Friday, May 28, 2010

Está Bien

A few years ago (ok, make that 10 years ago) Bryan and I were at the beach on the island of Elba surrounded by German tourists. We had been traveling for months by then, and had gotten used to the relative camouflage of not speaking the language. So when he farted super loud at the beach we were surprised to see heads turn, stares, a few snickers. Bryan! I said, you do realize you didn't fart in English, right? They understand you. It's a fart, and farts don't have thick accents.
For some stupid reason I always ask Bryan and now Zoey ¿está bien? when I want to covertly ask if they are ok. ¿Está bien? at a party when Bryan looks bored. ¿Está bien? to Zoey when she's not eating the food that someone has served. Which pretty much makes me an asshole seeing as how I live in an area with many Spanish speakers and I don't speak the language at all. No es bueno, I know, and I wish I could tell you why I've been in a funk but I can't, so I will just tell you this: está bien, you guys. It's going to be ok. I'm going to be ok. The world maybe not so much, what with the oil spill and Glenn Beck, but it's Friday and no matter who or where or why, we understand eachother's farts.

Small things, people. It's just that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ten Things (Some With Pictures)

Dearest Internet,

I still have a case of the sads. Which sounds a little bit like the runs and should probably be treated in much the same way, i.e. stay away from fatty foods and don't talk about it.
Of course this is a blog and j'adore butter sticks, so let's just crouch here by the bathroom door and chat, mkay?

In an effort to be as Pepto-aByssmal as possible, I am going to make a list of a few things that make me happy even if certain things in my life right now suck butt farts.

1. Being nudey in bed with the exception of a squishy pair of socks. Sexy time.

2. Spaghetti dogs, exhibit a.)
On a related note, I am so going to try this gastronomical delight this weekend:
See? Starting to feel better already...

3. Gardening

4. Wearing the same socks I slept in underneath my boots all day because they were too warm to take off.

5. This dress. I want it. Wait, beginning to not feel good again.
Quick! #6. Falling asleep in the car while Bryan drives us to the beach.

7. This video.

That reminds me--8. The sound of Nacho snoring.

9. Her.
10. Pop-up video. Even thought it's been off the air for almost ten years now, I still sometimes imagine little bubbles popping up beneath peoples' faces when I am talking to them. She only washes her hands in the bathroom when someone else is in there, and even then it's just an obligatory rinse.
Bloop! I really like the sound of the pop-ups, and sometimes that's the only thing that interests me in a conversation.

You still there?
I mean, this, too, shall pass. Attitude of gratitude, everything is temporary. Plus, it is Thursday, after all. Long weekend. Memorial Day. I'm not dead. I've got bacon pancakes to look forward to, tonight's episode of RHo'NY. I do love a good half-assed hometown parade.

See what I did there? Now I'm crying sparkley tears! Yay!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Duck Dive

It's official: I am in a funk.
The kind of funk that catches you by the toe and sucks you up over the falls, inhaling salt water and sand. The kind of funk that has you suddenly realizing that you are touching the bottom, and yet when you finally do stand you find that your bathing suit has been wrenched to the side, exposing one chicken-skinned boob in a very unflattering squashy sort of way. That kind.

For the past few weeks I've been doing acupuncture. Did I tell you? Because it turns out I have a sluggish liver. Along with various cowlicks, although that is neither here nor there. Each week I lie down in a very warm room while a woman sticks needles in the webbing of my fingers, along my calf, inside my ears. She also has me taking some herbs but of course I only just now read the fine print and saw that one of the ingredients is something called "Semen Citri Rubrum/Ju He." Screw the Ju He, I want to know if this is semen semen, and why must I take 6 capsules in the morning and 6 at night. Anyone? Anyone?

Years ago I tried to surf. Bryan bought me the prettiest turquoise longboard and I did my best to look nonchalant while changing into my wetsuit in the parking lot. The thing is I not only have a sluggish liver but also noodle arms and a freakishly large amygdala, seeing as how that's where fear is located in the brain. Look at the dolphins! Bryan said, and then he took a wave and left me bobbing there wondering how he was so sure those were dolphins and not sharks.

Now I know: a dolphin's dorsal fin moves up and down while a shark's snakes side to side. Of course when you're afraid it's hard to pay attention to things like direction of movement. Or breathing. And so I also learned the fine art of the duck dive, the act of pushing downward into the depths when you cannot handle the wave coming straight at you.

Anyway, that's where I am now, taking semen pills and wondering where I stand on the age old question of cowlick versus callick.

