Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's the day we've all been waiting for

Okay, maybe not all of us, but I certainly have been waiting for this day. What day is it? It is December 30th!!! (crowd goes wild). Oh, wait; you may need further explanation.

It is--Katie's birthday!!! (APPLAUSE) Katie who? Why only the most beautiful sister in the whole wide world, that's who. Just look at her.
Check out those big brown eyes. That mischievous smile. (Please note: several bottles of wine were consumed by the time this photo was taken) Those flaxen locks. She's da lovely.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATE!! I heart you very much.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How can I be getting older when I still feel 25?*

My sister's birthday is tomorrow. I had this weird realization over the holidays and I refuse to believe that we are getting older. I mean, I know I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump from 50, but I don't feel like that way. So, I was watching the plethora of bad holiday movies (Lifetime, ABC Family, Ion, etc) and they all starred women and some men my age who were big stars during our 20's. And the one thing they all had in common was these women looked old. Not just older, but old and kind of tired. Now, I know they can do a lot with make up but dang. I kept thinking, "these women are basically my age, give or take a year, and I refuse to believe that I look that old." It kind of smacked me in the face (so to speak).

My sister and I had the menopause discussion via email. It was not the "Man, remember when Mom went through the change? Let's not get that nutty" discussion. It was "I'm feeling like this...it may be that time." How am I old enough to even consider menopause? My joints are stiff in the morning. My eyesight is shot. Seriously, this morning I thought there was a bug on my alarm clock. No, it was just THE HANDS of the clock. I'm at the "wake up and put glasses on" stage, instead of the "wear them for reading" stage. Crap!

I have hope, though. I saw a "Law & Order: SVU" episode the other night with Jaclyn Smith, Morgan Fairchild, Susan Anton, and Ann Margaret. They all looked pretty good at 60+. I'm saving now for the nip/tuck.







*parts of this blog lifted from an email to my sister.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My old theatre is closed and I'm inexplicably sad about it.

I got a text from my friend, Tami, who is in Pennsyltucky for the Holidays--
"The theatre is closed. They're building a 12-plex next year."

Such a simple text, just two sentences, and yet it made my heart sink a little. I worked at the theater for 7 1/2 years (1988-1995), but really, you could say I grew up there.

The theatre opened in the late 70's as a 3-plex Music Makers theatre, which expanded to a 5-plex, and then was purchased by Loews. They took over an old nightclub location at the other end of the mall and became a 7-plex (5 at one end, 2 at the other). Loews gave way to Sony, which (due to brand recognition issues) became Sony Loews. It's latest incarnation was AMC. I began working there in January of 1988.

I was in my early 20's, going to college in spurts, and still goofy as all get-out. In the next 7 years, I became a manager and learned all about theatres operations--concessions, inventory, money management; how to thread a projector, how to build a print and tear it down, how to re-align the gears of the projector when they jumped out of frame, how to handle an ugly mob when films shredded in our ghetto projectors (which happened more often than I care to remember), and how to rig an arcade game to get free plays. I had my first bomb scare, my first porn movie (although not at the theater), my first car accident--all with people whom I loved and hated on any given day, but would defend with my life if someone else pushed them around. I met some of my best friends there (like the aforementioned Tami, with whom I moved to LA) and made some enemies too. I learned that universal truth (Ladies' rooms are ALWAYS disgusting but for some reason Men's rooms are not), and contemplated life's great mysteries (how man Sour Patch Kids can you eat before vomiting)(too many).

I left on bad terms. I was not in a good place emotionally, having ended a bad-from-the-start relationship with my boss (NOT a married man at the time, lest you think I'm that kind of girl). For a long time, I've had some not-so-fond memories of the theatre because of him. Now, I'll admit, I'm a little nostalgic. Knowing that the place, which truth be told was a dump even when I worked there, is no longer around makes me kind of sad. So many things from home have changed since I left and I've been fine, but this really kind of hits me right there...you know the place.

Goodbye Loews Stroud 7 Cinemas ( In my head, I'm saying that in the voice my ex-boyfriend used on the movie times recording, which was a great voice (very sexy), even though he was kind of--okay, REALLY --a dick to me).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mother Nature needs her Zoloft

Ah, the weather today. With the sun and the rain and the thunder and lightning. Well, you were there. You know. Oh, wait, some of you weren't. I'll give you a pictorial play-by-play.

When I got to work, there was a rainbow. It was very brief.
bad photo taken with my cell phone out a dirty office window

Then the rain and some clearing and some rain and some clearing and at one point it looked like The Day After Tomorrow over downtown:
good picture courtesy of Ricardo DeAratanha, LA Times

Then the thunder and lightning came, followed by the gathering of every species in the world, one male and one female. Then, the Internet (well, Twitter) exploded with double rainbows over West Hollywood (figures).
photos courtesy of @EvanPow, @Amandadecadenet, and @levarburton respectively. Yes, THAT Amanda DeCadenet. Yes, THAT LeVar Burton. It's a reading rainbow.

Finally, there was something of an actual sunset and the sky turned a pretty orange-pink for about three minutes.

bad cell phone picture again.


special thanks to @WeHoDaily for collecting awesome photos from your Twitter followers for those of us too lazy to do so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Way to ruin my sister's birthday, Lousy Weather

I started a project for my sister, Katie. Her birthday is December 30th, so I thought I'd send her 30 sunsets from December 1st until her birthday. I was good. I was dedicated. I drove to Venice to get her a good beach sunset. I took a photo with my cell phone while driving south on La Cienega because I couldn't get out of traffic. And then the rain started.

I have taken to sending her stock photos of sunsets in Maui, Honduras, The Bahamas...hell, I even sent a sunset from Mars. But I'm running out of creativity, folks, and the rain keeps coming. I need me a decent sunset. I might just have to turn to MS Paint.

Are you missing the lovely sunsets? Here are some of my favorites from before the deluge. The last one was technically taken after the sun had set, but the colors were so pretty I couldn't resist.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More Missed Birthdays

I don't know what is wrong with me lately, being so absent from the Internet. I haven't played Farmville or Frontierland in so long there are probably squatters on my land. And I keep forgetting birthdays. Important family birthdays, not just random folks I happen to know, although I'm sure I've missed my share of those, too. So, without further delay, a tribute to my fellow Sagittarians (we outnumber all other zodiac signs in my family, which just means my relatives live in wintry states and get bored in February and March).

First up, my nephew Michael (he's the blond on the left; his cousin, Niko, is on the right). Michael is the son of my brother Michael, but isn't a junior because they have different middle names. I love this photo. We take our goofiness seriously in my family. This adorable bundle of mischief and mayhem turned 12 years old on December 2nd. He's the youngest of my nephews (and nieces for that matter) and it's bittersweet that he's nearly a teenager. I remember when he was just a mop-topped toddler running me ragged at Roy Sr's 40th birthday party. Love you, Michael!

Next up, Jess, aka The Dark Mistress Hawthorne, aka The Roy's main squeeze. I guess she's kind of my niece, in common-law? Eh, she's family. She's also kind of camera shy, so there's no photo accompaniment. Thanks for the amazing Chex Mix! Jess is a genius in the kitchen. She made The Roy "Picard Truffles" (Earl Grey flavored, of course) which were heavenly. Anywho, The Jess (goes with The Roy, get it?) celebrated her birthday on December 6th (I think...Roy told me but sounded unsure). I had a card and everything, but I still haven't written in it or mailed it, so....um, Happy Birthday, Jess!

Lastly, we have the lovely Lisi, who turned 21 yesterday, December 17th! Twenty-one! Why are all these kids growing up? Stop making me feel old, you rotten kids. Lisi cut her hair short a few months ago and it's super cute. See? (shhh...I cropped out my sister and brother).Happy Birthday, my beautiful girl,...er, I mean, woman. I love you!


If I missed your birthday, I apologize. Know that you're in good company, though, and that I didn't mean it. Happy Birthday, Sagittarians far and wide. Archers rule!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm still here. I'll be fun again soon.

