Saturday, January 31, 2009

217/365: Bob #4

Bob is the most selfless, giving person I know. He is a Virgo, with all the stereotypical characteristics, but he will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. If you need help he’s there immediately without asking for anything and never asking for thanks. I’m very glad he’s in my life, even if his constant care-taking sometimes drives me to distraction.

Friday, January 30, 2009

216/365: Shirley

Shirley did it all, before her death. She’d married young, had five children, divorced, got into drugs, ran crazy for much too long, married her first cousin, hit the depths, finally got herself back on track, got into meditation, shamanism, drum circles and mysticism. Fascinating woman who died of lung cancer from a lifetime of chain smoking. She re-established strong family ties before her death.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

215/365: Ray

At 86 years young, he’s more active than I am. He plays guitar in a folk group and it’s so much fun watching him playing his guitar, singing full out and then slinging the guitar over his shoulder, bringing out his harmonica and playing that. He is really a wonderful example for people who are afraid that growing old is going to slow them down!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

214/365: Jon

Stage hand for our kids’ band, and my son-in-law’s best man. He was also the guy who introduced me to the internet. I remember the day he installed Mosaic for me and I learned I could actually download e-mail to my own computer. Then he said ‘If you like Mosaic, you’re gonna love the World Wide Web.” Boy that seems like 1,000 years ago now!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

213/365: Kewpie

Kewpie (named because she looked like a Kewpie doll) and her sister, Pinkie (really!) were part of my grandmother’s “sewing club” (to my knowledge they never sewed anything). I remember when the “sewing club” gave me a lingerie shower before I married and decided to educate me about sex. A memorable, if not entirely pleasant, party! They were nice enough, but all hated sex, apparently.

Monday, January 26, 2009

212/365: Virginia #2

I really remember almost nothing about her except that she was the mother of my classmate, Ray and that she worked for what was probably a Woolworth’s near my house. We always called the store “Virginia’s” and long after she worked there, the “five and dime,” though I suspect it was a long time since you could buy anything for a nickel or a dime!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

211/365: Dominic

I wonder whatever became of Dominic. He was one of the rich kids in my Catholic grammar school. He was always perfectly dressed, and always had lots of money to spend. He was one who always filled up his pagan baby stamp book before the rest of us, because he could buy pages of stamps instead of just one stamp, like I had to do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

210/365: The Minister

He was a prominent religious figure in town, another patient of my boss, the psychiatrist, for many years. I always felt like a voyeur reading about his problems and struggles when his public face was so different. But that’s the problem with being a transcriptionist: you have to forget (as much as possible) all that personal stuff you learn! (It does color your opinion, though!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

209/365: Dave

One of my all-time favorite people, and one of our kids’ favorite teachers. He started a theater company for teenagers and ran it for 30 years, before his retirement. He could make kids want to give up a chunk of their summer vacation to perform Shakespeare. He’s a talented, dedicated, genuinely good man. We are so lucky to have been his friend all these years.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

208/365: Roy

“I wonder why they hired him when they had such problems with their last gay director,” my homophobic friend said. “Maybe because they looked at his professional record, his talent, and his long history with the Church,” I answered. I’m proud to call this talented musician, who was a classmate of our daughter, a good friend and recently attended his wedding to his long-term partner.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

207/365: Jim #2

He was my mother’s oldest brother and everybody loved him. I rarely saw him, but I always hoped he’d notice me, and he never seemed to. When Walt and I got married, I was thrilled when a gift came from him. It was a beat-up old dish that his alcoholic wife had gotten at some junk shop. I cried – but I still have the dish.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

206/365: Monsignor Cantwell

He seemed about 105 years old when I was in grammar school. He was the pastor of our church and said the fastest Latin Mass on record, hunched over, whispering the words as if he were afraid someone might hear him. I used to go to his early morning Mass because it was quick, to get credit with the nuns for being a “good girl.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

205/365: Tony #2

Radio personality. My favorite for many years. I finally had the opportunity to work for and with him on a big project and discovered he was as delightful as he always sounded on the radio. Later, I went to see his program and spent some time with him. What a sweet, interesting man. It’s nice when celebrities you like turn out to really be likeable!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

204/365: Betty

My mother’s lifelong friend. A Stanford graduate fiercely proud of her alma mater. So disappointed in me when I didn’t pledge a sorority. She has an opinion about everything and knows she’s right. Fastidious to the point of ridiculous. Hated Walt when she knew I was going to marry him. Unfortunately she now has Alzheimers and may not know who my mother is any more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

203/365: Bobby

How can so many people have been so wrong about him? He came into the family as an in-law. We all loved him. He was so good with his bride and they were so much in love. He threw himself into belonging. Then suddenly one day it all snapped. He threw his wife out, set about destroying her self esteem. A bad man, after all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

