Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh, did I tell you what I did Thursday?

No? I went to the races with my Tower friends! You may remember from this post, we Tower folk used to make an annual trip to Del Mar to watch the horses race (mostly to drink and bitch about the corporate guys). Well, Tower may be no more, but we refuse to see the tradition die. Our group may have been smaller this year (15 of us) we still had a great time. Look at the horses for the first race:Can you see the #3 horse? IN THE POCONOS!! How could I not bet on that horse? Sadly, she didn't win. However, Mystic Seaport, on which I also bet, did come in third so I made a few bucks back. My biggest win of the day came in the 4th race where I won a whopping $24.80 by betting on all three of the winning horses across the board. Jarod was a big winner by betting a Trifecta and we all jumped on his bandwagon. It didn't help. I ended up losing for the rest of they day.
Even though Jarod, Alex and I were the only ones going all the way back to LA, we still made the most of the time we had on the train. We did get to keep Valerie, Scooter, er, I mean, Scott, and Steve Miller (who didn't sing for us this year) all the way to Fullerton, though we lost folks along the way. Special thanks to the lovely Marnie Carvalho for being the point person and getting this whole thing organized. And thanks to everyone else who made it, including Jared Owen representing the San Diego faction, Irene, Carlos, Marnie, Ben, Jeff, and Conan bringing the OC flavor, and Ron and Rick, who made a cameo appearance before disappearing into the mist (was he really there at all?). Valerie is a sad clown (with her Baby Bel cheese wax nose) because we don't spend nearly enough time together.

As for Del Mar? It seemed quieter, as if the magic has gone out of visiting the track. The infield bar didn't have the special cups for the Del Margaritas or Rumrunners, so I just drank beer. There were only two actual people taking bets with the rest of the windows being "manned" by computers which didn't work half the time and were incredibly frustrating. Give me the cranky old guys at the betting window any day. At least we still had our favorite picnic table behind the info booth.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Calling all Football Fans

Peer pressure is bitch. I've been sucked into participating in a Fantasy Football league. Unfortunately, I don't know football. Yeah, I know, I was a cheerleader but that was really all about looking cute and being loud (both of which I did with aplomb). Plus I had my best friend, Joann, who lived and breathed football (she won a punt, pass and kick contest) and told me when to do the "first and ten, do it again" cheer. So I appeal to all of you out there who follow football (even those of you who NEVER comment--please, I'm desperate): GIVE ME YOUR PICKS.

Apparently, I have to choose players for my own personal team and decide who plays that week and pay attention to yardage and rushing and--ow! My head hurts just thinking about it. Won't you take pity on the sports challenged? Just give me some good names in the comments section. I don't know good from bad. I just know there are two Mannings and Brett Favre only pretended he was retiring. And I always bet on the Browns because "Cleveland Rocks."

Clearly I need help.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A smattering of scattered thoughts (full of linky goodness)

Damn, Hillary! That was one hell of a speech. Good for you!

Ya'll know how much I love my nephew, The Roy. His blog post today is a perfect example. If you don't feel like clicking the link, I'll give you the Cliff Notes. Roy has a cranky old lady living next door. In the past she has complained about such things as not bringing his trash can in from the curb in a timely manner. This time, she basically accused him of stealing her Lamb's Ear plant from her yard. No matter how much he explained that it wasn't hers, she still insisted it was. Finally, she asked him if she could have some so she could replant it back in her yard. Roy said, "sure, go ahead." Then, she handed him the shovel and said, "no, you dig it up." And do you know what Roy did? He dug up all the Lamb's Ear and gave it to his neighbor. Why? Because Roy is a sweetheart and even though he feels like a pushover for not being able to stand up for himself, I love that he is a nice person and is kind to little old ladies. I hope you never lose that, Roy. On the other hand, he's not above laughing at cranky old ladies either.

I'm going to go on record and say the Ozark Mountain Daredevils are highly underrated and so much more than "Jackie Blue."

Moving on: Why ask a person how to spell their name if you're not going to spell it correctly? The gal at Papa Christo's asked, "Is that L-o-r-i or L-a-u-r-i-e?" I told her the correct spelling only to find LAURA written on the bags when I picked up the order. You'd think the senseless slaughter of my name at the hands of countless Starbucks baristas would have made me less sensitive about this but, seriously, it's not like my name is unusual or unique. How hard is it?

I've pondered this before but I shall ponder anew--why do people slow down when they pass a cop writing a ticket on the side of the road? It's not as if the officer is going to hop in his car and chase you. You're likely going too fast for him to call for backup to chase you. And, slowing down? That just screams "guilty" and pisses off the lady in the green Jetta behind you who is trying to drive with a floppy shoe.

Speaking of the floppy shoe, it was really more bendy than floppy. I wore a skirt and sandals today, and the sandals had a bendy sole. So every time I hit the clutch, the sole bent and got stuck! I ended up having to take off the sandals and drive barefoot. I don't usually like to drive barefoot (it's illegal and haven't I had enough trouble with the law?) but it felt sooooo good.

Dear Dancing with the Stars: Playing a little fast and loose with the definition of "star," aren't you?

