Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One day down, two more to go

Did I plan my return to work right or what? Friday is my (cue evil laughter) RDO. So I work tomorrow and Thursday, and then I'm off for another three day weekend. I am so damn pleased with myself right now.


I spent the day manipulating this damn report that has been CONSUMING me since January. This report that I am responsible to tame but for which I gather the necessary information from others. Honestly, I don't know what to call the people I get the information from, other than Stupid.

Yes, that was harsh. But true.

Anyway, as the whole world except my boss seems to know, a report is only as good as it's information, and while I can make it look good and make it tell us stuff, what it's telling us is not always the whole story, as there will frequently be a) missing information, b) duplicate information, c) inaccurate information and d) just plain old jacked up information.

I left my report in someone else's hands last week, and (I can say this but only in a whisper) I kind of hoped I might not have to deal with it once I returned. But those were false hopes, friends, because there it was, waiting for me to wrestle it into shape in 2 hours before my boss's 10 o'clock meeting.

Needless to say, it didn't happen. If you want something to be accurate, if you want me to turn in reliable and consistent and attractive work, you gotta give me some fucking time. I can rush, sure, and I can vouch for the rushed stuff 98% of the time, but for something this important (and this truly is Important), well. You do the math.

Otherwise, I got nothing else done except read about 30 of the 192 emails (that's a real number) I had acquired in the last 7 days. Meanwhile, my co-worker, who saw me bent over this damn report all morning, could not wait to share with me her never-ending stories about her weekend and the weather and the people she saw. She also said "Thank God you're back" which, if you think about it, isn't that great to hear. It just means she has some problem I need to solve, don't you think? I'm going to be waiting for that shoe to drop all week now.

And she left her big ass piles of crap next to my chair ALL DAY. She said, at one point, "Oh, I'll move those," and then I was closeted in a meeting with this lady who oversees the Stupid people (and is in no way stupid herself; she's kicking their butts and I bet she'll have them all in line - or vying for transfers - soon) for about 4 hours, and when I came out, she was gone. Like a wisp of curly-headed smoke on the wind.


If I think I'm working hard, though, I should remember that Patrick visited about 10 libraries today, had only one day off this week, and has put about 3,000 miles on his car in two months.

Personally, I think I'd rather be traveling LA County doing his job.

Monday, April 28, 2008

This day is slowly grinding to a halt

If I was at work today, as I will be tomorrow, I would be gearing up to be leaving in 67 minutes.

Instead, I am still enjoying a quiet, hot day. Funny, I went out for a couple of hours (Worst. Facial. Ever.) and left the AC in the living room on for the cats (I don't usually use it when I'm home, but it the cats can't be left home alone with all the doors open, now can they), and when I got home, none of them were in the living room (the coolest part of the house). Instead, they were all cuddled up on the fleece bed thing I had moved to the bed.

Hot kitties.

Yesterday (all my troubles seemed so far away!) was spent with my parents and my brother's boyfriend, whose birthday it was. I gave him a City Garage passport (4 shows for the price of 3! Get yours today!), which he didn't know he wanted but seemed glad to have. Afterwards I headed off to do the show. Same old junky CD player, but I was told that all went well on Saturday while I was off celebrating ten years of wedded bliss. Charles was on hand in case it acted up again, which, thankfully, it did not. Though, he made a comment that seemed funny to me: I've always been very careful about the tracks and have made notations about how long each audio cue is, because the CD player would automatically cue the next track at the end of the last one - so I would be watching so I could hit pause before the wrong cue could play. No big deal, just part of the job, right? Apparently - no. Charles said it's not supposed to do that, but is instead supposed to pause for two minutes between tracks. Since when, I wanted to ask? but instead just said, "Huh!" As in, "silly me, didn't know that." Oh, well.

I think he's getting a new deck this week. And the show ran perfectly.

Since yesterday I have been in a bit of a funk. It could be because it's sooo damn hot. It could be because I am grappling with the idea of No More Flute Lessons. I know I pretty much made the decision to quit months ago, and that I finally discussed it with my teacher, giving the the whole thing an air of finality, but god, it's weird. My friend Bo said to me on Friday night, because we were discussing the two new City Garage members who are graduating from Cal Arts soon, "What would you be like if you'd gone to Cal Arts?" And Bo is not the type of person to normally play the "what if" game (and believe me, I know this from personal experience), so you know, it threw me a little. I'd rather not think about it. I mean, maybe I would've ran out of money, or flunked out, or had no friends or just sucked at it. God knows school is not something I excelled at in the past.

I think what we have here is a little bit of the old "wasted time" syndrome that I fall into every once in awhile. It's not fun for me, and boy, I bet you're glad to read about it. I'm not sure if it's the same as feeling sorry for yourself or what. Maybe it is.

Whatever it is, I think I can cure it right now with some ice cream.

Yep. Ice cream.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Today is my ten year anniversary

Patrick had to work. In his defense, he didn't know he had to work until 5:00 yesterday, but this means that I haven't seen much of him all week because of rehearsals, and pretty much none of him since yesterday morning at 5 a.m. when he left for work.

I got home very late last night from opening night (thankfully I did not have to work the booth, because Bad Things happened to the CD player and only Charles could have handled it. Honestly, I don't know how he did it. Magic? Luck? Skill? All these plus something I don't have and never will? Let's just say I was extremely happy A. It didn't happen to me, and B. to have not have known about it until the show - which was excellent - was over ), and I have become one of those obnoxious people who cannot find a way to effectively and usefully kill time until their spouse comes home from work. I am itchy and antsy and not interested in anything.

"Hole In My Life" is playing now, and it ain't no coincidence.

Oh, and I quit MySpace today. And for some funny reason I feel good about it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

City Garage

A recent email I sent to my friends.


Hello, friends!
As many of you know, I have been working off and on with City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica since 2001, when I was asked to participate in the show The Gertrude Stein Project. I ended up on stage playing flute and one of Patrick's big Paiste Rude cymbals in a corset and a pair of tuxedo pants. Those were definitely among the strangest and most fun performances I've ever done. In 2006 I was in the LA Times, LA Weekly, and Backstage West recommended show The Bacchae, where I again played flute as part of a band of women stranded on a beach somewhere in Charles Mee's imagination.

Since then, I have worked in the booth as the lighting and sound operator for the last five shows produced at City Garage, and while my part now is behind the scenes, the excitement of working with the talented cast and crew has not dissipated. I have learned so much and seen many beautiful and thought provoking performances on this stage.

I know over the years some of you have come to see me perform with the Culver City Flute Choir as well as the two shows I was in at City Garage, and I truly appreciate your support and friendship. There will definitely be more flute choir concerts in my future, and I hope to see you there soon. Now I would like to invite you to learn more about City Garage, a company that consistently earns good reviews and has recently been listed as LA Times Theatre Critic Charles McNulty's number two favorite theatre in Los Angeles.

Click here to learn more about the company. If you would like to sign up for City Garage's email newsletter, please click here. We are currently working on The Mission (Accomplished), an original City Garage adaptation of Heiner Muller's The Mission, and this show opens tonight in Santa Monica and will run through June 1st. If you're interested in The Mission (Accomplished), please call to make a reservation.

