Wednesday, February 28, 2007

All Ticketed Up

So, Monday morning Police tickets went on sale. I stayed home so that I could get on the Ticketmaster website right at 10 a.m. I set up everything I could before-hand: created an account with them, filed my billing info. Then, at 10 a.m., things would go smoothly, right?


Patrick switched us over to Microsoft Vista and hasn't had time to reinstall Mozilla, so we've been using Internet Explorer. It's been a long time since we used it, and they've changed some stuff, and the computer kinda feels like a whole new thing - stuff works differently when you change your operating system, you know? So it's like 10:00:15, and I've finally gotten on and have put in my choices (give me two tickets for any price, anywhere, thank you), and it's time to enter the stupid security code, and I CAN'T READ IT. This is not IE's problem, this is my own inability to chill the fuck out and fill in the form, but I swear, it took multiple times. I know why they're doing it but why does it have to be so hard?

Anyway, I'm probably the only person in the whole world with that problem, so I'll just say, I finally got it. Now Ticketmaster is "searching" for my tickets, and coming up with nothing.

I figured everybody and their mother (is that my mother on the phone?) would be online trying to get tickets, so I stayed (relatively) calm and tried again.

And again.

The thing is, while it was searching, this stupid pop up window kept coming up, and I forget the exact message but the point was, in the midst of watching my search time (it usually started at 7 minutes and counted down, but one time it started adding time to my search time, which was, to say the least, disturbing), I had to hit "enter" to make the damn window go away so that the search would continue! So I'm sitting there, frantically hitting "enter" going, someone else is getting my seats!!! Freaking out.

Anyway, 20 minutes later, I got tickets. Crappy tickets, yes. But tickets.

Now, Dodger Stadium isn't a big place. But I think I might be able to see and hear the Police just as well from outside the stadium as from these seats. But... on the bright side, Stewart's head is so big and white I'm sure it won't be a problem. He's the only one I'm concerned with looking at.

But that's OK. I got 'em.

The concert isn't until June, but hello! I'm excited!

Also coming up for me is a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Flute Convention. I bought my ticket today: I'm going to be travelling on an Amtrak train, the Southwest Chief, with my friend and flute teacher, Patty. It's a 16-hour trip (!), but we figure we'll sleep for at least some of it. Also, my round trip ticket only cost $109 - which in itself is a steal. I mean, a plane ticket would cost at least twice that, and you wouldn't be able to see all the stuff there is to see. What is there to see between LA and Albuquerque, anyway? Desert?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Breaking Away

"Breaking Away" is one of my favorite movies (don't ask me why; it could be because Dennis Christopher was really cute and goofy in it, and cute + goofy is a magical combination),

I watch it every time it's on TV.

Anyway, I wondered what had happened to ol' Moocher, and it turns out Jackie Earle Haley was in two movies last year (one of them, "All the Kings Men," I really want to see), and even nominated for something at this year's Oscars (he didn't win).

Ask Sarah

Hey, Sarah,

I've been invited to the LA Weekly Theater Awards - City Garage has garnered a few nominations for the three shows last year by Charles Mee; I was involved in two of them, and since that's something not likely to happen to me again, I'm pretty excited about it. Anyway, it's not until April, but here I am, thinking about what to wear.

The thing I want to do this time is plan ahead and have something ready before so that I'm not rushing around during the week before (as I have done in the past), trying to find something appropriate. I'm terrible at this kind of thing... I'm good at figuring out what I like and don't like, but when it comes time to picking something for me, I'm always at a total loss. Then there's also the issue of my feeling really fat right now (post-menstrual or not, I think I've gained at least 6 or 7 pounds this month... leftover party food not helping), and I just want to make sure I pick something flattering and maybe a little unexpected. I don't think it's like a totally formal situation, but I do want to wear a dress, and pretty shoes... Not be my typical jeans + black sweater self (or dressed up version). What do you think? Are there any stores you might recommend? Or even some encouragement about going back to WW...? You've done really good; I've totally slacked off... I need some inspiration.


Sarah's reply:

Here's this from J.Crew?

My style advice would be to go with a simple dress and get some fabulous shoes.

I'm not sure if this dress and these shoes go together, but I like the idea of a simple dress and more colorful shoes. Before you said a "dress" I was thinking that an outfit with black pants could be nice? All black with colorful shoes? I hope this helps...


I like the dress you've suggested; I guess the thing to do is get out there and try stuff on.

Love love love those shoes! Thanks for those suggestions, too. I need all the help I can get.

