Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's 3:30 and I'm out of steam

Mr. Man is a gold mine for comedy when taken out of context. Here's a sampling:

"Where's our hummers? We were supposed to get hummers."
"Who do we have to run the flag pole up now?"

It's bug season in LA and they've decided that my house is a great place to hang out and meet new friends. I'm not armed for this battle. Plus, I'll be gone for many days and I'm afraid they'll be like Digger, that nail infection dude, and make themselves at home. My only hope is to put a couple of cans of Black Flag (my bug spray of choice) by the front doors and enter the apartment with guns blazing.
Wish me luck.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Neil Young

Singer, songwriter, humanitarian, miner for a heart of gold, and washing machine inspector.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I hate shopping--or Why I Don't Take Real Vacations.

Real Vacations are pricey. And not just the travel arrangements (Thanks, Kelli).
It's the stuff you need--travel size shampoos, body wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, you name it. SPF 6000 sunscreen because my usual 15 to 30 ain't gonna cut it in the Caribbean. Aloe, because I'm sure I'll burn a little. Spending cash for trinkets. And then there's the wardrobe.

For the record, I'm not a fan of clothes shopping. Oh, sure, I get these bursts of inspiration in which I'll drop a load of hard-earned cash on cute clothes, but these bursts are few and far between. Also, I lose patience after a while. More often than not, unless I have somewhere to go, my clothes shopping goes something like this: "This shirt fits. What other colors does it come in? Okay, I'll take one of each." So, when I have to go somewhere, like a vacation or a special occasion, clothes shopping become the bane of my existence. So far, I've managed to buy skirts (yes, skirts), tops, a pair of capris and one pair of sandals. I had to order my swimsuits online (painful!!!) and now I'm a-feared that they won't fit. Plus, I received an email from the online store that one of my suits is no longer available, so I'm kind of screwed. I should probably have at least one pair of shorts, or at least another pair of capris, a few more tops, and at least one more pair of sandals.

On the sandals front, I found the cutest, and I mean so cute they made me forget how much I hate thongs, silver thong sandals. Of course, my size was not available. Since then, I've been on a mission to find similar sandals without a hefty price tag (the cute ones were only $16.99). So far, nothing. And I've looked...Lord how I've looked. Payless, Ross, KMart, OffBroadway Shoe Warehouse, Shoe Pavilion...Nada! Plenty of silver if I want to look hoochy, but only flip flops for the casual wearer. Kids, I do not do flip flops. I have five days to find them.

and a moo moo to cover my whaleness when the online swimsuits turn out to be hideous.

Wish me luck and positive body image!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Grievances of The Day

What happened to Sayid?
Those of you who don't watch "Lost" can skip to the next grievance. I realize that season finales are supposed to be cliffhangers, like that frightening car accident in the last seconds of the "Alias" finale last season. But last we saw Sayid and company, they had climbed up to the camp and found it abandoned. So, Sayid, former Iraqi intelligence agent, is just going to light a fire and not wonder why the camp was empty? Or, think "Dang! Michael duped us again," and find a way to search for his friends? I don't buy that. And why didn't Jack take off his shirt? Ashamed to be shirtless in the presence of the other two hotties? (mmm...sigh)
And the electromagnet field--did Desmond destroy it? Did that flash in the sky and, presumably, horrible noise mean the electromagnetism is all willy-nilly on the island? If so, how on earth will Michael be able to pilot the boat? Won't the compass be screwy?
Did anyone else thinks those two guys playing chess were a commercial?
It's going to be a long summer.

There is a driveway between the two houses on the plot of land on which I live. It is unclear to which house the driveway belongs, but as both are owned by the same person, it never mattered. As long as I have lived there, residents have unofficially parked there. First Seth, who lived where the loud-sex guy lives, then Rasta Pasta, with his van. Currently, or at least until yesterday, loud-sex guy, Redneck family, and Jennifer, Latina Gladys Kravitz's daughter, were parking in the driveway. Until yesterday...
While I was at work, Frau Piss-me-off put up gates, or rather moved gates, to block the driveway. The gates were originally mounted at the far end of the driveway, near that thing that looks like a garage (see photo) but which was recently converted to an impossibly tiny apartment for which Frau Slumlord will charge an exorbitant amount of money. As you can see, the gates have been moved up to the front of the driveway. Thus, three more cars are forced to park on an already crowded street and I had to park around the block, near the crack house, and fear all night for the safety of my car.
Why? Why does it bother her if people park in the driveway? She's never there. It's never been a problem. Why does Frau Pennypincher care so much about a damned driveway that she would pay good money to have a gate moved? (knowing her, she busted out the power tools and did it herself.)

