Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bridal showers - Update

Tomorrow I am attending a bridal shower for a former co-worker. I'm not really looking forward to it, but that might be because I'm not fond of bridal showers in general. Even my own shower, while chock full of childhood friends and family and large expensive gifts, was a bit of a chore. There's not much about this one particularly that's offending me (other than it's distance from my home and the fact that I have to be in Santa Monica by 4:30 for the last performance of "The Mission..."), and in fact, I may have been a tad offensive to the bride already. Inadvertently, inadvertently. She and I have a way of unconsciously irritating each other.

See, she sent out her invitations (to the actual event, not the shower; another old co-worker is throwing the shower) via email. We did get hard copy invitations, but were instructed to RSVP by email. Not quite as gauche as an E-vite would've been, but hey, it's her big day, not mine. (My own tacky wedding invitations were handmade by me and my trusty embossing tool, and were printed on a crappy Desk Jet printer [it was 1998. Nobody had fancy printers then]. I used the font "French Script." They were simple, and printed on pretty cream colored cardstock. I believe I still have some left). Anyway, time was winding on, and I had yet to RSVP (the wedding is June 20), and she emailed me to see if Patrick and I were going, and to find out what type of meat we wanted to be served.

I apologized for not replying fast enough, and indicated that we would like "steak."

Steak was not one of the choices. "Chicken" or "beef" were the options. She was probably all, "Who the fuck does Irene think she is, requesting steak?" I'm sure it didn't go unnoticed. Should I have mentioned that I prefer nice, thick, juicy steaks? That I like my steak medium rare: more rare than medium, please? Maybe I should also have asked for the "good" bottle of Champagne, while I was at it. Would it have made it better (or worse) to request a private table? Candlelight for me and Patrick only? Our very own doggy bag of cake? Validated parking? Reimbursement for the outfit I'm going to have to buy (I have no wedding appropriate clothing, and never do, each time I attend a wedding. I'm not sure how that happens, but it does)? God, what a brat I am sometimes.

Anyway, what could I do but apologize? And of course I did, attempting to make a joke out of it. Unfortunately this particular former co-worker is very straight, very much enjoys being the one with all the cards, doesn't always subscribe to my sense of humor, and so, she didn't reply to my apology. Upsetting brides-to-be must be a specialty; I should add it to my resume.

Well, I'm sure whatever "beef" she's serving will be good enough for me and Patrick, people who subsist on pre-made Fresh & Easy microwave dinners and Trader Joe's Chicken Pot Pies. I'll keep you posted.


Update added at 10:30 p.m.

The shower was lovely. My friend - the one getting married - is so obviously happy that I can't help but be happy for her, too.

Also, the friends having the shower just happen to live up the street from Porto's Bakery, and since we got up there way early and I wanted to bring the hostesses a treat, and have always wanted to go to Porto's... we did. We got these amazing little cookies that were filled with dulce de leche or raspberry filling for the dessert table, and two sweet pieces of strawberry shortcake for the hostesses to tuck into once all the guests had gone home.

Tonight was also the final performance of "The Mission (Accomplished)" at City Garage... and as usual, I am conflicted about it being over. On the one hand... I get to be home with Patrick more. On the other hand, I'll miss all the carpooling (that's not a euphemism), and the show itself. The thing I have to remember about this type of situation is that just because something cool is over, doesn't mean more cool stuff won't happen again.

Yes. I struggle with the simplest things.

Now I gotta get to work on what I'm going to wear later this month to my friend's wedding.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Great Freeway Experiment

Tonight on my way to Culver City, I decided to try something new for a change:

Slowing down.

Usually I steam along, if traffic allows for it, at the fastest speed possible. Tonight traffic heading north was surprising light so blazing a trail at 80 or 85 would've been easier than you might think.

But because I recently paid $4.09 a gallon for gas, and because my neighbor's new Altima has been mocking me and my speed demon ways all week, I decided to take my friend Bo's advice and slow the fuck down.

So I set my cruise control at 60, set up my iPod to shuffle all songs, and tapped along to every song with my right foot (practicing my bass drum licks?) as I never can normally when driving. It wasn't s bad as I expected - I thought I'd have people swerving around me, swearing at me, tailgating me, shaking their fists - but I stayed in the right lanes, and it was just fine. I even got there in 30 minutes, which was kind of surprising, because there was the usual bottleneck thing going on at Manchester.

I did the same thing on the way home. The other bonus was I was much less stressed out than usual once I arrived at home.

