Monday, March 31, 2008

Today's walk soundtrack: Blue Collar Man, by Styx

I took a short walk this afternoon. Unfortunately I didn't have my iPod with me, so the music consisted of me singing in my head (oh, and the slap of my thighs rubbing together). My memory of lyrics is pretty terrible, so for the most part, I was all, "Paradise! Can it be all that I heard it was?" Repeatedly. In my head - I didn't want to scare anybody. It doesn't exactly have the same lyrical immediacy as "Ride Like the Wind," but I think it does have a slightly faster pulse. Maybe I should research songs that really make me move faster.

It's a beautiful day. I have a week off this month, and I am so looking forward to it. Patrick is working, but I need the time off. Seriously: I need the time off. I'm thinking about the beach, and actually going there alone. It's possible to ride the bike path near my house all the way down there - I've done it twice, once with Patrick and once alone. I think it takes about an hour, or maybe two: I don't remember.

The other idea is, my sister-in-law has some kind of annual pass for the El Dorado Park Nature Center. I don't exactly know what that is, as I have just ridden on into the park every time I've been there and have never shown anybody a pass or anything. Then again, the only wildlife I've seen is squirrels and weird birds. Maybe there's a guided tour of all the unidentifiable wildlife (unidentifiable to me anyway) to be seen there? Anyway, I think she had in mind for us to take her kids, and that would be a lot of fun.

Another idea for that week off is to get out my 35 mm camera and see if I can remember how to go about taking actual photographs on actual film without resorting to doing it all based on the camera's brain and not my own. It's been awhile. I have two cameras, aside from the digital (all Canons, both on slightly permanent loan from my brother); the older one, which is simpler to use, is the one I learned on at a class I took with Drew at SMC a hundred years ago. I really liked that class (well, let's be specific: we took two classes. One where we shot film, and had to develop it ourselves - I sucked at that - and the other where we used slide film and had to show our work in class. I liked that one better). The other one is slightly less old, but has more complex features. Well, complex to me. And yet another idea is for me to sleep in, clean the house, do lots of laundry, and organize the closet in the spare room (aka "my office"). I've been putting it off for months. I used to keep it pretty neat, but last Christmas I was bad about putting away the rolls of gift wrap and other stuff like that. Also, every time I remove stuff from my car (CDs, books, etc.) I usually haul it into the house in some sort of canvas bag (I have a ton of canvas bags; I'm addicted to canvas bags) and just dump it into that closet.

Ah, this blog is now about my (lack of) housekeeping skills. Well, I could go with that, but I would prefer to spend my time eating some dinner.


Update added at 9:29 p.m.: I just spent about an hour in the garage with Patrick. He's got all this cool fancy equipment and he's been playing a lot of neat stuff. He let me play along with a very simple drum beat he had created (and these electronic drums sound amazing - totally real, and I can recognize that it's him playing), and I turned up a very silly melody that we realized halfway through sounded like a cheap-ass version of "Abacab." So, Phil, Mike and the other guy: I apologize. It sounded rotten but it was fun doing it.

I'm sure I've told this story before, but once, Patrick and I were in the car, in the drive through at the In 'n' Out Burger in Lakewood. It was a bright sunny day (no, I'm just kidding, I don't remember what kind of a fucking day it was), and "Misunderstanding" by Genesis (yes? We were speaking of Genesis, weren't we?) came on the radio. Patrick's not really a fan of Genesis; he prefers harder edged bands, or bands that really went for the whole prog rock thing full out - Genesis played with that stuff but it isn't his thing. Anyway, so we're sitting there in the drive through, we ordered our food already and now we're just inching forward in line, polluting the lovely tree-filled town of Lakewood with car exhaust, the windows down, and "Misunderstanding" cranked on the radio. I was clowning around - because that's what I do in the drive through - and all of a sudden Patrick goes, Hey! Those are my hi-hats!"

I was doubtful. What? How can you tell? don't all hi-hats (also known as "sock cymbals") sound the same? Well, duh, of course not. And somehow he knew that in 1980 (also the year "Ride Like the Wind" was released) Phil Collins was using some of the same kit he does.

How do boys (men) memorize all this shit? I don't know hardly anything from 1980 anymore, and I mean, not even personal stuff that actually happened to me (other than being chased by Pepe on my bike. Oh! In yesterday's story? I forgot one extremely important detail: not only did Pepe like to chase me on my bike, he liked to chase me on my bike while wielding a fishing pole, which, he said, was loaded with one Irene-sized hook on the end. So now does my terror seem justified? Also? Pepe once threw a full bottle of White-Out at me, and hit me smack dab in the forehead. Seriously, it's a miracle I survived elementary school).

Sunday, March 30, 2008


We were going to get up early this morning and hit the swap meet (I need a new pair of Converse, and it's the best place to get them, cheap. Please don't make me feel guilty about them possibly not being real Converse or stolen Converse or made by children who are paid in pennies and gruel in China), but since we ended up staying awake last night until 12:30 (after we got back from our trip out - amazingly, the Guitar Center in Cerritos closes on Saturdays at the elderly time of 8:00; we went to WalMart instead. WalMart: ah, now there's a sexy date for a married couple. Hey, the place was packed), I slept in until 10:30, listened to "Car Talk" and "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," and then made us breakfast (sorry, should've warned you before I laid that bit of surprise news on everybody). Much too late for the swap meet.

Now I am considering another bike ride. Patrick's out in the backyard banging on things, and the cats are all taking naps. Nothing has been planned, and I think I might strap my iPod to my upper arm and see how far I can get on the bike path, and maybe take a few photos while I'm out there. There are a few details slowing me down, though:

  1. Where's the fancy strap on thing for the iPod? I had it at one point and thought it was ridiculous and that I'd never use it, and so I put it away... somewhere. But where?
  2. Where will I put the camera? And just what am I going to photograph? Let's not be so ambitious, Irene.
  3. It's kind of cold today, and windy, and so nice and relaxing inside the house.
  4. I have more recorded Gordon Ramsay shows and Top Gear's to watch. I think Helen Mirren is on the one from today (I think they're all repeats, but I never saw them the first time around, so what do I care?). Helen Mirren is awesome.
  5. My friend from work loaned me a DVD of "No Country For Old Men," which she said was amazing (exact words? I don't remember), and I was telling her about one of my favorite movies, "Paris, Texas," starring my favorite old man, Harry Dean Stanton (he was sexy in in his late 50s). And now I kind of want to watch that, too.
  6. What shoes should I wear? Yesterday I wore flip flops (bad idea; the space between my big toes and their little neighbors got rather chafed), but I want to wear shorter pants to save on wear and tear from the bike chain, and I don't have many shoes that look good with capris. Oh, I know! The old Converse!
Ah, screw it. The TV will still be here when I get back. Best to get going while the going's good.

P.S. I forgot to mention that my pretty sweater jacket that I ordered when I passed my math class arrived on Friday. I wore it for the first time yesterday out to lunch with my folks. My mother liked it, but I have to tell you that it's a bit more orange than I was expecting (I believe Donna and her friends at J.Crew had called that particular shade "Bright Flame." Excuse me for thinking flames are red. Anyway, nope it's orange (let's call it, "Blogger Orange"). I like it, though. Surprisingly, I think I can pull off orange. Well, maybe. We'll see when I wear it again.


