Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where everybody knows your name but doesn't abuse it

I had a bad, awful day, as predicted by yet another accurate horoscope.

"Tension at work may drive you to the edge of a cliff today."
Fortunately, Annika was online and talked me down from the cliff, which amounted to stopping me from spending money at Knit Picks. I really should have stayed late today to finish up a bunch of stuff for a very important meeting tomorrow, but I needed to get out of the office. I needed to have a giant Green Tea Pinkberry with kiwi (and mangos, as it turned out). And yes, I needed to go where everybody knows my name. I needed my knittahs. Sachi was there!!! Yeah Sachi. We miss you. And Tami (who hasn't blogged in well over a year, or I'd link) was there, too! Golly, it was like Old Home week. Now if only Denise had been there... Just saying...

So, I came home all happy and relaxed from all the knitterly goodness and because I found someone who loves the Mini Sirloin Burgers commercial as much as I do, only to remember that it's Thursday and all the hipsters are parking on my street. Balls! I slowly drove up toward Sunset, spotted the last available space and did a quick turn-around in a driveway. When I came back down the street a homeless woman with a shopping cart full of recyclables was blocking the space. As I pulled up beside it, she waved and smiled, then moved out of the space. She had seen me turn around and saved the space for me. I was shocked and only managed a muttered, "Thank you so much." I wanted to run upstairs and bring down my recycling for her but she was already gone by the time I parked. She's a spry one. Well, thank you lovely homeless woman for making my bad, awful day end on a high note.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh, you horoscope folks

I didn't read my horoscope today until just now (5:45pm). I usually check it at lunchtime to see how accurate it is according to the day so far. Today, it's spot on:

Although it's essential that you show up at work and do your job dependably now, you are not completely satisfied with this option. You want your creativity to overflow and amaze others with what you can do. It may be smarter, though, to turn down the flame on your self-expression today. It's more useful to sustain your production throughout the day than to create a lot of fanfare by pulling a rabbit out of a hat and thinking you're finished.

This could not be more accurate. I created a newsletter today that is loaded with Laurie Ann, if you know what I mean. I'm fairly proud of it. However, when I wanted to get all fancy pants on some name tags, the more pragmatic boss nipped it in the bud. Harumpf. Fine. Arial Block it is.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Settling (and general ramblings)

Remember on Sunday when I wanted the Dilly Bar but settled for a Lifesaver pop? I seem to be doing a lot of that lately. I wanted Pizza Saturday but settled for a Subway sandwich. Today, I wanted Burger King onion rings but ended up with Taco Bell fully loaded taco salad. To be honest, today's episode was due to all the Burger Kings I passed being on the wrong side of the street and my aversion to left turns.

Jeepers! How old is Arlen Specter? He's been a senator forever*. Sorry, I was distracted by the news.

So, I was out doing field work again today, this time in Cudahy (or Cuda-heeeey as I was calling it all day). On the way home, avoiding the 110 freeway, I got lost--kind of. I mean, I wasn't really lost, I just didn't end up where I intended. I ended up in Inglewood. How? Well, I was told to go under the freeway and take Figueroa north, but I decided to continue west and take another street that's closer to home, like Western or La Brea. However, in my quest for a Burger King (my kingdom for onion rings!!) I missed Western and, well, I then passed Crenshaw and various other north-south streets before ending up in Inglewood. By then, I was pretty much over the onion rings (because the BK on La Brea and Sunset is a bitch to get in and out) so Taco Bell won.

*79--He became senator in 1980.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The giggles I've had today

It all started with an email from AT&T for game downloads for my phone.

Brain Training: Train your brain in three different mini-games every day. You should complete all your training to get the best results. Brian Age: Check your Brain Age once a day. If you train your brain everyday your brain age should improve. Practice: This mode allows you to play any of the mini-games as often as you want. Your results will not count towards your training.

I have a brother named Brian and I can tell you the Brian Age is 48.

I had to do some field work with a co-worker, Leslie. Driving through Huntington Park I saw this place.Was "Helen Keller Eye Center" taken? For those not familiar with St. Lucia, she is the patron saint of the blind. She was martyred because she refused to marry a pagan. Her fiance had her tortured and killed. [from Wikipedia] As final torture, her eyes were gouged out. She was miraculously still able to see without her eyes. In paintings St. Lucy is frequently shown holding her eyes on a golden plate. Like this:Is this the eye clinic to whom you want to trust your sight? Side note: doesn't that look like the money you could be saving by switching to Geico?

Lastly, there was this.Finally! I'd been wondering where I could take my choi for his annual cleaning.

We must have passed a dozen foot clinics, eye clinics, medical clinics and dental clinics on our trip to HP. I said, "This town must be filled with people with bad feet, bad teeth, bad eyes and lots of illness." Leslie countered, "Now, let's look at this a different way. Maybe they're in excellent health because of all the clinics available to them." That Leslie, always looking on the bright side of life. Oh, hey, we're back to Brian.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nothing else will do

I really wanted this today.

A Dairy Queen Dilly Bar...mmm. Unfortunately, the closest DQ is in Burbank and I didn't want one THAT much. I got a Lifesaver popsicle instead. It's hardly the same.