Friday, May 21, 2010


How rad would it be for this photographer to take your portrait? His name is Robbie Augspurger, and today I seriously heart him.
When I was little my parents had all sorts of comic books by R. Crumb, and so I read them thinking they were for kids. That and the fact that throughout my childhood there was always a Diane Arbus photography book on the coffee table might have something to do with how I view art. And high heels. To this day I cannot see a woman wearing heels without seeing this. Hence my penchant for flip flops.Anyhoo--Robbie. I like how his name fits his photography. Robbie Augspurger. I sense a telephone theme which is why I'm thinking one of his portraits would make the perfect business card for the likes of me.
Susannah Clay Lastnamehere.

Robbie, call me?
Happy Friday friends,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tattoos I Almost Got But Thankfully Didn't: Cherries, a Daisy Chain Around My Ankle, a Bird, Numerous Quotes

In 1970-something my parents went out on a Saturday night, leaving my brother and me with a teenager named David from down the street. What I remember most about this night is that I wanted to watch Mary go blind on "Little House on the Prairie" but David made us watch a PBS show on Jesus instead. Later that night my mom crept into my room. I have something I want to show you, she said, and then in the small arc of my nightlight she pulled her skirt down or her dress up--not sure which--and there on her butt cheek was a tattoo of a palm tree on a tropical island. Your dad has one just like it! In my memory I did not see my dad's tattoo, though I may have borrowed a bit of Mary's blindness for the occasion, stigmata of the something-you-can-never-un-see.This was not my dad's first tattoo. On his right bicep he had the blurry blue words "Born to Lose" with a few wayward dice scattered about. There was a chin-up bar in one of the doorways at our house and as a kid I used to watch him do one-armed pull-ups and think this was what it meant to "roll the dice." Years later he covered that tattoo with another one, a carmine colored poppy, but I often wish I remembered the faces of those dice. Were they loaded? Shaved? Snake eyes? Or were the pips simply random? (Note to self: ask.)
I got my first tattoo at 20. A dolphin on my ankle. And as if that wasn't bad enough a few years later I added the Chinese symbol for water right next to it, the inked equivalent of branding "the early 90's" into my skin, as good as supergluing palazzo pants onto my legs and a choker around my neck. Oh well, I think now, it was a time, and then I lick my finger to rub some spit into it, not entirely sure if the Chinese symbol means running water or stagnant.
My brother has his and his wife's initials intertwined on his forearm, a romantic gesture for the last hold out in our tattooed family. All of us now inked. Of course my parents are now divorced, and while I do not like to ever think about my mom and dad's butts per se, I do, sometimes, like to think about their tattoos, matching palm trees like some sort of microchip that says here, yes, this one and that one, these are your parents. Tropical islands tattooed more than 30 years ago on what was surely a cold, foggy San Francisco night.

When Zoey was born I had her name tattooed on the inside of my wrist in typewriter font, the best thing I will ever write, I said. Or thought. Whatever. Bryan doesn't have any tattoos, doesn't plan on getting any. And Zoey, well, yeah. She's 4. Who knows what she will want to do when she is an adult? But for now I can tat them up this way, with the Tattoo Shop iphone app. Because it's fun. Because nothing is cuter than telling Zoey to show me her muscles. Because I can write booger across Bryan's face when he leaves his dirty cereal bowl out on the counter to harden. That's why.

Monday, May 17, 2010

And Then I Woke Up With a Huge Bruise on My Ass

I wore heels too high to a wedding this weekend, on a huge lawn that dipped and rose with tufts of grass & groundhogs. The groom made his entrance on a beach cruiser to the funk of "Another One Bites the Dust" and we stood, cheered. In the hollow of my throat I felt something bubbling, happy, giddy really. I cried.

Later I drank 2 glasses of wine quickly, something hibiscus with a straw, Zoey at her grandma's for the night. I sat next to two women at dinner, strangers, and within 15 minutes we were talking about our periods. (Though I know it was in some sort of perfectly rational context, I can't really remember why.) Later still I swapped my heels for Havaianas and played pool, drank 2 ciders, danced, had a margarita, peed a lot, ordered a Red Bull & vodka, stumbled, laughed. At some point I said something stupid to a man named George and I distinctly remember him pretending to part my hair, saying that he was looking to see if I had blonde roots. For the rest of the night I would whisper in his ear when I saw him: the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, intelligence is not a unitary entity with specific, identifiable properties... does the inertia of a body depend upon its energy-content? On that last one I am pretty sure I spit in his ear by mistake.

A dramatic representation of my weekend.

