Sunday, May 31, 2009


Today I'm doing a bit of running around... I'll be performing at a recital later with Judy, Tim and Patty. We go on last, so hopefully the timing will be right - I need to get out of there by 4:30 to be in SM to run the last public performing of The School For Wives. And if we're running late, I'll hate to be worried about the time while I'm supposed to be thinking about playing. Patrick has nicely agreed to drive me so he will just drop me off in Santa Monica so I don't need to stress about parking.

In case you didn't catch it up there in the first paragraph... tonight is the last performance of The School For Wives (well, not really, but it's the last one you can see. We're videotaping tomorrow night but not selling tickets for that performance).

As always: bittersweet. Perhaps a little more so because while I have really liked every show I've been involved with at City Garage, this one was my favorite. And last night's show was, I thought, particularly fun, which makes it all the harder to think about it being over.

Last night I carpooled with Bo, and he drove for a change, which is always nice. On the way home, it was after 11 p.m., I had him drop me off a couple of blocks from the house. We did this last time he took me home, so I could walk the rest of the way. I've been doing a little bit of complaining about our neighborhood - how we live way the hell out in suburbia, far from my family and friends, how boring it is out here, how much I wish we could move back to LA, how I don't know anyone here - but one thing I really appreciate is how safe I feel, even at 11 o'clock at night, just strolling along in flip flops. One of the neighbors was having a little party (these are the good neighbors, across the street) and as I walked down my street, I heard them on the driveway, hanging out and laughing, and I sort of wish they'd seen me and invited me over for a beer (or, if it was Melissa's party, Melissa makes killer margaritas). But they didn't, and that's fine, too.

Today it's sort of gray, and though I stayed up late (Patrick went to see a band, and didn't get home until 1 p.m.; I can't sleep until he gets home, and I had eaten fairly late, after the show, with Bo, so I was pretty wired) I got up at 8:30 to do some laundry and hang out with Puma in the back yard. Then it got too cold, so I came in to write this - exciting, no? - and now I'm considering putting away my laundry, taking a shower, and warming up for the recital. Maybe I'll work on The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise a little.

Or maybe I'll just go back to bed and catch a little nap before it's time to get ready to go.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday I'm in love

I have been having the raddest Fridays lately. Also, I have used this Cure song as a title before.

My workdays have been long and hard and traffic has sucked more than usual and commuting way the hell into East LA has been aggravating at best but because I work a 10 hour day, I get every Friday off.

There's no question that this is a huge benefit.

So, what have I been doing that's so rad, you ask? (Didn't you? I thought I heard a question... you in the back? No?) For the past 3 weeks, I've been taking a spinning-type class at my gym (24 Hour Fitness calls it "24 Cycling" or something like that; maybe it's a copyright issue - also, I read somewhere that spinning classes sometimes use video screens and my class doesn't do that). It's hard! It's fun! I love it! Last week, actually, after the class, I had such a good time I wanted to do it again, right away (I didn't). Today I didn't have quite the same euphoric reaction but I did stand up.

Twice, in fact.

For about 2 seconds each time, with an instant case of burning thighs, yes, but I did it. So. Maybe incrementally if I add a few seconds each week, soon (2025) will be hitting it like all the other people in my class.

Last week I was on a bike next to this woman who was really nice and helpful to me with my bike. She was a yeller - she said "Woo-hoo!" and stuff like that. I liked her, she had a great attitude. Also she looks wonderful. If this is what spinning/cycling does for you, sign me up. This week, I didn't know anybody in the class (my sister-in-law is out of town this week, but she's been there the first two times I went), so when I got the bike next to that lady again, I was pretty happy about it, even though it wasn't in the back row, like I wanted. Anyway, before class, I introduced myself to her, and found out her name is Vivian (I love that name, it's just as old-fashioned as my own - wasn't it Julia Roberts' name in Pretty Woman?). I asked her some questions and she was helpful.

Anyway, today I walked on the treadmill for 25 minutes right before the class, and I think either it was too long or I should time it better so I have more than 5 minutes to rest, because I was really tired. I kept reminding myself how much I love the cycling class, especially when I thought I was gonna puke - and it's true: it is so much fun! - but I definitely struggled a bit more today.

Anyway, after that I came home and weighed myself (I am on Weight Watchers again... weighing myself is a lot easier thanks to the Wii), and I lost 2 pounds! Rad. What makes this particularly wonderful is while I was good about tracking my points, I went over my allotted points (significantly). So now I know that if I really work hard, I can lose.