Rizzoli Reunion

Last night we had some of our friends from Rizzoli over for a party. It was fun; Patrick and I over-planned and have a ton of food leftover, but I think it was okay.

Towards the end of the night, Patrick broke out the Wii. Still no pictures of me or him playing, but here's my friend Paul boxing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Ever since the block party we went to last month, Patrick has been wanting a Nintendo Wii.

He's been looking around at all the Best Buys in the neighborhood (and some not in the neighborhood - Best Buy because we had an $80 credit there), and they've been sold out or selling out fast for a long time now. Read: no luck. Anyway, yesterday he found one.

Coolest thing, ever. We've just been playing the sports games that come with it, and they are super fun. Watch this space for photos of us boxing (or playing tennis, or hitting a home run, or bowling, or playing golf...) soon.

Friday, February 23, 2007

More on The Police

TIckets for the LA shows at Dodger Stadium go on sale on Monday. I've never been good at figuring out how to buy tickets for something like this... so wish me luck.

Click on the title for an article/interview from the NY Times...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pictures / Patrick was excited about the snow!

Mrs. The Bean Struggles to Adjust to a Lack of Service

I've been home less than 24 hours, and I'm wondering... when they're going to come clean up my room. I even left for awhile, and ran some errands, leaving them plenty of opportunity to come in and dust, and make the bed and stuff, but no, no one's been here yet.

I'm going to flute choir in a couple of hours, and when I get home, will the turn-down service have been completed? Will there be ice in the ice bucket? Gentle lighting switched on? Chocolates on the pillows? Robe and slippers laid out on the bed? Smooth jazz on the radio?

(Yeah, I could live without the smooth jazz, but I'll give them a break for not knowing that Patrick and I prefer Jesus Lizard to David Sanborn at bedtime.)


Speaking of music in Colorado Springs, I happened upon a radio station one morning. I like to listen to NPR in the morning when I get up, read the paper or a magazine before having to get up out of bed. I don't usually have time to listen while lying in bed at home, and so my NPR listening starts when I get in the shower, but while on vacation, lounging around doing nothing seems to be my specialty. Anyway, one morning (Monday or Tuesday, I can't narrow it down better than that) I was doing just that, listening to NPR on the radio. However, the NPR station I found in Colorado Springs was like KCRW here in Los Angeles, and switched to music at 9 a.m. I'm not a huge fan of of KCRW's music, and I figured the same would be true of this station in Colorado, so I started switching the channel.

I stopped at 89.7 FM, which turned out to be KEPC, the radio station of Pikes Peak Community College. The song playing that caught my attention was "Girl U Want," by Devo - which you never hear on the radio. So I stuck around and listened for awhile. I may have dozed off, because some time passed. Maybe five or six songs later, I heard something that was just awesome. A rock song with epic overtones, it really impressed me, but I couldn't recognize the singer or anything about it; it could've been anything because the station was playing a good combination of songs I knew, and songs I didn't. All I can say is, it wasn't Incubus.

So this afternoon I sent an email to the station, requesting the playlists for Monday and Tuesday. No idea how if that's possible, but we'll see.

High School Memories

Again, I have to give Julie credit for today's post. I steal all my best ideas from her. Click on the title of this post to see her story.

1. Who was your best friend in high school?
My best friends in high school were Melissa, Rachel, Michelle, Josh, Adam, and Missy. We didn't all hang out together at the same time (maybe Melissa, Rachel, Michelle and I were together the most). Senior year we split up a bit.

2. What sports did you play?
I'm with you Julie: band geeks didn't have to take PE in high school... and so I was saved from my own lack of coordination.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
I didn't drive any kind of car until way after high school. I had a very cool red and white Univega 10-speed bike, though.

4. It's Friday night, where were you?
Definitely at a football game. After some games we'd all head to Shakey's for pizza and fooling around. Westwood wasn't as much fun at night for my age group as it had been in years before.

5. Were you a party animal?
Absolutely not. Rachel and Amber and I had some little mini-parties, and Adam and I too, but never really a party animal. I went to a couple of parties with my 11th grade boyfriend, who I met while I was supposed to be TAing for the band teacher; we were totally different, and our hooking up was kind of weird. Parties weren't my thing, and his friends weren't my friends... So that was short-lived. And then there was "Dick," the guy I've mentioned a few times: I think he took me on as a "project" and in that vein, I went to a few parties with him; his friends definitely qualify as partiers. More awkward than fun.

