5.31.2005

Recap--May 05

Soundtrack
Grace Cathedral Hill--The Decemberists
The Beast and Dragon Adored--Spoon
Paul's Song--Matt Ward
Hang on Siobahn--The Walkmen
Such Great Heights--The Postal Service
Everything's Not Lost--Coldplay
My Mathematical Mind--Spoon
Sound and Vision--The Sea and Cake
16 Military Wives--The Decemberists
Move On--Mike Doughty
Spread--Outkast
Cavalier Eternal--Against Me!

Topics of Interest
Tomato Juice--According to a stewardess from MIA-CUN, no one EVER orders a tomato juice, and she was surprised I did. In fact, people are more likely to order a bloody mary mix sans vodka than just plain old tomato. Then, from ATL-SFO, I sat in the front and ordered a bright red tomato juice, and in a couple of minutes watched not only the guy seated next to me, but six other adjacent passengers m,imic my order. Sheep/riot mentality on airplanes--and why does everyone cry at the movie(also known as Reese Witherspoon Syndrome)?

When Blogs Collide--a list given to me by M. Huntsman to aid in my writers block--
Top 5 All-Time Things Miranda Could Do To Demonstrate To Herself That She Is Not "Blocked" So Much As She Is Spending Her Energies Inventing New & Dramatic Aspects Of Said Blocking:
1) read Freakonomics - it's full of deft supposition, which miranda's mind takes to
2) write a Sex Scene - just a scene, a snapshot. challenge yourself to not stop in the middle and masturbate
3) contribute to an intimate-perspective essay series (to be developed by mark) loosely titled "Tits and/or Ass"
4) contemplate the notion that personification gets oversold. make a list of people you are acquainted with who are distinct characters, either in temperament or physicality. for each, write a short profile that either a)animalifies or b) objectifies the subject
5) write mark naughty limericks.

...and there was also a joke told to me by N. Mathisen. Call me and I'll tell it to you. Fellow bloggers are a tremendous resource.

Words/Phrases
"RUMORED MANIA"--spurned by the new Doughty album, I had to find a suitable one of my own. This one seemed oddly fitting ("oh, you're that Miranda?").

"Monkey Shine!"--an oldie but a goodie, brought back by Bobby Scheppy.

"...and under the auspices of sex and flight, moving and timelines, there was a sole revelation--home is where my cellphone is." --cut from On Your Naked Neck, from Apr 05. Special thanks to Jaxon for the inspiration.

5.23.2005

Palm Trees and the Like

Last night, I had my ritual after-close Sunday night meeting with my boss and new mom, Zahra. She asked me a seemingly simple and yet loaded question.

"Are you staying in San Francisco?"

Now isn't that the question I've been asking myself lately?

Friday night I ended up at a party in my neighborhood and could barely turn a corner without hearing someone call my name or yell out "Hey! You're the Cafe International girl! Nice tat dude, how long did that take?"
It was around three in the morning when I found myself on a strangers sofa, chain smoking Camel lights and swigging from a bottle of Makers with Shaun that I realized I am part of a community; even beyond that, I have a crew. Pete and Daniel were in the corner hitting on a sixteen year old girl, Sam was in the kitchen putting back a forty, and a gaggle of beautiful boys from the 'hood were trailing me around, left in the wake of my burgeoning popularity.
And? Yeah, I know. Insignificant when one is deciding on a place to live, right? Not to me.

Davey sent me a poem the other day. An excerpt:

I'm thin from my attempts
to recruit and retain sidekicks
.

And it's true. Not only do we all need sidekicks, but aquiring them is imensly harder in new surroundings; unless like me you're planted in the middle of an adult version of Sesame Street and handed a well paying and high profile job securing you immediate status as both hot and cool in your new neighborhood.
Sam and I used to describe ourselves as the angels of the Duck Island Alehouse, and here I am, the new angel of Lower Haight, pretty boys and girls in droves vying for a wink from me at the bar down the street, each one hoping I remember making thier coffee earlier (which of course, I do).