Thanks, and I hope to see you soon.

All the best,

The Mission (Accomplished)
Fridays, Saturdays: 8:00 p.m.
Sundays: 5:30 p.m.
Admission: $20; Students/Seniors: $10
Sundays: "Pay What You Can"
Box Office: (310) 319-9939

City Garage
1340-1/2 (alley) 4th Street
Santa Monica, CA


I didn't add this to the email, but I should have: if you come to see the show, please be sure to say hi! I'll be in the booth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A change of plan

Yesterday I went on a bike ride with my friend Patty. I'm sure I've mentioned before how in shape Patty is (though she will deny it); however, the woman runs and walks and swims and works out all week long, so if someone is in shape, that someone would be her.

Last time we biked together I could barely keep up with her; this time, I had a slightly better bike (though it turned out that only 5 of my 15 gears were working properly) and a little more practice... but again, I could barely keep up with her.

The day was beautiful, though, and they've landscaped the Ballona Creek bike path since I was last on it - we saw a ton of flowers and egrets and herons (Patty is good at identifying birds), and in spite of my slowness, I had a good time. I also got a tiny bit sunburned, but Patrick declared it to be "sexy." I'm not exactly understanding what's sexy about a red nose, shoulders, and chest, but OK, then. Now I know.

We rode from her house in Culver City to the Marina, and then from there, struck out to Venice and points beyond. "Points beyond" being... Santa Monica. The path through Venice is curvy and so we ended up talking a lot and riding more slowly, which was good for me, though, it was about at this point that my butt really started protesting my bike seat. Like, really protesting. But I ignored it and we kept going.

One thing we discussed, because Patty, in addition to being my friend and really, more like another big sister to me, someone I have known forever and traveled with and knows, probably, the most about me, after Patrick, is also my flute teacher, is when I'm going to go back to taking lessons.

When am I going to go back to taking lessons?

I've said I wanted to go back a couple of times here on my blog, and to everyone else I think I've said that I'm just "taking a break," but the truth of the matter, the thing that I've had a really hard time admitting to myself (and to Patty) is that I don't think I'm going to go back.

See how I said, "I don't think..."? I mean, yeah, I can always change my mind.

Anyway, we talked about that for a bit (there was a crazy homeless guy standing by us, because we had stopped and were also discussing where we wanted to have lunch: a Very Important discussion indeed!, and he was cussing us out the entire time, so it adds a bit of the old "Venice" flavor that I had forgotten to what could've been a really hard conversation), and then we kept riding.

On our way back from Santa Monica (I can't tell you how far we went... it was past the pier quite a ways) we got off the path and rode up to Abbott Kinney (not a bike friendly street, for sure) and had lunch at this place we've both been curious about, called "Abbott's Habit."

Let me just say for the record that on the list of Things I Will Never Do Again (along with email while drunk, buy a bra from Victoria's Secret, drive home late at night on darkened quiet streets while sleepy listening to Radiohead's song "Videotape"), eating lunch at Abbott's Habit is rather high up.

It wasn't so terrible or disgusting (though Patty said the bathroom was really dirty), only, overpriced and not that great. My sandwich, a "Marguerita" (tomatoes and mozzarella) wasn't half as good as the same sandwich, which I get for $2.99, at Fresh & Easy. At Abbott's Habit it was $7.95. A can (a can) of Diet Coke was $1.50. Patty's veggie sandwich looked okay, but the girl behind the counter (oh, and this girl was a total blank slate. She had zero personality, she acted like she could've cared less about us and our food, and she didn't know anything about the menu. Useless!) assured her that it would be made with "special wheat bread." Special wheat bread my ass (which, by the way, was now joined in throbbing by my thighs and calves) - that bread looked like the same old wheat bread you can buy at the supermarket, and not even the kind we buy.

Anyway, we were disappointed. I don't remember if Patty likes Chinese food, but maybe next time we'll go to Wacky Wok, my favorite Chinese place out there.

So, after that, we headed home. Patty calculated the time it would take for us to get home (less than an hour), which I needed, because when I'm in pain I do much better if I know just how many more minutes I need to suffer. And by this point, I was not doing well. I don't know if it's just me being a total sloth or my bike, but picking up speed was just not going to happen. The Ballona bike path has a lot of steep inclines and hills as you go under each major street, and some of them (Inglewood) are killers. Well, for me, anyway.

But, we made it home and I crammed my bike into the trunk of my car again (I had forgotten that the back seat of the Honda folds down completely; what a terrific design. I love my car), and on my way home, stopped at my local bike store and left it there for a tune up.

And I also ogled the new bikes.

And here's where the title of today's post comes into play.

Remember I've been saying I want an iPhone? And how, if I don't buy anything for three months I've decided that I'll have earned it? I've changed my mind. I spent some time on Tuesday in the Apple store in Santa Monica, and discussed with them the problems I've been having syncing my iPod to my Outlook calendar. The guys there - and let's call them by their real names - the Geniuses there really weren't able to help me. They asked me several times if I was using Outlook Express (no) and what version of Windows we have, but we weren't able to solve the problem. So instead I hung out and killed time, playing with the iPhones.

Don't get me wrong: they are still the coolest things in the world. And we could afford both a bike and an iPhone for me - I'm just trying to be cool-headed instead of jumping into laying out what is to me still, though we may have it or not, a lot of money on what is basically just a couple of toys.

So, for now, I'm going to stick with my stupid Razr, and instead, set my sights on a new bike. I'm going to shop around a bit: the guy at my local bike shop (his name is Diego) was nice, but they have a limited amount of brands and the prices seemed a bit inflated (though I found out later they're not by looking at the Trek website). I'm excited about this! A new bike!


Just a short word about rehearsals. We had Monday off. Tuesday things went OK, but Charles is tweaking things, and so while what I was doing (hitting go, hitting play) was all correct, what it looked like was wrong. He's been working his ass off, and yesterday's lights and stuff were, I think, more what he wanted. I was a bit nervous, because we added the pre-show music to the rehearsal, and that's always the part of the thing that suddenly makes this hard. Openings and closings are harder than anything else I do in the booth. I had to do it a couple of times, and I'm still, honestly, not sure if I get it (there's a CD switch, and levels to be reset, and cross-fading of tracks and a black out and the timing of the music with linked lighting cues, and then if the music ends before the cues are finished - meaning I didn't start them at the right time - the guy who speaks first in the show will be sitting there in the dark, in silence, which is not what is supposed to happen.

I'll get it but I'm going to be nervous about it because TONIGHT'S THE LAST NIGHT OF REHEARSAL. This show opens on Friday (though, thank God, it will be Charles in the booth). So I have to have my head on straight and take very good notes, and practice this mentally to get it right, rather quickly.

