Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Avoiding the real world with a meme

Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have three super cute, chock full of personality kitty cats, one of whom (Franny!) is sitting on my lap right now.

What is the last book you read?

Jesus, I'm ashamed to admit it but it was "R is for Ricochet" by Sue Grafton.

What's your favorite sport?
Seriously? Probably "none."

Do you enjoy sleeping late?
Hell. Yes.

Do you like your eggs scrambled or sunny side up?
Scrambled, but I love a fried egg with a tamale.

Is your room messy?  

What do you like better: apples or oranges? 
Oranges. Tangerines. Nectarines. Blood oranges.

Are you a good guesser?
No. And I hate doing it, too.

Can you read other people's expressions?
Some people.

Do you have a job?

What time did you wake up this morning?
8:30 a.m.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? 
A big bowl of popcorn and a diet coke. What?

What do you plan on doing tomorrow?

What's your favorite day of the week and why? 
Friday. My bonus day off.

Do you have any nicknames?  
Yes. Bean, Beans, Beansie. My dad calls me "Woman." Somebody used to call me "Bunny." I actually enjoyed this.

What's your least favorite color?

Would you ever go skydiving?
Probably not.

What toothpaste do you use?
Patrick picked up some good stuff yesterday but I don't know what kind it is. It's blue.  

Do you enjoy challenges?
Depends on the challenge. 

What's the worst injury you have had?
I've been lucky; I really have never injured myself all that badly.

What's the last movie you saw?
Grease 2. That Maxwell Caulfield was hunky. 

What is your dream vacation?
Somewhere lazy, with pretty stuff to look at and good things to eat and drink, and no responsibilities.

What is your favorite animal?
Cats, dogs, bears.

Do you need to do laundry? 
Constantly. Doing it isn't the issue, putting it away is. 

What color are your bed sheets?
Just got some new ones, which are cream with a orange-y paisley pattern. Pretty.

How do you like your coffee? 
I very rarely drink coffee, but when I do, I like it with lots of cream and sugar. I also occasionally like caramel macchiatos from Starbucks. Oh, and if my brother makes me a latte, I love those.

Do you watch cartoons?
Not really. I get very annoyed very quickly. 

Name three things in the world you dislike:
Poorly designed parking lots; jaywalking; A Prairie Home Companion

Would you ever have plastic surgery?
I don't think so.

Name 10 things I'd like to accomplish within the next year:
1. More flute playing
2. Convince Stewart Copeland to come to City Garage
3. Read something more literary than Kinsey Millhone mysteries
4. Clean up my home office and get it looking nicer
5. Lose 10 pounds
6. Get pregnant? Maybe?
7. Pay off a credit card
8. Upgrade to a new flute
9. Go see more movies in the theater
10. Return my last Netflix movie, which I've been sitting on for more than a month!

My Favorites:
Restaurant: La Casita Mexicana, The India Restaurant, Enrique's
Season: Spring
Type of weather: Warm and breezy
Emotion: Contentment
Color: Blue
Candy: Hershey bar with almonds; California Brittle from See's
Fruit: Blackberries, kiwi, pineapple
Veggie: Beets
Dessert: That crazy budino pudding from Pizzeria Mozza.
Type of cake: Yellow with chocolate frosting
Magazine: New Yorker
TV Show: American Pickers
Holiday: Thanksgiving
Flower: Any. Blue, pink, purple... whatever. Flowers are pretty. Oh, how sweet of you! Thank you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's been a long, long, long time

On Saturday, my mom sat us down and talked to us about what she would like to happen. At her funeral.

(She's just preparing for the day, whenever it is. It could be years in the future, who knows? But the point of today's post, which I'll just spoil for you now before you read the rest of this, is that talking about things that scare you is a good thing.)

During her chemotherapy appointment on Friday (that I couldn't go to, due to a doctor's appointment of my own with the allergist, which had been scheduled before a change in my mom's schedule goofed up everything. I kept my own appointment, and my dad went with my mom), a social worker came around and had a little chat with her about her wishes. This woman, my mom said, was very kind and easy to talk to, and in a gentle way made my mom understand that planning ahead and having this discussion with us could be helpful. Friday afternoon my mom called and asked that we come over Saturday because she wanted to discuss with us what she had been thinking about.

It was a long night Friday, knowing that this type of conversation was in store for us. I didn't know exactly what she was going to say... but I had an idea.

Keep in mind: as far as we're all concerned, my mom's going to be okay, right? But you know?

It turns out that talking about everything (something, in my family, we're not all that good at doing) was a good idea. My mom's ideas for what she wants are simple, and I know we will, as my sister said, do whatever she wants in a way that will honor her life and be respectful of her wishes.

She made a special request for me to play "Amazing Grace" during the service. I have other musican friends who have done this (played at their own parents' services), and at first the thought was very scary - no, there's no "at first" because that implies that I'm not still scared. But. I want to do it. It could be very beautiful.

One thing I decided today, however, was that I'm not going to wait. She can hear me play it as soon as I get it learned (it's a simple melody, I can probably figure it out at home in a short amount of time). I have time to get prepared; it won't be a surprise. It seems like, learning this song will be a good way for me to claim... to claim my maturity as an adult and to demonstrate my mom's faith, which I am still learning to appreciate and maybe understand.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I know it's a common theme,

But the level of longing expressed in some of the songs my iPod is playing for me today is enough to make me, I don't know, want to scream and moan myself.


