Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the year "best of"

What's the end of the year without a top 10 list? For those of you who are recently joining me I thought I'd pick out my favorite posts from 2008. If you're interested in what I have to say, this will save you some time and help avoid the posts where I write about my cat or something.

For those of you who have been around for awhile, and have already read these entries, well, now would be a great opportunity for you to go out and get something frothy and alcoholic to drink. Happy new year, everybody!

10. January 4, 2008
The most frustrating ride home ever
I lose then find my ATM card, Patrick's car craps out on us, and I eat a Burrito Bol.

9. February 5, 2008
Vote, Part II
Because election day deserved more than one entry ("Vote, Part I" is not all that interesting, I can tell you right now)?

8. February 24, 2008
Updated profile
Wherein I took a question posed by the powers that be at Blogger and created a whole fantasy world in which I recorded an album with Stewart Copeland called "I Can See Now" with a listing of what are quite possibly the worst fake song titles in history.

7. March 1, 2008
Fake Interview with Terri Gross, Part 1 and Part 2
I was apparently on a roll with the fantasy world stuff because in this entry, I made up a whole interview of me by Terri Gross on NPR about my "relationship" with Stewart Copeland. During the interview, I apparently was overcome by emotion or something. Oh: I did a good job on this, I can admit it. And I seem to remember laughing almost the whole time while writing it - and that, my friends, is the only criteria that I care about.

These two separate entries count as just one item on the list because I'm pretty sure I wrote it all in one sitting, during one night. Oh, I don't know why they count as one, but this is my damn list. I make the rules.

6. April 13, 2008
A long, rambling post about the cue-to-cue for THE MISSION (ACCOMPLISHED), a show at City Garage for which I did the lights. I talk a lot about parking in Santa Monica, not reading the script, the fact that I was listening to "In Rainbows" and finding a love letter Patrick wrote me back in the old days. Well, not exactly a love letter, but sort of.

5. May 29, 2008
Subect: FW: Telephone Message: Performance Evals
A series of emails between me and a bone-headed dork guy from the IT department at my old job.

4. June 24, 2008
Standing up for myself, one tiny step at a time
Another rambling long entry about a little thing that happened at work where I finally stopped letting people walk all over me. Well, not really, but that will do for this synopsis.

3. August 14, 2008
Someone going berserk
Patrick demonstrates that he can sleep through anything, and I demonstrate a will to wake him up.

2. September 16, 2008
Great gig in the sky
I talk about the moon, LA, Pink Floyd, and BAD PENNY, the show I was helping to run at City Garage at the time, and even include a couple of blurry photos.

1. October 27, 2008
But I'm so glad it's Friday night! To be! A centaur!
Many disparate subjects are discussed in this entry; among them: tires, walking, music that is or is not appropriate to walk to, "Bye Bye Birdie," old high school cheers, and tech rehearsals at City Garage.

So you can see, unless I miscounted (always a possibility) I have 10 items here and we're just to October. Having two favorites from February was probably a mistake, but whatever. November and December were so recent that choosing a favorite from those two months seems almost like cheating.

All I can say now is, at the end of the year and the end of this entry: read this stuff or don't read it - it's up to you. But to those of you who join me here, thanks. It is my pleasure to act the fool for you. I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I am a total wimp yet still I am proud of myself

For Christmas, Patrick and I got ourselves a gym membership. I've been talking about it for awhile, just me going alone, and that was fine, except that I didn't do anything about it. Then I thought, well, wouldn't it be more fun for us to go together? then I thought, hmm, wouldn't Patrick like to lose some weight, too?

The answer to all of those questions was "yes," so, on Friday, I went in and signed us up. We talked about going (together) on Saturday, and (separately) on Sunday, and, until I remembered that tonight I am playing flute quartets with Patty, Judy, and Greg, we were going to go tonight after Patrick gets home from work. Instead I went by myself (I'm off this week!).

It took me about 4 hours after waking up to actually get dressed to go, and in the meantime, I decided that I would complete the task I have been putting off for weeks, namely, cleaning the bathroom.

Let the record show that I would prefer to clean the bathroom than go to the gym.

