Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Holy Spun Sugar, Batman

Everyday I drive past Lucy's Drive In on Washington Blvd on my way home from work. Nearly every day it smells like cotton candy. Lucy's, if you're unfamiliar with it, serves Mexican food. I don't think cotton candy is on the menu at all. It's killing me. What is giving off the scent of cotton candy.

Then a thought occurred to me. What if it's not actually food I'm smelling? What if some villain is pumping out noxious gas with a pleasing cotton candy scent in an attempt to take over Gotham? The whole city will be under his spell by summer and we'll all be forced to wear red noses and big shoes. The Chuckler. He'd be a giant clown.

Clowns scare me.

I'm closing my windows tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Neighbor, The Nerkel*

Dear Neighbor,
Christmas was a full three months ago. It wasn't bad enough that you waited until December 20th to decorate your half of the duplex, or that you strung blue lights around the entire porch without consulting anyone. But, while you were Johnny-on-the-spot in dumping your Christmas tree on the curb where it sat forever, you seem to have forgotten to remove your Holiday tribute to the Olympic games. You have until April 6th--Good Friday--to correct this situation, or find your wreaths festooned with Easter eggs.

Sick of looking at your crap

*Sniglet(++) meaning "person who leaves Christmas decorations up all year long."
++ A Sniglet is a word that's not in the dictionary but should be. Remember Rich Hall on SNL? Ah, Rich Hall. should open the picture up. I really did a number on some eggs. Okay, three eggs. The rest I just kind of phoned in.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Seriously? Phillip Glass??

[edit] For Faith (and anyone else wondering):
Rebecca Loos is some Spanish model who was David Beckham's personal assistant, claimed to be his "alternate wife", then came out as a bisexual, then a full-on lesbian (she claims to be able to turn any heterosexual woman lesbian), but is currently dating a MALE rugby player--in other words, she's a nut job.

Diane Kruger is a lithesome German actress who played Helen in the Brad Pitt epic "Troy" and starred with Nicolas Cage in "National Treasure." Frankly, I'm flattered by the 62%, but I chalk it up to my German heritage.

Amanda Seyfried played the dead friend, Lily, on "Veronica Mars." She was also in "Mean Girls", "Big Love," and countless other things. She is, coincidentally, from Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is close enough to call her a home town girl.

I think Diane Keaton, Bridget Fonda, Arthur Rimbaud and Sylvia Plath speak for themselves.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Yippee Skippy! It's Friday!

I'm still sad about Jamie's rear end. She's woefully dirty and I would like to wash her without getting water in the trunk. Also, I'm not sure if washing the affected area will do more damage.
I'm also sad because upon reading my insurance policy I see that I have no coverage for rental car, which is going to suck mightily.

I was happy, though, that my health insurance is valid and I no longer have to pay $140 each for my inhalers. Praise God, I can breathe again!

But I'm happy it's Friday because I have a weekend with no prior commitments and I can DO LAUNDRY!!! You have no idea how excited that makes me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Laurie Ann and the Very Bad Awful Day

I had a meeting first thing this morning. I had to be there by 8:30. It was important that I be on time because neither my boss nor one of her counterparts from the Steering Committee were going to be in attendance. I was bringing all the registration materials, the sign-in sheets, the food and the all-important coffee. I was rushed when I left the office last night, so I forgot the sign-in sheets. RATS!

I stopped by the office at 8:00 and no one was there. Crap! I ran over to Ralphs to pick up some fruit and bagels, then back to the office. My computer was sooooo slow and I couldn't get the sign in sheets printed fast enough. It was 8:20 when I left the office. I still had to run to Starbucks before heading to the meeting, which, fortunately, was just down at the Swim Center at USC.

I ran into Starbucks, got the coffee travelers, and put them in my trunk with the rest of the food. I strapped myself in and began backing out of my spot. I looked ov
er my right shoulder, no one was in the way, so I gave it some gas and backed out.

Then I collided with a silver Nissan Pathfinder who was also backing out of a parking spot o
n the other side of the lane.