"Long, Long, Long," by the Beatles
"How," by the Cranberries
"Starlings," by Elbow
"Dig a Pony," by the Beatles
"66," by Afghan Whigs

Songs that don't fit this hypothesis:

"Carousel," by Siouxsie and the Banshees
"Big Cheese," by Nirvana
"See Emily Play," by Pink Floyd
"Ugly," by Fishbone

Maybe I just need a nice long cry. And no, I don't need a reason.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And to think, I could've been here.

Instead, I chose to get a haircut. Did I make a huge mistake? You tell me.

There is way too much clapping going on for my taste anyway. 

Marathon Sunday!

On Sunday I got my butt out of bed early and drove up to Brentwood for my annual meeting with my friend Patty, who has now run the LA marathon 9 times.

The sheer number of times she's done it strikes me as particularly insane. Then again, every year I get up there and within minutes of watching all the other runners (walkers, strollers, pushers, rollers, limpers...) I find myself getting all choked up. It looks, not like fun exactly, but like something I'd like to try someday.

Well, maybe.

The change of route this year meant that in order to be at Mile 21 for our rendevous, instead of heading to Koreatown or Boyle Heights, I got to travel to Brentwood. Not exactly as interesting a neighborhood (I missed seeing the live chickens in front yards), one thing it had going for it was it was incredibly easy to get there. Parking also was simple. I walked up to San Vicente on a street called Gretna Green, and there was a small farmer's market going on - since I arrived about 3 hours early, I perused the fancy fruits and vegetables, sampled a few delicious blood orange slices, and then headed up to the Mile 21 marker, which was: right there.

There weren't a ton of people at Mile 21, and for about the first 20 minutes, I just sat on the curb and watched the parade, but after awhile, I got really enthusiastic and started clapping whenever I saw someone I thought looked like they needed some encouragement. Because I was all by myself (there were other people around me, I just mean, I was a party of one), I was a little too embarrassed to yell out, but I did plenty of smiling and plenty of clapping.

At this point I was unaware that the start had been delayed so I didn't know that the time we were supposed to meet (a window of about 45 minutes) had been delayed too, but the time went by pretty fast. I got involved in a little conversation with a guy who was also waiting for a runner - this guy had a sign. His friend's name was "Steve," and unfortunately he never came through. He packed up before Patty got there. I was a bit disappointed: I wanted to see what "Steve" looked like.

She looked great when I finally saw her and gave her her "zip fizz" (no dropped Oreos this time). We talked just a little and then she was off and on her way. I yelled my standard "Go Patty!!" after her and headed back to the car.

I fought my way through the downtown Santa Monica traffic, scored a parking spot even though the sign said Parking Lot 3 was "full," and climbed through the hordes of people who were also picking up a runner or otherwise just hanging out at the pier. It was a total zoo down there. Crossing the street at the same time as 100 other people is not fun. But eventually I made it to the designated meeting space, got to see my runner, and drove her home (after we enjoyed a huge and delicious lunch).

It was a fun day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why am I still awake?

Jeez, I don't know. Last night I was under the influence of Benadryl, and I slept like a rock. It was a nice feeling. When bedtime rolled around tonight, I considered taking another one (actually, I started considering it at dinnertime, not bedtime, which is really what freaked me out), but then that felt like addict talk, so I didn't do it. Had I gotten in bed at bedtime (these days? 10:30) I might've fallen right to sleep but, I didn't.

I always say that worrying about becoming addicted to something appears to be a good sign that said addiction won't happen, but who knows? I guess I could ask Dr. Drew but after about 10 minutes of listening to Drew, I always end up wanting to kick his ass.

Patrick has had a cold, and so his snoring has been worse than usual. All week I was mean and made him sleep on the couch. Listen, he can sleep through anything and I can't. Our couch is pretty comfy. And he was well supplied in quilts and blankets and kitty cats. Anyway, so tonight I felt guilty and let him have the bed, but then I just kept putting off going to sleep myself.

I played Scrabble. I fooled around on Facebook. I made a couple of new banners (for this blog and the Flute Choir blog). I sent a couple short emails. I did stuff, and suddenly it's 3:52 a.m. and I'm still sitting here.

I gotta go to sleep.
Is it too late to take a Benadryl?

Oh, hey, and over on the flute choir blog, I posted a bunch of photos my friend Todd Young took at our Flute Choir concert this week. This one is my favorite.

I know those are my hands because there's a little scratch on my knuckle my cat Franny. Oh, stop your worrying, she didn't mean it. Anyway, if you get a chance, check out the rest of the photos. I think they came out really nice.

Finally, to continue with the meme theme...

Sleep Meme

How long do you sleep each night?
I try to get at least six hours a night during the week (Sunday through Wednesday). On the weekend I shoot for more, but lately I've been staying up later and getting up earlier on the weekends. I keep trying to go to bed earlier, but I fail.

Do you fall asleep easily?
Sort of. I need a quiet, dark room. Noises bother me. Snoring drives me insane. In the summer if the window is open, the crickets make me nuts. Sometimes there's no way I can sleep without earplugs, or a Benadryl. See above.