I mean, that seems like an obvious statement, no?

I'm slow sometimes.

So imagine the leaps and bounds I can make if I exercise and eat right. God, it's so simple, you'd think more people would do it.

[Ha ha, Irene.]

Anyway, the other things I've been doing on Fridays are rehearsing with Patty, Tim and Judy for their upcoming flute recital (it's this Sunday!), and we did that again today. I was a little late, because I had a facial before with an old schoolmate, Anna.

We've known each other I guess since Middle School, but weren't close. Because of the proximity of our last names, though, we were often paired up or seated next to each other. We totally ran with different crowds (and I found out today that her crowd was definitely having more fun, and on a regular basis, than my own). I found out through Facebook that she's an esthetician and she contacted me about a facial and getting my eyebrows done. She did a great job, and it was conveniently located near Patty's house. The other thing that was really cool about seeing her after all these years is finding out how down-to-earth she is. We talked about the past mostly, and our lives, and how she sort of went through the same thing I've been thinking about (change!) and did all that herself a few years ago. I love meeting people who are unafraid to do what they want to do instead of sticking it out doing what's safe. She was inspiring.

I was only a little embarrassed by my obviously pimply face. Oh, well.
Looks great now, though.

After that, flute quartets, which went fine, but I found myself getting a huge headache during the last 20 minutes. On the drive home, I realized that I hadn't eaten anything since about 10:30, when I came home from the gym and scarfed a bowl of Special K (and left the milk out on the counter, as I discovered when I finally got home at 6), and traffic and being hungry was no help. So I treated myself to Souplantation, where I pigged out on all my favorite veggies, plus this yummy yam soup they have now (4 points per cup, good to know, would've been better to know beforehand). 18 points for my late lunch/early dinner, which really isn't bad, considering the amount of food I ate. Came home, kissed Patrick, and have been contemplating either vacuuming or watching TV. Maybe I'll do both.

Oh! And the COOLEST thing about today? Next Friday we'll be in Washington, D.C.!

Here's to the lovely start of what will hopefully be an even lovelier weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Closing weekend

This upcoming weekend (May 30-31) is your final chance to see Moliere's "The School For Wives" playing at City Garage Theater.

So I suggest you get on the telephone and call to make your reservation for Saturday night. Tickets for Saturday night are $20.

No reservations for Sunday; the box office opens at 4:30. Sunday tickets are pay-what-you-can. The theater is located in the alley between Third and Fourth Streets, and between Santa Monica Boulevard and Arizona.

City Garage
1340½ Fourth Street (alley entrance)
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 319-9939

And as always, I'll be in the booth. Don't forget to say hi. I really love it when you do that.

Dear Captains of Industry:

It seems like such a little thing, but one of my pet peeves is crappy parking lot design. I never really paid much attention to it until Patrick and I moved to Long Beach and started visiting the Long Beach Town Center.

For those of you who don't live in Long Beach or have no reason to visit, the Town Center (and it might be Towne Center, but fuck that extraneous e) is an outdoor mall located on Carson Blvd., just off the 605 freeway. I'm not a big fan of outside malls unless they have underground or a separate parking structure. Sure, being outside is nice but I don't want to play a game of Frogger every time I decide to go to another store. It's one of those malls where you park your car, and then walk through the parking lot to get to whichever store you're visiting. I mean, that sounds like every mall, no? Except there are stores on both sides of the parking lot. So you have to plan your shopping very carefully. You have no option: you must walk through the parking lot. Sometimes you have to cross the main path that cars drive on to enter the parking lot, which: good luck. If you're at Island's or the movie theater, and you decide you want to go to Barnes and Noble or Old Navy (or Staples, or Lowe's, or San's Club), you have to cross the parking lot again, subjecting yourself to a) a long walk, and b) the dangers of walking in traffic. (Or, as I've seen some people do, you can just go back to your car and drive to the other side of the mall: a perfectly easy, walkable distance, were it not for the speeding cars everywhere). There is no path for pedestrians. It's just stupid planning. The parking lot shouldn't be the focus of a mall! Yet at this mall, all you see is cars. And people dodging them.

There are other times when this lack of consideration for the pedestrian has frustrated me (as a pedestrian, I mean; as a driver, well, I only notice if some moron on foot is weaving all over the parking lot, looking for a long-lost vehicle), and I'm sure I've mentioned it before, and will again, but I really think they ("they!" I mean YOU, all the architects and landscape designers and parking lot engineers who read this blog!) should take more care and plan it better.

