WHAT IS 5,800 IN E.S.L?

This morning I made the mistake of listening to KPBS while I was running. The discussion centered on the end of the legislative season (much like duckhunting season). Apparently, bills such as the infamous "foie gras" bill are being bandied about by our finest minds. The animal people say it's overfeeding geese. The one farm that aspires to make foie gras in California says it's a living. Lilly says this discussion at 8:30 a.m. is absolutely nauseating.

The conversation then moved on to the bill that would offer illegal immigrants the opportunity to get a drivers license. It's not looking good, because the Pubes, I mean, Republicans, want markings to differentiate the licenses. San Diegans were simply confused. Caller #1, "I mean, yeah, they, uh, they uh need them to drive." Caller #2, "Well, then can they vote? Cause would they still be illegal?". Caller #3, "Is Kate home?" Another man called in and was convinced that they come and "steal jobs." Right, and I could just HEAR him plucking the tomatoes off the vine as he spoke. The consensus seemed to be that armbands would work best.

At first, they had mentioned 800 bills. Then the Outspoken Angry Hick from Claremont called. "Wayyyllll... I'm a conservertive Republican, and I'm just wondering how the Governur's gonna read all of em. I mean I couldn't..." No doubt, fine chap, no *doubt* you would be hard pressed to read 800 words strung in a line, much less 800 pieces of legislative wordplay. The radio host quickly clarified that it was actually *5800* bills this season. Open season on the Austrian Wonder. And so my mind quickly jogged down the tangent of what a pain in the ass that has to be when you're E.S.L.

Don't worry, Arnie had the last laugh. I nearly fell off the treadmill laughing about it.


Hi. That was a sheepish "hi", for those who couldn't read into it. I have been gone, and my readers have been nudging. Shout outs for caring. To the both of you. Whassup, thanks for coming.

The summer has flown by, and I realized that, post-Vegas, I really didn't write any more. I suppose too many thoughts were whirling around my little head, and I just never managed to pin them down. Like a toddler with a tantrum, off they ran, screaming, these little reflections of mine. I realize that summer is about to pass, and I believe it would be worthwhile for me to itemize the many things I've learned. For posterity. Let this be a gift to my children and yours.

1. Field Testing.

I have been field testing the concept that you can be lucky in love or in gambling. As it turns out, after I wrote (you may recall that I packed my best lipstick), I was lucky in love. Not so lucky in gambling. However, as soon as I returned to San Diego, that glow of Las Vegas Flirtation and Playful Romance faded, bringing with it the sweat of a long drive through the merciless desert. I never heard from him again, which is fine. I console myself with thinking he's ESL and couldn't find the right words to express his love for me, and so threw his hands up in the air (this, all before getting deported, of course).

I am happy to say that Lillystein has affirmed the theory of Romantic Relativity. If your romantic life is pretty much nil, your winnings at the tables will increase tremendously. I quickly jumped to action. I have been to Vegas again in the past month, infiltrated the boys' poker night, forayed into the casino-ic jungles of Connecticut, and played my luck at the Del Mar Racetrack. I made more money this summer gambling than I did at my job (like that's hard). The dealers didn't fear commitment; they saw the hand through. The horses didn't look at other women. The casinos bought my drinks and didn't expect me to put out. I could really live like this.

2. Kindred Spirits.

So, at the peak of believing that there just aren't any other people like me living in San Diego, I put an add on craigslist for a book club. Could there *be* people in San Diego who would read the book instead of seeing the movie? I had to find out. Before I knew it, I had about 30 responses. I look forward to embracing my dorkiness. I always thought that book clubs were for old ladies ('bridge clubs' comes next in the dictionary, I know). Next week I'll know if I'm right or not.

3. Busted Wrist.

I hurt my wrist. I quickly convinced myself that I strained it trying to jump onto my surfboard. You know, that one time I extracted myself from work and actually got to go surfing.

What, like I'm gonna plead Carpel Tunnel? As IF. I wear my Ace bandage proudly. It's just a matter of time before some fine surfer admires my athletic prowess and steals me away from this cyberworld. Just you wait.

4. Sisterhood.

I went to visit my sister. Whatever yourself. It doesn't SOUND interesting, but it is. We officially have never had a period exceeding 24 hours when we didn't fight. I stayed with her for about five (yes, FIVE) days and had the best time. I was relaxed. We sailed. We gambled. We frolicked in the waves (ok, for 5 minutes) of Rhode Island. I cut the buttons she then pressed in her buttonmaker, a familial production line as charming as it sounds. She fed me Kworn, which I've since become addicted to. We sang B-52s hits in the car (is this getting ugly?)

I realized for the first time that that glimmer of hope my mom once had when she'd shove us together after a fight and make us "make nice" had come true. My sister being one of my best friends, no ifs ands or buts, has been one of the most rewarding things about this summer. When they gave me a seat in the exit row, I should've known that It Was Meant To Be.

Now I want her to read this and send me presents. Hiiiiiiii susie!

5. Shaving.

My dad has been on my little brother's case about shaving for about, oh, 10 years. And he's 17. Just kidding. We saw his face unshadowed for the first time in a few years. Woo hoo. Of course, it was back by lunchtime, but still. Momentous G Family Occasion, duly noted.

6. Surfing.

I like surfing. Actually, what I like is saying I surf, when in reality, my schedule (and my willingness to climb down the Cliffs of Death in Del Mar) has allowed me to go only a handful of times this year. But that feeling of lying out on the water, no cell phone, no paperwork, nothing on my mind but my tan and not dropping into someone else's wave, is unbeatable. So much of the world is water, and yet I spend so little time in it. (Insert low blow about showering. Then feel free to appreciate my deep thought.)

In any case, I'm just glad that I got over my Jaws thing (I wouldn't stick a toe in recreational water for years. Susie screaming "SHARK!" when I had already launched myself off the highdive at the pool never helped...)

7. Revisiting the Past.

Also aptly titled Revisiting My Tape Drawer. This summer I attended concerts organized in the effort to reconnect with my faraway youth. First was Madonna (and yes, it was everything I expected and more.). Most recently, I forayed over to Humphrey's (does 'foray' imply skipping or some sort of swishy entrance? In that case, I just kinda 'went'). Cyndi Lauper. "Y" before "I". Girls just wanna have a night with their childhood memories. Perhaps you will be shocked to hear that she outdid my StarStudio version of that same song? She nailed the entire show. I stand by the fact that she is completely underrated. But aren't we all? Next up is The Purple One. Can't wait for that. My assless chaps are pressed and ready to go.

8. URgr8. Keep smilin'!

This has also been (as if it wasn't exciting enough?) the Summer of Reconnection. Old friends have been popping out of the woodwork. Sometimes I prod them (out of hiding?) a little bit, with engaging random, inspired emails sent during my frequent bouts of procrastination. It's amazing to see how someone you may not have ever had more than a social connection to just GETS you as you are now. Or maybe I just get myself more now? Maybe I'm good at making it seem like I get myself, so people feel they get me also. It's weird.

Ok. Confession. So maybe some of the reconnections happened because I have become a Weekend Minute Superstar, but still. Friends are never a bad thing. Although Ross really does bug.

With that, I leave my list at number 8. Usually I'd go up through my lucky number (13), but I need my rest since tomorrow is my LUCKY DAY. Friday the 13th. The day I got my first ghettoblaster. Sa-weet. While you guys are out dodging black cats or ladders or whatever, I'll be expecting some really good shit to happen to me. Details to follow.