Saturday, May 31, 2003

Here I am. I am at home again.
It took us almost twelve hours to get up there. About an hour in, Nissa asked if I'd like to throw on a cd. Agreeing, we both learned that she had left the cd player at home. Telling her that we couldn't go to a Kmart and buy a new one for twenty dollars, we spent about a hour driving around LA looking for a Kmart so that she could satisfy herself in seeing with her own eyes that they were all over fifty dollars without the plugging into the car geegaws.
Traffic was about as slow as one would expect on Memorial Day, but we were in no hurry. Like so much of my life, I was observing everyone with a sense of urgency that I didn't share.
We stopped in Gilroy for dinner. Gilroy is known as the garlic capital of the world. Being Memorial day the restaurant we stopped at was out of garlic.
We stayed at Dr. Oblivious' place for the whole week. God bless him, he was so gracious and hospitable.
Tuesday we went out to lunch with Dr. O at a quiet little vegetarian restaurant. The first round of auditions were Tuesday afternoon. I sat and read while Nissa apparently did a smashing enough job to be called back on Friday. I sat in the lobby trying to read but actually watching their television that played videoed performances of the play this group puts on at bay area schools. I mean, there were puppets and I was trying to read literature from the 1100's. Which would you pay more attention to?
Afterwards we went to Berkeley where I spent too much money on books at a thrift store (I made this a working vacation for tax purposes and spent a sailor's buttload on books.) Nissa tried to buy a kind of cheese she'd never tried before at a cheese shop, but it turned out to be a chocolate and vegetable oil thing called Halvah. Very tasty but not cheese.
I think that was the night we went to the Arabian restaurant right before the belly dancers went on.
On Wednesday, Nissa and I walked from Dr. O's place (in the Mission) to Castro and then on to the Haight. I got a stately callous on my foot from that day. I won't tell you what we got in the Castro, but I bought a bowler on Haight. I've always wanted one. Charles and Sean both wear fedoras, which is a good look for them. I don't have a dress hat though and my features are too warm and hobbit-like for a fedora. Now I have a bowler. Plus, Nissa and I can go as Laurel and Hardy this Halloween.
We cooked Dr. O a dinner of mashed red potatoes, boiled spinach, corn on the cob and whole wheat rolls. Dude's got an awesome organic supermarket down the street from him.
Thursday I bought sixty buck worth of books at the thrift store nearby. SF thrift stores are a little pricier than OC ones, but they've got the dank books. I actually found two William Burroughs books in a thrift store. On the way back, pinching a nerve in my right hand from the heavy book bags, I said to Nissa, "You know what that taught me? Orange County readers are a bunch of tools!"
We decided to go downtown because Nissa got a letter M necklace from Tiffany's as a graduation gift and we were thinking "trade it back for cash. Dinner's on Nissa." Tiffany's had an exchange only policy, so she got her dad, on my advice, a very nice silver Swiss Army knife.
Then we went to the MOMA to ogle, titter and scratch our heads at the modern art. I saw my first two Warhols. I understood the draw much better at seeing them in person than from looking at art books. The size and colors suggest an importance, almost a holiness, to the pop images. I also saw my first Dali's, unless I'm forgetting. If you ever get the chance, see his work. Books do not do justice. The images breathe, the oils move before you. Saw my first Kahlo. Also a new experience in person. Her's is much more of a striking energy. We walked into the room and went right for her painting even though hubby Rivera's was next to her with an amazing image of a worker helping a fallen worker with his load. The highlight for me was the Pollack. Talk about a living painting. It was a lot like seeing the Grand Canyon, something vast and awesome that you could possibly drop into screaming.
Also saw more Picasso, Rothko, Matisse, Johns, Oldenberg, Ray, and a bunch of awesome stuff I'd never heard of before. They've got one of the best museums I've ever been to and I've been to some of the world's best. If you ever get near it, treat yourself. Dr. O says it used to kind of blow but somebody died and left most of this to the museum and now it rules.
We met up with Dr. O at a toy/comic book store downtown. We all kicked ourselves a little because we tried to get to a protest at Clear Channel headquarters, but it was over when we arrived. I would have loved to protest that scum, but you can't make it to all of them I guess.
We went back to the room and I got bad news. I had called home because my parents were leaving for a two week Alaska cruise on Friday. Mom said, "Call your brother" in one of those tones that make you worry until you do call your brother. He was really down. The news is that the baby hasn't developed, and will most likely at this point not develop, a brain. If she doesn't miscarry it will most likely die at birth.
Well, after that we took Dr. O out for a final dinner in thanks for all he had done for us. We took him to an Ethiopian restaurant. I learned two things about Ethiopian food:
1) They put tomatoes in danged near everything.
2) It is so good.
And it was so spicy that I saw through time.
Friday I went to lunch with Dr. O and said my final goodbyes while Nissa had her call back. The rest of the day was mainly waiting at Dr. O's place for her to finish. She made both of the cuts. They want her back for an interview next week. She got out at five and, like schmucks, we got right on the road. We passed out back at my place at about one thirty.
Seems it's highly possible that Niss might land this job. If she does, I'm most likely going to move within driving distance of SF (maybe like Hayward or San Jose or something) and possibly get the bank loan and go forward with opening the book store. Split rent and food costs like the commies we are, Niss and I. Tentative plan.

Today was interesting as well. I have a piece of advice for any guys out there that might be too much information right now and long may you live to never need this advice. If you ever find yourself nude sunbathing and only have the spray kind of sunblock, do not spray it on your nuts. The comical scene that is playing in your brain happened to me. A lazy morning suddenly got very animated and I'm amazed at the restraint I had to put clothes back on before bolting for the shower.
Then I finally got Nissa to sit down and watch 'Dogma' with me. We parted for like the first time in a week really and I've been doing laundry and dishes every since. And writing this tome.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

We really went to Ren Faire to see a band that I'm into. The Poxy Boggards are, by their own definition, "A drinking group with a singing problem." They sing bawdy songs and they sing them well. Check them out ( and buy an album. I have all three and I throw one on at least once a week. I've had them for a year too, so there's your mark of quality.
Anyway, they didn't let us down. They rule with their live energy. Check them out. Go to the Ren Faire and see them (
We also saw an ent and two trolls. The trolls were a good acting lesson. They were in their troll outfits and they were sitting in a dirt circle where one was tying grapes to a stick and one was filling a bucket with dirt. They had vials of colored dirt and rats playing around them. But they just stayed focused on their tasks and a very large crowd gathered to watch.
Niss and I shared a plate of quail. I also had a fresh baked cinnamon bun.
Now, I'm not much of a Ren Faire geek. I don't own a costume. I just like to go. I'm an average geek. The sad part today was that there seems to be a large amount of dumb, drunk people going to Ren Faire now. Usually it's a bunch of drunk geeks, deadheads, and wise asses. Maybe it was because it was Memorial Day weekend, but there were a lot of people there that made you think, "Why aren't they at Mammoth or Magic Mountain?"
Niss and I took a short nap when we got back. I came home to pack. As stated before, I leave tomorrow for San Francisco. The twist this time is that when I return depends on how well her audition goes. I could be back on Wednesday (if it didn't go well) or Saturday (if it went smashingly.)
So, as they say in the old country, ta ta.