The show itself is looking beautiful, though, and I'm very excited, and happy to be there. It's a great experience for me, and even better when people are so talented. Really, I'm in awe of them. A couple of the actors are from CalArts, and I am so jealous that they're getting the education I could've had if I had known how to get the loans and grants that would've made that insane tuition fee more possible - but instead I chickened out, like I have before, because it seemed "hard." Well, can't do anything about it now except watch them and wonder. I would've never have studied drama but still. They do seem to have a confidence and something special that anybody who finished college seems to have. I know it's all on me, and nothing's stopping me from finishing if I really want to, and maybe I will someday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I forgot to mention

In addition to the unconditional love I received on Sunday (from my parents and their dogs), I also seem to have sprouted some kind of allergic reaction to Rocco, my brother's adorable mini Rottweiler (OK, I don't think he's a mini Rottweiler, but he looks like a Mini Rottweiler, and right now I'm just enjoying saying Mini Rottweiler in my head), because yesterday I woke up (at the ungodly hour of 7:30 a.m. What the hell is going on?) and my left eyelid was about the thickness of an orange rind and my eyelashes were nowhere to be found. Now, I wouldn't have spurned Rocco's affections, even knowing now that I would end up with Puffy Eye, because he is a very sweet dog who weighs less than my cats (and to be honest, he's a much better cuddler than any of them, though, in their defense, none of my cats has ever farted on me, and Rocco did it twice. For a small dog he sure is smelly), but I might've prepared and hit the Claritan a day early.

You people already know that I'm slightly crosseyed, right? Well. Way to work on my self-esteem, no?

In other news, I bought some snazzy new hangers over the weekend at K-Mart (they have the same hangers at Target but at Target, they're $4.99 for 4, and they're a slightly darker shade of beige, with gold metal accents. The ones at K-Mart at $7.99 for 10, and have silver metal. You fancy people at Target are getting RIPPED OFF). Interestingly, neither K-Mart nor Target has these specific hangers on their website, but I'm telling you this (why am I telling you this?!) because I bought all the ones they had at my local K-Mart (these hangers are extra thin - I have a small closet - and have some sort of velvety stuff on them to grip the clothes - my clothes are always falling off) and I need one more pack and now I have to go outside in public with this big-ass Puffy Eye and I've turned into the crazy Puffy Eye Hanger Lady.

I didn't have to go to City Garage last night, but I do today, and I hope the Claritan and eyedrops kicks in, because I also have to go to the cable company and try to get a new remote. And I don't want to have to wear sunglasses inside and look like a nutbag.

Wish me luck.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another angle

I spent the day yesterday with my parents. It was a nice day, and they fed me (twice). In payment, I had to go to church with them.

Well, to tell you the truth, I volunteered to go to church with them before we talked about the feeding me part. It all worked out in the end, though: everybody was a winner.

The church part could've been hairier. My parents go to a sweet little Baptist church on a busy street next to kind of a funky motel and across the street from a car wash and a bitchin' barbecue place. I've gone with them before but never regularly. Honestly, I can't take their church on a regular basis. There's just too much going on: from the good-hearted but terrible music, to the arms outstretched to - heaven? god? Pastor Fred? This time, they didn't do anything different than usual, and while there were definitely a couple of moments when I would've walked out if I thought I could've gotten away with it without shaming my mom and dad, there were also moments where I thought about what it was that pissed me off so much, and decided that they are not obligated to tailor their message to suit me, and I am not obligated to show them they're wrong. Even though they are.

The first moment came in the first 20 minutes. They were singing some terrible song - accompanied by terrible musicians (I don't know what key the guitarist was supposed to be in, but he never found it, not during the first song or the last) and people were clapping and praising God, which I am not mocking at all, because some of those people were my mom, and I'm not making fun of my mother anymore, now that I'm no longer a teenager. And while I stand by my notion that this was the worst music in the world, it's also the best part, for me, about going to church. Any church. Even this one. Anyway, so the song ended, and then the Pastor got up, and started telling a story about being in Palm Springs for the last couple of days.

This is all he said about Palm Springs. "And if there's a city in the world that needs prayer, it's Palm Springs. All the gays walking around that town..."

That's it.

But I started to stew. This is the same bullshit that pisses me off about church and people who claim to love God and claim to believe that sinners deserve love instead of hate, but instead, only love the God (and the sinners) that fit(s) their idea of what "righteousness" is. I hate that word, righteousness. I haven't studied the bible and I don't know if the interpretations about homosexuality are correct, and then you can't really have that argument until you decide if you believe that the bible is some divine - written by God! - document rather than the ramblings of a bunch of deluded old guys in sandals and caftans; all I can say is that in my heart, my heart, and in my opinion, picking on the fucking gays seems like a HUGE mistake. Seriously: I got squirmy and steamy and twitchy, and I thought, jesus, dude, could you have picked a better time - while I'm here, doing my good deed for the year - to spout off about gays? I mean, I can live with the out of tune piano, the anemic Keith Moon drum fills, the pitchy singing, but isn't Jesus' ultimate lesson that we should LOVE EVERYBODY?

So I was pissed off for about 10 minutes, just - silently livid, if there is such a thing. And then, after awhile, sitting next to my sweet dad, who I know has his own opinion, and my mother, who is maybe coming around slowly, or if she's not, at least is faking it really well, and then I started looking at the people sitting around me, and I wondered if those people all had bought what I thought he was saying, and then I started to question it, what I had actually heard. For one thing, he didn't really say much about it - and then, well, how did he know they were gay? Were they having sex on the street? What kinds of cliches did he witness? Maybe that's what he meant, "And God, please help these people to at least not look so gay." Could this possibly be just his screwed up viewpoint? Of course. And then, well, people need prayer in every city, no? Wouldn't it be less of a waste of time to pray for, oh, I don't know, homeless people? What about homeless gay people? And what does the probably pretty well-off and presumably self-satisfied gay community of Palm Springs need prayer for, anyway? To change their sinful ways? To be more successful and own more attractive real estate? To get a more even tan? To cure their hacking coughs? And I started thinking it was kind of funny, and a little sad - for him.

And then those wily fuckers hit me with their secret weapon.

See... I never said I didn't believe in God. And the last song we all sang was one where the words (and I've thankfully forgotten the melody) were something to the effect of, God knows your heart, and what you're thinking, and loves you anyway.

And it seemed a little contradictory to the other message, the one that had me so mad, but then I took it personally, as I am wont to take everything, and I remembered the thoughts I've had - some recently - that were maybe not the greatest thoughts ever to cross my mind - and I didn't wish I hadn't thought them or anything (can I stop saying the word "thought" now) but I started to really feel like me and that maybe I wasn't so fucked up after all. And usually when we get to this point in church, I'm crying a little, so yeah, I was, but not, this time, because I felt like I needed to be forgiven for something or because I felt small, but because, fucked up or not, I felt okay about me.

And then - AND THEN! - they played this fucking film.