Subject: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

From: Irene
To: Andrea
Sent: Wed, May 28, 2008 at 3:09 PM
Subject: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Thanking you in advance for your bigheadedness and stubborn idiotic refusal to answer a simple question,


Alternate version:

Thanking you in advance for your manly technical assistance (how do you keep all those ones and zeroes straight! Why it just makes my little head spin!), you big strong man you,

Assistant to [Irene's Boss's Title Here]
Babysitter of Secretary to [Irene's Boss's Title Here]
Professional Smartass
Special Unit of Stewart Copeland Fans
Official Notifier When the Refrigerator Is To Be Cleaned
Distributor of the Mysterious Blue Pieces of Paper (AKA "Assignments") That Are Summarily Ignored
Webmaster and Facebook Coordinator for Culver City Flute Choir
The Goddess of the Booth at City Garage Theatre (this part is true)

(Really? This was "explain" to me...? When? Because I must be too stupid to know how to pull up an email that DOESN'T EXIST)
(And you think Procurement is difficult!)
(I hope my sarcasm in the sign-off isn't too apparent.)
(I am so blogging this.)
From: Irene
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:54 PM
To: Computer Dude
Cc: Computer Dude's Boss
Subject: RE: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Dude, I wasn't aware that any info had been provided about this request. I haven't received any response to my original email sent February 4, in which I asked for suggestions on how to do this.

How should I go about making these additions without the original Word document? Will I need to recreate the entire thing or is there an easier way to go about it? I can save the Word document from the Intranet but am not allowed to make changes.

Thank you for your expertise and assistance,
From: Computer Dude
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:04 AM
To: Irene
Cc: Computer Dude's Boss; Irene's Boss
Subject: RE: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Hello Irene, I tried calling you this morning about the signature line on the PE's. This is something that has to be completed on your end. Once its completed, then we can add this to the Intranet. The PE needs to be re-typed and sent to us for posting.

Irene this was explain to you before about having this document re-created.

Computer Dude, ISS/Webmaster
Internet/Intranet Development Unit
Multimedia Cinematography/Photography/Editing Unit
DVD/CD Creations and Authoring Solutions Unit
Two More Lines of Crap That Are Too Specific
About Where We Actually Work To Be Posted Here
From: Computer Dude's Boss
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 9:57 PM
To: Computer Dude
Cc: Computer Dude's Boss's Secretary
Subject: Fw: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Computer Dude, please contact Irene by phone first thing Wednesday morning and respond to her request. Please notify me and [Computer Dude's Boss's Secretary] as soon as you have spoken with her. Thank you.
From: Irene
To: Computer Dude's Boss
Sent: Tue May 27 14:46:00 2008
Subject: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Hi, Dude's Boss,

I have been unable to confirm if this has been completed. Please ask Computer Dude to contact me if he has any questions regarding this request.

From: Irene
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 4:43 PM
To: Computer Dude
Cc: Computer Dude's Boss
Subject: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Dude, could you please reply to this message and let me know if this is possible, and if so, when we can expect the form on the Intranet to be updated?

Thank you,
From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:22 PM
To: Computer Dude
Subject: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Hi, Dude,

I am following up on this request. Please advise if you have been able to add the signature line as indicated below.

From: Irene
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 11:07 AM
To: Computer Dude
Cc: Irene's Boss
Subject: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Computer Dude, the Performance Evaluation forms need to be updated to include a section on each page that follows the first page for the supervisor and the employee to initial (with the date). I didn't create these forms and can't make changes to them. Could you please take a look at them (the annual and the probationary PEs both need this addition) and let me know if it is possible to add this information?

If you have any questions, please call me.

From: Irene
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 10:45 AM
To: Irene's Boss
Subject: RE: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

OK, I'll work on it.
From: Irene's Boss
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 10:42 AM
To: Irene
Subject: RE: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

yes, we just need to update the form.
From: Irene
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 10:30 AM
To: Irene's Boss
Subject: Telephone Message: Performance Evals

Boss, Another Employee called this morning from One of Our Offices re: our PE forms that are on the Intranet. She pointed out that other departments have signature lines on the pages after page 1 to ensure that no unauthorized changes have been made to those preceding pages. Our form doesn't have that, and she was concerned.

Is that something we can have added to our forms? I told her to go ahead and complete her PE using the form as-is and that I would check with you about the possibility of updating our forms and get back to her.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The booth

Paul took this photo tonight of me in the booth. Lighting was terrible, that glare off the posters in front is scary, my hair was poofy, you can't see my cleavage: but here you go. This is where I work three nights a week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

These things would be a lot better if they came with the spiral notebook.


Supposedly some relative of my mother's but the answer is a little confusing, because that woman's name wasn't "Irene" (I may lack a basic understanding of that story).


