I wrote up an entire post just now about a weird electrical thing in my apartment (THAT IS HARMLESS AND WILL NOT KILL ME) and then I realized how very boring the entry was. So I deleted it. But I’d already taken this picture and uploaded it so I’m posting this here without the boring bit. I know. You’re welcome.
I am not one for hanging out in bars. I mean. I’m not against them or anything, it’s just that when you grow up in a family of closet alcoholics, you tend to avoid drinking. At least I did until I discovered that I was probably sane enough not to become an alcoholic myself. And for some reason people don’t seem to want to take non-drinkers out drinking with them very often. Which, really, is fine because I was born 60 and too old to be dancing all night. Instead, my early 20’s were spent driving around town at night looking for mythical local landmarks and convincing myself that we found them. If this makes me sound like a total nerd, I’ll have you know that we often stayed out past midnight.
So last night I went to this vaguely Wonderland-themed wine bar for a friend’s birthday. It was a beautiful bar (indeed, the call it a “spirit and wine parlor”) with walls covered floor to ceiling in greenery, hanging lamps made out of twisted branches and beads that reflected and refracted the low lights, and the occasional steampunky clock thrown in here and there. The sangrias were perfect and the bartenders kept the birthday girl well provided for with drinks named for innuendos. The clientele were mostly your average Gaslamp mix of women in form-hugging dresses and hipsters with epic mustaches. Except us. We were all dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland. Because we are awesomer than your average Gaslamp mix.
Also except for these two couples in particular that seemingly had fallen directly out of an SNL-sketch and through the rabbit hole into this bar. Couple number one was made up of a woman channeling 1980’s Sarah Jessica Parker wearing an entirely cream-colored outfit, her curly hair tacked up into some sort of “French ponytail” she probably found on Pinterest. Her date was the male version of 1980’s Sarah Jessica Parker, but his hair was less curly. It was clearly a good match. The Hipster was strong with the man in the second couple. He was wearing round glasses and had an overly-large scarf on as though he were trying to convince everyone he was the librarianiest librarian around. I’m not entirely certain his date was his girlfriend because we felt pretty sure he didn’t swing that way. In any case, she was entirely unremarkable. I spent a long time trying to mentally remark upon her, so that I could remember to write this down today, but I could not do it. There was zero remarking to be had with her.
At some point in the night normally well-past my curfew (I think it might have been 9pm) a DJ started playing and all the cool kids (except for us who were actually way cooler) went and smooshed themselves together on the small dance floor. I know there was massive group smooshing happening because at one point I decided to go to the bathroom and for some reason the way to the bathroom was through the smoosh floor. I mean dance floor. (Strangely, the way back from the bathroom was much simpler and less smooshy.) (I feel like I should say “smoosh” a few more times to get it out of my system. Smoosh smooshy smooshed smooshers. It’s so fun! You try it! Smoosh!) These two couples were having none of the smooshing. They decided to create their own dance floor. Right next to our table in the corner near the bar. And that was kinda weird. And it was kinda weird that they kept, like, bumping into us when no one else in that area was doing much of the bumping into. But the really strange thing was the style of dance itself. I feel like it’s totally okay for me to make fun of them because 1908’s Sarah Jessica Parker clearly stole my dance moves. The ones I made up in high school when I was really into 10,000 Maniacs and thought that if I just threw my arms out a little wider and more randomly I’d actually literally turn into Natalie Merchant. 1980’s SJP, in her entirely cream-colored ensemble was throwing her arms back and up and out and I really don’t know a lot about how the cool kids dance (today or, like, ever), but I am fairly certain it’s not like that. Male SJP seemed to really dig it, though. He was way into her smooth moves.
Possibly Gay Librarian and Unremarkable Lady Date, however, stole the actual show. I am fairly certain that with a large enough grant it can be scientifically proven that they fell out of that one party scene in Douglas Adam’s Life, the Universe, and Everything, and they’d have been showing off their trophy for the most gratuitous use of the word “Belgium” if they could have been heard above the music. Instead they had to communicate their Special Uniqueness to the world through dance. It went like this: grind, swing dance, grind, grind, completely stop dancing for 45 seconds to perform an obviously-trademarked move where Unremarkable overdramatically ran her fingers through Librarian’s Bieber-esque hairstyle, resume grinding. In the words of the wise Dave Barry, I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.