6. Were you in the "in crowd"?
Again: absolutely not. Some of my friends had potential to be in-crowders - Melissa was loved by everyone (she was smart, sweet and gorgeous), and Michelle was so smart and beautiful that I'm sure they could've crashed the in crowd. However, I thought that my friends were funnier, way less fucked-up, and way more interesting than the so-called "in crowd," who seemed to battle in-fighting, boyfriend stealing, bad haircuts and poor taste in music.

7. Ever skip school?
Many, many times. I would usually make it to school more or less on time, but by senior year, I was vacating campus a LOT. We might go to lunch and then never go back.

8. Ever smoke?
Yes, off and on.

There are stories to go along with this, but not sure how much I should say. Some stupid boy kind of influenced me a lot, and I'm not just talking reading material. Yeah, I was stupid, but: he was really, really cute. My friends didn't like him, though - Rachel had a thing about his feet. And I'd have been better off if I'd just walked away, but what can I say? In his Birkenstocks and shaggy hair cut, he was irresistible. And his interest in me, no matter how fleeting or conveniently timed, made him irresistible.

9. Were you a nerd?
I wasn't good at math, but I loved to read; I wore glasses (usually huge, gigantic glasses); I didn't have the greatest clothes; I worked at the library part of the time... No, I guess I wasn't exactly a nerd, but I was definitely a bit of a geek.

10. Did you get suspended/expelled?

11. Can you sing the alma mater?
Did my high school have an alma mater? Our fight song was "Minnesota Rouser;" I'm not that great at geography either, but I do know that Minnesota is quite a ways away.

12. Who was your favorite teacher?
Mr. Nazzaretta, the band teacher. I didn't really have that great of a relationship with my other teachers. I wanted to, but I don't know. Just didn't.

13. Favorite class?
When we'd do the spring musical. We didn't have an orchestra in high school, so our musical orchestra consisted of a couple of twin girls on violins, a bunch of hired guns, and those of us who could read the music.

14. School mascot?
Centaur. Half-man, half-horse. Sexy.

15. Did you go to the prom?
Yes... told that story weeks ago!

16. If you could go back and do it over, would you?
Maybe. I made some really huge mistakes. I might not have ditched so much. I might've taken more of an interest in going to college. I might've stayed away from certain boys. I might've been less shy with other certain boys.

17. What do you remember most about graduation?
I didn't know what to wear, and wound up in pseudo hippie gear: brown sandals, floaty skirt, and white t-shirt. I wish I'd dressed up more. I didn't get to play in the band, which was weird, because I'd played every graduation since the 7th grade. Alphabetically I was up at the front of the line, so I didn't really know where my friends were, and that was weird. Also there was a rumor that some guy was naked under his graduation robe, but I didn't see it, and I don't know if it was true.

18. Favorite memory of your senior year?
Senior year was kind of a bummer. My friends kind of spread out and school itself was not as much fun as it had been up to then. Being seniors wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

19. Were you ever posted up on the senior wall?
I have no idea what this is.

20. Did you have a job your senior year?
I worked since the 10th grade. After the library, I got a job with my friend Tina at Domino's Pizza. She was a little older than me; we had a lot of fun. My friend Todd worked there, too. He was from Texas, and we had pie dough fights and water fights and pizza box fights: lots of fun. There were a couple of other kids from school working there, and the rest of them were either in college or way older. And then I worked at Crown Books, where I was made an assistant manager.

21. Who did you date?
I had a million crushes in high school, starting with Charlie in the 9th grade. My band friends thought it was "cute" because he was a senior and I was totally a goofball about it. I mean TOTAL goofball. We did go out a few times, but I think I ruined it with my total lack of cool. 10th grade was when some other guy got his claws in me, and I wanted so much to be cool that I put up with a lot of shit from him. 11th grade I went out with this guy from another crowd - he was funny and cute and apparently a drunk and a user. 12th grade I realized that friends make the best boyfriends, and it was me and Adam for awhile.

22. Where did you go most often for lunch?
Titos, Taco Bell, McDonald's. Our choices were limited by proximity to school but I don't know why we did it that way, so many times we didn't even go back. Only Missy, Amber and Adam had cars, so that also limited our choices.

23. Have you gained weight since then?
Funny thing - I thought I was fat then, but I would kill for that body today.

24. What did you do after graduation?
Not a whole lot! Went to West LA College where I met the guy I didn't marry. Hung out with him and his friends a lot. Worked at Crown Books as an assistant manager; quit there and then managed a video store for awhile. Went to Santa Monica College. Learned how to drive, took a job in Malibu at another Crown Books...

OK, so that's it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Home Again

Well, we're home. We left Friday the 16th for Colorado Springs, and have been there ever since. Patrick was attending a conference, and I was... reading, sleeping, and hanging out.

