Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy Birthday Kathleen Marie Joan

Today is my beloved sister's birthday. My Katie. Beautiful, funny, talented, wonderful Katie.
My sister who left her crayons in my reach when I was three so I could draw a masterpiece on our bedroom wall in the middle of the night.
My sister who grudgingly got up every night to turn on the bathroom light for me because I a-scared of the dark.
My sister who would tell me happy things after I had a nightmare until I fell asleep.
My sister whose Cootie Face could send the bravest souls running for their mamas.
My sister who loves to play with my hair.
My sister would beg me to draw on her back until she fell asleep.
My sister who giggled in the dark with me until Mom would shout "GIRLS!".
My sister who cooked lunch for us every Saturday when Mom had to work.
My sister who was always on my side against "The Boys" (aka our brothers).
My sister who was infinitely cooler than me because she wore Candies with her school uniform until that beyotch who's name I can't remember fell down the stairs and got shoes with heels banned from our school.
My sister who still speaks to me even though I stretched out her sweaters, drew on her Barbies, borrowed her jeans without asking, never cleaned our room, cried ever time she trimmed my hair, and so many more little sister things.
My sister who is soooooo pretty and fashionable.
My sister who defended me when Don Bauer implied I wasn't pretty.
My sister who stopped Michael O'Neill from going farther up my thigh at Brenda's wedding.
My sister who picked ME to be her Maid of Honor.
My sister who made me the proud Aunt of three of the most gorgeous kids ever.
My sister who's not afraid to throw her head back in a good laugh.
My sister who gets my random references without having to have them explained.
My sister. My Katie. I love you more than words.
Happy Birthday!

Kate (left) and Me

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Gotta Be Me

Yesterday, my horoscope said something about being full of energy (did you read yesterday's post) and looking fine. It said I'd be attracting plenty of opposite sex attention in the evening. Okay, I looked like 40 pounds of shit in a five pound bag. Let's be honest. So, you can imagine my surprise and amusement when the handsome, young man in the elevator at Sav-On commented on my Lakers Converse and was generally flirty all the way to our cars (parked side by side). He loved the Jack ball on my antenna. The reindeer is his favorite. Being West Hollywood, he was probably gay, but he had great eyes. I had to laugh and give props to the horoscope writer.

I am feeling much better today. It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do for your disposition. I curled my hair today and played with it a little only to put on an old T-shirt and overalls. I feel comfortable and that makes me happy. Which brings me to the subject line...I am never going to be the kind of girl who dresses up, puts on make up, does her hair and all that girly girl stuff every day. I'm girly inside. I bake. I knit, crochet, cross stitch. I can sew but haven't in years. I can cook, but don't do so for myself. I love a good clean kitchen. I actually enjoy scrubbing my bathroom. Basically, despite what she may believe, Joanie did a good job preparing her daughters to be good wives. Too bad only one of them actually succeeded.
I will dress up next Tuesday, possibly in one of the three skirts I own, wear heels and put on make up just to prove to Tina and the girls that I can. But at the end of the day, I'm a jeans kind of gal and always will be. I love the girly looks, the pretty skirts, the fun shoes, the hair, the makeup. I love Sephora. I subscribe to Lucky magazine just to see all the fun styles, the handbags, the shoes. I always say to myself, "If I were thinner, I'd wear those kinds of clothes". But the truth of the matter is, I was thinner and guess what I didn't wear.
Did I mention shoes? I have six pairs of sneakers and two, count them, two pairs of dress shoes. I have sandals (even a pair of strappy ones) but I never wear them. And clogs. Am I alone in my love of clogs? If I didn't think I'd be laughed into a cave of shame, I'd wear my clogs all the time. I want a pair of the kind the doctors wear, but they cost, like, my whole paycheck.
I've tried to be girly. Lord, how I have tried. In the 80's, I bought a mini skirt, owned several neon accessories and cut sweatshirts to achieve the Flashdance look. But it wasn't me.
I used to work in an office that required me to dress in business attire, and while I got used to it, I never quite enjoyed it. And then there's my hair. I've permed, I've layered, I've had bangs, and one time in six grade, very short (I looked awful) boy cut. Every time I try new hairstyles, I let them grow out to my tried and true long and straight (or wavy) hair. But really, what's wrong with my hair? It's in good condition. It's versatile. It comforts me. So what if my junior year school picture looks eerily like my Kindergarten photo.
I will wear my jeans and Converse high tops into old age. I'll be that quirky old lady you see in the grocery store with long white hair, jeans, Ramones T-Shirt and red Chucks. And I will be happy and comfortable. Amen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Mellon Collie and an apology