I also think they should abolish the "compact" car spaces. There's always some jerk in a Suburban who squeezes into these spots and ruins it for the rest of us.

Fine. Rant over.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From a NY Times Magazine article about what Bill Clinton is up to these days:

Hillary Clinton, who declined to comment for this article, recently told Mark Landler of The Times that her husband is careful to give her space but can be a useful source of information. “He just knows a lot and he knows everybody,” she said. “He has a broad-gauge understanding of issues and personalities, so he’s always value-added.”

Value-added! This cracks me up. It's like buying a Snuggie from the band Weezer, with their logo on it (called, logically, a "Wuggie"). Advertise your not-so quick sucker reactions along with your questionable taste in music by wearing your Wuggie in public!

Wait. It's not like that at all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Multimedia message

I Tan Easily, or, Where The Hell Is My Watch

I have a lot of thoughts in my head this Monday Tuesday morning (that extra day off is confusing me), and instead of a long boring narrative, will attempt to sum up for you in a few bulletpoints what's going on:

A) On Saturday night I had a dream that someone I haven't spoken to in about 2 years called me and requested that I make him/her a PDF out of a Word document he/she was about to mail to me. In real life, the computer skills of this person surpass mine, and are on par with Patrick's (read: the two of them could rule the world if they worked together, which, ha! Would never, ever happen so long as one of them is in a relationship with me), and so the request for my skills with Adobe Acrobat Professional is puzzling. What does this mean? Dreams are so weird.

B) Patrick and I saw the movie "Night At the Museum - Battle Of the Smithsonian" this weekend. While I'm not a huge fan of Ben Stiller, I thought it was a cute movie. And the schlocky message (do what you love! protect your friends! DO WHAT YOU LOVE!) actually struck a chord with me. Also, we're trying to figure out how many parts of the Smithsonian we will have time to visit on our trip in two weeks to D.C. and the movie seemed like a fun way to see bits and pieces of it. Absolutely we are visiting Air & Space. I plan on specifically seeking out the stuffed astronaut "Abel." Also Ham, if they have him. Ah, now the whole "monkeys in space" thing makes sense, no? Yikes! I want to fly the Wright Bros. plane across the mall! Wouldn't that be a TERRIFIC theme park ride?

C) Even though I said I would never do it, I re-joined Weight Watchers. I'm doing it online again. I'm in the first week, and I did this last time: I am using this week to basically eat just about the same things I would eat were I not calculating the points values. And adding it all up. Next week I will make some changes. I was shocked to see that the last time I was online with Weight Watchers was 2006. About the same time I spoke with the person mentioned in item A, above. And at that time? I weighed 10 pounds less than I do now. Without the gym! Anyway, the first thing I did online at Weight Watchers was read an article on Self Talk.

B) + C) = Talk about schlocky. Along with the message from Ben Stiller's movie, evaluating my "self talk habits" also embarrassed me with its brilliant timeliness in regards to my own situation. There was a line in the article about how we say things to ourselves that we would never say to anybody else, and how these things collectively chew away at our self-respect.

This sounded familiar and ridiculous all at the same time.

D) Over the weekend, Patrick and I discussed my job and how I feel about it. Right now I am lucky indeed to have a job, so I like it okay. It pays very well. I am contributing mightily to our household funds. I mean, but, I'm an administrative assistant. I am not solving the world's problems. I am not solving my section's problems. It's not too hard and it's not super stressful (unlike my last job). But damn. Is this it? I know two people who right now are working toward either a degree or some sort of certification, and both of them are getting straight A's. One of them (my age) has a family and works. The other one (the older one) was laid off and yet is managing to pay her mortgage on a single income (her spouse, by the way, works in retail). I don't want to work in retail. I always talked about hating school. Was I just saying that or is it how I really felt (because I have a habit of hiding my real feelings behind disregard)? Is it because I am seeing the cute graduation pictures of my friends on their Facebook pages (people my age, older, and then the typical high-achieving high schoolers of whom I am proud! Go Katie!) and I'm a little jealous? Or maybe I really just wasn't very good at it and I was being honest for a change. I don't know if I want to go back to school (I say "go back" as if the things I accomplished at SMC and West LA College were actually "accomplishments" to which I could go back). But... I need a change, I need a change, I need a change, I need a change. I know I wrote that whole long thing about flute playing the other day...

