Thursday, August 30, 2007

Checking In

Not much has happened to me since my last post:

I learned that in one month of no Weight Watchers meetings, travel, and just being a giant pig, I gained approximately 2.3 pounds - not as bad as I thought, but not something I want to repeat in the next four weeks, either;

I took an Adobe Acrobat (Level 1) class at New Horizons today. I found out that everything I am really interested in learning about won't happen until the Level 2 class, next month. I somehow managed to stay awake - that in itself was a miracle;

The City of Long Beach, without even needing to be asked, yesterday provided us with a Brand New Trash Can, and left it without a word at the curb (those of you attempting to triangulate my exact location can now all get out your charts of the Garbage Collection Schedule for the City of Long Beach... and narrow your search down to the streets that have garbage collection on Wednesdays. Good luck, fools). Ah, the joys of living in the suburbs, where a shiny new garbage can make such a difference in a young(ish) family's life...

And finally...

I actually do have a bladder infection, which I know, I know, is WAY TOO MUCH FUCKING INFORMATION FOR THE INTERNET, but I mention it here because... because... Because Bruce knew. He held his hand over my bladder, and he said to me, "I feel something here." What that freaky motherfucker felt was that I have a bladder infection, and I, for one, am not letting that go by without commenting on it. My only symptoms: back pain and nocturia (my new favorite word) which I didn't tell him about. How the hell did he know?

That said, and knowing that I was going to Share The News of My Bladder Infection on my blog, when I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription, and the cute guy behind the counter who was probably at least 10 years younger than me announced that a pharmacist would be coming to speak to me, I was pleased to learn that I still possess the inclination to be ashamed (the Internet has not taken it away entirely), because I was soo embarrassed when the pharmacist (who looked like Mike Brady) said, "This is for a urinary tract infection..." Quite loud, I would like to add. He said it QUITE LOUDLY. And I know the Cute Pharmacy Guy heard. I know he did.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Time to shift things around a bit?

Next week my boss will be attending a conference in San Diego with two members of our Background Unit for Background Investigators. That's the unit you should be afraid of when you apply for a job with our department: if you lie or neglect to disclose something, they will find out about it. (Since I don't think I've ever come out and ID'd the department I work for, you'll just have to be afraid next time you apply for a job.) Anyway, since I helped with the travel arrangements and talked to the guy in San Diego about what they're going to be covering, I know one thing, and that is this: they're going to be learning how to use the Internet, namely, MySpace, for background investigations.

So I wondered if I should put a secret message to my boss on my MySpace page...? I've been re-reading my stuff on this blog, and have gone back a little ways and I don't think I have anything to be worried about, necessarily (if, however, in the next couple of days you spot something I missed, please let me know!), except maybe that she will find out what an incredibly BORING person I am.

Anyway, Hi Boss! I hope you're having fun in SD!


I had a massage last night, and as always, it was perfect. How does that guy do it? You know, he works on me for awhile, standard massage stuff, and then he starts with his weird reiki shit. He never calls it reiki - I don't know what he thinks he's doing or what he's supposed to be doing, I only know that I totally love it. He knows what he's doing, whatever it is. Anyway, he asked me today, what it felt like. He had his hand, his fingers, actually, on my gall bladder when he asked me that. It didn't feel good, but it wasn't uncomfortable, either. I have some pain there, occasionally, but I'm never exactly sure where my gall bladder is. And then earlier this week I thought I might have a bladder infection (I don't), and of course all that stuff is, you know, close together (you can see that I have a firm grasp on my anatomy). Anyway, my mom had problems with her gall bladder, and you know how you think about stuff like that sometimes? Like I wonder if I will have the same cancer she had? Or cancer, at all? I say "wonder" but I think I mean, "worry." Or possibly, "obsess." I mean, how did that happen to her? Am I doing the same things that caused her to...? But right then I wasn't thinking that. In fact, though a few moments before we had been talking about flutes and trains and Captain Beefheart and Dr. John, right then, I wasn't really thinking anything. My mind was a big blank. My mind looked like the ceiling: full of holes.

Whatever he does, he makes me feel very, very comfortable, and I definitely feel the warmth thing, especially down in my legs. But I didn't really know what to say. Do I buy this whole business? I don't know. So I said, I'm trying to imagine what you're doing, and see if I can understand it. He liked that answer, I think. It was a bit off the cuff: I was kind of embarrassed at my lack of ability to tell him how it felt (someone else commented on that to me, fairly recently. I can write all this shit, but when it comes right down to it, saying how I feel, at the moment? That's hard for me. I wish it wasn't). Anyway, at the end of the session, he goes, "You know, I can feel something in you. You seem like you want to make a change in here [he touched my heart], though, I don't really see that you need to. You're trying to make a shift, aren't you?"

I got a tiny bit freaked out - I mean, this guy is really good at what he does. I can see that. I feel that. I walk out of there every time feeling like a new person. Maybe I never said it, or told anybody. But dude - he gets me, totally. I know we talk a lot, and I'm sure I reveal more than I think I do (I told him, for instance, that when I told Patrick I wanted to play the drums because I want to "rock out," and Patrick replied, "Why don't you just do it on your flute," how that kind of pissed me off, that Patrick didn't get it at first), so it's not magic, what he said. But still: pretty accurate.

I don't know if I should be writing about this, actually. I'm not sure if I'm ready to make that shift, or to even identify exactly what it is. If I could. You know how they say you have to admit you have a problem before you can solve it? My problem is no big deal; nobody else would probably even notice it if I made whatever shift it is I want to make. I mean, I'm not going to run off with the circus or quit my job or anything. This is not a big change I want to make. But I do know that sometimes my thoughts are pretty fucked up. I would like to not have such fucked up thoughts.