It wasn't that I was afraid of the workout or anything; my goals are not very high - just to go and spend some time there is all I'm after right now. I don't want to look like Madonna. I just want to get my heart rate up and I want to do it in an environment that allows me to read or listen to my iPod instead of watching for cracks or tree roots in the pavement (by the way, I totally forgot that I could read while walking on the treadmill; I will definitely take some reading material with me next time). Anyway. After cleaning the bathroom, including scrubbing the tub and toilet and the floor, and disposing of all our expired medications, I finally got up the nerve, resigned myself to looking like a dork, put on my shoes and my Police t-shirt (and pants, too), and went.

I scheduled me and Patrick for our 1 hour orientation (where they take our measurements, and boy, doesn't that sound fun) for tomorrow night, I got some guy to show me how to use the treadmill, and then I set off for a 2 mile walk that had I done in real-life would not have even gotten me to the gym at all. Actually: it was 1.9 miles. I didn't even get to the 2 mile mark. Other people were running, other people were gorgeous - I was slow, sweaty (I forgot my towel) and thirsty (I also forgot my water), and breathing funny. I didn't realize that the machine would automatically "cool" me down after 30 minutes, so, after 35 minutes, my walk was over, and I hopped off to go home.

It was at this point - the hopping, actually - where I realized that walking 1.9 miles in real life and walking 1.9 miles on a treadmill at a pace I would never maintain on the streets (red lights, kids on bikes, stopping to pet dogs, etc.) are two entirely different things, because first of all, the step down from the machine to the floor seemed suddenly about 3 feet, and the floor, once I got there, seemed much harder than I remembered. And my legs were much wobblier. Much, much wobblier.

Eventually I would like to maybe use some of the weight machines or do something else but for now, 35 minutes was about right. And next time I'll bring a towel, my iPod, a book or magazine, and a fanny pack for my keys.

Yes, you read that right, I said "next time."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Semi-Fake Bio

My bio in the program for shows at City Garage is pretty simple. I made up the following fantasy bio out of fear. This was for "The Bacchae," where I appeared as the flutist. Typecasting sucks, no? This bio has been updated to include the work I've done since.

From the concrete slab of Culver City, California (home of the Scarlet Lady Saloon), Irene graduated Culver City High School (Class of 1990, best known for its delusions of grandeur), where she acquired a taste for cute boys with hair in their eyes, sarcasm, Kurt Vonnegut, drummers, jeans that zip up at the ankles, punk rock, the film "Harold and Maude," and the joy of run-on sentences. In high school, Irene played flute and piccolo in the semi-terrible marching band, and in the pit orchestra for the musicals "Cabaret," "Leader of the Pack," "Little Mary Sunshine," and "Anything Goes;" her fondest memories from doing musicals include getting yelled at for burning gummy bears on her stand light and mocking the twin girls in the violin section for flirting with the drummers. She also spent two seasons as second flute in the Los Angeles Junior Philharmonic, and with them, performed at the Pantages Theater. Her costume for the LA Jr. Phil consisted of a floor length custom-made black satin gown with a sweetheart neckline and 3/4 length sleeves that puffed at the shoulder.

Yes, it's true - that description has not been exaggerated for comic effect. Photos exist but, alas, have been confiscated by the authorities.

After graduation, Irene received an invitation to audition for the Marine Corps band, which she declined, due to a fear of having to run and/or wear yet another ugly uniform.

For several years after graduating Culver High, Irene worked at various low-paying retail jobs until she auditioned for and was accepted to Cal Arts where she ostensibly would have acquired a B.A. in Music Performance, had she not balked at the tuition fee. In the years between graduating high school and not going to Cal Arts, Irene attended many lackluster Community College courses, finding them excellent opportunities for catching up on one's sleep, lacking the one thing she had counted on in high school: the opportunity to sketch Sean Leys' head. Also during these years she learned to drive, and to appreciate dark beers and slightly older men with blue or blue-green eyes. She was in the orchestra for the Culver City Civic Light Opera's production of "The King and I," however, she doesn't recall the exact year that happened (1994?); she does remember the cute smiley-face paper plate thing the clarinet player made for her mic, to assuage her rather unrealistic fears of being amplified.