Oh, Dilly Bar.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

and some days I accomplish very little

Actually, that should read "most days." I haven't slept well since Tuesday on account of doing battle with a water bug Tuesday night that left me with the heebie jeebies. The battle took place in my bedroom, which means I can't sleep in there ever again. So Tuesday night I stayed up until dawn waiting for round two and watching Battlestar Galactica DVDs. I thought I must have dozed a bit during the night, but when I went back to re-watch the DVDs for the parts I missed, I hadn't missed anything. I fully intended to sleep in my room Wednesday, but I just couldn't. I curled up on the sofa again. Fortunately, my hair held up and looked okay on Thursday. On Thursday night, I said, "enough is enough" and slept in my room. Or should I say, I lay in my bed all night staring into the darkness and thinking of bugs I could not see. I dozed off at some point but woke late on Friday leaving me very groggy at work for the third consecutive day. Needless to say, I was highly unproductive, which means only one thing--Weekend Work!

I was supposed to get things done around the house today so I could spend tomorrow at the office doing all the things I didn't get done over the past three sleep-deprived days. My body, however, said, "Hey lady! You need to sleep." And so I did. A lot. I managed to get out of bed before Noon (not much before, but still) and did a few necessary chores before I ended up on the sofa with four more discs of Battlestar Galactica and a bowl of Honey Graham Ohs! (The exclamation point is there's, not mine. They're good, but not exclamation point good.) So, I will have to do laundry tomorrow either on my way to or from the office, which I must visit because someone is using our conference room on Monday and the point person has given me absolutely no direction. I'm hoping an email came in late Friday so I can have things set up for them without having to scramble last minute. Oh, and there's filing to do.

But wait! I did manage to do something of worth today--I finished the mystery project I posted on Thursdays. It's a Pop Tart Cellphone Case. I made a button hole, but haven't found the perfect button for it yet. In the meantime, I will try not to turn it upside down so my phone won't slip out. I found a pattern for this, but the sizing wasn't quite right for my phone and I wanted to add the button hole and all. I kind of winged it but I think it turned out okay. So, I give a nod to the original pattern writer (I can't find the pattern anymore, so I can't give credit) and tell you, um, knit until it fits your phone, then seam it.

Update--The lovely MonkeyGrrrrrl (aka Denise) found the pattern.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I feel so accomplished

I finished (okay, sort of finished) two--count 'em--TWO knitting projects today. Now, don't get excited; I'm not talking start to finish, but still the accomplishment stands. The first was this:I finished at work but since no one had an iron (I know! Honestly, what is wrong with them?) I had to wait until I got home to block it. Do you know what it is? Well, a few of you do. I'm not telling because I have to add some embellishments and seam it (that's a hint), but I'm awfully proud of it.

The second one was finished at tonight's Stitch N Bitch. It's the Calorimetry from Knitty. It's made from 100% virgin polyester (to paraphrase Ellen). I made this one as a tester to see if I need to adjust the pattern a bit before I make it with my fancy yarn. I think I would still cast on according to the pattern but not do as many short rows. It's just a bit too wide for my taste. What do you think? I mean besides, "Laurie Ann needs a new camera because these photos suck." Or, "I wish Laurie Ann would stop taking pictures in her bathroom."

Now, I'm back to working on my many hat orders and the scarf that never ends, unless something distracts me, which has been known to happen far too often.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So many things to commemorate in one day

Everyone is posting about Earth Day. I'll admit that I did nothing special for Earth Day. I try to make changes every day to reduce, reuse and recycle so today was no different. But what about the other "days" being celebrated today.

Like Administrative Professionals day, for one. Why, yes, I am an Administrative Professional, but it doesn't stop me from appreciating other admins and all the hard work they (we) do to keep the cogs moving and the bosses of the world happy. Have you hugged your Admin today? Better not; that's an HR issue. This is what my co-workers did to show me they cared:Aren't they lovely? They smell just as wonderful as they look. And yes, I do have a lot of toys in my office. I'm still a child at heart.

It's also Denim Day in LA. Denim Day is a campaign to educate the public about rape and sexual assault. One in three women has experienced some sort of sexual assault/ abuse in her lifetime. Someone you know; many women I know.

[from the website]: "In 1998, an Italian Supreme Court decision overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans, reasoning she must have helped her attacker remove them. People all over the world were outraged. Wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault."

The company where I work participated this year by encouraging everyone to wear jeans (like we needed encouragement) and by wearing buttons and telling everyone who asked what Denim Day was all about. Since we also work with middle school and high school students, part of our commitment to the campaign was to educate our kids about the myths of sexual assault. Many of our kids will be headed off to college soon, hopefully armed with the tools and education to prevent such crimes, or the courage to bring charges against their attackers in court if not.

What did you celebrate today? It was a beautiful day to do it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hair of the Dog, indeed

Today's WikiHow had me laughing hysterically for ten minutes non-stop. The subject matter was not humorous, but the accompanying photo and caption, well, see for yourselves:
So that picture didn't come out so, look again.Poor pooch went on a bender and is now paying homage to the porcelain god*. I've been there, Fido.

