Thursday, December 31, 2009

I made it!

I made it through NaBloPoMo for December as well as 2009! Hooray for me! For those confused by that whole "end of the decade" thing, trust me it works. Say you have to wait ten minutes for something, 00:00 to 01:00= one minute. 09:59 is almost ten minutes so 10:00 is exactly ten minutes. When we're counting years and we started at 2000, the last day of the last month of the year 2009 is almost ten years, and at midnight of the first day of the first month of the year 2010 we have completed ten years and are working on the 11th year. Think about it. (based on a conversation I had earlier)

Anyway, back to the NaBloPoMo--remember that whole Mitvah theme? Yeah, well so much for me doing the whole random giving thing. However, I received random gifts galore. So, I want to say "Thank You" one more time to all my wonderful and thoughtful friends who surprised me with such generous gifts. I never expect anything from anyone, and your kindness means the world to me.

Also, once more, congratulations to Will and Annika on the birth of their new daughter. Welcome, Grace; you just made it--Phew! Although, couldn't you have held out for 10 hours so I could have won the guessing game? At least I got the girl part right.

And speaking of just making it, I hear fireworks and shit; I guess it's the new year already. Happy New Year!!! Drink responsibly and all that.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guess who was born today? Well, not today, but this date.

My favorite person in the whole world was born on this date. "Who is that?" you ask. Let's take a look at the folks born on December 30th.

Rudyard Kipling? Well, I do love me some Jungle Book, but nope, not my favorite.
Bo Diddly? Well, he's a man who can spell, which is always a plus, but not my favorite.
Patti Smith? Man I love her version of "Because the night," but still not my favorite.
Tracey Ullman? She knits and introduced us to The Simpsons, which makes her okay in my book, but favorite? not so much.
Tiger Woods? No, I'm not even going there.
Eliza Dushku? You gotta have Faith, but she's not my favorite either.
Even local knitting phenom Jenna Radomile, though she's got RAD in her name, is not my favoritest person in the whole world.

But this lady is (see arrow)
That is my beautiful sister, Kate, with her handsome husband and unbearably gorgeous children, and she is turning *cough cough hack cough choke* years old today. Isn't she lovely? She doesn't look a day over *cough cough hack*. Man, I've got to do something about this cold.

Here she is behind the wheel of a tractor at about 6 months or so. Pay no attention to that "Jan 64" date. That's my Daddy riding bitch. And this is a holiday shot circa 1979. Kate's the cute one with the bow who looks like she's been hitting the Egg Nog already. I'm the one who needs make up and better posture. I think we were either going to or had returned from midnight mass.

I love you to pieces, Katie!!! Have a Happy Birthday and enjoy dinner with the Mickey. Also, today is the 5th day of Christmas so he should totally give you five gold rings for your birthday.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A prayer for somebody's baby

I had a post planned, which I burden you with on Thursday, but something happened on the way home. I was driving down James M. Wood Blvd. when traffic came to a stop at about Kingsley or Ardmore. There were a bunch of police cars so I assumed there was an accident. It's only a two-way stop and there are a lot of close calls there. As I sat, Jamie started idling funny. The van in front of me wouldn't turn the corner to go around the block and I was getting very annoyed. Then I saw what was stopping traffic.

The police had two young men (boys really) in handcuffs. They pulled the first one in front of the spotlight of a police car on the cross street, presumably to be identified by a person inside, then put him in the back of a waiting cruiser. This was repeated for the second man, who was escorted to a different car. A brindled pit bull was tethered to the street sign post barking wildly until a police officer got down on one knee and comforted him. My first reaction was, "Great! How long is this going to take." Then I stopped myself and remembered that these young men are somebody's children. Some mother or father is going to get a phone call, if they weren't already watching nearby, telling them their child is in jail. I remembered how it felt to stand helplessly while the police led my big brother away in cuffs and how I wanted to protest "but he's not a bad person. He's my big brother. He has a kind heart. Don't take him away."

So all the way home I prayed. I prayed for the young men to let this be the last time they are in cuffs. If they did something wrong or not, I prayed that they find a way out of that life. I prayed for their mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters to have strength and stand by their boys, show them a better way, and help them through this. And I prayed for the poor dog who was probably confused and wondering, "Where are my boys going? Who's this guy in blue? What's happening?" I prayed that the dog is taken home to a family he knows or placed in a good foster home.

I hope my prayers work.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I got a new phone!

Hooray! After much anticipation, my new phone arrived. I upgraded but not really. I mean, it's not so much an upgrade as just a different phone with the same capabilities. I'm over the Blackberry. I've always wanted a slider phone, so I got a Nokia Surge. It's pretty. Now I'm reading the manual to figure out how to use it. Yes, really. Am I the only one who reads the manual? Everyone at work laughed at me.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

She's Crafty, I'm not

I have watched practically every episode of "She's Crafty" in the past three days, yet ironically have not done any crafts. It's hard to concentrate when you're alternating between coughing and sleeping. I do love Wendy, though. She gives me good ideas.