The movie - if "movie" is the right word, it was basically a PowerPoint presentation with the occasional moving section (bits stolen from "The Matrix" and news footage) and soundtrack provided by, I don't know, Marilyn Manson or something - contained footage from the war in Iraq and the planes crashing into the Twin Towers and bombs exploding and people with missing limbs and bloodstained everything, and shots of Bush and Bill Gates and guys from the U.N. and - inexplicably - kids at raves - and starving people in Africa, and the message, I think, was supposed to be that the world is fucked up and headed straight to "darkness" (the new word for "hell") and that man's attempts to stop this - "The Economic Solution," "The Political Solution," "The Humanitarian Solution" - were all failures, and that the only way to save the world, the only way to halt this downward spiral is through mega-churches and a new holy war on evil.

Yeah. One big long sentence, because this was 35 minutes of propaganda and nothing was said outright and there was no conclusion. It was puzzling. And then it was over, and church was over, and we hugged everybody (the real reason I think my mom likes church: the free hugs) and got in the car and went to breakfast.

The only good thing I can say about that movie, which was called, I think, "Approaching Darkness" ("Approaching Darkness" is also the name of what looks like a very "Spinal Tap"-esque band), is that it definitely had a bit of an anti-war, anti-Bush undercurrent, and exposing my folks to that seems like an excellent idea. Even my mom found the movie to be a bit depressing, and I think she was disappointed that that's what they chose to do at the service I picked at random to attend. We shook it off, though, and went to Carrows in Santa Monica (my sister refuses to eat at Carrows, saying there are "too many old people," and it's true, there were many, they also served up some pretty darn good pancakes), where we ate too much, laughed too much, and had a good ol' time. I loved hanging with them and beating my mom at Scrabble and playing with the dogs and just being at their house.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I was thinking about it, and technically, yesterday wasn't my first day of vacation. Yesterday was just my regular day off: I get every other Friday off. And today is just a regular Saturday. I planned this vacation time quite well, I think.

So the good news is, I just finished cleaning my bathroom. If you were to drop by (and please give me about an hour; I need to take a shower and get dressed now) I would feel confident that you would find a pretty clean bathroom. The bad news is, my bathroom, which has had no upgrades or improvements in probably the last 50 years, still looks dirty.

Oh, well.


After all my lazing about yesterday, I did manage to get done many of the things on my list. I got a haircut (Supercuts. I have flitted about from fancy hairstylist to fancy hairstylist, and I realized that the best damn haircuts I ever got were from my friend Missy in her mom and dad's backyard. Missy was an excellent haircutter - now she's an excellent dental hygienist, but I'm saying that not based on experience - and I remember the care she took, from when she washed my hair in the kitchen sink to when she finished up in the backyard. She never cut too much, she never did anything I would freak out about unless I had specifically asked her. And she, during the brief time she worked as a hairstylist, worked at Supercuts. So I figured, well, a $15 haircut from a professional like her could be more than just a $15 haircut. What can go wrong?), and thankfully, it's just fine.

I also got a manicure and pedicure (no color on the hands. It's too distracting. Hands should look like hands. Toes, on the other hand - no pun intended - should look like beautiful pink pearls). It was a new place for me (right next to Supercuts, how convenient) because the last couple of places I've gone to have been shitty (the last place, a woman walked out saying, "My two-year old could've done a better job." That should've been my clue), and it was great. The girls were very sweet, and they did a good job.

I also got my eyebrows done, and they came out okay. Since my girl Lili retired (or whatever she's done) I've been going to her old boss, Carol. Carol calls herself an "eyebrow designer," and charges more than Lili, but she does a good job, too. She's nice.

After all that running around, I came home and undid all the good I had done by eating at Souplantation twice this week, and had McDonald's for lunch. Why do I do that? Why? Anyway, then I took a nap and got ready to go to the theater. My friend Bo picked me up, we hit the road, and we rehearsed. Fun show, good run-through (though I made some mistakes with the sound cues), I got to listen to "In Rainbows" while I waited for Bo and the other actors after they were finished to get their notes from the assistant director, and we got home earlier than we did on Wednesday.

Am still loving "In Rainbows," but I know I'd better watch out, because I don't want to get tired of it. No sign of that happening soon, but you never know.

Patrick has made home-made tamale pie for us today, and the house smells amazing.


Update: I forgot to mention. Bo liked the CD, with one exception: he can't stand Devo. I didn't know, but still, that's a great song. I think he should give it another chance. It was interesting, because on the drive up to Santa Monica, he chose to load his CD player with music he knew I would hate (Celtic woman crap, Italian woman crap, Uriah Heep for God's sake), while the music we listened to on the way home (my CD) was stuff I hoped he would like. He did, as I stated above. I figured he had heard the XTC and Squeeze songs, and had forgotten that I gave him that Travis CD a couple of years ago - he liked it.

Also, on the way to Santa Monica, for awhile there (through Culver City, actually) we were in a bit of traffic, and were near (in front of, behind, and next to) a very pretty, brand new green Land Rover. The Land Rover had about four beautiful girls in it - even the girl driving was stunning. They all had stick straight hair, perfect faces. And then up cruises me and Bo in his car (the red Ford Tempo with 200,000 miles on it, various body damage, various things that don't work, like, the seat belts; my door felt like it was slightly open but he swore it wasn't), and we're singing along with the radio and cracking each other up, and I said to him, "Wow, I wonder what those models in the Range Rover think of us." And Bo, not really caring, said, "Huh." And then I said, "Well, they may be prettier, but we're happier."

See what I mean about going to City Garage in a good mood? It's so easy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

First day of vacation

It's my first day off work, and I woke up at 8 o'clock. 8 o'clock! What the hell, I wanted to sleep until 11, 12, 1... But 8 o'clock! Jeez. I stayed in bed for awhile, with KPCC on (but not really listening), and read a catalog I get for some unknown reason (Athleta; they specialize in pretty, cute workout- and swimwear for chicks - not stuff I have a need for). I've decided that since I'm up, I want to accomplish a few things before I have to go to Santa Monica. Here's my list:

- Clean the bathroom
- Take a shower
- Get the clean laundry put away and sort the dirty laundry (actually wash the clothes at another time)
- Get a haircut - no, not the length, but the part that hangs free when I pull my hair back into a ponytail. Not bangs, just neaten up that part. I'm growing out my layers (again).
- Get a manicure and pedicure. I'm thinking black.
- Get my eyebrows done
- Go for a bike ride

Right now, though, I'm sitting here in my pajamas listening to a CD/playlist I made for my friend Bo. Since I'm posting lists today, here's another one. These are the songs I thought he would like. It's a bit heavy on the Radiohead/Thom Yorke; he just told me that he liked the last CD I made for him with Radiohead on it so I thought I'd give him another taste before giving him all Radiohead, all the time.

Here's Bo's playlist:

  1. Too Much, by Robben Ford
  2. Daybreaker, by Beth Orton
  3. Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her, by XTC
  4. Sneaky Feelings, by Elvis Costello
  5. Shiver and Shake, by the Cure
  6. My Enemy, by the Afghan Whigs
  7. Love Will Come Through, by Travis
  8. Harrowdown Hill, by Thom Yorke
  9. Haven't You Heard, by Jeff Buckley
  10. Space Junk, by Devo
  11. Arms Akimbo, by Hugo Largo
  12. Jigsaw Falling Into Place, by Radiohead
  13. Scrape Away, by the Jam
  14. Misadventure, by Squeeze
  15. 1,000,000, by R.E.M.
  16. Bodysnatchers, by Radiohead
  17. Runaways, by XTC
  18. Soup, by Blind Melon
  19. And It Rained All Night, by Thom Yorke
Not much there that's new or deep, but I think he'll like them.