Update: So it took me about an hour and a half (after writing the above) to get up and go for a ride. I did go, it just took me a long while to do it. No iPod; I decided that if I was going to be riding in traffic (which I have to do, just to get to the park or the bike path), being able to hear, oh, I don't know, car horns or screeching tires, would be a good idea. I also didn't take the camera - and here are the photos I didn't take:

- a million and one people walking their million and five dogs. I saw one lady walking four very cute white dogs with those funny little curled up tails. Almost every dog (yes, all million and five of them) barked at me, but I figured they were just saying hello. Hello, doggy!
- a lot of very fine examples of the best damn bougainvillea I've ever seen. Seriously, Long Beach/Lakewood harbors some of the prettiest crazy-ass climbing, creeping flowering plants I've ever seen. We have some, but ours is seriously stringy and anorexic compared to the plants I saw.
- some kind of long-legged sea bird. It had a long beak, too. At first I thought it was a heron, but I looked "heron" up on Wikipedia, and herons have a crown of some sort on the top of their heads. It wasn't a pelican, I don't think. It did have a crazy Loch Ness Monster shape to it's head and neck, though, so for me, this bird, whatever it was, will now be known as "Nessie."
- lots of other wild life. I rode through El Dorado park, and saw squirrels, other unrecognizable birds (I'm terrible at this bird identification stuff, aren't I), a stray cat, and a kajillion tiny little gnats. Some of them committed suicide by flying straight into my glasses, my shirt, my nose, my mouth (gotta get that breathing under control). Apparently it's gnat season. Lucky me.
- an old guy running along the bike path ahead of me. Now, keep in mind that it was extremely windy today, and our bike path, like many bike paths in Southern California beach towns, runs to the beach. Since I was heading towards the beach (Seal Beach, to be exact, though I was probably about an hour away from there at all points during my ride), I pretty much had the wind off the ocean in my face the whole time. Good workout, that. Anyway, there was a moment about 45 minutes into my ride (15 minutes after the time I had intended to turn around and head home, but instead had decided to forge ahead for a few more minutes) where I was bearing down on an old guy running ahead of me. He wasn't going very fast either. I asked myself, does this guy hear me coming (my gears need adjusting; the bike is rather loud)? What's keeping him going? And then I remembered what used to keep me going, back in the days when I rode a bike for fun, transportation, and exercising.

This paragraph needs a break. I haven't forgotten about the old guy or why I would've taken his picture, had I taken the camera with me. I'm just going on a tangent, here. Join me.

See, when I was a kid, growing up in Culver City, I was pretty old when I learned to ride a two-wheeler. I think I was 9, or 10. And in my neighborhood, there was a kid who terrified me. This kid's name (well, nickname) was Pepe. And Pepe, who knew I was rather new on the bike, used to revel in finding me riding along alone, and he would chase me. He was a bully, and he scared the hell out of me.

(This might be a good moment to describe the bike I had when I was 10 [tangent #2]: it was light blue, with a white banana seat with darker blue flowers on it. It had plastic streamers coming off the handlebars, and it had a white basket on the front with plastic flowers on it. I loved that bike.)

Anyway, I wasn't the smartest kid on the block, but after awhile, I realized that Pepe was going to keep chasing me, and I needed some defense. I knew I couldn't fight him, and I couldn't count on my brothers being around all the time. So instead of fighting, I decided to just go faster than him. And I decided that to train myself to going faster, that I needed a theme song.

Yes, they based "Ally McBeal" on my childhood.

Anyway, my theme song for speed? What was the no. 2 song in 1980? Christopher Cross' hit song, Ride Like the Wind. It truly was the perfect song for pushing me. And I did get faster.

So, back to the man on the bike path, who I was slowly gaining on. The wind was hitting us both equally, or maybe it wasn't (I'm not very aerodynamic on my bike, yet!), but the distance between us was slowly shrinking. I wondered what song he had playing in his head. I've figured out the best gear for hills, crossing the street, and riding straight into the wind. And finally I passed him, the running man.

He was wearing an orange sweatshirt.

He was wearing a Blogger Orange sweatshirt.

One thing I wouldn't have taken a photo of: my sore ass. My butt hurt from yesterday's ride, from the moment I sat on that bike today. It felt as if my cheeks have been pummeled or tenderized. Every crack in the sidewalk, tree root, dip in the road where two streets are conjoined: every flaw in the pavement was telegraphed from the tires right up to my butt cheeks. I'm not that sore anywhere else, and think this bike riding business is good for me, fun, and I definitely want to work up to longer rides (today I was out for 90 minutes), maybe even repeat last year's torturous and slow ride to Redondo Beach with Patty (and keep up a little better). But this sore butt part has to stop. I'm not kidding. And soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ride in the dark

Today's been a nice day. My parents drove down and we took them for a late lunch at Lucille's BBQ. We've gone there before with them and they liked it. My mother and I had the baby back ribs, Patrick had a steak, and my dad had a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger.

Well, you know, they told us later that they had dinner at Sizzler last night, so maybe they were all fine dining'd out.

Lucille's was a teeny tiny bit disappointing. This lady sitting behind my mother kept staring at me. The first time she did it, I thought she was annoyed because I was talking a bit loudly - my parents are both hard of hearing and they had the music cranked in that place today - but then the second time, I was like, okay, lady, I'm not that pretty that I deserved a second look! Turn your ass around!

(What, not believable?)

Anyway, my ribs were good, but a tiny bit too black on the outside for my taste. The corn was truly sweet, but a bit cold. My mother's roasted peanut slaw was supposed to have peanuts in it (?), but there was nary a peanut to be found. Honestly, I've never heard of "roasted peanut slaw," so I have no idea. Our waitress, though sweet, was a bit slow, and sloppy. And young. Since when are they hiring 14 year olds in restaurants? Jesus. (Just how old do you have to be to start griping about the youth serving you ribs at 4 o'clock in the afternoon? Am I aging quickly or what?) My dad liked her, though, so fine, then.

Anyway, after we came home, chatted up the folks for awhile, then they left so my mother could go to the Christian bookstore (!). Patrick took a nap, and I went for a bike ride. It's such a nice night, and wasn't exactly dark when I left (though getting there). I rode for about 50 minutes.

Now we're going to Guitar Center, and therefore avoiding the whole issue of sitting in the dark for an hour. The cats won't notice, I don't think.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Doing much better, thank you

Things are getting better.

No reason, just trying to not take things so seriously that aren't serious, and to take things seriously that are, and to know which is which.

Also, I had a quartet rehearsal last night with Julie, Greg, and Janet, and while I'm sure I wasn't the most practiced person in the room, and indeed, played more than my share of wrong notes, I did think at one point that we sounded quite nice. They're very easy to play with, and I can't wait until we do our quartet at the flute choir concert.

Then again, we were playing in Greg's living room, which is full of wood floors. It would be hard to sound bad in that room.

In other news, we've become fans of the long-running BBC show "Top Gear." I've watched it with my dad before, but have started taping it. I think I might have a small crush on Richard Hammond.

Tonight after getting a facial and my eyebrows done, buying a bike lock at WalMart, and eating dinner, I watched on YouTube that huge crash of his from whenever that was.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another crappy day!

