Sunday, December 31, 2006

Block Party* + Allergies

We went to the holiday party our neighbors have... we've been attending these parties since we first moved to this neighborhood, and they're good, clean fun. Usually they're before the holidays, but this year with everyone traveling and stuff, they had to postpone it until New Year's Eve. Fine with me, as we weren't planning on going anywhere.

This year our neighbor John broke out his bartending skills, and made a few very good apple-tinis. Me and our other neighbor Jim were the only other ones drinking them, but I thought they were quite delicious.

Our other neighbor's daughter, Melissa, blended up some pretty good margaritas. I may have to hire her for my next party - she did a good job.

Usually these parties consist of our eating, drinking, and hanging out. This year, our neighbor Jim bought his boys the Wii game thing - so some people (not me, not with several martinis and a margarita in me) played that. Patrick surprised everyone by hitting a home run during the baseball game. It was fun - they like to tease and we like to tease, and they're all pretty funny and receptive. It was a good time. Now I think we're just going to hang out here and maybe watch a movie. I'm a little drunk, to be honest with you.

Tomorrow, I plan to get up and watch the Rose Parade in my pajamas, and maybe eat some See's candy, if there's any left. I'm looking forward to seeing the llamas.

Anyway, we've been home for about an hour, and during that time, I have been fooling around with my new blog. Also during that time, my allergies have started full-on acting up. Yesterday I had the worst sinus headache I've ever had - we both had headaches, and went to bed at 7:30.

*Click on the title of this post, and you can read a very short story about the llamas. I couldn't find a better one.

Ask Paul

Hey, Paul,

I'm thinking about the tradition of making resolutions at the beginning of the new year, and was just wondering if you had a take on this.

Personally, I've never really taken it seriously - I have made efforts to try to think of things I would like to change or do differently come January 1st, but they're usually the same old things everyone thinks of (eat better, eat less, work out more, practice my flute more, etc.). Plus, for me, the end of the year and the start of the new one has never really been that exciting. I've never really looked forward to starting over again. I mean, what's different but the date?

Anyway, this year, I'm trying to think about it differently. I'm actually a bit excited about the prospect of starting over, of saying goodbye to some bad habits, and growing up a little. I'm not saying that you should except to see a visible difference in me. I'm not saying that there will even be a change, just that I'm not afraid of what the future has in store for me. Or not as afraid, as I have been in years past. Or trying to not be afraid, which in itself seems to me to be a good thing.

I hope all with you is fine, and that you are well, and over your cold.

Happy new year, my friend!

All the best in 2007,
Irene

...

[Paul's response:]

I'm not fine or over my cold. I went home and got sicker than ever and am still congested and coughing. Merry freakin' Xmas. Doctor diagnosed a virus and prescribed Flonase>, but said if I'm not 100% better in two weeks, come back for a chest x-ray.

I applaud your resolve for the new year, and more than that I applaud your hopefulness. Resolve and hope are pre reqs to happiness. Hold fast to them and you'll make progress that you will feel before others can see it.

Having said that, I think New Year's Resolutions are basically crap. But then I feel that way about almost anything that's arbitrary and "traditional." Rather than making resolutions on January 1 that will be forgotten by January 14, we need to try to live as consciously as we can throughout the year. Didn't Socrates -- or somebody equally wise and dead -- say the unexamined life is not worth living? I don't think taking stock once a year counts. And considering nothing else ends and begins now except the calendar (not the personal tax year [which really ends April 14], not the season, not the fiscal year),it doesn't even seem like a good time to take stock and make changes.

The Romans had it right -- springtime is for new beginnings. So even if I were going to do it once a year, I'd probably do it with the natural world in March (or September if I lived in Australia).

Happy New Year, Irene. I hope you get what you deserve, not just what's coming to you.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Acid Blues

(I have no idea who this band is, pictured. I was looking for a photo of Zen Sushi online, and this is what I found. It shows the angle I was talking about, and the white vinyl walls.)

We checked out The Acid Blues tonight, at Zen Sushi, in Silverlake. The evening started off great, with an incredible bento-box dinner of tempura, salad, miso soup... and then the band totally wowed us - they were really good. We met up with Patrick's cousin Adrian and his girlfriend Candace, both visiting from El Paso, and they're very sweet. It was nice getting to talk to them, and hang. And eat.

After dinner, we headed into the main room at Zen Sushi, and what a cool place. The room the band played in is kind of trapezoidal - the corner where the stage is, the two walls meet at a sharper angle than you expect, and the walls are covered with this white, tufted vinyl: very cool. The rest of the room is painted red. I felt a little bit like I've been there before, but I think not. Anyway, the set was mostly full of classic blues, with some Jimi Hendrix thrown in. Adrian was called up by Art to sit in on guitar, and it was totally cool to get to hear him play again. He's such a pro: fits in anywhere, can play anything, is such a gentleman, and amazingly talented. The rest of the band was good, too - the drummer played some really nice things, and the bassist sang a couple of songs for a different feel. All in all, I was impressed and I'm really glad we went.

Yeah, I'm full of superlatives tonight, what can I say?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas

So, it's over. It was fun while it lasted, but I do remember thinking at least twice yesterday, "man this day is long."

On Friday, Patrick and I went to the Knitting Factory to see his cousin Adrian rock out with El Vez. It was a fun show. Adrian's car has been parked in our driveway for about a month... he drove down to LA from El Paso just after (or before?) Thanksgiving, stuck around for rehearsals, and then set off on a whirlwind tour. El Vez has quite an act... you should check him out at least once if you ever get the chance.

On Sunday, after Patrick picked up Adrian in Silver Lake, and brought him home, the two of them went back to sleep (I might've awakened momentarily but I don't recall much about those moments of not-sleeping), and once they got up, we went to "lunch" (it was 11:30 a.m.) at the Yard House in downtown LB. Yummy, yummy, yummy: the feeding frenzy that has been this holiday season continued. I had the Mac & Cheese(2), which is quite possibly the best thing, ever. Then we came home, and honestly, I don't know what we did. Watched TV? Played with the kitten? I don't remember. Oh, I think I ran out to the store to pick up a pie for my mom, and ran a couple of errands. I watched "Stop Making Sense," and wished I had been a teenager in 1984. Or at least the kind of 12-year old allowed to go to concerts.