Lastly, since they did me a solid with links today, I want to turn you all on to Super Forest, a Catalogue of Sustainable Achievement according to their tagline, is an awesome blog that never fails to make me smile or think or, in today's case, act. I'm trying to think of a quick, one-line description of this blog, but I can't do it. There's just too much going on over there. Check it out. Their "Peace Alphabet" alone is worth the trip. (the letter P is my favorite, because I'm apparently 12, but F and G are good, too)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gladly suffering fools since...never

It's Monday and I just read my weekly Site Meter report. I'm always excited to see that people from around the globe have checked out my humble little blog. Many of you find me through other blogs and some through Google searches for something random I may have mentioned. (I'm still trying to figure out the inordinate amount of searches for nekkid Ron Corning photos) The most popular Google search leading to this here blog is "Suffer Fools Lightly." I posted about it (because I don't) and I'm like the third item on the list when searched. In an effort to be helpful, because that's what I do, I will endeavor to explain the quote--the correct quote--it's origins and what it means.

The correct quote is "For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise." It was said by St. Paul and can be found in the Bible (go ahead and touch it, you won't burn--much) in II Corinthians, 11:19. According to one site, Paul is actually saying that if you suffer fools then you are yourself also a fool. What's that? Sarcasm? In biblical times? From a saint?? Paul has just been elevated to my favorite saint above Dymphna (whose name I chose for my confirmation name but was not allowed to use because Monsignor Cawley thought she was an inappropriate role model) and Saint Rene (whose name I DID use because it was a boy saint and I thought that was rebellious). Go Sarcastic Saul (his real name; see I paid attention in class).

Used as a cliche in modern times, it is often quoted (as I did) that one "does NOT suffer fools gladly/ lightly." Generally, this is said to indicate an intolerance of stupidity or sometimes people in general.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Where have I been? (warning: I'm very parenthetical today)

It's been a week (almost) since my last post. Where on earth has Laurie Ann been? Well, I haven't been to London to visit the Queen, that's for sure. I've been dealing with the remnants of my vehicle registration issues. Not only did I have the countless parking tickets and that whole silly impound adventure, but also received two separate "fix it" tickets (one occurred on the 101--nothing beats getting pulled over on the freeway surrounded by looky-loos). I extended my due dates as much as possible and still managed to miss a date. So, Monday, I had to visit the Metropolitan Courthouse on Hill Street to stand in the never ending line, show my now valid registration, and pay an easy $10 fine.

Wednesday, however, was not so easy. Wednesday I had to appear before the judge because of my "failure to appear." (I guess I'm no longer the white sheep in my family) After parking in the scariest underground parking ever (no, really, location scouts take note--this would be the perfect place to film one of those parking garage murder scenes), I headed up to the 3rd floor to await my time before the judge. I was early. Waaay early. The courts don't appreciate early. I had to wait. I visited the snack bar for some lunch. Did I say snack bar? I meant the room one step above that convenience store at the 76 gas station. Here's my lunch.Confession: I like gas station food. I had corn nuts too.

I went back upstairs to wait and wait, and witnessed some of the most creative line-cutting ever. Then handsome deputy came out, shouted some instructions, took our tickets, and escorted us into the courtroom of Department 61. We were sorted again and some lucky stiffs were sent directly to the cashier. Not me. Once were were all sorted and seated, Deputy Hottie gave us his spiel about what to do and say. "Step up to the podium. The judge will read your charges and you must answer with Guilty, Not Guilty or--is that guy sleeping?" Yeah, some fool fell asleep. The deputy woke him up and sent him out to wait in the hall. After Sleepy left the room, Deputy Hottie said, "He won't see the judge until 4:00. Don't fall asleep." Deputy Hottie also warned us about cell phone use but that didn't stop Ghetto Gal next to me from getting on her celly ("Gurrrl, yeah, I'm at the court. Yeah, my ass hurts on these seats.")

The judge was quick and easy and really very generous with the reduced fines and his "slow down and don't forget traffic school." I stepped up, said "guilty" before he read the charges and was sent away with a $45 fine. A $45 fine that swelled to a whopping $330 after penalties were assessed. I think I paid for the cashier's lunch at The Palm as well. I wouldn't know since I didn't receive an itemized bill. I love these old-timey phone booths. They make me want to shout "Stop the presses!" Also, notice that the Metropolitan Court has the same gold tone tiles as the Criminal Court building. I guess they got a deal.

I made it out of the scary parking garage unscathed and came home to nap. I've been awfully busy ever since. (but not too busy to keep up on everyone else's blogs--Hi Internets!)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday at Citywalk

Tina, who is brutally honest for someone who is NOT a Sagittarius, gave me a much needed "snap out of it" and insisted we do something fun so I get out of my house and out of my funk. Thanks, Tina! Kick in the pants accepted. We met up at Citywalk to get some lunch and see a movie. Oh the sights you see when you've only brought a small purse and not the big one with your camera.

