Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peeves!!

I have fallen asleep on the sofa twice this week, and slept through the night both times (instead of waking up at 3am as usual). I have also woken up with unexplained bruising a few times this week. I'm wondering if the two are related. I can't imagine what is causing the bruising unless it's ghosties beating upon me while I slumber.

So, a few days ago, a fellow Twitterer (?) (oh where's Annika's handy guide) tweeted about the annoyance of people who use text speak, you know, U for you, UR for you're, 2 and 4 instead of to/too or for (He may not have used the term "annoyed" but I do). I agree and am thoroughly annoyed by it as well. I punctuate my text messages. There is no excuse to lapse just because you're writing on a phone and not on paper. You know what else annoys me? People who don't know what numbers correspond to the months of the year. Do you know your birthday? Can you count forward or backward? It's silly, I know, but it's one of those peeves that always makes me look at a person differently and say, "Really?"

One of my other peeves is the dumbing down of everything. Like Jeopardy. I know I have not suddenly become smarter, yet I can question nearly all of the answers on Jeopardy these days because they pretty much give it away right in the clue. It reminds me of that old Cheech and Chong album with "Let's Make A Dope Deal" in which the game show host asks the stoner the first question--"What is your name, Bob?"

Anywho, you can imagine my peeve level when I received a nifty binder from our imprint company with this calendar inside:
Arrrgghhh!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This is why you close the toilet lid

By now, you all know about the earthquake. I was on the 8th floor of a 10 story building downtown and the reaction of my co-workers was interesting. I was coming back from the bathroom when it hit (good timing) and as I walked in the door, the receptionist's face was frozen in a silent O. "What? What did I do?" I asked. Then I felt it. One co-worker shouted, "Get under your desk!" Another shouted, "Get in the doorway!" A third was running up and down the corridor crying, "We have to evacuate!" I should mention that these were native Angelinos, people who have lived through their share of earthquakes, including the much-referenced Northridge quake.

When I got home, I looked around to see what had fallen (a deck of cards, the mouse to this here computer, my deodorant) and what hadn't (a precariously perched clock remained precariously perched). I went to the bathroom and found--arrghhh--my bottle of Biosilk and my brand new hairbrush had landed in the toilet. Curses for not shutting the lid this morning!! They have since been disinfected.

I settled in for a night of knitting, but didn't feel like working on my Lace Ribbon Scarf. Instead, I grabbed several balls of yarn and cast on with each color for Argosy, another scarf, but one I had been planning to knit for some time. The winning yarn is a blend of polyamide, viscose (what the hell is that?) and linen (that I understand) in a blue/beige twist. This is what it looks like so far.Now I have to things to finish for the Ravelympics. Yikes!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Don't give up on me

I apologize for not being very chatty lately. It's the end of the fiscal year, everything is due rightthisminute and on top of that I have two very time-consuming projects that also need to be done by the end of the month. And there was a little matter of the DMV not sending my registration, my possible loss of driving privileges, owing a HUGE fine, etc, etc, etc. I've been a little pre-occupied and in a very bad mood. But I went to SnB on Thursday and saw beautiful babies, which cheered me up a little. I also had sort of a revelation very early Friday morning--as hard as I try, some things just are not going to get done by the end of the month. It's physically impossible. Working myself up and becoming a raging bitch is not going to make it so. Therefore, I'm just going to do my very best and things will get done in good time. The powers that be will just have to understand.

Of course, doing my very best means bringing my work home, which is not fun. So that's what I'm doing....(insert sad face emoticon).

I'll be back soon with witty banter and tales of Frau PITA. Oh, I will leave you with this--I got a standing ovation from my stoner neighbors for parallel parking between two trash cans and not hitting either can, and doing it in one try. I rock the parallel parking. And my neighbors are easily impressed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cinquain for a Wednesday

Hump day
Hopeful, balanced
Type, Call, Answer, Laugh, Cry
Good God, will I ever be done?
Not soon

Sunday, July 20, 2008

So much pain

Yesterday's softball excursion was probably the most physical activity I've done in a decade. Yeah, I'm pretty out of shape. And I really REALLY feel it today. I can barely walk; getting up and sitting down require a lot of determination. It was excruciating to try to lift my leg to get in the shower and my arms are so sore I can't knit. I know!