What the fuck is up with that? Only tonight it wasn't the Police to the rescue, it was Patrick and a trip to Fresh & Easy where we bought a basketful of goodies, checked them out ourselves, got $5 off, and came home to a yummy dinner.

What, you're telling me you don't have a Fresh & Easy where you live?

All I can say is, my day sucked so hard that the fact that you don't have a Fresh & Easy near you is making me feel a tiny bit better right now. Things are looking up.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Just a reminder: nothing truly dramatic has happened yet. I mean, since yesterday. If you're looking for drama or anything other than a gentle, slight humor (sprinkled with a healthy dosage of the word "fuck") and random stories about my dreams, Stewart Copeland, and the cats, well, let me be the first one to tell you, you are obviously in the wrong place.

After we got home yesterday from Easter with Patrick's brother and his family (yummy food: feverishly paced egg hunt, delicious deviled eggs, lamb cake!), Patrick headed off to buy some drum stuff from a guy who lives in Belmont Shore. I had wanted to go with him but I was tired, so I came home. I got online and did a bit of review for the exam I had this morning. I kept thinking - I need to go to bed early, I need to go to bed early.

It was a nice quiet evening, so at around 10:30 I got ready to go to bed. It was so hot, though, I couldn't get comfortable. I played some Scrabble on my iPod, listened to music (George Harrison is good for quiet-time), tossed and turned, and felt like I was driving Patrick crazy. By this time it was around 12:30, and I just couldn't sleep. So I came out into the living room, made up the couch (if one puny pillow and a sheet is "made"), and actually slept until 3:30.

At 3:30 I woke up, shivering, and went back to bed. I tried not to think, "I need to get up in 2 and half hours," and for once succeeded. I got back in bed, and fell asleep until 6, when Patrick woke me up (he's still working his ass off, getting up at 5, visiting every library in town).

So, with the bad sleeping, getting up way too early, the crazy amount of food I ate, the stress of taking a mysterious exam, let's just say I wasn't the happiest girl in town this morning.

And - that exam was hard. I had expected it to be hard, but I also expected to do well. I'm really not sure how I did... There were a lot of things I didn't know or guessed at. I know some people take these exams several times, and maybe I will too, but still, I guess I do have a healthier ego than I think, because I do expect to do well at these things. When I don't, it's disappointing. Or maybe people with healthy egos aren't disappointed? I'll have to wait and see. Who knows. One thing that pissed me off was, when I got back to work, my boss asked about the exam. I should've said, "It was fine." But instead I said, "It was harder than I expected, but hopefully I'll get a good AP!" I was trying to be positive (and hinting, sure). The AP is the part of the exam where your supervisor has to determine if you're good enough to do the job. Your score on the exam is a combination of the test and the AP. She made some comment about, "well, if you passed..." I didn't say I didn't pass, I just said it was harder than I thought.

Anyway, I worked at my desk for about 30 minutes, and then I tried to talk my co-worker into switching lunches with me, but she didn't want to. She's been running around working on this same stupid project forever. She's behind, and will never catch up or get it into order. Honestly, her doing this project, which isn't that hard (and is just about the only thing she does) is so frustrating to me. I don't see how she accomplishes so little while looking like she's working so hard. And in the meantime, her workspace and all her crap (files, boxes, piles of papers, etc.) bleeds into my workspace, and I feel like I'm slowly being suffocated. Her shit is everywhere. Anyway, she was telling me the details of some other thing she's supposed to be working on (it's not her fault this is taking so long - another unit in our department is involved, and they're slower than even her), and I was sitting there, dying for her to get to the point, which was: they didn't do what they were supposed to do. She hasn't followed up with them. I was pissed, because while she's playing around with her other project, our boss is asking us why this other shit isn't done. I had a lot to do today, and being out this morning slowed me down. I was pissed off, and I guess that's because I hadn't really slept last night. People were asking me for stuff, I had to plan my time wisely, and while this woman was telling the extended version of why this other thing wasn't done, my stack of work seemed to be growing. I have a very bad, rude, habit of typing while this woman is talking to me, but seriously, if I stopped and listened to her every time she opened her mouth, I'd still be sitting at my desk now (it's 10:25). My friend who sits a few cubicles down sent me an email that said "It sounds as if you two are about to fight!" I didn't think my tone of voice was that harsh, but it was a good reality check.

It also seemed like a good time to go to lunch.

When I got back I put my head down and started finishing stuff up. I was still in a pissy mood, but calmer on the outside, laughing a little (thanks to my friend who bought me a very silly Easter chicken... photo later). Getting shit done is very calming, too.

When I left work at 6:15, I decided to go for a walk when I got home. I didn't really want to - but Patrick was visiting with his friend in Culver City, and there's nothing in the house to cook or eat right now, and I didn't want to go to the store... so a walk seemed like a nice idea. It absolutely was a good idea. I changed clothes, loaded up the iPod, and headed out. Our house if very close to a huge park, and it wasn't dark yet when I left. I told myself to walk wherever for 30 minutes, and then walk home. I had an idea of what direction I wanted to go in, but no real destination.

Our neighborhood is way family oriented, and there were tons of moms and dads out with their kids, as well as solo joggers, and soccer teams, and bicyclists and dog walkers. It was so nice, walking through the park. After about 20 minutes, I was in a part of the park I've never walked through, and was presently surprised: there's a freakin' lake, and bridges. It's quite nice. At this point I had the Police playing, and I was starting to feel better.

I was listening to "Ghost In the Machine" (Omegaman, Darkness, and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic are my favorite tracks), and then it was on to Outlandos d'Amour. And suddenly I wasn't pissed off anymore. I was cruising along, in the dark now, bobbing my head a little with the beat, crashing along with Stewart's cymbals, keeping a nice fast-ish pace: and it was gorgeous out. I wasn't too hot, the sky was that super-dark blue right before it turns black, there were trees everywhere, and I was happy. It was fun. Now, I know what endorphins are, but I don't think my silly little 60 minute walk, nor my pace (quite possibly a snail's pace), was enough to really produce any sort of runner's (or walker's) high. All I know is, I was about 5 minutes short of a full hour when I hit my block, so I decided to take another cruise down the street to use up all the time.

Let me tell you straight out: I'm a cheater. I lie, cheat and steal, and I have no problem with any of that (as long as I don't get caught), especially when it comes to exercise. Tonight I didn't cheat. Instead, I started up "Next To You" again, turned it up, and jammed on down the street one more time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Things to think about

I am not sure why I thought anyone would be interested in the following. I sat down, I started typing, and this is what came out. Pretty dull, I know.


Yesterday I bought a $35 bike! It's not that big of a bargain (I'm not familiar with the brand but suspect it's a WalMart bike, though, no offense to the WalMart bikes of the world was intended by that statement) because I just saw one listed on some Craigslist type place for $50, but I got it from my neighbor (who lowered the price for me), the nicest neighbors in the world, to be exact. There was another part to that sentence but my head is distracted. I am listening to music via headphones and apparently I should only sit and look out the window while doing that. I thought I could multi-task today, but I guess not.

Anyway, this bike has a lot of things going for it, #1 being, it fits me (or I should say, I fit it). It's kind of a dark fuchsia color, which isn't one of the things it has going for it (because isn't fuchsia just a dark shade of pink? And pink and me, unless we're talking underwear, should never happen except on very rare and special occasions), but I'm willing to overlook the color. #2 thing going for it (that the bike has) is, it has a lot of gears, and the way they're laid out makes sense to me.

