Thursday, May 25, 2006


Damnit. I was at the gym and in the zone trying to just work out. I hate working out, mostly because I find it ridiculously boring. People always tell me how much they love working out and what a stress release it is. I, on the other hand, must be doing something wrong, as I have not relieved said stress and instead find myself still as fat as I was when I started working out. Some people have fat days. I, apparently, am having a fat year.

Some people go to the gym and socialize. Some people go to the "gym" and hang out in the locker room/shower. I, on the other hand, actually go to exercise period. I do my work out and then get the hell out of there. AJ, well, he often times goes to the gym, and then goes to the "gym." Working out with him (because he actually talks to people) takes twice as long. I am often in the zone of listening to my iPod Shuffle (bought exclusively for working out and skiing) and ignoring everyone else, occasionally giving that courteous headnod acknowledgement to those people I recognize so as not to be rude.

Regardless, I AM trying to work out more regularly, because I am NOT getting any younger, and as such would like to lose the thickening middle that I have and regain any semblance of a body that I used to have. I realized that I used have a body when 1. I looked at old photos of myself without a gut, and think "hey, I must have been sucking in my stomach for that photo" and then realize that ACTUALLY I probably didn't need to suck in my stomach for that photo. and 2. I wear my old clothes, that don't quite fit anymore.

So it was laundry day today, and most of my work out clothes were dirty. I dug around in my drawer for something to wear to the gym, post-work, post-therapy session and I grabbed what I thought was a wearable article of clothing. Once I got to the gym though, and put it on, I realized that I had instead brought a shirt that ONCE fit me, but at this moment in time seemed so incredibly small I question whether I was able to EVER fit into it.

So I spent the rest of the workout tugging the shirt down and sucking in my stomach in between my bench presses and dips. At least I wasn't bored. Preoccupied with working out, sucking in my stomach and tugging my shirt down, I was completely taken aback when a complete stranger came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention, and then said:

"Hey. You have nice hair."

And then he walked away.

What's up with my hair these days?

Monday, May 22, 2006

nice hair.

Yesterday I was complimented on my hair no less than four times. And from complete strangers too.

I'm not quite sure why. I pretty much have had the same haircut for the past three or four years, but yesterday I must have either stood out more or somehow styled my hair extra special.

AJ and I had gone to the annual Meals on Wheels fundraiser: Star Chef's and Vintner's Gala event. It's a formal black tie event that is San Francisco's Meals on Wheels biggest fundraiser.

For the past four or five years, I have created signage for the event, and in the past three years, I've been actually been invited to the event itself, which not only is for a good cause, but it fabulous in it's own right.

See it has food. FANTASTIC food. and really REALLY great wine too. The chef and winery list is on their website and it's a veritable whose who of master chefs of the bay area. The event starts with an appetizer and wine section in the beginning where some of the top chefs of the bay area present appetizers and top wineries offering wine tastings (though the tastings tend to be rather full glasses than the little taste you get at the winery tasting room).

Highlights of the appetizer portion included:

A fabulous Tuna Piqua from Asia De Cuba which is a sushi grade tuna with currants and coconut on a wonton chip.

A marvelous Pork Cheek and White Bean "Sloppy Joe" with Salsa Verde from Willi's Wine Bar.

An amazing Shaking Beef served straight from the wok from The Slanted Door.

A delicious Hamachi tartare served on a crostini from the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

And my favorite, the Day Boat Scallop "Tater Tot" with caviar creme from the Cosmopolitan. We SO have to eat there for "new restaurant of the month".

