Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I need a new oven...or a new apartment. Whatever.

Today I spent a good long time flapping my gums with a co-worker on many topics, such as fried food, the benefits of the George Foreman grill, growing up in the 70's and the awesome toys we had then, the Slinky as a fashion accessory, Netflix vs. regular video stores, and macaroni and cheese. Then, nothing would do but I had to make macaroni and cheese for dinner. And I'm not talking Kraft, my friends; I mean the old-fashioned kind right out of the Betty Crocker cookbook, which is not the kind my Grandma Hattie used to make, but usually darn tasty all the same. I'm not sure what happened. Did it not bake long enough? (it did) Not enough cheese? (possibly) Too much milk? (also possible) I ate it anyway. It wasn't that bad, but not that good either.

I'm spending a quite evening reflecting on the past year and making plans for the next. I forgot to stop at Target so part of my plan is going to be hindered. Not to worry. I'm on it. However you are spending your New Year's Eve, have fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Loveliest Sister in the Whole USA

Is there anything in this world better than a sister? I don't think so.

Today is the birthday of my wonderful, beautiful, caring, patient, funny, smart, talented, creative, goofy, older (oops, did that slip out) sister, Kate! Have I mentioned how much I adore her? I do, very much. Big kisses and bigger hugs to you, my Katie. I love you a bushel and a peck.



PS. To the gals at Catherine's birthday bash, this is the song I was going on about. It's performed by Donna Fargo, not Melody--my mistake. Dig the 70's outfit.

(yeah, you've seen these pictures before, but really, could we be cuter together?)

Monday, December 29, 2008

I've been Stumbled Upon

Hey! Somebody Stumbled me. (ooo, dirty) I've had visitors from all over the place. Flower Mound, Texas; Naples, Florida, Washington Court House, Ohio; Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (Hey Jackson, I'm somebody) as well as such far flung locales as Buenos Aires, Seoul, Romania, and my favorite, Cebu (Phillipines).Why is it my favorite? Because it reminds me of the Veggie Tales Silly Songs Song of the Cebu (shut up, I have nieces and nephews). Go ahead and check it out. The song starts at the 1:40 mark. I dare you to not sing "Cebuuuuuuuuu" all day, or if you're like me, "achoo moo moo, achoo moo moo, achoo moo moo..." and "boo hoo moo moo..." (yeah, try to keep that one going).

As for my stumbling visitors, I hope you enjoyed your stay. Sorry I didn't have more to offer you. It's been slow lately. Stop by any time.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday and sobbing

[subtitled: If a Frau buys your place of residence, move out as soon as possible. Do not be lulled by the cheap rent.]

Okay, so I don't really have a Frau Pita story to tell you all except this: Yesterday, as I was getting ready to join friends and bloggers at an awesome Boxing Day open house in which fabulous people ate delicious food and swilled fabulous hooch, Latina Gladys Kravitz came a-knocking on my door to tell me that "oh, the problem is back." The means that once again water leaked from my bathroom into her kitchen. You remember Frau fixing this problem herself a few months back. Gladys called the Frau who was coming over to have a look. Since a) I was on my way out; and b) I didn't feel like facing the Frau, I hurried got dressed, swiped some mascara on my lashes and dashed out the door leaving a key with the nosiest neighbor on God's green earth. I spent hours in the company of the aforementioned fabulous crowd and arrived home well into the evening, so as to avoid any possible Frau sighting. A quick survey of my home showed no obvious signs of Frau having been here. Gladys wasn't home so I couldn't ask her. This meant I was sure to see some Frau on Saturday and I hadn't avoided her at all just like my horoscope had said--something about partying will not make my problems go away. Pfft.

Today, while reading in bed and trying to stay warm because Oh My God it was 56 degrees in my living room, I heard people in the apartment next door. "Crap! Frau is here!" At the same moment, I was reading a particularly sad passage and crying a little and the phone rang. "Son a bitch I don't want to talk to her right now." But it wasn't the Frau. It was my Dad, who called because he was in the city waiting for one of his folks (Daddy drives limos) and to tell me of the death of my favorite uncle, Bill, (my mom's older brother and Dad's brother-in-law twice--Dad married Mom and Bill married Dad's sister). Not that I was particularly close to Uncle Bill since I was younger, but I liked him a lot and I know Mom will be sad. I wanted to call her as soon as Dad hung up but the Frau was still out front with the potential new neighbors and the book was making me weep uncontrollably. I mean, really, ugly sobs that leave your face blotchy. I heard car doors and the potential new neighbors drove off, followed by Frau, who still hasn't come in to fix whatever is causing the leak in Gladys' apartment. So, can I use my shower or not, because I have another fabulous shindig to go to tonight and I needs to shower.

Finally, I recommend--no, I insist--that you read "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" by Stephanie Kuehnert.This is the book that I read from 10pm to 2am, then woke up at 8am and finished reading today. This is the book that made me weep. This made me want to slap some characters and hug other characters and slap, then hug the main character more than once. This book made me gasp at a twist I did not see coming. So good. Soooo Good.

I don't think anyone is home downstairs. I'm going to chance the shower so I can go wish Catherine a Happy 34th Birthday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Closed Captioning for the technologically impaired

My friend, Criss, bought me an HD converter for my TV for Christmas. You may know I was boycotting the whole digital conversion thing on principle. I resented having to buy something in order to get free TV. What's with the government saying television has to be digital and those of us who choose not to spend our paychecks on cable have to get a converter. Bullshit!

So, yeah, I was going to be sans TV come February. Criss said she got it so that I could still want "America's Next Top Model" and keep my principles since I didn't pay for the converter. Anywho, I went home last night and hooked it up (after watching Jeopardy, of course). I followed the instructions completely. RF In, RF Out--Video In, Video Out, red and white audio cables to red and white audio connections. It couldn't be easier. Except that it's not that easy. While the picture is lovely when it's getting a good signal, which for now is only NBC and only when I have the antenna away from the TV and facing west, I have no sound. Wait, that's not entirely true. I have the most annoying droning hum. By turning my television volume up and then using the volume button on the converter's remote, I was able to make out some dialog, but not without the droning hum. I put it on mute, which toned down the drone a bit, but it was still there. I spent two hours switching cables this way and that and never got sound. I did, however, discover the closed captioning button and was able to watch "Law & Order: SVU."

The converter does have some cool features, like a zoom button and an info button like a cable box, and I'm sure once I get sound and find a place in the house that receives the best signal so I can get ABC, I'll be happy I have it. But for now, I'm frustrated. Is there anyone out there who has successfully hooked up their converter box and can give me advice? Or am I the last person in the world without cable (my non-TV watching friends, notwithstanding)? Who wants to come to my house and hook up my HD box? I will give you a Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe--or two.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My camera is broken and my phone finally sent photos

Waaahhh! I've been trying to post for a few days, but I wanted to include photos. My camera didn't work--dead batteries, I presumed. My cell phone, for whatever reason, refuses to send photos to my email*. I have no photos and my post won't really mean anything. So I'm stealing a photo from Ellen to tell you about my wicked awesome and dorky holiday hat for the WeHo SnB Holiday/Faith, Lori, Bridget, Catherine and Jenna Birthday party. Jenna won, too.My winning hat was made from items I found around the office on Thursday afternoon--a baseball cap, some red vinyl tablecloth, a poinsettia I swiped from someone's office door, candy canes from the finance department and the lights on the brim (which you can't really see) came from some bracelets we had leftover from a campaign. My prize for such mad creative skills was a darling mug from Starbucks that looks like cabled knitting. I immediately went home and filled it with hot tea.
Then I came home and started a gift for my Mom ('cause I'm like that). I knitted her a tattooed heart from this pattern. Then, because that was so quick, I thought I'd knit her up so footies to wear around the house and keep her toes warm--just those little peds things with the pom poms on their heels. It's not going as quickly as the heart so maybe they won't be ready for Christmas. Sorry Mommy.