That night we went over to my brother-in-law's house, and hung out with him and his wife, their kids, my sister-in-law's brother and his wife, their kids, her dad, and my mother-in-law. The kids were all very excited about tracking Santa online. We stayed over there for quite a while, ate some tamales, visited, and it was a nice night. Then home again, to bed early, got up early, and headed over to my parents' house.

It was a nice day with them, and I have to say, I haven't been the best about visiting with my mom and dad lately. I'm glad we went, and I am determined to go more often. I got what I asked for, which is a new hand-held vacuum, from my dad. I am very much in love with it.

Oh, and we had the traditional Christmas meal again: tamales and fried eggs (which, by the way, I just had again, for dinner. It doesn't get old, for some reason).

Friday, December 22, 2006

Is Everything Here Connected...?

I don't really know what this post is about. It just sort of starts in the middle, doesn't it.

A TALE OF TWO JOHNS - I bought this ages ago, and never watched it (if I said I did on any prior recaps, well, I guess I was just being hopeful). However, I finally sat down and watched it, and while it's a tiny bit long, I really enjoyed it. I was sort of a fan of these guys but never saw them live or anything, just enjoyed what came my way and what I picked up on cassette back in high school. I guess I had Apollo 18, Lincoln, and of course Flood, but where those cassettes are now, well, I'd give a dollar to know that. Also I'd give a dollar to have the CDs, because I don't have any way of playing cassettes anymore.

THE WAY WE WERE - This was on TCM a while back, and I taped it, and finally watched. I liked it, but I didn't like that Hubble and Katie don't end up together. I know: I wanted the happy ending, that's the only "happy" ending that would do, but it was a fine movie, otherwise. I didn't fall asleep.

RAGIN' FULL ON - Well, what can I say. This is probably the album I know the best, where nothing is a surprise and I know every hook, every beat, and (almost) every lyric, and it's still as good as I remember. I first heard this thanks to Adam, who willingly (I think) went along with listening to it pretty much non-stop back in high school. We went to a bunch of shows to see these guys; we were just teenagers, and I had never seen live music before (not like this), and there are some pretty powerful memories of being a dumb kid wrapped up with this album. I never even knew about the Minutemen until years later. Patrick kind of scoffs at my affection for Firehose (he's a big ol' Minutemen fan), and while Ed certainly was no D. Boon, the Minutemen will never hold the same place in my heart as this album.

Monday, December 18, 2006

104

Yesterday was the flute recital, for which I worked very hard. For about 1 hour.

I swear to god that's the last time I leave learning my solo for THE MORNING OF THE RECITAL.

After we finished our finale (8 flutes performing a very cheesy version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"), and everyone was applauding, an older gentleman stood up. He was seated next to my dad.

Anyway, this guy stands up, and says, "I just want to thank you for this concert today. I'm 104 years old and in all my life I have never seen an exhibition like this!"

ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FOUR!

He looked pretty good for 104. It was very sweet of him to say that. I hope some of his long-lifedness rubbed off on my folks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So I'm sitting here...

on the group w bench...)

I just got home from work, and I've changed into my comfy clothes. Today's comfy clothes = a pair of Patrick's sweats from Old Navy that I bought for him but wear more often than he does. They're perfect; way too big for me but so what; my very old EuroDisney sweatshirt, also too big for me, over a t-shirt; and some cozy socks.

Oh, I am tired.

Last week was the flute choir concert, and it was a success, all three times we performed. We had our regular concert on the last night of class, then this past Saturday, we went out to LAMP Village in downtown LA and played there. There were some lovely people there; one of them, a man named Robin, stood up and led the singing when we did our traditional "sing-along." He was very nice, and sang well, and I think they enjoyed all of our flutes. After that we played at the retirement home, and that was nice, in a different way.

It was a fine weekend, but busy, and way too short. I'm beginning to look forward to January, when I have nothing to do.

Because I've been a terrible blogger this week, I thought I'd revert to my old tricks and post a somewhat amusing email to my friend Paul. Because apparently he brings out the writer in me?

I don't know, maybe he does.

This message edited for public consumption.

...

Hey, Paul,

No goddamn internet at work sucks big time. I just thought you'd like to know that. I'm busy, though, so checking my g-mail and sending the evite for the Rizzoli Bash Version 2007 (which I was supposed to do this weekend, oops) would probably not be a very productive use of my time. This email to you however is serving a very important function, i.e., moving at least one part of my body. My hands, are they one part or two? Or ten? I'm tired, man. I'm feeling a little woozy, actually. That can't be good.

So I'm discovering that my new co-workers possess the computer literacy skills of, I don't know, a room full of zygotes. I'd say "infants" but infants are more technically adept than some of these people. And gametes, well, everyone knows gametes don't know their heads from their tails.

How are you? Feeling better?

Be well,
Irene

P.S. Our ISO offices just contacted me with my Internet password. Timing really is everything.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sleep? What's that?

I am sleeeepy. Got home from rehearsal at around 11:10 p.m.... tried to get right in bed but had a few things to do. Then when I did get in bed, I couldn't sleep. Antsy. I hate that feeling.

Rehearsal last night went OK. I'm getting better but I feel the clock ticking down on my really doing it right. This show opens in 3 days! Being anything but perfect does not appear to be an option. I don't think that's just my own thing, either. I mean, everyone is still being nice, but this is not amateur hour here. It's a tiny theater but still. It matters that it's done right. Yeah, I'm getting all weird about it, but they've worked hard and I really feel the need to prove I can do this. Oh, man, gotta stop writing about it or I'm going to totally screw up just because I'm building it up so much.

Once we turned off the lights and the radio and the fan and got down for some serious sleeping, I just couldn't get comfortable. Then when I finally did fall asleep, I had a weird dream about my friend Bo getting a Toyota Prius (in reality he drives a beat up old red Ford Tempo. Bo, who is a dear friend, has issues with reality) and in the dream, I had to listen to his long explanation of the engine... There was something else in there but boy, I can't remember now. Anyway, I was fine all morning but now I am tired.

Last week I decided to give up the fast food. However, that resolution lasted exactly 8 days, because today I went to McDonald's for lunch. Yeah, it could've been because I only had $4 but it could've also been because I'm cold in my office (as I am every day... it's really really freezing up in there) and it's cold in the cafeteria, and I wanted to get out of the building and soak up some sun. Anyway, I cut back on my usual order (you really don't want to know what my "usual order" is) but I'm sure it's more fat and crap than I should be eating. Well, no dinner tonight due to rehearsal (and I am staying away from the huge container of redvines, put out by the director for us to snack on, because it might've been those that kept me up last night. Well, I can't think of anything else to blame it on), so that's something. Something bad, yes, but something.