Since 1995 Irene has performed in the following small ensembles, on a mostly yearly basis: Sacred Heart College reunion; playing with various other flutists for the old lady's women's club's (exact name unknown) Christmas brunch, Christmas caroling in Brentwood on flutes with the only two music teachers she's ever had (sorry Mr. Gregory), and at various weddings and funerals (mostly during the winter months).

Since around 1992, Irene has been the website administrator, secretary, and de facto "tuner" for the Culver City Flute Choir, a group of adult amateur flutists. She is quite proud of her ability to sustain a mostly solid, consistent A for the time required to tune up to 13 flutists; some of whom, and it is questionable, may or may not actually possess the ability to hear. She intends for that last comment to be taken in the nicest possible way.

She has worked at various retail establishments, making friends and enemies indiscriminately (Beth, I'm speaking to you). She would also like to point out that should you wish for your bookstore (independent or not) to succeed, do not hire her. While her work performance was in all instances excellent (except for her inability to be on time), every single bookstore she worked in has since closed. In spite of her outspoken stated love for books and bookstores, it has been speculated that Irene is intent on taking them all down, one by one. Personally, I would keep an eye on her when she even shops at bookstores. Or libraries.

In 1996 she, as a surprise to everyone, canceled a wedding (her own) two weeks before the date (heartbreak #2), and, a fairly decent amount of time later took up with a red-haired, chain-smoking, possibly depressed, 18-year old (heartbreak #2.5). Irene quit working retail in 2001 (heartbreak #4), and works now at a job about which she will only say, pays better than any bookstore she ever closed (as stated before, that would be... all of them), and is happily married to a very talented drummer, a member of the band Magnolia Thunderpussy ("the best SST band you never heard of"). She resides somewhere in Southern California with her husband, three cats, a mortgage, a lot of books, CDs, an obsession for obtaining more MP3s than anyone else, and a very eclectic record collection.

In 2001, Irene appeared in THE GERTRUDE STEIN PROJECT, wearing a pair of tuxedo pants and a corset, where she played flute and Patrick's big ol' Paiste Rude cymbal (her fluttering trills were mentioned in the LA Times and LA Weekly); and in 2004, she worked behind the scenes as Assistant Director for PATRIOT ACT. In 2006, Irene returned to the stage as the Flutist in THE BACCHAE, where she was the only female member of the cast not asked to make out with Dionysus, a slight she still feels to this day. Irene has been the sound/light operator for IPHIGENIA, RHINOCEROS, QUARTET, THE BALD SOPRANO, BAD PENNY, THE MISSION (ACCOMPLISHED), THE BOURGEOIS GENTILHOMME, and THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES.

She is very pleased to work again with us here at City Garage while wearing slightly more clothing (though it does get rather hot up there in the booth).

(Original post date: 9/7/06; updated 12/27/08)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Second time not exactly a charm

So today was my second mammogram of the year. I have a feeling I should've asked the question - is this a good idea, doing this again in just two short months? but I was a little nervous and that meant I was talkative, and the ladies in the Mammography Center were nice but not interested in my long-ass stories, so I didn't ask.

It took much less time this time around, but it was a bit less comfortable, if such a thing is imaginable. The lady performing my mammogram (are these people ever male?) was exceptionally nice, though I couldn't understand at first her accent when she was telling me not to breathe. I kept wondering, wait? Breathe? or not breathe? But it seemed to go well, and she was happy with her initial scan of the images because she let me leave without re-doing anything. Which was good.

I just want to state for the record: I like my breasts. But that doesn't mean anything - my liking them doesn't mean I'm about to be punished or taught a lesson. There cannot be any such thing as retribution for liking your god-given gifts, now can there? I mean, life is not "The Princess Bride." It doesn't mean that because I think they are good (and let's be honest, I need to lose 20 pounds, I'm crosseyed and pigeon-toed and my hair looks good about once a week and my eyebrows are too thick and long and I still shop entirely too much at the Gap-so my thinking they're okay is just fine and not the work of a vain person; not that vanity is a bad thing, all the time, I guess, I'm not judging vain people either) they will be taken away from me or disfigured or, um, you know: scarred or something. That is not why women get breast cancer. It does not work that way. And you know, there's that whole thing wherein you have to say to yourself, I am not my breasts (or my hair or my waist or my mole or my whatever).

