Monday, November 05, 2007


It's been raining hard since Wednesday. Sometimes we get a drizzle, sometimes the dark humidity of a coming storm, and sometimes a waterfall pouring out of the clouds. Surf on the south shore is ten to fifteen feet, but few of us want to brave the brown water & surf it.

And so the smart ones (i.e., me) stayed home for the most part.

I was looking forward to our first Sunday paddle, too, and was bummed that it rained so hard. I woke up, listened to the deluge for a bit, then crawled back under my sheets. No one, I thought, was going out in that.

I learned later that 17 paddlers showed up, including some novices. That's impressive. I haven't heard yet how it went.

I was a bit hung over, anyways. That might be the story of my weekend. Friday night I joined some of the crew for First Friday. Had a great time, but I left around 9pm so I could wake up early and cook.

Spent Saturday cooking moose. It turned out ok. I was happier with the side dishes (applesauce with cardamom, knifles with sauteed onions and lots of butter, red cabbage with pine nuts and prunes, and a cranberry/pomegranate relish). I cheated on the knifles, and bought a spaetzle maker to cut the noodles. It was incredibly easy, and I'll definitely add it to my repertoire.

I can't say I was a good host by the time dinner came, though. I pretty much sat in the corner and got drunk. The conversation was all about grants and foundations and charities - the guys were board members of half a dozen non-profits between them - and I couldn't have been less interested. The main focus among them was teaching their field staff all about quality control and grants management and outcomes measurement & all the other buzz-terms that drove me crazy when I was a social worker.

I tried to press them on what work they actually did on the ground, but only got vague answers. And somewhere along the 3rd or 4th bottle of wine I realized that they were advocating the same approach to community work that destroyed the agencies I used to work for. These were the guys at the top who tried to quantify social change, to force everything to fit into nice neat categories to please the paper pushers, and never realized how much their reforms damaged actual work on the streets. I had flash backs to all the battles I fought, and lost. And lost them so bad that most people don't even remember the battles, or figured that they occurred sometime in the deep past.

The night ended with a whimper. David snuck out early (damn him!), and I sucked down the wine & silently wept for a lost revolution.

Sunday M. came over to show me what to do with my hair. He told me that he used to run a top end salon in Miami Beach, and that clients used to come down from New York just for him to do their hair. I was excited, because I could use the help. I haven't cut my hair since March, and it's now a pile of unruly Irish curls. I have no idea how to manage it. M. said he knew exactly the products I need.

By "products" he meant Schwarzkopf citri-shine shampoo & condtioner and some coloring kit with avocado oil. OK, I know how to shampoo my hair, but I was game to see what he had in mind. He glopped on the coloring, telling me how it was bringing out my eyes (flattery will get you everywhere), then left to run some errands.

Forty five minutes later I showered it off, then took a look in the mirror at the new me.

And screamed.

I was now a copper-top. That shit was red. And not any kind of natural red, mind you ... this was the kind of red you see on fifty year old Italian ladies who've retired to Miami. I should have asked who exactly his clients were at his South Beach salon. I wanted to cry. I went through seven months of bad hair for this? All I wanted to do was run to Longs and get some dye to make it darker.

M. came back, hour later, and I couldn't even fake it. I hated it. It looks natural, he said. It looks great. The problem is your eyes. You'll get used to it. But the problem wasn't my eyes, and I wasn't going to get used to it, because ten minutes after he was gone I was at the store buying new product.

The rain will continue all week. Already people are talking about the Spring where it rained 40 days, and how it felt just like this. I'm ready for it.

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