Karenfucius say:

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The later you are for an appointment, the closer the needle on your gas gauge is to “E”.

The more important the meeting, the darker the clothing you will wear.

The later you are for the meeting, the higher likelihood that you forgot to buy sticky roller.

The bigger the emergency, the fewer bars of coverage you will have.

The bigger the emergency, the fewer bars of battery charge you will have.

When waiting for a vital call, the phone will ring the moment you go to the toilet.

When sleeping, ten inch tall, eleven-pound cat become queen size.

The more valuable the item, the more likely the cat will knock it off the shelf.

After rainy winter, the more sun you have, the more “waaaachooo!” you have.

The more “waaaachooo!” you have, the less Claritin you have.

The more you want to diet, the more your coworkers bring in donuts.

The more rabid you are about your Southwest boarding pass, the more likely it is you’ll receive “C”.

The more you want to carry on, the less likely it is that any of your toiletries are less than three ounces.

When flying, long legged girl going to Bend.

Things They Didn’t Teach Me

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I’ve been a proud holder of a driver’s license for, oh say, about twenty-five years.

I first learned to drive our automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, 1972 Chevy Blazer on the hard packed dirt roads around Logan, New Mexico. Population 1,002.

Those roads were wide, empty of other cars, and easy to navigate.

Ya wanna park? Sure. Pull up somewhere near the house. That’ll work.

Then I got a more formal education from the ubiquitous McGinnis School of Driving. Don’t know if it is still the same now, but back then, every high school kid in Albuquerque learned to drive from McGinnis.

We got the usual lessons. Hands and 10 and 2. Back up in a straight line. Parallel park between the orange cones.

That parallel parking one…I didn’t need that much in Albuquerque.

I needed it A LOT more once I moved to the Bay Area.

Parallel parking in San Francisco is like a sport. People will actually spectate the event. Comment on your technique. And point and laugh as you make six runs at that freaking small spot that you’ve just spent over an hour searching for.

These are things that Mr. McGinnis didn’t teach.

That “spent an hour looking for a spot” is what got me thinking. Last night, The Good Man and I had an event up in the great City of San Francisco. It was to be held in the part of the City they call the Marina.

Now…we were feeling pretty good about our odds of parking (another thing McGinnis didn’t teach, thinking ahead to where you’ll park) because where we were headed has a pretty ample parking area. It’s a big wide street with a line of parking spaces down the middle (Fillmore, for my SF readers). Plus, it was a Tuesday night.

Lots of spaces and a weeknight? High potential! Score!

However….

Luck was not on our side. An accident on 280 and backed up traffic for a hometown baseball game left us running late as it was. And when we got to the Marina…there wasn’t a spot to be had.

So we did what we had to do. We began the slow circle around and around and around. Trolling for a spot.

McGinnis didn’t teach me that.

Then the consideration of an ever so slightly empty spot at the curb. Can I fit my car in that? What are the odds the people living there will call the cops because my bumper is hanging in their driveway? Am I leaking over into the red zone? What are the odds I’ll get a ticket?

Mr. McGinnis also did not teach me that.

And then, while panic growing and growing as we are now a half hour late for our event, the sheer ecstasy of actually FINALLY finding a spot. A big spot! A good spot! A spot we didn’t even have to fend off other drivers to get into!

Yes! Sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!

Oh the relief. The weeping. The joy.

McGinnis School of Driving definitely did *not* teach me that.

I had to learn that all on my own.

I’m pretty lucky these days because The Good Man, a longtime San Francisco dweller by way of a Brooklyn upbringing isn’t a’feared of these sorts of things. He’ll plunge into the wackiest of driving, parking and navigating situations with ease and aplomb. Most of the time, like last night, he’s got the wheel and I don’t have to worry about it.

Because me, I learned to drive on empty dirt roads.

What the hell are all these cars doing around here!?!?!

(Don’t think I haven’t TOTALLY whipped in front of a Trolley Car to get to a good parking spot. Because I have.)

Hey, how’s your day going?

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How’s my day? HOW’S MY DAY!?!??!

This, this is how my day is going:

This is what happens when you take the lovely rubberized cover off your iPhone and then go to a meeting and, whoops, drop it face down on a beautiful gray granite floor.

I have many, many curse words yet to go today.

By the by…the phone still works. Just not really inclined to run my finger across the screen…..

Are you there, baklava? It’s me, Karen

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You know, I’m really very spoiled. Terribly so, and I must work to not let it all go to my head.

But, I must also say…I deserve a little spoiling now and again…

Like, say, around the celebrations of my birth? Yes. Always a good time to spoil me rotten, and my wonderful mom-in-law held nothing back.

In fact, Sunday was a darn good day in my life.

The day started with the opening of Localvision 2010, a photography exhibition. I was invited to add a photo to the event, and was totally geeked out by the first real gallery showing of my photography.

The Good Man and his mom went along with me to be my entourage for the fun.

It was really heady to see my framed print on the wall and to see people looking at it and talking about their impressions of the image. It pretty much made we want to go hide in the bathroom for the duration. But I held strong.

After the gallery opening, we went to my mom-in-law’s place for dinner.

And oh what a dinner.

For appetizers, there was guacamole (yum!) and Italian salami, and olive and feta cheese and oh my!

I was already starting to fill up.

But then, oh then…….

That amazing cook made me chopped chicken livers. Fresh! From scratch! I saw the actual raw livers before the magic began!

Oh my heavenly days! My love of da liver is well documented.

A whole bowl of homemade liver-y delight! All for me me me me!

Whooooo! I get dizzy just thinking about it. It was the best chopped liver ever in my history.

I almost wept. I really did. It was a brown lump of heaven on a cracker.

If loving cooked chopped organ meat is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

As I surrounded the bowl, my husband had to remind me that I could take some home, I wasn’t required to eat it all there. Seriously, I was afraid someone would take it away from me!

But there was more!

Succulent chicken for dinner with the most delicate and tasty potatoes on the side.

And then….

Oh then….

Homemade baklava for dessert.

For me! Me me me me me!

Ok, I shared the baklava with The Good Man since he’ll eat it (and not liver).

But damn!

I loved my multicultural dinner (Mexican, Greek, Italian, Jewish, etc). I felt so incredibly spoiled and it was one of the best birthday presents EVER!

Whoo.

Today I might need to take a walk and burn a calorie or two. I may have overindulged just a skosh.

And that baklava in my ‘fridge. It calls to me. Sings to me. Beckons me to come and sample of the tasty goodness inside.

I. Can’t. Resist.

The chicken liver is already gone. I couldn’t resist it so much I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and every snack in between.

*burp*

Feliz CumpleaƱos para me!

I know a Zen Master

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Uh huh! Yes I do!

The Master knows how to simplify life.

Food, brief exercise, then long periods of, er, meditation.

At least I think that’s meditation.

Yesterday I had an anxious day. Lots of reasons, my own mental weirdness, no need to detail it all here. But really rather hyped up and I could find no way to calm down.

At the end of the day, I sat on the couch, still fretting, trying to let go. That’s when the Zen master came and sat on me.

And did this:

(Turn up your sound…about a 500k file, runs 14 seconds)*

Suddenly I was listening to the sound of contentment. Pure, simplicity of peace.

And I exhaled that tense breath that had been pent up inside my chest all day.

The muscles started to relax.

And I felt…calm.

Damn Feline might be on to something. She should charge for this kind of therapy!

Here, the master holds a yoga pose…and holds it…and holds it…..

*If the embedded player doesn’t work in your browser, you can click here instead.