Lest you think I've given up, I just wanted to assure you that I am still here and well. My world has been kind of hellish and stressful, with one crisis after another and none of them really my fault but my responsibility, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I just haven't had the energy to form cognitive thought, let alone blog witty things. I plan to regroup and come back next week with a renewed vigor...or enough snark to blow a hole in the Internet. Either way, fun for you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One of those moments that leaves you breathless an hour later

The sky is blue. The air is crisp and clean, albeit chilly. The traffic light, the iPod shuffling to all the good tunes including this one*. In other words, it was a wonderful morning. I was driving to work and had just made the left onto James M. Wood Blvd behind an SUV. We hadn't quite made it to the first intersection when the SUV slammed on the brakes, as did I. Barreling west on James Wood was a small green car, its driver intent on a head-on collision. By that I mean the car was heading straight for the front of the SUV with a purpose and there was no way out. There was a line of parked cars to the right and we were still too far from the next intersection to get out of the way. Had the SUV swerved left, I suspect the green car would too. I was a good distance behind the SUV, but an impact at that speed would surely knock the SUV backward into me like a croquet ball. At the very last second, and I do mean the very last second, the driver of the green car swerved back into his lane and continued on as if nothing had happened. He had a woman in the passenger seat who also seemed nonplussed. Meanwhile, SUV guy and I both sat catching our breath until a new car behind me laid on the horn. I played the "what-if" game the rest of the drive imagining the worst possibilities. As he turned left at Western, the driver of the SUV looked back at me, clutched his chest, and waved. Right back at ya, pal.

*How lovely is Beverly D'Angelo in that movie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm the worst aunt ever

Wow, I really suck this year. What's wrong with me? I forgot my annual birthday posts for both my beautiful niece Mary, who turned 15 on November 21st. 15!! She's all growed up.


I cut off her brother and sister in this picture. She'll probably hate me but I love the nerdtastic Chuddley Cannons shirt. That's my Mary--Hugs to you, Sugar Plum.

But my auntly failure doesn't stop there. Yesterday, November 26th, was The Roy's birthday. The Roy! How could I forget? So, let's all wish a hearty Happy (sweet Jesus, he's creepin' up on 30) Birthday to everyone's favorite guest blogger, The Roy!The photo is old but too cute to resist. There's a kitten on his head!

Thanksgiving and good friends (who are incredibly kind and gracious)

I spent Thanksgiving with my friends Jaclyn and Chris, Mary (Jaclyn's mom), Michele (Jaclyn's sister) and Greg, and Lindsay. Oh, and Julia, Jaclyn and Chris's beautiful daughter. Great people all around and always a fun time. I've spent Thanksgiving with these guys for several years now and each year my contribution is pie. Apple for Chris and pumpkin for everyone else. After this year, though, I'm thinking I should just bring ice cream and leave the pies to someone with more experience and a better oven, like Marie Callender or the House of Pies.

First of all, I shouldn't have waited until Thursday morning to start baking, or to go to the store for that matter. Second, I should probably wear my glasses when reading recipes and labels at the store. Third, I really need to learn how not to burn the crust. So, here's the story. My first pie, and the one I am actually willing to put my name on, was Pecan. Honestly, you can't screw up a pecan pie, and the crust didn't burn on this one (woo hoo). However, the making of the pecan pie brought up one very important point--check the cupboard before you go to the store to make sure you get everything you need, because you'll get home and realize you only have enough sugar for two pies and you'll have to figure something out for the third.

So, Pecan Pie in the oven, I started on the apple. Peel, cut, peel, cut, peel, stab yourself, peel, cut, roll out dough, realize it's not quite enough for the glass dish which is larger than the metal pans, roll top crust thinner and hope for the best. I barely had enough crust edge to overlap and not enough to make it fancy. Instead, I covered up with a heart in the middle of the crust and some fancy holes around the top. I guess the apple pie was okay, too. It tasted good and the crust only burned a little on the edges.

But the pumpkin...oh man. How does one mess up a pumpkin pie? Let's see:
  1. Half Libby's can recipe/ half Betty Crocker cookbook recipe
  2. Sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated or regular milk, as Betty called for.
  3. Run out of white sugar, use only brown sugar.
  4. Realize the condensed milk made it too sweet and overpowered the pumpkin taste.
  5. Add another half can of pumpkin to make it pumpkiny
  6. No cloves! eh, who needs cloves.
  7. Bake an extra ten minutes until the center stops jiggling, and the crust is a charred mess.
I should have just left it at home and bought one along the way. Instead, I bravely brought it and it taunted me the whole day. Fortunately, Greg and Michele brought a pumpkin pie, or Chris bought one while he was out--either way, Thanksgiving was saved. I'm hoping my gracious friends dumped that monstrosity of a pie as soon as I left. You could have done it while I was there. No hurt feelings. I know it sucked. At least Lindsay got dessert this year thanks to Locali and their fine selection of vegan goodies. Oh, and Jaclyn made a pumpkin cheesecake that was delicious!

But, seriously, no more pies for me until I figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One year closer to a red pantsuit and high kicks*

I turned 46 yesterday. I would have blogged last night but with the shopping and the knitting and the drinking, it was not a blogging kind of night. Plus, I can't find the cord for my camera and I wanted to upload some photos.

As birthdays go, it was good. I brought in cupcakes for everyone, like grade school, so we could have a party, but my friend Criss baked me a cake as well and decorated it with Hand Banana from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It made me happy. She also gave me a 6-pack of Miller Genuine Draft, some nail polish, Starbucks coffee, and flavored coffee creamers. My office was decorated with a Star Wars themed birthday banner. It's nice when you're friends really get you. My boss, who is out of town, sent an Edible Arrangement. Mmmm, chocolate-dipped bananas. I sense a theme.

I stopped at Vons last night on the way home for baking supplies for Thanksgiving and today's office potluck. Dear Vons: Walnuts are NOT PECANS! Thanks for making me have to go to another store, jerks. And no Karo syrup? What the ?

*You know--"I'm 50!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deceptive Furry Bundles of Evil

I love the kitties. I really do. But why must they be so bad for me? I had a great time at Tina's last night, but just before I left, my asthma started acting up. I forgot that Tina has three cats. I forgot because her cats are notoriously skittish and so you never see them. But last night, Baby and Bones got brave and came out to visit and I forgot that I'm allergic. I hit the old inhaler, but my night was filled with labored breathing and not a lot of sleep. But the kitties...I sure do love them, with their little furry paws and the purrrrrring. Bummer.

I slept most of the day and coughed. And knit.

Oh, quick semi-sweet story: So, I got back to Hollywood just in time for all the club closures and all the drunks trying to flag down taxis or stumble to their cars. Outside The Colony on Cahuenga, there was one particular girl with an extremely short skirt barely standing on her own two feet. She's wrapped her arms around her boyfriend and her skirt rode up in the back. Her man very gently tugged her skirt down, then picked her up and carried her to the car. Maybe you had to see it, but it was very sweet.

Games People Play

I'm calling this the Saturday post because I just got home and haven't gone to bed yet. After an easy afternoon in which I got a mani/pedi and made awesome progress on a knitting project, I zipped out to Winnetka for my friend Tina's fabulous Game Night! Tina lured me out with the promise of her famous artichoke dip. It's sinfully good. Guests were asked to bring a side dish and I was also picking up beer. I stopped at the grocery store near Tina's place and know what I learned? Supermarket cashiers are very judgmental. Like I'm the first person to buy a dozen cupcakes and a 12-pack of Heineken. Shut up; cupcakes are to a side dish.

Anyway, game night was a blast. We played the longest game of Pictionary ever (my team won), then moved on to Taboo (my team won), and capped off the evening with a rousing game of Catch Phrase (my team...didn't win, but only because poor Tyler kept getting stuck with the disc).

