Saturday, December 29, 2007

Overheard at Big Lots

Boy: "Daddy, get this one. It's more gooder."
Dad: "That's more better."

This same child was heard later singing all the correct words to The Beatles' "Come Together," so I can't be too hard on him.

Friday, December 28, 2007

And to think that I saw it on James M. Wood Boulevard

I was sitting at my desk and working very hard
When I heard a trumpet blare up from the boulevard.
"A trumpet," I said, "at 5:30 at night?"
"That cannot be so. That cannot be right"
I ran to the window. Beacon Street was blocked.
I told my friend Criss who was rightfully shocked.
We followed our ears and ran through the suite
to find, if we could, a good view of the street.
From Stella's office window, we gaped with wide eyes
and saw a marching band! What a surprise!
There was no hoopla. There was no parade.
Just one lone band but what a noise they made.
The flags were in sync. The drums thumped loudly.
The drum major led them, his chest pumped up proudly.
But what were they doing? Why were they here?
On the street? At night? At this time of year?
I thought while I watched them. I thought very hard.
"Why is there a band on James M. Wood Boulevard?"
The answer came not, but one supposes
they were practicing for the Tournament of Roses!

Sorry for the very blurry photo. It was hard to get a good shot.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Moment of silence, please

Today I had to say goodbye to a good friend. We didn't know each other for long, but he quickly found a place in my heart. He was a good listener. He was always there for me. Just seeing him brought a smile to my face every time. We loved the same movies. He wasn't demanding of my time. He was happy to hang when I wanted to, or to do his own thing when I wasn't in the mood.

But sadly, sometime between 1:00 and 6:00 this morning, he died of unknown causes (but I suspect it was the drop in temperature). Ladies and Gentlemen, Nacho Libre is gone. May he rest in peace...somewhere in the Pacific Ocean (or wherever the toilet water ends up). I leave you with a picture of the two of us in happier times, watching our favorite movie on my non-existent flat screen TV.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas at the movies

I woke up at 7:00 (ish) thanks to my friends in other time zones who decided to text message me at what was certainly a decent hour on the Atlantic Seaboard. Merry Christmas to you, too.
Unable to go back to sleep, I got the brilliant idea that I would spend the day watching movies. There are so many good ones in the theaters and I haven't been to see one since Roy was here. Besides, after all my years working at theatres, it just seems like the place to be. First, a bit of cocoa and crumb cake which I purchased at the farmer's market on Sunday. Delicious!Since I didn't want to run the risk of Jamie breaking down on Christmas Day and the Arclight is just blocks away, I hopped online, did some calculations and came up with a plan. Juno was first on my list and at 10:00am I pretty much had the place to myself. The concession stand staff was friendly and joking and because I'm an Arclight member, I got the popcorn free! (Yes I had popcorn at 10am--I can't watch a movie without it) The movie was excellent and made me cry. I suspect I was a wee bit emotional to begin with, but it was sweet and sad and charming and (sniff, sniff) I really, really liked it. On my way out, I bought a ticket to Sweeney Todd at 1:30. I just missed the 11:40 showing in dome, damn it.

I walked home the roundabout way and was accosted by an old woman who asked, "Is it Tuesday?" When I replied that it was, she told me, "Don't forget Sunday is (incoherent babble) and the bus passes are (more incoherent babble)." I feel like she was telling me something very important, but I had to pee so I kept on walking.

I had a bit of lunch and then back to the theater. Apparently, the presents were unwrapped, the brunches eaten, and the family was getting on everyone's nerves, because the place was packed. I chose a seat in the back ( X25--the exact same seat for both movies) and was flanked on either side by The Floppersons, an entire family wholly incapable of sitting like normal people who must flop into the chairs as if their legs can only hold them upright for a few minutes at a time; and by single possibly divorced/possibly gay male, who sighed heavily at the quietest moments of the film. The Flopperson (two rows of them) spotted the Mercers in row D, seats 22-29. Everyone say "hello" to the Mercers. "Hi"--jump up, wave, flop back into your seat. Oh, please do it one at a time, too. I stared straight ahead and willed the film to start.

What can I say, Sweeney Todd was great. How can Johnny Depp manage to be hot even when he looks like crap? Is it wrong that I'm really hungry for a Chicken Pot Pie now? And the preview for Stop-Loss, has Ryan Phillippe never looked better? Those abs--holy moly!
At the end, the Floppersons were credit watchers and SPD/PGM sat and conducted the score over the closing credits. I was trapped!! Finally, I was able to climb over the conductor and make it out.

