?> this is annie | Monthly Archive | June
Archive | June, 2010

Nice place to visit…

28 Jun

Nice place to visit…

The thing about Southern California is that even if you’ve never been there, you’ve been there. You’ve seen Los Angeles in movies and you’ve felt it, too, because LA culture seeps into American culture deeply and quickly. Visiting becomes a strange exercise in discovering things you don’t think you know, only to realize that the sights were already imprinted in your mind.

Every time I’m there, it’s hard not to feel like an anthropologist — and better yet, the city welcomes curious eyes. New York wants you to be blasé, shrugging at much of its marvels as though it’s no big thing. Los Angeles shouts until you look, and then it demands you to look some more. So without further ado, a completely unfair list of odd things about LA. (more…)

Pink Saturday

26 Jun

Pink Saturday

I used to teach an after-school French class for junior high students. Poor kids; I was 17 and barely able to conjugate irregular passé composé. Anyway, I came up with projects and games and did my best. I’m confident that by the end of the class, all of the students were at least as proficient as a 15-month-old Frenchman.

One of my favorite students was X, a bright 12-year-old hiding behind old-man eyeglasses. He was a little smaller than some of the other boys, and a little smarter, too. Different. Naturally, this meant he was not the most popular boy in school. I liked all of my students, even the rowdy ones who drove me nuts, but there was a light in X’s eyes that made him special. Junior high and maybe high school would be difficult for him, I reasoned, but if he could retain his curiosity and confidence, he’d grow into a good life. Or so I hoped. (more…)

Breaking, entering

23 Jun

Breaking, entering

On the second morning in Florence, I woke to an e-mail from Craig. The subject: meg and cats ok but yikes

Yikes indeed. Craig went on to explain that some crook had burgled our house in the middle of the day. The burglar lifted much of Meg’s camera equipment, her laptop, and some of her grandmother’s jewelry; they weren’t sure which things were stolen from my room. I was concerned about only one thing, a sentimental piece of jewelry. Somehow, the thief overlooked it and instead stole some costume jewelry from Avon. He got my laptop, too, but it had just broken. Sucker. (more…)

In a minute

22 Jun

In a minute

The other night, I was waiting for the cable car at Powell. About 15 tourists were ahead of me in line. The wait wasn’t bad, mostly because a man sang Otis Redding songs for change while we waited. The woman in front of me was watching a squirming toddler; she might have been a neighbor or nanny, but she definitely wasn’t the boy’s mother. (OK, maybe she could have been, but very few sixty-something Asian women are adopting Nordic-looking babies these days.)

The rascal was whipping around in joyful little circles, darting in and out of line. If I’d pulled that sort of rowdy behavior at his age, Betty would have doled out a warning, and I would have stopped. This is not what happened. The woman seemed only vaguely engaged in watching him, and when she asked the boy to stop, he ignored her. See, this is why you don’t plead with toddlers to do something; they need to understand that there’s a right way to behave, and part of that involves being a loving dictatorial type when it comes to teaching social norms. It rankles me when I hear adults defer to someone who’s yet to master the art of using a toilet. I’m all for respecting children as individuals, but there’s a reason toddlers need caretakers, you know? (more…)

A case of the Mondays

21 Jun

A case of the Mondays

This morning I ascended from the bowels of MUNI to find Cool Hand Luke standing at the top of the stairs. “Long time, no see,” I said as he hugged me hello. (This is exceedingly clever because I’d just seen him a couple of days before. ) I hadn’t expected to see him for another month, so it was a nice surprise.

Too bad the day went — well, not downhill, exactly. Just all over the place, like a wacky zig-zagging road with deep potholes. If something could get complicated, it did. I didn’t get home until nine, at which point Meg rewarded me with a margarita. Three sips in, I got thrown into another work situation that kept me busy until 10 minutes ago. Serenity now!

Speaking of work, two things of note. First, you can read my ramblings about sunscreen at Style.com; thanks to Celia for including me in the piece. Secondly, my story on the Black Keys is out in the new issue of Nylon Guys. It’s the one with Jonah Hill on the cover; for the longest time I got him confused with Jonah Hex, and wondered why the schlubby guy from Superbad was in a Megan Fox movie. Anyway, I’m 90% happy with how the piece turned out. Honestly, the turnaround was so quick that it’s a wonder my brain pushed out anything better than “Ohio duo cute, play loud music, new record good.” All of those things are true, for what it’s worth.