And on most days I get a glimpse of the palm trees in the Mission and wonder why I'm content to wear a scarf, and some days like yesterday I come home from work and my roomates are playing Cat Stevens and I burst into tears and have to call Samantha immediately, and some days I can't stand this place and some days I stroll home from work with one of my drug dealing body gaurds whistling the Sesame Street theme song. But it's far from everyday that some one I care about asks me not just if I'm going to stay, but asks me to please stay. Please.

And? And then what? You wanna know what happened?

"Yeah Mom, I'm staying here."
--M

5.21.2005

Real Quick...

Last night, Doughty played Cafe du Nord and I had to work. By the time I got off, there was a line around the block--hundreds of people hoping to catch a glimpse of Doughty goodness.
So instead, I went to the Hemlock, one of my favorite hipster spots in the 'Loin mostly because of thier smoking room. It's a pretty popular bar, and it was packed to near capacity last night.
So I'm doing a lap looking for my friend Daniel, and an extremely fine piece of vanilla produce caught my eye; tall, thin, shaggy dark hair--and strangely familiar.

IT WAS JUDAH NAGLER.

The lead singer of the Velvet Teen.
--M

5.16.2005

"This Isn't a Goddamn Cheeseria..."

"...it's a fuckin coffee shop."

Wise, wise words from my new boss and adopted mother, Zahra.

So, how do I feel after my first week of employment? Well, mostly pretty fucking tired, and currently quite hungover. As my alchohol consumption from last night will prevent me from posting anything more profound, here is a list of crap that I've learned from my brief (so far) stint at Cafe International.

1. It is really hard to pour Hoeggarden all day and not drink one.
2. If you work at a family owned restarant, don't let your boss catch you not eating.
3. Getting a big stack of cash every Sunday is the closest thing I know to god.
4. On that note, the second closest thing I know to god is showing my tattoos at work (sleeveless shirts...mmmmm).
5. San Franciscans are apparently very fond of Seattleites and like to tip them exorbitantly.
6. I have the same job as Valerie "I can't work a fax machine" Schoenholtz. That's the end of that thought. Just had to process that for a second.
7. You know your job is cool when you decide to get your nose pierced to match your boss and her daughter.
8. Having a group of drug dealers that watch your back is a very good thing to have in Lower Haight, especially if you enjoy your car stereo.
9. Selling an addictive product (coffee guys, coffee) to bartenders is cool. They have a tendancy to remember that fact when you visit thier bars later (read--stiff drinks and cheaper beers).
10. And finally, when a customer asks for cheese, just give them swiss. Don't ask which kind they want, even if you have like, three or four different kinds. Swiss. Just do it. After all, this isn't a goddamn cheeseria, it's a fuckin' coffee shop.

Allright guys, I'm gonna call Ashley and go to sleep.

Oh sweet Jesus, sleep is amazing.

Oh, also--I PROMISE I'm going to write today. New piece soon guys.
--M

5.09.2005

I Am Employed

No, really, I am. So for those I haven't told yet, here's what happened.

-Walked into favorite coffee shop last Friday.
-Told the owner I was looking for a job in a restaraunt or a coffee shop or something.
-She asked if I could make lattes. I said: "Of course I can, I'm from Seattle. That's all we know how to do there."
-She talked to me for like, five minutes about how she's looking for someone who can manage the store while she's gone and not slack off(too much).
-She told me to come in on Tuesday.

Now, you guys, I can't stress this enough: tomarrow is Tuesday.
Now, as long as I don't burn down the store, or lose the deposit, I can keep my job after my two week trial period.

But what if I burn down the store or lose the deposit? Boo. Rae and I have already decided that getting fired from a coffee shop is the absolute weakest thing one can do; so my real question is: exactly how lame am I?
--M

Update: 5.10.05--Apparently, I'm not very lame at all. After my cafe training is done this week, I start training to manage. I rock and roll.
--M

And Bingo Was His Name-O

Just got a message from my mom and she proposed something interesting. As well as making sure I was eating plenty of vegetables, she decided that if I was going to be her daughter, I'd have to change my last name. Tee-hee. Since I collect last names like stamps, I decided to list all of my options here.

