Friday, February 27, 2009

Totally worth the wait

Today I had lunch with my friend Andrea, and she surprised me with this gorgeous cheesecake adorned with chocolate shaving curls and chocolate covered strawberries. It was truly a sweet gesture and a yummy treat. (The cake came from Alsace Lorraine Bakery in Long Beach. I'm definitely going to check that place out.)

This was kind of a rough week, and from what I've heard from others, not just for me. Next week, on the other hand, has a lot of potential to be a fine week. I work Monday and Tuesday all day; Wednesday, I work half a day. Then I'm going home for a massage and to pack and get ready for a trip Patrick and I are taking to Portland. I'm kind of doing a weird thing, which I never do, right now, and that is... looking ahead. I'm really glad it's almost March. I have a lot going on, and I just want to make sure I can handle it all, and get it over with. Though that's not to say I'm not looking forward to some of it. Just: a lot to do and think about!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From a NY Times interview with the actor, Rupert Everett:

“I spent my whole life thinking I was missing out on something happening somewhere else,” he said. “It took me a long time to feel happy, just to collapse like a dog on the sofa and find great pleasure in a less-ambitious life. I don’t mean that to sound like I’m speaking badly about my other half. I just love sitting around, doing that with someone else. It was always a strain for me in relationships to be interested in the other person except for what I was going to change about them when I had the chance.”

I've always felt fairly easy about having a less-ambitious life; ambition has never been my thing. Then again, I agree with just about every other thing he says in these four sentences.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From a NY Times article about kids and recess:

"Young rats denied opportunities for rough-and-tumble play develop numerous social problems in adulthood. They fail to recognize social cues and the nuances of rat hierarchy; they aren’t able to mate. By the same token, people who play as children “learn to handle life in a much more resilient and vital way,” said Dr. Stuart Brown, the author of the new book “Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul” (Avery)."

Ah, to be a young rat again... those were the days.

Monday, February 23, 2009

From an LA Times story about sending email to former co-workers when you get fired:

"It's so easy to e-mail, and that's the risk, isn't it?" said John Challenger of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. "Once you've put it out there, you can't get it back."

This is something to think about. Not that I got fired or anything, but in general. "Send" is a powerful tool.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

20 Essential Albums

(My friend Damon did this on Facebook, and tagged me, so I thought I'd share it here for my friends not on Facebook, as well as there.)

Think of 20 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life, or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, and emotions. These are the albums that - no matter what they were, musically - shaped your world.When you finish, tag 20 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill.

My list isn't really in chronological order because I didn't necessarily find these albums the years they came out. I might be off a bit due to my own level of maturity or discovery or whatever.

1. Dad's 8-Track of 50s Classics
Released: Unknown
I found it: ~1976

When I was little, my dad had this 8-track with all these great songs from the 1950s on it. It might've been a Dick Clark compilation, but I don't remember. I learned how to operate the 8-track player at an early age (we also had the Grease and Saturday Night Fever soundtracks on 8-track), and I loved these songs. I would crank it up in my brothers' room (they had an 8-track player in their room, the lucky boys) when they weren't around and listen to these songs and - it's embarrassing to admit - dance.

Highlights: "Personality," by Lloyd Price; "Maybellene," by Chuck Price

2. Van Halen II, Van Halen
Released: 1979
I fell in love: 1980

My brother Andy had this on cassette, and he was a big early influence on me, musically. I don't know for sure if I really liked the music or if I just liked hanging out with him and listening to it. I'm pretty sure I was obvlivious to the blatant sexuality of David Lee Roth's lyrics. I think I mostly just thought it was all a big joke.

Highlights: "Somebody Get Me a Doctor," "Beautiful Girls"

3. Pyromania, Def Leppard
Released: 1983
I fell in love: 1983

Another one of Andy's picks. I also enjoyed his Ratt, Journey, and Quiet Riot cassettes, but nos. 2 and 3 on this list are the ones that really had an impact on me. We went on a camping trip, and I remember being attached to Andy and his portable cassette player. Luckily they had two earphone jacks in those days. By the time Pyromania came out I was the ripe old age of 11, and I wanted to rock.

Highlights: "Rock of Ages," "Foolin'," "Photograph"

4. Vacation, Go Go's
Released: 1982
I fell in love: 1984, '85

5. Speaking In Tongues, Talking Heads
Released: 1983
I fell in love: 1984, '85

Nos. 4 and 5 go together on this list. My oldest brother Dan moved into the back house after my grandfather, for whom the room (it was really just a room, not a "house") had been built passed away. My grandfather died when I was 9 (on the night of my holy communion; I never had to do another Catholic thing as a child again), but I'm not sure if Dan moved in right away or if the room was empty for awhile, or what. Some time passed, but I'm feeling vague tonight. My brother Dan was 18 or 19; he was cool. He was into music and clothes and his locked door was a temptation I couldn't ignore. When he wasn't home, and I could get away with it, I would slip the spare key to his room off the key rack in the kitchen and sneak into his room, where I would try on his clothes (his clothes always smelled like Paco Rabbane, which was way different from my dad's Old Spice), snoop around his stuff, and "borrow" his records. These two were my favorites. I think the Go Gos really tapped into my feelings about boys and what I thought dating would be like when I got older; the Talking Heads was something Dan liked and so I therefore assumed it was something I would like, too. I was right on both counts.