Do you fall asleep at times not in your bed?
Lately I've been snoozing on the couch while watching television. I didn't use to do this.

Do you listen to music or use white noise to sleep.
God no. That would be torture.

Do you sleep through the night or get up a couple of times?
During the week I usually wake up at 4 (about an hour before the alarm goes off) to use the bathroom.

Do you have trouble sleeping away from your own bed?
Not really. I prefer to have my own pillow. If the provided pillow is too fluffy, I'll fold up a towel or a sweatshirt or something. I hate fluffy pillows.

Do you need an alarm clock to get you up?
Absolutely, during the week. When I was younger, I could sleep until 2 p.m. on the weekends. Now I'm up by 8 a.m. I'm pretty sure this is a sign of aging. Please shut up now.

Do you ever take medication to help you sleep?

Do you/have you slept with pets?
(boy this is a boring meme. I might drowse off soon.)

Yes, of course. Pets belong on/in the bed. Franny likes to sleep on my pillow or if I'm on my side, snuggled up in the crook of my arm. I feel particularly lucky when that happens.

OK, seriously. Patrick hasn't stopped snoring, but I can't keep this up any longer. 'Night.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

21st Century Klutz

Second day of meme instead of real content. Hey, ask me anything. I just might tell ya.

What are your current obsessions?

Besides Stewart Copeland? (Hi, Stewart.)

Oh, okay. My current obessions are: laundry; a particular four-bar passage in the Mozart we're playing in flute choir; my stupid hair; Kinsey Millhone; finding a nice Chinese lady to make me some Chinese tamales; risotto cakes from Whole Foods; the vegetarian bean casserole thing in the frozen food section at Fresh & Easy (I think it's Annie's but could be another brand); the songs "Breed" and "Lounge Act" from Nirvana's Nevermind album; Powell flutes; and the new 2010 Ford Mustang. In white. Deliver it to the house, thank you.

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear the most often?
My black v-neck sweater from the Gap.

What’s for dinner?
Honestly, probably popcorn.

What is your greatest fear at the moment?
Eating it in front of everyone on the Mozart at the flute choir concert tomorrow night.

What are you listening to?
Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Radiohead, Trail of Dead, George Harrison

If you were a god/goddess what would you be?
Eris, the Goddess of Discord. What's not to love about discord?

What are your guilty pleasures?
Cheesy mystery novels, Kevin and Bean, wasting a whole day on the couch in front of the TV, the Kelly Clarkson/Pink albums on my iPod, the bands Metallica and Electric Light Orchestra, the movies "Moonstruck" and "Dirty Dancing," answering these questions, fake chicken nuggets, 3 Musketeers bars, daydreaming.

Who or what makes you laugh?
Patrick, my kitties, my niece and nephew, my friend Michael Dane.

What is your favorite spring thing to do?
Bike rides, walks, driving home after work and the sky isn't dark yet, the weather.

Where are you planning to travel next?
We're considering another trip to El Paso with Patrick's mom to see her family. Maybe a trip up north to Portland.

What is the best thing you ate or drank lately?
Dinner at Enrique's. Wait, that was a month ago. I think I need another dinner at Enrique's.

Oh, also the churros at La Casita Mexicana. And the chocolate birthday cake my sister bought me (from Pavilions). Hmmm.

Who was your first ever crush?
My best friend Jeremy. We were kindergarten/first grade best friends. We used to play Star Wars, fly kites, and a game of our own design called "Cat and Dog." He was awesome. Our moms thought we were gonna get married. Haven't talked to him in 20 years. He might be a Republican now. Good thing I'm married.

What is your favorite ever film?
Breaking Away.

What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned from your kids?
No kids for me! From being a kid, I would say I learned to try everything (I didn't do this) and ask questions (I did). From my kitty cats, I would say, never turn down an opportunity to eat or to be petted.

What song can’t you get out of your head?
Yesterday it was "Get Up Stand Up" by Bob Marley; today it's "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison.

What book do you know you should read but refuse to?
Anything by Charles Dickens. Ever since the 10th grade when I was the only kid to refuse to read "A Tale of Two Cities" have I denounced Dickens. It might be to my own detriment; maybe one day I'll pick him up. I chose to read "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut instead. (This story may be apocryphal.) I love John Irving (though, not so much his latest book), and he LOVES Dickens.

What is your physical abnormality/abnormal physical ability?
Cross-eyed. Pigeon-toed. 21st Century Klutz. My right hip occasionally, on it's own, decides it wants to pop. Usually when I'm just standing there.

What is your favorite color?
For years and years it was red. Now I think it might be blue. I still like red, though.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another iPod meme

Okay, I'll admit it: I love these! This one came from here.

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

Here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. New question -- press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

Opening credits:
Who You Are, by Pearl Jam

Waking up:
Tongue, by R.E.M.

First day of school:
How Many Hearts, by Travis

Falling in love:
Freedom Song, by The La's

Breaking up:
Lesson, by Big Boys

Mercy, by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Life's okay:
Wait For Me, by Hall & Oats

Mental breakdown:
Let It Go, by Burden Brothers

Rockin' Around (With You), by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Got the Time, by Joe Jackson (NOT the wimpy Anthrax version!)

