My aunt celebrated her 49th birthday this weekend. With no less than 75 people in her house, it was like a mini family reunion not to mention a great, big celebration. I got there before most of the guests arrived to hang out with my cousins. I walked through the door, gave everyone a hug, and was horrified to hear my younger cousins blurt out, “Nice blog.” “Yeah, nice blog, Vixen.”
I was shocked. I didn’t know how to react. I haven’t publicly announced this blog to anyone. It’s only included in my gmail signature so I’m still surprised when people mention that they read it.
Well, I care that my little 13-year-old cousin Jessika is reading this blog. STOP IT, JESSIE!
Turns out my aunt somehow stumbled upon my blog and told my family. I know I can’t stop the maelstrom that will soon ensue…so maybe, possibly, hopefully I can do a little damage control with the following. OK, JESSIE, READ NOW!
I realize I engage in reckless behavior. You’ve seen me bust a move on the dance floor, crank up the karaoke, and throw down a beer or two or three. What can I say? I’m a party girl, I drink a lot, and sometimes I lose control. Consider it a backlash against everything I’ve done right (and done well) my whole life.
I can’t say my parents treasured the time they spent raising me. My temper can flare with the best of them, but I was a child exemplar on paper. I got straight A’s. I was always at the top of my class. I babysat my teachers’ kids. I gained acceptance to UC Berkeley as a junior under their accelerated program. As a full-time college student, I was there on scholarship. I got into the #2 MBA program in the country. I did my summer internship at Cisco and worked as hard as I could. I impressed the managers and (out of the internship class) garnered the most number of full-time offers from various departments.
Aside from school and work, I set certain standards for myself that were important for me. When I was a kid, my parents made me go to Mass with them. No one drags me now. I go because I listen to the scriptures and I want to incorporate the messages into making my life a good one.
I waited a long time to be intimate with someone. 24 years!! While having dinner one night, my co-worker stroked my hair and said, “I love you. I really love you.” He didn’t expect anything. Nothing had happened between us prior to that moment. It just came from his heart. I was so happy. I was glad I waited.
I mention all these things because that is the core of who I am. In this blog, I write about the crazy shit because who wants to read a posting about how I’m really a nerdy dork at heart–that most nights, I actually sit on my couch and read.
Despite the speeding tickets, the drinking, the hangovers, the wild behavior, I want you all to know that there’s no way I would ruin my life. I would never intentionally hurt my family or friends, nor would I ever do anything so off-base as to jeopardize my career or future. Please don’t worry, I’m not going to suddenly become a 30-year-old fuck-up. Trust me, it’s not going to happen.
But I understand your concern. I’ll try not to be too zany!
I should have prefaced my blog with this posting. But I believed my audience to be a bunch of 20- / 30-somethings who would be interested in reading about the experiences of a single, contemporary hippie living and breathing the San Francisco scene. Ahh, the power of the internet. Grrreat…now my family is reading. Shucks.
I seem to get lucky when I go to New Orleans for Jazz Fest.
It was my first year in business school. I was still feeling rather glum about dumping some hot guy I’d been dating. We had nothing in common. Believe me, I tried to find some common ground, but our conversations never took off. I called it off one morning while we sat in his kitchen with absolutely nothing to say. All I could think about was how I should be at the library working on my Economics problem set. As attracted as I was to him, I felt like he was a waste of time.
It was during this state of glumness that I got invited on a trip. The second years plan an enormous amount of trips during their last year. Did I mention that business school is one big vacation? Someone had reneged on her Jazz Fest plans and I was invited to go along with the big kids. The second years were protective of me in a sincere big brother/big sister sort of way; I felt special being there with them.
Anyhow, I met Blaine the last night that we were there. He made his way over to me at the suffocatingly crowded bar The Cat’s Meow. We spent the rest of the night and the morning drinking and talking. Before the sun set, my cell phone rang continuously (no doubt the second years checking up on their little one) as we frolicked in his hotel room. It was a fun one night stand. I’d never done that before and was kind of in shock that I did. We did the obligatory exchange of contact information, but I didn’t think I’d ever hear from him again.