That seems easy enough, doesn't it?

(I'd also like to stop eating so much. The past two weeks I have been an eating machine, and tomorrow I get weighed for the first time since before my trip to Albuquerque. I am not looking forward to it. Oink, oink.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Time Is a Gypsy Caravan...

So, I wrote another hysterically funny email to my friend Paul today, and I think he's going to claim that this one, like the last one, went "accidentally" to his junk folder (Paul, seriously: you're not fooling anybody)... anyway, since apparently I think I'm funny, here it is, slightly edited, for your amusement:

Pauly, I forgot my watch in the booth yesterday. No big deal, I just felt like announcing it. Am kind of avoiding work. Shouldn't type that, should I. I ate lunch but why does a big fat candy bar sound sooo good right now?

Going home early to avoid eating a big fat candy bar seems like a super-brilliant idea. They should be paying me money since I've been losing weight. Don't you think?

I'm changing my Gmail signature to the quote from "Quartet" about time. Again, no big deal, just felt like announcing it. I don't know if its meaning is any easier to discern than the Tom Robbins quote (and Tom was probably stoned), I guess I just like quotes about time (and holes). What's next? Rush lyrics?

"Time is a gypsy caravan - steals away in the night, to leave you stranded in dream-land." - Rush,
Some Goddamned Horrible Song From the 90s That The Man I Didn't Marry and His Rush Loving Friends Made Me Listen To and Pay Good Money to Go to the Tour Where Neil Peart Utilized the Sounds of Breaking Glass and a Woodblock Amongst All His Show-Offy Drum Fills That Were Probably Sweetened by a Drum Tech Hidden Beneath the Stage

Write back if you're not too busy. Maybe you have something to announce, too?

P.S. I'm sorry about that crack I made Saturday night about your lack of squishy dates [someone was talking about their fondness for eating dates. I don't know what to say, except, it was funny at the time]. It was just too funny to pass up.

P.P.S. I'm also sorry I almost missed the second curtain call yesterday. Yes, I am still thinking about that. The actors had weird looks on their faces, which I can't seem to get out of my mind. Troy in particular. I'm sure it was character-related. The whole acting business is kind of a mystery to me. I'm already a bit sensitive about my timing of the curtain call, and of course I think everything is all about me. Who knows. Anyway, my bad. It was kind of funny, Saturday night, when I went backstage to talk to Mariko about the opening after the show. I won't bore you with my comments, but she assured me that I was fine, and then said, "It's called Acting, Irene!" But not in a snotty way. And then she hugged me. She is the nicest person in the entire fucking world. Can I go back in time and be her when I grow up? With maybe a teeny tiny bit more body fat? I mean, I may want to change the whole fabric of the universe, but I'm not greedy.


In other news: this morning I finally got through to all the people I needed to speak to re: my mom's PET scan. The appointment has been scheduled, they have the authorization, and I got the address. It took all morning and I had to talk to the office manager at the doctor's office and give her a whole big old lecture on customer service and my mom's health and how this type of shit negatively affects her, but finally, by 3 p.m., the whole thing was settled.

And now I can breathe.


See, I mocked Rush and Neil Peart up there, but really, Neil asks the questions that people have been asking forever: Why are we here? And then Neil answers his own question: "Because we're here." And as stupid and simplistic as that is, sometimes it's a good enough answer.

Roll the bones!

[I'm giggling again...]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Continue to Wonder

Thursday night, on my way home from work, I called my mom. She was all upset because her radiologist had prescribed a PET scan for her way back in June, and the girl at her doctor's office in charge of obtaining the authorization hadn't done her job. My mom wanted me to call them and find out what was going on. My mom wanted me to kick some ass.

But she was also upset with me, because I'd been out of the office most of the day, and hadn't known she had called me earlier with this request. My office is getting a whole new modern phone system, and the desk I was assigned eight months ago didn't have voice mail. No one answers my phone when I'm not there, so I was just calling her just to call her, and was unaware of the "state" she was in. She was in quite a state, actually: crying, etc. My mom takes these things hard. And, because she believes that until she has the PET scan, there is a chance that her cancer has come back, now that the test has been delayed, she's freaking out. She won't believe she's cancer-free until she gets the proof. The thing is, she doesn't seem to understand that she's going to need to undergo these tests for a long time - and her faith that she's cancer-free seems to be dependent on them. It's hard to see her like this. She has told me, my whole fucking life, how I should live my life with God, that I would be happier if I had faith, and here she is, totally doubting that she has been healed. For myself, I don't know how much faith I have. But if God is going to heal anybody, if it's even possible, she's the one. Do you know what I mean? Am I making any sense?

Anyway, I managed to calm her down with my usual mix of humor and common sense (what, you don't believe me?), and told her that on Friday, my day off, I would call and straighten everything out.

Right before I called my mom, I had heard a story on NPR about some guy who discovered that, in the last ten years of her life, Mother Teresa had written in her diaries that while she continued to believe in God, she no longer felt his presence.

OK, so that freaked me out a little.

Anyway, Friday morning I started calling the doctor's office. Of course the line was busy and it took a couple of hours to get through, but finally I did, and I spoke with the woman, Brenda, my mother has been dealing with. (Now, I have criticized my mom's doctor's office many, many times for their lack of professionalism and their horrible customer service, but my mom, who loves her doctor, has always defended them. Not so much anymore.) But, Brenda assured me that she faxed the authorization to the imaging place, and that on Monday, my mother could call and make an appointment. At this point, I guess I thought everything was settled, so I called my parents, and left a message with my dad.