Getting back together:
My Generation, by Patti Smith

Almost Cut My Hair, by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Birth of child:
A Long Time Ago, by David Byrne

Final battle:
Franco, by Stewart Copeland

Death scene:
Crazy, by Afghan Whigs

Funeral song:
Maya Love, by George Harrison

End credits:
The Queen is Dead, by The Smiths

Hey, not bad. I might make this a playlist.


Left my phone at home. It might as well have been my leg. Totally helpless right now.

Posted via email from icpalma's posterous

4.4 earthquake rattles Los Angeles area [Updated]

Patrick and I (and a whole lot of other people) were awakened this morning (at 4:04, according to my watch) by a 4.4 earthquake. Patrick (and his snoring) was out on the living room couch (with three cats, I might add, all of whom abandoned me) but when I called out to him, he said he'd been awake for awhile.

I felt like we had just gone to sleep - we both had rehearsals (me, the dress rehearsal for Thursday night's flute choir concert; he was practicing with Suffering Luna) Monday night and I know I didn't fall asleep until about 12 or 12:30.

From another article in the LA Times about the earthquake:
There is a small chance that Tuesday's earthquake is a precursor to the Big One, Hutton said. Any time an earthquake occurs in California, there's statistically a 5% chance that it is a "foreshock" of a larger earthquake, Hutton said.
You'd think after all this time I'd be used to earthquakes, but I'm not, really. And I never, ever think about "The Big One." Well. I did this morning!

4.4 earthquake rattles Los Angeles area [Updated]

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Training camp

Sometime last week I had a dream. I think it was Wednesday. Actually, I've been dreaming quite vividly a lot lately, though I've been trying all morning to remember last night's adventure and failing. I probably remember what I dreamed last week because it was sort of weird.

I dreamed that I was attending some sort of fitness camp.

I knew it was camp because it looked just like camp should look - lots of green fields, swimming pools, people wearing shorts and t-shirts. It looked exactly like my elementary school aged mind imagined camp would look, and when I went to Pioneer Girls camp in the third grade, amazingly, it met my expectations. We got to do archery! Swim in lakes! Canoe! We rode donkeys! I hated Pioneer Girls [check out their website, and man, it sounds worse now], but camp, even though I'm not an outdoorsy or athletic person, was awesome (also, I seem to remember there being a solar eclipse [maybe this one?], which we were all warned not to look at. I think we were on a hike when it happened). We did an overnight under the stars one night (the rest of the time we were in tents), where I had my first s'mores (I'd been camping a couple times with my parents, but nothing like this) and campfire stories - I loved camp, and don't recall any of the Christian programming I was subjected to during regular Pioneer Girls. The food was good, too. I wonder why I only went that one year?

Anyway, so back to my dream:

I was at the pool, but I wasn't wearing a bathing suit. Instead, like everyone else, I was wearing khaki shorts and a white polo shirt. We were barefoot. There were two pools right next to each other, huge rectangles of perfect blue water, reflecting the perfect blue sky. We were all lined up for lanes, waiting to get in the pool, but instead of diving in, we were supposed to just step out onto the surface of the water and walk. This is what they were teaching us - we were learning to walk on water.

It wasn't easy, and hardly anybody could actually do it. In fact, all of us were soaking wet. You stepped down from the deck of the pool about a foot to the surface of the water, which was not solid, not calm (with all the other people falling down ahead of you or in the next lane, there was a lot of movement to that water), and you were supposed to just... walk. Maybe they weren't really teaching us, but instead just finding out who could actually do it. We weren't stressed out about it. It wasn't scary - falling down in a pool has to be the safest place to fall down, unless you hit your head on the edge or something. Hardly any of us, myself included, could take more than a couple of steps. Sometimes you'd try it and take a step or two, and then you'd fall. Sometimes you'd step down and immediately flop into the water. Once in awhile, someone would fall in, shake it off, dog paddle down the lane and then? In the middle, they'd stop, look around, and, as if stepping up an invisible staircase until they were back to the surface, walk to the other end. There was no rhyme or reason to it, it just went on and on, everyone trying for a lap, with few successes. At the end of your lap, you climbed out of the pool, hung a right, and another right, and got right back in line. It was fun.

The last thing I remember in the dream was walking away from the pool. I must have left the area and immediately started climbing a hill or something, because I could look down and see all the activity going on. People were still in the pools. Maybe it was another session. But this group had an advantage: the camp counselors had inserted these clear plastic cubes down the middle of each lane. It was like a runway show on America's Next Top Model - let's make it look like these half-wit idiot girls can walk on water! But the illusion was poor, because though none of the people in my group had made it down the entire length of the pool, when we were successful, it looked precarious, as if we knew we could fall at any moment. The group with the plastic cubes "walked on water" like they were wearing rain boots, walking in a giant puddle: they had no fear, no grace: they just clomped along, dry above the knees, splashing and laughing and chatting with each other as they walked the lane.

That's when I woke up.