The second part of the even included a sit down three course meal created by different chefs and paired with wine. I was first served an Artichoke with Tuna Conserva from A-16 Restaurant (it was only ok) while AJ got a Hamachi Carpaccio with mountain caviar from Ame (which is amazing). The wine pairing was a 2005 Sauvignon Blanc from Frog's Leap that was delicious. On the second course, AJ was served a Roasted Duck breast with corn crepe and raspberry jus from Chez Spencer (fantastic), and I was served a Duck fat poached Moulard Duck breast from Incanto (so incredibly rich, the duck was fantastic, the accompaning "18th century market stew" was not that great). The wine pairing with the duck was an amazing 2001 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyards from Bernardus. The final dish was a short rib crepinette with morels for AJ from MYTH (not bad but Camilla who was sitting next to me complained it tasted like meatloaf which I don't have a problem with, but she apparently did. To her credit, it did have a bit of a processed meat texture to it) and seared lamb loin and braised leg of lamb from Redd (fantastic - in fact no one sat next to us, and of course, AJ had to pick up the meal and eat that one as well so it wouldn't go to waste, thus he got both the meatloaf and the lamb). The 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet from J.P. Harbison was decent, but everyone kept on going back to the pinot from the second course, it was so good.

Camilla was so disappointed with the "meatloaf" that her husband's friend (I can't remember if his name was Joe or Ken) went off and brought back a lambchop from some table that had a no show. I had no idea who made it, but it too was delicious. We tried to offer her the extra plate next to AJ but AJ had already started to eat off of it, and so she only took a slice of the lamb.

Joe/Ken and Camilla were fabulous to have at the table. Joe/Ken was rather drunk, but I imagine if he wasn't he still would have acted the way he did. He actually walked off and then came back with a bottle of wine from one of the wineries from the appetizer section. He also came back with sparkling water for us for dinner. And in the end he walked in with a tray of cupcakes from the dessert tables outside. God bless him.

The final part of the evening of course was the desserts, and dessert wines. I had learned (from two years of experience) to pace myself, and I ended up gorging myself on various mini cupcakes (remind me to make them for my party), a million variations of chocolate (including Michael Recchiuti's gorgeous truffles and candies - the chocolate salty caramel was amazing, but we didn't care for the Earl Grey Tea one). I told Michael Recchiuti (who was there wearing a very cute work shirt with the name Michael on it, that his chocolates inspired AJ and I to make our own truffles for Christmas. He inquired as to how that went, and AJ said it went well, but it was quite labor intensive. He agreed that it was.

There were also marvelous confections, cakes, puddings, and astounding petit fours. Boulevard had fruit with chocolate and fruit dips, and I ended up running into an old friend of a friend there (who I hadn't seen in AGES!) named LIBBY. She was friends with SHARON who used to work at LEVI's but now is in NYC. LIBBY also used to work at LEVI's but once they restructured, she went back to cooking school for pastry work, and is now doing desserts at Boulevard. go her! I can't wait to hang out with her again. I'd love to invite her to one of my dessert parties....

So all the desserts were fantastic, but I was sugared out. I guess I now know what it's like to go to one of OUR dessert parties. SUGAR overload. I never really eat any of the desserts at my parties. Go figure. I really don't like to eat that much of what I make.

Anyway it was Joe/Ken who started up with my hair. Granted he was drunk, but he kept on commenting about how fascinated he was with the spikiness. He asked me what I used in it (I replied a pomade-y paste like substance). In his drunken stated he asked to touch it, and that of course had Camilla next to me pawing my hair as well. Joe/Ken then asked if product I used would work on other parts of the body. *ahem* Camilla was suitably embarrassed, but AJ piped in that I didn't need any help in that department. Joe/Ken was a little taken aback, but I think amused that AJ had a clever come back.

Then Paul and his friend Jenna over on the OTHER side of the table independently asked me about my hair. Jenna was talking to the woman next to her (who incidently JUST found out on Friday that she passed the CA BAR exam - which we totally congratulated her on. We told her that our friend PETER found out that he passed as well, so it was happiness all around) most of the evening so she didn't even notice or hear anything about my hair.

Paul and her then proceeded to ask if they could touch my hair as well. So I let them.

Finally as I dragged AJ out of the dining room to go and feast on even more desserts and to get him some zinfandel port, my friend CHIP (who hooked me up with the signage job to begin with) and his girlfriend commented on my hair as well.