I'm off to make more tea and sleep a lot more. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Can I get a sick day?

Know what sucks? Being sick on the weekend. At this rate, I'll be fine on Monday and I'll have to go to work. I woke up with no voice whatsoever and couldn't stop coughing. I made a cup of Throat Coat tea and sipped it slowly. Then I fell asleep. I repeated this throughout the day and it really helped. I'm still coughing like crazy, but my throat hurts less and I have a voice. I have eaten two Flake bars and I'm not eating a candy cane. I guess I have a sweet tooth today.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope your Christmas was as fun as mine.
Thank you Nina & Will for hosting such a great shindig.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sam--my favorite mood-altering drug

Since I didn't have to work today, Annika kindly said I could come visit with her and Sam. I woke up feeling scratchy of throat but otherwise okay. To be safe, I called first to make sure she was okay with my germs coming to call. She was! Hooray!

Sam was more than happy to have a new toy to play with, since his mom is very pregnant and not so much with the climbing. He climbed, I flipped him--over and over. Then we put our heads in a box (don't ask), played ping pong with maracas and a balloon, and generally just played whatever game came to Sam's mind. I had a great time and left with a light heart and generous spirit. It reminded me of a time when Sammy was just a baby. It was Thursday and I was on my way to the WeHo Stitch n Bitch. Traffic was a nightmare, and parking at the Farmer's Market made me want to commit murder. I stormed upstairs to see my knittahs in such a foul mood I didn't even feel like knitting. Then I saw Annika, Will and Sam. I put my arms out and stole Sam from his father's arms and in minutes that adorable redhead and his beautiful smile made all the bad stuff melt away. I mean, how can you be in a bad mood with this face around?
But what about Annika you say? We had a good time, too. We crafted (I finished a mitten; she finished a Christmas present), ate cookies, talked and talked, checked get the idea. It was certainly better than working. Thanks, Annika!

Photo borrowed from Annika's blog.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hooray for people who care!

On Monday, after a particularly trying day, I came home to find a package from my brother and sister-in-law. Inside was two cute pouches, three nuts and a clothes pin. Yeah, I'm not sure either, but the pouches are super cute.It really made my day. Thanks Roy and Evelyn!!

Today, I woke up with a scratchy throat and wasn't feeling all that great. I drank some tea to no avail. Terry, my next-office neighbor, brought me some delicious soup from CPK, then gave me some Emergen-C and an orange. Thanks Terry!

Then two unexpected gifts came my way from one likely and one unlikely source: a hemp bracelet and a Yarn Harlot page-a-day calendar. Sweet! Thanks Toy and Gigi.

When I finally came home today, after lots of last minute desk-clearing kind of stuff, I found a package hanging from my front door knob by a rubber band. It said Royal Mail. Hooray! The Queen sent me a present!! Okay, it wasn't from the Queen. It was from Anne-Marie!! (you may see her in the comments; you can find her here.) What did she send me? Some wonderful handspun yarny goodness, a book of drawings from Edward Monkton (squee!)*, and four bars of Cadbury Flake (cue the choir of angels). OMG, when I was in England during my senior year of high school, I fell absolutely in love with this stuff. If you've never had it, it's basically shaved chocolate that has been squeezed into a bar. Sooo good. Thanks Anne-Marie!!!! I'm already making a mental list of things I can knit with the yarn.

*In case you're wondering about the Christmas Undies, their spell was so powerful that ladies sighed with pleasure at their beauty and grown men fell to their knees and wept.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who's peekin' out from under a stairway

Everyone knows it's Windy--and no one knows it more than the driver of a small car on the freeway today. Poor Jamie did not like driving to the Westside today as I picked up a friend and took her to the airport. I got off the 10 freeway at La Brea and drove up to Olympic to pick up my friend because I just couldn't hold her steady with the crosswind and the grooves in the road. I took surface streets to LAX. On the way back to work, I did take the 105, but I opened both windows to allow the wind to cut through and it was better.

This evening the wind picked up again and it sounded like it would blow the windows out. I came home to a very cold apartment, quite a change from the weekend weather. Sheesh, LA; make up your mind already.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This so does not feel like Christmas week

The title has nothing to do with the post. Just stating a fact.
The day started off just fine. I showed everyone my hot rod nails, got a good cup of Joe, typed up the notes I was working on and moved on to the next project. Then, Perfume Sally sauntered into my office wearing some kind of Eau de Bridge Club scent that had serious hang time. It grabbed hold of my lungs and sinuses leaving me with a killer headache and a bit of wheezy action.