How hard is it to open a carton of half & half? The man has opposable thumbs, after all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hmm...scarf sounds good.

I don't know that I have the patience for a sweater.
This is only a tank top; I'm only on row 4; and, I'm bored.

News of the weird

Yesterday must have been an incredibly slow news day...or someone really sick has taken over the newsroom. The following two stories were featured on the 11:00 news.

Morgellons Disease -- It is supposed to feel like bugs crawling beneath your skin. Sufferers get skin lesions which erupt and ooze blue and white fibers. Fibers? Yes, fibers. Ew. Doctors think these people are all dilusional, but the people they talked to on the news seemed genuinely affected. And it was the whole family, not just one person.

The second story was about a nutty Australian man whose leg was amputated due to diabetes. His daughter also has diabetes, and her medical bills are mounting. In order to raise money, the nutter, who has his amputated leg frozen, attempted to sell it on Ebay. After two days, it was removed because: A, it's digusting; and B, it's illegal to sell body parts--on Ebay or anywhere.
Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Now, he plans on having it embalmed (it's not already??? EW!!) and displaying it on the mantle at home. EW EW EW EW EW EW.

Here's a gratuitous paint picture--from the school computer, because I'm a rebel.

It really looked like that--all greyish and gross.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What's a girl to do?

We got a new employee handbook this week which strictly forbids blogging during work hours and/or the use of company equipment for blogging purposes. My home computer is the equivalent of two cans and a string. Oh, why did I sell my G5...oh yeah, for the $1,000. A girl's gotta blog. What should I do? Risk disciplinary action "up to and including termination" or only blog at school, which leaves you devoid of my presence for four out of seven days. OR, more photo extravaganzas (which may have been preceeded a tipple or two) from my phone. I am sure as hell not going to try to tap out an entire blog entry on my cell phone, yo. Can't risk the Carpool Tunnel in my line of work. Well, crap, crap, and more crap.

On an unrelated topic, I got some sleep and I'm in fine fettle today, especially considering the arrival of my monthly bill far too early.

That's it. I blew all my creative juices on the "Lost" expose. (Personally, the juice tank may be a little low).

love ya byebye (I want a dog like Buttons)

Fun with camera phone & the cast of LOST

Why yes, Naveen, I will marry you.

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Most likely to...

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Who DOESN'Twant Sawyer?

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It's Super Kate! Is there nothing she can't do?

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A little technique I learned from Mad magazine

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In the ghetto....(sing it with me)

This one's for you, Monkey Gurrrrl.

I thought when I left the country I'd never again see folks with their cars up on blocks. But apparently, the absence of a yard is no hindrance to the call of ones inner-redneck.

Or, as this is the bad side of town, the tires were stolen, which is kind of brazen and kind of neighborly, considering they could have stolen the whole car. "Thank you kindly for the new Goodyears. No, you're too kind. What would I do with a mini-van? I just needed the tires."

The Curse of Literacy

I went to Borders on Mother's Day to buy my mommy a book. Yeah, yeah, I wait to the last minute. I'm like that. I'm also the baby of the family so I can get away with it. I bought, with money I should not have been spending but silly me thought she'd be getting a student loan check this week (more on that):
  1. 700 Sundays: The Billy Crystal book, and the only book from the list of books Mom wanted that I could find at Borders because their staff is oh so helpful and their sections are labeled for shit. (that's right. I'm calling you out, Borders)
  2. A Princess Di book for $4.99 because Joanie (Mom) loves her some Diana.
  3. A hardcover of Dogs of Babel for $3.99 to replace the one I sent to my sister.
  4. A Dirty Job: by Christopher Moore...the reason I'm so cranky today.

I love Christopher Moore. The man is sick and twisted, just the way I like them, yet funny and clever, also a requirement. I fell in love after reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's childhood pal which the good Catholic girl inside me kind of felt uncomfortable about, but the adult me, the one who hasn't been to confession since Reagan was in office--or at least the first Bush-- loved it to pieces. Then came Fluke and Bloodsucking Fiends . Each one a page turner. I came home on Tuesday after school, promptly fell asleep as soon as the news started, and woke up around 2:oo am. In an attempt to get back to sleep, I began reading Dirty Job. The next thing I knew it was 6:00 am, I was 256 pages deep into the book and tired as all getout.