Thanks for a great evening Tina and Gary, and Michelle, Ariel, Desiree, Amber, Kevin, and Tyler. Shout out to Tina's niece, Ashley, our official dice roller and timer flipper.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Super Casual Friday

I fell asleep on the sofa again Thursday night but this time, I woke up around 3am and went to bed. Bad move. I slept through the alarm and woke up at 7:55am. I need to have my car off the metered street by 8am to avoid a ticket. I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, ran my fingers through my hair, grabbed an elastic just in case it became a bun kind of day, and tossed on the first clothes I could find. Then I grabbed my bags and ran out the door, missing the parking enforcement by a matter of seconds, I'm sure. I was still wearing yesterday's mascara. At work, I managed to moisturize and get a quick extra coat of mascara (I keep some in my drawer for just such occasions) to make myself look less disheveled.

When I pulled into my parking space, I noticed one of the building security guards walk out of the elevator area and over to the wall outside that area. He turned toward the wall and his stance was kind of "I'm going to pee on this wall." I watched him while thinking, "Surely he saw me pull in just now. He knows someone is watching, right?" Then, he put a key or something up to the wall. huh? I know. I was just as confused as you are now. He turned away from the wall and walked over to the yellow post that keeps people from driving into the elevator area and did something there, then walked across the parking lot to the other side of the building. Wtf? I investigated and there's a doorbell on the outside wall of the elevator area. A doorbell! What does it do? Why did he push it and then walk to the yellow post? Does it open some kind of super spy shaft in which he retrieves top secret messages and assignments? I wanted to push the doorbell button, but my luck some trap door would open up beneath me and I was already late for work.

Funniest moment of the day: I was in a deep discussion with my friend about important things like contracts and stuff when I said with some urgency, "Oh shoot, I keep forgetting to make this call." I picked up my cell and dialed the number, indicating to my friend to keep talking, I'm listening. She kept talking and I paused her when the phone was answered at the other end. "Hi," I said, "Do you have any openings for a fill and pedicure tomorrow morning?" The look on her face was priceless. After I hung up, she was all, "THAT was your important phone call?" THAT was worth pausing me?" Well, it has been three weeks since my last fill. My nails are looking kind of bad.

Let's Pretend It's Still Thursday

I work in very close proximity to the LA Live plaza, so we finally have a better variety of lunch options. Even though this is the case, I've only ever eaten at Rock'N Fish, which is awesome in its own right. But you know, once you've sampled the menu, it's kind of boring. We've talked about Trader Vic's but that's really an evening place, so one can enjoy a Mai Tai and designated driver. The Farm (I hear it's great) is kind of loud. That is how we ended up at Rosa Mexicano yesterday. I cannot say enough about this place, but I'll try.


Let's start with the drinks. They had a special Pumpkin Spice Margarita (which I ordered) that was like pumpkin pie in a glass, if your pumpkin pie were laced with tequila. It was spicy and sweet (like me), but I'll admit, was a bit much by the time I got to the bottom of the glass. The Sangria was just right. (I sipped someone else's, lest you think me a lush).

The guacamole was wonderful. They make it fresh at your table in these heavy black cauldron-like bowls. You can choose mild, medium, or hot. (We chose mild and medium) One of the gals ordered ceviche and it looked too pretty to eat. Other orders around the table included a grilled ahi salad with so many ingredients I couldn't list them all here, salmon with tropical fruit mole, white fish tacos, and (my order) Mexican Club Torta, which had a black bean-chipotle spread. It was so good. SOOOOO good. And huge. And came with sweet potato fries and pickled jalapenos. Which is why I was too full and not feeling well when Stitch n Bitch time came around. But, oooh, it was worth it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good thing I brought my knitting

So, remember back in July when I got that speeding ticket? Well, I paid the ticket and chose the Traffic School option. I got the letter in the mail telling me how much time I had to complete the traffic school thing and then I completely put it out of my head. Until today. At 3:00pm. It's due tomorrow. And it takes 6 hours and 40 minutes to complete. Guess who's sitting at work waiting for the time to elapse so she can take this cake walk exam and go home?

The course doesn't really take 6 hours and 40 minutes, but they want you to really pay attention to the course...I'm guessing. I have two hours left. Help!

I'm kind of sleepy, too. I hope I can stay awake that long.

UPDATE: I passed with flying colors. It is now safe to be on the road with me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's the little things that make me weep

I had a meeting today, first thing in the morning, which was long and arduous. It left us drained. And hungry. Papa Christo's to the rescue! Hells to the Yeah! A little souvlaki and those delicious potatoes can cure any kind of blues. My order was simple, as it usually is, one chicken kebab plate and two lamb souvlaki plates.

I drove over to pick up lunch, mouth watering for that first savory bite of carved lamb, so spicy. Mmmm....souvlaki. I grabbed the bag with my named spelled correctly (!) and checked the tag. Yep, the order appeared to be fine. I paid the lovely woman and high-tailed it back to the office. Imagine my disappointment when I opened the bag to find one chicken kebab plate and two unspecified meat kebab plates!! BALLS! Honestly, Papa Christo's, I love you but how do you keep screwing up my orders? This is not isolated. It happens far too often and if they weren't the best Greek in the area, I'd stop going there.

Anyway, it was lamb kebabs so at least that part was correct.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I played hooky

Well, technically not since I scheduled this day off, but it felt kind of like playing hooky. I got up early and took Sandy to see the fine mechanics at the Universal City Nissan dealership. Emphasis on fine...although I guess he wasn't a mechanic as much as a "service associate." Anywho, they checked out the crunchy brake sounds (dirt in the brake area--solution: wash your damn car, woman), told me I didn't need an oil change (seriously, who talks you out of an oil change), and got rid of that infernal "low tire pressure" light for me. and it was free!!! You guys are aces in my book.

I got breakfast and hopped on my email (big mistake) to see what was what, and I was late for the Debbie Stoller book signing at Knit Culture, which is why I took the day off in the first place. That's okay. It was a gorgeous day and I didn't really feel like being inside anyway. So, I went over just to pick up my book (it was paid for) and then took a nice drive. Sandy had a full tank of gas and I had no agenda. Well, okay, part of an agenda--I needed to stop at Michael's for yarn. Then I came home and took a nap.

And, since the car repair was free and I was expecting to pay much more, I'm treating myself to pizza tonight. Woo Hoo! Now this is what Mondays should be like all the time.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

That's what Sunday is for

I slept all day. I woke up briefly, discovered my smart phone is being stupid, and went back to sleep. Finally, hunger got me out of bed and I've remained awake since, but I have to tell you, I could go any time...to sleep, that is.

One Action-packed Saturday (updated: now with photo)

After getting up at ridiculous o'clock, and hitting a nearly empty freeway, I joined the ladies of Team Nvision Ending Homelessness for a quick walk about the USC area for the United Way's HomeWalk 2010. Shout out to Gigi, Tammy, Leora, and Criss. We were a small but determined group. The walk was approximately 3.5 miles and we were done in about an hour. I walk slow. I got home around 11:15 and rested for about 15 minutes. Then I was up and in the shower for round two of my busy day.

Around 1:20pm, I arrived at the Hollywood Bowl's picnic area for the 2nd annual Tower Records Sunset Alumni Reunion Picnic (I'm petitioning for a shorter name, guys; like Tower Family Reunion). Wow! What a day! I was blown away by the number of people who came and the broad spectrum of folks as well. We ran the gamut from the infamous (I'm looking at you, Howard) to the brief but memorable (TACO!). I met some of the old guard employees who were before my time, but whose antics are the stuff of legend (Now I'm looking at you, Tammy). And there were the surprises that made my day (Russell!!Murphy!!Crawford!! Andrew!!ROBERT!!!). Looking around at all the wonderful, wacky, and unique individuals who came and went from that place made me realize how much I truly loved working for Tower Records and how much I miss that feeling of belonging. This picnic really was a family reunion, with all the cousins, that crazy uncle, the side of the family that is always late (you know who you are), and the family members who always get the rest of us organized in order to have the reunion in the first place. With that I say a very heartfelt Thank You to Todd Meehan, Shawn Vezinaw, and Dave Miller for bringing this to fruition; thanks to Tammy (great grilling, sister) and everyone who contributed grub for the feast. It was all so good. And thanks to everyone who came to join the fun and remind me what a great group of people I've had the pleasure to call friends.

and in case everyone starts reading this blog all of a sudden, much love to (in no particular order) Kelly, Stephanie, Jennifer, Matt, Chris, Harold, Larry King, Paul Stanley, Christine, Joey, Gary, Rob, Jim, Derrick, Dave G., Dave K., Mike, John, Maria, Olga, Jaclyn, Andrew D., Andrew B., Robert, Howard, Bill, Jeff, Lilia, and anyone else I'm forgetting but who are certainly not to blame for my forgetfulness. (like another Jennifer, Deb, Marea, Mike R., Reynor, Kim, Jodie, Boo Man, and all the kids)

*for the easily confused, the HomeWalk Tammy and the Tower Tammy are two very different Tammys.
Photo stolen from someone's Facebook page. I think Boo Man. Thank you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

How did my day just fall apart?

