Tag Archives: california

Save me San Francisco… updated

Me and my cousin Melanie in Minneapolis when we were much younger. Though dang, Melanie, how’d you find the hooch so early?

Train has an album (yes, they are still called that), “Save me San Francisco.”  I love that title, maybe because I love San Francisco so much. As this is Thanksgiving week, I am going to publish this earlier than I meant to.  Here is a list of some of the things to which I need to say, “Thank you!”

My family:  Maybe you read my blog or have met my mother, you may think my family all come from American Horror Story.  They don’t.  The photo on the left was taken one year when we went to Minneapolis for Christmas or Thanksgiving.  For years, my holiday season meant Christmas in Minnesota and New Years in California.  Nothing says Christmas like Minneapolis.  The snow.  The cold.  The indoor shopping and the inevitable time when my Uncle Roger (who will only be referred to as “Roger” from here on) would try to get us all to go ice skating, cross country skiing or something else in negative 20 degree weather.  As I got older I opted out.  One of my favorite injuries was from when I was 10.  I chipped my right hip ice skating on a lake or pond or something.  Seriously, I had a bruise that was black for over a year.  Not kidding.  Not a complaint.

I like to call Roger my “Uncle Flanders” (sorry Melanie, he really is and I mean that in the best

Roger “Uncle Flanders” Clarke — from his web site.

possible way).  Some of the best memories of my childhood are from when my Minnesota family came to Long Island in the summer.  We had a lobster party every year on my grandmother’s patio.  The day of the bash Roger and I would spend the afternoon clamming and digging for muscles in the creek behind the house.  We always also had an outing to West Hampton.

I am going to write more about these times and what they meant to me but for now, I am just thankful that I have gotten to be closer with some members of my family and want the people who have always been there for me to know how much that has meant.  Thank you Roger, Sandy, Melanie, Abbie, Bonnie, Tom & Libby.  Thank you for  getting back in touch (I am looking at you Bonnie, she started reading my blog and following me on Facebook and it has been really nice getting to know you again through social media, cannot wait to see you next month).

Friends who have stood by me though too much craziness and drama: I am a red headed Leo from New York so I know there’s always going to be a certain amount of drama in my life but this has been crazy.  Throughout it all, I have some friends, you know who you are, who have not given up on me.  Even when I gave up on me.  Some of you have travelled with me all over the globe looking for adventure and booty (just kidding about the booty but Kilimanjaro and Everest were pretty exciting).

San Francisco:  I was born in the city by the Bay (call it anything that starts with F and is six letters and I will cut you, CUT YOU LIKE A FISH) and spent a decent amount of my youth there. I often think of it as a sea of sanity in an otherwise crazy world.

San Francisco is one of the most awesome cities in the country.  When I was in high school, my mom and her husband found an amazing apartment in Noe Valley.  From the back deck we had the most unbelievable view of the Bay Bridge.  It looked like a post card.  Every morning I would sit on that deck and have my coffee and was never not impressed.  I remain grateful for every moment in that wonderful city.

Sports:  Love sports.  So much fun to get so into something that actually means so little.

COMEDY!  Thank you Chris Coccia and the DC Improv for giving me the hobby that helps me cling to the sliver of sanity I have left.  LOVE YOU.

The thing I am most thankful for: YOU!  Thank you for reading my blog and giving me your feedback.  It means the world to me.  THANK YOU!!!

My Arlen Specter story

Sen. Arlen Specter

Sen. Arlen Specter (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

I wrote this some time ago and thought I had published it.  As the former Senator from Pennsylvania recently passed away and I never had published it, I am now.

Several lifetimes ago,  I worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).  One thing young staffers get to do is deal with constituents — in person, on the phone and through their always well thought out and researched correspondence.  I firmly believe if our founding fathers were to travel in time to now and judged us solely on the people who visit and call their Congressional representatives, we would have a vastly different form of government.

One evening, a very peculiar woman came in.   She was convinced that anyone born in California (or Hawaii) could vote in France.  She also thought I was 45 years old.  I am not even that old now — several lifetimes later — so you can appreciate how well that went over with me.  She wasn’t too scary but she liked mu boss and made that clear.  What she said on her way out was how much she hated Senator Specter and she was going to give him a piece of her mind (Is it snarky of me to note that this was more than she could afford to give?).

One idea that I cling to, even when I am not sure why, is that people who get involved in politics do so because they care about the country.  In that respect, Hill staffers have several things in common; a strong work ethic, long hours, low pay, a hatred of all things related to the Close Up foundation.  So, when this woman, made that comment, I called Senator Specter’s office immediately (he was a Republican then.)

Me: Hi this is Alyson from Senator Feinstein’s office.  A really freaky woman was just in here and she is headed your way.  Just wanted to let you know.

Specter staffer: You do know our senator is a Republican, right?

Me:  That doesn’t matter right now.  Crazy person, coming to your office any minute.

They took my advice seriously and locked their front door — it was around 6:00 pm so that made some sense.  The woman in question shook the glass doors so much that they called the Capitol police.

The next morning, I received 15 pounds of Hershey chocolate of several flavors.  The note read; Thanks for yesterday, we would not have done the same for you.  WTF?  You wouldn’t?  Really?  REALLY?  Guess not.

We need to treat each other better.