*my phone works again thanks to the sage advice of one of my co-workers who said, "take the battery out and then put it back in." It worked!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heads Up for tomorrow

Tomorrow, December 18th, is "Day Without A (disposable) Bag!" Check out this flier from our friends in the 23rd Senate district (see, I'm working) for details on how you can benefit from bringing your own reusable bags when you shop tomorrow.

[edit] Oops! How could I forget to wish my beautiful niece, Elyse (aka Lisi), a very happy 19th birthday. Happy Birthday, my little doll.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Laurie Ann, the Red-nosed Executive Assistant

I felt fine all weekend. My sister, who had the nerve to wake me up on Saturday and then make fun of my sexy "just woke up" voice, coughed in my ear (because she's sick). So guess what? I'm sick now! Thanks, Kathleen!

Okay, it's not really Kate's fault; I just like to tease. Everyone in the office is getting sick and it was just a matter of time before it made its way down the hall to my office. But first thing Monday? Give me a break! I woke up with my nose all red and bulbous. I think that was due to a spider bite, as I also had a suspicious bump on the end. My naturally pink cheeks are pinker than usual and my head is all floaty. Today I have a killer headache, which may or may not be caused by my ponytail being too tight.

Bottom line: I'm sick and I don't like it one bit.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A tragic end to a brief friendship

As much as I wanted to wait and let Andi at Floyd's do the job, my roots were out of hand and, oh, the gray. So, I dyed my hair with the box of hair color I had in the cupboard and hoped for the best. After 30 minutes (not long enough, apparently, as I still have gray hairs, damn it), I turned the water on and stepped into the shower. I pulled the curtain closed and saw a movement. Looking down, I found my friendly spider circling the drain. I turned the water off and tried to save him, but it was too late.

Goodbye, Mr. Spider. I'll miss you



I think I need a pet.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What do you want, Mr. Spider?

Yesterday, as I stepped out of the shower and reached for my towel, I found a spider gazing back at me. I gently shook him onto the shower curtain and dried my hair. Later, before I left the bathroom, I saw him on the toilet paper roll. I wished him a good day and left for work.

I came home and went to the potty. As I leaned in to wash my hands, Mr. Spider was hanging right in front of my face. "Well, Hi there," I said. (actually, I may have shrieked first, but then I said "hi." I took hold of his web and moved him to the wall so I could wash my hands and face. When I went back to brush my teeth, he was on the shelf where my toothbrush sits. What could he want to tell me? Why is this little spider so hellbent on getting my attention?

Does he need a little TLC?

Does he know something I don't know?

Or is he just being neighborly?


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

WikiHow--You're a girl's best friend

On my Google homepage, I have the "How to of the day" feature. Every day I have three "How to" articles to read. They range from the silly (How to be nice) to the downright informative (How to increase your retirement funds) to the kind of thing you always wanted to know but didn't know who to ask (How to ride a mechanical bull without embarrassing yourself). Today's, though--today's is just priceless information. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: HOW TO SUPPRESS YOUR GAG REFLEX

Steps

  1. Breathe through your nose. Taking a nasal decongestant beforehand can help clear the nasal passageways and facilitate breathing, if your nose is congested.
  2. Lift both of your legs, if you're sitting or lying down on your back. Tightening your abdominal muscles might help stop gagging.
  3. Numb your soft palate. When an object touches the soft palate (the back of the roof of your mouth), that's what triggers the gag reflex. You can use a throat spray that uses numbing to relieve sore throat pain, or a gel that's normally used to relieve tooth pain. The effects should last for about an hour, and your soft palate will be less sensitive.
  4. Put a little table salt on your tongue.
  5. Hum. You might find that it's difficult to gag and hum at the same time. [So that's where that term came from]
  6. Beware the gag reflex in the morning. Some people report that they're more likely to gag earlier in the day. Try to schedule the gag-inducing activity for the late afternoon or evening instead. [My absolute favorite sentence--ever.]
  7. Relax. The gag reflex is triggered by a combination of psychology and physiology. For some people, the psychology will play a larger role. Maybe you've had a traumatizing experience in the past, or in general, you have a fear of loss of control. Some of the steps above, such as controlled breathing, will help. You may also want to practice some form of meditation, and communicate with whoever is causing the gag reflex [mom said not to talk with my mouth full], until you feel confident that they will stop doing whatever they're doing as soon as you let them know. In more extreme situations, some people turn to hypnosis.
  8. Disengage your gag reflex. By gradually getting your soft palate accustomed to being touched, you can minimize the gag reflex, or perhaps even get rid of it completely. This is the first step that sword swallowers must take and it does require effort and patience over time:

    • Find out where your gag reflex starts. This can be done by simply using your toothbrush to brush your tongue. The point nearest the front of your tongue that makes you gag is where you want to concentrate.
    • Brush your tongue right where your gag begins. Yes, you'll gag. It will be unpleasant, but not for long. Spend about 10 seconds brushing that area (and gagging), and call it a night.
    • Repeat the process over the next few nights in the exact same spot. You'll notice you gag less each time you do it.
    • Increase the brushing area. Once you can touch your toothbrush on that spot without gagging, it's time to move the toothbrush further back. Try brushing 1/4-1/2 inch behind where your gag used to begin. This is your new starting point. Repeat the process as you did in the first spot.
    • Continue moving the brush further. Each time you move the toothbrush back, your gag has been desensitized in the previous spot. Keep moving it further and further back until you've reached the furthest visual point of your tongue. Eventually, the toothbrush will come in contact with the soft palate, if it hasn't already.
    • Be persistent. This whole process should take approximately a month to complete. When it's all said and done, you should be able to have a doctor swab the back of your throat without gagging. You might have to re-do the process from time to time, as your reflex may return if you don't.

Tips

  • Don't eat right before the activity that tends to trigger the gag reflex, to minimize the chances of vomiting.
  • Try to smile when you feel like gagging. This may help to suppress the urge to gag.
I know. I'm a dirty girl.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jamie does me proud

When the boss came in today, she asked me to deliver some packages to a house in La Crescenta. "LA CRESCENTA," my head screamed. "Jamie will never make it." The boss said I could take her car, but seriously, I'd rather be stuck on the side of the freeway with Jamie than risk an accident in the boss's car. I figured I'd just stay in the slow lane and keep it under 60. Mind you I had no idea where La Crescenta was except that that's where my former Tower boss lives. The boss said, "It's like, Pasadena." Well, I don't know much, but I know it is definitely NOT Pasadena. I googled. I printed. I gathered the packages and hit the road at 1pm.
I took the 2 all the way to Foothill Blvd, then up to the street toward the house. And up and up and up and--Holy Cow--this woman lives on the top of the freakin' mountain. No, really. Waaaay up to the top of the mountain, past the signs warning of mountain lion attacks in the area, I slowly made my way--past Pine Cone Road, Pine Glen Road, Pinelawn Drive, Pine-sol Way (just kidding), but honestly, could they think of more Pine names? When I turned onto her road, I went up further into the mountain. Her house was at the end of the street. Damn! But do you know what? My Jamie, poor little banged up, birth defect engine, Jamie, made it all the way to the top of that mountain without a hitch. And then she made it back down. Down was a whole lot easier.