I know this.
I know this.
I know this,
I know this.

Rational, Irene. Rational.

Afterwards I went to Walgreens and bought some facial lotion, some eyeliner, and something else I've forgotten about, and then I treated my friend Bo to lunch at Jongewaard's Bake N' Broil, a restaurant I have been wanting to visit since a co-worker brought quiche from there a couple of weeks ago (awesome quiche). It's near his house, and it was truly yummy. We didn't have anything miraculous that couldn't be had anywhere else (I had a turkey sandwich and bowl of clam chowder, he had a roast beast sandwich and fries), but then we decided to have pie, and that's when things got interesting.

If you like chocolate, I highly recommend the chocolate brownie pie. It's decadent, heavenly and - dare I say it - yummy.

After that I signed up me and Patrick for a gym.

After that I went to Target and used some gift cards on implements of house-keeping and cleaning.

After that I came home and had a beer. One can only be so good for so long.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No news means they lost my film

In October, when I got my mammogram and breast exam, I was told by the technician upon her initial inspection of my film, that all looked okay, and that, after whatever more detailed review they had to do occured, if nothing showed up, I probably wouldn't hear anything for awhile.

She then told me:

"No news is good news."

Since time subsequently passed and I received the proverbial no news, I ceased worrying about it and moved on to other things (the blackness of my soul, for one. It's a recurring theme, that one).

Yesterday Patrick told me that the mammography department had called, but he didn't remember when, so I listened to all the old messages on our machine. Turns out they called twice, the first time a week ago, and the second time, Monday. Patrick is hereby banned from listening to the machine. I didn't yell, but I put on the Serious voice I've been practicing for if/when we have children. I can tell you this much: it doesn't work on the cats, but Patrick was adequately affected. Anyway, he didn't do it on purpose, so he's forgiven. This morning I called the mammography department and was told that I have to go back and re-do everything, because they lost my film.

They lost my film.

This wouldn't be a big deal, I suppose, for a person who is skilled in the art of positive thinking. I also suppose in order to acquire that skill, like any other, one must practice. One could also remember, as I so cheesily stated earlier, that "now starts now" and begin the positive thinking with this experience.

I could, and perhaps I still will. But right now I am thinking the following things:
  • That something bad is lurking on that film
  • That what someone told me last year about my "karma" (based on comments and emails I had sent to this person which have all been physically deleted but which still exist in my silly little head) - which is bullshit, I know, because that person isn't allowed to mess with me anymore - might be true (hence the black soul thoughts) <--Badly written, vague, stupid thought, this second bullet item.
  • That Something BAD is lurking on that film
  • Something bad is lurking on that film

On Friday I will return to redo everything, and I'm sure it will be fine, but I've just never been good with the waiting and seeing part. And I get that stupid mammograms are a part of life and that I will be doing them every few years for the rest of my life: I see the logic in it, I see the sense, but this is the first one, and it's all fucked up right now.

So, I spent a good part of the morning reading a year's worth of Daisy Owl. Daisy Owl is genius, and I feel much better now.

I will calm down. But it looks like I get a mammogram for Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

On your mark, get set:

Ever since I had to watch this online training course on driving for work, where the narrator told me that I should be looking "10-15 seconds ahead" when traveling at a high rate of speed on the freeway, I've been thinking a lot about distance and time.

At 80 MPH, I travel 117 feet per second. If I'm peering ahead 10-15 seconds, that means I am looking forward into time, approximately 1,755 feet. That's pretty far into the future, for someone who couldn't plan her way out of a paper bag (should planning my way out of a paper bag become a necessity, however, I do know who to call).

If I do a stupid thing (such as sending an ill-advised email, or saying something too personal to someone who clearly did not wish to know what a jerk/dork I am, or being ugly to Patrick), the next 10-15 seconds are spent biting my nails, hunching my shoulders, daydreaming about smoking a cigarette (which never pays off: I've finally learned that the thrill of wanting one is almost immediately made null by the disgusting reality of actually smoking) - multiply that by the dozens of times per day I do something idiotic, and suddenly you're looking at whole hours which are wasted while I'm a total mess. If instead, I had thought ahead into the future, 10-15 seconds before doing/saying the stupid thing, the whole thing could've been avoided.