We left our car there and walked, no--Bryan had to carry me to the hotel. At some point there was a wide expanse of a parking lot and I jumped onto his back for a piggy back ride, only I forgot what to do with my hands so when he grabbed my legs I fell backwards, down, fast flat on the cement hard thwack--and I laughed. We snuck into the hot tub closed for the night, slipped off the bubble-wrap and stripped down to soak. Our friend had no place to stay, so we grabbed a plastic lounger from the pool and brought it to our room for him to sleep on. On the way he hit up the vending machines. I passed out to the sounds of somebody scarfing Cheetos, the smell of wet towels and chlorine.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be a better writer if I were a better drinker. In my twenties I used to wake up on the weekends with notes scribbled on cocktail napkins--not phone numbers but snatches of conversation, ideas. Can I borrow a pen? I asked bartenders all over the city, only more often than not I'd say est-ce que je peux emprunter un stylo? because when I am really drunk I speak french and am as annoying as fuck.

Sadly or fortunately, I do not much like to drink. Am not a drinker. Don't like the way it makes me feel before, during, but mostly after. These days I carry a ballpoint in my purse to record deductions in my check register. But this weekend it was Parents Gone Wild, and while I did not show my boobies to any cameras I probably would have had I thought about it.

This video has absolutely nothing to do with this post except that it makes me laugh as if I've just fallen into some bushes on the side of a road in Santa Cruz. Again.

It's Monday, people. Cheers to sobering thoughts and french spoken badly.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sharks Don't Even Sleep. True Story! They NEVER EVER Fall Into a Deep Sleep Which Is Totally Why They Eat People. That & Because They Have No Thumbs.

I rully want to get Zoey this rad shark sleeping bag for old times' sake. (Reasons that sentence kills me: as if there is another shark sleeping bag that is not rad; the fact that for old times' sake means less than 4 years ago...*sigh*.)
I am pretty sure that whoever designed the aptly named Chum Buddy was peeping into our window on Zoey's very first Halloween when she went as a shark. (Went where exactly, I don't know.) Here she is apparently plum tuckered from the weight of nylon, zonked on the rug in her room like a treat.
There will be a time (in another 4 years, *deeper sigh*) when Zoey will go to slumber parties, a living room floor littered with squealing girls in High School Musical sleeping bags, Justin Bieber 2.0h-no-what-can-I-do-to-slow-down-the-plodding-of-time? I guess I like to imagine my girl nestled in a 7ft. shark on just such an occasion, 30lbs. of poly-fill not so stiff as a board or light as a feather between her and the shrieks of sameness that comes with being a girl at a sleepover.
Safe in the belly of the beast like that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

*Like You're in a Cabbage Patch!

I am not going to tell you how I watched this video last night and then practiced in the mirror. Nor am I going to tell you that I then put my hair in a side ponytail and watched Dancin' Kim's "How To Do the Running Man," quickly followed by "How to Pop and Lock It." (But what I will tell you is that I had no need for watching "How to Dance Like the Go-Go's" because I have been dancing rad like Belinda since the 7th grade when I wore a white metallic studded dress to the school dance and there was a blacklight so I glowed fluorescent purple which was pretty much the zenith of me being cool.)

Anyway, maybe this will get you through Tuesday.

*WTF does it mean when she says "Circle your arms. You know! Like you're in a cabbage patch!" Is there something I don't know about being in a cabbage patch? I mean, I assume cabbage grows low to the ground, like lettuce. If anything I'd think you just kind of have to step over the rows of cabbage and maybe kick a head or two. But circle your arms? Anyone?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Fairly Lucite Post on Mother's Day

Mother's Day: a day on which I like ask myself, what kind of mother do I want to be? Hmmm... Let me think. What were we talking about? I am pretty sure that star is winking at me.... Ah, yes. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be a pretty mother, the kind who makes sure her ponytail has no lumps, the kind of mother who matches her underwear to her hole-y dress while wearing a faux-angora duster for the sake of modesty because--kids! Hello! Kids need modesty! And lip gloss!
... a mother who teaches my daughter to respect nature. I also want to be the kind of mother who is 5" taller than I really am even at the beach, because tall mothers are better mothers. Duh. (I am totally wearing this hat and sunglasses so nobody notices me.)
I feel it's important to be a down-to-earth mother, which is why I take my child to parking lots while wearing a flesh-colored crochet halter. I truly believe that natural is better which is why I am fairly certain we are at an organic farmer's market here, and no, we did not buy any melons. Why do you ask?
Apparently I also want to be the kind of mother who is incredibly judgmental and mean, not collagen mean but thin-lipped mean, un-botoxed so that I can furrow my brow at your siliconed MILFidity.
Sorry, Shauna Sand. I am sure you are a fine mother. It takes all kinds, and on this Mother's Day may I say: kisses to all of you.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh! And Today is Cinco de Mayo! (Nothing To Do With This Post, Just Wanted to Wish You a Happy One)

So yesterday I went on a blind date with a blogger, bought a taxidermied blowfish and got recognized on the street = pretty awesome Tuesday if you ask me. Oh--also? I had a conversation with a stranger while in a public restroom stall.