Since it was lunch time, I stopped at a strip mall for some eats. KFC, Pizza, Weight Watchers...way to go, La Canada Flintridge. My favorite part? Drive-thru Milk Store!!
I was hoping it would take hours to run this errand so I could just go home, but it only took an hour. Rats! That's okay, I chose to be happy today no matter what so I had a good day.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I are dumb

I was coming home today and really had a craving for Jack in the Box egg rolls. I know. Sacrilege! But I do love me The Box. However, I had to pee really, really, REALLY bad and sitting in a drive-thru was going to end tragically. So I parked the car at home, ran inside to pee, and walked over to Jack in the Box. I knew I'd only be gone a few minutes, so I didn't lock the deadbolt. I also didn't take my purse because I had a $20 bill in my pocket.

When I returned home, I reached into my pocket and found my work keys, not my house keys. Balls!!! Oh, crappity crap crap!! I looked at the window that I had to smash in January when the valet lost my house keys and subsequently paid $200 to replace. Then I looked at the pane above it, which already has a crack. I really didn't feel like dropping another $200. I sat on the porch and pondered the situation. At least I had egg rolls and a pumpkin pie milkshake.

I turned my work keys over and over in my hand. What was I thinking? I always--ALWAYS--check for my keys before leaving. Now I'm left outside without a jacket with these six worthless office keys and two silver keys which I don't remember ever using. Wait. These two silver keys, which look exactly alike, are incredibly similar to house keys. Maybe...

I stuck a key in the lock and it did nothing. I tried the other key. Hooray!! It was my house key!!! I guess I'm not such an idiot after all. I must have, in some inspired moment, decided to put the house key on there just in case. I still don't know what the other silver key is for, probably my friend Tami's house, but who cares? I made it inside.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hosanna, Indeed.

I received an email today from Nederlander Marketing--an ad for tickets to see "Jesus Christ, Superstar" at the Wilshire Theater starring Ted Neely. Yes, THE Ted Neely, the one who played Jesus in the film--IN 1973!!!! Holy Crap! A quick check with IMDB shows Mr. Neely to be a ripe 65 years old. I don't want to be accused of age discrimination but, um, Jesus died at 33 for crying out loud (yeah, I almost said "for Christ's sake"*). So I was lamenting this fact (the inappropriate casting, not the death of Jesus) to my nephew, The Roy, who had this to say: "He's lived twice as long as Jesus! That's like, two for the price of one! Twice the Christ, Just as Nice!" I love him. (The Roy...and the Jesus)

Isn't Ted over this role by now? I mean, seriously, dude, you've been playing Jesus for 35 years. You were age-appropriate when you made the film. Now it's just sad. It's time to hang up the robe, kick off the sandals and retire.

*I guess I did say it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Really, it's better if I don't

I cannot make a mix tape (or CD as it were). My friend Pablo made me a mix CD a long time ago. Terry made me one, too. Then, a few weeks ago, Criss made two CDs (one for me and one for Pablo) and gave us both a copy of each. This prompted Pablo to say, "Hey, where's my CD? You owe me one." I'm way behind, but really, he should be thanking me.

Here's the problem--my taste in music is: a) kind of eclectic; b) a little boring for most people due to its mellowness; and c) somewhat embarrassing for its cheese factor. Seriously. "Superhits of the 70's" anyone? I've got 'em. "Josie and The Pussycats" soundtrack? Yep, I got that one too. One day I'm all about the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the next it's all Jim Croce, all the time. I love musicals but I kind of dig Andrew WK too. So what do I put on a mix tape? What does one put on a mix tape? Is it supposed to be the music you like or the music the recipient likes? Should there always be a theme? How do you decide the order of the songs? Yeah, this is why I suck as a girlfriend too. I'm clueless.

Well, I made a CD for Pablo tonight but I'm sure he's going to hate it. It's acoustic guitar heavy with maybe three or four rock tunes and very male oriented with only a few gals. I almost included a song by Gonzo (of Muppet show fame) that is one of my all-time favorites, but I decided against it. As for the order of songs? I couldn't decide and just went alphabetically, which may lead to some jarring transitions. Hopefully, word will spread about my mix tape deficiency and no one will ask me again. (psst...pass it on)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is it really the end of November already?


I did it. I posted every day for the 30 days of November (if you include this post, and you should). I think if one goes back to review the last 30 posts you'll see that it wasn't exactly scintillating. I think we got ripped off not having a theme. All the other months had themes. Not November--no theme for November. Maybe if I had had a theme I'd have been inspired to write something worthy of your attention instead of saying "Ow, my tooth" for five days. (Although, I could tell you a tail about the dentist that would make your toes curl, but I think the dental storyline has run it's course). I will not be officially signing up for December's NaBloPoMo, but I may borrow the theme--Thanks. We'll see how it goes.

Anywho, I made it to the laundromat and back without incident. Well, a homeless man offered me half his meatball sub but otherwise, incident free. Apparently, the streets surrounding my house were not being used for parking this year so I got a great spot when I got home. Sorry I don't have a good story for you.

See you next month!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

They call me the Squanderer (now with photos)

Here we are, knee deep in a four-day weekend and I have done nothing productive. I have squandered two of my precious four days. I had every intention of doing laundry today, but instead I got distracted by my inner crazy person and nothing would do but I had to try double knitting a peace symbol from this chart*. I made a mistake on one row, but otherwise it looks good.








Plus, I finished it with a kitchener stitch--and I finally perfected it. Woo Hoo!

Yesterday, I spent half the day sleeping and the other half trying to figure out what I did wrong on this pattern. I actually didn't do anything wrong, I followed the pattern exactly, but that's the problem**. I went to the blog from which this pattern originated and looked for corrections and while the designer addresses it somewhat in the comments, she kind of implies it was the knitters fault, not the pattern. Fortunately, I know how to fix it; I just didn't feel like ripping back to do so. It's only three rows. I'll do it tonight.

So, anywho, this time squandering has left me in dire straits. Not only am I out of undies, but now I will have to do laundry tomorrow--the day of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Regular readers may remember this fiasco from November 2006. I will have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the laundromat early, get 'er done, and get back home in time to still find parking. Keep those fingers firmly crossed (or not if you're hoping for another drama-filled blog post).

* I like the scarf, not the Jonas Brothers. However, if I were to make it as a scarf, I think I'd do two pieces and join them in the center so that the peace symbols are upright on both sides.
**The problem comes after joining for the round. You've already done three rows of stockinette before the join. Once you join, you knit an increase round, knit a round, knit another increase round, then purl for three rounds. That gives you six rows of stockinette as opposed to the three previously established in the pattern. Unless you're suppose to knit the wrong way after joining...nawwww.

Friday, November 28, 2008

To think I almost changed the channel

In elementary school, there was a boy named Steve Wisneski (I'm sure I've spelled it wrong). He had curly blond hair, and adorable smile and squinty blue eyes. All the girls loved him. He also had a wooly vest that our teacher made us all touch because the texture was interesting. I had the biggest crush on Steve. His family moved away when we were in the 4th grade, or thereabouts, and no one has heard from them since.

Over the years, I have thought of Steve in passing at least once a year or so. I wonder where he ended up, what he became, etc. He was just a really sweet kid and soooo cute. So, I was sitting here at the computer, trying to come up with a blog post when Jeopardy ended and Wheel of Fortune came on. I usually change the channel because, truth be told, I'm a little annoyed by the Wheel these days. However, the remote was across the room and I was typing a note to the Roy. So imagine my surprise when Pat started introducing contestants and STEVE WISNESKI--Yes, the very same one--was the first contestant. He's still cute for a 40+ guy and according to his left hand, unmarried. (although he has a "friend" in the audience with his brother, Dave, and his mom) He didn't win the final puzzle, but he did win $30,000 in cash and prizes. Hey Steve, call me (mimes phone with thumb and pinky).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Good Food, Good Friends, Good Baby and Good Grief

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! For the second year in a row, my lovely friend Jaclyn invited me to spend they day with her family. Her mom came out from Chicago again to cook for us and I am not one to turn down Mom Cooking. Mary, Jax's mom, is awesome (probably because she, too, is a Sagittarius). She even made a tofu dish for Lindsay. Jaclyn's sister, Michele, joined us this year with her friend Greg, making it a real family dinner.

