Monday, May 31, 2010

Things you won't find here, so stop looking

Today is Needs More Gingham report day (from my site reader) and once again the mind is boggled by which search words lead to this blog. But mostly, I'm boggled that THAT many people are actually looking these things up. Here are the top search words that lead to my blog, but which will yield you no additional information.
  1. Lamb's Ear--I didn't even know what it was until my nephew talked about it and even then, I had to Google it to see what it looks like. I didn't include a picture when I mentioned it, so you're out of luck here. Guess what I don't find when googling lamb's ear? This blog! No, seriously, I tried. I went 15 pages deep and nothing. How is Lamb's Ear leading you here? At least now I'll understand it.
  2. Ron Corning Shirtless--I have searched the Internet in hopes that I could help out the folks looking for some Corning beefcake, but I'm afraid it I came up empty. Good luck, though.
  3. Clowns--They scare me.
Other things bringing folks to my yard, which you will find on here although not very informative: Blue Peen (aka Dr. Manhattan), "Suffer fools lightly," men in uniform, tonsils, and KTLA.

I cannot stop sleeping

I am unusually sleep and I cannot stop myself from falling asleep. I have done nothing but sleep (with occasion moments of wakefulness) for the past two days.I expect to be awakened in 100 years by some fool's kiss (true love--bah!) looking as ravishing as I do today. See you then!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Not a team player

Today is "Pajama Day" at work for Happy Week, for which employees were encouraged--nay, cajoled--to wear their best G-rated PJs and enjoy snacks and a movie in the conference room. While I applaud the crew in charge for trying to come up with a creative and cheap event, Pajamas? In a business setting? Really? Most of my PJs are unfit for private viewing, let alone public viewing. And my luck, Jamie would decide to break down on my way to or from work and I'm stuck wandering the streets of LA in my pajamas. Not like I'd be the first person to do that (as The Roy wisely pointed out), but I have some class.

And the snacks are like a stoner's dream--brownies, cupcakes, popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza. It doesn't help that the movie currently being shown is Pineapple Express. Yes, we work with kids. Why do you ask?

In an effort to not be a total party pooper, I'm wearing an old Lakers jersey, which I do occasionally wear to bed so it kind of works. It's #34, so you know it's old.* However, in light of game 5, everyone just thinks it's a fan thing.

*That's Shaq's number, in case you're not in the know.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A ha!

Yesterday, after I posted, my co-worker, Terry, looked at my finger and in two seconds said, "Oh, yeah. You bruised your tendon." Terry, who is not a doctor, but has done stunt work and has had too many motorcycle accidents to count, said it has happened to her often. I looked it up online (always a bad idea) and since I have full range of motion in that finger and it doesn't seem to actively hurt anymore, I'm not going to worry about it. However, since it is still a little swollen (ever so slightly) and a little purple, I'm going to keep an eye on it and seek medical attention if it does not improve.

Now, you're probably saying, "Yes, yes; that's all well and good, but how did you injure it in the first place?" Or, you're just hoping I'll stop talking about it and using Harlequin Romance words like "turgid." Here's my theory. When I was driving home from Tami's house on Sunday, some car stopped short on Venice Blvd. I had to do some Nascar maneuvering to avoid an accident. Well, when I drive, I don't necessarily keep my hands at 10 and 2. I tend to drive with my left hand, keeping the right on the gear shift. My left hand is usually resting on the cross bar of the steering wheel with my pinkie finger on the outside of the wheel. Bad idea, I know. If any police officers are reading this, I'm joking. I swear my hands are always in the correct position, except when I shift or use my turn signal, which I ALWAYS use. Anyway, I'm thinking that I must have injured my finger when I jerked the wheel to the left without getting a better grip on the wheel. Oops.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Random bruising and bad dreams

On Sunday, I was at my friend Tami's house for dinner. When I got home, I realized my left-hand middle finger was in pain, swollen and purple. What the heck? I don't remember hitting it or twisting it. I iced it up and went to bed thinking it'd be fine in the morning. But come Monday, it was still purple and swollen. I iced it again and while it remained purple, the swelling went down. Today, it is once again swollen. One of my co-workers thinks it has something to do with my tendon. I can't immobilize the finger. I need to type, for crying out loud. What am I to do? Criss wants me to put it in a brace just so I have an excuse to flip people the bird all day.