So my question is this. Why is spikey hair so fascinating when you are drunk? Is it the spikey hair coupled with the tuxedo that they find so entertaining? Or is it just me? Here's a picture. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

AJ at the Bath's

So my friend who lives in LA went to a gay bathhouse recently. As my friend Rita once found out, a gay bathhouse is very different than a regular bathhouse or a day spa. He works in HIV prevention and STD counseling down in LA and as such, it was unclear as to whether he was visiting the bathhouse for work reasons, or for "personal" reason. I didn't inquire and I don't think he volunteered, though if push comes to shove, and I had asked, I am sure he would not have any issues telling me. My friend is very sex positive.

While at the bath house though, he saw AJ there.

Well, a poster of AJ that is.

About a year ago we had a photoshoot for a syphilis awareness campaign that is running in LA. We had scheduled a couple of models to be in the campaign (a white person, and a Latino person) and neither person showed up at the shoot. I mean, TOTAL no shows, couldn't get ahold of them, nothing. And the campaign material had to go to press in two days.

So I called up AJ and had him rush down to the shoot, and I called my Latino coworker Fernando to rush down, and we shot them.

The ad has AJ picking up Fernando in a bar. It was a bit surreal at the photoshoot, watching AJ try to pretend flirt with Fernando my coworker. But the photo shoot went without a hitch (other than the initial substitution of the two models) and I was able to get the materials out the door to the printer. Luckily I had my boyfriend to save the day, and luckily we had a coworker that was Latino (though my boss later complained that Fernando didn't look Latin enough in the photos and could I do something in photoshop to make him look more Latin. Fernando is half Spanish, half Mexican. What more can I do to make him look more Latin? I suggested putting a burrito in his hand, and adding a sombrero on his head, but my boss wasn't very amused. We left him as is in the end).

Thing was, I never really had a chance to see the final product (posters and postcards) as they went directly to the client. So I knew that somewhere in LA there would be posters of AJ and Fernando flirting. Just as there are posters of me and a model hanging out at the movies in LA as well. I just didn't know where.

And now I know.

So it looks like AJ and I probably won't be going to any bathhouses in LA anytime soon. Not with AJ looking like he has syphilis. Or possibly with my poster floating around with me looking like I have syphilis down there. Which is just as well, as the last time we tried to go to a bathhouse it ended up with disastrous results.

But if you go the bathouse in LA anytime, think of AJ and I. We'll be around.

Friday, May 19, 2006


So yesterday (Thursday) I had to art direct a day of photoshooting. Which sounds way more glamorous than it really is. Everyone always thinks that being a photo shoot is super fun, but really it's a lot of waiting around and watching. Unless you are a model posing or having your makeup/wardrobe done, or a photographer, or his assistant, photoshoots are pretty boring for the rest of us.

So mostly I either stood behind the photographer, and occasionally looked at what he had shot on his digital screen to make sure they were what we were looking for - or I was busy either holding the silver light reflector, or picking lint off the models clothing. All things that usually a photo assistant would be doing, but alas, my boss is too cheap to hire a photo assistant. Instead we had a large posse of people from the office, but no one seemed to really want to do much (other than the photographer who worked his ass off, and the project manager who spent equal amounts of time holding said silver light reflector when I wasn't).

I had actually met one of the four models the day before at the office. The project manager had set up meetings but through happenstance, I was either out of the office at lunch or couldn't meet up with them because of other meetings. When I arrived back from lunch I ended up meeting the final model, COSGROVE.

All four models were suppose to fill a certain demographic for the campaign (a syphilis awareness campaign). There was the older African American model. The young hipster indie kid. The Asian pretty boy (who ended up a big queen). And the older white man (who was suppose to fill the demographic of either the SOMA crowd, or the older professional crowd - we're not sure).

Cosgrove was the older white man. He was 43, and was also a former Crystal Meth user. Something we were looking for. He was attractive, with salt and pepper receeding hair, and stubble (which we had actually requested that he grow in, to give him a bit of an edge). What we weren't expecting was his personality. The man could TALK.