Now, I don't much believe in dreams as having meanings or being a clue to my subconscious yearnings or anything like that. I mean, I believe that they have to do with my brains and my thoughts, but I don't know if beyond being my own little weird movie night, there's any meaning that, you know, means anything. "I dreamed I won the lottery, and the next day I did!" That kind of shit doesn't wash with me. On the other hand, I think dream dictionaries and interpretation are interesting things.
From Dream Moods Dictionary:
To dream that you are walking on water, suggests that you have supreme and ultimate control over your emotions. It may also suggest that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, it is symbolic of faith in yourself.
Now, since my efforts to walk on water in my dream were mostly failures, I'm not sure how this works. Another dream dictionary indicated that water represents our emotions. Maybe it means that I want to control my emotions, but I struggle with it and I fail because I lack a big plastic box to walk on...? I don't know. And the whole "faith in yourself" part is pretty funny, too. Maybe the group that got to walk on the plastic cubes represents how I think other people go through life with an invisible support system that I feel like I'm lacking - look at the clumsy lucky people clomp on by, while I'm falling on my ass every three feet or so! Who knows. It's interesting, but it's not that interesting. Well, interesting enough to think about, but for a limited amount of time, which is quickly running out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's time I wrote something personal.

Week-end recap:

Let's see. I honestly can't remember anything exciting happening before Wednesday night. I'm sure stuff happened, but it all seems to run together.

Random items of interest (or not):

My mom's white cell count was low and so she missed a week of chemo. I guess this puts her a week off schedule, and while I really want her to get her treatment, I'm glad she got a little vacation from it. She told me that her sense of taste had started coming back a little. Previously things were tasting very metallic to her, which is just one fun side-effect of chemotherapy.

Patrick's band, Suffering Luna (see link on the right) had their first gig with him on drums on Wednesday at the Air Conditioned (Supper Club) in Venice. It was Metal Alliance night and there were about five bands that went on before they did (and they all ran late, so instead of playing at 10:45 as planned, I think SL went on at 11:20 or something). The Air Conditioned is a pretty cool place. They allow people in who are under 21 but then they all get kicked out at 10:30, which was a bummer for us because it meant most of the audience left all at once. Those kids were dressed exactly like the metal kids I remember from high school (skinny jeans, pristine white sneakers, flannel, Slayer and Anthrax t-shirts, funky hair). One kid had a bullet belt. The other bands were mostly indistinguishable (note: is that a real word? It doesn't look right) from one another, except for the band that preceded Suffering Luna, who were called "Hexen." They ended every song with a cry of "We Are Hexen!"

I have an ear infection.

I got my car fixed but it turns out that I also need to replace some very expensive gaskets.

Our kitty Puma has a mouthful of very yucky teeth. He's on antibiotics and has an appointment with the doctor for next Thursday. He's a lot skinnier now than he is in the photo. He's such a good boy.

I had some work done on my flute (couple new pads, oiled, etc. I was shocked that Shozo didn't lecture me on it being dirty; in fact, he told me it was pretty clean!), but my right hand is still troubling me. I'd hoped I could blame it on my flute but I think it's me. My hand position must be off - I'm having a hard time playing a fast, low part in Mozart's Allegro Con Spirito, which we're playing in flute choir. It's the low Ds and Es. It really is bugging me. And it doesn't help that we're trying to take it at the intended speed demon tempo.

I've been reading Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone "alphabet" books. I like a good mystery once in awhile, but Sue has written books A-U. I'm not sure how far I'm gonna make it. I finished L IS FOR SOMETHING on Friday. They're fun books, and Kinsey is a cool chick.

Yesterday I took a break from Kinsey and re-read Robert Heinlein's book HAVE SPACESUIT-WILL TRAVEL. The story is nothing new (humans are judged by intergalactic space council for their crimes against earth, blah blah blah, but the main character, a smartypants kid named Kip and his underage sidekick, a little girl named "Pee Wee" were a lot of fun), and this was one of Heinlein's early books for kids. Fun to relive being in middle school and "discovering" science fiction.

Saturday night we actually went to the movies and may have been the last two people in the world to see AVATAR. I was curious, but not expecting much. I've already read a lot about it. We saw the 3D version, even though we knew it would probably be a minimal experience for me: I'm slightly crosseyed, and my strabismus prevents me from participating fully in the cultural experience that is 3D. It also made learning to parallel park a 10 year mission (I can do it, but I will admit that I sometimes rely on faith). Patrick enjoyed the 3D crap but called AVATAR "The dumbest movie I've ever seen." I'll spare you all our comments. I'll tell you this much: we did a lot of giggling. Patrick actually had to shush me during some of it.

Well - Patrick has just pulled up with a box full of doughnuts. I've been wanting a doughnut all week, so I'm going to hit "publish" and go get one. See you later.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Email fun!

I haven't done this in a while (post snippets of emails), but I thought it would be fun to share some bits and pieces of a funny conversation I had today with my friend Paul. No context, other to say that I had just read the entry in Wikipedia about Existentialism (you know, just to refresh my knowledge on the subject) and was trying to connect that with what we were talking about. I'll leave it to your imagination.

Sometimes you just have to name names. Without being specific those people would be wandering in the fog, the thinking and the being totally unnecessary.

(I like how that sounds, I don't know what I mean.)

Donate your old jeans! Gap partners with Cotton Inc. for a denim drive

I got an email last week from the Gap about this, and thought it was super cool. Click on the link below for more information.

Donate your old jeans! Gap partners with Cotton Inc. for a denim drive

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Post Oscars Commentary

Originally I had thought I might like to do some "live blogging" of last night's Oscars, but when I realized that since I'd only seen one of the nominated films (the nominated movie I saw was "Star Trek" - nominated in the "best makeup" category, I believe), it was obvious to me that my inexpert voice would add nothing to the jumble.

