Ten Things I’ve Loved/Hated Lately

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#1. The Puddles Incident

I was walking to a salon appointment Friday night through an up-and-coming neighborhood, when I noticed a Mexican father trying to corral his two boys back onto the sidewalk. The boys had drifted onto a neighbors’ lawn where there was a tether ball, in front of a window framed with white-painted wood. “No, come on, Joseph, Rodrigo, we were going to look for more puddles, remember?” the father said, gently, but exasperated. They were on their way to look for puddles, and I remembered then that the rain meant more to San Diego than a frustrated secretary shaking her umbrella in a marble-floored foyer. It sirened a changing of the seasons. Leaf boats floating down gutters. Fall tartans. Burgundy lipsticks.

#2. My Friend Erina’s Cats Act Like I’m Taylor Swift and They are Middle School-Aged Girls

I am more appreciated in fifteen minutes than I have been in my whole life (yes, I am exaggerating, sob, am I). No Name, a long-haired tabby cat who used to hate me, gets particularly affectionate when I have to pee, rubbing up against my leg as I’m unfurling toilet paper. Or, and this happens every time, she just stands in the gap beneath my feet, as if protecting me from this dangerous white object. Tater purrs like a son-of-a-gun even when I’m giving him his Prozac medicine (an event he should probably not be that excited about). Cats. When they’re cool, they’re really cool.

#3. Stuff You Missed In History Class

Twenty minutes of mindlessly listening to nerdy women talk about history does wonder for my soul. I listen to this podcast on my spanish-tiled patio, while sipping tea and pruning my rosebushes. Lie – no I don’t. I listen to this Podcast while cringing at things I discover while cleaning my apartment (blackened roses stems covered in mold, anyone? Yum). Favorite things? The Frida two-part episode, and the fact that host Holly says “tuckus” sometimes.

#4. NPR’s All Songs Considered

I access Bob Boilan’s delightful music program via an App on my IPhone, which, with its cracked screen and 4ness, is basically a relic of the Paleozoic period. Add to this the fact that I need to plug a cable from a tape deck into my phone for sound, and you get two issues. 1) Streaming; 2) a shitty tape deck from Best Buy that turns itself over forever. I am so committed to All Songs Considered, that it may actually get me committed.

#5. Pluots

Plums-apricots, you’re welcome.

#6. The Entire 80’s Heirloom Jewelry Section of Asos.com

Instead of being Midas, and having everything I touch turn to gold, can I please be his first cousin, who has everything turn in long, gold tassel fringe earrings and chunky, rhinestone drops (too much to ask)?


#1. The High Schoolers Who Eat Their Lunch in Liberty Station

Somehow, I am often involved in petty, flirty, or otherwise uncomfortable conversations about drugs that I do not want to be a part of. “Sarah, like, totally made out with a homeless guy this weekend.” Ew they’re flirting. “Stop spreading lies about me, RICHARD.” So loud, it is like Richard is deaf. Sometimes, they even just intonate in the hallways: “Ah, aH, AHHHHH!!!!” Their irritating-ness (new word) knows no bounds.

Five boys are walking abreast down an otherwise attractive, Spanish Revival style corridor. The church bells reverberate through the green belt twice. The fountain is turned on. I look around at lingering piles of teenagers. It’s two, so why are there still kids around? Does their lunch ever end? The boys, arranged like a long, sideways Tetris piece, hold their eyes on on the ground as they pass: “Drop down and get your eagle on girl,” they sing along in low hushed voices to a boom box. My first instinct: drag them all to Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York and make them apologize to Susan B. Anthony’s grave.

#2. Eighty-Five Percent of the Current Pop Songs on the Radio

“I can’t feel my face when I’m with you. But I love it.” Does anyone else think that’s an odd thing to say?

#3. Loretta, the Hairdresser

When I hung up the phone and realized Salon Bordeaux, a salon I had never been to before in Normal Heights, had given me “Loretta,” I was concerned. “Loretta.” We had skipped over the Baby Boomer names of Tami, Karen, Jan and into the Depression Era names of Edna, Agnes, June.

Loretta was 30 with tastefully dyed-blonde curls that fell past her shoulders. She weight-lifts with her boyfriend often, but doesn’t look bulky. She eats a lot of eggs for protein. She is very pretty. When I told her, with foils shoved into every inch of my hair, that I should make this image of me my Tinder photo, we laughed. She got me a mason glass jar of wine (high point). I think she meant well.

But she really hammered on me for not bringing a picture. She probably told me, two, three times, that since I surfed, my skin would suffer – long-term – from the sun. She put a toner on my hair that cost $25 extra and did not tell me (this was the worst hair crime of them all).

Later, when the pregnant salon owner was discussing baby names with a customer, the customer said she liked the “older” names. Not the nineties babies’ names, like Lauren, Katie, Nicole. Loretta’s crazy strong hands were washing shampoo out of my hair at this point, but the salon owner told her customer, and Loretta overheard: “Well, what do you think about Loretta?” and then customer replied: “Loretta is a horse’s name.” It was a small piece of retribution but it felt like retribution all the same.

#4. Love/Hate: ClassPass

I recently signed up for ClassPass, which is like the “On Wednesdays, we wear pink” of exercise. For $100 for one month, I get up to three sessions at any participating exercise facility, including: CrossFit, PureBarre, Yoga Six, Yoga Tropics, Core40, standup paddle boarding yoga, boxing, jazzercise, aerial yoga – you get the picture. Hundreds of options. Great for trying new things, if you, like me, are a sadist.

Many of these classes are very hard. Couple this with the fact that I haven’t done many of these types of exercises before, and you have women with less than 5% body fat approaching me with questions, or comments, like these: “Is this your first class?” and “I am going to help you as much as I can, but you really shouldn’t be here.” Reassuring news, when my hands are holding pulleys towards my feet, which are holding a beach ball-sized ring between them in the air at an angle that my legs clearly cannot handle because they are shaking, almost violently. My muscles are ripping. I am 27. This is my life.

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekend.

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