Instead of cars or hazards, I visualize my own personal obstacle course of regret and shame.

I mean, I have made some good decisions, but on the other hand: I've made some bad ones. And then there are all the decisions I chose not to make. This is normal, right? The danger is in questioning it, I guess. Happy people do what they do and live with it, good and/or bad. Or is this me, just guessing? Unhappy people, on the other hand (and not wishing to sound like too much of an expert on unhappy people, forgive me if I prevaricate or get a bit dodgy here) - I think unhappy people question it.
  • 1,755 feet is about 1/3 of a mile.
  • It was 1.25 miles, walking (my usual mode of transportation), from my childhood home to my high school.
  • After leaving home, if I walked 1/3 of a mile, taking the route I normally took (using the bike path), I'd end up at (approximately) the bridge that links the school with the Lindberg Park neighborhood across the La Ballona Creek.
  • Still not quite at school, and in fact, this was a point at which some days I made the decision just to not go to school at all. This seems important for some reason.

I'm still trying to work out what, if anything, this all means. I think the main idea is that I need to look ahead, 10-15 seconds at a time, and stop questioning my past decisions, and start making better ones in the future. Now starts... now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Waiting for the UFO's + Hierarchy/Never Fall In Love Again + I'm a Boy + Countdown + Liar + In My Tree

I thought this was so fun, I'd do it twice three many times. The answers are totally silly, and I think you should at least get to hear a little bit of these songs, so maybe I'll do some links. My second set of answers is below the first. And the third set, etc., below that. Boy, you catch on quick!* My friend Adam did it too (see comments section). Both our answers to numbers 3 and 18 are pretty funny.

I may am definitely abandoning all attempts at writing anything else and will just do this until Christmas (liar liar pants on fire). I need playlists, and this is as good a way as any to get some. Otherwise I'll be listening to every song on my iPod in random order, going quietly (or noisily, depending on the tune) crazy.

Also, I'm adding artist information.

My friend Jeff posted this as a note on Facebook, but I decided to post it here. He didn't tag me or anything, I just thought it looked fun.

I. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
II. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
IV. Tag 11 friends who might enjoy doing this.
I tag Julie, Andrea, and Michael. I don't think I know 11 people.

Note: I just remembered that my friend Julie is having twins any minute (literally: any minute) now. So, Juls, you are excused from this exercise. Michael, if you don't have an iPod, feel free to hum. Also? Time 4? I am totally buzzed.

-Obstacle 2, by Interpol
-I Zimbra, by Talking Heads
-Piccadilly, by Squeeze
-King of Pain, by the Police
-A.C.D.C., by Sweet
-Get Into Yours, by Mudhoney

-Tadd's Delight, by Miles Davis
-Windows, by Missing Persons
-Not a Virgin, by Poe
-Kiss On My List, by Hall & Oats (I got the Hall & Oats from Paul, and while I adore Paul, I also LOVE MOCKING HIS MUSIC. However, his music is now my music thanks to his generosity, and I love Hall & Oats. There. It's out.)
-To Bring You My Love, by P.J. Harvey
-Morning Theft, by Jeff Buckley

-Dirty Boots, by Sonic Youth
-King Kong, by Bow Wow Wow
-From One Cums One, by fIREHOSE
-Back Door Man, by the Doors (this answer scares the shit out of me)
-The Width of a Circle, by David Bowie
-Beliver, by Mimi

-Behind Blue Eyes, by the Who
-E-Ticket Ride, by Mike Watt
-Ignore Land, by R.E.M.
-I Will Follow, by U2
-Congregation, by Afghan Whigs
-Monday, by the Jam

-Immigrant Song, by Led Zeppelin
-Coal-Train Robberies, by Elvis Costello
-About a Girl, by Nirvana
-5:15, by the Who
-Whatever, by Gnarls Barkley
-Optimistic, by Radiohead