At lunch, I was working on my sister's birthday present and I noticed a mistake. I unknit back three rows and couldn't see a problem. "It must have been loose tension," I thought. So, I re-knit those three rows and continued on until I came to the cable row. I looked and there's that mistake again. Upon closer inspection, there really is a hole there from a dropped stitch or something. If I had unknit four rows, I would have fixed it. I'm hoping I can just pull it up when I get to that stitch and not have to undo 10 rows.

The afternoon was filled with frantic work mode, a persistent boss and not enough hours or days to get all my stuff done, but at least someone gave me Tylenol so the headache was gone. Do I have to take Christmas Eve off? I could really use the work day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I went a little overboard

The last time I got my nails done, an errant piece of glitter found its way into the regular pink powder and stuck to my nail for a month. I kept eyeing that piece of glitter and thinking, "When I get a fill, I should do something glittery for the holidays." So, I asked Tim, the handsome young man doing my nails today, "Do you have sparkly powder?" They do indeed. He gathered all the choices, dipped his brush into the acetone or whatever they use to make it go from powder to acrylic, and showed me a sample of each one on a piece of paper. There was pale pink, pale lavender and clear with iridescent glitter, bright blue with silver and bright fuchsia with silver. At first, I was leaning toward the clear with iridescent glitter to be paired with white tips. But really, who was I kidding. Bright and shiny get me every time. I chose the fuchsia. I was still going to go with white tips, but once Tim brushed on the first swipe of fuchsia glittery powder, visions of '57 Chevys and poodle skirts filled my head. "Do the whole nail that way," I told him. Tim was scared. I think visions of a dissatisfied customer asking him to do it all over again filled his head. Clearly, he didn't know me.

What I now have are nails that look like diner booth vinyl. Festive? For sure, but more "Dreamgirls" than Merry Christmas. My toes, for the record, are just a boring red that actually matches my carpet called "Lust & Desire." You know, for the toe fetishists.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Internet--Productivity's Nemesis

I went online this morning to check my wireless bill. The amount was way too high for a normal month considering I have unlimited text and data, not to mention rollover minutes. I found the problem (carry over fees from previous bill) and noticed I was eligible for an upgrade. Hmmm, I'm kind of over the Crackberry. An hour later I had ordered a new phone (free) and changed my plan to something $20 cheaper. Hooray!

I was chatting with The Roy via Gchat all this while and Twittering as well. This person posted a link to something that I had to check, then that person posted a link...well, you see where this is going right? Next thing I knew it was getting late and I wanted to venture over to the Target complex for a mani/ pedi. I debated with my nephew the pros and cons of taking the bus rather than trying to park a week before Christmas, and decided that the bus wins. I went into my room to get dressed, lay down on my bed for some reason and woke up three hours later. What the heck? I didn't realize I was that sleepy.

It was 4:00 when I woke up, still plenty of time to go to the Happy Nails salon. Alas, I succumbed to temptation and checked Facebook. Then Twitter. Then followed a link for something and the whole thing started all over again. sigh.

I have all the more errands and tasks for tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Practice what you preach, until some fool tries to regift someone else's vase.

Like many of you, we have a Secret Santa exchange at work. This year, participation was optional. Now, no one should expect the most awesome gift in the world to come from their Secret Santa. It's not really about the gifts. It's about fostering a holiday spirit among co-workers. Yet, every year folks roam the halls complaining that their Santa didn't get them anything yet or got them something lame. Fed up with the whiners, I composed the following email:

Remember when you were little and Aunt Freda* (or whatever that aunt was named in your family) gave you socks, or a nightgown, or that hideous polyester jacket that was so NOT the Adidas one that you wanted? You smiled and said, “Thank you, Aunt Freda!”

You didn’t, at least within earshot, rant about how cheap Aunt Freda is or about the ugliness of the socks/nightgown/jacket, or how you are never going to be able to use said gift because it’s cheap and ugly and not what you wanted. You smiled and said, “Thank you,” because your moms and dads taught you to be gracious.

The Secret Santa exchange is not about getting the perfect gift or getting exactly what you want. It’s about having fun and getting into the Christmas spirit. Maybe your Secret Santa, like many of us here, is living paycheck-to-paycheck and was unable to get you a gift until payday. Maybe your Secret Santa has not had a chance to go shopping for the things you put on your Elfster wish list. Maybe you didn’t fill out a wish list and they are winging it. Whatever the case may be, it is rude and hurtful to rant about the gift you received from an anonymous co-worker who chose to participate in an optional gift exchange. They are not like Aunt Freda, whom you only see at Christmas and Easter. You will be working with these people every day.

Smile….be gracious… and say “Thank you.”

Nice, right? It was well received and many people sheepishly sent out a blanket Thank You email. Today was the Christmas party with the exchanging of the big gift and the revealing of your Santa. The boss had Papa Christo's brought in and all was going well until it was my turn. Once my Santa was revealed, I opened my gift and inside was an earthen ware vase. I slowly pulled it out, looked over at my Santa and said, "This is Leslie's vase! You're trying to give me Leslie's vase?" So much for being gracious and saying "Thank you."

