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Showing posts from March, 2007

guess which one is my sister

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Some photos from yesterday’s rally and march to renew the charter of Academia Semillas del Pueblo .

calling all women with a 10" bust

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Great news, T-Mec watchers: The tumor was benign. A big, black, bumpy, two-inch, perfectly harmless tumor. The bad news, as far as Mec-Mec herself was conce rn ed, was that she had to wear a little sweater to protect her stitches. It was actually more of a wife-beater—ribbed and sleeveless—and she looked like a bad-ass, in a cuddly sort of way. I took a bunch of pictures, which quickly became historical artifacts. Girl figured out how to get her sweater off about 20 minutes after getting home from the vet last week. Yesterday mo rn ing I took her in for a check-up, and told Dr. Marks (subbing for Dr. Wong , who’s out of town this week) that T-Mec has been wriggling out of her sweater. “You could try to find a tighter T-shirt for her,” he said, looking me over. “You’re pretty big, but maybe if one of your girlfriends has one of those itty-bitty baby tees….” I’m still not sure if he was calling me fat or telling me I had big tits, but either way, I can see why he works with animals rath

good-bye writing group, hello orangutans

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Okay, I’m back from Crazyville, more or less, thanks to ramen with Steph and Nina (right), some mellow quality time with AK, a lot of phone calls to my very patient dad and sister, and a really sweet get-well card from Sara ’s cats, Chaucer and Schro. It was especially nice of them considering that they’ve never even met T-Mec in person—but they used to all live in the same building in Northern South L.A., so I’m sure they’ve had their eyes on many of the same pigeons and free-range pit bulls. Now I have new cause for bittersweetness: On Tuesday I let my writing group know that April 25 would be my last day with them. I’m at a stage in my novel where I need to do a bunch of research, and being in a regular writing group brings pressure to turn in pages rather than study the rainforest conservation movement in Eastern Malaysia. That’s right, I’m quitting my writing group because it was causing me to write too much. Also, I’ve been in it for almost three years, longer than most MFA prog

darkness and light

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1. sometimes the balance came out wrong Turns out I am not fluent in vet-speak. “The full mammary line” actually only means one side—in this case the three left boobies, which would make her lopsided if she weren’t an A-cup anyway. And, it turns out, “the X-rays are clear, but her tumor was big and nasty and bumpy” means there’s a fairly good (meaning very bad) chance that it has spread in some small way and could recur, which wouldn’t give her all that long. After Friday’s cautiously optimistic blog post (during which I was secretly feeling very optimistic), I came crashing down and stayed there for 16 excruciating hours. I was feeling strange and stir-crazy, and since T-Mec was scheduled to be at the hospital overnight, I decided to meet AK in Hollywood for a movie. She indulged my need for the lightest of light fare and let me drag her to (she even suggested it) Reno 911! Miami , which I’m pretty sure was pretty funny. (On Thursday, the first of what’s shaping up to be the monasti

pink ribbon times six

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For those of you kindly tuned into the T-Mec saga , I just got an update from the vet, the super nice, energetic, seemingly 17-year-old Dr. Wong: Mec’s X-rays came back clear (though it’s possible she could still have tiny bits of undetectable cancer floating around in there, but hey, so could any of us). She’s still having surgery to remove the lump we knew about as well as what Dr. Wong calls “the full mammary line.” I.e., all six boobies. Luckily, when you’re covered in fur, you don’t need to worry about how you look in a bikini. Thanks for all your nice comments, Bread and Bread peeps. T-Mec couldn’t have more cyber-support if she had a Catster page.

voice of the medium-satisfied people

I’ve developed a strange new hobby of filling out consumer satisfaction surveys. It started with a questionnaire about an Excel class I took at the Center for Nonprofit Management . They’re nice folks down there at the Center, so I filled it out. And I won a digital camera as a result. Now, even though most surveys don’t enter you to win anything, I can’t stop. Earlier this week I let the Miyako Hotel in San Francisco know that I that the cleanliness of their bathrooms exceeded my expectations. I even typed a nice note into the optional “comments” box. Today I informed Expedia.com that the staff at Payless Car Rental was slightly below average in friendliness. Part of it is the fake power: Expedia is listening to me ! Part of it is empathy. Someone on the other end of the DSL line is compiling the results of these surveys, and I feel like it helps to balance their conclusions if not all the respondents are crazy, retired or venting about the worst customer service experience of th

my girls

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One year ago Monday , I was driving to Akbar, decked out in a red thrift store skirt, black T-shirt that said “Denise Rossi’s Dance Ten Presents Into the New Millennium” and a scarf with owls on it. It was my idea of a cute blind date outfit, though later I would find out that my date’s first impression was, She’s wearing a skirt. Weird. But I guess it wasn’t all bad, because there was a second date, during which I choked on empanada toppings and lost my car in downtown LA. “God, I hope it didn’t get towed,” I worried. “No, you just forgot where you parked it,” she assured me. “Don’t worry, I do stuff like this all the time.” Our attempts to celebrate one awesome year of looking for our respective cars after many fun days and nights on the town were somewhat thwarted by AK’s sudden and nasty cold and my discovery that my cat Temecula probably has breast cancer. Yeah…I’m not taking it well. She’s scheduled for X-rays and surgery on Friday, and if the vet discovers it hasn’t metastasize

good books and garlic knots

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Friday I showed up late to Noel ’s reading at Vroman’s . While you can count on many authors to read for a good (or not so good) 45 minutes, it was just my luck that Noel kept things short and sweet—so I only got to hear a few minutes of his seemingly really interesting new novel, Talking to the Moon . Noel is a sometime actor, so he read well, too. Sigh. At least I was there for the inspiring Q&A and tasty samosas. I can’t wait to read Talking to the Moon , but I have about 250 more pages of Han Ong’s The Disinherited . It’s an ambitious and well written book, but it’s slow-going because A) the sentences are a lot more complex than those usually found in contemporary novels and B) it’s uber-cynical. The narrator is the disillusioned son of a Filipino sugar mogul who (contrary to the title’s suggestion) finds himself with a huge chunk of dirty money to get rid of. He’s equally disgusted with the virtual caste system and unthinking Catholicism of his home country as with the greed

hi, oprah

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Yesterday after work, I pulled into the Chevron station near my office. When I got out of my car, the woman at the pump in front of me said, “Excuse me, do you know how to make it so the gas just keeps pumping and you don’t have to hold the nozzle the whole time?” She was in her mid-40s, nicely but not fancily dressed. She had no accent that could be traced to a country where no one drives. So it seemed unlikely that she was either too rich or too poor to have ever pumped gas. I said, “Maybe something’s wrong with it. I can try wrestling with it if you want.” I hooked the nozzle into the tank, pushed down and clipped the lever back. It worked like it always does. The woman thanked me and I felt like a hero. “My husband usually does this for me,” she explained apologetically. When I told AK the story, she said, “Hi, Oprah .” Although that was my natural reaction too, I’d recently read a chapter of my friend Cara’s novel, in which the 18-year-old narrator, on her own