Do not add to the list of Ways I Enjoy Being Woken up at 2.30 a.m. "wrenching stomach pain, necessitating fetal positioning on the bathroom floor, which reminds me that I should spring for a new bathmat." What socked me so hard I can't say for sure, as last night was a laughably calm one that featured little more than perusal of last Sunday's paper and an 11 p.m. bedtime.

It must've been something I ate (mustn't it?), because I was tired but otherwise fine for the rest of the day yesterday, and the last wine to pass my lips did so circa 11.55 p.m. on Thursday. But cause be damned: I only know that dragging my sorry self around today has made me appreciate more than ever the fact that I'm normally functional, and can do things like finish an entire cup of Blue Bottle coffee or eat anything at all without fearing an unpleasant return.

Granted, being kicked on my ass has meant that I've essentially had a free pass to recline on the couch for hours with all but the merest soupcon of guilt, and it means I can return to that position shortly in the name of full recuperation, but still. I'm desperate to believe that I'll wake up tomorrow and this will all have passed, that my innards will settle down, that the thought of cheese or a burrito or chocolate or even a plum will not immediately send my stomach upside down. Here's hoping for a swift return to the gastrointestinally living.


Neko, live

Jenn and I went to see Neko Case last night at Bimbo's, and she didn't disappoint. I loved her when I saw here there last fall with the New Pornographers, but it goes without saying that there's a very different vibe to her solo stuff. Not having heard Neko sing before, Jenn turned to me after the second song and said, "Oh my god. I'm mad at so many people now for not making me listen to her earlier." I could only smile, pat her arm, and say, "Well, now you know."

Though I would've given a limb (well, ok, a toe or two) to hear "South Tacoma Way," the set list was impressive nonetheless:

A Widow's Toast
Favorite [immediate goose bumps]
If You Knew
Set Out Running
Star Witness
Dirty Knife [even creepier live]
I Wish I Was the Moon [momentary lapse into sniffles]
The Tigers Have Spoken
Maybe Sparrow
Margaret vs. Pauline
Buckets of Rain
Deep Red Bells
That Teenage Feeling
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
[something about Kansas and Utah, evidently by Randy Newman]
Furnace Room Lullaby
Hold On, Hold On
In California
I'll Be Around
Lady Pilot
[something about a fathom unknown by Shelby Lynne]
[Wondering when you'll come visit me]
John Saw That Number

(You can hear a decent approximation of a live Neko show at NPR's All Songs Considered, which features a show recorded in DC earlier this year. The whole R. Kelly riff may be one of the funniest inter-song rambles ever.)


Laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was warm

The two stunning days (and nights, even) of hot, sunny, actual summer-like weather we had last week were delicious and wonderful--and, of course, are now long gone. Yesterday morning was bright and blue but windy. We left the house in layers, and even before we'd gone the two blocks to Citizen Cake I was buttoning my jacket up to the collar.

It's just in me, I think, to ache for a summer that involves things like temperatures above the low 70s and the ability to wear sleeveless shirts and that wonderous and mystical thing called a warm breeze (rather than a pummeling arctic blast). Summer #10 here in San Francisco and still I chafe at having to put on another sweater when the night turns cold or forge head down through the wind tunnels that are the streets of the city.

So those sweet, rare days of heat, unadulterated sunshine, sticky skin, and exposed limbs are as precious as ever. Here's hoping for at least a few more of them before we ooze into fall a few months down the line.