Highlights: Go Go's: "Vacation," "Girl of 100 Lists" (I can still probably sing this song from memory), "Get Up and Go;" Talking Heads: "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)," "Burning Down the House, "Girlfriend Is Better"

6. Ghost in the Machine, The Police
Released: 1981
I fell in love: ~1985

I knew who the Police were, like everybody else in the 1980s, but I didn't realize how much I liked them until the 7th grade. I wasn't in the 7th grade in 1981, so I was about 4 years late finding this album. We had an assignment to make some kind of illustrated book/diary thing (?), and I remember that this album matched my mood perfectly in the 7th grade, so it played heavily in that project. Also that year, I had a crush on this boy (his name was Eric), and he was friendly enough, but you know how that goes: he was beautiful (tall, blond and gorgeous); by the 7th grade I was already well-used to liking boys more than they liked me. We were friends and talked on the telephone and he walked me home once in awhile, and even saw a movie together, thanks to Serena's excellent matchmaking skills (we saw "The Breakfast Club" in the Marina with her whole family). Needless to say, this feeling put me in a funk. To my credit, rather than turn to whatever the sappy boy-band of the day was (I have no idea who that might've been), I found the Police.

Highlights: "Invisible Sun," "Omegaman," "Secret Journey," "Darkness"

7. Murmur, R.E.M.
Released: 1983
I fell in love: 1985

I can see a theme here... most of my music has been chosen for me by other people. I wonder if that's common, or what? I became a fan of R.E.M. and this album because of my friend Missy. I guess we were in the 8th grade, so this is around 1985? Missy introduced me to R.E.M., the Sex Pistols, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran (DM and Duran Duran elicited "thanks, but no thanks" from me), Pink Floyd with Syd Barret, U2, and a bunch of other 80s bands. She had the 80s look down totally until we got a little older and she went full-on goth. I was a little nerdy, brown, marching band kid who liked to read; she was this tall, bleach blond beauty with perfect skin and awesome clothes. I don't know how we fit together, but we did. We had fun.

Highlights: "Radio Free Europe," "Catapult," "West of the Fields"

8. Abbey Road, the Beatles
Released: 1969
I fell in love: 1987

In the 9th and 10th grades, I had a regular Saturday night babysitting gig. I was/am not a natural childcare giver - I didn't like babysitting very much but I liked these kids (Galit, about 10 years old, and her little brother, Guy) and their parents. Once the kids went to bed I engaged in every babysitter's favorite past times and snooped around their house, played with Tali's makeup and Jacob's drafting table (never touched his actual work but loved all his pens and pencils and paper), raided the 'fridge, talked to boys (Charlie, Ron) on the phone, and fell asleep on the couch. One other thing I did was listen to Abbey Road every Saturday night for the two or three years I babysat for them, and though I did play it softly, there were always some nights when Guy would come downstairs and say that the final chords of "The End" had scared him.

Highlights: "Something," "Because," "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window"

9. Ragin', Full-On, Firehose
Released: 1986
I fell in love: 1989

So, it's 1989, and Adam and I were dating. High school dating for me had not been much of a success up to this point - I mean, there was the date rapist, the drug addict, the guy for whom I was merely a placeholder (he was actually very nice), all the guys I liked more than they liked me, and one or two others who shall remain nameless. Adam was the first boy who liked me first who I valued as a person and a friend first. Hmmm. That's a deep observation, there. Anyway, he had many things going for him: he had long hair, he was tall, he was attracted to me, he had a car, I could trust him, he was smart as hell, he was a lot of fun, he had a car, and he had this album. We wore it out. Or I did, I'm sure he got sick of it first. I had never been to a concert of any kind until he took me to McCabe's and the Palomino to see these guys.

Highlights: "Chemical Wire," "Another Theory Shot to Shit," "Caroms"

10. Bleach, Nirvana
Released: 1989
I fell in love: 1990

During my senior year of high school, I met Patrick while working at the library. He liked me first, which I always enjoy pointing out to people. As it's been well-documented that I had a boyfriend that year, and he (Patrick) was much older (5 years older), we were just friends for years before we dated. He had a few things going for him: he exposed me to lots of music, he hung out with me when he could've been with people who were older and much cooler (and legal), he was attracted to me, he took me to Hollywood, he had a car, he was patient, he was older, wiser, and funny as hell, and he knew something about everything (I always like know-it-alls). He gave me lots of music as our friendship went on and changed, but this was the first thing he gave me. I'm pretty sure it was on cassette. We used to drive around and listen to it in his white Toyota truck with the giant tires and the loud-as-hell sound system.

