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,


[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


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


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!"


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,

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