Last night's flute choir concert went okay. Short, sweet, and tired: I can't do another concert on that little sleep. I spaced out in the prettiest piece we do - skipped a bar or two - and felt really bad about it. Nobody noticed (or so they say) but I like the part I was playing and wished it had been perfect (as it has been in every single rehearsal). Oh, well. We did two pieces with the entire flute choir, and then there was a duet, a trio, and my group, the quartet. The quartet, "Dizzy Fingers" went over really well. Patrick videotaped it, and I might post it here, after getting approval from Janet, Greg, and Julie.

Now I'd better get showered and started on that list of things to do.


(things done on list: above? 1 - take shower)

Martha Stewart's blog yet again manages to awaken in me the feeling of envy (she went to the Bahamas) and her strange words crack me up yet again. I'm going to find a use for "eating conch will put lead in your pencil." Right on, Martha!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday... and now, Thursday

Last night was my first tech rehearsal and run-through at City Garage. I got there late, around 8:15 because my good friend Paul was there taking the photos, so they didn't think they'd need me. I was kicking myself a little, because Charles was stuck in traffic, and they needed someone to set up the right amount of light for the photos, which is different light - obviously - than the light they use for the actual show. I had been wondering, on Saturday, if I should ask Charles which light is which. The board uses 24 lights, and while we're doing the cue-to-cue, he sits in the house and tells me which lights to turn on and off, and how hot he wants them. Then I record it, and we move on to the next scene where there's a change in staging. He can sit there and say, give me number 12 at 4 and number 17 at 3 and he knows exactly what part of the stage number 12 is going to light up and he usually has the levels right on the first try. Usually I'm in the booth too concerned about setting it up correctly to even look at the stage to know what I'm doing, so it's pretty amazing to me that he knows which light is which. But then, he's been doing this for years, and it's his stage - of course he knows. Anyway, I should've asked, because last night I was asked to bring more light to certain areas, and I had to do it through trial and error, which was embarrassing.

However, he made it to the theatre by the time we were ready to start the run-through, and didn't say anything about my botched lights, so I guess it was okay.

The run-through went really well. I almost felt as if it was an actual performance, and I was really comfortable. Not nervous at all, but excited. I was prepared for a long night, and it was but I have to say, I totally felt like I knew what I was doing and that there weren't any surprises. Sure, it wasn't perfect: first time through! But I'm getting it, and they seemed really happy with it. The actual show looks amazing. There are four new actors in the show - I've only really met two, the guys (John worked box office a lot for "The Bald Soprano," and I met David M. at the LA Weekly Awards). The other two are female, and I haven't had a chance to introduce myself yet. They're very good. The other girl in the show is Cynthia (the one who told me that when I'm in the booth it feels as if I'm part of the cast with them); she's been around City Garage much longer than I have, but had taken a break or moved or something so I've only known her for a little while. I'm really enjoying getting to see her perform: she looks beautiful (all the girls in this show are gorgeous) and she's just so damn nice. It's an intense show, and she brings something extra to it. I still don't know much about acting, but it sure seems good to me. And of course my friends Bo and David, and Troy and Max from the other shows I've done: they're looking and sounding terrific too. I already said this, but I'm very excited about this show, and so glad to be a part of it.

We finished up at 11:20, and I headed home. Unfortunately the idiots in charge of the freeway had closed off the 405 south ramp from the 10, so I had to take a huge detour, and I didn't get home until 12:15. Patrick was already in bed, asleep, but I couldn't sleep right away, though I was very tired. I had been listening to Radiohead in the car (15 Step, which is really a fucking awesome song), and I couldn't slow everything down to sleep for about an hour.

And now I should be getting ready for work. I can't be tired today - there's a flute choir concert tonight. We had our last rehearsal Monday, and it went really well, which is good, but of course I'm a little superstitious about good dress rehearsals. My little quartet sounded great, and I just want to be awake enough by 8 o'clock to play well tonight. So: better get in the shower.

I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


It turned out that I didn't have to go to Santa Monica tonight, so instead Patrick and I took a trip down south to... Fry's. Ah, every wife's dream, right? Except - it was my idea.

When we got home, I only watched the last five minutes of American Idol tonight, and those five minutes came after the show had already been officially over for forty-five minutes, and after I'd spent about an hour finally cleaning the kitchen listening to In Rainbows (the more I listen the better it gets), but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if Brooke White survives through to next week I will be very, very surprised. Also, while I'm pretty sure he's not the greatest singer I've ever heard, Jason Castro is the most interesting singer on the show this year. And there's just something elf-like about him that I like.

And then there's his polar opposite, the other Jason from Hell's Kitchen, who should just be taken out somewhere and shot. Maybe it's an act, maybe when the show's over he'll come out and say that all his "women are only good for dusting and cleaning" comments were jokes, but for now? What a douche.


And then there's one more thing to think about: I have just two more days of work and then I'm off for a week and two days.

Two more days!!

Overheard at City Garage:

During Saturday's cue-to-cue, the following words were spoken onstage. They're in the script, so no, nobody was improvising (or speaking to me):

..."blood-sucking vagina."

The context is interesting, but I just wanted to point out to you, in case you've been lulled by the recent works on display at City Garage (lighter, funny): this ain't a show for the kiddies.

I'm going to save these three words up for the next time I'm in need of a really good epithet on the freeway to replace "motherfucker." Something to remember when I'm on "Inside the Actor's Studio" (riiight).


And, in possibly the only instance where the words "blood-sucking vagina" and "Martha Stewart" are used in the same breath (or maybe not),


This is so fucking cool (click on the words "I want to be Martha Stewart" above and you will see what I'm going on about). I need more books. I don't really need a MacBook Air, but she makes me want one. Why does Apple have to make SUCH COOL STUFF? Do you think Steve Jobs gives her this stuff or does she pay for it? She probably pays for it. Though, what the hell type of order are these books in? Is she going by the Library of Congress? Are they grouped by subject? Can she locate her books after she shelves them? Because what good is the dewey decimal system if you can't find anything? That third shelf down looks like it has architecture next to history next to cookbooks (I can't read the spines but I do recognize some of them from Rizzoli, Original Home of the Big Expensive Book on One Topic No One Should Care That Much About ("Barns," "Trailers," etc.).

I have to admit that I did crack up when she referred to her books as "volumes." It's a perfectly legitimate word, and I suppose she uses it honestly, but dude, those look like art and how-to books to me. Not "volumes," which suggests, I don't know, weightier tomes. And why didn't she just say "tomes"? It's a much cooler word.

