(this is annie)

As previously mentioned, Scott and I went to Spain. As you can see, we had a horrible time and annoyed each other to no end:

OR DID WE? Scott and I don't know each other very well, or at least we didn't before going on this trip. I think we'd met maybe three, four times, through Sabrina. I am notoriously difficult to travel with (sorry, friends with whom I've traveled) because I need a lot of alone time and because I tend to get crabby whenever I find too little to eat. Before embarking on this trip, I warned Scott of my toddler-like tendencies, explaining these things and apologizing in advance for any bad behavior.

It wasn't until after we'd parted at the Barcelona airport, when I was nodding off over the Pyrenées, that I realized that not only did we have a squabble-free adventure, we had also spent the entire week together without interruption (save for bathroom breaks and showers, of course). That is the longest amount of time I have spent straight with anybody aside from my parents, ever. Either I am becoming more mellow with age or Scott is the world's easiest person to travel with, but that was a nice surprise. (A not-so-nice surprise: It was difficult for us to find good food in Spain. Where did we go wrong?)


Mission: possible

Moving to the new neighborhood has changed my experience of the city immeasurably. Generally speaking, I always lived just outside of the happening neighborhoods, exchanging activity for lower rent. It was fine as long as I had two-wheeled transportation and, more importantly, motivation to make the trek to whatever activity was going on. But my homebody tendencies are strong, and more often than not, I'd wind up lollygagging at home instead of socializing. (Exceptions were made for shows at the Empty Bottle, a three-block walk from my house.)

Now I live a block off the main drag, on what is probably the prettiest street in the Mission. I'm surprised by how much happier I am in general now that there are things to do where I live. If I want hot cocoa, there are three decent places within a two-minute walk. Late-night Coke? A block away. (Probably late-night coke, too, but obviously I have no interest in that.) Poori, pupusas, pizza, croissants, ice cream, everything so close.

These are some of my favorite neighborhood characters:

Beardy bookstore boy was sympathetic when Minou went missing, and he allowed me to post my handmade sign in the bookstore's window. Whenever I buy a book, he is friendly in the way that makes me think he'll be labeled "jolly" when he's someday a roly-poly septuagenarian.

The Commuter has freckles and bright eyes. I noticed her shortly after moving to the neighborhood, observing that riding MUNI with cute lesbians on the J rather than angry teenage thugs on the 31 was an upgrade. We wound up randomly meeting each other at a bar on St. Patrick's Day — I knew she looked familiar but couldn't place it —  and now we catch up with each other whenever our commutes collide. Sometimes I feel embarrassed because she works to help homeless people find jobs and assistance, whereas my job is not nearly as socially important.

Speaking of lesbians, gruff video store guy and I argue about whether Bound deserves to be called a neo-noir. (I say yes; he says no.) I love my local video store because the workers leave little notes on the cases, and they clearly love cinema. It costs more to rent from them than it does to load up Netflix, but I think I am going to let my red-envelope habit fade away.

Mr. Pretentious lives up to his nickname, always dropping philosophers' names to see if I'm stumped or impressed. He is tedious and yet I enjoy disliking him, which is why he's on the list.

I don't drink too often, but sometimes Barbara is a bad influence, and we will have a post-work glass of wine or two. The last time we did this, I later teetered into the coffee shop for hot cocoa, where HFT Barista flirted with me. It was all very confusing, because somehow she knows my name, and she said I was, quote, striking. Of course I was tipsy and flustered by this, because somehow it is more flattering to have a lady flatter you than a dude. It is more likely that she is not HFT at all, that in my blotto state I started making things up in my mind, but it's nicer to imagine that someone has a crush on you than not.

Sad married guy sometimes gets on the train at the same time I do. He looks like the kind of guy who is stuck in a loveless marriage. I don't know why I think this, but the guy just has this look of quiet defeat, and I manufacture domestic dramas for him in my mind. Other times, Fake Paul Krugman gets on the train.


Betty quote of the week

"The chipmunks are EATING my pansies !!"

For decades now, my mother has been losing the war against a small army of rodents. She hates the chipmunks for burrowing into her garden wall, for wiggling their tiny bodies into her store of birdseed, and, now, for EATING her pansies. I am not a hippie, but I think the universe is trying to tell her something: that no matter how much humankind would like to triumph over nature, cute little rodent bandits will always prevail. And they'll have flower-breath.


Pining for the past

It had been a long, long time since I'd checked my old e-mail address. I miss that address, actually, but I couldn't handle the copious amounts of junk mail that hit it due to sneaky spam crawlers, so I switched. But for some reason, I thought, "Huh, I haven't logged into Metafilter for years. Maybe I should do that." (I know, this is all scintillating, but I've already worked something like 34 hours this week, and my mind is fuzzy.) But then I couldn't remember my password, and I had to sssssssh over in a shhhhhhhell to have my password hint delivered.

Ah, the forgotten yet familiar Pine! Its black-and-white simplicity brought a wave of nostalgia over me. I appreciate how connected everyone is now, how easy it is to do anything online, but there's a large part of me that misses the way things were before we had stupid Blackberrys and annoying iPhones to keep us linked up all of the time. Those gadgets are to Pine as Britney Spears is to Catherine Deneuve: faster, shinier, omnipresent, but trying a little too hard to do what its predecessor did so neatly and effortlessly.

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say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


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