I need a change.

When Patrick and I were walking out of the movie theater this weekend, I thought, even if I took a class (in what?), what then? Would I have the energy to devote to it? Would it take away from my extra-curricular activities (flute choir, where I am sort of under-utilized; City Garage, where I work for free and for social interaction; my TV watching and internet surfing habits would also be jeopardized)? What do I love? How do you people figure this out? And why am I so fucking old now?

I can tell you this much: I do not love getting up at 5 a.m. to go to a job where I have to repeatedly explain to my co-workers how to scan a document, make it into a goddamn PDF and email it to somebody.

Oh! I think I just figured out A).

Friday, May 22, 2009

A full day, and Mary

I walked past this wall with these lovely purple flowers on my walk today. Pretty, no?

What a fun but busy day. Got up early for my second ever spinning class at the gym. I think I've found the thing I really like. Today I was between two ladies I didn't know. I remembered both of them from last week - one was this tall thin blond with her hair all piled up on top of her head and the other was a totally fit lady of indeterminate age (she could've been anywhere from 35 to 55). They were both incredible spinners and super-nice, and while I still am not standing up, I had a good time. It's not easy, even at my beginner pace, that class, and I was totally watching the clock during the last 15, 20 minutes (my butt was, and is, totally sore) but I still worked really hard and felt good about it afterward.

After the class I went home, played with my MP3s (Patrick had to reinstall everything last week and disinfect our computer due to a virus incident, and when he did that, and restored my iTunes folder, many things were somehow duplicated and/or added that shouldn't have been... and you know how I feel about having a neat iTunes folder) for awhile, hopped in the shower, and then walked up to Lakewood for lunch with Andrea, which was perfectly fun and filling as usual. Then I took the bus to my chiro appointment, and while I sat waiting for the bus, I made a new friend.

Her name is Mary. She lives in Naples. She's approximately 54 years old (she told me several deeply personal things during our conversation, and one was that she was married at 17 to a man from whom she is now divorced. She mentioned that she called him last week on what would've been her 27th wedding anniversary. See how good my math is?). She was, despite being really, really talkative, very sweet, and I actually enjoyed riding with her all the way down Bellflower Blvd. to my appointment. At one point, after she had told me about her ex-boyfriend (now best friend, with whom she lives), Oscar, and her fear of bees (she mentioned bees three or four times), how she grew up on Catalina Island, her son, and her daughter who looks like Brooke Shields and is now in the navy - she said to me, "I don't usually talk this much but I like talking to you! Tell me something!" But I just told her that I too had once been to France (she had just told me about her trip to France to visit her daughter), and kept listening.

Usually I am not this companionable with strangers, but I was in a very good mood today. I think it was all the exercise.

Now, imagine if I were thinner, what a great mood I'd be in then!

Later, Patrick and I are going to see the band Carnage Asada at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The bass player, Dave Jones, was in Magnolia Thunderpussy (and was our real estate agent when we bought our house!), and one of the other members, Dave Travis, has also played with Patrick. Cool guys, great band, and I'll be excited to get out with Patrick to see them.

Now I think I might go read something and hang out for awhile. I'm looking forward to a nice long weekend full of... reading and hanging out. More later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Heart full of cavities - updated

The other night I had a strange conversation.

A woman I know had a mistaken idea about me, and she told me about it. The problem is not that she said anything, but that I kind of liked it (her wrongness may have been encouraged by my actions; in other words, I'm not really surprised that she came to this conconclusion). It was awkward because I flitted between the "right" response (disabusing her of her incorrect notion in the shocked manner of someone with morals) and the "wrong" response (being flattered and not-so-secretly pleased). This was confusing for her, too, no doubt.

The whole night, in other conversations, I made the mistake of being too confessional, too self-deprecating, and too personal. Saying everything, I'm finding out, doesn't make me feel better. I don't know when to shut up sometimes. More on this, but let's go back in time to Friday for a minute:

On Friday, I had a rehearsal with Patty and two of her students. We're playing a quartet for her next students' recital, which is coming up at the end of May. I'm not her student anymore (so I'm not playing a solo; maybe if I was, the whole rest of this post could've been avoided), but she has enlisted me to help support her students, and I can't resist. These particular students are fun to play with: they're good players, and one of them is really taking big steps with his flute playing. The other one sounds beautiful when she lets herself go. That's so fun to see (and hear)! And I always love playing with Patty, who brings me closer to her level, or lets me tag along for the ride, anyway. I like the piece we chose (by Catherine McMichael, it's called "Falconer"), and I'm playing flute 2. In the 3rd movement, the slow, pretty movement, I get the melody for 8 bars. The melody happens to be lovely. For one second (ah, maybe about 30 seconds) during one of our many run-throughs, my playing matched.