Then, last night, I had a series of dreams that went from weird to nightmare in quality. I can't remember details (except one) but I know that each time I woke up I would say, "What the ...?" Okay, so this one, my car kept breaking down (I know, less of a dream and more of a reality) and each time it was something increasingly expensive, like the ABS light came on and my brakes nearly failed requiring an entire brake overhaul. But then the most bizarre breakdown of all--a dashboard light came on that read "WET DOG." What the ...? Wet dog? [click for larger view--also, not actually Jamie's dashboard. She has less miles on her and there isn't really a wet dog light]

The AAA tow truck driver that came to tow Jamie to Max's place--again!--said, "Oh yeah, the Wet Dog. You have that in these newer German cars." But he never explained what the hell the wet dog feature did. All I know is that when I opened the hood, smoke poured out and it did indeed smell like a wet dog. Bizarre!

So, needless to say, I didn't sleep well and was late for work. My turgid, purple digit and I are going home now. You have a great night.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

They don't even pretend it's not dirty

All I'm going to say is--Shake Weight for Men--thank you for the asthma attack I had last night. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

Also, Happy Birthday, Tristan Prettyman.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today, I ventured off to Used Carville to try to ditch Jamie for something a little newer and more reliable. Things looked promising for a bit. I felt good. But then, in the end, it didn't work out. "You'll probably have to pay off your current loan or come up with a substantial down payment," I was told. So, it looks like there will be a whole lot more of this in my future.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Over the weekend I was craving stew. I'm not sure why, but the craving was strong. I could smell it and taste it and man, did I want some stew. Then at Casey's on Monday, some lady was eating stew and Criss said, "Next week, let's get stew and split it." and I was all, "I was totally craving stew! How did you know? You should have said something and we could have had it this week." Well, after I got Jamie on the road yesterday, I went grocery shopping...and yes, I got stew. I wasn't nearly as good as I imagined it would be. Let's home Casey's lives up to the craving.

I haven't been writing in my paper journal a lot lately since I've been on here and you know, generally have nothing to report. But today, I had a stack of poems and cartoons that I wanted to save, not to mention a favorite picture or two, so I spent the evening watching X-Men and pasting stuff in my journal. It's kind of cheating because now my journal is half full. Whatever. It's not like I'm being graded. Am I?

And how about those X-Men? I confess, I have never seen the movies until tonight. I watched the first two and have the third lined up for tomorrow. Mmmm, Wolverine. Hugh Jackman is delicious. Although I could see why Jean Grey didn't choose him. Those hands would be problematic when it came to, um, certain intimate acts. Ouch.

Today is also Dookie Day. If John Wolfe or any of those boys from that group at Loews Stroud 7 Cinema find this, just look what you've done to me! I still remember the date 20 years later! Dookie Day, for the curious minded, was the day some kid in their class accidentally shat his pants and then told everyone he "fell in the mud" when there had been no rain for weeks. The poor kid. The boys would casually slip May 19th into scripts and short films for years to come. and on the actual date, Dookie Day was always commemorated. You don't want to know how.

Bed time!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On the Road Again

Today's the day! I finally got Jamie towed to Van Nuys for repairs. The parking lot where she's been sleeping (cheap slut) has a kind and courteous staff, and Jamie was safe and secure for the past five days. The tow truck guy was awesome in his ability to navigate through the parking structure with a car in tow. In fact, the only thing not great about my downtown experience today was the police activity. They had closed off Main Street at 7th and 7th up to Broadway. A man emptying trash cans at the bus stop said someone had been killed but he didn't elaborate.* In a separate incident on 6th at about Broadway, the police wouldn't let pedestrians cross on the north side of the street, so we had to cross over and over and over just to get to the other side.

Once at Max's, I told him what I thought the problem was (another misfiring cylinder) but he said, "Oh, it doesn't sound that way. It started hard (because it's been sitting for five days?) and that was a lot of smoke." So, he hooked her up to the ol' diagnostics computer and guess what? Misfire on the third cylinder. Bam! I should get paid for this. Max routed around in his magical shop of dead German cars and found a bracket for my battery while I was there, too. So, new spark plug and bracket installed, Jamie runs like a...well, she runs. Let's just hope she stays that way for a little while longer so I can find a solution to my little problem.

