Friday, February 29, 2008

Still not large enough

I know I promised witty, but apparently I didn't enunciate and Fate heard a "sh" sound. Jamie died again today on my way home. Why always Thursdays?!? I won't bore you with the details--same problem--and just tell you that I'm working on getting a car that will allow me to actually go to SnB. I miss you you all.

I leave you with this photo of my neighbors car from 7:30 this morning. Hood ornament? Gift from a secret admirer? Or, was neighbor so drunk last night he forgot where he left this? (it's a giant bottle of Chambord liqueur, if you can't see)

Oh, one last thing, speaking of neighbors--Latina Gladys Kravitz is so nosy (How nosy is she?). I was taking out the trash and she opens the door and peeks her head around. That's it. Doesn't say hello, even though clearly I heard the door open and saw her peek her head out since the porch light was on and I looked right at her. Why does she care who is taking out the trash? Mind your business, woman. Her other thing is to turn the porch light off, then peek through the blinds as if I won't notice (a) that the light suddenly went off, or (b) her nosy nose sticking through the slats!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I hope to be witty again soon

My plate is full. See?
I'll have something for you before the week is out, I'm sure. More pictures, if nothing else. I'm just really behind the 8-ball here and I just got handed another responsibility (don't get me started on that; I've been seething for two days). Maybe I'll see Jeopardy one of these days.

Is anyone else really hungry now?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What's the opposite of Insomnia?

All that insomnia I've been suffering for weeks finally came back to bite me in the ass. I went to bed last night around Midnight and didn't wake up until Noonish today. I stumbled to the living room, made a peanut butter sandwich and watched "Sophie's Choice," which I barely made it through before I was out like a light again. I woke up around 9:00pm. I was wide awake, so I read my emails, some blogs, looked up some stuff I've been meaning to research, and now, at 11:00pm, I'm so tired.

Tomorrow I need to force myself to be productive. I hate when I waste my weekends like this.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Words of Wisdom from Splenda

"It's sweet to be important, but it's important to be sweet."
--on the packet of Splenda I put in my coffee this morning.

While I'm being useless (waiting for the printer to come back online), what is up with this bunny?

This was on the website for the city of La Puente. Of all the Easter Bunny clip art available, why choose this one? Doesn't he look high? And where is he going with that paint brush? The paint on the brush appears to be blue, and if he's painting what he's aiming for, well... does he really need blue ones?


Dear Los Angeles:

Rain or shine. Make up your mind because this back and forth shit is pissing me off. I do not enjoy going down to the corner to get a bag of fruita in the bright sunshine and coming back looking like a drowned rat because you've decided to suddenly bust out the sideways rain. Oh, and now it's sunny again. Bitch.

Love you, mean it.

Laurie Ann

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gray Daze

It's been a strange week and I haven't figured out whether it's bad strange or good strange. I've been alternating between productivity and procrastination.

Saturday evening, after Jamie had her doctor's appointment, my friend Criss (yes, impromptu tattoo Criss) and I visited the scene of much bank account depletion, a place I haven't visited in years because I have no self control. SEPHORA. Evil, evil Sephora. You with your myriad mascaras, endless eye shadows, limitless lip glosses, plentiful perfumes, and bounteous brushes. Damn you, Sephora. And damn me for not being able to resist the empty promises of "longer, fuller lashes." As if spending $20 on a tube of mascara will guarantee better results than the $6 I spend at Target. Don't get me wrong. I don't regret my Sephora spree. I love that place--LOVE IT! Nothing else makes me feel so completely girly like an entire store devoted to pretty. Ulta doesn't pack quite the same punch. I suspect it's the black clad assistants. However, I did spend far too much money when you consider I bought mascara and lip gloss (okay, several mascaras and many lip glosses).

Having Monday off, I spent a lazy weekend knitting, painting, laundering (and photographing the bottoms of cute boys from New Jersey). Then work--ah, work. Half the office is out sick. A bunch of us (myself included) are leaving early to do site observations of our after school programs. The gray sky has made for a depressing view. And today, all the space heaters we have in our offices blew a breaker so we had no computers from about 2pm on. And no one was terribly upset.

Hooray, tomorrow's Friday! Boo, no weekday holidays until May. I feel a sick day coming on. Oh, I'd better not say that. I'm trying to avoid the fluish folks in the office.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jamie Goes to The Doctor

About a month ago, I came out in the morning to find a yellow flyer on my car for Max's German Car Repair. The flyer stated that Max was the King. Pretty confident words.