Bravely I went to work, and then to school (if only in hopes of obtaining a check from the chicks in Financial Aid). I got home, watched "Lost" and the season finale of "Invasion", then went to bed, because, as I said, I was tired. But there it was--A Dirty Job--just sitting on my bed waiting to be finished. "No," I said, "you can't tempt me with your clever prose. I'm no spring chicken you know. I need my beauty sleep. Plus, your tales of the underworld are kind of creepy and I live alone and it's dark." My protests fell on deaf ears (no shit, Laur, it's a book), so I had no choice but to pull another (almost) all-nighter to finish it. Dang, it was good. But now, I'm exhausted and far too tired to even think of knitting in public, or crocheting, as the case may be.

And I still didn't finish all the crap I had to do today and Carla is going to be mad at me. Wahhhh(tears of frustration)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Part 6

Son of A Seacook! The "check engine" light is on again!

Part 5

Nothing says rap like a Volvo.

Part 4

Dang, now I'm hungry.

Part 3

Where am I going?

Part 2

I may be a little proud of my car.

Drive time

A photo diary of my drive to school.

Melrose at Bronson

Monday, May 15, 2006

Adriana's Shoes

While staying up too late to figure out a crochet pattern for my friend (Fat Bottom Bag, you make the rockin' world go round), I saw a commercial for one of those Children's funds. This guy is walking hand in hand with a barefoot little girl and says, "This is Adriana. Everyday she has to walk barefoot over this rocky, dirt road because her family can't afford shoes." I have one thing to say to the spokesman: Look you smug, Gucci-wearing douche, pick her up or buy her some damn shoes. Look at that face; the kid's in pain. Yes, I know, it's not that easy, they can't shoe the whole country and that's why they need our help. But my aunt and uncle used to travel through South America with their church group and they would bring cheap ass sneakers (which you can buy at Sav On for $3) for the kids. Hell, even $2 flip flops would be better than nothing. Instead, he's dragging this kid over sharp rocks to tug at our heartstrings for God knows how many takes. Argh!

Friday, May 12, 2006

For the love of Ebay

I missed SnB last night to place a bid on Ebay. I love Ebay. Not in the way some people do, buying useless crap for the thrill of it all, but in the way that I can get things that I want/need without the hassle of searching flea markets, garage sales, and thrift store, and without paying "collector's" prices. I'm not obsessive. I know my limits. But sometimes...

Wednesday, I was able to snag 13 sets of double pointed needles, a set in each size from 2--15, bamboo, for a scant $29. That comes out to $2.23 a set. Unheard of! The last set I purchased was at least $7, probably more.

Last night, though, I stayed late to win dishes. Huh? I hear you collectively scratching your heads. "Laur," you are saying, "you can buy dishes anywhere." Oh, yes, my friends, but not these. This is a complete set of Corelle ware in the early 70's era Crazy Daisy pattern that is exactly like the ones I grew up with. My mother still has these, in fact. They are at least 30 years old and still look good. Yes, they're butt-ugly. But the nostalgia, the kitsch factor--I wanted these like I've never wanted anything in my life. And when my mom departs this world, which won't be for years and years and years, I will have service for eight. And these babies are unbreakable, well, very nearly unbreakable. My brother shattered a dinner plate (so I guess I'll have service for seven) one day when he slammed it down in anger--hard--on the table sending tiny pieces all over the dining room. Mom was none the wiser until one day, while cleaning the molding above the dining room window, she found a piece. Hey, it just occurred to me...Mom must have two sets because we had a big family (7, all told) and the 20pc set wasn't going to cut it. Wow! I'll be up to my ears in Corelle!

Other recent ebay purchases, which may or may not have been necessary, include: a set of knitting needles with the cutest sculpty clay sheep on the ends, an old-time straw dispenser, in child size (for coffee stirrers at work), a DVD that is out of print, a lovely black shawl from the "Miss Kendra Collection", and a crystal lamp.

Steve Westly, don't know if you'll make a good governor, but God Bless You for Ebay.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Better than a cup of joe

Nothing wakes a girl up like pulling into her parking spot at work just in time to see a homeless man with his pants around his ankles. He quickly covered his dangly bits, but for a split second I saw flesh...or at least flesh tones. While I struggled to avert my gaze and gather my bags, Hairy Homeless pulled up his shorts. and then another pair of shorts. and another. and another. then a pair of nylon jogging pants. then his jeans. Okay, I guess I wasn't doing a very good job at averting my eyes, but seriously, he was right there next to my car. It's not like I could avoid him altogether. Sadly, I missed the layering of the T shirt-T shirt-flannel shirt-jacket ensemble.