Last year at this time, Jaclyn announced that she was expecting. This year, I got to meet the darling Julia. She is the sweetest baby. She has her daddy's hair and her mommy's beautiful brown eyes. The sweater I made for her may still fit her after all, with a bit of stretching, plus this morning I cast on for a dress in a larger size so by the time I see her again, it will still fit. Julia's dad, Chris, showed me scenes from his movie--the one I made this for--and it's looking good.

We watched some Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, then avoided the sob fest "The Notebook" by spending the rest of the night in the dining room eating pie and swapping stories. I have to say, though, because I'm easily amused, the best part was Baby Cam. Jaclyn and Chris have a camera system baby monitor. How cool is this?I was fascinated all night watching the baby sleep, watching her roll over, watching her scoot up in a corner, watching her--EEEEK--then this showed up.Suddenly Baby Cam took an ugly turn. Time to go, thanks for dinner....

No, really, thank you Jaclyn, Chris, Mary, Lindsay, Michele, Greg and , of course, Julia, for making this Thanksgiving a very happy one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So much for a half day

Sometime yesterday afternoon, folks started getting feisty and asking the HR manager, "Can we wear jeans tomorrow? It's kind of like Friday." The HR manager, trying to keep the customers satisfied, called the boss (who had left at 3pm for a meeting) and asked if we could wear jeans. The boss said, "Why? It's not Friday?" Then, since these same feisty folks had been bugging her about a half day, HR Manager went ahead and asked the boss if we could have a half day. Without going into detail, her answer was an unequivocal "No." Half the office left early anyway, but being the diligent worker that I am (and paranoid that the boss would call at 4:55 and I'd be fired for not being there), I stayed--until exactly 5:05pm. Then, like a fool, I went to the grocery store.

It wasn't as bad as expected. Okay, it was bad, but I only need apple pie fixings so I pretty much had four things to buy and I was out. Since I don't use white flour and sugar on a regular basis, I wanted to buy the smallest package of each. No such luck on the flour, but I grabbed a box clearly marked Pure Cain Sugar.
What I didn't notice was the (not so) fine print:I immediately called my sister Katie for advice. I had 1/4 cup of regular sugar, a whole box of powdered sugar and a whole box of harder-than-granite brown sugar. Whatever will I do? Kate said to go with the brown sugar and the 1/4 cup of regular--sort of a mixture. Since the brown sugar was like a rock, I broke off a piece and popped it in the coffee grinder. I is smart. I'll let you know tomorrow how it worked.

In other news, today is Roy's (my world-famous nephew) birthday. Happy (Holy Crap, I can't believe this) 27th Birthday, Roy!! I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday and all the many birthdays we celebrated together from that day forward. I love you, Roy.

I spotted this at Staples:Times are tough since Joanie left him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Taming of the Poo Smell

Remember a couple of weeks ago when the 8th floor of our office building smelled like poo? Well, after two weeks of the industrial fans blowing ineffectually, they finally have decided to do some repairs. The first step included cutting a gigantic hole in the ceiling of the ladies room--and then leave it like that for days. They have also cut big gaping holes in the walls in the corridor, which are now covered in plastic sheeting and pretty blue tape. That's right, I work in the ghetto. At least it doesn't smell like poo anymore.

In other news, it's the day before the day before Thanksgiving, the boss is off tomorrow and usually gives us a half day (although no one is holding their breath), and my face is officially no longer swollen. Woo to the Hoo!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I got nothing

Taking a page from Vintage Caveman's book, I share this video with you. I think it speaks to my twisted sense of humor that I can't stop laughing from about :47 to the end.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's my birthday!!! Woo Hoo!!

My only concern today is should I go to Ralphs and buy myself a pretty cake, Or just embrace my inner redneck and go with this.It being my (mumbles some number incoherently) birthday, I'm thinking the PBR is the way to go.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eight days to go (because I can't count)

I'm willing to bet you will all be happy when I'm off this whole "blog every day for a month" thing. Some days I have nothing to say. Some days that doesn't stop me, but I'd say at least half these posts wouldn't have seen the light of day.

So, it's Saturday. What have I done?
  1. Greeted the mail carrier with serious bed head and swollen jaw. I'm sure he is now scarred for life.
  2. Finished reading the science book for my friend's GED program and checked his answers to all the tests. Go ahead and ask me the equation for velocity, I dare you. Or voltage and amperes. I grew up with an electrician father and I never learned this much about electricity. Phew.
  3. Watched Season 1 of "The Tudors." I don't think Henry VIII was ever as hot as Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Also, an entire season and he's still not divorced? Damn, they are dragging this shit out. (Don't get me started on the historical inaccuracies)
  4. Visited the 99 Cents store for tp and various other household items. Saw the cutest old couple--well, the husband was cute, the wife was a little scary--buying supplies for their four cats, one of which is named Trouble.
  5. Ate apple sauce and chicken soup because I still can't open my mouth wide enough for real food. I hope this situation is better by Thursday. I swear if I have to cut the turkey in teeny tiny pieces I WILL have Thanksgiving dinner. My friend's mom is coming all the way from Chicago to make it and I do not want to miss that. (ps: I sucked on pieces of Pringles, too)
  6. Got an awesome birthday card from my sister that made me laugh out loud. Got a card from my Mom that made me homesick and sad, and a little guilty because I haven't called her lately. (I have an excuse. I'll tell you later. Maybe)
  7. Added more music to my iPod.
That's about it. I plan to spend the rest of the evening knitting. I haven't done so all week because of the pain and vicodin haze. Unfortunately, now that I've watched all four discs of "The Tudors" I have nothing else to watch (I mean, besides regular TV). I do have two seasons of Danger Mouse. Hmmm

7:42pm: My sister just "tipsy dialed" (I'd say Drunk, but she's not quite there yet) from a bar with her husband and her son (the family that drinks together...don't worry, he's 21) to ask me the name of the telephone operator on "The Andy Griffith Show." Apparently it was a burning question at the Lake House. I don't remember there being a specific telephone operator, one with a name we would remember. Do you? If you do, let me know so I can tell Katie.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All over but the swelling

My face was still pretty swollen today but I had to come in to get stuff ready for a meeting this afternoon. My tooth did not hurt one iota, but the swollen portion of my face was tender to the touch, as was the inside of my cheek and gums. I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to eat anything, which also made brushing my teeth a challenge. As the day progressed, I noticed a blister forming on my gum near the bad tooth. Uh oh. You know what that means.

GROSS OUT ALERT! If you have a delicate constitution, feel free to skip down to the red SAFE ZONE.
So, the blister got bigger and bigger throughout the day. Then, round about 2:30, I was running my tongue over it and-Pop-it burst sending all kinds of grossness into my mouth. I ran to the sink in the kitchen and spit, then rinsed and spit until said grossness was gone. Then I rinsed with salt water and topped it off with a Diet Pepsi to kill the taste. For the rest of the day, I've been running my tongue over it to make sure all the gross is out.

SAFE ZONE: The swelling has gone down considerably and by tomorrow, I should be back to normal.

In other news, look what I found on my front steps.
That's not my mail. The manila envelope is for a Kristy. The white envelope is for someone else entirely. The JC Penney flier may have been for me, but was not in my mailbox. So who is sitting on my stairs, reading their mail and then leaving it there? Pretty strange, I say.