My last day is in two days. All day people have been cruising through the office to see other people and they all stop and say to me, "What are you still doing here?" Ha. Like that joke never gets old. I'm nervous about my new job. They better be nice to me or I'm coming back here. I keep thinking of when I left the Rizzoli in SM for the one in Costa Mesa, which was supposedly closer to home. Not only were the people full of themselves (David managed to hire people in SM with mostly normal attitudes and egos), the girl showing me around announced that, along with the regular supplies, she would order candy because "we deserve it." And that the staff would expect me to do the same. Um, hello? Could this be the reason these stores all closed? Anyway, I lasted there one day, and wept on the way home (by the way, the traffic going north on the 405 at 6 p.m. is way worse than the traffic going south), after calling David and Bo and weeping on them too, begging to be allowed back.

Which I was, because David was the nicest boss, ever.
I miss those guys!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lighting/Sound Operator

Tonight was my third time in the booth (but the first time doesn't really count). I've run the complete show twice now, once last night and once tonight. It seems to get easier each time; and the word from the director's husband (the lighting designer, and expert) has been encouraging. I'm enjoying seeing this show (IPHIGENIA), which is so different from my show (THE BACCHAE), and I really do like being in the booth. It's interesting, and challenging, and actually a lot more nerve-racking than being on stage was, but I think in time I'll feel more comfortable. There are a couple of things I still need to work out, but after just twice in there, I'm feeling like I'm starting to get it. There are a few scenes we ran more than once, not just for me, but for the actors, and every time we re-did something it seemed smoother and my breathing seemed more normal. Funny how nervous and antsy I get up in there.

And I really want to please these people.

That hit me tonight: how much I want to do a good job. Yeah, for me, but also: to please them. I think that's something I need to think about some more.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Recap

I'm not reading anything, watching anything, listening anything, or thinking about anything I haven't already listed in this space previously.

Well, maybe I am, but not going to tell you about it today. Ha!

Instead, I think I'm gonna go have an entire mini watermelon all by myself for breakfast. Delicious.

Friday, November 3, 2006

"All clear"

My mom told me, briefly, this morning - her CT scan was evaluated, and her doctor has proclaimed her "all clear." While the words "no more cancer" weren't exactly spoken, still! All clear!

All clear. All clear! All clear, all clear!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wally Langham

Patrick and I had breakfast at this little restaurant, Old Monterey Cafe - we go there every time we're out here. It's not as good as Tillie Gorts, but it's pretty darn good, and casual. The service is good, too.

After that, I spent the early afternoon at the movies... had considered seeing the new Capote movie but then they were also playing "Little Miss Sunshine," and I decided to see that. Plus, my cat-sitter recommended it, saying only that it was "my" kind of movie. Well, my cat-sitter knows me well, because damn right it was my kind of movie. The theater was pretty small, there were about 10 of us in there, and I knew, pretty much from when the teenage angst-ridden son set the bucket of Dinah's chicken onto the dining room table, that I loved this movie. I loved it. Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, that aforementioned teenage son - loved it, loved it, loved it. I know I'm coming late to this party, and I'm sure better reviews have been written by better people, so I'm not even gonna try: I just loved it.

And the best part? Wally Langham was in it! I love that guy - back when I worked in Malibu at Crown, he used to come in every Tuesday night, usually with his kids. I think I kind of surprised him (but why should he have been surprised, I was working in a bookstore after all) because I recognized him from a movie he made a million years ago, The Chocolate War, based on one of my favorite books. I really looked forward to seeing him every Tuesday, and he was very nice and would talk to me. I didn't know he was going to show up in Little Miss Sunshine, so it was a total treat for me to see him.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Are these the feet of a librarian?

Strolling through downtown Monterey this morning, I was playing (by myself, which, incidentally, is not as much fun as it is when played with Patrick) Spot the Librarian... it's a bit like shooting fish in a bucket here, because I sense that the librarians outnumber the locals by at least 2:1. Anyway, I spotted this woman as I approached from the opposite direction, and at first I couldn't make up my mind if I liked these shoes at all. Then I considered the idea of her being a librarian. I dismissed that idea until, when I got closer, I spotted the fluorescent green bag she was carrying: this year's official Internet Librarian conference swag.

Now: these shoes are balanced upon the line between good taste and bad, but since I am wearing a polo shirt and cargo pants (and flip flops), and my hair is un-brushed (or was; I purchased a brush at Walgreen's) I don't get to opine on anyone else's style today.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Scarlet Lady Saloon

Last night I did two things I thought I'd never, ever do: I set foot in the Scarlet Lady Saloon, in Culver City.

After the show last night, David invited me and the other cast members to karaoke at the Scarlet Lady. He's been inviting me to karaoke for years and years, and I've been saying no for years and years. And then he started going to the Scarlet Lady, and I still said no, and added mocking.

I mean, the Scarlet Lady is in my own home town. It's in a little strip mall at Sepulveda and Sawtelle, two streets that supposedly run parallel (tell someone it's where "Sawtelle and Sepulveda meet" and they look at you funny), next door to the dry cleaner I used to go to when I lived in Culver City, next to the liquor store I used to stop at on my way home from elementary school (for gum and candy, you cynics), next to the fish store I used to buy my fish at (back when I had an aquarium). It shares a parking lot with my dad's barber shop. It's about six blocks away from my childhood home.

To go there would put me in the same class with the guys we used to see on our way to school in the morning - we started recognizing their cars, they were there so much, and so early. I mean wouldn't it? Anyway, eventually I got over myself, I guess, because last night I went.

There were probably about six people in there, mostly at the bar. Youngish people, with some olderish people, and one guy who was possibly sleeping. Another guy doing the crossword. Nobody scary looking. None of of the fathers of my friends from elementary school were there.

David let me pick his first song (unless he sang something before I got there), and he wanted some Led Zeppelin, so I picked Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid for him. He got up there and turned it on: that guy can sing, which I knew, but it was so much fun watching him pump out this song in front of like seven slightly drunk people. It was my own personal rock concert. I drank a Corona, which I wasn't crazy about, and then our friend Paul joined us. Paul doesn't drink, but he had stopped at Winchell's and brought us a bag full of donut holes, decorated with Halloween colored sprinkles. Who knew that Corona and donut holes went together so well? Paul sang "Is She Really Going Out with Him," and he did a good job, in spite of not being very familiar with the middle. You know, the part that starts, "But if looks could kill..."