I want to crochet a bag for my friend's birthday and another one for another friend, but I needed supplies. I rounded up my maintenance pal and found an excuse to go to the lumber/hardware store. Now I used to work at a lumber yard back in Pennsyltucky. We did NOT sell fine cookware, scented candles, bathroom accessories, blenders, and other pretty things like they do here in West Hollywood.

When we got back, we saw this woman trying to park. I'm not parallel parking expert, but I'm sure better than this chick. (see illustration)
Her front fender was on the sidewalk, and her back end was in traffic. The Muscle and I were laughing and calling to her (from the safety of my office) "Back up, you moron." Even strangers walking down the street were laughing at her. Then, we felt bad because apparently, her gas guage doesn't work and she ran out of gas. She couldn't back up and straighten it out. Don't I feel like sheepish .

Well, it's Thursday and I'm tired already. Guess I'll go home and sleep...or maybe I'll start right now. zzzzz

Monday, May 08, 2006

Do your boobs hang low? Do they wobble to and fro?

Mine don't anymore. I got new bras!! I got this one in pink, and this in nude, plus a mesh bag to wash them in and pretty lavender wash, so as not to ruin the very expensive bras. Now that I know my true size and what all those letters mean, I can get a whole lotta bras that fit. Thanks Kelli for everything. Thanks Regina for your tireless help in bra fitting. Thanks Nordstrom for having a well-trained bra fitting staff. My supported mammaries are grateful.

On Saturday, I crashed a Bar Mitzvah. Okay, I didn't really crash, but it felt like it. Good food. And the grandmother of the new man had a credit card at the bar, so Woo Hoo to the Mimosa with Peach schnapps and watermelon Martini. Some highlights, without being too disrespectful:

Ross Gellar sat at our table with his frumpy wife, rude daughter, and two adorable sons. The daughter sneezed a big, snotty sneeze right into the bowl of angel hair pasta. Good thing Tina and I got our portions first. Also, Tina may have admitted to being a table dancer, much to the delight of Ross and...

The DJ, who without provocation gave us the finger guns.
He was kind of cute, and flirted with us while Tina abused him with requests for "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend.." and songs wholly inappropriate for a Bar Mitzvah. He also had no clue we were laughing at him, which made us laugh even more.

On the way home with the top down in Tina's car, I proved that I do not have rhythm. Nope. None whatsoever. Embarrassing. My hair looked like Tina Turner "beyond Thunderdome" when I got home.

Also, there was some kind of gang warfare/ police raid in progress at the end of my street when Tina dropped me off because, you know, I live in the 'wood. (Holly, not Ingle).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thoughts for Thursday

random thoughts as they pop into my Swiss cheese brain:

The woman believed to be the oldest living person in the world turned 128 today. She is Cruz Hernandez from El Salvador. Below is an excerpt from the article:
"Hernandez, who relatives say spends most of her time dozing and no longer speaks..."
Well, no kidding. After 128 years, what more could she say? And, is she dozing or has she really died and no one noticed.

I couldn't sleep last night, so I found myself wide awake at 3:30am. I was watching the news, World News Now, and the female anchor was talking about Tom Cruise's publicity stunts for MI:3 in New York. Ron Corning, the male anchor, sat for a second or two in dead air, then turned to Gigi and said, "I couldn't care less about that guy. Is that wrong for me to say?"
I didn't hear Gigi's response because I laughed out loud. No, Ron, it's not wrong.

Have you ever looked around at the people your associated with and felt like you slipped down a rabbit hole? Characters as far as the eye can see, each one nuttier than the last. And you're the normal one...or are you. I had that feeling last night at school. (my fellow Rack Packers excluded, of course) Between Pat and her buddy Squatch, Topper, Sybil, Cinna Bun, Marbles, Toe Socks, and the paper dropper (these are all code names, people) it was a veritable freak show.

Overheard in line for the ATM at the liquor store:
"I don't want to spend more than $100. $150 tops. What if I only want one tattoo? I means, I don't know how I'll feel after this. I'm sure it's a good shop, and sure he's a talented artist, but if this is going to be my one and only tattoo, is this what I want? And is he who I want to do it? I just don't know." Young, buxom blonde then drops her Hello Kitty coin purse and marvels at the fact that Stoli is available in glass bottles, which is apparently unheard of in Florida. I'm willing to bet the one tattoo that she was contemplating was a butterfly on her lower back. I was going to tell her that tattoos are like Lays potato chips, but I really just wanted her to step away from the ATM so I could purchase by Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper get back to work.