Highlights: "Floyd the Barber," "Negative Creep," "Swap Meet"

11. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
Released: 1973
I fell in love: 1990

This was the first CD I ever bought. I remember being home one day, alone, at my parents' house. I think it was the summer. I had this playing on the CD player loud enough to rattle the glass bulb covers on the ceiling fan in the kitchen, and I was walking through the living room when I saw someone on the front porch. I went to answer the door, and it was Eric, the boy I had been in love with in the 7th grade. (He had moved away at some point, and had written me one or two silly letters, so he knew my address.) He was still beautiful, and better yet, he had a motorcycle parked at the curb in front of my house. He made a comment about the volume of the music, so I turned it off, locked the door, and took off with him on his motorcycle for a truly awesome afternoon. We spent a few days together and went out and hung out and fooled around and then he disappeared. That time with him, when, basically, a dream came true, was pretty special, and while I don't feel great about losing him, I also don't wonder what might've happened, like I have with so many of my other failed relationships, which seems funny, since there was no closure or real end to it. He went away, and that was it, and it was perfect just the way it was.

Highlights: "The Great Gig in the Sky," "Any Colour You Like," "Brain Damage"

12: Presence, Led Leppelin
Released: 1976
I fell in love: 1991

I always liked Led Zeppelin, and I remember having many, many conversations in high school with Rachel about the bands we liked and who we thought was better (Zeppelin for me, the Who for her) - it took me awhile to work my way around to Presence, but once I did, it was pretty much my soundtrack for awhile. When I finally got a car in 1991, I had this crappy little 1984 Subaru with a portable CD player in it, and pretty much the only CD I had in the car for a very long time was Presence. I know most people don't think it's that great of an album (I worked at a video store with this guy Mitch, and he tried to talk me out of liking Presence), but for me, it's my favorite.

Highlights: "Achilles Last Stand," "Royal Orleans," "Hots On For Nowhere"

13. Gentlemen, Afghan Whigs
Released: 1993
I fell in Love: 1993

This was another gift from Patrick. Patrick has had a really big influence on the music I enjoy (Afghan Whigs, Nirvana, Captain Beefheart, Black Sabbath, Molly Hatchet, Aerosmith, McCoy Tyner, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus: yes. Dio, Rainbow, Robin Trower, Cheap Trick, Miles Davis, Datarock: no), and while this is a pretty dark album (and maybe a weird one to give to a young woman you like) it's been a favorite ever since I first heard it.

Highlights: "Be Sweet," "Debonair," "My Curse"

14. Grace, Jeff Buckley
Released: 1994
I fell in love: 1994

1994 was a rough year for me. I was engaged to marry Drew, and starting to feel trapped and confused. I suppose I was in love with him (read: I wasn't in love with him), but it was a hard thing, to be 22 and not ready to get married. His family was perfect, he was totally wonderful (even my sister liked him), but I saw myself making his life a living hell. I didn't trust myself to not fuck it up. I was working at Crown Books in Malibu, and my friends there, Leigh and Cheney, were outnumbered by my enemies (Beth, Jessica, and Alex), so I'm not really sure why I stuck around. I could've found another retail job, I'm sure, but leaving two things seemed like one too many decisions to have to make at one time. After I broke up with Drew and canceled our wedding two weeks before the date and everyone hated me, Cheney and I used to drive around Malibu in my Toyota Celica listening to this album. He was a kid (five years younger than me), but for awhile we were really close and hung out after work and stuff, and I guess I'll leave it at that.

Highlights: "Last Goodbye," "So Real," "Dream Brother"

15. Post, Bjork
Released: 1994
I fell in love: 1994

In 1994, an old friend of Adam's, Sean, opened a funky little coffee shop in Culver City. After 4 years of being in a relationship with Drew, where his friends had become my friends (his friends now all figured I had the plague, and I was pretty much in agreement), I needed a social life, and I sure wasn't getting it at work. I started hanging out at Sean's place, and with Sean's friends, and one day I met this guy, Jesse. Jesse and I were talking about something, maybe a party?, and he mentioned that he was friends with Patrick. Suddenly, he put two and two together (because I guess Patrick had told him about me), and he figured out who I was. He invited me to the party, and I told him I had to check "with my manager" to make sure I was free. I think I was putting him off a bit, I didn't really know him, and I didn't know what the deal was yet. He thought I was an actress or something because I said "manager," and that was a fun mistake for awhile. Anyway, the next day, I was back at the coffee shop, and so was Jesse, with Patrick. After all those years of waiting, we finally hit it off as more than just friends, and started dating for real. This was what we mostly listened to (also: Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse, Black Sabbath... but Bjork was special) during those early exciting days. Hyper-Balled in particular was a favorite.

Highlights: "Hyper-Ballad," "You've Been Flirting Again," "Isobel"

16. OK Computer, Radiohead
Released: 1997
I fell in love: 1997

I don't remember buying this CD, or who told me about it, I doubt I heard any of these tracks on the radio, I didn't have the first two albums (The Bends, Pablo Honey), I didn't know who Radiohead was. Somehow I acquired this CD, and for about 4 years it was pretty much the only thing I listened to. In 2001, after 15 years of working retail, I finally got a civil service job, which I hated. I missed my friends at Rizzoli, I had a long commute - this album made it bearable. Then one day I was getting in the parking lot elevator, and I realized that the "ding" of that crappy decrepit elevator was the same as the "ding" in one of the songs, I think it's "Lucky."

Highlights: "Subterranean Homesick Alien," "Let Down," "Lucky," "The Tourist"

17. Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, PJ Harvey
Released: 2000
I fell in love: 2000

I feel like this album should come before no. 16 even though that doesn't make sense, since it was released after. But I associate this the most with my last year at Rizzoli, before I got the civil service job. We sold music at our bookstore, and this came in one day and we were all listening to it in the store. Eventually it was the only thing I was listening to, for awhile. I really loved working in that bookstore (mostly Santa Monica, but Beverly Hills has a couple good memories, too), and if I want to go there again, all I have to do is fire up "You Said Something" and I'm right there, in the back room, in the office, in the lit section.

Highlights: "Good Fortune," "You Said Something," "Kamikaze," "This Mess We're In"

18. Clear Spot/The Spotlight Kid, Captain Beefheart
Released: 1972
I fell in love: 2004

More of Patrick's music. He played Beefheart for me for years, with me mostly going, "Okay, now can we listen to something else...?" until one day I we were listening to this album in the car (I should point out that most of my listening takes place in the car), and "Crazy Little Thing" came on and I suddenly understood what I was listening to, and started to like it. Patrick told me a story about how when I was with Drew but he and I were still friends, how hard that was for him. He was always there for me as a friend, and never said or did anything inappropriate. During that time, he told me later, "my song" was "Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles." That's a sad song. And my eyes aren't blue. Still, it's romantic, no?

This is taking Forever! To be continued...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday's goings-on

My friend Andrea and I were going to have lunch together today, but she had to cancel on me. I'm sure she had a perfectly good reason. Andrea and I have known each other for awhile now, having worked in the same chaotic department together. She's still there, and her emails to me about her work environement keep me entertained. Her friendship and emails are what keep me from going totally crazy during the work week. Also, she's one smart cookie.

Anyway, this morning we were emailing back and forth during the hour or so of free time I had before I wanted to play with the Wii Fit and get ready for my facial, and she was sharing with me some details about a remodel that's going on of her workspace.

This remodel is the reason I wanted to get out of that department, since I worked for the manager in charge of the area, and based on the way most things went while I was working for her, I was terrified of the mess I knew it would be. They just started the demolition this week and Andrea has been filling me in on the ghastly details.

My old boss was the one who was supposedly setting up all the details, and I remember being involved in the planning part, too, but one annoying trait of my old boss is her misguided notion that her ability to think on her feet and make decisions "on the fly" is what makes her a great manager. In truth, this "ability" is what makes her the whirling center of chaos from which all other chaos spawns, and she expects her underlings to make decisions, even though the underlings know full well that she is apt to change everything just because she can. She has made changes and changes to the plans since the planning process began, over six months ago, and the outcome is that there is now no designated space for my friend Andrea, her boss, or her co-workers.

You'd think that in six months someone might've noticed this but-no. Now they seem to be crying "there's just no space!" which is incredible to me, because there's space now. How can a remodel of an area that already accommodates the right amount of people suddenly eliminate space that already exists?

To add even more fun to the whole thing, there's also an asbestos scare (false, as it turns out). As an innocent bystander, this is all amusing and diverting and fun to think about. I am so glad I don't have to deal with it from the inside!

After discussing this in humorous detail, and playing (I can't bring myself to say "working out") with the Wii, I got ready for my facial. I haven't had one in awhile, and it was totally wonderful, relaxing, and worth every penny.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is the shot I meant to send...

when I wrote this.

In reality (and therefore not possible to capture it using a better than expected but still crappy cameraphone) the moon was fucking HUGE, not this tiny pinprick light that you're looking at going, man, Irene must've still been drunk off of Ruthie and Aaron's mulled wine when she looked at that moon and thought it was the headlight of a car or motorcycle in the rearview mirror.

The truth is, I wasn't drunk (I had about 1/4 of a glass of mulled wine, and a very small glass of wine after that, and a few pieces of cheese, and half a cupcake, and some other nibbly bites of food), and Bo seemed confident in my ability to drive us both home, so no, I was not drunk, again I say. I wasn't. It just looked bigger to me.