And talk he did. In the short span of when he came by (about 15 minutes or so) we learned that he was in a long term relationship with his VERY first boyfriend for 16 years, which is even more remarkable since he's been "raised gay" since he was 10 (not sure what that means - "raised gay" does that mean his parents made him play with barbies and forced him to watch wonder woman growing up?), that he was in an open relationship, had contracted HIV (which apparently he got from oral sex, since he only had safe sex otherwise) and then passed it on to his boyfriend, that he's a recovering meth user but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's completely sober as he drinks and also does pot (though he doesn't smoke it - he actually uses a vaporizer which allows for the extraction of the THC without any of the tar or other nasty by products), that he's slept with quite a number of men, that he recently underwent surgery for a pinched nerve because of whiplash which is good because now he can start building up his right side of his body as it had atrophied because of the pinch nerve, and that he owned a pewter colored latex shirt that he could bring in if we wanted to really attract the SOMA leather crowd.

God bless him. Cosgrove has spunk and sass. And of course he was going to be our first model of the day - a day that started at 6:45am (not an issue for Cosgrove, as he actually work up at 5am every day).

The following day arrived, and I rolled into work around 6:50am (okay, maybe it was more like 6:55am but it DEFINITELY was not 7am). I was running late, and was rather grumpy from having to wake up at 5:30am, with only about 5 hours of sleep. When I walked into the office (sans caffeine as I had forgotten to drink any coffee or mate - my new caffeine-laden beverage of choice) I was greeted with both an EXTREMELY perky model (Cosgrove) a super stressed out project manager (distraught at my tardiness) and an explosion of clothes on the floor. Apparently Cosgrove had decided to bring his entire wardrobe to the office for our inspection. Not only was there clothing strewn across the office, but he had quite the selection of shoes (he later stated that he was a shoe whore - something I can relate to, having to work right across the street from DSW).

After having Cosgrove change into several outfits that we had picked ("Oh no, I don't need to use the other room to change I can just change here if no one minds...Good think I wore underwear today though! I usually don't.") and having the final touches of his make up done ("Thank goodness you guys have a make up artist here I needed someone to cover up my cold sore!") we were off and running to the SOMA for some shots.

We picked out two outfits for him, a plain black pants, black tshirt shirt with pink sleeves casual wear, and then a camouflage fatigue pants with tank top and camo hat. the later ensemble was for the SOMA leather crowd but in truth after a few shots it just felt to costume-y. The casual wear looked decent, but then the project manager remember that my boss wanted him also in a suit looking respectable (after all he OVERCAME crystal meth, he wasn't still ON crystal meth) so she ran back to the office to get that outfit.

During the shoot, I mostly held the silver reflector on Cosgrove. Cosgrove the chatty model proceeded to chat me up.

"So how come YOU aren't modeling for this shot? You're so cute..."

I tried to explain to him that I already had a syphilis in LOS ANGELES (and that I didn't really want to have it here in SF as well. Plus we already had an Asian model for the shoot.

Cosgrove then proceeded to ask me what my boyfriend did (he's a professor at a community college). And then he asked me if I like jacuzzis.

How does one answer a question like that? Do I like jacuzzis. The REAL question is do I like the PEOPLE in the jacuzzis?

So I answered that yeah, they were okay, and he told me that my boyfriend and I should come over sometime. The jacuzzi is a communal jacuzzi in their apartment complex but we could all come over sometime and have a party.

And then he asked me if I smoked pot.


"Oh no, I understand if you can't answer that question, as you're at work and everything..."

No. No. it's not really that. I reply back. (I just didn't really know where to go with THAT question either.)

So I told him that I didn't really smoke. And his response back was "well I'll be smoking in the jacuzzi!"

At which point my project manager came over and asked me if I needed relief from holding up the silver reflector.

So I handed it over, and Cosgrove proceeded to joke about how he can now flirt with her (the project manager) instead of me and really it's not a big deal either way, because he knew that neither of us were going home with him tonight....


Well Cosgrove definitely made the morning interesting. His session finished up - though not before he insinuated more than once that he wanted a kiss from me - and we sent him off.

Cosgrove never did get that kiss. Especially not with the coldsore sitting on top of his lips. :)

But not to worry. Adobe Photoshop can do wonders....

