Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Shamrock Shake by any other name

Back in March when the McDonalds' across the nation serve up delicious Shamrock Shakes in honor of St. Patrick's day, the city of Los Angeles was devoid of minty goodness. Oh, I looked. I drove near and far, hither and yon, and at every turn my request for these seasonal treats was met with confused looks, "Mint?". Come on. It's MC Donalds for crying out loud. A little Irish spirit wouldn't kill ya.

Yesterday I finally got around to reading "Fast Food Nation" and, ironically, it made me hungry for a Quarter Pounder with cheese. I scanned the menu and what did I see? "Minty Mudbath Shake" in honor of Shrek The Third. Hmm...isn't it strange that when a film studio throws money at them they are lousy with mint-flavored shakes.
I'll remember this next March, McDonalds. You'd better come through for me or I'll be fomenting a riot.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boo to the Hoo

My knee keeps giving out on me at random moments. It's fun. (not really) So, after a long day and some swelling, my knee was not in prime shape as I made my way home today.
Unfamiliar with the stops on the 328 line, I rang the bell early and ended up getting off four or so blocks before Crenshaw. I don't get it. Weinerschnitzel looks so close to Crenshaw when driving.

I stepped off the curb, lost my balance and fell flat on my face and my knee. I got up quickly and hobbled across the street. My knee was bleeding. The pain was tremendous, but my stop was just four blocks away. I walked on, each step more painful than the last, but just four blocks. I walked on and on and looked up and--Son of a Sea Cook, where the hell is Crenshaw? I swear it was just down the street. I kept walking and soon the pain became a dull throb. I stopped at Rite Aid to get some Clairol Nice & Easy #118A and Q-Tips. There was the hair dye right up front. But where are the Q-Tips. I looked in the make up aisle. No swabs. I looked in the first aid aisle. No swabs. I looked in the baby aisle, where they usually are, and still no freakin' swabs. Is it too much to ask?? Finally, I found them way up high jumbled under a pile of army men. Crimony! It's just a cotton swab.

Got home, found a letter from Frau Moneygrubbing Beyotch and my rent is going up. 5% this time instead of the usual 3%. At least she didn't try to soak me that $7 "city fees" this time.

I need ice cream. Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream, a Ben & Jerry joint.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's Delightful!

A little while ago, Annika mentioned this guy's "50 banjos" project to raise money for his roof repairs. I've been checking back every now and then admiring his work and debating what kind of banjo picture I would want. Finally I thought, "well, gingham, of course, and sunflowers, because they make me happy." So I sent Eric my money and said, "I like sunflowers and gingham." And this is what he made for me.
Check out Eric's site and order yourself a banjo. It's bound to make you smile.

Friday, May 25, 2007

It must be his busy season

I got the diagnosis for poor little Jamie. It actually had nothing to do with the oil at all. That was just a coincidence. Although, the oil stunt wasn't good either, but that's easily fixed with a quick flush and filter change. No, apparently my spark plugs have plugged their last spark. The cost of repairs far outweighs the balance in my checkbook and I don't get paid until next Thursday. The mechanic said, "So, do you want to pick up your car and bring it back next week?"
I asked, "Is it safe to drive?"

He replied, "I wouldn't recommend it. It'll probably just break down on you."
Um, then why did you suggest it, doofus?

I needed help. I made a call.

I left a message. We'll see if he gets back to me.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I have a good excuse for missing SnB tonight

Remember Sunday when my oil light went BEEP BEEP BEEP? It was nearly dry and I only put in two quarts, so I have been a little concerned that it needed more oil ever since. Before I left work, I checked the oil and it was at the "add more" level. I stopped at 7-11, but they only had 10w-30 oil. Jamie is a discerning little car. She only likes 5w-40 (but she'll take the 5w-30 if need be). So, off I drove to the Mobil station at Alvarado. I bought two more quarts and added them without spilling a drop. I check the oil level and--oops--it was a little over the full level. Not way over, mind you, just a little over.

[DANGER WILL ROBINSON--here's where you start to get nervous for our heroine.]

I headed off down Olympic for a fun night of Stitchin' and Bitchin'. At some point, I noticed Jamie was idling a little rough. That's not like her. For the next block or two, she was a little jerky. Then, I smelled something and the "Check Engine" light came on. Now, I know you don't want to mess with oil and engine issues, so I turned up the first street I could find and parked in the only spot available--the red zone--and called AAA.

How much do I love AAA? So much. I called at 6:55 and the tow truck was there within 10 minutes. Not only that, but the tow company called the dealership to see if the repair shop was still open, then called me back to tell me there was a drop-off service. And the driver? So nice. His name was X-Ray, or at least that's what his shirt said.