"These are some of the tomes that make up the art and how-to section of my book collection. Not seen in this photo: my collection of rare and esoteric volumes on the many different types and the fascinating history of knitting needles..."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random email

I haven't done this in awhile. I found an email conversation I had with Paul back in 2006 and thought it was charming enough on its own to post here.

Who cares if it really is (charming). It's not exactly filler, but...

From: Irene
To: Paul
Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 12:41 PM
Subject: Dear Sir:

¿Cómo es usted? Estoy muy bien. Yo he comido una comida fina hoy, y me ha hecho soñoliento.

¿Mis servicios se necesitan el domingo a taquilla? Déjeme por favor saber, de modo que pueda planear mi fin de semana.

Grazias. Espero verle pronto.

Adiós para ahora,Irene



From: Paul
To: Irene
Date Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 1:36 PM

Seriously, the verb you wanted in that first sentence was estar, not ser.

If you would like to come Sunday I will use you. Because it's a Workshop Sunday I can probably rope some member into doing it, but given my druthers I'd rather have you there one last time.


From: Irene
To: Paul
Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 1:42 PM

I'd rather have me one last time, too.

See you Sunday ~ 4 p.m.

Taquilla taquilla,


From: Paul
To: Irene
Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 3:20 PM

And don't call me "Sir", that's my father's name. You can call me "Mister."


From: Irene
To: Paul
Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 3:54 PM

In the great misogynistic tradition of the late Robert Heinlein, I respond best when addressed as "Front!" Exclamation point required.


I love this type of email. Slightly silly, they serve a purpose (the purpose of the first message from me was to see if I was needed to work box office at City Garage that night. I think they were running "The Battle: ABC," and I think that might've been closing night... wait, that doesn't make sense, because Pauly was in "The Battle" and therefore wouldn't be the one organizing the front-of-house crew...? I don't know. I'm confused), but they never abandon the importance of a little smile. Little smiles are really important, even if I'm the only one wearing one.

Believe me, I know.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


My friend Julie posted on her blog the other day the sad news that her good friend has breast cancer. Julie, one of the coolest (and I mean, cool-headed and cool) people I know, is very close to this friend (her name is Marla), and Marla has started blogging about this experience.

I think this is amazing. Going through cancer with my mom last year (or was it the year before? See how things fade into the background? Maybe I shouldn't be so vague about it, maybe I should have that date tattooed on my forehead. But maybe letting it go a little is a good thing) was the hardest thing I've ever done (harder than the time she fell into a pool at the Getty, a story that I can't even tell without tearing up! Silly me). Sure I blogged about it some, but that was a hard time. Now, I was blessed with a perfect boss, a not-very-stressful job, and Patrick to help me through it all, and it wasn't really happening to me. If I had had to write about happening to me - well. You think I'm down sometimes now? I just can't imagine having the strength to talk about my own treatment. It's very brave of her, and I know I'm going to learn something about courage.

The really cool part is, my mom is now fine. And I have all the confidence in the world that Julie's friend Marla, in a year or two, will also be fine. I can't wait to keep reading about her.

And tomorrow I'm going to call my mom.


In other news, I've decided that I am going to forgo buying anything (clothes, shoes, songs on iTunes, books, etc.) for three months. At the end of the three months (July 13) I'm going to reward myself with an iPhone. We're going to do some research and see what issues there are syncing an iPhone with the Windows operating system (for the most part my iPod works fine but there are small, petty annoyances), but I am sick and tired of being jealous of everybody's iPhone. I'll be the last kid on the block with one, but I'll feel like I earned it. (The other bloggers I read all have one, dammit. One woman's husband works for Apple, etc. And I CAN'T STAND THE JEALOUSY ANYMORE.)

And this, my friends, is why I named this post what I did.

Heart light

Just to prove that you don't need fancy equipment or holsters, armbands, etc.:

Now playing: 5.15 The Angels Have Gone, by David Bowie from his album, "Heathen"
Just finished playing: Aveda, by Hot Hot Heat, from their album, "Make Up the Breakdown"


Yesterday's cue-to-cue went well. Going to Santa Monica on the first hot and sunny day of spring was an interesting test of my patience, though. I was in a fine mood yesterday, and I really have to work on going to City Garage in a fine mood more often, because it was fun, joyful, even (once we got there). I have to work on my moods, I think. Many, many people thought that SM would be the ideal destination, and we knew when we hit the 10 West and there was traffic way the hell down at Bundy that we were in trouble (I carpooled with my friend Bo and he also was in a good mood. We listened to "Translator" and he kept me from panicking, as I usually do, when I'm driving to Santa Monica and there's more traffic than I would've hoped for. I hate being late, and I hate bringing him late).

It didn't help that there was also a farmers' market going on. We did find parking in a new lot (for me); usually when I go to SM it's after 6 (so no meters) or on a Sunday (top secret parking spot I would never tell to just anybody, let alone the hundreds of people reading this. What? Too ambitious? The tens of people reading this?), and for the whole day it only cost us $7.

Wait, how did a post that was supposed to be about the cue-to-cue become a post about parking in Santa Monica? Oh, yes, I see what I did there.

Anyway, I still don't know what to expect from this show when I see the first real run through with tech on Tuesday, I can only say that the scenes I actually did see looked amazing. Lots of political stuff, lots of interesting language, lots to think about. Now, as long as I wrote down the lighting and audio cues in the right spots, everything should be just dandy.

Patrick and I have both been up since 8:30, but our days have been totally different. He's been mowing the lawn and working in the yard, and I've been lying in bed listening to "In Rainbows" with Puma. Puma's favorites are "15 Step" and "House of Cards," my votes go to "Bodysnatchers" and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place."

To even things out, I think I'm going to go clean the bathroom (it's 85 degrees right now; Patrick might appreciate a clean bathroom to shower in once he's done slaving away outside). And maybe do some dishes. And laundry. Ah, housework.


Last week I finally cleaned out the closet in my office, and the surface of my desk (I still need to file and sort of the stuff to keep and the stuff to shred), and while I was working I found two items that were totally interesting to me. The first thing was a letter Patrick wrote to me in 1996. He had just moved back home to Venice from a house he'd been renting in Culver City. We were dating, and pretty serious, and he wanted to save the money he was spending in rent for us to buy a house. The letter isn't over romantic but it's very sweet, still. I'm glad I found it. And the "P.S." is pretty funny. His house in Venice - he had a separate house on his mom and dad's lot - was right up against an alley, and all night long there would be crazy activity - guys with metal shopping carts full of bottles and cans, police cars. It wasn't nearly as quiet as it had been in Culver City.

The other item I found was in my old "Art Bin" from when I took a calligraphy class at SMC. It was a cool class, and I liked it a lot. I worked at Crown (this was around 1991, I guess), and I needed a box cutter for something... so apparently I stole Rachel's. We were pretty protective of our box cutters, which the publishers would send us as advertisements for their books (the blue one, which I think you can see in the photo, was for "The Babysitter's Club." Interesting tie-in, I think. Sharp cutting instrument, story about teenage babysitters...? Anyway, sorry, Rachel, if you've been looking for it all this time. And yes, I realize that this a pretty shitty photo.

And I have no idea why I have so many compasses. I think there are three.