Lo, the string of obscenities
that flowed from these lips before I got out of the car. Pablo, a co-worker, called at precisely that moment and I told him what happened. Luckily, he was at the meeting and told them all I would be late. At this point, I just threw up my hands and resigned myself to the rotten day that lay before me.

Here are some photos of my poor Jamie and her rear end damage. Okay, so it's not as bad as I made it seem to the people I spoke with today, but it's still bad. The trunk is messed up.

I had other pictures on here, but Blogger is a bitch and didn't want to format correctly.
Sad little car. Sad Laurie Ann.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Things that sound dirty, part 2

From the Horoscopes page:

Venus enters Taurus on St. Patrick's Day

What an auspicious day for both of them.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

For the love of Noro

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This post is dyed green like the Chicago River in honor of my somewhat Irish heritage.

Today, in response to their message board plea, I visited Hissy Knits in Glendale. I am here to tell you that you should do yourselves a favor and drop by sometime. I was greeted at the door by the cutest doorbell ever--James (he was going by Seamus today)
He's camera shy, but his kerchief reads, "Bark if you're Irish." See that Celtic design? It's a beautiful painted mat done by the store's owner, Annie. This is Annie here.

She's kind of camera shy, too, but a lovely lady.
And she has an assistant, James's owner, whose name I can't remember (Sam! Her name is Sam.), who made soda bread, Guinness cake (yum!) and a minty pie. They were also serving Irish coffee. How can you not love ladies who serve you whiskey in the middle of the day. Woo Hoo!!! And guess who I ran into there? Kim, the lady with the giant wig made of roving at our SnB Halloween party.
I sat and had some cake and coffee. Then I bought lots of beautiful yarn. I'm not a good stash photographer like Sachi, but here goes.

The mostly green yarn is Ella Rae wool blend. The purple and pink yarn is Louise Harding silk and wool. That multi-colored ball in the middle is Laines Du Nord 100% Silk. You can't tell from the photo but it's a green and purple color scheme. and that lighter yarn that's hiding in the bottom is Katia 100% cotton in a pink, green and tan color scheme. I also picked up some pretty stitch markers made by the world famous Charles Lee, because I'm a sucker for pretty shiny things.

Now, about the NORO. Ladies (and Frank) there are WALLS OF NORO. Every shade you ever wanted. Hey Allison, I think I know where all the Noro went. Annie loves her some Noro. And you can too! Just get you butt over to Hissy Knits, 211 Verdugo Ave, Glendale. Look for the
Yarnmobile parked out front.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Remember: I'm the WHITE sheep in my family.

