Thursday, October 30, 2008

A non-political plea for California Voters

I just want to take this moment to urge everyone to thoroughly read the Voters Information booklet. You know you can't trust those ads to give you all the information and there are so many really important Propositions and Measures on the ballot. Pay attention to the little ones, too, not just the biggies getting all the air time.

That's all. Come Monday I should be back to posting more regularly.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me at the Stitch'N'Witch tonight (I won Most Original). Thanks to Natalie and Ellen for the gift bags.

Apologies to the bug I just smooshed. Poor fella should have known better than to land on my arm out of the blue.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things are still crazy but this made me laugh

Big fundraiser this weekend, so work has been crazy. It's crunch time, which means lots of late nights and restless sleep. Enjoy this cartoon while you wait for Laurie Ann to return to her usual witty self.Thank God cell phones were not in existence when I was little. I'm sure my father and brothers would have found this hilarious.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scenes from lunch

Not all of Wednesday sucked. I took a little midday bus trip with Criss to the bank at 9th & Hill, then to Ralphs at 9th and Hope, then back to work. Here's some photos to keep you company until I have something else to write about.Ceiling of Washington MutualClock tower at park, 9th and Hopelovely air conditioned bus

And here is Friday's salad, from Loose Leaf on 6th Street (between Hope and Grand), which has the thickest raspberry vinaigrette I've ever seen. It made my salad look like an accident scene. It was yummy, though. I highly recommend Loose Leaf if you're in the downtown area (on foot, though, because parking sucks). The salads are huge and reasonably priced.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This day sucked, but my salad was delicious

Things started off just fine. I woke up at 5am and decided to get moving rather than hit the snooze. I had some delicious blueberries while I prepared a salad for lunch. I chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers while the sun came up. It was really quite meditative. The salad was visually stunning, although I didn't take a picture. I put it in the fridge to chill while I got ready and prepared my breakfast--avocado sandwich.

I headed out and had to stop at Rite Aid on my way. They didn't have what I was looking for, but I picked up some cards and an amazing chocolate bar. Then, I headed downtown to pick up a gift certificate for a fundraiser. My eyes were burning from either smoke or some other allergen, so vision was impaired. I got turned around on the one way streets but managed to make my way to the parking garage entrance only to turn in the out driveway. Oops. I backed up into traffic a little, drove a bit on the sidewalk, and came in the proper entrance and shrugged apologetically to the security guard who was giving me the stink eye. The nice valet man sent me to the beginning where I made a right and almost exited the garage. The peeved security guard had me back up and turn left down the ramp confusingly marked "Monthly Parking Only." I drove down the ramp and around that level, finding nothing and attempting to find the ramp to the next level. Then it happened. MY OIL LIGHT CAME ON!! And the beeping--MY GOD--the beeping was loud and scary. I hightailed it out of the garage, but when I came to the gate, it turns out there is no grace period; I owed $3.88 and they don't take cards. I pleaded and told the lady that my oil light was on and beeping and I needed out right this second and I don't have cash and I may have cried a little (or a lot). I begged Jamie to make it to the gas station, which she did because she's a champ, but when I pulled over, I may have been driving a little erratically and the police came over to ask me what was what. Here's where the tears and pathetic face work wonders. I let Jamie cool and added oil.

Then I came to work. And I was in such a mood that I didn't feel like doing anything so I went on an errand with Criss. After lunch, I called the DMV because my registration is due (yes, again) but they didn't send me the form yet. The window-licker who answered the phone told me the following: a) his computer was down and he couldn't help me; b) I'd have to pay a late fee because it was due October 2nd, even though they didn't send me the form because "that's really just a reminder, not a bill;" and c) I'm an idiot. Okay, he didn't tell me that last one, but he kept repeating, "You didn't get the form. (no) and you haven't changed your address or anything. (no) Are you sure you didn't get the form?" Seriously??