[edit]
SPECIAL BULLETIN: How could I possibly forget to wish my beautiful niece, Mary, a very Happy Birthday. She's 13!! Yikes!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chapter Four: In which Laurie Ann Storms the Bastille

I woke up at 4am with the right side of my jaw swollen. I looked like Marlon Brando. It was not pretty. The pain and swelling just got worse as the day progressed. My many calls to the dentist were unanswered. For the first time in a week, I was near tears. Criss suggested I just go to the dental office, point to my face and say, "I'll wait." So, I did. After several calls and a bit of knocking on the locked door, I got in touch with the doctor who opened the door. Should I have worried that the doctor was missing some teeth?

Even though his name was on the card, he called the insurance company who told him I had to go to the doctor in Santa Ana. When he told me this I started crying, "You mean there's nothing you can do for me?" Fortunately, he was a sweet, sweet man who took pity on the misshapen woman standing before him. He took an X-ray (free), then he did a partial root canal, topped it off and sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics. He said he'd call tonight to see how I'm feeling. He also said the swelling should go down by tomorrow, but at the time it's still big enough to be seen from space. It still hurts too, but I have faith that it will feel better by tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What did I do to deserve this??

I slept like a baby last night, from about 9pm straight through to 8am. It was great, except I'm supposed to be at work at 8am. Oops. I got myself together as quickly as possible, took one tablespoon of Happy Juice, and zipped off to work. About 10 blocks from the office it kicked in with a vengeance. Okay, hold it together--only 10 blocks to go. As I was riding the elevator, I started to the cold, clammy sweats that only come pre-puke. I mentioned this to Liz and Mirna as I walked into the reception area who both remarked at my pallor.

My friend Criss came to my office and we chatted for a few minutes. I said, "I don't think Vicodin is my friend. I feel sick." "Oh yeah?" she said, "Here, I have some anti-nausea pills." Seriously, the girl is a walking pharmacy. Good thing, too, because about two seconds after the anti-nausea pill dissolved on my tongue, I was running to the ladies room to vomit. On my way down the hall, Criss called "it usually kicks in right away." And guess what? It did. No puking for Laurie Ann.

I gave the vicodin back and vowed no more happy juice for me. I didn't sign up for vomit. I figured I would just tough it out with Orajel and Tylenol.

Until 4:30 when the pain was crippling. Like a junkie, I went back and grabbed the vicodin. What's a little vomit?

Good News, though. My new insurance card arrived with the new dental office listed, so I'm going to call them tomorrow and beg them to see me right away. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why I (almost) Always Choose PPO

Back in my Tower days, they switched our insurance several times. At every change I always chose the PPO package even though it meant higher deductions. Several co-workers chose the HMO. "It's so cheap!" they exclaimed. My reasons for choosing PPO were simply with my asthma problems, I wanted to ensure that I'd be able to continue seeing my regular doctor who is a pulmonary specialist. Also, my dentist was the best I'd ever experienced. Her name is Sadie and she is sweet and gentle. The folks who chose HMO? Well, Jeff Bellew had an awesome story of the day he lay on the floor after his back went out and they told him he'd have to wait a week to see the doctor. He was all, "I can't mooooove!" (There was more to it, but I always thought that was funny--not for Jeff.) So, that was my mantra "PPO!"
Unfortunately, when I signed up for the dental here, only HMO was offered (they have since offered PPO, but where was I?). Even though I chose a local dentist (Not Sadie, boo), my insurance card came back with the name of a dental office in Santa Ana. All I know about Santa Ana is it's not near here and I didn't choose it. Admittedly, I should have called sooner. The card has been in my purse and I've been meaning to call, but I didn't. When I finally got around to calling, they told me the switch would be effective JANUARY 1st!! Seriously? But I need a dentist now! I spoke with a representative and he spoke to a supervisor who finally was able to override the system or something and now it will be effective December 1st, which is better than January but still not helpful.
I called the dentist office and asked them if they could see me anyway. They could, but it would be at full price. Until my name appears on the list, they can't do anything. I can call on December 2nd for an appointment. Great! They recommended Tylenol. Thanks!
It's actually not as all-out unbearable as it was yesterday. Today it's coming in waves--no pain, little pain, little more pain, Tsunami!, no pain...and so on. A friend came through with the rest of her Vicodin prescription. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Dreamlife of Laurie Ann

It started Saturday as a dull pain in the jaw. I chalked it up to sinus pressure due to the smoky air. On Sunday, it became more of a throb, but still bearable with my high pain threshold. By the end of the evening, I was in serious pain with the mother of all toothaches. I tried Motrin, Aleve, and Excedrin. Nothing touched the pain, not even to dull it. I went to bed with my iPod on my ears set to the most pleasant music to try to ease me to sleep. I finally drifted off at 3:30 and had a weird dream about being at a concert with Tami and she was rude to the artist we were there to see.

This morning, I woke up in agony. It was very nearly unbearable but I persevered. By one o'clock, I was near tears. I was at the front desk trying to smile through the pain when a friend came to my mercy and brought me a Vicodin. Just one. The pain--what pain?--subsided but my head went all woozy and my motor skills were non-existent. This is why I don't like taking pain killers. They affect me badly. For the rest of the day, my head felt like it was held on by a rubber band. Boing! It bounced off my right shoulder, stayed upright for a few seconds before dropping to the left. Alas, the pain relief was short-lived and I spent the rest of my day holding my breath and counting the second until I could leave and get to the drugstore for more drugs. Unfortunately, the boss saw fit to keep me there late.

I'm still a little loopy from the Vicodin. At least I'll sleep good tonight.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Orphans

The other day I was telling my co-worker, Amber, about the roses in the back "yard" at Chez Gingham. You can see the grass is limited and the only other growing areas are the few squares pulled out of the concrete.The ad for this apartment boasted "view of rose garden," which at the time was true. Roland, who owned the property before the Frau, tended his roses lovingly. He was a kooky old man in flip flops and Hawaiian shirts, but he knew his roses. After Roland's death, the roses were left to their own devices, and while they still bloom some have not thrived. The roses on the far left (near the trash cans) died and were ripped up.

Lori--remember her?--took advantage of the empty squares and planted some vegetables. Then she moved out (was evicted?) and the plants have been untended since. Today, while waiting for my lunch to cook and gazing out the window, I noticed tomatoes.
You may have to click to enlarge to see the tomatoes. I know they haven't been watered in forever, unless Adrian or Alejandro (the downstairs folks) have been doing it, so I'm surprised the plants are still green. I feel like someone (me) should go out there and water them and tend them into ripeness. But I don't have the greenest thumb and if I start, then I'll be obligated to see it through and possibly have issues with Frau PITA, whom I'm sure noticed them. I don't know if Lori has permission. Also, other than taking out the trash, I have never hung out in the backyard. Mostly due to Rasta Pasta claiming it was all his, but also because it just feels like I'm encroaching on the downstairs neighbors who have doors that open to the back yard.

So, do I adopt the tomato plants and possibly have fresh 'maters or do I leave them and assume that someone else will take care of them. I'm still torn.

[I apologize for the poor photo quality. The photos were taken through the dirty screen in my kitchen.]

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The High Cost of Frau Avoidance

I woke up feeling woozy and not quite ready for the day. I lay quietly thinking of what I should do on this sunny Saturday morning (it was barely still morning--11:45). "I should do laundry," I thought gazing on the pile of clothes barely contained in one corner of my room. "I should clean up a little," was another thought, since as of yesterday the shower is dripping in a way that won't shut off and I know I'll have to call the Frau eventually. I closed my eyes hoping to drift back to sleep when, as if conjured by the mere thought of her name, I heard Frau speaking to one of the neighbors downstairs. "Crap!" I said, bolting upright in bed. "Son of a bitch, I don't want to see her today." Quick, a plan...an action...what to do?...laundry--takes too long to gather and get out...library?--do I really want to go downtown today?...OH! I need to get my sock yarn wound!