Sunday, 9:32 p.m. It was outside, in the backyard, on the swing, in front of the garage. I was smoking a cigarette, and the sky was full of stars...


Yes, but my footwriting - that you gotta see.




Yes, three; they're all four-legged and furry and one of them was last month's "Student Of the Month" at school. We're so proud!


Maybe. I'm pretty needy. And competitive. And I lie all the time.




Yes, they're all mine. Wisdom teeth, too. What else do you want to know about my useless body parts ?

Appendix: check.

Coccyx: check.

Body hair: Well, that's a tad personal, now.


Yes! But I'd be scared shitless.


Corn Pops, Cheerios, Special K with those mysterious "red" berries.


I untie everything when I take it off. Including the "handcuffs."


Mentally or physically? Oh wait, neither.


Chocolate malted crunch from Thrifty! Thank God for Rite-Aid.


How attracted to me they appear to be. If they look like they read Ayn Rand's novels in their formative years. If they have any money. If their fly is down. If I think I could drink their milkshake.


Red. Pink is only good for toenail polish, and Patrick's bike. And old profile photos (what, you thought my shirt was white? Oh, no, it's the palest pink possible).


My willingness to consider answering that question with a serious response. Though, this question is worded funny. What do you mean, "THE least favorite thing..." Do you mean, MY least favorite thing, or THE least favorite thing about me, as determined by consensus?

Seriously, I think my least favorite thing is also my favorite thing: my inability to give up. Oh, yeah, I've had some dreams since 1985 or so, things that should've been long forgotten and/or discussed in therapy. You know, those things. I still harbor a dim hope that some of my hopes and dreams will still come true, even though I'm 36 and my best years - let's be honest - are probably behind me. I think that's kind of cool, actually (not that my best years are behind me) - that I still think I could accomplish those things. Let's go, me - get a move on!


Hanging with Rachel, Melissa and Michelle everyday - having a built in audience, the best listeners in the world, and ready-made entertainment at my disposal, all fucking day long. With nothing to do but go to school, which only some of us took seriously. Let's see, which ones of us didn't take it seriously? The ones who went to USC? Or the ones who debated the validity of Robert Plant referencing Gollum in "Ramble On"? We made each other laugh and I wish we still did. Those three chicks were special, and not just because they thought I was funny.

(Also, I miss Kevin, the kid across the street. Wait, his parents just told me he's moving back home after a year at college. I am soo glad. We're not close, I just like knowing he's around if I need a 19-year old baseball player for anything.)


Everyone? Hell no. If somebody does, though, I will be incredibly surprised.


Sort of brown/black ersatz hounds-tooth pants (the Gap calls it "woven stripe," whatever that means); black shoes. Why? Are you trying to pick me out of the crowd in your crosshairs?


Chicken wings, from Wingstop. I had 5 Original Hots and 5 Mild, plus fries, and a beer (Pacifico. Wingstop should really consider carrying Red Stripe).




Maize (renamed "Dandelion" in 1990); on a good day: Unmellow Yellow. Though, I have to admit I always loved Midnight Blue.


Food cooking. Any food. I'm kinda hungry right now.


My friend Bo who told me his kitty is doing better.


She's okay.


Summer Olympics, figure skating, baseball sometimes.


Dark, dark brown hair speckled with a few white ones here and there.


Brown. Crayola calls it "Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown."


No. I tried them in high school and on my wedding day. My eyes are too sunken for contacts. I look like a skull without glasses. And, that line about guys not making passes at girls who wear glasses? Total falsehood. Some guy in Best Buy last night hit me with a "hey baby" in the cell phone department. And that's with hair in a ponytail, in a sweatshirt and jeans, clutching the DVD of "Square Pegs" (which we didn't buy). Yeah, I still got it.


Anything cooked with love. And sushi, which isn't cooked but loved nonetheless.


Happy endings, and not just for movies.


Ugly Betty, but I'm behind about 3 weeks.


Black sweater No. 4. Wouldn't this question have been better combined with question #19? Plan ahead next time, okay?




Both. Please. Hey. What are you waiting for?


Anything a la mode.






"The Pleasure of My Company," by Steve Martin; well, it's on my bedside table, but I haven't started it yet. It looks awfully short, and the thing about Steve Martin, which I discovered from reading his book "Born Standing Up," is that he likes to leave you wanting more. This is fine when there is actually more to be had, but unless I can find a collection of his pieces for the New Yorker or go rent "Three Amigos!" there's not much else more out there. Loved him in the Bee Gees' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" movie, too.


Some ergonomic crap, which I am currently ignoring. Both feet on the floor? Girl, please.