*no one died. Read about it here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh, this day, this weather, this....sigh

Today I:

missed the bus.
got spritzed upon so my hair looked awful all day.
was very sleepy.
had zero ambition.
found out my Farmville puppy ran away. (no, really, does it get any more pathetic?)
rescued my puppy from the pound and fed him.
updated addresses.
looked at jobs on Craigslist.
realized I can't get a second job because they all require more flexible hours.
looked at cars on Craigslist.
made some follow up phone calls for the boss.
looked out my window and couldn't see the Hollywood sign.
got sad.

went to the bar and drank some cheap beer. (or at least I will be doing that in about 20 minutes)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

CVS, you bastards

I hadn't filled my prescriptions for my new inhalers yet because my doctor gave me samples to use first. Alas, the samples are all gone and I needed to get the new prescriptions filled. Today was as good a day as any, especially since I couldn't go to the laundromat. Well, I could have gone to the laundromat, but I really didn't want to have to walk with the granny cart loaded up with clothes. I haven't had to do that in five years and I just couldn't bear it.

So, I walked up to CVS at Yucca and Cahuenga to fill my asthma prescriptions. It's a good walk for a fat chick on a hot day whose daily inhaler ran out a week ago. I was breathing hard by the time I got to the pharmacy counter. I pulled out the rescue inhaler and took a big gulp as the pharmacist approached the counter. "Can I help you?" she asked. As I was holding in the life-saving albuterol, I simply slid the prescription paper toward her. "Last name?" she asked. I told her, sounding like that kid on Malcolm in the Middle. Wheezing abated momentarily, I then told her my first name and date of birth. She looked over the prescription and made that face. That face that people who don't really give a shit make when they have to give you bad news. That "Oh, I'm sorry" face that you know is not sincere; they're not really sorry.

"This won't be ready until Monday or Tuesday," she said. "I have to check with your doctor."
"Why?" I asked.
"I can't read the prescription," she said.
"It's Veramyst and Symbicort," I said. "The Nasonex was on there as a back up in case I decided I didn't like the Veramyst. But I do, so let's go with that one."
"There's no date on here," she went on, "and I can't read the dosage on the Symbicort." For the record, the paper clearly has a 2x next to the Symbicort portion, which I assume means twice daily, but whatever lady. I know she's just being careful.
"You should really make sure the prescription is clearly written before you leave your doctor's office and that you can read it," she said.
"If I told you what that says, would you fill it without checking with my doctor?" I asked.
"Noooo," she said, what a condescending shake of her head.
Then what difference does it make if I can read it? I mean, I can read it. I could tell her exactly what it said, but if my being able to read it will not get it filled any faster, what the hell?

It wasn't a totally wasted trip. I bought toilet paper and feminine things while I was there, and Circus Peanuts because, damn it, I deserved them. I'm still a little annoyed. I mean, do I look like I'm going to get high on inhalers? And did the fact that I practically passed out on her counter not give her the idea that I kind of need them as soon as possible? Hello! Airways constricting over here! Oh well, yea for exercise!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

At least I got some exercise

Remember last week or so when I took Jamie to see her friend Max, the German car king? Even though I'd been unsuccessful on two previous Saturday attempts, Max assured me that he did indeed keep Saturday hours. He did not say "call ahead so I know to be here" or "by appt only." No, he said, "Yeah, I'm still here on Saturdays."

He lied.

I had already called my friend, Tina, to tell her I wouldn't be able to make it to her party when I ventured downtown to Main Street, where Jamie sits safely in a long term parking lot. When I got there and confirmed that she was still there, I called Max to tell him I'd be bringing her out. Wisely, I called his cell phone this time. "Oh, I'm not at the shop today. Can you bring it in on Monday?"

Well, yes, I suppose I'll have to. Or maybe even Tuesday, as I have some important calls to follow up with on Monday. But, damn it, now my day is ruined. I had nothing to do but come back home. I hadn't brought my prescriptions with me, so I couldn't stop at CVS. And I can't get a haircut until I see how much this car repair is going to cost me. Fortunately, as long-term parking goes, this lot is not that expensive. It's just not really the best time to be without a car. But at least I was able to get some walking in, since I took the bus down there and the red line back, walking from 6th and Hill to 6th and Main, then back to Hill and 5th to catch the train, then home from Hollywood and Vine. I tend to be a fast walker, too. I walk like a person who didn't have a car for ten years, with a purpose. I have a place to go and I want to get there. I don't stroll.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Hour Friday or: How I learned to stop worrying and drink myself stupid.