Miranda Moure--Now, this is my actual last name. Kind of.
Miranda Myricks--This one appears on my birth certificate and a variety of other documents.
Miranda Counts--I get called this all the time--specifically by the phone company.
Miranda Smith--No one ever calls me this save a few gossipy underlings from my highschool.
Miranda Singleton--This is my father's last name. I almost ended up with it when I was born.
Miranda Gerking--My wife's last name.
Miranda Oldfield--My other wife's last name.
Miranda Wren--My other, other wife's last name.
Miranda Gillanders--During a bout of what Sam and I like to call "The List Games" (best played drunk in the middle of the night) this last name was unanimously voted the funniest on my list. If you do not get the subtleties involved in what I'm saying here, well...good luck with that.
Miranda Bauer--My mom's last name, her first suggestion. She says it's a bit awkward to say, but it's much simpler than...
Miranda Goldenfarb-- ...her other suggestion. This is the last name she gave the character Miranda in her upcoming novel. She thinks this is totally hilarious.

So, what do you think? Any suggestions?
--M

5.03.2005

Grace Cathedral Hill

So all of you (well, maybe not all of you...) know that I spent about the last two weeks in both Miami (where I once lived; read: visiting with old friends, family, mom; trotting around old stomping grounds, etc.) and Mexico (where I've never been, but attended a wedding there of my oldest friend, read: family member). Upon my return, I'm struck by two things: 1) How did I possibly return from a fabulous tropical whirlwind vacation and have anything bad to say about it? Which leads to 2) Why does everyone else in the world seem so capable of happily being away from thier loved ones and don't cry so heavily at thier weddings?

Now, I'm not saying that I have this all figured out, but with all of my travels and distance and airplanes etc. the only common denominator is always how much I miss everyone. As I was explaining to R. C. U. Huntsman just days before my departure from Seattle, I'm beginning to think I'll never be happy anywhere; I may never have a true home, may never truly settle. So now I'm like, "What the fuck! Why can't I do this?" Most of you know I'm not too fond of the idea that there are things I cannot do.

So I'm home in Miami, and even while I'm with them I already miss them, and I'm at my best friends wedding and I can't even compose myself enough to have a good time without the aid of mucho whiskey; and not to use a term that I have not been entirely fond of in the past couple of years, but I can never seem to bring myself to be present. Departure always looms on the horizon for me like a fog and although I can always see it as an opportunity, I'm always overwhelmed by what I'll be losing. It kills me to leave all the time, and I don't know why it's so singularly hard for me and the worst part is, I keep doing it.

So I'm leaving Seattle and my two best girlfriends are teary eyed and scared, but I see them perfectly stable and confident and for the first time I realize: they don't need me with them.
So I'm in Mexico, and I see my three oldest boys walking down the beach in thier finery, mature and succesful and for the first time I realize: they don't need me with them.

So that decision that I was patiently waiting until after the wedding was made at Eddy's reception, and I decided to go. Somewhere, anywhere, leave all of them to thier own lives. My initial instincts to stay in SF seemed then rediculous and selfish--I made a complete one-eighty.

And then this afternoon, Janine (my beautiful Volvo) and I were once again getting lost in the streets of Frannie, bogging along in second gear up a steep grade listening to one of my favorite bands, and there, at the top of the hill, was the place that gave the song I was listening to it's name and I assume inspiration. Like the first time I found the corner of Market and Van Ness, I hadn't even known it existed until I found it.

And the world may be long for you,
but [s]he'll never belong to you.
But on a motorbike,
when all the city lights blind your eyes,
are you feeling better now?

So maybe I'll pay my own 25 cents to light a little white candle, and maybe I'll stay and maybe I'll go--but I know for sure that of everything I've ever wanted to belong to me, I'd never really considered that that thing would be myself. I've stretched myself far too thin in the past couple years, and this decision will be one that I make. When I take myself off the path of living for everyone else and desperately trying to save and bind all of them, a whole new path reveals itself to me--and this one starts atop Grace Cathedral Hill.
--M

p.s.--I know I've said it so many, many times before (sorry Sam...) but I am again reminded:
"...we get in my car and the Tenderloin is gauzy and bright, and all the way home all the green lights are timed."
Special thanks for this post goes to Dave Eggers and the Decemberists. Thanks, guys.