Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Four Square

I've been seeing this meme go 'round so I thought I'd go 'round with it.

4 Jobs I've Had
* I walked a Yorkshire terrier three mornings a week for a woman who worked for a TV network. I'd walk a couple blocks to her apartment, then take her dog around the block, and return in time to catch the bus to school or to summer camp. I was 8 years old. For Christmas she got me a Givenchy tshirt which I thought was fucking fantastic. But more importantly, she got me a signed picture of Scott Baio. Now THAT'S a job perk.

* At 19, I was a canvasser for National Action Against Rape in the Bay Area, which I don't think is around anymore. I went from door to door to raise money for The Cause. Usually, as a canvasser, you're knocking as people are trying to eat dinner or read to children or do laundry or . . . But NAAR funded lobbyists to fill loopholes in laws pertaining to sexual assault cases. A lot of people listened. And a lot of women confided in me their rape stories. One woman told me how she had been raped in college while on holiday in Mexico. I realized from her husband's reaction that he had not known this before that night. She gave me a $50 check. And then they disappeared behind the front door to hash out secrets that a stranger had pulled out of her.

* I did salsa exhibitions for company Christmas parties given at fancy hotels and at the start of club dinners, fundraisers and the like. In 1990 I even had to do a Lambada number for a company that was dying to see the forbidden dance up close and live. Before this event, I had only learned the dance a couple months before at a salsa club that played that one song relentlessly. Da daann dandandanda da da --- anyway, as the song started I headed for the bar only to be stopped by a man in his 60's who called me out to the dance floor. I yelled over the accordion or whatever dominates the Lambada melody and said, "I don't know how to dance this yet." He popped out his knee, patted it with his hand and told me to hop on. Fuck it. I straddled his leg and within in moments we were whirling around Lamada-style, me, a puppet on his knee, eventually sweeping the dance floor with my hair in forbidden dips.

* I've slung semiconductors for the last 13 years.

4 Places I've Lived
* LA - born & raised
* England for 2 years - My mother followed a boyfriend there when I was 5.
* Spain for 6 months - My mother was on the lamb from the English boyfriend with another boyfriend. I spent second grade "home-schooled" and incognito. My mother cut my hair super short and dressed me as a boy. The Spanish climate made my mother homesick for California, and we returned.
* Bay Area -- I would live there again if Husband gave me the nod. But about San Francisco he says, and this is what I love about Husband, "I didn't move to California to feel that fucking cold."

4 Favorite TV Shows
* First 2 days of March Madness, the men's college basketball tournament, all 20 hours of actual game time, and all pre and post shows regarding all games played. And radio commentary also.
* Daily Show
* Scrubs

4 Places I've Been On Vacation
* Paris, Christmas 1996. I earned a 10-day trip from one of my best Parisian vendors. I had just met Husband two months before and we just weren't a We yet so I took my mother as a good will gesture, and she also had the inside track on the museums. The first three days & nights, we visited the Louvre and the D'orsay and we went to exquisite dinners with my vendor. Then my mother promptly caught a knock-you-on-your ass flu. She was bed ridden for the remaining 7 days. And I was secretly thrilled to brave Paris alone. I explored the Musee Picasso for hours, touching the rounded stone walls and ducking through arched doorways and putting my face so close to the art that security nearly intervened. I sat in cafes with an exploding heart consuming au laits and pear tarts and second-hand smoke. I schlepped through the Marais Quarter with stuffed and steaming falafels starting at wedding dresses through storefronts. I took tons of photos but only of graffiti because the Parsian taggers had a sense of color that was amazing. I went to a sweaty basement swing club were a Belgian band dressed in cuffed Levi's and tshirts and feathered fedoras, sporting tattoos and greased ducktails and perfect sideburns introduced their songs in the most busted English ever and then sang in clear Brian Setzer twang while banging pianos and blowing horns for days and plucking the shit out of a stand up. I danced a lot that night with the club's proprietor, Gentil, who was 6'3" and rocked a handlebar moustache. My French sucked as did his English so we spoke Spanish. At the night's end, he asked me to marry him. On Sunday, I decided to walk from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. Part of this mission was to stop in every cathedral along the way, which was many. The most memorable was the tiny, stone St. Julian. Instead of pews there were ladder back wooden chairs with wicker seats. Service had been over for hours, but there was a couple lighting votive candles and a young man practicing the cello in front of the altar. I know very little about classical music, but I do know that a solo cello will rip the deepest tears from me. So, I sat in a wicker seat and cried for twenty minutes as he played. On Monday, I went to Queen night club on the Champs Elysees with my vendor's son. Monday was apparently "straight" night, but uh, not so much. I did get hit on by the most beautiful, tall, built, blonde German student. Usually I’m not attracted to the Arian aesthetic, but he was interesting and easy on the eyes so I stood and talked to him for a while until a man came up to us and in a very loud American drawl he yelled slowly, "YOU TWO ARE BEW-TI-FUL." Interrupted, we stared at the man. He slowed down his English believing neither of us understood. "REAL-LY GREAT LOOK-ING COUP-LE." We stared. I said, "Where are you from?" He looked relieved, "OH! VIRGINIA!" Then, more softly, he said, "Would you two be interested in a threesome?" I didn't consult the German. I leaned in and the Virginian did too, excited. I said, "No, thanks." I left Queen around 4am, emerging onto the street that was freshly fitted with a sheet of snow and aglow with hanging, remaining Christmas lights. A few yards away I saw three tall drag queens clumping up the block towards the entrance of the club.