I've had 10-speed bikes forever, but for some reason have never really understood what the hell I was doing with the gears, and so I would guess at what gear I was in. It never made much of a difference because I didn't care what the name of the gear I was in was as long as I could make it up the hill or across the street without getting killed, but it does seem to be a good thing, knowing which gear you're in. And now I know.

Yesterday I went for a 1-hour ride on the bike path here in LB, which I love. It's so green and pretty. I saw ducks and pelicans! Tell me the last time you saw DUCKS and PELICANS along the La Ballona Creek. And I'm talking healthy, two-legged, clean, able-to-fly, ducks and pelican. Not those twisted X-files ducks and pelicans you people have up north in LA.

Also, ever since some gross Mexican dude grabbed me on the bike path in Culver City (near Sepulveda. This happened around 1989), I haven't felt safe enough to ride by myself up there.

There are few things that I have found to be better in Long Beach than in LA (though, those few things? Very important ones), and the bike path is definitely tops on the list.

Hey, so happy Easter. We're heading off to my brother-in-law's house to celebrate with the kids and his wife (I bought another silly lamb cake!), and my mother-in-law, so I gotta go get dressed. It's 89 degrees today in Long Beach. Seems a little excessive for March, but whatever.

Tomorrow morning I have to get up early to be downtown to take another test for another higher level job classification. If I do well, I can either sort of get promoted (my boss has another one of her grand plans) in place, or I can, you know, seek better offers elsewhere.

I may be choosing the second option there, but let's not count our chickens before they hatch.

Listening to: 2X4, by Blind Melon, off of "Soup"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Julie asked, and since I go where Julie leads, follows is a list of those movies, good, bad, stupid, whatever, that I will always (to Patrick's annoyance) stop and watch:
  1. Victor/Victoria
  2. Moonstruck
  3. Pretty in Pink
  4. The Breakfast Club
  5. Grease 2 (terrible movie, but Maxwell Caulfield won't be denied)
  6. An Officer and a Gentleman
  7. Terms of Endearment
  8. Contact
  9. Ordinary People
  10. Pride and Prejudice
  11. Say Anything
  12. Mystic Pizza
  13. Overboard

Friday, March 21, 2008

I am not a math superstar

But I did pass my math class. Not exactly with the super high score I had envisioned (and with one puny math score, local girl makes good!), but then again, studying (or not studying) may have had something to do with that.

So in celebration, I am buying a little sweater jacket from J. Crew.

I have issues with J. Crew, one being, their damn shipping takes sooo long (the other is, do I have to buy into their preppy lifestyle too? I used to love reading their catalog because I learned about all the different blends of mens suiting and cashmere and crap, and the models seemed like slightly better looking versions of my brother's friends from the 80s, who I admired, and I seem to recall them employing slightly older models, but now it's one Benny Ninja "catalog" pose after another). I even emailed their customer service and got an unapologetic answer from some chick named Donna (riiiight) who I imagined with straight blond hair wearing pearls, expensively distressed dark denim jeans, and a canary yellow cardigan over a ruffly shirt, who sat at her desk with perfect posture and typed this message, manicured nails clicking against the keys in a flurry:

We understand that the cost of transportation of our product from the warehouse to your home [which she probably imagined as a double-wide trailer] can be a factor in the overall [she probably imagined me wearing overalls] cost of shopping online; however, we want you to know that the J.Crew shipping and handling fee is a one-time charge, the amount of which is determined by the value of your order and which covers packaging and shipping expenses for all shipments made from the order including waitlisted merchandise and subsequent shipments resulting from returns for exchange.

That is one long ass sentence! And you thought I was long-winded. It puzzles me that she felt she had to specify that they only charge once for shipping. Who's been ripped off for paying for shipping twice? I mean, that sounds like a real scam.

Anyway, I'm buying this. And yes, it's on sale. So the value of my order is rather low. Then again, this item is about 1/2 of what it originally cost. Do I save? Or am I a chump, again?

It's pretty late, and I can't sleep. I couldn't sleep yesterday either. Something came up at work that has happened to me before, and I really struggled with it. I'm not sure if that's the thing keeping me up or maybe if I'd just quit watching "Mission: Manband" I could actually sleep. Thing is, I don't really want to find out. So instead, Patrick is snoring and I'm watching these four corny dudes. "Sureshot." Ow!

(I think it's the height of silliness that these guys have "Guitar Hero.")

Anyway, what happened was, this woman who I've had issues with before pulled more crap with me and I didn't handle it well, and instead of letting it roll off my back I took it more seriously than I should've. I hate that. I hate letting this lady get me all riled up. I was talking with my friend Sal about being frustrated with myself for not, you know, having balls, and not knowing how to deal with people who are clueless, and Sal told me he laughs at those people. Instead of freaking out like I do (and after the incident, my hands were shaking and my face was red, though I didn't say anything angrily or seem angry when it was happening), he sits there and laughs about it.

I can laugh about many, many things. I know I'm a huge dork a lot of the time. But this lady just kills me. And I don't mean, in a good way.

I had this feeling today - I was telling my boss about the PowerTae, and I was saying, "I'm 36 but I feel old."

I don't want to be old.

I'm not old.
I am not old.
I am not old.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fire & Roses

"Soak," by Mimi, came out in 1998 when I was working at Rizzoli. We used to play music when the store was open (and closed..., I'm not sure why I made that distinction but it's too late now), and we carried a medium-sized amount of CDs of various musical styles. Anything from Yo Yo Ma to Shelby Lynne to Gypsy Kings to... Mimi. The staff would go through the CDs and we learned pretty quick which tracks were suitable for the store, and which ones weren't. Or corporate would make suggestions (the guy in charge of music was a dude named Gary McElroy. I talked to him almost weekly on the telephone; he was in New York. I had a huge crush on him because that guy had one sexy voice. I never saw him in person, but me and Bo once called him from the beach in Santa Monica, and talked with him for about 20 minutes. He was jealous that we were at the beach; we told him to quit work early and go to the track. It was funny, at the time. He was kind of a celebrity for us, if you can imagine it. Oh, hell, don't try to imagine it, it sounds silly now when I've written it down). Eventually we'd get sick of the tunes people chose and start experimenting with other ones.

I'm sorry, I'm tired, and I'm getting a bit dull and repetitious right now (there was an English guy on TV the other day who said "repetitive." Speaking of sexy voices, if you want a thrill, ask an Englishman to say "repetitive." I'm telling you, it was awesome. I know a guy named Barry from Ireland [yes, I know the difference between England and Ireland; Barry has a pretty nice voice either way], and the next time I see him, that guy is saying "repetitive" for me. Over and over again).

OK, so anyway, this album came out in '98, and I was working at Rizzoli, and I may have been the only one on staff who liked it. There are three tracks in particular that I recommend, and those are:

Fire & Roses
I Spy
Black Hole Sun

"Black Hole Sun" is a cover, of course, of a Soundgarden song. I wasn't a huge Soundgarden fan (especially after Chris Cornell cut his hair, and don't ask me what that has to do with anything), though I did of course have the album from which this song originally came. I also had their album "Louder Than Love," which has my favorite love song, "Big Dumb Sex" on it. Sing that next time you need a little romantic ditty to hum in somebody's ear.