Well I did what any devout Catholic school girl would do. I prayed. Not only that, I sent an intention to these cloistered nuns (who happen to answer online prayers). I told them that I sincerely believed I’d met the most amazing guy but that he lived in New York while I was in Chicago. Any reunion between the two of us would have to be through God’s intervention.
Well, people, this is why I’m a devout Catholic. I prayed. The cloistered nuns prayed. And Hallelujah, God came through. I must say, God always answers my prayers. I very very rarely ask God for anything, but when I do, He listens.
Blaine came out to San Francisco while I was home doing my summer internship. He met my core high school girlfriends which is a rarity. I’m with guys for such short periods of time that they never get to meet my family or friends. He also came out to Chicago. So the one night stand turned into something more, albeit short-lived. Still, the fact that there was something more made me feel less ashamed.
I went to Jazz Fest again this year with my dear high school girlfriends referenced above. We had never taken a big trip together as a foursome. Two of the four are engaged and we realized there was no better time than now to be together. We treated ourselves well and indulged, staying at the Ritz in a room that was bigger than my condo here in the city (I’ll even toss in the square footage of my downstairs storage area plus my parking space–It was still bigger than that!).
Waiting in line with my three friends at the ever popular Clover Grill on Bourbon Street, I got bored and headed down the street to LaFitte’s for a morning cocktail. I hopped onto one of the tall chairs at the bar and ordered myself a bloody mary. Someone sat next to me and did the same. We got to talking. Next thing you know, my friends called. They were being seated at the grill. They called for me to join them. Pete and his friends begged me to stay. I blurted out my order over the cell phone and told them I’d be there in a few. After a few more bloody marys and a couple of vodka shots, I was ready for my bacon double cheeseburger. I left the bar. The guys made me promise to come back. Pete also made sure to get my phone number before I took off. I scarfed down my burger and brought the girls back with me to the bar. The rest of the afternoon consisted of more drinking, picture-taking, and laughter.
Fast forward to midnight that same night. Pete and I meet up at the same bar. After a very long day and fun-filled night, my friends slowly make their way back to the Ritz. Pete and I stay, down more shots, and close out the bar. He walks me home. We’re completely drunk. We get to the Ritz, take the elevator to my floor, and I’m thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with this guy? My three friends are sleeping in our suite.”
The elevator opens, we walk a few steps, and I see a door labeled, ‘EMPLOYEES ONLY.’ Mischievous little me opens the door, peeks inside. Coast is clear. I swing Pete around and we full-on start making out. We’re on the floor rolling around when a very intimidating Louis Farrakhan lookalike demands that we get out. I’m so wasted, I don’t know whether to laugh or fear for my life. The situation is just so bizarre and my brain can’t seem to process what’s going on with any sort of logic. Pete and I dust ourselves off and make our way out of the Ritz, escorted by our own anti-bodyguard. I take him out to where the taxi cabs are, give him a kiss good-bye, and laugh the whole incident off as another New Orleans Jazz Love Fest.
When I was doing the online dating thing, I used to complain that everyone put their best pictures out there. Or they would describe themselves as ‘Athletic and Fit.’ Uhhh, yeah, back in high school??? I mean, seriously, a picture from 10 years ago is so deceiving! My ex-boyfriend bought me a cute pink tank-top with the above saying. I love it. Everyone cracks up when they read it.
I used to put average-looking pictures out there. They weren’t my best; they weren’t my worst. One guy I dated said that I looked like I did on my profile which made me proud. At least, I hadn’t tried to deceive anyone. Even better, I loved it when guys met me and said I looked so much better in person and that my profile didn’t do me justice. Another guy I dated quipped, “You totally downplayed yourself in all of our communications.”
I was like, “I know! It’s that whole Buy Low, Sell High mentality…Underpromise, Overdeliver!!!” Common sense business principles, people!
I never spent much time on these sites. I hastily filled out the profile and subsequent follow-up questions and was always surprised at what I’d come to realize about myself, what I found important, what I was looking for. Here tis. Let me know if you meet my Prince Charming. Send him my way. I’ll be good to him, I promise.