I did manage to get things accomplished, but not as much as I had hoped. Oh, and I have zero dollars in checking. How did that happen?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh yeah, I had a weekend

I got up before the liquor store opened to head out to Studio City with Annika to get our hair did. The lovely Andy fixed my bad dye job and cut my hair just the way I wanted it. Afterward, we looked too hot to waste it, so we went to the Army Surplus store, then cruised past Faith's to check for Halloween decor, and finally headed over to Melrose to check out the LA Eyeworks Big Sale. It was surprisingly not busy so we took our time and tried on a whole lot of frames. Oddly, I ended up buying the first pair Annika handed me and she ended up buying the last pair she tried. I think we both look great with our new haircuts and new frames. After all this fun, I went to a movie screening with more friends to see "Zack and Miri make a porno," which was a lot funnier than I had expected. Phew! Who knew you could pack so much into a Saturday when you actually get up early.

On Sunday, I ventured out to Pasadena to have lunch with my friend Tami. After lunch, we walked across the street to Starbucks to relax over coffee and catch up. On one side, we had a guy in an orange vest playing air guitar to Rush's 2112. On the other, we had a man with binoculars checking out Tami's bosom. Mind you, he was maybe 10 feet away from us and binoculars were certainly not necessary as Tami's bosom is quite ample.

and now it's Monday. Sigh.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Give peas a chance

I had a great day today but I'll give you the weekend update tomorrow. Today I'm here to talk about getting ideas out there and making people listen without rolling their eyes or thinking you're a kook. I'm not given to profundity so I'm not sure I can express this thought clearly, so bear with me. Here's the thing--you know about recycling, right? You know it's a good thing. Many of you are committed to reducing, reusing and recycling. But have you tried to talk someone into it? Have you seen the eyes roll? You can practically hear them calling you "hippie" under their breath. But why? It's 2008 not 1970. Recycling is no longer something done by people who live in vans. I have found that if you provide people with the receptacle and someone else to deal with the actual taking it off to the center, most people are on board but for a lot of folks (and maybe it's just the people I encounter, not the norm) it's still just something you "treehuggers" do.

But this isn't about recycling (although you really should*), it's about why some ideas are such a hard sell even though you can't argue the validity. I mean, recycling? Good. Taking bags to the market to reduce plastic bags in our landfills? Good. Peace? Good. But poor Peace; it gets very little advertising. War is big business. War gets advertising. This did not set well with Jackson over at who decided to advertise for peace in his own way. It all started here. Then came this. And now, he's completed an entire series of drawings designed to promote Peace--the Peace Alphabet. I know I've mentioned them here before but I encourage you all to follow the link and check them out. Jackson is a talented artist and some of the letters are downright whimsical--and you know how I love whimsy. As I've stated, P is one of my faves. I also like V (best topiary since Edward Sissorhands) and D (I suspect it's what happens when you're at work). and you know, peace isn't only about non-war--let's not forget inner peace.

Recently, I made peace with avocados. Huh? Avocados? Yes. You see, growing up in northeast Pennsylvania one doesn't see a whole lot avocados. Sure, there's the occasional guacamole, but other than that, pfftt. So it wasn't until I moved to LA that I experienced them. As many of you know, avocados are on everything in this town (okay, not everything but practically). Salad, club sandwiches, fast food burgers--you name it. I love guacamole but just plain avocados? ew. The first time I tried them I was expecting something very different and the mushy texture totally threw me off. I spit it out and never ate one again. However, it is my plan to change my eating habits, to be come more healthful, and in all the things I've been reading lately, my food arch-nemesis comes highly recommended. Nearly all the recipes in one book include them. "Sneaky bastards!" I thought. "They'll do anything to get me to eat them." Since I always point and laugh at those folks who love ketchup but not tomatoes, I decided to try to like avocados. I haven't picked them off sandwiches or out of salads and Thursday, I actually ate a slice plain. Guess what? I think I like them. I mean, I expect the texture now so that doesn't gross me out and apparently, that was the only deal breaker for me. Woo Hoo! Bring on the mushy green stuff. Inspired by Jackson, here is the first of my own series of Peace Alphabet--things I've made peace with.
Image modified from original found here.