202/365: Mike

We’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship, once very close, then very much on the outs for reasons I never really understood. He had a serious health crisis several years ago and we thought he might die. It seems to have softened him and I’m seeing a camaraderie between us that is very nice, but strange. It’s all e-mail; I haven’t seen him in many years.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

201/365: Ruth #2

Her first comment to me, on seeing 5 small children, was “there are a lot of them, aren’t there?” She called the city to report our dogs, and then later told me that “nobody in the neighborhood likes you.” It set the tone for my life in this house. Later, we seen to have made peace, as we have both buried adult children too soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

200/365: Mel

I really never knew my aunt, but she is legendary in our family. She was married thirteen times to twelve different men (#5 and #7 were the same guy). She was also the first woman in California to get her pilot’s license, worked as a nurse, a ballerina, ran AA for the last half of her life, lost a young child in an auto accident.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

199/365: LS

He was the most respected man in his field in town when I went to work for him. But his business grew and he eventually became corrupted by the power he was given. I heard recently that he had been fired, which saddens me so much because I held him in such high esteem. I’m glad I wasn’t there to see the change in him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

198/365: The Patient #2

When I was typing medical reports over some 12-15 years, I developed the ability to forget things that I typed almost immediately, but this patient was also a good friend and so all these years later, I still remember the unique foibles, though I wish I didn’t. S/he doesn’t have a clue I know but I can’t help thinking about that every time we meet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

197/365: Leslie Jordan

I saw this diminutive actor (remember Megan Mullally’s nemesis in “Will and Grace”?) when he was performing in a play called “Southern Baptist Sissies” in Hollywood. He was very funny and I stood next to him in the lobby for awhile after the show was over. Does that count as “meeting” him? I also read his autobiography, which is a terrific book, funny and poignant

Saturday, January 10, 2009

196/365: The Actor

Our interview was the longest I’d ever conducted. Many hours of self-aggrandizement. When it was over, I had almost nothing that could be used in the project. Transcribing it took forever and scraping something together that was usable was a huge chore. In the end, I think he was very angry about what I wrote. But many years later, we seem to be friends again.

Friday, January 9, 2009

195/365: Glen

I still see him around town, riding his dilapidated bicycle, big floppy hat on his head, a bag of some sort slung over one shoulder. The father of one of the guys in the band who went to all the shows to take photos. Most of his photos were pretty bad, but thanks to Glen we have a thorough history of the band’s 10 years.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

194/365: Paula

My mother’s best friend, for the past ten years. What a delight she is. Originally French Canadian, now living in the states, with a lovely accent and the best sense of humor of anyone I’ve met in a long time. I’m so glad she’s in my mother’s life. They are like young girls together and she has started coming to family events. Everyone loves her.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

193/365: The Guru

I’d heard her name for years and thought we had met years ago, but we hadn’t until recently. She’s high powered, all-knowing and unfortunately looking down her techno-nose at those of us who aren’t up to her level. I expected to like her, but I don’t think I really did, which is too bad because our jobs threw us together too much of the time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

192/365: Ted

I babysat for his kids. He was a jokster. At Christmas he gave me a huge beautiful box. I was so excited! When I opened it, inside was a limp stalk of celery. I wanted to cry. I didn’t realize he had hidden the REAL gift under the tissue paper and I’d thrown the box away until he asked me if I’d found the surprise.

Monday, January 5, 2009

191/365: Garlic Girl

They say garlic is good for you. I once worked with this woman, who took copious quantities of it – so much that the smell excreted through her pores. And lemme tell you, the odor of excreted garlic isn’t ANYTHING like garlic breath. I would become nauseous working with her and always had to sit by an open window. She was otherwise a nice lady, but...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

190/365: Ron Dellums

We met him at a fund raiser when he ran for his first political office in the civil rights 70s. A large, powerful looking black man with a big Afro, in photographs. How odd it was to discover that he sounded more like Michael Jackson than James Earl Jones. He’s still in politics, though now a white haired old man who makes me feel old.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

189/365: Jill

Simply delightful British immigrant, who made her living crawling around in the sewers of San Francisco (at least some of the time). I adore this woman. She has volunteered for many years for our favorite San Francisco theater company, worked as a dresser there for many years. She is now retired and has taken up watercolor painting, which seems a very “British” thing to do!

Friday, January 2, 2009

188/365: Brian

I worked with his ex-wife, whom I detested, and ran into him at a Weight Watcher meeting. He hooked me for a transcription job when I was too wimpy to say no. I did that and a year later he was back with a second one. Boring, boring, boring job. I wish I could learn how to say “no.” We’ve both regained our WW-lost weight.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

187/365: O

The bionic woman. She has lived with chronic pain all of her life, yet has led a full, productive life. We hit it off from the beginning and have been friends for several years. One of those people who fade in and out of your life and you never know when she is going to be sociable and when she wants to be left alone.