For one thing, we stayed in the most beautiful hotel I've ever been to. Click on the title of this post for more information. Seriously - our room was possibly bigger than our entire house. And the bed - wow. Usually I hate the pillows on hotel beds, but these were lovely. I mean, the pillows were great but everything was terrific. The bathroom, the huge tub, the marble, the views - for five days of doing nothing, I had the time of my life.

The only thing not so great about this trip was, we didn't have a car, and so, were kind of stuck at the hotel for most of the time. Tuesday night we all were able to pile into a bunch of buses and were driven down to "downtown" Colorado Springs for a night on the town. We hit the one main street with David, Patrick's boss, in search of someplace interesting (and cheap) to eat. We ended up at Everest Nepal Restaurant - and I swear to god, it was the best meal in five days. Absolutely delicious.

Anyway, we took a bunch of pictures, but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet, and so... for now you have to take my word for it. Because it was beautiful there, but I'm very glad to be home again.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Birthday Adventure, Explained

In the town where I grew up, they've been doing a lot of construction on the freeway overpasses. It's a rather quiet little neighborhood, with these overpasses cutting through. No freeway traffic, just the overpasses.

(As an aside, which would be indicated by my use of parenthesis, therefore this explanation is not really necessary; when I lived at home with my parents, and used to stay up at night reading or after coming home from somewhere, I would always hear, every night at 11:45 p.m., what sounded to me like a train whistle. There are no trains in the town where I grew up - it was probably a truck horn, or something else entirely: I don't know. But the town I live in now is pretty much perfectly quiet at 11:45 p.m. I kind of miss the night noises of that town, which was a lot less small-town than the place I live now, a fact I didn't have much appreciation for when I was living there.)

Anyway, when I've driven through, on my way to my parents' house or to flute choir, I've noticed that the construction has involved them using these big white sheets of wood (does wood come in "sheets"?) that are highly illuminated. I usually drive through at night, and the effect of these super bright white wooden sheets seemed to me like the perfect place to have one's photograph taken.

I've been thinking this for awhile, but it's taken me a few months to actually do it.

Tonight, on our way home from dinner with my parents and my brothers and sister, (my mom made my childhood favorite, chicken mole, with corn and mashed potatoes [I know, odd combination; but delicious]) we finally stopped and took the pictures. It was fun, and I'm honestly surprised I didn't fall on my ass - that I-beam thing I'm standing on was about 6" wide, and I was wearing flip flops. Also, I'm not known for my grace!

Anyway, they're sort of what I had in mind; ignore my shabby outfit... I wanted to be comfortable today. I really like the photo here; I just wish my eyes were open. I look a little robot-like, which I like. Hair looks great, double chin - not so much.

Birthday Adventure

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Every Little Thing [They] Do is Magic

Watched The Office tonight...

If you haven't seen it yet, I won't spoil it for you, but I wish I'd hired that band to play my wedding.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

No need to call the cops (seriously)

How weird would it be if I took this photo to the girl who cuts my hair...?

I mean, here's an email I wrote her on February 4 re: what I wanted done to my hair... which is, essentially, the same hair this lovely woman has. Now, there's no way for you to know when I first viewed this photo, so for all you know, I saw the photo, then emailed my girl.

However, if that was the case, wouldn't I have been a bit more specific?

As it is, I think I'm going to email it to her.

Yes, I am going a little bit psycho here. Perfectly harmless, I promise.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


Tonight was the last show. I'm done! It feels bittersweet. I had fun, it was a good show, the people were great, I learned how to work the board, but it's going to be so nice to be totally free on the weekends for awhile.

Last night I was thinking about what I want from my involvement with the theater. I mean, why am I there? I'm not sure if I need to answer this question - it's a good place for me to be right now, and I'm happy doing whatever they ask me to do, but still... it's something to think about. Somebody asked me last night if I was going to workshop - it's what the "real" actors and actresses in the company are required to do; they have "workshops" twice a month. Since I'm not an actor, it's never been an issue - why would I go? They show the director stuff they've been working on; it's their time to show her what they can do. Obviously not the place for me, because what can I do? Anyway, when I was tripping out of the house last night (literally tripping; I'm not referring to a psychedelic experience) the director told me if I wanted to work on something, I could show it to her. Not sure if I'd want my first time showing her something to be in front of the whole company, all of whom know I am *not* an actress, but it was an interesting thought.