But damn I had fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And I only broke one nail

Today the company had our first (annual?) Staff Olympics (Special was implied) in which our office staff and various site staff formed teams to play in both Softball and Basketball tournaments all day from 10am to about 3pm. The Office (my team) played the first softball game at 10am--yes, in the morning. I know. I hadn't had coffee and you want me to play a game I haven't played in like, at least 20 years? I suppose it's like riding a bike (which I'm really, really bad at); I picked it right up and was catching pop flies and hitting homers like a pro--and then practice ended and the real game began. I was, fortunately, stuck in Right Field where hardly any balls dare to fly (except one and I caught it, thank you very much). And the batting? Well, I made contact with the ball on all three of my at-bats, and not one of them was an easy out. I made it to first on my first hit, third on my second hit, and then got caught in a pickle between second and third on my third hit. All in all, I have to say I'm pretty impressed that my fat old ass could run like that. And asthma be damned! No wheezing all day!!
Boo: I twisted my knee during the pickle and it swelled up like a balloon. Since I took the bus, that meant walking and standing on it for some time. I have ice on it as we speak.
Hooray: It was really a lot of fun and I had forgotten how much I love playing ball. The feel of the glove and the ball falling into the pocket, the crack of the bat connecting with the ball, the exhilaration when your team scores a run--Damn, I love this game, even if the balls were soft and not hard. (get your minds out of the gutters)
Please weigh in on this one--Complete this taunting chant: We want a pitcher, not a ... (a) belly itcher; or (b) underwear stitcher? There was some dissent on our team as to the correct taunt.

Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.
These donuts aren't just good. They're Extra Terrific!
You know you're deep in the 'hood when the drive through has this.
This is a pretty green beetle that Sergio caught. Then it pooped in his hand. But it sure is a beautiful iridescent green, isn't it? All the girls ( and Hong) were squealing and running when it came by but it was so pretty I let it land on my shoulder.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Go Metro! Cheaper than the circus!

I took the bus today because of Jamie's rattle. I do love the entertainment value. For only $1.25, you get TV (on most buses), gossip (provided by two girls on the Line 28 bus), intrigue (see below), and laugh out loud antics.

At the corner of Rossmore and 4th Street I saw this signA few feet ahead of the sign, in the exact same position as the figure on the sign, was a man dressed in a fluorescent orange shirt holding a fluorescent orange flag. There was no road work as far as the eye could see, which was pretty darn far. Nope, just the "Flag man ahead" sign, and indeed...there was flag man.

At the corner of Olympic and Crenshaw, a woman tried to cross the street three times. Each time she got about halfway and turned back. She tried from the Southwest corner, then crossed to the Southeast corner and tried again. Then, back she went to the Southwest corner for the third attempt. Finally, she crossed back over to the east side and got on the bus. Oh, and she mumbled to herself the whole time.

A man got on at Vermont and Olympic. He was wearing an olive green jacket and brown fedora. He was also wearing a bright yellow sash with Korean writing on it like a beauty contest winner. He was carrying a megaphone. He was very mysterious. He changed seats often and looked shifty. He got off at my stop but when I turned my head to get my hair out of my eyes, he was nowhere in sight. Gone! Poof! Secret Asian Man.

[7:45pm] On the way home, some crazy lady kept turning around to no one in particular and shouting "Don't you f**king touch me." A large no-nonsense woman up front had about enough after the third time and got in her face. "There are children on this bus who don't need to here your crazy mouth shouting obscenities. So shut up or get off." Amazingly she shut up.