The last five minutes of American Idol; Top Chef.


That little chirrupy meow thing Franny does when I get out of the shower; the sound of my boss walking out of the building.




That time in the 12th grade I climbed out my bedroom window and went to a midnight screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" with Damon Jacobs (worst driver of 1990). Oh, yeah, and my trip to France a couple of years later.


Oh, yes.


Santa Monica, CA.


I'm looking forward to lots of things. Answers, not so much.

Julie, I know we've both done these a hundred times, but hey, what's 101? Go for it, babe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 11:24 AM
To: Andrea

Oh, I get that too. I didn't think you would appreciate my sending emails that have no response. This is far more entertaining than "..." Or "---" Or " ." No?

This morning I found a photo of my friend Rachel from the 8th grade with whom I am still friends. Rachel wrote an alternate version of "KIT" on the back. She was such a rebel! She wrote, "Stay funny and weird. P.S. You love Piglet."

Nice to know I was funny (how so, I wonder? Unless she meant, "funny looking") in 1986 (I'm just going to ignore the weird part. Is that a compliment? I don't want to think about it anymore), but I have NO IDEA who Piglet was. That's just crazy. For me to have loved someone and to not remember it?! Unbelievable. I could write you a list - RIGHT NOW - of every crush since kindergarten. Starting with Jeremy Portfilio. But we'll save that list for another day and time. Now I want to know who was Piglet and why did I love him? Was Piglet cute? Did Piglet know I loved him? Where's Piglet now?

From: Andrea
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 11:17 AM
To: Irene

Sheesh, at least he responds to your emails, lucky. I get nothing.

From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 11:09 AM
To: Andrea

If he had just said in his 10:31 message that he had called him, I would've left him and his supervisors alone and all this would've been moot. MOOT. Moooooooot. Moot.

I like that I used the word "gentleman" in the original message. "Dude" was the word I would've normally reached for. Those classes in deportment are finally kicking in. Next is the book-on-head trick.

I have zero motivation today. ZERO. Zerrrrrrrrrro. Zero.

From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 11:04 AM
To: Random Co-worker
Cc: Random Co-worker's Supervisor; Random Co-worker's Other Supervisor

Great. Thank you.

From: Random Co-worker
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:57 AM
To: Irene
Cc: Random Co-worker's Supervisor; Random Co-worker's Other Supervisor

yes...I called him a hour ago by the time I received your e-mail. I also explain to him the letter been sent out already.

From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:54 AM
To: Random Co-worker
Cc: Random Co-worker's Supervisor; Random Co-worker's Other Supervisor

Could you please call and let him know, since he has been enquiring?

From: Random Co-worker
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:31 AM
To: Irene
Cc: Random Co-worker's Supervisor; Random Co-worker's Other Supervisor

For Mr. Caller, he already been schedule for the written test on June 6, and the schedule notice has been sent out yesterday.

From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:33 AM
To: Random Co-worker

Cc: Random Co-worker's Supervisor; Random Co-worker's Other Supervisor


Random Co-worker, we received a call this morning on The Big Boss's line from a gentleman who applied for the Such-and-Such position (he said) nine weeks ago. He's been trying to reach you regarding the status of his application. Please give him a call and let me know what the outcome is. I will follow up later today.

(310) 867-5309

Mike's To Do List

I found this in Patrick's photo album. His friend Mike stayed with him, I think they were seniors in high school.

Kids in the 80s sure had it different than they do today. "No jail" has to be the sweetest thing a mom can say to her 17 or 18 year old son.


Sorry the image is so big. I don't feel like making it any smaller. Download time may be slow. I suggest you do something else while you wait. Like eat something. Wouldn't a toaster waffle be good right now? Or a nice cold Diet Coke?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Subject: RE:

From: Andrea
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 10:53 AM
To: Irene
Subject: RE:
You said it woman, now do it.

From: Irene
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 10:29 AM
To: Andrea
Subject: RE:

Well. The conversation I was having may or may not have been all that appropriate... and my friend normally seems entertained by my judgmental-ness (judgementality?) and joins in, so yeah, the irritation expressed may have been directed at some other aspect of my sparkling personality or some other stupid thing I had said. This friend knows me really, really well (too well, I guess, because there aren't many people with whom I've been so honest even after I find out they think I'm stupid. Mostly I let them think I'm flawed yet interesting. What, not believable?) - my usual level of idiocy is recognized for its comic merits only.