Me? Back on the bus, I'm afraid. What I'm really afraid of is the repair bill. I was going to drop the car off at the body shop tomorrow to FINALLY fix the rear end damage, but now I have to worry about these repairs.

The first of many.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Go Blue! See Greene!

Tonight was Stitch N Pitch night at Dodgers' Stadium. I can't believe I didn't take ONE picture. Dang! I'm sure many other gals will post photos. The Dodgers won despite the presence of Uccellina and Husband, both self-proclaimed jinxes. Special thanks to Ucc and Hubby for picking me up on the hill.

Afterward, I realized that I had to get food for a breakfast meeting in the morning. Rats!
On to Ralphs on Sunset where pickings were slim, but I managed to get some croissants and fruit. I just need to pick up the coffee on my way in.

As I was heading toward the check out, I nearly ran over Ellen Greene (you know, Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors). She didn't look happy to be at Ralphs either.

OH--as for that project I was working on? I frogged it. It was going to be a baseball purse. It didn't work out. Sorry. Thanks for guessing, Helena.

Monday, May 21, 2007

That's what I get for being impulsive

I was online this morning reading a blog that mentioned Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and nothing would do but a pint of Ben & Jerry's. So, I put clothes on and ventured out. I was going to walk over to 7-11 but thought I'd find it cheaper at the grocery store and maybe get something substantial to eat too. Then, as I turned onto Sunset, I suddenly got a bug up my butt to go to JoAnn's in Glendale for a little something for my latest project (see below).

All went well. I got the little something I needed plus something I didn't know I needed but it was cheap. Then as I was headed home all proud of myself for figuring out how to get to the freeway and get home, singing out loud to the Pearl Jam CD in my player, a loud piercing BEEP BEEP BEEP went off. Oh look, it's my oil light--AGAIN. I quickly took the first exit I saw, not knowing that it leads to another exit. And all the while the beeping, MY GOD, the beeping won't stop. "I'm trying to pull over. Quit beeping at me," I shouted at the incessant alarm. Fortunately, after the last incident, I have had two quarts of oil in my trunk for just such an occasion. Plucky gal that I am, I popped the hood, dumped in the oil and waited for it to settle before checking the dipstick again. Then I wiped my hands and headed home.

I never got my ice cream because I didn't want to tempt fate with the car and all. My brakes are making horrid noises and I still have to get the back end fixed fro
m my little accident. Rats.

In other news, I knit another cupcake from the One Skein book, and while I think the color scheme looks like Winnie The Pooh's treehouse, I'm very proud of the candle. That's an I-cord, with a coffee stirrer stuffed inside and some fuzzy Target yarn as the flame.

So, guess what I'm knitting now? Here's some pictures to help you.

Is it a jelly fish? A hat gone wrong?

A boob warmer?
You guess.

Sorry, I don't have any prizes for you, but I'll be sure to laud you to the rafters via this here blog. Stay tuned for the results (by Tuesday, I hope). And please take note of the beautiful stitch markers courtesy of the lovely and talented Sachi.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just call me Jordy Verrill

I have some green thumbs.
Why, just look at my beautiful plants!

I'm supposed to replant the sunflowers when they reach 3" tall, which was about three days ago. Problem is, I don't have a flower pot in which to do the replanting. Oh, bother.

But wait, what's that I see across the street?
Is that what I think it is?
a bathtub??Kind of makes my dad's painted hot water heater planter look downright classy. At least Dad's is painted a sunny yellow color and is mounted on a base. This is just a tub.

I'm it.

That's not a new earring, kids. I've been tagged! Now Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom can track the migratory patterns of the North American Laurie Ann.

Okay--It's a MEME! Oh, that Sachi. Here's the rules:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Now, let's see what juicy secrets I shall reveal:

  1. I love Bingo. Really. I love the tension that builds when half the room is one or two numbers away and you're just waiting for B9 and then some old bitty in the back yells, "BINGO" and you just want to beat her with her "Grammy's Bingo Bag" tote. Back home, instead of hosting a Tupperware party, the local T-ladies would hold a massive Tupperware party in the fire hall and play Bingo to boot. Prizes were Tupperware products. Lordy, the plastic I had in my cupboards. Guess what I'm watching on Friday nights.
  2. I don't like being high or impaired in any way. I'm very sensitive to the effects of substances and aspirin makes me drowsy. So, I only take pain medication if I'm in unbearable amounts of pain, and I only take my allergy meds if I'm going to be around a known trigger, like cats or pine trees. This is also why I don't smoke pot (aside from the whole asthma thing) and rarely drink to excess, although I do break my own rules occasionally 'cause I'm allowed.
  3. I should not be allowed to own a checking account. I'm HORRIBLE at managing money. I'm a total impulse buyer and will blow a paycheck on bright, shiny objects while bills are paid late. Tina has offered to get me a budget, as has Tami, but honestly, (and Tina, this is why I haven't given you the info yet) I know me well enough to know it'll be forgotten as soon as I see something nifty. My compromised ATM card may prove to be a Godsend.
  4. [Really? 8 things?] Um, I talk to myself. Not in the muttering way that most people do, but full on conversations with people I know, only I'm answering for them. And you know, the conversations don't always go my way.
  5. I'm a slob. My apartment is shamefully messy and would make my Mommy cry. I recognize the need to clean and will scold myself daily, but then, eh... On the other hand, when I'm really angry, I will clean like mad. And, I actually enjoy cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.
  6. I love my handwriting. I practiced my penmanship all the time growing up because I loved my mother's signature and wanted to be able to write like her. I believe I have exceeded my expectations.
  7. I'm afraid of ridiculous things, like the dark and Sasquatch. When I was young, I saw one of those "In Search Of..." movies about Bigfoot and was honest-to-God afraid that Bigfoot was going to attack. There was a re-enactment in the film in which Bigfoot put his arm through a living room window and smashed a lamp. For the rest of my life, I would not (and still won't) sit on the sofa in front of the big window at night. If I HAD to sit on that sofa, I'd sit in the corner and lean way back so Bigfoot wouldn't be able to tell I was there.
  8. [phew, last one] I have always gotten along better with boys than girls. While I have a lot of women friends as an adult, I tended to gravitate toward men for friendships when I was younger. I still do at jobs and with neighbors.
Wow. That took a while. I, like Uccellina, will not tag others because other than my SnB friends, I don't know a lot of bloggers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

At least something in my house was in a compromising position

As per my last post, it's that time of the month. I ran out of spark plugs so I stopped at Rite Aid on my way to the freeway. After waiting in the typical Rite Aid line(change the name but it's still Thrifty) my card was "invalid." Crippled? Arrggghh!!!

After a very busy day, I finally got to stop at the ATM downstairs from my office and it literally spit my card back out at me. I mean, I swear I heard the "thpt" sound. I went into the bank and do you know they had NO withdrawal slips. None. I know most people just use the ATM, but still.

Me: Um, my card just got spit back out at me.

Sweet Teller: Okay, just swipe it. (I swipe) OH. Um, it's closed.
Me: My account is closed??
ST: No, just the card.
Me: The card is closed? Why?
ST: Um, I don't know, but that man over there can help you (points to manager). In the meantime, would you like to withdrawal some money?
Me: Yes please.

Me to manager: My card is closed.
Sal the Manager: Okay, let's see what's wrong.
He took my card and typed some things in his computer and then...
"OH. Hmmm."
Really, you don't want to hear "Oh, Hmmm" from the man holding your non-working ATM card.
Me: Is it bad?
Sal: I've never seen this code before.
That's bad. All kinds of things are running through my brain. Things like all the people I owe money to have ganged up and frozen my account. Or, I've landed on some terrorist list and the government doesn't want me to have access to my account. Sal typed some more, then called someone and gave them some numbers, then typed some more. Finally, he hung up and said:

Sal: Your card was compromised, so they closed it.
Me: Compromised?
Sal: There may have been a window of time when your card was vulnerable to identity theft.
Me: Well, I haven't used it in over a week, so I don't know when that would have happened.
Sal: That could have been it. They didn't see any use and thought it was stolen.

Great, so the bank knows I use my debit card every single day and when I'm too poor to use it, they missed me. That's so sweet.

I'll have my new card on Thursday and make sure it gets good and broken in by Friday.


Friday, May 11, 2007


You know those "Where does depression hurt?" commercials? Well, while I don't necessarily feel that I'm depressed, I see those commercials and I can relate. I'm feeling kind of blah lately. My apartment is a mess and I don't particularly care. I have gone to work without make up for three days this week, which is not usual for me. And I'm so tired all the time.

So with nothing useful to share I give you a short story--illustrated with finger puppets, 'cause that's how I roll.

One day in a random hallway at La Scala, probably headed toward the men's room, Dr. Frankenstein's creation stumbled upon Giacomo Puccini.
"Puccini Bad," he said. "Me see La Boheme. Me think Rent better."

"Eh, Frankenstein. Why you no lika my opera?" said the genial composer.
"Me no Frankenstein. Me creation of him. Me Modern Prometheus," said the cultured monster, getting irritated.
"Still, why you no lika my opera? Itsa considered one of my best works, " Giacomo insisted. "Whatsamatta, Frankenstein? Your bolta comin' loose?"

"arrrrrgggg! Stop calling me Frankenstein. Me no Frankenstein. Frankenstein asshole. Me very angry. Me think Verdi greatest Italian Opera composer. Me think Puccini a hack, " the creation shouted. "La Traviata kicks Madama Butterfly's ass!"
With that the angry monster began choking the surprised Italian.