My mom called later that afternoon to clarify the message but I wasn't home, and so didn't get back to her until yesterday.

She was still pissed. She wanted to know why I hadn't called the imaging place to confirm if they had received the authorization, and she wanted me to get the address. I hadn't done either of those things. So I told her I'd call first thing, Monday morning. I don't know. It was a weird call. I wish she would just chill out. I wish she had realized a month ago that her doctor's office wasn't doing what they needed to do, and called then, so she wouldn't be so upset now. I wish she would lean a little more on my brothers and sister. I wish I didn't feel that way.

David E. Frank: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

(I don't know what that title means, either. Sometimes the words, they just come. And I don't stop them, especially if they make me giggle.

I do a lot of giggling over here.)

(Also? I know somewhere on my computer I have better photos of David, but I'm too lazy to search for them.) -- Photo updated August 28. Not a very flattering photo of me, and David doesn't have that mullet anymore, and I guess I've posted this photo before, but look at these two guys. I would love to go on a road trip with them (as long as I can drive) to somewhere far. I have a feeling we would all bust our guts laughing.

OK, so why the all Dave, all the time entry tonight? I don't know. I was just thinking nice thoughts about him, and hey, here's a forum to let some of those nice thoughts out into the world.

I'm sure I've mentioned that Dave is my "old boss." Yes, he hired me at Rizzoli (he doesn't know, I was a tad bit buzzed when I filled out my application. Also, the Candadian woman and the tall snooty blond running the store that day almost intimidated me out of dropping it off, but the beer helped. Turned out the Canadian lady - French Canadian - was fucking crazy; the tall blond has not one iota of snoot in her and is quite possibly one of the nicest people you will ever meet; see how wrong first impressions can be? Especially when you're drunk?), and for most of the years while I worked with him, I just thought of him as "David, My Boss." I didn't know very about him (I knew he was from Indiana, and that he rode his bike a lot. I knew he was an actor, and that he liked Frank Zappa, and Captain Beefheart. I knew he wrote a terrible [sorry, David] short story called "Soapy Boobs." I knew he liked leather pants, pirate shirts, cowboy boots, and dog collars [and I wished I didn't know that last part]).

I did not know, for a long time, too long, unfortunately, what a sweetheart he is. I didn't know how good he is at neck rubs when you have a headache - the guy has magic hands. His wife is one lucky lady. I didn't know he could keep a killer secret. I didn't know how talented he is as an actor. I didn't know I could not live without a hug from him at least every seven or eight days.

Well, I probably could live without, but boy, let's not try, OK?


Saturday, August 25, 2007


I'm listening to Impossible Germany, by Wilco, on the radio right now. I've never been able to decide if I'm into Wilco or not... there's definitely something there, but is it for me? I'm still deciding.

Also, I think it's funny that the DJ called this "the new one from Wilco," but Amazon lists this album as having been released in May. Last time I checked, May was like four months ago.

For me, the jury is still out on "Arctic Monkeys." Horrible name, but I do like this song. Maybe I shouldn't admit that out loud.


Remember the other day I was talking about Patty's other students, Loren and Greg, and how Greg has a MySpace page (he may kick my ass for posting a link to his page... well, he's just a kid, no? I am not afraid)? Today I was poking around on MySpace, and I found a comment someone posted on his page mocking my last email about the summer flute choir sessions.

I laughed for about twenty minutes.

[Note to snarky teens: summer flute choir is only $10 a session. Get it right next time.]

[Also, I know I'm way too old for MySpace, but I've sent a request to be Greg's "friend." I see me with a giant L on my forehead in the near future.]

Irene the Bean: The Musical

Yesterday was my day off, and I ended up sleeping quite a bit on the couch. I got out of the house to run a couple of errands, but spent most of my time napping.

Maybe I'm coming down with something, maybe I'm catching up on my sleep, whatever. But when I woke up in the early afternoon, before Patrick had gotten home from work, I had had the funniest dream...

City Garage decided to take these blog entries and turn all of my writing into a musical. Frederique and Charles (he's a real writer: his play, "Patriot Act," won a pretty big award, and was produced in New York earlier this summer) were going to adapt, somehow, my rambling entries and create a play. About me. So the dream goes, and Charles comes up with a script, based on this blog, and then they get into casting the thing. They audition all the City Garage members: all beautiful, young girls with perfect bodies (and at City Garage productions, you get to see those bodies!)... and it turns out that none of those women works in the title role.

So, Frederique approaches me, and asks if I want to do it myself.

Of course, here's the silly part: I am not an actor. I've been on stage, yeah, but usually I'm terrified, and usually I'm just hoping no one will notice. For the two shows I was in, I hoped that I might get at least one lesson in acting, but it never happens: my presence on stage didn't really require it, so I let it go. In this silly dream, I get the full-on "A Star is Born" treatment (remember? That's always my favorite sequence in movies: remember Neely O'Hara in "Valley of the Dolls"? Or Judy Garland in "Summer Stock"? Or Betty Hutton in "Annie Get Your Gun"?). Since my play is a musical, I get singing and dancing lessons as well as acting lessons. This actually sounds fun, no? It's totally ridiculous, because City Garage doesn't do musicals, doesn't have room for an orchestra, would never ever put me on stage in the title role of anything, but for a dream, it was pretty fun.

Anyway, I don't really know how many more details were in my dream that I've now forgotten. I do know that I woke up while we were rehearsing the show's opening moments, with the overture. Yes. "Irene the Bean: The Musical" had an overture.


