Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer 2010, abridged.

As it is nearing the end of August 2010, I figured I'd do a summer recap.

Okay, you caught me, I was too lazy to think of something to write about. But hey thanks for calling me out on that. The underside of this bus you threw me beneath is really dark.

So here it goes.

+ With my partner in crime, I explored classy SF dining, and finally found a good French restaurant, Cafe Bastille. Only downside, the three pronged fork. As Sheldon Cooper once stated, "Forks have 4 prongs, not three. Three is a trident. Forks are for eating, tridents are for ruling the seven seas."

+ I had a birthday. I turned 23. I started a new trend among my friends that I will never live down. I have successfully inspired all of my friends to be as obnoxious as humanly possible on their birthday BECAUSE it's their birthday.

+ I made my list of 23 things to do while being 23 years old. It includes taking a road trip somewhere new, making my own font, and going to my very first NFL game. One of the runner's up was, "Sing that line from 'What's My Age Again?' as many times as possible.
Because it's true, no body likes you when you're 23.

+ Even with working in the city from time to time, and the occasional trip across the bridge, I spent the summer successfully avoiding the concept of cliche Bay Area tourism. Although a photobomb-less summer was a bit of a disappointment.

+ I worked. I worked early in the morning, I worked late at night. I worked at home, I worked on site. I worked indoors, I worked out, I worked the Bay Area throughout.

+ My brother came to visit, and we hit a variety of hot spots. Livermore wine tasting, Half Moon Bay, the California Pacific Highway, and the Heart & Dagger saloon. I will be offering tours this winter, as well. See me for rates.

+ I gave up on 2010, and decided to live in 1997. All 90's music, all the time. Blues Traveler, Semisonic, Smashing Pumpkins, Cake. Absolutely no Nirvana or Whitney Houston. Because I like myself more than that.

+ I got out of Oakland, and I went to the beach. I got out of Oakland and I went to the Livermore and Pleasanton valleys. I got out of Oakland, and I went to the OTHER post office.

+ I spent almost every day with Shelby, and it was amazing. We formed a gang, a team, and wrote up a secret friendship contract. We coined catch phrases, made plans, bailed on plans to watch Criminal Minds, and ate sandwiches for multiple meals a day. We were told, "hanging out with you two is like a really bad case of Deja Vu." And we high-fived. A lot.

+ I let my apartment get too messy, I let my laundry go undone. I threw my hair in pigtails without blow drying it a few too many times. I didn't take my nail polish off when it got chipped. I put off doing the dishes a lot. I drank mimosas on back patios and had brunch with friends. I left my windows open at night, and marathoned TV shows. I lived my life.

Autumn really has her work cut out for her.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I love The Census, ver. 2.0

If you remember correctly, I love the census.

Well apparently, not only do I love it, but I am really good at it. Because I was asked by the leaders of the Free World's Census Bureau to do a REinterview.


See? So basically a "reinterview" means that they have more in-depth questions, based off my answers from Census 1.0. This is funny to me, because most of my answers were "no" or "white."

Now let's talk about the government. My government seems to be under the impression that the time a 23-year-old, single resident, white girl is most available between the hours of 7 pm and 9 pm on Friday and Saturdays. Needless to say, I didn't answer the first three times they called. I respect the Census, or at least I fear the government enough not to do an interview with them at a bar. I might be able to out-sass Barack, but Joe Biden doesn't mess around.

Finally, one particularly sunny Thursday afternoon, around two, Beverly from the U.S. Census Bureau got ahold of me. Now, I'm the first person to admit that when it comes to diversity and uniqueness of citizenship, I'm the United State's worst example.

Why? Because this is me:
Single. Female. Early 20's. White.

But for some inexplicable reason, they wanted to delve further into my socioeconomic and cultural credentials. So we start with my name. Eleanor. E-L-E-A-N-O-R. One more time? E. L. E. A, as in adobe. N. O. R, as in resistance, as in futile. Last name. (dear lord.) T-H-I-Beta-E-A-U-Xena, as in "the warrior princess. Oh, Thibodeaux? No. Thibeaux. Tee-bow. Oh like Tim? No, nothing like Tim. Oh.

Four and a half minutes later, we've moved on. Now it's about my age.

How old were you on April 22, 2010?
When is your birthday?
The first of July.
So you are now how old?
Ok, good.
Yes, I thought so.

A couple more questions about my living situation, and we've moved on to race. (I live ALONE. 500 sq. feet doesn't leave much space for illegal immigrants but I could see why you'd guess that. I do have a friend named Francisco.)

This was my favorite part of the interview. Never in my life have I ever felt so culturally devoid. The game was "yes" or "no" and the list was infinite.

Are you: White? Yes. African-American? No. Hispanic? No. Asian? No. Native American? No. Pacific Islander? No. Another race not previously named? No.

If someone asked you what race you were, what would be your natural answer? White.

Then Bev, cause I think at this point, we're nickname status, and I requested she just refer to me as "citizen" due to my affinity for all things Star Trek, asks me to think about how "others" perceive me.

Do other people think you are White? Yes. African-American? Really not. Asian? Nope. Hispanic? No ma'am. Native American? Never. Pacific Islander? Negatory. Other? Erm, no. The creative writer in me couldn't stand to keep saying the same word over again, as I put my vocabulary to the test trying to come up with new ways to say, "no."

The Bevs is now laughing at me. Let's be honest, I'm laughing at me. Because the bottom line is, I'm white. At this point in the interview, I break it down for Bev-er-bee. "Would it help if I just told you that I'm incredibly pale? Seriously, it's impressive. Blindingly white."

She asks me for the origin of my family. I am tempted to respond with, "Texas," even though I know she's just scouring my family tree for some kind of national allegiance. So I reply, "French and Scottish." Then dear, sweet Beverly asks me to spell Scottish. Oh, Bevz.

Now we're going to play the "Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never" game. She is going to list different ethnicities, and I will reply with the degree in which I have been mistaken for them. I laugh, because I can already see how this is going, but know that government jobs aren't exactly the most fun of careers, so I'm not going to give her a hard time. But I'd just like some credit, JFK, this is what I can do for my country.

White? Often. African-American? Never. Native American? Never. Asian? Rarely. Really? No, Never. Hispanic? Nunca. What? Never. Pacific Islander? Never. Have you ever been mistaken for a race that was not named? Is vampire a race? No. Then nope.

Now she wants to talk about my parents. What race is your father? White. What race is your mother? White. How do you think I got this way?

My favorite question was next.
Eleanor, were you adopted? Man, this would be super awkward if I was and didn't know it. What did my parents census say? I'm gonna say, as far as I know - no.

Are my parents divorced? Did I live in a foster home? Did I live with a step parent?

No. Nope. Negative.

Come on Bev, clearly I grew up in the 1957 suburbs. 2 parents, 3 kids, family dog, white upper-middle class family from Spring, Texas. I'm what the government wants to know about?

Well Eleanor, that concludes our re-interview, thanks so much for your time.
It's been real, Bev. Sorry to be so uneventful and stereotypical.
Oh, that's okay. Have a good afternoon!