-Woman, by John Lennon
-Do What You Want, by OK Go
-Have I Got a Deal For You, by Abby Travis (I think I'm going to start saying this to people at random points in our conversations. "Have I got a deal for you!" is awesome.
-Cathedral, by Crosby, Stills & Nash
-A Rose In April, by Kate Rusby
-Statue of Liberty, by Descendents

-If Only Tonight We Could Sleep?, by the Cure
-Nightswimming , by R.E.M.
-Is That All?, by U2
-Peace Train, by Cat Stevens (this is just wrong. And funny)
-Lovers of Today, by Pretenders
-Elephant Stone, by the Stone Roses

-Mystery Dance, by Elvis Costello
-Go-Go Gadget Gospel, by Gnarls Barkley
-I Can Learn, by the White Stripes
-Trampled Under Foot, by Led Zeppelin
-History Never Repeats, by Split Enz
-Tomorrow, by U2

-I'm Old Fashioned, by John Coltrane
-Eruption, by Van Halen
-Cool Blue Stole My Heart, by Joan Armatrading
-It's Hard, by the Who (random choice, that)
-Suffragette City, by David Bowie
-5:15, by the Who

10. WHAT IS 2+2?
-Ziggy Stardust, by David Bowie
-Wild Sex (In the Working Class), by Oingo Boingo
-Hungry For You (J'Aurais Toujours Faim de Toi), by the Police
-Tangent, by Beth Orton
-Talk To Me, Dance with Me, by Hot Hot Heat
-If I Didn't Love You, by Squeeze

-Freddie Freeloader, by Miles Davis
-Lilac Wine, by Jeff Buckley
-Karma Police, by Radiohead
-Good Night, by the Beatles
-Prison, by Big Boys
-Sky Blue and Black, by Jackson Browne

-Have A Cigar, by Ira (Pink Floyd cover - I'm not allowed to listen to Pink Floyd in December)
-Masoko Tanga, by the Police
-A Million Miles Away, by David Byrne
-Someone Else's Heart, by Squeeze
-Baby Plays Around, by Elvis Costello (these answers are a little scary)
-Safe, by Travis

-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by the Beatles
-Serve the Servants, by Nirvana
-Cakewalk Into Town, by Taj Mahal
-Get In Or Get Out, by Hot Hot Heat
-Chinatown, by Joe Jackson
-No Aloha, by the Breeders

-Sweet Jane, by Mott the Hoople (obviously I need some Velvet Underground...)
-Here Comes That Feeling, by Squeeze
-No Action, by Elvis Costello
-The Hanging Garden, by the Cure (how does one dance to this song?)
-Love Gets You Twisted, by Graham Parker
-Magnolia Caboose Babyshit, by Mudhoney

-Within You Without You, by the Beatles
-Love Like Laughter, by Beth Orton
-Plans I Make, by Hüsker Dü
-Vervacious, by James
-We Work the Black Seam, by Sting
-Murder By Numbers, by the Police (CREEPY answer!!)

-Anti-Misogyny Maneuver, by fIREHOSE
-Across the Great Divide, by the Band
-Generals and Majors, by XTC
-Big Love, by Fleetwood Mac
-No Time Soon, by Gnarls Barkley
-Fall On Me, by R.E.M.

-Red Mosquito, by Pearl Jam
-Fa-Fa-Fa, by Datarock**
-Baby Let's Play God, by Big Boys
-Planet Telex, by Radiohead
-Poison, by David Byrne
-Ballet For a Rainy Day, by XTC

-Lazy Bird, by John Coltrane
-Cover Me Slowy, by Deerhunter
-Accuracy, by the Cure
-The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead, by XTC
-Everybody Hurts, by R.E.M.
-I Put a Spell On You, by Creedence Clearwater Revival

-His Wife Refused, by David Byrne
-Hidden Track, by Abby Travis
-You Make My Dreams, by Hall & Oats (embarrassing!)
-Goodbye Stranger, by Supertramp (fuck. I have Supertramp on my iPod??)
-A Place Called Home, by P.J. Harvey
-Drowned, by the Who

-Sequestered In Memphis, by The Hold Steady
-Bewildered, by James Brown
-Swampland, by the Birthday Party
-Last Boat Leaving, by Elvis Costello
-Close To Me, by the Cure
-Addicted, by Kelly Clarkson (Yes. I have Kelly Clarkson. Shut up.)

