Tag Archives: hate California

Getting Your Hate On


One of my favorite movies ever is The Grass Is Greener, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. (Bit of video here.) No one’s seen it except for me and I’ve only been successful in talking a handful of family and friends to watch it. It’s not that it’s boring or tragic or anything else that would dampen the mood. It’s just old school: it was a play, so it’s chatty and even though it came out in 1960, it talks like it came out in 1940, a la The Philadelphia Story.

You should watch it. You’ll love the butler. Everyone loves a clever butler.

At any rate, that’s not the point I was getting to. The point I was getting to is a throwaway line near the beginning. As the parents pack their kids off to stay with an aunt (conveniently getting them out of the way of the promiscuous hijinks to follow), Hilary advises the chaperone about her small daughter’s diet: “There’s a hate on against milk puddings.”

I can only imagine what milk pudding is and I refuse to look it up because it sounds bad enough as it is. I love that phrase – “There’s a hate on…” – and I’ve kept it and used it and never gotten a second glance when I have because the meaning is clear even if the usage is antique.

Where am I going with this on a Saturday morning? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve had a hate on all week. Against wealthy moms ignoring their noisy children in Chelsea Market (spoken to), against the New York drizzle (unaddressed), against WiFi charges in expensive hotels in D.C. (I am not alone, apparently), against Amtrak noisiness (grrr), against matinee audiences on Wednesdays, against cheap acting and bad playwriting, against our messy apartment, and the pressures of (not) planning a wedding, against going out and against staying in, against being on the road and against being home.

It’s a pretty universal hate I’ve got going on. Can you tell?

It’s very irritating being this irritated.

So that’s why I’ve been a little absent from the writing this week and last. Well, not absent from writing. I’ve been writing. It’s all just crabby writing, that’s all. And there’s no point in taking others down with me.

Onward and upward though, right? Today’s the day. Time to buck up, straighten the spine, pull up the socks and face into the wind (or is it the other way?) Anyway, excelsior!

(That means, “Ever upward,” and it’s the state motto of New York. Which I think is cool. And appropriate.

You know what the state motto of California is? Eureka. As in, “I have found it.” Lame, no? They got here and they’re staying. No further effort required. Geez. This place. Man.

Sorry. That’s the hate coming out again. Never mind. Let’s get back on track.)

Excelsior! Saturday! Hooray!


In San Francisco, it’s raining. And I don’t want to go out. Why? Because it’s raining? No. Because it’s NOT SNOWING. Normal places all got snow. San Francisco? No. Why? Because this place can’t get it together to have proper weather. *sigh*

In New York and Boston, I got up in the morning, got myself out the door and stepped into the flow of a real city. A city with people on the street who have places to go and things to do. San Francisco? Two people have been sitting in my eye line for half an hour doing NOTHING. Nothing. Staring. Sitting. Nothing. Yesterday I stood behind a guy writing a check at the supermarket. Do you know where people think it’s OK to write checks at the supermarket in 2009? Small towns, that’s where. The middle of nowhere. Fine. A place masquerading as an actual city? NO!!!

San Francisco, you have got to stop. Pink hair is not cool on an overweight 35-year-old. (I don’t really think it’s cool ever unless it’s 2AM in a club in 1999.) Dawdling is not cool. Homeless people are not cool. Having to walk five blocks through urban blight to get to the nearest cafe is not cool when you live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city. Especially when that cafe is a #$(*#! Starbucks. What is wrong with you, SF? Why can’t you get yourself together to have some ambition, some drive, a little get up and go?

I think I must be missing the point. People come here to step out of the river current, I guess, not to gain momentum. San Francisco is the lukewarm pool of water off to the side where people paddle around in the eddies and surf and smoke weed and have kids and go out to eat a lot of vegetables and worry about their hemp pants. SF is like the stoner teen who is happy to get C’s and be self-righteous about “the man.” The northeast is the driven over-achiever kid who has things to do and places to go. San Francisco is like the retirement community of cities where people dye their hair blue and self-entertainment passes for self-actualization. New York is where the old ladies knock down muggers with their handbags, look better than I do and schlep around on the subway to 75 events a week.

I just don’t get this place. Maybe if it ever snowed here, it would brace up and get its rush on. Bring me my snow already then and let’s get moving!!! Geez.


chanel_show.jpgI haven’t had any space in my head recently to think about getting married. (This is a shame and yet another reason to resign: if something lovely like being engaged can’t find a place to live in my head while the job is in there, well, that says something about the job, doesn’t it?)