I'm kind of in a funk today. I woke up, it was chilly in my apartment, so I crawled back under the covers and didn't crawl back out until 8:45. I didn't feel like showering, but I did 'cause I'm not gross or anything. Didn't feel like putting on make up, but the Samsonites under my eyes made that a necessity. Didn't feel like going to work, but the boss is out today and someone has to be there. So here I sit wearing a sweatshirt that I've been wearing around the house for two days (shhh...don't tell anyone) and staring at the rainy streets. There is not one spark of ambition in my whole body. Even the singing horses (see link below) only brought a slight smile to my face.
I keep thinking of the things I need to do and the list just gets longer and longer. It's so long now, it's daunting. (dirty) I've never been the "break it down so it doesn't seem so bad" kind of gal, so I'm just looking at my work and feeling tired. I should be home. I have English to study. I have to practice on my machine so I can pass my speed test (that's Court Reporter jargon for you non-Bryan people), I should be finishing Audra's scarf so she doesn't think I forgot her again. I should be curled up under the covers with the blinds drawn tightly dreaming while the house elves clean my apartment, do my laundry and fix that leak in the bathroom sink.

My apologies to the Lauries of the world. I'm happy to share the name. Honest and truly. Feel the love! Lauries are so much cooler--Laurie Partridge, for example. Laurie Anderson. Me. (click on each horse to hear it sing; click it again to turn it off. Have fun)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Too many Lauries

Back when I was growing up in Pennsyltucky, I was the only Laurie I knew. There was a Lori in my brother's grade, but that didn't count. A Laura, but that wasn't quite it either. People would try to buy my sister and me things with our names on it and I can't tell you how many times I faked a smile and a Thank You for a Laura item. Kate had it easy. She went by Kathy in those days. Kathy was popular. Inside I would scream at the top of my lungs "MY NAME IS NOT LAURA!!! IT'S LAURIE! DO YOU HEAR ME? I-E!!!" I know, Tami with an I and Joann, one word with no e, it was hard on you too. But at least Tammy and Joanne sound like your name. Laura and Laurie are not the same name with a different spelling. They are two entirely different names. As I grew, I embraced my uniqueness. Lauries were few and far between. Oh sure, there was Laurie Pastor who came late to NDHS, but she (gasp) didn't like our name and went by Lori. Yes, I had a pretty good run at being one of the few, and dare I say special in our rarity, Lauries in the greater Pocono area. Then I moved to California.
Laurie, it seems, is more popular on the West Coast. In fact, Lori is the rarity out here. And I know two, count them, two girls with the exact same first, middle, and last name as me! Oh, the indignity of it all. How I wish I were Tami with an I or Joann, one word with no e.
I'm just plain old me...Laurie.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Christmas Apocalypse

Partly because I needed milk, partly because I had to move the car to the other side of the street due to street cleaning, and partly because I was incredibly bored at home, I ventured out to Ralphs on Sunset yesterday around 4:30. Dusk had fallen and there was a strange "Dawn of The Dead" feeling in the air. I sat at the light at Seward and Sunset and a group of people across the street were staring at me. Not just looking in my direction, but staring with an unbroken eye contact that only the undead could maintain...all five of them. I began to wonder if there was something on my car attracting attention. Traveling west on Sunset, I noticed similarly strange behavior in other people on the street. Trash cans all the way down the street had been overturned and wild-eyed people stopped to stare as I drove by. And there was an inordinate amount of people on the streets, too. I thought that perhaps I'd missed some news report of rioting or zombie attacks, or that the underground dwellers came above ground on this one day when all normal people were safe at home with their families. I fully expected to see burned out cars and looting. There was a palpable crackling in the air.
The parking lot of Ralphs wasn't any better. It was as if all conventional rules of driving had gone out the window. Cars were driving in every direction like Queens on a chessboard. I managed to navigate the fray and parked on the street.
Outside the store was a gauntlet of homeless people with signs all asking for money. I'd never seen this many people panhandling in one spot--not at bus stop, not at the Promenade, never. It was unsettling and again I wondered if I'd missed some important news bulletin. (I'd been watching Charmed, season three, all day). Inside the store, lost souls wandered aimlessly, with the occasional harried husband who'd been sent out for wine, or whipped cream that had somehow been forgotten on the pre-Christmas shopping trip. I mulled over a good bottle of wine, settling on the cheap "on sale" wine instead. (a choice I regret) Picked up the milk, a chocolate eclair, Nestle's ready-to-bake Chocolate Chip cookies, and Funyuns. I think I need an intervention.
I rushed out of the store, hurried home and lock the door tightly, just in case the Zombies could smell my fear and decided to come after me. Oh Crap! I have windows on my front door. I'm screwed!.....aaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaa

One bottle of wine later and it was "zombie, schmombie".

ps...C.H.U.D.--that's what they were--Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Chairperson of The Bored

No one in the corporate office. No one in the label or distribution offices. No one in the store. I am so stinking bored. I actually made an envelope out of blue paper just so I could draw Liquid Paper(R) snowpeople and snowflakes on it.

Lunch today with the boss. First, there was lipstick on our glasses. Then, about four pieces of bread in the basket. No beverages until I asked. And then, when I asked them to wrap the leftovers to go, they threw them away. Fortunately, this is a pretty nice place so the chef made me a little portion of my pasta to take with me. That was nice.

Note to self: Don't stop at Ralphs before you eat breakfast.

Did I mention I'm bored? I've had about two hours of sleep because I was out late showing a friend my car and he couldn't get out of work until 3:30ish, so I'm also pretty sleepy. Speaking of said friend....he peed with the bathroom door open. I'm just a little taken aback by this because he's a fairly private person, not prone to showing the goods or anything, and certainly never in the many years we've been acquainted has he ever gone pee and left the bathroom door open. We weren't in mid-conversation, which would have been understandable. There was no other sound to drown out the obvious sound of a man peeing. And he didn't seem even slightly fazed by the fact that he did this. I wanted to say something but it was late, he was annoyed and we've been getting along really well lately. At least he washed his hands.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Payroll giveth and the payroll taketh away

On my last paycheck, they paid me for one hour of vacation time. I didn't understand it, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Today, they took unpaid me for one hour of vacation time. My check is already short hours on account of (that's for you, Ned) Tami's being sick and all. Dang! I don't have nowheres near enough (that's also for you, Ned. Don't tell ME we don't talk this way in Pennsyltucky) hours to cover the bills and buy myself something purty.

I'm looking at my Year To Date gross and thinking, "there is no way in hell I made that much money this past year. Where did it all go?" I have 11 hours of sick time left. (cough cough) I'm feeling mighty poorly. (cough) Perhaps I should stay home tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, our corporate office has a half day and they're closed Monday. I mentioned to my boss, since I'm getting hosed on my paid holiday (Christmas is on Sunday), maybe I could take Monday off? Mr. I'm-on-salary-and-have-no-sympathy-for-you-hourly-people said, "well, I wouldn't say your getting hosed. You don't have to work Christmas do you?" No, but regardless of what day Christmas was, I wouldn't be working it. However, if it were on a week day, I'd be getting paid not to work it. Sheesh! Guess I'll be here on Monday. Crap!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Random Acts of Shoes

I did it!! I bought a car. I'm somebody. Somebody in debt for the next five years, but somebody all the same. I already have road rage, too. I'm so Californian. Her name is Jamie. Jamie Jetta. I named her after the salesman. Isn't she cute?

On my last day of bus riding, I stumbled (literally) over these shoes just sitting there on a sidewalk along Sunset Blvd as if the wearers had just lost them in midstride. As a big fan of the "sneakers on the powerline" mystery, I had to wonder who loses a shoe, a boot even, and doesn't go back to pick it up? Perhaps they were on the run, or up to no-good somehow and didn't want to attract attention. I remember walking through Stroud Mall one day wearing underpants that had lost their elastic and were slowly but surely slipping down my thighs. I kept praying that they'd stay above the knee and not slip below the hem of my skirt, because my hands were full and I couldn't stop to pull them up without attracting attention. I thought to myself, "if they fall off, just step out and keep on walking" because how much more embarrassing would it be to stop, put down the things I was carrying and pick up my pantaloons. Luckily, I made it to my office at the movie theater where I could tactfully pull up my britches and secure them with a pin. No, I was not wearing hose.