By this time I'd had two beers, and David and Paul started wondering when I was going to join in. I was pretty excited, actually: a tiny bit buzzed, there was no one there I felt the need to impress, and the woman running the karaoke machine was really nice and friendly... so I told David I'd do "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" but only if he'd do it as a duet with me.

David bought me another beer (this is two more beers than I intended to drink that night, but hey, they were Coronas), and when our names were called we got up and went to the mics. I was super nervous, but there was a point when I really started having fun. I think we were even sort of harmonizing on the endless "stop dragging my"s.

Well, he was.

Franny!

Oh, god, I love this kitten.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Here she is!

Here's my little kitten!

(Note from the future [it's August 26, 2008]: Oh my god, look at how tiny and adorable that kitten was! And now she's like 12 pounds of fur! Wow!)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Meow!

Last night I was telling my friend Kileen about the kitten and the funny, random "meows," and Kileen told me that was just Franny's way of saying "I love you." Kileen is a very smart person who works in some lab with scientists and has quotes about Einstein in her signature on her emails and she doesn't say overly cute or sentimental things to me, usually. So I'm going to just go with what she says, because she must know what she's talking about.

My kitten loves me!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You probably think this blog is about you, don't you?

I recently was hanging out with someone - I kind of know her, but not really, and honestly, there's not much there that makes me want to know her any better - who felt compelled to tell me all about her allergy to turtles.

Turtles.

Don't people know that the only proper forum for sharing inane and uninteresting facts about themselves is Blogger.com?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Go wild in the country! (and not my backyard)

Last night Bobcat brought us home a rat.

At first we thought it was a mouse, and possibly it was, and we were just thrown off, size-wise, by the mouse-to-Bobcat ratio (Bobcat is a small cat, and this was a very large mouse)... but we also thought the mouse was dead, and when Patrick approached Bobcat to see if he could coax her into dropping the poor little mouse at his feet (I told him, "Make sure you tell her what a good killer she is, honey,") that fucking mouse jumped up about two feet and ran off into the bushes.

Patrick scooped up Bobcat and locked her into the garage (where she probably found the mouse in the first place) and made a lot of noise so that the mouse wouldn't be tempted to come back here. We wanted the mouse to think we were crazy and not the place for a smart, brave mouse to hang out.

Good Bobcat, bad mouse.
That damn mouse probably bled out and left a trail the other, scary, bigger creatures of the world will be following for days and nights to come.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Newsflash #2

Tonight my brother came home.

Newsflash #1

Last night we watched WarGames - we were at the point where David escapes from the weird mustached (it seems like there should be an "O" in that word) and oddly costumed MP guy by recording the two-toned security code on the door - two toes on my right foot suddenly started cramping up. It was my second and third toes (if this were my hand, we'd be talking about my index and middle fingers), and the second one was pulling far away from my big toe - as if it smelled something very bad and had to get away. And it hurt - it was the strangest thing. Like a cramp or a spasm. Anyway, needless to say, this alarmed me. I walked around the living room a little to see if that would help, but it didn't. I waited about a half an hour, and then I went to bed.

This morning, at around 10-ish, it happened again (this time there was more of a tingling sensation than actual cramping), but my left foot this time, and not as bad. So I kinda panicked, and made an appointment for after work at Kaiser.

Turns out a lack of potassium can cause that to happen. So my doctor instructed me to eat more bananas and oranges and stuff. I found a website that says for my weight I should be eating 4800 mg of potassium a day, and that's a shitload of potassium. For example? 1 banana (which I just ate, thank you) has only 420 mg of potassium.

This is gonna be fun.

Can you see how thrilled I am?

Oh, and another thing I learned?
Soy kills sperm. Who knew?

Friday, July 28, 2006

The kindness of strangers

My friend Julie has written a blog entry about her friend, who was found by a passing motorist after hitting his head while skateboarding. He was pretty out of it - he suffered a serious head injury, and because of the kindness of a stranger, is now recovering in the hospital.

This story brings to mind something in my personal life, but I'm not sure how much to say... it concerns me but it's not my life - and I don't know if telling someone else's story here is the right thing to do. Well, here I go, anyway.

My oldest brother (I have two brothers and a sister, all older) has been having a hard time. In vague terms: a lot of his problems are self-inflicted. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see how or why he's gotten to this place. It's been very hard to see him this way, especially because I look up to him. He has always been my style guide, my role model, since I was a little kid. I used to sneak into his room and steal his clothes (in the 80s: his Polo and alligator shirts, his Edwin jeans), his records (Talking Heads, Go Gos, Depeche Mode). I thought his life was so much more interesting than mine ever could be. He had cool things, he went places: he was friends with women who looked or dressed nothing like me or my sister (they wore heels and makeup, they had extravagant hairdos and fake fur coats): he was cool.

Because he is the oldest, I know he has been afforded some breaks, and because he is charming and lovable he has probably been able to hide his problems from his family and friends. For a long time, I think he hid behind his perfect exterior. Or maybe we're at fault for not looking behind that "perfect" exterior. And when he is not charming and lovable, we shy away from upsetting him, because his anger gets ugly, and no one wants that. There's a contradiction there but I'm going to move on instead of make sense of it.

I know for sure that he's in financial trouble. I know for sure that he was depressed. He's had a few health problems. For awhile there we didn't know where he was or who he was with or what he was doing, and that was very, very scary. The few times I did hear from him, he said he was on the street, or in a shelter, but I think he was staying with an old friend. I'm not sure he isn't above a little dramatic storytelling. I hope.

But then he showed up at my parents' house, and after a long period of just staying in his room, he started coming out and interacting with my family. This was right about in the middle of my mom's first round of chemotherapy, and we all were worried about him, but tried to just put the focus on her and let him be.

I think I've mentioned before that my mom is a pretty serious Christian. She's the kind of person who thinks everyone would be happier and better off if they'd just go to church. She believes in heaven and hell, speaking in tongues, faith healing... all the fire and brimstone stuff. Needless to say, she's pretty conservative, politically speaking, and she has no problem telling you what she thinks, and what she thinks you should be thinking. She worries, maybe too much, about all of us who probably aren't going to make it to the Nice Place. Every day she gets up and sits in her little armchair stuck in a cramped corner of her room, and she prays. This is real stuff to her, and she takes the bible, God, and Jesus very seriously. During this time for her - while her own health problems were at the forefront of everyone's minds, she was hit hard by what's going on with my brother. My dad too, but my dad is subtler about showing it.

