Posts tagged memories

Atlanta, in the springtime…

I really should have more to say these days. Been busy livin’ it. I’ve been in NYC for a few days, and in ATL since Thursday AM. Met a family of 3 kids whose father unequivocally convinced me to get permanent birth control, even if I never have sex again. Saw what JFK might look like if all of NYC suddenly decided to leave at once. Both were excellent reasons to never fly Delta again.

But before all that, I had some fun in NYC, spent a lot of time with the elusive Eunice, and got to visit with some other friends I don’t get enough of, which was awesome. Met the spawn of Jennifer & Peter, who is the cutest 6-month old boy I’ve ever met. I think it’s cuz he gets to hang out with dad all day. Not that mom is bad company, just that I think he digs doing guy things with dad, and being one of the guys, you know. It’s so cool. Met Allyn and Matt’s spawn, who’s only 2 months old, so I tried to keep my distance.

You see, I have this nasty sinus infection I got psychosomatically from listening to Erin tell me about the one that almost rendered her brain dead, and necessitated some Matrix-esque device to scoop out the nastiness, followed by having her deviated septum repaired, then a week spent with maxi tampons up her nose. I have been avoiding this fabulous experience for years now. After all, I have a perfectly good mouth I can breathe through. She said the infection was exascerbated by the deviation. Whatever. But if anyone knows a DAMN GOOD Otolaryngologist in LA, lemme know. I should have Blue Cross pay for it before I move out of state, since they denied me coverage due to this “deviated septum” pre-existing condition. So I continued their coverage via Cal-COBRA, instead of switching to individual. Fuckers.

OK, so ATL is gorgeous as always. I love it here. I seem to usually come in springtime, and even though the pollen count is something like 5,000, I don’t care. It’s gorgeous and I’m only allergic to golf, I mean grass, anyway. Someone on Metroblogging here pointed out that “It’s so gross. It’s like the trees are basically having sex all over us.” But I don’t think it’s gross, I think it’s awesome. More love from the trees, please. And if they’re trying to dump enough pollen-bombs to overpower all that we’ve done to overpower them, I say more power to them! But then, I don’t have vehicles parked outside.

Went to Martin Luther King center, which was difficult because I get all choked up at the slightest reminder of what he and so few other brave souls went through to secure civil rights. It was beautiful though. We went across the street and toured the original Ebenezer Baptist Church he used to preach at, and if I can get up early enough after a Saturday night in ATL with lots of fresh young college basketball players running amok, I’ll join my parents at the 11:AM service tomorrow.

Tonight was a big party for Colleen’s parents’ 50th wedding Anniversary. 50 years. They first met when she was 13, he was 15. Fell in love, got married, living happily ever after. Amazing. My parent’s 50th is next year. They’ll be 74. 50 years from now, I’ll be 87. That’s almost 90. Perhaps gene therapy will enable me to still chase after (and catch) basketball players… Or perhaps I’ll actually do that whole falling in love and living happily ever after thing. People don’t understand me when I say that. They think I mean life will be a bed of roses. I know it won’t, no matter what, life does have its bad times. But the couples I refer to as “living happily ever after” (and I know a few of them) are able to meet these challenges together, and wouldn’t dream of abandoning their partner, nor would they fool around on them. It’s really beautiful to see.

the year in review..

Notable events this year:

Stood up by a “friend” on New Years Eve last year. So I’m just going to spend the night with the one person I can always count on. me.

Taught hundreds of Los Angeles teens about safe sex and the opportunity costs of teen pregnancy.

Saw some great movies.

Ate more than 10 pounds of chocolate and actually LOST weight.

Although the weight loss was more a result of the little hitchiker I picked up in Tanzania…

Did a trackday at Laguna, as well as plenty of others.

Went to both of my brother’s weddings, in Atlanta and San Francisco.

Bought a slammin’ new Tempurpedic bed. Which I’m currently spending way too much time in, but then I won’t be able to sleep 12 hours a day when work starts. Although I seem to be mostly dreaming about work, so not sure how restful it really is.

Presented a paper on the interstitial nature of motorcycling in Los Angeles at the Popular Culture Association conference in Atlanta.

Went to Tanzania for a month…
Taught safe sex to dozens of African teens
Visited the birthplace of humanity, Ngorongoro conservation area
Made some awesome friends
Snorkeled in the Indian Ocean, off Zanzibar
Immersed myself in another culture
Taught a patternmaking workshop in Tanzania
Learned a little Swahili
Did some power shopping in Paris

Graduated from Antioch University

Workin’ and makin’ money

Studied my ass off and got a decent score on the GMAT. Let’s just hope the admissions councils agree…

Applied to Berkeley and UNC’s MBA programs. Now on pause until they notify me sometime in the next month…

Rode to Laguna Seca MotoGP and finally met Rossi. Met Melandri and a few other interesting people too. Was lucky enough to score a pit suite, which would have been a bargain at twice the price, in that heat wave.

Discovered how much I love to be on stage…

Interviewed at UNC

Bought some slammin’ new shoes, had a fabulous purse made from the zebra skin I bought in Tanzania, which has garnered tremendous praise. And made out like a bandit at a few sample sales.

Dealt with some ancient familial angst regarding Christmas and with the help of some wonderful people in my life, managed to make it the best Christmas in ages.

Slept more this week than I have all month, it seems. And oooohhh, was it nice.