Now I'm debating between The Golden Compass and National Treasure 2. I do love me some Nicolas Cage.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Must be Christmas

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "It's A Wonderful Life" on the same night? Chinese food? It's Christmas alright. Okay, so it's Christmas Eve, but close enough.

or Happy "no traffic" Day.

Oh Katie, your hat is finished

I finished my sister's hat. I know, I know. "Took you long enough," you're saying. Well, in true knitterly fashion, I cast on a matching scarf as soon as I was done, because I don't have nearly enough projects in the works. I will send the hat out tomorrow, although it may not reach her until her birthday (December 30th, for those keeping track) or later. I'm not happy with the transition from ribbing to pattern, but considering I kind of made it up as I went along, it's not bad. I really want to make Shedir(scroll past the boobie scarf) from Knitty for her but that will have to wait. Maybe for next winter. (Kate lives in Illinois, for those keeping track)Pay no attention to the messy bathroom shelf or the shifty looking model. That's two different kinds of cables! My biggest accomplishment--other than finishing, that is--was learning how to do cables without a cable needle. Soooo much faster. The scarf will match with a plait cable in the center and ropes on either side.

What other projects do I have in progress? Let's see:
  • Knucks for Roy and Terry (fingers made, just waiting to be joined and such)
  • Fingerless warmers for Ana, Amber, Santhi and I'm sure several other gals from work who will ask me to make them when they see the others.
  • A scarf for Criss because she's awesome
  • The aforementioned matching scarf for Katie
  • a sweater for Tami that I started this summer and was supposed to (according to her) have done for her birthday in September...or at the very least Christmas.
Not to mention the many, many projects I have yet to start, but fully intend to make.
How about you? What do have to finish?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nacho hates my apartment

It's too cold for fish in here. Poor Nacho is swimming sideways and generally telling me his water is too cold. Do you think adding warm water will make it better? At least for a little while? Hmmm...and I thought a fish would be a cheap pet. Now I have to buy a heater? Dang.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wait staff with entitlement issues

Main Entry:
Inflected Form(s):
plural gra·tu·ities
: something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service; especially : tip
We just came back from lunch in which our large party ran up a sizable tab. Most restaurants automatically add the gratuity to the bill for a party of 10, but not this place. Fine, the person handling the bill added a tip that brought the bill to a round number and handed it all to the waitress. The waitress came back with the bill and informed us that the tip was not sufficient. Excuse me?? Back when I worked the greasy spoon, one took the tip that was left and if it was shitty, so be it. I'd grumble and tell the other waiters but I would never have considered going up to the customer and harassing them for a bigger tip. This is not an isolated incident. One of the gals in our party told us that she had a similar experience over the weekend, and another co-worker told me of a waiter doing the same thing to her last weekend. When did this become the trend??
I tend to over tip because I'm bad at math so I have not had this experience on my own, but has anyone else out there? Is it common practice for wait staff to demand a better tip? Most people would never dream of NOT tipping, but the very definition of the word "gratuity" is that it is voluntarily given--not a requirement.
And, the waitress in question was a beyotch from jump. "Unlimited BBQ" means you bring us food until we say stop, not until you don't feel like coming over to our table anymore. Say, would it kill you to check in and see if we need more water? Oh, and how about a little less eye-rolling with our service. All this and she demands a bigger tip? She's lucky she got what she did, which wasn't a bad tip to begin with.

Super tired

I stayed late two nights in a row to help a friend finish a huge project (don't get me started about the lack of help from her department head), so I'm powerful tired today. With nothing good on TV last night for those of us sans cable, I ended up watching that Christmas at the Ford Theater special.

Is it wrong of me to think that this woman:

looks an awful lot like this woman:

This goes out to the choir that performed holding songbooks, one of my pet peeves:
This isn't the first time you've sung together. Surely, you've rehearsed a time or two, especially since you're singing for the President. Do you really need your songbooks? I mean, you aren't singing Handel's Messiah; you're singing Christmas carols that have been around for centuries. If you don't know the words by now, you have no business performing for the three branches of the US Government.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What's with the over-sensitivity?

I realize, and so do you if you've read my profile, that I can be somewhat acerbic at times. I also realize that some people don't know how to take me upon first meeting me. None of these people are a part of this story.

Case #1: I had a headache. I was achy. My hair hurt. What part of that scenario says, "hey, know what I need? A neck massage!" I'm not a fan of amateur massages on my best days. So when our in-house, non-licensed massage therapist decided to grab my neck, I may have reacted harshly. I may have said something like, "DON'T TOUCH ME." I followed that up with "It's not something that can be cured with a massage," however, given that I had spent the better part of the day complaining about how sick and achy I was feeling, she shouldn't have gotten so bent out of shape about it. She pouted and wouldn't look at me for the rest of the day.