I came to work in a good mood. I gave the boss good(ish) news that made her happy. I put a kick ass employee newsletter in no time flat. And had a fairly good time all around...until 4:00ish. I heard my cell phone make the "text message" alert sound, so I checked it. There was a voice mail. That's funny, I didn't hear the phone ring. I tried to call my voice mail and a message said my phone was an invalid or something. What? I tried all the usual tricks--full power off, remove the battery, call it names--but nothing worked. I went to the IT guy who told me the person he deals with is gone for the day and he wouldn't be able to do anything for me until Monday. I have off on Monday! Crap! You mean I'll be without a phone until Tuesday??!!?!

Fortunately, one of the other guys in the office called Shenanigans on the idea that there isn't a customer service guy on after hours. He called and got my phone working in about 15-20 minutes. Hooray!! But then I had interweb problems trying to find a website that I KNOW exists so why is the message telling me it does not. I tried to get a few more things done but it was cold in my office and I'd run out of Candy Corn so it was time to go home.

In the car, I dropped my iPod Nano. The parking lot is not extremely well lit. I crawled around my car looking between seats, under seats, and in the crease between the seat and the back with a tiny flashlight, but no iPod. Backing out of the car I hit my head really hard on the door frame. "$#@%^&," I shouted. It still hurts. Anyway, it turns out my Nano landed conveniently (or not) in my purse which is a sucking black hole and I'm going to change it out this weekend!

I'm going to bed. Yes, at 9:00. I have to be up at way-too-early o'clock to join my team for the United Way's HomeWalk 2010. Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why is casting on so much fun?

Currently, I have, well, a lot of projects on needles. But in terms of active knitting, I have a hat for my brother Brian, Kate's Mittens of Perpetual Postponement, and the argyle double knit scarf from Son of Stitch N Bitch. Then I remembered that I needed a birthday gift for someone, so I cast on for that today. While I was looking for some patterns for the birthday gift, I found another one that I liked a lot and cast on for that, too. Did I need to cast on more projects? Hell, no! Did it stop me? Hell, no! And to make matters worse, I stopped by Ravelry and looked at all the things my friends have faved and queued and I got all kinds of inspired for even more projects.

So much to knit, so little time.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Medicinal Properties of Cocoa

It was powerful cold in my apartment this morning, so I bundled up before leaving the house assuming it would be equally chilly outside. It wasn't. I looked kind of silly. But that's okay, because it was also powerful cold in my office, so vindication was mine!

But then the emails and phone calls started and the frustration and anger levels elevated. When I finally got a chance, I went to the kitchen and made my favorite beverage*--hot cocoa with a shot of Dark Magic coffee. Ahhhhh, cocoa. Is there anything caffeine and chocolate can't cure? Okay, maybe cancer, but have they tried? It was so good, I had two big ol' mugs full and my mood did get better...a little...the aggravation didn't go away so I'd say the mood leveled off at a manageable point.

But tomorrow is a holiday. :)

*my favorite beverage that is socially acceptable to drink at 9am.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

My First Crush

San Diego Momma posted the writing prompt for Tuesday: My First Crush. Do you remember yours? I'm not sure if he's my first crush, but he is the first one I remember. His name? Ricky Ruvo. Ah, Ricky. I was about seven; he was 12ish. He lived up the street and around the corner in a house on a hill. I'm not sure if I can describe him in detail other than brown hair and brown eyes; I honestly can't remember exactly what he looked like as a kid, but for some reason, I thought he was the bees knees. He was tasty in my young mind and I loved the days when Ricky would come down to play at our house. Ricky had a younger brother who was a year older than me named Randy. Randy was a nerdy pain in the ass and kind of a jerk. Their mom was great, though. We girls used to hang out with her and help her clean. (what was wrong with me?) I think she just liked having girls around.

One day, the boys were playing Joust on their bicycles using my friend Joann and me as shields. Ricky used me (dirty) and I was thrilled. Then, and I don't remember the circumstances, Ricky called me ugly. What? Me? I hauled off and kicked him square in the balls. I kicked him good. Then I got a serious talking to from my mother about the dangers of kicking boys in the jewels and how I could hurt his chances of being a father*. (yeah, sometimes Mom just didn't leave it at "it's bad.") Shortly after this incident, Ricky went off to boarding school and I didn't see him for a long time. When we did finally see Ricky again, he walked funny. I was convinced that this was caused by my kicking him in the balls and I have NEVER kicked a boy/man there ever again. Actually, Ricky had been hit by a car or something like that while he was away at school and the new walk was the result of injuries.

Ricky and Randy were gone a lot at school and we didn't see them much, but I eventually moved on. Then, Randy came home from school. Something happened to nerdy, annoying Randy. Suddenly, he was hot...like smokin' hot. Joann and I were both kind of slack-jawed. Where had he been hiding that? Wow! Of course, he was still kind of a jerk so there's that.

*Don't worry. My kick has not hindered his ability to father children.

Monday, November 08, 2010

16,786 days old, but I don't look a day over 13,134

My math nerd friend calculated when she will be 10,000 days old. She's younger than me, so clearly I've missed this milestone, but I wanted to know how many days old I am...16, 786. That doesn't seem so bad. Then, one of the accountants came into her office and we calculated his days--8, 155. How am I more than twice as old as an accountant?!? Sheesh.

Anywho, Did you see the clouds this morning? They were so beautiful hanging low over the mountains.
In order to get a good shot of these, I had to walk to the side of our parking deck. In doing so, I noticed a lot of broken black tinted glass. "What's all this?" I asked myself. Then I looked up and saw this.
How dorky am I that the first thing I thought of was that pilot episode of Angel in which he rolls the other vampire out the window on an office chair. What do you suppose happened here? It's the 6th floor by my calculations. We're dying to know. If you come up with a good story, I'll find something cool from the swag room to send you.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Surprise!

STRESS RELIEVER MAN!

(I added the chest hair. He seemed to need it.)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Sometimes there's pie

I must have been exhausted from this incredibly frustrating week, because after I moved the car this morning, I went back to bed and didn't get up until 4:15. I went to the kitchen, made some breakfast/lunch/dinner, and sat on the sofa to watch Alice in Wonderland (the Tim Burton one). I fell asleep again as soon as it was over and woke up in time to move my car again at 9:30. Truth be told, it should have been moved sooner but the parking gods have been good to me lately.

Upon my return to the upstairs, I immediately changed back into my pajamas, changed the DVD to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and sat down with some roasted seaweed to snack on...but I wanted something sweet. And that is why I decided to bake an apple pie at 10:05pm. It's in the oven right now. I can't wait. But I will, because it won't be done for another 15 minutes or so, and then I'll have to let it cool. I'd probably have been better off just eating an apple.

While I'm here, can I rant for a minute? [wait, it's my blog; I can do whatever I want.]
So, there's a new neighbor. I think it's a woman because that's who I've seen through the window. No, I'm not a pervert peeking in the windows. There are no curtains and she's living in the garage. Yes, the garage. I've lived here for 11 years and that garage has been in the process of being converted since I moved in. The pre-Frau owners couldn't get the permits, then it didn't pass inspection, and last I heard, Frau was considering making it a laundry room, an idea I was behind 100%. But last week, on Wednesday I believe, I came home to find a car and truck in the driveway and obvious moving in activity.