(One day I'll write more about my dad, but for now, I'll say that he is the sweetest, kindest, most generous, hardest-working man I have ever known. He's been so good to my mom during her therapy, and he still has time to mow three lawns, make things for his friends, and help out around the house. You couldn't ask for a better dad.)

Then things with my brother started looking up. He started talking to us, and was around the house more, and seemed more himself again. He started calling his friends and taking care of himself. We heard him laugh again, and he opened up a little about things. And I think he started going to meetings. Nobody wanted to ask too many questions, and he didn't shout it from the rooftops. He started saying things like, "I have to go to a meeting." Before I realized what these meetings were, I asked him once how often he had to go, and he told me, "I could go everyday if I wanted to." I think he was going everyday, too; whatever they do at those meetings, it was helping him. We could tell.


The thing is, my mom and my brother have, even when things are perfect, a pretty precarious relationship. My mom has no problem telling us how to "fix" our lives, or what we should do with them. I think all mothers are probably like that… and I know she does it because she worries about us, and because she loves us. Her language, her methods are hard to take, but I mean, of course she loves us. But sometimes you can hear, "You should," or "You need to," one too many times. At what point does it become my own life, and my own problems, and my own solutions? So in a way, I understand if he has a hard time with her. But at the same time, I don't understand someone who can't see past their own problems and see the person who loves them the most for what they are: trying to help, trying to protect, maybe even trying to understand something they can never understand.

And then, with the chemotherapy, my mom just hasn't been herself. Sometimes she has great days, and she's in a good mood, and things are almost fine. But some days, especially after nights when she couldn't sleep, she's irritable, or just doesn't feel good, and with this crazy heatwave, I know she's uncomfortable. The cancer treatment has been hard on her, even though she's holding up remarkably well. For the most part I think she's really benefiting from her strong religious beliefs, but some days are just not good days, no matter what you believe.

So she and my brother - last week they had a spat, and my brother took off (my parents went to San Diego, and when they got home, he wasn't there), and we haven't seen or heard from him since.

All of us in my family have pretty sharp tongues. We've all been guilty of saying something without thinking, and hurting feelings in the process. We hardly ever find fault with ourselves when that happens or even realize what we've done until it's too late - I know I've caused some fights with Patrick because my brain doesn't catch up with my mouth, and it took me a long time to realize that it's unfair to think he'll just take it and forgive me. I do try to think first and speak second, but it's not always easy. So I think this is what happened with them - one, or both, of them said something they probably shouldn't have. And now he's gone again.

The thing is, they were probably both wrong, or maybe both right.

And so the bad thoughts battle the good thoughts, and sometimes the good thoughts win. It can't possibly be as bad as the bad thoughts get (that he's hurt, that he's lost, that he's dead). I know that it's hard, whatever he's fighting. I know that my brother is a good person. I know that envisioning terrible things doesn't help him, that it just means that I don't have faith that he'll make it. But it's hard not to worry. So: I worry. And I hate seeing my mom and dad worry, too.

I hope that someone might be with him now, someone who can see him for who he really is, and the wonderful person he can be, and I hope that person says the right things, the things we as his family can't tell him, because we're stubborn, because we're hurt, because we're scared. And if you happen to meet my brother, or someone like him, maybe you can be a better listener than we have been. Show him and tell him how valuable he is as a human being, that his family loves him, that whatever is going on can and will end.

And then I hope he listens.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Chop Suey Cafe, Revisited

Remember I mentioned going to Chop Suey Cafe?

I wrote a comment on the person's blog who had the review. My comment starts, "As this was the site of my first date...," a story you all have read already and probably know by heart. I think my blog entry was wittier than my comment. Anyway, someone (probably an employee or the owner or cook there; they seem to lurk on that site and make it a habit to respond to the comments they don't like) wrote a comment right after mine that says, "What exactly did you order?"

I don't feel like having a virtual conversation with a stranger on someone elses' blog.

I would love to have something to say about the egg rolls and the white rice, but unfortunately we were unable to taste either of those items. And our waiter didn't seem to give a shit.

The restaurant was empty, the service was slow, the menu was small, the music kept starting and stopping abruptly, and nothing tasted very good to either one of us. Isn't that enough?

Look, am I nitpicking? Maybe. I didn't like it. You might like it. Your friends might like it. But I didn't. And I'll never go there again. The rest of you are free to make up your own minds.

I don't know if I mentioned, on the other hand, what an awesome weekend I had.

We didn't do anything super exciting. We didn't save or change the world, or feed, clothe or shoe the children. But we spent time together and with my family and Patrick learned how to play Skip-Bo, which tickled my mother. He played three games with us (my mom won one, and I won two). We had Tito's tacos for lunch. We revisited the site of our first date (see above) and Patrick told me that he remembers the outfit I was wearing the first time we met (we saw an episode of What Not To Wear, and the lady - the bad dresser! - was wearing a sweater very much like a cardigan I used to wear). He also commented that way back in 1988 (the year we met) "you had some boobs." Classy. Thanks, honey, I didn't remember. We drank a couple Fat Tire beers (brewed in Fort Collins, Colorado!). We went to Record Surplus and got three records for only $6. We swam in the pool, and cleaned the kitchen some more, and read books and newspapers and watched "Super-Size Me" and the Rick Bayless cooking show and my goodness, it's weekends like this that remind me how much I love being married to this guy.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Chop Suey Cafe AKA Far East Cafe

Earlier this week, Patrick found out that the Far East Cafe had reopened, which we were pretty excited about - it was the site of our first "date" way back when. It was quite possibly my first time ever in a Chinese restaurant (I led a very sheltered life!). I was about 18, I guess, and pretty much had never been anywhere or done anything. Anyway, we read this review, and it kind of changed our minds: we were interested in seeing the reopened restaurant (it's been closed for several years now), but we weren't that jazzed about the descriptions of the food. So we thought we would try the other restaurant mentioned in that review, the New Formosa Cafe, but they were closed. It was hard to tell if they were just closed today, or forever. We turned around and drove back to Little Tokyo and decided to try the Chop Suey Cafe.