This music is not technically difficult (Catherine McMichael considers it "upper intermediate" level); I've learned harder music, and have played it well. I don't need to ask anybody or verify this with the experts, it's not one of those things I've never done but have convinced myself in daydreams that I could do if I just tried. When I practice, I know I can sound beautiful on a consistent basis. I know this, but I rarely do it.

It's not hard like running or taking a class at the gym. I'm not embarrassed by my skill on the flute. Nobody cares how fat the flute player is, or how fat she thinks she is. It is something that I could consistently succeed at, and I don't do it.

But what I meant to say about those 8 bars, that 20, 30 seconds of music, was that I heard how pretty it sounded, with the other flutists supporting that part, and I got a little emotional. I realized that I miss that. Without music, I'm just a big throbbing vein of too much information. My writing is not good enough to do that whole hide/reveal thing in a way that's compelling. I always say too much, even in emails. I don't know when to shut up.

So Sunday night, I'm sitting there drinking my yummy Fat Tire beers, and I mentioned to the aforementioned totally interesting yet wrongheaded woman (wrongheaded only about this one thing...) about how I admire how other musicians (my husband, for example) can improvise and make stuff up, and how she and the other actors can get on stage and do what they do, and how scary that would be to me, and then I expressed a seemingly contradictory desire to be involved (with my flute) in one of the potential upcoming shows at City Garage. Then, my friend David and I were talking about The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise, a piece for solo flute and narrator that I've been working on forever. And he reminded me that he would be interested in taking a look at it and possibly working it up for a workshop or something. Even though we've discussed this before, I'm starting to feel a little bit of urgency about it, and when we were talking about it, I felt like maybe it won't happen, maybe I won't get a chance. So what the fuck am I waiting for?

And right then (granted, with two beers and very little food in me... my food intake on Sunday consisted of pocorn for breakfast, small fries and a chocolate shake for lunch), talking to David about performing something (anything) for City Garage members, I felt a very strange feeling:

I felt my heart well up a little, like it did on Friday during "Aire of the Falconer." It was very brittle and the opposite of shatterproof (I believe that word is also "brittle"). I pictured it doing that - swelling, breaking, blowing apart like those Harold Edgerton photos of apples being pierced by bullets, glass from my cold apple heart all over the place, and I think that's why I don't do anything about it.


I just gave David the "go" to do whatever it is he has to do to schedule this for a workshop, if okay with the powers that be at City Garage.

Nervous, now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Last week my job had a classic car show and root beer float party for us. One of my co-workers brought in this gorgeous 1963 Corvette. Pretty, no?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Look sharp!

Tonight I admitted to someone's suspicions about me, talked freely about my insecurities, made a passing remark about my familiarity with the concept of self-loathing, and somehow managed to leave my credit card at a bar.

Happy birthday, Pauly. In 45 minutes you will be one year older than you are now, and though you're a couple of years younger, you'll always be wiser than me.

To bed, now, for me. I have to be in Descanso Gardens for an 8 a.m. meeting tomorrow, and I need to be sharp.

(That's a joke.)

Friday, May 15, 2009


I tried spinning today at the gym.

It was hard, but fun. I will definitely keep doing it. I couldn't really stand up - I can see that's going to take awhile - but I kept up (while seated), and only had to stop at the very end to take a little break, and I started pedalling again after.

Here's the deal. I'm not that experienced with taking classes at the gym (remember my short-lived kick boxing phase?), so maybe you just get used to it, but it embarrasses me when the teacher praises me. Totally knocks me out when some woman wearing a Britney Spears cordless mic is all, "You're doing great! Keep it up!"

My sister-in-law, who was on the bike next to me probably didn't notice, but when the teacher goes, "You can do it! You know what you're capable of!" I actually got a little teary-eyed. Teary-eyed. Jesus, I'm a pussy.

Of course she didn't notice because I was sweating like a PIG, but I don't know if I like thinking about my capabilities. I don't like it. It upsets me. It disturbs my slacker tendencies and I don't like that.

Then again, maybe I'm just hormonal today.
It's certainly possible.

Anyway, I think next time I'll just keep watching everyone around me, keep pushing myself, ignore the inspirational sayings (maybe I need someone to yell at me, like a drill sergant? No, I don't think I'd like that, either) or take it less seriously, and maybe by this time next year I'll be wearing shorts again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Get smart

The lights in the hall outside my office door are strategically lit. They do it for energy conservation, I think. About every other bank of lights (if "bank" is indeed the right word; there is maybe 20 feet between them) is turned off. It's fine, you can see clear enough, and certainly it's not a safety hazard (working in the safety office, I guess I would know).

When I step outside my office door into that hall, I am always reminded of the opening sequence of that old show "Get Smart" (not the movie; I love Steve Carrell, but I didn't see it). I'm not sure where the picture from the left is from - this isn't the hall from the TV show, I don't think, and it's certainly not my hall (the title of the web page I hurriedly stole it from titles it "Get Smart Hall Revamped;" you can visit the web page by clicking on the picture itself). There are indeed hidden dangers, just like in the opening of the show. For one thing, my co-worker thought she heard a creature in the ceiling (or perhaps she heard a ghost, she wasn't sure). For another thing, the floor is incredibly well-shined, and rather slick. And there are doorways on both sides of the hall. It's interesting, but on one side (the north side) the doors open out and on the other (the south side, duh), the doors open in. So I tend to hug the south side of the hall, fearing the day that one of the hasty finance people, in their rambunctiousness, opens a door and flattens me like a pancake.

Okay, so knowing what you should already know about me and my balance issues, what I'm about to write will probably come as no surprise to you: I do not walk the straightest path (how's that for a bit of unintentional self-analysis). I struggled with this on the treadmill for awhile (but have since had a major breakthrough at the gym), and lacking handrails in the hallway at work, well, I'm not too smooth with this walking business for some reason. Also, I'm pretty sleepy at work and we all know what sleepwalking at work looks like. I would not be surprised if more than one person has suspected that I am slightly inebriated. Or perhaps suffering from vertigo.

The truth is, gentlemen (because it has not been my experience that other women, besides Tyra Banks, and not even her so much, are interested in the way I walk), and I don't know if it's due to the optical illusion of the on/off lights or because my blood sugar is low or because one leg is longer than the other... but despite being very tired today, I am not drunk. "This" is just the way I walk, and have walked since the second grade when Brett and Chris* happily (gleefully, even) pointed it out to me.

At the time, I think I cried (I had a huge 2nd grade crush on Brett. Let's just say my affections were 1,000% not recriprocated). Oh, boys can be so mean.

*I have not yet found either of them on Facebook. This is just fine with me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting a hit

I just overheard my co-worker telling Old Man Wino Laugh about his son's baseball game from over the weekend. My co-worker is about six months older than me, his son is about 8, and Old Man Wino Laugh is probably 45 or 46. Maybe younger; it's hard to tell.

My co-worker was talking about the details of the game itself, and I was filing and typing and answering emails, and in general, not listening. But then I noticed that Old Man Wino Laugh had pulled up a chair, helped himself to some chips, and I thought, dude, it's not even 9 a.m. Chips? So that caught my attention.

My co-worker told Old Man Wino Laugh about how his kid did in the game, and how he took him to Baskin Robbins afterwards to celebrate. My co-worker said that his son was very excited about his performance in the game (he caught a fly ball). His son said, "Daddy, that was my best game ever!" My co-worker then said this to his son:

"Yeah, that was cool, but it would've been even better if you'd gotten a hit!"

Look: I'm not a parent. But doesn't that seem jacked up to you, too? My heart sank when I heard him say it.

If I could ignore these people, I would.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From a NY Times article about... well, I don't know, I haven't finished reading it yet (but this opening line is funny):

WASHINGTON — “Some days you’re rolling the barrel, and some days you’re rolling in the barrel. The fact is that right now, Republicans are rolling in the barrel.”

Yeah, but what about the days you are the barrel? Or the days where you're wearing the barrel? Those are the days I worry about.

From a PC World article about Microsoft's Zune vs. Apple's iPod:

Most of the people I know don't see it as their goal to completely fill their iPods, though; I'm pretty sure they're aware that's not how you win at life.

That's not how you win at life?
Thanks for the tip, buddy. And I'm about 3/4 of the way there, too...

Monday, May 11, 2009

On the phone with Amazon

I am on the phone right now with Amazon regarding my dead Kindle.

Well, I should qualify that.

I am on hold. However, my holding started just about 20 seconds ago. And they're playing some very lively and interesting piano music right now. So it's okay.

6:20 p.m. Holding begins... I am going to see what's going on on Facebook...
6:20 p.m. Holding ends. Before I could even type in, the piano music came to an abrupt end, and some guy picked up and got all my information. Now I'm holding for a technical support person. Ooh, goody: I love technical support people.
6:22 p.m. Holding for technical support person...

In the amount of time it took me to type "Holding for technical support person" (I added the ellipsis later), "Nick" picked up and helped me find the handy-dandy "reset" button.


That was embarrassingly simple.

Now I may use my Kindle again. Though, a new one would've been more fun, don't you think?

Friday, May 8, 2009

My shiny white brick

To: Customer Service
Account: Irene
Subject: Kindle Reader Issues (Damage/Defective)
Kindle Version: Original

Hi, there,
I have a first gen kindle and it appears to have gone to sleep...forever. I can't turn it on. It is charged, but dead as a brick. What do you suggest I do now?


I like how my Kindle version is "original." Like KFC, like Pinkberry, like Chocolate Rain... Anyway, I hope they have some suggestions. I hope one of their suggestions involves sending me a brand new second generation Kindle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All in a day's work

My co-workers were particularly annoying today. Our boss hurt herself and will be out for at least another month. The dude taking her place appears to be stirring things up. He's nice enough but I am not good at figuring out when he's joking around and when he's serious. So I tend to be straight as a judge around him, and that is no fun at all. Meanwhile, my co-workers (who know him better than I do) are kissing his ass, acting like idiots, talking amongst themselves all the damn time, including while I am ON THE PHONE, not picking up their print jobs at the network printer (including highly sensitive material, which is not only inconsiderate, but stupid as well), and one demonstrated his old man wino laugh all freaking day today.

And I got a (temporary) huge assignment today, so I will be working two desks for a little while.

Yay for me.

No, really, I am truly grateful to have this job. Just today was a bit too much. Cokes helped a little. So did going to the gym. Watching the first 35 minutes of American Idol did not.

Not seen in photo:

My print out of a free version of "Death In Venice," which I am reading at work while I read "Jeff In Venice..." at home.


Because "Jeff In Venice" is a tiny bit too sexy to be read in my cubicle.

From a NY Times article about cyclist Christian Vande Velde:

John Vande Velde, a Hall of Famer, was a three-time national champion in the individual pursuit and a two-time Olympian — 1968 and 1972 — on the track. He also appeared in the classic cycling film “Breaking Away” as an Italian bike racer, one of the Team Cinzano bad guys.

Christian Vande Velde is a cyclist who formerly worked as what the cycling world calls a "domestique." Domestiques are the team members who have the principal job, as I take it from the article, of fetching bottles of water for the more famous members of the team (Lance Armstrong, for example). The paragraph above is about Christian's dad. "Breaking Away" is one of my favorite movies! I wonder if John Vande Velde is the guy who stuck that (stick? what was it?) thing in Dave's spokes?

I like the tone of the article - apparently this guy needed a push to go for it, to stop working for others and to realize his own potential as a cyclist just as good as the big names with whom he worked. That push was the birth of his daughter, and wondering if she would be proud of him for making a career as just a helper to the other riders.

My guess is yes, she would've been. But still, nice to hear that this guy examined his life and his accomplishments, and decided he wanted to change, though, just to be clear, I think he did accomplish a lot in his life. But look how much potential he has. And as a 32 year old, to be realizing it just now, that's pretty cool. As a team captain, he has lots more opportunities to show what he can do. I hope he makes it. He seems like a nice person.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Outtake: Semi-Weekly Self-Portrait

Goddamn I have a HUGE nose.

Original, here.

Oh, and I figured it out: August 21st (the date Patrick and I drive down to San Diego where we will be entertained by the lovely Stewart Copeland) is actually no one's birthday. I was wrong. It is, however, sandwiched between the birthdays of two ex-boyfriends, and I'm not sure why I remember the birthday of one of them, nor if our relationship lasted long enough to put him squarely in the "ex-boyfriend" category. Ex-something, that's for sure; what, exactly, I do not know. Does it matter? No. And you know why? Because ha! His loss!