Okay, the rant is not about the garage becoming an apartment. It's about the car in the driveway. It's been there since Wednesday. How does this Jenny-come-lately get to park in the driveway? Everyone else has to park on the street. I'm paying a fortune in parking tickets and this chick gets the prime spot? No one, in 11 years, has ever had permission to park in the driveway. Rasta Pasta was the only one who ever attempted it and that's because he was ballsy and the previous landlady was scared of him. Maybe she was only granted permission for the moving in and is taking advantage of it while she can. Maybe she's paying extra (I'd pay extra had the option been offered). Maybe she's related to the Frau. Whatever the case may be, it kind of sticks in my craw.

Oooo, pie's done!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

If I could...

If I could, I would buy a reset button. I would reset to last night and stop for gas on the way home, instead of having to get gas on the way in at the more expensive station.

If I could, I would hit that reset button again and strenuously avoid the phone call first thing this morning that set the mood for the whole day.

If I could, I would hit the reset button yet again and take a different route to Starbucks. I would arrive a few minutes sooner than I actually had and most likely have my coffee order in hand before that guy with four venti sticky cappulattemochachinos spilled his entire tray all over the place effectively halting all drink production and making me late for the meeting.

If I could, I would hit the reset button and send Linda for coffee instead. I'd get the fruit from the sidewalk vendor and be sitting pretty in the conference room while she helped the sweet old lady mop coffee off her blouse.

If I could, I would hit the reset button another time and check the recorder for battery power so that I didn't have to get up during the meeting, find a battery, and miss some very crucial information.

If I could, I would hit the reset button and ask the boss who all was in the lunch meeting so that I wasn't short on lunches.

You know what? If I could, I would hit the reset button one last time...and then I'd call in sick. Today just wasn't worth it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Were you as frustrated as I was today?

I think the heat is making folks stupid, myself included. It started in traffic. I got behind this mini van driven by a woman wearing sunglasses, with both visors down, and still shielding her eyes from the sun. She was going 5 mph and then would stop dead in the middle of the road as it to check to see if the road was still there or if perhaps she were about to drive off a cliff. Arrrgghhh!

For the last two days, the A/C in our building was out. Today, the A/C was on in spades. It was so cold in our offices that my fingers were numb. I had to run them under hot water to thaw them out to finish recreating a document I messed up. I wanted to say something about how cold it was, but our maintenance guy was so pissed at us for complaining he probably would have kicked me in the teeth.

Fortunately, the ladies at the Farmer's Market for Stitch 'n' Bitch were delightful and made me laugh despite the fact that I was sweating my tatas off.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I really don't give myself enough credit

Today, I spent the better part of the morning getting a bunch of stuff together for a meeting. It was stuff that I don't normally have a hand in, but since we're shorthanded these days, each of us is wearing a multitude of hats. While my ignorance of the subject was frustrating (to me and, I'm sure, to others), I managed to figure out what I was doing and together we were able to put together all necessary information and sent the boss on her merry way.

Then, I set about fixing a document which was lost, then exported into Word from a PDF, which created a boatload of formatting errors. Was it frustrating? You bet. I cursed, more than a few times, the person who lost the original document and the fact that I was the one now saddled with the task of fixing it. I have other work to do--work that I'm sure the boss would consider a higher priority--but this is a priority, too. At one point, someone was on my computer and accidentally closed the document I had already spent an hour reformatting. I wanted to scream. Instead I calmly said, "That's okay. I can find it again with 'recent documents'." Of course, the changes didn't save and I had to start all over again, but what's a girl to do (besides save often).

Late in the day, there was a problem with the boss's computer and I worked with the IT guy to try to fix it. I was on the phone and trying to log in, trying to explain the error, and trying to tell the boss that she'll have to stay off her emails for the night. (ha!)

What really struck me as I was driving home at 8:30pm was this...I was extremely patient today. A lot of what I did today was ridiculously frustrating and unnecessary if someone had just not done this or done that. Yet, I think I kept my usually sharp tongue in check. Also? I know a whole lot more than I think I do. I DO know how to format things. I DO know a little about IT. I should really stop selling myself short. After all, no one else is selling me, short or otherwise.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Judge Porn Star

Is there a rule that says polling place workers have to be cranky and condescending? Look, Lady. My booklet said Green Table. It is not my fault y'all decided otherwise. It's not a big deal to say, "Oh, maybe you're at that table." Also, my name? Ridiculously common. So, why does it take them fifteen minutes to find it on the list. Anyway...I voted! Did you? I have to admit that while I was up on the major offices and propositions, I had no clue about the judges and other little offices. Is it wrong that I voted for a judge because his name sounds like a porn star? I mean, seriously, what image does the name Randy Hammock conjure up for you? Me? I see a guy who looks kind of like this but sounds like this. Don't Google images of the real Randy. It'll ruin the fantasy.

I sure hope he wins.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Rabbit, Rabbit

November is here!!! I love November. I love the way it sounds. I love the way it feels. I love the holidays it contains. I love that my birthday is a mere 22 days away. I love November!!

Since this is my birth month (Chrysanthemums and Topaz) and since I totally dropped the ball in September, I'm going to blog every day with NaBloPoMo. And the theme for November is there is no theme! My kind of theme, I tell ya. That just gives me free reign to babble incessantly (as if I needed permission).

Today is also the birthday of Mr. Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I always thought it was funny that his birthday was the first of the month because I never knew anyone whose birthday was actually the first of the month, except Cabbage Patch Kids. All Cabbage Patch Kids had birthdays on the first of the month. Mine (yes, I had one)(yes, I was too old to have one) was September 1st. (It was a gift from a friend because it "looks just like you did in first grade.")(Don't you judge me.) Anyway, Happy Birthday, Anthony, and anyone else born this fine day.

(I'm feeling very parenthetical today)

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm walking. Yes, indeed, I'm walking.

Hey Kids! Laurie Ann is going to put on her sneakers and walk in the United Way's HomeWalk 2010 to End Homelessness on November 13, 2010! I'm going to walk for miles and miles (okay, 3.5 miles) and you can help, too. Please consider donating to the United Way via this portal. I know things are tight for everyone but every little bit helps. The many homeless folks who benefit from the funds raised appreciate any little gift you can give.

Thank you. I shall return to fun and frivolity soon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do you have to let it lingrrrrrr

Well, I feel fine for the most part except for this lingering cough. My lungs are relatively clear until I exert myself; then they rattle like there's a Yahtzee game in progress. Oh, why do I have so many obligations when I'm sick? Or, why do I have to be sick when I have so many obligations? I haven't knit a thing in weeks, so (she says cringing) I don't have a costume for tonight's SnB Halloween Party. In case you're wondering, my Animal Spirit (this year's theme) was going to be Porcupine. My friend picked it out for me. She said, "because you can pet a porcupine when it's calm, but if you piss it off, watch out." Yeah, that kind of describes me.
I've just been too busy and too sick to be creative. I was going to bake last night, but I was all doped up and didn't go to the store. I have to go tonight to bake for the office Halloween Potluck. I'll try not to cough into the food and wash my hands thoroughly.
Here's a little earworm for you in honor of my annoying cough.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Relapse

I was feeling better. Sure I still had some lung ninjas, but I could breathe and smell and taste. Then, I went to an event last night at City Hall and spent some time in the night air, sans jacket, pointing out the sweep of the Lindbergh Beacon (we couldn't see the actual beacon, but you see the beam of light sweeping the sky) to our guests. This morning, I could barely breathe and my head feels like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon. And the coughing...whoa is me, the coughing is beyond annoying. What's a girl to do?

If you're me, a girl downloads "Kindle for PC," then "buys" some free books, and curls up on the sofa with a cup of tea and several classics on her laptop. Or not so classic, as the book I'm currently reading is one of those Scottish Highland handsome brute/lusty maiden kind of novels. Hey, I'm sick. I'll save the Proust for another day.