Lookit, I've gotten distracted. What I was thinking about was 1998, being 26, working in a bookstore in Santa Monica, going through all the weird shit 26 year olds go through (and if you didn't go through weird shit at 26 well, it'll catch up with you eventually, I'm sure). And playing that song, "Fire and Roses," usually at night when nobody was in there. I can't find a page with the lyrics, but there's a line in there somewhere about a thousand second thoughts, and man, if that was the year for second thoughts, I don't know what was.

Anyway, I was listening to it in the car on the way home from flute choir tonight, and sort of trying to stay awake (I'm very tired today, did I mention that?) and thinking about the mood I was in when I first heard this song, and I'm doing a crappy job of explaining it to you. She goes, "It's raining," at some point in the song, and just the way she says it makes me want to cry.

But that's not what I mean to tell you. I mean, it's just a gorgeous song. And to cry or not to cry is not what I mean.

Oh, fuck.

I'm going to bed.

Flute Choir

I realized today that some people, who search "flute culver city" may be directed to this blog.

I want to state for the record that this is a personal blog and in no way is a reflection on the Culver City Flute Choir, of which I am a member.

I am a proud flutist (and piccolo-ist), and while I may possess a bit of a potty mouth and an inclination to share details of my rather dull life with people who probably have way better things to do, this is all mostly pure silliness that should have no affect on your decision to join or listen to the Culver City Flute Choir. I'm much more responsible in class, though I have been known to throw in a few corny jokes now and then. And I do practice, though evidence in this blog may suggest otherwise.

So. With that out of the way...

Come to our concert! The flute choir will be performing on Thursday, April 17 at 8 p.m. in Culver City (location to be determined, but definitely within a few feet of the Middle School. If you can find the Middle School you can find us, I swear. Some of you may have heard us already: the piccolos are coming, the piccolos are coming! I will share the location once it is known to me, it isn't a secret. If you want further information, please leave a comment, and I'll get back to you right away. Because that's how I roll. Responsible. Caring. In tune. On the right foot at the right time. Feeling the proper amount of ardour for Stewart Copeland but not violating anybody's rights or privacy...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Total dork

Well, so I didn't go to my class yesterday, but I did go tonight. (Sports bra? check. And, thank god. Who knew such a small thing would make such a huge difference.) Last night I felt like shit, so I stayed in, watched "Ice Castles" (seriously. I watched "Ice Castles." Hey, Colleen Dewhurst is a fine actress. And Robby Benson? In 1979 Robby Benson was just plain old fine.), and hung out with Patrick. We walked to the video store, which took about 45 minutes, round trip, and that seemed like an OK compromise.

So I went today.

And, to those of you who thought I would never go back: Ha! Fuck you, ya doubters!

(Now, I'm sure there's a pool on if and when I will ever go back. Who's got three times and then I'm out?)

The hour went by much quicker, and while I still have no rhythm (I would hesitate to even tell those people that I'm a musician, though if I mention that I was in marching band for 4 years just to get out of P.E., the light bulb might go on), I figure the sweating, the breathing, the moving around (in time or not) must be good for me. I was reading some of the little handouts they have on the front counter, and it's not exactly kickboxing, what I'm doing. It actually is "Power Tae," and the description is that it combines kickboxing with aerobics and something else, and dance. I'm really glad I read that part after I'd paid my money, because this Latina doesn't dance. Isn't it funny the things that stop me in my tracks? Anyway, whatever, because I think I'm in, now.

I was a little worried during the first 10 minutes, though, because my stomach "muscles" (do I even have stomach muscles? In Middle School, I once said a really mean thing to this pimply guy who used to hang out with the boy I had a crush on - Eric Taylor! - and his friend Michael. This other guy's name was, I think, Robert, and though he had pimples and bad hair and horrible clothes, he was not a nice guy on the inside. He was, in fact, a jerk. Anyway, one day at lunch he was bragging to us - "us" being Serena, and I think Rachel, me, and Melissa - about his muscles and how ripped he was getting. Maybe in the 80s kids didn't get "ripped" but whatever the terminology they used in the old days for being muscle-y. Anyway, so this dork is going on and on about his stomach muscles, and I, little miss smarty-pants, I said, "Dude, the only muscles you have are your fuckin' intestines."

Now, hold a minute there, because I just realized that I don't remember exactly what I said. Wow! I love this story, and here I am, ruining it. I might've said,

"Dude the only muscle you have is your fuckin' stomach."

Or I might've said,

"Dude, the only muscle you have is your wiener."

Any one of those would've been funny. You pick the winner. Anyway, see, I loved cursing then. Picture me: skinny brown girl with brown hair, big ass glasses. I was shy - especially around dreamy Eric - but I loved swearing, and shocking people. One of those statements was the one, and damn, now I don't remember!)


OK, so my stomach muscles, whatever they are, were hurting at the beginning, and I was afraid I had some sort of hernia action going on, but Patrick said something about how my guts would be, like, on the floor or something, so I did what I could and kept moving, and kept hoping people weren't laughing at me. Or if they were, that I would be spared knowing about it.

And now I feel rather like a truck ran over me, but a slightly smaller truck than the last time.


Thanks to Wikipedia, I just learned that Colleen Dewhurst died in 1991. Marilla's dead! Shocking.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Robben Ford

Tonight, Patrick and I went to the Catalina Bar and Grill with our friends Philip and Kisha, and saw blues guitarist Robben Ford.

I had never heard of the guy until yesterday, but Patrick saw him around 20 years ago at UCLA, and Philip is a big fan. We listened to his latest album on the way to Hollywood, and I liked it, but wasn't quite sure.

We met up with Phil and Kisha, ate an okay but expensive dinner (fillet mignon for me - it was fine), and then at 7:30 Robben and his band took the stage.

I guess the thing I need to remember with me and blues and jazz is, it's the live experience every time. I know sometimes I'm disappointed when I see rock bands live (or watch their movies), but that's always music I know like the back of my hand. With the blues and jazz, I don't know anything well enough to have an opinion. Which, as you know, me without an opinion is like Thom Yorke without that squinty eye.

Anyway, Robben started playing (he kind of looks like Crispin Glover), his band was right there, and I was hooked. Great stuff, that guy. My favorite songs that he did were "Too Much," and another song at the end, for the encore, that I didn't catch the name of. He brought another bassist on stage (his bassist was amazing, but the new guy was damn good, too), his name was Roscoe Something, from Texas (I should know his last name...!). Anyway, the two of them chose to do a song the drummer didn't know, and I swear to god, it was amazing watching those three figure it out. I mean, you weren't nervous at all for them, they're professionals, but it was really exciting to see them work it out. Sounded great, too.

Now I'm going to bed. My boss is off tomorrow and that means I have time to do clean up and catch up, and I intend to take full advantage. Also, I'm planning on another trip to the kickboxing class, though I wasn't successful in my search for a sports bra. Well, I'll have to deal.

Good night.

Say goodbye

No, calm down, I'm not going anywhere.

I've just decided to delete Photo Phriday and move my pictures to Flickr.