*Big Sur
* Palm Springs
* Seattle

4 Favorite Foods
* uh, chocolate chip vegan cookies?
* PR rice & beans (extra olives)
* coffee w/ soy creamer & agave
* Grain bread slathered in Earth Balance. Grain bread can be substituted by . . . anything. As long as I can slather Earth Balance on it.
* oh, and vegetables and shit

4 Places I'd Rather Be
* The coffee shop on the corner of Broadway and PCH, with my laptop, staring at the Pacific Ocean.
* Riding a bike through Squaw Valley in the summertime
* Abuelita's porch in Patillas with a book and a piece of hot pan del agua just purchased from a passing van.
* Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco

4 Sites I Visit Daily
* About 8 work-related search engine sites
* Links to the left
* Links of the links to the left
* Merrian-Webster online

Mi hermana Marigoldie started a Bonus round to this meme and I gladly carry on this tradition in other ways
4 (of the staggering many) Things In My Purse Right Now
* Five mapquest print outs because my sense of direction is for SHIT.
* A recipe for "Easy Avocado Appetizer."
* A baggie of soy creamer & agave. You never know when the perfect cup o' coffee will miraculously land on your desk.
* A kid's book called Benji Bean Sprout Doesn't Eat Meat!


la vie en rose said...

yeah!!!! oh i do wish you could teach me how to dance.

madness rivera said...

Anytime you're in Cali, la vie, I'd be happy to take you. And I won't make you climb on my knee.

acumamakiki said...

I love Paris and I especially LOVE your story. We were going to use Marais as a middle name for our daughter (that's where she was conceived) but the literal translation is swamp.

Debbie said...

Got to your blog somehow from a scrapper's blog.....I loved reading about your trip to Paris. I could see, feel and smell it! Thanks for giving such great detail.

Joelle said...

Loved your Paris story, the entire post actually! Tell Husband that SF isn't THAT cold. ;-)

Persephone said...

Like the art--and love your writing. I've been lurking for a bit and enjoying what you have to say.

andrea said...

sister, your writing makes me dizzy. and I mean that in the best way possible. you inspire me. and holy SMOKES, if you haven't lived a fascinating life.

(funny cause, I was about to tag you with this '4 things' meme... a couple of different people tagged me and I'm fixin to post it in the next coupla days)

madness rivera said...

Hey Debbie & Persephone - thanks for delurking and for the great comments.

acumamakiki - I LOVE that A was conceived in Marais and that she was almost named that.

Joelle - I'm trying! A pitch for SF would take about a decade. I believe I could wait that out.

Andrea! Thanks for the fantastic comment, and I can't wait to read yours.

Server Girl said...

i love your fun! i may do it on my blog too...:)