Friday, August 24, 2007

The LA Times Likes "Quartet"

Click on the title of today's post to read the LA Times' review of Quartet.

Then call the theater and make a reservation!

City Garage Theatre
1340-1/2 Fourth Street Alley
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 319-9939

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quartet at City Garage: The LA Weekly Says "Go!"

Not only has City Garage Theatre's production of Heiner Muller's "Quartet" gotten a "Go" and a positive review from the LA Weekly, Backstage West has published an incredibly glowing review, maybe the most positive review I've ever read.

Many congratulations to Troy, Sharon, Mariko, and David, who, with their brilliant and beautiful performances bring something so special three days a week to the city of Santa Monica and the tiny City Garage stage, thanks to Frederique Michel's unique vision and Charles Duncombe's skill at lighting that vision.

Oh, I know how cliched all that sounds. But I am so proud of this show, and glad that I'm a tiny part of it.


Now, I just wish my TV watching were so brilliant and beautiful: I am sitting on the couch, after having consumed a whole third of a box of Club wheat crackers, watching an ABC Family presentation of "Ice Princess," starring Michelle Trachtenberg, Hayden Panettiere, and Kim Catrell. Oh, and Joan Cusack is here, too: Joan Cusack, who could've been my sister-in-law, if my teenage fantasy of marrying Lloyd Dobbler had come true.


And finally, I would like to take a moment to say Happy (Late) Birthday to my old friend Adam, with whom I saw "Say Anything" when it first came out, and who, when I was 17, might've been the real-life inspiration for Lloyd Dobbler, right down to the Fishbone t-shirt. Minus that whole kickboxing thing. And he wasn't quite as successful at teaching me how to drive stick as Lloyd was with Diane. Oh, well: nobody's perfect.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Quartet: Heiner Muller - Flute Lesson - Random Other Stuff

Last night was opening night of "Quartet," by Heiner Muller, at City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica (on the list of things I could've said/given to Stewart Copeland: I should've handed him a postcard for this show. Just one more example of me not thinking). I missed it. Opening night, I mean (I think this is going to be a successful show at City Garage, and I can't wait to talk to everyone and see how it went last night).

Anyway, I have a newly reinforced dedication to my flute lessons, which is where I was instead. It was a fun lesson, my first one since returning from the flute convention.

We played a lot last night - we worked on new stuff for my warm up sessions (and let's be truthful: I am less then diligent about my warm ups), which involves me thinking about arpeggios and inversions and will most likely make my head explode at first but seemed doable. And we worked with the piano, which I always love for some reason. We did extensions, and I heard where I'm out of tune and what I need to do to correct it (let's see if I can remember, though, the details of what we talked about, when I'm playing them next time. I'm not good at remembering that stuff. But I do, when I'm well-practiced, tend to play more often in tune than out of tune, so I must subconsciously know what I'm doing. I know that sounds really half-assed and stupid, but at least it's something).

Anyway, it was a long night, but full of playing, and I liked it. In fact, I have plans to practice today, after I do some more laundry and go to Target. Nothing exciting, and so, because when I'm not writing good stories about my encounters with famous people, this blog consists of photos of my cat and my shopping lists, so why not just jump right back in with something boring:
  1. Shower curtain rings
  2. Containers for Q-tips and cotton balls
  3. Q-tips
  4. Cotton balls
  5. Kitty litter
  6. Paper towels
  7. Toilet paper

Exciting list, no? See, this is what happened - when we originally painted our bathroom green (green: X-Files green. Fluorescent green. A green so green it makes your corneas hurt), I freaked out and backed away from embracing the green. Instead of focusing on the particular noxious shade I had chosen, I decided to tone it down by introducing blue. So we had a white shower curtain with blue and green flowers, and blue accessories. But then when we were shopping for paint colors for the kitchen, I came across this little sample photo from Behr that showed a green bathroom, almost the same insane green as my green, with white and red accents, and it looked very nice.

So now I have a plan to try to emulate that example, and see if I can't make my bathroom a little less dowdy and a little more interesting. We'll see. I might just settle for "clean."

Friday, August 17, 2007

I Heart Tama (Explanation)

When Patrick and I moved from our apartment in Mar Vista to the house in Long Beach, one of the things that surfaced was this drum key.

Ever since I laid eyes on it, I have wanted it for my very own, but Patrick, practical guy that he is, needed it.

Oh, he has other drum keys, don't get me wrong. But he needed this one. For whatever his reason was. So since it is his, he's kept it in his possession, on his own set of keys.

Until the day I left for Albuquerque, that is.

Knowing how much I wanted this drum key, he handed it to me quite solemnly and with a bit of a showy presentation; I of course exclaimed, "You really do love me!"

Isn't it beautiful? Good design, Tama people. And it adds a nice heft to my own keys, but not too much weight.

I'm sure people thought I was taking my own upskirt photographs when I took these pictures, but what the hell. The sun was pretty spectacular.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I can't buy a ringtone for any Bjork song other than "Earth Intruders," yet AT&T has available "I'm Alive," by Electric light Orchestra.

"Earth Intruders" is a great song, but "It's Oh So Quiet" would make for a better ringtone, no?

I'm probably going to go back to my old ringtone ("Message In a Bottle," thought "Can't Stand Losing You" is a definite possibility)... there's always "Going Mobile" by the Who, which, I think I've mentioned before, was the first song I heard during my first solo drive in my car after I got my license.

Wait, I spoke too soon. That song is no longer available. "Who Are You," though, is.