Basically the only problem I had with Photo Phriday was the stupid name. Frankly, "Flickr" isn't that much better.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I've spent most of the evening doing research on the Internet for photos from the 80s. I still haven't decided if I will be dressing in the theme if and when I go to the LA Weekly Awards again this year. I was invited but you know me. I seem to have trouble doing social things like this.

Anyway, after awhile I got bored, and I started looking for photos of my man.

You know, my man, Stewart.

Click on the title of today's post and you will know what I am getting on about.


Thursday, March 13, 2008



I'm starting to get a little freaked out. Every day since someday last week when I first started noticing it (and now I can't remember exactly what day that was, but let's just say last Monday to make it easy) I have seen a car accident.

Not a car accident, just occurring right in front of me. Rather the aftermath. And they've been some pretty major car accidents - since I don't drive the freeway as much as I did before (my job is only 20 minutes away by surface streets) - even on the street. Yesterday a white car was wrapped around a telephone pole on my way home from work. Tonight there was a really serious three car accident by the freeway on-ramp when I was on my way to Culver City. I think everyone had been taken away by ambulance, but there were still three firetrucks on the scene.

Oh. And there was a child's car seat on the ground, which terrifies me. Let's not think about it.

Sunday there was a terrible accident on the other side of the 405 when I was driving to Santa Monica. They even had the fast lane on my side closed because of it - there were large pieces of debris all over the road.

There were more, but now I'm really starting to notice. Okay, okay, I get it already.

Tonight on my way home I watched a white car in front of me come -this- close to hitting the black car in the lane to our right.

Slow the fuck down, people. Use your mirrors. Signal your lane changes. Turn off the phone and I'll put down the iPod. I don't know if this is a warning for me, or a warning for me to pass along. Either way, I don't want to die in my car.

Don't Start Believing

I just noticed that I identified "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey in the previous post as "Don't Start Believing."

Changing that one little word makes the whole song totally different, now doesn't it.

Barak Obama just might have a new theme song.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


A co-worker talked me into joining her for a kickboxing class tonight. She goes regularly and is fit and cute and won't take No for an answer. Well, not no, but "Oh, man, I don't know... let me think about it." She stopped letting me think about it at around 2:45 this afternoon.

I get winded rushing upstairs at work. I'm fucking scared. I tried to get out of it - the class starts at 7 and I don't get off until 6 - but a freak accident involving the plumbing at my building meant everyone got to leave early. Now I'm going to go change my clothes and go to meet her at this class. Wish me luck. I have no grace or athleticism at all. I have only a keen will to survive and "The Eye of the Tiger" beating in my head.

By the way, this is not the previously mentioned new weight loss scheme I had envisioned, but we'll see. If I don't hurt myself or anyone else, maybe I'll stick with it.


Meanwhile, my other friend at work is right now on the set of Hell's Kitchen. Did I tell you I had a dream about Gordon Ramsay the other night...?


OK, so here goes a recap of my class tonight:

6:50 p.m. I walk in. People are milling around, of all shapes, sizes, and ages. A class of kids is finishing up on the mat. A young girl behind the counter signs me in and takes my photograph using a webcam straight out of 1999. I have no idea why she needed my picture. She seemed to be struggling with the software; I said, "that stuff is easy for me. I'll trade you," meaning, I'll take your picture if you do this class for me." She laughed good natured-ly at my stupid joke. Apparently the first visit is free, which is really nice. I told her I was nervous and she was nice and said everyone is the first time but that it gets easy. She said to take off my shoes and wait for the music to start, so I did. My friend had told me she would be late: she has two boys and a husband and dinner to get for them, but she would be there around 7:10. I tried to calm the fuck down. I was pretty much on the way to a low-grade panic attack. I have never taken a class like this before, and I was feeling really self-conscious.

I know, I know: relax, Irene.

It's so hard.

Anyway, I took off my shoes and stowed my purse in a cubby and smacked my head because I had forgotten to bring a bottle of water, which I knew I would want when the hour was over. I was right.

At 7 o'clock the music started and people spread themselves out on the big mat. I positioned myself in the back, but in the middle, where I could see what was going on. The first song up was "Don't Start Believing," by Journey. I thought, OK, so that's how they're going with this. We did a lot of jumping around and I kept up, sort of.

At 7:10 I was sweating a lot, not really doing the right thing at the right time, and thinking, damn, I need a sports bra. Also I was thinking, "where the fuck is Lily?" Lily is my friend's name. I've named her now, so you know she's real. She looks like a grown up version of Pucca.

The leader - a young, beautiful woman - was really nice: she probably recognized that I was totally new, and totally inept, and she came over to me a few times and told me I was doing fine, and to concentrate on the legs. It really is a lot of stuff all at one time. I have to admit that I was mentally kicking myself (yes, I see the irony in that statement) - I mean, I'm a musician. I was in marching band for 6 years. I can keep a beat, I can walk in time. Fast time, even. But I could not figure out the pattern of what they were doing for the longest time, and then I realized: 1) it has nothing to do with the music, 2) they do things in threes for some reason and 3) nobody was looking at me. There were women (and one man) there younger and older and fatter and skinnier and they were doing it their way and we were all sweating.

Me, maybe more than everyone else, but yeah. It was okay.

Then Lily showed up while the leader was putting me right with this crazy right foot forward, left foot forward kick back right leg punch punch thing, and she said to her, "this is my friend! She's new!" (in case she couldn't tell. I should've told her to tell her to say, "She's recovering from a car accident!") Everybody smiled, I kept sweating, and we all kept jumping around.

By 7:30 I had mostly been keeping up, maybe not on the right foot at the right time or looking too good, but I was still going, watching Lily, which was easier, because she was facing in the same direction I was (the leader faced us, and I guess I must be dyslexic or something, because I was always on the wrong extremity). Lily was really encouraging and nice and I am lucky she was there. Then, at 7:35, something happened. I honestly thought I was going to throw up.

And that pissed me off. I was standing there, sort of bouncing a little, and this other woman who had also been encouraging me from the back of the room (I think she worked there too) was watching me (I could see her behind me in the mirror, she had sort of stopped too), and then I thought, fuck that: I am not throwing up in front of all these people.

And maybe it was my will, or maybe I'm just not used to pushing myself or maybe I'm a total drama queen, but I didn't puke, and I kept going, though, slower.

At 7:45 we did these weird lunge walk things across the width of the room with weights (mine were 1 lb. each) and then we did some arm stuff and more jumping around and I kept watching the clock and I thought it would end at any moment, but we kept going, and then I thought I was going to literally die - my head was going to explode - but I didn't stop. For some stupid reason I kept thinking of all those old episodes of "Celebrity Fit Club" and how that Marine guy is always yelling and people push through and I know I'm out of shape- have never been in shape, really - and lazy and I eat bad stuff and this is one hell of a sentence, and I was really not happy (I think I said "fuck" about nine times in one trip across the room) and everything was sweaty, but finally it was over, and we were lying on the floor with a nice acoustic version of "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper, stretching.

I wasn't dead, but I did want to cry, which I thought was a strange reaction. Once we were truly done, and Lily showed me to the bathroom to wash my red sweaty face, we talked to the owner of the place (okay, so maybe I smiled, nodded, and grunted, I really wasn't up to talking) a little, looked at the pricing and the schedule, and had I been alone in the car, I would've let it all go, but instead I thought about going back, and how fun it was, and again about how lucky I was to have listened to Lily, and how nice a fucking shower would be.