Another thing that tickled me with delight was the Philosophers Guild website. Some of you may remember my collection of composer finger puppets from this line, as featured here**. The Hammer Museum had a fine collection of writer and artist finger puppets, but--WOW--the selection, the possibilities. My mind is positively exploding with ideas. Pavlov's dog chasing Schrodinger's cat, a whole episode of WWJD, Warhol, Ghandi--Oh My God I must have them all. I wish you could see the crazed look in my eyes (actually, I can't see it but I'm sure it's there because in my head I'm squealing like Bobby Hill).

*yes, he's probably just drinking the water, but I prefer to think he's barfing.
**For some reason the photos no longer show up. Boo!

Monday, April 20, 2009

No Surrender!

On St. Patrick's Day, I went to Ralphs to get snacks for the office. While there, I purchased a potted Shamrock for myself. I'd had one back home in Pennsyltucky that grew by leaps and bounds. I left it with my stepmom when I moved to LA and last time I was home, it was still a healthy, vibrant plant. I missed that plant as it is one of the few I didn't manage to kill, so it was mostly nostalgia that made me buy the new one.

Almost immediately it went from lovely green plant to shriveled yellow tendrils. I picked off the dead stems one by one, but didn't want to ditch the whole plant because there were still a few green stems. I went on vacation knowing that it would most likely be dead upon my return. While I was out, I asked my friend Criss to feed Indigo (the fish) but neglected to mention the plant. The last Friday of my vacation, Criss texted me and said, "yeah, your plant is pretty dead. Do you want me to water it?" I told her not to bother and I'd deal with it when I got back. It was a pretty sad little plant. Only one green stem remained but I watered it anyway, not willing to accept defeat that easily. Then, something amazing happened. A tender little shoot appeared at the base of the lone stem. Then another and another until suddenly, my sickly little plant looked like this:I placed it on the sill, turning it daily to get maximum exposure to the light and now I have this:Can you see all the little shoots popping up in the center of the pot? I counted six this morning and before I left this evening two more had peeked their heads above soil. If this keeps up, it'll be a full plant in no time.

Stay alive, my little Oxalis Triangularis. No Defeat! No Surrender!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holy Crap, it's hot

I sure wish I had a pool. It's powerful hot, inside and out. My apartment is a balmy 88 degrees today. I had no energy to do anything all day. I ventured out briefly for some groceries but came right home and sat in front of the fan. If I had enough ice, I'd sit in a giant bucket.

My Calorimetry is a bust. I might finish it just to have it done, but it's too big and I'll have to adjust the pattern for my preferred yarn. I tried to knit today but--ugh--the heat. I guess I'll just sit here with my tall glass of water and watch DVDs. Hope there's a break in the heat this week.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I love a good Saturday even more

I woke up at 5:30am having the strangest dream of being in a cabin in the woods with my boss, her daughter, her sister and one of our directors from work. There was a skylight that turned out to be just missing shingles on the roof. Anywho, after I went back to sleep, I woke up thinking, "do I have something to do today?"

Why, yes I did. I was meeting some of my favorite ladies at the Armand Hammer Museum, where I didn't see any baking soda, to enjoy an afternoon of knitting and art featuring knitting. I'd seen Lisa's sweaters on her blog but they are really something up close. Lisa was in attendance and answered all our questions. Then we adjourned to the gift shop where Lori, Natalie, Sarah and I had some giggles in the children's department.

I stopped off at the Target plaza with the intention of getting a pedicure. Instead I got a new purse and a makeover at the Ulta store. Did I look that bad today, ladies? Because the make up lady kept asking if I wanted a makeover--"you know, maybe some lipstick." I look all kinds of hot now with new lip gloss and mascara. Sadly, no place to go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I love a good Friday

Yesterday I had zero ambition to do any of my required work until about 5:30 when I realized the boss would be mighty pissed if she came in and nothing was done. So I stayed until 7:30ish to finish up some things and then home to wrestle with my antenna and try to watch some quality television. Have you seen this show "Southland"? Last night's episode featured a robbery at a liquor store filmed at the corner of Fountain and Cherokee, and a baby abandoned at the No-tell Motel (aka Hollywood Center Motel) on Sunset Blvd. Both incidents occurred just a few blocks from my house. Yes, I realized these are fictionalized events but do I need the family back home to watch this and say, "Hey, that's where Laurie lives." It's bad enough my mother watches "Cops" to see if she can see Jamie in one of the high speed chases. (My mom--gotta love her.) I want to ask one of my LAPD friends what they think of the show. I also watched "The Office" for the first time in a very long time. If you're keeping score at home, you'll notice that these shows are on NBC, which comes in just fine now that I'm not trying to watch my friend's band on Leno.
The boss is in a good mood (especially since I did some work yesterday) and had the brilliant idea to order salads from Loose Leaf. That's why she's the boss. My salad was gigantic and delicious. Plus, it's beautiful outside and I actually enjoyed running this errand.
Now, I'm off to the deep recesses of the valley; wish me luck. I have plenty of water, but just to be safe, I'll drink only when necessary and stay in the shaded areas.