Please send tissues.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's official. I'm sick.

Stupid Anthony and his stupid voodoo curse.

I woke up with lung ninjas and an overwhelming desire to just sleep the day away. I am officially really, really sick. My nose will not stop dripping. It's quite attractive. I stopped at Rite Aid on the way in to stock up on DayQuil and Halls Plus. I will drink my weight in tea today as I try to muddle through important tasks like updating the website and writing Thank You letters. I see some comedic errors in my future.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cursed!

Earlier today, one of our offsite folks was in my office looking for cough drops. "Everyone's got a cough today," he said. "Not me!" I declared proudly.

Apparently what he meant was, "Everyone's gotta cough today," because no sooner had he left the building when I started coughing...and coughing and coughing. Jerk! It's quickly becoming some kind of chest cold thing, too. Oh, Anthony, when I get my hands on you....(cough)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vanity: My Shameful Motivator

Every year, my company hosts a big fundraising gala, and every year I agonize over what to wear. You know me; I'm not a dress-up-pretty kind of girl. I enjoy being girly, but there aren't a whole lot of options for us women of a certain size, which makes the whole process a pain in the arse. And I really hate high-heeled shoes. So, it was with much dread that I watched the event date approach closer and closer.

Finally, on Thursday, I took out one of the two black dresses I own and tried it on. I HATED it. I couldn't have looked frumpier if I'd been wearing a floral print mu mu and fuzzy slippers. Plus, it was positively funereal. What made me purchase this dress in the first place? And why didn't I hate it this much the last time I wore it (two years ago at the big fundraising gala)? My friend Criss had suggested that perhaps I just needed to accessorize. No amount of accessories could improve this dress. I had to do it. Budget be damned, I needed a new dress...and accessories, or course.

I woke up early Saturday morning to get my nails done first thing. One perfect mani/pedi later (in a beautiful royal purple), I was off to the Westside Pavilion to visit my old friend Lane Bryant. Lane and I don't see much of each other on account of her prices being kind of high. I usually only visit when I need a new bra (which, by the way, I do in a desperate way). I scanned the racks, found two suitable black dresses, grabbed a black bra in my size (miracles) and headed to the fitting room. Black bra? A-mazing. No, honestly, this thing should have it's own fan club. It lifts. It separates. It pulls puppies from burning buildings. It has this super Lycra back band that smooths you out. Of the two dresses, one had long sleeves and a funky off center v-neck; one had no sleeves and a flattering cowl. I chose the cowl, even though it would expose my tattoo. Yikes! No one really looks at the people at the registration table anyway.

The lovely gal helping me at LB, Empriss, led me to the Spanx rack, then helped me choose some gorgeous costume jewelry with purple stones. Perfect. I even grabbed an extra bra in nude because the girls need support in two colors. As she began scanning my items a wonderful thing happened--they were all 40% off! Everything!! Is that a choir of angels I hear?

I skipped across the floor to Payless and found a lovely pair of purple suede pumps with a medium heel--in size 11! Damn! They would have been perfect. Instead, I got a comfortable pair of black pumps with a strap and a stockier medium heel (to hold all this beauty). Done! My entire outfit complete and it was only 11:30am. Let me just interject that we're talking less than one hour between the time I left the nail salon and the time I walked out of Payless! I know!! I even had time for lunch and a little window shopping. I'd forgotten how much I like the Westside Pavilion.

Sadly, I do not have any photos of myself in said outfit of wonderfulness. I'm hoping our staff photographer caught a few and if so, I'll share them with you. You'll have to trust me--I was gorgeous, even if my feet were staging a revolt by the end of the night.

One last word about the event--one of the food stations was a mashed potato bar. Think Cold Stone Creamery, but with taters and things like bacon, mushrooms, roasted garlic, salsa, curry, grilled onions, cheese....I could go on. And they served them in martini glasses. It was the most inspired food station I'd ever seen. The mini-panini station was a close second. All of the food was fantastic, I must say.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Road is Paved

Ah, yes. The men in orange with heavy machinery returned to finish the job.
I wonder how many of my neighbors were towed. They never removed the "No Parking 6am to 6pm" signs, but since the road crew hadn't returned, the neighbors were ignoring the signs. Not me, though.

Oh, and road crews don't get it when you say you're taking a picture for your blog. They just look at you like you have ten heads and go back to shooting the breeze.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Like a POW deep in the jungles, I don't know the war is over

Without getting into details, I looked over a stack of spelling tests today and almost burst into tears. There were 8 words on the test--easy, grade school words. The test giver speaks clearly and enunciates properly. Not one test taker (all high school graduates) did better than 5 correct.

I was lamenting this to my friend, Criss, who often teases me about my obsession with spelling and grammar. I won't apologize! I don't understand how people can take it lying down. Seriously, these were not difficult words. I blame...well, everyone, including myself. There's a billboard down the street that reads, "Redonkulous!" No doubt there will be a generation of kids who think that is the actual spelling of ridiculous (one of the eight words, incidentally, and the one word that NO ONE spelled correctly). In constructing a rant to Criss, I looked up the original "Why Johnny Can't Read" report. Did you know that report came out in 1955?!? The follow up came out in 1983. So, in 55 years since the original, and 27 years since the second, the situation has only gotten worse? I cannot tell you how wracked with guilt I am at not having finished my degree in education. At least then I could rant with authority, knowing that I had done my best to turn the tide.

Criss sent me a link to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, which included new "words" such as l337 and LOL. There was actually a definition for L.A., but not as "abbreviation for the city of Los Angeles," rather "someone or thing that embraces the culture of Los Angeles. ex 'She is so L.A'." I wish I were kidding. I wrote back to Criss, "I know I'm fighting an uphill battle." She replied, "The battle is over, Laurie. Webster threw up the flag but you were too deep in the trenches to get the memo."

Having recently watched The Book of Eli, I have to say if we ever end up in some dystopian future I will save as many books as possible and teach the next generations how to read and write the proper way. Who's with me?

*sad footnote: Spellcheck offered me "ridiculous" as an alternative to "redonkulous." Et tu, Spellcheck?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Freaky (Possible) Return of the Rastafarian

Longtime readers and friends may recall that a while back I had a neighbor who I referred to as "Rasta Pasta" for his Rastafarian nature...and it rhymed. He lived in the back of the house in a single and was very odd and very antagonistic. He once got into a fist fight with one of the neighbors which ended comically when the neighbor's girlfriend started beating him with her shoe. He locked access to the backyard, claiming it as his own personal domain, and generally made things interesting. Oddly, while he fought with pretty much every person who ever lived here, he was always nice to me.

Tonight, around 7:30, I went out to run a quick errand and move my car. While I was locking my front door, I saw someone out of the corner of my eye. I watched as a man, a man who looked very much like Rasta Pasta, walk slowly past the house. I stood and watched him and was so sure it was him, I almost called his name. I don't know what I would have said to him if I had, but the urge was strong. Instead, I walked up the street to my car. As I was opening the car door, I noticed the man (Rasta?) had turned around and was walking back up the street towards me. He was looking right at me and walking in the middle of the road where the yellow line would be if my street weren't ripped up. And I kind of panicked. Why? I don't know.

And this is kind of the freaky part. I got in the car, started it, drove to the corner and waited to pull into traffic watching him in my rear view mirror the whole time--and he never moved! He was walking at a steady pace but he never seemed to get any closer. And he watched me the whole time in the most unsettling way. Finally, I took a risk and pulled out in front of a bus just to get away from him. Creepy.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I lack discipline

That's right. I'm not afraid to admit it. I cannot bring myself to do the things I don't like to do. From cleaning (when my back pension comes in, I'm hiring a maid) to filing, I will find a million other things that are more important (read: fun) than the necessary task at hand. That is why I spent the whole day at work and I'm still staring at a pile of papers in my filing box. And it's not like I didn't do actual work all day. I really did. It's simply not the work I set out to do when I entered the building today. sigh.