Now, I wouldn't have been the wiser had we (Leslie, Santa and I) not sat in her office discussing the vase, which came with a bouquet of roses from her beau, and how it was not really a bouquet of roses kind of vase. Santa laughed and said, "No, that's a joke, there's more." I dug around in the tissues and came up with...a 100 count box of butterfly closures. Wtf? Are you kidding me?? He was. When I finally dug to the bottom of the box, I found a Visa Gift Card taped to the bottom. I did thank him, though, and will use my gift card wisely, but I sure looked bad reacting that way.

*It should be noted for family readers that this is a fictional Aunt Freda and not our Aunt Freda.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It was 20 years ago today

No, I'm not talking about Sgt. Pepper teaching a band to play. I'm talking about the birth of a bouncing baby girl who has grown into a beautiful young woman--my niece, Elyse (aka Lisi).

Our little Lisi was such a sweet child. She didn't speak, per se, until she was about three. Instead she kind of hummed, like--well, try to speak with your mouth closed. Go ahead, try. You can kind of tell what you're saying, right? That's how Lisi talked. It was cute. One day while Lisi was in potty training mode and Niko was about four years old, my sister, Kate, was upstairs fighting with her precocious son about getting ready for picture day at school, and I was downstairs trying not to listen. Lisi came up behind me and hum/talked "Aunt Laurie." I turned around and there she stood holding the bowl from inside her potty filled to the brim and beaming with pride for having done it all by herself. She was also buck naked. It was the cutest thing ever, her big brown eyes looking up at me for praise. How could you not love that?

Today, I'm happy to say, she's fully house broken and still has big brown eyes that will melt your heart.
And yes, she can be a handful at times, but she's totally worth it.
Happy Birthday my sweet, goofy, snack whispering, beautiful niece. I love you so much.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bald is hot

[blogger is messing with me]

I had a big Board of Directors luncheon thing today and we didn't have name tags in stock. I had to run to Staples to pick them up, then get to work, make name tags and table place cards, revise the agenda, make sure the packets are all complete and then get to the venue early to set up the A/V and take notes in the pre-lunch meeting. Phew! So, you can imagine how happy I was to have two of LA's finest pull up behind me and start flashing the ol' red and blue.

They cautiously approached the car, because everyone knows the most hardened criminals drive piece o' crap Jettas, and Officer Handsome said to me, "Good morning ma'am. On your way to work?" Resisting the temptation to say "nope, just heading down to the B of A to pull a heist" I replied, "Yes, sir. I'm running late." I looked up to see the most stunning set of green eyes, long fringy eyelashes and a shaved head. Who needs hair with eyes like that?

"Do you know why I pulled you over?" he asked. Uhhhhh....knowing it could be any number of reasons and not willing to give them any ideas, I said "No." "Well, ma'am, we noticed your brake lights are out and as we pulled up behind you, we noticed your registration is past due." [yes, again; don't you judge me.] Balls! That sounds expensive. I immediately went into what I like to call "harried female mode."

"Oh, the brake lights? Shoot!" and then I launched into the whole story about Hamid and the dead battery and the jiggling of the wire all while I searched my purse for my wallet, which was right in the front. Officer Handsome then asked if I knew my registration was past due. I explained that yes, I knew that. I need the smog test, you see, and then I lost the paper they sent that you have to take to the smog test station so they can electronically submit your test results. Then, the DMV sent another and can you believe I lost that one too?* "Okay, ma'am. Just relax. We'll be right back."

He left to go write up my ticket and I cranked the music--Bad Company, if I'm not mistaken. After what seemed like an eternity (honestly, did he not hear me say I was running late?) he returned with a Fix-It Ticket. "I'm real sorry, ma'am. I wish I could let you go but we're getting a lot of pressure to crack down. I understand times are tough, so I'm giving you a fix-it. " He then explained the procedures for a Fix-It Ticket while I acted like I was listening intently but was really looking at his eyes and incredibly kissable lips. Mind you, he was probably half my age, but who cares. I made it to work and got my stuff done before the meeting with no problem.

But at the luncheon, I met the hot catering manager who also happened to have a shaved head and lovely green eyes. Is there a run on hot bald guys? He was very attentive. I think he had a crush on me.

*This works much better when one puts on a thick southern accent like that commercial where the pot hole apologizes for give the car a flat tire, with all due respect to southern women.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hamid saves the day...OR NOT

Pay day!!! I love those two words.

Late last night, I renewed my AAA membership online and searched my apartment for my new card, which they inexplicably send to you BEFORE you actually renew. It took me an hour (or more) to find the new card. I think someone needs to clean my apartment.