I know I do it and I know I've done it forever and I know what it comes from - human nature, yeah, and a way to cover insecurities, which, since we're having this conversation (much to your surprise and annoyance, I'm sure) is also something I need to get over or work on, because I seem to be carrying a heavier load of that BS right now than I ever have. I don't remember when I've ever felt exactly confident but I also don't remember being such a greasy ball of "I'm not good enough." I either need to make up my mind that it's not true or just let it go and stop worrying about it and accept that I am who I am with my own special set of limitations. This could take forever but you gotta start somewhere.

Yeah. I'm having that moment right now, and it's not fun for anybody.

From: Andrea
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 10:02 AM
To: Irene
Subject: RE:

Everyone is a little judgmental to a certain extent. I think that's human nature. I'm thinking that you struck a chord with the person who told you that, either emotionally or otherwise with something you said. [REDACTED]

From: Irene
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 9:36 AM
To: Andrea

I am learning to not diss people for [REDACTED]. Somebody I care about told me this weekend how judgmental I am and how, oh, shall we say, irritating that is, so I am making an effort to relax my ridiculous standards a little); however [REDACTED] is not exactly a winning position to be in.

Ask a simple question, get a complicated answer!

Something I said this weekend

I said something kind of annoying and stupid to a friend of mine on Saturday night, and then I followed it up with something equally kind of annoying and stupid that I can't seem to recover from.

I said, "...and I promise to grow up by Friday."

Without the context I know this is lame; maybe I can tell you that this was my possibly foolish attempt to keep things the way they had been and to move my friend's attention away from the original Kind of Annoying and Stupid thing I had just said. And it's not untrue, my need to grow up - you all know it's something that needs to be done, and by me; just because I only recently figured it out doesn't mean it wasn't always an issue (making the title of my blog a bit of a lie, because by posting Kurt's quote up there it would seem that I knew firsthand that maturity was a disappointment. No. Obviously. One thing I do know is that laughing about shit always makes me feel better, no matter how bad that shit is. But that's not quite the same thing, now is it). But by FRIDAY?

I mean, I've always been good with last-minute stuff, say, rehearsing for a concert or a recital or writing a paper or something, but to actually grow - to mature - I don't even know what that means, but I'm pretty sure it's the kind of thing that takes time, and now I have what, four days to do it in (I don't know what the consequences will be if I don't achieve this goal, I only know that I pissed off my friend once and possibly more than once, because I am a bit dogged sometimes when I have something really, really stupid to say: I do think before I speak, I recognize that what I'm about to say is dumb, but where I fuck up is, I actually say the thing that I know is going to ruin everything. Now you know it wasn't the first time I made an ass out of myself, but it was the first time my friend commented on it, and in a weary voice, too. Weary).

At the very least, maybe by Friday I will have learned to keep my big mouth shut.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

And I think I could die here

I've had this song in my head all day, it's a Blind Melon song, and it's called "The Duke." The title of today's post (click on the title to hear a sample) is the line that I've had in my head, and the way dear old dead Shannon Hoon sings that line is very beautiful and - if "beautiful" and the word I'm about to say are allowed to be spoken in the same breath - catchy. I hear that song, as I did this morning on my way to work, and I spend the whole nine hours of work with that one line repeating off and on all day.

It's just a cool line and he sells it. I don't know if Blind Melon is considered to be kind of a jam band or if they're kind of not-cool anymore, but I don't really care. Me, and my rather uptight hippie chick persona - one that I've been cultivating so long that I think I may finally have it just about perfected - me and Blind Melon make sense.

Anyway, so I'm driving home, listening to music, and "The Duke" comes on. I think I've mentioned before that Thursday night drivers, for some reason, seem to conspire to keep me from getting home in a satisfactory amount of time (I can do the drive from Culver City to LB, in optimum conditions, in 28 minutes), either by driving 60 mph in the fast lane or by just being total idiots - I get a tiny bit impatient, especially when I leave later than I usually did, as I did tonight... and I will confess that my driving may have been a tad bit erratic for a moment there too (damn iPod) as I was getting on the freeway, but after we'd been driving for awhile, at about 65-70, somewhere around Redondo Beach Boulevard, Shannon hit me with "and I think I could die here" right about at the same time the car in front of me (a silver Honda Civic) - we were in the lane next to the carpool lane, I guess that's the fast lane, no? - slammed on their brakes, changed lanes (to the right), went behind me and then passed me again on the left, a move that made absolutely no sense, now that I'm writing it down.

Anyway, I just want to state for the record, that I don't particularly want to die anytime soon, and in my car, with or without Shannon Hoon providing the soundtrack (as lovely as it may be), is definitely not the way I want to go. If you consider the amount of time I spend in my car, though, it probably will be.


And, because there's really no way to link that story with what I am about to tell you, well, I'll just jump right in.