Enjoy a video while I think of something exciting to say

I've got nothing today, so here's the You Tube of The Airborne Toxic Event on The Tonight Show. Check out the awesome stick twirl Daren performs at about 0:21. If you're going to Coachella, check them out on the main stage at around 4pm, a few hours before Morrissey and McCartney.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HD can suck it (again)

Seriously? I spent most of the night with an antenna in my hand turning it this way and that trying in vain to get NBC to come in. I was able to get Fox for some American Idol watching but no NBC. I gave up and tuned in to Ion for Boston Legal and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up at 12:30am, I flipped through some channels and what should appear crystal clear but NBC in time for me to see Jimmy Fallon. I completely missed my boy on Leno! Arrggghh!!! Hopefully, it will show up on YouTube.

I once again assert my opinion that this whole HD conversion is a conspiracy to get us all on the cable grid. Well, I won't do it. The Roy is making me a new antenna but I don't know if my frustration level can hold out that long. It was utterly ridiculous last night.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In celebration of Aries

My mind has been scattered to the four winds of late so I missed a few birthdays. This is the season of the Aries, a sign that Sagittarius is supposed to be most compatible with, along with Leo. While I have had many Aries friends, I've never been attracted to Aries in that way. Nor Leos, truth be told. So much for Astrology. Anywho, a cluster of good folks had birthdays in the past three days and I am here to give them a shout out. I'd have done this yesterday but I fell asleep immediately upon returning home and didn't get to post.

First up, Al Lewis, April 11th: No, not Grandpa Munster. This Al Lewis was the father of my very best friend in the whole world. Sadly, Al left this world many years ago, but his influence carries on. He is a hard man to describe. Al was a champion gardener who could bring any plant back to life, even if it were just a dried up twig. Al smoked a pipe with the most fragrant tobaccos, so you could always tell where he had been. Al always invited me to dinner with the family because I would actually eat something more than a burger (his daughter's meal of choice). I'm sure he had his faults but we didn't see them. He was a strict but loving father and a doting grandfather. I'm sad that he didn't live long enough to see his grandson Dan and great-grandchildren grow up. He would have been proud.

Next up, Joann Wallie, April 12th: I've mentioned Joann before. She was my constant companion from the time we could walk and talk until the day I moved to California. She also happens to be Al's beautiful daughter. What can I say about Jo that I didn't say last year? It's still all true. Joann will always be near to my heart no matter how much time we spend apart.

Finally, Seth J. Miller, April 13th: While he is no relation, he is like a brother to me. We spent many nights together--in the box office at the theatre where we worked, dirty. Seth is always one of the most fabulously dressed men I know, preferring suits to casual clothes even on the hottest of days. In fact, I have never seen Seth in anything but a three piece suit and the most stylish shoes. When he first came to work at the theatre he wore a houndstooth cabbie hat which he said was to cover a bad dye job. Over the next several years, he continued to wear the hat even though the bad dye job surely had grown out. It just became a part of who he was, so much so that when he came to work one day without the hat, none of us quite knew what to make of it. [for the record, he had lovely long straight black hair and was not covering any baldness with the hat] He also had one of the best speaking voices ever, so smooth and calming. I had many box office partners over the years--Randy, Tony, Daren--but Seth will always be special to me because he was my first.

If you're an Aries, I wish you a very happy birthday. And if you're not doing anything tonight "sometime around midnight," The Airborne Toxic Event (featuring the handsome Daren Taylor on drums) will be the musical guests on The Tonight Show!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Ease in Easter

I took it easy today, way easy. I spent the morning watching old movies thanks to my newly hooked up HD converter (Thanks again, Roy!). I ate some burritos, which is quickly becoming my Easter tradition. I watched Season 2.5 of Battlestar Galactica. And, I learned a provisional cast-on and shoulder seams. If I had marshmallow peeps this day would be complete.

How did you spend Easter? I hope it was great.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Abridged Guide to Hollywood (without all that annoying "see the stars homes" crap)

I should start a service for business travelers who are only in town for a day or two but want to have the Hollywood experience. I'd cut through all the tourist trappings and show you want you really want to see or what you really should see. I would customize the tour to your personal preferences. Do you want to go to the beach? At said beach, are you interested in swimming? surfers? just watching the girls/boys? Do you want to see the stars (sidewalk and otherwise)? How about freaks? Are you into the freaks? I think it would be a valuable service and having had two relatives visit in as many weeks, I feel uniquely qualified.

As you know, The Roy arrived on Wednesday. Unfortunately, his girlfriend, the lovely Jess, caught a bug while they were deep behind the Orange Curtain and was too sick to do anything for the first two days of their visit. Thank goodness her sickness abated in time for us to have fun last night and today. So, last night (as you know because I know you read yesterday's scintillating chapter) the kids met me at work to do the one thing Jess requested--see the house used as the Fishers' home in "Six Feet Under." Mission accomplished. They also wanted to see "The Watchmen." While we could have gone to City Walk or Burbank, we went to the Arclight for the full experience, and, as The Roy pointed out, it's stumbling distance from Frau Gardens and we were drinking. You want celebrities? We saw this guy at the Arclight. [psst...he's not as tall as his bio says...just saying.]

Today, we had two missions--Hollywood Blvd and Venice Beach. Oh, wait, actually three--they had a plane to catch at 9:50pm. No problem. We got a bit of a late start, which is no surprise considering the fact that all three of us are Sagittariuses (or are we?). We toured Hollywood Blvd at a brisk pace, took my now-obligatory photo with Mickey,stopped at Grauman's Chinese Theatre for the footprints, saw some awesome but sad interplay between a street preacher and some punk kids (which gave me my new catch phrase--"IMBECILE"), then stopped at some shoe stores to check out boots and the most adorable mary janes. Phew! We headed home for some quick grub.