Oh, I hate doing this. I think I'm just going with "Can't Stand Losing You." I've done some stupid stuff with this song playing in the background... We'll have to see if I can stand the daily reminders when people call me.


Also? There are crows the size of my car's tires in the front yard. I can tell this because the crows appear to be eating my car's tires. What the hell is going on...?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Flute Convention Dispatch No. 3 / I'm Home!

Technically, since I am writing this from the relative comfort of my own home, this post does not qualify as a "flute convention dispatch;" however, since I am about to speak of things that mostly have to do with the convention and my trip home from Albuquerque... Well, fuck. I can call it whatever I want.

We left Albuquerque yesterday afternoon. The morning was kind of wasted, though, we had planned, the night before, on going sight seeing on some bus tour... but then I was tired, and Patty went lap swimming in the hotel's pool, and I had to check my email, and then we had to pack and eat lunch and check out and buy gifts and write cards... we just didn't have time to do much. So we had yet another awesome meal at NYPD, the pizza joint that was about two blocks from our hotel, and lugged our luggage up to the train station. Our train left at 4:45 p.m., which was perfect.

The Albuquerque train station is really small, minimally equipped with services (I think there might be a bathroom, which I did not see but I did smell. There is one ticket window, and no waiting room. You wait for your train out by the tracks, under a sheet metal awning), and kind of confusing. There's also a Greyhound bus station there, and a lot of the type of people one expects to see at the Greyhound bus station. It's fine, though. We were used to those people: we saw quite a lot of them walking from our hotel to the convention center.

Actually, I should watch what I say; I've only been to one Greyhound bus station, one time, when, a long time ago Drew and I dropped off his friend Ken at the one that used to be on Fifth Street in Santa Monica in the middle of the night so he could get home to Santa Cruz. He was a cool guy, Ken. So what the hell do I know about the Greyhound bus station? My one and only experience there was about 15 years ago. I shut up now.

We weren't checking any bags, and so we just had to wait about 20 minutes before our train arrived and we were loaded on.

Seated on the train, we started our journey home, which was uneventful, though, long. 16 hours in a row spent primarily in the same seat did get a bit tedious, but we're big girls: we can handle tedium. I don't think I wrote about our trip from LA to Albuquerque; I suppose all the same things happened going home, in reverse. We read, talked, looked out the window, Patty worked on a crossword, I worked on a Sudoku. We didn't get to eat dinner until about 9 o'clock - the train has a dining car, but you're supposed to make reservations way at the beginning of the line; since we didn't board until Albuquerque, we missed out. They do allow for non-reservations at the last dining call, so that's how we got to eat in the dining car. Surprisingly, the food was quite good, and our dining partner last night was a Lebanese writer guy from Santa Fe named Ned. He was nice.

My dad signed up to pick us up in L.A. this morning, since Patrick had to work, but at 2:30 a.m. this morning, after I was awakened by some asshole who decided that 2:30 a.m. was a good time to check in with his wife (bastard. I was only half asleep anyway - that seat was pretty much 100% uncomfortable [next time I ride the train I'm springing for the sleeping car] but half asleep was way better than all awake), I overheard one of the conductors commenting that our train was about 30 minutes behind schedule. I made a mental note to call my dad when it was a more reasonable hour and more people were awake.

And then I forgot to call him.

Anyway, turns out my dad got to the station 30 minutes early, and so, because by the time we got to Fullerton, we were an hour behind schedule, he ended up waiting for us for much longer than he expected; he said he didn't mind, but I think that's what dads are supposed to do. Take note, dads: waiting for your grown kids for two hours at the train station is in your contract.

After we dropped Patty off at her house, I went to my mom and dad's house, where my mom served up breakfast, and then they brought me home. Which is where I am, now. In my home. Listening to 94.9 FM online, the first non-flute music I have heard in a full week. Oh, NYPD (the pizza joint) played classic rock, and I was able to point out, to Patty, the Dio (or it could've been Rainbow, I always get those two cheesy bands mixed up) and Styx and Pearl Jam and... Patty knows all there is to know about flute stuff, but she's sorely lacking in appreciating music created on electric guitars and monster drum kits. It's fun filling her in on that stuff. Anyway, I am home, I have kitties to pet, a ton of laundry (of course I do!) to do, and a shower to take, and this to contemplate.

Maybe later I will get out my book and give a detailed report on the music I heard and bought and played and the things I learned at the convention, and upload the photos I took. Right now I want to listen to Icky Thump without the sound of my too-long fingernails pounding the keyboard.

Oh, it's nice to be home.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Flute Convention Dispatch No. 2

Not a ton of time this morning... am getting ready to check out of the hotel and find some lunch (we've eaten about four times at this terrific pizza place nearby; it's called "NYPD" and they have terrific food - I think that's where we're headed today). We had originally planned, since we knew we'd have some time today, to go sight seeing, but I think we're both feeling kind of ready to go home. While Patty showers, I thought this would be a good time to check in with my blog. I know of the blogs I read on a daily basis, if the person doesn't post anything for awhile I get pissed off.

Would hate to piss off my one reader, but I know this post doesn't say much. I've had a wonderful time in Albuquerque and heard many inspiring and beautiful performances. Now I am ready to go home.

Anyway, better go. Patty should be out of the shower, and I should finish packing.

More when I get home.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Flute Convention Dispatch No. 1

Message written at 11:59 p.m. from the Hyatt Business Plan Office.