There's a big bulletin board in the rear lobby of my building at work. Our building has multiple entrances, so calling it a rear lobby might sound funny but it's accurate and fussing over what it's called has no purpose other than providing me with the opportunity to use the phrase "multiple entrances." So. In the rear lobby there is a large cork board, or maybe it's several large corkboards, now I don't remember. It's for the department to post stuff, announcements about things, union notices, etc.

The other day I noticed a postcard advertising the services of a clown.

Yes, you read that right.

But not just any clown: Coolaid the Clown. There wasn't much on the postcard other than photos of Coolaid applying his makeup, and a web address. Turns out Coolaid has an act called "Coolaid the Clown & His Buck Dancers," and what the hell that is, I have no idea. I can only guess.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Subject: RE: I'm confused

From: Irene
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 10:00 AM
To: Andrea
Subject: RE: I'm confused

I have always been fully clothed in that theater though I would consider doing the lights for The Mission (Accomplished) topless. Wait, what? Mmmm, sausage...

From: Andrea
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 9:32 AM
To: Irene
Subject: RE: I'm confused

You do a lot of nude plays, huh? There's a fine line between bravery and.... looking like a stuffed sausage in a casing?

From: Irene
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 9:25 AM
To: Andrea
Subject: I'm confused

Remember I told you I was buying more size 8 pants and that they were fitting me? Size 8 isn't that great but it's the smallest I've been in ages. Anyway, my new size 8s are great (today's pants, though ugly navy blue, fit just fine) but my old size 8s have obviously shrunk. So I go from one day to the next feeling fat and then feeling not that fat. I mean, I know I gotta do something about my flab and my tummy but at work when fully clothed I can sort of hide it. I'm never gonna be as brave as some people (So-and-So in ****! She looks great and her clothes are beautiful but man! Belly!) but hey, that's just me.

Then on Sunday this girl at the theater who has known me since when I was a good 25 pounds heavier and self-conscious and A FAT COW: it just so happens that she's beautiful and petite and svelte (she's been nude on stage) and everyone's in love with her (can you sense my jealousy? God, I suck totally); she complimented me on how good I look, which instead of making me feel good, made me feel like a fat cow. A mean fat cow, because inside I was all, "I don't need your compliments, you skinny bitch" but outside I was nice and said thank you. Oh, so mean and wrong, because of course I need compliments, and of course I was grateful: I so obviously suck it up, but I mean, what the fuck?

Oh, I'm bitter, now, too. Great. No response necessary, I just had to say "fat cow" a couple of times. I feel better now.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sushi and beer improve crappy moods. Who knew?

Patrick had the good fortune of picking a $100 bill up off the ground near his car in an undisclosed location today. It was kind of funny, because he called me at work, told me something else about some guys he's been working with, listened to my story about this lady I work with -- Short version, here:

She and/or her staff lost the file for this guy who wants to work for us. A week ago. So I go into her office with her boss, and we're discussing it. And this lady says to me, "We lost the file! Nobody has it!" She's told me this story before and yet in the days that have passed since I first heard this story, she hasn't done anything about it. So I'm sitting down (her boss is standing), and I say, in this really mean little voice, "So what you're telling me basically is that this guy is screwed because YOU LOST HIS FILE?" I didn't get louder at the end, just sarcastic, but as everyone knows, sarcasm is difficult to convey via, um, the written word. Unless you're Philip Roth, and - as you should already be aware - I am not.

Anyway, so he listened to my story and laughed at the idiots I work with and the way I told the story (it was a much better story on the phone), and then he goes, "Oh, hey, guess what I found when I was at _______?" And I'm all, um, "evil Bart?" (I'm giving you clues, what's wrong with you people?) He said "No... [thought about it, got it, then said:] I found a hundred dollar bill!"

After we confirmed that he had indeed found a hundred dollar bill ("No!" "Yes!" "Really!?" "Yes!" "Is it real?" "Yes!" see how my shortened version of this made the story flow better?), the first thing he said was, "Wanna go back to Haru Haru?"

Haru Haru is the sushi restaurant we went on our 10 year anniversary and it was amazing, and we couldn't wait to go back again. This was the perfect occasion. Plus getting drunk on a Monday night is always fun, and I should seriously think about doing it more often. Plus Haru Haru is next door to BevMo! and Trader Joe's and there's nothing funnier than BevMo! and Trader Joe's after one has had 2 large Sapporos. It's not my favorite beer in the world but the sheer volume of it made up for it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Patrick and I celebrated Mother's Day with our moms a day early this year. We took them to Natalee Thai in Culver City for lunch yesterday. I haven't been there in a hundred (literally? No) years, and my mom has only been there a couple of times, so it seemed like a great idea.