I just got home and was accosted by Latina Gladys Kravitz. "Oh, Laurie--Did Frau (she didn't say Frau, that's just me) call you? She want more money. Yi Yi Yi." Frau did, in fact, call me and claim some miscalculation to her "one-time fee" amount--it's $10 more. I question the validity of this but since I caught her in the jacked up rent increase, she voluntarily offered to give me the breakdown of the fees on the 1st when she comes to get the rent. I shrugged it off and said, "yeah, she called, whatever." Then Gladys went on about the film student in the back who warned us all he'd be filming Thursday and Friday. When he told me this I replied, "well, you don't have to worry about me. I'm the cool neighbor who doesn't complain. It's this one (nod toward Gladys) you have to worry about." True to form, she called the police. Apparently he was out there at 5:00 in the morning and woke her up. She told the Frau too. I hope he doesn't get the boot. He's nice and doesn't bug anyone (I mean, aside from the filming thing).

It smells like Downey Fabric Softener outside. Ah, April freshness.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Maybe I'll wear makeup someday

I had a migraine all day and couldn't see straight. So why can't I call in sick? The boss wasn't in and there was nothing so pressing that it couldn't wait until tomorrow. Damn my work ethic. I scraped my hair into a pony tail and went to work anyway. On my way to SnB, Jamie's tires started rattling in a way that made me not comfortable so I headed home instead. Sorry Annika. I owe you an ice cream. I hope your night got better.

I have nothing to say. No, really. I know it's hard to believe. Short of telling you what I had for lunch (Steak Burrito if you must know, dang.) I'd rather just not blog. But then, I don't want you to forget about me. I'm kind of an "Out of sight, out of mind" gal as opposed to the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" type. So, bear with my babbling until I find something scintillating. Oh, I'll be playing softball on Saturday in an office Olympics. THAT ought to be fraught with peril and humiliation. I'm supposed to play right field, but I may jockey for center field. I've already asked for a designated runner.

Meanwhile, I suggest you immediately check out Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. Joss, I have always been your fan, even when you made Cordelia and Connor lovers, put Cordy in a coma and then had her give birth to a fully-grown woman/demon/messiah who was black, even though Cordy and Connor were both white as the driven snow. I knew you wouldn't leave us hanging. I can hardly wait for Act III.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spectaculars

Hey! Have y'all seen the new CNN building?? Okay, so the building isn't new, but it's been getting a face lift for about a year and it sure is pretty. This horrible picture was taken with my cell phone so I urge you to check it out for yourself.
There's a digital message board (called a Spectacular), a bunch of TVs showing CNN (of course), benches outside, you know, in case you want to watch traffic on Sunset Blvd, and a sparkling lobby with pretty furniture. You can't read the message but it's a congratulatory message to Larry King. The corner of Sunset and Cahuenga is now known as Larry King Square.

In other news, look what I made with leftover dishcloth cotton. It's called a Tribble because it's little and round and because they're easy to make so they multiply. It's for dishes...or the shower, your choice. It's cute. I've already cast on the next one.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Netflix, You Bastards!!

You can't see me, but I'm totally shaking my fist angrily in the direction of Santa Ana, California, the location of the nearest Netflix hub. As I mentioned a few days ago, the three movies queued up from Netflix were kind of a theme and I didn't want to break up the set, so I forced myself to watch "Orlando," even though I wasn't really into it. I sent all three DVDs in on Monday and awaited my next three. Meghan asked what theme. It was set to be a mini Shiathon--Transformers and Battle of Shaker Heights, with a little Joey Gordon-Levitt thrown in because I have a soft spot for that boy (he became my surrogate nephew when I first moved here and missed The Roy something fierce). With much anticipation I opened my mailbox yesterday to find two, not three, movies waiting. "It's okay," I consoled myself. "You can't watch them all tonight anyway and the third will arrive tomorrow. I'm sure of it."