Today, I called AAA bright and early and told them, "I need someone to come out here and jump me. Oh, and my battery's dead, too." (rimshot) Did you know that the AAA guys carry brand new batteries with them? And that they'll change the battery right there on the street?? I did not. I told Hamid, the gentleman who came to my rescue, that I also needed the bolt/bracket thingy that holds the battery in place. Hamid said that item is a dealership kind of part and that they'd probably have to order it. Then he said, "I have an old, wrecked VW back at the shop. I'll see if it has the bracket you need. If it does, I'll give you a call and maybe I can come out in a few days and install it for you." Isn't that sweet? And I'm not even wearing the good bra today.

He also discovered the reason Jamie's old battery drained. The brake light is sticking again. I think it was a recall item. I'm going to look that up. Is there a time limit on fixing recalled items? Anyway, it shouldn't cost much to fix if it's not. I'm sure my buddy Max, the German Car King, can hook me up.

Updated at 10:10pm--
So, when we discovered the brake light was still on, Hamid jiggled a wire up under the brake pedal and it went off. Hooray! I did the same thing with my foot a few weeks ago when I noticed the light stuck. What I didn't realize until I was on my way home and nearly got rear ended was that that jiggle knocked out my brake lights completely. Wonderful!! I don't have time to get it fixed in the morning, so keep your fingers crossed that I make it out alive tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prompt Tuesday on Monday

For Prompt Tuesday, San Diego Momma asks, "What’s the grossest thing you ever did for somebody because you loved him/her/it?*" My first thought was, "I've never had that kind of relationship that I would do something gross..." but then I remembered something, an incident that happened so many years ago it's barely there. It was gross, to be sure, and I did it because I loved (and still do) the person involved. And somehow in the remembering the feelings of love grew and grew and reminded me of just how much this person means to me, then and always, and how much I miss her. Isn't it funny how memories do that? The gross story follows. Look away now unless you have a strong stomach.

My best friend, Joann, has a sister who is 16 years our senior. Cathy, the sister, lived in a four bedroom house with a large yard in Henryville, PA, with her husband and two daughters. Since Cathy had the big yard and a lot of parking, she hosted many of the family get-togethers, from wild summer picnics to Christmas shindigs and even a rocking New Year's Eve soiree or two. Joey and I had a great time at these things because the adults tended to be less than vigilant about making sure we didn't sneak a drink. The party in question was of the summer variety.

I want to say that Joann had recently turned 21 (in the spring) but part of me thinks she and Bryan, her husband, were already married. No matter, Joann, Bryan and I all came in the same car because I didn't drive at the time . We got to the party and had us a beer or two before Jo's Dad, the beloved Al Lewis*, offered her some vodka. Several Uncles were there, as well as her older brother, all of whom egged her on. Not one to back down from a challenge, Joann began doing shots with the big boys. How does that saying go? "Beer before liquor, never been sicker"? The party wore on and many more intoxicating beverages were quaffed. At some point, Joann disappeared. Bryan and I found her lying in her niece's room in the dark. As I came in the room and reached for the light switch, Joann said, "Don't turn on the light." "What?" I asked, turning on the light.

What followed was the most prodigious projectile vomiting I have ever witnessed. It made the famous pea soup scene look tame. It lasted longer than those uncomfortable vomiting scenes in "The Family Guy" that seem to go on forever. But somehow, magically, she did not get any on herself or Bryan, and only managed to barely splatter my sneakers. Most of the vomit hit the wall by the light switch, which I turned off immediately, and ran down to the floor. That Joann is one perfect puker.

I don't remember all the details that follow. Did I mention I was less than sober myself? I do recall Bry soothing Joann and keeping her eyes covered while I turned on the light, grabbed a bucket and sponge, and proceeded to clean up Lake Vomitoria, scrubbing down the wall, and getting the few things that did get splattered into the laundry before her sister, or the niece whose room was defiled, found out. Then, quietly as we could (which wasn't very quiet), we shuffled Joey out to her car, which I had to drive home while Bryan held her, just in case. And I would do it again, anytime, because Joann is the kind of friend you clean puke up after.

*Not Grandpa Munster, just a beloved man named Al Lewis.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One down, many to go

I knit a hat today. Well, I started it last night, then ripped it out, then started again, then ripped get the picture. So, I started it again, and it worked this time...I hope. I think it's big enough for a four-month-old child. It definitely fits a very old bear.
Julian says it clashes with his tie. I say I'd better fix that nipple top before sewing in the ends. Although you can't see it, I have to say I'm extremely proud of the jogless stripes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The girl who cried...well, she just cried

I'm sitting on my sofa trying to figure out a knitting pattern and watching "Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince," when I hear some sort of uproar outside. I ran to my bedroom window to see what I could see. A car was sitting halfway in the driveway diagonally with its headlights shining on the front porch. I heard a woman squealing, "Oh My God, there's another one!! [blood-curdling shriek!] And another!!"