I'm actually surprised that I watched the whole broadcast (see how sophisticated I am, using a word like "broadcast," and right after using the word "nominated" three times in one sentence, too!), but it was a good program. I kind of enjoyed Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. I love Neil Patrick Harris but his opening was, in a word, lame. There were issues that other people also caught: the camera angles were weird sometimes; apparently McCaulay Culkin made a comment after the John Hughes tribute before his microphone was turned off, but now I can't remember what he said (and at the time, I thought the comment had been made by Ally Sheedy); not only was Farrah Fawcett left off the list of stars in the memorial section, I was confused by the tight shot on James Taylor and the wide shot of the screens showing the names. And why James Taylor? Were there no other more relevant musical acts that could've performed live during that moment? Also confusing: the endless dance number. Yay for choreography and dancers I gues, but what did that have to do with anything? And that woman who interrupted that man during his acceptance speech for a movie I'd never heard of but that I did choose (at random) to win in that category - what the heck was that all about? (The NY Times has the answer.)

And also, since I'm no fashion expert with my own suspect sense of style, I'll give an abbreviated recap of the people I liked, in alphabetical order, because that's how I roll:
  • Sandra Bullock: Patrick and my friend Sarah thought her lipstick was too harsh, but I thought she was gorgeous. Loved this dress (but then I also liked the purple thing she wore that everyone ragged on), loved her hair, loved her sense of humor, loved her interview later with Barbara Walters.
  • Penelope Cruz: I saw her on the pre-show lined up with all the other actresses in her category, and she was stunning. God - how does one get to be that gorgeous? Life's not fair. 
  • Cameron Diaz: Not sure why she was there, but she looked pretty and soft for a change.
  • Anna Kendrick: Damn, woman.
  • Mo'Nique: Apparently her outfit was an homage to Hattie McDaniel, which I didn't know until later (obviously). I thought she looked delicate and feminine. Nice job.
  • Demi Moore: Loved everything about her, until she spoke. I don't know, I wonder about Demi Moore. Don't you? I mean, when did she get that head injury?
  • Carey Mulligan: Don't know who she is, didn't see her movie (as I already stated), have seen variations of that haircut before, but this one was the best.
  • Molly Ringwald: I don't remember Molly having such intense eyeballs back in the 80s - but she looks great in purple!
  • Meryl Streep: She looked so comfortable, and glamorous. Great hair.
  • Sigourney Weaver: How old is Sigourney Weaver? It doesn't matter, because: pretty!
The ones I didn't like so much:
  • Kathryn Bigelow: Beautiful woman, boring dress.
  • Diane Kruger: Feathers? Halter? Flounces? What?
  • Queen Latifah: Blah. Pageant dress. And do you like how I alphabetized her in the "L's"?
  • Jennifer Lopez: her dress had this huge folded portion in the front that bothered me. What'd she have in there? But! I LOVED her hair. Messy, pretty, soft: I could wear that hair, I bet. And she's gorgeous, just not my cup of tea.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: That dress was straight out of Mrs. Robinson's closet. And the hair?! I know a lot of people on FB liked the way she looked, and the fashion-y people at the red carpet shows, but I just didn't like it. Matthew Broderick couldn't even help her. And when did his head get so big?!
  • Charlize Theron: Those rosebud breasts were disturbing.
Here's the funny thing: all these women are more beautiful than I will ever be. So what do I know? Anyway, I'll do links later.

One thing I really liked was seeing all the happy couples (only George Clooney's gorgeous girlfriend strikes me as looking bored and unimpressed. Maybe that's why he likes her) on the red carpet. This photo is from the NY Times and I hope I don't get sued for using it, but I think I'm in love with that guy from "Inglourious Basterds." And Jeff Bridges - sure, he seemed high but congratulations to him. He seems like a lot of fun. And Colin Firth! Even their wives are lovely. Not pictured: my other favorite couple, Robert Downey Jr. and his wife. I loved her stripe-y dress.

I read some of the other readers' comments on the NY Times about the ceremony, and it cracks me up when people give their opinion on things but preface it with a very self-satisfied, Michael Kors-esque "Let's face it," as if what they're about to say is anything other than their own opinion. "Let's face it, 'Avatar' is a much better film than 'The Hurt Locker.'" Give me a break. Maybe you think that. Maybe other people think it, too. But it's YOUR OPINION. I don't have to "face anything," genius.

So? I guess I liked it this year. I watched the pre-show stuff and the entire show (well, okay, eating, tweeting, playing Scrabble online and chatting with Patrick the whole time), and I wasn't really disappointed. I'm definitely adding these movies to my Netflix queue. Maybe next year I'll actually see the movies before the Academy Awards, but don't count on it.

P.S. Oh! And another thing! Everyone has been griping about the tribute to horror movies and how "Silence of the Lambs" had been nominated for an Oscar and so shouldn't have been in the featured films. Well, duh: "Silence of the Lambs" isn't a horror movie. Neither was "Beetlejuice." Come on, let's face it, "Beetlejuice" was a comedy. And "Silence of the Lambs" was a thriller.