Payday! And Friday! Could two words be more harmonious? Maybe chocolate and peanut butter, but that's it. I got up late and decided not to rush. Truth be told, I was feeling a little beat up because of my damn car and every other little thing that has been happening lately that makes the car incident the straw that broke the Laurie Ann's back.

In my non-rushing, I missed the bus and was late for a training on how to maintain our company website (it's real easy). When I got out of the meeting, the boss and several other ladies were deciding what to do for lunch. "Do you want to go?" the boss asked. "Does the pope like bratwurst?" I replied.* We went to La Barca and had a great time. Rumor has it I had a margarita. That is patently false.** I did have too many chips, too much salsa, too much cheese, and a whole lot of fun to distract me from the fact that I'm going to have to pay an arm and a leg to get my car running again, then figure out what to do about getting a new car because #$@%^& Jamie is not worth this hassle.

At lunch, my friend, Amber, said we should start a "Pennies for Prius" campaign to raise funds for my new car. "But I don't want a Prius, "I said. "Oh, it's just called that because it sounds good with the P's," she explained. "Well, " I replied, "if it's just a P word you're looking for, why not 'Pennies for Porsche'." Dream big, I say.

*I don't know if he does. I'm just assuming so because he's German.
**I had TWO margaritas. Ha!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

For Sale: Cheap! One Piece of Shit Volkswagen

Dear Universe,

What did I ever do to you? I'm a nice person for the most part. I say "please" and "thank you." I work hard and I don't take many sick days. Why do you hate me so? Why would you take all my money last paycheck to fix my stupid car only to have her break down again this paycheck? Is this a test? Is it a joke? Am I on Candid Camera? Stop, please. I can't take much more of this.

Laurie Ann

Yeah, so freakin' Jamie decided it was a good idea to blow a cylinder as I was round the top deck of the parking are downtown for Art Walk. Fortunately, she's parked in a lot that caters to long term overnight parking. Unfortunately, this means I'll have to call AAA, get her towed to Van Nuys, pay more money to fix her and quit frankly I'm just sick of it all. I'm tired of fixing that damn car. I need a new car. But I can't get one.

I'm going to cry now. Talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Meltdown of monumental proportions

Oh, I am surprised I still have a job, folks. I'm telling you, if it weren't for my excellent sense of direction and genial wit, I'd have been shown the door.

We were having a meeting and it went over time, so lunch was ordered. One gal took everyone's order on a post it and I called the restaurant. When lunch arrived, we were one salad short. Guess who has to take one for the team and go saladless? Well, I was ravenous and my blood sugar must have dropped severely because I was getting all shaky. I was also really pissed because how had is it to get an order for 6 people.

I had a meltdown. I may have (definitely) used language which is wholly inappropriate for a business setting, especially from an assistant. In the end, one of the other directors who had brought his lunch anyway said he'd give me his salad and eat what he brought. I apologized profusely and told them I didn't know what came over me. I begged forgiveness.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alas, Perky was shortlived

I had to cover for the receptionist for the first couple hours today. Last night, sleep was elusive, so I was not exactly awake when I hit the shower. I left late, arrived at work late, and didn't have time to get coffee before sitting at the front desk. Oh, yeah, that's a good idea. No breakfast, either. Looking better and better. Then, Miss Once-a-week Employee came in and started asking questions about something about which I told her I was waiting to speak with the boss. "But it's approved," she insisted. I patiently explained that I understand, but I still can't use the company card without asking her first. That wasn't good enough so she did things herself, except she couldn't complete it because we needed to pay with the card. Then, Miss Condescending proceeds to instruct me on how to fill out a credit card form and fax it to the people. Are you f-ing kidding me, lady?

After I cleaned up the dead body and found her head (it had rolled under the coffee table), I was able to sweet talk one of the guys into getting me a cup of coffee and all was right in the world. Almost. My hair was unruly and my knee popped (it does that). Then Criss made nachos and the heavens opened and a voice said, "Thou shalt share these with thy friend." They were pretty damn good. I told her to trademark them. Then I may have made an inappropriate remark about the Pontiff, like if we had Pope Billy Bob the First at the Vatican, those nachos would be used for Communion. Pope jokes, while usually hilarious, win you no favor in the afterlife.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Since when is perky a bad thing

Last night, for some reason, I was sooo sleepy. I was ready to drop by 8:30, but I forced myself to watch all extras on the Criterion edition of My Own Private Idaho* just to stay awake until 10:30. The result? Well, I was wide awake when my alarm went off, so instead of hitting snooze, I got up and was ready to go in good time. My hair looks awesome, no puffy eyes (Thanks, Ellen), and good make up. Heck, I even managed to charge the iPod and download a couple of songs before heading to work, where I arrived 15 minutes early.