"Holy Crap," I thought, "they must be battling cobras, or something equally bizarre and life-threatening." Thinking I might be of service, I slipped on some shoes and ran downstairs. I opened my door and peered around. "What is it?" I asked.

"SNAILS!!!!!" she cried, pointing and near hysteria from a major attack of the willies.

"Oh, for fuck's sake" I mumbled as I closed my door and climbed the stairs.

Now, if it were this I might be on her side.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Strange Holiday Giving

We have a vendor with whom we do a lot of business, like we could buy several BMWs with the business we do. They are a great company and always support our fall fundraiser, but every Christmas, they send us a loaf of bread. Just one. It's a hearty pumpernickel about the size of one and a half regulation footballs. It's kind of our running joke. Not that we don't appreciate any and all gifts we receive, but really? A loaf of bread?

I was at the front desk when it was delivered. I called our supplies gal and cried, "Hey, the bread arrived!!" She laughed and said, "I'd better come claim it right away." After the required football jokes ("Go long!") we cut it up and those who wanted it took away giant chunks in plastic bags. It really is a good bread, but what a peculiar gift.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can I just call this week a wash?

I had a major envelope stuffing project to do today. I was late for work because I missed the first bus, and then had to wade through a plethora of emails before getting to the project. Before I knew it, it was time to cover the front desk for an hour. Okay, fine. I stuff envelopes at 2pm. But wait, there's a CPR training in the conference room at 2:00. I'll use the smaller conference room. But wait, there's a literacy training in that room at 3:00. Son of a ....where am I supposed to stuff these damned envelopes????!?!

I ended up in Amber's office, just the two of us, stuffing and chatting. Then two more ladies joined us. Consequently, they're not done. Neither are the notes I had to type, the calls I had to make, the, oh, everything that needed to be done today. I would like to just call this week over and try again. Who can make that happen for me?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Never pass up the opportunity

I had an unproductive day yesterday at work. Between running errands and being pulled this way and that, I never got to the tasks at hand. I resolved to make up for it today. But I woke up late and when I got to work, I went straight into a meeting. After the meeting, I went out to lunch with the boss, then covered the front, then...well, the day was pretty much lost. A group of us had an impromptu happy hour where I had too much wine, then I went back to my office to get out a few emails before heading home.

As I stood on the corner of Crenshaw & Olympic waiting to cross the street to catch my second bus, I noticed glass in the street from an accident, glass that wasn't there this morning when I crossed the same intersection. I followed the trail of glass up onto the sidewalk, which is when I saw the indentation in the pole for the traffic signal. It was quite a dent, too. The car hit it good. A car horn sounded turning my attention back to the street where I saw the thick black skid marks from the accident. They came from the north side of Crenshaw diagonally across the intersection right up onto the corner where I was standing. In fact, I was standing exacting between the two tire tracks. Had anyone been standing there when the car came through, they'd have been hit for sure and judging from the dent in the pole, probably dead.

Maybe it was the wine or the unbearably long wait for the 210 bus but I started thinking about the fragility of life and how a person could just be standing on the corner one minute and the next, pfft. So, instead of stressing out about all the work I didn't get done over the past two days, I'm going to be glad that I accepted the lunch invitation and the wine invitation and I'll accept more invitations. Because you never know.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Transit TV is condescending

For those who haven't ridden a LA Metro bus in a while, they have TVs now. The TVs play a loop of news pieces, trivia questions, video shorts, advertisements, and so on. The ads are mostly debt solution companies. They've had TVs for some time now, like before I had a car. But I remember the content being better quality in my pre-Jamie days. They had horoscopes and movie reviews and news, mostly. It's the trivia that really gets my goat. Sample questions:
"Who painted the Mona Lisa?" "Who wrote Hamlet?" "What famous detective smokes a pipe and plays the violin?"
For reals? You can't toss a challenge my way? And yet--there's a segment in which you have to text your answer to win movie tickets and that question is ridiculously hard. For the past two days it's been some science question, like "What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
Yesterday's was something about electromagnets. On second thought, they may be easy questions and I just may be scientifically challenged.

*this totally counts for Tuesdays because I wrote it yesterday and forgot to hit "publish post."

Monday, December 07, 2009

I forgot about the rainy days

On Saturday when it became obvious I'd be riding the bus for a week, I was cool. I rode the bus for ten years after I moved here. I mean, it's my blog's URL, for crying out loud. But this morning, when I stepped outside in the rain with the wind blowing it sideways making an umbrella fairly useless, I was less resolved. I was cold and wet and the bus was running late because of the slower moving traffic. My ears were frozen by the time I got to work and my nose was running. But at least I have The Hollies on my iPod to provide an appropriate soundtrack.