All I remember from that first date is that I was impressed with the restaurant's cool little private booths, and that we ordered hot sake, which I, of course, had never had before. Patrick thought he remembered what we ordered on our date, but I didn't. After that dinner all those years ago, we went to a Japanese animation store, which Patrick used to be really into, and then drove around Hollywood in his big white truck, laughing at all the hair-band fans milling about, in their spandex and big hair, on Sunset Boulevard.

Anyway, our dinner tonight was pretty disappointing. I ordered the barbecue pork, and Patrick had the house salad and chop suey. We also ordered some egg rolls, but were told by our waiter that they were out of them. It was a Saturday night, and there were only about 4 customers in the whole place, so I wondered at what point in the night they had run out of egg rolls, and just how long it takes to make them. I don't know, it just didn't seem like a good sign.

Our waiter was nice enough, but he brought out the dishes in totally random order, and only when he was refilling our water glasses sometime after we'd already been served, did he ask if we wanted some white rice, which sort of seems like the obvious acompaniment to this meal. And we said that we would like some white rice, and by replying in the affirmative, we kind of expected that we would actually receive some.

Stupid us.

Without the egg rolls, our food consumption was pretty light, so after we left there, we decided to check out Weiland Brewery, which is right up the street. Patrick just went there with his friend A.D. and really liked their garlic fries. And he was right - their garlic fries were pretty good. I had that beer I've been craving (they carried Fat Tire Ale, which we first tasted, if you remember, on our trip to Denver), and it all successfully cleared from our mouths the taste of that bad first dinner.

Happy Birthday!

I would like to wish a great big happy birthday to one of my favorite actors of all time... Harry Dean Stanton, who is 80 years young today (oops, I mean, yesterday. When did it become Saturday!?).

And, while we're wishing actors happy birthday, my good friend Bo Roberts had a birthday earlier this week, too. July 12 was Bo's birthday, and I don't think he'd like me to advertise his age here for the world to see, so I will just say this:

You will always be way older than me, motherfucker!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Mark Rosenberg

I had a friend named Mark. Mark passed away a few years ago. He was a good guy. I was friends with him during the time I was with Drew, the man I didn't marry, so when we broke up, I stopped hanging out with the rest of those friends... I guess I thought a clean break was the right thing to do. I was probably wrong about that.

Anyway, it meant that I wasn't around when Mark passed away, and I didn't feel good about not going to his funeral, and all that - it was a hard time for me, but still: I probably should've gone, anyway.

But I mention him here because there's this one crazy thing that Mark used to say (he was a funny guy, with a very silly sense of humor. He loved beer, atrocious clothes, bargains, cars, and Depeche Mode, unfortunately; but he was big-hearted and loyal and a lot of fun, too; all those study sessions with him and Drew meant that I got an A in algebra for the first - and last - time ever), and it has to do with feet.

If we'd go out to eat (and we did, eat out a lot, all of us, or he and Drew would make these crazy, multiple course meals for us when we were studying), and the food was particularly tasty, Mark would say, in this weird little voice he had:

"That was so good it made my foot fall asleep."

And I don't know if that's a real phenomenom, or just something that happens coincidentally, or if he knew something I didn't know, but as it happens, on occasion, I will have eaten a special or hearty meal, and every once in awhile I'll find that my foot has fallen asleep. And it is at that moment that I will think of Mark.

And then I remember all those times I had to get out and help Drew push-start Mark's piece of shit car!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Another post stolen from Julie

My friend Julie always has these cute things on her blog and of course the first thing I always do after reading hers is steal her ideas and use them on my own blog. As I have done here. Thanks, Juls!

I AM: struggling to fill in the blank, here

I WANT: a dog; to be one of those people who pays each bill when they come in

I HAVE: 2 cats; a good husband; a house; a car with airbags ABS, and a CD player (the Celica had none of those things); a great family; good friends; a refrigerator full of food (for a change)

I WISH: I wasn't such a procrastinator

I HATE: white flies on the hibiscus; drivers who don't use their turn signals; jaywalkers; when people park in front of our house and don't leave enough space for another car

I MISS: hanging out with Rachel E., Melissa, and Michelle (riding the bus to Westwood, going to Disneyland or Magic Mountain in the summer!); loving my job and my co-workers; living in Culver City; having a dog

I HEAR: Patrick banging on things in the back yard

I WONDER: when we'll have kids; if the young guy across the street (not the cat-sitter) is gay

I REGRET: not going to college

I AM NOT: going to Weight Watchers anymore (and I am also not 145 pounds anymore, either)

I DANCE: alone in the living room; with Patrick in Vegas and we have the elevator all to ourselves

I SING: in the car, in the shower, when I wash dishes. I don't think I sing that well, but I like doing it anyway

I CRY: more than you might think

I AM NOT ALWAYS: telling you the truth

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: cookies occasionally; rude hand gestures to the people who refuse to use their turn signal

I WRITE: with a pretty fine hand

I CONFUSE: Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper (even though they look nothing alike)

I NEED: more pairs of shorts so I can stop wearing Patrick's boxers around the house

I SHOULD: lose 10 pounds

I START: mental lists and then forget almost everything on them unless I write it down right away

I FINISH: most books I start, but that doesn't stop me from not finishing books that suck.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Irene the Bean

Oh, man, I totally forgot -

Patrick's nurse at Kaiser. Her name was "Irene." On her little clip board thingy, he said she had a sticker that said,

"Irene the Bean!"

Patrick told her that was his wife's name, too.

And the nurse goes, "I like your wife already." Same to you, lady!

Sweet!

Monday, June 26, 2006

This post stolen from American Express and Kate Winslet

My name: Irene P.

childhood ambition: to stay up all night

fondest memory: in kindergarten, when they'd bring the big parachutes for us to play with; when Roger Packard's dad brought the ice truck and we pretended it snowed; making the videotape of hiking up to the Hollywood sign with Patrick; "maintain!"

soundtrack: Led Zeppelin (Presence, III), Radiohead, lots of Talking Heads, McCoy Tyner, Shakti, Ravi Shankar, and George Harrison

retreat: beach, road trip to anywhere with Patrick, day at a spa

wildest dream: house paid off, bills taken care of, an in-ground swimming pool, a dog

proudest moment: getting accepted to CalArts, getting married, walking down the aisle with my dad

biggest challenge: practicing

alarm clock: hungry Dora

perfect day: sleep in, go to Chinatown for dim sum, hang out, see a movie: no time frames, no limits, no schedules

first job: telemarketing at cheesy magazine company

indulgence: butter, chocolate

last purchase: shine stuff for hair (bought it Friday... haven't tried it yet), forget the name, it comes in a red bottle, it was much too expensive

movie: The Graduate

inspiration: music, love

My life... is pretty darn good

My card is... overdrawn. Do you think American Express can help me out...?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hip Cooks: Patrick flips a pan full of flaming hot something

Earlier this year, Patrick and I went to a cooking class at this place in a very cool loft near downtown LA with our friends, A.D. and Alice.