First of all, what is with all the punk hair? Is there some kiosk that does temporary hair color and mohawks? Or, am I just old and the whole spiked hair and Manic Panic is back in.
There was a quinceanera group at the pizza place next to the theater. The birthday girl was dressed in an orange (okay, I know some may call it peach or melon, but trust me, it was orange) lame gown with a lacy bodice. Her court had the ugliest dresses ever--Orange halter style with gold lame on the boobs. Orange, people--and gold lame? Were they the Solid Gold Dancers?

We had lunch at Andrews Panda Inn, which is just downstairs from Panda Express. I wonder if it hurts their business? Or perhaps the fact that is smells like a damp basement inside? Seriously, Tina and I stood their waiting to be seated and wrinkling our noses. We finally asked to be seated outside where we did battle with the bees (but didn't kill them) and enjoyed a fresh breeze. As we enjoyed our lunch and caught up with each other's lives, I couldn't keep my eyes off the LCD screen across the way--M&Ms, pure melted chocolate, candy raining down--My God--IT'SUGAR!!! (that's not a typo, that's just how they spell it) We headed over to get some movie snacks. Grossest thing ever--a real bug inside a lollipop, on purpose. Real. Bug. Ew.

Armed with Mike & Ikes and some sour gummy snackage, we headed over to the AMC to see "Tropic Thunder." It was surprisingly good, given that I'm not a huge fan of Ben Stiller films (but I do like Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr.). The cameos were my favorite part. Go see it! It's worth your time. Know what the best part was? The AMC theatres have those new Dyson hand dryers in the bathrooms. It really does completely dry your hands lickety split. Tina doesn't even use public restrooms, but joined me this time for the thrill of the dry.

All in all a good Saturday.

OH, I almost forgot. So, I took the train out to Citywalk and it's kind a long way between Hollywood/Highland and Universal City (on account of going under the mountain). I was in the Commuter Zone (listening to music, game face on) when suddenly images start flashing past the window inside the tunnel on a LCD screen--strange cartoon images with big eyes. I felt like they were sending subliminal messages. I whispered "Miranda" but no one got it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


(No, not the guy lurking in the corner but the sign itself.)

Careful, little girl, Freddy from Scooby Doo is trying to steal your lunch.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Holy Moly!!

Today was swell. I went to pick up lunch at City Bites, which has notoriously bad parking, and got the Rock Star spot (15 minute pickup) right out front! Then, on the way back to work, I looked down Bixel Street and thought to myself, "Huh, I never noticed a fountain on this street before."
Maybe that's because there is no fountain:There is, however, a missing fire hydrant and lots of wet fireman (mmmm). Check out the guy in the middle of the geyser. They wouldn't let me drive through to wash my car. How rude. I also want you to be impressed with my mad photography skills. This photo was taken in motion--camera in my right hand, steering with my left (shifting was a challenge). And I made it back to work in 20 minutes. I rock.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Something else that got my panties in a bunch

KTLA Commuter Experiment--KTLA has been celebrating "Commuter Week" this week. On Thursday, they sent Traffic/Weather gal Jessica Holmes on a Metro adventure. She threw a dart at a map of Los Angeles, and then had to take public transportation to get there. Once she arrived at that destination, someone in the newsroom would throw the dart again and she'd go from Point B to Point C and so on as time allowed. Their aim was to show Angelinos how easy and convenient it is to "Go Metro."

Her dart landed somewhere in Culver City. They had two representatives for public transportation in the studio (from MTA and Metrolink), but didn't consult them for the best route, choosing instead to send her off willy-nilly. Jessica left the studios at Sunset and Van Ness and caught the #2 bus at Denny's by the 101 entrance. She took the Sunset Blvd bus and headed westward. At one point, I believe (I was in the bathroom so I didn't see) she got off at La Cienega. She ended up back on the #2 to Sepulveda. An hour after she left the studio, she got off in Westwood, got lost around UCLA, was asking strangers if they knew how to get to Culver City and at this point I had to leave for work.

Why do the actions of some silly news gal get the polycotton blend wedged up my butt? Because instead of showing folks how "easy and convenient" it can be to take public transportation, she effectively sent the message "Screw it. Take your car; it's faster." I was frustrated watching her and I KNOW how to get places on the bus. I can't imagine what was going through the minds of people who have never ridden the bus, their target audience. At no point while I was watching did they ask for guidance from the MTA representative. And seriously, who just gets on a bus heading west without some kind of game plan? As a former bus rider (10 years, in a city that supposedly doesn't have good transportation), I have found my way all over Los Angeles County on buses, trains, and metrolink quite easily--by consulting the maps and schedules first! has a feature in which you can enter your starting and ending destinations and they will tell you the best possible routes to get there. To get to Culver City from KTLA studios, Jessica need to walk up to Hollywood Blvd, a few short blocks, take the 217 bus to Fairfax/ Venice and transfer to the 33 bus.

Now, I didn't see the end of the show so I don't know if Jessica ever made it to Culver City or if she made it to any other destinations. I also don't know if they ever mentioned that you can map your route using the handy website feature or call 1-800-COMMUTE for guidance along the way. I do know that most morning news watchers are only watching it briefly while they get ready for work and most probably didn't see the outcome. If they were trying to get commuters to ditch their cars for a more environmentally-minded mode of transportation, they failed miserably.