evany's extended cake mix
(PS: My diary has officially moved over to my official evany.com website. Let's meet up over there!)
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Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2008 | link
According to my referrer logsies, it seems not all of you have made the leap to my new (which is actually my old) site? It's like that time in middle school when I decided to try out a new bench for lunch, sure all my friends would follow, only to find myself eating the midday meal all on my lonesome, tooting on my empty raisin box for an audience of none.
Big, huge announcement: This here extended cake mix diary has MOVED!
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Please note that I still love Diaryland and the Andrew that runs it very much! I just thought it was time to finally get all my web things onto one site, much like a grown woman.
And bottomless thanks to boy-genius Paul for migrating all my archives and setting everything up for me in my new home, wow!
We were all very sad to see Zelda head back home, with the exception of one very happy, sunshine-toasted cat:
We've lucked our way into pug Zelda for the week, thanks to friends Amy and Greg being called out of town on SXSW duty. And now our standard early morning walk has become this most unruly circus on earth...
...with Piggy and the Pug lurching and twisting left to right, back to front...
...their leashes tripping and toppling and slicing me into pieces like I'm a giant block of cheese.
Does anyone remember the bulldog in the leather S&M newsie cap and his...donkey?...sidekick, a puppet duo who made their fame doing commercial breaks during early afternoon television in the Bay Area in the 80s?
Anyone? Update: Kind JennieB just sent a memory nudget that the puppets -- a bulldog and HORSE -- were named Charlie and Humphrey, and they were a Channel 54 standby throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. See why the Pig and Pug made me think of them?
In the afternoon, the pug o' war begins, and the house is overcome with the rainfall of dog toenails on hardwood (the floor in the kitchen and hallway) alternating with the thunder of small furry bodies making tight turns and rolls on carpet (the floor in the living- and bed-rooms).
When Marco got home yesterday, he took Zelda and Piggy into the backyard; en route, Zelda took a small detour into the dojo martial arts training center next door, surprising a class full of karate kids. Piggy tore in right on Zelda's heels, and -- like a scene straight out of The Pacifier -- the two dogs raced circles around the squealing children as Marco and the Sensei tried to herd them back out onto the sidewalk.
At dinnertime, a small fist of a face hovers on the horizon, carefully watching our every move:
And at night, Zelda is reduced to a puggle of soft ears and chubby uncoiled tail-ness, and the house fills with the gentle sawing of small, smash-face snoring. And Marbles the cat finally emerges from her hiding place in the closet. (Hey, look at our new pillow! A happy spillover from Brian and Sandra's recent move!)
I don't know if it's the extra vegetable-and-fruiting, or the endless gigantic vitamin gag balls, or maybe it's the fact that my ass, normally a bit of a packrat, has developed a steady enthusiasm for throwing everything overboard, but I've recently detected a new sprong in my step, a sprong that feels an awful lot like happy. Or maybe it's just the endorphins from all the spronging?
I got my very first sighting of the last two remaining wild wild Oakland Rose Garden turkeys around Christmastime. It was twilight, and the garden, already an unexpectedly magical and tidy place, was extra cinematic in the blue light, with its gently babbling waterfall fountain and stark branches holding on to just a few precious last-minute roses. It felt like a very lucky place and time to be, and I think I may have even been whistling when suddenly this gigantic turkey loomed into my path. Its partner trailed a few feet behind, looking as huge and strange and un-city-like as its mate. And bringing up the rear was a clucking good Samaritan, a nice woman who was gently trying to herd the turkeys deeper into the gardens and away from the car-lined street leading up to the park. “Sometimes they get a little lost,” she said to me, and we exchanged giddy smiles over how much sweeter life is when you throw random wild turkey sightings into the mix.
A few weeks ago, I saw them again. I was walking to work when I spotted a bird-like shape up ahead; without my glasses I at first thought it was a pigeon, but as I kept walking and the perspective failed to shift, I realized it was a much larger affair. I stopped and squinted and finally made out the shape of Turkey One, standing on the sidewalk in front of the dry cleaners and looking very lost and uncomfortable. A horn blasted off to the left, and I saw that Turkey Two was actually scuttling around in the middle of busy, four-laned Grand Avenue. Oh! Another pedestrian and I rushed out into the road, which only caused the turkey to flutter deeper into traffic. We froze and exchanged looks of alarm with the drivers of the stopped cars as we all just stood in place and watched as the turkeys darted and lurched and ultimately got themselves back to the sidewalk and pointed in the right direction for home.
And now, suddenly, the turkeys are everywhere. I came downstairs yesterday morning to find one of them standing at the bus stop, like some kind of dazed, impatient commuter – I called Marco and told him to come down with his camera:
And then this morning, the turkeys had managed to work their way into the route the dog and I take for our morning walk. Daisy was thrilled by the appearance, her bloodlust going from zero to kill within .00002 seconds of our spotting them. To avoid disaster, I was forced to curtail our walk by ducking down a shortcut. And as we did so, I busted myself feeling a touch of resentful irritation that the turkeys blew us off course. The magical turkeys, now an almost everyday occurrence, had lost some of the thrill that before would have made me happily divert my day.
But it wouldn't do to start taking those dumb tender turkeys for granted. Just like love! Because if they were ever to come to a sticky end, meet the wrong end of a Nissan Sentra or deep fryer, I really would be so very saddened by the loss. Wild turkeys! In Oakland!