Makin' their way
The only way they know how
That's just a little bit more
Than the law will allow.
Okay, let me give you a little background information. I've had bad luck with cars. (not Jamie Jetta, though. She's a beauty) And I was making dick at ye ol' Alliteration Cinema, barely enough to pay the rent and keep the car gassed up. I had, in the period of five years, a Chevy Sprint (the KKK took my baby away), a Pontiac Phoenix (three-on-the-tree, baby) and a Mercury Lynx wagon. I also bought a Vista 4-wheel drive, in which I was going to see the USA on my way to LA, but the oil leaked out and fried the engine leaving her a very expensive shell of a car and leaving me to move here via aeroplane with two suitcases and a carry-on that was left in the back of a taxi never to be seen again. But I digress. This story is about the Lynx.
The Lynx, purchased for $800 from a person of the same last name, was a tough car. She smelled like pizza from the previous owner's job as a Pizza Hut delivery man. She was stick. I loved her. She drove back and forth to the Jersey Shore. She drove to Philly for shows. She drove the back roads, with all their dips and sharps turns, all without a fuss. She hit a deer and lived to tell about it. If I had thought for a second she would have made it 3,000 miles cross country, I'd have done it.
Now, the Lynx had a muffler issue. She sounded like the Hell's Angels came to town. My roommate used to tell me he could hear me coming home from a mile away. What can I say, I like to make an entrance. Unfortunately, in Pennsyltucky, what with the yearly inspection and all, muffler issues were unacceptable. In fact, the roommate drove her to his dad's to change the oil and got a ticket for the loudness. Who knew? So, she wouldn't pass inspection without a new muffler. No inspection, no registration. This became a recurring theme with me and The Lynx.
Remember how I bought it from someone with the same last name? The first time I got nailed for the past due inspection, the system still had it registered to their address but with the name Laura. I guess they somehow squished Laurie Ann. I smiled sweetly and told Mr. Officer that I was driving my aunt's car and I surely will tell her to get her car inspected ASAP if he let me go with a warning because my aunt, she has a bad temper and I can't come home with a ticket, no sirree. Shut up, it worked.
The next time I got nailed for the loud muffler AND past due inspection, the police officer was a guy I knew and had partied with in high school. I was very upset already because my lying cheating boyfriend had lied (and I caught it) and was most likely cheating and I was on my way to the skanky ho's house to rip her stringy hair out. I saw it was Rick and I started crying and told him all about the lying cheating bastard and the skanky, VD-ridden whore. Rick gave me a tissue, patted my hair (yeah, kids. It's a small town. Cops care.) and told me it would be best if I just went home and confronted LCB when I was calmer. He wouldn't give me a ticket if I promised to go straight home. Poor Rick. He didn't know that straight home would include a swing past McGurk's Tavern to see if the bastards crappy Dodge Daytona was parked outside.
Then, Lynx and I got put to the test. I was driving out old Route 209 (as opposed to the new route) which on the maps these days is called Hamilton Road. Here's a map if you want to follow along. I was along that long patch of nothing right before Neola Road, when a State Trooper passed me heading in the other direction. Just as I rounded a curve, I saw him pull a U-Turn and I knew the game was on. I took the first right I could find. Then a left. Then a right. Oh, who am I kidding, I have no idea which way I was turning, I just kept turning every time I saw a street. And always, way back in the rear view mirror, the Trooper was on my tail. SHIT!! Every time I turned I prayed it wasn't a dead end. Those roads near Saylors Lake are filled with dead ends. I turned right one last time and came out on Route 115 (aka Wilkes Barre Turnpike)--Damn! A main street with traffic. I'm screwed now!
But's where the map comes in handy...I came out just down the road from the street that led to my home, Kunkletown Road. I darted out into traffic (without a turn signal, because I'm a rebel, Dottie), floored it and made the right onto K-town Rd without so much as a "by your leave." Super Trooper? He had to wait for a big rig to pass. He didn't stop though. As I was turning onto Weir Lake Road (seriously, if you ever questioned the validity of my small town claims, these names must convince you), I saw him coming over the hill. With speeds of at least 60 (on these roads?) I whipped quickly onto Turkey Hill, then to Beagle Run, to Meixell Valley Road (where I lived) and instead of pulling into our driveway, pulled into the landlord's, hid behind the old barn and watched as the Trooper sailed past. Then I went home.
Alas, a week or so later, after having just been fired from one of my jobs, I got pulled over coming off the Wind Gap exit on Route 33 and this Trooper (maybe the same one with a grudge) pulled a box cutter out of his pocket and scraped the old inspection sticker off the window, then pulled out a screwdriver and removed my license plate. I had to call my roommate and have my car towed. It was a bad, bad day.
I managed to rather shadily acquire a new registration, plates and inspection (and fix the muffler), only to have the brakes and some rust fail me on the next inspection. When I left PA... well, let's just say it cost me a lot of money and an absentee court plea to get a license in California.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

You asked. I'll tell. Get comfortable.

It was Friday, April 29, 1977. Nearly 30 years ago...damn. I came home from school and was about to call my best friend, Joann, to ask her opinion about which dress I should wear to the ESYA Sports Banquet the next day. (I was a cheerleader) (yes, really) As I reached for the phone, it rang and Jo was on the line. "Oh, I was just gonna call you. I need your help..."
"Laur, we need you to come down here," Joann interrupted. "Down here" meant her house, which was around the corner from my house, and "We" meant Joann (12), Dean (9) and Ellen (5). You see, We (Jo, Dino, Ellie, and me) were the youngers--the youngest brothers and sisters of the families in our neighborhood. I was the oldest of the youngers.
"What's wrong," I asked.
"Little Richie was running around the neighborhood by himself and he has something on his pants. He said 'Daddy has a knife,'" she answered. Richie was about 3 years old, by the way.