I had my first cup of coffee a full hour before the boss arrived. I was cheerful and bright and, dare I say, eager to work. Then, I wrote a letter and had several people read it before sending. They all said it was cheesy. Too cheesy, in fact. Then they told me I was too perky, that maybe I should try another cup of coffee to restore my usual sarcasm. How sad that bitter and sarcastic is preferred over perky and efficient. And I was efficient today. I got more done before 1pm than I usually do all week. Damn, I may have set a precedent. Now the boss is going to expect me to be on top of shit all the time. I'll just have to tell her, you have to take the good with the bad. If you want me to be efficient and on top of things, you have to put up with perky and cheesy. It's a package deal.

And my hair still looks amazing.

*Not random; I was watching the movie.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I really like this stuff

My magic face cream is all gone.Whatever shall I do now?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

In Search of a Process (sorry, no pictures, just a lot of words)

When I was a teen, it came easy. I had oodles of free time, having no after school activities to distract me. I also had a chaotic home life at times, which led to hours upon hours of alone time with nothing but my thoughts, and a pen and paper. I wrote constantly, when I wasn't reading, that is. I filled notebooks. I wrote fantasies with made-up creatures, dramas about kids on the street with absentee parents, romance (what did I know?), and comedy. Some pieces were short, some were long. I had no set goal and no writing process. I just had ideas swirling in my head that needed to get out, usually faster than my hand could move. I wrote in pencil almost exclusively, erasing and moving phrases and paragraphs, until I had it the way I wanted it. Then, I would copy the stories into another notebook in pen, long hand...yes, this was before computers and we didn't have a good typewriter.

And the ideas never seemed to stop coming. I did a lot of daydreaming, a lot of "what if" thinking, and, of course, I was inspired by all the reading I did. My friend, Suzie Kuchinski, wrote poetry as voraciously as I wrote fiction. Sometimes we'd exchange notebooks and give each other critiques. Suzie was good. She made suggestions without sounding critical. "This is good, but I don't need a full description of what the guy looks like. Let that come later." Things like that. Her poetry was also pretty amazing, but I'm a lousy critic. I can never say a bad thing to someone about their work. Everyone is brilliant in my eyes. But other than Suzie and maybe one or two others, no one ever saw my writing. I subscribed to Writer's Digest. I had several volumes of writers' market guides. Yet, I never tried to publish or enter contests. I was afraid of...well, everything, I guess.

After high school, I began what would become over 20 years of working two jobs. The jobs varied but there were always two, and sometimes three. Free time became scarce and the drama of daily living chased away all the ideas that swirled in my brain. Eventually, the swirling became nothing more than an occasional breeze on which a snippet of something floated past. Sometimes I'd stop to write it. Sometimes I wouldn't. But the desire to write, to be A WRITER never died. There were still those moments when a story would seize me and I'd have to write it, curled up on the bed or in a chair just like I had done when I was 15. They were very rare, but they let me know that I wasn't done yet. I hadn't lost it all.

So, I don't know what I was thinking (I kind of do, but I can't explain it here) when I signed up to receive the prompt from 48hr Magazine. I blame San Diego Momma for tweeting about it, she of the Tuesday prompts and encouragement. I read the email at 12:50 yesterday with the theme for the very first 48hr Magazine--"Hustle." That's it. Just a theme. One could submit anything. Short fiction, essays, photos, poetry--anything! I was on my way to the front desk to cover for the reception and stopped off in the work room to fill my water bottle. On the fax machine was an offer for cheap vacations to Cancun. It was one of those faxes from the travel agency made to look like some gal in a boring office was faxing it to her friend in another boring office. "Hey Susan, Here's that Cancun deal I was telling you about. You'd better hurry." And just like that, I had my idea. I sent a few instant messages to The Roy--"Tell me I can do this. I need encouragement. I'm scared." He said all the right things (because he's awesome) and I got to writing.