He's so cute with that hot pan in his hands!

Friday, June 16, 2006

8th Grade Graduation

It's 8th grade graduation, I have a terrible haircut, an ugly dress (all the other girls were wearing these long, pretty, puffy fluffy things, and my dress was actually a matching top and mid-calf length skirt, and had a handkerchief hem. The only good thing about that outfit is my brother took me to Nordstrom for the shoes, which were my first high heels ever: a black leather pair of Nine West pumps, with a hot pink interior. I wore those shoes for 4 years), and I hated the way I looked. I had very few curves, and I look like a boy with bad hair. I mean, what is it with that hair? What was I thinking?

Oh, but that's my Yamaha flute, which I still have, which I loved, which I got a hell of a good sound out of for someone not too serious about the flute, which I wasn't in the 8th grade.

However, my 8th grade counterparts, Jeremy (I've known Jeremy since kindergarten!) and Adam (I've known Adam since 5th grade!) are not stylistically challenged: they're both sporting the Miami Vice look here. They look pretty good, no? This is before they switched to saxophone, I guess because they figured out that sax players get the chicks. You'll have to ask them if it worked. I can tell you that even though it's not visible in this photo, Adam's sleeves are pushed up to his elbows. And he wasn't wearing any socks.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Monday we both worked, I was a little sleepy, we came home, watched more old Bugs Bunny cartoons, and I started re-reading "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress."

I first read it probably in the 9th or 10th grade. I can't remember if I discovered Heinlein on my own or if it was because of my friend Ron (Ron was really cute and we were pretty good friends, but he wasn't ever really interested in me, though, I think there was one time [or two times...] when he was bored?), but I really enjoyed all his books in high school, and have re-read some of them quite a few times. I haven't read this one in awhile, and felt like it was time. I forgot how good it is. I know Heinlein gets a lot of criticism (some of it deserved) for his politics, apparent misogynistic tendencies, an appalling fondness for the concept of incest, and good lord, don't forget his long-winded-ness (if you've ever read "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" you know what I'm talking about) - he certainly was opinionated.

His books are really creative, and funny, and even though I probably should have some more intelligent things to say about them, all I can tell you is, I like them. You might, too.

I wonder what ol' Rappin' Ron is up to these days...

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

I can't believe I forgot to mention:

Yesterday was my mom's last day of radiation therapy!

Yay!

Right upper quadrant

To clarify:

This is not my torso. I wish it was, however, I do think I prefer my light brown skin color (I'm probably more olive, but whatever) to her pink bunny one. But that's just my personal preference. You may think otherwise.

And those are not my panties. They're cute, no? I like the little ties on the sides, but I wonder if those would give a weird panty line. Or maybe this is a swimsuit?

My goodness, that's quite a waxing job. Those little stripe-y things on her - what is that, her pelvic bone? - are very Adam Ant. Kinda punk, a little. And I do like how her belly button perfectly bisects the little grid-y thing there... Oh? You think they put the grid there after taking the photo? Hmm. I figured she got this gig because she was perfectly proportioned and lined up with their schematic so well.

Listen: I don't know this person, I've never met this person, and no, I cannot get you her telephone number. She does seem very nice, with a little arch in her back, yes. And even though it cuts off, I do believe she is looking right at you. How nice of you to notice that. But this photo looks like it's from 1974, so come on, now. Chill.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

I'm not kidding anymore, Mariah:

I want your dog.

Actually, I just went to the official Jack Russell website and have been made to understand that they're not good dogs for families with cats and or children. Obviously not the dog for me (because my cats are just like children... children I allow to crawl on the floor), however, they're so dang cute...!

If I were rich, and had nothing to do all day except walk my dog in low-cut clingy dresses, then I would say, SIGN ME UP, I'm ready for my dog now, please. Hand him over nice and slow, Mariah, and no one gets hurt.

And, to make it an even better deal for everybody, I promise to never wear shoes that ugly.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Earplugs

My mom and my sister just told me the other night that they suffer from irregular sleep patterns. My mom has had insomnia for a long time. Until the nurse at the oncologist's office reassured her that she wouldn't become the next Rush Limbaugh, she refused to take her sleeping pill regularly. I remember coming home late in the evening when I was a teenager (or early in the morning... past my curfew) and finding her up, sitting in the living room, reading her Bible, wearing her big zipped up bathrobe, waiting for me.

Lately I have developed a little sleep-related irregularity myself, lately. With the cats waking me up, and the early morning phone calls, and Patrick's snoring, just getting to sleep and staying asleep has been really tough.

We realized that there's a simple solution: earplugs. They took some getting used to – I bought the ones shaped like squishy little cones, the ones you roll up between your fingers and then insert into your ear. They’re supposed to expand to fit but I swear, I think my right ear is bigger than my left. We thought that earplugs guaranteed to work up to 28 decibels would be sufficient, but it turned out that I needed the 32 decibel protection.

Who knew my husband has a 32 decibel snore?

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

How Well Do You Know Me?

Four jobs that I've had:

1. Pizza maker
2. Library page
3. Bookstore manager
4. Video store manager

Four movies that I could watch over and over:
1. Summer Stock
2. Concert for George
3. The Philadelphia Story
4. Cabaret

Four places I've lived:
1. Culver City, CA
2. Mar Vista, CA
3.
4. That's it!

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Top Chef
2. From Martha's Kitchen
3. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
4. One Punk Under God

Four places I've been on vacation:
1. Denver, CO
2. Paris, France
3. Seattle, Washington
4. Oregon Caves

Four websites I visit daily:
1. nytimes.com
2. latimes.com
3. hr.co.la.ca.us
4. thesuperficial.com

Four places I would rather be:
1. Somewhere I've never been before, with Patrick (Cancun, Hawaii, Greece)
2. In bed with a book, Patrick, and the cats
3. Getting a facial from Lili
4. In a hotel

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Corn
2. Garbanzos
3. Chocolate
4. Cheese

Four things I always carry with me:
1. Lip stuff
2. Hair thingy
3. Keys
4. Moisturizer

Saturday, May 13, 2006

On the eve of our trip to Denver

We're packing, getting ready to go. Kevin came over and checked the place out, and I have to give his parents great big congratulations for raising such a polite boy.