This is going to be a long week.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Accomplished surprisingly little

I was so tired yesterday that I went to be early (for me) at 10:30. I woke up early, too. I was up and at 'em by 8:00am--on a Sunday! I thought, "Well, this is great. I have so much knitting to do I can make myself something to eat and get started." It was freezing in this apartment, so I made cocoa (coffee is too much of a hassle). Mmmm, cocoa. I logged in and checked out my FarmVille and Mafia Wars status on Facebook. Then, checked Twitter for a minute or two (or 30). I made breakfast (ham, eggs and hashbrowns) and more cocoa, then settled down for some serious knitting at 10am or so.

I knit for about an hour on my Holiday Hat for the WeHo SnB party, then promptly fell asleep. I woke up an hour later, watched "Up" on DVD, cried like a baby because that's how I roll, then fell asleep again.

So, all that ambition I had at 8am was nowhere in sight come noonish. Oh, well.

Update: After falling asleep on the sofa again, I woke up at 11:30pm and watched Oprah. While watching, I worked my fingerless gloves/mittens project up to just before the fingers on one glove. I set that aside and started Katie's mittens; I started them three times because who starts ribbing with a purl, and I may have had a problem with dividing evenly among three needles. So, see? Not so unproductive after all.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


I woke up from a bad night's sleep with a splitting headache. I just wanted to stay curled up in bed, but I had things to do. I had a package to collect from the post office and yarn to buy for Christmas projects. I showered, dressed, grabbed all necessary shopping tools and headed out to my car to find the remote door unlocker thing wouldn't work. No problem, I have the spare upstairs. I ran up to get the spare remote, back down to my car and--nope, it's not working either. I noticed the red blinking light that indicates my car is alarmed was not red or blinking. With an uneasy feeling, I manually unlocked the car. The dashboard clock was blank, as was the odometer. Oh, Balls. I looked quick to make sure I hadn't left the lights on, but no, all were off. With a heavy sigh, I called AAA.

The truck arrived in 15 minutes. He opened the battery case and said, "Well, your first problem is the battery's not secure." Huh? I didn't know what he meant so I said, "Can you start it?" He hooked up the cables and checked the voltage. The battery was so dead it barely registered on the meter. The mechanic told me it was too dead to charge. (about 4.3 volts) He said that even if he could get it started, the likelihood of me being stuck again once I turned the car off was great. I asked him about the battery not being secure, since it was after all in a case. He showed me a threaded hole where a bolt is supposed to go which attaches to either a small piece at the bottom of the battery or a cross bar on top of the battery--either way, it keeps the battery from moving around inside the plastic casing. My battery was last changed about six months before I bought the car. The A-hole who changed it never put the securing bolt back on. That means my battery has been bouncing around for four years. No wonder it's dead. I thanked the mechanic for his time and went back inside where I proceeded to have a minor breakdown and sobbed for about 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes of self-pity was all I needed. I quickly went online to find out where I could buy a bus pass, what time the Burbank bus arrived and what time Unwind closed today. I had gift certificates in my purse and projects to be knit. I walked to the post office to get my package, then down to the store to buy a TAP card for the bus, then talked to my Katie while I waited for the bus.

After taking far too long picking out yarn for a baby hat (I'm blaming the splitting headache) and spending an hour choosing the right shade of red for Katie's mittens, I left without buying anything extravagant for myself. I mean, when you have gift certificates you use them to the fullest. Again, the headache made it difficult to look at yarn.

So, Jamie is left sitting on the street until payday which is ten days away. Tuesday is street cleaning and while I've been lucky (knock wood) with the parking enforcement and my past due parking permit so far, I fear that Tuesday morning the parking tickets will rain down upon my car like shoes at an Iraqi press conference. Parking without a proper permit = $58. Parking on street cleaning day = $60. Parking with past due registration = $25. They usually only pick one offense but I've been pressing my luck since October and I'm fearing the worst. But I've got a bus pass good for 7 days starting tomorrow. I may just ride around town because I can.

Oh, bother.

Friday, December 04, 2009

You can skip this one if you want

It's Friday, trash pick-up day. You don't mind if I dump the contents of my cluttered mind, do you? What clutters up my mind? Things like:

Why do the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th months of our calendar have names whose roots represent the numbers 7, 8, 9 and 10?

Why does the Deli downstairs put so much cilantro in their soup? It was supposed to be vegetable soup. When did cilantro become a vegetable?

Why did I wake up singing, "Little Willy" by The Sweet? I love The Sweet. "Fox on the run" is a good one, too. And yes, I even love "Ballroom Blitz." Why is it sometimes just Sweet and sometimes THE Sweet? By the way, I mentioned "Little Willy" to my co-worker and now she's whistling it as she walks down the hall, but she's whistling a slow version of it so it feels like on the Brady Bunch when they'd play the theme song slowed down at the scene changes.