I hopped online to check my bank balance, paid a few necessary bills, subtracted what I owe to a friend, then figured I had enough money to get gas in the car and go to Unwind in Burbank to have them wind my sock yarn into pretty little yarn cakes. Maybe I can find some yarn for Criss's project while I'm at it, or some pretty cotton for Stella's baby (who will need a dress for that sweater). I threw on some jeans, Keds and the first T-shirt I grabbed in the closet, scraped the hair into a pony tail, and dashed out the door. Yikes! Frau was in front of the house. "Hi," I mumbled as I rushed to the car. "Look like you're in a hurry, " I thought to myself. "Maybe she won't try to talk to you." I started the car, reached in my bag for the iPod and realized my cell phone was missing. I looked longingly toward my bedroom window, knowing my cell was on the nightstand where I left it after reading some early morning Tweets. "Screw it. If the car breaks down, I'll flash a passing motorist and use their phone." It just wasn't worth the risk of a Frau encounter.

So, off to Burbank I went. Passed Jaclyn's new place (Hi Jax--see you on Thanksgiving!) and found Rock Star parking right outside Unwind. I reached over for my purse and yarn--except there wasn't any yarn. I'd forgotten to grab the yarn, my only excuse for being at Unwind in the first place. I'm doomed. The store was quiet. Just one clerk and one customer. I picked up a basket (yeah, like I was going to get out of there empty handed. It's worse than Target.) and began perusing. I think I touched every yarn in the store. They have the softest angora in lovely pastels that totally reminded me of a 50's twinset, but I am fortunately allergic to angora. I chatted with Kristy (the gal minding the shop), offered my opinion on Magic Loop to the only other customer, and got lost in the "OMG soooo soft and cuddly" cashmere. I settled on some Blue Sky Alpaca silk blend for Criss's project and some bamboo (oh how I love the bamboo) that reminded me of summer. But as I was lamenting finding my wallet in the bottom of my bag, I spotted the one thing I've been coveting for a long, long time--Namaste bags. I bit the bullet and grabbed the Newport bag in Turquoise. I'm kind of in love. Nothing I purchased was on sale. The experienced knitters among you will have an idea of the damage to my checking account.

When I came home, Frau was gone and I've been knitting peacefully ever since. I'll cry about poverty later with my lovely turquoise bag and soft yarn firmly in hand. All I can say is: Avoiding the Frau? Priceless.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not feeling it

My eyes are still irritated and the air quality isn't helping matters. The boss is out and I'm really trying to focus but finding it fairly impossible. I may just throw in the towel and leave early...only I can't because the boss knows I was late. Rats!

Know the best part of Halloween? Co-workers bringing in leftover candy because they "didn't get any trick-or-treaters this year." (did anyone?) High Ten to the guy in finance who gave out full-sized candy bars (Payday, Almond Joy--it's like he read my mind). Not that I need it, but I surely do enjoy it.

We have TADPOLES!! Did anyone see the episode of "My Name Is Earl" a few weeks ago when Joy was going to disprove evolution? Cracked me up. Anywho, the ants--remember them?--have run their course. Actually, several courses. No one is interested in ants anymore. Enter Planet Frog! Gigi, the science lady, sent away for tadpoles and they arrived today.There are two of them and they were harder to capture on film than Bigfoot. This one here is Bill S. Preston, Esq. You may have guessed that his tank buddy is Ted "Theodore" Logan. The instructions say we should have frogs in two to four weeks. It also says, "some tadpoles may not develop as quickly as others." We call them tardpoles. Stay tuned for more wacky amphibian hi jinks.

Well, I'm off to bed. I'm so exhausted this week for no reason whatsoever. I am going to blame that lousy mid-week holiday for giving me the "it's the weekend again" fake-out.

Sleep tight!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A running post on Thursday

[9:59am] We have a Directors meeting first thing today. It was supposed to start at 9:30. It has not started yet. I was supposed to stop at Smart & Final on my way in, but my eyes--My GOD, my eyes--are burning from allergies and were tearing up all the way to work. It must have looked like I was crying because I kept getting sympathetic glances from other drivers. They are still killing me, even after drops. I cannot see and I just want to keep them closed.
[12:12pm] Indigo Montoya is sick. He has a red bulgy eye. The website said it's from poor water quality. I'm a bad mother. I'm just waiting for the boss to be in her meeting so I can change his tank water, add drops and say a little prayer for his recovery. How can he flirt with his turtle if he can't see him? My shame at my shoddy pet keeping skills is boundless. Although to be fair, fish are dicey to begin with and my cat was a happy camper, as was the family dog, Rascal.
[12:45] My kingdom for a frakkin' laptop that will play this DVD for the charter school presentation!!!!
[1:16pm] I'm stuck at the front desk until 2:15, after which I have to clean the fish tank, eat some lunch, confirm my boss's travel arrangements for tomorrow and be ready to leave by 3:30. Can I do it? We'll see.
[11:30] I made it. We all went bowling at Lucky Strike. I sucked so bad and my back is kind of sore. I'm sure I'll have a hard time tomorrow. Special thanks to Criss for making me laugh so hard my sides hurt. I meant to come knitting but the bowling wiped me out. Who knew? I guess I'm not as young as I thought.

Phew.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It still smells like poo

So, apparently there was some burst pipes on the 9th floor that caused the flooding and dank smell on the 8th floor where I work. It smells just as bad today as it did on Monday. I meant to take pictures of the walls where the drywall got soaked and is crumbling apart. Oh, did I mention the mold? Great! Today the ladies room flooded. Noah! Where's that ark?!

Yesterday I had dinner with "my good friend" Russell. It was great to catch up and hear the gossip about our old Tower friends. Russell knows everything. I don't know how or where he gets his information but, Lord knows, if you want to know anything about anyone, Russell is your go-to guy. "My good friend" is how Russell refers to people he doesn't like, as in "Have you seen my good friend today," then he'd roll his eyes which usually meant he was about to go into bitchy queen mode. Ah, we love Russell in bitchy queen mode. Some other favorite Russell-isms are "Ask me this thing" which loosely translates to "I know, right?" (He's from Trinidad.) Oh and "not one crap" which means "I don't give a shit." Because of his accent, some people found Russell difficult to understand, especially when he was pissed. I used to joke about a Russell-to-English dictionary.

Almost done with the (not so) Quickie Baby Sweater. In all honesty, actual knitting time on this would probably be about 6 hours. I'm just lazy and bored with the peculiar directions so I've been avoiding it for a couple of days. Here's a photo (from my celly, so don't expect much):
That's all. I'm out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More about manners

The Roy sent me a link to this Op-Ed piece from the NY Times in response to yesterday's post, I'm assuming. Basically, the author engages in what he calls "reverse etiquette" by saying "I'm sorry" or whatever is appropriate to the person who should really be saying it in hopes that they will get the idea.