-Do You Know Where You're Coming From?, by Jamiroquai
-Be Sweet, by Afghan Whigs
-You Said Something, by PJ Harvey
-Time To Move On, by Tom Petty
-Capitalism, by Oingo Boingo
-I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, by U2

-Check the Rhyme, by A Tribe Called Quest
-Everywhere That I'm Not, by Translator
-Got the Time, by Joe Jackson
-Denmark Street, by the Kinks
-Heartbreaker, by Led Zeppelin
-As Ugly As I Seem, by the White Stripes

-Toes Across the Floor, by Blind Melon
-59 Times the Pain, by Hüsker Dü
-Kiss the Floor, by the Afghan Whigs
-Is This Love, by Bob Marley and the Wailers
-Dream Time, by the Jam
-Low Budget, by the Kinks

-Waiting for the UFOs, by Graham Parker
-Hierarchy/Never Fall In Love Again, by Noisettes
-I'm a Boy, by the Who
-Countdown, by John Coltrane
-Liar, by the Cranberries
-In My Tree, by Pearl Jam

*A line stolen from Covielle, from The Bourgeois Gentilhomme, playing tonight and tomorrow at City Garage. This is your last chance to see the show in 2008! We reopen January 10, 2009. The show is getting great reviews (see links below), and is a lot of fun.

LA Times
LA Weekly

**The Datarock belongs to Patrick!!

I picked a fine day...

... to wear my floods!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


As a grown woman with a perfectly good vocabulary (meaning, I've never said "sweaty" when I meant "sweetie"), I've discovered that sometimes I get lazy in my choice of words (certainly not quantity... read ahead if you don't believe me). I don't expect to to pepper every conversation or paragraph with five dollar words (and couldn't, even if I did expect it), I'm just saying: I thought I had standards.

I never, ever allow myself to use a double negative, for example. I can't say "ain't" (or even consider saying it) without hearing the voice of my eight year old self saying, "Ain't ain't a word!" I don't consider myself to be a wordsmith or even particularly smart (we will not be submitting SAT scores), I'm just saying that I like words. I like using them correctly. I get embarrassed if I say something wrong or stupid (hence my near-perpetual state of embarrassment, I guess). This has nothing to do with slang or curse words, either: when I discovered just how much it irritated my mother when I used the word "suck," you can only the imagine the things I had tolerated before that suddenly acquired suckitude: green beans, catechism, my mom's lousy taste in my clothing - those things all of a sudden had a name, and that name was Suck.

Lately, however, I've been replacing specific words with generic ones, and I'm not exactly sure why. My go-to generic words are slightly more interesting than "nice" and "okay" but they're still pretty vague, and plenty juvenile:
"funky," "icky," "yucky"
Sure, "funky" is a pretty adequate descriptor if you're discussing the mélange of scents wafting about the fitting rooms at Ross, or the purple jumpsuit and beaded scarf the bass player is wearing. And of course, if you're listening to the right music (James Brown, Tony Williams), what word other than "funky" would you use? But I've been known to use funky to describe a strange noise my car is making, my poor math skills, or a challenging rhythmic section in a flute choir piece. Take my word for it: none of these things could ever be described as funky.

"Icky" and "yucky" are interchangeable, it's true, and while there's no question when you declare something is icky/yucky, that you're not talking about something it would be safe to, say, put in your mouth, these are not words for a woman over the age of twelve. Since when did it become acceptable for me to call a dirty towel "icky"? Or to describe Patrick's green plaid fleece jacket as "yucky," even if he's wearing it with those awful, hundred year old brown jeans?

I hereby declare that I will make an effort to raise the level of my vocabulary.

But man: this cough and the accompanying phlegm I have all of a sudden? That shit is yucky.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Merry freakin' Christmas

I haven't had much to say, lately, and I offer up the following not as a an excuse, really, but as an opportunity (yet again) for you to laugh at me:
  • I have a zit on my cheek so big I swear it has a pulse. I think it's trying to signal the mother ship.

