidential to the guy working at Peets near Trader Joe's in SOMA

You are a coffee jockey. You say shit like: "Even though this coffee is lukewarm, it can't dampen the brilliant flavors from Costa Rica. This is our holiday blend."

Clearly you are not a music expert, or you'd be jamming with Steven Tyler and doing coke with Travis Barker. Or vice versa. In any event, do us all a favor and shut the fuck up.

My experience with medication

I've talked on and off here about taking Lexapro -- my first attempt at using any sort of SSRI -- and found myself deleting a lot of the more personal posts.

But I keep going back to Carrie Fisher, who has been brave enough to tell the world about her experience with medication. If Carrie can do it, so can I.

Here's an email I just wrote to my doctor. I think it pretty succinctly sums things up.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide input about my experience with Lexapro. This experience, of course, is reflective solely of myself and of my brain chemistry.

Ironically, I believe the medication worked. The problem was this: It worked too much, too quickly, and with too much intensity. By stripping away my usual defense mechanisms of anger and anxiety, I was left with what lay underneath -- helpful in theory, but in reality far more than I was equipped to handle at once.

The result: The anger and anxiety lessened, but the depression quickly became evident. I suffered several episodes of suicidal ideation that were so strong my husband had to talk me through them. The most recent began last Tuesday night and stretched into the next day. I alternated between sobbing and simply not giving a damn about the world around me. On a logical level I understood what was happening and that much of my feelings were a medication-induced fallacy, but logic doesn't do much when you're ready to plunge off a bridge. Literally.

As I indicated on the phone, I want to get the Lexapro out of my system and determine my baseline before considering a return to medication. I'll be in touch at that time.


Allison Landa

It's not about you, it's about me

I'm very attuned to selfishness, self-centeredness, and lack of self-awareness. I've also been thinking a lot about the concept of giving -- of time, of interest, of oneself.

I married one of the most wholly unselfish people I've ever met. Adam is always the one you'll find hustling to find a chair for someone who needs a seat, or to offer a visitor a drink. He's a good listener and a kind, giving person.

He's also rare. I'm shocked by the selfishness and lack of caring I often see in the world.

People, please wake up and realize it's more than yourself out there. Please do one goddamned thing today that's not about yourself. Just one.
I just donated to PETA to help build shelters for outside pets. This is a very meaningful thing to me for reasons I may one day elaborate upon, but not now.

PETA has done some questionable things in the past, but I wanted to give something. I could only give a small amount, but it's something.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weird dreams are made of me

Downloading my old emails onto Ole Spanky, I found this beaut that I apparently wrote to Adam sometime in July 2007:

I dreamt that I nearly avoided the hoosegow for stealing hiking boots and then showing them to the judge and telling him they were mine. Later you said: "You never show the judge anything, don't you know that?" Then we hosted a Fourth of July party that included Billy Bob Thornton but not, to my knowledge, Angelina Jolie.

And I wrote this to him earlier that month:

There's this couple having a really boring fight. They stare into each other's eyes for a while, then someone says something reasonable-sounding, then they stop speaking for a while. She's just brought out a notebook. Oh, why do I have to sit next to the intellectual miserable couple?

And finally, this one from Adam in August 2007:

I first wondered if reporters ever came over to hound the copy desk on how to set up their stories, then I realized that would be awful hard to do without getting off the bar stool.

Welcome, Ole Spanky

Holy shit. Adam bought me a new computer. In his typical fashion, he was very quiet about it and I suspected nothing until the UPS guy arrived this afternoon with a huge, heavy box wrapped in a bag. I signed for the thing, put it down, and eyed it suspiciously. Then I said to myself: "Did he?"

He did. I am now in the process of regretting the no-doubt-many times I have been a total bitch since he ordered this thing on Thursday or Friday. I named it Ole Spanky. Ole Spanky is a Dell Inspiron 1525. I love him!
I believe it is that point in the day where I give a shout out to my cat. He's cooler than your mamma and dresses snazzier than the Rat Pack put together. Rock on, Oliver!

Lessons from Dr. Wicked

Vincent sent me "Dr. Wicked's Write or Die" today. Neat little tool. Got me thinking about productivity, moving forward, and how to measure it all.

Writing is only half words. I also feel triumphant when I've hashed out a structure, a theme, or an idea. This morning I've written a paragraph. That's it. I've also nailed a major high point of my story and spun it in the right direction. I'd say I'm doing all right.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Let's just get this out of the way

First off: I am a murderer.

I killed one of my characters today. I wasn't aware I was going to do this until about 15 seconds prior to the event. There is a moment in Stephen King's "Misery" when crazy Annie berates novelist Paul for bumping off Misery Chastain, her favorite character. Paul says quietly: "She just died." That's the truth.

Since it's a memoir, I didn't expect to knock anyone off. But this is the girl who is not me, who is more a facet of my own brain than a real person on her own. Still, shit. I didn't expect to kill her. I liked her. But I think the bitch deserved it.

Also, both Adam and I took the weekend to recover after a rough-ass fucking week. We were able to stand by each other and that's the most important thing. I worked out today, worked myself into an exhausted sweat. I worked to get the toxins out. I think to some degree I succeeded.