Finally, here's a photo I took after I got ready for the LA Weekly awards and before I put my hair up in a ponytail. The ponytail was a mistake, but I was nervous.

I really must clean that damn mirror.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Think I'll buy me a football team

This was the longest four day week in history. So much shit happened. Well, to tell you the truth, not that much happened. I did get a bit emotional one night after work, but luckily the only witnesses to my mental breakdown (I made some very interesting and potentially emotionally scarring - to the cats - vocalisms) were Patrick and the cats. Maybe I freaked out unnecessarily (you think?), but I've been taking it personally, how difficult getting things done has been. Maybe that's the point. Maybe I need to take it personally to make it better.

I don't know. I just don't want to work in a shithole where nobody cares and where I have to navigate my co-worker's piles of crap (literally: Piles of Crap) on a daily basis and where I have to report my whereabouts when I leave my desk to, oh, I don't know, go to the bathroom or make some copies.

Stupid shit like that is draining on a person. Now, not as draining as worrying about land mines or enemy fire, but still. It sucks on a much lower level, sure, but it still sucks.

Then again, maybe I was just menstrual.


Tomorrow is the cue-to-cue for City Garage's next big production. They're doing an adaption of Heiner Muller's "The Mission" called "The Mission (Accomplished)." I have made the same mistake I've made, I think, with every show, in that I asked for, received, and then didn't read the script prior to the cue-to-cue, which means not only am I not going to understand what's going on (because cue-to-cues are not the time to understand what's going on but are the time to figure out how what's going on is going to be lighted and punctuated with sound), I'm not going to know where the hell they are when they jump from scene to scene. Really, it's not a big deal, but I do think it's interesting that I went through the trouble to ask and then didn't do what sounded like an excellent idea. In fact: it still sounds like an excellent idea. Then again, there's still time, if I wanted to GET UP OFF THE FREAKIN' COUCH. Anyway, can't wait to be there and see what they've been up to. This is always the interesting part - I love coming in and seeing the show move from black flat stage to something else and then something else again in the two weeks of tech rehearsals before the opening. It's fun to be a part of that. Check it out.


Right now "The Wall" is on VH1 Classic. Not the greatest venue for this movie (commercials? Substituting some word that sounds like "goop" for "shit" [as in, "I've got fifteen channels of goop on the TV to choose from"]) but it's a good movie. To (mis)quote my friend Rachel from 1985, "Bob Geldof is FINE!" Right now I'm trying to remember when and where and with whom I first watched this movie. I want to say it was with Adam at Jay's house, which would make it 1989 but I have a feeling, a sinking feeling really, that it was with Myles at the house of some loser friend of his whose name I don't exactly remember but whose initials were "J.B." If that's the case, then it was probably 1988, and just where the hell did my mother think I was all those times I was hanging out with Myles and "J.B."? Those two took me on the scariest ride in any car I've ever been on, and that story is not fit for this venue. Ask me some other time and I might tell you. Then again, I might not.

Speaking of good looking men, I've been watching Val Kilmer's movie, "Top Secret!" It's a terrible, piece of shit, hysterical movie with wonderfully silly and perfect music, and it looks amazing on my iPod. Val looks perfect on my iPod. If and when they make movies out of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels (if they haven't already), Val would make an excellent Harry. And I love that all the captions for the photos he has posted on his "MySpace" page are all caps. I might try that. Gives things a very non-ironic feel.


Yeah. Now leave me alone, I gotta go see if "Real Genius" is available on iTunes.

I love that Val's photo matches this blog's color scheme. It's almost as if I planned it. Could his eyes be any bluer?

He looks a bit like John Ritter in this photo. John would've made a good Harry Bosch, too. I guess John was a bit older than Val; still, Harry was supposed to have been in Vietnam, I think. He's no spring chicken. I just watched a movie John Ritter was in called "Tadpole." He did a good job, it was interesting. Fucking heart defect.

Okay, really, I must stop writing now. I really want a popsicle and instead of getting one, I've been sitting here, ogling men I don't know and will probably never know. Popsicle! Real Genius! Get the fuck up, Irene!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Martha at 3M

If you're 3M and you have Martha Stewart visiting you, wouldn't you pad your film about your company and its accomplishments to make it a tiny bit longer than a mere 3 minutes?

Three minutes! This is a company that makes over 75,000 products (Post-its! Scotch tape! Something called Vikuiti!) and they can't put together something longer than a stinkin' THREE minute film (thanks, Wikipedia, for these facts!)? I think they got gypped. Also? I want to see that film for myself!

Martha, bless her heart, had a great time, and I think I have to go on record here and say that I too think it would be amazingly fun to visit such a place.

Why does this curiosity make her a billionaire and me a huge nerd?

Click on the title of this post to be taken straight to Martha's post, complete with photos, captions, and even more description.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mahna Mahna!

My friend at work and I had a bit of a discussion about this song from the Muppet Show. She remembered the monsters singing it and I knew the song she was talking about, but not the words or the name.

I did a little research on Saturday and found five versions of the song (unfortunately, not the Muppet version) on iTunes, and burned her a CD. And then there's this...

LA Weekly Awards 2008

Yes, I was there, though, I almost wimped out at the last minute. It was fun. Congralations to Troy Dunn, who won an award for his performance in last year's "Quartet," and of course to Frederique Michel, who also won for her direction of the same show.

Pretty damn cool.

And now, to continue the tradition:

I don't think Paul did it on purpose, and he certainly didn't take this photo because I asked him too, but still, it is rather reminiscent of last year, no? (those are my legs on the right; I didn't realize he was taking the picture so I didn't have time to pose nicer) The pink dress on the left is worn by his girlfriend Cristina, a very nice person. The theme for the night was 1980s Rock and Roll. I chose to dress as Bobbi Flekman*. You know, money talks and bullshit walks.

*It's not true. I panicked and just wore black. I'm a musician, I don't do costumes. Old habits die hard.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Shortest bike ride on record

I woke up this morning around 9 o'clock but in spite of the early awake time, decided to do what I do best, which is - lay in bed. I listened to the radio, listened to my iPod, read a little, thought about work, made myself think about something else, etc. Once I finally got up, I decided to take it easy.

I am so good at taking it easy. Seriously: I could win awards. In one of Anne Lamott's novels, "Rosie," Elizabeth, the main character and her best friend do a lot of what they call "prone yoga." Prone yoga involves a lot of lying around, remaining still (Elizabeth is also an alcoholic; prone yoga involves a beer or five). Minus the beers (though, what a good idea, Anne), I've got some olympic-worthy prone yoga chops over here.


Updated a couple of days later:

So after doing some more training for the gold medal in laziness, I finally did get up and I rode my bike to the dry cleaners, which is about a 10 minute bike ride from home. If I had walked, I probably would've gotten more out of it, but the bike was more fun. This post was originally started on Friday. Now it's Sunday. Saturday, Patrick had to work, which was disappointing. Earlier in the week we had discussed having his mom come over to teach me how to make tamale pie, then, we had been reminded about the micro brew thing at Santa Anita this weekend, and then... Patrick found out that he had to work.