Hey, tomorrow I'm going to attempt laundry and cleaning my bedroom. One of these things will not get done. I'll let you guess which one.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

See Red Items

There was a meeting early this morning, as happens quarterly. A subcommittee decided they needed to meet even earlier. Earlier than Stupid O'clock? Unheard of! Well, that meant I had to be at work even earlier to open up, meet the caterers, set up the conference phone, etc. Since I've yet to figure out how to be in two places at once, I entreated a co-worker to help me out by picking up the Starbucks. Wait a minute, let me tell you about that...(imagine the scratch of a needle drawn across an LP)

I ordered the catered breakfast for the meeting and for some reason this time the caterer gave me an itemized invoice. It usually just says, "breakfast for 20." I couldn't help noticing that "OJ and Coffee" costs $80. What? So I asked. I was told, "well, the orange juice is hand squeezed." By the Baby Jesus??? I cannot justify spending that much for coffee and OJ, so I canceled that portion and went to Ralphs for the OJ ($2.99) and ordered Starbucks ($24 for two travelers). Less than $30, yo! However, the earlier meeting time prevented me from going to Starbucks and opening the office for the food delivery, so...

Co-worker apparently did not share my sense of urgency and my "Please pick up the coffee at 7:30" fell on deaf ears. No coffee for the subcommittee! The caterer decided that if my 7:30 call time was good, 7:00 was better. The meeting attendees arrived at 8:00. Cold frittata anyone? Cold bacon? Sausage? Guess who had to run back and forth to the microwave?

The rest of the day has been uneventful, except for the "low tire pressure" light coming on in my new car. I stopped at the gas station last night and checked them, but they all seem fine. I topped them off, too. Yet, still the light taunts me. Will I need to get that reset at the service center? Will they charge me $50 to do it? How dangerous is low tire pressure really, considering I'm not doing any Indy racing. Oh, the halcyon days of tire pressure ignorance.

*The title refers to a Post It(R) Note stuck on my computer monitor. I have no idea what it means.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh, come on now

Okay, before the Frontierville quips were just mildly dirty. Harmless double entendres, if you will. But this one--this one is just blatant. It's a D---- in a Box! and she sent it to her relatives in the Old Country? Damn, girl.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

They finally started


Yesterday, at 7am, I was awakened by the dulcet tones of city workers preparing our street for the devastation to come. They were trimming trees before ripping up the surface for repaving.


As you all know by now, yesterday was hellishly hot in the City of Angels, and to make matters worse, our office building's AC unit froze up and shut down. Woo Hoo! Sweatstache anyone? Our server room was overheating fast, so we closed down the office and sent everyone home. Except I couldn't go home (see last post, re: parking sucks). Instead, I went to my friend's house and watched an awful movie, which we then could not stop talking about (kudos to you, director, for keeping us engaged).

When I got home, it was this hot inside my apartment:
With two fans running, I managed to cool it down to a balm 94 for bedtime. It was no use. I tossed and turned, then lay perfectly still with one fan blowing directly on me for the rest of the night (but slept very little). So, imagine my pleasure at being woken up at 6am by more construction vehicles scraping their way down the street.

It's going to be a long week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not today, Parking Man. Not today.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--Parking in my area sucks. I don't live in an apartment complex with underground parking, so it's street parking for me. Permitted street parking, that is. And while that's all well and good*, I don't currently have a permit for Sandy and can't get one until I pay off the $90,000 in parking tickets I've accumulated (exaggerated, lest you think I'm that much of a scofflaw). So, Sandy and I are left to find parking on the metered street one block over, which is only free between 8pm and 8am Monday through Saturday, and 8pm to 11am on Sundays. It's worked out okay because I have to be at work by 8am and generally stay late at work. Even if I have to feed the meter for that last hour, it's cheaper than a $55 parking ticket.

But sometimes (read: lots of times) I'm running late in the morning and don't get out of there until 8:15 or so. Yes, that makes me late for work. Yes, it's surprising I haven't been fired yet. Let's focus on the important part here--parking tickets. I know the city is poor, but I swear, the Parking Enforcement people are sitting there with a countdown clock just waiting for 8am so they can swoop in and ticket cars. I have tickets that were written at 8:03am. Okay, yes, I know. The parking is clearly posted, but geez, can you give us a 5-minute grace period? I am at my self-imposed limit of parking tickets. I cannot get another one or I'll never pay them off and that will hold up registration renewal in December.

So, today, I woke up at 11:05am. Five minutes late!!! Holy Crap!! At $55 a ticket, that's $11 a minute. $0.18 per second. I threw on a pair of shorts, slipped into my Keds and ran down the stairs--which caused me to realize that I hadn't bothered with a bra. Pausing momentarily to decide whether to run back upstairs to holster the girls, I continued on my way (girls untethered). Turning the corner, I saw Sandy was still sans ticket. Phew! But, as I began walking up the street, I noticed the Parking Enforcement car had just pulled in behind her, the officer inside busy getting his ticket machine ready. I quickened my pace and hit the alarm button so he would see the lights flash. I got to the door and smiled ever so sweetly, so innocently at Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer, who promptly slammed his half-opened car door with pure disappointment on his face. As I was hooking my seat belt, I glanced in the rear view in time to see him whip a u-turn and drive off at a speed way above the posted limit, clearly peeved. Ha ha! I win this time, City of Los Angeles. I may still owe $90,000 in parking tickets, but for now it's not $90,055.


*Except this week, when the city has decided it's going to repave my street and the one perpendicular to it, and had posted special signs that read "no parking 6am to 6pm"--6am!!!! Even if I had a parking sticker, I would not be off the street at 6am. What the hell? Also, these signs have been posted for over a week with nary a sign of road construction. An addendum sign was posted saying it would start on September 23rd, but our roads remain construction free. Today, I did notice a large back-hoe (hee hee, I said ho) parked at the top of the street so maybe tomorrow--maybe someday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My apartment is haunted! Or, I may just be coming down with something bad

Yesterday, my nose ran like a marathoner. I was sniffling and talking like a kid all day. "I'mb find. I'mb not thick." I blamed it on allergies, even though the tickle in my through and low-grade fever said otherwise. By the time I got home last night, I was feeling pretty woozy and had a headache, which may have been the result of watching TV without my glasses, but whatever.

So, I took an Excedrin PM and went to bed. While I slept, I dreamed. In one of them, I woke up to find a little girl with Shirley Temple curls lying beside me. She was positively cherubic, with rosy cheeks and that puffy lip little kids get when they're sleeping. I woke her up to find out who she was and why she was in my bed, when suddenly she became this demonic creature scratching and clawing at me.

I woke up for real, then quickly fell asleep again with nary a thought to the evil child. So, imagine my shock and dismay when, while putting my hair up, I found red welts and a brush burn on the inside of my left arm and down my left side. My mind immediately flashed a picture of the demon child clawing at me and I ran to my bed to make sure the sheets weren't torn and bloody like in my dream. They weren't. Now, I know the more likely explanation is spider bite, but the brush burn was too spread out. Hmmmm.....stay tuned.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This post is totally about art, if you put an f in front of it and the adjective old

Today is my father's birthday. He's no spring chicken, but he's still kickin'. (that's a little redneck/ Hallmark humor for you) Happy Birthday, Daddy, you old fart.

Speaking of old farts, Sandy and I (that's my new car in case you're not keeping up) took a little trip out to the Fallbrook center in West Hills to do a little Walmart shopping. Yeah, yeah, I know, Walmart is the nexus of evil, but I needed some work pants and possibly a new bra and they're so cheap! Okay, it was a pipe dream to think they'd have a bra in my size--extra, extra buxom--but a girl can hope and stock up on shampoo while she's there.

Since the theatre where my friend and former roommate works is in the same complex, I hung around a bit to visit with her. I even had the foresight to bring my knitting so I could make some progress on the mittens I started for my sister last year. I chatted with Tami (she's sick and her voice was doing this squeaky thing like Peter Brady going through puberty), then stuck around to see a movie. I saw The Town. It wasn't horrible. But you're thinking to yourself, "What does this have to do with old farts?" Obviously, you've never been to this theatre. I swear, I was the youngest person in the auditorium. And don't get behind a group if you have to pee after that 2 hour movie and large diet coke. I'm just saying...