At some point Librarian left the other three alone at which point 1980’s SJP and Unremarkable hooked up and did some combination of the two dances while Male SJP looked on helplessly and while we took bets on how soon until the girls started making out. But we could not have been more wrong. When it came time to split up the foursome for whatever reason (probably something Extremely Unique you’d never understand) the two men gave each other a hug. And not just a, cool-see-you-later-dude-hug, but an I’m-so-sorry-to-hear-your-dad-died-you-can-lean-on-me-hug. And then a kiss. On the lips. And the thing is that two guys kissing is not weird. But pecking anyone goodbye who isn’t your actual mate on the lips is just as weird as they way they danced.
I will never understand hipsters.
But I will always find them endlessly amusing.
Fine, Pandora, don’t play me “Mayonaise” when I ask for it because for some reason it’s not on my computer and the actual disc I own is all the way across the house in a box under my bed which is moderately pretty easy to get to actually, but I’m really lazy thankyouverymuch. I get that you want me to “discover new bands related to the music I like” n shit, but if you thinking playing six Oasis songs interspersed with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Foo Fighters is me discovering new music you can think again. Turns out I was actually alive in the 90’s. So, fine. Withhold “Mayonaise” from me. Whatever. See if I even care. I’ll just sing all the words to these songs I’m just discovering.
I keep trying to write some inspirational shit about the end of the year and new beginnings n shit but you know I don’t plan these things ahead of time like a grownup blogger probably does and this morning I woke up to a Sad Menstruation Day and felt like a squishy sack of person so I huddled on the couch and whimpered a lot and read Out of Oz and obsessively clicked on things over at Pottermore.
But then this came across my Tumblr dash tonight (you can get yours here) and I tried to just reblog it like a normal person but there was a glitch and then I couldn’t get it to go back and so I just took a screenshot and NOW YOU GET A YEAR’S END BLOG POST SORTA. I really think this is a literal reflection of my soul. Let me rewrite it in a poem for you.
Doctor time! fucking LOVE
Actually probably shit
Makes little read
So happy New Year! And I’m still holding out hope that I may come up with something actually inspirational, but no matter what, at the very least Fuck People.
Lovely, isn’t it? It’s right in town, but full of nature. It’s on a hill with views in every direction – Spanish style buildings peeking through trees on hillsides, a glimpse of downtown, the bay sparkling beyond the airport, underbellies of planes as they roar threateningly above you on the way down the unusually steep hill to land at the airport. What? That’s not lovely to you? Perhaps it’s not idyllic, but it’s kind of awesome in a Wayne’s World sort of way. Or if you like to pretend you’re Jack Shephard dying in a bamboo field.
I sat there with a friend yesterday talking for hours about life and humans we know and drinking Hawaiian Mochas* and judging airlines for how clean the bottoms of their planes are, and we learned some things about this park.
1. Aliens landed there. We heard them. It was a very 1950’s-Martian type alien noise so I’m thinking flying saucers.
2. Something (possibly the Predator or maybe well-camoflauged velociraptors) was jumping around from tree to tree, clearly planning to kill us.
3. A few times the sky literally ripped in half right above our heads. It’s hard to see such a thing because sky just looks like sky, even when it’s ripped in half, but we heard it.
OR? Maybe this is just all related to the sound waves, wind, and sky-tearing that comes along behind jumbo jets. If you prefer living in a boring world where velociraptors don’t glide gracefully from tree to tree, that is.
NOTE: My daughter hasn’t even seen Lost, but I just noticed that this photo that she took and the one above it are right next to each other in my photostream. LOST IS REAL, YOU GUYS.
*Coconut, mocha, banana, and cinnamon. Yes banana. It’s DELICIOUS. Don’t judge.