I opened the DVD packages to find (a) a movie I don't remember putting on my queue and (b) The Lookout (Joey's movie). I watched movie A because I didn't need to really pay attention and I was blogging while watching. Movie A blows, by the way. Maybe if you didn't live that life back in Pennsyltucky you might find it interesting, but that was just a chapter from my 20's with thicker accents. Sighing heavily, I tossed that in the mail today hoping to have my Shiathon this weekend. Then I got this email from Netflix:
Oh, did you? Did you receive Transformers? That's funny. BECAUSE I DIDN'T!!! I'd love to "Rate this title" but I haven't seen it yet, because you didn't send it to ME.
Don't get me wrong, I love Netflix. I love the convenience of not having to go to a video store and look for something and having all the good titles picked already and having the ever-s0-helpful staff recommend horrendous films (for kicks*), etc, etc, etc. I love that I can have them as long as I want and not have to pay late fees. I love that I can pick a slew of movies for my queue and rearrange it at will. Really, I'm holding a first class ticket for the Netflix Love Train--All Aboard! But, man, when they screw up, it just gets my panties in a knot. No Shia for Laurie Ann. But at least I have Joey. And, you know, my weekend is pretty busy anyway.

On a completely unrelated note, please take the time to follow this link and vote for The Airborne Toxic Event. Here's a note with instructions from lovely band member Anna:

"Scroll down to where it says “Users’ Choice” and click on our box to vote (it’s the first one). To watch the video, click on the little TV icon. The timing here is crucial. Whichever video gets the most votes during the next 48 hours wins the contest gets and featured on Yahoo! Music for a month. We’re up against some stiff competition, so whatever you can do to support the band will be rewarded handsomely with kind thoughts and witty banter. Vote as many times as the mood strikes you. (Just refresh the page after each vote.)"

The video is worth a gander, as it features a great song, Spaceland in Silverlake and the hottest drummer ever to sleep on my sofa.

*I know folks at Tower (and you know who you are) who did that to unsuspecting Soccer Mom types. Naughty boys.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Did Cavemen kiss? and other shower ponderings

Last week Latina Gladys Kravitz asked me if I had been having problems with water bugs. I have not and I told her so. She said that she had a few in her place and that the people next door had some. Hmmm, nope, not me. I'm bug free except for the occasional spider. Then, Frau mentioned that I maybe have bugs when she mentioned my untidy habits. Whatever. So today next door Lori asked me if I was having problems with bugs. Okay; now it's personal. Why is everyone insinuating that I have bugs in my apartment? And why isn't my apartment good enough for the bugs?

So, speaking of the spiders, every day there's a spider in my shower. I don't kill them. I let them hang out and warn them not to get too close to the stream of water. It made me wonder, though, what attracts them? I think there's some sort of spider men's room with "for a good time, check out this lady in the shower" written on the wall. Or, you know, locker room talk.
What do you think about in the shower? Do you think about the day ahead? Do you plan your "to do" list? Write a grocery list? Regret that fourth shot the night before? I think about things like--Did cavemen kiss*? When did kissing for pleasure, as opposed to greeting, come into practice. When did the first man or, more likely, first woman perform oral sex? Do animals kiss? I mean, really kiss not just touch faces. Should I let my layers grow out except for sweepy bangs? Should I get it cut again in layers? Would the layers make the natural wave/curl work better or would it just poof up like Roseanne Roseannadanna? Ah, Gilda Radner, she was so funny. I remember when she was married to G.E. Smith and they came home for Christmas ('cause G.E. was from Stroudsburg, Pennsyltucky) a bunch of us went caroling at the Smith house but his mom wouldn't open the door. We tried to get Jimmy, his little brother, to let us in but he wouldn't. Jimmy was kind of an asshole, even back in 3rd grade. Those Billy Dee Williams commercials are so funny.

And that's how my mind works before coffee. (oh, who am I kidding--it works like that all the time.)

*Google searching leads to this: artifacts in India document kissing as far back as 1500 BC. Appropriately, the French were the first to use kissing in courtship.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The best laid plans...

...probably didn't come from me. So, what have I accomplished on this three-day weekend in which I was going to give my apartment a good cleaning?