I thought I'd update you all on the state of my yard. I mentioned a while back that I had trimmed a bush out front, and started spraying it regularly with water to combat the dreaded white flies that have been inhabiting it. I don't want to use any chemicals, and water seems to do the trick, but I have to keep doing it. A lot. Every day would be good. Anyway, I just want you all to know, that even though my part of town is very safe - keep your loppers inside! Write your name on them! Invest in lojack for your loppers, people, because if you leave them unattended for a few, oh, days, the motherfuckers will steal them.

Today, I decided that since we were going to have both our mothers in the car with us, that I should wash it, so early this morning I got up and did just that. And while I was out there, I sprayed the bush (actually, there are two bushes, but this story has suddenly gotten a little complicated; one bush will do for my purposes). And while I was out there, Patrick decided that it was a good time to introduce me to the electric power washer. So I also cleaned the cement walkway. Yes, I had a very fruitful morning.

Lunch with our moms was fun, though, we were late (not my fault for once). We picked up Patrick's mom in Venice, then we picked my mom up in Culver City, and headed to Hop Li, a fun little Chinese restaurant in West LA. After that, back to my parents' house to open presents, and then, home to lots of laundry and clearing off all the shows we taped this week so that we could start with a fresh slate tomorrow.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Adventures in Shopping...

Yesterday I came this close to cussing out a young girl working at Victoria’s Secret. I had about 5 minutes to buy a new bra, but I had that feeling: I must do this now, and that feeling will not abide being told to wait.

I really should’ve been off to my flute class, but they were right there, and I thought I could do it quickly. So I dashed in (can you picture me, dashing?), and headed for the section I know works for me consistently, and there, in the back of the store, I was ambushed by Junior Bra Fitter, Esmeralda (not her real name; I don’t actually know her real name, because she never told me). Esmeralda was Hispanic, about 4’11”, probably about 23 years old (at the most), and had kind of a panicked look on her face. Maybe it was her first day. She asked me if I was finding everything OK, and I said yes. She asked if I knew what size I was looking for, and I, in my distracted, bra-buying frenzy, said no. That prompted her to ask me if I would like a fitting (probably hoping that I would refuse); I seem to remember that she prefaced "fitting” with something like “professional,” or “super-duper.” She looked nervous, and I took pity on her, even though I was pretty sure what size I wanted.

Esmeralda got out her tape measure, and measured me. I was wearing a cardigan, about a size too big, and a crappy, lumpy, old stretched out bra from of all places, Target - it was not a good day for my bosom. I know they have some weird system for taking your measurements, and then they have to perform a complex mathematical equation in their heads before they can state authoritatively what size you are, but that tiny Mexican measured me and then says, “I think you’re a 38 double-D.”

OK, so I know I’ve probably gained about 5 pounds in the last couple weeks, but I have not ballooned up to double-D size. Was she even looking at me when she said that? I may be five inches taller than you, but that should make it easier for you to figure out that these are not double Ds! I mean, come on, they're at eye level, honey.

I stayed calm, though. I refrained from slapping her pudgy face. I said, “Are you sure?” She may have heard panic (or a threat) in my voice, because she called over her co-worker, Jen (her real name), a tall, blond, regal-looking girl wearing nude-colored stockings with her clunky-heeled black shoes (Jen, Jen, Jen!). Jen re-measured me, instructed Esmeralda (not for the first time, I fear) on the how-tos of bra fittings, and pronounced me a size… whatever size I knew I needed 10 minutes ago.

When I was in the fitting room, Jen brought me another style to try – the newest Angel Bra. I was satisfied with my first selection, and had no intention of buying a second bra on this trip, but I tried it on anyway. I have rather average boobs, but the Angels bra, I swear, gave them a weird, oval shape, like this: (________)(________), rather than like this, (__)(__).

And this, my friends, is why this will be my last trip to Victoria's Secret for bras.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

So happy I could've skipped (so I did)

My mom had a follow up appointment today at Cedars Sinai with the doctor who performed her hysterectomy. He examined her, and reviewed the documents from the chemo oncologist. Not only did he say that the chemo doctor is doing the right things (I can't tell you how happy I was to hear that), but on doing the pelvic exam, he said that everything "in there" (what's left, I wonder?) looked terrific. He looked at her CT scan and said that too, looked great.

Keep in mind that this guy is a world-renowned surgeon in this field. He knows what he's talking about. After I got off the telephone with my mom, Patrick and I went for a walk. Or, I should say, he went for a walk, and I went for a skip. I haven't skipped in a long time, but it came pretty naturally. I highly recommend it, especially when you're super happy. I wasn't skipping, I was flying.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

"You sound very nice"

I was writing a couple of emails back and forth awhile ago with someone I don't really know, who's kind of famous, sort of, and I got a little self-conscious because we were speaking on things that I'm not very familiar with, and I was unable to punch up my end of the conversation with those witty, um, witticsms and non sequiturs that sometimes make me sound smarter/funnier/more fascinating than I really am. Delusional? Maybe.

Anyway, the stranger (no, I was not in a chat room, shut up) to whom I was writing, when I apologized for my lack of style in the emails, said to me, "No, you sound very nice." It was chivalrous of him and sweet, even, and reminded me of something, but I'm not sure what. I really liked that he said it, but it's been worrying me a little bit.

I'm just wondering if "very nice" is code for "fucking wacko." He's a pretty cool person, the speaker/writer of those words, but as I said, I don't really know him, and I don't see any case for my getting to know him, which is fine, actually, I mean, knowing him is not the point of this paragraph. The point of this paragraph is that this guy was nice, and he didn't have to be, and here I am, thinking I have to work a lot harder to be interesting when all I had to do was just, I don't know, "be myself" are the words that are supposed to go at the end of this sentence but they just look so precious and fake.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Stinky kitty face

I was talking to my flute teacher last night about her cat, Lacey. I asked if Lacey ever makes the Stinky Kitty Face at her.

She did not know the Stinky Kitty Face by name, but knew exactly what I meant.

Puma makes this face frequently; usually when he's had enough of being carried around by me like a sack of potatoes or a very furry small child.