Which I've taken. And I've had a bottle of water and snuggle with Franny, and soon I will go to bed and I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow. Right now I'm rather proud of myself (even though this was poorly written).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I spent the afternoon (if 90 minutes qualifies as "the afternoon") at the dentist.

I haven't been there in 12 months which surprised everyone, myself included. I like my dentist. They recently redecorated and it's very clean, modern, quiet. Restful, even, if you can tune out the radio, which I mostly did (Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" was on, and also that band Snow Patrol, and Whitney Houston. Oh, and a Sting song. Sting should just stop writing songs, or go back to writing songs that are more imprecise and less obvious. The song wasn't "Englishman In New York," but there's a fine example of a piece of shit song). The hygienist is an interesting lady who asks interested and interesting questions, and I made her laugh a couple of times in the chair. I wish I could remember one comment that caused us both to totally giggle for about five minutes. She made me feel as if it's perfectly normal to be both a gagger and a spitter. While she was working on me, she was fast, funny, hummed along (she particularly liked "Greatest Love Of All" and the Snow Patrol song), and waited a few seconds after asking me a question so I could spit and/or swallow and answer her question, before sticking her hands back in my mouth.

Not a bad place to spend 90 minutes, if you can disregard the whole business with the pointy, scraping implements of torture.*


After that, I didn't want to just go back home where I knew I would plop down on the couch with a bag of chips and the TV (I have officially quit Weight Watchers, and am plotting another weight loss venture, but haven't made any moves yet. Watch this space for updates on whether or not I return to cow status or get a grip and try to work out a more pleasant outcome). This weekend I didn't do much, but I did notice that I didn't have many interactions with anybody other than Patrick, and the cats. I was starting to feel a little funny about that. So, since it was early (I had made an appointment to get my eyebrows waxed but I had about an hour and a half to kill), I decided to go to the library.

I've been reading a co-worker's book. I borrowed it while she was on vacation and I needed something to read at lunchtime. I always need something to read at lunchtime. This particular co-worker majored in journalism, and the book is a collection of prize-winning newspaper and magazine articles (I had it with me at the dentist, and the hygienist said one of her kids, who is in college, has it, too. I told her she should read it and she said she might). One of them is about a man named Vivien Thomas, and I sat there in a not-so-easy chair by a table of three high school students (two girls in unflattering Catholic school uniforms, and a guy who looked like a cross between Matt Damon and this guy Mark Ramsey I knew in high school. I was a little surprised I couldn't find any photos of Mark online; he was the kind of guy you thought would grow up to do something worthy of having his photo taken for. Unless he became a priest, rabbi or lead singer of what looks like a terrible band, I couldn't find him. It was a cursory search, sure, but still) listening to my iPod and reading about this amazing guy. I might get his autobiography. He was really an inspirational man, and wow, the book picked a great example of really good writing.

The title of this post is "antisocial" because I guess I've been having these weird detached feelings every once in awhile, and though I only spoke to one very bad librarian (I was looking for a book Patrick's cousin recommended while we were in El Paso, which I couldn't remember the full name of. I gave her most of it [" a revolution..."], however, and she couldn't find it in the catalog. I just looked it up on, a resource the County librarians surely have access to, and found it as the number 7 listing by using the same three words I gave to her), I felt a little better than I would've had the mailman caught me for the fourth day in a row in the same position on the couch (the mailman in El Paso was named Cornbread, by the way. I keep forgetting to include that in these posts, and I think it's hysterical that he a. bothered to introduce himself to us, but it was sweet of him; and b. admits to people that his name is "Cornbread"). It was nice to be around other people.

The other instance of that weird feeling (and maybe "detached" is the wrong descriptor: I don't want you to be thinking I'm a serial killer or something, and maybe this next anecdote won't dispel that notion, but here goes anyway) was, the other day when I was on the freeway on my way home from Santa Monica, I had the sensation - and it only lasted for a second, or less - that I was driving against, rather than with, traffic. Like I was pulling a Nicole Ritchie move of my own on the 405 south, through Culver City. Obviously I wasn't, and I hadn't had too much to drink (about half a small glass of red wine and more food than you might've thought humanly possible: we were at Buca di Beppo, after all) and obviously I was in my lane and fine and not running into things, but it was strange, and then it was over.

I got to the dinner party a little late, and so ended up sitting next to the director's husband, a man who still totally intimidates but interests me greatly (he's a writer, and Smart), and the boyfriend of one of the girls from the cast of The Bald Soprano. A nice guy - another lefty - but I didn't end up having the kind of fun time I had sort of envisioned ahead of time because I'm, you know, shy, had I been sitting next to people I'm a tiny bit more comfortable around. That said, I mean, I did have fun, it was just different than I thought. I got to talk to this girl's boyfriend and he was nice, and Frederique was on the other side of Charles and I spoke with her a bit, but everyone else was about 12 feet away, and the fucking pope was in the way.

And so I thought, hmm, maybe being around other people (most of my co-workers hardly count as "people," and I don't mean that to diss them at all, only to point out that I don't know most of them - the friend from whom I borrowed the book is absolutely not included here - very well, and they don't really know me. Which is fine, but these are people I spend a good deal of time with and it seems weird to me that only two of them sort of know me even a little bit. And one of those two reads this blog so she probably knows me more than she would like! I think the rest of them think I'm a goody-goody, just there to point out their mistakes and bad writing. Ha! bad writing! Look at this example right here, people!) was a good idea. And it was.

*See, a good writer would've caught that the way I wrote this implies that I think having one's hands in my mouth for 90 minutes is "a good place to be." No, I only meant, reclined in the comfy chair, the sharpness of the afternoon sun cut by soft white cotton blinds - all I needed was a blanket and maybe less plaque, and I would've been asleep. There was no drilling or other audible sounds of dentistry going on. The receptionist had stunning blue eyes and offered to see if my insurance would pay 50% of the cost to have my amalgam fillings replaced with more pleasing to the eye white fillings. She asked me about my husband, and remembered that I have cats (did I mention it's been a whole year since I've been in there? Sure, maybe they have this stuff written on cards, but still, she was very natural and sincere). The dentist himself was a gracious, white-haired old guy dressed like my gay older brother, which I find incredibly comfortable and reassuring. All in all, it was a nice visit, and I'll go again when they call me in six months and remind me.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Song that makes me feel the happiest:
"Message In a Bottle," "Next To You," by the Police... "Alice's Restaurant Massacree," by Arlo Guthrie; "Apeman," by the Kinks, "Candy Store Rock," by Led Zeppelin; "Crosseyed and Painless," by Talking Heads; "1ooo Umbrellas," by XTC

Song that makes me think the most:
(Currently; subject to change) "Haven't You Heard," by Jeff Buckley; "Ashes to Ashes," by David Bowie

John Lennon song I could listen to over and over?
"Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

On a desert island I would want...
My laptop, my iPod, an endless supply of spiral notebooks and the right pens, Franny, Sudoku puzzles, the New York Times

My heroes?
Stewart Copeland, Gordon Ramsay, Frederique Michel

Favorite books:
"Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen; "A Prayer for Owen Meany," by John Irving; "The Human Stain," by Philip Roth

Favorite movies:
Ah, fuck this question.