Case #2: Most people who know me, especially those who deal with me everyday, know that when asked a question like, "Laurie, Can I get some...?" I will immediately answer, "No." Usually, the answer comes before the question is finished, so how can you take that seriously? Oh, but someone did and stomped off even while I was answering their question in earnest. When I tried to follow this person and say, "I'm kidding," said person would have none of it.
Cases #3 and #4: Well, I can't really explain these cases due to a readership that may or not include the parties involved, but suffice to say people took things the wrong way, took offense when none was meant, turned a simply case of female cattiness into racial tension, and generally had the rest of us on eggshells.
People, please--take it easy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why won't my head stop throbbing?

I have had a sinus-y headache for four days now and no amount of Excedrin Sinus, Advil Cold & Sinus, or Sudefed is making it any better. The light in my office, not to mention this here computer screen, is killing me. Oh, and the sun on my way in to work the morning--Ugh! The sinus pressure is making me walk like I'm drunk, but the headache--OH MY GOD--it's like waves of pain undulating through my brain every time I make a sudden move, like standing up or bending over to pick up a dropped pen. I almost called in sick today but (a) I had lots to do; and(b) calling in sick for a headache seemed ridiculously lame to me. The boss and half the office is sick, though, so it's only a matter of time before this becomes some full-on Nyquil-force illness. Airborne, save me.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I tried to get my car Smog Checked today but my attempts were thwarted. The first place I checked doesn't do smog checks, the second place, well, the entrance was impossible to find and there were too many people there for the car wash, and the third place was closed on Sundays. Okay, truth be told I didn't try very hard. I'm sure I could have found a place further down the street. In fact, I know of a place right down by Kaiser and the Scientology center that is surely open on Sunday. But I'm not feeling well and I was cranky so I went home.
Besides, I had soup in the Crock Pot to check up on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Such a deal!

I love me some dollar stores. Back in Pennsyltucky, when I worked for the Loews folk, there was a dollar store across the "street" (it was a mall) from my theatre. My friend, Brian Pastor (Hey Bri!), and I would go there nearly every day to see what we could get for a dollar. Sometimes you get a plastic piggy bank or a Virgin Mary night light. Sometimes you found a deal, like when they had a shipment of awesome pens or a whole desk set--FOR A DOLLAR. Brian and I found it endlessly amusing to ask the clerks, "How much is this?" Yeah, we were those people.

So imagine my delight when I traversed the busy thoroughfare known as Olympic Blvd to peruse the aisles of the Kenso Store in search of tissue paper for gift bags and found such delights as a mug with Bugs Bunny playing the piano (some of my favorite Bugs episodes involved the classics), knitting needles and crochet hooks (sizes 8 and H respectively) and yarn (yes, it's acrylic, but treated with aloe) which I can use to teach my co-workers to knit when we get a minute to slow down.

And I still had money left over to buy some chili/lime fruit from the guy on the corner.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Really? It's that easy?

On the Dell homepage, which comes up when I sign in at someone else's computer, features a daily WikiHOW. Today's feature is "How to be patient." It's almost insulting in it's simplicity, like step 3: "Overcome bouts of impatience." Seriously? Shouldn't that be the only step in being patient? Related Wikis on that page are "How to do nothing," "How to deal with impossible people," and "How to be patient while doing homework with your young child."

So, I clicked on the "How to do nothing" tag. I think I need to write for these things. "Step 4: Set an alarm so you know when your "nothing" time is over." Um, doesn't that defeat the purpose of doing nothing? If you have nothing to do, you don't need to set an alarm. If you set an alarm, it implies that your "doing nothing" is actually doing something--that something being nothing. You're also supposed to plan ahead and tell people that you're busy--doing nothing.
Have these people ever done nothing before? Because I'm pretty much an expert on doing nothing and, really, you don't need to plan ahead or alert the media or--God forbid--set an alarm. You simple need to remain inert. See? One step. Done.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Laurie Ann takes a walk

Christmas has exploded all over. My office:

My neighbor's yard exploded too.
Then I took a walk over to Big Lots (I needed a strainer) and look what I found.

"Simply Red"--Don't you love it? Only $4.00!! Winos take note.

On the way home, I found socks and a shoe. The shoe find was a little scary since it was behind a fence in a construction zone. hmmm...