I'm bored.

Yesterday there was an accident on Fountain at La Cienega, forcing me down a side street to Santa Monica and on westward. I saw lots of cute apartment buildings with vacancies, but being West Hollywood, I'm sure they were out of my range. However, I so want to live in the Black Flag building (photos).

And while I'm making obscure music references, I love this cartoon.

That's all for me today.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Well, Crap

Apparently, Frau Beyotch knows her shit and she CAN increase my security deposit. Rats!
Also, I will not be able to move before the July 1 increase date. Double Rats!
That tears it. If I'm going to pay another $200, I'm putting the water filter back on my kitchen faucet. I'm also going to have her fix the hall light that the gnomes jacked into and the bathroom faucet that leaks. Hells yeah. Thank you, Sachi, for the advice on getting the deposit back. Also, thank you, Roy, for sending me the links to the civil codes.

So, this has nothing to do with anything, but my friend Joann emailed me to tell me our old neighbor, Mrs. Quinn, died. She was 90. The funny thing is Mrs. Quinn has always been old. She has lived next door to my family since, well, forever. She must have been 49 or 50 when we moved in, which is certainly not old, but I have always seen her as the old woman next door.

Which got me thinking about the relativity of age.

When I turned 25, a friend of mine lamented how at 25, her mother was married and pregnant. I said, "At 25, my mother was married and had three sons." I couldn't imagine, when I was 25, being married, let alone being a mom. And I very much planned on being a mom in those days. It seemed , 25, like a milestone had been reached and I had fallen behind the pack. It didn't necessarily bother me. It was just there. 25. Birthdays from then on are measured in five-year increments. People don't make a big deal again until you're 30. Then 30 found me still not married, still not a mom, heartbroken and antsy, so I moved to California, a move that most people would have done at 25. I'm still behind.

Today, I realized that I am the age my mother was when my father left. Mom seemed so old to me. She was such an adult and so...old. Yet, here I am, 41, and I don't feel it. I don't consider myself old (except when trying to explain to the kids here who Julie Newmar is or what an 8-track was). I certainly don't act my age. I don't think of my brothers and sisters as old, even though they are older than me. And Mom went through menopause at, like, 45. I am SO not ready for that shit to start.

I'm still behind. I still don't care that I'm behind, not really. Sure, sometimes it really hits me and I want to be like everyone else and have the house, the husband, the kids, the dog, but every family needs a "maiden aunt" who's lovable and a little off her rocker. I have a role to fill.

And my Aunt Janet found the love of her life in her late 40's (or ealrly 50's) so I'm not giving up yet.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Does anyone know tenant laws in LA?

My landlady must go. Or I must. I have never hated a landlord/manager like this one. I've lived in many apartments over the years, so I have some experience.
I've was annoyed at Stephen, the building manager who was all up in my grill and read my paper before I got to it, and "rented" a two bedroom apartment to his boyfriend for use as a design studio, but I didn't hate him. Lucille's son gave me the creeps, but he was handy with a wrench so I didn't hate him. And the couple who rented out the house to four unacquainted girls then was surprised when there were personality clashes? No hate. But this lady? Frau Ripoff? HATRED ABOUNDS.

Her latest stunt? In my annual rent increase letter, she is demanding an additional $200 to increase the security deposit because when I moved in, seven years ago, the security deposit was considerably less than the current rent. She was not the owner then and the rent was cheaper.
Can she do this?? Does anyone out there know the law? Because I am pretty sure that she has no intention of giving me back my security deposit anyway, regardless of how pristine I leave that apartment. Why should I give her an extra $200 that I'm not going to get back.

And if she can legally do this, I'm moving. Yes, my rent is unbelievably cheap. Yes, it's a cute apartment. I would just rather give that $200 (and more) to a landlord that I'll like, who won't have a problem with a water filter, who won't let workmen slop spackle all over my apartment, who won't tell me to "unplug the stove before the codes inspector gets here or I'll charge you the fine," who doesn't smell like Powder Fresh Carefree Pantiliners, who won't accuse me of hiding a second bathroom, who won't accuse me of having a leak in my bathroom that doesn't exist, who is genuinely pleasant to deal with and who will most certainly NOT BE HER!

So, seriously, if you know the laws or have a friend who does, I need some legal advice.
Cheap rent is not worth dealing with this woman.