I love libraries. (Except. Full disclosure: I just tried spelling it “libraryies” so maybe take this all with a grain of salt?) I love the smell of books, and the quiet, and the connection to information. I love that you can research things you can’t find elsewhere like old newspapers or local history or genealogy. Well. You can find all that online now, I guess. But back in the dark ages in 1994 you couldn’t, and that made libraries feel magical. I don’t remember what year my library got rid of the card catalogs, but it seems like yesterday. Part of me believes that, if I turned that one corner, I’d see the microfiche machines all lined up just like they used to be. But my library doesn’t have any of that anymore, of course. (Fun fact: my grandma volunteered at our local library and brought some of the old cards home for scratch paper when the library moved their catalog to computers. Fun fact: my library’s catalog software hasn’t really changed much since they computerized it almost 20 years ago.)
I also love old buildings, and find myself particularly drawn to the ones built in the 1950’s or 1960’s. I don’t know why that time period, of all time periods, draws me so much more than, say, the grand Victorians. I love all the historical places, but this era especially gives me a sense of nostalgia I can’t place. The way the sounds echo hollowly off the hard, shiny tiles as shoes click busily down hallways. The vague scent of dusty corners and musty stairways and floor wax mingling in a way unique to buildings of the era. The stifling and pervasive sense of history more pungent than any of the five physical senses. To think of all the memories the building holds, both in terms of physical records of history as well as that intangible way that memories mark themselves upon a place. The slight sense of sadness. A once-grand place, now nestled in among the usual downtown juxtaposition of refuse and shiny new stuff. It calls me.
I have spent little time in the Downtown branch of the San Diego libraries, at least compared to my hometown library that I grew up in and still visit weekly. I think I first visited the Downtown branch for some long-forgotten high school project and I fell in love with it right that day. Later, I spent a few years working only a couple of blocks away so I visited it somewhat regularly (at the time there were also a lot of used bookstores in the area. ah I miss those). For a photography class I had to go look up books of artists for a report and I found many of my favorite photographers on those shelves. Cindy Sherman, Jerry Uelsmann, William Wegman (he’s not just dogs!). But the parking in Downtown isn’t fun or easy, so I haven’t been back in at least 13 years.
I remembered the building itself feeling very historical to me, and, really, 13 years ago was a different age when it comes to library technology. I think back then the microfiche machines were still standing in my local library. So if the technology of the Downtown branch was outdated back when I most visited it, it didn’t register to me.
But walking in last weekend was like time traveling (I mean, if you ignored all the computers). There were card catalogs! And a room full of people using the microfiche! And newspapers hung neatly on those newspaper holder thingies! And more card catalogs! I was excited to share the library – one of my favorite places in the county – with my kids, but I never expected to be able to show them such ancient history in action. I actually asked one lady if my kids could watch her load the microfiche into the machine. My son was kinda pissed as hell that he didn’t get a turn. Fair enough.
What I had expected was to walk in and find a dilapidated old place. With scuffed floors, neglected paint, broken doors, burnt-out lights. But there was none of that. It was a bright and well-maintained place whose shiny floors reflected the joy of being surrounded by books and people who love them. It was a sad day there, the last day, but most people were in good spirits. Perhaps because in a few months the next century’s library will open. Or perhaps because we had all come together to remember what we loved best about the place before it is gone.
It has been closed a week now, and I imagine they are beginning to move everything out. I imagine the shelves empty, the lights out. And I have mixed feelings. Because now there will be a new, larger library with more technological capabilities, and prepared for the growth of the next fifty years, but it won’t be that building that I loved so much.
You can see more pictures here.
1. My name is Bonnie. In 5th grade I smooshed my first and middle names together into Bonnianne, thinking someday I’d change it legally. I never did (yet?), but in the 90’s there was a porn site under the same name.
2. I have two kids. They are awesome and hilarious and weird and exhausting. Which is pretty normal for kids, I guess.
3. I’m going back to school. I’m aiming towards a career. A career in what, I do not know. Do they pay people for being cute as hell?
4. I hopeschool my kids. Nope. That’s a typo. I hoMeschool my kids. But it’s a pretty appropriate typo. I do hope I school my kids.
5. I’m tall. And lately I’ve become obsessed with celebrity heights. Did you know I’m two inches taller than Robert Downey Jr? I KNOW, RIGHT?
6. I knit. Sometimes I knit sea monsters. I have never knit a sweater. That sounds strange now that I type it out.
7. Hobbies I’ve inherited in the last couple of years: beading/jewelry making, sewing, rocks. If “rocks” counts as a hobby. It mainly involves owning rocks and not really knowing how to handle that.