Also, I like how it looks like I have eight fingers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Funk-y

Tonight, Patrick and I went out for a quick Mexican dinner, and on the way home, we stopped at the mail box that's about 4 blocks from our house. I had him let me out to drop off my mail, and then I decided to walk a little. I went up and down those 4 blocks, and made a nice, brisk, 20 minute walk out of them. It was cold, but lovely out. My neighborhood is kind of dark, and the warmly lit up houses looked cozy and inviting. Yards are looking fine and green from the recent rain, and the sky was partly cloudy and interesting to look at. I caught the smell of fabric softener in the air (it could've been my own house, I started a load of laundry before we left), and talk about cozy! Nothing says cozy to me more than Arm & Hammer Essentials Fabric Softener Sheets (Lavender & Linen scent) (I'm not sure why I felt the need to plug this product; I do use it though). I came home to find Patrick fine-tuning our new DSL (box?), and the cat asleep on my new coat.

...

So, I've no problem admitting that I've been in a bit of a funk lately (and yes, I promise to stop talking about my massage therapist for awhile), but the funny thing is, in spite of my sort of warmed over crap mood, I've been laughing a lot. Mirthful. Cracking wise, even.

I haven't figured that out yet. Why I can feel sort of down and yet giggle still. There's hope for me yet, I suppose.

I was telling my friend Sarah today about the month of March, which is boding to be busy for me, and I think that's part of it. I have a lot of shit going on in March. I'm not a good planner. I like my busy-ness to surprise me, rather than knowing ahead of time that busy times are ahead. I'd rather find myself in the midst of a ton of stuff than be able to peek ahead at my Google calendar at just what's in store for me.

And now what's in store for me is a nice 6 hour sleep before I have to get up and do the whole thing all over again. More later.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Right now

Right now I am tired, and concerned that I might not have any clean pants to wear to work tomorrow.

So, I'm going to get up, go check, and get to bed. But first:

Today I had a good talk with Bruce, my massage therapist. He told me that next month he's retiring, which I just can't believe. I made one resolution this year, and that was more massages. I meant, more massages with him. I told my friend Cindy last night at a party that I would marry him if both of us weren't already married. I was totally serious. Well, okay, maybe not totally serious. He's retirement age, and his hair and moustache are pure white; that guy has some magic hands. He also is an amazing listener, and a good man, and I can't believe he won't be there for me. I'm happy for him that he gets to retire, and it sounds like he has a great plan, and I'm sure it's all good, and it's selfish of me to say this, but I'm really, really going to miss him.

He told me once that I had an "open heart." He may not know the details, but whenever I talk to him, I always feel like he knows me, and were I to bore him with the gory details, he would understand every misstep, every stupid thing I've ever done, and he would have a funny, smart thing to say about it... and then he would do that special thing to my lower back that he does, and I'd feel instantly better.

I have one more appointment before his last day, and I might make another one for a week after that. I'm going to live it up while I still can.

Now, to bed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Yesterday we took my parents and sister and brother to a late lunch at our favorite restaurant, La Casita Mexicana. It was a birthday lunch for me, since it was my birthday last week.

(I'm 29. Again.)

It was silly of me to plan it on Valentine's day, but the fact that it was Valentine's day was a detail that didn't occur to me until after the plans had already been made; anyway, this is why my other brother wasn't able to join us. My family met us at our house at 1:30, and we set off in a two-car caravan to... the city of Bell. The 20 minute drive turned into about an hour; there was some sort of fuel spill or something that required the fire department and the HazMat team, and then they closed the exit we needed and at this point I was practically chewing on my arm, I was so hungry, especially because Patrick insisted on telling my mother all about the restaurant and the delicious food the whole way there, but finally we pulled up and... waited another 20 minutes while they found a table large enough to accommodate us (it's a small place). None of them had ever been to Bell (and neither had I, until I went to the restaurant the first time), so we sat around and talked and it was fine, though, rather cold. I was anxious that my parents would like the food. Finally we got to sit down, and we finally got to eat, and I think everyone liked their food (my sister had an upset stomach the day before, and so ate her lunch rather gingerly, but I think she liked it), but at that point, I was so deep in La Casita Mexicana heaven that I kind of forgot about worrying about them liking it and just ate my own food.

Afterwards, we all came back to our house for cake and presents and pictures and cats, and then they left, and Patrick and I had our Valentine's Day night (not to be confused with a tropical hot dog night), which was quite similar to any other night, and that was just fine with us.

Today, we got up kind of early and went to Grounds for breakfast, and I took a shower, and supposedly I'm going to do laundry and maybe practice before heading out to pick up Bo and go to Santa Monica. Since I'm still sitting here with wet hair in my slippers and bathrobe, I'm unsure about the success of this plan. After the show tonight I think we're going to a party at the home of one of the actors but not staying long, as I think it's going to rain tonight and she lives kind of far away from both the theater and Long Beach.