"eegggkkkggaaggg...Frankie...your hurting me. I (gggaaakkk) can't (aaaacckckk) brea..." with those words, Giacomo Puccini slumped to the floor.
The Frankenstein monster, thinking he killed Puccini and would be even more of an outcast, fled to the Paris where he climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower and tried to grab at passing airplanes, albeit unsuccessfully.

Sorry I missed Stitch N Bitch tonight. I had to make brownies for a friend at work.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tough choices

Gallon of gas...
or a pack of smokes?

Same thing.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Resistance is futile. You will spend your life savings on yarn.

I have avoided Yucca (the street, not the plant) the whole month of April. I have plugged my ears and averted my eyes when my fellow knitters began extolling the bargains to be had at the giant 50% off everything sale at Black Sheep Knittery. I have said, "No, I have plenty of yarn and I have bills to pay, a car to fix, laundry to do, food to buy." Yet, I found myself in need of 10.5 and 10.75 circular needles for my new project, since I FINALLY finished my top-down baby cardigan for the child born in January. (no, it probably won't fit him) So, with an hour 'til closing, I popped into Black Sheep Knittery "just for some needles and maybe to poke a bag of yarn or two." Yeah, right. Two circular needles, three Lantern Moons (because they're so pretty and 50% off), a bag of cashmerino, and a couple of magazines later I left and ran home immediately to check my bank account to make sure rent is covered. What is it that makes me lose control of my senses when I'm surrounded by yarn. If I had had more money in my account, I would also have purchased four skeins of linen in the prettiest yellow-purple-brown colorway that reminded me of a landscape. I'm a baaad girl.

So, what have I been up to? The office move is complete. Junk has been hauled away, offices are in order, windows have mini-blinds, people have trash cans, the training room in set up, and the new receptionist/ office manager starts Monday. I, for one, couldn't be happier. Of course, this now means I'll have to be at the boss's beck and call again. Oh well.

Baby sweater is complete. It looks like this.

I'm quite proud of it. Look at the adorable hood, the raglan sleeves, the seamless construction--perfect. If only I had finished it in time to actually fit the intended child. He's a small baby, so maybe it will fit him for a month.

I'm also almost finished with the first hand-warmer I started back in December for Stella. I have the thumb to do, which I started today but, being a dumbass, I started knitting it backward--or inside out--and have to redo it.
I started Tami's sweater today (which is what I needed the circulars for) but I have a feeling that's going to take some time. It's fancy and all.

In non-yarn related news, I have a lovely view from my new office. I can see all the way to the ocean (theoretically, if the smog clears) and up to the Hollywood sign, which still makes me happy after 12 years of living here, and points east.

Just look at that lovely view of traffic and rooftops. Pardon the reflections; it was sundown.

Thursday, and this is why I bitch about the parking on my street, these signs were posted.

To what do I owe this inconvenience? ENTOURAGE! I don't care how cute Adrian Grenier is, I get mighty peeved when my parking is taken up for trailers. Just one of the hazards of living in the heart of the 'wood--Hollywood, that is.
Note there is no time listed on the sign. So imagine my irritation when Mr. Parking Enforcer said to me, as I was getting into my car at 8:10am, "You're lucky. I was just about to have you towed." I glanced around, noticed I was indeed the only car on the street, and said, "Um, why?"

He pointed to the sign. "Yeah, I know, but I live here."
Him: "That doesn't matter. All cars are supposed to be off the street by 8:00."
Me: "Sez who?" (I know; I'm so mature)
Him: "Says the notice that was posted on your front door."
Me: "There was no notice on MY front door. I noticed the sign last night when I parked, but the sign doesn't have a time listed."
Him: "It's from 8:00am to 8:00pm. The notices were posted everywhere."
Me: "Everywhere but my door."
Him: "You're just lucky."
Me: "So what's this for anyway?"
Him: " know, the TV show. They're filming up the street."
Yeah, they filmed up the street on the 7th floor of a building on the corner, but they have to take up three streets for the freakin' trailers. Arrgggh!!!

Let's see, do I have anything else to say? Sweater? Check. Parking? Check. Work? Check.
That ought to do it. I have to do laundry and bake brownies tomorrow. Here's hoping I have enough cash for quarters and that the brownies don't burn.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Some things are worth spending a little more

I stopped at the 99cents Store on my way home to pick up some cheap plastic bins for my desk drawer. While looking for a generic Magic Eraser-type product, I stumbled across some items that, no matter how poor you are, you probably want to buy at a reputable pharmacy for more than $1.07. Items such as condoms and home pregnancy tests.

Aw, What am I saying? With names like Be Certain and U Check, they have to be accurate, right?