With Jamie acting up lately, I thought it was time to give Max a call. So, bright and early this morning, I got in the car, said a little prayer that she'd make it to Van Nuys, and drove out to see the king of German car repairs. Max turned out to be a pretty cool guy. After reviewing the service paperwork from the last three times I took her to the VW dealership, he decided that it was probably the ignition module* or something like that. He replaced that for less than $200. I also needed an oil change, but Max didn't have any oil. I offered to go to a nearby auto parts store to pick up some oil and Max told me to take his car and drive up to PepBoys. So I did. I bought him a case of oil and in return I got an oil change, air in my tires, all the dead leaves (and condom wrappers) vacuumed from inside the engine and trunk area, and a lesson in pistons, rings, and the basic workings of an internal combustion engine. Not bad. At least I know where to take her if she breaks down again before I can trade her in.

* In looking up that part to see if that was the right name, I found this--complaints from other VW owners who had the EXACT SAME PROBLEM. Apparently, this was a design flaw in 1999--2002 VWs. Great! I wish I had seen this before taking it to Max. Look at these quotes: "was driving it and all of a sudden it started shaking." "began misfiring and vibrating violently while idling. The vibration did not improve with increased RPMs. There was also a smell of rotten eggs." "..the exact same problem again: misfiring in cylinder 2." (mine was cylinder 3) and my favorite, " my 2002 VW is a ticking time bomb. 3 out of 4 ignition coil sets have been replaced and the other one (or any of those already replaced) may go. There is no guarantee by VW that the old or new coil sets will last." OMG, I'm a little outraged now. Apparently, this was happening to NEW cars for four years and VW didn't think it warranted a recall. They finally began using a different coil module for 2003 and newer models. I wonder how many times Jamie's coils had been replaced before I bought her. This just strenghtens my resolve to Go See Cal.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Create your own caption

This made me laugh out loud.

Squeezing all the value out of my bus pass

I'm still on the bus this week as I can't get Jamie fixed until payday (tomorrow) and I've been reminded again and again how entertaining the bus can be. Like the woman who, without provocation told me all about her brothers and sisters and their baby daddy drama, or the man talking on his cell about getting a job who uttered one of my favorite quotes this week, "I ain't got the complexion for connections." Or the argument between the bus driver and an old man that ended with the driver shouting, "Keep it up, Redd Foxx, and we won't be going anywhere." The day pass used to be a bargain, and I guess it still is if you have lots of bus riding to do, but with only four runs a day at $1.25 each, the $5 pass is the same as paying as I go. Today, though, I bought the day pass because I intended to go to Stitch n Bitch (I didn't go).

My route is pretty simple--210 down Vine to Crenshaw/Olympic, then 28 or 728 to Olympic/Union. But they changed the bus stops to the opposite corners, so now one has to cross two intersections to go from one bus to the other. The stop for the 710 (Rapid) remains on the northeast side of the intersection. The 710 was coming up Crenshaw, so rather than cross the street again and in an effort to get home sooner, I hopped on.

Apparently 710 no longer mirrors the route of the 210, which I didn't realize until the bus made a right at Wilshire instead of a left. Rats! Okay, no biggie. I'll take the Red Line (subway) to Hollywood and Vine and walk home from there. Now the Red Line at Wilshire/Western only goes to Union Station and back. I took it to Vermont where I went to the lower level to take the train to Hollywood Blvd. The train came and I got on without looking--and ended up back at Wilshire/Western. Waaahhhh... It was like some kind of Metro Parallel Universe. I gave up, got back on a bus that took me back to Wilshire and Crenshaw and took the 210 home. A 40 minute trip that started at 5:30 ended up being a 2 1/2 hour trip. Without a day pass, it would have cost $10.

Please let Max, the king of German car repairs, be able to fix Jamie so I can trade her in for something reliable.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Clearly, I need professional help

Why did I ever click on Swap-bot? As if I didn't have enough to do with the most recent Harry Potter Sock Kit swap (actually, just have the bag to finish), I discovered Swap-bot and decided that I needed to make and swap dishcloths. Then, while checking out my fellow dishcloth swappers, I saw all these swaps for ATCs. What the hell are ATCs? Well, it turns out they are Artist Trading Cards--2.5 x 3.5 cards that we, the swappers, create from any medium we choose. Most of the ATC swaps have some kind of theme. The one I join--read the post title if you're asking why--is non-themed. Now, while I can knit and crochet fairly well, I'm not much of an artist in the traditional sense of the word. I don't think I did so bad for my first try, although, they aren't all that spectacular. I hope my swap partners forgive me. Check them out:

I used cards from an old game that never made sense so no one ever played it. Watercolors, rhinestones, and ribbon.

This one is my favorite. I used watercolors and the star she's swinging on is a rhinestone.