Tomorrow's a holiday for us, and all I've got planned is a massage, and a nap. I love planning days like that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday, Friday, the immediate future

Thursday night after flute choir, I drove up to Santa Monica to pick up my friend Bo, who had just wrapped up a rehearsal of his own. More on this later. Without the generosity of my offering hin a ride (not a euphemism), Bo would've been riding the bus to Long Beach, and just might be getting home... about now. Anyway, after I picked him up and dropped him off (again: not a euphemism), I took some photos, because I caught myself, all the way home from his house to my house, thinking that the moon was a reflection of somebody's motorcycle or one-eyed car in my rear view mirror.

I did it multiple times. Caught myself thinking that, I mean. The moon was kind of perfectly positioned to have been one big headlight - it was right there, about 1/2 an inch away from the rear view mirror. Granted, I was tired. I was not drunk. Thursdays are long days for me, and while driving Bo home is always a treat, my little detour into the city of Santa Monica added about 30 minutes to my drive home, so I was a little tired: but I think I was fairly awake. It was just a weird trick of the eye, there. I fell for it, about 4 times.

So, yeah, I took some photos, and sent one to my blog here, and here you go. You can see exactly what I was talking about, can't you? See how the moon is - wait, what? What is that you're saying? The photo is what? Dark? Huh. I don't know. It looked exactly right on the screen when I took the picture - ?

Oh, whatever. It wasn't that great of an idea, anyway. Maybe this is really a representation of something else. I'll let you know when I think of something.

I am sitting here in my robe (I just got the robes I ordered for me and Patrick online in the mail the other day. I haven't been able to open them because his is his Valentine's day present, and damn if that dude isn't always home), and I think I'm in love. His is navy blue plaid flannel, and mine is navy blue, the softest cotton. I have a bath robe, but this one is just for... lounging. I love it. I hope he likes his.

Right now I am thinking about the weekend, and how if I get up right now, I can get to cleaning my office and doing some laundry and maybe go to the gym, and pick up my dry cleaning, and when Patrick gets home from the car dealership (more on this too, later) and visiting his mother, maybe we can go grocery shopping and get some food. Because right now, while popcorn and See's candy seems like a good breakfast...

P.S. Oh, and I think we have a virus. I've been nagging Patrick to FIND OUT WHY OUR DAMN COMPUTERS ARE SO FUCKING SLOW for weeks now. I don't have a good feeling about this. I am backing up all my important photos (like this one) now.

Another dream

Last night I had a funny dream that could've been a very poorly written screwball comedy about a jewel thief who goes into a jewelry store for his last hit, where he meets an older saleswoman and gets so nervous, he introduces himself twice; once, with his real name ("Charles Schultz"), and once with a fake name he makes up on the spot ("Hubert Chapeau" - I knew, when I heard him say this name in my dream that there's a good fake name, and that I wanted to be sure to remember it). He tells her he's looking for a string of pearls for his daughter, who's getting married. He kind of looks like Don Van Vliet (AKA Captain Beefheart), which makes sense, since Patrick and I watched a couple of old videos from when he was on David Letterman in the 1980s, last night. After he leaves the store, the suspicious saleswoman contacts the police, who send in a young, handsome detective to investigate. He poses as a salesman in the store, and waits for "Hubert/Charles/Don" to return. (In my dream there was a long section here about how the store uses two-way mirrors for security purposes and everyone watching the interaction of the jewel thief and the saleswoman knew he was a thief, and this was actually the most interesting part of the whole dream, but I don't remember any details). He doesn't, but his daughter (who looked a lot like the actress Elisabeth Moss, best known for playing Zooey Bartlet on The West Wing) does, and the detective falls for her, without knowing who she is. Or maybe this is supposed to be me, since Andrea and I have decided that when the movie of her life (or my life... it could happen) is made, Elisabeth Moss, with a tan and an extra 20 pounds, can play me.

So. They strike up a friendship, and she invites him to meet her family, who live near the coast of what looks like France, and he goes with her, not realizing (a) that she's the daughter of the hapless jewel thief, and (b) that she's getting married the next day. At her home, he meets her dad for the first time while he is playing in the swimming pool with her two little twin sisters (redheads... I just re-read Robert Heinlein's book "Time Enough For Love," in which two redheaded twin girls play a small part; I'm pretty sure Hubert/Charles/Don doesn't harbor the same creepy incestuous feelings toward the twin girls as Robert Heinlein allows Lazarus Long, his man character in that book, to feel), but he's so in love with this woman that he doesn't care who her dad is: jewel thief; wacky singer/composer/artist/sculptor; creator of the Peanuts, whatever. Her mother is blond and looks a bit like Caroline Ingalls. The two twins are adorable, irascible, and too smart for their own good. And the jewel thief's daughter is pretty, funny, and well-dressed. Hey, she lives in France. Of course she's well-dressed.

The whole family adores Detective boy (DB), who gets himself invited to the wedding, but the jewel thief's daughter's fiance never shows up, so the whole family ends up spending the night playing card games, and DB pulls the jewel thief's daughter aside to, you know, declare his love or something...