Laundry--my clothes got clean. And the drying was free thanks to the nice man who owns the local laundromat. I really like this laundromat. It's always clean and I never see hookers turning tricks (like the place on McCadden). Just look how he's spiffed it up:ah, soothing.

Shopping--I went to Big Lots and did some grocery shopping. Where else can you buy Hamburger Helper for 69 cents? I didn't buy HH but it was mighty tempting. I did buy some Rice-A-Roni (also for 69 cents) and pasta.

Margaritas--two of them, in fact, in honor of Annika's birthday! Also, I had tasty enchiladas and met real live Internet folks, proving that cyber people DO exist in the real world.

Knitting--Two wristbands complete despite the unbearable heat in my apartment. I'm switching to cotton tonight to knit scrubbies.

Yeah, that's about it. I might watch my last Netflix movie just so I can send it in for another. I'm not really in the mood for it tonight but I hate sending back something unwatched and the next three in my queue are kind of a theme. I don't want to break up the set.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Okay, maybe one more post

I'm totally procrastinating on this whole apartment cleaning thing. I am looking around the alcove/sun room/knitting crap room/ library (it's just a little room that I can't name) and that tiny space is daunting enough without thinking of the whole apartment. Behold, I expose my secret shame to you. Yes, that's a stuffed cow. Note the yarn and books on the left side and my inaccurate* globe rug from Ikea. This is the room that Frau sees most often when she visits. Off to the right, which you can't see, is a door way that leads directly to the stairs (my front door opens to stairs and then you climb up to the actual apartment). In the nine years I have lived here, I have never used the alcove door to enter the main living space. I always turn left at the top of the stairs and go down the short hall that leads to the bedroom and living room doors. Frau always comes through the alcove, so it pisses her off to no end that the doorway is blocked by a box, a lamp and an old boombox. Maybe I'll start off by really cleaning this room and once it's done the rest won't seem so impossible. I'll keep you posted.

And just because it made me chuckle, I leave you with this: (found at the corner of 7th and Burlington) I know the city can be a bit pungent at times, but I really don't think this is going to cut it. These were gone by the time I came back from the post office about 10 minutes later. This place is just funny to me sometimes.

*The countries are not represented in the order of the actual world. South America is connected by Indonesia and its islands to Asia. Above it and somewhat connected is Western Europe, as if cut off at Ukraine and upward, including Finland, Norway and Sweden. North America is on there, too, sort of. It's as if the Swedes never saw a globe.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A little entertainment for your weekend viewing pleasure

Hooray for the 3-day Weekend!!! Guess what I'm going to do. Clean my apartment, and not just because Frau suggested it. I was looking for something the other day and I cannot find it anywhere. I know where it was but where is it now? No clue. Plus, I seem to accumulate a ton of crap every couple of years and it's time for an overhaul. I like to use holiday weekends to do it. Jamie being all iffy in the wheel department leaves me no choice but to stay close to home (unless Manny, Moe and Jack can fix her up right cheap). And I really need to get my headboard off the connecting wall because I swear my neighbor was kicking me in the head all night last night. Sheesh!

So, while I'm sweating it up at Chez Gingham where temperatures climb into the 90's on a regular basis, feel free to enjoy this funny short film co-starring my nephew Niko and his handsome friends. It's You Tube and I would have just embedded the video but the IT guy at work has blocked it again. Joe (the main character) is so funny and talented. But don't take my word along--It won awards!

Have a great 4th of July weekend, everyone! And for those of you not in the US, have a great regular weekend.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I know you only come here for the Frau updates