*In full disclosure, I did carelessly toss a plastic bottle in the trash rather than carry it home to the recycling. I wasn't thinking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"The Starbucks gods smiled upon me" and other tales of good karma

I have some sort of sinus and throat thing going on and the smoky air and Santa Ana winds aren't helping the situation. I'm a little less than my usual fun-loving self lately. Also, I'm a little annoyed at a co-worker with whom I have to work fairly closely, so that's not helping my attitude either. I stayed too late last night finishing a project and had to be in early today to prep for a meeting. I didn't sleep well and was a total Crankypants McGee. But I still had to get the Starbucks order for the meeting and some fruit from the street vendors as well. The boss took pity on me and asked one of the guys to go for the fruit, which left Starbucks to me.

Grumbling, I drove up the street and miraculously hit green lights all the way. Nice.
Turning into the parking lot, which is always double-parked and filled with day laborers milling about, I found an empty spot just four spots from the door to Starbucks. Extra nice.
Only one person was in line before me--my co-worker Kristine. Sweet!
My order was done lickety-split and was correct. Woot!
I made it to the car with six drinks and didn't spill a drop. Hallelujah!!
No traffic on the way back to the office and green lights all the way. Praise be to God!
and then the boss bought us all lunch. [here I bowed my head and practiced gratitude]

In other tales, yesterday Jackson from posted about a Purple dog in Mid-town Manhattan and I commented thus:
Laurie Ann said...

Purple, one of my favorite colors, combined with dog, one of my favorite creatures--what more could you ask for? Maybe a spring green kitten, but that's just crazy talk.

Not an hour later, I received the following picture via email from the Super-awesome Jackson.
Yes, it is October, but Oh My God, the cuteness. And the sentiment is so true, as well.
I'm off to work on my Halloween costume for the WeHo SnB shindig. I've got my superhero all worked out. Here's a hint--his first name is Phineas.

Oh, I have to get my hairs cut this weekend. Any thoughts on local talent? I'm looking for a place that is quality but not too expensive, where I can have a conversation with the stylist and feel as if he/she will listen to my concerns and come up with the best haircut for me. Please weigh in if you have a favorite.

Look what I made!

[Not so] scientific experiments have been postponed due to being busier than a one-armed window washer. In the meantime, I finished another mask--LOOK!Boo, Kids! Can you tell Sergio is smiling? It'll probably look scarier without the polo and with black make-up around his eyes. It lost it's spook factor when Sergio put on his glasses. I was giggling too much to photograph that moment.

Notice Vicky's reaction?
Some people just don't get it. Of course, after she got over the initial "wtf?" she asked me to make a luchador mask for her. Great. I'm going to be known as the Mask Lady. Now if I could parlay that into a lucrative income...hmmm.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The (Nothing's) Happening

Last night I was hogtied and dragged to the (gasp) Valley to watch M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening." For those who haven't seen it yet, I will not give out any spoilers. It's on DVD now. I'm not recommending it if you're a fan of M. Night and loved his other movies and expect this to be much of the same (re: creepy, plot twist, etc). However, I will recommend it if you love a good B-movie with lousy dialogue and gratuitous violence. A friend watched it in the theater and told me "it's hilariously bad." I questioned, "you mean YOU found it hilariously bad?"
"No, " she countered, "he MEANT it to be that way." I was unconvinced. I thought surely Shyamalan would not intentionally make a bad movie--bad dialogue, bad acting, etc. Surely it was just her. No, it had to be intentional, for we know he can actually write a good screenplay and direct.

As I said, I won't go into spoilers, but fans of my "Office" rant know where I'm going here.
Dear Mr. Shyamalan--If you're going to use an actual place, one in which you reside no less, know that people who live there (or have lived there) will only point and laugh at your geographical inaccuracies. Such as a train from Philadelphia to Harrisburg ending up in Filbert. Or a man leaving Filbert and making it to Princeton before his friends make it to the non-existent Arundell County, which conveniently can only be found on local maps and certainly not on any maps belonging to military personnel (an entire COUNTY, people, not a town). Okay, so tiny little spoilers--trust me, it won't hurt your viewing enjoyment. As always, here is a map for illustration of said inaccuracies. Click to Enlarge. The A pin is Filbert, PA. Tune in tomorrow for (maybe not so) Scientific research.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One extreme, meet other