I consider myself fairly well-mannered*. I say "please" and "thank you." I say "excuse me" and "I'm sorry" when they are called for as well. I don't shove or push people around and I respect personal space while waiting in lines. But sometimes I'm distracted or deep in my own thoughts (the whole "being present" thing is a new concept for me), so sometimes I forget. I'm not perfect. Neither is anyone else. If I forgot and some guy said it for me and then told me why he was saying it for me, I have to say I'd be more apt to call him an asshole and walk away than to say (what I suspect he is hoping for in the long run) "Oh, I have forgotten my manners. I am so sorry..." See, I have a friend who does this--says "excuse me" to the person who just bumped her or "you're welcome" to the person who should be thanking her. It doesn't come off as "I want to help the world learn manners." It comes off as "it's all about me and how I am treated." Is Mr. Alford (the author of the piece) above reproach? Is he always courteous and kind? I say this because I have seen the same friend NOT thank clerks and NOT say "excuse me" when she bumps people or even intentionally bump people who she feels are not moving fast enough for her. She is oftentimes rude in a passive-aggressive manner, like the time we were behind a woman writing a check and she said, loudly, "Who writes checks these days? Who doesn't just use their ATM card?" Maybe the woman lost her ATM card or left it at home. Maybe it was the day before payday and she was being creative with finances. Maybe it's none of our business why she was writing a check and we should wait patiently for our turn. **

I agree with Mr. Alford; there is a serious lack of common courtesy and manners. I just don't think his methods are the way to go. The woman who said, "I'll think about it" probably thought about it all the way home and then told her husband or friends "You know what some jerk said to me today?" Maybe she didn't realize she had bumped him. Maybe the guy with the duffel bag didn't realize it either. I used to carry a backpack on the bus daily and I can't tell you how many times I didn't realize it was bumping someone until they told me. Give people the benefit of the doubt. That's all I'm saying.

*That being said, I have the awful habit of calling every driver who pisses me off "douche," although I usually refrain from flipping the bird. Also, the last time I was in McDonald's there was a large group ordering and they were all lined up across the counter because, you know, it takes all of them to make a decision. My order came up but when I went up to the counter to pick it up, three of the girls were leaning on the counter (spinal injuries, I'm sure) and didn't move when I politely said, "excuse me." I said it a little louder and got a backward glance from one of them but still no movement. Finally, in a moment I am not proud of, I said "Could you move so I can pick up my food, Jeez! Does it take a village to order?" Then shoved the girls apart and grabbed my bag and my OJ (oh do not mess with Laurie Ann before that first cup of coffee) (also I outweigh them all collectively). Yeah, I'm not always so well-mannered.
**I don't feel bad saying these things about this friend because she will tell you straight up that she's a bitch and that she hates people.
PS. This is the longest footnote ever and should just be a part of the post. Oh well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Holy Crap! Is it Monday or what?

Woke up on time, hair looks stunning, leaving my house in plenty of time and what do I see when I skip down the sidewalk to my car? A homeless woman sorting her laundry on the hood of my car. Lovely. A police officer was talking to her as I walked up. "You really should take your stuff off the car. I know I wouldn't like that if it were my car," he said.
"It's my car, " I said as I clicked the door lock.
"Oh, that's a pretty necklace," the homeless woman said to me.
"Thank you. That's a lot of crap on my hood. You want to move it?" I replied.
"It's just blankets and stuff," she said.
"Yeah, but I have to leave for work now," I said while opening the door.
The police officer gave me the rocker nod and said, "you got this," and drove off. I climbed in my car and set up the iPod while she finished removing her things from my hood. Then I started the car. "Have a nice day" she called as I drove off. Aw, that was sweet of her. I mean, it's not like she was sleeping on my car or, you know, drinking in the back seat. Plus she kind of reminded me of my ex-boyfriend's current wife-- sad, pathetic and none-too-bright so one couldn't really pick on her. For a visual, she kind of looked like this.

I arrived at work, stepped out of the elevator on our floor and was nearly knocked out by the overwhelming smell of poo. It was muggy in the lobby, which is never a good sign. Arthur at reception told me that A) the AC was off; B) there was some sort of water leak over the weekend and all the carpets are soaked and the elevator shafts were flooded; and C) the water is shut off so we can't use the restrooms. Oh, and the server is down. Can I go home now? The boss called to say she'd be late so I warned her. Just as she was about to send us all home, the server came back up (Thanks a lot, Allen in IT) and we were forced to stay. Crap! The halls still smell like poo despite the many high-powered dryers strategically placed through our floor. Fortunately, the water is back on and we don't have to trek to the next tower to use the toilet.

Can't get any worse, you say? Guess again. I was off to get lunch at my favorite salad place and was waiting at the light at 6th and Hope after making the trip around the block (you have to take a friend and drop them off, then go around the block because there's no parking, and pick them up on the next round). The light is red and I can't make a right turn because of oncoming traffic. The car behind me is impatiently waving at me. The light turned green and the car behind me commences with the honking. Honk! Shout obscenities! Honk! Meanwhile, I am still unable to make a right turn because of the 300 pedestrians crossing (yes, I counted them). I shrugged and waved toward the peds x-ing but the carload of Impatiens (hee hee) angrily climbed up my bumper and honked and revved the engine. Finally, I was able to turn and the car swerved around me to the left and shouted something to the effect of "get off the road 'til you learn to drive!" and various things in a language I don't speak. You mean, get off the road until I learn to plow through an intersection filled with pedestrians? Get off the road until I learn to risk my life and car by turning into oncoming traffic? Jeez!

Oh, it doesn't end there. After the salad run, we stopped at Starbucks--the one at Union and Wilshire. Avoid it at all costs. It shares a lot with a shoe store, which as far as I can tell does no business, and is adjacent to a McDonald's, Home Depot and Food 4 Less. Parking is always a challenge and made more so by the milling about of day laborers. Today, a Cadillac circa 1977 was idling in front of three viable parking spaces. I may have made a disparaging remark in the vein of "move it, dickhead." I may not have noticed that Criss's window was down. (oops)
Inside Starbucks, Criss perused the food selections while we waited in line. The person in front of us stepped up to place her order and Criss didn't move up right away. The women behind us said, "Are you in line?" "yes, we are," I replied as I turned back to help Criss choose between fruit and cheese and the delicious prosciutto sandwich. I didn't say it with attitude, I swear. I simply stated, "yes, we are." Behind us, the women began rumbling. "Obama's in the White House! I'm glad, too. Teach these people some manners." Excuse me?? Is she talking about us?? How is one related to the other? And how was my response ill-mannered? This is when Criss decided to tell me that these women were passengers in the aforementioned Cadillac. Yikes! I wasn't worried much. Criss is from Atlanta and was fully prepared to go ghetto if need be. But, in true karmic form, the barista somehow placed our order after theirs so we waited forever for a tall chai latte, which caused the ladies behind us to smile smugly as they grabbed their drinks.

NOW can I go home??

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Half Ambitious

I woke up with ambition. I was going to finish this so-called "Quickie Baby Sweater" and move on to the double knit scarf or Knucks (both Christmas presents). I've made a few top-down baby sweaters and all have the same basic construction--knit to the sleeves, put the sleeves on holders and knit the rest, then come back for the sleeves. These directions call for putting the whole sweater on stitch holders and working on a sleeve, then working on the second sleeve, and THEN finishing the sweater. It also calls for a 1x1 ribbing on the cuffs of the sleeves which I think is silly as there is no ribbing anywhere else on the sweater. I'm going to finish the body, come back for the sleeves (in the round) and do garter cuffs. Here's my progress so far:
Confounded by the directions, I took a break for lunch. As I was waiting for my soup to cook, I started cleaning the kitchen counters. I realized, after one section was done, that this is a job for another day when I can devote time to it. Today, I had other plans.

A refund I was expected had made it to my bank account and I needed to go to CVS. I really needed toothpaste and such, but my secret reason for the trip was my never ending search for this mascara. This trip proved just as fruitless as all my other excursions. Even the website says it is sold out. Dang! My skimpy lashes need all the help they can get. Dejected, I made it up to myself more of that delicious Swiss Orange sherbet from Dryers.