A while back I was given, by my friend David, a short thing that the director's husband had written. It's about a "young" woman who has an affair with an older, married guy, who dies at a rather badly-timed moment. The young woman is pretty much a mess, I mean, she's got issues. I've worked on the first couple of pages, and have some ideas, but jeez. I'm not an actor. Would my idea of how it could look really be anything good? Wouldn't it be terrible to have ideas and find out that they all suck? Wouldn't it be embarrassing, and kind of - heart-breaking? Isn't it kind of insulting to the other actors, for me at my age to be thinking I can just start to do this now? Out of nowhere? I mean, acting doesn't seem to me to be something like learning to knit, or paint... the other people in the company are talented, hard workers who know what they're doing... I don't know how any of this shit works.

Then again, what do I know. Yeah, I'm old. But so what. Right?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Is there any other way I can help you?

I'm sure everyone has a similar story, and it's no big deal to talk to people who don't understand what you're asking them or to receive lousy customer service, but here's my story.

I just got off the phone with Citibank; they haven't received a check I mailed on 1/19. I wanted them to stop the payment on the check I wrote, and I would do an online transfer payment (because it's instantaneous and easy) but what I really wanted was for them to not be dicks and charge me a late fee, and a fee for the stop payment. But the woman helping me didn't understand what I wanted, and after I explained what I wanted to do for the second time, she goes,

"Ms. Bean, we have not received your payment. Is there any other way I can help you?"

at which point, I lost it a little, because, in what way have you helped me so far? I was pissed. Then she goes, maybe you would like to call back tomorrow and see if your check comes through? Yes, after explaining my situation to you twice [once at half-speed and double-volume, as if she were deaf and not just being dumb], I think maybe I better try my luck on this call another time. When her shift is over.

I was speaking to my co-worker the other day on a sort of related topic. The phone rings all day long at my job. My boss gets many calls on her line that have nothing to do with her: people call her thinking she can solve their problem, when the truth is, they would be better served by another person. The thing is, now they're our problem, and we have to figure out who that better person is. I haven't been there long enough to know all the answers, but my co-worker has. She quite easily and very nicely will answer any question on the phone. Her attitude on the phone is perfection: sweet but firm, knowledgeable yet friendly. She's got it covered. See, a lot of those calls are from people who call and they say this:

"Could you connect me to...?" They are asking me to connect them to someone who neither works in my office, nor works for my boss. In other words, I have become an operator. You know? With the headset, microphone, multiple phone lines, funny voice? And you know what? I'm not getting paid to fucking transfer a call. The problem is, our department does not have a hard copy of the directory.

I know that's hard to believe. But if you want a phone number you have to go online and search for it by name.

I mean, it would be really nice to have a directory of the entire department, not just alphabetical, but maybe by office? with titles and stuff? but apparently that would be too hard.

(Another thing that bugs me is, we have an area where the mail gets sorted. And everyone [well, everyone except me] has a little cubby. And the cubbies? The cubbies are in some weird order that no one understands. So instead of being alphabetical [my personal choice] or by unit [makes sense, too], you stand there for what feels like forever, searching for the name you're looking for. I asked the girl up front about this today, and she goes, "Oh, everyone asks that. But we have so much movement here with people coming and going, we'd always be having to change the cubbies." OK, so it's tape, and a label. It's not a kidney transfer. But I digress.)

Anyway, I get a little annoyed when someone calls and all they want is for me to transfer them somewhere else. I mean, at least they could ask nicely. It doesn't help that the other secretary is named Eileen, so I'm pretty much pissed off from the moment I answer the phone (oh, and did I tell you that I have to climb over about 3 feet of stuff on the ground in order to answer the phone, which, conveniently, does not ring at my desk? No? I didn't tell you about the mountain o' crap that lies between our desks? Huh. How could I have not mentioned that?) because I do my spiel, which ends with "This is Irene, can I help you?" and the caller goes,


And I go,

"No, this is IRene."

"Can you transfer me to so-and-so?"


Oh, so anyway, when I was speaking to my co-worker (who, by the way, never has to say,

"No, this is EILeen" when she answers the phone),

and complimenting her on how polite she is with people, and saying that I hope one day I will be able to answer the calls with the calm and ease with which she answers them, and she made some comment about having grace, and how she really works at it, and sometimes she fails. She was nice. I've been getting a little bit overwhelmed with the quantity of stuff I've been asked to do at my job (I'm still new, though, and I love being busy, and I expect I'll get used to it eventually), and then having to put down what I'm doing to take a phone call I don't want to take is a pain in the ass...

Grace is something I definitely could use.


I gotta look that up, 'cause I think I need some. Now, to just figure out how to get it...