The one thing we have decided (mostly) is that we won’t get married this year since we don’t think we’ll be able to get a destination wedding sorted out by the summer. Just so we – you and I – understand each other, we’re not doing a destination wedding because we’re super chic and really into weddings and must have our wedding on a foreign slope somewhere or we’ll just die. We’re planning on planes because

  1. R is Swiss, so most of his family is several thousand miles away on another continent.
  2. I will not be getting married in California. Period. (If you want to know why, you should take me out for an evening of heavy drinking sometime when you don’t feel like talking. I’ll start with how stupid it is that people who live in cities think they should have garages.)
  3. Getting married in New York is unbelievably expensive, even with connections, and I will want to retire someday, so that’s out.

So Europe it is. (I know it’s shady math to say that ruling out CA and NY leaves only western Europe on the table, but I am not taking on planning a wedding someplace where a.) I don’t speak the language, and b.) I’ve never been, so pull yourself together and get on board.)

For the first time in a couple of months, I’ve found myself slightly aware and excited about wedding options. Admittedly, some of them are out of reach – like these white paper decorations from the Chanel runway show – but I have to start somewhere, yeah?

I haven’t sorted it out yet, but I’ll be looking for input via polls and surveys here on the site. It seems everyone has something to say about what works and what doesn’t, and I’d rather hear it all now rather than find it out for myself! Until I get that whole thing set up, feel free to leave comments about your own wedding or ones you’ve attended (good or bad).


It’s the second day of summer and Midsummer’s Eve and hot as blazes in San Francisco. Even if you didn’t know how hot it is, you’d know something was off because the tourists have come out of their hovel hotels and are crawling all over the place. Go home silly people blocking my bike’s path! Go home! This city is not for visiting.

Our place is usually lovely and breezy but since we’re on the third floor, beneath the black tarpaper roof, we bake in the heat. I make spa water – charcoal filtered water with oranges or lemons – so we stay hydrated. Glasses of spa water are everywhere. Our studio has begun to resemble the house in Signs. Remember that movie? The last good one Shyamalan did?

The little girl is always asking for a glass of water and leaving half-full glasses all over the house. And it turns out that the aliens are burned by water. Remember? And the brother is a former baseball star. And just before the wife died years earlier, she tells Mel Gibson to tell him – the brother – , “Swing away, Merrilll. Swing away!” And Mel Gibson doesn’t know what she means, thinks she’s delirious from pain, until the aliens are there in the house and the water glasses are everywhere and Merrill’s bat is above him on the wall. And Mel Gibson says, “Swing away, Merrill! Swing away!” And he does, breaking the bat and the alien and shattering glasses and glasses of water onto the otherwise invincible alien. Remember?

That’s what our apartment looks like, minus the alien.

August in New York City

Home. And a damn hot home it is too. It’s a testament to this city that, as much as I hate heat, and I do, I love New York more. When I was a kid, I had heatstroke three times, all of them terrifying, so I kind of lost interest in all things hot, including beach vacations (which also tax my patience with lying still – I would have made a really bad Victorian bride) and summer in general. Give me spring or autumn.

Living in San Francisco has changed – or at least moved – my opinion of hot weather. The uniformity of the weather in California freaks me out. Endless days of the same half sunshine/half overcast weather grate on my nerves the way I imagine endless daylight drags on the Scandinavians. It’s like eating the same thing day after day: no matter how pleasant it seemed in the beginning, after 300 times, it’s lost all appeal.

New York in August is usually about 85 degrees and 70% humidity which make it feel like a warm bath. With your clothes on. Oddly, this adversity rarely bothers me. It’s inconvenient and you have to plan around it – don’t wear a suit to work, plan on being sticky – but I prefer it to the suffocating uniformity of San Francisco’s non-seasons which make me feel like I’m being pacified for nefarious alien purpose. (If they come, they could take California without a glitch. Seriously. No one out there?s paying any attention. Go for it.)

Not to be religious, but I think there’s something about the adversity of seasons that keeps you alert. Snow for a few months, sweltering for a little while, a few thunderstorms, falling leaves, budding leaves. They remind you that mobility and rejuvenation are essential. Mild heat and clear skies convey a sense of suspicious well-being, encouraging you to believe that all?s well, that there’s no need to press forward. Blech.