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Laundry girl

29 May

Laundry girl

The laundromat in the Mission was hell, but it was also my private escape. The one down the street from my old apartment has terrible cell reception, no internet, and walls the color of congealed French’s mustard. Aside from a few flyers for yoga and writing classes, the only other decor is a wobbly table and two plastic lawn chairs. I sat in one of those chairs a while back while the machines did their thing. Every time I do laundry, I bring a notebook and try to eke out something creative. This time around, I brought art supplies for a new project: a photograph, tracing paper, a fine-point marker, and a blue pencil. I’d just put my things out when a mother and her two children came in to move their clothes from washers to dryers.

“A question in Spanish,” the woman said to her daughter as she stopped her son’s stroller next to her. “Something about soap and clothing that Annie can infer from her limited knowledge of Romance languages.”

“Si, Mami,” the girl said. As her mother hauled a family’s damp clothing out of the washers, the girl sat down at the table next to me. I smiled at her and she tucked her head away shyly, the way seven-year-old girls do. From a backpack she plucked a pencil, Xeroxed multiplication exercises, and a large pink eraser. Her homework was halfway done. (more…)

Unknown pleasures, indeed

12 Dec

Unknown pleasures, indeed

I missed Joy Division the first time around. Sue me, I was in diapers. Missed them when I should have liked them, too: In high school, aside from a track on a mix tape from my sister-in-law, I found them too gloomy and goth. New Order was more my speed, and even then, I secretly liked “Regret” more than “The Perfect Kiss.” Which, as far as New Order cred goes, is slightly weak. It wasn’t until my 20s that I really got into Joy Division. Of course I’d heard “Love Will Tear Us Apart” before, but one night at a divey polish bar on Division Street, the song hit me in a new way. From then on, I’ve been so-so on the JD/NO songs I don’t love, but those that I love, I love. (more…)

Uh, said the lady to the lady

28 Jul

Uh, said the lady to the lady

Earlier this week, upon looking at my dingy white bath towels, it occurred to me that they may be sending the wrong message. Most people, upon seeing big brown streaks muddying up the white cotton, would probably not think, “Ah, I bet Annie had a clumsy mishap with self-tanner, and her towels are stained as a result.” Instead, they probably think, “That Annie sure does have a big ass. Just look at the size of those skid marks.” Which is ludicrous, because as everybody knows, girls don’t poop. (more…)

Explosions and this guy

5 Jul

Explosions and this guy

On Saturday morning, Meg and I spontaneously decided to have a Fourth of July party. We do have a back porch, after all. And when Rob stopped by for breakfast, he offered the use of his grill. Really, it would be criminal to not have people over. With no further ado, the top 10 things we learned from this event: (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…)