8. I never learned how to roller skate. I mean without clinging to the wall for dear life.
9. But I practically lived on my bike. Also I had a scooter like this one.
10. I love camping.
11. And hiking.
12. But I hate team sports.
13. My car is red. And cute. And named Romana.
14. I’m afraid of heights, and escalators, and spiders that are on me or might get on me, and vomit. And other things which are scary to everyone like clowns or ventriloquist dummies.
15. I am an anxious person on the whole. Sometimes I suffer from actual diagnosable anxiety.
16. I’ve also dealt with depression.
17. I am geeky about these things: Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide and more), Madeleine L’Engle, Doctor Who, Muppets, and Harry Potter. Among other things.
18. When I was a kid I geeked out so hard on the Baby-sitter’s Club that I actually still have their whole neighborhood map memorized. Ish. That makes me sound like a creepy stalker. Except that they aren’t real and technically they were at least a couple of years my senior at the time. WHO’S CREEPY NOW, KRISTIN AMANDA THOMAS?
19. If you got that joke you are now my new BFF.
20. It was a totally canon map of their neighborhood, BTW. It came on an official calendar. None of that fanfiction shit here. Oh no.
21. I’m actually not against fanfiction at all. I just like the word “shit”. (*wonders if there’s any BSC fanfiction around*) (OMG THERE IS.) (FEMSLASH. OMG KRISTY AND SHANNON. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.) *ahem*
22. I have specific rules for where periods go in relation to quotes, as evidenced in the previous line item. They look stupid inside quotes when it’s just one word. So there.
23. After a certain number of items, this sort of thing tends to become a stream-of-consciousness, doesn’t it?
24. I was raised Christian (fundamentalist, even, although most of the political stuff I never agreed with) but at some point nearly ten years ago now, I realized I’m actually not a Christian at all. I now follow the Pagan wheel of the year.
25. I still think Jesus was a pretty awesome person, though, and had some kickass ideas.
26. I don’t wear high heels very often. Partly because I am the aforementioned Kind of Giant.
27. I did, though, recently buy eyeliner and mascara. I’m basically fully goth now.
28. OMG HAVE I EVEN MENTIONED THAT I LOVE COFFEE? How did I get this far in and not mention it? ACK.
29. Also, I love Disneyland. I should have added that to the Shit I Geek Out Over List. Too bad there’s no edit feature or anything.
30. I’m really lazy. And sarcastic.
31. My family was rife with mental illness and alcoholism.
32. As far as I can tell I’m pretty sane. Depression and anxiety aside, of course.
33. I think I might hate the number 33.
34. But I love the number 42. (See line item 17.)
35. This is my current age (I mean 35, not 42).
36. I first went online when I was eight. In 1986. My username was “OverEight”. Long, stupid story. OK, not that long. My mom’s was “OverThirty” and I didn’t know what else to pick.
37. I guess we weren’t allowed spaces back then. Or maybe we were but I just forgot. I mean. It was 100 years ago.
38. I love hyperbole.
39. My mom was kind of a big computer nerd, I guess.
40. Someday I’ll tell you about all the life hacks she came up with to help us survive
the dark ages the 1980’s.
41. I am not afraid of getting older. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fucking weird.
42. I approve of bad words.
43. I have a cat. Her name is Leia and she is properly weird.
44. For many years I wasn’t allowed to have a cat, but I can now and I hope I always will from now on.
45. Growing up I had cats, hamsters, rats, fish, and birds. Mostly named after musicians of the 90’s.
46. I don’t have blond hair, but I usually forget that.
47. My eyes are hazel-green.
48. I have freckles and dimples. I approve of the former more than the latter.
49. I am socially awkward and weird. But hopefully adorable enough to make up for that.
50. My birthday is on Groundhog Day.
And I think that is where this list ends. I know these usually go to 100 or 101 ro some other 3-digit number, but let’s face it: My attention span isn’t that long and you’re probably already bored. Let’s keep some of the mystery awhile longer. *bats eyelashes coquettishly and dons mysterious cape* (I’m not sure those things usually go together. This may be part of my awkward weirdness.)