This is entitled "before." You'll see why in a second. I used real nail polish for the fingernails and a giant rhinestone for the diamond, with a gold satin ribbon as the band of the ring. I painted the rest in watercolor.

It says "So, naturally, I shot him." It's entitled "after." I used a picture from an old ad, then painted it with watercolors, along with the background.

Pardon the cell phone photos. I was too lazy to get out the camera. But hey, I did bust out the Fuji yesterday to snap a photo of the dishcloths, well, one dishcloth and two spa cloths, I received from my swap partner. She also sent chocolates and candy hearts, but I ate those.
Sue, my partner, even crocheted a matching ribbon. The solid pink one has a purled heart that you can't really see in this photo. Aren't they cute?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Well, I got three months out of her

Oops, Jamie did it again. At least she didn't leave me stranded this time. At least she didn't die on the freeway, 'cause that would have really pissed me off. But choke she did and I was already running late. I turned the key and she jolted and shook. I let her idle for a bit and she just kept shaking. I started to pull out of my parking spot and she jolted and sputtered as she always does when the spark plug or cylinder or whatever it is that keeps failing fails. I pulled forward into the first spot on the street (so as to make towing easier) and walked to the bus stop.

So here's the really sucky part:
a) I don't get paid until NEXT Friday, which means at least a week on the bus.
b) I'd like to have this VW specialist in Van Nuys take a look at her, but how will I get to Van Nuys?
c) I want to trade her in and try to get a new used car, but...
d) I still haven't gotten her smog checked so the registration is past due so I can't use her as a trade-in until I rectify that--which I can't do because she's not running.
e) There's a very important all-day meeting coming up at the end of the month for which I need to get food and coffee.

So I'm hopeful. I hope I can get her to Van Nuys or find a local VW expert. I hope the dealership was full of shit when they said she needed at $4000 engine block whatever. I hope she can be fixed for under $500. I hope she passes smog check. I hope I can then trade her in, rear-end damage and all, and get a newer used car that will keep me running errands until doomsday. And you know what they say: Tis better to have hope in your soul than soap in your hole.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The ups and downs and ups of Tuesday--It's Super!

Well, the day started just fine. I was wide awake early (4:30ish) so I got up and showered. My hair looked great today because I had time to style it. I put make up on (and the world thanked me). I got to my polling place early, hardly a line, and got rock-star parking. I was in and out in less than five minutes. Then I hit the freeway.

An HOUR later (from my usual 20 minutes), I got to work and got an earful before I even got my jacket off. Shoot! I ran an errand around 11am, and to avoid construction on Olympic, I took James Wood--which was closed at Hoover. Dang!! Got back to the office and there was NO PARKING in the garage. Rats! Did I mention the cramps too??

Things are swell now. I got nothing but green lights all the way home and I'm having a tasty risotto for dinner.

Discussion Item: When I worked retail and clerks would ask a person for ID if they were paying by credit card, we would often get the cranky customer who said, "it's illegal to ask for ID." It's not, but they would argue and no amount of "it's for your protection" would convince them otherwise. Well, in researching something on LA, I saw an article about polls today and some guy in Silverlake was peeved that the person at the table asked to see his ID. He said, "it's illegal to ask for ID." Really? It's illegal to make sure you are who you are and no one else is voting in your place? I have always had to show ID in the past, but lately I've been voting by mail (I was too late this time) so I ask you all--Do they ask for ID at your polling place?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life's simple pleasures

It doesn't take much to make me smile. For instance, these things did the trick today:

The city installed a light on Cahuenga on that curve after (or before, depending on which way you're driving) the John Anson Ford theatre. I'm so happy. It used to be a stop sign and drivers would have to take their chances because you can't see the cars coming up from Odin Street.
I successfully learned double knitting, a technique that has confounded me for ages. Thank you "Son of Stitch N Bitch" for finally making it clear to me. I frogged my swatch so I could use the yarn, but here's an example for anyone who doesn't know what double knitting is--so that you can be suitably impressed with my mad self-teaching skills. The pattern for the pictured scarf, done by Crafty Chick, can be found here.
I went to Michael's today and found the perfect colors for a couple of projects. I got some soy yarn (2/$6) and some Vanna's Choice (2/$5), and I picked up some dishcloth cotton yarn (4/$5) because despite my earlier assertion, I don't really have that much cotton after all.

Other things that made me smile today:
  • New mascara
  • The Laz-E-Boy commercial that starts off with the guy yelling "Punt," because he doesn't really annunciate the P very well and it sounds like something entirely different, and I'm 12 years old at heart.
  • Doris Day and James Garner films. James Garner was so damn handsome.
  • Toilet Paper on sale!! Gotta love Target.
That's all. I'm easy.