Finally... other than starring with Sandra Bullock in a couple of horrible movies, can anybody tell me what Keanu Reeves was doing there?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All Knowing iPod Meme

More of this. It's taken me awhile but I'm finding I'm not as original as I think I am. Anyway, this meme appears to be imparting my iPod with more power than I suspect it really has. Note: the instructions below state that I must say the questions out lout. Nobody's here but me and the cats - Patrick has a band rehearsal - and I'm sitting here watching the Oscars on TV in a flannel shirt and sweats, but you know what? I'm not gonna say these questions out loud. You can if you want.

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
"I'm Your Toy (Hot Burrito)" - Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Will I have a happy life?
"The Tourist" - Radiohead

What do my friends really think of me?
"Mystery Man" - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

What do people secretly think of me?
"P.S. I Love You" - The Beatles

How can I be happy?
"Jackie Big Tits" - The Kooks

What should I do with my life?
"Panic" - The Smiths

Will I ever have children?
"Sofrimento" - Waldemar Bastos

(I just found out that "sofrimento" means "suffering" in Portuguese. Hmm.)

What is some good advice for me?
"Things Could Turn Around" - fIREHOSE

How will I be remembered?
"Click Clack" - Captain Beefheart

What is my signature dancing song?
"No One Lives Forever" - Oingo Boingo

What do I think my current theme song is?
"Vicious Traditions" - The Veils

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"Another John Doe" - Thenewno2

What song will play at my funeral?
"Slow Like Honey" - Fiona Apple

What type of men/women do you like?
"Mr. Moustache" - Nirvana

(I swear to God I didn't manipulate this answer!)

What is my day going to be like?
"The Moneygoround" - The Kinks

Friday, March 5, 2010

Because I am too stinking lazy to come up with original content,

I have stolen the following quiz from somebody else. I steal from this chick all the time. She's cool.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
"Damn I need a haircut."

2. How much cash do you have on you?
Probably a dollar or so, in change.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Floor. Well. That was interesting.

4. Favorite planet?
You know? I'm not sure that I have a favorite planet. This one seems fine to me.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
My cell phone is dead right now. I'll let you know when I charge it.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Robots. It means Patrick is calling me, and it makes me laugh.

7. What shirt are you wearing?
A light heather gray v-neck t-shirt.

8. Do you label yourself?

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
Previously I was wearing my J. Crew flip flops: brown leather with two shades of pink ribbon. Very cute.

10. Bright or Dark Room?
It depends upon the activities.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
She seems pretty cool, as I said before.

12. What does your watch look like?
Swiss army, square face, silver.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Chit chatting with Patrick before we fell asleep.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Again, my cell is dead. I think it's from a friend of mine who was at the chiropractor.

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
Down Woodruff, I think. I don't actually go to that one, though. I go when I'm in Culver City to the one on Washington and Sawtelle, or the one on Paramount and Candlewood in LB. Or any one if we need a Citibank ATM and we can't find a bank.

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
My mother.

18. Last furry thing you touched?
Franny and Puma. They got flea powdered.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Allegra, nasal spray, and Xanax. I rarely take Xanax, you caught me on a bad sleep night.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
I'm sure there's some ancient roll hanging around somewhere but who knows/cares?

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

22. Your worst enemy?
None! Yay!

23. What is your current desktop picture?
Some random Dell theme. I like it, but it changes frequently.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Out loud? Patrick said he was going to the garage to play with his new cymbal stands (he didn't say "play"). I said "Okay!"

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
Million bucks!

26. Do you like someone?
I always like someone.

27. The last song you listened to?
"Silent Hedges" by Bauhaus.

28. What time of day were you born?
I don't remember.

29. What’s your favorite number?
3. It's a magic number.

30. Where did you live in 1987?
At home with my parents in Culver City.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?
I try not to be... but yeah, probably.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
It's doubtful.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Getting ready for my second day of work for the county.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Swear, walk away.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
Maybe on my shoulderblade? I don't know. I've thought about it but I think no.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

38. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yes. Maybe.

39. Are you touchy feely?
Not really.

40. What’s your life motto?
I don't have a "life motto."

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Some sort of hand lotion or moisturizer, lip balm (hello, Carmex!), my watch.

42. What’s your favorite town/city?

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
My half of lunch with Andrea - fish tacos, two Fat Tire beers for me, and some weird-ass brownie sundae that was suspiciously missing the brownie.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
I wrote a note to someone on a post-it a couple of months ago. I write thank you cards all the time. I write thinking of you cards occasionally. A full on letter on paper? I have no idea.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
I used to help Drew do his all the time but I don't think I could do it myself.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
Married, kids

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
Not very!

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
To perform "The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise" at City Garage for Bo's birthday. I wore my new black Calvin Klein dress, a little sweater, and heels. David, my narrator, wore a tux. We were sharp. Then later I changed into jeans and t-shirt and flip flops in the booth because it was too hot to be all dressed up.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?

50. Have you been burned by love?
Yes! Who hasn't?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So I have strange taste in books

I started reading Sue Grafton's "alphabet" mystery series this week. I've known about these books since my days at Crown, when I sort of used to snicker about them. Hey: I was a snob, my mistake.

Anyway, it's funny, but I'm sort of addicted right now. I'm on F is for Fugitive. I think I'm in love with Kinsey Millhone. I'm picturing her in my mind, I want to be her when I grow up.