Roy suggested outlining the story at work, banging it out when I got home, then revising and submitting. The rules of the magazine are such that you only have 24 hours to submit and sooner is always better. Sounds great...until I tried to outline the story. I have never outlined a story. I always just wrote. So that's what I did. I started writing and wrote like a mad woman for an hour. I got pretty far, too. Then, I had to go back to my desk. I ate lunch, walked with Criss, and when we got back, there was one thing after another to distract me. I tried to pick up the thread on my way home. I tried to finish writing it in my head, so that when I got home, I could just put it on paper (or computer screen). But it didn't come. I did some revisions on the first part, changed the characters a bit, fooled around with phrasing but in the end, I got stuck on the way to the climax (dirty). I went to bed, worked on it again today, albeit half-heartedly, and finally, missed the deadline.

I have a lot of writer friends. What do you do? What is your process? Because I have absolutely none and I'd love to hear what works for you. I've read the suggestions in various magazines and such, but none of them seems right for me. I may never be A WRITER, but I'd sure like to at least complete a story. Help!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Garth Schwartzman makes a mean iced tea

In case you're not on the Starbucks email list, May 7-16 from 3pm to 5pm, you can get half-priced frappucinos at participating Starbucks. Yum!
So for our walk today, Criss and I walked up to Starbucks on Wilshire. You know what's a great idea? Buying mocha frappucinos for your four under-10-years-old children. Way to go, Mom-in-front-of-me. The afternoon barista was new. He was cute. He had a patchy beard which Criss and I discussed at length while waiting for our turn at bat. He was kind of Jason Scwartzman's not-so-evil twin. Back in my Loews Theatre days, we used to find celebrity look-a-likes in the mall and call them "Garth celebrity last name" because all the evil twins are named Garth and have facial hair. Garth Schwartzman was sweet and made me an awesome Passionfruit Iced Tea*, which really isn't much of a challenge but I don't hold the cute ones to too high a standard.

So, run, don't walk, to your nearest Starbucks between 3pm and 5pm until May 16th for your half-priced frap. You're welcome.

*I wasn't in the mood for a frap today.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Not looking California, nor feeling Minnesota*

My allergies, despite the best efforts of the neti pot and daily Veramyst, have been kicking my ass lately, and my aforementioned burning eyes are all puffy. What's a woman of a certain age to do? I mean, all the eye creams in the world aren't cutting it. I'm super tired lately, and while my hair looks lovely thanks to a new shampoo and conditioner, my face...well, it's been better. Does anyone have any sure-fire puffy eye cures? Laurie Ann does not enjoy looking her age or older. (and yes, I just referred to myself in the third person)

I had really planned on being at the Farmer's Market for Stitch 'n' Bitch this evening, but due to an unfortunate collision of cream colored sweater and taco salad, I shall not be there. I think I'll shoot for Saturday, though, because I do miss you guys and I haven't been knitting much lately.

*with all due respect to Mr. Chris Cornell

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

My eyes! My eyes! My...Oh, free food.

My eyes have been on fire for several days, since the weekend, in fact. I am blaming it on allergies and smog. It's really killing me, though, because they're puffy and itchy and generally making me look like I'm hungover every morning. I have tried the eye drops, which only offer temporary relief. I am wearing my glasses all the time now to ensure they aren't unnecessarily strained. Still, they burn.

But you know what distracts you from burning eyes? Well, nothing really, but free food helps. For Cinco de Mayo, the boss bought us all lunch from La Taquiza on Figueroa. Mmmm, I do enjoy La Taquiza, even though the parking lot is a nightmare and I almost ran over some hottie in a golf cart going to pick up lunch. Sadly, we didn't get free margaritas. I guess it would be frowned upon during work hours.

Hope you all had the best day you could.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Jamie is back in service

Since I couldn't get Max on the weekend, I asked the boss if I could take the morning off to run out to Max's today. I filled Jamie's coolant reservoir, grabbed a box of Mike and Ike's and a bottle of water, and headed out to Van Nuys.