Now I'm getting back to my Veronica Mars marathon and some extra diligent knitting, if I'm ever going to be done by Christmas.Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm still alive

I've been very unbloggy lately. Sorry. I'm knitting some gifts, I made some awesome Mac & Cheese, had some ice cream (the real kind, not the finger-quotes kind), slept too much and ignored responsibilities.

But I'm still here. Just in case you were wondering.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Morning people--Who needs 'em? Or, Damn I'm cranky before my first cup of coffee.

It's cold at Chez Gingham. The bed, what with its electric heating apparatus, is warm and cozy. I hit the snooze too many times. A friend is coming over after work and I didn't have time to straighten my apartment this morning and won't have time before she arrives to do any cleaning either. Then I walked out to my car and found a ticket on the windshield, because I'm lazy and dumb. All this left me in a mood. So, naturally, the first person I talk to is some overly glib morning person who greets me with a "Good Morning! How was your weekend??" I mumbled "fine" and went about the business of making a cup of coffee. Then another person asked "how was your weekend" and the poor gal in the work room with me had to hear my rant.

"How was my weekend? It was boring, because my life is boring. I did the same thing I do almost every weekend. I sit on my sofa and knit and maybe watch some bad movies, or good ones if my Netflix came through. Occasionally, as need be, I'll do some laundry or venture to the store for a necessity or two. But for the most part, my weekend--every weekend--is exactly the same. So I wish these cheery mothers would stop asking me every &^%$# Monday how it was. " Or something along those lines.

To which she replied, "so, how was your weekend?"

I had some extra strong coffee and was my usual ray of sunshine coated in sweetness in no time. But, whoa, I was a little scary for a while.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I need a trip to Baskin-Robbins

Yesterday some co-workers and I somehow ended up discussing one of their acquaintances, a woman who claims to have never experienced an orgasm. I know! We couldn't wrap our heads around it because said woman has quite an active sex life (just ask her). Since we were at work, we had to use euphemisms.

S__ said, "It's like having a sundae, but only eating the whipped cream, sprinkles and cherry. What's the point of a sundae if you don't get the ice cream?"
C__ and I agreed. I said, "Sure there are times when whipped cream and sprinkles can be quite satisfying, especially if you add a cherry, but I really like ice cream--multiple servings, if I can get it."

To which S replied, "Yeah, I know. But she's still really excited about going to Baskin-Robbins."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Up to my eyeballs in project ARRGGGH!

Crap! Crap, I say! I have spent the past two days helping out on a big--BIG--project that still isn't quite done and have had zero time to actually do my own work. Now, my work is all backed up and I'm never going to get caught up. Tomorrow we check up on what's missing and the whole thing should culminate on Thursday. I'm SO over it. I need a cocktail!!!
You know what the best part is? This is just the tip of the iceberg--just our little show for Great and Powerful Oz to say "We're working on it. We'll have it all pretty for you soon." Yippee!!!
Fortunately, by then we'll have this down to a routine and it shouldn't be a problem. For now, though, ARRGGGH!!

Don't wait up. Leave a nightlight on for me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Classic TV Overload and The Roy ages

Thank you, KTLA, for your 60 hour marathon of old TV shows. My eyes are bleary from watching far too much television and it's still going. Was it worth it? I saw Erik Estrada sing "Celebration," so what do you think? My favorites have been the old cop shows like Dragnet and Highway Patrol. Oh, and the Partridge Family episode where Laurie gets braces and picks up radio signals from the radio her boyfriend, Mark Hamill, carries around. Good times.

Oh, while I'm here, it's The Roy's birthday (tomorrow, Nov. 26). HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's my party and I'll buy if I want to.

Happy Birthday to me!!

I just got back from Santee Alley with my friend Jaclyn, her mom Mary and Jax's friend, who I suppose I'll call a friend, Lindsay, where I bought two knock-off handbags (couldn't decide), cheap sunglasses, a wallet, and a ring all for under $100 (I have money to spare). Jax's mom speaks Spanish, so she got us some deals on the already cheap prices. Jaclyn got an awesome double-breasted coat for $19.99 (in purple, her favorite color), Lindsay indulged in some glamorous animal prints and Mary loaded up on gifts for the folks back home in Chicago. Woo Hoo! I love a good shopping day!

When I got home I had a package waiting from my Mom--a knitting book! Yippee! Plus emails galore from a bunch of online shopping places that made me feel loved ('cause I'm easy that way). I should have worn the pin Kelly gave me a long time ago that reads "It's my birthday. Who's buying?" but Lord knows what kind of offers I would have received downtown.

I'm heading over to Borders where I will enjoy a birthday discount of 20% then maybe I'll even treat myself to a burger and root beer float at Schwab's. Know why? 'Cause it's my birthday and I can do whatever I damn well please!! Now where's that scantily clad pool boy with my drink?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

News Flash!

Isn't he the cutest thing? It's a Maremma Sheepdog. In absense of real news, cute puppies are always the way to go.
Today is my niece's birthday. She's 12!!! OMG, how did that happen? She wasn't even born yet when I moved to LA. Dang!
[November 22nd is my blogiversary. Two years!]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It snowed in the Poconos.
This is what I'm missing.

but not this

Can someone make it snow for my birthday? Pretty please??

Friday, November 16, 2007

I love when this happens

Today I had one of those days. Not one of those days, but a day when things went well. Really well. I had a meeting today and the following things happened:
  • Coffee Bean had my Java-to-go packs ready well ahead of my reservation time and I was able to get an early start.
  • I got to the meeting place early and remembered to make signs for the parking area indicating that this is the place for our particular meeting.
  • The guy in charge was there early enough so that I could get the refreshments set up and have a leisurely cup of coffee.
  • I remembered to bring everything I had to bring for the meeting.
  • Jamie ran smoothly despite my paranoia that every little noise signals her imminent demise.
  • I forgot to get gas but had enough to make it to the meeting and then to the gas station afterward.
  • I pulled a Hail Mary play and righted several wrongs ('cause I'm a dumbass) that I had made.
I got a Thanksgiving card from my mom today. No guilt, just good tidings. Phew!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh, yeah, this is why I bought a car

Things on the bus today:
  • Man who stared at me the whole ride from Sunset to Olympic.
  • Man who got into a fight with the driver because he tried to rush the steps while folks were still getting off.
  • The driver who shut down the bus and refused to let ANY of us on while the man (see above) called the Metro offices to complain about her. Then she finally let about three people on but shut the doors and zipped away.
  • Dad giving his 4 year old son a Red Bull at 6:30pm. Good luck, tonight, Dad.
  • Two drunks singing Marvin Gaye in the back of the bus.
  • One of the drunks moving a few seats up and then peeing--yes, peeing--all over the floor.
Ah, yes. Go Metro indeed. I pick up Jamie tomorrow. Please, my precious green car, please last for a while.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jamie is kicking my ass.

I called my mechanic to check on the car. It seems Jamie keeps blowing out the same spark plug coil, so he did a diagnostics check to see what was causing this. Mr. VW told me that my engine isn't combusting properly or something or other which will necessitate an engine overhaul or a new/used engine or something. Frankly, my mind when blank after the following conversation took place.

Me: Well, how much will that cost?
Mr. VW: (mumblemumble 15 mumblemumble times mumblemumble) 4350
Me: Is there a decimal in there somewhere?
Mr. VW (chuckle) No, I'm afraid not.

Clearly, I can't afford to pay Four THOUSAND dollars to repair my car. We decided to just replace the spark plug for now, even though it'll blow again in a few months, and in the meantime, I will look into dumping Jamie on some unsuspecting used car lot and getting a new vehicle. Shhhh...don't tell Jamie. I need her to last as long as possible.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crappy Day; Great Mail

Friday was a bad day. We had an important but loooonggg meeting first thing in the morning and after I got out, it seemed like everything just went fast forward. Then I had a mini-meltdown in my office (someone moved my cheese) and didn't eat until after 3pm. VW hadn't called yet about my car. I had to help with an event on Saturday in Santa Monica, which meant calculating a commute, and I was just not a pleasant person. Then, I came home and found packages!!! For me!!
The first was my Harry Potter sock kit from Caren! It's great!!
Sunflowers! I love sunflowers. And look--Coffee and Candy!

mmm...Candy Corn...chocolate...(drool).

There's Berroca yarn, Brittany needles and Bunny Hop socks pattern. The stitch markers are great and Caren included a ball of yarn keychain.

The keychain was hard to photograph, but trust me, it's adorable.

And, as if that wasn't enough, I received a copy of Charmed Knits for my excellent snitch catching skills. I was sufficiently cheered up.
Thanks, Caren! Thanks D. Hallin of Minneapolis!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say nothing was happening?

Son of a BITCH!!!! I was literally turning into the driveway at The Farmer's Market for my weekly Stitch N Bitch when Jamie, my cranky car, decides to buck and snort and--oh yes--flash me the check engine light. I knew what it was immediately because it happened before here and here. I nearly ran over pedestrians passing through The Grove only to have some asshat sit at the stop sign waiting for a message from God to tell him to move. MOVE! Finally, he moved, I turned left, paused at the first stop sign, paused at the red light at Fairfax, zipped up to Beverly and pulled over at the first parking meter on Beverly I could find (at Gennessee). AAA sent a tow truck, but he couldn't take me downtown with his truck because of the traffic (Don't worry; I don't get it either). He said I had to wait for the flatbed. "How long will that be?" I asked innocently. "About an hour." WHAT??? An hour??? Then Jerky McJerkinson tells me that I have the basic membership which only covers 7 miles. It's 9 miles to VW of Downtown at $9 for every extra mile over 7. I have $19 in my checking account. Nine times two is, let me see...gonna leave me with one freakin' dollar in my account. Fortunately, Junior, the flatbed driver, didn't charge me the extra miles. I should think not considering I had to wait so long. Oh, and the dealership closes at 9:00. Junior got me there in 25 minutes. Good job, Junior!

The gal at the dealership told me they were completely booked tomorrow and Saturday, so they may not even get to it until Monday or Tuesday. This sucks much because I have an event on Saturday--in Santa Monica. CRAP!!!! They'd better fix it free again. Why is Jamie doing this to me?

I'm a bad blogger

Holy Crap! Has it been a week? Well, you haven't missed a thing because I haven't done a thing. Well, I've done some things but nothing to write here about. Work is busy. I'm not sleeping properly so I'm exhausted when I get home and I've been falling asleep on the sofa again.

Saturday I did manage to walk around my neighborhood--went to Amoeba and Borders, rode the elevator to the 7th level of the Arclight parking deck only to be DENIED because of the AFI Film Festival staging area. Dude, I just wanted to take a photo of the sunset from a different view so my Mom doesn't get bored [Monday through Friday it's the same office building in every shot. I thought she'd appreciate the variety.] Instead, I had to take the shot from the 6th floor which has a netting or something on it, presumably to either block the harmful rays of the sun or to keep you from falling off the deck. It looked like I was in a cage. Nice.

I'll try to have something for y'all next week.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Not So Lucky, and No Strikes

We had a staff meeting tonight at Lucky Strike at Hollywood and Highland. I hadn't been there before and it was great to see the old Hollywood Star Lanes stars on the walls. We played on four lanes with teams of 11 people. I know. Crazy, right? I love bowling but rarely get to do it. I used to bowl a lot more back home and at the occasional Tower party. Who knew it was so physically demanding? One of my friends dislocated her thumb (I wince every time I think of it), although she says it's an old recurring injury. Another gal did something to her knee. I didn't see the injury occur, just the aftermath of her being on the ground and the hot paramedics taking her away. And I pulled something in my left thigh. I'm not sure what it was, but walking is painful and my game (not the best to begin with) went downhill from there. I hang my head in shame as I admit to bowling a pathetic 79. In my defense, I was bowling for three. One of my teammates had to leave early and another teammate recently had wrist surgery. While she did her best for the first five frames, her wrist was hurting too much to continue. So, two of our best bowlers and I took turns covering their turns as well as our own.

In other news, I got a letter from my mother in response to the first couple of sunset letters. Predictably, it was filled with guilt-inducing phrases such as "I guess you're getting your news from other sources, so I don't have anything to say" and "a post card doesn't take much time to write" and an inquiry as to whether I've eloped or "run off with Tami?" (my friend with whom I moved out here in the first place) Now, where would I run off with Tami to? Wouldn't moving 3000 miles away from our families constitute running off? And is this Mom's half-joking insinuation that I'm gay? [Not the first time, either--when I moved here with Tami 12 years ago, she asked if it was so we could "be gay together"] I knitted her a tiny heart from Mochimochi Land tonight when I got home to prove that I still love her.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An Owl on Halloween

Amidst the fun we had at office today, an owl arrived!!It had flown a very long way. I hope he stopped off in New York for a drink and some bird seed.
Apparently from the Queen!! Or, someone equally important, like my house Prefect, Adele.
You see, I had the most points of our Hufflepuff team (you know, the team that won the House Cup) and Adele sent me a prize! Inside was a Sorting Hat brooch, Divine chocolate, some adorable stitch markers, and handmade greeting cards with Harry Potter and Sheep themes. I'm also getting some custom dyed yarn from the Skein Queen.

[seriously, how cute is that little black one eating grass]

Julian is...HUFFLEPUFF!!

Lola is worried. Cha Cha was sorted into Slytherin.

Thank you, Adele. I love them all!!
And now, a ghoulish sunset--HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 29, 2007

My innocence is shattered

Recently, the IT department flipped a switch and all the generic emails from our web site's "contact us" address are coming to me, so that I might respond to serious inquiries. So far, all I've received from this fiasco are 80 million penis enlargement and Viagra ads. (Viagra is 71% off if anyone is interested. I've apparently got the hook-up.)

Some of the enlargement ads are downright entertaining, while most are just offensive. I'm no prude (okay, maybe a little) but DANG, people, I do not need to read those words at 8:00 in the morning before I've had sufficient amounts of caffeine. Among the cruder ads about "massive meat" and "touching her tonsils" was my favorite by far--"now even your stomach won't be able to hide your massive size."

Know your audience.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday and Sunday, but what happened to Saturday

Here's Friday's sunset. It's pretty.
Here's Sunday's sunset.
Don't mind my dirty screen.

So what happened to Saturday? Oh, I was watching TV and working on my Halloween costume and I completely forgot. I FORGOT! What am I going to tell my mother?

(hangs head)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moody (edited)

Oh, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I was cranky from jump. Then a friend sent me a photo of a ghetto wedding and it cheered me right up. Nothing like laughter at the expense of others to change your mood.

Edited: I totally uploaded the wrong sunset and I can't find the right one. So instead, here are some excerpts from the Ghetto Wedding.

I am SO wearing that for my wedding!

Please note the grooms celly, in case his homies call--on his WEDDING DAY!!
Someone let their subscription to "Martha Stewart's Living" expire. Could you at least throw a can of Betty Crocker Ready to Spread on top? Maybe a quick lemon glaze?

Candid Camera or Cooked Kitty

This is what I found on my windshield this morning.I looked around thinking "someone is watching me with a hidden camera and I'll end up on a TV show." But then I thought "what if it's for real and there may indeed be a kitty under my hood." So I checked and my engine was feline free. I noticed as I drove away that all the cars on my street had this note on the windshield. Poor cat.

Here's the sunset. I was busy at work and missed most of it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

30 Sunsets

I'm a bad daughter. I'm the prodigal daughter. I hardly ever call my mother. I rarely write. I forget to buy and mail birthday or Mother's Day cards (although I do call). Yet, when I come home to visit, I am welcomed with open arms and only a modicum of guilt.

My poor sister. She calls every week faithfully (even though Mom doesn't answer the phone half the time). She sends letters and cards and always remembers the important dates. But when she visits she gets all kinds of attitude and guilt and pouty behavior.

I don't know why this inequality exists. I swear I don't encourage it. I can't change that I was born last or stayed at home the longest. Whatever the reasons Mom has for treating us this way, I try not to dwell on them. I know it's not due to anything Katie or I have done in the past. We were good kids. These are strictly her issues. Except lately I've been feeling a little guilty. I love my Mom, don't get me wrong. I love her dearly, no matter how crazy she may be. I'm just bad at keeping in touch. Really, I have a friend I haven't spoken to in a year and it's not due to anything he said or did, or anything I said or did. It's just that I got busy and didn't call or stop by and pretty soon it was six months later and we haven't spoken and I feel weird calling him now. But I digress--and you're wondering about the title, right?

I was feeling a little guilty. Mom, in all her craziness, is still my mother. She raised me the best she could and what have I given her in return? Nothing. So, I'm writing her letters. Lots and lots of letters. 30 of them, to be exact. In each letter, I'm including a picture of the sunset of the day. I started yesterday and will culminate on Thanksgiving day with my obligatory phone call.

I decided to share the sunsets with you all, just because. So here is yesterday's sunset.

I was hard to get a really good shot with my Fuji digital. This doesn't do it justice. It was beautiful and red (from the fires).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ants--up close and personal

Warning: Graphic photos
So, the ants have been making little tunnels from the big ones but they're hard to photograph. Instead, I'll give you an in depth look at my little friends.

Natalie asked, "What is that blue goo the ants are living in? Is it good for them? Do they eat it?" The "special gel is full of nutrients specially formulated for the needs of the ant (formulated by a certified ant nutritionist)." Boy, do those little buggers love their gel. Well, I don't know how much they eat. It looks like most of it just piles up on the top.

Included with the kit was a magnifying glass. You can see their eyes and their little pinchy things working, and I'm not sure, but I think one of them flipped me off. I tried to take a picture through the magnifying glass but the camera lens somehow negated it. I tried to use the zoom lens, but that just made it blurry. This is the best I can do.

Ramblings of Monday News

Ant Update:
This is the progress at 5:00pm FridayAnd this is Monday at 7:45am.
No more vertical columns, but lots of little connecting tubes. That dark area in the lower right is what we have been calling "the board of directors." Most of the ants huddle in one of the lower tunnel areas no doubt discussing their next plan of action while three or four "assistants" run around scoping out the situation, getting coffee, cleaning up.

Harry Potter Sock Kit Swap Update:
It's all over but the sending of my package to my swap mate (sorry Neila, I'm waiting for your yarn--I sent you a teaser package so watch the owl post). But what was the result of all that trivia posting you ask? TEAM HUFFLEPUFF WON THE HOUSE CUP! Oh yeah, my fellow badgers and I kicked some Quidditch tail and won, despite not getting the snitch this time around.

Fire Season! (Duck Season):
The air is hot and smokey, even this far from the fire lines. I can't breathe and I haven't refilled my inhaler prescription yet because I have to see my doctor for a new prescription (it's been a while and she thinks I may need a different one). I meant to see her last week, but didn't get an appointment. Now I have to wait until next week. No winding down my car windows, I guess.

Childhood Obesity:
I'm a contributor. My fish is overweight. Yes, fish can be overweight. I looked it up on a Betta site and poor little Nacho has a little too much bulge around the fin area. I'm a bad mother. I have to cut back on his food intake. Poor chubby little fishy.

Lest you look at the time stamp and think I'm crazy or suffering insomnia, I have slept...on the sofa...from about 10pm to 2:45am. I'm going to bed now. Don't worry.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


The winds are blowing, all my windows are rattling and I'm watching a scary (for me) movie.
A minute ago, the little useless window in my hall closet blew open and I screamed. Okay, it was more like a loud gasp accompanied by an "eep."
And I thought the Santa Anas were supposed to be warm. It's cold here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ant Watch sans photo

I tried to take a picture of the ants before I left today but my camera was all blurry, as if it lost a contact. Then I was bitten. (Don't ask)
Anyway, they now have five tunnels and a sixth on the way. The first tunnel started at the top and went down, but all the rest have branched out from the bottom of the first tunnel. It's very interesting. Most of the day, all but four or five are gathered in the bottom of the tunnels having a strategic planning meeting, no doubt. The few that aren't in the meeting are busy cleaning up the previously made tunnels or working on a new tunnel. But somehow in the night the whole crew gets in on the action and WOW new tunnels greet us in the morning.
In case you're interested, they are Harvester Ants. If you'd like an ant farm of your very own, and you should because these guys are endlessly fascinating, you can get it here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Harry Potter Trivia Answers, Round 3

[we interrupt "ant watch" for Harry Potter Trivia answers for Quidditch Round 3]

1. What was the name of the book Dumbledore left for Hermione in his will?
a. The Tales of Beedle the Bard

2. Whose sign was on Xenophilius Lovegood's chest?
d. Grindewald

3. Was October 30, 1980 the night that Lilly and James Potter died?
b. No

4. What's another name for the Elder Wand?
a. Deathstick

5. Whose Potterwatch code name was 'Rodent'?
d. Fred

6. What was so special about the peacocks at the Malfoy Manor?
d. They were all white

7. Who does Harry say was "probably the bravest man I knew?"
a. Snape

8. What thing was Lockhart giving Hagrid advice about getting out of a well?
b. Kelpies

9. What was the occupation of Colin Creevey's father?
d. Milkman

10. Which Professor of Hogwarts was a dueling champion when he was young?
a. Flintwick

Picture Scavenger Hunt
You can either post these pictures on your blog or provide a link to where they can be found.

Bertie Botts Beans
Jelly Slugs
Chocolate Frogs
Blood Pops
Jenean's first HSKS kit

(Bonus Point: Who made the kit? Ansley made it!)

Those ants are going for broke

Day two of "Ant Watch" and look what those little buggers have done. That's three tunnels and a fourth started (down at the bottom, you can't see it here).
Everyone in the office wants an ant farm now--well, except for the small minority that just wants to dump them on the floor and step on 'em.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Exemplars of Industry

What did I do at work today? I watched these guys:

It's an ant farm. See?
They're in a nutrient gel. When I left last night, they had barely made a dent in the top. But this morning, they had gone for broke and made it all the way down the side. This shot was taken at 5:30. I can't wait to see what they've accomplished tonight.

Ooo, and Liz's lady bugs are almost past the pupa stage. How exciting!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Me, in a dress

My feet lasted in those shoes until 9:45 until I gave up and took them off. Today, my feet are swollen and I have no feeling in my big toe. Beauty is pain.I had to adjust my bosom all night. There was no underwire in the bra thingy and they kept slipping. Gravity is a hell of a thing.
My hair looked remarkably red last night though.
I swear I hadn't started drinking yet in this photo.