[Background information] Richie's mom was white, and his dad* was black. I know that shouldn't matter, but in small town America, it did and still does. They were not married. Carol (the mom) had begun dating someone new. The dad had made threats, thrown rocks through her windows, and generally harassed her constantly. Oh, and Carol and Richie lived with her grandfather, whom everyone called Pop. I don't know how old Carol was because I was at an age when anyone over 18 seemed all grown up and old.

I took the shortcut through our backyards. My dad (who was home for a brief reconciliation with my mom) was talking to Jo's dad over the back fence. It was a beautiful warm spring day. Jo pointed to Richie's pants. There were splatters on his thighs, like paint. I asked him again why he was outside and he said, "Daddy has a knife." Dino told me he saw Richie's dad run across the backyard, so we knew he wasn't around anymore. We decided that Carol and her ex were probably fighting and it was safe to bring Richie home now. I led the way, with Joann a few steps behind holding Richie's and Ellie's hands. Dino came up beside me. Carol's house was a single story, with an attic. Everyone used the backdoor, so that's the door we went to. I climbed the stairs and was about to knock on the screen door when I saw it--a body, covered in blood, sprawled on its back in the middle of the kitchen. At the foot of the body, wheel pointed toward it, was Little Richie's Big Wheel. He must have been riding on it when the ordeal began, which I guess would explain the splatters on his pants.

I screamed. LOUDLY. And in the midst of the scream I said something like, "Carol's dead! She's been stabbed!" I flew off the porch without hitting the stairs at all and ran like the wind across the street to Dino and Ellie's house where my brother Brian was visiting his girlfriend, Sharon, who was Dino's sister. Jo picked up Richie and ran after me with Ellie dragging behind. Dino took a peek in the window and then ran with us.

I threw myself into Brian's arms and somehow managed to tell them what I saw. Sharon called for an ambulance. Debbie (another sister) called the police and was put on hold. Within minutes our neighborhood was crawling with cops, ambulance, media, and looky-loos. Brian, tired of consoling me, passed me off to my brother Roy, who took me home, where I curled up in a ball in the big armchair in my parents' room.

Thanks to Dino's information about Richie's dad running across the backyard, the police were able to track his footprints across Carol's yard and the next yard, to the street, where other neighbors reported seeing him running. Dino gave the police the name, a familiar one with local cops, and they went to his apartment where they found the him freshly showered. The damning evidence was a Dial soap wrapper in his trash can with Carol's blood on it. I don't remember if they found the murder weapon or his bloody clothes. I don't remember much about those few weeks after.

As it turns out, the body I saw was Pop's. He was stabbed over 40 times. Carol was found in the attic, near a slatted window, with several slats removed. The police theorize she was trying to escape. Carol was stabbed over 100 times, with most of the wounds on her chest and face.
I probably saw the scene for only a few seconds, but to this day I can tell you exactly what it looked like--where everything was, how the body was situated, the exact position of the Big Wheel--only I never see color. It's always black and white.

Over the next couple of weeks, police and media were all over our neighborhood and I managed to evade them every time (even then, I was a slippery one). Eventually, I had tell the police what I did and saw. In August, Dino and I were called to the hearing. My dad came with me because I was still pretty shaky. In September, the trial began. I was subpoenaed along with Dino, Ellen, Debbie, Jo's Dad, and others who I didn't know. None of my family came with me. NONE!** I was 12!!! The Police Chief picked me up at school, and let me tell you, nothing solidifies your reputation more the the Chief of Police coming to your classroom and leading you away. I mostly sat in the library at the court house with Dino, Ellie and Debbie. They called us into the judge's chambers before the trial, with the murderer sitting a few feet away, and asked us stupid questions like "How old are you? How many brothers and sisters do you have? What's your favorite subject in school?" to see if we could testify in his presence. Ellen, the poor little thing, couldn't remember how many brothers and sisters she had (there were 6 of them) and could only name Dean and Debbie. She was not called to testify, even though she was in the house when the threats occurred. Dean and I were the main witnesses.