So instead, I set off on a more - what's the word? When you want to exceed yesterday's results? Industrious? No... Well, whatever, I had bigger plans for this bike ride. I decided I would ride over to the new Fresh & Easy by our house. I just got a new basket for my bike (the ride to the dry cleaners without one was scary) and I thought, well, I have to run a couple of errands, why not? So I hopped on the bike, threw my "purse" (a large canvas tote from J. Crew. I need a new purse) in the basket, and went to Cal Jewelers to get my ring cleaned. I used to go to this other place in Santa Monica that was right across the street from the bookstore but that's a little far to go. The cool thing about that place was, they did it for me the same day. I would drop my ring off in the morning, and it would be ready by lunch. This place in LB is much, much slower. My diamond is a little loose, though, and I don't want to put it off much longer. But it means I'll be without my ring until Wednesday. My hand looks funny without it. It's already 24 hours after I took it off, and I still have an indentation on that finger. By the way, I totally took the wrong route to the jewelry store, and actually saw myself getting run over all the way over there. If you were driving on Palo Verde yesterday around 1:00, thank you for not hitting me. I promise not to ride that way anymore.

Anyway, so the Fresh & Easy is actually in the shopping center across the street, so I left my bike locked up where it was, and walked over there.

And here's where I take a minute and talk about walking and riding in Long Beach.

I know I've mentioned before that when I was in my 20s, before I had a car, that I biked everywhere. I was brave, too (or "stupid"), because I would zoom into left turn lanes, and basically, was just more aggressive in traffic. It was no big deal, I never fell or got hit or caused an accident. I just looked at a map, and my ride to work (in the Culver Center) from my parents' house was 2.4 miles. The ride to Fresh & Easy is half that, but much, much more fraught with danger.

For one thing, yes, there is a bike lane on one of the main streets, but on the other (if you go from my house, it would be possible to get there on just 2 roads) there isn't. And both these streets are huge, 4-lane streets, with lots of traffic, 45 mile an hour speed limit (so you know some people are at least doing 50) - it's scary. I mostly just know the easy way to this part of town because I mostly just drive around here. I'm new to the biking my neighborhood business. Anyway, so now I'm on the pedestrian's side of things, and I've realized something I had forgotten:

Drivers of cars are assholes. They're distracted, impatient, they only look right in front of themselves, they don't turn their heads to see if someone is in the crosswalk and they drive way too fast around bicyclists and pedestrians. I have become that jerky person in the crosswalk who yells at people attempting to make a right turn at an intersection who doesn't look right. Yes: you are wrong, and I am going to tell you, rather than just stand there and let you run me over like a nice little girl.

Now, I'm not saying I'm a perfect driver (two speeding tickets within two months last year takes me out of the running, no?) but walking and biking around my town has definitely made me slow down and pay more attention.

The right turn thing is the most important thing to me. I almost got hit in the crosswalk a couple of times (and we're talking about when I was walking, not riding the bike) and it's scary, when you have the walk signal, and some jerk in a million pound car (what? car's don't weigh that much? If one strikes me in the street, does it matter if I'm off by a few thousand pounds?) is on the phone, can't turn their head to the right, and has no idea I'm there or not. Of course I'm going to look before I step off the curb. Of course I won't walk in front of a car on purpose. I'm just saying, wake up, slow down, think about what you're doing when you put those keys in the ignition, and don't hit anybody.

Okay, rant over.

So anyway, I got my groceries at Fresh & Easy (I had originally just gone there to get one of their amazing tomato & mozzarella sandwiches, but decided to pick up a few more things, and I ended up with two bags instead of just one), and headed back to my bike, and my nifty (but nerdy, yes, I am aware) new basket.

One bag would've been fine. Two bags was suicidal. I took a different, more neighborhood-centric route home, which was nice (except for the kids on that one street, who were out on their scooters and skateboards who all said "hi!" to me and then, I'm positive, all gave me the finger after I'd passed), but I was not at all comfortable with all the stuff.

Well, now I know. One bag, and one bag only.

Still, it was fun, though, not much riding (about 20 minutes round trip). I'll do it again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This post sounded better in my head

What a weird day. My boss didn't come in, and her inbox was jammed full, so she asked me to login for her and clear out her inbox of old emails (moved to archive folders, yada yada yada). It took FOREVER. She had a ton of email. I kept getting up (it's also 50 degrees in her office, I was freezing) and going back to my own, much warmer desk to do my own, much more pressing (but obviously less important) work, but I couldn't leave her job half done, so... I spent most of the day running back and forth, annoyed at the amount of time it took.

I did learn something today, though.

My friend was telling me about another friend who is on a spending spree (clothes, makeup, etc.) in anticipation of a rapidly approaching trip, and she had been consulting with her about makeup brushes. She mentioned a "kabuki brush." I immediately thought of kabuki theatre and so imagined that the only point in owning a kabuki brush would be to apply as much thick makeup as possible, at one time. It didn't sound attractive to me, and so I made the funniest comment I would make all day:

Is L. going to clown school?

Not that I am in any way implying that kabuki actors are clowns. Or anything disrespectful toward them, Japanese people, or anything. God. See what I mean? This was much, much better before I attempted telling it. Now I'm getting all tied up and wrong. Shit.

Anyway, um, no. it turns out a kabuki brush is just a nice large brush made of goat hair (please tell me the goats survive that).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Today's walk soundtrack provided by Genesis

So last night's hour of creativity (and which turned out not to be all that creative; I was unwittingly channeling Phil Collins) inspired me to listen to some actual Genesis.

I've had "Abacab" and "No Reply At All" pretty much on repeat most of the day. The lyrics to Abacab, which, to be honest, I've never really paid much attention to (I always sing the one part along with Phil, and Patrick makes fun of me, but only because of the way I say "da da die da da da da die da!"). Anyway, I love the way they throw in the word Abacab sort of parenthetically. I think I'm gonna start doing that myself.

Here's an example:

I've got an episode of "Hell's Kitchen" recording right now (Gordon Ramsay is so strangely appealing), but Patrick's out in the garage again (Abacab!) and I think I'll save it to watch later when he can watch it with me. Instead, I'm going to watch an A&E show I taped on Jane Austen (one of my favorite authors), which totally would not interest Patrick.

I took a slightly shorter walk today (45 mins.) because when I left, Patrick was making dinner (some kind of delicious sausage thing, and tamale pie, from Fresh & Easy), and the main point of my walk was to return some lip gloss I bought earlier in the day to Walgreen's (why is it that whenever I return anything to any store, I always feel like a thief? It's of course never true, but still. I had my receipt, but they made me wait for the manager, and I just felt like at any moment, they were going to cuff me to a chair in the back room and call my parents [Abacab!]). Oh, yeah, and to get outside. Whoever told me that exercise would improve my outlook on life was damn right. I had a great, productive day today and I felt like a million bucks. Oh, and I saw a couple of hummingbirds. What's better than that?

I go now. I've got things to do.

And no, that's not a euphemism.