What do you say to a woman who keeps trotting on the trotmill a full 42 minutes beyond the posted 20-minute-whenever-people-are-waiting limit and then when you remind her of the rules she starts yelling and doing that chin cobra thing about how she waited for her turn and now she's going to take as long as it takes, and THEN she's going to take her two-minute cool down? I don't know if there are any words magic enough to make that kind of entitlement-poisoned person see the error of her ways, but somehow I don't think my sighing eye roll + "babbling hand puppet" finger flap totally captured the spirit of the golden mean?
Meanwhile: I watched the premiere of The Big Give, which wasn't actually so great? The contestants are an off-putting mix of irritating, creepy, and pumped beyond all reason, and the scenes with Oprah calling them all to let them know that they'd won a spot on the show was just painful, with Oprah doing these unfortunate fake accents while the contestants had to pretend to look "puzzled" by this "inexplicable" call from Dee Dee Hee Haw or Gov'nah Pip Pippin Paw or whomsever, and then Oprah would drop her accent for the big reveal that it was her all along! and the contestant would scream and leap and scream in a fit of unbridled "surprise," even though the film crew was there the whole time, which should have given them some kind of hint as to who was calling? Which isn't to say that I didn't cry...five times. But! Four of those were more just misty-eyed moments. I only cracked one audible weep storm, and that was when the down syndrome kids started in with the hugging and clapping, which as you may have guessed is my kryptonite. Much like brown bananas, and Marin County.
This weekend got off to a tuff start when Marbles knocked a full cup of coffee all over my bedside collection of books and letters and hair clips and Sidekick, a minor disaster that seemed exponentially major because the coffee I needed to face it was otherwise occupied staining the carpet and sealing all the pages of my magazines together.
Then I tried to make myself oatmeal but accidentally sprinkled pepper on it instead of salt and had to start all over.
Then later the old Safeway bag I was using to clean out the litter box split open, unleashing an unholy rain of cat shit and piss crystals all over the bathroom floor.
And just now, while I was standing in the kitchen chopping up a bundle of tender farmer's market broccoli (Item #7 in Operation March Means More: 14 Things I Need More of According to Oprah), the glass dome over the light in the ceiling fell off its moorings and -- missing knocking my block off by maybe two RCHs -- hit the deck in a glass- and nerve-shattering explosion that spewed shards of doom twenty feet in all directions. Marco heroically swooped in with a broom to sweep up the worst of the crash site while my bare feet and I stood very, very still. And then he brought me some shoes and I retreated to the other room to nurse my fight-or-flight-addled nerves while he sucked all the cracks in the floor with vacuum. Even so, we've still spent the rest of the night doing our own little community theatre reenactment of Die Hard as we locate surprise new slivers of glass with our feet.
Marco: "I guess at least now we know the solution to last week's great Mystery of the Screw Found Rolling on Kitchen Floor?"
It makes me a little queasy to admit it -- because part of me still clings to that the idea that I'm a unique, un-pin-downable snowflake of individuality -- but I am eerily, undeniably slam dab in the middle of Oprah's O Magazine demographic.
This month's issue -- which, as Oprah says in her intro, is "dedicated to...raising our joy level" -- has this article, "A Month of Living Perfect," where the author, Carol Mithers, shares her findings from a month she spent doing the things we all know we're supposed to do but somehow don't ever do enough of -- floss, exercise, vegetables, vagina crunches -- and surprise the experience was awful...at first, but then it all ended so happily, with Miss Mithers amazed by paucity of her paunch, plus her new flexibility and incredible new-found stores of energy. And I thought to my me, I kind of want to do that! Maybe? And: A person can do pretty much anything for a month, right?
Then I read about Oprah's new reality (show), The Big Give, where do-gooders compete to find innovative ways to move mountains for people in need, like get a homeless family off the streets or grant a dying woman her last wish, and I thought, my brain rubbing its folds together with glee, Manfred MAN am I going cry so hard and so good watching that show!
And then I read the thing where the life-coach shared all the lessons she learned from watching her beagle trot around a golf course or whatever, stuff about how sometimes getting close to your dreams is close enough, and how important it is to focus your time and energies on doing the things that make you salivate, etc. And I thought, Yeah!
Then I read the profile on veggie burgers and how they don't taste nearly as horrible as they did a few years ago, and I thought that sounded pretty toothsome, so I went out and bought of the brands of frozen fauxburgers that they recommended, and they DO taste good! Once you get all the pickles and ketchup and cheese on there!
Then my thinker started thinking, since I was more or less there already, that maybe I should take a chapter from Beth Lisick's new book, Helping Me Help Myself, and totally dedicate the entire month of March to following the Odvice found in this month's issue?
I reread every page, highlighter in hand. (And I'm sure all the other passengers on the the bus I ride home from work every day, who watched me yellowing those words and passages like they held some kind of religious weight, thought I was totally lost and also crazy.) I didn't highlight all of it: since calorie-counting and sugar-cutting make me obsessive and yo-yo mad, I opted to skip any deprivation-related suggestions. Instead I focused on any and all things that sounded like something I would want to add to my life.
And here, in no particular order, is the what I came up with: