Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm going to Washington, D.C.!!

Good morning, Representative Richardson,

My husband and I are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. June 4-7, 2009, and are hoping to have the opportunity to tour the White House. I understand that tours of the White House must be arranged by your office.

If possible, we would like to take our tour on Friday, June 5, 2009 (Saturday the 6th would be our second choice). Please let us know what other steps are necessary. My husband has been to Washington, D.C. before, but I have not; we're both very excited to see our nation's capitol together and hope you will be able to assist us.

Thank you very much for your service to the state of California and for considering this request.

Irene Palma

Note: this part was not in my original message. I've never written to my Congresswoman before. Can you tell?

Friday, January 30, 2009

This is related to an earlier post. Pay attention, will ya?

The haircut that broke (a) 1,000 heart(s).
My hair will never look this good again, unless I adopt Nina and invite her to come live with me and do my hair every morning.


Today I got a haircut and my color done. It's pretty much the same haircut and color I've gotten for the last year or so, but Nina worked her Nina-magic on me for some reason and took her own sweet time blow drying and styling my hair, so I walked out of there (two hours later) with bouncy, shiny hair that I will not be able to replicate, ever, even under the best of circumstances (I think I hurt her feelings the first time she cut my hair by telling her "not to bother" with making my hair perfect; I pretty much let her style it any way she wants. She told me today that it's "fun" and that she likes doing it [good, considering she's a hairdresser]. Her hair is, needless to say, perfect, if a little too... blond).

Anyway, after that, I went to lunch at Souplantation, my well-thumbed copy of Robert Heinlein's incredibly long and long-winded book "Time Enough for Love" in my hand, where I ate a lot of lettuce, a couple tomatoes, and a variety of other vegetables (plus a bowl of chicken noodle soup). Following that, I decided to go to Macy's and maybe Target, which was a well thought out plan, since both are at the Lakewood Mall, where I already was.

I entered the mall by the Frederick's of Hollywood store, and was just passing Borders (where my friend sometimes works; I peeked in the window and didn't see him, and so was going to pass it by, except right in front of the store, a young man approached me.

He didn't look crazy, and I thought he was going to ask me if I wanted to test some hand lotion or ask me about my cell phone plan, but he said, instead, the following:

"I saw you from way over there [he indicated the entrance of the mall, about 100 feet away], and I have to tell you, in my honest opinion, that you. Are. Beautiful."

Up until this point I was standing there rather patiently, but at this, I have to admit, at this, I laughed. Pretty hard, but short. Like, "Ha!" Like I said, he didn't look crazy, though he did have a rather odd look around the eyes. So I thanked him, and ducked into Borders, hoping my friend Bo would show up in a random corner, because all of a sudden I felt... funny.

Bo wasn't hiding in the store, and I wanted to spend a legitimate amount of time in there, so I found the travel section, and picked out a book on Washington, D.C. (more on this later). When I left, I saw the guy again, leaning on a pole, talking on a cell phone. He caught my eye, and I looked at him long enough to ascertain that he was wearing a knee brace, a meaningless detail unless it became necessary at some point to outrun him, and then I quickly looked away and went to Macy's, where I made an unsuccessful attempt to find robes for me and Patrick.

I never did find out what he was selling.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Home again

I am home again from work today. I'm not dying. Instead I am only congested (I'm not going to "snot" anymore, so you can breathe easy now), and I slept poorly last night, even though Patrick let me watch Top Chef two hours early on the satellite (how, exactly, he did that, I do not really know) so I could go to bed before 11 p.m.

In spite of all that, I woke up at some point because I thought I heard a strange sound, and it turned out that I had, indeed, heard a strange sound: the sound of my own breathing. After that I pretty much tossed and turned. And, interestingly, earplugs don't really help if the noise you're trying to block out is... yourself.

I've written and deleted now two paragraphs that aren't very interesting, so I think I'll go lay down or something and write more later. Check back for updates. You know, if something exciting happens.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Text message to Andrea related to another email full of crap I'm not gonna share

New shoes + crazy = new shoes. Wait that's wrong. New shoes + crazy = MAGICAL POWERS

(Not even going to give you a hint.)

(Also I picked the coldest day to wear a fucking skirt.)

(Also, I read the script for THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, which is to be the next show after the hugely successful BOURGEOIS GENTILHOMME closes, and I am very excited, because it looks like it will be very, very funny.)

(Also, this multimedia message was originally sent on Monday, but now it's Tuesday, and I am at home with a head full of snot and a runny nose [more snot] and I am hungry. Is it lunch time yet?)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Multimedia message


More on this crooked business

Last night after flute choir (which was fun! We played some great music. Also, I am formulating, in the Grand Tradition of Bean's "Strongly Worded Letters," a note to the people over at the ALRY Publishing House [we play a lot of music from them in flute choir] about their terrible copying or editing or whatever it is that makes for typos, mistakes, and misprints in almost everything we play from them. Some of the music is awesome, but it's so aggravating when practically every part has an error) I came home, pretty tired, but determined to go to the gym.

I've been talking about the gym with my flute teacher and a couple of the ladies in the group, and also some girls from work, and my massage therapist (more on this in a minute) - basically, I've been talking to everybody about it - and Judy from flute choir was telling me how she did a whole session on the treadmill with the incline set pretty steep. My co-worker, Hung, does the same thing. I've been doing the "Cross Country" program, which is fine, but I'm starting to get a little bored, so I've been wanting to try the incline for the whole time. I like how you can burn more calories that way. Not that I'm overly concerned with burning calories: my goal is smaller, less fatty legs and belly, but still. Also, Bruce, my massage therapist recommended trying the incline, and he was really encouraging and complimentary about my chances of seeing good results from going to the gym at all when I was getting a little discouraged and impatient (and he made me feel really good on the massage table). I'll pretty much do anything Bruce recommends, and that includes listening to Taj Mahal and Pete Seeger (but not Bruce Springsteen; gotta draw the line somewhere).

When I got home, Patrick had just finished working on his truck (changing the brakes), and he's had a pretty physical week of cleaning up his work area (they're remodeling soon and his group had to pack up a bunch of dead computer equipment for salvage), so he was too tired to go with me, which was understandable. We have our pick from about 4 gyms within a 10 minute distance from our house, and when we go together, we've been going to one over in Los Alamitos (it's newer, with nice treadmills and windows, which are important to me for some reason, even at night), but since it was late and it was just me, I decided to go to the one closest to our house.

Unfortunately this particular gym is older and small, and needs a serious remodel, but the treadmills were fine, and there were empty ones, so I strapped on my iPod, fired up the Radiohead and got to work.

They have the treadmills in this long hall-like area, with walkways in front for people going to other parts of the gym, and in back for people looking for a treadmill, and on each wall, in front and behind the treadmills, are mirrors (also, TVs, but I wasn't positioned in a good place to see them, which was fine with me). This is the first time I've been face to face with myself in the gym, and it was a little weird. For one thing, I wore my Gap workout pants, which are capris, and I could see what Stacy London and Clinton Kelly are always going on about when they diss capri pants. I mean, with flip flops maybe they're okay; I've got other cropped pants and I'm going to keep wearing them. These pants, which are a little more form-fitting than I thought, with my sneakers and Police t-shirt, emphasized my, um, shape, perhaps more than I would've liked. It didn't stop me, seeing my fat ass in the mirror. It didn't fire me up, exactly, though. I was just thankful that I wasn't able to crane my head around and get a look at myself from behind. Instead, I mostly looked at my feet, and the way I place them on the belt of the treadmill when I walk, and I tried to remember the old "glide walk" we did in marching band, and I wondered if it was better to walk more smoothly or okay to bounce a little, and then I thought, damn, I need a better bra. And then I watched the tiny, older lady next to me finish her 60 minutes and move to another machine and start all over again.

I ended up increasing my time to 45 minutes and increasing the incline level. I tried to walk without holding on to the rails for a few minutes every once in awhile. I didn't sweat as much as I normally do, but I burned more calories and traveled further (hypothetically). I'm not sure why that is. I drank a lot of water when I was finished and a little during my walk. When I got off I was significantly wobbly. I headed home, played a move or two in Scrabble on Facebook, went to bed, and dreamed about... whatever it is I dreamed about. Right now I'm listening to Radiohead, it's raining, and I have no proper ending for this post.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Notes from last week

This is from a note pad on my desk at work. In case you can't read it, it says:

"Manic. and wacky today."

(From last week, Thursday, I think. Wednesday, maybe.)


Also, I've been describing my off-kilter walking on the treadmill (how I can't let go of the rails for very long or else I start to lean to the side ever so slightly), and all this time I've been thinking it reminds me of something, and I've finally figured out what it is:

It's almost exactly like when Ken Rudnicki, playing the tipsy valet in The Bourgeois Gentilhomme at City Garage, walks offstage at this one point in the show: I think Ken stole that bit from me. It makes sense - we're both a little bit crooked, a little bit goofy, and a little bit sexy. You have exactly 10 more opportunities to see a professional demonstrate my naturally goofy walk. Show closes February 22.

And! City Garage has been nominated for six LA Weekly Theater awards. Congratulations, guys!
ENSEMBLE: The Mission (Accomplished)
MALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE: Jeff Atik, Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme
COSTUME DESIGN: Josephine Poinsot, Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme
ADAPTATION: Charles Duncombe, The Mission (Accomplished)
SOUND DESIGN: Paul Rubenstein, The Mission (Accomplished)
MASK DESIGN: Charles Duncombe, Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Patrick and I watched most of the Lincoln Memorial concert today for Barack Obama. I was in the shower and so missed the one performance I was most curious about (Mary J. Blige), but Patrick taped it on the rebroadcast, so I will watch it later. Mostly it was inspiring and incredible - those people who were there may have been frozen but boy were they lucky. President-Elect Obama looked great, and it seemed as if he and his family were having a really good time (except for the little kid behind him who was mostly snoozing during the whole thing). I hate to admit it, but I actually got a little choked up during John Mellencamp's performance of "Pink Houses." It happened, and that's cool (what an incredible thing, this celebration! I am so excited for Tuesday to come!); I was actually laughing about it when I told Patrick, because it was just totally ridiculous that it would happen during that goofy song.

All in all, I thought the performances were fine (Renee Fleming is amazing; she looked great, too). Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock and were interesting (I thought maybe they were on the edge of falling apart at one point, but they pulled it off); I felt kind of bad for Shakira during her performance with Stevie Wonder and Usher - her voice just wasn't carrying through, though, Usher and Stevie were a perfect pair. Josh Groban's performance didn't kill me as I thought it might, and Garth Brooks, though I'm not a fan or anything, is some showman. I loved the kids' choirs, and actually, all the backing singers were excellent. As usual my complaint is that you couldn't see the musicians - placing them below the performers was probably the only option, but it would've been nice to have seen more shots of the musicians and less shots, during the performances, of the crowd.

And then U2 came out.

I love U2. I am a huge U2 nut from way back when, at Missy's urging, I bought a copy of "Boy" on cassette after driving her crazy, making her play it on her little Sony boombox whenever I was at her house. When this was I'm not sure, exactly. I do recall drawing their name on my Pee Chee folders but that could've been Middle School or High School. I can say for certain that Larry Mullen, Jr., may be the one drummer I'm not crazy about (sorry Rachel: you can have him!).

The Edge, on the other hand? That's my guy.

(I also was sort of wondering... what happened to Bono's hair?)

Anyway, they got to all be on the stage (can you imagine putting Adam, Larry and the Edge in an orchestra pit type situation?) at the same time, and they started out with "Pride (In the Name Of Love)", which is a great song, and of course, topical for the event, but their performance was pretty iffy. I thought, these guys have played in worse weather, they're from Ireland, they can't be cold... why does this song sound so slow, so leaden? I never figured it out. The song they followed it up with wasn't that much better, though I guess because of it's connection to Obama's campaign, they had to do it. I thought it would've been pretty funny if they'd played "Sunday Bloody Sunday" or something totally out of place, but they played it safe. Bono sitting down at the end was a little weird to me. Was he tired? Overwhelmed? Looking for a good photo op under all the American flags?

I was pretty bored by Beyonce's performance - she can certainly sing, and hits the notes (I guess), but I'm always waiting to see her personality in her performances, and she leaves me cold every time.

Pete Seeger, on the other hand, has personality to spare, and I loved him, and Bruce Springsteen (not sure who the other guy was? His nephew? Dude could sing), which is kinda funny, because these are not names you might think I would say connected with the words "I loved."

Anyway, tomorrow, after I get my massage with Bruce (I made this appointment months ago and have been anxiously awaiting it) I'm going to watch the first part of the show, and maybe I'll update. Or maybe not, it's entirely up to me. You'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm gonna keep this one short - updated

Hi. I haven't blogged much this week (eh. at all would be more accurate). Let me break it down for you:
  1. I'm trying to limit my TV watching.
  2. I'm trying to find a good night during the week to go to the gym when it's not too crowded.
  3. I'm making a CD for my 10 year old niece of music from the 80s. She has one request so far, and that's for more Devo. Imagine how stoked I was to hear that! Devo!!
  4. Flute choir started on Thursday!
  5. I totally need to practice my flute.
  6. Work has been a little boring, but I have a big report due the week after next.
  7. I'm taking Tuesday off so I can watch all the inauguration coverage.
  8. I spent Wednesday sending psychopathic emails to my friend Andrea, and none of them were safe for the blog. Sorry, Andrea. I've calmed down.
  9. I've been going to the gym for almost three weeks now (no, not every day), and I want to know: when am I going to get skinny? Seriously. This being fat business is no fun at all. I'm starting to get impatient, here.
  10. I went to the gym this morning, and even though Patrick didn't want to go with me, I successfully harrassed him into mowing the lawn. Wife: 2, Husband: 0
  11. I'm listening to the songs I selected for my niece's 80s CD to make sure there are no inappropriate references to drugs or unnatural sex acts. This makes me feel weird. Nobody protected me this way in the 4th grade. Maybe I'm doing her a disservice. Then again, she does go to Catholic school...
  12. Later on today we're going to Bucca di Beppo to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. What the hell am I going to eat? Am I going to pig out like I usually do when I go there? Am I going to un-do all the good I did at the gym? Am I going to start thinking this way again? Yikes. Then again: I want to be thin. While on the treadmill this morning I closed my eyes and envisioned skinny me. I seriously did that. (Meanwhile the ladies in front of me on those crazy stair climber things looked like they were climbing up to the gallows pole. I may be walking to nowhere; at least there's no rope at the end of my vision). There's an old photo of me around here somewhere from when I was in my 20s that Drew took of me. I was wearing these white shorts I used to wear around the house and my Euro Disney sweatshirt, sitting on the couch at my parents' house, holding my kitty, Izzy. My legs were tiny. My waist was hidden by the sweatshirt. But I know it was in there. As I left the gym, I saw my reflection in the window, and there's no resemblance to that thin person anymore. Maybe I'm obsessing a little. But still.

That's all I got today. Good-bye.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is this code for something?

Last night was the first performance of The Bourgeois Gentilhomme at City Garage since before the holidays. The night started out kind of stressful for me, though, because I left a bit later than I usually do and then there was some traffic. Parking in Santa Monica was rough, so I finally made up my mind to pay $7 (highway fucking robbery, but I was late, and the lot is close to the theater) and pulled into the lot (that used to be free, mind you) and went to turn off my car, and lo and behold, my car turned off, but my keys would not come out of the ignition.

This has happened a couple of times in the past, but in those instances, turning the car back on and straightening out the steering wheel a few times solved the problem. I sort of thought it was a fluke. Last night it would not come out. That lot was kind of busy with a lot of cars pulling in and out and people walking around, and after my attempts at backing up and pulling in again didn't work, I decided I had to just leave, and drove a few blocks further away, where I knew I could get street parking. I pulled into a space there, and turned my car off again, and NO KEY. Now I have 10 minutes to get to the theater for the pre-show, and I'm a little panicked. I do not like being late to the theater. I get a little stressed out about it. So I sit in my car for awhile, and check the manual (nothing), and I called the Honda dealer, and they suggested all the things I had tried already (including asking me if the car was in Park... No, I'm an idiot; of course it was in Park: my daddy didn't raise a dummy)... now, it's like 7:40, and I decide I'm just going to have to go back to the lot where it was $7 and leave my car with that guy, with the keys in it. So I go back over there, and he's got spaces, but he leaves at 10, and my show usually goes until 10:15. Meaning my car would be there with the key in it and no supervision. But I can think of nothing else, so I do it. Then, as I'm turning off the car, the key pops out and the guy, who I had just asked to watch my car, is standing there, probably thinking I'm a total goofball.

I ran to the theater, where Paul had thankfully started the pre-show music, and I got ready to go. I was there at 10 minutes to showtime. Then, I found out that the house was sold out (awesome!). It was a good show, a great audience, but man, that key thing has me stumped. I've been checking out online forums and they all suggest the same things (though one says to move the shifter, which I didn't think to try). Luckily I have a second key, I think I'm going to take that one with me tonight so at least if they key won't come out, I can lock the car with the other key and feel safe leaving it (unless someone sees it and decided to break a window). Next week I'll take it in to Honda and see what they say.

This was a fast weekend. I guess because Friday I felt like crap (no pun intended). Yesterday was a little rough, too, but I did get to go out and do stuff. I went to the library, the gym, and the theater. Now I guess I'll do some laundry and get ready for the show tonight at City Garage. You have a few more weeks left to see The Bourgeois Gentilhomme - Saturday and Sunday night only, closes February 22.


Yesterday I got a voicemail message from a friend, and he goes, after telling me whatever it was he needed to tell me (oh, yes, that he would be able to cat-sit when Patrick and I go to Portland in March), he goes, "I had something else to tell you... but I forgot."

Is this code for something? I mean, I know what I mean when I say it, but do other people think about it that much? I haven't talked to him yet since his voicemail and it might be awhile before we actually speak to each other - so I have some time to think about it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I have a problem

(No, not this still, well, not really - it's getting a little better, though I am still, you know, but I've taken some medicine, which makes me a little sleepy, and now I'm a bit achy, but I've decided I'm not going to talk about it anymore.)

For the past several months I have been religiously recording all the re-runs of the West Wing that have been shown on Bravo. When I started watching they were in the middle of the second-to-last season. I hadn't really watched the show when it was on the first time, maybe once or twice, but the re-runs got me hooked.

I'll be honest, it started with Bradley Whitford (I'm probably the only person in town who liked "Studio 60"). There is something incredibly attractive about him on this show. It must've seemed pretty funny to Rob Lowe, who was probably set to be the show's "heartthrob." Anyway, I kept watching and I fell in love with all these characters: C.J., Charlie, Donna, Toby, Leo - and now I'm hooked.

Patrick, however, is not so enamoured, and will not even watch shows or movies that I tape that have stars from the show in them (Psych, etc.). He's kind of sick of it already.

Anyway - so now Bravo has started showing the very first episodes again, starting with the pilot, and I've been sucking up those episodes like a kid with a Slurpee, and I love it, still. But now I have a problem, because we're on to a storyline that I must've watched the first time around, because I know what's coming up. In fact, I remember watching it, and I remember not watching the show anymore after what's about to happen. I'm nervous about it all of a sudden.

See, it's the storyline where C.J. has to get a bodyguard (played by Mark Harmon). I think when I first watched, I only saw the episode that I have paused right now, so I didn't know all the buildup and I hadn't gotten invested in the characters - but it's not good, what's coming up. I know now that after getting a little emotionally involved with her bodyguard, and thinking that the guy who was going to kill her has been arrested... I know that Mark Harmon (I forget his character's name...) is going to get shot at the end of this episode, and it's going to be sad, and they're going to play Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" and it's probably not going to kill me as much as it did when Josh was shot and Patrick came in the house to find me crying on the couch - but I'm not looking forward to it.

So. I have the TV paused right now and I know I could just turn it off and not watch it again since I already know what's going to happen, or I could turn off the sound or I could delete the episode... but I kind of want to watch.

Isn't that sick?

It's kind of funny, because if they had chosen instead to kill off Josh's girlfriend Amy, I would not be this nervous about it.

You know what? I just changed my mind... I'm not gonna watch it. Deleting now.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm not sure how to put this delicately,

...but I appear to have some sort of digestive disorder. It's been a problem since Monday night. The only thing I can pin it on is this Fresh and Easy pasta with mushroom sauce I ate that evening for dinner, which is weird, because Patrick had the same type of pasta the night before and was just fine. It's either that or my body is rejecting all my internal organs and has decided to eliminate them all, one by one, and is taking its own sweet time about it.

I'm on the phone right now with Kaiser, and I feel kind of silly about it, because, I mean, it's just diarrhea, you know? It's not the plague (or is it... there was a cricket in the house on Monday; do crickets carry the plague?) or anything, I can totally function (work has been interesting, though, because I have been forced to try to lose that sense of inhibition I always feel in a public restroom, where I try to contain all my snorts and squeaks until the room is clear [I don't actually snort or squeak in the restroom; to be honest, it's most like a gentle hum, say, Erik Satie]), I'm still eating just fine (for instance, this morning I had a bowl of Cheerios and a banana for breakfast, Franny is helping to not let the teaspoon of extra milk in the bottom of the bowl go to waste), and while it's uncomfortable, a little crampy - I'm not going to die.

During the time it took for me to type the above paragraph I've been on hold. There are no available appointments today, so the receptionist is going to put me on with an "Advice Nurse." I like the Advice Nurse service Kaiser has, but I'm a little nervous about this. What's worse? Typing my digestive problems on a blog or telling a real live nurse I have diarrhea?

I got up to use the bathroom this morning while Patrick was getting ready for work, and he was kidding around with me about the fan and Febreze, but when I was finished, and it was all roses and vanilla and lavender in there (in other words, I did not lay an egg), I thought, hey, maybe that's over now. Maybe whatever 72 hour bug I had is gone. But no, he left for work, and five minutes later it was World War III all over again.

I don't know. I'm still on hold. I'm tempted to hang up, go take a shower, and pretend none of this happened. I have things to do today - I have an appointment with the chiropractor for one thing; Patrick, who only has to work a few hours today (but has to work all day tomorrow) will be home soon and then we're going to the gym; I'd love to get some laundry done, and the dirty dishes - Oh! Here we go. I just talked to the nurse, and he (his name was Patrick, how sweet) asked me a few questions - my favorite was, "When you stand up, do you feel like passing out?" Well, no, but I've passed out before, many years ago, and it was kind of fun.

Anyway, here's the deal. I am going to not eat anything fatty or sugary, I am going to quit taking any laxatives (damn. Why didn't I think of that?), I am going to drink more fluids, and I am going to go get some Immodium when I'm out and about a little later.

You know, it's interesting - when I got up this morning to check my email, one of the first things I did was go to and type in "diarrhea" (I had to type it in twice, because I always misspell it). And hey, wouldn't you know, there are many causes of diarrhea, including this one:

Diarrhea may also be caused by malabsorption problems and certain types of cancer.

"Certain types of cancer" is becoming my not-so secret fear. Isn't that cheerful?


It's funny, I wasn't going to post this next part but then I got a comment from my friend Jeff, and I decided, hey, what the hell, I've taken it this far, what's the problem?

So after I wrote all that, I had to get up and take a shower to get ready for an appointment with the chiropractor that I made last week. I go every once in awhile, and ever since we've started walking on the treadmill, I've been noticing how my left leg really is longer than my right. Maybe I'm standing straighter or something. Anyway, the chirorpractor has worked on this in the past with me, so I wanted to go get it checked out. Except, you know, my tummy is not happy today (or yesterday, or the day before yesterday...) - but I thought, ah, it'll be okay.

So I headed over there, and the place was totally packed. No place to sit, even, in the waiting room (well, there was this guy with a cast on his leg and crutches, if he had just gotten out of the way...), so I'm hanging out, wondering if this was a good idea, and it seemed like things would be alright. So 30 minutes after my scheduled appointment time, they bring me into a room (and don't make me lie on that stupid water table, I hate that table with a passion), and I sit there and wait some more. Luckily I had a book. Finally Dr. B comes in, and he asks me a few questions, and then he proceeds to adjust me. Which he does by, I don't know, lying down on my back with his knee and twisting me like a pretzel. While he's doing this, I apologized for being so stiff, and he goes, "Well, you know that's funny, because you're both stiff and limber!" And I pondered that for a moment, and then I almost farted on him.

It would've been okay, though, because in case you didn't know, my farts are full-on lemon-y, bubbly goodness.

So there you go, Jeff. The best conclusion to a story you didn't intend to read in the first place.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Subject: RE: Chocolate Mug Cake

As usual, these messages (and the photo to the left) only make sense if you read up. I'm too lazy to re-do it to be in the right order.

From: Irene
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 4:16 PM
To: Andrea
Subject: RE: Choclate Mug Cake

Why? Would you have baked him in the easy bake oven? (It's okay so long as it's a 1,000 watt oven.) Could I have cooked "food" over the warmth generated by my Light Bright? Now I'm gonna wonder...

Interestingly, I actually have all of these ingredients (minus the pony) at home. How often does that happen?
I'm still iffy on the egg, but I accept that that's just my prejudices against... microwaves. I also still want ice cream. I must be PMSing right now. How'd you guess?

Is there any toaster-friendly type breakfast food you might recommend I can bring in the mornings that won't make me fat? We have a toaster oven (wattage unverified) if that helps.

In other news... I think I'm going to change my name to Tzipi.


From: Andrea
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 4:12 PM
To: Irene
Subject: RE: Choclate Mug Cake

Um, did I mention I was 20 years old at the time?
Never got that pony though.....

From: Irene
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 4:06 PM
To: Andrea
Subject: RE: Choclate Mug Cake

You had an easy bake oven? You never told me you were rich.

From: Andrea
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 4:06 PM
To: Irene
Subject: RE: Choclate Mug Cake

Are you kidding me? I used to eat stuff I "baked" via light bulb in my Easy Bake oven. Technically this recipe qualifies as gourmet. It doesn't take long to zap an egg, and aside from adding a bit more chocolate, I believe it would work. Try it next time you're PMS'ing and need a fix.

From: Irene
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 2:25 PM
To: Andrea
Subject: FW: Choclate Mug Cake

Would you eat a cake you "baked" in only 3 minutes (scroll down)?

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world ?

Um... undercooked egg? This seems like a sure-fire way to the emergency room, to me. I mean, one egg in a coffee mug? That's a lotta egg.
I checked already: is unaware of this mystery.*

Though... the ice cream in the second photo looks real good.

From: Cathy
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:25 AM
To: A bunch of people with ridiculous email addresses
Subject: FW: Choclate Mug Cake

From: Some lady with a fucked up name
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 6:58 AM
To: People I don't know

Subject: FW: Choclate Mug Cake

Subject: This is too cool - chocolate cake in 5 minutes!
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world ?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

*Note from the future: Obviously I didn't look hard enough. Found this later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My life as a gym member: so far, so good

We're about one week into my "new year, new me" plan (full disclosure: there is no such plan), and Patrick and I have successfully gone to the gym together about four times. I say "about" for two reasons:
  1. I've gone without him once or twice (you can see that most things are going to be vague here, can't you)
  2. Last night we attempted to go, saw the line of people awaiting treadmills, and hightailed it out of there

We seem to be having fun, though. The first night we both forgot our iPods, and so instead I spent most of the time we were on the treadmills keeping a discreet eye on him, to make sure the guy didn't keel over or something. He surprised me by running (he used to be a runner, before we got married), and because he's a man, I'm sure he'll have good results way before I do. I also foresee the re-emergence of Super Calves, Patrick's claim to fame as a double bass drum playing dynamo (I almost typed "domino" instead of "dynamo" and spent a few seconds trying to figure out why that sounded wrong; also, I like saying "double bass drum playing dynamo;" also, I had to take a few moments and erase Van Morrison's song "Domino" from my brainwaves); I probably won't have anything that dramatic happen, and that's okay by me.

It's all less intimidating than I had gotten myself worked up about - sure, there are plenty of skinny minis there, in their low-rise, tight-ass exercise pants and double tank tops, but there are also people who look like me (or, if you can believe it, worse). There are also people who look like me (or worse) who could kick my butt, so: I will attempt to be nice. I did watch this one woman the other night on the treadmill in front of me - she was petite and cute, and then when she finished and was gathering up her things, she put on, over her workout clothes, a jacket that looked like it was made from Cookie Monster pelt. Somebody explain to me where, exactly, you can purchase Sesame Street creature fur coats for grownups, because - wow.

Someone at work, when I told her how busy the place was last night, reminded me that I'm probably not alone in starting this gym business in January - that as the months pass, the number of people wanting to work out and improve their bodies will dwindle down. I hope I'm not one of those people, because I would really like to be able to wear my smaller pants again.

We're still just sticking to the treadmills, but on Sunday I decided to try one of the pre-programmed courses. It was fun, and easier than I expected. The funny thing was, both my shoes came untied at about 10 minutes into the routine, and I didn't want to stop to tie them, so for about 25 minutes I walked on the treadmill with both sets of shoelaces flapping around my ankles. I'm pretty sure I have red marks still from those sharp plastic tips.

Other than the gym, and my vacation officially ending (back to work for me, yesterday - readjusting to getting up at 5 a.m. and then working for 10 hours has been painful), there hasn't been much going on. Some mail for the teenage kid across the street was mis-delivered to our house, and we discovered that that kid's name is actually "Keefe" and not, as we have thought for the last 8 years, "Keith." All this time I thought his mother had a speech impediment. What kind of name is "Keefe," anyway?

And, finally, to wrap up the news of the small, last night I ate something that didn't agree with me, and so I've been back and forth to the restroom quite a bit today. And I would just like to point out that while I try as hard as I can to be conscientious to my co-workers, if you don't want to hear or smell anything unpleasant while using the public restroom, you might want to consider, I don't know, a bucket or something, because look, it's just a fact of life (also, while the first floor bathrooms have been remodeled and have those fancy sensors to automatically flush when they think you're finished, this doesn't allow for the "courtesy flush." I usually prefer the first floor restroom because they're new, bigger [and thus, emptier] and further away and I get a bit of a walk [two birds with one stone!] But due to the urgency with which I have been called to the restroom today, it's just not logical. Also, I think the "courtesy flush" must waste a lot of water). So, if you don't like dead people, stay out of the morgue. It's just common sense, people. I have no other advice or comments on this isse, but I feel justified in telling this story because earlier this morning my co-worker was telling me about her small daughter who has a cold, and about how her daughter would rather snort her snot back up than use a tissue. This was a detail that my very nice co-worker felt that the story needed. Maybe so I wouldn't suspect that she was making up her "daughter" and subsequent stories of her satisfactory home life, I don't know. I decided that instead of telling just her a disgusting story, that I would share it with you all as well. Spreading the wealth, that's me: doing my part for the Democratic party.

I do know that there's nothing better than a small child's runny nose to make me feel like maybe I should reconsider becoming a mother someday.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Post-gym glow...

...or pre-cardiac arrest?

There's also a third option: Crappy cell phone camera. Come on, I'm Hispanic. There's no way my natural complexion is ever going to be that pink.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday in the city

Patrick and I decided to go out and do something today. We considered going down and checking out the Rose Parade floats, or the outlet stores, but in the end, we decided to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and it was a great day out. LACMA has a ton of art, and I think, while we certainly didn't see it all, we did see quite a bit of it.

Anyway,we walked through Richard Serra's "Band" and "Sequence," which was... interesting, and later, in the Contemporary collection, we saw a bunch of drawings by this guy I'd never heard of, Lee Mullican, and I really liked him. A couple of weeks ago we saw a TV special on Jeff Koons and his big blue balloon dog; seeing it in person was surprisingly exciting. We also saw the Native American art, a whole bunch of amazing European art (I really liked "The Death of Lucretia, " by Ludovico Mazzanti), and just more stuff than I could really process. It's overwhelming, all the stuff there.

Oh, and I also liked the Bateman Mercury. That room was astonishgly empty, and we had it to ourselves for at least 20 minutes. It's a shame, really, because there was a lot of cool stuff over there.