May 1st came with no rent increase notice. June arrived notice free as well. But oh, July--July arrived like the falling of the other shoe. Frau delivered them in person, as I mentioned to you before, and stayed to explain the one-time fee for codes enforcement that she is entitled to charge us. I looked it over, said "okay, good, fine, whatever." I mean, it's not like I really expected her not to raise the rent this year. Last year when I received the increase, I noticed the rent amount looked a bit high. I had done the math previously in expectation of the increase to budget for the extra amount, so I knew about how much it should have been. I whipped out my trusty calculator and sure enough, it was too much. On the first check of the increase, I wrote her a note that said something like "Hi. I know you must get confused with all these tenants so I just wanted to let you know that your math was incorrect. My rent should be this much a month, so that is what I shall pay you." I never heard a peep from her and figured she was trying to pull a fast one. How clever of me to thwart her efforts.
Naturally, I was not about to accept this year's increase at face value. I sat down with the notice and did the math. Current rent multiplied by her generous 3% increase = @$19. (yeah, the rent is dirt cheap which is why I stay in the first place) The amount she listed as my new rent was about 10% more than my current rent. Whoa Nelly! So, today, I enclosed a letter with my check that read much the same as last year's. I showed the math for her [this x 3%=much cheaper rent] and ended with "unless I hear from you I will assume we are in agreement and this is the amount I will include for August's rent and future rent payments." I got a call, but not before I got caught downstairs by Latina Gladys Kravitz who gave me the scoop that Frau hasn't been well lately. Poor Frau; bad knees. Oh and the dude who got arrested a week or so ago? [whisper conspiratorially] Drugs.
Because I didn't warn my neighbors last year, I thought I'd rectify it this year by giving Gladys the heads up. I said, "Hey, just to be on the safe side, check the math on your increase." Knowing her English isn't good, I repeated myself slowly and clearly. I even said, "Have your daughter check the math because my notice wasn't right." She repeatedly told me, "no, there's nothing I can do because remember last year I paid too much so that's why my rent is too much." It made no sense whatsoever and I hope she asks Jennifer to check the math, but I doubt it.

Anywho, Frau called and I went over the math with her via telephone and she acknowledged her error. She apologized and said there are just too many tenants to keep track of. She asked again about the water leak (it's fine) and ended with "You need to keep your place tidier. I know you're busy but you can always find time to clean." Um, thanks Mom. I told her I'm not a housekeeper and it's as tidy as it gets. "Well, you need to keep it clean to keep the bugs out and it's better for your health." Okay, now I assure you that while my apartment is cluttered it is by no means filthy enough to breed vermin. It's certainly not as bad as this one (someone likes All detergent). I told her, "I don't have bugs. It's just cluttered. I'm fine with it."

I can only assume that Gladys put this idea in her head. Last week during the ungodly heatwave there were numerous "water bug"(yes, I know they're cockroaches) sightings in and around the house. I didn't have any but Gladys told me she had two and the neighbor had some. I found a dead one on the front porch but the apartment is roach free. Gladys was hellbent to find the culprit who brought down this plague (I blamed the heat and the garbage on the side of the house from the frat boys next door). I'm sure she gave me up to save her own hide.

Is it really only Tuesday?

Last night was Criss's birthday. Well, actually, Sunday was her birthday but she was busy in Las Vegas. Whatever. We celebrated last night with dinner and karaoke. Dinner was at Mariasol on the Pier. The margaritas were potent and the seafood burrito HUGE. We also had the added entertainment of watching a table of three Dine & Dash. The entire staff gave chase and finally caught one guy on the beach. I'm not sure what they did to him after that.

After dinner, we ventured up the boulevard to 14 Below for their Monday night karaoke. Have you ever been to a place so filled with regulars that you feel like you're missing an inside joke? Yeah, that's kind of what it was like. I caught on pretty quickly and what the hell, watching people sing badly is always fun.

My favorite part of the night, besides the extra strong margarita I had at 14 Below, was the drive to Santa Monica with Criss's friends Lisa and Susan, and her brother Drew. It was all well and good until Susan took over the iPod and it suddenly because CMT. Alan Jackson came on and everyone in the car (except me) started singing--and knew all the words. This was followed quickly by "Chattahoochee." Did I mention everyone in the car (except me) was from Georgia? Lord them southern gals know how to have fun.

I'm extra tired today and I look like I've been thrown under a bus, but Criss had a good birthday and that's all that matters.