It's that time in my ghetto-fabulous apartment. Time to bust out the flannel sheets, thick comforter and space heaters. Time for snuggly socks for sleeping. Time to put the fleece blankets on the back of the sofa for wrapping around me during TV and knitting time. Time to learn to type with fingerless gloves on (no easy feat). Yes, friends, it's 62 degrees INDOORS at Chez Gingham, which according to the weather channel website, is colder than outside temps. Last week--hell, Wednesday--I had two fans blowing and was wearing a tank top to bed. Last night I wore thick socks, sweatpants, and a hoodie sweatshirt. I love fall. I hate my heatless apartment. I'm going to the laundromat to warm up.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Like summer all year long (I mean, for people who don't live in So Cal)

In case you haven't guessed by my lack of blog posts, my brain is fried. The huge fundraiser is three weeks away and we're all in Crunch Time mode. I can't wait until November when I can breathe a sigh of relief and make out my birthday wish list (hint hint). So, while I have no time to write a blog post, I have been keeping up on all y'all. Like Carla and Natalie's road trip (Thelma and Louise style, minus Brad Pitt, but with a tiny kitten) I loved the Boll Weevil Restaurant. And Ellen picking and grinning on her banjo--have you seen the 50 Banjos site? Can you guess which one is mine? Oh, and I can't forget Betheboy's week-long tribute to his lovely wife, Slackmistress, and her equally touching response.

Today, I saw a post that made me smile wide enough to show my back teeth. Have you heard of the Sun Jar? It's nothing special, when you really think about it. Just a jar with a rechargeable solar-powered battery and an LED light. But look at it.It's like lightning bugs in a jar--but without the cruelty and the jarful of dead bugs. I love lightning bugs. Joann and I had the best time chasing their glowing butts all over my yard when were kids. You can buy one for 20 pounds sterling, plus shipping (little over $40). OR, you can make your own with some very simple instructions* for about $20**. I'm totally making these. Thank you, Jackson at Superforest, for turning me on to this little bit of sunshine in my otherwise overwhelming day.

*Instructables is a great site. Spend some time and peruse the craftiness.
**I priced out the materials today and can give you websites if you'd like.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Knitting on the Run(way)

We knitters--ever the resourceful gals, we're never at a loss for something to do, not even during fashion week.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What did you do last night?

I pondered the important issues
while making this fabulous disguise. It's crochet, so it went very quickly and I was done in time for the evening news.

In other news, I totally want to having a wedding here. It's so beautiful. Mind you, I'd have to find a suitable man and fast-track him on the road to matrimony, but I would look hot photographed amid the flora and near the fountains.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monday's meandering mind has melted

Land sakes! It's hot out there. It was so hot (How hot was it?). It was so hot the security guard outside the Bank of America was standing inside. It was so hot, I saw a very nearly naked girl on the corner of Willoughby and Seward. It was dusk and she was crouched down but I did not see a stitch of clothes save a pair of ankle boots and some feathers in her hair. And I didn't judge her because--it was that hot.

Anywho, what have I been up to, you ask? A whole lot of nothing and some knitting. Oh, sure, there was work and a Saturday meeting, but I've been diligently working on a mask for my pal, Sergio, which I will proudly display here sometime this weekend. I'm that close.

I found this humorous. This is the sign on the freezer door of our office fridge. You can't really read it but it says "When frost builds to 1/8" , please defrost. Failure to do so may interfere with movement of freezer door." Interfere? Or perhaps cause the door to fall off completely and lie on top of the microwave.But in the door's defense, this is way more than 1/8" of frost.On the way home I stopped at CVS for some beauty supplies and picked up some delicious Swiss Orange Sherbet. It's like those chocolate oranges they sell at Christmas time or the chocolate covered oranges in an Edible Arrangements bouquet. It's orange sherbet with chocolate chips. Sooooo good. I do love me some sherbet.