Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Failure of the Day: Boom!

Chris and I were both relieved to see the shuttle take off without incident. Or much of an incident, at least. There’s a bit of precedent you see…

In January of 1986, I moved to Georgia for reasons that are best left unmentioned. When I arrived, I unloaded all my crap into my hotel room and decided to go to sleep. When I woke up on that first morning, I turned on the TV and saw the Challenger had exploded.

In February of 2003, we moved from Seattle to SF. After unloading all our crap into our new place, we decided to go to sleep. When I woke up on that first morning, I turned on the TV and saw that the Columbia had exploded.

This latest shuttle mission is the first since the Columbia, and it is occurring during a week when I am moving to another city. Crap.

I don’t actually give a shit about NASA…I think space travel as a priority should come only after all the Earth priorities have been taken care of, and I definitely think all that money could be better spent, but no one likes to see people get blown to smithereens. I am proudly and unapologetically anti-smithereens. (Including the band. God, they’re boring.)

This will be my last post until after we move. There are still people high above us pooping in baggies and losing muscle mass (which I think they could do just as well down here, but I suppose I’m overlooking the grandeur and scope of the adventure and whatnot), and they are supposed to come down well after we should be all settled into the new digs. So it’s full on not our fault if anything happens. For the record.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Failure of the Day: Boob

The Summer of Slurpees is a smashing, ongoing, just-extended success but the Summer of Pilates—not so much. Once we found our new place in San Jose, complete with gleaming, 24-hour, state-of-the-art, and completely free fitness center, it became clear that since I would be returning to full-time telecommuting, I would also be returning to my mid-day gym workouts.

Ah, the treadmill. Nothing says Fuck You to six years of paralysis like running. I have a plan for my 40th birthday—a scant 15 months away—that involves completing my novel and running a 5K, both of which are well within my sights and ability I think. This helps.

To that end, we trudged to Berkeley this afternoon to go to a store called Title 9 because I heard that they had something that I not only never imagined I’d ever be in the market for, but that I was all but certain did not exist: a really good jogging bra. In a 38DD. (Yeah, I know. They grew back. They get much bigger and I’ll chop ’em off again.)

You can’t tell by looking at it whether or not a bra will provide the kind of fit and support we full-figured gals demand. In fact, there is only one way to tell. You put the thing on, you stand in front of the mirror in your little dressing room, and you jump up and down. I felt like a jackass of course—nobody wants to watch themselves jump up and down in their underwear, not even in Berkeley—but then I heard the thump thump thumps coming from the dressing rooms on either side of me. I crouched down and saw other women’s feet bouncing up and down in the rooms to my left and to my right. It dawned on me: Everybody watches themselves jump! Who knew? We were all there in our small rooms, topless and watching our uniboobs (jogging bras are snug and not flattering), hopping from foot to foot, and trying to detect which bra allows the least amount of movement. A secret army of women with very still breasts!

I bought a cute little wireless number with a big label on it that reads INTENSE ACTIVITY MOTION CONTROL. On the Title 9 rating system, it got 4 barbells out of a possible 5 for strength of support. What a great store.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Failure of the Day: The 14-Day Xmas

Chris says quitting your job is like Christmas. ‘Course, he also says “Look out for leprous pirates!” whenever it’s foggy so sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge to separate the words of wisdom from the just, y’know, words.

It took some doing but thanks to fine bit of insomnia last night I was able to dredge up the fact that the last time I gave notice and actually quit a job, it was in early 1989, and from the Wherehouse records store on 9th and Irving. (It’s a Jamba Juice now, and I dreamed about it once.) All the jobs I’ve had since then I was either fired, laid off, became too crippled to work, or just completed the contract.

I gave my two-week notice yesterday at Software R Us. Which is not to say that my notice has actually been received yet—both my boss and my boss’s boss were out of the office so I had to do it via an email that was cheerfully greeted with Out-Of-Office Autoreplies. It’s hard to quit, it turns out.

Things at Software R Us are a little unsettled these days—as usually follows an explicitly stated corporate promise of No Merger! No Layoffs!, we recently underwent a merger with some layoffs, so everyone there has a kind of maniacal fear laughter thing going on. There has been quite a rash of conversations, all of which can be distilled into: “Do you think they’ll keep you?” and I deemed it unnecessary to keep the fact of immanent departure much of a secret. I spoke about it with the fine folks in my department last week and some other people as well.

I have to say, everyone at work has been especially nice to me ever since. That is likely because I have been less my usual asocial self and a good bit chattier than I have ever been before. But I suspect what Chris says is also true—like during xmas, people are just a little bit kinder, a little bit more thoughtful when they know they will probably never see you again before too long. Can’t complain about that, really.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Failure of the Day: So Long, and Thanks For All the La Pat Dok

Yep, it’s for reals—we’re bailing on this town. Gave notice yesterday, finalized the new apartment the day before. We’re headed to the unexplored wilds of San Jose; downtown to be precise. A very swank building and a very beautiful townhouse with amenities and comforts coming out its well-appointed arse, and all within 2 blocks of an excellent burrito place and 137 other restaurants. Chris’s round trip daily commute to work next month will be roughly 5 blocks…whereas at the moment it is 100 miles, so you do the math in saved time and money and freeway hell.

And sure, there’s some sadness about leaving the only place I ever dreamed of living, but I’ve lived in the City for 20 years give or take, and for my lifestyle and tastes these days, it’s really just coasting by on cachet anymore. Well, cachet and really good food. People are impressed when you say you live here, and for a while that was enough. But do you know what’s even better than impressing strangers with where you live when you are out of town? A landlord who paints the walls and cleans the carpets before you move in. A washer and dryer in your kitchen. An apartment pre-wired for a T1 line in every room and an entire downtown area that is a WiFi hotspot. A neighborhood full of places to walk to. All of which is to say: a higher standard of living at a lower cost of living.

San Francisco is beautiful and we will miss it, I’m sure. But the bloom is off the rose. We’re headed South, to the newly minted 10th largest city in the US, where not everyone will agree with us politically (imagine! actually arguing with people who don’t share your views!), and where we will seriously consider going into the Mission to see live music on a Friday night and then not go, same as living in the Richmond.

Count on us to visit with some frequency as well…unless we find a really good Burmese restaurant in San Jose. Then we might really be gone for good.