June 26th, 2005

I just napped and had an elaborate dream that included a Yeti, a goblin, my graduation, plans to order office supplies, a squirrel, evil creatures that could be killed only with sharpened pencils, Linus, my nana, a shape-shifter, a bohemian mother in love with the Yeti, Steve, and movie rights.

Apparently at some point during this nap, Linus threw up on me. Unfortunate, but I count the glass half full since Linus’s vomit is just softened cat food, typically resulting from a very recent binge at the food bowl. It fell right off when I stood up. He’s better than Mia in the puke department.

I went to the Genius Bar at the Apple store today because a number of the letters on my iBook keyboard have been fading off. There is no longer any “N,” for instance, and the “S” and the “E” are reduced to their bottom thirds. Since my crosswording career is at stake, I naturally leapt to fix this disaster only months after the keys began eroding and Steve told me it would be Mac-sphemy to just Sharpie them back on. Anyway, the genius had to order me a new keyboard that will arrive this week. He tactfully advised something about lotion and “blah blah blah purchase a key-cover-thingy-from-that-shelf-over-there.” It seems like I am leading up to a punch line here, but I’m not. Just reporting the facts.

I had my last day teaching poetry in the high school. Well, I didn’t actually get to teach, since the LA Unified School Dsitrict administrators decided to impose surprise testing on the schools on Friday. I was able only to distribute the students’ literary anthology I had put together, then I had to leave. No last day for goodbyes. I was pretty sad.

In happier news, Steve and I went with our friends Eitan and Jacquelyn last night to see “Mad Hot Ballroom” at an outdoor performance in downtown L.A. In spite of several hours spent sitting on cold cement, I enjoyed this documentary a lot. It made me want to (1) MOVE/dance, with Cuban motion for extra points and (2) adopt an adorable fifth grader right now. On the way home, we listened to the Playboy station on Eitan’s XM radio.

Oh, this (the downtown part, not the Playboy part) reminds me, too, that my friend, Sarah, showed me around some of the cool things to do in downtown the other day. We took the train from Pasadena (she lives near there, in Monrovia) and checked out Olivera Street, Grand Central Market, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and more. Sarah is a great guide-to-all-things-hip, even if she did walk me into a state of extreme muscle soreness.

The second-best decision I ever made

June 22nd, 2005

After deciding to marry Steve, aka the-rock-star-of-all-husbands, I had the brilliant idea one day to put this old white blanket on top of the guest bed. I keep the guest bed made up and ready (stop in any time, any of you, and sleep), but Mia, aka cat-who-sheds-not-just-hair-but-weird-black-dandruff-and-in-daily-quantities-comparable-somehow-to-her-entire-body-volume, took to that bed from her first day in No. 6. Arriving home from an errand this morning, I discovered one of Mia’s amazing shedding-season vomits, which she manages to hack up in long wet tubes of green-gooped hair, dead center in the guest bed … on the old white blanket! Hooray old white blanket!

This is the day karma bit me in the ass

June 22nd, 2005

I love gum. And before I started dating Steve, aka the-man-who-hates-gum-especially-when-one-snaps-it-or-blows-bubbles-with-it-or-chews-it-in-his-company, I used to enjoy disposing of my gum by spitting it with a flairful thpwot in parking lots. It felt carnal, like the way I imagined Neanderthal gum-chewers did it. But Steve, pointing out the probability of the many birds, babies and Camper shoes I had likely killed, early on in our relationship made me see the error of my ways, and continues to remind me of the error of those previous ways frequently (e.g. he might say “See all of these black spots on the pavement? Gum.” to which I am to respond with chewing paused and head hung in remorse). But now my former days of naively sticky sabotogery have caught up with me. As I entered the parking lot of Sav-On pharmacy this afternoon, I lifted my foot and encountered the resistance of a blue, tacky ooze reaching up from the sidewalk like the hand of a zombie from a grave to claim my favorite flip-flop. No! I screamed inside, but it was no use. Too late, far too late. Years too late! Despite my gimpish foot-dragging efforts across the span of the parking lot, despite vigorous back-and-forth scraping on the curb in front of Sav-On, the right flip-flop will never be the same. A small bird’s nest of debris attached itself to the gum and immediately hardened into cement. Alas! So deserved, and yet, so sad.


June 17th, 2005

Samir, the painter, is here today. While I can and want to paint the walls in our house (and it’s only going to take me, I estimate, ten years to finish), I recognized that I needed help with a couple of ceilings, namely the one in the large living room and the one in our cathedral-slope-ceiling bedroom. So when my neighbor mentioned that she had found a good painter, I snagged him for these two items.

Samir is adorable. He is so friendly and is a wonderful story teller. He calls me “Senorita.” He told me how when he first came to the U.S. from Mexico, he worked as a day laborer when he could for a dollar an hour. Then he worked his way up, eventually painting the homes of such stars as Tom Hanks to become the wealthy painter he is today. Let me quantify wealthy in Samir’s terms. He described how he likes to go to Rodeo Drive with a roll of ten thousand dollars and buy shoes and watches and such. He said he has four homes and lives with his family in Eagle Rock. And he told me he bought both of his daughters Lamborghinis.

I stopped by the home of the neighbor who referred Samir yesterday to ask if she would be around today, since I have to go into the high school for a few hours and wanted Samir to have someone to contact in case of emergency. Samir had worked in her house for several weeks, and she had become his friend. She thought the Lamborghini stuff might be an exaggeration. But she praised him lavishly as a terrific guy and stellar painter. “I wouldn’t worry at all about leaving him alone in your house for the day, Kristan,” she said. “He’s very trustworthy.” I explained that I wasn’t worried one bit, seeing as how the jewelry on his arms was worth far more than anything he could steal from our house.