Max popped her hood and determined the leak was a side hose flange, whatever that is. Actually he showed me what it was and the crack that caused the leak. Max is good like that. He'll always show me the damaged parts (as if I know what I'm looking at) and offer to let me keep them (sure, greasy auto parts).
While I waited for the repairs, I read a book and watched the mechanics at the other shop. Next door to Max's place is a Porshe repair shop. The parking lot at Max's looks like a Porshe graveyard.After the flange (that's a funny word) was replaced, Max vacuumed out the dead leaves and sticks that accumulate under my hood from parking under a magnolia tree every day and asked me "Is there anything you'd like to vacuum?" Oh, silly Max, as if I vacuum.Then, as I paid, I got the usual lectures--"You're using the good gas, right?" "You shouldn't go to those oil change places; they'll rip you off."--with a new one about being safe and letting a mugger just take my purse if he wants it. Aw, Max is so sweet. And Jamie is running again, although, truth be told I don't know for how long. (Shhh, don't tell Jamie)

Monday, May 03, 2010

How Trivial

After years of extolling myself as (according to an ex-boyfriend) "the fount of useless knowledge," it was time to put up or shut up. Casey's, a fine Irish pub at 6th and Grand downtown, hosts a Team Trivia night on Mondays. My friend, Toy, and her man, Al, usually attend Trivia night on Thursdays at Weiland Brewery Underground. But since Thursday is knitting night (I'm coming back, I swear), I usually decline. I could no longer decline, not that I wanted to.

So, Casey's had $3 PBR, for the redneck in all of us, and $2 off regular drinks. And the whiskey, Sweet Lord--they have six different kinds of Bushmills. I didn't know there was more than one. I went for the Guinness, of course. It seemed only right.

Our team, Three Sheets to the Win, lead the way most of the night until that fatal blow of the last questions.
  • Name the three youngest NHL players to hit the 500 point mark.
  • Name the three red properties on Monopoly.
  • Name the three astronauts on Apollo 13.
Al and I drew a Monopoly board. I could picture where each color lay, but could not for the life of me remember the names of the red properties. NHL Players? Do I look Canadian? I got Gretsky, but other than that the only hockey players I could name are Bobby Orr and Luc Robitaille. As for the astronauts, I don't think Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon were the right answers.

In the end, we came in second, a respectable place considering, and won a gift certificate for Casey's. You know I'm going back next week.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Day Two and already I'm cheating

Every couple of months, I like to challenge myself and sign on for NaBloPoMo. May's theme is "Up," but one doesn't have to blog about the theme. Some of you may have noticed that yesterday's post wasn't there yesterday. I cannot lie. I totally cheated and changed the date so that I wasn't missing a day for the whole "blog every day" requirement. Oops.

So, Jamie is still not fixed because I'm thinking Max no longer works on Saturdays. I called him yesterday and the phone just rang and rang before going to the fax machine, always a lovely and unexpected sound. I used to ride the bus all the time--for ten years. In fact, this blog was started to tell of my adventures on the bus. But now, after having a car, I understand why people are so reluctantly to embrace public transportation. I'm not, mind you. Indeed, I have been a public transportation advocate since my teens, when a quarter got you a tour of my hometown and eventually dropped you off at the mall. However, I realized how lazy I've become and how difficult things like grocery shopping and laundry are for the carless. I used to walk to the laundromat with a granny cart and all my clothes. Yesterday, I walked to the Rite Aid near that same laundromat and it seemed like an impossible walk. "How much do I really need toilet paper anyway?" I asked halfway there. I really should have done laundry today. I toyed with the idea of taking Jamie to the laundromat since it's just a short drive, but I didn't want to do any damage to the coolant system. I moved her to the other side of the street, but that's all.

I need my baby back. Looks like I'm taking some time off to drive to Van Nuys mid-week.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

In praise of Netflix

Several times, my friend Criss and I will be discussing our latest Netflix arrivals and which movies in our queue we are excited about, when a co-worker will come by and say, "yeah, I've been thinking about Netflix, but is it worth it?" and then Criss and I go on for an hour (not really) extolling the glory of Netflix, usually ending with "we sound like a commercial." And I would totally do a commercial for Netflix, I love it that much.

I am on the 4-at-a-time plan, which I do so that I can get an entire season of a series at once (usually) and watch it over the weekend. However, I forgot to mail my movies on time this week and have nothing to watch over the weekend. Crap! What's a gal to do? Oh, that's right, Netflix has that instant play thing where you can watch movies on your computer instantly. So, that's what I did. I watched "Funny Girl" because, seriously, how hot was Omar Sharif as Nick Arnstein. Sure, he was a hapless scoundrel but I'd be singing "Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein" too if he looked at me that way.

I also watched "Freaked" because...well, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Thank you, Netflix, for having very nearly every movie I have ever wanted to see at my fingertips with no late fees.