The press had a field day with this fact, calling it "The Children's Hour." They tried to dismiss our testimony because Dino didn't know the upper part of your leg was called your thigh (but he pointed to the exact same spot I did, so there), and because, according to his father, Richie couldn't say "daddy." Okay, fine, he may have said "dada" but we were around the kid all the time. We knew what he was saying. Dada, daddy--it's the same freakin' man. In the end, he was convicted. Richie was placed for adoption. I met a guy when I was in my 20's who knew Richie and said he was a well-adjusted kid who didn't seem to remember any of this.

And that's that. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about my out runnin' of the law (you have to imagine Waylon Jennings saying that).

*Yes, I know his name. No, I won't say it because he may be out of jail by now and I fear him.
**My anger here is really directed at my father, who by this time had left again, and my mother who couldn't be bothered to take time off work to accompany her youngest daughter to court, to testify--against a MURDERER!! Sure there were bills to pay, but I was scared.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Try to keep won't be easy.

This is how my mind rambles--on and on and on...
I had a blog post in mind. I thought about it on the freeway this morning. You see, a highway patrol car merged in behind me when I got on the 101 and every single driver who saw him SLOWED DOWN. People, it's 8:30am and we're going 20 miles an hour, tops. What's he going to nail you for? Use your turn signals like you were raised properly and get on with the business of driving.
But my mind, what with its endlessly spinning cogs, thought of the time back in Pennsyltucky when I totally outran a State Trooper (Dukes of Hazzard style) on the back roads of Saylorsburg. See, I had an expired inspection Pennsyltucky you have to get your car inspected every year and it can't have anything wrong or you don't pass (unless you go to an unscrupulous inspection station) and then you can't renew your registration, which when I left cost $35 no matter what you drive--go ahead, Californians, cry...and I was going to regale you with that story because it's a good one. Oh, I'm a smooth talker and did I mention I was driving a manual transmission STATION WAGON? Hells to the yeah.

But then, I started instant messaging my nephew, The Roy, and MySpace came up in conversation, which led to contact with the past and finding out things about your ex, which reminded me of the rat bastard who broke my heart, which stirred up all kinds of feelings of inadequacy, but not really...because in reality, he got the shit end of the break-up stick. (and he knows it, which makes me happy) So, after Roy logged off (he is three hours ahead, after all), I started Googling people from the burg, because I get all sentimental sometimes. Shut up. I do too. So I looked up the ex (nothing), his wife (nothing), her sister (nothing), my old roommate (thousands of possibilities, but his last name is Smith, so that's expected), and a boy named Jeff (okay, he's a man now) who I used to be close to, who always made me laugh with his very dry sense of humor. I found his name mentioned on a blog of a guy who lives in the Allentown area (close enough) and saw a picture of a guy who could be Jeff, maybe, but last time I saw him he was 21 and had long hair and a cute little turned-up nose that prevented him from looking evil. Boy, he hated it when I would point that out.

Yep, that's what I was going to blog about until "Medium" came on TV. See, Allison (the mom) was shopping for a fancy dress for her oldest daughter (Ariel) and stumbled upon a murder scene. The next day at school, all of Ariel's friends were asking her questions about the murder ("was it bloody?") and Holy Crap, that's exactly what Amy Miller asked me the day after I found my neighbors murdered and my name was in the paper. And I thought about the murders and the stupid questions I got from people at the ESYA sports banquet, which I had to leave early because they were serving spaghetti and, well, nuff said. So, yeah, I was going to tell you all about the murders, but then I realized that most of my friends have heard the story and it's long and if you really want to hear it you can ask me and I'll tell you but it's hard to put into writing because...I RAMBLE.

Phew. And that's just a portion of my thoughts. It's a wonder I can get any work done during the day. But I do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I think the email is breaking up with me

In sending out a gazillion (yes, that many) emails about the same thing today, I received the following error message:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
But, can we still be friends?

More error messages:

(user is ambiguous) Too much information?

You do not have permission to send to this recipient. Well, excuse me, Your Highness.

The message reached the recipient's e-mail system, but delivery was refused. That just hurts.

PS...don't you love " Toothpaste For Dinner"? If you don't, you should. It gives us such gems as this.