Why can't I say no to people?

Where have I seen that kid from "Cougar Town" before? It's killing me.

Why does someone keep leaving the toilet seat cover on the seat? No, really. Some chick, I won't rule out any of my co-workers but it's most likely one of those girls from across the hall, does not flush the paper seat cover when she's done. If her delicate ass is too good to touch a toilet seat, what makes her think we want to touch her delicate ass. Because that's essentially what it amounts to when the next person has to push the paper into the toilet (with my shoe). And yesterday, there was a pinched part, as if it got stuck between her cheeks. Flush the damn seat cover!!!!

Wow, I really love saltines. Just plain saltines. Can't get enough. I just ate a whole sleeve of them while typing this.

It's really cold in our offices. I have to leave now. Enjoy your weekend.

Oh, Mitzvah--I saw a piece of mail hanging out from the bottom of the mail box in the lobby. It was someone's electric bill. I pulled it the rest of the way out and dropped it back in the box. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, several years ago a friend of mine was the victim of identity theft. A woman was writing checks around town on my friend's checking account number and it was determined that the thief got her checking account number from mail that she'd left out at her mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up. You should never do that and stop doing it if you do. It's dangerous.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

There are so many things wrong with these 12 seconds of film

If my honey gave me a card and inside it said, "Merry Christmas! I scheduled a pap smear for you," it would be over on the spot. First of all, how many men even know which doctor to call. It has been my experience that while they all enjoy the theme park, they don't want to call maintenance when the rides breakdown. Second, what kind of message is that sending. Not "I care about your cervical health" that's for sure. More like, "When last I visited the land down under, I detected something was amiss. Go get that shit checked out."
And "the gift even Santa can't deliver"? Well, Thank God! Who wants a jolly guy in red suit peeking into your nethers and laughing his fool head off. Really, is Ho, Ho, Ho what you want to hear in regards to your girlie bits? Who are you calling Ho, Chubby?

CBS, I don't need you to care about my annual pap smear. I'm good, thanks.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Not the inspiration I wanted to be

I had a whole post prepared about the Levenger catalog and how much I love it even though I haven't purchased anything from them in years. Although, come to think of it, I need to buy refill paper for my circa notebook. Anywho, something else came up.

A friend of mine who is having trouble with her significant other said to me, "You were my inspiration this weekend." How so? She said, "because you don't have a boyfriend but you're okay with it. You have your crafts and your friends." She said other things but my brain was screaming, "What the f...?" so I missed most of it. She thinks I'm happy being single and dirt poor, sitting at home without cable TV, without a good heat system, knitting and all but a cat lady if it weren't for my cat allergies? Seriously? What the ??

I know she meant it as a compliment. She feels I'm a strong woman who is able to be happy without a man to complete her. I guess I'm a good actress. I wouldn't say I'm particularly happy. I'm not particularly sad, either. I just am. I would like to have a someone. I would like to have a social life. I would like to have cable TV, a better car, and a digital camera, too. But I'm not going to wallow in what's missing in my life. I just have to live it as best as I can, be happy in the little things, and carry on.

As for my Mitzvah today, well, it was more for me than from me. One of our off site guys brought me a package of ham that came with the Treasure Box because his family doesn't eat pork and he threw in a box of Stove Top stuffing to go with it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The stew of annoyance

"There are many ingredients in the stew of annoyance."--Bucky Katt

Ah, that Bucky Katt, dropping pearls of wisdom over at "Get Fuzzy." Today started out just fine. Boss in a good mood, getting things done, pot luck lunch courtesy of the Activities department--then, someone did something to annoy the bejeebus out of me. Someone poked her head in where it doesn't belong and made a decision that isn't hers to make, a decision which may potentially cost more money and definitely creates extra work. It took all of my inner strength not to fire back an email asking, "What the hell are you doing? That's not how it goes! That's just creating more work and extra cost!!" But I didn't. I stewed a bit. Then I ranted to my friend. Then I ranted to my sister. Finally, I calmly, and perhaps a bit tersely, wrote an email saying that I appreciate her trying to help but FYI, it doesn't help. It just creates an unnecessary task in a process that is time tested to be just fine without her helpful tactics.

Why do I let her annoy me so much? I mean, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter? If extra costs are incurred, it will come back to her, not me. I don't have to do the task on her timeline. Since it's my responsibility, I'll fit it into my schedule on my terms. But, dang, I was peeved today. I'm fine now. I'll do what I do the way I do and everything will be just fine.

In other news, I've (perhaps foolishly) joined the NaBloPoMo for December. The theme is "Mitzvah." Wikipedia tells me it has come to mean an act of human kindness. My kind act today was to give all the Immunity Activate water (with 250% of the RDA of Vitamin C) to my friend, Toy, (even though it's my favorite) who is tall and lanky and needs all the immunity she can get.