And then I woke up.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Grammy's

Last night, when I got home from the theater, I did a few things, and then I went into the bedroom to put away a basket full of clean clothes that I washed last week. While I was putting the clothes away, I turned on the television, and caught the last five hours of the Grammy awards. What? The show was "only" three and a half hours long? Huh. You could've foolded me. Anyway, I turned it on right after Jennifer Hudson performed - she was standing on the stage looking stunned, and then they went to commercial. I wanted to see her, and was bummed that I missed it; I'm sure it's on You Tube and I can check it out later. I think I missed U2, but that's okay. It might be time for U2 to go away for awhile. And take Paul McCartney with them.

At first I thought it was a joke, but then I realized that the announcer was serious when she introduced Stevie Wonder, performing with the Jonas Brothers. Up until last night, I had somehow managed to avoid ever hearing the Jonas Brothers - nor do I know their first names, so let's call them... Jonas 1 (Straight Hair), Jonas 2 (Curly Hair), and Jonas 3 (The Other One) - so they've been to me a trio of incredibly young, kind of cute-ish faces; I didn't know what they sounded like. Now I know: they sound like shit.

Stevie, held hostage by what can only be a really, really bad business deal, performed well, but come on. Those boys are just three hairdos. The fact that two of them were holding guitars cracked me up. I've seen kids at Best Buy playing Guitar Hero more realistically. Patrick was in the other room watching something else or emailing work or something, and he could hear my TV. His one and only comment was, "Man. That horn section is off." I don't think it was the horns, babe, I think it was Jonas 1's voice.

Another performer I was a little curious about was Katy Perry, but I have also never heard her song or her singing (look, I listen to Kevin & Bean or NPR in the morning, and my iPod or KPCC most of the rest of the time; I think I am not her target audience), so when she floated down in what looked like a giant suppository, wearing the Chiquita banana lady costume (and flat shoes. Come on, Katy - if you're going to take your boobs out like that, at least think about proportion and wear some rockin' shoes), I thought for a second this could be entertaining... and then she started to sing, and I thought, Nope, and went back to folding my underwear. That song is sort of cute, maybe if someone else were singing it. Like Steven Tyler (or even Kelly Clarkson. Someone with a voice). She also looked confused while she was on stage, like either she's too stupid to learn a dance routine or they just told her to run around like an idiot (if those were her directions, then hey, she did a terrific job). I was not impressed.

Also... Now, I'm not a fan of Coldplay, but I realize that I'm not the only one who found it odd that they were nominated in the same category (was it Best Rock Album? The word "rock" was definitely in there, plain as day) with... Metallica. Not only nominated, but... won, and that's just weird, fine. But. What was UP with those weird matching outfits? Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Pastel Hearts Club Band, for sure. If they were SPLPHCB, I'm not sure who was Billy Shears. Justin Timberlake, maybe. Or maybe Jonas 2.

At this point, I really wanted to go to bed, but KROQ had been mentioning Radiohead's performance all last week, and of course I was staying up for that. It took me awhile to put all my clothes away because I got distracted by Facebook (some of this message appeared originally in a strange email to my friend Barry), but then Patrick, who had been sucked in, called me from the living room, because Radiohead was finally on.

First of all, I have to say that I mentioned somewhere, to someone, a long time ago, that "Myxomatosis" would be a totally rad marching band field show, so when I saw the USC marching band on stage with them (doing a totally different song, but still... my idea) I was pretty excited. Also: all those drummers!! There was one guy playing snare, on the end...? Really cute, big smile.

(Seriously. I have a sickness. I can admit it. I think I need a 12 step program, which is interesting, because the song Radiohead performed was called "15 Step." Ha! See how I did that?)

Anyway, I thought it was a great performance, too short, and I, of course, wanted more. Unless I want to go to Mexico or Brazil, I don't think I'll be seeing them anytime soon.

I thought the Bo Diddly tribute was curious. A little short, too, and with no real introduction, kind of weird, but then again, how much more John Mayer did I want? Yeah: not that much.

After that, I kind of stopped paying attention, finished putting away my clothes and got in bed, but then Patrick surprised me by coming to bed and mentioning that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were going to perform and that he wanted to see it. So we watched them, and they looked and sounded pretty darn good. I might even check out that album. And Alison Krauss is gorgeous. She looked amazing.

With that, we went to bed, and I overslept 45 minutes and was 15 minutes late to work. I don't understand how that worked out, seemingly in my favor... but I was still late. This morning, I've been hearing a lot of news stories about some guy named Chris Brown and Rhianna who were supposed to also appear at the Grammy's but didn't and it's some kind of... news story, but to tell you the truth: I don't know who these people are. And I don't care.