After the movie, I got a frozen yogurt at Menchie's. If you've never been, you're missing out. You grab a cup, pour your own, top it, and weigh it. And you can put any number of toppings you want, which was crazy because there are soooo many to choose from. And the flavors? None of this Pinkberry "we have two flavors and don't fall in love with the green tea because we'll take it away" bullshit. There was a whole wall of flavors. Not sure what to get? Grab a shot cup and start tasting. I ended up with Cake Batter (low fat) with Golden Grahams and mini peanut butter cups on top. And even though it was loaded, it only came to $4 and change. Pretty sweet! It was pretty tasty, too. They're all over town. Check out one near you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Surprisingly productive

I have not been fully wakeful all day. This morning I had a venti Americano. Then around 12:30, two glasses of orange juice and a Diet Coke. In addition, I had a piece of coffee cake and six Oreo cookies. All that sugar and caffeine should have had me bouncing off the walls, but I could have fallen asleep in minutes had I allowed my eyes to close. One of my co-workers, who also came in on a Saturday, told me I must be coming down with something, but I feel fine. Just really, really sleepy. I wonder what my alternate personality has been doing all night? Whatever it is, she needs to knock it off so I can get a good night's sleep.

Despite all the sleepiness, I got quite a bit done at work--except filing. I hate filing. I really have to file, though, because it's getting out of hand. Maybe Monday, if I'm not too tired.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'll have a cool water sandwich and a Sunday-go-To-meetin' bun


I felt like a whirligig today, spinning and spinning, with the Blues Brothers song "Rubber Biscuit" playing in my head. It was better than "Ferry 'cross the Mersey," which took up my brain for the better part of the morning (not that I don't like Gerry and the Pacemakers).

So much more to do, so little working hours to do it in. I hope you had a better Friday.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

We are clearly twigs on the same tree

I suck at blogging every day, but in the end, you win. I could have contrived something to blog about yesterday, but I was super busy and then super lazy (when I got home) and America's Next Top Model was on, so it really was for the best.

Anyway, I wanted to share this with you--A Rant from The Roy:

"*&^%$ %$#@%^* ^%$#@!*. If you're going to be in the funeral home business, either learn to write or hire someone who knows how. Obituaries are not the place to practice grammar. Seriously, if there is one profession on this fucking planet whose practitioners should know the difference between interment and internment, it's goddamned funeral directors. And, I guess, MPs."

And while knowing the difference between two words is not necessarily a grammatical error, but rather a "know the English language" error, I think you can appreciate the rant.

*(actual curse words were used. I substituted)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Subtle as...well, something not subtle

I thought the Shake Weight commercials were pretty risque. I mean, they barely conceal that using their product looks like you're giving a hand job, especially the men's version.

Then, I saw this commercial last night. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I laughed like hell. I love Jamie Pressley, and this is pretty funny in a sophomoric humor kind of way, which you know is right up my alley. But wow, Axe, you couldn't be more to the point. At least the Schick "Mow the lawn" ads left a little to the imagination.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Oh, Holidays

Things I should have done today:
  • laundry
  • clean the apartment
  • work on several craft projects
  • buy some groceries
Things I did do today:
  • watched really, really, REALLY bad movies all day long.
  • read a few blogs
  • uploaded some music to my iPod
There's always next weekend.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Art Dreams

I was trying to do the NaBloPoMo for September, but I've failed already. I'm going to redeem myself by vowing to blog every day from today on, and by actually blogging in theme today--Art.

Yesterday, I spent the day crafting. I started off by sorting through all of Mom's knitting needles to share them with my sister who has become an avid knitter in just a few short months. Hooray! Another convert! Anyway, I was sorting them to see how many duplicates there were and sending some to Kate when I realized that half the bag was actually afghan crochet hooks. I know Mom made quite a few afghans in the Afghan or Tunisian stitch, but it seems to me she could have used the same hook for most of them. I could see two or three different sizes, but we're talking five or six of the same size. Well, all of those crochet hooks got me in the mood to crochet and do you know what I realized? My crochet skills are sorely lacking. No, really. I used to crochet exclusively before I renewed my love of knitting and I was pretty good. But try as I might, I couldn't keep my edges neat and even. It's not difficult. It's a hook and loops. After a few failed attempts, I went back to knitting.

I finished my boss's birthday present--finally. Her birthday was in August, folks. It's blocking. I'll take photos and show you later. Then, I started on some wash cloths and another project I've been meaning to tackle. But then it got hot and I wanted nothing to do with yarn, so I drew. I made a few sketches and drawings for the Sketchbook Project, but then I remembered that I can't draw. Stick figures, anyone? So, I put that away and watched TV...and fell asleep.

And I dreamed crazy dreams all involving art in some sense. I dreamed I was in the middle of some espionage that was culminating in an art museum. I dreamed I was in a painting, like living in the painting. Not like the paintings in Harry Potter, but more like What Dreams May Come with the paint getting on my clothes. It was so beautiful, all the colors. Then I dreamed I was a sullen teenager embarrassed by my parents who were (in dream form) played by Bill Paxton and Melina Kanakaredes. The art tie-in here is that they were generally free-spirited artsy types and the scene I woke up from was them running off to some street fair dressed in Ren Faire clothes and wearing carnivale masks. For some reason, I was really pissed at them.

Strange dreams...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Born (semi) Late '58

How can it be that in all these years of blogging, I have never once had a birthday post to one of my very favorite Virgos? Have I mentioned my affinity for Virgos? I have had a plethora of Virgos in my life without ever having sought them out. It just happens. Aside from family members, there is my friend Karen from high school, my old roommate Bruce, my old roommate Tami, and at one point 4 out of 5 directors at work (which is now 2 out of 4). And speaking of those family members, there's the handsome Niko, who just had a birthday last week; the handsome dad, whose birthday is two weeks away, my cousin Billie, another nephew, and the one whose birthday is prompting this post, my oldest brother, Michael. I know! Look at all those Virgos! But today, I'm all about just one--Michael. That's him on the far left.
Michael stands out in the sibling group. Besides being the oldest and tallest, he never had a partner. Roy and I are the brunettes (well, before gray came out to play), while Brian and Kate are the blondes. Roy and Kate have brown eyes, while Brian and I have hazel eyes that used to be brown. Michael? He has beautiful blue eyes, clear and bright--ice, I used to call them, but they're more vibrant than that. And his hair, when he had it, was a lighter brown, like it was in the middle of the rest of us. Michael had his own room, while the rest of us shared. And because he's a leftie, always had plenty of room at the dinner table, unlike a certain baby of the family who had to sit between Brian and Roy and barely had any elbow room.

I adored Michael when I was little. I thought he hung the moon, as they say. We are the bookends, the oldest and youngest, with two years between each of us and our nearest sibling. Brian, Roy and Kate are the stair steps, one after the other. And you know what? He kind of adored me, too. He once played bingo for hours just to win an inflatable dolphin for me at a Mission Day school fair. He walked me home from kindergarten on a cold winter day, walking backward with his coat opened to block the fierce wind from stinging my eyes. One day when I got the wind knocked out of me, he carried me inside and calmed me down until I could breathe again, and then explained what it meant to have the wind knocked out of you. He used to let me sit on his bed while he did his homework, and taught me how to count and say basic greetings in French when I was 7. Michael could walk up stairs two at a time, a feat that I tried to emulate to no avail until I was much older. Michael's room (fastidiously tidy because, you know, a Virgo) was one of my favorite hide outs. He had the good albums. When he wasn't home, I would go into his room and play his records, curled up in a sunbeam on his bed like a cat.

We went through some bad patches--he grew up, I was a bratty little sister; I grew up, he left home--but he'll always be my biggest brother, my Michael. And I still kind of adore him.

Happy Birthday, Michael, and all you other wonderful Virgos born on this fine September 2nd (you know who you are).