Luckily, it was.

We didn't have to wait (which all of you people celebrating mom's day today will no doubt be doing), the food was really good (though, I would get rid of those ugly burgundy plates, Natalee Thai: they look old and dirty), and both Adeline and Keta (Pat's mom and my mom, respectively) seemed to enjoy it.

Afterwards we came home and found out that I didn't have to go to the theater after all, so we decided to go see "Iron Man."

Loved it. The 8:00 and 8:30 shows were sold out when we got there so we ended up at the 9 p.m. show, and even though it was kind of late when it got out, I would've quite happily sat through the whole thing all over again. Robert Downey, Jr. was amazing and the movie was fun and entertaining and good looking and I loved it.

Today we've slept in, and watched some TV, and had breakfast, and now Patrick is snoring on the couch with the cats, and I am going to get ready for "The Mission (Accomplished)" later today, and possibly clean the house a little. Possibly: it's 50/50 right now. Happy mother's day to all the mothers in the world (Oh. Did I tell you that I have dreamed about having a baby two days in a row? Do you think that's weird? Worrisome? Obvious?). My cats love me, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I could probably get kicked off of Facebook for this...

  • Irene Palma is tired.
  • Irene Palma ate too much chicken for dinner tonight and followed that up with too much delicious potato salad from Fresh & Easy.
  • Irene Palma also had - as a snack - a few Pringles.
  • Irene Palma thinks Fresh & Easy's theme song should be a bastardization of the Eagles song "Take It Easy."
  • Irene Palma wants a cut when the marketing geniuses at Fresh & Easy make the decision to go with that idea.
  • Irene Palma left work early today to take a two hour nap and is still tired.
  • Irene Palma has a stack of work at least six inches tall waiting for her on her desk tomorrow (and it's probably taller now).
  • Irene Palma won't be home tomorrow, Friday, Saturday or Sunday night and while she is excited about being at flute choir (Thursday) and City Garage (process of elimination), she's kind of bummed out about that.
  • Irene Palma is really glad dumb-ass Dominique got kicked off of America's Next Top Model.
  • Irene Palma should've gone for a bike ride tonight.
  • Irene Palma smoked a cigarette yesterday (American Spirit; the black box), and would do the whole disgusting thing all over again.
  • Irene Palma plans on giving her mother money for Mother's Day. Again.
  • Irene Palma just paid a couple of bills by phone and is irritated by the whole experience.
  • Irene Palma got a very interesting email yesterday.
  • Irene Palma could be in love with Colin Greenwood, the bass player from Radiohead.
  • Irene Palma thinks the Check Mii Out function on the Wii is an enormous waste of time but Patrick inexplicably loves it.
  • Patrick thinks Facebook is for geeking out.
  • Patrick is 100% right.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Earlier today

Earlier today I had lots of good ideas for blog posts. Earlier today, when I was going to lunch, and driving in my car, and therefore unable to write down these ideas, because I had a large automobile at my beck and call and for which I was responsible. Though sometimes I wonder if my car is harboring a computer (a la Gay Deceiver) that I am not aware of but is capable of keeping me from crashing and/or causing mayhem on the streets on which I drive. One day I may find a secret button under the dash, for example, which will awaken Gay and allow us to converse and form a real relationship. Wouldn't that be cool?

For example:

Last night I decided that I wanted Arby's for dinner. I had Arby's on Sunday with my friends Bo and Jeff, and I was suitably impressed with it (I had the pecan chicken salad sandwich on wheat; it was pretty darn good) and so decided to try again. The drive-through was empty, the service was quick, and I pulled out of the parking lot to make a left turn onto the street that would lead me back home, when I realized, half-way across the street, that making a left turn at that particular section of the road was not possible, because of this little thing called a "median."

A median. It wasn't large, or high (or painted yellow or have reflectors or a "one way" sign), and maybe I could've gone over it, but instead, instead (I am truly a genius!) I decided to back up and straighten out and go right.

It would've all been okay had there not been vehicles coming. Isn't that just the way things work out? Luckily the drivers of those vehicles were looking where they were going, and they all managed to swerve around me (thank you, cars, for not hitting me: I am eternally grateful), while I sat there, akimbo to the road, freaking out (nervously laughing, saying to myself, over and over, shit-shit-shit-shit-shit, etc.), until I was able to get the fuck out of the way.

Needless to say, I could've done with Gay, who, I imagine, would've been able to override my idiot move, at that moment, but I thought about it, and realized, hey, I'm not dead, there was no "right turn only" sign at the driveway, no one was hurt and/or killed, all's well that ends well, and no, this isn't the post I imagined earlier in the day as I drove to Panda Express for lunch, but hey, check it out, I've successfully written something.