I love...
Road trips, my cats, sunshine, kissing, massages and facials, clean laundry, turn down service, bookstores

Favorite words?
Appalachia, way, ersatz, Copeland, leggiero

Things people don't know about me?
I am shy and retiring (what, you mean you knew that?), I hate my hair right now, I am too chicken to join the gym, I like Leann Rimes

Favorite drink?
Gin and tonic; diet coke; diet Dr. Pepper

Friday, March 7, 2008


When Patrick went to NAMM, there were artists there that he was excited to meet, and then one day on the telephone, he mentioned one that he wasn't that excited to meet: Slash. When I told him my co-worker Andrea is a huge fan of Slash, he offered to stand in a huge line and try to get an autograph for me to give to her.

Unfortunately the line broke up before he got to meet Slash (Slash was late to the even, and there was a TON of people).

He did, however, manage to take this photograph, which I now share with you, months after the fact (and, it's a terrible photo, but at least he tried). Ah: timeliness. It's a good thing.

Andrea, this one's for you.

NAMM Show 2008

I mentioned awhile back that Patrick attended the NAMM show this year. He had a lot of fun with his friend Chris and they did, saw, and heard stuff that I'm sure is a lot more cool than what I am about to share with you.

Proving that my husband indeed loves me, I present to you the following photographs:

A photo I probably should hang on to until November but I doubt I will remember when the right time comes along

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today was my math test. I decided that one hour of math rock in the car before class would sufficiently take the place of one week of study, and - though I have no idea what my actual score on the test was yet - I think I was right. I was pretty much the first one done, though I did go back and check my work. Being first doesn't mean everything was correct, but I'm fairly confident I did well. I find out Monday.

Last night, when I could've been studying, I chose instead to download a bunch of music. My brother in law and his family gave me a shitload of iTunes gift cards (yay!), so I've started filling in my music. I've already put all the CDs we own on my iPod but there are a ton of empty jewel cases, and well, that just makes me sad. And acquisitive. Anyway, my friend was talking to me about how she's pretty much supplanted Rush (wow, math rock really does make you smarter) with Chicago, and while I can't go down that road with her (Chicago! What, are we 50?), I finally bought some Rush for the iPod. I thought about getting whole albums, but decided to start with The Spirit of Radio.

One funny thing: I used to own, on cassette, Exit Stage Left, and that has a live version of "The Trees" on it. It's the only way I've ever heard "The Trees," and I think it's gotta be the funniest damn song I've ever heard. Live, it's hysterical. Geddy Lee accomplishes some kind of crazy blend of screeching and squeaking - along with those absolutely god-awful lyrics, it's a wonder he wasn't just a wet spot on the floor once they finished. The Spirit of Radio has the actual studio version on it (I'm not even sure what album this song is from, I guess I should know that). The lyrics are the same (I think I've talked about this song before, it truly is one of my favorite songs to mock), the performance is the same, it's still a big ol' nutball of a song, but for some reason I like it. Can't explain it.

My other favorite song is Freewill - Alex's guitar solo is amazing. Again, the lyrics are nutty (who writes songs like this except Neil Peart? I mean seriously. Who did he think his fucking audience was?), but there is something happy and forward moving in the actual music - this is perfect music for driving.

Anyway, now I'm home to eat something before going to work. I'm gonna go listen to some King Crimson or Pink Floyd.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The marathon - now with photo

Yesterday was a nutty day. We got up fairly early, and headed down to Koreatown to see if we could meet up with Patty at mile 9 of the marathon. Thinking we'd missed her (we got a later start than we'd planned), we walked (took a short cut) to mile 11, and waited. And waited. I had done some sophisticated calculations based on her average time, but had to guess what time she would actually start the race. The thing started at 8:15, but there was no way to know what time she got started because of how huge the field is, and the fact that she doesn't carry a cell phone when she runs. Which I think is ridiculous, anyway: it's so funny to see some guy huffing and puffing down the street talking on his cell phone, "dude, I'm at mile 15..."

Anyway, so we waited at mile 11, which is right across the street from Rosedale Cemetery, and is actually a nice spot to wait, except for the sun in our eyes, and I worried that I had grossly miscalculated (I had). I spoke to another couple who were waiting for their friend, who also hadn't passed that spot yet, and I pinned my hopes on thinking that maybe their friend and Patty were running at the same pace and had started at the same time.

Illogical, but it calmed me down.

Anyway, about 30 minutes after I expected her, here comes Patty. The other years I've done this, we've met later in the race, so she usually looks like someone who's just run 23 miles. At mile 11 she looked like she'd just jogged from the car up the block to meet me: she looked fresh and like she was having a good time. I ran with her a bit of the way, she didn't want any of the stuff I'd brought for her (quartered oranges, Oreos, this gel stuff she sucks down [it's gross, I had to taste it when I opened it for her and I accidentally got some on my finger], water), and then we told her we'd try to meet up with her again in four miles, at mile 15.

Traffic was horrendous, we don't know our way very well through that part of town, and unfortunately we didn't make it. We kept thinking, okay, then, we'll get to mile 17, mile 19, but each time we were either thwarted by traffic, or street closures. Finally - and I was really disappointed, I love the marathon, and hated sitting in traffic instead of standing on the sides anxiously - we got to mile 21, which was down near the 10 freeway and Alameda (the LA Times neglected to name the street "Alameda" on their stupid map, and leaving that out made our lives so much more difficult). We stood by the side of the road and watched all the runners and walkers and freaks go by (a girl wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, a guy dressed up as a Tommy Trojan, a guy in a Pokemon outfit).

Once we saw her, though, it was really exciting. I walked/jogged with her about a block, and then she wanted to run, so I let her go. I yelled my totally dorky "go Patty!" and we left to go home, tired, hot, sweaty, and proud.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Tomorrow I'm meeting up with my friend Patty at various spots while she runs the marathon. It's exciting, I'm proud of her, and I look forward to it every year. I'm a little worried because as of Thursday she had a pretty bad cold, but as far as I know, we're still on.

However, I'm having trouble because the LA Marathon website decided this year not to post good maps. It was a stupid decision. See my email below.


sent: Sat. 3/1/2008 7:30 PM
to: ''

I’m very disappointed that you all didn’t post a map showing the mile markers this year. I always meet my friend at various prearranged points during her race, and used your maps that show the exact location of the mile markers. Not having this tool this year has been really frustrating. I contacted by telephone your office early in the day yesterday, and the young woman I spoke to offered to email one; unfortunately my day at work was too busy to follow up, and I didn’t receive the map.

And now, when I am attempting to download and print the (not very useful) maps at the LADOT website, I am having trouble. It’s not on my end, as I viewed these very same maps Thursday but didn’t print them then. I should’ve. This is all much more complicated than it needs to be.

Please don’t make this same mistake next year.



Update at 11:19 p.m.

I just found the map I needed at Duh. Still, why didn't the marathon people do this? Or link to the LA Times? Stupid.

Now I go to bed, because if Patty's on tomorrow - and I hope she is! - she'll be hitting mile 9 (our first meeting point) at 10:04, and if traffic is like it was in the past, we'll be parking far away and walking a bit ourselves. And we may be younger than she is but we are in no way as good of shape as she is. No way close.