Tonight's writing

“That’s me,” I say to the girl who is not me.


She’s pulled her hoodie so far over her face that she is simply a red nose and a moving mouth. I drop my reporter’s notebook on the ground, the dirt that is rapidly becoming mud, and grab her. I shake until her invisible eyes roll in her head.

Duh? That’s all you’ve got for me? Fucking duh?”

Why just her? Why not reach out, back through time, to grab Rooster’s furry biceps, Nails’ padded jacket? Why not grasp Michelle Olander’s fleshy upper arms or Dr. Anderson’s muscular shoulders? The shoulder has three bones and a host of tissues. It requires flexibility for wide motion and must also be strong enough to handle heavy lifting. That calls for compromise. That causes problems.

She coughs once, twice. She sputters. The rain is coming harder now, faster. She is saying something, her voice spinning out into the wet bullets from the sky. I keep hurting her. It is a trashy, dirty joy. I am hooked. I cannot stop.

Her gasps come to me through the rain: “It’s not my fault,” she says, over and over.

“Who gives a fuck?”

When you lack a central place of blame, you just throw that acid all over the place. Wherever it lands, whoever it burns, it’ll do.

It’ll do.
I think Adam is currently watching Verne Troyer having sex on streaming video. Truly terrifying. Now he's all excited because there's some fight going on: "Oh, you kick that midget's ass!" Are there government benefits for someone who has to put up with this?

Saturday night dinner recipe

1 trip over the bridge
1 visit to Socha Cafe
3 hours of supposed studying and writing
1 generous splash of discussions (that's what couples do)
1 generous splash of forgiveness (that's what couples do, too)
1 entry from itinerant friend
45 minutes of wait time for dinner
2 Guinnesses at the Knockout
1.5 hours at Mi Lindo Peru
eighteen tons of way too much information
2 pinches of irritation from each cook.

Top with a late-night visit to Happy Donuts in Noe Valley, followed by taking the scenic route home. Bon appetit.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Getting off the Lexapro feels like that moment when the plane regains smooth air after turbulence. Fucking drugs. If I wanted to pour poison into my veins, I would've bought some bleach and saved myself a fortune.

Adam's been kick-ass this whole time, of course. I'm working overtime to make that dude the cabana boy of both our dreams.
From the cafes to the parking lots to the grocery stores, they're talking about it: The world has changed. It has. What an amazing, historic time to be alive.

I'm still frustrated over Prop. 8, though. Very frustrated. Future generations will shake their heads at our foolishness. I already am.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History in the happening

Tonight I drove home from Sophie's through throngs of honking cars and people shrieking with joy.

Oh, what a night!!!!!!
Ooh baby do you know what that's worth?
Ooh heaven is a place on earth

- Belinda Carlisle

Election Day

It's a pleasure to sit in a lively cafe and listen to people all around me discuss politics on the day I hope will herald such change. Go Barack, down with Prop 8, and if you haven't voted, what the hell are you waiting for?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh, the Max! Oh, the Pepper!

We just finished eight days of pet-sitting Max and Pepper, two standard poodles in Kensington. These guys were amazing. They embodied life itself -- the joys, the charms, the occasional frustrations. We loved them. The picture above is exactly what it's like to get rushed by those two at the same time -- just hilarious.
Pepper shakes hands with Adam while Max tries to court me.
Pepper, shake again!

Us with Pepper. Max is busy chilling under the coffee table, gnawing a bone.

Adam, tonight

"Who's her publisher? My Left Foot Press?"

Jewish version of the Iron Chef

I love to cook. I love to pick up a bunch of fresh produce and take eight hours chopping and preparing it. So why not post my random recipes?

Last night I made veggie soup and garlic bread. You don't necessarily need a recipe for either, but in my infinite generosity I will provide directions for both. Enjoy.

Veggie Soup for Those Without Cooking GPS

1 onion
2 zucchini
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 bell pepper (color of your choice - I prefer red, yellow or orange)
6 or so mushrooms (white or brown), sliced or chopped
1 red potato (optional, particularly if you choose to use pasta)
1 cup orzo
1 tbsp Better Than Bouillion or equivalent
garlic (to taste)
1/2 serrano pepper
1 bay leaf
spices to taste (I like black pepper/red chili flakes, basil, oregano, thyme, turmeric or rosemary occasionally)
dash of sesame oil

Saute onion in olive oil with aromatics (bay leaf, Italian seasoning) until translucent. Chop all veggies into equally sized pieces. Add to Dutch oven and cook for 10 minutes, adding a sprinkle of salt at the beginning to bring out flavors. Add 8-12 cups water, bouillon, spices, and sesame oil. Simmer for as long as desired. Ten minutes from end of simmering, add orzo, serrano, and garlic.

Allison's Ghetto Garlic Bread

1 baguette
6-8 cloves garlic
olive oil
parsley (optional)
cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 350 Farenheit. Mince garlic. Cut baguette into fourths. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle garlic. Add parsley and cheese if desired. Cook for 10 minutes. Drink heavily and enjoy.

Madelyn Dunham, RIP

You raised a great man. Rest in peace.

Sunday night

We were sitting around, just talking trash and drinking beer with a friend of Adam's.

There were no realizations. There was just happiness.