In a Nutshell
Hi, I’m Catherine. I’m a native Bay Area girl. I grew up in an immigrant household, my parents impressed upon us the importance of education and hard work, and I believe that family/faith/community are the essence of a truly inspired life. I’m spirited and fun. People enjoy my company. Bottom line: I always have a good time, I love my life, and I am genuinely happy.
I want to meet Jack Black. I love funny people. I went to a speed-dating event, met this big fat unattractive man who was friggin hilarious. He had me rolling on the floor. The only reason I submitted my form was to match up with him. You know what? He didn’t even pick me. I was devastated!!! But seriously, every girl loves a comedian. There are a number of traits I’m looking for. Some are obviously more important than others, but a combination of educated, hard-working, well-travelled, athletic, and hot!
Dinner somewhere non-romantic: a burger joint or hot dog stand or a hole-in-the-wall Chinese hut. Next up: a bar. Starting off with beer, then mixed drinks, then shots to see if he can keep up with my alcoholism. Getting totally obliterated, telling each other things you never thought you’d tell someone on a first date, making out, saying good-bye, then thinking, “Wow, that was so much fun. I hope we can see each other again soon.” This is not just the perfect first date. This is all my first dates. Seriously.
I believe that timing is everything. If I’d met my first boyfriend now, I probably would want to marry him. But back then, I just wasn’t in that mindset. Two people have to be in the right spot in their lives at the right time for their stars to collide and ignite.
Also, if you suspect that something is going wrong, you’re right. You owe it to youself to know when a person in your life is making your life better or making it worse. Own up to it and make the right decisions to always live your life the way you want with the person you want. Remember though, that that person you want has to make you feel like you are wanted too.
1. Listen.com’s Rhapsody application–an online jukebox that allows you to listen to anything you want for as long as you want for a $10/month subscription fee. Great for expanding your appreciation for all kinds of music. You can listen to various radio stations with pre-programmed music. No commercials. Spotlights artists and features new music on the home page. I don’t buy CDs anymore. Try it for free for a few days. You’ll be hooked.
2. Schick’s Intuition razor. Invented by a Schick exec who embedded a razor in a bar of soap. Actually feels like you’re running a bar of soap over your legs.
3. Kiehl’s facial and body products. What other store so willingly and generously gives you samples to try their products? Inexpensive, good quality. Great for sensitive skin.
4. AG Ferrari specialty Italian deli/grocer. I’m not a fan of Italian food. I’m always the naysayer when someone suggests an Italian restaurant. Why spend money on dollar pasta? But I love AG Ferrari. I go to the one in Laurel Heights whenever I’m working from home and always on the weekends. I worked from home on Friday. Headed there for a Panini sandwich for lunch. Headed back again for dinner–meatballs and green beans. Mmmmggooood. They use the freshest ingredients and everything is really tasty. I’m a fast-food fanatic. I grew up on McDonald’s and spent a lot of time at the Jack-in-the-Box drive-through in my twenties. That said, I’ll take anything from AG Ferrari over a Filet-o-Fish or Oreo Cookie Shake any day!
5. FasTrak. I’ve become one of those snobs who doesn’t want to leave the city. There’s a reason. The traffic has become unbearable. Absolutely unbearable. I hate heading to Berkeley for brunch or hanging with the fam in Alameda then having to deal with mind-boggling traffic to get myself back home. Herein lies the beauty of FasTrak. That’s the mechanism that expedites your toll pass-through. No more digging for change. No more commiserating over another scenario of cars honking while telling the toll attendant that you don’t have enough money. Just zip past all that traffic with your very own FasTrak lane. I still hate leaving the city, but FasTrak makes the ride a bit more copacetic.
6. Google rules the world. Gmail is email perfection. Google maps is navigation perfection. Google Earth takes mapping to a whole new level. Desktop Google improves my work productivity. A key word search on Desktop Google can find the Outlook message I’m looking for in seconds. I love Google.
7. Craigslist. I love Google as much as I love Craigslist. I use Google more now, but I owe my life to Craigslist. I found jobs, apartments, furniture…on that site. I interviewed its founder Craig Newmark for my New Enterprise and Small Business Management class. It’s not surprising that Craigslist–a site people cannot live without and rooted here in San Francisco–is founded on principles of community and social responsibility.