Somehow I love being lost in fictional Santa Teresa. I think Patrick and I should take a trip there (or, to Santa Barbara, which actually exists). Kinsey is younger than me (she ages slowly over the course of the books; Grafton's only on "U is for Something Irene Can't Remember," but she started writing these books 20 years ago, and at the time, Kinsey was 32. I don't think she's quite 40 yet), and she's a great character.

I'm picturing her as Trini Alvarado, or Justine Bateman. Fluffy short hair, strong - both those actresses are in their 40s but they could play 32 easily, I think.

I think what I mostly love is Kinsey's schedule. She works for herself, so she gets up when she wants, takes off when she wants, goes for a run when she wants... sure, she gets shot at or occasionally falls in the path of a bomb (a BOMB!? Sue Grafton, what the hell were you thinking?), and I'm a little tired of each story requiring a death defying feat of strength and/or wits - couldn't Kinsey solve a crime without getting beat up? - but hey, these books are terrific escapism, and I am all about that right now.

Now all I need is a beach to lie on while I read 'em.

This is what I am thinking about right now:

Some people make fun of me because when I go to Subway, I almost always order the same thing (below). Oh, sometimes I order a tuna, but right now the following sandwich would make me so happy:

Honey oat bread
Cheese (American is fine)
Chiopotle dressing
Bell peppers
Pickles (lots of 'em)
Feta (yes, you can charge me extra)
Avocado (yes, you can charge me extra, just give it to me!)
A little black pepper

A bag of chips (Fritos or maybe some Baked Lays), a diet Coke...

Oh man, I'm hungry. Why is it not time for lunch yet?
We're leaving at 11:30. They'd better not be out of avocado.

More information about Suffering Luna at the Air Conditioned Lounge on March 10

I have just been informed that Wednesday night at the Air Conditioned is "Metal Night." This seems like important information to have, so don't say I didn't warn you!

Oh, and if you visited Suffering Luna's MySpace page and listened to any of the music there, you probably noticed the obvious use of a drum machine. They're furiously recording new tracks with Patrick so keep an eye and an ear out for that. Just one is all you need. No really. You probably need to keep the other eye and ear on more important things.

(Did I mention that girls get in free?)
See the previous post for more details.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Suffering Luna at the Air Conditioned Lounge on March 10

"Suffering Luna" is the name of Patrick's new band, and their very first gig with Patrick as the drummer is next Wednesday, March 10, at the Air Conditioned in Venice. Suffering Luna's been around for awhile, but this is Pat's first live performance with them. You can check them out here.

The Air Conditioned
625 Lincoln Blvd.
Venice, CA

View Larger Map

Doors open at 7:00 pm, Suffering Luna at 10:45 p.m.
Girls free, guys $5.

By the way, I think all the tracks on the MySpace page feature drum machine, which is not, I repeat, is NOT Patrick. My man is not a machine!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I have an inexplicable desire to hear the song "Open Arms" by Journey

Well, not really "inexplicable," it might've been triggered by reading this. Careful, now. Slow dancing might be in my future.

Anyway, I had to take a shower around the same time this urge came upon me, so I spent the time in there, in between washing my hair and various other bits of personal property, flipping around between the three radio stations pre-programmed on my shower radio/CD player most likely to play it (The Sound, Jack, and KLOS; LA radio really sucks. Any minute now all three stations will be playing a Doors song). Instead of the song I wanted to hear (because when the hell does that ever happen?), I was treated to the following (some of them I only heard bits and pieces of):

Sunshine of Your Love, by Cream*
Get It On, by T Rex
Cocaine, by Eric Clapton (a live version, which I don't recommend)
Message In a Bottle, by the Police
Call Me, by Blondie
Gimmee All Your Lovin', by ZZ Top (oh man, I hate this song) 
A generic Tom Petty song, by Tom Petty (and not, say, John Mayer, who should just shut up)
Some song I can't remember the name of, by The Rolling Stones (not "Angie")**

I'm still waiting for Journey. With the quality of the songs I just heard (with one exception, these are all kind of sucky songs. I mean, I pretty much never need to hear "Cocaine" again)... it's gonna happen, I can feel it.

*This song has some of the dumbest lyrics I've ever heard. "Stay with you 'til my seeds are dried up"? That's just fuckin' gross.

**Patrick and I heard "Angie" on the radio on Saturday when we were driving down to Culver City for dinner, and I asked him if he thought Mick Jagger was a good singer. He didn't know (well, I think he does know but he didn't want to say). Later, in the parking lot, he was making me listen to this band he's into right now called Sunn O))). They're some kind of scary-ass doom band, and they're really creepy sounding. So to get back at him for poisoning my brain with Sunn O))), when we were waiting for the light to change so we could cross the street, I whispered, like Mick does in "Angie," "Angie." You know that part, I'm just not writing it out right. Now, I used to like that song because that's my sister's name (Angie. Am I being clear?), but now all of a sudden I'm having some doubt, right? And Patrick goes, "That right there - 'Angie' [imitating me imitating Mick] - is scarier than anything I've ever made you listen to!"

Oh, we have a good time, believe you me.

HEY! In the time it took for me to correct a tiny little boo-boo in the above that nobody would probably have ever noticed, one of those stations decided to play... Wheel In the Sky, by Journey! Also a good song. What else can I make happen today?