Photo is from here. Thanks, whoever you are.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

From my walk yesterday

When I was almost home from my 5 mile walk yesterday, I saw this rainbow. It was more impressive in person.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

So, in the last three days, there have been a couple of occasions where a song on the radio (I mean, my iPod) has made me cry or come close to crying (once I was at the gym, and it was only my quick move on the "fast forward" button that saved me). Other than that one time at the gym, the rest of these tearful occasions (and, you know what? I laughed, too, because come on, who cries in the car but living, breathing, cliche people?) occurred in the car.

I don't know what's up with this. Sad? Maybe. Hormonal? More likely.

Anyway, in the order of occurrence (most recent is at the bottom):
  1. Drowned Lovers, by Kate Rusby
  2. Shadowboxer, by Fiona Apple
  3. All the Way From America, by Joan Armatrading
  4. Katmandu, by Cat Stevens
  5. Southern Cross, by Crosby Stills and Nash
  6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, by U2 (the version from Rattle and Hum)

I don't have much to say, now.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I am bored.

video

Just checking out the video part on my phone.

(This is a plant at work that this crazy lady at my last department gave me when I left. Surprisingly I haven't killed it yet. And Aquaglobes are a big hit at my new department, thanks to this one.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More on the gym stuff

Last night, I went to the gym a little earlier than usual. I thought, hey, it's February... maybe the scores of people who, like me, joined up in January will get back to their regularly scheduled sloth activities and leave a little room on the treadmills for me.

I was tired, and considered not going at all, but once I got there (there were two people waiting ahead of me, but I only had to stand in line for about 5 minutes) and got going on the treadmill, I got into it. There are a lot of "gots" in that sentence, aren't there. Oh, well. After trying about about 4 different locations, we've continued going to the one closest to our house, even though, aesthetically, the interior really annoys me (the walls are light peach, with turquoise as an accent color. It looks like it's straight out of 1983) and the exterior lights (the area right outside the gym, which you have to walk through to get to your car; essentially it's an alley) have been out for a month, but it's close, and they have the most treadmills ("Treadmill Alley"). The only bad thing is, the treadmills face this wall of mirrors, which I find... distracting.

Last night this gorgeous blond woman was on the treadmill to my right. I had lucked out: in front of the machine I was on, on the mirrored wall, the gym had posted their rules for the treadmills, so all I could see of my own body was the upper right corner of my head (sure. My head has corners. Doesn't everyone?) and my feet. Fine. Unfortunately, I could also see the people to my right and left, and for some reason, having this beautiful young woman on my right was... intimidating. I guess I like it better when the people next to me are old and homely? I don't know, I think I was making comparisons, which is always a bad move. She was also probably 10 years younger than me, and that always makes me wish I'd started taking better care of myself, sooner. Well. I'm there now, and that's what's important, but still. It's hard to break old habits.

(The guy on my left, a runner, exceeded his 20 minutes by at least 10 minutes, which I thought was incredibly unfair, as I had someone waiting right behind me for the final 10 minutes of my workout.)

I kept watching her. She was friends with the woman on her right, and the two of them were chatting and running, pausing periodically to stretch, and I don't know, flip their perfect hair or something. I felt slow, sweaty, slumped, and fat. I am trying to stop holding on to the machine when I walk, since I know it degrades the whole experience but it's so hard. Even at a slower pace. I'm going to keep trying.

Since I knew I was limited to 20 minutes (unless no one was waiting), I also felt like I wanted to pack a good workout into a short amount of time, so I kept my machine set at an incline the whole time (usually I build it up gradually over 45 minutes) and saved my "cool down" for the walk to the car. I was dissatisfied with the whole gym experience yesterday. I realized that I could've gotten back in line for another 20 minutes, but I went home, instead.

On my way out, I passed by the pool area (there are windows) and it looked like they were having some sort of water aerobics class. Now that looked fun. I might check that out next time.

And: the lights are still out.

...

In non-gym related news: Patrick's truck is in the shop. He told me Monday that he thought maybe his transmission was slipping, and he finally listened to me and took it to West LA, where our favorite mechanic has a shop (Tony's Motor and Brake Clinic). I followed him there and picked him up. On the way home, we stopped and visited with my folks for awhile, then went to the Toyota dealer in Carson, where we looked at the new Highlanders. Patrick has been interested in the 4 cylinder model, which was just re-released this month. We got a very nice salesman to help us, a tall man named Michael (turns out Michael is a drummer, too), and he let us drive it and inspect it for a good 30 minutes, even after we told him we were really just looking.

Yesterday, Patrick talked to Tony (a friend of his family from way back), and Tony said his car wasn't as bad as we thought. Not quite time to trade it in, we'll hang onto it until next year, at least. This afternoon I'll take him to pick it up.

...

Finally, I've been reading Jane Fonda's blog. There was an article in the NY Times about her, and I've always been interested in her. For one thing, she's beautiful. She's in a new play that opens later this month on Broadway, and her blog is really interesting. I bet she's fun to know. I wish I could be in New York to see her play.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Booth!



In the booth. Do I look cold? (I forgot my scarf.)




I also forgot my socks.