February 16, 2007
before your hammer comes down on me.
I LIKE A LITTLE BACKGROUND MUSIC
or ambient distraction when I’m paying bills, cleaning house, etc., so while doing chores the other day I had a live Budget and Finance Committee meeting droning away, and after a bit Ross Mirkarimi showed up and sat in to explain that in the zeal of getting the Hamilton Recreation Center and Pool design done “more shorter than later,” an ordinance was crafted specifying a $10,000-a-day penalty to Park and Rec if not done by Feb. 28th.“We realize that’s quite a hammer,” said Ross, “so let’s velvetize that hammer just a little bit.”
CHAIR CHRIS DALY
was quick to question the usage of “velvetize” but of course I immediately sent both him and Ross an email that is it perfectly acceptable, as is “I Velveetasized the macaroni.” In fact I was thinking about velvetizing my living room couch. Ever hear George Costanza’s velvet fantasy? If he could, he would drape himself and everything around him in velvet—essentially velvetize the world. Mars is the Red Planet; we could be the Velvet Planet. I vote for royal purple.
THE VELVET HAMMER STRIKES
Now I don’t know if Ross Mirkarimi has ever let loose on you, though from what I hear his temper can indeed come down like a hammer. I think truly passionate people can swing to extremes; I know I have. But in my personal experience Ross has shown himself to be a decent, polite, hip, cool guy. So if he does have a streak of the hammer in him, it would have to be of the velvet variety.
A LEADER MUST BE COMMANDING,
forceful and direct, but also politic, compassionate, and empathetic. In other words, a velvet hammer. Mayor Newsom, for instance—too much velvet, not enough hammer. Ditto Kamala Harris. Chief Wong—not enough velvet, not near enough hammer. I’m sure h brown could come up with someone who’s all hammer, no velvet.
I made a house party invite for Ross’s D5 campaign that read “Super Size Me? Supervise Me!” What will be his new rallying cry?
MIRKARIMI FOR MAYOR!
VELVETIZING SAN FRANCISCO ONE HAMMER AT A TIME
That one’s yours free of charge, hotdog.
HOW MUCH VELVET DO WE HAVE BACK THERE?
When the next scandal comes down the pike that needs a public relations spin to present at the Press Conference, the boys in the back room will be saying, “Ooooh, we’re gonna have to velvetize this hammer.”
Thanks to you, Ross!
And here it comes!
Scandal-on-demand! Rippey-Tourke payroll checks under investigation. Paid leave, or funny money? Gavin’s going to need a few more bolts!
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS WEEK
“This is the week to perform random acts of kindness,” says my Yahoo! home page. Because it’s official “Random Act of Kindness Week.” So go ahead. Plug someone’s meter. Let them ahead of you in line. Buy a muffin, and give it to the person behind you. Big smile for Everyone you see today. Call your mother.
But first thing next week, go right back to being your usual cranky, don’t-bother-me self. Because next week is official “I’m Sick of Being Kind Week.”
But that leads me into my new, occasional Ax Files feature:
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS, SENSELESS ACT OF BEAUTY
Wherein the author, out of the goodness of her heart, shares with her readers, gorgeous nuggets of writing she has encountered.
Today’s theme is “white.”
I wrote on the flyleaf of this book, “I just now finished this book, just as Pete and Tom and John were ringing my doorbell. Sunday, December 19, 1993″
Read it at age 22, wrote WOW! in the margin. (I wonder if something was lost in the translation on this one. I would have cast it: “Low rocks reached into the sea, the waves smashing against them splashing high into the air like white hands begging for help.”) Great, now I’m editing Mishima (or translator Meredith Weatherby, more likely).
When I’m sick of being kind, I’ll share some stinkers with you in THIS WEEK IN BAD WRITING.
RANDOM ACT OF FEBRUATIO
It’s my Lupercalian gift to you to not whip you with the februa of verbosity, and keep this one short.
Look, Ross, your old buddy Ralph says hello!
Velvet sheets await the right hammer...
copyright Alexandra Jones 2007