Now I'm tired. Maybe I'll finish the sweater tomorrow. I got sucked into Ravelry and may not get back to knitting tonight.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday grab bag

My head is still all floaty but I have slept all day and I'm feeling a little better. My sinuses aren't blocked anymore (Thank you Neti pot). I also managed to knit up about 30 rows on a baby sweater for my co-workers January baby. The kettle is on for more tea.

Does anyone know what was happening in the Hollywood area at 7am that brought every helicopter in LA to hover over my house? Me neither, but I wasn't happy about it. In searching online for some info I found these photos over at KTLA.com from Failblog.org. Here's one of my favorites. Check out the rest. It's cheap entertainment at it's finest.
Now my kettle is whistling. More tea for me!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Like an urchin (hey)

With a depressing $32 left in my checking account and no food in the cupboards, I had no choice but to do my grocery shopping at Big Lots. I bought the staples (rice, pasta, canned veggies) and the not-so-staple (Spaghettios, Ravioli, Pop Tarts). When I came home, I made a nice rice dish with veggies and mushroom soup and put it in dishes to take to work today. Then I left home without it. Sad and hungry...and sick. That was me.

Well, I must have looked especially pathetic because the CFO gave me some pizza from CPK and my friend Terry came back from lunch at Yang Chow and gave me the rest of her slippery shrimp. I felt like Oliver with my bowl out asking for more. Terry even gave me some Emergen-C, which may be a little late, but the thought was nice. It's nice to have friends when you're an idiot who leaves her lunch at home. Thanks, guys! [edit] Terry also brought me some CFL bulbs she snagged at the recent Women's Conference in Long Beach. That Terry is okay in my book.

In other news, I have pretty much spent the whole day trying to schedule a meeting at a time that is most convenient for about ten people and guess what--nothing is most convenient for ten people. Come on, folks; work with me here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Damn my work ethic

My head is woozy and floaty. My sinuses are blocked and most likely swollen. I feel as if my face is a big puffy mess, although the mirror and my friends assure me this is not the case. My eyes have packed their bags and left them sitting, and have given their focusing team the day off. I'd put the glasses on but the aforementioned swelling makes wearing them painful. All in all, I should be home in bed resting, drinking tea, getting better. Instead I am here, filing, scheduling appointments, drinking tea but not feeling any better despite the heavenly chai.
I am still debating attending SnB tonight. I don't want to infect my knittahs, if contagious I be, but on the other hand, I feel like I've been neglecting y'all. We'll see how it goes by 5:30ish. In the meantime, I'm knitting my way through the lunch shift at the front desk before burying myself in the filing room again.
Soup. I should get soup, too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Six Minutes

I fell asleep and now I only have six minutes to fulfill my NaBloPoMo requirements. Here goes:

No ANTM so I watched "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" instead. I wanted more. The little boy, Eric, was adorable, but the whole beginning narrative was annoying and unnecessary as they told the whole story in context throughout the film.

Boss is out today and tomorrow. So why have I talked to her more today than I have in the past two days when she was actually in the office?

I think I'm coming down with something. I no feel so good.

Posting now. Don't kick me out.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How was your polling place?

After waiting 40 minutes in the long, long line outside, someone finally came out and told us "If you're voting at the Green Table, come inside. There's a separate line." Woo Hoo! I'm Green! I got in line behind a man I shall call Creepy McThreeteeth (because he was creepy and had three teeth) and in front of the idiot couple who was JUST getting around to reading the booklet. My polling place was at the Gay & Lesbian Center on Shrader. Mrs. Idiot said--very loudly--"Oh, I don't want THOSE people to have the right to marry. I'm voting NO." I didn't tell her that a no vote means Yes to gay marriage. If she can't read that's her problem. When one of the poll workers said "Handicapped voters can come to the front of the line," Mr. & Mrs. Idiot went up. I guess that meant mentally handicapped, too, because they appeared to be able bodied.
Creepy McThreeteeth kept asking me the time. Then, he said, "What's your sign? Are you a Capricorn?" When I said, No. He waited and stared until I finally said, "Sagittarius." "Oh, a fire sign. I should have known." I showed no interest in why or how he should have known and the conversation died there except for the continuous time check. At the table, the woman checking our names said to Creepy, "Hey you live in my building. You should come over and visit me. I'm very lonely. I live in 517. I'm always home." Ew. Lady, he's gross. No one is THAT lonely.
As I was leaving the poll worker was once again telling folks about the two lines and nearly half the line had no idea whether they were green table or orange, nor did they know how to find out. Am I the only one who reads the booklet?
As I was walking back to my car, a man in a Porsche pulled out of a space, hit a traffic cone and continued to drag it up the street. I called out to him and said, "Sir, you have a cone stuck to your bumper." "I do?" How did he not feel that?

Thank you, Starbucks, for the free coffee. Did everyone else get theirs?

Monday, November 03, 2008

OMG I'm so mad I could smash something

So, I got a call on my cell at work, which I ignored because, you know, I'm was at work. When I checked my message, it was Frau PITA who said, "Your rent is not in the box and it's the third. I am going to have to charge you a penalty. I try to reach you and you're never home. I don't even know what number to call." Okay. 1) I wasn't home Saturday because of the fundraiser, but I was home all day Sunday. and of course I'm not home on Monday. I work. 2) my check has been in that box since 8:00am Saturday. 3) She reaches me on my cell phone every time and yet, she always says she doesn't know how to reach me.
I called her back and told her the rent was in the box. She insisted it was not. I told her that it WAS in the box because I put it there first thing on Saturday and that she needed to check the box better. She insisted that she checked it three times and used a stool to look inside. You may remember another time when she insisted that I didn't pay my rent and how she "looked several times," only to have egg on her face when I reached in and pulled out my check. I told her I'd leave another check in the box when I got home and she told me to "cancel the check." So I have to pay $30 to cancel a check because Frau is too short to reach inside the box and find my check? Hells to the no.
THEN, even after we established that I would leave another check in the box, she kept talking about how I haven't paid my rent and how she is tired of having to come over to look in the box. "My check is in the box. I put it there on Saturday. I'm sorry you can't find it but I swear it's in there," at which point she cut me off to tell me "No, it's not. And I knocked on your door but you didn't answer." "BECAUSE I'M AT WORK. I will put another check in the box when I get home." I hung up before she could say anything else.
There was a message on my home phone that said, "I hope you didn't go out of town and didn't pay your rent." I might add that today is the first time she has tried to contact me. The phone has rung three times since I got home and I've ignored it.
[edited 11-4] Guess what Frau found in her mailbox? Yep, my original check. BITCH!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Moray Eels never cease to be the creepiest creatures ever

Except spider crabs--those things gave me a major case of the heebie-jeebies. Yes, folks, I survived the big fundraiser, which was held at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It was lovely. The rain moved the registration table (my job for the evening) inside but since the doors were open, it was still brrrr chilly, and clammy. I had planned on blowing my hair out and then curling it with the spiral curling iron, but the on-and-off rain made me decide to let it air dry and just use a headband to hold it back. Good call--I had serious Roseanne Rosannadanna hair by the end of the evening. (Photos were taken. Photographers were injured.)
We had some time before setting up for the event, so some of the girls and I set off to explore. We saw shark eggs about to hatch, fish that change sex in times of stress, humongous lobsters and far too many eels which are just plain ugly and creepy. Esther made friends with a puffin who followed her every move and I got totally annoyed at a bunch of kids who were teasing the sea lions. Kids are mean and parents are idiots. Sadly, the otters were sleepy and listless even though the recorded message kept saying how playful they are. Ha!
All in all, it was totally worth the weeks of planning and sleeplessness. I was outbid for the tattoo at Sunset Strip Tattoo and a bike from the show "24", but I won a Baby G watch.