While home, I saw that time was getting away from us so I came up with a brilliant plan. We would pack their bags and go to Venice, then from there directly to the airport. Laurie Ann--you're a genius. And so we did. Lunch, luggage and Lincoln Blvd later, we were strolling down Ocean Front where The Roy and The Jess (that's her new name) got to see all the usual suspects, including the ubiquitous rollerskating guitar guy. The Jess bought a bracelet and two paintings (2/$20) and we declared Venice Beach complete.

We returned to Jamie, who was still where I parked her despite signs warning of imminent towing, and headed back to Lincoln Blvd for a quick trip down to LAX. I dropped them off, hugged and smooched, and made it home in time for an evening of frivolity with The Slack Mistress and the alternate Will on BetheMarriage.

What can I say--I'm good.

Blue Peen

The Roy and Jess met me at work today so we could head over to West Adams to see the Fisher House from "Six Feet Under." I haven't seen the series (no cable, remember?) but the house is lovely. Jess felt a little silly taking pictures but I'm sure they're used to it. Afterward, we headed to Vons for Roy's magic burrito fixings. For a white boy from Pennsylvania, they were some pretty great burritos, even if I did have an asthma attack from just the vapors of the chilis.

Finally, we capped the night off by watching "The Watchmen" at the Arclight. I never read the graphic novel but a friend at work told me enough about it for me to have an idea of the premise. Plus all the reviews talked about Dr. Manhattans full frontal nudity and who doesn't want to see a big blue penis? Boy Howdy, it didn't disappoint. Yes, I'm sure it was all CGI, but there sure was a whole lot of blue peen throughout the film. I'll never look at Smurfs the same again.

[this totally counts as April 10th's post because I haven't gone to bed yet]

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I have HD TV!!

The Roy is awesome! The Roy rocks the kasbah! The Roy hooked up my HD converter and it has sound too!!! Of course, now I need a new antenna because I couldn't get ABC and I need my Jeopardy.

I'm sorry we didn't get to come by the Farmer's Market. I'll be back next week, I swear.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Not-so-dark-mistress meets the Frau [extended version]

[I was in a hurry to get this in under the wire for NaBloPoMo and didn't get into detail.]

So we're sitting here minding our business watching "Pineapple Express" when Jess (aka Dark Mistress Hawthorne, who isn't dark at all but a lovely person) got up to fill the Brita pitcher. Unfortunately I forgot to tell her not to use the cold water because it doesn't turn off properly and drips, only it didn't drip this time. It ran full blast and would not turn off at all. I tried to get it to stop. Roy and I walked around outside with a flashlight to see what we could see, but couldn't see a valve. There was no valve under the sink either. It was 10:25pm. What do we do?

We had no choice. We called Frau. I told her the situation and asked her where the shut off valve was outside. She told me the only valve was for the water main which shuts off the whole building. Crap! I guess I can talk to the new guy and Gladys and tell them the water would be off, but that would require me staying home to wait for Frau tomorrow. She told me to look under the sink and refused to believe me when I told her there was no sink valve under there. Finally she said, "I'm coming over." Ah, geez. No one wants a visit from the Frau at 10:30pm, except Jess who was interested to see if the Frau met her expectations.

But a visit is exactly what we got. I met her at the bottom of the stairs and apologized for calling so late. "Why don't you call me at Midnight or 1:00," she said. Well, because it didn't happen at Midnight; it happened now. "How did this happen? What were you doing?" she asked as if we were doing handstands on the faucet. I told her we turned it on and it wouldn't go off. She made a big deal about "I don't think I have washers" when she did, in fact, have a whole bag of washers. She fixed the faucet and showed me that the metal piece inside was broken, saying, "This is because you turn the faucet too hard. See? You don't need to use force." No, the metal is broken because the sink is a hundred years old and it's rusted apart, but whatever Frau.

On either side of the sink, under the counters, is a hollow cabinet with no access. Logic says there's nothing under there except maybe some pipes, but the previous owners sealed it up. Frau asked me about it. "What's under there?" I told her I didn't know as it was like that when I moved in. She eyed me suspiciously as if I were lying and possibly hiding the bodies of the previous owners. I got a lecture about my trash bags in the kitchen, even though I told her I hadn't taken them out yet because the new girl used my can for her crap. "Use someone else's, " she told me. "They're all full!" I countered. She told me some men were coming by to do yard work and they will take all the full cans out to the street, so I should just find one that's not as full and use it. Then I got the Mom talk about how if I were a better housekeeper I'd feel better about myself and it's good for my health.

All in all, it was the usual Frau visit. It was pretty nice of her to come over at 10:30 on Passover, but honestly, it's her responsibility as the landlord. I'm glad we got it over with and that Jess got to see her. It's better than a Bigfoot sighting.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Excitement? Tension? Something is building.