While my short term memory has been frightfully bad lately, I have been having all these wonderfully vivid memories of past events. So it’s flashback time again. This time it’s thanks to the song “Un Beso” by Aventura. A song I’d never heard before on a CD given by my boss at PPLA. Someone else’s favorite song. As soon as I heard it, I was back on the lawn with Danio watching “Motorcycle Diaries” at ViaVia. The temperature and climate were lovely, as always was in Tanzania. I was worried about mosquitoes, being out after dark and all, and we had to sit on chairs to keep from being eaten alive by ants. But it was wonderful being together, watching a great film under the stars, with the river providing some background music in the quiet parts of the film. ViaVia was my favorite place in Arusha, just the sort of place you’d imagine hip African people would hang out at or that you’d see in CelTel ads. Good food, drinks, cool, friendly, open to everyone, not just wazungu (foreigners) or Tanzanians. I like being in a mixed crowd, so this was a good place for that. They show movies outside on Thursday nights, and have bands many other nights of the week. So many other great memories from ViaVia, the second date with Danio, the wachapaji encounter (see earlier post), meeting other volunteers from other parts of the developed world, hearing a Congolese band play classic Mexican party songs like “La Bamba” and “La Cucaracha” I even videotaped that, as it was too funny. But it was on the treo, so it didn’t turn out so good. Imagine traveling halfway across the planet to hear music I can walk down the street to hear!

The Devil Wears Prada/ Flashback…

Just saw it. Walked out with the most overwhelmingly visceral reaction I’ve had to a film since I don’t know when. It was “What the FUCK are these SNEAKERS doing on my FEET and where are my STILLETOS?????? I couldn’t get home fast enough to be with my Shoes. hahahahaha. As much as I enjoy living in LA, I certainly do miss being able to DRESS UP for life. Worst thing about people in LA, other than their unbearable flakiness, is how they always think anything other than jeans is “dressed up.” As a Seventh Avenue escapee, I can attest to the veracity of that film. It is, after all, based on a book, which is a tell-all thinly veiled as fiction to protect the author.

While I was fortunate enough to not work directly with Ms. Wintour, the closest I ever got to her was sewing a button onto her coat, which had been sent down to the sample room without her in it, to be repaired. This was when I worked for Isaac Mizrahi, back in the mid 90’s, and his career was completely dependent upon her. Since he didn’t actually sell much clothing, he relied on good press for his sustenance, even though that doesn’t actually pay the bills. She’d come to the studio a week before the show, and the head patternmaker would go upstairs and take notes of all the changes she requested. We’d work even more overtime than usual to ensure that Anna’s visions were brought to life flawlessly. It always bugged me, since she wasn’t actually the designer. I couldn’t figure out why Isaac would give her so much power. But now I know, he would never have existed on the fashion map without her. Or even be selling us charming items at Target, for that matter.

Off to bed to fall asleep remembering all the most glamorous moments of the shows that made all that (unpaid, of course) overtime seem worthwhile. The shows and the after parties were always so much fun, even working backstage. Great food, all the free Evian you could drink, and plenty of booze for the drinkers. There’s something about having a camera crew film you hemming a pair of pants with a supermodel in them that makes any job seem fun and exciting. The much-needed and extremely sensuous backrub from some Rockerfeller (not Roc-A-Fella) guy, making eyes across the room with Lenny Kravitz’ cousin, sneaking into Paris shows and getting away with it. Except when I was kicked out of Christian Dior, for being too tall to blend in with the short (French) crowd. I’ll never forget the way he said “Christian Dior did NOT invite YOU!” as if I were just entirely too offensive to be there. In the same week, getting to crouch at the base of the Galliano runway in Paris and take some amazing shots as a “photo assistant” while a real photog threatened to call me out. My cheap camera was a dead giveaway, and space was tight. Moving to NYC and rushing to the Richard Tyler for Anne Klein show, so concerned with being late that the security guards didn’t even ask for my invitation. Which of course I didn’t have, leading me to suspect that all this time what really did the trick was an air of importance and a chic black outfit. Polly Mellen screaming out “I love the pants!!!” during a Mizrahi show, and beaming with pride. I was the pant specialist there. Betsey Johnson allowing me to take home one of the fake Rolexes used in the last show I did with her, right before I moved to LA. I told her I’d always think of it as my retirement watch. Here’s a shot from that show, of me with one of my creations. I didn’t just make the pattern, I also did a lot of the beading, as the sewers were too busy by that point and most patternwork was finished. That day at tavern on the Green was the end of innocence for a lot of us. The next day was 9/11/2001, which certainly ripped the blinders from my eyes.

Saturday Night in Atlanta…

I am so glad my brother dragged me out here, rescuing me from the clutches of a brutal Los Angeles winter. It was so cold friday night it actually SNOWED in Malibu. That’s not right. So I arrive in ATL at 7PM sweating in my bomber jacket. Sweet! Took Gary out for his last night of freedom, with some help from our friend George who happened to be in town on business. It was great, we ate caribbean food, then went clubbing, winding up an early night at a strip club called Cheetah that is very different from Cheetah’s in LA. It was almost more like a nudist colony, there were so many nude women standing around, it wasn’t even titillating.

If they’d been shaking it more, or if there had at least been a pole, that would have been more exciting. A strip club without a pole is like a Ducati with stock pipes. Boring. George met some soap opera star who comes to Atlanta to moonlight as a stripper, and I fell in love with the little pro shop. Right by the door, there’s a shop that sells all the gear a dancer could need, just like the pro shops at ice rinks of my childhood. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic, in that little room filled with spandex and special purpose footwear. Sigh. Lots of sportbikers here, making me really want to be sure I have a bike with me when I come back in April.

Sleep Inn kicks ass! Freeeeee wifi and dsl, and fast too! Too bad it’s in a boring part of town. In other news…I spent the last two nights on my fabulous new bed, and wow. It was so comfy I just lay there soaking it in, not sleeping very deeply because it felt so good, I wanted to be conscious of it. Yet I woke up easily. Can’t wait to get home and test it some more. Vale likes it too, I don’t kick him out of his favorite corner anymore.