There is just one lone computer available for all the hotel guests, and tonight, ever since returning from the gala concert at 8 (there is a "gala concert" every night of the convention at 8; more on my schedule and the amazing and not-so amazing things I have seen and heard in future dispatches; my joy at having my hands on a computer is right now making me a tiny bit funky. Yes, "funky." My joy also killing my vocabulary), I have been riding the elevator up to the 18th floor (where the lone computer resides) every 30 minutes or so, checking the availability of the PC.

There's also a printer, an electric pencil sharpener, a trash can, and two staplers here. Not sure when I'm going to need any of those items, but the printer might come in handy.

Anyway, until now, the PC has been in use. I had to wait my turn.


My trip so far has been a lot of fun. Albuquerque is quite a town; I don't exactly mean that sarcastically. For once, while at a flute convention, I have actually had a couple of opportunities to see the place I'm visiting. When Patty and I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, we had to walk a few blocks to the hotel. My directions were of course taken from Google Maps with the understanding that we would be driving, not walking the streets of downtown Albuquerque, so we ended up taking a few extra steps than we really needed (and it was HOT that afternoon; our trip on the train was fine, but no shower and then a big heavy bag and a long walk in the heat did not make me the happiest girl in town), which was fine, actually, because we were able to get our bearings and look around a little. And then that night, we took a walk (maybe about a mile? I'm not sure) to the supermarket, and we got to see a bit of the area, then.

This hasn't been the trip for me and my electronic equipment - on Tuesday morning, before we left, I went to AT&T and traded in my old mobile phone; my intentions were to only purchase a new travel charger; instead, I was told that I was eligible for a new phone. The guy made it sound like a deal I would be a fool to pass up; and since when do I turn down somebody who calls me a fool (seriously. This is a serious question)? Anyway, I didn't have time to test the charger (and why should I have?), and so, when we arrived, 16 hours later in Albuquerque, I discovered that my charger didn't work, and my phone was dead.

Then, I discovered an even worse, er, discovery. I plugged in my laptop and was all prepared to go online and find the nearest AT&T store... when tragedy struck! (Suddenly! What could be worse than the words I am about to write?)

Apparently more deadly than the blue screen of death: the black screen of no operating system. Here are the four words you should hope to never see:

"Operating system not found."


I killed the laptop.

On Wednesday, though, this wasn't a big deal. We had a whole town to explore and a free day to do it in (that never, ever happens for me at the convention), and so I didn't really think about it. I can live without my email, I thought (ha!).

My phone, however, was another story.

On Thursday morning, I checked my book (I'll be talking about "my book" quite a bit while relating these exciting tales from the convention - every convention-goer is provided with a paperback book about the size of Philip Roth's most recent novel, "Everyman," which I was reading while I waited for the computer (OK, I won't lie: I was also watching a very bad Melissa Gilbert TV movie called "Blood Vows." Eileen Brennan was also in it, and she called Melissa "Toots" a lot. It was quite possibly the worst piece of crap ever made; I couldn't take my eyes off of it). Inside the book is a daily schedule of the events at the convention, including concert programs and bios of the performers and composers. It's a handy thing, that book, because every day, at all hours of the day, there are about five things going on at one time, and without it, you'd never be in the right place at the right time, hearing the concert or the performance you wanted to hear. Everyone carries their book around at all times; you know you're dealing with flute convention people by their big green convention IDs and their books), and discovered that if all went well, I'd have an hour and a half free after the last thing I wanted to see/hear and the evening concert. I checked with the hotel concierge, and got the instructions for taking the bus "uptown" to the mall, and I set out.

30 minutes later (I could've taken a cab, but that would've cost me $20 instead of $1 - yes: 1 lousy dollar - and denied me the opportunity of seeing all that Albuquerque has to offer... on the one main street I had the good fortune to travel that day), I found the store I wanted, and traded in my non-functioning travel charger for a functioning one (Jeff, the guy who helped me, was super nice and super quick), walked a bit before finding the right bus back downtown, and made it back in time for dinner and my concert.

However, despite the happy ending on that story, my laptop is still dead. And? I can't live without my email. Here it is, Saturday night, and during most of the intermission of tonight's big concert (Saturday night of every convention is "Concerto Night") I was wondering who might have emailed me and what might be waiting for me in my in-box.

Turns out, not very much, but that's OK.

And now I can at least go to bed and know what's waiting for me, and what's not waiting for me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Obsessed / You're Everywhere That I'm Not

I'm not even sure if this is the greatest song ever, or deserves my complete and total adoration (though I'm giving it anyway), but nonetheless:

I love it.

You're in Nova Scotia, but I'm not!

And WHY can't I start packing? What the hell...? I think the truth is, I'm excited about the trip, but I don't really want to go. I don't know why I'm so conflicted: maybe it's because last night was the first run-through of Quartet, and it went really well, except for some confusion about the first four light cues, and apparently I was late with light cue #18 (? Charles may have been pulling my leg with that one; he told me the night before that it was "a delight" to work with me again... I don't know. I never know how to take it when those people compliment me), but other than that, doing it was a blast. This is a much, much shorter show than Rhinoceros was, and much more back into the typical dense City Garage stuff: it's somebody else's sex infused dream, and all you can do is sit back and watch - the cues are easier and there are only three audio cues (instead of 20 or whatever I had for Rhino)... It could be that I have a lot of fun there, and now I'm leaving and won't be back until two days before opening night, which I will also be missing, and I wish the timing hadn't worked out this way.

My timing sucks when I'm not playing music. And even then it's a little sketchy sometimes.

It could be that Patrick and I have had two really sweet and wonderful weekends in a row, and here I am, leaving for eight days, and I feel a bit guilty about that. And I will also be missing his birthday - AGAIN.