  • Pauly just emailed me the photos from the most recent Flute Choir concert and I am so pleased to find that I actually look as fat as I felt. I think I like it better when I'm just delusional and experiencing a mild attack of body dysmorphia.

Work has begun "the 12 days of Christmas," which means every day since last week until Christmas at least two different people will be bringing in food for the entire office. And tomorrow and Wednesday we're supposed to go out to celebrate two separate events (birthdays and someone's leaving). Plus, last week we had our Christmas party, which was fine, until someone decided it would be a good idea to have a room full of adults play "musical chairs."

  • Patrick and I just put up some outside decorations we purchased tonight at Target. In the dark (put them up in the dark, I mean, Target was well-lit as usual). I'm sure our neighbors were laughing at us. In fact, I'm pretty sure we were entertainment for at least 3 households.

  • Last night we finally watched the latest Indiana Jones movie on Pay Per View. Harrison Ford is old, and he still has no ass (anybody else remember the shots of Han Solo running around in any of the original Star Wars movies? No? Surely it's not just me). And yes, that's my only commentary on the movie.

  • We also saw "Fred Claus." That's got to the be the dumbest movie ever made. The Val Kilmer classic "Real Genius" has been on for the last couple of weeks, and while that's certainly no "Citizen Kane," I would still rather watch "Real Genius" over pretty much any Vince Vaughn movie, ever.

  • Did I mention I have a HUGE ZIT and that I've been eating everything that's not nailed down? Yes. Fat and pimply makes for a very Merry Christmas, indeed.
Actually, this is all a cover, because to tell you the truth, I really do feel the spirit of Christmas this year, and I've done a few things outside my normal scope (for instance, on the way to Target, I sang "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" with Patrick, who corrected me on a couple of lines I had remembered wrong; this is not a real example, but a placeholder for actual things that I've chosen not to enumerate here today) and there are some other things coming up that I'm excited about. So mostly I'm just faking it, the grumpiness. I'm not really a grump, I just play one on TV. Though if I were really on TV I'm sure there'd be some sort of makeup person who could COVER UP THIS ZIT FOR ME. Hello? I think I just heard it order a Diet Coke.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another dream

No, this is not the start of another week's worth of silly dreams, but the one I had last night was pretty fun, so I'll share it.

I was starring in some sort of French movie. Yes, me, but a thinner me, with bigger breasts (or amazing bras) and a very nice wardrobe of simple but elegant navy blue dresses and high heels. Let's assume that I also had some acting ability as well. Also starring in the movie was a woman who looked just like my mother looked in photos I've seen of her from when she was 25 (before I was born). That part is interesting because of course her character was supposed to be older than me. The movie, apparently a love story about my character and some unidentified French guy (my "mom" was my best friend in the film, sort of like the Carrie Fisher role in every Meg Ryan movie) had this one sort of funny scene (that I remember) in which my character and her love interest guy are riding in a boat on the Seine which happens to be an oversize bathtub equipped with a park bench. In fact all the boats on the Seine were crazy little "boats" like that. On my one trip to Paris, years ago, we took a boat tour, and I do not recall riding in or seeing anything like that. In fact, I don't think you'd want to get that close to the water, unless what I've heard about the pollution is untrue.

The other scene I remember involved me making dinner (well, I was standing at a stove, with a pan. I was probably "acting" like I was making dinner! Watching all those cooking shows surely paid off) in a spectacular halter dress with little sailboats on it, while talking to my friend (the woman who looked like my mom) about another friend, who was having a birthday that day. My friend was concerned because the other friend hadn't been picking up the phone and she had made statements that led my friend to believe that she was in some sort of trouble. Only it turned out, when the two of us went to check on her, that the only trouble she was in was that she was with the guy who was supposed to be my love interest.

It's interesting that in my dreams, what I think is a "French" movie is really just a very bad episode of "Friends."

Then I was awakened by the alarm, which, after four days off, I barely remember how to turn off (snooze button, snooze button... where is it), though by the second time the alarm went off I was once again a pro.

Now I'd better go get ready for work.