The circles mark the shoes.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'd rather be knitting

I have finished off two more scarves for the ladies of Troublemakers, Inc., and I have three more to go before Tuesday. Will I make it? It's doubtful, but I'll try.

Don't you just love the Sound of Music? I don't care if it's wholesome and cheesy and I've seen it a million times (okay, about 30 times) but I love that movie. I love when the Captain gets all choked up singing "Adelweiss" and Maria jumps in to help him. I love when the nuns vandalize the Nazis' cars so they can't follow the Von Trapps. I love "My Favorite Things". I love to hate the conniving Baronness. Oh, The Hills are alive....

Drunken Ho acosted me at the bus stop today. I'm standing there minding my own beeswax waiting for the trusty Westwood 2, when I hear this whisky-soaked voice behind me say "would ya look at that. My zipper is down. I had no f*&$ing idea. LOOK!". I turned to look, don't ask, and sure enough, her zipper is down. So I said to her, "are you gonna take care of that?" and, I swear, Tina, if you're reading this, I am not making it up, she looked at me and said "BAH!" then walked away and as far as I can tell, never pulled up her zipper.

Tomorrow, potentially Blog-title-changing events are afoot. Stay tuned...

OH--PS: Pete the Dead Potato Bug is decomposing. Actually, he's drying and shriveling, but it's just as gross as decomposing (as if he wasn't horrific enough). It's the gift that keeps on giving. Please, for the love of all that is sacred and holy, someone get rid of that bug.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'll miss that ol' pisser.

Today is Eric's (the bizarre old Classical clerk) last day. There's cake. And punch! Eric is older than dirt and so incredibly strange. Seriously strange. Science project strange. And, he pees on the toilet seat every time he uses the Unisex restroom here at work. Hey, I'm a busy girl. Sometimes I wait until I just can't wait no more to go pee only to find that I have to cross my legs and wiggle while I bust out a sponge and some Clorox bathroom cleaner to clean off the seat. As one of three females in the building, my pleas of "if you can't make it in the hole, sit your ass down" have largely been ignored. I'm interested to see if Eric is really the main culprit or simply a victim of bad timing. For example, perhaps it was one of the underlings who peed all over the seat, the rim, the lid, the tank and the floor, and Eric just went in after him. I then go in last and blame Eric for marking his territory. It doesn't help that a certain ne'erdowell from the record store spreads stories of Eric's longetivity being attributed to a morning ritual of a frothy yellow cocktail for breakfast. :P Perhaps poor old Eric is innocent afterall. Or I'm just all hopped up on my frosting high and feeling kindhearted on his last day.

To all who are concerned, Tami was released from the hospital today and should be on her way to Pennsylvania by 6:30 tomorrow. Yippee! We still don't know what's ailing her, but they'll figure that out in January.

Oh, and to the doughboy who sat his ass on the stool as Sofia and I tried to navigate our way out of the Santa Monica Pier parking lot...How about a little less lip, Waldo. We DID follow the &$% signs and we STILL ended up back at your booth, so how about a little more help instead of your flippant "uh, follow the signs?" commentary when the nice sober ladies ask you for directions. Obviously your signs suck.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

The end of an era

Just returned from our annual lunch with Joyce at The Palm. Ah, Joyce. I think if you name your daughter Joyce she is predestined to end up a ballsy babe with smoker's voice. Joyce. She's something. She's the salt of the earth with a mouth like a trucker...with hemorrhoids and miles from a truck stop.
But we love Joyce and we especially love The Palm, with its Filet Mignon the size of a Dodge Ram, its creamed spinach and whipped taters served family style, its old Hollywood charm and characatures on the walls, and the fantabulous dessert tray (Jamaica be damned). But alas, Joyce is retiring so this was most likely our last Palm lunch. Bye Bye clandestined celebrity sightings. Bye bye steak that costs more than my electric bill. Bye bye Creme Brulee. I will sure miss these lunches....and Joyce. I'll miss her too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back on the Shame Train

Well, after three glorious days of driving a car... a real car, I'm back on the bus.
But my friend Tami is still really sickand in the hospital. Well, I actually don't know if she's really sick, but she's in pain. Lots of pain. And she's doped up on the morphine and something really strong that I can't spell or pronounce. I feel so helpless because I can't do anything for her and she can't do anything either. Her cell phone needs charging, but her charger is at home in Pasadena. If she would just get over her fear and let me drive to Pasadena, her problems would be solved.

