Saturday, May 14, 2011

To Shop or Not
You know those women whose hobby is shopping? The kind with the "I'd rather be at Nordstrom" bumper stickers? Yeah, that's not me.

I hate to shop. With two exceptions. I cannot get out of a book or a record store empty handed. In fact I'm lucky if I get out for under $50.

But for everything else, I hate it. I hate trying on clothes and think that the whole process is like some sort of medieval torture. The act of looking at yourself in your underwear under flourescent light is just plan evil. I hate getting dressed and undressed and tying an d untying my shoes just because women's clothing designers can't agree on exactly what size a 10 is. Or whether a large is actually and extra large and the medium is large.

Men have it easy. You want a shirt? You go by neck and arm size. For women you have to try everything on because nothing is the same. I have three different sizes of jeans in my closet, from three different makers, and all of them fit. Why is it so bloody difficult to buy clothes? Maybe most women do enjoy the process of shopping but for me it's hell. I tend to buy everything at one time just to get it over with, but then everything wears out at the same time. At the moment I think I have three pairs of socks because in the past month I keep getting holes. So I'll have to eventually break down and hit the store and stock up.

I've always been like that. I was never one of those teenagers who hung out at the mall. (Except for Mrs. Field's cookies.) I've never shopped for fun, only because I get cold when I'm naked. (And the neighbors object.) And my regular "uniform" is jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters.

What amuses me is that Husband is totally dapper. He wears bow ties to work every day. And hats. Not baseball caps, but actual hats. He's stylish and cool and there I am, the slob in the jeans. Luckily he loves me anyway.

But to anyone who shops for fun I have to ask....why? What is it about it that you enjoy? Is it some kind of imprinted hunter-gathering thing? Instead of berries and mastodons you look for shoes and designer knock-offs?
Photo of the day: Love

From the facade of Stanford Memorial Church. I'm not sure this is quite how I pictured Love, but it's nice nonetheless.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Photo of the day: Tiger Lily

This girl is currently resident in the kitten nursery and has totally stolen my heart. She's sweet, playful, cuddly, and so f*****g cute I can't stand it!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Steves
This is the anniversary of the day I lost my best friend, the brother of my heart, Steve. And then two years and two days later, we lost his partner, Stephen. AIDS took both of them.

Known collectively as "the Steves" these two men were two of the most beautiful people I've every known. And I miss them every day. Every single day.

Steve was a shining man. He always had a smile and never had his wallet. In all the years of our friendship it seems every time we met for lunch or dinner, I paid because he'd left his wallet at home. And it wasn't a scam -- he was just that forgetful.

He never seemed to make it through a meal without spilling something. And he was so gorgeous that people's heads would actually turn when he walked into a room. He was a model for a while, so my opinion that he was gorgeous isn't just love talking. He really was.

His laugh was infectious. Sadly, so was the disease that killed him.

Looking back over my life, Steve is the one who had the most profound affect on me. It was Steve who first loved me unconditionally. Steve who made me feel accepted for who I was. Growing up in a family where I was always the odd one out, finding this level of love staggered me.

We met in high school. I was a senior, he was a freshman. We were both in the marching band and just became friends. We hung out, went to movies, ate a lot of hamburgers. We cut class to see Alien and screamed through the whole thing. We went to midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and dressed up like the characters. We saw each other through bad haircuts, bad breakups, and bad apartments. We helped each other move. We bought each other presents. And we never felt like a new relationship was really serious unless we got the other's approval of our new boyfriend.

I can't believe I'm married to a man who never met Steve. It seems unbelievable to me. Here are the two men who meant the most to me and they're separated by the veil of death. When I married my first husband, Steve was by my side as Man of Honor. He and my ex were dear friends and my ex was part of the group that cared for Steve when he was dying. But the fact that Husband never met Steve still surprises me. Sometimes I'll catch myself saying "remember when we went camping in Yosemite?" only to recall that Husband wasn't there. It seems wrong that they don't share the same memories.

In the years since we lost the Steves my wonderful circle of friends, who are my family in all ways but blood, has stayed intact. I'm still friends with my ex. The core group who cared for these two wonderful men are still in my life -- thank god. And whenever I'm around them I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have these people in my world.

But there will always be a Steve-shaped hole in my heart.

Hug someone today and tell them that you love them.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Photos of the day: The Patriarch and the New Kid

The SF Zoo has a nice large enclosure for their family of gorillas. The silverback patriarch has been a fixture for years and is the model of "you don't want to mess with this." The new kid is 2-years old and loves to sit at the top of trees and be tall.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Photo of the day: One Happy Zebra

From our zoo trip (obviously). This zebra was having a lovely time rolling around on the grass. I know it looks as if I'd just shot him, but I assure you he's fine.