Monday, March 12, 2007

When idols disappoint

Oh, Natalie Dee...You're usually so original.
But remember back in December when I posted this?

All was not a total loss, however. I bought this.
It makes oinking sounds while a blue light shines out of its nose.

Then Natalie Dee posts this just a few days ago:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The simple joys of Hollywood

The city, not the industry.

I went to Ralphs on 3rd to recycle my cans and bottles for some lovely spending money (in the form of a voucher) to spend on dinner. Woo Hoo! Livin' large! The recycling center closes at 4:30. I arrived at 4:25 and was done by 4:31...I'm THAT good. While I was hastily depositing cans and bottles down the chute, I noticed an odd woman standing there, looking around as if she were deposited here by some teleportation device. She was dressed in a long sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, hat and boots. Were you outside today? Hello, 90 degrees.

As is my luck, crazy lady decided I looked like a safe person to follow around. Every time I turned a corner, there she was. I got in line, and even though there was a shorter line next door, she was right behind me with her tub of butter and Gold Bond medicated something or other. Then, she began the conversation. Not with me, mind you, she was talking to (pick one) other personalities? The mother ship? Patrick Swayze? And quite the lively conversation it was, too.

My next stop in Crazy Town was CVS. I was there yesterday, but I forgot tampons. I was about to pull into a spot when I saw a guy peeing (because there's always a guy peeing somewhere in this town), so I quickly swerved and pulled into a spot down the aisle a bit. In the store, I was carefully contemplating the high cost of feminine hygiene (seriously) when the peeing man came up to me (because they always do) and said, "Now make sure you pick the right one."
"Yeah, Okay," I replied without looking at him.
"Because you don't want to get (incomprehensible slurring)..." said peeing man.
"Really?" I said looking him right in the bloodshot eyes. "You want to fuck with me?"
He walked away. Smart man, because this is my second time in a month and my hormones are not very accommodating to crazy.

Then I came home and my back yard neighbor was trying to teach his dog how to skateboard. The dog, a wise terrier mix, flatly refused to participate in such folly, preferring instead to sniff around the trash cans. Good Dog.

And that's how I spent my Sunday. How about you?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

And your point is?

While looking up moving companies today, I found this little tidbit from Hercules Vanlines (that's right, I'm naming names)

Moving to or from Los Angeles ? Thank you for considering Hercules Van Lines relocation services for your upcoming local moving or long distance moving. This site is packed with useful information about our company’s moving services.
Total transformation is the Los Angeles style. Just two hundred years ago this place sheltered hunter-gatherers who danced the porpoise dance. Within sixty years they were trampled by Latinos and their half million cattle. Thirty years later Anglos evicted the Latinos and plowed up pasture for wheat. Thirty years after that the wheat yielded to giant orchards. Another fifty years saw this food torn out for factories and homes. The latest thirty years have raised skyscrapers, superhighways and a new Latino majority.
So, I have to ask--What the hell does that have to do with moving?

Street cleaning day

I was driving to work today lamenting the fact that I'd have to go on a coffee run for the directors' meeting at 9:30 and lose my space in the parking lot, leaving me to circle the three blocks around my office looking for an open spot on the side of the street that isn't being cleaned. Sigh.
So, there I am, cruising along at 30 miles an hour--practically speeding on the 101, when suddenly we all came to a dead stop. Up ahead I could see flashing lights and a highway worker truck.
"Hmmm, " I said to myself, "there wasn't construction here yesterday. Maybe it's an accident. I do see a police car."
Ten minutes later, as I inched past, what did I see? A mangled car? The end of a high-speed chase? An alien spacecraft? No.
It was a STREET CLEANER!!!! Are you kidding me with this? A street cleaner??? On the freeway??? During morning rush hour??? Isn't that what community service is for???

At least I found street parking after only two trips around the block.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My head hurts

I wish I had something worthwhile to blog about, but the truth is that I've had a sinus headache for two days and I'm no fun. I can't see because my eyes won't focus. I can't think. Even a Clive Owen marathon (mmm, Croupier) didn't make me feel better. I hate headaches.

I'm sure I'll have more to say next week.