Linus has really taken to him, so I fully expect an orange, furry paint job.

Helmets, Knee Pads, Ankle Pads?

June 17th, 2005

So I just cut my ankle on my desk-chair. Yes, on my desk-chair. Is nowhere safe?

I often joke with Steve about how when we have a kid s/he’s not going to be allowed to do this or that dangerous thing (e.g. monkey bars, sports). This weekend during one such discussion, Steve said, “You can tell the kid not to do it, but he’ll just do it when you’re not with him.” Of course, I immediately pointed out the faulty logic in his argument. Since I will always be with the kid, at all times, including during school and in the bathroom and while playing with friends, such a dangerous ocassion will never occur. Thank goodness.

Ew. Why is Mia wet on top of her back, and why is she stinky? Mia, where have you been? Get off my lap. And leave the fucking empty-pudding-cup trash alone! Obsessed!

Last night we had our monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) meeting. I am the secretary of the Villa Monica HOA, which means I type up the minutes and keep track of the key to the fire alarm box and participate shamelessly in neighborhood gossip. Last night’s meeting included a long discussion about where the gardener parks, a cussing-out of the former do-it-yourselfer unit owners of two units, and a delving into the wheres and hows of large-item trash removal. If I had known politics was this exciting years ago … how different my life might be.


June 13th, 2005

Update: I’m not a juror. It’s both rad and a disappointment. I need the time to do other things. But “The Closer” starts tonight on TNT, and my fantasy life as a detective was all about jury duty.

Steve and I took an overnight drive up to quaint Monterey this weekend. We checked out the aquarium, had dinner with my dad (who is still “temporarily” in San Jose with his company), drove the famous 17-mile drive along Pebble Beach, and had some all-around fantastic convertible time. Coming home, we made the poor decision to drive part of the trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. Although the views were spectacular, that decision, coupled with serious Sunday evening traffic coming back into L.A., doubled the length of our drive. Today, we are sunburned and tired, but we have the memories!

Dreams this weekend were too random and complicated to record. Conveyor belts were prominent.

A Table of Flowers

June 10th, 2005

Last night’s dream had me crouched under a white blanket in a hallway. I was on a cruise ship that was being invaded by murderous turn-of-the-century Frenchmen, and under the white blanket, I was passing for a table of flowers. The Frenchmen kept racing by me in the hallway, murdering other people. When the hallway cleared, a few of the other passengers I knew crept out from other hiding places and gathered around me. We could hear people being thrown off a balcony onto pavement (uh, I guess it was a grounded cruise ship?), and we were so scared and crying. My friends heard the murderers returning and got ready to scatter. Then they debated whether to take me along or even expose me (!), but I was pretending to be a table of flowers under my white blanket, and they decided to leave me as I was. I debated crawling into a utility closet behind me. Just then, the murderers came running by. A few of them paused at the table of flowers and looked at it closely. Then they ran on. I was terrified, and to distract myself, remembered a similar time when I had hid under a blue blanket pretending to be just a table to survive some similar danger.

Yesterday evening I was talking to Steve about my dreams and said I intended to analyze them. “How?” he said. I declared that I had purchased multiple books, and he said, “Oh, don’t …” as in, don’t become one of those people who analyze their dreams, those people are lame.

“You just dissed my whole thesis!” I objected. How un-husbandly. He defended his comment by questioning how I expected to defend said thesis to my thesis committee, and I reminded him that this is a creative thesis open to any and all ideas/topics and that no, I don’t think there’s anything to dream symbolism, it’s just an avenue for exploring something fun and weird (i.e. my weird dreams), and my thesis committee doesn’t care.

And then I forgave him, because when we were first becoming friends via long, daily e-mail letters, and I worked in the office in which he had previously worked, and left a year before I worked there (coincidence? or FATE?), and I mentioned that I had cleaned out the office and thrown away a giant box of very outdated CD-ROMs, and it turned out he had created those CD-ROMs, he wrote, “I forgive you for throwing away a whole box of my entire 1997.” So now we’re square, don’t you agree?

I have to report for jury duty today. This sucks, because I was supposed to teach poetry at the high school, and not only do I hurt at the thought of missing one of these teaching opportunities, but I feel like I am leaving them in the lurch. Any day but today! That said, though, I would love to be on a jury, since I love crime shows so much. But Steve says it won’t happen, because they’ll ask me where I live, and it’s too nice a place for the kind of jurors they usually assume will be sympathetic to the defendant, and he says I can’t lie about where I live.


June 9th, 2005

Last night I had a dream in which I was in the shower, and it was so dirty, and I was so dirty that the walls of the shower were turning black. Then I had a coughing fit, and I coughed up a big lump. I was astonished at the size of said lump and nudged it with my toe. Realizing it was cloth, I picked it up to discover that it was the white half-slip I usually wear under summer skirts. The rest of the long, long dream involved my telling various strangers about this incident–trying to make them understand what a “slip” was, and trying to convince them I was telling the truth about coughing one up.

Ever since I went on an anti-depressant for panic attacks a few months back, I have had vivid, memorable dreams. In the past, my dreams were fragmented and fading; once in a great while, I might remember a little of one, but then the memory quickly receded. Now I can remember dreams in their entirety as if they were memories from waking events. Often, I wake up confused, because a dream has crossed far enough over into the real details of life to seem actual. Last week, I woke up very sad. I had dreamt that I was going to move in with a friend. I had lived at No. 6 long enough, and it was time. When I woke up next to Steve, I felt distraught over having to live somewhere without him. It was a long moment before I realized that, no, we were married, not just roommates, and I had no reason or plans to move out.