It could be that I'm gonna miss my kitten.

It could be that...

Let the laundry begin

Now I know why I put off doing my laundry for so long: turns out that I have just two loads to do - darks and lights. That should take no time at all, and perhaps subconsciously I knew that. Which might explain the procrastination.

Or maybe I'm just really, really good at procrastination.


There have been two episodes of disasters in the news lately, and I want to remind you that I am a worrier, though, not at all superstitious. However: it's got me to thinking. The United States has had a bridge collapse and a mine cave-in during the last couple weeks: two things that don't happen everyday around here. What's next? A train derailment? Seriously, I'm having second thoughts about my decision to travel 800 miles (that's it?) on 19th century technology.

There's nothing I can do about it. I've bought my ticket and we pick up Patty tonight at 5. We're going! Now, if I can just get that image of Barbra Streisand from "Funny Girl" riding the train out of my head....

That said, I have decided to lug the laptop with me to Albuquerque. The hotel has free wi-fi, so what the hell, right? I know nothing says "exciting blog postings" than up to the minute reports on the flute convention, but who knows. Maybe something cool will happen.

I know: I'm a dreamer. And I write about my laundry too much. And no, that's not a euphemism.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Overheard at City Garage tonight:

I'm not gonna give you any context or anything; will only say, these words were not directed at me, and were spoken before the rehearsal started:

"It does not really look as if you are actually masturbating."

Cobwebs and the Dust

Okay, so who out there remembers "Blue Line"? My 12th grade attempt at writing poetry? The truth is, I wrote more than one poem that year, and when I posted "Blue Line" last month, I think I alluded to the fact that somewhere another poem existed.

Today? Because I'm not that inspired to do much of anything, and my blog entries are super-boring but I can't seem to pick my ass up from behind the computer? Today I am going to share with you the other poem.

Remember: it fucking sucks. You heard it here first. I haven't even been able to read it again myself, beyond the first two lines. So I'm seeing it for the first time in a long time, too. Oh man. I have a feeling this is going to be very, very, bad.

Cobwebs and the Dust
By Irene Casarez

The smoke from my cigarette hangs [what cigarette?]
A smelly mist about my head. [you don't see "smelly" in poems much, do you?]
Your hair burns in the mirror's [OK, there's a story, here - see below]
Reflected sunlight.
I sit in my window and I try [this was before I knew about the hookers in Amsterdam and their doorways; I don't know what this imagery is supposed to mean]
Not to look at you. [this is before I heard King Crimson's song "Indiscipline"]
The strange accent that comes
From reading too many books
In your quiet voice with
The loud words
Evilly convinces me
That I am all right.

In the room, I thee wed;
The leaves fall in circles upon my bed. [Oh man, this is horrible. Irene! What were you thinking?]

The cobwebs and the dust in the corners
Sing in the breeze.
A calm and a comforting hand
Placed on the back of my neck,
You tell me it's okay,
And I clean up the cobwebs and
Sweep out the dust.

OK, so there was a night, one night, when I got invited by Rick (am I calling him Rick or is he still Dick? I don't remember. I haven't mentioned his assholiness lately. I don't know) to hang out with him and his friend. I can't remember his friend's name, but this friend lived in the same condos as my friend Dana, so I told my mom (with Dana's knowledge and approval) that I was going over there. Not to spend the night, which would've made things easier, but I don't know, maybe it was a school night? I don't know.

Once at Dana's, I called up Rick's friend, and they told me to come over. I said goodbye to Dana, and walked over to where this guy lived. His parents (of course!) weren't home. He was kind of sleazy - as were all of Rick's friends. I think they were all experimenting with facial hair; that may be why in my memories they all feel sleazy. There were lots of stairs and mirrors in that condo. So the three of us go out onto the patio, where they both proceed to mock me for not knowing how to smoke a joint; the patio table was round and clear glass. I had no idea if I was getting stoned or not: there was always that delayed reaction. Plus, I didn't know what I was doing; I felt silly and excited without smoking pot, so who could say when I crossed the line, exactly. At some point, I had my nose on the patio table, thinking my feet, viewed through the wavy glass, were the funniest things I'd ever seen (kids? Now do you see why smoking dope is stupid?). We went inside and were sitting on the couch. I don't know what they were doing: I was giggling a lot, I'm sure. So I stumble upstairs to use the bathroom, which has this amazing striped wallpaper: I think it was pink and gold? And there about nine thousand mirrors in that little bathroom: you could see everything from all directions. It was pretty awful, but I stood in that bathroom for about 20 minutes, looking at myself, and Rick came up and did what the poem says: he put his hand on my neck, under my hair, and he told me I was OK, and then he gently turned my head to look at him, and he asked me if I wanted to leave the bathroom yet. So we did.

MySpace: You're Everywhere That I'm Not

I did not want a MySpace account. Honestly. I didn't. So why do I have one now? Good fucking question.

In fact, I have no intention of maintaining my MySpace account beyond occasionally looking at it so I can listen to "Everywhere That I'm Not."

So why am I even talking about this? The other day I had an ensemble lesson with Greg and Loren. They make me feel a hundred years old, but it's because they're 17 and adorable, and I'm twice their age and probably never was as cool as they are. Or maybe they're not that cool. I don't know what I'm trying to say. Was I that young in high school? Jesus. During our pizza time, it came up that these two (or it might just be one of them... now I've forgotten) have MySpace pages, and I was curious what 17-year olds put on their MySpace pages, and it turns out to be not that different than what 35-year olds put on their MySpace pages: Me-centric. Hey! I can do that! Seriously? I may have perfected that.