"Successful" in that I am satisfied with it enough to hit "Publish Post."

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Results of today's garage sale:

- I made $7 (yes you read that right)

- I spent $11.69 on lunch for both me and my mom

I gave the $7 to my mom because she is donating all the money she made from the garage sale ($170) to this friend of hers who has a very close friend who has a son in need of some important medical equipment that the insurance will not pay for, and while $7 isn't much, it's better than nothing

- I brought all the stuff home that didn't sell (about $150 worth of stuff) and donated it to Good Will

- I won't feel it until next year but I suspect somewhere in there I came out ahead

- Today we got our econonic stimulus (or whatever it's called) in the mail - woohoo!

Did I tell you...

... on Thursday I had my ass handed to me on a platter?

Well, sort of. It did take me rather by surprise. And hey, my ego has been delicate lately, so if this story seems a bit maudlin, so be it.

We got a new person in flute choir this quarter, and she's amazing. Really good, young, player, with expressive beautiful style. We were sight-reading something I'd never heard or seen before (hence the expression "sight reading") and her part (she was on flute 1, solo) sounded damn hard: she nailed it. Turned out later that it's one of her favorite pieces and she probably has it memorized; still, her playing was gorgeous. I haven't sounded gorgeous in flute choir in a while. In fact, I've been pretty tired and worn out and not exactly wowing anybody. I mean, I can appreciate a good player same as the next person, and comparisons are stupid, but is it wrong to admit that at the same time I was admiring her playing, I was a tiny bit - Oh, let's not say it, after all. I guess you know what I'm getting at.

There's always going to be someone better than you (see how I've taken the "I" out of this part?) - I know that. I know from all the flute conventions I've been to that my lazy-ass style of practicing and working on stuff won't exactly win me any awards, but in my small pond... it's been good enough. God, I hate all this re-evaluating I've been having to do lately, and I don't mean just about flute playing, but about how I deal with stress at work, and with my friends, and life in general. I'm not telling everything I've been dealing with, on the inside, lately. I'm also still trying to figure out how I really feel about my flute playing and what I want from it, and if the way I've been doing it is good enough (the answer is probably "no" but that would mean I need to work harder or just give it up completely; those options are both, right now, impossible). And while her playing was inspiring and I do get jazzed about all the good players I get to work with in flute choir, and normally I don't take it this way (a challenge!; which is dumb, I know), it was also a wake up call.

Maybe I needed it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Your experiences = my dreams

Last night I had this crazy dream, and I woke up at 3 a.m. because of it. Then as I lay there thinking about what I had just dreamed, I realized that it was quite similar to a story my friend Andrea told me earlier that day.

She had a wisdom tooth pulled on Saturday, and afterwards, had developed some kind of weird bony growth in the space where the tooth was. On Tuesday, she returned to the dentist, who ripped out the bony growth (I believe the growth consisted of "bone," which is why I'm calling it "bony growth;" she told me it had some official name, her growth, but damn if I can remember what it was) and left her with a big hole in her mouth. No stitches. It all seemed kind of barbaric to me, but then, dentistry must be a dark art, no?

My dream was slightly different but kind of based on her story (which, to be honest, I doubt she believed that I was listening to her, because I was in the midst of Report Hell when she stopped by my desk. See? I do listen). It started out with me walking from one place to another in a group of people I haven't seen since high school; the "Beautiful People." These were the popular kids, all grown up. Do I have to spell that out? Don't my dreams usually involve people I don't know? And in the dream, though they rarely did in real life, they were speaking to me, and we were walking from one place to another, because the girls, in the dream, for some reason were afraid to go to their cars alone. So we're outside somewhere, and I'm surrounded by people.

Suddenly, a tooth breaks through the roof of my mouth - it's as if it's been shot out, but through the roof of my mouth, where, I don't have to tell you, no teeth grow! - and lands on the ground in front of us. As if my brain had created this tooth and was rejecting it, and the only way out was through my mouth (and thank God I wasn't dreaming about teeth ejecting from the top of my head, because that would send me straight to therapy). And then shards of bone and tooth are flying out from the hole, and I'm left standing there with this huge, gaping, bloody hole in the roof of my mouth. The people standing around me aren't shocked or grossed out, but instead they're all, "Hey, did you see that?" and "Are you OK?"

I woke up and I swear, the feeling in my mouth - it was like a missile! - was still there. I really felt that tooth and the hole it created in the dream. Thankfully the roof of my mouth was intact, though I did feel around with my tongue for quite a while.