Also at LACMA is an exhibit of Vanity Fair magazine photos, and while, sure, it's kind of interesting to see all the famous photos (Gertrude Stein, Matt Damon, Prince William... ? Keira Knightly?), and the photography itself is gorgeous... I was a little confused when we realized that this was the most heavily populated place in the whole museum.

A room full of Picassos upstairs, and everybody's looking at George Clooney?

Afterwards, we went to Pearl Art Supply so Patrick could check out something, and then we went to the Santa Monica Library, so that I could return a particularly overdue, overdue library book. By this time we were pretty hungry.. and so we decided to go to La Cabana - I haven't been there in a really long time, and the last time I went, I was a little disappointed, but this time it was all fine. Food, service, everything.

But the best part of the day occurred when we were in the car, getting ready to leave the museum. I had started the car, and was heading up the ramp to the ticket booth, and I said the following words, words that I don't make it a habit of saying:

"Boy are my dogs tired."

Please. Tell me when the last time you heard me make this cornball statement. Patrick started laughing, and said, "Oh my god I was about to ask you that exact question." I was confused, so I said, "What question?" He said, "I was going to ask you if your dogs are tired!"

It's silly, and a little thing, but a nice reminder of how much goofy fun we have together. We're not perfect, we occasionally do and say things sometimes that are pretty inconsiderate, but I love these little funny things when they happen.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Eve Eve, and other stuff

(The following story has no purpose.)

On New Year's eve eve, Patrick and I were desperate to get out of the house.

Well, that's not really true - he had to return some keys he had accidentally taken that belong to his brother who lives in Studio City, and since Steve (Patrick's brother) needed those keys, we thought it would be a fine act of charity if we actually delivered them to him.

So we loaded up the Honda with keys and ourselves, and I drove us over to Studio City.

Patrick had told me of this plan (to return the keys, please pay attention) earlier in the day, and he asked me to think of any restaurant I had been wanting to go to that was out in that general direction (Hollywood, Studio City, Sherman Oaks...) but I couldn't think of anything, which is surprising, and a bad sign, because normally I can think of at least one thing, but this time, not so much.

The drive over was fun, because I had a podcast of Terry Gross interviewing Jenna Fischer and Rainn Wilson from The Office, and we laughed and talked and enjoyed ourselves immensely during the drive through downtown LA and the valley from our Long Beach home. Then we got to Steve's house, dropped off the keys (the car was suddenly much lighter, gas mileage improved), and we were in trouble, because we were both hungry, but clueless of where to go.

This is why I don't go grocery shopping when hungry, because it means I will come home with bags full of Diet Cokes and pre-made Fresh & Easy pasta dishes.

There is one restaurant close to Steve's house that he has taken us to that we liked in the past and never go to unless with the family, and that restaurant is The Great Greek. So, it being a Tuesday night, we figured it wouldn't be crowded, I could have some avgolemono soup (really, maybe the best chicken soup in the world), and we'd be all set. Except, we've never been there at night before, and we realized that we might've made a mistake when the guy seated us... literally six inches in front of the band.

It was ridiculous, that table (Patrick swears that he saw other empty tables but the place seemed pretty packed to me), because there we were, in front of a guy playing a Bouzouki (he looked just like Leo Laporte, The Tech Guy) and another guy playing a giant keyboard. The music was lively, interesting, slightly familiar, and... loud. We could neither hear each other (Patrick resorted to mouthing nonsense words to me so we could at least pretend we were having a conversation) nor could we hear the waiter. The service was amazingly slow that night, and we had to ask, twice, for refills on our drinks (which we did using pantomime and by exhibiting great thirst); meanwhile, the waiters and some of the other diners were embarked on some sort of great Greek musical.

It was, actually, fun to watch, and could we have enjoyed it together instead of staring at each other mutely, we would probably have had a better time. The food was fine (my soup was the highlight), but after awhile, getting out of there seemed like our only chance at survival.

Then we came home, and the next day (New Year's Eve day), Patrick went to work and I stayed home. I visited the Salvation Army and the Public Library to make my last minute donations (interestingly, I've had these items ready to go for about two weeks) and left a silly message for my friend Bo which required me to use a version of "Mahna Mahna." Our New Year's Eve night was pretty quiet, and I think we were asleep by 11:30. I refuse to be ashamed of this fact, because I think my parents were asleep by 9:30, so at least we beat them. Yeah, they're 70. Shut up.

I've been home all this week, and I have to say, it feels great, being home. I've had a good time, and I've accomplished a few things (laundry not being one of them). I've actually been productive, and I think that surprised Patrick, because yesterday, when we were both home, I demonstrated to the fullest my ability to lay on the couch and watch TV (the Rose parade, of course). Really, I'm quite good at that. And I think the disruption to my week-long habit of industry was... him.