So here I am, futzing around with MySpace (and seriously, my page could not be any more ugly if I fucking tried. It was hard enough making this page look exactly how I wanted it to look [what, you thought all this was accidental?]... I'm not wasting time [my precious, precious time] messing around with MySpace. Maybe when Patrick gets home I'll ask him to play around with it. He's good at that stuff. I could CARE LESS), and I'm looking at that whole "Irene has 0 friends" business, thinking, wow, what a fucking loser I am!

Anyway, this blog has plenty of readers, which can be proven. And so... Oh, wait a minute. There's no conclusion.


Today I was supposed to spend the day doing laundry, straightening up the house and getting ready for my trip, which I keep talking about, but instead, I have spent the day doing everything but those things. I slept in until about 9:30, and then I got up and took a quick shower so I could go back for a checkup at the chiropractor. I'm just fucked up, people, there's no getting around it. I am creaky and tight and not relaxed at all. He had to twist me around and lean on me and like I've said before, listening to my body's pops and creaks is not my favorite thing in the world to do. When he was done, he goes, well, you might want to come back in again on Wednesday; I kind of panicked, because (as I've already mentioned, no?) I'm going to be out of town until the 15th. I asked if that is going to be a problem? and he goes, "Well, not too much SITTING or STANDING."

I'm getting on a train for SIXTEEN FUCKING HOURS tomorrow; I don't think there's much walking around I can do! Oh, well. I'm screwed.

After that I went to Borders to stock up on magazines (I'm pretty set as far as books goes: Paul loaned me "King Dork," which I'm sort of enjoying (maybe not as much as he anticipated?), and I have some other novels I haven't read yet and some I have (I always travel with re-reads)... I'm good, book-wise) - I bought Interview, Mojo, Martha Stewart Living, the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly (fucking "fiction" issue... I hate the fiction issue), Real Simple...

Now instead of getting up and doing what I need to do, I'm sitting here wasting time until it's time to head back down to Santa Monica for rehearsal with City Garage.

And I'm wondering if I should bring the laptop with me to Albuquerque... Did I post last year from the convention? Just one more fucking thing to carry around with me...

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Saturday, Patrick and I went to the Orange County fair. We hung out there by ourselves for awhile, and spent most of the morning hanging out with the goats and the sheep and the bunnies and the cows... I have to admit I have a serious thing for goats and sheep... there's just something so cute about them. Later, Patrick's friend Don joined us - he had come down with his two kids, Olivia and Daniel, and his friend Greg and Greg's wife Maryann, and their son, James. It was nice to hang with them, and watch the little kids get so excited.

Couple photos here, but more at Photo Phriday.

Today I went up to Santa Monica for the cue to cue at City Garage. It was my first view of the new show, so can't really say much about it yet, except that of course it's going to be good.

Tonight, I've got to do laundry and start packing for my week+ in New Mexico. I'm excited, but still: it's going to be a long time away. Eight days.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Getting ready to go to Albuquerque

Long day, today.

As my last day before starting my vacation on Monday, today was non-stop. Had so much going on, and some of it at all at once. Just: busy. Someone who had been out on leave returned this week, though, and I was able to transfer some of my projects to her, which felt good. And I know she'll be responsible for things while I'm gone, which makes me feel better. Trying to wrap up everything, and write notes, and keep track of all the shit I'm supposed to be keeping track of: I think I've said it before: my job is not difficult, but it is time-consuming, heavy on details, and usually involves dealing with people who aren't very helpful.

Anyway, it's over. After work, I headed up to Culver City to have dinner with my mom and dad, and to help them out with something related to their credit report. No biggie, just this problem they've been having with the hospital and the insurance company, getting them to pay a bill. The insurance company paid; it's just a bit complicated, and my folks don't do complicated.

Neither do I, to tell you the truth, and neither do any of my siblings, but somehow I get to do it when it's my parents. I see my mom's stress level go up with stuff like this, and I try to make it all nice and easy for her; I end up stressed, too, even though I think I hide it. I doubt I succeed, but I have to try.

We went to Cora's for dinner. Cora's was the best Mexican restaurant in Culver City (in my opinion) for years and years - my parents would eat dinner there just about every Friday night. They were treated like royalty, and because they were, I was too, when I'd go either with them or on my own with my friends. When I say "royalty," I really mean: like family, with the free bowl of guacamole, with extra tortillas, with friendliness and familiarity. Then, a couple of years ago, they changed locations, and things went south in a hurry. For awhile we blamed it on the stress of moving; after awhile, we couldn't ignore the attitude change we all encountered, the lousy service. Anyway, everybody had crap experiences there, and finally, after my birthday lunch there last year, we all decided to stay away.

Tonight was my first meal there, since then.

The service has improved. No complimentary guacamole, and the waitress/owner who used to treat us so wonderfully was nice again, but treated us just like any other customers. No chit-chat, no niceties beyond "thank you." Just nice.

My salad was terrible: only three choices of dressing, tonight: bleu cheese, Italian, and thousand island. The thousand island was clumpy and sort of tasted like orange bleu cheese: not appetizing. My dinner plate was fine: the beans were perfect, my Chile relleno was fluffy and tasty, my taco (wasn't chicken, like I ordered) was fine. But the portion sizes have shrunk. And that salad was smaller than usual, too. Or the bigger plate just made it look that way.

Anyway, it was better than the last trip, but nothing like I remembered the old Cora's being. Still. It's nice to be treated like family. I miss it.

P.S. This might be the most boring thing I've posted in ages. Fuck it, I'm going to bed.