The rest of the photo shoot went well. Look for the campaign hopefully by San Franciso Gay Pride. And I'll let you know if I get to go to any jacuzzi parties....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


AJ and I are seeing ROSE MELBERG (formerly of TIGER TRAP GO SAILOR and THE SOFTIES) tomorrow. I'm extra excited, because she use to be friends with my friend RENEE back in St. Louis and i have this fantasy that I will be able to go up to her before or after the show and tell her that i am friends with RENEE and she'll get all excited, and ask how she is, and i'll give her RENEE's phone number and they end up talking, and it will instigate RENEE into writing songs again.

see RENEE use to be in this band called BUNNYGRUNT. she was the bass guitarist and she was what made the band interesting - she was never afraid of crunching on the distortion pedal or a little feedback. Her bandmates however were always trying to stick to the four on the floor pop structure formula. okay so i have a bit of bias, as i'm friends with her, and not with the other bandmates.

regardless, she was kicked out of the band and they went ahead and released an album of music that she recorded with them and was an integral part of (she played bass on all the tracks, wrote or contributed to writing all the songs and sang back up on everything on the CD), even though she never saw any of the royalty or got any credit. to this day i have never heard any of it because she was so upset about being kicked out of the band that I couldn't bring myself to buy it. which I don't blame her.

I was heartbroken to hear that she took her car and ran over the only remaining copy of the full complete album (with the tracks that she sang lead on, but were pulled from the official release of the CD). i still hope that somewhere, in the back of her closet, she has another copy and she'll hand it over to me. but probably not.

anyway i've been in and out of contact with RENEE since moving away from the midwest. she's a sweetheart that has had a lot of hard times but like The Jefferson, she's moving on up....

She's married and has a beautiful baby. which is SHOCKING to me, as the last time i talked to she was still living in CHICAGO with her potential fiance (i can't remember if they actually were engaged or not at that moment). the baby is 6 months old and RENEE is sounding pretty happy nowadays.

i do miss RENEE. and everytime i hear ROSE MELBERG i think of her. SO i'm excited about the show. But i know in my heart of hearts, RENEE will probably never write another song again - as the band experience was so traumatic for her, and she's closed that chapter of her life. which makes me sad. sadder than any song that ROSE can sing.

But i look foward to seeing ROSE in person. even if i don't get a chance to talk to her. even if she never calls RENEE, and even if RENEE doesn't ever sing or write another note. ROSE reminds me of sweeter, gentler, more innocent times. of hanging out with RENEE and going to the thrift stores, and listening to a lot of soft indie pop. of a time when there were infinite possiblities of what we could do with our lives.

Monday, May 15, 2006


So i've switched over from GNARLS BARKLEY to FEIST. FEIST is the new JENNY LEWIS except, well i actually like FEIST's album while i was kinda lukewarm about JENNY LEWIS' solo (though she's fab with RILO KILEY). FEIST is just faboo. people are just checking her out, even though her album's been around for the better part of a year i believe. same goes with THE POSTAL SERVICE. it took about a year or two for the album to pick up momentum.

that said, FEIST isn't like THE POSTAL SERVICE. though they have remixed one of her songs (a great song called MUSHABOOM). it's available on her remix album which she just released. good stuff. and AJ actually doesn't mind listening to it. Think indie soft acoustic, with some franco euro pop songs with a little trip hop beat thrown in here and there, and a little jazz/lounge vibe for additional texture. highly recommended.


i'm obsessed with GNARLS BARKLEY. and i'm pissed that i'm behind the times, and found out about them NOW and not TWO MONTHS AGO when they were unknown. see i gotta be in the know BEFORE everyone else, and somehow SOMEHOW i have missed the boat on them.

i don't know if i can do damage control and pretend that i knew about them ages ago (who them? yeah, i heard their album awhile ago but i got sick of it so i haven't listened to it in ages). BUT i can't stop listening to the single CRAZY and the rest of the album is pretty damn good too. well at least the part that i can get to. i keep on hitting the repeat button for CRAZY.

but here's the kicker. AJ doesn't like them. damn it. so i can only play it when he's not around. double damn.

checkit check them out and if you love them, pretend (in that ever so glib way) that they are SO old news.