Her: Hey! How are you?
Me (not wanting to be rude): Um, fine? How are you?
Her: What are you doing?
Me (mystified, too nervous to pee): Uh, you know, just going to the bathroom! Ha!
Her: Hold on a second, there's some chick in the other stall trying to talk to me.
Me: (_*_)

After work I met Richele and her friend Khobe which would not be noteworthy were it not for the fact that I had never met them IRL and the fact that I just used that acronym attests to the potential for oh no. Of course when they got in my car the radio was playing that Nirvana song "Rape Me" all tormented dark and there was maybe a moment of awkward, but then it was gone and I have to tell you: imaginary friends are even better in person. Richele is all kinds of my-type-of-friend and I really liked Khobe and if they were to ever send me flowers I would totally hang them upside down on my wall to dry out all crisp and dusty next to my Duran Duran poster, i.e. maybe for Memorial Day I should send them a candy gram. Also, I think I forgot to thank them for the pizza. Thank you. Next time the garlic is on me.

So then we went to Paxton Gate because I take all my friends to buy glass eyes, and there I bought a blowfish for $9. Score! Here he is relaxing on a leather chair. I fancy him the distinguished sort, though he tells me he gave up tobacco for fear of oral cancer.
Here he is up close. Jerome, Ken, Issac? He needs a name. For a second I considered calling him Rich in honor of my blind date with Richele, but I figure nobody wants to lend their name to a pufferfish, plus Richard is Bryan's middle name.
I also considered calling him Shannon because--let me tell you about Shannon! As we were leaving 826 Valencia, a woman came out calling my name. Are you Susannah? she said. I feel so silly but I thought I recognized you. I read your blog, and right then I almost hugged her tight, paperbagged pufferfish and all, because yesterday? That post I wrote? Well it was as if she knew I needed some recognition, and yes, I see what's going on here with the blowfish and my head getting bigger, but lalalalala, I can't hear you Universe!

So thank you Shannon. Thank you Richele, thank you Khobe, and nice to meet you girl in the stall next to me. Now, does anyone have any suggestions on a name for my blowfish? Conrad? Tommy? Les?

Happy Hump Day,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's All in My Head

My blog is in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Either that or it’s all pimpley and bratty at 15, I’m not sure. Maybe blog-time is like cat time, each year the equivalent of 7 which would put my blog at about 20, i.e. all my blog is interested in is getting wasted and having sex. My blog is a drunken slut.
Which explains why I’ve been feeling so goddamn unmotivated lately. Uninspired, tired, craving a greasy breakfast of bacon and cheesy eggs to soak up some of last night. Where am I going with this? No, really, where are we all going? I guess what I need is a guidance counselor because lately I’ve been wondering about the future of blogging.

The past few months have seen the demise of a few of my favorite blogs. Others have taken hiatuses (hiatii?). I, for one, have been having trouble writing, the muse of good content like a floater in the corner of my eye that is not really there. Jesus. See? That whole muse/floater shit? Totally unacceptable and yet it stays for lack of anything else at all.

Once upon a time blogs cracked open the voices of a million different people. Suddenly we could all be heard. This is what I had for lunch. What I thought of that movie. Here is a pic of that dress I really really want. And we listened and we read and we wrote, one big happy family of nothing and everything and then some.

Gradually “real” writers began to listen. Journalism, news media, fiction—it all became a little bloggy itself, the listen-to-me-ness of a world gone wide web. Enter Twitter, the evolution of the 140 character story. We twatted. We facebooked, tumbled, 4 squared and stumbled. I am here! Look at me! The party grew, stats increased. Some got book deals, bad photos of kids taken with old cameras now popping up in Google image searches. No, me! Over here! The party suddenly so loud it became hard to hear.

And what of the blogs? In a world where thousands of status updates pop up by the second, are blogs becoming the guy you don’t want to get stuck talking to at the party? You know, the one whose stories are too long, boring? Who the fuck cares what he had for lunch anyway?

I started this blog because I wanted to write. Well look at that—I’m writing. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t wonder what comes next. Does the lazy dog ever get up? Chase the fox? Nip him on the hind leg and shake him violently? What do you think of the future of blogging? Of content, of platform, of me?

*I swear I’m not fishing for compliments. I just want to know where this is going. This everything. Also? That pic of the brain & the Sistine Chapel freaks me the eff out in a good way, and yes, there is a very good way to be freaked out.