Check out the enormous nose on this girl. Sheesh!

By the way, I love the black tape on my lamp, which you can see quite clearly in this cheap ass cell phone photo. Charles doesn't spare any comfort in the booth for his lighting and sound operators, and I am not being sarcastic. That tape is always in the right spot, and I have never burned my hand on the lamp.

Then again, that light bulb is like a 25 watt blue bulb that emits barely any light and generates very little heat. You probably couldn't even power your easy bake oven with that light bulb. The nose, on the other hand? That nose could power a submarine.

Monday, May 4, 2009

From a Daily News story about jockey Joe Talamo, the guy who was supposed to ride "I Want Revenge" in the Kentucky Derby:

"Jockey Joe Talamo never got the chance to ride in the Derby aboard favored I Want Revenge, who was scratched yesterday, but he did ride in three other races, although he failed to win any. "I am not bad, but I am not good," the 19-year-old said afterward."

(Emphasis mine.)

Sometimes that's just the way it is, dude.

Updated: 10:08 p.m.

I also think it's very funny that Joe was to ride aboard I Want Revenge. Like it's a train. Or a ship. As if that horse doesn't possess one very large heart, a brain, and a will of it's own.

Someone mentioned on Saturday that horse racing is a cruel sport. I have no idea if that's true: I've been to Hollywood Park once, to the LA County Fair race track a couple of times, and I read Jane Smiley's novel "Horse Heaven" (and tried to recommend it to someone but was told that it was "too slow"). Oh, and I've read most of Dick Francis' novels, too. I am in no way knowledgable about horses or horse racing or its terminology. But it does seem to be a team effort and I wish the horse got a bit more credit.

From a NY Times article about Pontiac and the GTO of the 1960s:

"The GTO imagery was quickly swept up by the popular culture: a hit single in 1964 by Ronny and the Daytonas implored listeners to “C’mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out, GTO.” Fans quickly morphed the car’s name from GTO to Goat."

Question: Why would anyone think that calling the GTO "Goat" was a sign of affection? Sure, goats are cute, nimble, have great depth perception, good at outwitting trolls, possibly the spawn of Satan... but speedy?

I'm confused.

I am not getting old, I am not getting old, I am not getting old, I am not getting old, I am not getting old, I am not getting old, I am not getting o

I don’t like the way the kids at Subway have been making my sandwich lately.

Instead of one guy handling my entire sandwich, they each do one tiny part. If the kid with the tiny yellow knife has the simple job of splitting open my bread (not a euphemism) before passing it off to the next guy, who applies the meat before handing it off to the next guy, who squirts on the mayo/mustard (more than I ever wanted, usually)... what then, makes them a Sandwich Artist? If I have to tell 3 different people what I want on my sandwich, doesn’t that make me the Artist?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My semi-weekly self-portrait from the booth

New glasses, too!


What a fun day yesterday was (I'm writing this Sunday morning but the photo is from last night)! I went to a party at the home of one of the cast members from both The School For Wives and The Bourgeois Gentilhomme at City Garage (many of the members are in both shows. They're all hard workers). He served us up brunch (I took a slightly frozen Trader Joe's New York cheesecake that I think everyone enjoyed - they ate it all, anyway! - along with some strawberries and blackberries) and we watched the Kentucky Derby. Fun! Patrick had to work, but when he got home, while I was doing the show, he and my dad hung out and watched the boxing match. It would've been cool if I could've been home, too, but we didn't plan it ahead of time. Still, I think it was nice for Patrick and my dad to spend time alone together.

After the Kentucky Derby party, I went to the show in Santa Monica, where I was happy to find a pretty big group of folks to see the show, and then I came home and read a bit and finally Patrick and I went to bed. It was a nice day. Today Pat's off with his brothers to help clean up their mother's yard, and I slept in, read a bit more, ate some hummus and pitas, and have been organizing and obsessing over my iTunes music folder. What I should be doing is taking photos of some things I have to sell on eBay, including a beautiful pair of shoes my co-worker asked me to sell for her. They're Betsey Johnson, I think a size 6.5. Too small for me, but if you're interested, well, let me know and I'll send a picture soon.

Now I think I'll go wash some towels and maybe take a nap before I have to go pick up Bo for the Sunday afternoon performance of The School For Wives. Today's show (and all Sunday shows) is pay-what-you-can, so if you're interested in that get your butt down to City Garage Theater in Santa Monica by 4:15 to buy your ticket!