Goodness Gracious! Great Balls of Fire! The Roy arrives tomorrow and I am not prepared. While the Roy knows me and expects nothing more than the worst from me, he is bringing his girl and she has not met me. Yikes! I have recently learned that she, too, is a Sagittarius, so hopefully, she won't be offended by my less-than-stellar housekeeping. I have to do some laundry, though, and find a hiding place for my house key since they will be arriving while I'm at work. Oh, and the tub is leaking full flow now so a visit from the Frau is in the cards. Great!

However, more pressing is the big meeting tomorrow morning for which I must get breakfast and set up the fancy projector connected to the laptop. I have a hand full of things to do. No misspelling--I write things on my hand and it is currently filled with my "to do" list. I may have to start up the wrist if I think of anything else. I hope it doesn't rain too much. It's not doing anything currently, but I'd fell bad if Jess's first experience with Hollywood is filled with rain. That's what happened on Roy's first visit and he totally called me a liar. It wasn't until his second visit that I redeemed myself.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Back to work kicking and screaming

The first day back to work is always a drag. Plus, it was our receptionist's birthday and since I'm the one who keeps track of those things, no one knew about it. Rats! We made up for it late in the day, but the poor thing was probably hurt. We missed her birthday last year, too.

I developed a rash on my left arm, along with a driver's tan, from all the sunshine last week. The rash stretches from my wrist to my upper arm just below the yarn tattoo and it ITCHES LIKE A MOFO! Oh My God, it itches. I've put lotions on it, but sometime around 2pm I was dying to scratch. I didn't scratch, per se,* but I washed it vigorously and it felt goooood.

The Roy arrives on Wednesday and the place is a mess. Okay, not as much of a mess as it was before Lisi arrived, but I have to clean my room so The Roy and the Dark Mistress Hawthorne can sleep in there. However, I had to run an errand after work today and I'll have to stay late tomorrow to finish the month's worth of filing I have to do. So, when will I clean? Hmm, we'll see.

*Slack Mistress totally just pointed out the correct spelling for this on BetheMarriage this evening and I was all "oh, who doesn't know that?" and then, while rereading this post (I do that sometimes) I found that I had misspelled it. Oops! I hope Nina wasn't talking about me. :( I fixed it.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New neighbors

I have new neighbors--one upstairs and one downstairs. The guy upstairs plays guitar only slightly better than me and has been hanging pictures like his apartment is the freaking Guggenheim. The girl downstairs has decided she hates the red carpet and is ripping it up to refinish the floors. They have been tearing and sanding for almost a week now. She has a friend with her who brings his sweet dog, Molly, with him.

We don't have a dumpster here at Frau Gardens. Each apartment is assigned a trash can (clearly labeled with the apartment number) and it is the occupant's responsibility to roll it out to the curb and back again. Last Thursday, trash night, every can was full of carpet padding and whatever else they found while cleaning the apartment. Oddly, my can was the fullest, but the person who used it had rolled it out to the curb. I found the least full can and used that for my trash, rolling both of them back on Friday morning. I was irked, but no biggie.

Today, there was more sanding and whatnot, and while filling the kettle, I noticed that of all the trash cans in the back, they are using mine. They have their own!! Arrgghh.

In other news, a giant ugly bug invaded my apartment. It was probably scared by all the banging going on. I smooshed it with a clog (don't you judge me) and by the time I got back with a dustpan, it was crawling away. Yikes! I smooshed it hard; how could it possibly be alive. This time I put the clog on my foot and squished it good. Now I'm kind of afraid to lift the shoe. Do you think anyone will notice there's a shoe in the middle of my living room?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Gone, Baby, Gone

This morning while sharing our last few hours together, Lisi said, "What am I doing?" This reminded me of a comedy routine my sister and I used to do, which we then passed on to Lisi. The routine involves leaning in to kiss the other person and then jumping back as if this is not the person you intended to kiss and saying, "What am I doing?" I'm sure it's only funny to us, but it triggered a memory. After visiting Kate and company when the kids were small (I believe Mary was still an infant, Lisi and Niko were under 10), Katie took me to the airport by herself. I don't remember, but I think Michael (my brother-in-law) was out of town on business. Anywho, we got the time of my departure wrong, so when we arrived at O'Hare thinking we had oodles of time, it turned out my flight was boarding and I had to skedaddle to make it. This was before 9-11 so the family could come all the way to the gate with me. We ran like crazy to the gate and they were holding the plane for me, but every time I went through the metal detector I set it off. I took off my rings--buzz. I took off my watch and handed it to Niko--buzz. I took off my boots because they had a Harley zipper pull--buzz. WTF?? Finally, they just wanded me, found it was something ridiculous and let me through. I hugged Katie quickly and smooched the baby. I hugged Niko quick and as I released him he held on saying, "Aunt Laurie! AUNT LAURIE!"
"Oh, Niko, I don't have time, " I said, quickly becoming upset. "But I have your watch," he said with his sweet Spanky-from-the-Little-Rascals face. I kissed him again, took my watch and turned to Lisi. She wanted to do the routine, but there just wasn't time. I was already getting the stink eye from the gate crew. "I can't, " I said, and hugged her tight before running down the Jetway. The look of disappointment on her little face was heartbreaking and too much to bear. I got to my seat, having received the stare of death from a planeful of passengers, buckled up and proceeded to burst into tears. I cried--no, I sobbed--all the way home. I did not stop crying until we passed the mountains and I saw the Hollywood sign. I'm not a fan of long goodbyes, but I didn't even get a proper short goodbye. It all felt so incomplete.