Sigh. I have to go now. School beckons and I want to visit Tami before I go.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Droppy has a secret.

Droppy is apparently the name of the animated lemon drop in Joy dishwashing liquid advertisements, and he's a secretive bastard, too. He doesn't share with just anyone. No, you have to buy a ridiculously small bottle of lemon Joy at the liquor store for the outrageous price of $3.49 because you don't feel comfortable washing the coffee pot and several mugs with hand soap, and THEN, you have to be bored enough to read the back label of the overpriced bottle.
What is his secret? Oh, you think I'm gonna tell you so you don't have to shell out your hard-earned cash? Hells, no.
Okay, I'm a pushover. His secret is that he adds natural citrus extracts to each bottle of Joy.
oooo, don't let that leak out to the press.

By the way, there is a dead potato bug in the basement. The boys have erected a shrine to it, with a candle and a rose. It is the ugliest damn bug ever. Seriously, bring on the roaches. They are downright cute next to "Pete" as the boys have named him. Don't believe me?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Turmoil--It's What's For Dinner

Turmoil: a state or condition of extreme confusion, agitation, or commotion.

State of Confusion: How the hell am I going to schedule 15 two-day inventories in 30 days, leaving at least four days freight time for scanners to ship to Las Vegas, and not schedule big stores on new release days or the week that the national sales changeover.

Condition of Agitation: After playing hooky and having dinner with my fellow delinquent classmates, I couldn't sleep. I was agitated. Why are men jerks? Okay, not all men, but there are sure a lot of jerks out there. And why do we lovely, vibrant women compromise ourselves for these jerks. I'm just as guilty as the next gal. I put up with bullshit from a man (or two) who put me down, made me feel like I was the problem, I wasn't worthy, I should be grateful he even deigned to look in my direction in the first place. But then after all is said and done, I realized it wasn't me at all, it was HIM. HE was an idiot who had low self-esteem, couldn't stand that I was smarter than him, couldn't grow up long enough to realize that there is more to a relationship than partying and I'm much better off without his crap! YA YA!
To all my sisters out there, straighten that backbone, hold your head high, walk out the door and know that YOU ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE THAN HE'S WILLING TO GIVE. And we all love you, so come cry on our shoulders when it gets rough. Next time we'll pick a place that serves adult beverages, though.

State of Commotion: Oh My God. Who slept with whom? Who doesn't get along because of some perceived slight five years ago? I thought we were having a Christmas party, not planning the seating arrangement for the Oscar party. Jeepers Creepers, people. Get over it.

I'm cranky. Can you tell?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Colder than a witch's bosom in a brass brassiere

Holy Crap it's cold in here. I'm trying to type a boatload of things that need to be done by Monday at noon (ish) but I'm numb. Yeah, make fun of me if you will Easterners, but it's dang nippy for LA.

So, big things are a brewing in my little mind, folks. I don't want to say much for fear of jinxing things but I've got plans. Big plans. You'll see. I also have misgivings. Big misgivings.
They say you should never make any big decisions or get a hair cut while you're (avert your eyes, sensitive male readers) having your period. Well, most of my biggest decisions and best haircuts have happened during that time of the month, so phooey on that. I'm making decisions and, well, not getting a haircut, but decsions, boy howdy!
Misgivings? Well, you see, for all the whining I did about Mr. Man a few posts ago, I'm a bit of a Procratination Jones. For instance, I should have done laundry today, but you know, I just didn't feel like dragging my clothes four blocks to the laundromat and sitting there for two hours. I haven't felt like doing that for so long that I'm down to the clothes that I normally reserve for going to the laundromat only purposes. You get the picture. I have a history of falling short of the mark and, well, I'm a little worried I'll do the same this time around.

But I'm older now, and allegedly wiser. I feel like I can break the habit and succeed this time. I'm going for it. I can do it.

"Do what?", you ask. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Confused went shopping

Confused was invited to a birthday party. He had to bring a gift, but didn't know the Birthday Girl very well. Some people gave BG jewels. Some gave BG wine. Some gave BG socks and will not be invited next year.
What did Confused give to the Birthday girl?