I relayed this story to Lisi today as we talked about what time we were going to leave to get her to LAX in time for her 2:06pm flight. We left in plenty of time, hit minimal traffic and even stopped to buy some fruta for the drive. We arrived at LAX in time and went inside. I had to pee, as did she, so I went first while she waited in the check-in line. Then, I waited with her luggage while she went to the ladies room. The check-in line was unbelievably long and I started to worry she'd miss her flight. I finally asked an employee who told us we were in the wrong line. CRAP! We ran over to the electronic check in lines, but when I selected "yes" for the checked luggage, the computer said, "You are too late to check in for this flight." WHAT??? I told the guy behind the counter, "The computer says we're too late to make the flight. What can we do?" He got the flight information and confirmed that, yes, we were too late--to check the luggage. It seems the plane is so far from the check-in area that it takes 45 minutes to get your luggage on the plane. "What if we put her on this plane and send the luggage on the next one," I asked. "You'll never see your bags again," he replied (I'm sure there was an ominous echo accompanying that statement). "What about a later flight?" Well, the next non-stop flight was at 6:30 and she'd be standby. They only way to get her on the flight was if she didn't have checked baggage. Oh, and the flight is boarding in 11 minutes. [cue Jeopardy theme song]

"Okay," I said, "Let's get her on this flight without a checked bag." I told Lisi I'd do my best to send her luggage out on Monday but I may have to wait until pay day. We got her boarding pass and ran. We stopped just outside the "boarding passes only beyond this point" sign and she grabbed the essentials from her luggage. We hugged and kissed quickly, said "I love you" simultaneously, and I sent her off to catch her plane. The tears started to build the second she turned around to wave one last time. The security guard nearby said, "Your daughter's lovely."
"She's my niece," I said and turned before I lost it completely. I made it upstairs and back to my car with her suitcase before breaking down into a puddle. I cried the ugly cry for a few minutes than called my sister to tell her what happened. I got Michael first and we arranged the luggage situation. Then, he put Kate on the phone. I told her what happened and started to cry again. I reminded her of that time and I couldn't stop crying. I hoped Lisi was okay and not crying, too. I hung up with Katie, texted Lisi that we worked out the luggage sending, and apologized for foreshadowing her departure with my story.

Then I cried all the way home.

Friday, April 03, 2009

On the run and up to no good

I had to work the registration table this morning at an offsite workshop. Okay, I didn't have to; I could have said, "Piss off, I'm on vacation." However, my sense of duty got the better of me and I'm glad I did as I gained some useful information from it. I left the niece at home so she could make an attempt to pack her ungainly suitcase. Upon my return, I got cornered by Gladys Kravitz downstairs who dished the dirt on all the neighbors and complained again about the leak. This time she told me how afraid she was of the electricity shorting out and the mold, etc. I was hoping Lisi would call me upstairs with some emergency but no. About an hour later, as she was getting dressed, I saw Frau in the back yard. Not wanting to get in the middle of a discussion between Frau and Gladys, I rushed Lisi out the door practically half naked. Okay, without mascara, which is as good as naked in my book. Off we zipped to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach--Oh, the things you see and smell and hear. The incense, the ganja, the rollerskating guitar player, the pick-up games on the basketball was a beautiful, albeit chilly, day at the beach and Lisi got to experience all the fun of Venice without the crowds. Another good thing about less-crowded days is the vendors are willing to give you a better deal just to make a sale. Lisi got this adorable hatI could make that.* I picked up this great scarf from the same vendor. We got the pretty girl specialsIt's my scarf but she's a better model. I also picked up these sweet salt and pepper shakers. The gal selling them had all kinds of colors and you could mix and match. I chose these two because of their Love themes and because green and purple are my favorite colors.On the way back to the car, which was parked near the Rose Cafe, we saw this awesome sign. I applaud the guy for his sense of humor, although I'm sure he was truly pissed.
We zipped into the Rose Cafe for a quick iced coffee for me and to use the ladies room. When we got to the car, Lisi said, "I got you a present. " I was thinking, "Gosh, I didn't leave her alone for more than a minute. When did she have time?"
"Well, it's a present for both of us, actually." With that, she pulled out a roll of toilet paper that she stole from the ladies room. You see, we were out of TP at home. That's my niece, always thinking. When we got home, she made us the most delicious burritos--and she's not even Californian! What a gal!

I can't believe she's leaving tomorrow!!! Nooooo!!! I had so much fun giggling like a fool with my sweet, beautiful girl. I'm going to miss her. And before you say anything, yes, I need a new camera. Mine doesn't work anymore and I've been using the phone camera.

*All the women in our family are afflicted with "I can make that" syndrome. We see something in a store and won't buy it because we could surely make it for less. My grandmother used to say it to my mom, my mom said it to us, and now my sister and I have passed it on to the next generation. Lisi would crack me up by saying this everytime we say something knit or some piece of pottery, her craft of choice.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Clearly, we're related

Today was Downtown day! Woo Hoo! I thought, maybe, we could head out early, hit downtown and walk around a bit, then possibly hit the Grove for a movie or head to Burbank, because I still have a bra to return. But the thing is, my niece and I are far too much alike and left to our own devices we will sleep late, putter around, and take a long time getting out of the house. Actually, on that last point, the niece is very much her mother. Oh, the horror stories I could tell about getting ready for school...But I won't. Alas, after the breakfasting and putzing, we made it out the door around noonish.

We picked up some lunch to go at Locali, where the staff is incredibly helpful and the soups are great. From there we headed downtown, parking at the library. We ate lunch in the library courtyard while Lisi made angry gestures toward the pigeons, then wandered around the library, stopping at the library store and putting on an impromptu finger puppet show with a lobster, a chef, and a woman prisoner. You had to be there. Hey! There's a duck in one of the pools outside the library. How did he get there? Lisi wanted to pick him up. I thought it best to leave him alone.

After the library, we walked over to Disney Hall to check out the LA Phil store and see if they had any new composer finger puppets (really, if you have to ask...). They didn't. On the way over on Hope Street, just before the 4th Street overpass, two nicely dressed young business men were walking past us discussing business stuff like faxes and emails and conference calls when one of them says to other, "She's hot," then continues on with the business talk. Come on, guys. We know she's hot but have the decency to get past the pretty girl before making a comment about her in the third person. Lisi and I laughed until I couldn't breathe. Oh, another example of our similarities--at the top of those stairs that lead from 5th Street up to Hope there's a fountain. In the center of the fountain is a statue of a woman standing on a tall platform with four crabs around its base. Lisi and I looked at it and both said, nearly simultaneously, "she's got crabs."

With no composers to add to my collection, we headed back to the car where I paid an exorbitant price to exit the garage even though the first three hours are supposed to be $4.00 and I was there less than three hours, but whatever library parking. We drove down Broadway and over to Chinatown. I tried to find parking on the streets but it was after 4:00 and all the metered parking became express lanes. Damn. We ended up coming home (the scenic route past Dodgers Stadium) and nibbling. Now, last night I made a bowl of guacamole and we devoured it ridiculously fast. It was good, so good that I ended up using my finger to get the last of it, for which the niece pointed and laughed at me. Today, she decided to have the leftover pico de gallo with chips and ate it all, then tried to get the juice on her chips too. In her attempts, she ended up spilling the juice in her crotch, making it look like she peed. "Aunt Laurie, I picoed my pants, " she cried, which just made us both laugh and did nothing to clean up the pico de gallo soaking through her jeans.

Now she's off to slumberland, as am I. I have to go to work for a few hours tomorrow. (boo, hiss). Then we're going to Venice to check out the wild life.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Too Pooped to Post--here's a double shot

PAY DAY!!! Are there two sweeter words in the English language? The cupboards were bare so after I made sure the essentials were covered (rent, insurance, @#$% parking ticket), we headed off to buy GROCERIES! But first, we needed to get a mani/pedi. Lisi got the mani; I got the pedi. Then we popped into Target to pick up the essential--food, shampoo & conditioner, lime green socks with smiley faces on themWhat? They were in the dollar bin. We also picked up a new trash can for the kitchen, which was one of the aforementioned essentials. The old one was kind of ewww.
After Target, we went to...Whole Foods! More groceries!! Really I was on the search for avocados and vegan cookies for the girl. After Whole Foods, we went to Ralphs!! No, I'm kidding. We went to...Burger King!! Did you know they have Veggie Burgers? I didn't. I suspect those veggie burgers are not strictly vegan but I didn't tell Lisi that. I really wanted onion rings. I love Burger King onion rings.

Finally, we came home, snacked and watched movies. Do you sense a trend?

Today I had a full day planned but we got a late start. We ended up going out to City Walk via the Red Line. Here's the required photo in front of the spinning globe:and just to prove that we were there together, we did this:I look awful. She is, of course, perfectly adorable. Sparky's was closed (the nerve) but It'Sugar (yeah, the missing second s really bugs me but the candy inside makes up for it) was wide open. Honestly, I shouldn't be allowed in there. I'm like a kid in a...well, a candy shop, which is what it is, so I guess I'm really like an adult with no control in a candy shop. I can't leave this girl alone for two seconds without the creepy guys hitting on her. But what are we going to do? Lock her up? I think not. She's sweet, too, so she's not as quick to say "beat it, sleazeball," as her Aunt. I kept an eye out for her, though (don't worry, Kate.) Speaking of eyes, this one can spot a hottie a mile away and is nice enough to share the view with her old aunt who has no business looking at the cute young men but does anyway. Lisi also shared with me this little secret--did you know they spray the clothes at Abercrombie & Fitch with cologne? This girl could smell the store halfway across the plaza. Good nose.

My knee has been acting up (old skateboard injury. Yes, I'm serious) and she was not exactly wearing walking shoes so we rode the train back to Sunset & Vermont to take the bus down Sunset, which drops us off right at the top of my street. At Western, a smelly man with a Flip Wilson "Geraldine" type wig got on and sat across from us but up one seat. The smell was immediate and overpowering. "That's not Abercrombie," I said to Lisi. "No," she replied, "I call it 'Pretzels and Cat Piss.'" I love her.

Now we are home. and bored. and deciding if we're hungry or tired or what. I think a little of all three.